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Jun 4

The 9 best free workout apps for 2024, according to a certified personal trainer – Fortune

How we test

Our team of certified personal trainers, strength coaches, and qualified experts researched and tested more than 30 workout apps. We focused on key factors such as workout variety, accountability, and interactive features.

Learn more

We called upon certified personal trainer and editor Amanda Dvorak, exercise physiologist Dr. Chris Mohr, and professor and strength and conditioning coach Dr. Jen Roper to complete this roundup. The information in this article was reviewed for accuracy by fact checker Kelly Uhler.

If youre committed to crushing your fitness goals, theres nothing wrong with seeking some support. However, you dont have to break the bank to get help with building muscle, burning fat, and becoming your best self. While many workout apps have pricey subscriptions, plenty of cost-free platforms provide the tools you need to start (and stay) on the path to success.

To help you find the right fit, weve researched and tested more than 30 fitness apps to evaluate key criteria such as ease of use, equipment demands, and workout variety. Our mission to find the best free workout apps helped us identify worthy contenders. The apps that made our list come at no cost or at least include an excellent trial period that may convince you to find some room in your monthly budget.

Caliber offers a free-forever version that arms you with ample resources to start your fitness journey. Learn why it earned the nod as our best overall free workout app by reading our in-depth review, complete with testing notes.

Although you must pay for group and one-on-one training, the free version of Caliber still provides excellent resources and tools.

Caliber comes in several different tiers, which allows you to select the level of support you need. The free version includes useful resources that can help you accomplish your goals.

Pros

Community support via groups

In-app performance metrics tracking

Robust library of curated workout plans

Cons

Premium package has an expensive starting price of $200 a month, which is high for a workout app

Personalized macros only available with paid versions

Limited fitness tracker integration

As a fitness coaching program rooted in scientific principles, Caliber checks all the boxes we look for in the best workout apps . The first paid tier, Caliber Plus, comes with access to a library of coach-created workouts. The next tier, Caliber Premium, starts at $200 a month for individual coaching. One of our product testers invested in the one-on-one option and found the $200 price tag well worth it due to the high-quality programming and accountability she received from her coach.

However, you dont have to spend a single cent to reap some of the benefits of this data-driven platform. Calibers free-forever version contains a vast library of more than 500 exercises, each featuring a demo video, detailed instructions, and a color-coded diagram displaying the body parts involved. By also including key points and form takeaways, Caliber easily earned 5 out of 5 stars for instruction from our tester.

So many people would benefit from simple instruction and understanding of how different exercises affect different muscles. The exercise library and demo videos provided with Calibers free version is a fantastic offering, in and of itself. Many of my clients would benefit from this.

Chris Mohr, Ph.D., RD, Fortune Recommends Advisor

Although you dont get access to a coach with the free version, you dont have to plan your own daily workouts. During the set-up process, youll complete a quick assessment. The evaluation will give the Caliber algorithm the necessary data to generate a custom workout program for you. This can be especially helpful for beginners who are unfamiliar with how to structure a strength training routine.

In addition, the app allows you to track your progress by recording and charting strength and body metrics like your weight, waist size, and body fat percentage. While stepping on a scale is one way to assess your progress, keeping track of your body composition via other methods can provide better insight. ( 1 ) This can help you stay invested in your success by developing self-accountability, which is particularly important since you wont be working with a coach.

In addition to body composition, waist circumference is another useful and very simple tool to assess health. There has been research connecting waist circumference to blood pressure and even all cause mortality, among others, says Mohr. ( 2 , 3 )

You can also lean on another user-friendly feature for additional support: groups. Our product tester joined several, including ones for mountain biking, cycling, and swimming. Research shows that external factors like social support and engagement can help with motivation and accountability. ( 4 )

Each group has its own social feed where you can post things and interact with other people. Although theres not a ton of engagement, that could change as Caliber expands, our team product tester explained.

While our tester gave the app a perfect score for interactive features, she wished it integrated with Garmin, Fitbit, and other fitness trackers. As of this writing, it only integrates with the Apple Watch.

Overall, the free version of Caliber offers plenty of valuable tools and resources for both beginners and more experienced users. If you need more support in the form of nutritional guidance, routine check-ins, and fully personalized programming, you can always upgrade to the Premium tier.

Caliber users on the Apple App Store appreciate how the app has helped them become more accountable and invested in their health and wellness.

Caliber is a fantastic way to build a habit of working out, especially if, like me, youre moderately new to weight lifting/fat burning. The app tracks your progress and shows stats so you can see improvement over time, which is very motivational for me. The app also connects to third-party apps to help you track calories, etc.

Alexey Laduda, Apple App Store user

However, customer Patrick Rizk called out a few areas for improvement in his review on the Google Play Store.

Provides novel strength and balance scores to visualize progress, but the algorithm doesnt incorporate them to give tailored recommendations, which greatly reduces their utility, he said. Automatic weight progression is a basic function that most competitor apps have and is conspicuously missing.

Launched by fitness influencer Kayla Itsines, the Sweat App offers women everything from nutritional guidance to on-demand classes.

Training Plan Customizable

Designed for women, the Sweat App includes customizable training plans and meal planning assistance. After trying out the platform for free for seven days, you can sign up for the full version to gain even more features.

Pros

Can easily modify a program

Cons

Some users describe the programs as repetitive

Primarily pre-recorded workouts

Some recipes are overly complicated and require numerous ingredients

Fitness influencer Kayla Itsines spearheaded an effort to help women get healthier via the Sweat App. The app features various workout programs that include everything from postpartum training to its flagship BBG program (Bikini Body Guide), now known as High Intensity with Kayla. The app also features nutrition plans, community challenges, and on-demand classes led by certified personal trainers.

