Departments: From the Editor
7 KEY POINTS THAT STRUCK ME WHILE READING THIS ISSUE
- 1. Assuming Rather than Understanding Your Client’s Motivation Can Be Disastrous. Understanding why your client has sought out your assistance is a critical first step in guiding him or her along the motivation continuum. In this issue’s Enhancing Your Behavioral Toolkit column, Janet Buckworth, Ph.D., FACSM, introduces us to the Self-Determination Theory and provides practical steps that can assist you in guiding your client from a state of extrinsic motivation to one empowered by the intrinsic.
- 2. Advocacy — It Is an Important Skill for Health and Fitness Professionals to Grasp. Although the health benefits of physical activity are well substantiated, our society has a long way to go toward garnering these benefits. Advocating for physical activity/fitness programs and supportive infrastructure and policies is an important part of our role as exercise professionals. In her column Advocacy and the Health and Fitness Professional, Kristi M. King, Ph.D., CHES, provides a number of key advocacy tips.
- 3. The SMART Ask Is a Key Communication Skill for Health and Fitness Professionals. When advocating for health and fitness, it is critical that we are clear regarding what we are asking for. Dr. King introduces the important concept of the “SMART” ask (Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic, and Time sensitive), one we should all apply.
- 4. Kettlebell Training: Popular, but Not Without Risk! Although the use of kettlebells has grown in popularity, and researchers have demonstrated health and fitness benefits, they present several complex biomechanical demands that can lead to injury. Trainers must be well versed in these challenges and teach the importance of proper technique to all users. Luke Del Vecchio, M.Sc., and Betul Sekendiz, M.Sc., Ph.D., provide eight key strategies that exercise professionals should follow to promote safety and minimize user risk.
- 5. Core Training: The Media Glorifies Six-Pack Abs — But it Is Sooo Much More. Although popular among exercisers and fitness professionals, the true concepts of core training are frequently blurred by a variety of myths and misperceptions. What’s best: crunches, sit-ups, planks, or something else? Reality is that most any exercise fundamentally can be a core exercise. Thus, understanding your client’s needs and specific goals is critical. I encourage you to read this month’s Health & Fitness From A to Z column where Charles Fountaine, Ph.D., and Todd Perry, M.S., clarify some of the misconceptions associated with core training.
- 6. Learning to Read Food Labels Is CRITICAL! Although many food and nutritional products sound healthy, they may not be. Many products, although popular and creatively marketed as healthy, may, in reality, be relatively unhealthy. For example, gluten-free diets have become popular, but many gluten-free products contain increased sugar and fat. Kristen Perrella, M.S., RDN, CDN, and Frank J. Cerny, Ph.D., FACSM, provide some excellent advice for health and fitness professionals in their feature article, “Hot Topics in Nutrition and How to Advise Your Client.”
- 7. Working With People on the Autism Spectrum Is Challenging — BUT, VERY REWARDING. Although exercise is critical for the health and well-being of people on the autism spectrum, working with autistic clients can be challenging. However, by carefully communicating, building trust, treating each person with respect and as a valued individual, and being patient and encouraging, tremendous and rewarding progress will ensue. David Geslak, B.S., ACSM EP-C, CSCS, shares with us his extensive experience working with people on the autism spectrum in his feature article, “Challenging Autism With Exercise: An Opportunity Worth Stretching For.”
As usual, there is so much more. I sincerely hope you will enjoy reading through this issue as I have. And don’t forget to visit the Journal Web site for additional content and video. Finally, I encourage you to attend ACSM’s Health & Fitness Summit & Expo from April 6 to 9 in beautiful San Diego, California. There is a wealth of practical information being shared and several excellent preconferences, including one on resistance training being hosted by some of our themed-issue authors.
Brad A. Roy, Ph.D., FACSM,
Kalispell Regional Medical Center
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