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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

Exercise Doesn’t Have To Be Strenuous To Be Effective

April 13, 2018

We know that replacing sedentary behavior with physical activity yields numerous benefits. And while high-intensity models are touted as a way to fast-track success, a new study out of Sweden says it’s not necessary to go all-out in order to boost health.

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Location Is Everything When It Comes to BMI

April 13, 2018

The results are in: According to a new study, people who live within close proximity to a gym or activity center weigh less than those who don’t. Access to fast-food restaurants may also affect weight, say the study’s authors.

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Helpful Productivity Apps

April 13, 2018

Do you struggle to stay focused or cross off items on your to-do list? There are apps for that. Here, five successful business owners share their favorite apps for getting things done:

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Two Research-Based Reasons Not to Skip Leg Day

April 13, 2018

High-Volume Lower-Body Workouts Contribute To Upper-Body Strength
Can lower-body resistance training produce improvements in upper-body maximal strength? That was the question posed in a study published in The Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research (2018; 32 [1], 13–18).

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The Best Exercise for Alzheimer’s Disease

April 13, 2018

If you were asked to choose among cardiovascular exercise, resistance training and a combination of both to help people with Alzheimer’s disease, what choice would you make?
Researchers from the University of Connecticut wanted to understand the effects of exercise—if any—on cognitive decline in those at risk of or diagnosed with Alzheimer’s. The scientists performed a meta-analysis of 19 studies (23 exercise interventions) featuring 1,145 adults aged 77 ± 7.5 years.

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Secrets of Muscle Growth

April 12, 2018

Muscle growth is often a goal for people seeking guidance from qualified fitness professionals. Recently, researchers from the University of Cumbria in Lancaster, England, reviewed relevant scientific papers to find best practices for achieving that goal.
The review authors looked at several primary factors associated with muscle hypertrophy: training volume, load, training frequency, training to momentary muscle failure, exercise variation, contraction type, exercise order, repetition tempo and interest recovery. Here’s a sampling of the conclusions:

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Learn, Connect and Thrive at the IDEA® World Convention

March 21, 2018

Education is the foundation of the IDEA World Convention, but this fitness event offers plenty more than stellar instruction. For Jonathan Bernath, publicist-turned-personal-trainer, it’s where he discovered the “fitness family” that would guide him in his new career.

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May I Have This Dance?

March 21, 2018

client: Bert | personal trainer: Ann Heizer | location: Oceanside, California

Doctor’s orders. “Thanks for coming into my life and helping me deal with Parkinson’s disease,” says Bert, warmly sharing his respect for his trainer, Ann Heizer. “Working out with you has helped me stay positive and flexible.”

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Simplicity Steers Success

February 21, 2018

client: Jennifer | personal trainer: John Parker | location: San Diego

Keeping it simple. Every day it seems there’s a new supplement, food plan or training program that purports to produce unparalleled results. But all of these choices can make it difficult for clients to make wise choices and remain consistent in their approach. That was the problem faced by Jennifer, a florist and part-time kickboxing instructor, and it’s why she reached out to San Diego–based personal trainer John Parker, CSCS.

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How to Find Your Epic

February 15, 2018

The fitness industry is a rewarding and inspiring place to be. However, it’s not without its challenges, and getting ahead with passion alone can be difficult. The most successful fit pros know that to build an epic life and career, they must invest in education and learn from those who’ve been there and done it.

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130/80 = High Blood Pressure

February 12, 2018

For the first time since 2003, the American College of Cardiology and the American Heart Association have produced a substantial report updating blood pressure recommendations. People with a reading of 130/80 are now classified as having high blood pressure. This is down from 140/90.
According to the ACC, this means 46% of U.S. adults will now be categorized as having hypertension.
Those in the “hypertensive crisis” category require medication intervention and immediate hospitalization if there is organ damage, according to the report.

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On This Day in Fitness History

February 9, 2018

In March 2007, Gilad Janklowicz was inducted into the National Fitness Hall of Fame. Janklowicz is best known as the primary personality in Bodies in Motion, a popular and long-running fitness show.

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A Scientific Approach to Core Training

February 9, 2018

Core training can improve functional capacity and reduce injury potential. But accurately programming a successful, tailored and progressive core- training protocol can be a complicated endeavor. Now, researchers from Heriot-Watt University in Edinburgh, Scotland, have developed a model they hope gives fitness pros a solid platform to work from.

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How to Develop Better Work–Life Balance

February 9, 2018

Do you find yourself checking your email and responding to messages well after you’ve “clocked out” for the day? While keeping up with emails after hours might seem productive, researchers from the University of Zurich in Switzerland believe this habit could have the opposite effect.
They launched an online survey in which 1,916 employees answered questions about work–life balance. For example, respondents were asked how often they thought about work during nonwork hours; the type and frequency of recovery activities; and exhaustion levels.

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New Review Determines Weight Management Tool

February 9, 2018

Mindfulness practices such as meditation and conscious eating techniques may offer secrets to losing weight and keeping it off, say researchers from Montreal’s McGill University.
Noting some inconsistencies in prior findings, the researchers undertook a comprehensive analysis of 19 mindfulness and lifestyle modification studies that included 1,160 subjects. Here’s some of what the scientists learned from their investigation:

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Healthiest and Unhealthiest States

February 9, 2018

America’s Health Rankings® has released its annual report, which ranks each state’s health based on 35 factors, including behaviors, community and environment, policy, clinical care, and outcomes data. Now in its 28th year, the report has two primary goals: to provide a benchmark for states and to promote action to improve the health of citizens.

According to the data, these are the five healthiest states:

1. Massachusetts
2. Hawaii
3. Vermont
4. Utah
5. Connecticut

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