With new evidence demonstrating that certain foods could be as detrimental to our well-being as cigarettes, consumers may find comfort in knowing instantly and unequivocally that a menu item they are about to select has been bestowed with a health halo by a trusted, independent source.
Back in Canada, when my colleagues and I developed strength and fitness programs for hockey athletes, we began to notice something fascinating: Farm kids had distinct advantages when their “farm strength” was transferred to the ice. These young athletes were stronger on the puck, stronger in front of the net when battling their opponents, and stronger in odd body positions.
In 2010, London launched a cycle hire scheme, which lets residents and visitors rent bicycles to get around the city. Currently there are more than 8,000 bikes and 550 docking stations. However, concerns over rider safety and pollution intake have grown among Londoners. A recent study looked at whether the risks outweigh the health and fitness benefits from increased physical activity.
Concerns and subsequent warnings about the dangers of childhood obesity have made headlines for years. Despite the widespread publicity, it looks like many parents don’t see the problem when it is lurking within their own homes.
We can be certain that men and women have always needed to eat. We can also assume that they shared advice about what to eat from the time they first learned to communicate. And they have never stopped.
In the United States, nutrition communication traces its origins to early 19th century preachers who prescribed dietary remedies to cure the physical—and in some cases moral—ills of the day. Sylvester Graham, a Presbyterian minister, believed that a high-fiber, vegetarian diet would cure alcoholism, cholera, premature aging and sexual urges (Deutsch 1967).
We’ve seen many activity trends come and go in the fitness industry, but perhaps none quite as “dirty” as the current obsession with mud runs and obstacle races. While some events are milder than others, many could be described as an “ordeal” that also happens to be a workout. For example, you might find yourself slopping through mud, scaling impossibly high verticals and pushing yourself to the limit—physically and mentally.
A growing national trend? Over the past couple of years, southern Minnesota grocery stores have been employing licensed dietitians in retail locations to educate shoppers about making better food choices as well as the positive health impact of eating a healthy diet. Services include personal shopping assistance; supermarket tours; cooking demonstrations; blood pressure screenings; and school and community outreach. Have you provided any of these services? Do you plan to?
In 1988, Joan Darragh tipped the scales at 288 pounds. During a trip to Japan, she had a defining moment. “I was in a bar, and I sat on a stool built for the slighter Asian frame,” says the New York City resident. “Suddenly, the bolts on my metal stool started to pop.” She tried to pretend it wasn’t her stool making that noise, but she still kept one foot on the floor.
I think images like this that are shared on social media motivate people who are already training on an intense level, while they intimidate individuals who are new to exercise or inconsistent about exercising. Such messages can certainly push people to get their best workout, but, professionally speaking, I’ve met several people who pushed themselves too hard and got injured.
Laura KieslingManager, Anytime Fitness Nevada, Iowa
The health and fitness world confronts a complex paradox. Exercise causes consternation and elation, angst and joy. It can prevent—and lead to—illness and injury. Workouts can keep you out of a hospital and put you into one.