Will we ever get the obesity epidemic under control? Why are weight training injuries on the rise? Can you lose weight on a Twinkie diet? And how do you stay in shape while trapped in a mine?
These are just a few of the questions that captivated us in 2010. In my role at Anytime Fitness, I see countless wellness-related stories circulate the web. So, with a little help from Google Trends, here’s a sampling of what caught my attention each month.
January: Hazards of Obesity Now Rival Smoking in the US
With a barrage of news stories and reality television exposure, 2010 seemed like the year obesity really caught the world’s attention. Perhaps it’s fitting (as well as alarming) that researchers informed us that obesity is now on par with smoking in terms of quality-of-life-years lost.
February: Interval Training Can Cut Exercise Hours Sharply
The concept of interval training is nothing new. But in 2010, the concept gained popularity with the media and public. Once the realm of elite athletes, regular, time-strapped people are now finding they can get a better workout in less time with short bursts of high-intensity activity.
March: US Health Care Bill Includes Wellness Programs
Love it, hate it, or still wonder what’s in it, the US health care bill passed into law in March. The legislation includes funding for wellness programs for small businesses who normally could not afford them. Set to begin in 2011, it’s an exciting development for anyone interested in preventative health. As we like to say, Exercise is Medicine.
April: Weight Training Injuries on the Rise
Between 1990 and 2007, nearly a million Americans ended up in emergency rooms with weight training injuries, and the number increased by 48% over that period. Great reminder to be careful with those free weights – especially men, who accounted for 82% of the injuries in the study.
May: Working Overtime May Harm the Heart
If you’re a work-aholic, it may be taking a toll on more than your social life. A study showed that people who work more than 10 hours a day are about 60% more likely have heart disease or a heart attack. It may be because you have less time to take care of yourself, and that includes working out.
June: To Help Keep Weight Off, Turn to the Web
Research found that people who consistently logged on to websites to track their weight loss are more successful at keeping the weight off. But if you use Anytime Health, you probably already knew that!
July: Genes hold clues on who may live long and prosper
A team of scientists from Boston University discovered a way to predict whether someone will live to be exceptionally old with 77% accuracy. Although healthy habits are still extremely important, the scientists found genetics strongly contribute to living 10 to 30 years longer than average.
August: Students Warned to Beware of Laptop-itis
Laptop-itis, really? Yes, the convenience of laptops may come at a price, researchers cautioned. Awkward body positioning can cause nerve injury, carpal tunnel syndrome, neck pain, and headaches. A laptop docking station, a good chair, and good posture can all help alleviate the problem.
September: September Declared National Childhood Obesity Awareness Month
Barack Obama’s proclamation was yet another sign that childhood obesity has attained epidemic proportions, and the First Lady made it one of her signature issues. Knowing that obese parents are the #1 indicator of obese children, Anytime Fitness launched the COAK campaign to help parents be better role models.
October: How the Chilean Miners Stayed in Shape
When the 33 Chilean miners emerged after 2 months of living underground, they appeared fit and hale. How’d they do that? With guidance from NASA scientists, they were limited to a diet of 2,300 calories and were told to exercise an hour to keep them thin enough for the escape module. Many enjoyed large traditional Chilean meals after the rescue.
November: Twinkie Diet Helps Nutrition Professor Lose 27 Pounds
Professor Mark Haub set out to show that weight loss is about consuming fewer calories than you burn – not the nutritional value of the food. The premise held up. He lost 27 pounds in 2 months by eating sugary snack cakes instead of meals, consuming only 1,800 calories per day. The lesson is not that you should subsist on Twinkies, but that portion control is vital to weight loss.
December: Go Ahead and Think About Eating That Food You’re Craving
You’d think that imagining your favorite food would make you want it more. But a study shows that doing so may help us feel less interested in really chowing down. It’s as if our minds mistake the thought of eating with real consumption, making the first bite can feel like your 30th. The novelty has worn off – and you eat less.
Which wellness stories had you talking in 2010?
What are your favorites? What did I miss? Please share below.
Andy Giefer is the Social Media Specialist at Anytime Fitness HQ. He’s an avid runner, traveler, and lover of all things digital.
12/28/2010 at 5:04 PM