Hello from SWACSM 2013

Today kicked off the annual meeting for the southwest chapter of the American College of Sports Medicine. The conference is being held at the Raddison hotel in Newport Beach, CA.

The ACSM is one of the leading research institutions putting out work that will help us bring exercise and physical activity in to the medical model. In 2007, they created a credential called Exercise is Medicine, with the intention of bringing healthcare professionals together with fitness professionals for the common good.

If I could distill all my work to any one purpose, that would be it.

Some of the early sessions I found interesting were talks on the effects of testosterone and estrogen on muscle adaptation and a presentation on warfighter performance.

20131020-072435.jpgThe presentation on hormones and muscle was eye opening to me because, with all my study of muscle physiology, I was completely unaware of the effect of estrogen on muscle tissue. Dr. Christina Dieli-Conwright, of USC, explained how she and her colleagues discovered tighter corssbridge junctions in muscle fibers grown in a Petri dish when exposed to estrodiol (citation). The second presenter, Jackie Kiwata, Ph.D. candidate at USC, showed us studies that questioned the necessity of testosterone for muscle building. One of her examples involved prostrate cancer patients undergoing therapy that chemically stopped testosterone production, yet were still able to build muscle mass.

20131020-072651.jpg

When loaded (right) the spine is aligned in a forward lean.

Drs. Karen Kelly and Marc Taylor, from the Naval Health Research Center in San Diego, CA, both introduced the crowd to some of the projects they are currently working on to enhance performance and improve the health of our service men and women. Their research includes exploring the new possible findings of a vertical MRI machine. This is great because they can image humans with or without their gear on. The average Marine carries well over the recommended 30% body weight (the average assault load is 96 lbs). It is no wonder that back pain is a huge problem amongst the infantry and that muskuloskeletal injuries account for 48% of the injuries in battle. Other research includes building mental resilience as a prevention for PTSD and measuring the effects of the chronic stress (allostatic load) endured by Marines during various stages in their active duty.

Later in the day, I displayed some of my research on self-efficacy in physical activity during the poster session. I’ll report my findings in another post. I only mention it because it was then that I had the great surprise of running in to the San Diego health coach herself, Evelyn Lambrecht. We ended the day with a couple of drinks out by the pool discussing healthcare, wellness, supplementation and family life.

Day 2 will feature more research and more ideas on changing the way we do medicine and move our bodies for sport, health and play.

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