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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

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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Exercise Responses Vary Among Women

February 9, 2018

A new study from Bangor University in Wales affirms that body type influences a woman’s response to exercise, potentially affecting weight management success.
Female participants were assigned to either a 4-week or 8-week circuit training intervention. The women met three times per week and exercised at 50%–90% VO2 peak for 45–90 minutes per session. They were instructed not to diverge from their usual diets.

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How Older Adults Can Boost Psychological Well-Being

February 9, 2018

Researchers from Finland have determined that older adults who pump iron can build more than muscle: Resis­tance training can strengthen their outlook on life. The scientists say frequency is an important variable in maximizing benefits.

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When the Client Is You

January 18, 2018

client: Frank | personal trainer: Frank McKenna, MEd, owner, Beach Better Bodies | location: Virginia Beach, Virginia

A dire situation. In the summer of 2016, personal trainer Frank McKenna received news he never expected to hear. At age 56, he had recently completed his own physical transformation and was arguably in tiptop shape, so when his doctor told him he had stage 4 lung cancer, he was stunned.

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The Secrets to Building a Successful Business and a Prolific Career

December 20, 2017

When Jake Trione, owner of TriAffect Fitness, Health and Wellness in Houston, thought about what he wanted to do after 13 years of active duty in the United States Coast Guard, he knew he’d become a personal trainer. “I thought to myself, ‘If I am serious, I should find the most successful professionals in the business and spend time with them,’” he says.

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Stay Tuned on Nutrition Label Updates

December 13, 2017

The timing of nutrition label updates to include added sugars, among other changes, remains in flux as government officials offer differing timelines. As of press time, the official word is that you can expect to see the new labels on all products in January 2020, according to the Center for Science in the Public Interest. Despite the delay, many food companies are still planning on rolling out updated labels by the original deadline of July 2018.

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Lose Weight, Save Money

December 12, 2017

A new report from Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health suggests
that people who are overweight or obese could potentially trade weight for cash.
Authors of the report produced a model linking body mass index, health outcomes and associated costs at various points in an adult’s life. For example, for a 40-year-old, having obesity (vs. normal weight) adds $15,024 in lifetime third-party payer costs, $16,400 in lifetime productivity losses and $31,447 in societal costs. For a person of that age, being overweight (vs.

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Any Kind of Physical Activity Reduces Mortality Rates

December 12, 2017

Plenty of research encourages hitting the gym or going for a run as a means of keeping the grim reaper at bay. It turns out that any kind of physical activity—whether it’s achieved at the gym or at work—has protective benefits, according to a study produced by the Population Health Research Institute at McMaster University in Hamilton, Ontario.

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Get Up, Stand Up—For Your Health

December 12, 2017

We know that sitting long hours is a health hazard that can lead to early death. What’s been unclear is whether frequent breaks in sit time can reduce that risk even if total sit time remains the same. Researchers from Columbia University Medical Center looked into that question.

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Millennials Prefer “Activacations”

December 12, 2017

According to a recent survey produced by Hotels.com, most millennials prefer to lift weights instead of piña coladas while on vacation. Savvy fitness professionals can leverage this
information when marketing and promoting programs to this demographic.

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Muscle Activation During Kettlebell Exercises

December 12, 2017

Understanding how different exercises affect the body is a prerequisite for designing optimal training programs. In a study published in the Journal of Strength & Conditioning Research (2017; 31 [9], 2363–70), scientists looked at muscle activation during three kettlebell movements.

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On This Day in Fitness History

December 12, 2017

The first-ever Winter Olympics were held January 25–February 5, 1924, in Chamonix, France. The event involved eight sports and just over 250 athletes.

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Weight Disparities in Children Worldwide

December 12, 2017

When it comes to childhood health, lots of emphasis is placed on the risks of being overweight or obese—and an estimated 124 million kids worldwide were in those weight categories in 2016, a tenfold increase since 1975. While this is of great concern, a new study has found that in the same year, 192 million boys and girls were moderately or severely underweight. The researchers believe that family income levels may play a role in a child’s weight.

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Olympic Support Coach Talks Winter Games

December 12, 2017

In February, thousands of athletes from around the world will descend on PyeongChang, South Korea, with dreams of stepping onto a podium. Among them will be members of the U.S. speed skating team, who have received support from the Under Armour Performance Team.
Dan McDonogh, 2012 IDEA Fitness Instructor of the Year and UA senior manager of performance training, knows what it’s like to ready the athletes for competition:

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