Advancing health through science, education and medicine


ACSM offers a variety of health and fitness brochures to individuals with an interest in sports medicine and exercise science. All ACSM brochures are available online; therefore, we can no longer accept bulk orders of print brochures. Click the brochure title below to download a print-quality PDF. If you would like to suggest a topic for a new brochure, please email

CPI Who Needs a Stress Test Before Exercising brochure

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CPI women and heart disease brochure

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Creating a healthy eating pattern

As a part of an active lifestyle, it is important to consider incorporating a healthy eating pattern. Adequate physical activity, proper nutrition, and mind-body awareness is the combination to a balanced wellness regimen.
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Increasing Physical Activity for Adults with a Disability

The Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans provide detailed prescriptions for children and adolescents, adults, and older adults. Additional physical activity guidance for adults with disabilities are also included and highlight the health benefits for this underserved population. Despite these guidelines availability, health disparities among adults with disabilities continue to increase. The purpose of this ACSM brochure is to highlight meaningful health facts and activity barriers facing adults with disabilities. Several strategies and ideas to overcome these barriers are recommended.
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Selecting and Effectively Using a Personal Trainer

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Why We Eat

Much time, effort and money is spent on thinking about, and determining, what and how much to eat. These questions are often asked when discussing weight loss or performance enhancement strategies. Equally important, if not more so, is understanding why we eat.
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Reducing Sedentary Behaviors: Sit Less and Move More

There is strong scientific evidence that says frequent moderate- to vigorous-intensity exercise during the week plays a significant preventative role in cardiovascular disease, type 2 diabetes, obesity and some cancers.
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Physical Activity in Children and Adolescents

Physical Activity Needs in Children and Adolescents
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Time Saver-High Intensity Fitness Circuit in Minutes

What is it? This workout involves completion of 12 key aerobic and strengthening exercises of all the major muscle groups in rapid succession with 10 seconds of rest between exercises.
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Starting a Swim Training Program to Improve Fitness

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Resistance training is an important part of a complete exercise regimen. Consuming the appropriate amount and type of protein to maintain and build muscle is just as important.
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Extreme Conditioning Programs

A relatively new form of exercise referred to as extreme conditioning programs (ECPs) is currently marketed to a wide, active population. These are vigorous exercise workouts that are physically demanding.
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Sun Protection for Outdoor Sports

Outdoor sports are fun and good for our health, but many of them are warm weather activities where athletes wear only minimal clothing, thus risking skin damage from sun exposure, which can be short term (sunburn) or long term (skin cancer, photo-aging).
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Lacrosse Helmet and Safety

As the popularity of the sport of lacrosse continues to rapidly increase in the U.S., the consumer interest in safety products is also increasing.
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Finding Your Motivation for Exercise

Starting and sticking with an exercise routine can be very rewarding. Exercise brings a sense of accomplishment but provides many health benefits, too. Finding the motivation to begin exercising and keep exercising can be challenging.
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Using a Personal Trainer

A qualified personal trainer can help you safely start and maintain an effective exercise program. A personal trainer will understand your fitness goals and help you achieve them. Trainers can be a great source of motivation and encouragement, as well as a resource for the latest objective health and fitness information. A trainer can also help you fit exercise into your schedule and teach you how to make the most out of your time in the gym.
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Resistance training

Resistance training is a form of physical activity that is designed to improve muscular fitness by exercising a muscle or a muscle group against external resistance. There are many positive health outcomes of resistance training.
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Youth triathlons

Triathlons, consisting of swimming, biking, and running has seen an increase in participation with youth athletes. Prior to competing, youth athletes should acquire the skills and fitness necessary to swim, bike, and run in a safe manner. As the youth athlete matures they can increase their fitness levels and continue to successfully participate.
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High-Intensity Interval Training

The popularity of high intensity interval training is on the rise. High intensity interval training sessions are commonly called HIIT workouts. This type of training involves repeated bouts of high intensity effort followed by varied recovery times.
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Getting Started with Cycling

Cycling is an excellent form of aerobic exercise and transportation that offers a variety of health and fitness benefits. Care taken in selection and fit of the bicycle, safety, equipment and clothing can help make starting a cycling program successful, and lead to lifelong enjoyment of cycling.
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Running shoes

Running shoes should be selected after careful consideration. With so many brands and styles of shoes on the market today, it is important to find the best fit for your feet and your needs. There is no “right shoe” that fits all runners. However, research and injury patterns have shown that there are some general characteristics of a good, safe running shoe.
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Starting a Walking Program

Walking is one of the simplest and least expensive options to increase your physical activity level and improve your overall health. It is a weight-bearing exercise that helps maintain bone density and is easy on joints. Walking at a brisk pace is considered moderate-intensity physical activity, and doing this most days of the week for 30 minutes or more enables you to meet the criteria for physical activity for health benefits recommended by ACSM and the American Heart Association.
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Reducing Sedentary Behaviors: Sitting Less and Moving More

