Fitness Articles

We have many fitness and well being related articles found here on this section of the site. Our writers primarily focus on writing about, fitness, health, nutrition and well-being!

 

Aqua Fitness Top to Page

Ready to Dive into Water Fitness Are you considering a water fitness program? More people than ever are exploring pool activity programs, and for good reason: Water fitness can improve strength, flexibility and cardiovascular health; decrease body fat; facilitate rehabilitation; improve functionality for daily living; and even enhance sports skills.

Business in Fitness Top to Page

Marketing for the 21st Century. What are you doing about it? Picture this. You wake up late and you’re not rushed! You get dressed and get ready to go out for breakfast. As you sit enjoying your coffee, you can actually read your newspaper and then catch up on the small things that you never found the time to do. Does this sound like a dream?

Cardiovascular Top to Page

Are You Ready for Indoor Cycling? Imagine taking your trusty old three-speed--or your rugged new mountain bike-onto the open road for an exhilarating 40-minute ride. It's a beautiful day . . . there’s a gentle breeze . . . and before you know it, you’re back home, tired but refreshed from a workout that seemed more like fun than work.

Exercise Tips Top to Page

Are You Ready to Exercise? Studies have shown that seven out of 10 people who start an exercise program drop out within a few months. One problem is that most people jump into exercise without doing any planning up front. They’re just not prepared for the commitment involved. Are you ready to make exercise part of your lifestyle?
Conditioning For Golf Want to cut a few strokes off your golf game? Or thinking about trying golf for the first time? Whether you're new or experienced on the greens, a sport-specific conditioning program can give you an edge. Even if a training program doesn’t help your score, it could keep you on the course rather than on the sidelines with a nagging injury, says Dawn Norman, MA, ACT, athletic trainer and golfer.
First Gear exercises The exercises in this chapter, what we call First Gear exercises, are the building blocks to a stronger, and ultimately more functional, lower body. Functional may sound technical, but we're talking about making the muscles more efficient at lifestyle movements, that is, doing exactly what they're designed to do in your daily life, athletic or not.
10 Exercise Myths Although some old fitness fictions, such as “no pain, no gain” and “spot reducing” are fading fast, plenty of popular exercise misconceptions still exist. Here are some of the most common myths as well as the not-so-common facts based on current exercise research.
10 Tricks for Sticking to It Now you’re exercising again, and it feels great. Of course, it felt great last year, too, when you went to the gym every morning for almost the entire winter! If it feels so great, why do you keep quitting? You may be able to make your physical activity more consistent by using some of these tricks.
Losing the “Baby Fat” Baby has been here for some months now and is cute as a button, but you still have a little extra around your midsection, or a little something around the hips.

