How you breathe affects how you live; it's more than automatic. Breathing techniques and patterns are regularly advocated for relaxation, stress management, control of psychophysiological states and improvement of organ function (Ritz & Roth 2003). Anatomically speaking, there is a favorable equilibrium (balance between inhalation and exhalation pressures) in breathin...
As fitness pros, we know that a great workout can be just what a person needs to relieve stress. Unfortunately, the 2013 Stress in America™ survey showed that in the month leading up to the study, as many as 39% of Americans skipped exercise or physical activity when they were feeling stressed. The good news is that 53% of adults who do exercise say they feel good about themselves after exercising, 35% say it puts them in a good mood, and 32% say they feel less stressed.
Did you know that Pilates continues to grow in popularity, and its practice is now familiar to people around the world? Maybe you’ve already experienced the effectiveness of Pilates or are thinking about taking lessons.
Good news! Researchers have proven certain benefits of this form of exercise. Shirley Archer, JD, MA, 2008 IDEA Fitness Instructor of the Year and IDEA’s mind-body-spirit spokesperson, discusses the benefits below.
Benefits Backed by Strong Evidence
As obesity continues to maintain a stranglehold on the teenage population, experts search for solutions to the potentially fatal disease. When it comes to exercise, a combination of cardiovascular and strength training is best, according to researchers from São Paulo.
Obesity, heart disease and diabetes rates in the U.S. are among the world’s highest. Why? Well, one big reason for our collective girths is that over the past few decades the average American eating lifestyle has degraded into the Standard American Diet—stuffed with nutritionally degraded packaged foods and highly processed meats, and woefully short on whole foods such as fruits, legumes and vegetables.
The time you invest in stress management may pay off in faster training results. A growing body of research shows that stress levels predict healing speed—people who experience more stress recover more slowly from illness or injury than those with less stress. Stress may come from life circumstances, such as a death or disaster, or may stem from an individual’s perception of stress, such as feeling overwhelmed by work or family matters.
Over the past several years, kettlebells have emerged (or reemerged) as a prominent fixture in fitness facilities. But are these crude tools worth their pood?*
To learn about the benefits of kettlebells, researchers enlisted by the American Council on Exercise studied 30 participants, who were divided into two groups—an exercise group and a nonexercise control group. Prior to the trials, the exercisers completed two introductory kettlebell sessions to
learn form and technique; they practiced one- and two-handed swings, snatches and other movements.
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?
“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.
Fat may seem like the enemy of civilized people—especially sedentary ones. Yet we cannot live without it.
Fat plays a key role in the structure and flexibility of cell membranes, and it helps regulate the movement of substances through those membranes. Special types of fat, known as eicosanoids, send hormone-like signals that exert intricate control over many bodily systems, mostly those affecting inflammation or immune function.