ACSM Annual Meeting Research Highlights for June 1

The American College of Sports Medicine’s 68th Annual Meeting, 12th World Congress on Exercise is Medicine and World Congress on the Basic Science of Exercise in Regenerative Medicine will take place virtually from June 1 – 5, 2021. These three exciting meetings will happen simultaneously and feature new trends and research in sports medicine and exercise science.

Here is a selection of the research that will be presented by experts on Tuesday, June 1. View the full session lineup for June 1 or contact Lisa Ramage to view the session(s) or connect with presenters.

  • When Diabetes, Depression, and Cancer Collide: The Benefits that Physical Activity can Provide. Joseph B. Wolffe Memorial Lecture presented by Mary de Groot, Ph.D., Indiana University School of Medicine.
  • Exercise or Drugs: What is the Evidence? Morris/Paffenbarger Exercise is Medicine® Keynote Lecture presented by John Ioannidis, M.D., from Stanford University. Exercise and medications are often promoted and recommended as interventions for the same conditions. Most of the evidence on interventions is either about drugs alone or exercise alone, with limited head-to-head comparisons. Large network meta-analyses can offer the big picture of their relative merits and some cautious indirect evidence about their comparison.
  • High-Intensity Interval Training in Health and Disease: New Insights and Emerging Perspectives. The last decade has seen a resurgence of scientific inquiry into the physiological responses to HIIT and associated health impacts. This has been paralleled by widespread interest from clinicians, practitioners and the public. Randomized controlled trials, systematic reviews and meta-analyses have shown that HIIT can elicit specific responses that are superior to traditional moderate-intensity continuous exercise in healthy individuals and in people with cardiometabolic diseases. Yet debate still exists on the potential effectiveness of HIIT, including concerns related to feasibility, efficacy, safety and adherence. Fundamental questions also remain regarding the effect of HIIT on other health indices (e.g., glucose control, cognitive function), and application in specific conditions (e.g., cardiac rehabilitation, polycystic ovary syndrome).
  • Make America Fit Again: Completing the JFK Challenge. President John F. Kennedy believed that a fit nation was a healthy and secure nation. Today, nearly 50% of adults are obese, and 75% of young adults are unfit for the military. Kennedy advocated for youth fitness and physical education programs like the one at La Sierra High School, which built strength, endurance, resiliency and physical literacy in every child. With time, physical education became less of a priority, and children have become increasingly more inactive and more obese. This symposium will review the scientific evidence of how a fitness program like La Sierra’s can influence the overall health of children as well as adults. A La Sierra alumni will share how the program influenced his life.
  • The Immune Response to Exercise: Therapeutic Advances and Potential Mechanisms with Implications for Human Health Across the Lifespan. The immune system is at the cornerstone of many disease states that occur across the entire lifespan. Host immunity is profoundly influenced by physical exercise. This symposium will highlight recent advances in the understanding of the immune response to both acute and chronic exercise and its implications for human health across the lifespan. Key topics include: 1) immune responses to exercise during growth and development; 2) neuroendocrine mechanisms that underpin the anti-inflammatory immune effects of exercise; 3) the adjuvant effects of exercise for cancer and immune cell therapy; and 4) the influence of exercise on the gut microbiota to optimize host health and immunity. Presenters also will highlight the clinical translational aspects of exercise immunology across the lifespan, key challenges and need for innovation in the era of personalized medicine and precision wellness.
  • Exercise and Dementia: Current Evidence and Opportunities in Prevention and Treatment. This session will highlight physical activity interventions in older adults at risk for cognitive decline with attention to the prescriptive components (e.g., type and intensity), outcomes and implementation. Speakers will review evidence from clinical trials of multiple modality exercise, resistance training and HIT in a spectrum of older adults, including those who are healthy with cognitive complaints, MCI, diabetes and stroke. Speakers also will address the current state of knowledge and build the evidence to practice case for implementation at the community level.
  • Active Transportation Advocacy for Health Equity and Climate during COVID-19. Active transportation involves walking, riding or rolling to meet physical activity and transportation needs. Exercise and clinical health practitioners have long championed physical activity for their communities and clients. Yet, they may feel less comfortable advocating for active transportation because they know less about its impact on health, climate and the surrounding community. This tutorial will review the role of active transportation in health, climate and how it contributes to a vital community through economic development and health equity. Speakers also will discuss ways that exercise and clinical practitioners can promote active transportation with patients and clients, as well as advocate to support active transportation in their communities, including measures for safety and social distancing due to COVID-19.