Health Top to Page

Feeling Ill? Exercise Do's and Don'ts You’re tired and achy. You must be getting a cold or maybe even the flu. Should you tell your trainer you need to work extra hard to build up your immunity, shift your workout to a lower intensity or skip exercise altogether until the bout passes? Most of us get hit with allergies colds and other minor setbacks throughout the year, but few hard-and-fast rules exist regarding exercise and illness. The next time you're sick, refer to these do's and don'ts to help determine whether working out will help or hurt your condition.
Guidelines For Good Health To build healthful eating patterns and take action for good health, use these tips from the fifth and newest edition of the Dietary Guidelines for Americans.
Exercised Induced Asthma- Understanding Your Participants Individual Needs You cannot breathe; you are gasping for air and even though you do not have asthma, you feel like you do. How would you feel if you were exercising one day and this happened to you? This is something that people with exercised induced asthma (EIA) have to contend with every time they step into the gym. People with this condition may or may not suffer from asthma everyday, but when they exercise they experience many of the signs and symptoms of a regular asthma sufferer. This condition is prevalent in many of our participants and it is important that we understand what EIA is and some signs to look for.
Healthy Bones for Women of All Ages (Part 2) When we talk about bone health, most of us associate osteoporosis with our Grandmothers. In reality, taking care of our bones is not just a concern for the elderly and should start at an early age. Lack of physical activity, a poor diet and inadequate calcium intake are prevalent among today’s lifestyle habits.
Is ACNE Fed? Dec. 19, 2002 -- The scourge of teenaged life -- acne -- may result from the very diet that feeds it, suggests a new study that flies in the face of three decades worth of conventional thinking on the cause of facial blemishes.
Just for the Health of it What should you do when it’s been a trying day, everything’s gone wrong and you just want to scream? Go ahead and scream. Then find something humorous in the situation and laugh. Laugh? Yes, laugh.
Making Reality Sink In Now that we’ve survived the dawn of yet another New Year filled with resolution followers, we are faced with the calm after the storm. This short period of rest before the threat of bikini season offers us time to reflect on our efforts. Where have all our new group participants gone and what happened to the pleading phone calls from clients who just had to meet with us at least three times a week? We did come up with creative combinations to energetic music and programs using the most up to date equipment.
What Kind of Yoga do you do? It seems that EVERYONE is doing yoga these days! Sting, Madonna, Kristy Turlington, Julia Roberts...celebrities such as these have helped to bring yoga back to the popularity that it enjoyed during the 60’s when people tuned out, and turned on!
Healthy Bones for Women of All Ages (Part 1) When we talk about bone health, most of us associate osteoporosis with our Grandmothers. In reality, taking care of our bones is not just a concern for the elderly and should start at an early age. Lack of physical activity, a poor diet and inadequate calcium intake are prevalent among today’s children. Unfortunately, these early bad habits can negatively impact long-term bone health, increase the risk of premature osteoporosis and contribute to the growing osteoporosis epidemic.

Nutrition Top to Page

Orthorexia Orthorexia is an obsession with eating healthfully. People with this disorder develop such an obsession with eating healthy it leads to progressively rigid dieting that eliminates crucial food groups and nutrients. If you spend excessive amounts of time thinking about how healthy the food you eat is and planning and preparing food becomes a dominant force in your life, or the quality of your diet has increased while the quality of your life decreased you could be a victim.
2003 Nutrition Guidelines The Institute of Medicine's (IOM) Food and Nutrition Board recently announced new guidelines on food and nutrition. The IOM is the medical branch of the National Academy of Sciences and the government's advisor on health policy.
Balanced Nutrition & Exercise for Your Bones No need to worry about bone health until you're a senior? Think again. Taking care of your bones should start in childhood and carry on through adulthood and old age. Osteoporosis has become a major public health concern, and it is now estimated that 1 in 3 women over 50 yrs have low bone density and/or osteoporosis.
10 Steps to Changing Your Eating Behavior Do you alternate between following a meal plan and losing weight (being “good”) and falling off the plan and regaining weight (being “bad”)? It’s a frustrating but common cycle. Nutrition experts Ellie Zografakis, RD, and Dale Huff, RD, CSCS, co-owners of NutriFormance Personal Training and Sports Nutrition in St. Louis believe that behavior modification strategies--rather than diets--can help you break this self-defeating cycle and make lasting lifestyle changes.
Don't Forget Your Fluids Running during these scorching summer months can leave you parched as a lizard in the Mojave Desert. And, yes, you probably know you need to drink a lot of liquid during these times, but you may not realize just how vital it is. Taking in too little fluid can be disastrous for your running and your health. Drink the right amount of the right beverages, and you'll feel great and run fast.
Fast Food Facts Subway

