Source: American Council on Exercise LAS VEGAS- (March 21, 2013) -Turning vision into action - such was the rallying cry from American Council on Exercise (ACE) leaders at the 2013 IHRSA (International Health, Racquet & Sportsclub Association) Convention & Trade Show Wednesday in Las Vegas.
Speaking to hundreds of fitness professionals, gym owners and industry leaders, ACE President and CEO Scott Goudeseune announced the launch of an "Action Tour for a Healthier America" - a grassroots effort led by ACE to get up close and personal with the challenges associated with eliminating the obesity epidemic.
"Our industry has excelled at helping fit people continue to stay fit, and that's important. But we can do more," Goudeseune said. "It will take tough conversations to reach those in need and to understand the complex socioeconomic and psychological issues embedded deeply in the obesity crisis. ACE will soon hit the road to meet with local officials, fitness facility managers and the public in communities nationwide to better understand the obstacles people face on the journey toward a healthy lifestyle and how the industry can help them overcome those roadblocks."
At IHRSA, ACE leaders said a national disconnect is especially apparent when clubs consider that two-thirds of Americans are overweight or obese but only 15 percent use fitness facilities. Despite the booming industry, clearly, more work needs to be done to reach those most in need.
To ensure public safety and maximize effectiveness, ACE leaders also stressed the need for a firmer commitment among clubs to only hire fitness professionals who hold certifications accredited by the National Commission for Certifying Agencies (NCCA). In addition, they also called for continued development of specialists trained to work with those impacted by obesity and other high-risk populations including those affected by musculoskeletal disorders, diabetes and heart disease.
According to Goudeseune, transformational change is needed to pull the nation back from the brink of a health and economic crisis. ACE's Action Tour for a Healthier America will be the first of a series of initiatives to help strengthen the link between the fitness industry and those impacted by obesity.
"ACE's network of 50,000 certified professionals pursued careers in fitness because they had a calling to help others and showcase the benefits of a fit life in the pursuit of better health," he said. "As an industry, our role is to provide the infrastructure, teaching and tools to do so, whether that's embedding a certified Health Coach in every fitness facility or working with insurers to guarantee every American has access to fitness options."
ACE's Action Tour for a Healthier America is scheduled to kick-off this summer with dates and locations to be announced shortly.
About ACESince 1985, American Council on Exercise (ACE) has evolved from a small nonprofit dedicated to educating people about proper fitness to a 50,000-strong network of certified Personal Trainers, Group Fitness Instructors, Health Coaches, and Advanced Health and Fitness Specialists. As the largest NCCA-accredited nonprofit fitness certification organization in the world, ACE provides quality continuing education to professionals and conducts independent science-based research to protect all Americans from unsafe and ineffective products. Our goal is to inspire people to live their most fit lives through free fitness resources including workouts, nutrition information and expert advice. For more information, call (800) 825-3636 or visit ACEfitness.org.