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.
Chances are that you, one of your friends or a client has adopted a gluten-free diet.
In fact, that is reality—according to a recent poll by The NPD Group, a leading global information company, that showed about 30% of adults want to cut down or be free of gluten in their diets.
If you haven’t had a client ask about it yet, you will soon. Intermittent fasting has hit the mainstream, and a lot of peo- ple are taking notice.
Proponents claim that intermittent fasting causes more rapid weight loss than other approaches; that it makes dieting easier; and that it improves blood glucose control and blood lipids. Does the current body of evidence support these claims? Let’s find out.
What Is Intermittent Fasting?
While flavor-of-the-month fads fire our imaginations before they flame out, genuine trends reflect changes in our eating patterns that can influence just about every facet of a health and fitness program.
A panel discussion at 2013 IDEA World Fitness dived into some of the hot-button dietary topics that are on Americans’ minds at the moment. Panelists delved into the protein craze, GMOs, plant-driven diets, cooking for kids, and the eating habits of Millennials, to name a few.
The frustrating thing about these headlines is that, to the letter, they are not untrue. To date, there have not been any large, randomized studies that have shown that reducing sodium intake to 1,500 milligrams per day (as is advised for certain special populations) has a positive outcome. But it is clear that the majority of Americans are getting far more than the 2,300 mg per day that has been found to correspond with certain disease risk factors.
We’ve seen many activity trends come and go in the fitness industry, but per- haps 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.
The European Union wants to help its citizens get fit and healthy. So much so that they have cofunded a project costing €4.9 million ($6.7 million U.S.) to help people more and manage their weight using technological and informational advancements.
Dubbed the Daphne Project, it will span 3 years and will incorporate sensors designed to accurately determine daily energy expenditure and monitor overall fitness. The EU is partnering in the project with universities and technology companies from Ireland, Spain, Italy, the Netherlands, the U.K. and Israel.
The “Freshman 15” has a new enemy: Oklahoma State University.
According to a university press release, the school has made it a mission to improve the health of its students, staff and faculty members. The entire campus is involved—from dining to fitness facilities to the physical and mental health departments. These units have worked together to develop programs that promote physical fitness, healthy eating, emotional health, smoking cessation and financial health.
Despite the buzz over “Tabata” training, many fitness clients—and some fitness pros—aren’t aware that they’re not doing true Tabata, meaning the protocol that was first analyzed and reported on in a 1996 edition of Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise (Tabata et al. 1996).
Imagine a client has just finished a workout or fitness class with you. In evaluating the workout—which you designed to be quite challenging—the client admits, somewhat disappointedly, that although she worked up a good sweat, your session wasn’t a “killer.” She has experienced harder workouts from other trainers, classes or programs.
What’s your reaction? Do you still feel satisfied that you gave the client an appropriate workout? You weren’t going for “killer” anyway. Or do you feel a twinge of regret or competitiveness? Next time, you’ll up the ante.