Subway is proud to advertise 7 sandwiches with under 6 grams of fat. Because they offer these lowfat, nutrient dense options, when you have a choice of fast food, stop at Subway first. Even if choosing one of their less-lean meat sandwiches, having them hold the mayo and oil can reduce the calories and fat. Nutritional Information Best Choices: any of the "7 Under 6" sandwiches. The lowest calorie sub is the Veggie De-lite, 200 calories, 2.5 grams fat, 37 grams carbohydrate, 7 grams protein.
Food is the Best Source of: "When it comes to diet, the whole is greater than the sum of the parts," says David R. Jacobs, PhD , professor of epidemiology at the University of Minnesota in Minneapolis. "There may be nutrients in food that we don't even know about yet, and the effect of different nutrients working together may be better than each one working alone."
Fructose May Cause Digestive Problems July 14, 2003 -- A sugar that's naturally found in many fruits and is the main ingredient in a commonly used sweetener may be responsible for "unexplained" flatulence, bloating, pain, and other gastrointestinal symptoms in many people. A new study, published in the June issue of the American Journal of Gastroenterology, suggests that fructose intolerance is a common yet underrecognized cause of digestive problems in some people. And the more fructose they consume, say researchers, the more likely they are to have problems.
Making Your Own Energy Bars While energy bars are great for athletes because of their ease and convenience, at $2.50 or more each, they can be expensive.

So why not make your own? Here are two tried and true energy bar recipes.
Nutrition for Active Seniors Are you an older adult who exercises? Do you wonder if your diet is helping or hindering your workouts? Here are some nutrition tips from Jenna Bell-Wilson, MS, RD, LD, the media representative for the New Mexico Dietetic Association and a doctoral student in exercise physiology at the University of New Mexico.
Preventing Cancer With Nutrition Cancer is the second leading cause of illness and death in the Canada and the United States. Half of all men and one-third of all women in the U.S. will develop cancer during their lifetimes. The causes of cancer aren't clear. Certain cancers appear to run in families, but some forms of the disease may be linked to lifestyle and environmental factors. Since some risk factors are controllable, the best prevention is to keep cancer from starting in the first place.
Vegetarianism - A Healthy Choice? According the American Dietetic Association and the Dietitians of Canada's new position statement on vegetarianism, appropriately planned vegetarian diets are healthful, nutritionally adequate, and provide health benefits in the prevention and treatment of certain diseases.
Low Carb Diets Part 1 Low carbohydrate diets have been around for a very long time. Long before our civilization reached the agricultural stage, the availability of carbohydrates, especially grains, was fairly low. People survived on what was available in their surrounding environment. This included wild game, wild fish, wild fowl, wild fruits, wild berries, tubers and wild vegetables.
Low Carb Diet- Part 2 The mainstream medical community has been opposed to low-carbohydrate dietary protocols since their onset. Their opposition involves four main concerns:

1. high fat/low carbohydrate protocols and the threat of heart disease.

2. high fat/low carbohydrate protocols and ketoacidosis.

3. high protein/low carbohydrate protocols and osteoporosis.
Low Carb Diets: Part 3 The metabolism is regulated in all of its physiological and biochemical processes by a group of extremely biologically potent compounds called hormones. In general, there are five hormone systems that govern the processes of energy input and output. The Insulin/Glucagon system, the Testosterone-Estrogen/Cortisol system, the Growth Hormone/IGF system, the Catecholamine or Adrenaline system and the Thyroid system. All of these are interactive and interdependant, and the conditions in one system are often related to the conditions in the other systems.
Dieting For a Competition Strange as it may seem, when it comes to weight management techniques, I personally do not count the amount of calories that I consume on a daily basis. Instead I focus on my daily fat intake and protein to carb consumption level.

