Fitness, Health, and Business Blog

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Trending Now: Fitness 2015

What’s Hot, What’s Not

Just when we think we’ve seen it all in the world of fitness, the earth shifts and something new and exciting crops up to keep us on our toes. Over the past few decades, innovations in fitness have blazed the trail for higher levels of performance and increasingly better quality of life. In 2015, the upward spiral continues as new and exciting trends are sweeping the globe. Even the old becomes new, as fads of the past like step and classic aerobics classes are given a shiny new patina by fitness geniuses who know how to keep our hearts pounding to the beat.

no time

It’s About Time

Lack of time is the number one reason given for not exercising, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. No more excuses! The hottest fitness trends are geared toward gettin’ her done in record time. HIIT and Tabata are still going strong, and video is killing the group-ex star, as online workouts that can be done at home shave precious minutes off our daily schedules. If you are a trainer, you can work smarter instead of harder by offering shorter sessions that get the job done. Be a training genius by offering short group sessions.

Kids Rock and So Does Pop

With our ever growing obesity crisis, kids take center stage in the fitness market. Make it fun and entertaining, and you will be setting your little protégés up for success! Older adults are the fastest growing demographic in fitness clubs, and they are ripe for the picking. A little education goes a long way, and getting certified to train this awesome generation may be your smartest career move in 2015!

family dad and son

Turn Up the Tech

Technology has pervaded virtually every aspect of our lives, and fitness is no exception. From heart rate monitors to pedometers, Tabata timers to calorie trackers, smart devices are stepping into the fitness arena. Finding creative ways to incorporate tech into your training protocols will make you look like a fitness rock star

smart fitness

Get on the Trend Train

In the daily grind, it’s easy to forget that we are privileged to work in the b
est industry ever, and it hasn’t reached its zenith. Why not start the New Year off with a new certification? Personal Trainer, Group Fitness, Older Adult, Lifestyle Fitness Coach, Fitness Management and other certifications are all just a click away! Need more money? Try some of our savvy business courses! Lets keep the trend train going, and make 2015 the best year in fitness yet!

References

American College of Sports Medicine: Survey Predicts Top 20 Fitness Trends for 2015

http://www.acsm.org/about-acsm/media-room/news-releases/2014/10/24/survey-predicts-top-20-fitness-trends-for-2015

 

American Council on Exercise: 10 Fitness Trends to Look Out For in 2015

https://www.acefitness.org/blog/5145/10-fitness-trends-to-look-out-for-in-2015

 

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention: Physical Activity

http://www.cdc.gov/physicalactivity/everyone/getactive/barriers.html

 

International Business Times: 5 Fitness Trends To Expect In 2015

http://au.ibtimes.com/5-fitness-trends-expect-2015-1379516

 

 

 

*Photos courtesy of freedigitalphotos.net

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When Dreams Become Goals, Miracles Happen! Thoughts for You and Your Clients!

When Dreams Become Goals, Miracles Happen!

Dreams versus Goals

The difference between living the life of your dreams and only dreaming about it often boils down to clarity. For example, you may dream of living in a spacious house in an upscale neighborhood, driving a nice car and taking luxurious vacations in exotic locations. But unless you can clarify your dream life in terms of time, dollars and the steps you must take to attain it, it will remain in the dream zone.

dream vacation

Moving Out of the Dream Zone

To realize your dream, begin with some research. What is the median market price of homes in the neighborhood you want to live in? How much would the mortgage payment be? What would the monthly payment and insurance fees be on that dream car? How much will it cost to take your dream vacation? Breaking your dreams down in terms of dollars lends clarity and gives you a foundation upon which to structure your goals.

dreaming

Reality Check

Once you clarify your dream, it’s time for a reality check. Get out your calculator, because this is where you need to do the math. Given your current income and circumstances, what will it take to make your dream attainable? You may need a different job, more education, or an additional source of income. You should also take a close look at your current budget and spending habits. What are you willing to give up in the short run in order to attain your long term goals?

