• Why a Kick Ass Kickboxing Routine Can Relieve Stress and Keep you Fit

    February 7, 2019 UBQFIT Fitness

    Work deadlines, sitting in traffic, paying bills, and even finding time for the
    things you love are daily stresses everyone experiences. In the United States,
    seven out ten adults report feeling some form of stress daily. While we all try
    to avoid stress like the plague, it’s an inevitable part of our world today that
    has a much harsher consequence than brief periods of heightened anxiety.

    Stress can manifest in sadness, anger, exhaustion, mood swings, insomnia, poor
    eating, and panic attacks. All of these symptoms can take a toll on not only
    your mind but your body. Most of the time people simply associate stress with
    how it affects the brain but fail to recognize that stress also connects to
    nerves which can negatively impact the body.

    As everyone has different daily stressors, there are also various ways to handle
    stress. While music, massage therapy, and meditation have their own healing
    powers, nothing compares to the release of endorphins during a workout. Any form
    of exercise can help combat the negative effects of stress on the body; however,
    kickboxing has proven to be a number one stress-buster. A majority of the time,
    people under stress experience strong feelings of tension and anger. A
    cardiovascular exercise such as kickboxing allows people to unload that pent up
    tension and anger through a series of punching and kicking movements. You’re
    literally and metaphorically beating out all the negative elements in your life.
    So although you can’t beat up your boss, you can take that frustration to the
    pad to avoid a work meltdown.

    When you’re getting out your day’s frustrations in kickboxing, the benefits
    surpass the 60 minute session by improving sleep and mental clarity later at
    night. This continued benefit is due to the release of endorphins which trigger
    a feel good attitude.
    [https://www.besthealthmag.ca/best-you/fitness/benefits-of-kickboxing-for-women/]According
    to researchers
    [https://www.besthealthmag.ca/best-you/fitness/benefits-of-kickboxing-for-women/] from
    the Institute of Cognitive and Evolutionary Anthropology in Oxford, England, the
    impact of these endorphins are enhanced by the group exercise element of
    kickboxing. After all, there is nothing more empowering than a group of people
    coming together to combat their individual stressors, together. In 60 minutes,
    you are continuously moving with jabs, hooks, crosses, uppercuts, roundhouse
    kicks, front and side kicks. These powerful movements elicit a huge confidence
    boost as the kickboxers are able to get a sense of invincibility with each sharp
    move.

    This invincible sensation isn’t a facade either. Kick boxers burn about 600—if
    not more—calories an hour punching, jabbing, and kicking their way to better
    balance, flexibility, coordination, sharpened reflexes, and endurance. In one
    session, you’re getting a total body workout with countless benefits. The
    cardio-conditioning element of kickboxing, zones in on burning the fat
    associated with an increase in heart disease and diabetes. The quick, cardio
    movements of kickboxing help to burn calories at a quicker rate rather than
    sedentary workouts. Losing those extra pounds will instantly reduce any stress
    on your heart, so you can check that off your list!

    With all these benefits, it might be time to rethink your idea of de-stressing.
    Perhaps the best way to de-stress isn’t a relaxing, mediation but actually a
    high intensity kickboxing class. As counterintuitive as it can initially be,
    there is no denying the incredible benefits for your mind and body that
    kickboxing provides. However, with any workout, it’s important to work at your
    own pace and start slow. Specifically for this full throttle, high impact
    workout, it’s critical to drink water before, during, and after the workout. Be
    in tune with your body to ensure you don’t overdo it as no workout is worth it,
    if it’s not being done properly. But I think after a few sessions, your body is
    going to be saying “more kickboxing please”.

    And if kickboxing classes aren’t in your budget right now try these free videos
    from fitness bloggers!

    30-Minute At-Home Cardio Boxing and Kickboxing Workout
    [https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fVWCFssd6bA] by POPSUGAR Fitness.

    Cardio Kickboxing Workout to Burn Fat at Home by Fitness Blender.

    Killer 30-Minute Cardio-Boxing and Core Workout
    [https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Z1LeHynYZLk] by POPSUGAR Fitness.

  • Why HIIT Workouts Work for Busy Moms

    February 7, 2019 UBQFIT Fitness

    You wake up early and go to bed late. Everything in between is a flurry of
    activities you somehow manage to do for your whole family. If this applies to
    you, you must be a busy mom.

    As a busy mom, the mere idea of free time is a fantasy. So it’s no surprise that
    finding the time to work out is out of the question. Or so you think…

    HIIT, or high-intensity interval training, is a short duration, get in-get out
    type of workout, perfect for busy moms. A HIIT workout takes no longer than 30
    minutes but your body burns extra calories that lasts for hours and hours. More
    burn with less time working out means you have the ability to keep up with your
    children and squeeze in some time for yourself.

