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Entries in Get Active Magazine (6)


IHRSA 2017 Profile: Catching Up with Shabnam Islam

Shabnam Islam is a professor, personal trainer, and IHRSA Live host extraordinaire. Here why she's excited for IHRSA 2017.

Shabnam Islam teaches and believes in the life-affirming power of fitness

I'm really looking forward to IHRSA in March! I’m honored to be the anchor of IHRSA’s Live Studio. I believe that my diverse background allows me to showcase the dynamism that IHRSA brings to its convention year after year.

I’ve attended many fitness conferences over the years, but IHRSA is a completely different experience. Not only was I astonished by the vast size of the convention, but the high level of organization and professionalism, with respect to every aspect, was impeccable.

The IHRSA Live Studio provides attendees with yet another great opportunity to showcase their passions, products, services, or brand—so, if you haven’t made your plans to attend IHRSA 2017 in beautiful Los Angeles, I’d highly suggest that you do so now! Take advantage of all that the IHRSA experience offers  . . . and who knows, we may have a chance to meet!”

Read Get Active! magazine’s extensive profile of Shabnam.


Celebrities, Athletes, and Everyday People Shine in the Fall Issue of Get Active!

 We’ve been fortunate to have many Olympians grace the pages of Get Active! over the years. So it was no surprise to us that gymnast Aly Raisman, who was featured on our May cover, shined so brightly during the 2016 Summer Olympics and took home a gold and two silver medals from Rio de Janeiro.

Aly’s three new medals should complement nicely the two gold medals and bronze that she won at the 2012 Summer Olympics in London. As always, Aly competed with dignity and poise, making us extremely proud —and seemingly clairvoyant, too. Way to go, Aly!

IHRSA has a long history—dating back to the 1980s—of collaborating with the President’s Council on Fitness, Sports & Nutrition. We have also supported the Let’s Move! and Joining Forces initiatives, both led by First Lady Michelle Obama, over the past seven and a half years.

So this summer when we got the call from the White House to assist with a Funny or Die video celebration of the 60th Anniversary of the President’s Council on Fitness, Sports & Nutrition, we were delighted to help. The resulting “History of Exercise” video, starring the First Lady alongside actor/comedian Nick Offerman (with a cameo by actress/comedian Megan Mullally, who also happens to be Offerman’s wife), debuted on August 31.

It has already attracted more than one million views, showing what a little star power, humor and creativity can do to move a winning message forward. You can do your part by liking and sharing it on your favorite social networks. Your friends and  family will thank you.

In our “Results” feature we tell you the story of Torrie Creamer, a wife and mother who stopped caring for herself and paid the price. Thanks to a strong support group and Torrie’s undying fortitude, she was able to lose 150 lb, which improved all aspects of her life, not just her health. This is the promise of fitness, and the reason we all work out. Lastly, we’re thrilled to share with you a profile of the amazing Jessie Graff, who astounds on the hit show “American Ninja Warrior.”

Not only is Jessie redefining the world’s perceptions of female athleticism, she also works as a stunt double in movies and on television. In other words, she makes the A-list look good. The group of individuals mentioned above is as diverse as it is accomplished.

For Get Active!, each one made 2016 a little more memorable, and for that, we are grateful.


Food Smarts: How to Get Kids to Eat Right

The following was written by Stacy Achua for Get Active! Magazine 

It’s one of the most difficult challenges parents face: getting your children to eat healthy. While it seems impossible at times, there are a number of simple steps you can take to tilt the odds in favor of your kids getting the nutrition they need to be healthy and happy. 

One thing’s for sure: It matters. Research continues to support the importance of a healthy diet for small children and adolescents, even when it comes to mental health and cognitive abilities. 

The need for more effort for family nutrition is clear. Obesity rates have nearly tripled among youth over the past three decades. Today, about one in three children and teens in the U.S. is considered overweight or obese. 

Here are some steps to take to keep your family healthy and happy at the dining room table. 

Set the Right Example

This seems obvious, but you may surprise yourself with how much unhealthy food you may eat in front of your kids. Be mindful of your own habits, especially when the young ones are around. 

Replace Junk Food with Healthy Snacks 

Food companies are becoming much better at creating tasty finger foods that can replace those treats with heavy calories. While your kids may demand a specific favorite you may disapprove of, you can always augment their cravings with fruits or low-calorie replacements.

It’s OK to start with minor changes, especially if you have fussy eaters to deal with. Small reductions in fat and sugar add up. 

Make Breakfast Mandatory 

New research published in Public Health Nutrition found that kids who eat breakfast tend to get higher grades in school. Starting the day with breakfast is also linked to children eating better throughout the rest of the day. With 8–12% of school-age children skipping breakfast, and 20–30% of adolescents missing the first meal of the day, it’s clear that more parents need to strongly encourage children to eat in the morning. 

Read the full article in the Spring 2016 issue of Get Active! Magazine.


Get Active! Magazine’s 2016 Spring Running Shoe Review 

by Cregg Weinmann, Running Shoe Reviewer for Fortius Media Group, LLC 

Finding the best shoe for you has traditionally begun by assessing the characteristics of your feet and gait, and then matching them with the features and properties of a particular shoe. If you had a neutral gait, then your need for specialized shoes was reduced.

However, if you rolled to the inside of your foot, called overpronation, the thinking was that you required a more heavily supported shoe. 

This approach was based on the science- and construction-based solutions of 30 years ago. The notion of overpronation, and the thinking behind it, continued until recently. The (oversimplified) idea was that runners who overpronated risked injury if they didn’t run in shoes that employed a structure to correct the excessive motion. 

