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Why You Should Get A Gym Membership Now! And Actually Use It.

Why You Should Get A Gym Membership Now! And Actually Use It. Science confirms the obvious about fitness, health and gym usage. Joining a gym is a good thing. Everyone gets that, right? The benefits gym­-goers get might make non-gym-goers sign-up at their local fitness centers (or reactivate those memberships that slipped their minds). Need […]

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Science confirms the obvious about fitness, health and gym usage.

Joining a gym is a good thing. Everyone gets that, right? The benefits gym­-goers get might make non-gym-goers sign-up at their local fitness centers (or reactivate those memberships that slipped their minds).

Need research? Iowa State University scientists recruited 405 healthy adults, half gym-goers for at least 30 days, and half non-gym-goers for at least three months. Subjects had resting blood pressure, heart rate, and body mass index measured, and chronicled time spent exercising, sitting, and doing various lifestyle activities weekly.

After analysis, researchers identified which participants met national recommended physical activity guidelines: 150 minutes of moderate or 75 minutes of vigorous aerobic activity each week, including at least two days of muscle-strengthening activities.

The difference was “pretty dramatic and surprising,” says corresponding author Duck-chul Lee, an assistant professor of kinesiology. Non-gym-goers only exercised an average of 137 minutes weekly, while gym-goers logged a weekly average of 484 minutes. Only 18% of non-gym-goers met guidelines for both physical activity and strength training, compared to 75% of members.

Overall, the researchers calculated, a gym membership was related to 14 times higher odds of meeting weekly physical activity guidelines. The results were similar in both men and women and were adjusted for health issues like high cholesterol, arthritis, and asthma.

Not only did regular gym-goers exercise more, they were less likely to be obese and had better cardiovascular readings. Regular gym-goers tended to have lower resting heart rates, higher cardiorespiratory fitness, and smaller waistline measurements than non-gym-goers.

Before the study, Lee and his colleagues suspected that gym members might be more sedentary outside the gym than non-gym-members. “We thought maybe they’d be more tired, or be satisfied they’d done enough for the day.”

According to their findings: nope. “Physical activity outside of the gym was the same for both groups,” he says, “For non-members, joining a gym really may increase overall activity levels.”

Lee says the study’s cross-sectional design suggests it’s also possible that people who are more active are simply more likely to join a gym. And while the study covered a city with many gym options, people in rural areas may find it more difficult to visit a gym regularly.

But you gotta go! “It’s true that some people with a gym membership do not go regularly, just as some people who don’t have memberships still go out and run or bike and still meet the guidelines,” Lee says. Some measurements were taken at gyms, assuring that memberships were in use during this research study.

But Lee says the study supports the idea that joining a gym can help people who aren’t getting enough exercise on their own. Only half of Americans get the recommended amount of aerobic activity, the study reports, and only about 20% meet the guidelines for strength training.

“At the gym, you can use the weights or the resistance machines,” Lee says. “In real-life, there aren’t a lot of day-to-day activities that improve muscle.” (The researchers did not ask participants if they had weights or other fitness equipment at home.)

The researchers report no conflicts of interest and no financial stake in any health clubs or fitness clubs. The study is published in the journal PLOS ONE.

Elizabeth Schroeder lead researcher and a former Iowa State grad student, says gym memberships can have more benefits than just weight loss, and she hopes these findings prompt people to join a gym or fitness studio to fit their needs.

“Some people may enjoy being at a gym and doing their own workout routine, while others may desire group classes that potentially foster a social aspect, fun environment, consistent schedule, and a workout designed for you,” says Schroeder. “Either way, they both involve accumulating physical activity, and that’s the goal.”

 
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5 Lifestyle Changes You Should Do in 2020

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Doing various lifestyle changes can be difficult especially when you attempt to initiate huge modifications that merely remain unfulfilled over time. Experts assert that planning small changes is more practical and achievable in real life.

Drink more water

The regular intake of water provides a multitude of benefits. Water helps reduce the frequency of migraines; it helps slow down aging; it aids in digestion; it assists in weight loss, among others. Drinking 6 to 8 glasses of water each day provides you with more energy, enabling you to manage the daily grind.

Go for daily walks

We all know that exercise helps keep us healthy, as well. However, not everyone has the time—or inclination—to start a rigorous and time-consuming exercise routine. Nonetheless, you can still keep yourself healthy by taking daily walks. You can start by taking a walk after you get up from bed each day and then do another round when you get home from work in the afternoon. If you are working from home, take several breaks and walk in your front yard or garden for a few minutes each time.

Begin writing a gratitude journal

Stress gets accumulated due to the many upheavals of daily life. There is a lot to complain about and work can become too stressful at times. You should know, though, that stress and worry can be debilitating to your health. Starting a gratitude diary allows you to destress yourself, realize how blessed you are, and allow catharsis to unfold.

Do a few minutes of reflection and meditation

Because you tend to be so busy each day, you forget to find time to reassess all the things that you are already blessed with. Worries are everyday facts of living. However, you do not have to dwell on them all the time. Find a few minutes to reflect upon the good things in life. Stay still and silent for a bit. Listen to the birds and smell some flowers if you can.

Ask for help when you need it

The funny thing about most people is that it is considered a crime to ask help from others. Most people think that admitting the need for help is tantamount to admitting weakness—a terrible blunder for one’s dignity. However, it is essential to remember that no one’s perfect and that a lot of us need assistance from time to time. Learning to lower yourself and admit the need for aid ultimately lightens your soul—and even helps you learn the virtue of humility.