Moving Into the End Zone

The final step in transforming your dreams into goals is to construct a timeline. Accept the fact that your dream life may be many months or even years away. Begin with the big picture of your dream life at the end of your timeline, then work backwards. Which events must occur, and in what order? If education is a part of your goal, when will you begin, and how long will it take? If you need a better paying job, what is your strategy for obtaining one, and when will you get started? Creating a timeline and defining your steps shifts your dream into the goal zone.

timeline

Eyes on the Prize

Long term goals require patient persistence. Staying motivated and enduring setbacks takes determination and commitment. Set yourself up for success by using motivational strategies such as discipline, positive imagery, and inspirational quotes. Create an image file of photos depicting your dream life and visit it daily. Reward yourself when you reach milestones on your timeline. Cultivate relationships that are supportive and energizing, and steer clear of negative and time consuming relationships that drain you. Find role models and follow them on social media. Feed your positive energy by exercising, eating healthful foods and getting enough sleep. Practice gratitude for what you now have, and be thankful along each step of the way to your dream life.

References

Allegheny College: 12 Strategies for Motivation that Work

http://sites.allegheny.edu/deanofstudents/wellness-education/todays-topic/12-strategies-for-motivation-that-work/

 

Smart Goals Guide: Eight Top Goal Setting Strategies

http://www.smart-goals-guide.com/goal-setting-strategies.html

 

Images courtesy of stockimages at freedigitalphotos.net.

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Making Your Workout Work: Anatomy of A Fitness Plan

Goals Need a Plan

Happy 2015! If you are like so many Americans, you probably made a pledge to yourself to work out more this year. But it is a well-documented statistic that the average person’s New Year’s resolution to get fit will fizzle within the first six months. According to Len Kravitz, PhD of the University of New Mexico, lack of time is a common excuse among exercise dropouts, and planning, organizing and prioritizing exercise are key to adhering to a regular exercise routine.

Identify Essential Components

Happy workout girl

 

 

 

 

 

 

Showing up at the gym each day is not enough to make your workout work. You need to identify the essential components of fitness, then devise a weekly schedule to implement them. The American College of Sports Medicine has established guidelines for exercise success. For optimal fitness, you should perform 20 to 60 minutes of rhythmic aerobic exercise like walking, running, cycling or swimming three to five days per week; do at least one set of eight to10 exercises that condition all your major muscle groups on two to three non-consecutive days per week; and perform stretches for all your major muscle groups on at least two to three days per week.

Devise a Schedule

Once you understand the fundamentals, you can easily plug them into your personal weekly schedule. For example, you could plan to do aerobic exercise on Monday, Wednesday, Friday and one weekend day, and to do resistance training and stretching on Tuesday and Thursday. Or you could do your cardio in the morning, and stretching and resistance training in the afternoon or evening. You could break your resistance training into muscle groups, doing chest, triceps and shoulder exercises on one day, back and biceps on another day, and legs on a third day. The possibilities are endless.

family muscles

 

Make Time

While lack of time may seem like a legitimate excuse for skipping your workout, the poor health that results from a sedentary lifestyle will ultimately rob you of quality time. If going to the gym takes you away from your family, consider doing a daily family exercise session at home. Not only will you become more fit, but you will teach your children a valuable life lesson about self-care. Another strategy is to break your daily exercise into manageable chunks, rather than doing all of it in one extended session. A 15 minute walk or run before work, another during your lunch break, and another after work can add up to significant fitness gains.

Resources

To learn more about obtaining optimal physical well-being, consider enrolling in the W.I.T.S Certified Personal Trainer course, or the Lifestyle Fitness Coaching course, both available online.

 

W.I.T.S. is pleased to introduce our new blogger, Michelle Matte CSCS. Michelle will be sharing her personal, professional, and educational experiences in her biweekly posts!

