Thursday, January 22, 2015

News Roundup: 2015 Fitness Trend Forecast

Every year the American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM) announces the predictions for the most popular fitness trends of the coming year. These predictions are based on survey responses from fitness professionals around the world. The results were released in the article “Worldwide Survey of Fitness Trends for 2015: What’s Driving the Market” published in the November/December issue of ACSM’s Health & Fitness Journal.

Body weight training claims the top spot, followed by High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT), and educated and experienced fitness professionals. Some trends are notably missing (crossfit), while others seem to stand the test of time (yoga).

This week’s News Roundup brings you a collection of articles and blog posts discussing the predictions for the top fitness trends of 2015. 

Survey Predicts Top 20 Fitness Trends for 2015American College of Sports Medicine. “It’s no surprise to see body weight training claiming the top spot this year,” said Walter R. Thompson, Ph.D., FACSM, the lead author of the survey. “These kinds of exercises provide the benefit of requiring little to no equipment and are incorporated into many fitness programs that are currently popular.”

Fitness Trend Forecast for 2015: 6 Trends on the RiseThe Huffington Post. “The other growing tech trend is web based fitness. More and more people are participating in online fitness challenges and weight loss contests or doing their workouts with streaming videos on YouTube or iTunes for example. The once prominent DVD has seen it's heyday.”

How Will You Work Out When CrossFit Is No Longer Hip?  NPR. “Fitness trends are also influenced by the economy. When the economy began shrinking in 2007-2008, the fitness industry also collapsed back to the basics, hence the growth of boot camp classes, which require few props. Purchases of pricy gym equipment like stationary bikes declined.”

How you’re going to be working out in 2015. Quartz. “But many recent workout fads—like Zumba, Pilates, and indoor cycling—have dropped out of this year’s top 20. ’Many of these fads are creative variations of the core fitness components and typically are driven by clever marketing and a perceived element of fun’…” 

It appears that fitness trend predications for 2015 are going back to the basics. Workouts based on body weight training and led by educated and experienced fitness professional may be here to stay…again. 

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Superfood Series: Part 6


Blueberries can thank their high flavonoid/anthocyanin content which have antioxidant and anti-inflammatory effects for helping them earn their superfood status.  Blueberries are also low in calories and high in nutrients and water content which make them a good snack choice. Here are 7 more reasons to love blueberries.     

*RDA= Recommended Daily Allowance

1 serving blueberries= 1 cup fresh blueberries

Digestion and Weight LossFiber aids in digestion and one serving of blueberries has 4g of fiber. That’s 14% of the DRA for fiber.  Fiber is not fully digested by the body, so it cleans out the digestive tract as it passes through.  Fiber also helps increase satiety (the feeling of being satisfied), which can aid in weight loss and healthy weight maintenance plans.

Lower Blood Pressure.  Blueberries contain anthocyanins and flavonoids which may contribute to the prevention of high blood pressure.  Anthocyanins have a beneficial effect on blood flow and blood vessels.  One study found that compared to those who did not eat blueberries, those eating at least one serving per week reduced their risk of high blood pressure by 10%.

Metabolism Efficiency.  Back to the anthocyanins.  Some research studies have shown they can prevent growth of fat cells while at the same time, encouraging the release of a hormone that helps reduce inflammation and blood sugar, which can help reverse insulin resistance.  Fresh or frozen blueberries will provide you with the highest amount of anthocyanins per serving.

Lower LDL cholesterol.  Blueberries can help reduce the buildup of LDL (low-density, “bad”) cholesterol which consequently reduces risk for heart disease, stroke, and atherosclerosis.  Normally, dietary cholesterol is reabsorbed by the body as it is digested.  Blueberries impact the digestive process by reducing reabsorption of cholesterol into the body, therefore, aiding in removal of cholesterol via the digestive tract.

Reduced Breast Cancer.  The anthocyanins in blueberries have been shown to prevent or stop cancerous cell growth. The results of one study indicated that mice which were fed blueberry extract had tumors that were 70% smaller and less likely to migrate to other areas of the body than mice that were not given the extract.

Graceful Aging. Due to their flavonoid production, blueberries appear to reduce rates of cognitive decline in older adults.  One study found that participants who drank wild blueberry juice daily for 12 weeks experienced such benefits as improved learning, memory recall, reduced depressive symptoms, and lower glucose levels. This preliminary research supports the idea that blueberries can improve memory in older adults.

Versatility.  Blueberries are eaten fresh or frozen. Raw or baked into your favorite dessert. The frozen ones are great raw or thrown into a smoothie.  They can easily be kept at room temp, which makes them a great option for an on the go snack. Bonus: they are naturally very sweet, so they are a great healthier snack for people trying to reduce their sugar intake (in moderation, of course).


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