The health and fitness world confronts a complex paradox. Exercise causes consternation and elation, angst and joy. It can prevent—and lead to—illness and injury. Workouts can keep you out of a hospital and put you into one.
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.
In last month’s issue of IDEA Fitness Journal, we reported that a significant number of older women spend much of the day in sedentary behavior. A new study looks at the relationship between sedentary living and mortality risk in a similar population
The potentially negative impact of extreme endurance events has recently been garnering attention. A new study takes a deeper look at the health profiles of event participants.
Published in PLOS ONE (doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0083867), the Ultrarunners Longitudinal Tracking Study included 1,212 active ultramarathon runners. Participants completed a Web-based survey that asked about training protocols, medical issues and running-related injuries in the previous 12 months.
￼Did you know that getting enough zzzzzzs may actually improve your exercise performance? If you regularly cut sleep short, you may want to reconsider this practice.
Why is sleep so important for exercise, and what can you do to sleep longer and more deeply? Mike Bracko, EdD, FACSM, director of Dr. Bracko’s Fitness and of the Institute for Hockey Research, examines these questions.
Why Sleep Helps
Growing research evidence supports the theory that tai chi provides not only physical benefits but also mental benefits. In a review of tai chi studies conducted by researchers at the University of Arizona in Tucson, study authors found 10 studies that reported improvements in executive function, language, learning and/or memory among older adults who practiced tai chi regularly.
More trainers are integrating life coaching with fitness training to improve clients’ results. Given the increasing popularity of life coaching, investigators from Lillebaelt Hospital and from IRS University of Southern Denmark in Kabbeltoft decided to evaluate its effectiveness in improv- ing health.
“Physical fitness is the first requisite of happiness,” posited Joseph Pilates in his book Return to Life Through Contrology, first published in 1945. A recent observational study of Pilates practitioners provides support for his position.
Even in childhood I had a philosophical bent. I distinctly remember sitting at the dinner table with my twin brother and discussing with him why the dog could eat hamburger and it became “dog,” whereas we could eat hamburger and it became “us.” An interesting question for a couple of 9-year-olds to pursue. Sadly, we never figured it out.
By my early 20s I had taken up the study of yoga, and my worrisome won- dering about the big questions of mean- ing and purpose in life was becoming more refined. Now I really wanted to “understand” what life was all about.