Fitness Reads: Before and after pics gimmicks? Are schools doing their part to fight obesity?

Find out why some before and after pics are gimmicks and whether schools are doing their part to fight childhood obesity.
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What did the SNEWS team read this week that other industry insiders might find interesting? Read on to find out!

  • Are some of your customers frustrated because they’ve been working out, but still can’t seem to lose weight? Maybe they have microscopic bacteria in their gut that’s packing on the pounds. According to this Prevention story that could be the case, but eating a diet rich in fruits and vegetables could be the ticket to killing that bacteria.
  • Perhaps weight loss isn’t what people should be focusing on. Though weight loss is required if people are obese or overweight, once that’s achieved the goal should be weight management. For those who are not overweight or obese, preventing weight gain is a key goal, according to this story on MedPage Today. Approaching it as a weight loss mission doesn’t tend to produce long-lasting results, researchers said.
  • There’s really no need to say it, but to introduce this yoga DVD review we must: Yoga is hot right now. Like fire hot. We see yoga equipment everywhere from our local Sprouts market, to our gym, to our neighborhood outdoor retailer. What better way for people to get involved in yoga (and shopping at your stores for yoga stuff) than through a DVD. This Dallas News story reviews the “Elements of Yoga: Air & Water Flow, With Tara Lee,” and concluded the DVD is good for mostly “advanced beginners” (we were a little confused by this term) or intermediate yoga practitioners.
  • We were stoked to read this New York Times story about colleges offering fitness- and wellness-themed dorm facilities for freshman who want to keep off the dreaded “Freshman 15.” The story reports that colleges like Maryland’s Frostburg State University have dorms where students can do P90X and Insanity workouts and learn how to prepare healthy meals. We think this is an awesome idea! Plus it seems like another avenue for you retailers to build your vertical market.
  • If you’re anything like us, you get simultaneously bummed out and motivated by the before-and-after pictures all over Facebook and Twitter. We were happy to learn that a lot of them are as simple as a wardrobe change, sucking in the tummy and letting the hair lose. Check out this story featuring a personal trainer who wants people to understand that not all before-and-after pictures reflect reality.
  • We recently wrote in our Health Notes column that children aren’t getting enough exercise, especially girls, so we were happy to read this story in the Bellingham Herald about Alabama schools that are implementing a healthy living program thanks to a grant from Blue Cross Blue Shield. As part of the grant, kids will learn how to cook fresh vegetables, study butterflies, garden and exercise.
  • Are all schools doing their part in preventing childhood obesity? This Boston Globe story reports on a Massachusetts program that could help elsewhere. When we were little, the school nurse gave an eye test and then sent home a note to our parents communicating whether or not we needed glasses. This story reports on a similar approach currently being utilized in some Massachusetts schools: Screen students’ body-mass indexes and determine whether they’re obese or at risk for becoming obese and share that information with families.
  • While flipping through our Shape Magazine from August, we came across a full-page of nothing but tips for working out on the Cybex Arc Trainer. It even included a post-workout stretching plan and a during-workout playlist to keep you moving faster and burning more calories. Check it out.
  • A few years ago, our sisters were all about eating for their blood types. Now there seems to be optimal workouts for your blood type, according to this story. “The Blood Type Workout” has three different workouts for the different blood types as each has predispositions to different types of pains. We can't wait to share this with our sisters.
  • What are some fitness lessons you’ve learned the hard way? Ours is never do a long run without duct taping our hot spots. We’ve learned a few more from this story — including buying a size up in running shoes and hiking boots to avoid toe jam and opt for function over fashion in clothing (if you have to choose). But sometimes you can’t teach people a lesson. Many of your customers will probably go off and learn all these fitness lessons the hard way for themselves.

Did you read anything interesting this week? Email us because we want to read it, too!

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