Although Sweat is only free during the seven-day trial period, women can get a first-hand look at how much the platform offers. Those with long-term goals can decide whether to invest in a monthly subscription thatll allow them to receive individualized attention and support.

To explore all Sweat had to offer, our product tester downloaded the app, inputted her fitness goals and other pertinent information, and received a personalized training plan. She rated the setup process 5 out of 5 stars. She also found the apps interface easy to navigate, which led to a score of 4.5 out of 5 stars for ease of use.

From a training perspective, Sweat covers just about every modality you can think of, including weightlifting, HIIT, yoga, pilates, and barre. In addition, there are zero-equipment versions of programs featuring straightforward movements, which allowed our reviewer to deeply connect with the targeted muscle.

What our tester says:

Offering the ability to exercise without equipment is a fantastic option, given many people may either not have any or not belong to a facility that does. That said, bodyweight workouts are a great option for improving strength and cardiorespiratory fitness, and having guidance around how to perform various exercises to support your goals is great. ( 5 )

Chris Mohr, Ph.D., RD, Fortune Recommends Advisor

The Sweat App has received positive feedback from women who needed structure, accountability, and support from a workout app.

A reviewer on the Apple App Store with the username Hxnxlei highlighted how the app motivated her to start working out again after a two-year hiatus.

The variety in programs makes it suitable for any kind of workout goal. I can see how the intensity and difficulty of BBG might be unmotivating for some though, so its great that Kayla has recently added more beginner weeks! The community tab is filled with supportive women!

Hxnxlei, Apple App Store user

Still, a few reviews criticized the app for having occasional bugs and glitches. Several customers on both the Apple App Store and the Google Play Store expressed that the suggested meal plans and recipes contained too many ingredients, which can prove problematic if you have a limited budget, time, or culinary skills.

From strength training to recovery, Fiit offers plenty of options for those who enjoy group classes but dont want to travel.

Training Plans More than 30

Fiit covers all the bases with a wide variety of workouts and training plans. Users can access all group classes at no costa great feature for those who enjoy training in that type of engaging setting.

Pros

Syncs with fitness trackers and devices

Works with mobile devices, TVs, laptops, tablets, and desktops

Records performance metrics

Caters to all fitness levels

Cons

Some classes may be too intense for beginners

No 1:1 coaching or accountability

Cant fast forward or rewind classes

Men (and women) who love the interactive aspect of group fitness classes will truly appreciate Fiit. Available in both free and paid versions, this app offers 2,000 workouts ranging from strength training to cardio to yoga.

The free version gives you unlimited access to all group classesa major plus for those who value that added motivation from training alongside others (virtually, in this case). Plus, you can invite family and friends to join, which can be another source of accountability and self-motivation. ( 6 )

The workouts vary in length, with some taking as little as 10 minutes and others lasting for one hour. If youre a guy whos always on the go, you can still squeeze in a quick workout before you head out the door. Or, you can take a longer-duration session for a true full-body workout.

Another user-friendly feature Fiit offers: the ability to complete workouts with zero gym equipment. The platform has hundreds of bodyweight classes that only require a phone, TV, or laptop for streaming.

While the free version gives you plenty to work with, upgrading to the Essential or Unlimited tiers opens the door to more training possibilities. Luckily, you dont have to fully commit to either option. Fiit offers a 14-day free trial that allows you to test additional features like Apple and Google Health integration, performance metrics tracking, and exclusive workouts.

Ultimately, you can start with the free version and enjoy unlimited access to all of Fiits group classes before considering upgrading to the Essential ($80 per year) or Unlimited ($120 per year) tiers.

Fiit customers enjoy the quality of the workouts and that theyre challenging without being too time-consuming.

This app is fantastic! Ive been completing FIIT workouts for about 3 months now, and it has completely changed my view on working out! The Base FIIT camps are great for an out of shape beginner like myself, and they prepare you for heavier workouts through lots of technique and form practice, and stretching. The flow yoga classes too, are also super useful as a supplemental cooldown/stretch session.

Aurora Siegler, Android app user

However, one common pain point customers highlight is the inability to fast forward or rewind classes.

This is really important as sometimes you dont quite understand how to do a move and want to rewind to see it properly, wrote Android user Hussein Ladha.

Designed for Apple Watch users, Train Fitness allows you to automatically track and log over 100 exercises using AI technology.

Accountability Community feed

Think of Train Fitness as a tool to get more insight into your workouts rather than something that will guide you on how to train. Its a convenient way to log every rep without having to do it yourself.

Pros

Sturdy and high-quality mattress

Nice option for stomach sleepers

Good option for back sleepers

I also like this for heavier sleepers

Cons

Pretty high motion transfer

Luxury Firm is too firm for side sleepers

Customer service was longer than average

Gym-goers whose workout routine wouldnt be complete without their Apple Watch shouldnt hesitate to download Train Fitness. Powered by intuitive AI, this app doesnt provide programs or workouts to follow. Rather, it allows users to focus more on their technique and less on counting their reps by recording them for you.

When paired with the Apple Watch, AI algorithms automatically detect what exercise you are performing based on the movement of your wrist. Train Fitness tracks more than 100 exercises using this method, and you can also manually enter data for more than 400 exercises.

In addition, you can filter and review their workout data by multiple metrics. The interface has easy-to-read graphics and charts that show your progress with particular lifts. This may help you identify weak points and potentially inspire you to change your program to push through plateaus.

Moreover, Train Fitness encourages you to stay connected with other users by sharing your completed workouts on your social feed. You can also challenge a friend, which can give both of you extra motivation to not to skip out on your next gym session.