In essence

It is necessary to plan some changes in your life. These changes can help lighten your everyday burden and eventually welcome more positivity in the different aspects of your existence. However, you should start with doing small modifications. Keeping them small allows you to easily fulfill them because big goals tend to be too difficult especially when you’re too busy trying to keep up with the daily hustle and bustle. Also, laugh a little. Accept your frailty and be at peace with the world.    

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Yoga: The Ultimate Solution to Chronic Pain

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A recent study found that patients with chronic disease and depression found a sort of release upon trying a mindful-based stress reduction course. The study proved that there was a considerable improvement in the participants’ mood, functional capacity, and perceptions of pain upon participating in the activity. According to the Journal of the American Osteopathic Association, it was found that 89% of the study’s respondents claimed that the program helped them in various ways. Despite having 11% of the participants remaining neutral, most of them agreed that the activity allowed them to better cope with the pain. Chronic pain may be common, but this ailment is considered one of the most severe medical conditions out there. The medical condition is believed to have affected over 100 million people in the United States and correlates to an annual cost of $635 billion.

The Effects of Chronic Pain

A small-scale study was conducted in a semi-rural population in Oregon, wherein issues about affordability, addiction, and access to care are abundant. During eight weeks, the participants were instructed to try a mindfulness meditation followed by a mindful hatha yoga exercise. According to Cynthia Marske, an osteopathic physician, and director of graduate medical education at the Community Health Clinics of Benton and Linn Counties, she claims that numerous people have lost hope because of the possibility of chronic not being fully resolved. However, she believes that mindful yoga and meditation can help the body’s structure and function and cater to the healing process. 

The Difference Between Healing and Curing

According to Dr. Marske, he claims that healing is becoming whole again, while curing is the point of eliminating the disease. He believes that yoga and meditation can help make things manageable during the chronic pain healing process. A study conducted found that mindful meditation and yoga led to notable improvements in a person’s perspective on pain, disability, and depression. In the Patient Health Questionnaire, also known as PHQ-9, it was found that the scores of the standard measure of depression dropped by 3.7 points on a 27-point scale. Dr. Marske concluded that some patients often experience a similar drop from the use of anti-depressants. 

Depression and Chronic Pain

Dr. Marske claims that depression and chronic pain go hand in hand. However, he believes that mindfulness-based meditation and yoga can, indeed, restore a patient’s physical and mental health. He believes that both of these combined are effective alone or infused with other medication and therapy treatments. Participants also received instructions from MBSR, a systematic educational program that trains people to raise awareness of the self in the present time and a nonjudgmental manner. The results support other claims on how MBSR can help treat chronic pain while healing from perceived depression. Dr. Marske says that the bottom line is that patients are looking for new ways to endure chronic pain and effective non-pharmaceutical remedies available. However, he firmly believes that yoga and meditation are the go-to plans for patients searching for relief from chronic pain.

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Lady Gaga, Ray Dalio, and Oprah Swear That TM, a Meditation and Yoga Derivative. Works for Them

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Mental health is a major aspect of our well-being. It affects everything else, from decision-making to stress management. Meditation and yoga are key techniques in maintaining excellent mental health. However, there’s a trending derivative that’s currently making the rounds among celebrities—Transcendental Meditation (TM).

Personalities at Twitter, including Square CEO Jack Dorsey and Beyonce swear that this new technique works as it helps them improve creativity, control stress, and boost energy levels.

During Oprah Winfrey’s “2020 Vision Your Life in Focus Tour” conducted at Fort Lauderdale, Florida on Saturday, Winfrey and Stefani Germanotta aka Lady Gaga discussed their love for TM and its corresponding benefits in their lives. These celebrities, including Bridgewater Associates founder Ray Dalio, share that they learned TM from their teacher, Bob Roth, CEO of The David Lynch Foundation.

What is Transcendental Meditation?

Transcendental Meditation or TM is an exclusive practice. Its followers—or would-be followers—are taught by certified instructors through a 4-day course that’s made available for $380 to $960, depending on the student’s level of advancement.

According to Roth, TM is a simple meditation technique that requires you to sit for 20 minutes twice a day while uttering a repeated mantra. In his 2014 YouTube video, Roth adds that TM differs from other meditation techniques because it “allows the active thinking mind to just, all of it to just settle down, and experience quieter levels of thought” as compared to other techniques that prompt you to focus on your breathing or observe your thoughts.

More Important Than Work

Winfrey, in her 2018 Super Soul Conversations interview with Amy Schumer, asserts that TM is “one of the most life-enhancing things [she] ever did”. After the said TM experience, Winfrey shared in her 2011 interview with “The Dr. Oz Show” that she hired a TM coach to teach her Harpos Studios production crew how to meditate.

She says that her staff would, then, take a couple of breaks each day as the practice of meditation is “more important than the work you are doing. [TM] brings a kind of energy and an intensity of energy, an intention that we have never had before.”

Reason for Success

In his 2018 Facebook post, Dalio attests that TM is possibly “the single most important reason for whatever success [he’s] had.” Dalio, 70, shares that he first came across TM during his early 20s. In his book entitled “Principles”, he says that TM “has enhanced my open-mindedness, higher-level perspective, equanimity and creativity. It helps slow things down so that I can act calmly, even in the face of chaos, just like a ninja in a street fight.”

Dalio asserts recommends those who are curious about the positive effects of transcendental meditation to get a copy of Roth’s 2018 meditation book, “Strength in Stillness: The Power of Transcendental Meditation.”

End Thoughts

Meditation and yoga have long been used to correct certain mental health issues. Recent studies report that transcendental meditation, a newer derivative of these techniques, poses possible health benefits. In a 2009 research, experts discovered that young individuals who practiced TM for 3 months displayed lower levels of anxiety, anger, depression, hostility, and even blood pressure.

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