    Still in disbelief? I’ll break it down. The new trend is defined as a burst of
    high intensity work followed by active recovery. High intensity would be 85-95%
    of your maximum effort but only for about 30-60 seconds. By combining less
    intense activity with intense bursts of activity, your body works harder and
    burns calories quickly and at a constant pace. For this reason, your body
    continues your workout while you are helping your child with their homework.
    Some  [http://www.lindsaygee.ca/hiit-workouts-perfect-workout-busy-moms/]studies
    [http://www.lindsaygee.ca/hiit-workouts-perfect-workout-busy-moms/] report
    increased metabolic rate for up to 18 hours after finishing your workout. So
    basically 30 minutes of an intense workout is equivalent to multiple hours spent
    in a gym.

    But still, finding 30 minutes can be difficult as a busy mom when you factor in
    the time it takes to muster up the motivation to get moving. However, it’s much
    easier to mentally prepare for a 20 minutes workout versus a 60 minute one. HIIT
    also makes quick improvements in your fitness level possible which helps you to
    not fall off the fitness wagon. With virtual trainers at your disposal via
    Youtube, Instagram, and fitness apps, there’s literally no excuse to not try a
    video while your children are watching TV.

    As HIIT workouts continually workout your body, shoot for HIIT workouts two to
    three times a week to give your muscles the needed 48 hour rest to repair, rest,
    and grow. This trend should push you to your limits, not past them. So listen to
    what your body is trying to tell you and go at the right pace for your
    individual body. So now do you believe that working out is no longer just a
    luxury for dads?

    If so, what are you waiting for? Click one of these videos to get your full
    workout in the limited time you have!

    10 Minute HIIT Workout (QUICK ROUTINE FOR BUSY MOMS!!)
    [https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ya_mNn5bBEE] by Athlean-XX for Women

    QUICK HOME WORKOUT FOR BUSY MUMS
    [https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zo0aQAxRqak]by Lucy Wyndham-Read

    Busy Mom Workout (8 MINS OF KID-FREE INSANITY!!)
    [https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1ZqQbzZScrk] by Athlean-XX for Women

  • The Dreaded Leg Day: Why Keeping a Toned Base Builds Resilience

    February 7, 2019 UBQFIT Fitness

    Leg Day. The most feared day of the week. People either hobble out of the gym
    post workout or skip it all together. However, your lower body is the home to
    some of the biggest muscles in your body; therefore, it’s a lot more important
    than people like to think.

    Because those larger muscles require more energy, your body burns more. This
    body burn also speeds up your metabolism. Your metabolism isn’t the only thing
    that speeds up from leg day. A well-developed lower body allows you to exert
    maximum force in minimal time which increases your speed and explosiveness. Most
    people correlate speed to lower body strength but what they tend to overlook are
    the added benefits of stability and balance.

    Exercises such as lunges and squats promote stability in the knee which helps
    prevent an ACL tear. Side lunges and deadlifts also increase stability which
    develops your proprioception. With anything you do whether it is in a workout or
    the real world, balance is the key to controlling your own body. You’ll be
    grateful for leg day the next time you slip on ice.

    Speaking of the real world, once you have a stable foundation, everyday tasks
    are easier. Picking up boxes, carrying groceries, or moving furniture all have
    risk factors to them if you lack lower body strength. Improper form or lack of
    strength can lead to an unwarranted injury. Actually lower body strength could
    be your biggest defense against injuries in general.

    We place a lot of pressure on our hips so it is important that we develop them
    with strength based movements such as squats and deadlifts. Most runners
    experience major injuries based on the wearing down of the hip joint. Whether
    you are a runner or not, doing those strength based exercises can prevent
    injuries down the road. Even if you’re a sedentary person, you’re not immune
    from lower body related injuries. People who sit for long periods of time are
    more likely to experience back pain from weak hamstrings and short and tight hip
    flexors. Basically, if you ignore your lower body, you run the risk of numerous
    injuries.

    However, when deciding to opt out of having chicken legs and committing to leg
    day, it’s pivotal to have proper form, as having improper form leads to injuries
    in itself. In order to move up in weights and increase your gains, you have to
    be sure to have gotten the movements and proper mobility down. Mobility is an
    often overlooked part of lower body fitness but as with any other type of
    fitness, mobile joints are crucial when optimizing your potential output.

    If you’re reading this and disregarding it because you’re more of an “upper
    body” person, think again. Even when you’re lifting weights, a huge part of that
    comes from the foundation in your legs. You become more efficient in lifting
    heavy objects when you decide to focus strength training on both your lower and
    upper body. Let’s face it, it’s a necessary evil that pays off in the long run
    if not in the present workout. Do the work to your lower body now and the rest
    of your body will thank you later.

  • Gen Z Redefines Health and Wellness

    February 7, 2019 UBQFIT Fitness

    According to a survey of more than 12,000 of its student members across the
    U.S., U.K., Australia and New Zealand, UNiDAYS found that Gen Z believes in a
    holistic approach to health, incorporating physical fitness, healthy eating and
    mental well-being.

    “Generation Z commands up to $143 billion in U.S. spending power, and this
    offers a huge opportunity to marketers looking to capture this audience as
    customers,” said Alex Gallagher UNiDAYS chief strategy officer.

