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Ryan Halvorson

Ryan Halvorson is an award-winning writer and editor. He is a long-time author and presenter for IDEA Health & Fitness Association, fitness industry consultant and former director of group training for Bird Rock Fit. He is also a Master Trainer for TriggerPoint.

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Article Archive

Obesity Boosts Melanoma Risk

September 20, 2018

Add this to the list of dangers associated with obesity: New research from Sweden suggests obesity is a risk factor for developing skin cancer, and weight loss—in this case via bariatric surgery—could reduce the risk of malignant melanoma skin cancer, in particular, by 61%.
The study included 2,007 bariatric surgery patients and 2,040 nonsurgery controls whose skin cancer incidence was monitored for 18 years. Aside from the significantly lower risk of developing malignant melanoma, the surgery group saw a 42% reduction in skin cancer risk in general.

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Cutting Facebook Lowers Stress Levels

September 20, 2018

Need to cut some stress out of your life? Researchers from the University of Queensland in Australia say that taking breaks from Facebook can help.
Their study included 138 active Facebook users who were asked to either take a 5-day fast from the social media platform or maintain current usage. Each person self-reported on their well-being and stress levels and underwent salivary cortisol tests before and after the intervention.

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2018 IDEA® World Scholarship Recipients

September 20, 2018

In partnership with ACE, IDEA co-founders Kathie and Peter Davis have established the IDEA World Scholarship Fund, which provides selected recipients with a registration for the event as well as financial assistance for related travel expenses.

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The Peak of Fitness

September 20, 2018

The mountains are calling. The jagged and distinctive Dolomite range—part of the Italian Alps in northeastern Italy—features 90,000 acres of mountainous terrain, perfect for outdoor adventure enthusiasts from across the globe, including a dedicated group led by PJ O’Clair, owner of ClubXcel and Northeast Pilates Education Center and a cycling enthusiast.

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The Optimal Amount of Exercise for Heart Health

September 20, 2018

Arterial stiffness, which increases with sedentary living, is associated with higher risk of heart disease. It’s well known that exercise can help, but how much—or how little—is enough?
“While near-daily, vigorous lifelong (>25 years) endurance exercise training prevents arterial stiffening with ageing, this rigorous routine of exercise training over a lifetime is impractical for most individuals,” noted the authors of a new study, which aimed to determine the least amount of exercise necessary to reduce arterial stiffness.

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Exercise Doesn’t Slow Dementia, Say Researchers

September 20, 2018

Research has supported exercise as having the potential to keep dementia at bay or at least to impede its progression. A recent study suggests that physical activity may not be as effective at warding off cognitive decline as previously thought.
In this study, published in BMJ (2018; 361, k1675), 329 individuals were assigned to an exercise intervention, while 165 subjects received “usual care.” Average age was 77, and each participant had a clinically confirmed dementia diagnosis.

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Weight Training’s Surprising Effects on Depression

September 20, 2018

Could a cure for depression be found in the weight room? Data from a study published in JAMA Psychiatry (2018; 75 [6], 566–76) points to that conclusion. The meta-analysis of 33 clinical trials, featuring 1,877 participants, found a link between resistance training (RET) and a reduction in depressive symptoms.

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The Group Dynamic

August 21, 2018

clients: Ben, Pat, Jacob (trainer), Jeanine, Tania, Jennifer | personal trainer: Jacob Trione, CEO and Founder, Triaffect Fitness | location: Clear Lake City, Texas

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Researchers Find a Link Between Activity Level, ALS

June 19, 2018

Made famous by legendary baseball player Lou Gehrig, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, or ALS—a progressive neurodegenerative disease that affects nerve cells in the brain and spinal cord—has affected many athletes. As such, researchers have wondered if high levels of physical activity might have something to do with the disease. Data from a new study out of Europe furthers the conversation.

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The Long-Term Benefits of Pedometer Use

June 19, 2018

Studies show that tracking daily steps with a pedometer leads to higher activity levels. A new report out of the U.K. suggests the practice can inspire people to take more steps for many years.
The report included data from two separate 12-month studies; one involved inactive adults aged 45–75, while the other featured older adults aged 60–75. In the first, participants were assigned to one of three 12-week pedometer-based interventions—consultation with a nurse, support by mail or no consultation. In the second, there was no mail support group.

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Research Review: Pros and Cons of Standing

June 19, 2018

Sitting for extended periods of time is now considered as dangerous as smoking cigarettes, and as a result, many people have taken to standing during the workday. New research is shedding light on both positive and negative effects of the current trend.
Stand Up for Weight Loss

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Body Fat Is Better Indicator of Type 2 Diabetes

June 19, 2018

Here’s more reason to apply a battery of assessments when determining a client’s health status. Scientists have found that body fat percentage is a more accurate indicator of a person’s risk for prediabetes or type 2 diabetes than other popular measures like body mass index.

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Top Money Tips for Fit Pros

June 19, 2018

Money is often a dirty word among fitness professionals. Most get into the business to help others, but you can’t pay bills with good intentions, says Frank Pucher, owner of Fitness 121 Personal Training in Roseland, New Jersey, and author of Smart Money Moves: A Practical Approach for Earning, Growing & Protecting Your Money. He adds that the financial side of fitness should receive as much detailed attention as the programs you design.

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What Type of Exercise You Do as a Kid May Determine Your Weight as an Adult

June 19, 2018

According to new research, the kind of physical activity you do in childhood could predict whether you will be overweight as an adult.
Published in Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise (2018; 50 [4],
709–14), the study examined the relationship between adult weight gain and the following types of exercise in childhood: running, sports and/or fitness/dance.

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On This Day in Fitness History

June 19, 2018

July 21, 2011, was the grand opening of the Joe and Betty Weider Museum of Physical Culture at the University of Texas in Austin. The Weiders are fitness industry icons, and the museum features fitness-related art and memorabilia, including items from the Weiders’ personal collection: three large oil paintings by artist Thomas Beecham of Mr. Olympia winners Larry Scott, Franco Columbu and Lee Haney.

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Strong Hands = Strong Brains?

June 14, 2018

Could there be a handy new solution for improving cognitive health? Maybe, say U.K. researchers who found that people with significant grip strength tend to have healthier brains.

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A for Effort

May 15, 2018

client: Kent Denver School Students | personal trainer: Laura Bordeaux, strength and conditioning coach, Kent Denver School location: Englewood, Colorado

A complete course load. Think of it as core curriculum—literally. The Kent Denver School, a college-preparatory institution outside of Denver, offers a comprehensive educational experience that emphasizes both academics and sports. That’s where Laura Bordeaux comes in.

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