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Should I Sleep or Exercise? The Relationship between Sleep and Activity

October 25, 2022

Daily sleep and physical activity each have individual impacts on a variety of health outcomes and risk factors (1,2,3). There may be reciprocal relationships between… Read more

teen boy walking with a backpack

Physical Activity, Healthy Weight, and National Security

September 28, 2022

When Sports Illustrated subscribers thumbed through the final issue of 1960, they encountered the usual assortment of sporting news. Bart Starr led the Packers past… Read more

Physical Activity in School-Aged Children

August 18, 2022

School-aged children should get at least 60 minutes of moderate- or vigorous-intensity physical activity every day of the week. Only 26% of adolescents met these… Read more

Using the American Fitness Index in the Classroom: Strategies and Lessons Learned

July 11, 2022

The American Fitness Index is a valuable tool and resource to researchers and practitioners alike. As an educator, I believe it has a place in… Read more

Parks, Trails and Greenways Plus Programming Can Increase Physical Activity

June 22, 2022

Parks, trails, and greenways are an important part of a community. They are places where people can move, relax, and enjoy time with others. A… Read more

Moving More to Improve Mental Health: What City Officials Need To Know

June 2, 2022

One of the personal health indicators selected for inclusion into ACSM’s American Fitness Index is a measure of the mental health status of city residents.… Read more

The Cost of Mental Health: Seeking Community Solutions

May 10, 2022

Good mental health is effective functioning in daily activities resulting in good productivity (e.g., work, school), healthy relationships and the ability to cope with adversity.… Read more

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#EatingHealthy: Can Nutrition Apps Do the Job?

March 23, 2022

We’ve all seen the increase in the number of available apps to monitor lifestyle behaviors such as physical activity, sleep and stress. There is also… Read more

woman wearing headphones, walking and checking an activity tracker on her wrist

Knowledge is Power: Wearable Heart Health Monitoring

February 10, 2022

February is heart month, and wearable devices are becoming a larger part of heart health promotion and cardiovascular care. Wearable devices incorporated into clothing or… Read more

fitness equipment including tennis shoes, a water bottle, fitness tracker, hand weights and headphones

New Year, New You? Resources to Support an Active Lifestyle

January 25, 2022

If you’re among  the millions of Americans who want to start moving more in the new year, finding resources to exercise safely can be challenging.… Read more

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Addressing Fitness Index FOMO | Resources for Cities Not Included on the Rankings Report

December 15, 2021

The American Fitness Index assesses key indicators and ranks the largest 100 U.S. cities by population and names one as the fittest city annually. What… Read more

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Food Insecurity: Defining and Addressing a Community Health Challenge

November 5, 2021

Food insecurity is defined by the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) as   “a household-level economic and social condition of limited or uncertain access to adequate… Read more

6 Ways to Support Your Clients’ Mental & Physical Well-Being

November 2, 2021

Regular physical activity provides several long-term benefits that can help prevent and treat mental health disorders. Fitness professionals can support the mental and physical well-being… Read more

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The Importance of Sleep for Health

September 15, 2021

When we think about the most important actions that we can take to protect our health, we usually consider behaviors such as partaking in regular… Read more

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Impact of the COVID-19 Pandemic on the Fitness Index Indicators

August 24, 2021

We can all agree that the COVID-19 pandemic had a major impact on our lives and lifestyle in 2020 and continues yet today. Millions were… Read more

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Active People, Healthy Nation℠: Creating an Active America Together

August 23, 2021

Regular physical activity is one of the most important things that people can do to support their  health.  Being active can immediately help people feel… Read more

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What Makes Arlington, Virginia the Fittest City in America?