    New Year’s resolutions are staged to be more interesting this year as Gen Z,
    soon to be the largest group of consumers in the U.S., takes over. This group of
    teens and young adults believe healthfulness is more than losing a few pounds or
    hitting the gym.

    According to a survey of more than 12,000 of its student members across the
    U.S., U.K., Australia and New Zealand, UNiDAYS
    [https://www.myunidays.com/US/en-US/account/register?utm_source=Google&utm_medium=cpc&utm_campaign=gupta_search_audit&utm_content=43269-Branded&gclid=Cj0KCQiAvKzhBRC1ARIsANEXdgwZoJHvU8mTtCUEvl8FxK1uae0NbWoRD9UOnQGWKpJzva_pXGlLQ44aAsaOEALw_wcB] found
    that Gen Z believes in a holistic approach to health, incorporating physical
    fitness, healthy eating and mental well-being. This group of digital natives
    also uses technology to support wellness, with 65% of respondents using workout
    apps, often instead of expensive gym memberships. A majority of respondents also
    use food tracking or diet apps, and 28% depend on wearable technology to track
    workouts and eating.

    Other top findings include Gen Z’s focus on mental health – 72% say managing
    stress and mental health is their most important health and wellness concern and
    60% believe getting enough sleep is important. They are also overwhelmingly
    healthy eaters – 68% say eating a well-balanced diet as critical. Though 41% say
    they eat fast food at least weekly, that doesn’t necessarily mean fries and
    burgers. For Gen Z, “fast food” can also mean quick, healthy, on-the-go meal
    options, such as salads, which 32% of respondents say is the go-to healthy meal.

    “Generation Z commands up to $143 billion in U.S. spending power, and this
    offers a huge opportunity to marketers looking to capture this audience as
    customers,” said Alex Gallagher chief strategy officer. “Health and fitness
    brands that want to capture their share need to abandon their categories and
    mirror Gen Z’s holistic approach that incorporates physical and mental fitness,
    healthy eating, and bridges both digital and physical realms.”

    Additional Survey Findings:

    * 43% of respondents work out at home, with only 23% using a student
    recreational facility. Yet, 61% of respondents say they’d take advantage of
    fitness classes if student pricing plans were offered.

    * 49% work out one to three times a week. Weights and cardio are the top
    workouts for both men and women.

    * 43% discover new health clubs through blogs and influencers, compared to only
    25% who find them from TV commercials. 71% discover new eateries and find new
    fitness opportunities through social media. 33% find new places to eat
    through blogs and influencers.

    * 82% get tips on new restaurants and 64% find new gyms from family and
    friends.

    * 52% would subscribe to a healthy meal delivery service if it were available.

    * The most popular diet trends for Gen Z men and women are high protein, low
    carb diets.

    * For restaurant marketers, Gen Z names salad (32%), a smoothie (20%), a wrap
    (19%), sushi (16%), and a bowl (8%) as their top healthy food picks. 41% eat
    fast food at least weekly, but as the results show, burgers and fries are not
    necessarily on the menu. For Gen Z-ers, fast food can also mean quick and
    healthy.

    Additional U.S.- Specific Survey Findings:

    * 85% named money/finances as their top worry.

    * Almost 75% of respondents said managing stress and mental health is their
    biggest health and wellness concern.

    * Over 80% work out at home or at their school’s gym.

    * Most (49%) said weights and cardio are their favorite form of exercise.

    * 66% use an app to track their workouts.

    * High protein (44%) and low carb (39%) are the most popular diet.

    * Over 80% learn about new restaurants from friends and family.

    * 68% use social media to learn about new fitness opportunities.

  • Eight Wellness Trends for 2019

    February 7, 2019 UBQFIT Fitness

    NEW YORK (PRWEB) JANUARY 28, 2019

    When 650 wellness experts from 50 nations gather to debate the future of
    wellness, a uniquely informed and global view of trends unfolds. That’s what
    transpired at the recent Global Wellness Summit (GWS), which brought together
    leaders from the medical, travel, spa, beauty, fitness, nutrition, technology,
    financial and architecture worlds to debate where wellness is headed.

    Today, at a press event held at Hearst Tower in NYC and hosted by Good
    Housekeeping, the organization released their top wellness trends for 2019 (and
    beyond)—the provocative new directions they feel will have the most
    meaningful—and not fleeting—impact on the $4.2 trillion global wellness
    industry.

    Access the full 110- page report here
    [https://www.globalwellnesssummit.com/2019-global-wellness-trends/].

    1. Well Fashion – Way Beyond Athleisure

    It’s striking how little attention has been paid to the intersection between
    “wellness” and “fashion” beyond the familiar story of athleisure disrupting the
    market. And how few people that are wellness/eco-minded (who have a mini-stroke
    if served a plastic straw) have really grappled with their overconsumption of
    clothes and the insanely destructive environmental impact that has. Or pondered
    the negative ways that fashion impacts their wellbeing or imagined the positive
    ways that it could. It’s impossible to overstate the disastrous effect that the
    “take-make-dispose” fashion industry has on the environment and humans: workers
    paid 50 cents an hour, three in five garments bought getting chucked within a
    year, and an industry spewing 1.2 billion tons of greenhouse gas emissions
    annually. If nothing changes, fashion will eat up over 25% of the world’s entire
    carbon budget by 2050! Every touch-point in the cycle—how clothes/shoes are
    designed, made, acquired, cared for, experienced and disposed of—has been
    broken. But 2019 will be the pivotal year for change, with a huge wave of
    sustainable, ethical, intelligent, healing, more inclusive, and meaningful
    fashion on the rise. A more “well” fashion market and mindset is ahead.

