Here Is Your First Fitness Quiz of the New Year!
All the Correct Answers Are in This Month's Newsletter.
- How much fiber does the average person need every day?
- 25 to 35 grams
- 15 to 25 grams
- 35 to 45 grams
- Over 45 grams
It is a good idea to detox your system at least every year.
According to the American College of Sports Medicine, the top fitness trend of 2017 will be:
- Functional fitness programs
- Wearable technology
- Body weight fitness programs
All of the following are good sources of fiber except:
According to a recent study, playing video games may help you lose weight.
Which of the following is not a body weight exercise?
- Mountain climbers
- Bent-knee crunches
- Biceps curls
As we enter a new year, let's take a look at the Top 20 Worldwide Fitness Trends for 2017. This list was determined by a survey of over 1800 fitness professionals from around the world conducted by the American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM). Here's the list with some of my personal comments thrown in at random:
- Wearable technology includes activity trackers, smart watches, heart rate monitors, and GPS tracking devices among others.
- Body weight training. This is not just pushups and pull-ups. You can design entire workouts using nothing more than your own body weight.
- High-intensity interval training (HIIT) involves short bouts of high-intensity exercise followed by a short period of rest or recovery repeated several times.
- Educated, certified, and experienced fitness professionals. Workout centers of all kinds as well as individual clients are demanding more professionalism from their instructors. As a result, there are more and more courses being offered by universities and community colleges to fill the demand. All of which is good for the industry as a whole.
- Strength training. This is still the standard for most people. Using weights to stimulate muscle growth works for everyone whether men or women, young or old.
- Group training can include everything from dance aerobics to spin classes.
- Exercise is Medicine is a trademarked global health initiative that is focused on encouraging primary care physicians to include physical activity when designing treatment plans for patients and referring their patients to exercise professionals.
- Yoga comes in a variety of forms including Power Yoga, Bikram Yoga (hot yoga), and many others.
- Personal training. Many people are looking for help designing and implementing an exercise program that will get results, thus the need for personal trainers.
- Exercise and weight loss. You can lose weight without exercising, but it's more difficult and you probably won't keep it off without exercising.
- Fitness programs for older adults. As baby boomers become seniors, this trend will only gain in popularity.
- Functional fitness replicates actual physical activities someone might do as a function of their daily living. This type of training is particularly important with seniors,
- Outdoor activities include backpacking, hiking, canoeing, and games and sports.
- Group personal training differs from group training in that the classes are smaller, usually two to four people. This is more of an economic trend because it gives more people access to personal trainers.
- Wellness coaching is the integration of behavioral-change science with health promotion, disease prevention, and rehabilitation.
- Worksite health promotion. These are programs specially designed for the employees at companies and corporations and are usually performed on their campus.
- Smartphone exercise apps. There must be hundreds of these, so there is probably one you'll find helpful with a little searching.
- Outcome measurements are efforts to define and track measurable results to prove that a selected program actually works.
- Circuit training has been around for a long time. It involves doing one set of several exercises in sequence. The sets may be a specified number of reps or a specified time period. The complete circuit is repeated two or three times.
- Flexibility and mobility rollers are designed to massage, relieve muscle tightness, and improve circulation.
There you have the Top 20 Fitness Trends of 2017. There's something here for everybody, so find something you like and do it. Make 2017 your healthiest year yet.
Let's revisit fiber, which is necessary for good health. Fiber is roughage in your diet, and we need between 25 and 35 grams a day of the stuff. Unfortunately, most of us consume about half that amount.
Fiber lowers your risk of many types of cancer, such as colon cancer. It soaks up bad cholesterol (LDL), thus helping prevent heart disease. It helps regulate blood sugar levels in people with diabetes, and it helps reduce the problems associated with constipation and diverticulitis. And it may help you lose weight, because fiber-rich foods fill you up faster than most other foods.