Unfortunately, this app doesnt give you training plans to implement in the gym. So, if youre searching for a structured routine, Train Fitness isnt for you. However, if you have an Apple Watch and a gym membership (or even a full home gym ), you can take advantage of this technology and get more insight into your workouts without having to do anything extra.

Featuring a rebuilt search function and notifications page, this AI-driven workout tracking app generates positive user feedback for being easy to use and accurate.

I have been amazed at the accurate ability of the application to recognize specific workouts while I am at the gym, a user named Gym Geno wrote in their review on the Apple App Store. I highly recommend using this app because not only can experienced gym enthusiasts maximize their workout sessions, but this platform can also teach newcomers as well.

Another reviewer on the Apple App Store with the username KaseyLynn R. shared a similar sentiment about Train Fitness.

I absolutely love this app! It makes my workouts so easy. I used to log with a pen and paper but that got hard and annoying. This app also helps me know what muscles need rest and what muscles need attention.

KaseyLynn R., Apple App Store user

A free app that includes classes and periodized programs, Nike Training Club can help you get more out of your dumbbell workouts.

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The 9 best free workout apps for 2024, according to a certified personal trainer - Fortune


Jun 4

Troy University’s undergraduate Exercise Physiology program recognized by National Strength and Conditioning … – Troy University

Troy Universitys Exercise Physiology program has achieved renewed recognition from the National Strength and Conditioning Associations (NSCA) Education Recognition Program (ERP).

The NSCA ERP recognizes and distinguishes programs with approved and standardized strength and conditioning or personal training curricula. Recognized programs are designed to prepare students for the NSCA-Certified Personal Trainer (NSCA-CPT) or NSCA Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist (CSCS) certifications.

This program recognition is an additional testament of faculty commitment to student success and professional excellence, said Dr. LaGary Carter, Dean of the College of Health and Human Services.

The renewal marked the third time the program has been recognized by the organization and is valid for a three-year period through March 31, 2027.

It has been an honor to serve as the Coordinator and Faculty CSCS Sponsor for the NSCA ERP applications since August 2017, said TROY Professor Dr. Tyler Martin. On behalf of the department, the initial application materials were prepared in the fall 2017 and the Exercise Science Program within the Department of Kinesiology & Health Promotion achieved recognition in May 2018 from the NSCA ERP. Renewal applications were approved in May 2021 and May 2024.

The ERP recognition is the first step in laying the foundation to ensure classroom excellence. With a purposefully designed education, students can look forward to long-term professional success after graduation. The ERP seeks to support this journey through the proper certifications, professional development, and industry connections.

I would like to thank Dr. Martin for leading the exercise physiology programs effort to set and maintain such a high level of standards in Strength and Conditioning teaching and research, said Dr. James Sluder, Chair of TROYs Department of Kinesiology and Health Promotion. We are honored to continually be recognized by the National Strength and Conditioning Association for excellence in the field.

Excerpt from:
Troy University's undergraduate Exercise Physiology program recognized by National Strength and Conditioning ... - Troy University


Jun 4

Teens work out for free, learn from fitness experts as part of GoodLife Teen Fitness – Canada NewsWire

Teens can access 200 GoodLife Fitness clubs, in-person classes, online resources free this summer

LONDON, ON, May 30, 2024 /CNW/ -It's no secret that teens are embracing fitness for its physical and mental health benefits. They're more familiar than ever with strength training techniques and workout ideas thanks to their teachers, their friends and online research. GoodLife Fitness is kicking off its free Teen Fitness program with a focus on fun, reliable resources and expert advice to help teens expand their knowledge and work out safely and effectively.

GoodLife's free Teen Fitness program is back this summer for teens aged 12 to 17. More information at teenfitness.ca

Registration opens June 3 at teenfitness.ca. By registering for a free GoodLife Teen Fitness membership, teens aged 12 to 17 will have access to nearly 200 GoodLife Fitness clubs from July 3, 2024, to September 3, 2024. Last year, GoodLife celebrated the most successful Teen Fitness ever with almost 80,000 teens registered and over 400,000 workouts.

"It's great to see teens so interested and engaged in fitness. They really understand the benefits for their mental and physical health, and they value the chance to spend time with their friends while being active. We're here to help teens learn more about how to use the equipment and give them workout ideas so they can try different things, make the most of their time at the gym and have fun in the process," said Tracy Matthews, vice president of experience & safety, GoodLife Fitness.

In the clubs, teens can join in-person group fitness classes with certified instructors and can use most of the equipment, including kettlebells and TRX trainers. For the first time, select GoodLife clubs will also offer Teen Fitness Team Training Camps with motivating workouts and basic fitness knowledge to equip them for longer term fitness programs.

GoodLife will launch a video series targeting teens with the key information they need for effective workouts. Content will include fitness tips from GoodLife experts, demo videos with proper form and technique for various workouts, and sports-specific training programs that will help teens prepare for fall try outs. Registered teens can access the content via the GoodLife app and website, as well as on Instagram, TikTok and YouTube (@goodlifefitness)

Julia Watts (age 15) looks forward to her second year of Teen Fitness. Watts is a track and volleyball athlete during the school year, but Teen Fitness helps her stay active over the summer.

"My coaches encouraged me to try more resistance training to strengthen my legs for track, but I'm pretty new to the gym so I'm not always sure what to do," Watts explained. "I usually stick to cardio, but when I want to do something different, I use the On-Demand classes on the GoodLife app. There are so many options on there for upper body, lower body or whatever I need. It's a lot easier to just pick a workout and follow along."