– See more at: http://www.witseducation.com/blog/2015/01/lets-get-it-started-making-2015-your-dream-year/#sthash.j4WU7gsQ.dpuf

References

Len Kravitz, PhD: Exercise Motivation: What Starts and Keeps People Exercising?

https://www.unm.edu/~lkravitz/Article%20folder/ExerciseMot.pdf

 

American College of Sports Medicine: Position Stand

http://www.acsm.org/docs/brochures/resistance-training.pdf

 

American College of Sports Medicine: Resistance Training for Health and Fitness

http://www.acsm.org/docs/brochures/resistance-training.pdf

 

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Let’s Get It Started!: Making 2015 Your Dream Year

W.I.T.S. is pleased to introduce our new blogger, Michelle Matte CSCS. Michelle will be sharing her personal, professional, and educational experiences in her biweekly posts!

Dream Big!

What would you do with your life if money were no object? What if you did not have to worry about paying the mortgage or putting the kids through college? If you had all the “me” time in the world, how would you spend it? Perhaps you would finally have time to work on your music, or write poetry, or putter in the garden. You might even be able to spend more time in the gym, lose weight, or sculpt an awesome beach body. Sadly, we often shrink our dreams to fit our means, rather than setting our sites on the grand prize. The challenge of 2015 is to dream big and to set the wheels in motion for life-changing, dream-driven success!

wits excited man on phone

Be Perfectly Clear

Big dreams are often vague in nature. In order to realize your dreams, you must be specific in terms of what you want. Advanced Life Skills coach Jonathan Wells recommends creating a written list of things you would like to achieve or acquire. Be specific, and infuse your list with feelings. According to Wells, the process of writing requires a concrete thought. Adding an emotional element anchors you to your dreams and provides motivation and energy to turn them into obtainable goals.

Plan Your Work, Work Your Plan

Once you have clarified your dreams, review your list and identify steps you must take to begin to move toward their realization. The process of planning is key to turning dreams into goals. Take small actions every day to move toward your dream life. You may require additional tools to accomplish your dreams. Perhaps you need more education, or maybe you need professional advice. If your goal is to paint, you may need supplies. If you want to build a successful website, you might need a new computer. Make a list of the tools you will need to succeed, and make their acquisition part of your plan for success.

wits fit woman jumping (2)

Refuse to Quit

Patient persistence is key to realizing your goals. Setbacks are inevitable, and discouragement will dog you. Begin each day anew, reviewing your list and recommitting to your journey. Spend a few minutes each day visualizing your dream life. Begin to act as though you have already succeeded. Change the script from, “I want to be,” to, “I am.” Above all, do not let anyone rob you of your dreams. They are your sacred blueprint for your best life, and only you can transform them into reality.

Resources

Among the most fundamental keys to success, according to Time Magazine’s Eric Barker, are energy and physical stamina. You may not have them now, but they are totally obtainable. To learn more about obtaining optimal physical well-being, consider enrolling in the W.I.T.S Certified Personal Trainer course, or the Lifestyle Fitness Coaching course, both available online.

References

Advanced Life Skills: Three Keys to Realizing Your Dreams and Goals

http://advancedlifeskills.com/blog/3-keys-to-realizing-your-dreams-and-goals/

 

Time Magazine: Keys to Success: 6 Traits the Most Successful People Have in Common

http://time.com/99707/keys-to-success-6-traits-the-most-successful-people-have-in-common/

 

Images courtesy of stockimages at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Michelle Matte has enjoyed a life-long career in the fitness industry, wearing a diversity of hats including group exercise instructor, personal trainer, gym manager, competitive sport aerobics judge, workshop presenter and instructor trainer. She is a contributing health and fitness writer for online resources including Suite 101, Livestrong.com and NaturalNews.com. Matte obtained her education from the University of Wisconsin, Madison, and Old Dominion University in Norfolk, VA. She has been a member of the W.I.T.S. faculty since 1998.

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The Value of Relationships to Your Business

The Value of Relationships to Your Business

How much does a relationship mean to your business? Kind of a silly question, isn’t it? It’s an understatement to say that relationships are key to any business. Oddly enough, so often businesses neglect maintaining and strengthening relationships when it comes to online marketing. In the same way that a personal trainer may send a text to a client after a workout with a tip about relieving sore muscles, this same type of behavior also needs to happen online. And, of course, social networks such as Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and Instagram are ideal places to execute this well.

