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Americans Fail at Walking

While it may not come as a big surprise, a new study has determined that Americans don’t walk much compared with people in other nations. The author of a Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise study (2010; 42 [10], 1819–25) equipped 2,522 Americans aged 13 and older with Accusplit AE120 pedometers. Results showed that the subjects took an average of 5,117 steps per day. Young, single men with higher education and low body mass index tended to walk most. Eating habits and living environment were not associated with steps per day.

happy exerciser

Fitness Motivation Research and Reality

Although the list of exercise benefits is impressive, it is apparent that just hearing about them does not assure consistent exercise compliance in most individuals. Regular exercise is a complex, multifactorial behavior that fitness professionals and scientists need to understand better in order to help clients stay active and healthy.

Thailand: An Ancient-Modern Fitness Marriage

Many people know where to go to find Thai food, yet are unsure where to find Thailand. The country is bordered to the north and west by Burma; to the north and east by Laos; and to the southeast by Cambodia. The southern, skinny “tail” is between the Andaman Sea and the Gulf of Thailand, with Malaysia at the very southern tip.

Dance-Inspired Classes Big in Venezuela

What programs are popular in Venezuela? “In the mind-body segment, yoga and Pilates are the strongest trends, with Yoga Plus, Neo Pilates, Yogashala and Zona Pilates the most known programs,” explains Yordi Arteaga, director of Fitness & Marketing Consulting, creator of Functional Training System and a personal trainer, a presenter and a postrehab specialist in Caracas.

Kazakhstan: A Rich Cultural History With Fit New Ideas

A landlocked Central Asian country, Kazakhstan is bordered by five countries, including Russia and China. The ninth-largest nation in the world, which makes it the size of Western Europe, Kazakhstan is nevertheless largely a land of mystery to many people. Independent from the former Soviet Union since 1991, Kazakhstan has two languages, Russian and Kazakh. But the language of fitness is also well established!

Taking Exercise Al Fresco in Spain

People living in different regions of Spain have opposing views on fitness. “Talking about new trends in fitness and working out at lunchtime or after work are normal in certain cities, for example,” says Alex Ventura, a Barcelonan who has been working in the fitness industry for more than 15 years as a group exercise instructor, a personal trainer, a consultant and an educator.

CDC Allots Funds for Prevention Efforts

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has green-lighted a program to enhance health and wellness throughout the United States. Called “The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act,” the initiative will provide approximately $642 million for programs designed to increase physical activity levels; improve nutrition; lower obesity rates; and
decrease smoking prevalence, teen smoking and second-hand smoke exposure. According to the initiative’s website, the program will target programs at the community, state and

Fitness Is Tops in Taiwan

Taiwan is an East Asian island country of about 23 million people, located north of the Philippines and off the southeastern coast of China. With approximately 73% of the population between the ages of 15 and 64, it’s no wonder that exercise and good health are of great interest to many Taiwan residents. Although the nation’s gender split is just about fifty-fifty, most gyms have more female members, according to Annie Cheng of Taipei, senior manager of sports marketing for Nike. Some women-only clubs, including Pure Yoga and True Dance, are very popular.

Mindfulness & Weight Loss

Imagine this: you’re staring at your favorite forbidden food—the one thing that threatens to topple your diet. You pick it up, studying its color, shape and texture. You lift it to your nose and welcome its tempting aroma. Finally, you take a bite and savor its taste.

The Hawaii Chair

Hula-Hoop enthusiasts take heart—it may now be possible to get
the same gyrational movements while sitting at your desk. The Hawaii Chair of infomercial fame promises users an opportunity to get fit while you work. According to the manufacturer’s website, the Hawaii Chair “combines the ancient art of the Hula of the Hawaiians with an easy-to-use, fun exercise machine.” Users’ hips gyrate as the seat rotates clockwise and counterclockwise at the desired speed.

Too Much Sitting Can Kill You, Says Study

It is well known that inactivity can lead to health problems. However, a recent study has found that active individuals are not without risk if they spend a significant amount of time sitting each day….

Michelle Obama Tackles Childhood Obesity

First Lady Michelle Obama wants to change
the way U.S. children eat and play. Disturbed by childhood obesity rates, she has enlisted the help of the White House to launch the Let’s Move campaign. According to a press release, she has gathered support from people in government, medicine, science, business, education and athletics to overcome the childhood overweight/obesity problem. For example, several school lunch suppliers have agreed to
reduce the fat, sugar and salt content of their meals over the next
5 years.

Equipment, education and enthusiasm elevate German fitness.

Germans seem to embrace equipment wholeheartedly. According to Drums Alive® founder Carrie Ekins, MA, of Kutzenhausen, the most popular classes in Germany use training equipment. “Typical equipment that has been on the market for years is still the most popular. This includes Redondo® balls (small 22-centimeter inflatable balls), large stability balls, tubes, bands, dumbbells and barbells.

Baltimore’s Homeless Get Back on Their Feet

In other philanthropic news, the Maryland Athletic Club
& Wellness Center (MAC) has offered facility access to Back on My Feet, Baltimore chapter, on days when the weather limits outdoor activities. Back on My Feet is a nonprofit organization dedicated to helping the homeless population build confidence through running. The hope is that members will improve self-esteem and self-sufficiency. “What Back on My Feet members are doing is inspiring.

Fitness Beat Strong in Brazil

In Brazil, with its long summer, beautiful beaches and warm weather, it makes sense that many exercisers want to enjoy the great outdoors. Numerous group fitness classes, mind-body practices and personal training sessions happen outside, notes IDEA Brazilian ambassador Vania Ballo-Petroff.

Age = Decreased Fitness Levels

Research from the University of Houston has shown that men and women become less physically fit with age and, crucially, that their lifestyle influences their fitness level. The 32-year study of more than 20,000 men and women aged 20–96 was published in the October 26 issue of Archives of Internal Medicine (2009; 169 [19], 1781–87). During the intervention, participants completed between two and 33 health examinations, which included nutrition, exercise and lifestyle education and a maximal Balke treadmill test.

FitBus Provides Healthy Living Education

La Donna Hendricks, MD, of Pure
Joy Pediatrics in Bloomfield Hills, Michigan, grew tired of witnessing
the decline of children’s health. She
realized this was largely the result of inadequate education and lack of
exposure to healthy options. To fight the problem, she worked with Aurora Engineering to build the “FitBus,” a “mobile health unit focused on educating our youth using nutrition,
exercise and life lessons all intended
to combat childhood obesity and
promote healthy living in urban

IDEA Member Helps Fight Inactivity on College Campuses

The “Freshman 15” has a new enemy. Karen Jashinsky, IDEA member and founder and CEO of O2Max Fitness in Santa Monica, California, now offers college students a program to help them stay healthy and fit
despite their busy schedules. “Max U was
developed by college students to provide them with an affordable, comprehensive, mobile fitness program that is just as easy
to use in a dorm as it is at the local or campus gym,” says Whitney Sholl, college fitness manager for O2Max.

Shaking Things Up in South Africa

With a population of over 49 million people, who speak 11 official languages, South Africa is a country booming with growth and activity, especially as its weather and natural attributes contribute to a favorable outdoor culture. South Africans are excited and proud to be hosting the World Cup for football (soccer) this year, and can even be described as fanatical about rugby.

location, location, location

Where you live may actually contribute to your risk of someday developing type 2 diabetes, says a study published in the October 12, 2009,
issue of the Archives of Internal Medicine. Researchers conducted
the first multisite prospective study
to examine if residential environments that support more physical activity and healthier diets may contribute to
a lower incidence of the disease.

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