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.
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 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.
Many athletes like to “psyche up” as part of their precompetition ritual, but does this really make a difference? And is one psyching-up method more effective than another? According to new research, imagery—visualizing oneself performing a task to the best of one’s ability—seems to be the most effective approach, at least for running sports.
According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website (www.cdc.gov/bloodpressure/facts.htm), 1 in every 3 adults has high blood pressure. A recent report suggests that isometric exercise—in which joint angle and muscle length do not change during muscular contraction—can be used to reduce and manage blood pressure.
Body mass index is often used to determine health status and disease development potential. However, researchers from the Mayo Clinic have discovered that waist size can be a significant predictor of future problems—even among people in healthy BMI ranges.
The scientists culled data from 11 studies that included 650,386 white adults aged 20–83. At a 9-year follow-up, 78,268 participants had died.
Want to cut your risk of catching the flu? Preliminary findings from the U.K. Flusurvey suggest that vigorous exercise can help.
The survey, an online study run by the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine, has gathered data from more than 4,800 participants. The organization found that individuals who exercised vigorously for at least 2.5 hours per week reduced their risk of developing flu-like illness by 10%. There was no association between moderate exercise and diminished risk.
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.
According to a report published in the Journal of Athletic Training (2012; 47 , 589–90), anterior cruciate ligament injuries lead to about 113,000 ambulatory-care visits and about 75,000 outpatient surgical reconstructions among active youth and adults in the United States each year. A recent study suggests a potential key to minimizing ACL injury danger among young-adult athletes: neuromuscular training.