Fitness Reads: Is HIIT dangerous? And does Facebook know who's obese?

Facebook knows who is overweight based on their "Likes" and one TV newscaster blames high intensity interval training for his stroke.
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What did the SNEWS team read this week that other industry insiders might find interesting? Read on to find out.

  • Another case for being active: Octogenarians who stay athletic throughout their lives are at lower risk for heart problems. This Active Times story reports that people who exercise enter old age with stronger hearts, because their left ventricles haven't become as stiff as their counterparts' who don't exercise. A stiffened left ventricle is the most common cause of heart trouble.
  • Your female customers worry about their “spillover spots,” like over the bra band and dreaded muffin top. If that’s the case, you can point them in the direction of this Prevention workout that targets those trouble zones. Bonus: It recommends a lot of accessories.
  • We all remember that scene in Rocky IV — the one where Rocky Balboa and his evil opponent Drago are each shown training. Rocky is in a wintery wilderness, dragging his coach on a sled like some sort of husky. Meanwhile, Drago is running on the treadmill with wires attached to him. This Functional Movement blog post talks to fitness instructors aiming to make workouts more like Rocky’s and less like Drago’s – and in the process, make things more fun.
  • High-intensity interval training is all the rage. It’s used for everything from increasing speed and cardiovascular conditioning to speeding up weight loss and rehabilitation. Cybex offers consumers a HIIT Program that is used by the U.S. Marine Corps; download it here.
  • Speaking of high-intensity interval training, it’s taken hit in the media because Scottish TV anchor Andrew Marr partly blamed his stroke on his training. This Scotsman story talks about how perhaps it was Marr’s stressful job or smoking habit that was to blame. It also discusses how exercise actually increases your resistance to strokes.
  • There are days when we just don’t feel like working out. You have them, we have them and your customers have them. But take a look at this Boston Globe column that features a personal trainer’s tips for getting motivated, which include working out for a minute before deciding to quit, filling a bulletin board full of inspirational pictures and phrases and making a killer playlist.
  • Some people hate the gym. That’s lucky for you, retailers. The Huffington Post recently did a roundup of 11 crazy alternatives to going to the gym like taking a hula hoop class (don’t you sell weighted hula hoops?), a pole-dancing class or enrolling in trapeze school. Check out this link for the other unusual ways to get fit.
  • Fitness Apps were all over IHRSA this year. One software company is even consolidating some of the more popular apps like MapMyFitness and MyFitnessPal into its One platform, but thousands of people still use the apps on their phone individually. This Telegram article talks about how apps motivate people to work out and keep all their information in one place: their phones.
  • It seems our worlds revolve around Facebook. Everybody’s business is out there for everybody else to see. We’re not judging. We’re Facebook junkies, too. And it turns out that Facebook can predict whether the area we live in is an “obesity hot spot” by pinpointing how many television-related "likes" our neighbors have. Check out this Daily Mail story for more information.
  • Gymnasts have defined muscles where no one else seems to. They’re freakishly strong and can twist and turn and flip in unimaginable ways. So how do they get that way? Check out this Guardian interview with gymnast Louis Smith on how he stays in shape. It will make you feel less bad about not looking like a gymnast, as his regimen seems to be a full-time job.

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