    We’ll see radical innovation in sustainable textiles, with clothing/shoes made
    from recycled plastic bottles, algae, mushrooms and food waste. More vegan,
    cruelty-free fashion, with alt-fur, alt-leather, alt-everything collections that
    are trendier than the real thing. New AI and 3D design technologies mean the
    future is an on-demand, custom-created-for-you wardrobe (vs. spray-and-pray,
    generic overproduction). If manufacturing is a mean, faceless business, more
    ethical fashion brands will provide transparency into how they treat—and even
    celebrate by name—the artisans that created your wardrobe. Buy-and-trash culture
    is giving way to a recycle and re-wear revolution: from brands rewarding you for
    bringing in all those dead dresses to a surge in online luxury used fashion
    platforms and those that let you rent your entire wardrobe to a vintage
    renaissance. We’ll even see all-digital fashion collections designed to be
    exclusively strutted online at social media sites.

    The next-gen of smart, connected and healing clothes that actively boost your
    wellbeing is straight ahead. New technologies mean that fitness wearables will
    move seamlessly into clothing while self-regulating fabrics will adapt to all
    kinds of environmental and bodily changes (heat, cold, air flow, movement, UV
    rays, etc.). We’ll see antibacterial clothes that clean themselves,
    collagen-infused clothes that moisturize your body all day, clothes that
    broadcast your mood, pajamas that help you sleep—even clothes weaving in
    “ancient wellness,” such as lines suffused with Ayurvedic medicinal plants. And
    more brands will rip off the constricting “labels,” such as “plus-sized” and
    “man/woman” to create clothes that are truly inclusive around body shape and
    gender identity.

    2019: the year more people trade in the addictive endorphins of manic fashion
    consumption for the serotonin (true happiness) of choosing clothes that are
    sustainable, ethical, actively healing and meaningful—one of the most impactful
    wellness trends we’ve ever seen.

    2. Wellness Takes on Overtourism

    Overtourism—when a crush of tourists overwhelms a destination—is the #1 issue in
    the travel industry today, making headlines everywhere. With the growth in
    wealth worldwide, international travel is exploding, with annual trips jumping
    from 500 million in 1995 to 1.3 billion today. The problem is that this tourism
    expansion is hyper-concentrated: Roughly half of all travelers go to just 100
    global destinations; everyone wants to see the Mona Lisa and Machu Picchu, the
    Ginza in Tokyo and Venice’s canals. The damage to those destinations’
    infrastructure and environment (and to their residents’ lives) is a terrible
    wellness issue: from pollution and noisy, garbage-filled landscapes to the
    destruction of local heritage and culture to pricing locals out of the property
    market. And it’s not well or pleasant for the tourist, as you know if you’ve
    ever jockeyed for a selfie with 10,000 other manic people swarming the Trevi
    Fountain.

    It will take a full-court press of solutions from governments and tourism
    boards—and a real consumer mindset change—to attack overtourism and start
    spreading travelers to alternative regions and attractions. Wellness tourism
    will be one key antidote: Not only are the majority of wellness resorts, by
    nature, in nature (off the crowded, beaten path) but now a growing number of
    national tourism boards are smartly launching initiatives to combat overtourism
    (and reduce seasonality) by developing new wellness destinations. To fight the
    nightmare of overtourism in Dubrovnik, Croatia, the country is developing a
    Wellness & Spa Tourism Zone in Varaždinske Toplice, an area with centuries of
    hot springs bathing and other wellness traditions. Japan is developing new
    wellness tourism routes to coax travelers away from the congested
    Kyoto-Osaka-Tokyo corridor, such as the Dragon Route in the Chebu region, rich
    in history and hot springs, and the village of Misugi kicking off a wellness
    travel initiative that lures travelers for stargazing, forest bathing and beer
    onsens. Many more examples are underway, and it’s going to mean more unique,
    newly developed wellness destinations for travelers.

    As cities get bombarded by tourists, more travelers will crave healing, serene
    oases in metropolises, so another major trend is the rise of the urban wellness
    resort. It seems counterintuitive, but some of the world’s top wellness travel
    brands are moving beyond their roots in idyllic locations to set up shop in big
    cities. And by “setting up shop” we mean deep, mindbogglingly comprehensive
    wellness programming served up to both hotel guests and locals. The first
    One&Only Urban Resorts will soon open in Dubai, a “well” challenge to what a
    city hotel could be; famed Balinese wellness resort Fivelements will launch a
    creative urban wellness retreat in Hong Kong this year. Six Senses opens in NYC
    in 2020, where its first Six Senses Place (bringing together hotel guests and
    local members in a social wellness community) will offer a dizzying menu of
    beyond-cutting-edge wellness approaches.

