When clients are feeling stressed or down, they may want to pet their dogs—or borrow their friends’ canine companions! In an ongoing study, a University of Missouri (MU)-Columbia researcher has found that interacting with animals creates a hormonal response in humans that can help fight depression.
What’s one way to lower the number of stressed-out adults who have hypertension? Help teenagers with high blood pressure.
A study of 156 inner-city black adolescents in Augusta, Georgia, with high-normal blood pressure showed that teens who practiced 15 minutes of transcendental meditation (TM) twice daily steadily lowered their daytime blood pressures over 4 months and that their pressures tended to stay lower, said Vernon A. Barnes, PhD, a physiologist at the Medical College of Georgia and the principal author of the paper.
Yoga for Scoliosis. Yoga Union, located at Lila Wellness in New York City, offers the only
regular “Yoga and Scoliosis” class on the East Coast. Taught by registered yoga therapist Deborah Wolk, the class is promoted as being ideal not only for those with scoliosis, but for anyone with asymmetries of the spine.
Pilates Ring Workshops. Small-group classes on how to use the Pilates ring are offered as a “Group Exclusive” at select clubs in the Town Sports International network, including the New York Sports Clubs.
Liposuction Doesn’t Improve
Metabolic Risk Factors
In their quest to lose weight, more people than ever are turning to cosmetic surgery. According to the American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery, more than 384,000 people opted for liposuction procedures in 2003—a 3% increase from 2002. While liposuction may make people look leaner, a new study in the June 17 issue of the New England Journal of Medicine (2004; 350, 2549–57) indicates it won’t necessarily improve health issues related to obesity.
Are you looking for a mind-body technique that can increase the success rate of your clients? If so, you may be interested in Neuro-Linguistic Programming (NLP). Personal trainer and NLP master practitioner and coach Pam Rigden, MA, uses a unique combination
of NLP and more traditional personal training techniques to help clients address issues such
as weight loss, burnout and fatigue.
Do you have pregnant clients? If so, you may want to let them know that body massage by a significant other can reduce stress hormone levels in pregnant women. The reduction in stress increases the likelihood of a successful full-term pregnancy, according to a new study conducted by the Touch Research Institutes at the University of Miami School of Medicine and Duke University Medical School’s department of pharmacology. (The Johnson & Johnson Pediatric Institute LLC, the National Institute of Mental Health and the March of Dimes supported the study.)
There are plenty of fancy, high-tech ways to exercise, but walking has always been an old fitness trend. Here are some fun facts about walking from the American Podiatric Medical Association Inc.:
The average person walks about 115,000 miles in a lifetime–more than four times the circumference of the globe
Walking an extra 20 minutes each day will burn off 7 pounds of body fat per year.
The Feldenkrais Method of somatic education offers a holistic approach to human development and motor function improvement through the medium of movement and sensation. The effectiveness of the method lies in its ability to work with the whole person. It is based on the premise that through personal experience we develop habitual patterns of physical and psychological behavior—movement and thought—to ensure our personal, biological and social comfort.
Many group fitness instructors use traditional Pilates
exercises in the core-conditioning sections of their classes. However, some of these exercises are too difficult technically and can set the average participant up for frustration. If an individual doesn’t have the strength or the biomechanics to perform the traditional roll-up, for example, then she might use incorrect muscles and injure herself. Yet the roll-up is taught in most classes.
Now, more than ever, mind-body exercise programs are hot.
From 1998 through 2002, yoga and tai chi participation increased by 95 percent in the United States, according to American Sports Data (ASD) Inc. (ASD 2003a). By 2002, an estimated 11.1 million Americans were practicing tai chi or yoga and 4.7 million were doing Pilates (ASD 2003b). New participants are attracted partly by savvy marketing but also by the lure of programs that might offer them peace of mind as well as fitness gains.