Trainers Top to Page

Repetition is the Mother of... Injury! What do the following people have in common: a musician practicing his cello for several hours a day, an assembly line worker performing a given arm motion over and over, a tennis player refining her skills and a materials handler lifting heavy boxes all day? They are all at risk for musculoskeletal stress in the form of overuse and repetitive motion injuries.
Self-healing, recovery and multiple sclerosis Although I have endured episodes of all kinds of damage that MS can cause I have always managed to recover and lead a normal, active life. Multiple sclerosis is a disease with an unknown cause and unpredictable course. Random damage to the myelin coating of nerve cells in the brain and spinal cord results in symptoms that seriously affect our lives. While it is a disease that presents many challenges, the stress, anxiety and disability after the diagnosis of multiple sclerosis could be better managed if more people were aware of research found in a little-known science journal.
Finding the right match between trainers and clients Matching clients and Personal Trainers, is like a dating service, or at the very least match making. Personalities need to compliment each other. The role of the trainer in the broad sense is to help their client be successful in reaching their goals. Having a clear understanding of a clients goals and objectives, makes the “matching” task more efficient (see the client profile - attachment).
Re-fueling for Athletes in Training Re-fueling for multiple training sessions or competitions in the same day, takes a little more diligence than athletes who have a full 16-24-hrs to replenish their fuel stores. Efficiency of re-fueling (recovery) your muscles is improved when about 50 g of carbohydrate are consumed immediately (minutes) after an intense or long training session, and at 1-hr intervals thereafter.
The Instructor Dilemma, Dealing with Trends Working in the fitness industry may sometimes feel overwhelming for many fitness professionals. While we are all interested in staying abreast with the industry, it is often difficult to decide where and how to allocate one’s energy. Should one learn to teach each and every new class concept? Or, rather, would it be best to concentrate on improving existing skills? This is the dilemma that we fitness professionals face.

Training Tips Top to Page

Tips for Flexibility Training When it comes to the Big Three of exercise--cardiovascular, strength and flexibility training--it’s pretty clear which one can get overlooked. After all, while we prize cardiovascular and strength training for their role in helping us lose weight, buildmuscle and get fit, the benefits of flexibility training are less immediately alluring.
Functional training: The implications to athletes and coaches There is a constant buzz about ‘Functional Training’ in the conditioning and strength world nowadays. The words mean a whole raft of things to professional trainers and just as likely each meaning is different to each one. The following definition forms the basis of all functional training discussions.
STRENGTH TRAINING GUIDELINES Warm-Up and Pre-Activity Stretching

Starting each training session with a warm-up activity that elevates your body core temperature is a good training strategy. Move enough to start a light sweat and increase blood flow to joints and working muscles. Large multi-joint movements, rhythmic in nature help to raise the body’s core temperature, as well as the rate of respiration and blood circulation.
To Squat or not to Squat, That is the Question In this functional era of strength training that we are in, there is a lot of talk about what are functional movement patterns. The Squat happens to be one of them. But really, how functional is the squat… If you ask bodybuilders, they will tell you that the Squat is the king of all lowerbody exercises as it“packs on the beef” on the thighs more than any other exercise.
Add Calories to Add Muscle If you want to gain muscle there is no magic formula or supplement or powder, it's simple: train hard and eat a lot! To enhance muscle size, athletes need to push themselves with a challenging strength-training program, and eat an extra 500-1000 calories a day on top of what they are currently eating to maintain their weight.Keep in mind that the body needs food to grow from; extra food will make extra muscle, as long as a consistent strength-training stimulus is present.
Bringing the Gym Home After walking and gardening, home exercise is the most popular fitness activity in Canada - and baby boomers are doing it in style.

Petra and Spiro Krallis installed a workout room in their Baie d'Urfe home five years ago.
Postmastectomy Training Research shows that exercise helps postmastectomy patients regain function and range of motion (ROM) and increase quality of life. If you have just had a mastectomy, consider these suggestions from Carrie Myers Smith, exercise specialist, writer, author and president of Women in Wellness:
Secrets of Successful Strength Training What do the following people have in common: a musician practicing his cello for several hours a day, an assembly line worker performing a given arm motion over and over, a tennis player refining her skills and a materials handler lifting heavy boxes all day? They are all at risk for musculoskeletal stress in the form. Are you getting bored with your strength training program, or not getting the same results you did when you started?
The Walking Workout Recent research results could hardly be clearer: Taking a walk is one of the best ways to take charge of your health. A study in the Journal of the American Medical Association (February 11, 1998)showed that walking briskly for half an hour just six times a month cut the risk of premature death in men and women by 44 percent.
The Last Five Pounds – How to Take Them Off and Keep Them Off Plateau: Merriam Webster describes it as a usually extensive land area having a relatively level surface raised sharply above adjacent land on at least one side. That quite accurately describes what has happened to you lately. With months of great results behind you, all of the sudden nothing is happening anymore. You can’t seem to shake those last five pounds!
Stabilization - Part 1 Going to the gym today is not like it used to be. Weight rooms of yesteryear were filled with heavy iron, loud banging and grunting, and the smell of big sweaty guys lifting inconceivable amounts of weight. , most health clubs and gyms have evolved into friendly health centers that cater to a variety of needs. Gyms are now more about getting in shape and being healthy than simply pumping iron.

