People with osteoarthritis who walk briskly as little as 1 hour per week can significantly increase their odds of remaining functionally independent. Northwestern University researchers in Chicago examined more than 4 years of data from more than 1,500 adults—age 49 or older—who had arthritis but no disability. Their activity levels varied. Activity data analysis showed that people who did 1 hour of moderate-to-vigorous activity per week had a higher probability of remaining free from disability than those who exercised less.
For maintaining functional ability—and potentially even for living longer—growing research
supports the benefits of power training, particularly as we age. Power is the ability to move weight with speed and to generate force and velocity with coordinated movement.
Think of it as the point-counterpoint discussion on obesity: Is the healthcare profession overemphasizing the negative consequences of extra weight? What are the risks? Is the focus on obesity helping or hurting our clients?
When Victor Sanakai was playing tennis for the Auburn University Montgomery National Championship team, he thought he was going to need rotator cuff surgery. But first he sought the advice of Michele Olson, PhD, a Pilates researcher who works with student athletes.
Olson, a senior clinical professor of sport science at Huntingdon College in Montgomery, Alabama, suggested Sanakai try Pilates exercises for the shoulders, upper back and abdominals.
Keeping physically active or becoming more active during middle and older age is associated with a lower risk of death, regardless of past activity levels or existing health conditions, suggests a large United Kingdom study published in the June 26 issue of The BMJ.
Are you leaning into the rise of millennial moms? These women are part of a generation that’s expected, as of this year, to surpass baby boomers as the nation’s largest age demographic. The 83 million 17- to 36-year-old “millennial” men and women in the United States—combined with Generation Xers—account for 80% of the fitness dollars spent in clubs (Lexington Law 2019; Les Mills 2017). Already fitness consumers, millennial women are becoming mothers.
Currently, the extreme competitiveness in sport and the constant record-breaking achievements have reached levels never before seen in sports history. Sports equipment and technology have reached the point where restrictions are being implemented to keep the game fairer for all. Pharmacological sports enhancement drugs have been banned in all sports by international sports federations and the psychological input have all but exhausted their methods. What is left for the athlete to optimize performance and still raise the bar of performance?
People who have worked to lose weight may have found that achieving short-term weight loss is relatively easy. But weight loss success all too often ends in weight regain. Soon, dieters embark on a new diet, launching a round of weight cycling that wreaks havoc on the body and causes many problems routinely blamed on obesity.
Remember the days when all you had to do to usher in a rush of new clients was run a Facebook campaign or a Groupon offer? Those days are long gone. The market is becoming saturated, and fitness facilities are popping up on every corner, each wanting a piece of the pie. Also, consumers are becoming more educated about fitness; they’re more cautious about where they spend their hard-earned exercise dollars—and for good reason!
Any child active on social media is likely following one or more so-called influencers, and if those influencers are fans of chips and cookies, parents trying to persuade their kids to eat more veggies could be facing another hurdle.
Many older adults could benefit from dropping a few pounds of body fat. With weight loss, though, there are often reductions in bone strength and lean body mass, thereby raising the risk of mobility issues and injury from falls. New research shows that a diet tweak might help older people retain their muscle while simultaneously scaling down their body fat.
Research shows that exercise benefits breast cancer survivors, but many do not stick with programs. What might appeal enough to increase adherence? A pilot study found that group exercise designed specifically for people surviving breast cancer resulted in more improvements to quality of life than similar exercise programming led by personal trainers. The study is available in Oncology Nursing Forum (2019; doi:10.1188/19.0NF.185-97).
Do you or does your facility have specific policies or programs to create a more welcoming atmosphere for new participants? Given the evidence that more Americans are trying fitness pursuits but have not yet committed to be regular exercisers, we want to hear about your practices that succeed in converting new members into regulars. Please share your success stories.
We want to hear from you!
Great news for healthy older adults who may not be able to weight-train more than once a week. For 65- to 75-year-old men and women, supervised whole-body resistance training once weekly for 6 months led to significantly less inflammation, lower blood pressure and blood sugar levels, and better overall well-being.
When it comes to being physically active, more Americans choose fitness pursuits over sports, according to the Sports & Fitness Industry Association’s 2019 SFIA Topline Report. The report is based on nationwide survey data across activity categories and includes responses from children (ages 6 and up) up to older adults. In 2018, fitness categories that use equipment reflected the highest growth. And, compared with 2013, at least 3.5% more Americans attended class-based exercises such as HIIT, cross-training, barre and yoga.
In North America—and around the world—people are suffering or dying from the ravages of chronic lifestyle diseases that are mostly preventable. It’s troubling to write those words as a flat statement of fact, especially in an era of such astonishing medical advancements paralleled with a daily firehose of new health research that further pressure-washes what we already know.
CLIENT: Brenda Badish
PERSONAL TRAINER: Kelly Fletcher
LOCATION: KFit Studios, Brighton, Michigan
Brenda Badish had almost given up hope that she could regain her health. “I figured I was a few weeks away from pushing up the daisies,” she says.
Many studies show that cardiorespiratory fitness improvements boost brain fitness in later life. New research in the Journal of Applied Physiology (2019; doi:10.1152/japplphysiol.01046.2018) reveals that effects may differ between men and women.
With the abundance of activity trackers on the market, deciding which product to choose can be overwhelming. New research suggests that the most important criterion may simply be how easy it is to access the data the device provides. Recent research conducted at the Atlantic Sports Health Research Department of Atlantic Health System in Morris?¡town, New Jersey, shows that people who wore a device and accessed data via an app were more active daily when compared with those who did not access the activity information.
Fifteen minutes of vigorous activity or approximately 1 hour of moderate activity (like walking or gardening)—or a combination of light and vigorous physical activity—may significantly reduce risk of major depression, according to a study published in JAMA Psychiatry (2019; doi:10.1001/jamapsychiatry.2018.4175).