Our bodies host a huge population of microorganisms, dubbed the human microbiome. In recent years, the makeup of critters in our guts has been linked to a plethora of conditions, including depression, heart disease and obesity. And now bug-friendly scientists at the University of California, San Diego School of Medicine have presented initial findings from the American Gut Project, a crowdsourced initiative that analyzes people’s survey responses and fecal samples to better understand how things like diet, lifestyle and disease affect the human microbiome.Read More
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.Read More
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.Read More
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.Read More
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).Read More
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.Read More
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.”Read More
Today’s inactive kids are tomorrow’s unhealthy adults. Our society will pay the price for young people’s profound lack of exercise if we fail to turn this trend around. Few behaviors more significantly influence child health than physical activity. Yet children and adolescents are not moving enough, at the expense of their own health as well as that of their communities. More needs to be done to support families and society in raising fit kids.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.
Here’s more reason to apply a battery of assessments when determining a client’s health status. Scientists have found that body fat percentage is a more accurate indicator of a person’s risk for prediabetes or type 2 diabetes than other popular measures like body mass index.Read More
According to new research, the kind of physical activity you do in childhood could predict whether you will be overweight as an adult.
Published in Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise (2018; 50 ,
709–14), the study examined the relationship between adult weight gain and the following types of exercise in childhood: running, sports and/or fitness/dance.
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.
Obesity is a growing global health risk for cardiovascular disease, type 2 diabetes, metabolic syndrome and all-cause mortality. Indeed, central adiposity (visceral fat), the fat tissue around the major organs in the torso, generally elevates the risk of chronic diseases. Ample research shows that high-volume, moderate-intensity exercise is an effective way to reduce central obesity (Zhang et al. 2017). However, until recently, little has been known about the influence of high-intensity interval training (HIIT) on weight and fat loss in young adults with obesity.Read More
Weight loss may be the number-one goal for your clients, and if pounds don’t melt away quickly, some people may get discouraged and quit. New research strengthens the case that your program is still helping them obtain positive health outcomes, which is motivation to keep striving. In other words: Being fit benefits health even among people with severe obesity.Read More
Humans aren’t strangers to change. We take U-turns, cancel dinner plans and reschedule business meetings. If these kinds of change are so easy, then why is it so hard to change behaviors, habits or patterns?
Mostly, it’s because human behavior is complex and mystifying. People struggle to “unlearn” old habits and replace them with new behaviors. But once behavioral changes evolve into new habits, they become instinctive. Igniting change in clients requires honoring the complexities of behavior and recognizing the efforts required to repattern a lifestyle.
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