    Eco and sustainable tourism are important movements, but the imperative to stop
    overtourism seems to be resonating more. As Rafat Ali, CEO of Skift, has noted
    (who coined the term “overtourism”), overtourism speaks to people’s
    self-interest and fears rather than just their altruism. More
    overtourism-fighting moves by tourism boards and hospitality brands are ahead,
    but “Choose Undertourism” needs to become a wellness movement and rallying cry.
    (And millennials/Gen Z will help, broadcasting the #JOMO (joy of missing out)
    they experience in exotic, lesser-known travel destinations.)

    3. Meditation Goes Plural

    Meditation will evolve from a singular to a plural practice, from a generic
    concept to understanding specific types and their unique brain impacts, just as
    this explosive market blooms—like yoga and boutique fitness before it—into many
    varieties. If it sometimes feels like we’ve reached peak mindfulness and
    meditation, we haven’t. After years of talk, now people are actually doing it
    (i.e., it’s the fastest-growing health trend in the US). But the growth in
    people practicing has been matched by profound confusion around the very
    concepts of “meditation” and “mindfulness” (which also infects medical studies):
    They get used interchangeably when the research shows that, while there are
    hundreds of meditation breeds, there are three core types/mechanisms: 1) focused
    attention (clearing the mind of thoughts), 2) open monitoring (which includes
    mindfulness meditation), and 3) self-transcending (involving silent mantras).
    Each is a different practice, activating different brain waves and neuroplastic
    changes and leading to different outcomes. More clinical trials will study these
    core types head-to-head and more people will grasp that different meditation
    practices can help them reach different goals—whether you’ve got a badly
    scattered mind or need a creative breakthrough. The future? It’s not either/or
    it’s yes/and—as meditation becomes a plural toolbox for mental wellness.

    Meditation will “go plural” in a whole other way. If you used to take that
    “meditation class,” now ancient and modern varieties will multiply in
    2019—whether straight-out-of-Europe sophrology (marrying Eastern meditation
    practices with Western relaxation concepts) or Kundalini yoga (an ancient,
    spiritual mash-up of chanted mantra, breathing techniques and movement).
    “Mindful fitness” brands will surge, where you move with intention or where
    workouts work in meditation sessions—just as mindful spa experiences will get
    more creative. More mindful apps and new drop-in meditation studios and wellness
    centers/clubs (all booming) will become one-stop shops with jaw-droppingly full
    meditation menus.

    A flurry of “meditation technologies” will boost—as well as hack—the meditation
    experience, using tech-like biofeedback, EEG/brain wave tracking and
    transcranial direct current stimulation. The Muse 2 headband tracks your brain
    patterns, heartbeat and movement to optimize your meditation session in
    real-time while Healium, a virtual reality headset, translates your brainwaves
    and heartbeat into personal visual meditations.

    The wellness market always pushes the “next” button (“like, meditation is so
    2015”). But the meditation research and market is extremely young and just
    approaching an adoption and conceptual tipping-point (and there’s no expiration
    date on 5,000-year-old solutions). The future is meditations, more types
    tailored to what you need most.

    4. Prescribing Nature

    Imagine going to your doctor, and instead of a prescription for some
    pharmaceutical, you received a prescription for a 30-minute walk in nature. This
    is not far-fetched. Put down the Prozac and pick up your walking shoes. This is
    happening all over the world, and it’s only going to become more prevalent.

    As people continue to be overworked and overwrought, they will answer the call
    of nature, so to speak. And it’s a call that comes from deep within, according
    to scientists who have been studying this. Nature Deficit Disorder has taken
    hold, and it’s real—this 24/7, digitally dominated, Instagram-able world is
    depriving humankind of some very basic, very important nourishment that comes
    from being outdoors.

    Much has been written about the evils (and glories) of technology, but the
    resulting dissociation from our natural surroundings leaves us emotionally and
    physically worse off. We are bereft of nature. Our bodies—and our minds—need
    nature. And as more evidence becomes available in mainstream media, more people
    will seek this “treatment,” and more physicians will be prescribing it. And the
    price is right, as it doesn’t cost anything to take a walk outside.

    A growing number of doctors are “medicalizing nature” because of the medical
    evidence for its benefits: from the National Health Service in Shetland,
    Scotland, recently rolling out a whole “nature prescription” program to the
    pioneering Washington, D.C. program DC Park RX started by Dr. Robert Zarr to Dr.
    Qing Li at Nippon Medical School in Tokyo, whose work on the eye-opening
    benefits of forest bathing have helped create 62 designated forest bathing
    therapy centers in Japan used by 5 million people a year.

    The medical evidence for doses of nature is wide-ranging, from a study by the
    European Society of Cardiology finding that a brisk walk outdoors daily for 25
    minutes could add at least three years to your life to others finding it helps
    repair DNA and reduce the risk of heart disease, diabetes, osteoporosis and
    certain cancers. It’s powerful medicine for our minds too, with studies
    indicating walks in nature engage the “default mode” brain network associated
    with stress-reduction and a boost in cognition, creativity and short-term
    memory.

