Departments: From the Editor
The mission of ACSM's Health & Fitness Journal® is to provide credible, readable, and applicable information about research in sports medicine and exercise science, and about health and fitness-related practices. The journal strives to help health and fitness practitioners improve their knowledge and experience through reports and recommendations from experts. CEC offerings, opportunities to question the experts, listings of job openings, and more.
Happy New Year! Where did 2006 go? It is always fun to look back and reflect on the past, but as we enter the new year, we look ahead, hope for the best, and make resolutions to bring about positive changes in our lives. The resolutions may be linked to fitness, weight loss, certifications that have been put off, new degrees to be earned, and so on. In most cases, we add things to our already busy lives, and that dooms many of the goals to failure. Being overcommitted, being available to everyone (by email or in person), and not having time for oneself is a major problem in an already overworked workforce. In the March/April 2005 issue of the journal, columnist Nico Pronk, Ph.D., FACSM, addressed the issue of finding balance between work and family, and the attendant personal, health, and productivity costs when that balance is not achieved. In this issue, we have a feature article that addresses the issue of "balance" and is a perfect kickoff for 2007. Do we have balance in our lives or are we driven in a manner that creates stress, turmoil, and poor health? Christina A. Geithner, Ph.D., Joseph F. Albert, Ph.D., and Jennifer A. Vincent, B.S., provide practical approaches to dealing with this question (by using a wellness inventory to identify problems) and ways to develop SMART goals to address our needs. This article will be helpful to each of us personally, as well as those we serve.
Speaking of change, how can we help clients change eating habits? This is an important question for the average person who has a less-than-ideal diet, but it is especially important for those with established chronic diseases that can be positively affected by eating better. Sue Baic, M.Sc., R.D., R.Nutr, and Janice L. Thompson, Ph.D., FACSM, provide a nice overview of how grocery store tours are used to help clients move toward a better diet, and show us how to evaluate the effectiveness of this approach.
Linda B. Houtkooper, Ph.D., R.D., FACSM, Vanessa A. Stanford, M.S., R.D., CSCS, Lauve L. Metcalfe, M.S., FAWHP, Timothy G. Lohman, Ph.D., and Scott B. Going, Ph.D., provide an excellent summary of the Bone Estrogen Strength Training program for maintaining or increasing bone mineral density in older women. This is a major research study with important findings for the fitness professional. Given how important the issue of osteoporosis is with the aging of our population and the number of questions fitness professionals are asked about this problem on a regular basis, this article is an important and timely contribution.
Our columnists continue to do excellent work delivering brief reviews on a variety of interesting topics while providing take-home advice on how to improve what we do. Topics include the following:
- omega-3 fatty acids
- does exercise influence life expectancy?
- using case law to understand the "primary assumption of risk" defense
- sodium and fluid needs for athletes
- using the MyPyramid.gov Web site as a worksite health promotion tool
- motivating members to become and remain physically active
- research bites on vigorous activity and grades, diagnosis of low-back pain, oxygenated water and exercise performance, and the relationship between physical activity and sick leave
- ten ways to deal with difficult people
Edward T. Howley, Ph.D., FACSM, Editor-in-Chief© 2007 American College of Sports Medicine