Dec. 18, 2020

Most Popular Stories This Year

This special issue of the Exercise is Medicine® (EIM) newsletter highlights the 10 most popular stories from 2020, as determined by you, the reader. Feel free to share these resources with your friends, family, clients and patients.

We wish all of our readers a healthy and happy holiday season and joyous 2021!


1. Why Keep this COVID-19 Remedy a Secret?

This blog by Jim Sallis, Ph.D., FACSM, and Mike Pratt, M.D., M.P.H., FACSM, calls upon public health leaders to make physical activity education and promotion an urgent priority given the COVID-19 pandemic. Sallis emphasizes the opportunity we have to use physical activity to improve the immune responses of older adults to the vaccine that will be widely delivered.


2. Staying Active During COVID-19

The pandemic presents challenges to maintaining a physically active lifestyle. Yet for all of us, young and old, regular physical activity remains an important strategy for staying healthy! Compared to being sedentary, moderate-intensity physical activity is associated with better immune function. Regular physical activity is also associated with lower levels of anxiety and perceived stress. ACSM Fellow and Past President, Liz Joy, M.D., M.P.H., shares her insights in this blog on how to stay active during this time.


3. EIM Research Learning Collaborative

Over the summer we started an EIM Research Learning Collaborative to bring together those who are interested in advancing the science that supports implementing the EIM initiative. The collaborative focuses on the dissemination, adoption and adaptation of best practices for integrating physical activity into diverse health systems, creating systemic changes to promote physical activity as an integral part of patient care and population health.


4. ACSM Publishes Call to Action on COVID-19 and Return to Physical Activity

In August, ACSM published a statement highlighting the science around COVID-19, its transmission and the negative effects of physical inactivity, while also emphasizing the general benefits of exercise. The statement includes actions that can be taken by health care providers and individuals in the safe return to exercise.


5. COVID-19 and Exercise Resources

As we grappled with the consequences of the pandemic, it was easy to forget an important component of health related to the immune system: exercise! EIM assembled a variety of scientific articles and resources related to the effects of exercise (acute and chronic) on the body’s immune response. You can use these resources to keep your patients or clients active during the pandemic.


6. Continuing Education Opportunity: Nature and Human Health

EIM partner Park Rx America, in collaboration with the USDA Forest Service, produced a continuing education activity on nature and human health. Designed specifically for health care practitioners, this free course summarizes the evidence for nature and human health and demonstrates how to incorporate nature-based interventions into daily practice.


7. ACSM Virtual Experience

In May, ACSM announced the 2020 Annual Meeting and Exercise is Medicine World Congress would be delivered virtually. The ACSM Virtual Experience offered numerous sessions, including two focused on EIM; accepted abstracts and clinical cases presented as e-posters; exclusive sponsor content from the Gatorade Sports Science Institute and Technogym; and access to exhibitors and sponsors. All Virtual Experience content was free and is still available until December 31. Stay tuned for an announcement about the 2021 ACSM Annual Meeting and EIM World Congress!


8. Medical Fitness Association Releases Reopening Guidelines for Fitness Facilities

When the fitness industry shut down in the spring, the Medical Fitness Association (MFA) immediately established a COVID-19 resource webpage and began offering a Wellness Wednesday webinar series addressing how to manage during a pandemic. MFA also developed this Phased Reopening Guidelines for the Fitness Industry.


9. Phil's Camino: One Mans Remarkable Journey of Hope and Freedom

Moving Through Cancer, an EIM initiative, shared the remarkable documentary Phil’s Camino from Communities for a Sustainable Tomorrow. The 28-minute film describes the unique journey of Phil Volker, a stage 4 colon cancer patient whose walking journey takes him to unexpected places in the world and within himself. Through walking, Phil learns to stop fighting to cure his cancer and embraces physical, emotional and spiritual healing.


10. Cutting-Edge Thoughts on COVID-19 in Sports Medicine and Athlete Care

COVID-19 cases continue to spike around the globe. Throughout the uncertainty and a landscape that changes daily, sports continue to be played. On December 5, experts provided up-to-date information on the issues surrounding competitive and recreational athlete care and the evolving approach for athletes of all ages and abilities during the 2020 Virtual Advanced Team Physician Course.

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