Results: 26 posts
New Year resolutions in theory are about a behavior change. It may be towards a change in social, emotional, or physical actions, but the latter seems to always get the most attention. Gaining a better understanding of what people are thinking in the pre-action phase leading to January 1st, may help provide insight as to (personal) motivational factors and key drivers to decisions by consumers. Participants from Lifetime Fitness programs were surveyed and over 1,400 individual respondents provided data on resolutions drivers and personal goals in support of the January 1, Commitment Day. Commitment Day is a broad social movement with a charge of establishing a commitment to healthy eating, exercise, family, respect, giving and a healthy planet. The Jan 1, 2014 event encompasses 5K fun walk/run events in 34 cities across the country, with tens of thousands of individuals participating. Interestingly, the data found that the majority of respondents (75%) placed their overall fitness as the priority in the New Year; twelve percent identified their work or career as the main emphasis of their behavior change, while ten percent placed family as the priority for 2014.
In early-mid December fitness enthusiasts start to succumb to the holiday season and those fully committed to training year-round find they have a little extra room in most fitness facilities. Many less-adherent people find themselves busy with the Holidays and unable to stick to their normal exercise regimens with the thoughts of “I’ll really get serious after the holidays”. Then January comes along…. and gyms once again quickly fill up with masses of people having followed through with the first step of their New Year’s resolution. According to a study in the Journal of Clinical Psychology top resolutions include weight loss, exercise, stopping smoking, better money management and debt reduction.
Problem 1 Many people experience a feeling of sluggishness during the holiday season, and activity status is often replaced with stress, sedentary behaviors and high caloric intake. There is no doubt participation frequency and total training volume decrease over the Holidays. The fitness centers are still open but people’s routines are altered and regular workouts often take a backseat to holiday events, planning, and shopping.
In today’s supplement market there are many products a consumer could buy that contains compounds which are harmful, undisclosed to the buyer, or just plain dangerous. This is evident by the relatively frequent recalls of supplement compounds in US and other markets following negative consequences among those who used it. Thankfully there is a degree of oversight over staple food products and licensed medicines, and the entities involved in this oversight take charge when products have clearly been shown to be unsafe to the average consumer. On that note, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) recently took steps toward eliminating trans fats from foods purchased at your local grocery store. The agency states that a major source of trans fats, being partially hydrogenated oils, is no longer "generally recognized as safe”. If this determination is finalized, partially hydrogenated oils will be categorized as food additives that cannot be included in a food product without approval.
According to new guidelines from the American Heart Association (AHA), physical activity should be considered a vital health measurement and tracked on a regular basis just like other modifiable cardiovascular risk factors such as blood pressure, resting heart rate, and smoking. "The deleterious effects of physical inactivity are associated with many of the most common chronic diseases and conditions, including heart disease, type 2 diabetes mellitus, hypertension, obesity, osteoporosis, depression, and breast and colorectal cancers," Scott J. Strath, PhD, chair of the AHA's Physical Activity Committee and colleagues wrote in a scientific statement published in Circulation. "Risk identification, benchmarks, efficacy and evaluation of physical activity behavior change initiatives for clinicians and researchers all require a clear understanding of how to assess physical activity."
How many decisions does a person make a day? Some say thousands if all things are considered. According to researchers at Cornell people make an average of 227 decisions per day about food alone. According to researchers every decision we make potentially affects the next; and that the accumulative process of making decisions progressively depletes the integrity of the process. This explains why when we are under stress we tend to react rather than consider options. It is suggested the body actually experiences “decision fatigue.” Under situations of “decision management” the brain is thought to function automatically causing us to make automatic decisions based on prior orientation. This may explain why we gravitate to the same foods and beverages, and find ourselves in the same places. This lends itself to the question – if you want to change for the better what is the process of making better decisions?
In the fitness industry there seems to exist an overabundance of opinion. Fitness enthusiasts, self-proclaimed gurus and even TV doctors chime in on what, according to them, is the best technique for an exercise, the best modality for training, the best dietary strategy, the best program for fitness and the list goes on…. An issue with the health and fitness industry is opinion should have a very limited place in any given decision-making process. Specifically, decisions regarding one’s health and fitness behaviors should be fact-based not opinion-based.
It is well known that stress can promote positive or negative hormonal and metabolic responses within the body, and new research clarifies that perceived happiness (in its various forms/categories) may follow a similar pattern. Happiness, specifically the neuroendocrine responses associated with the sensation, can promote explicit reactions and adaptations at the molecular level within cells including DNA. According to new research led by Barbara L. Fredrickson, Kenan Distinguished Professor of Psychology in the College of Arts and Sciences at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, the sense of well-being derived from "a noble purpose" may provide cellular health benefits whereas "simple self-gratification" may have negative effects - despite an overall perceived sense of happiness. >
“You are what you eat” is a phrase supporting the numerous effects food and drink play within our physiology. Food stuff can affect how we feel, how effectively we engage mental or physical work, and even how we look. Not all sources of edible products are created equal and they all can have different effects on the systems of our body and even impact our organs, bones, connective tissues, fat stores and muscle. While some nutrients provide age-protecting benefits and assist in improving many aspects of health, others function to the contrary. There exist a few nutrient sources that seem to accelerate the aging process through a number of means when over-consumed in the diet. These foods consequently provide the consumer with the risk of aging more rapidly than their chronological age would indicate. Regular consumption and high doses increase the effects, so consumers should be aware of the types and quantities of food they are consuming.
Resistance training is an integral component to any comprehensive fitness program. The benefits are numerous: increased muscular strength, power and/or endurance, muscle hypertrophy, maintenance of lean mass, metabolic improvements, optimized body composition, enhanced bone mineral density, improved athletic performance, flexibility and/or functional movement economy, improved insulin sensitivity, and an overall better quality of life (to name a few). With any resistance training program, the lifts selected can create desirable physiological/psychological improvements – if the activities match the goal(s).