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The Importance of Strength Training for Senior Citizens

James Re May 15, 2019 News

Gone are the days of thinking that when you reach a certain age you need to slow down your activity levels. In fact, now we know that senior citizens who are active and who exercise regularly are staying healthy, happy, functional and mobile for much longer than those who aren’t.

One of the most beneficial types of exercise for senior citizens is strength training, and that can come in many forms: with free weights, resistance bands, machines or even just bodyweight

How Exercise and Nutrition Support Your Mental Health

James Re May 1, 2019 News

In honor of National Mental Health Awareness Month in May, it’s time to talk about the benefits of living a healthy lifestyle that go far beyond what your body looks like — the benefits that support your mental well-being.

Current research tells us that working out and eating nutritious foods doesn’t just make you healthy, but it also improves your mindset on life, giving you a better chance of warding off symptoms of anxiety and depression.

Is Comparison Sabotaging Your Success?

Jeanne Bellezzo May 18, 2018 News

You’ve been faithfully following your workout plan and you’re seeing results, but your friend at the gym seems to be making more gains. And your neighbor dropped almost 15 pounds, while you’re still focusing on losing 10.

Even when you’re making progress, frequently comparing yourself to other people—at the gym, grocery store, Instagram or wherever—can leave you feeling frustrated or discouraged. So why do so many of us do it?

The Power of Sleep

Dr. Erin Nitschke Mar 9, 2018 News

The nation’s population is “intoxicated” due to sleep loss. Sadly, poor sleep is more the rule than the exception. According to the Institute of Medicine, 50-70 million adults in the United States have sleep or wakefulness disorders. In fact, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention consider poor sleep a “public health problem.” Ultimately, this means more Americans are at an increased risk for developing other health concerns if they are getting insufficient sleep.

March is National Sleep Month, which is an ideal time to learn more about how sleep impacts the pursuit and achievement of health and fitness goals.

4 Steps for Making a Resolution That Sticks

Kelsey Graham Feb 2, 2018 News

The New Year is upon us and with it comes the desire to improve and start anew. For many, this manifests as resolutions to “eat better,” “exercise more” or “lose weight.”

Despite the best of intentions, many people struggle to maintain these resolutions yearlong, and by February gym floors are empty and new fitness gear has been left forgotten in the backs of closets.

While it may seem that sticking to a resolution is impossible, positive change in health and fitness is achievable. To increase your likelihood for success, shift your focus this year from what you resolve to do to how you’ll do it. Here are four proven strategies for ensuring that your 2018 New Year’s Resolution is one that sticks.

8 Lessons Learned from a Year of Lifestyle Change

Daniel J. Green Jan 26, 2018 News

Early in 2017, I issued myself a challenge: to live according to the rules outlined in the federal Dietary Guidelines and Physical Activity Guidelinesfor a full year. I was in desperate need of a lifestyle change, having reached a weight of 245 pounds on my 5’8” frame. I’ve always been a big guy, but I’d let my weight creep higher and higher over the years, and my body and quality of life had suffered the consequences.

A year later, my health, fitness, appearance and performance have all improved, and I’m feeling great about continuing my new lifestyle moving forward. Looking back over the past year, I see plenty of ups and downs and lots of lessons learned. Here are eight key lessons I’d like to share:

You are Not a “Brain on a Stick”

Gregory Florez Oct 19, 2017 News

Are you bringing your “whole self” to work—body, mind, energy and spirit?

In these high-velocity times, we often operate as if we are “brains on sticks.” We put on our work “costumes,” Monday through Friday, and go to the office where we dive right into our electronics, meetings and any number of other work-driven issues. Eight, 10, even 12 hours go by, often without taking a proper lunch or breaks throughout the day.

Sound familiar? Unfortunately, the increasing prevalence of corporate wellness programs has done little to improve the health and well-being of most employees. This is not for lack of trying or resources; rather, the problem often lies in a “one-size-fits-all” package that works for fewer than 20% of the work force. But here’s some good news: Simple changes—bite-sized hacks to help you be vital and resilient, and show up to work with your whole self—are the key to achieving both vitality and wellness.

After working with more than 45,000 knowledge workers and executives over the past 28 years, we have found that several simple changes work to create a vital, resilient knowledge worker. These rituals or “hacks” do not have to take much time, but they are hugely important in being a fully vital and engaged human being—both at work and at home. These rituals are organized into four pillars:

How Quickly Does Muscle Grow?

Dr. Erin Nitschke, ACE Health Coach, Fitness Nutrition Specialist & NSCA-CPT Sep 14, 2017 News

Like any other component of fitness, muscle growth takes time, solid nutrition, and thoughtful and consistent training practices aimed at developing muscle hypertrophy. How quickly those changes are seen varies for each individual. No two bodies are exactly the same and, therefore, no two people will build strength and size at equal rates.

Is Fat the New Nutrition Darling?

Tiffani Bachus, R.D.N., and Erin Macdonald, R.D.N Aug 3, 2017 News

Is dietary fat a friend or foe? Currently, dietary fat is experiencing a comeback in popularity. From weight loss to improved mental clarity, many health professionals are touting the purported benefits of a high-fat diet. Which raises the question: Should you buy into the hype and hop on the high-fat bandwagon or is moderation the way to go?

3 Stretches for Midday Back Pain

Brett Klika, CEO of SPIDERfit Kids Jun 29, 2017 News

If you’re like most people, you’ve probably suffered from back pain at one point or another. According to the National Centers for Health Statistics, back pain is the leading cause of disability in Americans under 45 years old. More than 26 million Americans between the ages of 20-64 experience frequent back pain and it is listed as the most frequent cause of chronic pain.

To keep yourself off the list of frequent sufferers, it’s important to first understand where this problem comes from so you can apply some simple strategies to keep pain at bay.

As a human being, you get to walk around upright. For this to happen, you have a spine up the center of your back that provides an anchor and center point for just about every major articulating joint in your body. It isn’t just a rigid pole holding you upright—it curves in a slight “S” shape, allowing for the different bends, twists and other movements you need to do on a daily basis.

The spine isn’t designed, however, to take on all of your twisting, bending and rotating alone. The joints that articulate with the spine, such as the hips and shoulders, are supposed to work with the spine to make this happen.

When we succumb to the desks, chairs and couches of an inactive lifestyle, these joints that are supposed to work with the spine lose their range of motion. The muscles that help these joints move become immobile and weak. When these joints can no longer work with the spine effectively, the spine has to pick up the slack.

When the muscles that make it possible for joints like the shoulders and hips to move become weak and immobile, the spine has to excessively flex, extend and rotate to allow movement. This places quite a bit of stress on the tissues between the spinal vertebrae. After a while, these tissues become agitated, inflamed and injured. The result is chronic back pain and injury.

A potent two-punch approach to help alleviate some of these issues involves:

  • Improving the ranges of motion of the joints that articulate with frequent and efficient flexibility exercises
  • Avoiding prolonged periods of sitting

As simple as the two-punch approach sounds, modern daily life no longer naturally facilitates frequent movement. We sit in cars to go to a job where we sit at a desk. After a long day, we relish in the idea of sitting in our favorite chair while watching television. Our ancestors would be alarmed at what has now become a “back-breaking” lifestyle.

If this sounds familiar, it’s time to start running some interference throughout the day to break up your bouts of sitting so you can get your back health back. Try setting a timer to chime every 60 minutes and stand up and perform one of the three stretches described below.

Note: If you experience chronic back pain, you should talk to your physician.

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