Posts Tagged ‘sleep’

In Good Health: Fitness Trends To Watch in 2016

January 7, 2016


7091300071_compAs one year comes to a close and the new year begins, we view the clean slate before us and resolve to eat better, exercise more and take better care of our bodies than we did the previous year. The new year’s resolutions will come and go, but trends in health and wellness will continue to manifest throughout the year.

In 2015, we saw a new crop of juice bars, boutique fitness studios and athleticwear brands mulitply like rabbits across the country. Superfood juices became superfood bowls, and those that dared to eat carbs ate avocado toast. Exclusive, expensive and specialized studios popped up everywhere, with a better, more novel way to ride a bike, lift a weight and burn a calorie. These once unique boutique gyms soon started to spread their wisdom and some, like Soul Cycle, have become more prevelent in the New York City landscape than McDonalds.

Last year, we went hard. HIIT, or high intensity interval training was the common denominator in many of the hottest workouts. Gasping for breath and dripping with sweat were key determinators of a great workout. While we still see a preponderance of high intensity experiences leading the way, a few key factors will change.

This year, competition will take over the scene, with gyms like Orangetheory and Flywheel using leaderboards to track anything from speed, watts, mileage and heart rate across all participants. Full service gyms, like luxury player Equinox, are getting into the act with their specialized cycling programs being rolled out across the chain.

The concept of “Go big or go home” will take on a new sense of importance, with rest and rejuvenation becoming just as important and going all out in the gym. This will manifest itself in interesting ways, from planned active recoveries to a influx of regeneration activities breaking into the scene. Meditation studios, such as MNDFL are cropping up, as are sensory deprivation and cryotherapy outlets. L.A. leads the way with a new facility called Wanderlust Hollywood,which challenges members to “find your true north, and cultivate your best self,” through yoga, meditation, food, festivals and mindfulness.

We are discovering the benefits of sleep are much greater than we thought, and getting a full 8 hours could become way cooler than staying out all night.

If you can’t get to the gym but still want the experience, no worries. Peleton’s special bike allows you to stream into a class taking place in real time in their NYC studio, or select one from their extensive library. The Daily Burn allows you to stream classes with some of the top instructors in the fitness world today, and choose from a variety of genres to tailor your at home workout just for you. Watch for this concept to grow, allowing people to access the best class experiences when and where they wish to have them. Think of it as the Netflix effect.

Functional training, and bodyweight training are also gaining popularity. They require no fancy equipment, and train us not just to lift a heavy weight, but to be able to get our bags in the overhead compartment of an airplane without help, and lug our groceries up a few flights of steps. What’s the point of building muscles if you can’t use them?

Where we once we willing to scramble from studio to studio to get in our workouts, we are now looking for a more wholistic approach that gets it done all in one place. With fitness publications striving to answer the age old question of which should come first, cardio or strength training, these classes throw caution to the wind and mix it up. (Also, please stop writing those articles. I’m pretty sure that unless you are training for an elite event, it doesn’t really matter. Just do it!) From Equinox’s cutting edge introduction of Shockwave a couple of years ago, which incorporated rowing intervals with strength segments, to Barry’s Bootcamp which uses the treadmill, these classes aren’t exactly new on the fitness horizon. They are, however gaining momentum. Watch for more of these hybrids to pop up, and new combinations to emerge. Rowing and weights, cycling and yoga, boxing and pilates? Who knows what the next big idea might be!

Speaking of boxing, that is another form of training that seems to be having a resurgence. Whether it is true boxing from Aerospace or Shadowbox, or boxing inspired workout classes, like Equinox’s new The Cut, there seems to be renewed interest in this genre. Victoria’s Secret models swear by it, and from the looks of some of the participants, if you want to be strong, lean and cut, this could be the ticket.

Group reboots, which include training programs, nutrition and lifestyle coaching are gaining momentum. With goal setting, accountablilty and the support of a team driving their success, these specialized programs have proven to be very effective. Look at Barre 3’s 28 to Great, Anna Kaiser’s Transformation, and Equinox’s ETC as examples.

Technology will continue to grow as we monitor our stats, track our progress and compete against our peers. Whether it is apparel, accessory or equipment based monitors, this area will only get bigger, and more complex as new technology is developed. Watch for new developments to continue to astound us. Chances are, whatever you want to track, there is an app for it.

Stay tuned as we delve into our predicitions for the new year in wellness and food!

Photo: Glasshouse Images

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Sweet Dreams Are Made of These

November 17, 2015

There is very little that is more annoying than not being able to sleep. Sleep effects our mood, our energy, our focus and even our weight. Contrary to popular belief, tossing and turning is not a workout!

Sleep issues effect over 40 million people in the United States. If you are one of them, you know how debilitating it really is.

In honor of National Sleep Comfort Month, our friends at Casper, the mattress experts, sent us this handy guide to getting a good night’s sleep, so we thought we would do our readers a solid and pay it forward. Sweet Dreams!

CAS_CantSleep copy

Infographic: Courtesty of Casper

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Light Sleep

October 25, 2013


Experts have advised against using electronic devices before bed, citing that the light emitted from them can disrupt sleep. New research has emerged that suggests this theory may be a bit extreme.

Dr. Lois Krahn, a psychiatry professor at the Mayo Clinic suggests that either dimming the screen’s brightness, or holding the device at least 14″ away from the eyes keeps the light at a level below that which is believed to effect the production of melotonin, a hormone that promotes sleep.

Good news for those of us who are tethered to our electronics until they are ready to go to bed.

photo: Glasshouse Images

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Sleep Your Way Thin

June 6, 2012

Don’ t you wish that you could lose weight while you sleep? Well, according to the Annals of Internal Medicine, you can.

There has been lots of buzz lately about the relationship between sleep and weight. A new study shows that lack of adequate sleep can have an impact on obesity.

The study, designed by Dale Schoeller, a Professor of Nutritional Sciences at the University of Wisconsin, tracked 10 people living under artificial circumstances in a lab for 2 weeks. They found that sleeping just 2.5 hours longer per night burned 400 extra calories per day.

The researchers are hesitant to state those exact figures due to the limited amount of participants, but they are certain that getting a full 8 hours of sleep has advantages beyond just feeling rested.

Dr. Carolyn Apovian, director of the Nutrition and Weight Management Center at Boston Medical Center, stated that the results suggest that lack of sleep could alter a body’s hormonal balance.
It seems that researchers are starting to discover that the old adage “ calories in, calories out” is an over simplification of the weight management issue. The right diet, exercise and a good night’s sleep, are all keys to maintaining a healthy body.

photo: Glasshouse Images

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