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.
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.
Many young athletes dream of earning a scholarship to play their sport of choice at a reputable college or university. To realize that dream, they will often train extensively. Recent research found that hard training while young may lead to significant physical problems later in life.
If you had to choose, would you rather spend 10 minutes more exercising or 10 minutes more preparing food each day?
A study by researchers at The Ohio State University’s College of Public Health suggests that because of the way Americans allot their time, the two may be mutually exclusive. The study found that a 10-minute increase in food preparation time was associated with a lower probability of exercising for 10 more minutes—among both men and women. The finding applied to single and married adults as well as parents and those with no children.
Sitting for extended periods of time throughout the day has been linked with increased risk of health problems and even with death. A new study from BMC Public Health (2013: 13 ) says that quality of life may also suffer in people who sit for long periods.
The large study included 194,545 Australian men and women aged 45 and older who were randomly selected from the Medicare Australia database. Participants answered questions about physical activity levels and intensity, daily sitting time, and feelings of health and quality of life.