July 13, 2021

The American Fitness Index scores the country’s 100 largest cities (based on population) on 34 indicators of health. These indicators are broken into two categories:… Read more

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How High Is Your Bike Score? Barriers to Bikeable Communities

April 28, 2021

Moving to a new city in the middle of the COVID-19 pandemic could have made for a difficult transition. Without the typical options of going… Read more

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Overcoming Barriers to Active Transportation

April 14, 2021

Active transportation has important environmental, health and economic benefits. Promoting active modes of transportation including walking, cycling and wheelchair or stroller rolling, can increase physical… Read more

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Nutritional Strategies for Healthy Aging

March 23, 2021

Over the last century, the human lifespan has undergone dramatic changes. At the start of the 20th century, the average lifespan at birth for women… Read more

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Healthy Hearts Power Fit Cities

February 9, 2021

February is American Heart Month, and there is no better time to appreciate the benefits of cardiovascular fitness and a strong heart! Heart disease is… Read more

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Staying Active During the COVID-19 Pandemic: Meeting Physical Activity Guidelines

January 20, 2021

The coronavirus pandemic has had a large impact on our daily life activities including our work, how we move from point A to point B,… Read more

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Virtual Run, Walk and Roll Events, A Great Way to Stay Active and Connected!

December 7, 2020

The year 2020 has been a challenge for all of us. Schools, colleges, universities and businesses went virtual due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Commercial health… Read more

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Holiday Stress Buster | Physically Distanced Physical Activity

November 20, 2020

Feeling overwhelmed at the thought of the holiday season? You are not alone. This winter will layer pandemic anxiety on top of holiday tension and… Read more

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Quit Smoking to Improve Your Health | Smoking Cessation Resources

November 16, 2020

Only 20  minutes after your last cigarette, your heart rate and blood pressure begin to drop. Within a few  days, the carbon monoxide level in… Read more

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October is Pedestrian Safety Month

October 20, 2020

The release of the 2020 American Fitness Index saw the average  pedestrian fatality rate across  the U.S.’s 100 largest cities grow from 2.2 deaths per… Read more

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Unhealthy Air Quality in the U.S. Pacific Northwest

September 11, 2020

As fires plague the Pacific Northwest region of the United States, residents in the area must be particularly cautious when spending time outdoors due to… Read more

Healthy Eating in America’s 100 Largest Cities

August 7, 2020

The ACSM American Fitness Index, supported by the Anthem Foundation, ranks the 100 largest cities in America on a variety of personal and community health… Read more

Arlington, Virginia, es Nombrada “La Ciudad Más en Forma” en 2020 American Fitness Index® Ranking de los 100 mejores

July 14, 2020

La pandemia de COVID-19, la investigación subraya la importancia de la actividad física, la infraestructura en la batalla por la salud de la comunidad Lisa… Read more

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The American Fitness Index in 2020 | The Essential Nature of Parks

June 26, 2020

For more than a decade the ACSM American Fitness Index® has provided an annual snapshot of community fitness for some of the largest cities and… Read more

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Take to the Trails!

June 18, 2020

The ancient curse “may you live in interesting times!” seems fitting right now. While the stay-at-home order has constrained our normally hectic lives, we have… Read more

Intentional Daily Movement | Coping with the COVID-19 Pandemic

May 27, 2020

My name is Olivia Affuso and I am a streak runner. I have run at least one mile every day for the last 600 consecutive… Read more

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2020 Fitness Index Release to be delayed

May 15, 2020

The American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM), in collaboration with philanthropic partner, Anthem Foundation, will delay the release of the 2020 American Fitness Index rankings… Read more

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Physical Activity | Benefits Year-Round

February 20, 2020

The American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM) American Fitness Index is one of the most credible and reliable assessments of individual and community fitness across… Read more

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Disparities in the Quality of Physical Activity Environments

December 11, 2019

There are race, ethnic and socioeconomic status (SES) disparities in physical activity. The disparities differ by domain of physical activity (e.g., occupation, transportation), but there… Read more

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America’s Most Dangerous Cities for Pedestrians

November 13, 2019

Across America’s 100 largest cities an average of  2.2 pedestrians were killed per 100,000 residents in the last year.   With a total population of 64,504,498 … Read more