Social media & relationships – 2 peas in a pod

Hate to burst your bubble, but social media needs to be about more than just pushing products and services. While social does allow you to do this, more conversions will happen when you put relationship-building first. It’s cliché, but it’s really about keeping the “social” side of social media alive. When you think about how these platforms began, the sole purpose was to communicate online – to have conversations.

But, the intention has gotten somewhat convoluted even in the small number of years that social networking has been around. Businesses are largely to blame for this. Not all have done this, but many have taken what was very personable and made it quite the opposite. Simply put, businesses, just like people, need to be real and human. If businesses can do this, they have the ability to not only strengthen existing client relationships, but they also have the opportunity to grow new ones.

How can fitness professionals build relationships on social networks?

Businesses ranging from corporations to small businesses such as a local gym frequently get bogged down by the business side of social media strategy, planning, tracking, and analyzing and simply forget what they’re actually trying to do. While these areas are very important, they have to be accompanied by real human behavior. One way fitness professionals can do this is to facilitate conversations.

What conversations happen when you’re training someone? What do people want to know when they call the gym? Answer these types of questions to keep the human element alive on your various social accounts.

Images and videos are great conversation starters as well. According to research firm Simply Measured, photos account for 77% of all post engagement for brands. We live in a social media-centric world meaning that society is used to digesting information in the form of 140 characters or less, an Instagram photo, Snapchat, or some other form of very speedy media. And, images, including memes, seem to the goldmine to initiate conversations.

Secondly, and what some would incorrectly consider counter-productive to building relationships, is the need for fitness pros to listen on their social networks. Listening is hands down one of the most important elements of an effective social media strategy. One-sided conversations never work, which means one-sided relationships fail as well.

If you’re struggling to find content, listen. Your audience and clients will tell you what they want to know. Based on what you hear, you can establish yourself as a go-to that they always refer to on matters related to proper techniques for training the core and any other issues that they have.

Lastly, every strong relationship has its ups and downs, and social media is no exception. In other words, there are times when businesses of all sizes make mistakes. Digital marketing research agency Econsultancy recently published the top social media fails of 2014. Incidentally, these fails are from brands like Delta Airlines, J.C. Penney, Best Buy, Build-A-Bear and other highly visible brands. If they mess up, understand that you will make mistakes too.

Still, if you handle them correctly, you’ll walk away more respected than you were before. Zappos is one company that is known for its exceptional customer service. If someone calls out on Facebook that their delivery was late, Zappos jumps on and offers a sincere apology and a coupon. This is how it should be done. Mistakes shouldn’t be covered up and not acknowledged. This is NOT human behavior. If you are honest and try to make it right, chances are, the client or prospect will walk away unscathed and may even turn into an ambassador for you.

For fitness pros specifically, clients expect authenticity. Sensitivity and egos play a large role in the fitness world, which is why consumers seek trainers and gyms they can trust. If you build these trusting relationships offline, there is no reason why you can’t do the same on your social media channels to advance your business efforts.

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Why Pinterest Is a Viable Channel for Your Business

Why Pinterest Is a Viable Channel for Your Business

W.I.T.S. is excited to invite Jennifer Cario to be our guest blogger this month. Jennifer will also be presenting our December Webinar Series on Social Media Marketing and Strategy. To find out more about these presentations and to register, contact evaughan@witseducation.com.

 

In our last post, we discussed the use of Facebook to market your business as well as strategies for cost-savings for using Facebook Ads.

As recent as last year, many professionals would roll their eyes at the thought of using Pinterest for business usage. But, with the likes of brands such as GE, Lowe’s and Nordstrom embracing the platform aggressively AND having immense success, the tide has drastically turned.

Data shows that Pinterest has more than 50 million monthly active users in the U.S. and that it’s quickly passing Twitter in terms of popularity. Still, there are skeptics since the platform has been mostly used by women. Once again, the tide is turning. In November of 2014, Michael Lopp, Pinterest’s head of engineering, revealed the company has doubled its number of male active users in the past year. He also reported that more men use Pinterest in the U.S. than the combined number of men who read Sports Illustrated and GQ magazines. This is staggering!

