TCNJ Magazine Winter 2024

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35 WINTER 2024 Strength Activities Skill Activities Aerobic Activities Daily Activity exercise science research. "I thought to myself, 'This guy holds the key to child health,'" she says. "He was a visionary. How many people can say 'I can take kids who are physically inactive, that are obese and aren't interested in exercise, and I can empower them. I can give them confidence.' Not many." Faigenbaum is gratified to see a new generation of researchers embracing and building on his scholarship, but sometimes can't quite believe the extent of it all. When he recently learned that a doctor in Australia planned to prescribe strength training for pediatric cancer patients in remission based on his research, he was both stunned and thrilled. "If you said to me in 1990, 'Well, in 30 years your work will reach the point where clinicians are now going to prescribe this for children who are cancer survivors,'" he says, "get out of here." " This guy holds the key to child health." — Andrea Stracciolini, Boston Children's Hospital Yet, Faigenbaum worries there is still much work to be done. "We have a generation who are turned off to physical activity," he says. "What we need now are targeted interventions that recognize the foundational level origins of muscle strength and motor skills early in life." If the first half of his career drove change one paper, one teacher, one school at a time, Faigenbaum hopes the second half prompts widespread policy changes. Along with pushing for a new fitness pyramid, Faigenbaum is also advocating for an increase in physical education classes in school and for pediatricians to integrate comprehensive physical activity markers into childhood wellness checks. He is developing a new youth fitness certification for the American College of Sports Medicine that he hopes will provide a basic understanding of pediatric exercise science for teachers, coaches, and youth fitness instructors. And, as ever, he is at work in the lab. "Did I make an impact?" he says. "I think I did. But I'm not done yet. I'm just warming up." ■ Liz Leyden is a writer in New Jersey and a frequent contributor to TCNJ Magazine. FACING PAGE BILL CARDONI; ARTISTIC ENHANCEMENTS ALEX MARTINEZ '25 A new model of fitness Right: Faigenbaum proposes a new pyramid that recognizes an equal importance of muscular strength, skill, and aerobic activities.

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