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Advocate for Active Transportation in Your Community | Op-ed Template

November 4, 2019

A key step in increasing active transportation habits and avenues  in your community is working to increase awareness of the economical, personal health and environmental… Read more

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Pedestrian Safety Concerns Hinder Active Transportation

October 22, 2019

In 2018, 6,227 pedestrian fatalities occurred in the United States, the highest number in nearly three decades and a four percent increase from 2017 according… Read more

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Halloween Safety Tips

October 18, 2019

Halloween can be a fun holiday for families if you follow these safety tips to keep trick-or-treaters and party goers safe at night! Be Safe… Read more

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Supporting Local Communities in the Fight Against Food Insecurity

August 13, 2019

The American Fitness Index serves as a tool and resource for community stakeholders to address conditions in the environments that negatively affect a person’s overall… Read more

Seasonal shopping at your local farmers market

July 30, 2019

Eating a wide variety of colorful fruits and vegetables is the ideal way to get the necessary vitamins and minerals that your body needs. Planning… Read more

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Air Quality and Outdoor Exercise

July 16, 2019

There is incontrovertible evidence linking poor air quality to adverse health outcomes. This is especially true for people with pre-existing conditions such as heart disease,… Read more

ACSM American Fitness Index and Anthem Foundation

Partnership Between American Fitness Index and Anthem Foundation is Twelve Years Strong

May 15, 2019

The Anthem Foundation is embedded in communities across the country where it supports programs that build awareness about the importance of active lifestyles and healthy… Read more

Changes in the 2019 ACSM American Fitness Index: What Impact Will They Have?

May 7, 2019

Since the creation of the ACSM American Fitness Index®, the data team constantly looks for ways to improve the rankings. Also, as data sources change… Read more

From 50 to 100: Lessons Learned from the Expansion of the American Fitness Index

May 3, 2019

Two criticisms of the first decade of the ACSM American Fitness Index®and its annual report were that it was limited to only the 50 most… Read more

American Fitness Index: 10+ Years of Improving Community Health

April 22, 2019

The American College of Sports Medicine launched the American Fitness Index (Fitness Index) in 2008. The Fitness Index ranks the 100 largest cities in the… Read more

Five Frequently Asked Questions About the Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans, 2nd Edition

February 27, 2019

In 2008, the US Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) issued the federal government’s first-ever Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans (Guidelines) to help Americans… Read more

2018 Physical Activity Guidelines – How to Meet the Goals in Everyday Activities

February 5, 2019

The other day I heard a story about a woman who hated to exercise. She wanted nothing of it: going to the gym, sweating, walking… Read more

Getting up to speed on Complete Streets: 9 things you should know

December 4, 2018

Complete Streets. You’ve heard of it, but you’re not exactly sure what it means or how it can benefit your community. Our friends at the… Read more

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Active Transportation Choices May Affect Your Wallet and Waistline

November 26, 2018

It is not surprising that having healthy habits, like walking every day, is one way to fight the holiday bulge. But did you know that… Read more

Anchorage Alaska Parks

Love parks? Anchorage, Alaska is the place for you!

October 4, 2018

Anchorage has more public access to park space per city acre than any other state in the United States, and its extremely variable climate presents… Read more

Parks: More Than Just a Playground

August 8, 2018

Summertime is in full swing, and, for many of us, it’s the time of year we consider engaging with the great outdoors. However, as much… Read more

7 Tips for Shopping at Your Local Farmers Market

August 3, 2018

There are nearly 9,000 farmers markets currently in operation across the United States. With offerings ranging from fresh fruits and vegetables to locally raised meats… Read more

2018 American Fitness Index Overview Infographic

May 14, 2018

According to the 2018 ACSM American Fitness Index, the top 10 fittest cities in the U.S. are: Arlington, VA Minneapolis, MN Washington, D.C. Madison, WI… Read more

