Tagged as: exercise

The Top 10 Fitness Trends of 2016

1. Wearable technology: Introduced just a few years ago, wearable technology includes fitness trackers, smart watches, heart rate monitors, and GPS tracking devices. Examples include fitness and activity trackers like those from Misfit, Garmin, Jawbone, and Fitbit.

2. Body weight training: Typical body weight training programs use minimal equipment, which makes it a very inexpensive way to exercise effectively. Most people think of body weight training as being limited to push-ups and pull-ups, but it can be much more than that. Body weight training is a trend to watch for the future.

3. High-intensity interval training (HIIT): High-intensity interval training typically involves short bursts of high-intensity exercise followed by a short period of rest or recovery and typically lasts 30-60minutes to perform.) Despite the warnings by some health and fitness professionals of potentially increased injury rates using high-intensity interval training, this form of exercise remains popular in gyms all over the world.

4. Strength training: Strength training remains popular in all sectors of the health and fitness industry and for many different kinds of clients.  Today, however, there are many other individuals (men and women, young and old, children, and patients with a stable chronic disease) whose main focus is on using weight training to improve or maintain strength.

5. Educated, certified, and experienced fitness professionals: This is a trend that continues now that there are accreditations offered by national third-party accrediting organizations for health and fitness and clinical exercise program professional. As the economy continues to grow and as the market for fitness professionals becomes even more crowded and more competitive, interest in some degree of regulation either from within the industry or from external sources (i.e., government) seems to be expanding.

6. Personal training: As more professional personal trainers are educated and become certified (see trend no. 5), they are increasingly more accessible in all sectors of the health and fitness industry. Personal training has been in a top 10 trend for the past 9 years and will continue to be a vital part of the health and fitness industry.

7. Functional fitness: Replicating actual physical activities someone might do as a function of his or her daily routine, functional fitness is defined as using strength training to improve balance, coordination, force, power, and endurance to enhance someone’s ability to perform activities of daily living.

8. Fitness programs for older adults: The highly active older adult (the athletic old) can be targeted by commercial and community-based organizations to participate in more rigorous exercise programs including strength training and team sports. The “baby boom generation” is now aging into retirement, and because they may have more discretionary money than their younger counterparts, fitness clubs should capitalize on this exponentially growing market. Fitness programs for older adults will remain a strong trend for 2016.

9. Exercise and weight loss: The combination of exercise and weight loss is a trend toward incorporating weight loss programs that emphasize caloric restriction with a sensible exercise program.The combination of exercise and diet is essential for weight loss maintenance and can improve compliance to caloric restriction diets and in particular weight loss programs. Most of the well-publicized diet plans integrate exercise in addition to the daily routine of providing prepared meals to their clients.

10. Yoga: Yoga comes in a variety of forms, including Power Yoga, Yogalates, and Bikram Yoga (the one done in hot and humid environments)Instructional tapes and books are abundant, as are the growing numbers of certifications for the many yoga formats. Yoga seems to reinvent and refresh itself every year, making it a more attractive form of exercise.

 

 

How Important is Stretching?

Ask the Expert: Dynamic Health and Fitness
Q.  I hate stretching – is it really that important?

A. In a word, YES!

Here’s what Dr.Frank Lipman, a leading New York health specialist, has to say about stretching:

I believe a lack of flexibility is the root cause or major contributing factor of many injuries and stretching is the solution to this lack of flexibility. It counters the gradual tightening and constriction we all develop from both under- and over-use of our body. It is the perfect antidote for long periods of inactivity and holding still and is just    about the simplest of all physical activities.

Regular stretching will:

  1. Decrease muscle tension, which is the most common cause of back and neck pains and headaches.
  2. Decrease the incidence of all types of injuries, from joint sprains to tendonitis to muscle strains and spasms.
  3. Speed up the recovery rate from injuries.
  4. Increase physical and mental relaxation.
  5. Improve performance of any skilled movement.
  6. Improve and increase body awareness.
  7. Slow the aging process.
  8. Enhance the neurological system.
  9. Improve circulation.
  10. Support the detox system.

Precautions – Don’t stretch an area if you:

  • Recently broke a bone.
  • Have an infection or inflammation in or around a joint involved with the stretch.
  • Experience sharp or acute pain with stretching or joint movements.
  • Recently had a sprain or strain in the area being stretched.
  • Have an unstable joint in the area.
  • Have osteoporosis.
  • Have any disease that needs medical approval before undertaking any new activity.”
The American College of Sports Medicine recommends stretching each of the major muscle groups at least two times a week for 60 seconds per exercise.

Burning Calories (or fat) to Lose Weight?

ASK AN EXPERT: Dynamic Health and Fitness
Q. How many calories do I need to burn to lose weight?
A. A pound of body fat equates to approximately 3,500 calories. If you burn 500 calories more than you eat each day, you will achieve a calorie deficit of 3,500 calories (or one pound of fat) over the period of a week.
So how do you burn that 500 calories per day? Let’s use ‘Bob’ as an example. Bob wants to get fit and trim. He’s tracked his food intake for a couple of weeks to figure out his average daily caloric intake (DCI) which is 2,500 calories per day. If Bob wants to achieve a calorie deficit of 3,500 calories per week, he can choose from three options:
1.  Reduce daily calorie in-take — Bob can reduce his DCI by 500 calories through simple steps like reducing his portion sizes — especially on servings of processed foods or foods containing saturated fats — and by skipping desserts like a 320-calorie slice of chocolate fudge cake! Health Canada’s food guide is a great resource for planning balanced, satisfying meals.
2.  Exercise — Generally speaking, it takes about one hour of moderate to high intensity exercise to burn 500 calories. Bob could jump on the elliptical, jog, walk the dog at a very brisk pace and/or work out using resistance training for an hour a day.
3.  Combined approach of diet and exercise — to achieve a daily calorie deficit of 500 calories, Bob can reduce his DCI by 250 calories/day and burn another 250 calories by add-ing 30 minutes of moderate to high intensity exercise to his daily routine. One thing to remember is 5lbs of muscle is leaner then 5lbs of fat so in Bob’s quest to become fit and trim, his goal should not be to lose weight — rather, he should focus on losing body fat!