Intermittent Fasting: What You Need to Know

The question at hand is whether or not Intermittent Fasting is a good approach to weight loss? This is a dietary approach that restricts food and sweetened beverages, typically for 2 to 7 days at a time to provide a metabolic cleanse, of sorts, and to promote weight loss. There have been animal studies and preliminary human studies that this methodology may be useful. If so, then we have one more method to help us reduce our risk factors of diabetes, cancer, and heart disease. Continue reading Intermittent Fasting: What You Need to Know

The Obesity Epidemic.

Obesity is an epidemic that is plaguing our country. Children can suffer, adults can suffer, people we love can suffer. It’s important to know what we can do to ensure the people around us lead happy and healthy lives. The best way to do this is to understand what obesity is, how we can overcome it, and why it’s all so important. Continue reading The Obesity Epidemic.

Research Begins to Question Use of BMI – Body Mass Index

Body Mass Index (more commonly known as BMI) has been used by all health professionals and those in health insurance agencies for years to decide whether or not an individual is at an “ideal” weight. According to the index which is calculated by dividing the person’s weight by the square of the person’s height; someone with a BMI of 18.5 to 24.9 is “healthy”, whereas a BMI of 25 to 29.9 is classed as “overweight” and a BMI of 30 or over is categorized as “obese”.

Recently a study was done on 40,420 people and the numbers for BMI just did not correlate exactly with their physical health! This study was published last week in the International Journal of Obesity. Continue reading Research Begins to Question Use of BMI – Body Mass Index

Why Does Music and Exercise Go So Well Together?

What is it about music that makes the workout seem easier? Music and exercise have been going hand in hand for seemingly forever. It’s played at every sporting event, in every exercise class, even used in team practices for rowing to help the team pull together in unison.

Music has a pull on us, it takes over our body and gets us to move, but why? Continue reading Why Does Music and Exercise Go So Well Together?

Official Guidelines for Physical Activity

Beginning an exercise program has become one of the most important public health issues of today.

United States Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) recently met with combined support from the American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM) and the American Heart Association (AHA) and released jointly published physical activity recommendations. These separate guidelines collectively and effectively support each other and are all based on the most relevant science available that links physical activity to improved health and wellness.

  • ACSM/AHA guidelines focus on 30 minutes of moderate-intensity daily physical activity five days a week.
  • HHS guidelines call for a minimum of 150 minutes of moderate physical activity a week, an amount most reasonable on five days a week at a duration of 30 minutes.

The associations note that the core recommendation as it relates to health gains of physical activity are highly consistent.  These recommendations conclude that relatively modest amounts of physical activity will improve the health and cardio-respiratory fitness of inactive persons, while expanded health gains, such as weight loss or weight maintenance, require more than the minimum 30 minutes of moderate activity most days of the week.

“Guidelines for physical activity have long been based on research demonstrating that even relatively moderate amounts of physical activity will have positive benefits on health,” said William Haskell, Ph.D., FACSM, lead author of the ACSM/AHA guidelines.  “A very important idea, especially for people who are inactive, is that health and physical activity are closely linked.  The more days a week that you can be active or accumulate some activity, the higher the significance for your health and wellness.”

“Numerous studies now suggest that if we can simply move people out of the lowest levels of cardio-respiratory fitness, it can have a profound (and beneficial) impact on public health”, says Barry A. Franklin, PhD, national American Heart Association spokesperson and Director of Cardiac Rehabilitation and Exercise Laboratories at William Beaumont Hospital.

Health Benefits of Physical Activity for Adults & Older Adults

Strong Evidence:

  • Lower risk of:
    Early death
    Heart disease
    Stroke
    Type 2 diabetes
    High blood pressure
    Adverse blood lipid profile
    Metabolic syndrome
    Colon and breast cancers
  • Prevention of weight gain
  • Weight loss when combined with diet
  • Improved cardio-respiratory and muscular fitness
  • Prevention of falls
  • Reduced depression
  • Better cognitive function (older adults)

Moderate to Strong Evidence:

  • Better functional health older adults
  • Reduced abdominal obesity

Moderate Evidence:

  • Weight maintenance
  • Lower risk of hip fracture
  • Increased bone density
  • Improved sleep quality
  • Lower risk of lung and endometrial cancers

Health Benefits of Physical Activity for Children & Adolescents

Strong Evidence:

  • Improved cardiorespiratory endurance and muscular fitness
  • Favorable body composition
  • Improved bone health
  • Improved cardiovascular and metabolic health biomarkers
  • Moderate Evidence
  • Reduced symptoms of anxiety and depression

In summary, the investment in a daily 30 minute or more exercise regiment betters your quality of life, delays diseases and reduces the medical expenses regardless of your age or your current condition. There is no time sooner than the present to invest your time and energy in a professionally developed and administrated physical fitness program.