We’re Expanding! Fitness Index will now rank America’s 100 largest cities

May 6, 2018

The American Fitness Index is proud to announce that the 2018 rankings will be released on May 15th! This year’s rankings feature some exciting changes. … Read more

Fruit and Vegetables Fuel Good Health

April 24, 2018

  You were always told you to eat fruit and vegetables – and it turns out that was very smart advice! It has been well… Read more

Good Sleep: An Indicator of Good Health

February 12, 2018

Regularly getting a good night’s sleep is so important for good health that it was added as an indicator to the American Fitness Index last… Read more

Physically active families: Creating healthy habits this fall

September 12, 2017

In many ways, Fall is a “new year” for American families. For those whose annual schedule revolves around the academic calendar, fall is a time… Read more

10th Annual American Fitness Index Reveals Minneapolis-St. Paul as the Newest “Fit City”

May 16, 2017

Half of metro areas saw scores improve Indianapolis (May 16) – The twin cities of Minneapolis-St. Paul edged Washington, D.C. in the 10th annual American… Read more

ACSM American Fitness Index Through the Years

May 15, 2017

In 2017 the ACSM American Fitness Index celebrates it’s 10th anniversary. For the last decade, the Fitness Index has been recognized as an assessment and… Read more

Celebrate Community Parks

July 12, 2016

Parks are incredibly versatile, fun areas for everyone in a community. They’re perfect for children who want to play on a playground, family or friends… Read more

Washington, D.C., is Most Fit City for 3rd consecutive year, new rankings reveal

May 18, 2016

For Immediate Release May 18, 2016 Mike Fulton at (301) 651-2508 or (Asher Agency) Annie Spencer at (317) 637-9200 or (American College of… Read more

Infographic: The Path to a Culture of Health

March 21, 2016

Many communities develop programs and events as part of its strategic plan for improving residents health, but a more sustainable approach to gain traction is… Read more

Case Studies In Action: Indianapolis Cultural Trail

February 9, 2016

Read more

American Fitness Index Releases New Community Action Guide

January 20, 2016

  For immediate release: January 20, 2016 American Fitness Index Releases New Community Action Guide Updated tool helps leaders take action to improve the health… Read more

Surgeon General Says: Step It Up!

November 4, 2015

The U.S. Surgeon General, Dr. Vivek H. Murthy, wants you to make walking a part of your life and help others make it a part… Read more

Washington, DC: Profile of a Fit City

October 16, 2015

  To see Washington, DC’s full 2015 data report, visit Read more

Surgeon General’s Call to Action

September 9, 2015

Only half of American adults get enough physical activity to reduce the risk of chronic disease, the leading cause of death in the U.S.  Walking… Read more

#FitCityIndex Twitter Chat Highlights

August 14, 2015

Did you participate in the #FitCityIndex Twitter chat?  On August 5, 2015, Advisory Board Chair Dr. Walt Thompson hosted the first #FitCityIndex Twitter chat.  The… Read more

Case Studies in Action: Cincinnati, OH

June 17, 2015

  For more information about the CHCC, visit: To see how Cincinnati scored in 2015, click here.   Read more

Washington DC is the Nation’s Fittest City, report says

May 19, 2015

For Immediate Release: May 19, 2015 at 12:01 am   Washington DC is the Nation’s Fittest City, report says Exercise decrease, chronic disease increase highlight… Read more

Case Studies in Action: Charlotte, NC

December 29, 2014

Healthy Charlotte Annual Report 2014 The Healthy Charlotte effort is well on its way to leading a change in Charlotte’s culture from being a wonderful,… Read more

Hialeah to Benefit from Amerigroup Grant Aimed at Improving Health, Fitness

December 4, 2014

The Amerigroup Foundation today announced that it is providing a grant to the American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM) to continue efforts to improve health… Read more