    Beyond formal nature prescriptions, this trend also spans a serious “back to
    nature” shift happening across the wellness world, from the rise of “green
    exercise” (in-nature workouts) offered at more fitness studios, such as the UK’s
    Biofit, to the continued surge in bringing nature and biophilic design into our
    homes, schools, offices and hospitals to the nonstop growth in forest bathing
    programs at wellness travel destinations—whether the luxe new ski resort Le
    Massif in the French Alps or at the Oberoi Sukhvilas wellness resort in India.
    Look for nature to be a much-more-prescribed antidote for what ails us.

    5. MediScent: Fragrance Gets a Wellness Makeover

    The sense of smell is having a wellness renaissance. Once dismissed as the least
    relevant of the five senses, today, evidence-based studies around scent’s
    powerful impact on our physical and emotional wellbeing are being released fast
    and furiously. At the same time, new aromas are being discovered, including
    Glossier You’s personalized perfumes to enhance your own skin’s scent. New
    scent-based applications and products are being announced, such as Aeroscena’s
    gel pods diffusers that are used not only for feel good, functional scents in
    homes and offices but are also being tested as alternatives to pharmaceuticals
    in medical trials. And there is much innovation in how we harness the power of
    scent, such as Scentee’s smart diffuser that lets you change up scents from your
    smartphone.

    There are candles and oils to evoke a precise sense of place (to trigger
    positive memories) and scents used as mental wellness supplements (Nue Co. is
    marketing an anti-stress supplement as fragrance). Art installations, such as
    Jean-Marc Chaillan’s Mood Cloud, are exploring the not too far-fetched concept
    of melding wellness with big data, using microsensors that measure stress levels
    and showering calming aromas over stressed-out parts of a city. There’s simply
    ever more research that scent impacts cognitive health, such as the discovery
    that tasting and smelling wine works the brain harder than a math problem.

    Scent is being used as no-cal flavoring (SZENT is already selling water flavored
    with fragrance); restaurants are creating scent-based menus; and luxury hotels,
    including a recently opened Fendi hotel in Rome, are empowering guests to
    personalize their room’s aroma from a scent menu. As studies show that smell
    registers in our brains first—before sight, sound or touch—more marketers are
    employing scent to make us spend more time and money, while all kinds of product
    designers are focusing on scent as they bring new products to market. NanoScent,
    an Israel-based start-up, is trying to turn our smartphones into “scent
    catchers” and has developed a matchmaking app that uses scent to help identify
    suitable mates (based on the same technology that detects breast cancer by
    recognizing changes in the tissue’s smell). We expect that the neuroscience of
    scent will become more pervasive in everything we do, and fragrances will be
    used in ways we would never have dreamed of—both in public and personal spaces.

    6. China – Uncovering the Wealth in Wellness

    No country will have a bigger impact on the future global wellness economy than
    China, suddenly an economic, political and tech powerhouse. To grasp this
    impact, you have to expand your brain’s notions of scale. With a population of
    1.4 billion, China’s middle class will skyrocket from 430 million today to 780
    million by 2025. The country already drives more than half of all global
    e-commerce. Wrap your mind around China’s outbound travel growth, which has
    expanded 20-fold since 2000—now at 145 million international trips annually, to
    rise to 200 million in two years, and then doubling to 400 million by 2030 (when
    China will represent 30% of the entire international travel market).

    China is undergoing a wellness (and beauty) revolution; one could cite hundreds
    of stats. Over 70% of its middle class exercise regularly and purchase organic
    food, 104 million Chinese have at least one fitness app on their phones, and
    China accounts for 41% of all global cosmetic procedures. Chinese tourists will
    rewrite the wellness travel market: They’re now rejecting the old
    shopping/sightseeing tours to embrace authentic cultural and wellness
    experiences. (China is the fastest-growing wellness tourism market, jumping to
    third globally in lightning-fast time). With overpopulation and record-high
    pollution, the wellness real estate market is booming (now 2nd globally) with
    amazing projects, such as Liuzhou Forest City with its smog-eating facades
    covered by nearly 40,000 trees. The wellness boom in China is being driven by
    forces like the roaring “she-conomy” (incredible growth in women’s spending
    power) and the fact that so many more Chinese are now seeking their authentic
    roots and a spiritual purpose in life. The country is also facing a health
    crisis—from an unsupported aging population to ballooning obesity rates—and the
    government has launched a super-ambitious “Healthy China 2030” initiative with
    wellness targets such as having 530 million more people take part in regular
    exercise.