What does this mean for you?

As fitness professionals, these statistics should make you very excited about the opportunity before you. The Health & Fitness category on Pinterest is one of the most popular on the site. Consumers are constantly looking for exercises, healthy recipes, quick tips to build abs, tone arms, legs and countless other advice from fitness trainers and gym owners. In other words, people are hungry for the information you have at your fingertips, so what are you waiting for?

Getting Started on Pinterest

Just like with other social media channels, you need to have a plan for Pinterest that compliments your overall social strategy and your marketing efforts. Just as Facebook works in conjunction with your blogging efforts, Pinterest is the same way. Social channels should provide supplemental support to your website and blog.

Your plan for Pinterest should be direct because, as those of us who are addicted to the site know, one can get easily distracted on the platform. To avoid falling victim to the funny dog pictures or the “fool-proof” DIY pin for building your own headboard under $10, it’s wise to lay out exactly what type of boards and pins you’ll be creating and why.

Secondly, you should set up an informative profile. Yes, this seems obvious, but you’d be surprised at how many people and, sadly, businesses fail to do this. Briefly describe yourself and the services you offer as well as what visitors may find on your Pinterest board. You should also verify your website and add your other social channels to your profile.

After this, you can do some snooping. What are other fitness professionals doing? Is there a competing gym that is doing what you’d like to do on Pinterest? Research competitors, people and businesses you admire. See what they’re doing right and wrong, and then learn from them.

Now is the time to start pinning. This is where the fun begins. You can start by pinning your own content whether it’s blog posts or images you have taken or created. If you want to specifically tailor an image or manipulate an image with a blog post title, there are free tools such as PicMonkey that allow you to add special features and text that can be very eye-catching.

But, your boards and pins should not only be around your own service offerings and content. Instead, you should include related material such as recipes for foods one should eat before and after a workout, images of the right clothing for particular exercises or routines and inspirational quotes to provide encouragement for people with fitness goals. If you pin this type of content alongside your own content, you will build much stronger credibility for yourself.

The other piece to pinning and re-pinning is the opportunity to engage with your audience. Based on the trends you see and comments people make, you can chime in and communicate with current clients and potential clients. You can also create challenges through other social channels or on your blog to encourage your audience to create their own boards on a specific topic. This is a fantastic way to utilize Pinterest for your benefit, and users will enjoy participating as well.

Once you’ve implemented these steps, you then need to analyze your results. Is it working? What pins are getting the most traction? As you gather this type of information, you’ll have a broader understanding for what you need to change or ramp up going forward.

Like other social networks, Pinterest was designed to be fun and social. The added benefit today is that businesses can also use these to market themselves. However, the key is to make sure the original intent remains. Just as you have to be consistent in your workout routines, if you’re consistently social in executing your Pinterest strategy, you will see clear and successful results.

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Facebook Advertising: A Little Ad Spend Goes a Long Way

W.I.T.S. is excited to invite Jennifer Cario to be our guest blogger this month. Jennifer will also be presenting our December Webinar Series on Social Media Marketing and Strategy. To find out more about these presentations and to register, contact evaughan@witseducation.com.

As many fitness professionals are finding, Facebook is quickly becoming a natural part of their business. Whether it’s engaging with clientele, serving up fitness tips or pushing classes or specials, trainers and gym owners recognize their clients are on Facebook and want to capitalize on the opportunity.

The challenge is that, as Facebook has grown, taking advantage of this opportunity has gotten harder. Not only is Facebook itself trying to be more profitable and continuously making changes to how it operates, but also more and more businesses are competing to get in front of their part of the 1.35 billion users on the platform. This is why Facebook’s paid promotion and advertising options are becoming so enticing for businesses.