Strategic Plan Aims to Guide Cincinnati to Better Health, Fitness

December 3, 2014

The American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM), with support from the Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield Foundation, is expanding the ACSM American Fitness Index®… Read more

Strategic Plan Aims to Guide Las Vegas To Better Health, Fitness

November 19, 2014

The American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM), with support from the Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield Foundation, is expanding the ACSM American Fitness Index®… Read more

Rethinking Walking

November 4, 2014

Walking is a simple and easy way to add physical activity to daily schedules and since it’s free, it’s available to everybody. Since the first… Read more

Taking Shape of the American Fitness Index

October 6, 2014

The editors of SHAPE magazine pulled out a few statistics from the 2014 ACSM American Fitness Index® data report for its readers. The Fitness Index… Read more

Why you need to be shopping at the farmers market

August 4, 2014

It’s National Farmers Market Week (August 3-9)! As a measure of access to fresh fruits and vegetables with the most nutrients, the ACSM American Fitness… Read more

July is National Park and Recreation Month!

July 14, 2014

Since 1985, America has celebrated July as the nation’s official Park and Recreation Month. The American Fitness Index recognizes the importance of community parks and… Read more

Washington, D.C., Claims Top Ranking on Annual Fit City Index

May 28, 2014

The American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM), with support from the WellPoint Foundation, unveiled its seventh annual American Fitness Index® () data report during the… Read more

Today Show Looks to ACSM for America’s Healthiest City

February 3, 2014

To help kick off 2014, The Today Show looked at where in America you should go if you want to be “healthy, wealthy and wise”.… Read more

Minneapolis-St. Paul tops Fit List for Third Straight Year

May 29, 2013

For the third consecutive year, Minneapolis-St. Paul is the healthiest, fittest metropolitan area in the United States, according to the American College of Sports Medicine’s… Read more

Minneapolis-St. Paul Tops Fit List for Second Straight Year

May 21, 2012

For the second consecutive year, Minneapolis-St. Paul is the healthiest, fittest metropolitan area in the United States, according to the American College of Sports Medicine’s… Read more

Building a Healthier Chicago!

March 5, 2012

ACSM has been proud to work with Assistant Surgeon General Dr. James M. Galloway in the early years of the ACSM American Fitness Index. Dr.… Read more

Oklahoma City’s Wellness Now Initiative

February 16, 2012

From time to time, we like to highlight community initiatives and programs that are making a difference. Wellness Now is a community-led initiative in Oklahoma… Read more

Spotlight on Phoenix: Health and Fitness in the Valley of the Sun

February 10, 2012

Today’s post takes a look at the metropolitan statistical area of Phoenix, Arizona; also known as the “Valley of the Sun”. Phoenix is the largest… Read more

Spotlight on Kansas City: Health and Fitness in the City of Fountains

February 1, 2012

Today’s post takes a look at the metropolitan statistical area of Kansas City, Mo. Notably, the city has more parks, golf courses, famer’s markets and… Read more

Spotlight on Richmond, Va: Health and Fitness in One of America’s Oldest Cities

December 29, 2011

Today’s post takes a look at Richmond, the third largest metropolitan statistical area (MSA) in Virginia. The city of Richmond and its surrounding areas include… Read more

Spotlight on Washington D.C. – Health and Fitness in our Nation’s Capitol

December 21, 2011

Today’s post looks at the metropolitan statistical area of Washington D.C.-Arlington-Alexandria, which spans from southern Maryland to northern Virginia. From 2008-2010, DC Metro ranked at… Read more

Spotlight on Los Angeles: Health and Fitness in The City of Angels

December 9, 2011

Today’s post looks at Los Angeles and its surrounding areas including Long Beach and Santa Ana. It is a city that promises new life, hope,… Read more

Spotlight on Jacksonville: Health and Fitness in Florida’s Largest Metro Area

November 20, 2011

Today’s post takes a look at the metropolitan statistical area of Jacksonville, Fla., inclusive of Baker, Clay, Duval, Nassau, and St. Johns counties. Jacksonville is… Read more

