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ACSM In The News

ACSM is fortunate to be the go-to source on sports medicine and exercise science for several national and international media outlets. You can find some of our most recent coverage below, or you can view archived articles.  

Motivating the Inactive: Walking Provides Simple Way to Health

by User Not Found | Aug 01, 2011
Expert emphasizes ease, convenience of beginning a walking program

LONG BEACH, Calif. – Exercise shouldn’t be intimidating, especially for beginners. A walking program, whether indoors or out, may be the solution to get inactive people moving and reshape the perception of exercise for health benefits, says an expert at the American College of Sports Medicine’s 12th-annual Health & Fitness Summit & Exposition.

Leslie Sansone, a fitness professional who founded her own “Walk at Home” video-based company more than 20 years ago, says she is disappointed at the portrayal of exercise in many media outlets.

“Many fitness industry advertising campaigns only appeal to elite athletes, not to the typical exerciser,” Sansone said. “We also have television shows that feature people working out to the point of tears or exhaustion. That’s not what healthy fitness should be about.”

Walking, Sansone says, is a convenient way for the average person, regardless of fitness level, to obtain ACSM’s recommended 30 minutes of exercise per day, at least five days per week. These 30 minutes can be broken up into short bouts of 10 minutes of exercise, making walking a simple choice for a busy schedule. Sansone provided several ideas for making walking a part of everyday life:

  • Try a power lunch. Before eating, walk around the parking lot for at least 10 minutes. It’ll give you a mid-day energy boost, and will act as a good motivator to make a healthy meal choice.
  • Walk and talk at work. Have moving meetings! Take your usual tabletop discussions outside or on laps around your office building. Sansone says that being in motion can boost creativity, in addition to providing physical benefits.
  • Take it to the classroom. ACSM research has shown that children perform better in school when they are physically active during the day. Teachers can have walking breaks throughout the day, or can even have “walking lectures” during instruction, where the entire class participates in physical activity.

Sansone’s in-home walking programs are encouraging and goal-oriented, and are appealing to many users in their simplicity.

"Lots of people get frustrated with fancy steps or complicated moves in many DVD exercise programs,” she said. “They just want to get moving, and our at-home walking programs provide them with health and weight loss benefits without all the bells and whistles.”

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The American College of Sports Medicine is the largest sports medicine and exercise science organization in the world. More than 20,000 International, National and Regional members are dedicated to promoting and integrating scientific research, education and practical applications of sports medicine and exercise science to maintain and enhance physical performance, fitness, health and quality of life.

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