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Trends: The Lifestyle Change Team

IHRSA and The Photo GroupAfter two decades of contributing to CBI as a writer, now, as executive editor, I make an effort to sense shifts and changes in the industry.

As I connected with contacts and colleagues at IHRSA 2014, as I sat in on presentations, and as I strolled the trade show floor, one thing in particular struck me: there seemed to be an increasing emphasis on creating new strategies to help deconditioned individuals make long-lasting lifestyle changes.

While the industry has been striving to do this for years, the momentum is building.

Dr. Edward PhillipsFor example, in his presentation, “Exercise is Medicine: Tapping the Medical Community,” Dr. Edward Phillips, the founder and director of the Institute for Lifestyle Medicine at Harvard Medical School, spoke of a new medical society, The American College of Lifestyle Medicine (ACLM), the first for clinicians who emphasize the use of lifestyle interventions in the treatment and management of disease.

He also pointed out that one of the country’s newest medical schools, on the campus at the University of South Carolina, in Greenville, is incorporating physical education and fitness into its core curriculum.

In addition, the American Council on Exercise (ACE) and the Genavix Wellness Network announced a new partnership that will address weaknesses in many workplace wellness programs by placing ACE-certified health coaches at the center of corporate wellness programs.

Right now, the Genavix Network is comprised of 24 independent clubs in Massachusetts, New Hampshire, and Maine, that make use of Genavix’s HealthyCARE 90-Day Commit to Get Fit Program, which approaches change with four components—nutrition, fitness, stress management, and behaviour modification. There are plans to expand the network to other regions of the country.

Scott Goudeseune“Research shows that instilling sustainable healthy-behaviour patterns, including regular physical activity and sound nutrition, is key to addressing the obesity epidemic,” said Scott Goudeseune, the president and CEO of ACE.

I had the pleasure of spending an hour talking with Goudesuene, ACE Chief Science Officer Cedric Bryant, and ACE COO Janet Frenkel, all of whom emphasized that lifestyle change is best accomplished via a team approach—ideally including a physician or other healthcare professional, a health coach, and a personal trainer.

“Our goal is to get to the point where health coaches are just as common as personal trainers,” explained Bryant.

This is all exciting news—a real milestone!

I can’t wait to see how these initiatives have fared, come next year, when IHRSA 2015, the association’s 34th Annual International Convention and Trade Show convenes March 11-14 in Los Angeles.

I’ll be there to take notes!

- Patricia Amend,

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