    China’s indigenous wellness traditions and unique destinations will increasingly
    grab the world’s attention, from new, authentic wellness travel destinations to
    its 425,000 TCM practitioners to its Buddhist and Taoist spiritual cuisine.
    Wellness hospitality leaders like Alila, Aman, Banyan Tree and Six Senses have
    recently launched sophisticated, authentic wellness resorts in China, such as
    Amanyangyun near Shanghai, a vast wellness destination with a unique focus on
    ancient Chinese culture and holistic healing. More people will seek temple
    getaways, where they reset their mental wellness and diet with Buddhist,
    Confucian and Taoist gurus. More will seek to experience TCM at its birthplace,
    such as at visa-free Hainan Island, an emerging TCM and wellness tourism
    hotspot. (TCM will be implemented by the World Health Organization in 2022, and
    China plans 15 more TCM destination “zones” like Hainan by 2020.) More people
    will become fascinated by Chinese spiritual cuisine, an extraordinarily poetic,
    creative and refined form of vegetarian dining.

    Napoleon famously said, “When China wakes…she will shake the world.” She will
    certainly shake the future wellness world.

    7. Nutrition Gets Very Personalized

    What we put in our bodies—whether it’s food, drink or supplements—has never been
    more scrutinized. Many would argue that this obsessional focus—from where our
    food is sourced to its nutritional content to the rise of vegan, dairy-free and
    gluten-free diets to the growing food tribes of keto, paleo and the like—has led
    to a healthier population. Not if your mind boggles every time you consider
    putting something in your mouth, or you’re not getting the nutrients your body
    needs because you’ve limited certain foods, or if your weight yo-yos every time
    you try the “next, best” weight loss experiment.

    Enter the age of personalized nutrition where science, low-cost medical testing
    and new technologies identify what foods are right just for us—not only for
    weight management but, more importantly, to boost overall health and wellbeing.
    This includes companies such as Habit and Nutrigenomix, which rely on blood and
    DNA analyses to specify what foods are right for you. Or companies such as Baze
    that focus solely on helping individuals meet their personal nutritional needs
    (appealing to specific food tribe members who are worried they aren’t getting
    all the right nutrients) by providing supplements based on blood work conducted
    every three months.

    The newly launched Onegevity Health adds microbiome analysis to the mix and
    promises to deliver personalized products and services that support skin health,
    cognition, heart health and sports performance.

    New devices, such as Lumen, which uses your CO2 to measure how you’re burning
    fuel and suggests which foods you should eat, are now available to help you
    understand exactly which nutrients your body needs. AI-powered apps, such as
    Pinto and Calorie Mama, let you know what exact nutrients and calories are
    sitting on the plate in front of you.

    As “one-size-fits-all” health and wellness practices fall by the wayside and the
    understanding of epigenetics—the study of how our genes are shaped by our
    behavior—grows, personalized nutrition will hit the mainstream in increasingly
    surprising ways, such as Gatorade’s chip-enabled skin patch that measures
    hydration so its drinks can deliver exactly what that athlete needs.

    In the near future, we will know much more about what the enormous ecosystem
    inside each of us is telling us, including how much exercise you really need to
    how our bodies react to specific nutrients. Fad diet confusion, new tech, and
    the “power of me” will propel personalized nutrition into the mainstream.

    8. Dying Well

    It’s difficult to present a trend with “dying” in the title; most people’s
    response: “Oh no, not relevant to me, I’ll skip.” It’s symptomatic of our modern
    death-denying culture where the (f)act of death is hidden and terrifying. If
    until the early 20th century people died at home surrounded by loved ones,
    Western medicine has since made it a coldly clinical affair in a hospital or
    nursing home. The funeral industry then co-opted the management of our dead, and
    with a decline in formal religion, healing communal rituals got lost. And two
    very modern forces are complicit in exacerbating the death-denial problem: a
    Silicon Valley biotech industry that aims to “cure death” and radically extend
    life—and the wellness market itself, with its endless don’t-age, never-die
    messages. But suddenly a “death positive” movement is here with everything
    around death and dying getting rethought through a more “well” lens: from making
    the dying process more humane to the radical reinvention of the memorial and
    funeral to active death exploration/acceptance practices becoming part of a
    mentally healthy life.

    Death doulas, wellness practitioners that fill that yawning gap in care between
    medicine and hospice, families and fear—and who are dedicated to delivering
    better, more meaningful and peaceful deaths—are gaining serious traction around
    the world. With rising evidence for psychedelic magic mushrooms’ power to
    relieve the emotional distresses of those facing end-of-life, psilocybin looks
    to be a bigger part of the future “dying well” toolbox (and researchers predict
    it could become legal medicine in five years). Funerals are becoming less
    gloomily formal, fixed and funereal and more deeply personal: from the rise of
    celebratory “living funerals” to the return of the creative home funeral.

    As people become aware of how environmentally toxic traditional embalmment,
    burial and cremation is, we’re seeing some seriously out-of-the-box,
    eco-friendly “burial” options: from mushroom burial suits lined with
    flesh-eating fungi that speed your return to nature to biodegradable burial
    egg-pods where your body/ashes grow the tree you most want to become. Research
    shows that denying death can cause serious mental issues, so more people are
    actively exploring death as a wellness practice, and many more online platforms,
    classes, festivals and events are meeting the hunger to just talk about it, such
    as “death cafes” now held in 64 countries. More people are exploring alternative
    wisdom and practices around death from cultures worldwide, whether guided death
    meditations at Zen Buddhist centers or studying the ancient Roman Stoics’ death
    acceptance techniques (the Stoics are really trending now) or just downloading
    the WeCroak app, pinging you five times daily with Tibetan meditations reminding
    you that you will die. People are even traveling to have the caring and
    spiritual death they seek.

