Workout tricks?

Christopher Ingraham shared in The Washington Post that according to Richard Thaler, the University of Chicago economist who last year won a Nobel Prize in part for his work on the subject, a  “nudge” is a policy intervention that “alters people’s behavior in a predictable way without forbidding any options or significantly changing their economic incentives.”

Nudges are typically used to get people to do things that are good for them or for society as a whole, but which they may be otherwise disinclined to do. Famous nudges include flies painted on urinals, giving men a target to aim at and thereby reducing spillage; automatic 401(k) enrollment; and getting people to use less electricity by showing them how much their neighbors are using.

One type of nudge that has shown great promise is the planning prompt, which asks people to lay out the concrete steps they will take to achieve a certain goal. Research says these prompts are effective at getting people to do things such as vote, get their flu shots and go to the dentist.
What about going to the gym?

That’s what the team of researchers behind a new working paper set out to discover when they ran a randomized field experiment among 877 members of a private gym in the Midwest. In the realm of exercise, in particular, a notoriously large gap exists “between intentions and actions,” as the researchers put it. Most Americans know they should exercise more, but fewer than a quarter of them get the federally recommended amount of physical activity each week. A 2015 experiment conducted among workers at a Fortune 500 company found that “workers’ targeted levels of exercise are 43 percent higher than their actual levels of exercise,” according to the new paper’s authors.

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Flexibility matters

Marlene Cimons wrote for The Washington Post that from the 1960s to the late 1990s, fitness professionals firmly believed that static stretching was a useful adjunct before exercise, warming up the muscles and, in doing so, preventing injury.

Later, however, research suggested the opposite was true — that it caused muscle fatigue and slower sprinting times in elite athletes.

This prompted many of them to abandon it for “dynamic” stretching, which looks more like real exercise.

Today, many experts think a combination of both before a vigorous workout or competition is the best approach.

At the cellular level

To understand the controversy, it’s important to know what happens at the muscles’ cellular level during static stretching.

“Our muscles are made of thousands of muscle spindles — like hairs in a ponytail — that give the muscle cell the ability to stretch and contract by sliding past each other in a coordinated fashion,” said Michael Jonesco, an assistant clinical professor of sports medicine and internal medicine at Ohio State University’s Wexner Medical Center. “Static stretching pulls on the cell to the max, and can cause some stretch injury that takes time to recover, and can, therefore, cause a temporary drop in performance.” Read more

Sneak More Movement Into Your Workday

Our Healthy Lombard Partner, DuPage Healthcare, LTD suggests that if you drive to work and park yourself in your office chair for hours, fitting exercise into your daily routine may seem daunting. But it doesn’t have to be.

Here are some easy ways to get moving:

Talk and walk. Whether you’re on a conference call or engaging in a brainstorming session, walk during the conversation.

Take the stairs. By choosing the stairs, you can add some significant steps to your day, depending on what floor you work on.

Just dance. If you have a standing desk, dance while you work. Put your headphones on and crank up your tunes. This approach, however, may be best for those working from home. Read more

Any kind of regular physical activity can lengthen your life

 

 huge international study has confirmed that physical activity may really be the best medicine.

Moving, lifting, walking, sweeping, scrubbing, or doing almost anything physical for the equivalent of at least 30 minutes five times a week can cut your risk of dying by at least 20 percent, compared with being less active.

The Study

More than 130,000 healthy men and women aged 35 to 70 from urban and rural areas of 17 countries, including Canada, Brazil, Turkey, Zimbabwe, China, and Poland, volunteered to fill out questionnaires about their regular physical activity. None had cardiovascular disease.

Over the next seven years, those who reported being physically active for 2 ½ to 12 ½ hours a week were 20 percent less likely to die. Those who were active more than 12 ½ hours a week were 35 percent less likely to die.

The physical activity included housework, walking to work, job-related exertion, as well as jogging or going to the gym. It all counted toward better health.

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Schools putting real ‘play’ back into playgrounds

,  EDUCATION REPORTER for The Globe and Mail shared that for 15 minutes on a blistering Wednesday afternoon, students at Chester Elementary School in Toronto were set free to run through the sprinklers in their shoes and regular clothes on the field. Others preferred to climb nearby trees or hop off an old stump to get onto the roof of the storage shed – all with the principal’s enthusiastic blessing.

It was a way to cool off or find shade on a humid day. But there was something else at play.

In an era when so many parents seem to be filling every free minute of their child’s day with organized activities – sports teams, music lessons or tutoring – a growing number of educators across the country are embracing the idea of putting unstructured play back into school playgrounds.

Raktim Mitra, an associate professor in the school of urban and regional planning at Ryerson University, said research has shown that engaging in creative and spontaneous play is important for the physical and mental well-being of children. “The idea is that when your free time is more creative and more imaginative, then you can concentrate more on the structured elements of your day,” he said.