Yet, society today has associated a certain stigma with advertising. We often equate it to old-school methods, and specifically, local television commercials, used car salesmen and other very aggressive and, quite honestly, very annoying and unappealing content. But, the game of advertising has changed. It’s gotten very sophisticated and actually compelling, believe it or not. Just think about the success of the “Got Milk?” ad campaign and Super Bowl ads – this is the type of advertising we’re becoming accustomed to. It’s sleek, fun and targeted. The latter is the winning ingredient in successful advertising and is why Facebook’s options are a logical fit for businesses looking to take their endeavors to a higher level.

Making Facebook Ads Work for You

The first step in making your ads work is having the very best content. What are the most frequent questions you get asked? What specific issues do your clients face? This is the type of content you need to provide on your Facebook page. Save the seventeen ideas for using kettlebells and the daily workout soundtracks for your Pinterest or your Twitter feeds. Facebook content needs to be incredibly useful to your audience. This content could range from a series of photos of doing exercises correctly and incorrectly to recipes for foods that will help to burn the most calories.

Putting together a great piece of content and giving it a simple budget of $10-$20 can often provide a huge surge in exposure and an accompanying boost in engagement. Here are some basic facts related to Facebook ads:

  • Facebook ads can reach as many people, and most of the time, more than radio or TV ads can reach
  • The minimum ad spend is merely $1.00 per day
  • The average cost to reach 1,000 people in a magazine is $20.00. For Facebook, the average cost is $.25

What’s more, Facebook counts engagement on promoted posts toward your overall engagement score, meaning that a short-term financial boost ensures your posts are getting into the News Feed of users.

If you’re new to Facebook or simply haven’t built up the following you want, you can also use Facebook advertising to target the perfect audience for your page. Facebook’s targeting options are unparalleled, and as with boosting posts, the costs don’t have to be high. By walking step-by-step through Facebook’s self-serve advertising system, you can limit your audience by gender, age, interest and geographical area and then set a price point for your campaign. As little as $100 could make a significant difference for a local gym or trainer in getting a business up and running or taking it to a new level.

Like it or not, Facebook today is a key driver in getting people to your website, which further leads to getting them into your gym or class. Even brands such as Target see Facebook’s value by investing a hefty chunk of its more than $1 billion dollar marketing budget on Facebook alone. According to market research firm eMarketer, digital ad spend is at its highest increasing rate since 2004 and is expected to grow even further in coming years. Mobile is mostly responsible for this trend since consumers are spending more and more time on their various mobile devices. Since Facebook is a favorite pastime for many, the reason to embrace Facebook advertising for mobile speaks for itself.

While Facebook business pages can be very effective with a strong organic strategy that pushes valuable and engaging content, the marketplace has gotten much more competitive. The question now is, do you want to coast along doing the same old routine that you’ve always done to simply maintain your status, or do you want to dig a little deeper and push yourself into a new class? If you equate this to your own fitness goals, the answer is obvious.

 

 

 

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Beating Diabetes: Get Ready for Type 3

This month, guest blogger Michelle Matte, CSCS has been discussing diabetes in recognition of American Diabetes Month. Read previous posts such as a general overview to increase awareness about diabetes, Managing Type I and 2 Diabetes through Exercise , Nutrition and Diabetes and Children and Type II Diabetes.

– See more at: http://www.witseducation.com/blog/#sthash.NYQINCrH.dpuf

From Bad to Worse

We know that Type 2 Diabetes Mellitus, or DM 2, is a lifestyle disease that gets worse over time unless decisive measures are taken to change the contributing factors. The solutions seems simple. Increasing daily physical activity and minimizing the consumption of grains, sugars and processed foods will increase insulin sensitivity and ameliorate the symptoms of DM 2. Yet people persist in sedentary living and excessive carbohydrate consumption. Now, new research is revealing an even more insidious outcome of these persistent behaviors. Alzheimer’s disease is being dubbed the newest form of diabetes, Type 3.

wits oa cognitive

Prevalence of DM 3

According to statistics provided by the Alzheimer’s Association, in 2014 over five million Americans are living with Alzheimer’s disease. Once relegated to the elderly, the disease is manifesting in younger adults under age 65. Early onset Alzheimer’s can show up in your 40s and 50s, and younger adults currently make up five percent of those living with Alzheimer’s. The disease is the eighth leading cause of death in the United States, and one in three adults over age 65 will die with the disease.

