Prebiotics are best known for supporting gut health, but they can also improve sleep and enhance stress resilience, according to a study published in Scientific Reports. Researchers from the University of Colorado Boulder say prebiotics—dietary fibers that nourish the gut’s microbiome—create a symbiotic relationship with the body that affects the brain.Read More
You’ve been training for a 10K. You’re ready, but when you show up on race day, your heart is pounding and you feel panicked. What should you do to lower your stress? Some people might say, “Take a deep breath.” We all know that deep breathing to calm the nervous system is a go-to strategy for dealing with stress. But is it always the best strategy?Read More
Need to cut some stress out of your life? Researchers from the University of Queensland in Australia say that taking breaks from Facebook can help.
Their study included 138 active Facebook users who were asked to either take a 5-day fast from the social media platform or maintain current usage. Each person self-reported on their well-being and stress levels and underwent salivary cortisol tests before and after the intervention.
As green exercise and the health benefits of spending time in nature gain more prominence in popular and scientific news, the Kripalu Center for Yoga & Health in Stockbridge, Massachusetts, is introducing a Mindful Outdoor Leadership Program in October.
The curriculum includes elements of forest bathing, Ayurveda, yoga, outdoor skills, and research related to nature’s health benefits.
When you offer training advice to clients, are you discussing the significance of sleep? If yes, are you using sleep trackers and monitoring results? Please describe how you are educating clients regarding the role of sleep in effective training and weight management and share any success stories you have had.
Share your responses with executive editor Joy Keller, [email protected]Read More
Feeling stressed? You’re not alone! The trick is knowing what to do about it.
Research tells us that stress-relieving strategies include making a concerted effort to minimize stressors, engaging in meditation and physical activity, and nurturing strong social relationships.
That’s good advice, but it ignores the common plan that many of us resort to: the “comfort food” strategy.
Fitness pros have a unique opportunity to take a leadership role by guiding their female clients toward a healthier, movement-oriented lifestyle. This women’s health research update discusses contemporary scientific findings you can use to educate your clients and plan up-to-date programs. The five topics, chosen because of the strong influence they have on women’s health, are type 2 diabetes, cardiovascular disease, osteoporosis, anxiety disorders and menopause.Read More
In life, timing is everything. We’re ruled by the clocks on our collective wrists, walls and smart devices. We count minutes on treadmills and then calories afterward. We race to business meetings, doctor’s appointments, trains and dinner dates. Time-starved, we somehow manage to crowbar in a quick power walk or a brief call with a friend. Sitting down to eat becomes mission impossible in our category 5 “hurry-cane” of mindless grabbing and going, dashboard dining, stuffing our face on the job, skipping meals, guzzling gallons of sugary caffeine, and nighttime binging.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.
Burnout is an issue in the modern world, with annual costs to society estimated at more than $136 billion. Physical activity can reduce the risk of burnout, defined as a severe and persistent form of fatigue that occurs after a long period of work stress.
Options that reduce professional burnout are good news for employers. Fitness pros who want to promote corporate wellness can share the following study with business owners to highlight the benefits of onsite fitness programs.
Employers are looking for partners to provide experiences and solutions in social, emotional, financial, family and career growth and well-being,” says Grace DeSimone, national group fitness director with Plus One Health Management, an Optum company, in New York City. Companies are also embracing mindfulness, meditation and virtual solutions for telecommuting employees, according to DeSimone. All these changes represent an evolution from programs aimed primarily at improving physical health and controlling healthcare costs.Read More
Have you heard that prolonged sitting can be as bad for health as smoking (Owen, Bauman & Brown 2008)? The good news is that movement can help, and it doesn’t have to be a marathon. One avenue worth exploring is nonexercise activity thermogenesis (NEAT). NEAT encompasses the calories burned while living life: walking to work, fidgeting, typing, folding clothes, washing dishes, running errands and so on; only sleeping, eating and sports are not included (Levine & Yeager 2009).Read More
We know that replacing sedentary behavior with physical activity yields numerous benefits. And while high-intensity models are touted as a way to fast-track success, a new study out of Sweden says it’s not necessary to go all-out in order to boost health.Read More
Education is the foundation of the IDEA World Convention, but this fitness event offers plenty more than stellar instruction. For Jonathan Bernath, publicist-turned-personal-trainer, it’s where he discovered the “fitness family” that would guide him in his new career.Read More
Running through the forest. Cycling through your neighborhood park. Walking alongside a river. To most people, “green exercise”—intentionally being physically active in natural environments—feels good, and growing research evidence confirms its benefits (Calogiuri, Patil & Aamodt 2016). Here’s a look at what the latest findings tell us about why you may want to incorporate green exercise into your programs—and even suggest specific nature-based practices for stress reduction and general well-being.
Defining Green ExerciseRead 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
Do you find yourself checking your email and responding to messages well after you’ve “clocked out” for the day? While keeping up with emails after hours might seem productive, researchers from the University of Zurich in Switzerland believe this habit could have the opposite effect.
They launched an online survey in which 1,916 employees answered questions about work–life balance. For example, respondents were asked how often they thought about work during nonwork hours; the type and frequency of recovery activities; and exhaustion levels.
IDEA Fitness Journal