Matthew Polidori (age 14) is a student athlete who spends most of his time training on the field or the rink, but now he's looking forward to another summer on the gym floor. Outside of his usual soccer and hockey practice, Polidori uses the gym to gain strength and speed in other ways.

"I can't always get access to the gym at my school, and I don't have any equipment at home. Teen Fitness is the one time I can use machines, weights and different equipment to train in ways that I can't anywhere else," Polidori explained. "This year I'm really looking forward to going to GoodLife with my friends. When Teen Fitness is on, we all sign up together and go almost every day. It's so much fun when everyone can make it. It makes my workouts feel like something I get to do, not something I have to do."

About Teen Fitness GoodLife launched Canada's first Teen Fitness program in 2010 with a mission to reduce barriers to fitness and give young people more opportunities to get active. Teen Fitness members have access to GoodLife clubs across Canada seven days a week from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. The last check-in time for Teen Fitness Members is 3 p.m., and teens can work out for a maximum of two hours per day. Program participants will have access to:

Find out more at GoodLife Teen Fitness.

About GoodLife Fitness GoodLife Fitness started in 1979 in London, ON, and has since grown to become one of the largest chains of fitness clubs in Canada and the fourth largest in the world. Founder and CEO David 'Patch' Patchell-Evans started the business with one purposeto give everyone in Canada the opportunity to live a fit and healthy good life. A membership to GoodLife Fitness gives access to clubs, amenities and virtual workouts that help to achieve this purpose. With hundreds of clubs from coast-to-coast, the GoodLife team is helping to transform the health and fitness of people across Canada every day. http://www.goodlifefitness.com

SOURCE GoodLife Fitness

For further information: Heather Smith, (519) 671-0157, [emailprotected]

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Teens work out for free, learn from fitness experts as part of GoodLife Teen Fitness - Canada NewsWire


May 6

newsGP – Strong link between cardio fitness and long-term health – RACGP

News

High cardiorespiratory fitness can reduce the risk of mortality and morbidity by almost 20%, world-first research shows.

New research published in the British Journal of Sports Medicine suggests cardiorespiratory fitness is a strong and consistent predictor of morbidity and mortality among adults. Led by the University of South Australia (UniSA), the research is the first to collate all evidence looking at possible links between cardiorespiratory fitness and health outcomes among adults, using more than 20 million observations from around 200 unique cohort studies. To measure cardiorespiratory fitness and its impact on health, the team tracked metabolic equivalents (METs), which measure the amount of oxygen consumed while sitting at rest. They found that for every 1-MET increase in cardiorespiratory fitness, risk of death can be reduced by 1117%, with risk of heart disease reduced by 18%. For most people, a 1-MET increase in cardiorespiratory fitness can be achieved through a regular aerobic exercise program, according to the authors. Co-author and UniSA Professor Grant Tomkinson said cardiorespiratory fitness the ability to perform physical activity for a long period of time such as running, cycling, and swimming is probably the most important type of fitness for health. Prolonged cardiorespiratory fitness is strongly and consistently associated with all types of premature death and incident disease spanning heart failure, depression, diabetes, dementia and even cancer, he said. We summarised the evidence linking cardiorespiratory fitness to numerous health outcomes and found that those with low levels are far more likely to die early or develop chronic conditions like heart disease later in life. Preventive healthcare is part of GPs daily remit, with routine discussions around lifestyle, including physical activity, taking place with the almostnine in 10 Australianswho visit a GP every year. Encouraging regular exercise and good eating habits, as well as other lifestyle measures such as social prescribing are all tools to better health according to the RACGP, whose Guidelines for preventive activities in general practice cite the importance of the GPpatient relationship in reaching goals of maintaining or improving health. With the research demonstrating the benefits of regular cardio exercise, lead author Dr Justin Lang, who is Adjunct Professor at UniSA and the Public Health Agency of Canada, said the onus for improvement should fall on both healthcare providers and the individual. It should be routinely assessed in clinical and public health practice, so that we can support people to improve their health outcomes, he said. Through regular assessment, clinicians and exercise professionals could better identify adults at greater risk of early death and initiate exercise programs aimed at increasing cardiorespiratory fitness through regular physical activity. Findings from the study show that cardiorespiratory fitness is associated with the largest risk reduction for cardiovascular mortality among those living with cardiovascular disease when comparing high versus low cardiorespiratory fitness. In addition, high cardiorespiratory fitness is also strongly associated with lower risk of incident chronic conditions such as hypertension, stroke, atrial fibrillation, dementia and depression, and poor prognosis in those with existing chronic conditions. In Australia, an estimated 11.6 million people (47%) have a chronic condition, which contributes to two thirds of the burden of disease. It is estimated that 38% of this disease burden can be prevented through a reduction in modifiable risk factors such as overweight and obesity, physical inactivity, dietary risks, and alcohol, tobacco and other drug use. Dr Lang said the study is a timely reminder of fitness being a strong marker of health. Clearly, cardiorespiratory fitness is as an important factor for good health, he said. People can make meaningful improvements through additional moderate physical activity, such as brisk walking, at least 150 minutes a week. And as they improve their fitness, their risk of death and disease will decline. The authors state the consistency of evidence across a variety of health outcomes demonstrates the need to incorporate the importance of cardiorespiratory fitness in routine health practices. Professor Tomkinson said the take-home message is simple. If you do a lot of huff and puff exercise, then your risk of dying early or developing diseases in the future is reduced, he said. If you avoid exercise your health may suffer. Log in below to join the conversation.

cardiorespiratory fitness exercise heart health lifestyle physical activity preventive health

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newsGP - Strong link between cardio fitness and long-term health - RACGP


Apr 26

Exercise program helps those with Parkinson’s – Spectrum News 1

LOUISVILLE, Ky. People living with Parkinsons disease can experience difficulties with activities they enjoy. An exercise class allows those with the neurological disease to move their bodies and meet other people with Parkinsons disease.