The recent minimalist movement set in motion an exploration and rethinking of these long-held tenets. Yes, the use of geometry and lighter materials have improved running shoes and their performance. But more importantly, it has resulted in a paradigm shift toward the understanding that running shoes by themselves don’t prevent overuse injuries, because they can’t control overpronation. 

(Click to enlarge)

This doesn’t mean the accepted stabilizing technologies are unnecessary. They actually help to resist the premature breakdown of the shoe’s structure and performance, playing a key role in the comfort of both your runs and your wallet. They just can’t stop the motion that your feet are inclined to take.  

The motion of general foot types is best served, first, by certain footwear properties, components and designs, and, second, by an individual runner’s preferences for fit and feel. Of the two, fit and feel trump properties, components and designs. All feet pronate, and some—depending on their movement patterns—pronate more than others. 

What we suggest is a starting point within the categories of running footwear styles, but it’s only a starting point. Runners are very fond of their go-to shoes, and a large percentage of runners have been guided toward a particular shoe at the suggestion of a running specialty store. That suggestion starts the learning process for what works for runners. With all the services your local running specialty store provides, it’s a great place to start your search. 

View the full “2016 Running Shoe Review” article in the Spring issue of Get Active!


The Ultimate Fitness Bucket List

This feature is brought to you by the IHRSA Store spring sale. Now through June 30, save 25% on reports, webinars, and all other resources in the IHRSA Store by using promo code 2016SALE at checkout. 

There’s no expiration date on the human body, but as you age, one truism remains: use it or lose it. Staying active should be a lifelong habit, but workouts at the gym and weekend warrior outings with friends can keep you stimulated for only so long. 

There’s nothing like the feeling of accomplishment that results from completing a difficult task, and challenging yourself in a new fitness event is a great way to get the most out of your potential—and your life. Before you reach an age when getting out of bed is an epic task, you should attempt one of the goals we’ve listed below. Not only are they fun and rewarding on their own, but they’ll make you feel more alive, and teach you just how much you can accomplish when you put your mind to it. 

A word of caution: These events require proper preparation and training, so do your homework. Always consult with your physician before beginning a new training regimen. 

Run a Marathon 

This footrace covers a distance of 26 miles and 385 yards, and
is run by men and women of all ages. Most major cities have an official marathon, and it’s also a competitive and Olympic sport. Many marathons are held to benefit charities, which is a draw for many first-timers. 

  • How to prepare: One word: run. If you’re not a lifelong jogger or runner, build up your distance capabilities gradually, and make sure your heart is healthy enough for the extra work. And invest in quality running shoes.
  • Premier event: The Boston Marathon is the most famous footrace in the U.S., and despite the terrorist attacks in 2013, this is still one of the most popular athletic events in the world, with over 38,000 runners expected in 2016.
  • Alternatives: If running more than 26 miles is too much, you can try shorter runs, such as 5Ks and 10Ks. A popular race (12K) is the annual Bay to Breakers in San Francisco.
  • Fun fact: The marathon was created to honor a heroic Greek soldier named Pheidippides, who ran from a city called Marathon to Athens in only 36 hours. 

Do a Triathlon   

A triathlon is a three-stage race that includes swimming, cycling and running that’s performed continuously. There are four different course lengths for a triathlon: 

  1. Sprint: swim (0.47 miles); bike (12 miles); run (3.1 miles);
  2. Intermediate (or Olympic distance): swim (0.93 miles); bike (25 miles); run (6.2 miles);
  3. Long course: swim (1.2 miles); bike (56 miles); run (13.1 miles);  
  4. Ultra: swim (2.4 miles); bike (112 miles); run (26.2 miles). 
  • How to prepare: Beginners should get their feet wet, literally, in a short sprint triathlon before tackling anything more demanding. But this is an event that requires tremendous endurance, and should be rehearsed before the real thing. You also need to do your quick-change prep by learning how to quickly change in designated areas from swim trunks to biking gear to running attire.
  • Premier event: The Ironman World Championship held in Kailua-Kona has attained near legendary status since launching in 1978. This is an ultra distance event, and is televised on major networks. As you can see above, the required lengths are brutal.
  • Alternatives: There are plenty of triathlons held in different regions, so if you want to tackle this swim-ride-run trifecta, jump into a sprint triathlon somewhere near you by checking the websites in the next column.
  • Fun fact: The triathlon became an Olympic sport at the 2000 Sydney Games, utilizing the intermediate distance. 

Continue reading “The Ultimate Fitness Bucket List” in the Spring issue of Get Active!


Who Needs a Magic Pill When There's Exercise? 

Truth be told, there is no medicine known to mankind that has the protective power of regular exercise. Consider these undisputed facts: regular exercise...

  • Reduces the risk of premature death;
  • Lowers the risk of heart disease, type 2 diabetes, hypertension, breast cancer, colon cancer, and stroke;
  • Relieves depression, anxiety, stress, and insomnia;
  • Lowers resting heart rate, reduces cholesterol, and increases metabolic efficiency;
  • Is essential for weight loss and weight management.

Every day, more and more doctors, health educators, and health journalists are continually communicating these benefits. As a result, the general population has become more aware of the “magic” power of exercise, and the implications for society over the long-term is decidedly positive.

Research has also shown that people tend to have substantially more success adhering to their exercise regimen if they belong to a health club or social group than those who do not.

For millions of men and women of all ages, their involvement with a health club has become an integral part of their lives. Their health club is not only a place where they work out, but it is also a place where they often connect with friends and neighbors— and meet new like-minded friends, too.

For more motivating stories and the latest news on the many health and well-being benefits of regular exercise, check out the Spring edition of Get Active! magazine.