Who Is At Risk?

Women are at higher risk for DM 3 than men, making up two thirds of the diagnosed population. A woman over age 65 has a one in six risk of developing Alzheimer’s, compared to a one in eleven risk of getting breast cancer. Older adults are at higher risk than younger adults. As the Baby Boom generation ages, the Alzheimer’s Association predicts that the disease may possibly triple by the year 2050.

wits oa man w baby

Exercise, Diet and DM 3

Evidence is mounting that exercise is the most effective tool for the prevention and treatment of Alzheimer’s, even for those who are genetically predisposed. Regular moderate to vigorous exercise performed for a minimum of 150 minutes per week is recommended to boost brain glucose uptake and reduce the deterioration of brain tissue associated with Alzheimer’s. A study published in “Medical Hypotheses” pointed to a diet low in carbohydrates and high in essential fatty acids as an effective strategy for preventing and treating DM 3.

References

Journal of Diabetes Science and Technology: Alzheimer’s Disease Is Type 3 Diabetes–Evidence Reviewed.

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2769828/

 

American Psychological Association: Could Alzheimer’s disease be a kind of diet-induced diabetes?

http://www.apa.org/monitor/2013/02/alzheimers.aspx

 

Diabetes Health: Alzheimer’s New Name: Type 3 Diabetes.

http://diabeteshealth.com/read/2014/09/04/8373/alzheimers-new-name-type-3-diabetes/

 

Alzheimer’s Association: Alzheimer’s Facts and Figures.

http://www.alz.org/alzheimers_disease_facts_and_figures.asp#quickFacts

 

Scientific American: Exercise Counteracts Genetic Risk for Alzheimer’s.

http://www.scientificamerican.com/article/exercise-counteracts-genetic-risk-for-alzheimer-s/

 

Medical Hypotheses: High Carbohydrate Diets and Alzheimer’s Disease.

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/15082091

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Beating Diabetes: Type 2 Diabetes Mellitus and Metabolic Syndrome

By Michelle Matte, CSCS

Recipe for Disaster

In adults, Type 2 Diabetes Mellitus, or DM 2, is often a part of a cluster of metabolic disorders known as metabolic syndrome. According to the International Diabetes Federation, metabolic syndrome is a cluster of the most dangerous risk factors for heart disease. In addition to diabetes and elevated blood glucose, individuals with metabolic syndrome typically exhibit abdominal obesity, high cholesterol and high blood pressure. They are more than twice as likely to die from a heart attack or stroke, and three times more likely to develop cardiovascular disease than people who do not have the syndrome.

diabetes metabolic 2

How It All Relates

The more elements of metabolic syndrome an individual has, the more likely he or she is to die from heart disease. It all begins with insulin resistance, the precursor to diabetes. Cells become insulin resistant when glucose stores are at capacity, and the individual continues to consume more carbohydrate based foods than the body can process. The end product of carbohydrates is glucose. Because glucose is an important fuel for energy metabolism, people who engage in regular physical activity and who restrict their carbohydrate consumption are at a low risk for insulin resistance and metabolic syndrome. Excess blood glucose can damage the endothelial lining of arteries, setting them up for atherosclerosis. Excess calories from carbohydrates can lead to obesity.

diabetes metabolic 1

Turning Things Around

As menacing as metabolic syndrome sounds, it can be reversed with lifestyle modification. As we discussed in earlier posts, insulin acts as the key that unlocks the doors to the cells, allowing glucose to enter. When cells are already full to capacity, they become insulin resistant. Engaging in moderate to vigorous physical activity on most days of the week will deplete cellular glucose stores, increasing their sensitivity to insulin. Boosting your consumption of whole fresh foods and restricting consumption of sugar, grains and processed foods with reduce the amount of glucose being released into your blood stream.

diabetes metabolic 3

Raising Awareness

Many people think that metabolic diseases are a normal part of aging, and that taking drugs to manage disorders like high cholesterol, high blood pressure, and diabetes is inevitable. But making healthful lifestyle choices can prevent and reverse metabolic syndrome, and restore optimal health. As fitness professionals, we can educate our clients and those around us about the risks of physical inactivity and poor nutrition. We can promote healthful lifestyle behaviors by example, and motivate our clients, friends and families to follow in our paths.