Edward Heymann heads to the gym Tuesday afternoons to pump his muscles. But he also plays another role in the workout class.

I want them to know that they love when they come in," Heymann said. "That's part of what this is all about: the camaraderie that takes place."

Heymann was diagnosed with Parkinsons disease more than seven years ago. The neurological disease has affected his ability to balance, preventing him from enjoying some of his hobbies such as golf.

Heymann noticed there were programs for people living with cancer and diabetes, but there was nothing like it for those with Parkinsons disease. He worked to change that.

You see people talk to people, communicate with people who (feel) belonging," Heymann said.

The Northeast YMCA in Louisville started the Total Movement fitness programin 2022.

Everybody's on a different journey ... maybe they're not running the marathon, but we're trying to slow down the process and give them a quality of life, instructor Barb Millhollan said.

The free 12-week program aims to provide community for people of all ages living with Parkinsons disease, which Heymann said is a large component of the program.

You're together," he said. "You know that you're now not an island to yourself."

Participants in the program work with a Healthy Living Coach to come up with a plan to stay active. Instructors are certified to work with Parkinson's patients.

The classes are open to all ages of people who have been diagnosed with idiopathic Parkinsons disease. Right now, the class is offered at the Northeast Family YMCA and the Southwest Family YMCA of Greater Louisville.

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Exercise program helps those with Parkinson's - Spectrum News 1


Mar 31

Regular exercise is associated with less insomnia, study shows – WAPT Jackson

Tired from a restless night spent awake? One of the most helpful things to do might be to get some exercise, according to a new study."Physically active people have a lower risk of insomnia symptoms and extreme sleep duration, both long and short," said lead study author Dr. Erla Bjrnsdttir, sleep expert and part time teacher and researcher at Reykjavik University.The study published Tuesday in the journal BMJ Open looked at data from more than 4,300 people ages 39 to 67 over 10 years.Bjrnsdttir is affiliated with a sleep application that tracks sleep and gives tips and resources for better sleep. The company didn't fund this study, and the authors didn't report any competing interests.Participants in nine European countries were surveyed about their frequency, intensity and duration of physical activity as well as their symptoms of insomnia, amount of sleep each night and feelings of sleepiness during the day.Those who were persistently active were 55% more likely to be normal sleepers those who sleep 6 to 9 hours a night and those who became active over the time period were 21% more likely to sleep normally after adjusting for age, sex, body mass index (BMI) and smoking history, the study said.The results are strong on their own but are also supported by an existing body of literature, said Dr. David Neubauer, associate professor in the department of psychiatry and behavioral sciences at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine. He was not involved in the research."Our results are in line with previous studies that have shown a beneficial effect of physical activity on symptoms of insomnia, but the current study additionally shows the importance of consistency in exercise over time," Bjrnsdttir said in an email. "It therefore matters to be physically active throughout your life in order to reduce the risk of insomnia and short sleep duration."The study may give health care professionals another tool alongside medication and therapy, said Dr. Shalini Paruthi, codirector of the Sleep Medicine and Research Center at St. Luke's Hospital in Chesterfield, Missouri, and an American Academy of Sleep Medicine spokesperson. She was not involved in the research."It gives us an idea of something that maybe we don't always think about for treatment of insomnia," Paruthi said.Will exercise cure my insomnia?There are plenty of reasons why physical activity may help in getting a good night's rest."Exercise has been shown to improve sleep quality and duration by promoting relaxation, reducing stress, and enhancing mood. Physical activity helps regulate the body's internal clock and promotes deeper, more restorative sleep," Bjrnsdttir said.This study does not show on its own that adding in exercise will reduce insomnia symptoms, since it did not get a clear baseline of sleep quality before activity was added in, Neubauer said.However, there is still good evidence out there."There is some literature suggesting people who start becoming more physically active and exercising more do have a tendency to have improved nighttime sleep in terms of their total sleep time, and their ability to fall asleep," he said.It's important to note, however, that people who have long had problems with insomnia likely won't find that exercise completely cures their condition on its own, Paruthi added.And it will vary individually some people will see amazing results, others moderate and a group of people may not see any improvement, she said.Cognitive behavioral therapy for insomnia is the most effective tool out there for treating insomnia, so people with more severe sleep problems may want to seek that out as well, Paruthi added.Getting activeYou don't have to start running marathons to get the benefit. You just have to start, the experts said."Even moderate-intensity exercise, such as walking or yoga, can have significant positive effects on sleep," Bjrnsdttir said.Paruthi has seen from her patients that there are always roadblocks to getting more active, but that any amount helps."Even if you can only walk two houses to the left, come back and walk two houses to the right that's a great start," she said. "Even if you're doing five minutes a day, you just have to start somewhere."If you want to make your activity even more helpful to your circadian rhythm, you can get outside in the sunlight, Neubauer said."Both being outdoors and being physically active can have a positive effect on our circadian rhythm. And it is our circadian rhythm that promote sleep at nighttime and alertness during the daytime," he said."The degree to which people can modify their lifestyles to enhance activity and being outdoors and getting more light certainly has the potential to have a positive effect on nighttime sleep."

Tired from a restless night spent awake? One of the most helpful things to do might be to get some exercise, according to a new study.

"Physically active people have a lower risk of insomnia symptoms and extreme sleep duration, both long and short," said lead study author Dr. Erla Bjrnsdttir, sleep expert and part time teacher and researcher at Reykjavik University.

