Muscle cramps can stop athletes in their tracks. Although they usually self-extinguish within seconds or minutes, the abrupt, harsh, involuntary muscle contractions can cause mild-to-severe agony and immobility, often accompanied by knotting of the affected muscle (Minetto et al. 2013). And cramps are common; 50%–60% of healthy people suffer muscle cramps during exercise, sleep or pregnancy or after vigorous physical exertion (Giuriato et al. 2018).
It was little surprise to anyone when, asked to pick her “favorite punctuation mark” for a photo shoot of the IDEA editors, Judy Minich picked the exclamation point. She approaches every situation with the thought that she can spice it up with an extra dash of excitement.
One of the many benefits of yoga is that it requires a “proximal to distal” approach. A strong core (proximal) is central to developing mobility and strength in the extremities (distal). Many yoga poses require spinal stabilization rather than flexion and are safe and beneficial for a wide range of abilities. The following three traditional stabilization postures have the added challenge of asymmetrical appendage movement, which requires the core to work harder to resist rotation.
Yoga teachers will already be well aware that the yamas are one of the eight limbs of yoga. According to Patanjali’s Yoga Sutras, the word yamas can be translated as “abstinences”; in other words, these are things yogis should avoid doing (Satchidananda 2012).
Cynthia Walker was struggling. Although she’d been trying to lose weight for years, it just seemed like the odds were stacked against her.
“At age 42, she had a TIA (transient ischemic attack) along with high blood pressure and high cholesterol levels,” says trainer E. Faith Bell. “Then, 11 years ago, she was diagnosed with breast cancer. At 4 feet 9 inches tall, she weighed 176 pounds.”
Exercising in front of a television, computer screen or mobile device is nothing new. Since the advent of VHS tapes, fitness programs have offered users an opportunity to get their sweat on whenever they choose in the comfort of their home. Over the past several years, however, fitness facilities have leveraged new technology to offer virtual classes on-site in hopes of luring exercisers out of their living rooms and into the group exercise room.
Nutrition advice from social media “experts” is best viewed with a huge grain of Himalayan pink salt, says new research presented at this year’s European Congress on Obesity. British researchers at the University of Glasgow recently combed through popular U.K. nutrition and weight loss blogs to determine how much of the advice being dished out was trustworthy. The social media influencers were graded on transparency, nutritional soundness and use of research-backed references.
A duo of recent studies are further strengthening the case against dumping high amounts of salt into restaurant fare and packaged processed foods.
Being glued to your smartphone at night may not be so smart if you’re trying to stick to a healthy diet. In research presented at the 2019 conference of the Society for the Study of Ingestive Behavior, in the Netherlands, rats exposed at night to just 1 hour of blue light—the same type of light emitted by many digital devices like smartphones—consumed more sugar afterward than when they were not exposed to blue light at night.
As we become better informed about the potential pitfalls of too much screen time, findings in the Journal of Behavioral Medicine suggest that sitting in front of a computer to play a diet-focused game may drive people to trade in their candy for cauliflower!
Since many Americans spend half their waking hours at a job, it makes sense that the food they decide to purchase at work can have a big impact on their overall diet.
For the most part, sports nutrition science is bro-science. That’s because the vast majority of studies to date have focused on men, leaving active women to assume the same results apply to them. But that is slowly changing.
Often we are told to rise up from our chairs to help offset the health woes associated with sitting too much. But if we want to glean more joy from a meal, says a study in the Journal of Consumer Research, then we’re better off taking a seat.
Nutrition professionals have long known that the beverages our youth choose to drink can hugely affect their diet quality and health. Three new studies drive home the point that the best option comes from the faucet.
Variety is the spice of life, and when it comes to what we eat, it may also extend our life. In a study co-authored by researchers from the University of Helsinki’s Finnish National Institute for Health and Welfare and the University of Tartu in Estonia, individuals who exhibited signs of food neophobia—a reluctance to try unfamiliar foods—had lower-quality diets overall and were at greater risk for certain health conditions, in?¡cluding type 2 diabetes.
With the holiday season comes a bounty of tasty nibbles! But a study in The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition tells a cautionary tale about eating festive cookies and snacking from those leftover party platters.
Get your high-energy playlists ready. Sedentary male and female adult participants worked harder and enjoyed cycling sprint intervals more when listening to motivational music with a tempo of 135–140 beats per minute as opposed to no music or an informational podcast, researchers reported in Psychology of Sport & Exercise (2019; 45 ).
What are you or your facility doing to support the next generation of fitness enthusiasts? Are you offering any kids’ physical activity programs at schools or other off-site community locations? Are you providing programs free to local youth—or, if fee-based, what are you offering and how are you reaching potential clients? Please share your success stories.
We want to hear from you! Email executive editor Joy Keller, [email protected]
Colon cancer cell growth slows immediately after a HIIT session, according to a pilot study published in the Journal of Physiology (2019; 597 , 2177-84). More physical activity is linked with a lower death risk for people with colorectal cancer.
Fitness pros may want to put more emphasis on kids’ fitness to ensure that more adults choose an active lifestyle and become fitness enthusiasts.