References

International Diabetes Federation: Metabolic Syndrome.

http://www.idf.org/webdata/docs/IDF_Meta_def_final.pdf

 

Cardiovascular Diabetology: High glucose induces human endothelial dysfunction through an Axl-dependent mechanism.

http://www.cardiab.com/content/13/1/53

 

American College of Sports Medicine: Targeting the Metabolic Syndrome with Exercise: Evidence from the HERITAGE Family Study.

http://www.indiana.edu/~k662/articles/metabolicsyndrome/ms%20exercise%20HERITAGE%202003.pdf

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Beating Diabetes: Diabetes During Pregnancy

This month, guest blogger Michelle Matte, CSCS has been discussing diabetes in recognition of American Diabetes Month. We started with a general overview to increase awareness about diabetes. We then focused on Managing Type I and 2 Diabetes through Exercise , Nutrition and Diabetes and Children and Type II Diabetes. Today we will discuss Diabetes During Pregnancy.

Gestation Situation

During pregnancy, many changes take place in your body over which you have no control. Weight gain, fluid retention and fatigue are common changes that go away once the baby is born. While some of these physiological fluctuations are harmless, some, like gestational diabetes, can have negative repercussion for both you and your baby. The American Diabetes Association estimates that as many as 9.2 percent of expectant mothers will develop gestational diabetes. Learning about the causes and treatment of gestational diabetes can help you plan and prepare for a healthier pregnancy and a healthier baby.

diabetes pregnant

Signs, Symptoms and Side Effects

Gestational diabetes is marked by a rise in circulating blood sugar, brought on by hormonal fluctuations that affect insulin production. Other symptoms include fatigue, nausea, blurred vision, unusual thirst, frequent urination and a high incidence of skin, vaginal and bladder infections. Women over age 35, women who are overweight or obese, and women with a family history of diabetes may be at a higher risk. If left untreated, gestational diabetes can result in large birth weight, premature delivery, increased chance of Caesarian Section surgery, and increased risk of fetal death.

Lifestyle Factors

Although gestational diabetes does not manifest itself until between the 24h and 27th week of pregnancy, lifestyle behaviors prior to and in the early stages of pregnancy may play a role. Regular exercise, healthy nutritional practices, adequate sleep and stress management may reduce your risk of developing gestational diabetes. Soft drinks and juice, candy, cookies and other sugary foods should be avoided during pregnancy. Staying hydrated with plain fresh water will help your body’s systems function at optimal levels.

diabetes pregnant apple

Game-Changing Behaviors

Strategies for treating gestational diabetes include modifications in physical activity and nutrition. The American College of Sports Medicine and the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists recommend at least 30 minutes per day of aerobic exercise that involves repetitive movement of large muscle groups. Activities like walking, swimming, elliptical training and other sustained rhythmic movement are appropriate. Cycling may prove hazardous in the later stages of pregnancy due to weight redistribution and a shift in your center of gravity that can throw you off balance.

A whole foods diet that includes plenty of fresh produce is recommended. Steer clear of processed carbohydrates like flour, corn, wheat and rice, and avoid processed snack foods and junk foods.

References

American Diabetes Association: What is Gestational Diabetes?

http://www.diabetes.org/diabetes-basics/gestational/what-is-gestational-diabetes.html

 

American Pregnancy Association: Gestational Diabetes.

http://americanpregnancy.org/pregnancy-complications/gestational-diabetes/

 

British Journal of Sports Medicine: Guidelines of the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists for exercise during pregnancy and the postpartum period.

http://bjsm.bmj.com/content/37/1/6.long