Does the idea of running a mud race appeal to you? Anyone who signs up for an obstacle challenge—whether for the fun, the teamwork (or, sometimes, the beer!)— will soon confront the substantial physical and mental demands of these races.
After spending much of his young life at a healthy weight, Lee Jordan began steadily gaining mass in his 20s. He reached a top weight of 450 pounds and was living what he refers to as a “nightmare of a life.” Inspired by his friend Beth, an ACE-certified personal trainer and now his wife, Lee began his journey to health and fitness by walking 30 seconds every morning down the hallway outside his apartment. Now, more than 275 pounds lighter, Lee is an ACE-certified personal trainer and health coach who specializes in helping people who need to lose 100 pounds or more.
We often hear about an “epidemic” of obesity. This past year, the American Medical Association deemed obesity a disease (AMA 2013). A lot of people have a hard time associating the term “disease” with obesity because body weight is within our control . . . or is it?
Obesity has many properties of diseases, including a genetic prevalence and associations with other diseases or conditions like diabetes, hypertension and certain cancers. Obesity causes losses of certain functions and creates pathological conditions that increase morbidity.
Researchers have established that obesity is associated with increased mortality risk. However, a study suggests that the severity of this risk may have been underestimated.
Published in Population Health Metrics (2014; doi:10.1186/1478-7954-12-6), the study looked at mortality and body mass index in nonsmoking adults aged 50–84. Data was pulled from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Surveys (1988–1994 and 1999–2004) and linked to the National Death Index through 2006.
People often know what they should eat to fuel their workouts, support good health, and manage conditions such as type 2 diabetes and high blood pressure, but they don’t always make the best decisions about food. Here’s why it’s so difficult for people to make healthier choices and how you can help them develop lasting, beneficial behaviors.
It’s Not That Easy to “Just Do It”
“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. “I come from a family full of depression, abuse, even suicide. About 18 years ago I was put on a very low dose of Zoloft (25 milligrams). It helped, but I also continued to be active, to work out—and I started my training career.
If you had to choose, would you rather spend 10 minutes more exercising or 10 minutes more preparing food each day?
A study by researchers at The Ohio State University’s College of Public Health suggests that because of the way Americans allot their time, the two may be mutually exclusive. The study found that a 10-minute increase in food preparation time was associated with a lower probability of exercising for 10 more minutes—among both men and women. The finding applied to single and married adults as well as parents and those with no children.
I don’t use the rating of perceived exertion scale for my clients because I think that method is better suited to a clinical setting. I have been using Mio watches and a couple of other similar brands for many years. They are inexpensive and easy to use. I use them for fitness assessments, especially when I have my clients do the 1-mile Rockport Fitness Walking test because I need their heart rate and time in order to calculate their aerobic capacity and get the most accurate results.
Michol Dalcourt is an internationally recognized expert in human movement and performance. He is the founder and director of the Institute of Motion, inventor of the ViPR™ fitness tool, and cofounder of Personal Training Academy Global (PTA Global). An international lecturer and educator, Dalcourt has written numerous articles on human design and function, and he has developed a widely used model for high-performance training.
There's no denying the growth and popularity of high-intensity interval training. HIIT classes— which also ride on the coattails of CrossFit®—sometimes use fast paced, complex movements against external resistance. While this type of training can yield impressive physical and mental results, it can also lead to injuries and burnout. Why not end your sessions with a mind-body-cool-down designed to calm the nervous system and potentially lessen the chance of injury?