Sports medicine organization leader recognized for positive societal contribution
INDIANAPOLIS – James Pivarnik, Ph.D., FACSM, spends most of his days in the classroom, the exercise science lab, or fulfilling his duties as research integrity officer at Michigan State University. But the current President of the American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM) will take on a different a role in January – that of Torchbearer in the Vancouver 2010 Olympic Torch Relay.
Pivarnik was selected for the honor by Coca-Cola, a founding partner of the Exercise is Medicine™ (EIM) initiative. Coca-Cola’s “Live Positively” efforts encourage healthy, active lifestyles for all people and affords EIM valuable outreach opportunities – such as this Olympic Torchbearer program.
Pivarnik is one of 20 “inspiring Americans” selected by Coca-Cola to carry the Olympic Flame, recognized for his contributions not only to ACSM, but to the first-ever federal physical activity guidelines, released in October 2008. He will carry the Olympic Flame in Calgary, Canada, and will be joined by leaders from other national health nonprofits; teenagers who have made a difference through charitable endeavors; and notable names such as Olympic gold medal winning gymnast Shawn Johnson.
“This experience is an honor – and something I never expected to do in my career,” Pivarnik said. “I hope ACSM can use this opportunity to spread the word about physical activity and how important exercise is to a well-rounded, healthy life.”
Though Pivarnik will only bear the Flame for about 300 meters, he understands that plenty of Americans would have trouble completing even that short distance at a light jog. He encourages all people – regardless of age or current fitness level – to start a physical activity program.
“Just put on a pair of comfortable shoes after dinner and go for a short walk with your family,” he said. “It doesn’t take an expensive gym membership to start living a healthier life.”
The federal physical activity guidelines for which Pivarnik was a contributing writer recommend at least 150 minutes of activity per week – easily achieved in 30 minute segments, five days per week – for adults. Kids should accumulate at least 60 minutes per day of activity five days per week.
Read more about Pivarnik’s involvement with the Vancouver 2010 Olympic Torch Relay at www.livepositively.com.
The American College of Sports Medicine is the largest sports medicine and exercise science organization in the world. More than 35,000 international, national, and regional members and certified professionals are dedicated to advancing and integrating scientific research to provide educational and practical applications of exercise science and sports medicine.