Prof. Mitra and his colleagues have been evaluating how students fare at Chester and a handful of other Toronto schools that signed up to participate in a pilot project funded by Earth Day Canada. The charity is the only organization in Canada licensed to deliver the Outdoor Play and Learning (OPAL) program, developed in Britain. It pushes to bring back unstructured play and encourage children to use all sorts of “loose parts” – spares tires, ropes, sticks, logs, and other castoffs – to build whatever comes into their heads. The program has expanded to 25 Toronto-area schools this year.

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What is metabolic syndrome?

Neha Shah, M.D., who specializes in bariatric & obesity medicine and internal medicine at Edwards-Elmhurst Health share that if you carry a lot of weight around your waist, you’re boosting your risk for heart disease.

If you have high blood pressure or diabetes you are also at a higher risk.

When you have all three, you have what we call metabolic syndrome.

A metabolic syndrome is a group of risk factors that increase your chance of developing certain conditions. It’s not a disease in itself but describes the condition of having symptoms that could spur serious disease—such as heart attacks and stroke—down the road.

There are some things that put you at risk for metabolic syndrome (and, thus, a higher risk for future heart disease, diabetes or stroke). The more of these you have, the higher your risk: Read more

Why pediatricians are prescribing play time for kids

CBS News shared that when 4-year-old Britton Taunton-Rigby recently got her yearly checkup, her pediatrician wrote a prescription for something he says is important. It reads, “Play Every Day.”

New guidance from the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) recommends all pediatricians do the same. The organization says playing with parents and peers is a critical part of a child’s healthy development, fundamental for learning life skills and reducing stress.

“Play is not frivolous: it enhances brain structure and function and promotes executive function,” the report, published this week, states.

The AAP and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommend children get one hour of physical activity per day, as well as one hour of simple, creative play.

Lead author of the report, Dr. Michael Yogman, says play often gets a bad rap as being a waste of time, which he says is highly inaccurate.

“Play is really brain building because it has all kinds of effects on brain structure and function,” he told CBS News. “Executive function skills, learning to persist on a task, learning to solve problems, learning to be flexible about how they are learning things. It’s how we learn, not what we learn.” Read more

ParticipACTION’s 2018 Report Card on Physical Activity

Shore Broadcasting shared in the Children and Nature newsletter that new research by ParticipACTION indicates that physical activity can improve kids’ brain health by boosting both cognitive ability and mental wellness.

It’s all part of ParticipACTION’s 2018 Report Card on Physical Activity for Children and Youth.

According to ParticipACTION this is the most comprehensive assessment of child and youth physical activity in Canada.

The research suggests that an active lifestyle can help release a child’s potential in several ways including performance in the classroom, problem-solving skills, and overall focus.

This Brain + Body Equation comes as no surprise to PLAY Coordinator Jason Weppler.

He says for years Play in Bruce Grey has been promoting the benefits of active children for body, mind, spirit and emotional well being.

For eleven years Bruce and Grey have been part of the PLAY movement which promotes physical activity for children to seniors.

Weppler notes Bruce Grey is one of the few regions that still carry the PLAY torch, he says this just goes to show the strong commitment and partnerships there are local to promoting a healthy lifestyle. Read more

Mark You Calendars and Plan on Attending

Paradise Bay Water Park Customer Appreciation Night
Tuesday, August 7
from 5:00-9:00 p.m.
The address is 437 E. St. Charles Road.
Come and enjoy the fun!  Healthy Lombard will be sponsoring a Flat Apple Gam Table.  Come by, play the games, earn Participation Tickets.
Check out all the Flat Apple info. at:

7 ways to make this your summer of fitness

young woman practicing fitness and working out in a gym

Ken Miller, a certified personal trainer, and fitness specialist shared in the Edward-Elmhurst Healthy Driven Blog that as the days lengthen and sunshine becomes a staple, it’s easy to let your fitness routine slip away. Resist! It’s important to continue with a routine, even a modified one, in order to avoid regression through the summer months.

There are many ways to accomplish this. Take a look at some simple, effective, methods to meet your summer fitness goals.

Smarter time spent in the gym

As outdoor obligations pick up during the summer, take advantage of the time you can spend in the gym.

  • Focus on strength training. Build muscle while you’re in the gym. Outdoor activities like walking, or even yard work, have a significant cardiovascular benefit and could supplement or replace your normal cardiovascular routine.
  • Perform compound (multi-joint) exercises at the gym. Think squats, deadlifts, lunges, pushups, pull-ups, rows and overhead presses. These movements have a greater demand on larger muscle groups.
  • Cut down on rest periods. This is an issue many people struggle with. It is important that you get the maximum amount of work done with the time you spend. Bring a stopwatch to make sure you’re resting for a prescribed amount of time between exercises.

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