Late last year, the director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) called obesity the number-one health threat in the United States. Julie Gerberding, MD, MPH, has spent much of her time fighting anthrax, smallpox and SARS, yet she asserts that poor diet and lack of exercise pose a greater risk to Americans. With statistics showing that 65 percent of U.S. adults are either overweight or obese, Dr. Gerberding says, “We really have to change our behavior in astonishing ways if we are going to get over this bottleneck to good health.”
Changing behavior in astonishing ways is the objective of IDEA’s Inspire the World to Fitness™ campaign.
Inspire the World to Fitness. As we begin th eNew Year, we reaffirm our deep commitment to this worthy cause. Fitness professionals are a powerful and effective force to combat the major health challenges of obesity and sedentary living. If each of you connects with five people who are not currently exercising, and you do that every year for the next 5 years, we will positively influence over 500,000 people. Let us know how you are doing by filling in the "How Are You Inspiring the World to Fitness?" form on page 52. (While five people per year is a benchmark to shoot for, it is important to remember that even if you make a positive difference in only one person's life, you are making a worthwhile contribution to a fellow human being and your reward will be priceless.)
In 2004, IDEA will continue working with governmental agencies, major consumer-oriented companies, fitness equipment manufacturers and suppliers, and fitness professionals and facilities to provide consumers with credible fitness options.
Programming at our educational events and articles in the publications will have an Inspire the World to Fitness theme. You’ll find additional educational products, with titles such as Inspire Women to Fitness and Inspire Kids and Teens to Fitness. We are motivated to bring you a new sense of confidence in your work.
Outside the membership, we are proactively promoting the benefits of physical activity in outreach efforts to consumers and the media. To aid that effort, we are pleased to announce that noted exercise researcher Len Kravitz, PhD, has been named IDEA’s Senior Exercise Physiologist. We will increase our contact with consumers, making them more aware of our Web site and online locator for qualified and experienced fitness professionals and providing role models—our IDEA members and their successful clients—to inspire lifestyle changes.
Educational Events. Many other exciting things are in store for 2004. FACT Fest Presented by IDEA has a new name. To capture the energy and the diverse programming mix of personal training and group fitness, this conference has been retitled IDEA Fitness Fusion - Chicago. Unchanged, however, is the great value for your money at the Midwest's leading fitness event.
The IDEA World Fitness Convention® will return to San Diego—America’s Finest City—in July. Surrounding the comprehensive educational programming, you’ll find a fun festival atmosphere. There’s no better place to take a summer break. You’ll find exciting presentations on the Fitness Expo stage; contests that test your fitness skills; an Attendee Services Booth with information on San Diego for you and your family or friends; a Daily Hot Sheet highlighting each day’s activities; and a Career Corner, where you can post jobs and résumés. The National Academy of Sports Medicine’s annual convention will also run concurrently with IDEA’s World event in the San Diego Convention Center.
You can close the year by enjoying “Autumn in New York” when IDEA Personal Trainer Summit®, the world’s premier event for personal fitness trainers, moves to New York City in October.
Working Together. Throughout the coming months we will work with our partners Nautilus Health & Fitness Group and STOTT PILATES to bring you high-quality education so you can motivate, challenge and retain clients for the long term.
For those of you attending the IHRSA convention in March, be sure to take part in our Inspire the World to Fitness early-morning workouts on the tradeshow floor.
Increasing Member Value. At the start of each year, our staff reviews IDEA's first priority: giving you the most value for your membership. As part of that commitment, we have completed an extensive member research survey to enhance the benefits of IDEA membership. (Thanks to those IDEA members who participated.)
You’ll find an overview of current benefits in this issue in the special “Member Value” section. In the months to come, more improvements will enhance our publications. Breaking news and IDEA updates will arrive in Fit Tips, our e-newsletter for IDEA members. (You may have missed a few issues of Fit Tips because of technical difficulties. Starting in January you’ll receive the e-mail again; in the meantime, you can find the current issue on www.IDEAfit.com.) We will promote and urge participation in the IDEA Personal Fitness Trainer Recognition System, considered by many to be the new industry standard for personal trainers. And new member benefits will be added.
As we implement our purpose to Inspire the World to Fitness, sharing your skills and talents with others has never been more important. As your association, we value the work that you do—and we’re here to support you.
Yours in good health,
Kathie and Peter