Our bodies host a huge population of microorganisms, dubbed the human microbiome. In recent years, the makeup of critters in our guts has been linked to a plethora of conditions, including depression, heart disease and obesity. And now bug-friendly scientists at the University of California, San Diego School of Medicine have presented initial findings from the American Gut Project, a crowdsourced initiative that analyzes people’s survey responses and fecal samples to better understand how things like diet, lifestyle and disease affect the human microbiome.Read More
Question: I have a sensitivity or allergy to tomatoes. My mouth and esophagus get itchy and sore when I eat them. Is there any way to make tomatoes less irritating? Is there a good substitute for tomatoes in recipes?
Answer: You may suffer from oral allergy syndrome (OAS), a relatively common reaction to plant foods, including tomatoes. People who have pollen allergies are more likely to have OAS (Asero 2013) because they react to similar proteins in vegetables, fruits and/or nuts.
Substance use disorder can wreak havoc on people’s lives. Fitness activity can be a
transformative way for those in recovery to heal, rebuild their lives and find a community of healthy supporters.
According to a study published in Mental Health and Physical Activity in 2011, patients with substance use disorder who exercised while in recovery reported feeling greater strength, improved health, a sense of accomplishment, and increased confidence about staying clean and sober.
In April, Louisiana State University researchers in Baton Rouge held a training for 120 scientists to kick off a national research consortium designed to create a comprehensive map of the body’s molecular responses during and after exercise. The purpose of the $170 million, multicenter, 6-year research project is to promote understanding of how physical activity improves health and prevents disease.Read More
When it comes to muscles, we rarely think about our eyes, and yet the eye is the fastest and most active muscle in the human body (VSP 2018). We say “in the blink of an eye” for a reason! While you probably don’t program “eye lifts” into your strength training routines, exercise does support healthy vision. Read on to find out more about the benefits, along with a few fun facts you can share with clients to further inspire them to keep moving.Read More
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.Read More
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.Read More
Humans are never alone. Each of us co-exists with trillions of microscopic organisms that form the human microbiome, a complex web of life that’s analogous to earthly biomes such as deserts, tundra and rainforests.
The microbiome extends from deep within our bodies—even inside individual cells—to the skin and to all surfaces exposed to the external environment. It includes bacteria, viruses, yeasts and fungi that interact with the body’s systems, helping with digestion, immune response and a vast array of less-well-known bodily functions.
Located behind the stomach in the upper abdomen, the pancreas is a glandular organ that has two primary “jobs.” It is both a digestive exocrine gland (secreting products via ducts) and a hormone-producing endocrine gland (secreting substances directly into the bloodstream). The pancreas excretes enzymes to break down the foods we eat, and it secretes insulin and glucagon to control blood sugar (Taylor 2018). Spongy, and shaped like a flat pear, it’s about 6–10 inches long (Columbia University Medical Center 2018).Read More
A strong skeleton is just as important as a healthy heart.
Bones form the frame that keeps our bodies from collapsing and serve as a bank for minerals essential to multiple bodily functions. In fact, 99% of the body’s calcium is found in the bones and teeth (NIH n.d.). The skeleton anchors everything fitness professionals deal with every day: muscles, joints, tendons, the whole kinetic chain.
You may have noticed that many of your clients are blissfully unaware of just how much work the foot and ankle complex does—unless and until, of course, an ankle sprain or tendinitis occurs. The ankle “negotiates” ground reaction forces, informing the kinetic chain in numerous ways. Among other functions, the feet and ankles help the body adapt to uneven terrain through side-to-side movement (Price 2008).Read More
Researchers have linked menopause with arterial stiffness and high blood pressure. A recent study of Korean women, led by The North American Menopause Society, suggests that taking the stairs is a good way to manage those conditions.Read More
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.
Here’s more motivation for clients to add strength exercises to their fitness programs: New research shows that strength training plays an important role in reducing risk of premature death from all causes and, specifically, from cancer—and when it comes to cancer, strength work may be even more beneficial to health than aerobic training.Read More
There are three ways to look at battling cancer. For those who don’t have it, lowering risk is the primary goal. For those who’ve had it, successfully recovering and, of course, reducing the chances of recurrence are of utmost importance. For those who currently have it, the priorities are getting rid of it and minimizing the harmful effects that both the disease and the treatment have on the body. Exercise has been shown to help with all three.Read More
New guidelines on high blood pressure made headlines late last year because they suggest that nearly half of all Americans have hypertension—up from about one-third under previous guidelines. This is big news for fitness professionals because regular exercise is an excellent tool for regulating blood pressure. In this issue, we’ll review what you need to know about the new blood pressure guidelines.Read More
Healthy aging is more than the absence of disease, according to the World Health Organization (WHO): “For most older people, the maintenance of functional ability has the highest importance” (WHO 2015). Colin Milner, founder and CEO of the International Council on Active Aging in Vancouver, British Columbia, echoes these comments. “When looking at the healthy aging market today, the focus is all about function,” he says.Read More
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.