Ellen Thornburg

Fitness Myths Debunked

My apologies for being the bearer of bad news, but we have all been fooled in the world of fitness. Even the most discerning consumer of wellness tips, trends and products has been duped into believing both intentional and innocent lies in the industry. There is no need for bitterness toward the professionals in the field, however, as this is only to be expected when research and education have been limited in past years. The great news is, research has increased at an incredible rate and our questions are getting answered. The following are what I consider to be...

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The Skinny on Obesity: Part IV

In the first three installments of this series, Mike Clark and I defined obesity and the risk factors associated with reaching its unfavorable benchmarks. We have also identified the path that leads to obesity and, thank goodness, the path that returns or diverts away from the classification. In this New Year, as many individuals will contemplate, initiate, and, unfortunately, abandon resolutions to be healthier, it is important to understand that knowledge is not enough. While Mike and I may have shared a little more than you already knew about obesity, the fact is we do, for the most part, know the facts. The problem? Action. Many wise souls have been credited for the quote, “insanity is doing the same thing over and over again, but expecting different results.” No matter who actually said it first, there is a lot of truth in the statement. Knowing now how obesity is either reached or avoided, the “secret” to accomplishing a healthy weight is taking action and applying this knowledge to your lifestyle. If too little exercise, too much food, and too little sleep lead to being overweight, then conversely enough exercise, food and sleep will lead to a healthy weight. So to change your course of action, so that you can truly expect different results, means you must in fact take “sane” action, that is, something different than what added the...

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The Skinny on Obesity: Part II

How did we get here? Reports on the ever-increasing obesity epidemic in our country are running rampant, so we should all know that the issue is a reality and is crippling us. In the first part of this series, my colleague Mike Clark defined what obesity is and how it can be measured. After acknowledging what obesity is, the next step is to clarify how we got here. Why are Americans packing on the pounds? What decisions are we continuing to make that increase the likelihood of so many health risks and diseases? There are three categories to explore this week, including a lack of general movement and physical activity, poor diet choices and inadequate sleep. Lack of movement Our society has become sedentary. There is no question or denial of this statement. The latest report from the American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM) recommends at least 150 minutes of cardiovascular exercise each week, both resistance training and flexibility to include exercises for all major muscle groups two to three times per week and neuromotor exercises to maintain or improve balance, agility and the likes at least twice per week. Not only has the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) indicated that only 20% of American adults are actually meeting these recommendations, ACSM has indicated that the failure to meet these recommendations is not the entire problem. Most...

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How To Make A Fitness Resolution

On January 1, 2013, will you make a resolution to better yourself through the course of the year? It is estimated that 100 million Americans make New Year’s resolutions, but only a fraction will see the goal through to success. No matter the theme of your resolution, there are multiple tricks to seeing results. For exercise-specific resolutions, the following tips are of the most successful and frequently used tactics to achieving and maintaining your health goals.   1. Make only one resolution. This might seem lackluster, however individuals experience far more success focusing all of their energy on one...

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