There are some simple ways to increase your intake of fiber. Most fruits are loaded with fiber, but you have to eat them, not drink them. The fiber is removed from fruit juices. Nuts, leafy vegetables, and legumes are also fiber-rich. And any grains should be whole grains, not processed or refined grains. Incidentally, meats and dairy products don't have much, if any, fiber, which doesn't mean you have to avoid them. Just be aware that you're not getting any fiber when you do eat them.
Finally, a word of caution: Don't go from very little fiber to 35 grams a day without building up to it slowly. If you fail to heed this warning, you will suffer with a moderate to severe tummy ache. Build up slowly.
It seems like you hear a lot about detox diets around the first of the year. People buy into the hype that you need to cleanse your body of all the bad stuff you ate last year. I've never bought into any of this. In my opinion, it's just another nutritional scam. But in an effort to give detoxing a fair shake, I went to a website I trust for most medical matters: WebMD. Here's what they had to say:
If your goal is
, a detox diet might help you drop a few pounds, but you'll likely just gain it back. In the end, you haven't accomplished anything, and it's certainly not a healthy approach.
If your goal is to detox your system, don't waste your time or money. Your body is an expert at getting rid of toxins no matter what you eat. Toxins don't build up in your
, or any other part of your body, and you're not going to get rid of them with the latest detox wonder. Especially avoid diets that promise to detox
or "cleanse" whatever the diet determines needs washing out.
The only type of detox diet that is worthwhile is one that limits processed, high-fat, and sugary foods, and replaces them with more whole foods
like fruits and vegetables
. That clean-eating approach is your best bet to getting your body in tip-top shape.
Not only are detox diets not good for people with certain medical conditions, they could be harmful. There is no research showing they improve
or have a positive effect on the
. For people with
, they may be quite dangerous. Any diet that severely restricts what you eat could lead to dangerously
low blood sugar
if you take medicine for
The exception would be a detox diet that just focuses on clean-eating. This approach would be great for anyone
Now here's a simple workout you can do anywhere. It utilizes your body weight so no additional equipment is needed. That means you can do it when you're traveling even when there's no gym around. It consists of eight simple exercises and it will give you a total body workout. Each exercise is timed. Start with 30 seconds for each exercise with 15 seconds between them. It shouldn't take longer than 30 or 35 minutes to complete all three circuits. You can rest one minute between each circuit. Here's the workout:
- Planks. Elbows and toes on the floor and keep a straight line from you heals to your head.
- Squats. Feet about shoulder-width apart. Toes pointed straight ahead. Squat as low as you can and lift up with your feet flat on the floor.
- Stationary lunges. Stand with one foot about three feet in front of the other one. Squat till your back knee almost touches the floor. Lift up. Do 15 seconds with each leg.
- Pushup. Hands slightly wider than your shoulders. Keep your back straight and your head level. No body sagging.
- Bent-knee crunches. Lie on your back. Knees bent. Feet flat on the floor. Hands touching the side of your head. Roll your head, shoulders, and shoulder blades off the floor. Return to start position and repeat.
- Jackknife crunches. Lie on the floor. Legs straight and arms straight out behind your head. Lift your hands and feet and try to touch them. Picture a jackknife dive.
- Calf raises. With your feet close together but not touching, slowly lift your heels as high as possible off the floor and slowly lower them.
- Mountain climbers. Begin in a pushup position. Bring one knee forward as far as possible and return to start position. Do the same with the other knee. Continue for 30 seconds.
That's the workout. I said it was simple, not easy. Good luck.
The website Health.com recently listed several ideas to help you lose weight. One of them seems counter-intuitive, but who knows? It might help. Here it is: Play more video games on your phone.
According to a study published in the journal Appetite, playing video games may reduce how often you have food cravings and may make them less intense. So the next time you start thinking about eating, pick up your phone instead and queue up a game to distract yourself.
I may be running slower these days, but I'm still lapping you if you're sitting on the sofa.
ACE Certified Personal Trainer
Certified Nutrition Specialist
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