There is strong scientific evidence that says frequent moderate- to vigorous-intensity exercise during the week plays a significant preventative role in cardiovascular disease, type 2 diabetes, obesity and some cancers. The human body, with approximately 640 muscles and 206 bones, is made to move. Yet, hi-tech advances in civilized societies within the last 50 years have created an environment that promotes sedentary behaviors.
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Smart Phone Running Apps

Smart Phone Running Apps: How Do You Find the App That is Best for You?
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Childrens’ increasing use of technology means fewer meet physical activity guidelines. Many kids spend on average 50 hours of screen time per week. Is there a practical solution? Welcome to Exergaming—the future of fitness.
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Preventing ACL Injuries

Joint injuries can sideline your players and have a long lasting impact on their health and wellbeing. Joint injuries, such as those to the anterior cruciate ligament, are one of the strongest risk factors for developing osteoarthritis – the most common form of arthritis affecting 27 million adults. Up to 50% of those with a diagnosed anterior cruciate ligament or meniscus tear will develop osteoarthritis with associated pain and functional impairment 10-20 years after injury.
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Eccentric resistance exercise

Muscle contractions involve shortening and lengthening while the muscle is still producing force. The phase of contraction that occurs when the muscle shortens is concentric, whereas the phase of contraction that occurs as the muscle lengthens is eccentric.
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Spinal cord injury

Resistance training is important for persons with spinal cord injury (SCI). In general, regular resistance exercise improves ability to complete daily living activities, enhances body composition, and enhances motor function.
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Concussion in Sports

A concussion is an injury to the brain where force causes the brain to move within the skull. A person does not need to lose consciousness or have hit their head to suffer a concussion. All athletes and non-athletes, regardless of age, who are suspected of a concussion must stop playing in practice or competition immediately.
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The Female Athlete Triad

The Female Athlete Triad is a health concern for active women and girls who are driven to excel in sports. It involves three distinct and interrelated conditions: disordered eating (a range of poor nutritional behaviors), amenorrhea (irregular or absent menstrual periods) and osteoporosis (low bone mass and microarchitectural deterioration, which leads to weak bones and risk of fracture).
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Selecting and Effectively Using a Health/Fitness Facility

The health/fitness facility should provide a variety of equipment and programs to meet your personal fitness goals and interests. First, be sure to establish your exercise/fitness goals before talking to personnel to see if they provide the programs and equipment you seek.
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Exercise-Induced Asthma

Many people confuse being out of shape with having exercise-induced asthma (EIA). Because the symptoms of EIA are similar to poor fitness (shortness of breath and a tight feeling in the chest), it can be difficult to tell the difference between them. The symptoms of EIA may deter people from exercise; however, it’s a controllable medical issue.
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Selecting and Effectively Using Free Weights

Using free weights as part of an exercise program can be a safe and effective means of improving strength and fitness for all ages and fitness levels. Free weights provide a stimulus for muscle/fitness development, which can improve your health status, increase muscle size, enhance muscle strength, improve power and endurance, and increase bone strength. Increased muscle strength can especially have a positive impact on quality of life for older adults.
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Selecting and Effectively Using a Heart Rate Monitor

Heart rate can be used to monitor how hard you are working during an activity (i.e. exercise intensity) and to track changes in fitness level. The heart rate monitor (HRM) provides a convenient method for measuring and recording heart rate during exercise.
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Selecting and Effectively Using Home Weight Machines

There are many well-documented health and fitness benefits associated with building and maintaining muscle mass. Finding a convenient, affordable fitness facility can present barriers that may prevent a person from participating in weightlifting exercises. Some people prefer to set up a home gym, and this brochure will explain what to look for in home weight machines.
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Selecting and Effectively Using Hydration for Fitness

Water is the most essential component of the human body as it provides an important role in the function of cells. Important functions of water include transportation of nutrients, elimination of waste products, regulation and maintenance of body temperature through sweating, maintenance of blood circulation and pressure, lubrication of joints and body tissues, and facilitation of digestion. More than half of the human body is composed of water, and it is impossible to sustain life without it.
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Exercising Your Way to Lower Blood Pressure

Hypertension, defined as a chronically elevated blood pressure greater than 140/90 mmHg, affects nearly 75 million Americans. If left untreated, hypertension can dramatically increase your risk for heart attacks, strokes and peripheral arterial disease. Exercise not only improves the workings of the cardiovascular system, but can lower blood pressure as well. The key to maximizing the benefits of exercise is to follow a well-designed program that you can stick to over the long-term.
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Selecting and Effectively Using a Medicine Ball

Medicine balls provide an effective means of improving muscular power, endurance and functional fitness. Anyone can use medicine balls to help improve their fitness. Medicine balls are used in a variety of settings – in health clubs to accommodate the health and fitness goals of novice exercisers and by advanced athletes to achieve sports-specific conditioning goals.
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Selecting and Effectively Using a Pedometer

The pedometer is a device about the size of a small cellphone that typically attaches to the belt or waistband and is designed to count walking or running steps. Some new pedometers are also capable of counting steps while placed in a shirt pocket or in a bag, as long as it’s held snug to the body.
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Pre-Participation Physical Examinations

