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Community-Based Classes Boost Activity Levels

One of the biggest challenges facing the fitness industry is how to encourage more people to get moving. A government-sponsored activity program from Brazil may offer helpful insights.
Dubbed Academia das Cidades—or City Academies—the program offers residents free access to fitness facilities, exercise classes and fitness professionals. The participants also receive dietary guidance. Since its inception in 2002, City Academies has expanded to thousands of cities nationwide.

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Don’t Worry, Be Healthy

New research highlights the power of the mind and the influence of our perceptions on disease chances. Healthy people who worry about having a heart attack have a higher possibility of heart disease, independent of other risk factors, compared with those who don’t worry, according to a study in BMJ Open (2016; doi: 10.1136/bmjopen-2016-012914). A preoccupation with having or acquiring a serious illness is an anxiety disorder.

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Stroke Rates Shift Among Boomers, Gen Xers

According to a report published in the Journal of the American Heart Association (2016; 5 [12], e004245), rates of ischemic stroke and heart attack have steadily decreased since the 1950s. New information shows this trend slowing in recent years, with the greatest incidence increase occurring among 35- to 39-year-olds.

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Running Improves Brain Function in Young Runners

Looking to boost brain power? You may want to lace up those sneakers and head out for a long run, suggest researchers from the University of Arizona.
While there’s been plenty of study on exercise and brain function, these UA researchers wanted to know if a movement requiring little motor-control precision—like distance running—could affect neuroplasticity, the brain’s ability to form new neural connections. Most research to date has focused on older adults, but this study targeted younger minds.

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Barre Booming

As a hot trend, barre continues to lead conditioning activities, with an impressive 12% growth rate in 2015, according to 2016 Tracking the Fitness Movement: The Annual Review of Fitness Participation in America, conducted by the Sports & Fitness Industry Association. Tai chi also continued to see healthy growth in 2015, with a 6% jump.

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ACE Insight

RESEARCH: Investigating The Physiological Responses To Trx® Suspension Training.®
How Effectively Does The Trx Suspension Trainer™ Deliver Short- And Long-Term Health Benefits?
In the past decade, the TRX Suspension Trainer has become an incredibly popular piece of fitness equipment in studios around the world. The manufacturer, along with the equipment’s many proponents, have claimed it provides a variety of workouts that improve mobility and flexibility, build lean muscle and improve core stability.

The Study

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Taming Testosterone Troubles

Men: Have you had difficulty getting out of bed in the morning, or are you suffering from low mood or libido? Have you gained body fat, lost muscle or begun to struggle with depression or lack of motivation? Low testosterone levels may be to blame.

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Do You Need a Better Technology Policy?

If you've spent any time at all inside a gym, you've likely experienced this scenario: You're humming along on your treadmill when Joe Talksalot hops onto the machine next to you and proceeds to speak loudly into his smartphone. To distract yourself from Talksalot's not–so–private conversation, you scan the gym floor—and over in the corner you see a woman doing backbends while contorting her neck to maintain a visual on her tablet.

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The Power of Mindset

Alexis Batrakoulis, MS, CSCS, RCPT*E, ACSM–CPT, EP–C and ACE Certified Health Coach, has been involved in the fitness industry since 1995 and currently works as an educator, speaker, author, technical expert and exercise for health specialist throughout Greece and worldwide. He is the personal training education director at the Greek Athletic & Fitness Training School (GRAFTS), which is an accredited vocational training provider and the national leader in fitness certifications in Greece.

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IDEA Food and Nutrition Tips Hits the Mark on Plant Power

The latest issue of IDEA Food and Nutrition Tips (November—December 2016) is one many of us have been waiting for! The recognition of plant–based nutrition is revolutionary for the fitness industry. The past couple of decades have led us to the world of animal protein—and lots of it. The message has been that athletes and very active people need "quality" protein, meaning "animal products."
     Shari Greenberg
     Health Coach
     Chicago

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Creative Ideas That Inspire

Rock Steady Boxing is offered at TITLE Boxing Club in Carlsbad, California. The program is based on professional boxing training but is geared to people with Parkinson's disease. The noncontact boxing techniques allow participants to enjoy a boxer's workout without sparring or fighting. The method's goal is to "attack" the vulnerable neurological points of Parkinson's by increasing balance and decreasing instability, rigidity and tremors. The class is open to men and women of all ages and fitness levels.

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A High-Intensity Cardio Class With Strength and Step Intervals

This class alternates high–intensity step combinations and drills with strength training exercises, using an interval format to create a fun and challenging workout. Cardio sections include easy–to–follow step moves, while strength segments use the step to add intensity. This format is sure to please step fans and high–intensity enthusiasts.
Step It High, Tone It Down Details
GOAL/EMPHASIS: to provide a total–body workout with a new take on a traditional step format

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Why Older Exercisers Should Try Nordic Walking

Nordic pole walking is a highly enjoyable, easy–to–learn way for exercisers of all ages to get outdoors and get moving. If you're unfamiliar with Nordic pole walking, this primer will provide key reasons why it can be such a good fit for your older–adult clients, in particular.

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