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Portion Distortion

By Matthew Kadey, MS, RD | September 19, 2018 |

No wonder social media feeds are packed with pictures of overflowing smoothie bowls: It appears people feel the types of foods they consume play a bigger role in their health goals than the volume they eat. As a result, a study from Vanderbilt University published in Management Science suggests that those who are trying to maintain a healthy body weight or wishing to shed a few pounds might be prone to overeating “healthy” items like nuts, granola and avocados. The upshot: The public should be educated about practicing portion control—for foods of all kinds.

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Snacks Are a Workplace Hazard

By Matthew Kadey, MS, RD | September 19, 2018 |

Many people can’t resist the temptation of homemade chocolate chip cookies in the break room or leftover Halloween candy circulating among the cubicles. A Centers for Disease Control and Prevention study of 5,222 employees across the U.S., using data from the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s National Household Food Acquisition and Purchasing Survey, documented this challenge.

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Twitter’s Former CEO Shuts Down Fitness App Startup

By Shirley Archer, JD, MA | August 23, 2018 |

Unable to solve the challenge of how to support positive behavioral change, Dick Costolo, former CEO of Twitter, decided in February to shut down Chorus, a social fitness app that began beta testing in April 2017. The app was designed to use a “chorus” of friends as team members and have them support each other in achieving self-proclaimed weekly fitness or other health-related goals.

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Exercise and the Gut Microbiome

By Shirley Archer, JD, MA | August 23, 2018 |

New research suggests that endurance exercise positively affects the gut microbiome, but only for lean individuals and only for as long as exercise continues. Researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign conducted the study with 32 sedentary men and women—some lean, some obese. The purpose was to explore the impact of endurance exercise on the composition, functional capacity and metabolic output of gut microbiota. Investigators collected samples from the subjects before and after 6 weeks of exercise, then after 6 weeks of no exercise.

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Obesity Linked to Lack of Sleep in Childhood

By Shirley Archer, JD, MA | August 23, 2018 |

Enforcing bedtime rules may be an important factor in helping kids maintain healthy weight levels. A comprehensive research review of 42 studies with 75,499 participants, conducted by University of Warwick researchers in Coventry, England, found that short sleep durations in infants, children and adolescents were a risk factor for gaining weight and developing obesity. Data analysis showed that children and teens who slept less than others of the same age gained more weight as they grew older and were more likely to become overweight or obese.

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The Importance of Exercise for Addiction Recovery

By Shirley Archer, JD, MA | August 23, 2018 |

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.

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Comprehensive Research Project on How to Create an Exercise Habit

By Shirley Archer, JD, MA | August 23, 2018 |

24 Hour Fitness® is partnering with the University of Pennsylvania Behavior Change for Good Initiative [BCFG] to support research into what works best for creating lasting exercise habits. With an interdisciplinary team of world-renowned researchers, the BCFG addresses the broader question of how to make positive behavior change stick in aspects of life related to health, education and savings.

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Study Launched on Molecular Changes Related to Exercise

By Shirley Archer, JD, MA | August 23, 2018 |

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.

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The Connection Between Inactivity and Obesity

By Shirley Archer, JD, MA | August 22, 2018 |

Can we say that inactivity and obesity are directly related? Scientists are still addressing this issue. The 2018 Physical Activity Council Participation Report shows that 82.4 million people—28% of the American population—are inactive. At the same time, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports that more than one-third (36.5%) of U.S. adults are obese (NCHS Data Brief, No. 219, November 2015).

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On This Day in Fitness History

By Shirley Archer, JD, MA | August 22, 2018 |

On September 25, 1974, the first modern triathlon event was held in San Diego, sponsored by the San Diego Track Club. Prior to this, other three-sport events existed but did not feature the swim-bike-run combination. The first triathlon included a 6-mile run, a 5-mile cycle and a 500-yard swim. In 1978, The Hawaii Ironman Triathlon® debuted with a 2.4-mile open-water swim, a 112-mile bike race and a 26.2-mile marathon run.

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Question of the Month

By Shirley Archer, JD, MA | August 22, 2018 |

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]

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Exergaming May Improve Independence Among Older Adults

By Shirley Archer, JD, MA | August 22, 2018 |

Maybe you’ve thought about integrating exergaming—exercise combined with video games and other elements of technology—into some of your classes or sessions. Don’t forget to include older adults. A recent study found that seniors with mild cognitive impairment (MCI), a precursor to Alzheimer’s, showed significant improvement in certain complex thinking and memory skills after exergaming.

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Equal Calories Burned ≠ Same Results

By Shirley Archer, JD, MA | August 22, 2018 |

Many people fixate on the number of exercise calories they burn. New research, sponsored by Les Mills International, shows that even when two group fitness activities (indoor cycling and a resistance workout) were matched for duration and caloric expenditure, they did not have equivalent metabolic effects—which could influence long-term training results. Lead study author Nigel Harris, PhD, said, “The type of exercise used to burn those calories . . . impacts the long-term positive effects that exercise has on the body.”

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How to Help Participants Find Flow

By IDEA Authors | August 22, 2018 |

For a moment, think about your own workouts. Tap into that feeling of being completely absorbed in your favorite fitness routine. Everything else fades away, and your entire focus is on the present moment. You feel confident in your body’s abilities, you’re challenging yourself, and you find great meaning in what’s happening now. You’re in the zone. Before you know it, your workout is over, and you can’t wait to do it again.

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An Eye on Vision Health

By Joy Keller | August 22, 2018 |

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.

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Pilates for Recreational Athletes

By IDEA Authors | August 22, 2018 |

Professional athletes of all kinds have discovered that adding Pilates to their training can improve performance, reduce injury, speed recovery, and help their hardworking bodies stay balanced and healthy (Caple 2016; Knowlton 2016; Saxon 2016). Pilates—a whole-body exercise system that can help you develop strength, functional flexibility, coordination and balance—can offer those same benefits to recreational athletes. A well-rounded program, particularly one offered in a fully equipped Pilates studio, can do wonders for athletes of almost any age, ability or sport.

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Soy

Understanding Soy Safety

By Konstanin Yakimchuk, MD, PhD | August 21, 2018 |

The growing popularity of soy products in U.S. and European diets has raised considerable controversy. While the soy-rich diets of Asia generate documented health benefits, questions persist about the safety of soy in some products, especially infant formula.
To make sense of this debate, it helps to understand the nature of dietary compounds called phytoestrogens—plant-based compounds whose chemical structure resembles estrogens, the female sex hormones of mammals. Also called isoflavones, phytoestrogens are most prevalent in soybeans and red clover.

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Tennis: Reduce Pain, Improve Performance

By Justin Price, MA | August 15, 2018 |

Tennis is one of the most popular sports in the world. In the U.S. alone, there are almost 18 million players, with another 14 million expressing interest (TIA 2018). Unfortunately, the dynamic, forceful twists and turns of the game pose ever-present injury risks to players (Roetert & Kovacs 2011).
If your fitness clientele includes people interested in playing this sport, you need to understand the causes of tennis-related injuries. This will help you develop strategies to improve movement function, reduce pain and keep clients on the court.

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Salt Lurks Where You Might Not Expect It

By Matthew Kadey, MS, RD | August 14, 2018 |

We know foods like deli meats, pizza and potato chips have lots of sodium. But salt also sneaks into less obvious foods, like bread. A 2018 survey by World Action on Salt and Health in London looked at 2,318 bread products from 32 countries (including the United States) and found that more than half of the breads had over 500 milligrams of sodium per 100-gram portion (about 2 slices of packaged bread). Even worse, a third of all breads delivered more than 1,130 mg of salt for every 100 g.

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