The study published Tuesday in the journal BMJ Open looked at data from more than 4,300 people ages 39 to 67 over 10 years.

Bjrnsdttir is affiliated with a sleep application that tracks sleep and gives tips and resources for better sleep. The company didn't fund this study, and the authors didn't report any competing interests.

Participants in nine European countries were surveyed about their frequency, intensity and duration of physical activity as well as their symptoms of insomnia, amount of sleep each night and feelings of sleepiness during the day.

Those who were persistently active were 55% more likely to be normal sleepers those who sleep 6 to 9 hours a night and those who became active over the time period were 21% more likely to sleep normally after adjusting for age, sex, body mass index (BMI) and smoking history, the study said.

The results are strong on their own but are also supported by an existing body of literature, said Dr. David Neubauer, associate professor in the department of psychiatry and behavioral sciences at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine. He was not involved in the research.

"Our results are in line with previous studies that have shown a beneficial effect of physical activity on symptoms of insomnia, but the current study additionally shows the importance of consistency in exercise over time," Bjrnsdttir said in an email. "It therefore matters to be physically active throughout your life in order to reduce the risk of insomnia and short sleep duration."

The study may give health care professionals another tool alongside medication and therapy, said Dr. Shalini Paruthi, codirector of the Sleep Medicine and Research Center at St. Luke's Hospital in Chesterfield, Missouri, and an American Academy of Sleep Medicine spokesperson. She was not involved in the research.

"It gives us an idea of something that maybe we don't always think about for treatment of insomnia," Paruthi said.

There are plenty of reasons why physical activity may help in getting a good night's rest.

"Exercise has been shown to improve sleep quality and duration by promoting relaxation, reducing stress, and enhancing mood. Physical activity helps regulate the body's internal clock and promotes deeper, more restorative sleep," Bjrnsdttir said.

This study does not show on its own that adding in exercise will reduce insomnia symptoms, since it did not get a clear baseline of sleep quality before activity was added in, Neubauer said.

However, there is still good evidence out there.

"There is some literature suggesting people who start becoming more physically active and exercising more do have a tendency to have improved nighttime sleep in terms of their total sleep time, and their ability to fall asleep," he said.

It's important to note, however, that people who have long had problems with insomnia likely won't find that exercise completely cures their condition on its own, Paruthi added.

And it will vary individually some people will see amazing results, others moderate and a group of people may not see any improvement, she said.

Cognitive behavioral therapy for insomnia is the most effective tool out there for treating insomnia, so people with more severe sleep problems may want to seek that out as well, Paruthi added.

You don't have to start running marathons to get the benefit. You just have to start, the experts said.

"Even moderate-intensity exercise, such as walking or yoga, can have significant positive effects on sleep," Bjrnsdttir said.

Paruthi has seen from her patients that there are always roadblocks to getting more active, but that any amount helps.

"Even if you can only walk two houses to the left, come back and walk two houses to the right that's a great start," she said. "Even if you're doing five minutes a day, you just have to start somewhere."

If you want to make your activity even more helpful to your circadian rhythm, you can get outside in the sunlight, Neubauer said.

"Both being outdoors and being physically active can have a positive effect on our circadian rhythm. And it is our circadian rhythm that promote sleep at nighttime and alertness during the daytime," he said.

"The degree to which people can modify their lifestyles to enhance activity and being outdoors and getting more light certainly has the potential to have a positive effect on nighttime sleep."

Original post:
Regular exercise is associated with less insomnia, study shows - WAPT Jackson


Mar 31

‘At 43, I Started Lifting Heavy Weights. Now, I’m A Bodybuilder’ – Women’s Health

Ive always tried to eat well and exercise, but I lacked consistency. Whether it was the

In April 2021, I finally had enough. I realized doing the same thing over and over without results is scarier than trying something new, so I set up a meeting with a personal trainer at my local gym. I experimented with lifting weights in my early 20s here and there, but I was never consistent and didn't follow a program. But Im a lifelong learner who enjoys getting out of my comfort zone. My goals were simple, yet ambitious: I wanted to master the big liftsbench press, squat, and deadliftand I wanted to understand how to increase weight progressively to reach my full potential.

My first session was tough. Everything was hard, my form was all over the place, and the moves felt awkward. I was also nervous that people thought I didnt belong in the gym. But instead of saying, This is hard I cant do it, I said, How can I improve? Approaching this new challenge with curiosity, rather than fear, empowered me. I was determined to get stronger, and I was ready to put in the work.

I committed to training four times a week: two days with my trainer and two days on my own. I wanted to stay consistent, improve my form, and build muscle. I was excited for the challenge and motivated to get better.

Jenna Seguin at the start of her strength transformation journey in April 2021.

On Instagram, I came across a video of Michelle MacDonald bench pressing and was in awe of her form and heavy weight. I wanted to level up, so I applied to Michelles personal training community, The Wonder Women.

In August 2022, I started virtual training with The Wonder Women five days a week: three lower body days and two upper body days. I prioritized form and focused on progressive overload, but I also got curious about bodybuilding.

Jenna showed offher progresswhen she joinedThe Wonder Women virtual trainingprogram.

I decided to start training for my first bodybuilding competition in June 2023, but 12 weeks into prep, my competition was canceled. The Wonder Women didnt have spots available to transfer into the current bodybuilding training group, so I switched teams and joined Dynasty Training.

Im preparing for my first show at the end of 2024, so I recently started my build phase, which consists of four days of weight training: two lower body days and two upper body days. My goal is to build muscle, but instead of only focusing on how much weight I can lift, I also prioritize tempo and increasing my reps and sets.