Spotlight on Milwaukee: Health and Fitness in Wisconsin’s Largest City

October 31, 2011

Today’s post takes a look at the metropolitan statistical area of Milwaukee-Waukesha-West Allis in Wisconsin. The fictional home of The Fonz, Richie Cunningham, Laverne and… Read more

Introducing the Technical Assistance Project

October 17, 2011

To help communities improve the health of their residents, the American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM) today introduced the American Fitness Index® () Technical Assistance… Read more

Spotlight on San Jose: Health and Fitness in Silicon Valley

October 12, 2011

Today’s post takes a look at the metropolitan statistical area of San Jose-Sunnyvale-Santa Clara in California. The area is often called Silicon Valley thanks to… Read more

Spotlight on Minneapolis/St. Paul

October 5, 2011

Earlier this year, the American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM) released the annual ACSM American Fitness Index® () data report. This report evaluates the 50… Read more

From the Field with Dominique Ennis

February 8, 2011

Dominique Ennis, of UNC Asheville Campus Recreation, talks about the state of health and fitness in of Asheville, N.C. Ennis notes that there are many… Read more

From the Field with Katrina Hall

February 2, 2011

Katrina Hall talks about some of the hurdles to improving physical activity in Charlotte, N.C. Katrina discusses some programs affiliated with Presbyterian Healthcare aimed at… Read more

From the Field with NiCole Keith, PhD, FACSM

January 10, 2011

NiCole Keith, PhD, FACSM, discusses the state of health and fitness in Indianapolis. Dr. Keith gives particular attention to the role of public transportation on… Read more

From the Field with Dr. Chad Asplund

January 7, 2011

Chad Asplund, MD, FACSM, comments on the state of health and fitness in Columbus, OH. Dr. Asplund, a family physician and competitive cyclist, says the… Read more

From the Field with Stella Volpe, PhD, FACSM

January 4, 2011

Stella Volpe, PhD, FACSM, talks about the state of health and fitness in Philadelphia. Dr. Volpe says Philadelphia is not as active of a city… Read more

From the Field with Dr. Roseann Lyle

December 20, 2010

In this edition of From the Field, Advisory Board Member Roseann Lyle, PhD, FACSM, comments on what makes the ACSM American Fitness Index data report… Read more

From the Field with Dot Fullwood

December 17, 2010

M. “Dot” Fullwood talks about the state of health and fitness in the San Francisco/Bay area, which ranked 8th in the 2010 ACSM American Fitness… Read more

From the Field with Sarah Pedersen

December 15, 2010

Sarah Pedersen talks about what makes Boston a physically active city in this episode of From the Field. Boston ranked 2nd in the 2010 ACSM… Read more

From the Field with Dr. John Jakicic

December 13, 2010

In this interview, John Jakicic, PhD, FACSM, explains one of the goals of the ACSM American Fitness Index. Dr. Jakicic is a professor and chair… Read more

Physical Activity Can Help Tame Type-2 Diabetes

December 10, 2010

The American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM) and the American Diabetes Association, have issued new exercise guidelines for people with Type-2 diabetes. The ACSM American… Read more

From the Field with Anne Graves

December 9, 2010

Anne Graves, MS, ACSM HFS, of the YMCA of Greater Indianapolis shares her thoughts on the state of health and fitness in Indianapolis. Indy ranked… Read more

From the Field with Dr. Jim Pivarnik

December 7, 2010

In this video, Jim Pivarnik, PhD, FACSM, and immediate past-president of the American College of Sports Medicine shares his thoughts on how the ACSM American Fitness… Read more

From the Field with Dr. Felicia D. Stoler, R.D.

December 6, 2010

The second installment of From the Field features Dr. Felicia D. Stoler, DCN, MS, RD, FACSM, of Holmdel, N.J. Dr. Stoler is a registered dietitian,… Read more