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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

Training an Up-and-Coming Athlete

October 20, 2017

client: Lauren | personal trainer: Francesca Pucher, co-owner, Fitness 121 | location: Roseland, New Jersey

In search of progress. Lauren was just 13 years old when she first met Francesca Pucher, personal trainer and co-owner of Fitness 121 in Roseland, New Jersey. Lauren’s mom was working with Pucher and asked for some advice on how to help her daughter with her ice skating. She wondered if Lauren’s performance would improve if she incorporated some strength training into her weekly routine.

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New Way to Calculate Childhood Obesity

October 13, 2017

Over the years, experts have questioned the accuracy of body mass index scores, known as BMI “z-scores,” for estimating body fat percentages in kids (the z is specific to younger age groups and requires complicated calculations to get results). The criticism is that adolescent weight doesn’t scale with height, which can produce faulty data. Now, researchers claim to have discovered a new, more accurate formula for measuring body fat in kids aged 8–17.

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Do Rewards Encourage Gym Visits?

October 13, 2017

Researchers from Case Western University in Cleveland wanted to determine if providing gifts to new gym members would incite them to visit the gym on a regular basis. The scientists specifically chose new members, theorizing that this group’s motivation to go to the gym was high.

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TV Time a Threat to Mobility in Older Adults

October 13, 2017

To minimize their future immobility risk, older adults should cut television time and boost activity levels, says new research.
Scientists looked at data on 134,269 subjects aged 50–71 from six states over 8 years. The data included self-reported total sitting time, television viewing time and physical activity intensity, as well as health histories. At follow-up, study participants provided information on walking pace and mobility, indicating whether they were “unable to walk” or could keep up an “easy walking pace.”

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Exercise Gives Women Instant Memory Boost

October 13, 2017

Do you have something important to remember? Study it first, and then take a short, light jog around the block. New science suggests that a memory will stick more easily if it’s followed up by a quick workout—if you’re a woman.

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Vibration Boosts Effects of Foam Roller

October 13, 2017

Traditional foam rollers have become widespread in the fitness setting. Recently, some manufacturers have added vibration technology to their products. Does the added element provide any extra benefit? Researchers from California State University Dominguez Hills in Carson, California, the National Academy of Sports Medicine in Chandler, Arizona, and Nova Southeastern University in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, wanted to find out.

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Does Having a Higher Income Make You More Active?

October 13, 2017

Higher earners may have more resources to boost activity levels than lower-income people, but that doesn’t make the better-off less sedentary, says a recent study.
In this study, published in Preventive Medicine (2017; 103, 91–97), researchers compared the activity levels of subjects with an annual income of $20,000 to those of people making $75,000 per year or more. The 5,206 subjects wore accelerometers for a week. The main variables were household income and amount and intensity of physical activity. Here’s what the scientists found:

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Exercise Intensity & Endorphins

October 13, 2017

Exercise is known to cause a release of endorphins. New research suggests that some forms of exercise are more effective at triggering a flood of the happy hormones than others.
This small study included 22 recreationally active men aged 21–36 years who completed three different protocols on separate days: a 60-minute moderate-intensity aerobic session, a high-intensity interval training (HIIT) session and a period of rest. The men underwent positron emission tomography, which measures endorphin release. They also reported on their moods throughout the intervention.

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Exercise Helps Obese Older Adults Retain Independence

September 20, 2017

Research has shown that obesity can limit mobility in older adults. According to a new study published in Obesity (2017; 25 [7], 1199–1205), moderate-intensity exercise may help.
As part of the Lifestyle Interventions and Independence for Elders (LIFE) Study, 1,635 sedentary individuals aged 70–89 completed an exercise- or education-based intervention. The subjects ranged from nonobese (BMI?

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Lifetime Physical Activity Trends

September 20, 2017

What does a 19-year-old have in common with a 60-year-old? Both achieve about the same amount of weekly activity, according to new research.
This information comes from a study of 12,529 individuals aged 6–85 who participated in the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey. The researchers’ primary goal was to analyze lifetime physical activity (PA) changes via accelerometer data—and their conclusions are disheartening. Here are some key points from the report:

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A Weigh-In a Day Keeps the Pounds Away?

September 20, 2017

Stepping on the scale daily may help women lose weight, according to a
new study. For 2 years, at intervals, 294 college-age women provided information on their self-weighing practices and underwent body mass index and body fat testing. According to the data, women who weighed themselves daily saw significant decreases in BMI and body fat percentage over time.

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A Methodical Approach to Personal Training

September 18, 2017

A lifestyle change. When busy mom Caroline first met Los Angeles–based personal trainer Ara Keshishian, her goals were simple: She wanted to lose fat and build strength. She was eager and motivated and hoped to see fast results. The two agreed to a 1-month trial program, meeting 4–5 times per week early in the morning.

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CrossFit® Benefits People With Type 2 Diabetes

August 17, 2017

A common characteristic among people with type 2 diabetes is dysfunction of beta cells, which are responsible for storing and releasing insulin. New research suggests that high-intensity training workouts may help to restore beta-cell function.

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How to Handle Exercise-Related Muscle Cramps

August 17, 2017

You’re running along your favorite path and then it happens: You get a cramp in your hamstring. While theories abound, there is limited consensus on why exercise-associated muscle cramps (EAMC) develop and how to get rid of them. A research review from the Brooks College of Health at the University of North Florida may clear up the confusion.
The review, published in Muscle & Nerve (2016; 54, 177–85), featured a series of studies analyzing the etiology and treatment of EAMC. Here’s what they learned:

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Can You Climb Out of Depression?

August 17, 2017

Access to indoor climbing gyms has become more widespread, and so, too, has interest in
the benefits of the sport. Recently, a team of researchers from the University of Arizona and the University of Erlangen-Nuremberg in Germany studied the impact of indoor climbing
on depression.

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