For lower-body workouts: I do a glutes and quads day and a posterior chain day. My workouts are typically an hour and a half, and I do seven to 10 moves per session. The number of reps and sets varies, but most of my current lower-body lifts are based on a ladder model: 12 reps, 10 reps, eight reps, and six reps of each move, increasing weight as the number of reps decreases.

For upper-body workouts: I do a shoulders and back day and a chest and arms day. These workouts are typically an hour, and I do seven to 10 moves per session, including bench press, pullups, man makers, lat pulldowns, and pushups.

I also do 35 minutes of cardio six days a week and have one day designated to core and high intensity intervals, and one day of stretching. Sunday is my day off.

Lower body is my favorite to train and I especially love deadlifts, Bulgarian split squats, and hip thrusts. Now, I can deadlift 195 pounds and thrust 300 pounds. Im currently working on adding a pause at the top of each hip thrust and let me tell you it adds a whole other level of intensity.

Im capable of lifting more than my grip can hold, so these lifting straps take some pressure off my hands and allow me to focus on form and heavier weight without worrying about slipping.

I love overnight oats and oatmeal, and adding a scoop of this glazed donut protein powder satisfies my sweet tooth. Theres also no fillers or preservatives which is always a plus.

Ive tried every diet in the book, but nothing was ever sustainable or satisfying. Then, I learned to count macros and realized I could still eat my favorite foods when I paid attention to portion size and nutrition labels.

I eat four to five meals a day and focus on my protein, carb, and fat intake. I always prioritize protein, and chicken, turkey, and fish are my go-to sources. Its also fun to try new macro-friendly recipes, and meal prepping on Sunday sets me up for success during the week.

That said, it took me a long time to get over the idea of restriction. I was so used to eliminating foods and eating as little as possible, but once I learned nothing is off limits and macros are about balance and variety, I felt better than ever. Instead of a month-long, restrictive, fad diet, I realized the most sustainable plan is listening to my body and eating the foods I love.

1. I let go of the notion that my strength journey needs to be perfect.

When I started strength training in 2021, it wasnt necessarily the perfect time to embark on a new journey. But I decided to stop waiting and took control of my situation. Is every workout perfect? Nope! But thats okay. I realized if I keep trying and continue to show up its going to pay off in the long run.

Jenna shared a check-in photo whiletraining for her first bodybuilding show.

2. I became more self-aware and understood the value of the mind-body connection.

Its so easy to operate on autopilot, but Ive learned to evaluate my *entire* lifestyle when something feels off. If my energy levels are low, I look at my diet and sleeping habits. When I'm stressed, I reflect on why instead of letting anxiety rule my day.

As a result, Ive learned the importance of the mind-body connection. How Im feeling physically and mentally can have a direct impact on each other and the overall sense of self-awareness has gotten me closer to my goals.

3. I gave myself the opportunity to be good at something and realized consistency is key.

Most of my life, I participated in diets and fitness programs that had a clear start and end date. Once I understood that people become good at things by being consistent, a light bulb went off. I realized I had never given myself a chance (or the time) to get good. I always expected quick results and a long-term program seemed daunting, but when I challenged myself to start weight lifting without an end date in mind, my whole mindset changed.

Not only do I love that consistency brings me closer to my goals, but I found value and motivation in the process. Whether its perfecting my form or mastering a recipe, the sense of accomplishment after nailing a new skill keeps me determined to get better and stronger. Its fun to show up for yourself and consistency in the gym has given me the opportunity to believe in myself.

More:
'At 43, I Started Lifting Heavy Weights. Now, I'm A Bodybuilder' - Women's Health


Mar 31

NFL announces offseason workout dates for all 32 teams for 2024 offseason – NFL.com

Voluntary offseason workout programs are intended to provide training, teaching and physical conditioning for players. The calendar for 2024 is below.

As per Article 21 of the Collective Bargaining Agreement, each club's official, voluntary nine-week offseason program is conducted in three phases:

Phase One consists of the first two weeks of the program with activities limited to meetings, strength and conditioning, and physical rehabilitation only.

Phase Two consists of the next three weeks of the program. On-field workouts may include individual or group instruction and drills, as well as "perfect play drills," and drills and plays with offensive players lining up across from offensive players and defensive players lining up across from defensive players, conducted at a walk-through pace. No live contact or team offense vs. team defense drills are permitted.

Phase Three consists of the next four weeks of the program. Teams may conduct a total of 10 days of organized team practice activity, or "OTAs". No live contact is permitted, but 7-on-7, 9-on-7, and 11-on-11 drills are permitted.

Article 22 of the Collective Bargaining Agreement stipulates that clubs may hold one mandatory minicamp for veteran players. This minicamp, noted below, must occur during Phase Three of the offseason program.

New head coaches are entitled to conduct an additional voluntary veteran minicamp. Any voluntary minicamp for veteran players must be conducted prior to the NFL Draft (April 25-27), but no earlier than week three of the club's offseason workout program and after at least one week of the two weeks of Phase One activities that the clubs may hold pursuant to Article 21. This year, eight clubs will hold voluntary veteran minicamps, as noted below.

Each club may hold a rookie football development program for a period of seven weeks, which in 2024 may begin on May 13. During this period, no activities may be held on weekends, with the exception of one post-Draft rookie minicamp, which may be conducted on either the first or second weekend following the draft. The dates of each club's post-draft rookie minicamps will be circulated at a later date.

For specific information and detailed offseason program rules, please see Articles 21 and 22 of the Collective Bargaining Agreement, available on nflcommunications.com.