The pre-participation physical examination (PPE) is an important step toward safe participation in organized sports. The purpose of the PPE is not to disqualify or exclude an athlete from competition, but rather to help maintain the health and safety of the athlete in training and competition.
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Return to Play -- A Coach's Guide

Injuries are a common occurrence for those who exercise. Whether it is tendinitis or an acute traumatic injury, many injuries require restriction of and/or change in your exercise program. The amount of time away from exercise varies according to the type of injury, severity of injury, body part involved and other situational factors. Depending on the type and severity of the injury, you may experience pain, swelling, stiffness, weakness or decreased range of motion.
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Selecting and Effectively Using a Rowing Machine

Rowing is an efficient and effective low-impact exercise that utilizes the arms, abdomen, back and legs to provide a total-body workout. This activity offers the opportunity for a wide range of training from fat burning and aerobic conditioning to high-intensity anaerobic and interval VO2max training. The rowing stroke is a smooth, continuous movement. If you have a history of low back pain, special attention must be given to developing proper rowing technique to prevent injury.
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Selecting and Effectively Using Rubber Band Resistance Exercise

Originally used to train older adults in nursing homes, flexible resistance bands now provide exercise options for exercisers and athletes. The more you know about resistance bands, rubberized cords and the machines that use them, the better you’ll be able to choose the method that’s right for you.
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Selecting and Effectively Using Sports Drinks, Carbohydrate Gels and Energy Bars

Depending upon the length of your workout or competition, performance and endurance are primarily limited by loss of body fluids, drop in blood sugar levels, and depletion of muscle carbohydrate stores. All three can hinder performance. Sports drinks, carbohydrate gels and energy bars can help restore your body’s fluids and carbohydrate levels.
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Sprains, Strains and Tears

A sprain is an injury to a ligament, while a strain is an injury to a muscle or tendon. Both can result in significant lost time from sports.
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Selecting and Effectively Using a Stability Ball

Stability balls provide an inexpensive, fun way to improve core stability, muscular strength, muscular endurance, balance, flexibility and functional fitness. Stability balls were developed in Italy during the 1960s and were first used in rehabilitative therapy by Dr. Susanne Klein-Vogelbach in Switzerland. Stability balls (also known as Swiss balls or physioballs) can help anyone improve his or her fitness, allow a variety of exercises with or without external resistance and can be used to overload the muscles. Stability balls also work the core muscles (abdominals, back muscles, hip flexors and extensors). Because the ball itself is unstable, these muscles are actively engaged throughout each exercise.
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Selecting and Effectively Using a Stationary Bicycle

Stationary bicycles are a safe and effective means of exercise. They provide low-impact cardiovascular exercise, are generally quiet in operation, and are efficient with their use of space.
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Selecting and Effectively Using a Home Treadmill

Treadmills are a popular choice for those who want to engage in physical activity at home. Treadmills may be powered manually or electronically, and you should be sure to try out several treadmills before you buy one. Doing so will allow you to find the treadmill that meets your specific needs.
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Selecting and Effectively Using a Yoga Program

Yoga provides a number of well-documented physical, mental and emotional benefits, including reduced blood pressure, enhanced feelings of relaxation, stress reduction, improved digestion, better posture, increased strength and flexibility and improved balance. Yoga also has been shown to benefit individuals with chronic diseases and disabilities through improved body awareness and orientation, the development of focus and concentration, the encouragement of learning and creativity, and increased awareness of our connectedness to others.
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Selecting and Effectively Using an Elliptical Trainer or Stair Climber

Elliptical trainers and stair climbers offer many similar features for individuals considering a fitness machine for their home. Both machines provide the ability to exercise and target the thigh and gluteus muscles. Quality machines of both types provide an excellent alternative workout to running without the high impact on joints and muscles.
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Selecting and Effectively Using Clothing for Inclement Weather

Just because it’s cold and/or storming outside doesn’t mean you can’t be comfortable while exercising. Just choose clothing that creates your own little microclimate. Layering your clothing can allow you to retain just the right amount of heat and provide just the right amount of ventilation. Take the time to add or remove layers as needed, and you’ll stay warm and dry while getting fit at the same time.
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Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness (DOMS)

Any type of activity that places unaccustomed loads on muscle may lead to delayed onset muscle soreness (DOMS). This type of soreness is different from acute soreness, which is pain that develops during the actual activity. Delayed soreness typically begins to develop 12-24 hours after the exercise has been performed and may produce the greatest pain between 24-72 hours after the exercise has been performed.
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Selecting and Effectively Using Balance Training for Older Adults

Balance is key to activities of daily living, performance, fall prevention and independence. Balance can be affected by muscular strength and endurance, as well as proprioception, inner ear function and eye sight. It can be maintained and even improved as we age through practicing balance-specific training exercises. Research has shown that using specific tools in a safe environment can be particularly effective in improving your balance and enhancing your postural stability. Research has also shown that this type of training helps to reduce back, knee and ankle injuries.
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Featured Publication

 Learn how to effectively lead group exercise with this ACSM resource. You’ll learn skills that can easily be adapted to different environments, including gyms, studios, recreational facilities, and clubs... 
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