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Get to Know the Gallbladder

When you think of the gallbladder, two things likely come to mind: It’s located in the right abdomen, and it’s associated with painful gallstones. But, typically, little attention goes to this small organ working quietly behind the scenes during digestion.

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Meet an IDEA Team Member!

Kate Watson, Executive Managing Editor, Publications

Apart from the founders themselves, no one has worked for IDEA longer than Kate. She joined the company in 1991 and has been editing the publications ever since! Kate has always appreciated language: As a student, she learned French, German, Latin and a little Russian, and all that training (along with years of writing experience) laid the groundwork for a career spent shaping words.

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Cook and Taste the World for Health

A few weeks ago, I purged my extensive collection of cookbooks to make way for new ones. Like the 30 or so I just weeded from the mix, the new books will be learned from, splattered upon and well-loved until I’ve extracted all of their goodness.

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Sample Class: Cycle & Strength

Indoor cycling remains one of the hottest formats; it’s still credited with being a turnkey class that introduces men to the group exercise schedule. One reason indoor cycling is still viable is that it’s always reinventing itself. Over the past 20 years, it has evolved and survived many changes: new bike options, top-line educational programs and metric technology, to name a few. Currently, fusion classes are trending, and boutique studios are marketing their unique claims to a total-body workout.

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Plank Variations

Forearm plank, side plank, plank with hip dips—all are group exercise favorites. The plank is one of the most familiar and effective choices for core work, and it’s an easy addition. However, how many times can you program that same old plank? Fortunately, with a little creativity, a basic plank can be amazingly versatile. Just add simple movements and a little resistance to make an already challenging move even more interesting and effective.

The following variations are best for participants who can hold a plank with
good form for at least a minute.

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The Instructor-or-Influencer Challenge: Social Media and Fitness Instructors

Exceptional group fitness instructors are influential. But is their influence an outcome of great instruction or its origin? When group fitness pros apply for a job, practical teaching skills and knowledge of exercise and movement top the list of “must-haves,” so what about social media influence? Is it relevant? It’s becoming more commonplace to judge group fitness candidates on their social media presence, but should this be the case?

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Helping Clients Enjoy the Taste and Culture of Food

It’s time for Americans to shift their focus from calories, macronutrients and micronutrients to taste, culture and mindfulness. After all, our preoccupation with dieting and health fads has us restricting foods, chasing unsustainable weight loss goals and feeling bad about our nutrition choices—but all we have to show for it is rising rates of overweight, obesity, diabetes and heart disease.

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Recipe for Health: Chicken Spelt Salad With Blueberry Vinaigrette

Want to keep your heartbeat strong? Then don’t skimp on antioxidants. A study last year found that people whose diets had the highest antioxidant capacity—a measure of how well foods can thwart cell-damaging free radicals—had about a 22% lower risk of all-cause mortality and a 17% lower risk of cardiovascular disease over 13 years than those whose diet packed the weakest antioxidant punch. That study, reported in the European Journal of Nutrition, used dietary data from 23,595 U.S. adults.

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Why Hydration Should Be on Your Mind

People who like to work up a sweat should definitely have proper hydration practices on their mind. A review in Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise found strong evidence that athletes who lose more than 2% of their body weight in fluids—all too common in prolonged bouts of sweaty exercise—suffer noticeable declines in mental performance. The review (a meta-analysis of previously published research) noted declines in attention, motor coordination, and the executive functioning your brain needs to focus, organize and remember details.

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