Weight Control Top to Page

10 Ways to Clean up Your Diet 1. Reduce or omit fats. You can usually reduce the called for amount of oil in regular recipes by at least 1/3-1/2 without affecting taste. Use leaner cuts of meat (such as chicken breast instead of the whole bird). Try sautéing with broth, vegetable juice, citrus juices, and non-stick cooking spray.
Food Countdown Despite all of the attention given to popular diets today, most nutrition experts agree that minimizing dietary fat, controlling portions and staying physically active are the real keys to healthy weight management. We know from decades of research that a diet rich in high-carbohydrate foods -- such as whole grains, vegetables and fruits--helps prevent disease, maintain healthy body weight and optimize athletic performance. There is no substantial evidence to support a change in that recommendation, says Debra Wein, MS, RD, nutritionist and exercise physiologist at the University of Massachusetts in Boston.
How Fat is too Fat? Despite our obsession with thinness, fat-free foods and exercise equipment, researchers tell us that as a group, Canadians are fatter than ever. According to the Canadian National Center for Health Statistics, one-third of adults are overweight, up from 25 percent just 15 years ago.

On average, adults in the Canada weigh about eight pounds more than they did 10 years ago, and obesity rates are rising quickly in children as well.
National Focus on Obesity Since early spring, a new battle cry has resounded from the Oval Office, through the halls on Capitol Hill, and to various government agencies:

Fat, out-of-shape Americans need to pull in their flanks and bring up their rears in a newly declared battle of the bulge.
Do The Weight Loss Programs Really Work? Advertisements for weight loss products are very poorly regulated by the government. Unscrupulous people can say whatever they want. They are not required to produce evidence that their products are safe and actually help people. The government does not demand such evidence and for the most part, television networks, newspapers, and magazines do not require anything but a check before running advertisements, even though some products may hurt people.

Weight Training Top to Page

Measuring Exercise Intensity Many women are enthusiastic about resistance training these days. Why? For one thing, recent research has shown that the benefits of strength training reach far beyond weight loss and muscle toning. Women appreciate that this type of exercise also yields significant long-term health benefits, including positive effects on bone mineral density, cholesterol levels,cardiovascular function and more.
Why Women Need Weight Lifting Again and again, research has shown that women who maintain a regular, moderate strength training program enjoy a long list of health advantages. Some women still fear that weight training might bulk them up in unfeminine ways; however, as women of all ages realize the benefits of resistance training, negative attitudes about women in the weight room are rapidly fading, according to renowned strength training researcher William J. Kraemer, PhD, of Ball State University in Muncie, Indiana.

