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American College of Sports Medicine, May 28-June 1, 2013

The American College of Sports Medicine 60th Annual Meeting and 4th World Congress on Exercise Is Medicine

The annual meeting of the American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM) was held from May 28 to June 1 in Indianapolis and attracted more than 6,000 participants from around the world, including clinicians, academicians, allied health professionals, and others interested in sports medicine. The conference highlighted recent advances in exercise science and sports medicine, with presentations focusing on the advancement and integration of scientific research to improve clinical practice.

In one study, Sarah Trager Ridge, Ph.D., of Brigham Young University in Provo, Utah, and colleagues found no scientific evidence that running in minimalist shoes resulted in increased arch height.

"We did not find any change in arch height after 10 weeks of transitioning to minimalist running shoes. It is important to note that, of the 19 runners who were transitioning to the minimalist shoes, only a few were running the majority of their mileage in the minimalist shoes by the end of the 10 weeks. The rest were still in various stages of transitioning -- running up to four miles at a time a few times per week in the Vibrams, but running the rest of their mileage in traditional running shoes," said Ridge. "The key conclusion is that, while we hear anecdotal evidence of increases in arch height after running barefoot or in minimalist shoes, we currently have no scientific evidence of this. It is very possible that we could find scientific evidence to support this, but we would need longer-term studies. This may be important for understanding what types of injuries specific runners are at risk for."

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In another study, Christian Roberts, Ph.D., of the University of California in Los Angeles, and colleagues found that short-term intensive lifestyle modification with diet and exercise reversed hypertension and type 2 diabetes within three weeks, despite small weight loss and in the absence of reversing obesity.

"Normal-weight and obese children improve cardiovascular and metabolic phenotypes similarly after two weeks despite small weight loss in the obese (and remaining obese) and no weight loss in the lean children. These data suggest that lifestyle rather than obesity or weight loss cause the cardio-metabolic dysfunction," said Roberts. "When comparing subjects with high muscle strength (who are lean) with two groups of overweight/obese subjects who either have high or low strength, the two trained groups exhibit similar cardio-metabolic phenotypes and both are improved compared to the overweight/obese subjects with low strength fitness. These data suggest that strength fitness predicts cardio-metabolic health better than body weight/body mass index."

The investigators also found that when the overweight/obese young men underwent 12 weeks of strength training they improved their glucose tolerance despite gaining weight, which suggests that weight loss is not needed to improve glucose handling.

"Physicians should begin to understand that improvement in cardiovascular and metabolic health, as opposed to focusing on weight loss should be their primary goal, as individuals can improve their health regardless of whether or not they lose weight," Roberts added.

Press Release

Robert Oppliger, Ph.D., of the ACSM, discussed the ActivEarth initiative, which is an ACSM-led advocate program committed to changing the way individuals think about being active and the implications on themselves and the community.

"The ActivEarth is a multidisciplinary approach to being active which demonstrates the personal health, economic, and environmental implications to the individual and community of living an active lifestyle," said Oppliger. "Aside from improved overall health, there are implications of being active that are co-benefits to the community. In terms of economics, walking or biking to a location that is within a one-mile distance saves money to the person and the community as compared to driving a car. Approximately 50 percent of trips are within one mile of an individual's home and there are great advantages to your health and the community by biking and walking."

According to Oppliger, biking or walking improves overall health, reduces the risk of comorbid conditions, and economically benefits the community. There would be less infrastructure needed and less fuel used if more people walked or biked. There would be more room for parking and the impacts on the environment would be very positive. Emissions would be reduced.

"Overall, there is clearly a benefit to being active on an individual's overall health as well as on the economy, community, and environment," Oppliger added. "For clinicians, the ActivEarth agenda promotes exercise as medicine and cost-effective health care. This approach not only helps an individual but the community around them."

Press Release

ACSM: Minneapolis-St. Paul Tops 2013 U.S. Fitness Index

WEDNESDAY, May 29 (HealthDay News) -- Minneapolis-St. Paul-Bloomington has the top ranking in the American Fitness Index (AFI) data report for the third consecutive year. The report, "Health and Community Fitness Status of the 50 Largest Metropolitan Areas" is being presented at the annual meeting of the American College of Sports Medicine, held from May 28 to June 1 in Indianapolis.

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