Many strength-and-conditioning or sports-oriented exercise enthusiasts say they have no desire to add mind-body programs such as yoga or Pilates to their routines, citing lack of time, lack of interest or an inability to “unwind.” To help your boot camp addicts get a taste of the benefits of mind-body movement, seamlessly integrate aspects of yoga and Pilates into your functional boot camp class.
Pilates continues to grow in popularity, and its practice is now familiar to people around the world, with studios throughout North America, South America, Europe, Asia and the Middle East. Enthusiastic marketers may claim that Pilates can solve everything from weight issues to problems in the bed- room, but we serve our clients well when we educate them about benefits of Pilates training that are validated by scientific consensus.
A pilot study conducted by researchers from the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, and the University of New Mexico Cancer Center recruited 40 prostate cancer survivors with high levels of fatigue in a 12-week randomized, controlled trial. Half of the subjects participated in qigong, and half took stretching classes.
Think about knocking on wood or throwing salt over your shoulder. Rituals such as these, involving movements that “push away” from the body, may make us feel better because we have built up an association between pushing actions and avoiding harm or danger, according to psychologists at the University of Chicago.
While many continue to hope for a “magic pill” to prolong youth and sustain health indefinitely, encouraging research demonstrates the power of a back- to-basics, integrative approach—a plant-based diet, exercise, stress management and social support.
Yoga can be effective in improving strength, flexibility, balance, gait, anxiety, depression and concentration. So can an integrative yoga lifestyle program help people with multiple sclerosis cope with such issues? Investigators from the department of physical therapy at California State University, Sacramento, and The Expanding Light Retreat, Nevada City, California, wanted to find out.
Qigong, a mind-body exercise from traditional Chinese medicine, can help people with chronic fatigue and chronic fatigue syndrome to have more energy and to improve mental functioning, suggests a study published in the Annals of Behavioral Medicine (2012; 44 , 160–70; doi: 10.1007/s12160-012-9381-6). In addition, with qigong practice came an associated increase in telomerase activity, which may shed light on the mechanism underlying the benefits of this type of exercise. Increased telomerase activity has been linked to a reduction in inflammation.
Have you ever thought about adding meditation to your wellness practice? The new year is the perfect time to start! People are meditating to promote over- all wellness and also to cope with anxiety, pain, depression, stress, insomnia and physical or emotional symptoms associated with chronic illnesses such as heart disease, cancer and HIV/AIDS (NCCAM 2010).
Shirley Archer, JD, MA, IDEA’s mind- body-spirit spokesperson and an award- winning author, shares some insights on this popular mind-body practice.
Changes in the Brain
Are you or your facility offering personal training with an emphasis on the mind-body connection? An approach that taps into the mind-body link is not limited to activities like yoga, tai chi or Pilates personal training; it includes any type of mindful personal training. If yes, what types of mind-body personal training are you offering, what seems to be the most popular and how are you marketing it?