Have you ever found yourself in a state of complete absorption in a complex and challenging activity that stretches your skills? This wonderful state is called flow, and is described in the best-selling book Finding Flow: The Psychology of Engagement with Everyday Life by Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi, PhD (Basic Books 1997). Csikszentmihalyi believes that being in flow generates the peak experiences in our lives. The more flow we experience, he suggests, the happier we are.
When you’re developing weight loss programs for niche populations, it may be important to understand the role that environment plays in successful outcomes. One example comes from the Journal of Black Psychology (2012; 38 , 81–103). The study’s primary goal was to determine compliance among 55 overweight or obese African American women entering obesity treatment. For 13 weeks, 36 of the women were involved in a program held in churches; the other 19 attended a program in a university setting.
newsletter_teaser: “I’ve been active much of my life but have also struggled with depression from a young age,” says Kris Cameron, ACE-certified personal trainer and owner of ReNu Your Life—Mobile Personal Training & Wellness in Iowa City, Iowa.
It should be easy: A person works a full day, drops into a vigorous boot camp after work, and then falls into bed exhausted, but satisfied. She’s asleep in minutes, right? That would be nice, but for many people, high-intensity evening classes actually delay the onset of sleep. Researchers think this is because workouts ramp up heart rate so much that the body has trouble recovering before bedtime (Oda & Shirakawa 2014).
Move with joy and energy, even if you’re down, and soon you’ll be feeling happy, too. This is the finding from researchers who, knowing that walking exercise could improve a person’s mood, decided to study whether walking style—happy or sad—might also affect mood.
newsletter_teaser: It doesn’t take long before many fitness professionals realize that teaching and training clients involves much more than simply counting sets and reps. Approaching clients from a more holistic perspective, with an eye toward body, mind and spiritual health, is one solution.
As a fitness or wellness professional, you understand better than anyone that the cells in our bodies adapt to the stresses that are placed on them. This is why you are able to help people experience the won- derful benefits of building muscle, reduc- ing body fat and improving overall fitness and wellness as part of a healthy lifestyle.