Supplements Top to Page

Nutrition Bars - a Healthy Choice? In today's on-the-run society, where sitting down for a meal is sometimes an impossible luxury, the emergence of nutrition bars may seem to be just what the doctor ordered. Though these pocket-sized bars once found favor primarily with serious athletes looking for a competitive edge, now anyone who feels the need for a nutritional boost may keep a few stashed in a purse or a briefcase.
Does Creatine Promote Weight Gain? Research has proven that Creatine monohydrate (CrH2O) supplementation can increase performance and skeletal muscle power output in men. In addition, an increase in total body weight has been seen. While most of this research has been performed on men, the question remains whether these same effects are seen in women.
Glutamine: Does Supplementation Benefit? Glutamine—the latest hype. Athletes you work with may be asking you about this “new” supplement. Glutamine, an amino acid found in high concentrations in animal proteins, is believed to improve the immune system and prevent the loss of muscle mass.But what do we know about this amino acid?
Should You Take Creatine? Creatine continues to be one of the most popular supplements for exercise enthusiasts. How do you know whether or not it could benefit you?

Women and Fitness Top to Page

Healthy Bones for Women of All Ages When we talk about bone health, most of us associate osteoporosis with our Grandmothers. In reality, taking care of our bones is not just a concern for the elderly and should start at an early age. Lack of physical activity, a poor diet and inadequate calcium intake are prevalent among today’s children.
How to Choose a Mind-Body Exercise Are you looking for something different in your workouts-exercise that will engage your body and mind in a new way? Mind-body exercise (physical activity performed with an internal focus) is an increasingly popular choice. It can improve not only flexibility, strength, posture and balance but also coordination, stress management and focus.
Abdominal Workout during Pregnancy Preparing your body for giving birth is important to facilitate your labour and delivery. During the 40 weeks of your pregnancy, your body will go through the most changes in its lifetime. Your uterus will hold up to 4 liters of liquid! The mid-section will go through a pretty tough change. Your abdominal muscles cannot be forgotten. They will help the most during the pushing stage of the delivery.
TOP 10 Healthy Choices for Exercise in Pregnancy So you or someone you know is pregnant… Congratulations! You know that physical activity is important and key for a healthy pregnancy. So what now? There are so many options; do you know what to choose? Is every exercise safe? NO
Exercise and Postpartum Depression The “D” word… It can sound pretty scary to a new mother. “Am I a bad mother because I suffer from postpartum depression (PPD)?” ABSOLUTELY NOT! In fact, it occurs in 12 to 15% of all new mothers. The levels of depression are from mild to extreme. It is important to be honest about your feelings and to discuss this matter with your doctor.
The Truth About Breastfeeding and Exercise Have you ever wondered if breast milk alters after an exercise session? Or, do babies refuse to take the breast because it is too hot or tastes salty? Many new moms have asked those questions. The answers are based on the latest research and will eliminate many uncertainties about breastfeeding and exercise.
Working Out Through Menopause For many women, menopause is uncomfortable. Drops in estrogen levels can trigger mood swings, hot flashes, weight gain, sleep loss or fatigue. Menopause is also associated with an increased risk for osteoporosis and heart disease. The good news?

Youth Fitness Top to Page

Feeding The Teen Spirit By providing sound direction, good food sources and a nurturing environment, parents can help ensure that teens make healthy dietary decisions now and develop good eating habits that last a lifetime.
Fitness Can Be Kids Play Summary: There exists a need for creative and engaging fitness programming for the “youth” market. The currant-programming vacuum in the marketplace creates a unique career opportunity for enterprising fitness professionals. The days of school based physical education classes answering the needs a nd demands of young Canadians is unfortunately ancient history.
Five Senses Games for children Children are bombarded with stimuli. Because of this exposure, kids are often deficit in some or all of their senses. Here is a list of activities you can do to stimulate or reinforce each of the senses. These activities can be adapted to any level and are open-ended so the whole family can play. So get off your couch and get ready to get moving with the senses games!
Foster Healthy Body Image in Your Child Are you concerned that your child may be at risk of developing an eating disorder? Unfortunately, many children today are “wasting their minds minding their waists,” says Jessica Setnick, MS, RD, LD, a Dallas-based dietitian who specializes in young clients with eating disorders.
Jump Rope Jamboree: Youth Training! Christina Lee Steele Chapan, ACE CPT ACE CPT
M.A. Education Curriculum and Instruction
B.S. Elementary Education

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