The NFL Offseason Workout Program calendar (dates are subject to change at the discretion of individual clubs):

Read more here:
NFL announces offseason workout dates for all 32 teams for 2024 offseason - NFL.com


Mar 31

Try Women’s Health And Men’s Health’s 20-Minute Muscle Program – Women’s Health

If you want major gains in minimal time, Women's Health and Men's Health have you covered with our new

Click here to get your Women's Health+ Premium membership, and you'll unlock 20-Minute Muscle (and *tons* more workout programs) immediately.

Let the record show, strength training is the key to feeling (and looking) so much stronger. When you strength train, you use either your own bodyweight or tools like dumbbells to build muscle mass, strength, and endurance. Picking up heavy weights is the secret sauce to the physical and mental transformation you've been dreaming about.

But it must take hours of time in the gym working out to see those gains, right? In reality, you can achieve a stronger, fitter you from the comfort of your own home simply by staying committed to a plan. "At the end of the day, consistency is key," Barnett says. "Whether it's 20 minutes or an hour, what's most important is moving your body regularly."

20-Minute Muscle includes four quick dumbbell workouts that target every muscle group in your body.

To get started, all you need to do is sign up for your WH+ Premium membership, which includes access to All/Out Studio, where the program lives.

This premium membership tier will also get you:

Read on for more reasons you should give 20-Minute Muscle a try:

Don't worry if you only have a light set at home. This program is about progressing over the course of a few weeksnot starting day one with the biggest dumbbells in the gym. "As long as you are progressively increasing the weight and challenging your endurance, you're going to get stronger," Barnett says.

In fact, if you're just starting out, it's better to begin with lighter weights and gradually increase as you get stronger. "It's all about finding the sweet spot between challenge and control," Barnett says. "You should be able to complete each exercise and rep with proper form. By the last few reps, it should be difficult."

All four of the workouts in 20-Minute Muscle are programmed circuit-style, which means that a block of movements is performed with minimal rest in between. This type of training gets real spicy, real fastwhich is the point, Barnett says.

Get Access To 20-Minute Muscle Now

"With 20 minutes on the clock, we are working to fatigue our muscles as much as possible in a short amount of time," she explains. "A circuit-style workout ensures that you're constantly putting in work to make the best use of your time."

Just aim to do as many reps as you can with control for the entire allotted time. With a few weeks of consistency, you should be able to crank out a few more reps using a heavier set of dumbbells. You'll see progress in real time!

Since we're working with 20 short minutes here, think of it as time to invest in yourself and completely focus on working towards a stronger you. That means keeping your head in the game through every movement.

"Mind-muscle connection is crucial," Barnett advises." You can go through the motions, but are you actively engaging the muscles?" Think intently about squeezing and elongating your muscles as you progress through a movement. "Being intentional with your focus on mind-muscle connection will optimize your gains," she says.

With just 20 minutes and a bit of consistency and focus, the gains will be all yours.

Click here to get your Women's Health+ Premium membership (including workout programs like 20-Minute Muscle, 15-Minute Mobility, and more).

Continue reading here:
Try Women's Health And Men's Health's 20-Minute Muscle Program - Women's Health


Mar 22

Scientists Working on Pill You Can Take Instead of Exercising – Futurism

Image by Getty / Futurism

As next-generation weight-loss treatments like Wegovy and Zepbound continue to fly off the shelves, scientists are busy working on a medicine that could mimic the effects of exercise.

As explained in an American Chemical Society press release, trials thus far on SLU-PP-332, the potentially groundbreaking compound in question, show that it seems "capable of mimicking the physical boost of working out."

"We cannot replace exercise; exercise is important on all levels," Bahaa Elgendy, an anesthesiology professor at Washington University Medical School in St. Louis who serves as the principal investigator of the new compound, said in the press release. "If I can exercise, I should go ahead and get the physical activity. But there are so many cases in which a substitute is needed."

Elgendy is slated to present at the ACS annual spring meeting this week about the compound, which has shown promising results and few side effects in rodent cells though as a University of Florida study about SLU-PP-332 from last fall noted, there will need to be more animal studies to test out its safety before human trials can be conducted.

All the same, it's taken years for scientists to go from theorizing about low side-effect "exercise mimetics" as the branch of potential workout-in-a-pill medications are called to actually conducting animal trials on them and beginning to prepare them for humans.

In an interview withFortune, Elgendy was optimistic about the many ways an SLU-PP-332 pill could help those who can't exercise due to illness or physical disability, or even those who've lost weight rapidly from weight-loss medicines but haven't shored up their muscles yet.

"It can complement exercise programs to give more benefits to patients as well," the doctor told the magazine. "Or it can be combined with the new wave of drugs: antidiabetic drugs and drugs that are used for obesity and weight loss."

SLU-PP-332 was, as the ACS press release notes, identified after more than a decade of study into specialized proteins known as estrogen-related receptors, or ERRs. After looking closely at the structure of these proteins and the molecules that bind them to others, Elgendy and his fellow scientists literallydesigned new molecules to synthesize and mimic the activation of ERRs hence the new compound.

Specifically, the compound is said to increase "a fatigue-resistant type of muscle fiber while also improving the animals' endurance when they ran on a rodent treadmill," which could make workouts easier and more effective once humans can take it, too.

It will be, as Elgendy toldFortune, at least five years before humans are able to take SLU-PP-332 as it continues to go through animal and eventual human trials but the prospect of a safe pill that mimics exercise is, for a lot people, worth the wait.

More on medicines of the future:Scientists Working on Drug to Indefinitely Delay Menopause

Link:
Scientists Working on Pill You Can Take Instead of Exercising - Futurism



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