    There’s more positive movement around death and dying in the last few years than
    in the last 150. The future: a “better death” becomes an integral part of a
    “well life.”

  • Silent Mind Meditation Singing Bowl

    February 7, 2019 UBQFIT Fitness

    As 2018 draws to a close, more and more people are beginning to develop their
    New Year’s resolutions for 2019. While many look forward to a fresh start and
    the opportunity to pursue new goals, it begs the question, “What happened to
    last year’s resolution?”

    Year after year, saving money and becoming more financially secure ends up near
    the top of the list of popular resolutions. Losing weight
    [https://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/this-years-resolution_us_5a4cff60e4b0d86c803c7b1b] and
    becoming more physically fit is constantly in competition with financial goals,
    typically netting approximately a third or more of all resolutions made.

    The resolution to take better care of one’s health through diet and exercise
    would explain the annual explosion in gym attendance. Unfortunately, however,
    many lose their resolve and stop showing up by February
    [https://www.marketwatch.com/story/most-americans-fail-miserably-at-this—-and-it-helps-explain-why-7-in-10-are-overweight-2018-01-31].

    Self-care, quality of life, and an overall improved sense of wellbeing are, as
    in years past, destined to be a hot resolution theme for 2019. But this year,
    some people may opt to pass on that pricey gym membership.

    One explanation concerns the large number of apps and channels on platforms like
    YouTube. These offer tons of fitness content cheap or free. Another is the shift
    toward more introspective ways to improve oneself, such as through meditation or
    mindfulness.

    At least, this is how Silent Mind [https://www.silentmindsingingbowls.com/],
    Amazon’s #1 seller of authentic Tibetan singing bowls, sees it. The small,
    family-run business has seen a steady sales increase that cannot be explained
    solely by the holiday gift-giving season. Surveyed customers are often
    purchasing bowls for themselves in the hopes of beginning their own meditation
    and mindfulness practices.

    Outside surveys indicate that younger generations are more likely to bother
    making a New Year’s resolution. In the United States, for instance, 91% of
    individuals ages 25-34 make resolutions, while only 36% of those over age 55 do
    the same. At the same time, that 25-34 age group is increasingly turning to
    meditation
    [https://www.forbes.com/sites/julesschroeder/2017/08/24/why-millennials-are-turning-to-meditation-for-work-life-balance/#2a5bcf2f5f6c] as
    a way to enrich their lives and encourage balance.

    This may be a very wise strategy. That 25-34 age group, collectively known as
    Millennials, experience more stress than prior generations did at that age.
    Meditation and mindfulness are known to be effective ways to reduce stress,
    which can, in turn, lead to healthier eating habits. In short, Millennials are
    seeking additional, if not indirect, ways to meet their wellness and weight loss
    goals.

    Not to mention, beginning a meditation practice is easier and cheaper than many
    other self-improvement methods. In many cases, the only expense – aside from
    small increments of free time – is the addition of a meditation tool, such as
    a singing bowl
    [https://www.amazon.com/Silent-Mind-Mindfulness-Meditation-Relaxation/dp/B015HM2D4Q].
    As one Silent Mind customer explains, “When I’m playing the singing bowl, I
    don’t feel as though I’m forcing myself to spend this time being mindful, like
    it’s another chore on my list…it automatically transports me into the present
    moment.”

    Is meditation is a 2019 resolution everyone can stick to? That remains to be
    seen, given that many are kept motivated only by instant results. Yet perhaps in
    the end, that’s the very reason singing bowls
    [https://www.amazon.com/s?marketplaceID=ATVPDKIKX0DER&me=A3D9ZQREUQKWHA&merchant=A3D9ZQREUQKWHA] are
    increasing in popularity; the immediate sense that one is rooted in the present
    moment can make these wellness practices easier to stick with.

  • Prebiotics: The New Health Trend to Watch In 2019

    February 7, 2019 UBQFIT Fitness

    Prebiotics will see more attention as they become available in healthy snack
    foods. Prebiotics are finding their way to the mainstream health and nutrition
    discussion, and consumers are looking for simple ways to incorporate them into
    their lifestyle.

    The explosion of new research about the connection between our microbiome and
    overall health has led to three emerging health and wellness trends for 2019:
    natural energy, plant-based foods, and probiotics. As consumers learn more about
    the role of prebiotics and probiotics in gut health, there will be more demand
    for natural, convenient foods that provide sustainable energy and contain
    probiotics and prebiotics.

    Prebiotics are a soluble fiber, meaning human enzymes cannot digest them. As a
    result prebiotics serve as food for other microbes, or “good bacteria,” and help
    promote a healthy microbiome.

    Prebiotics are naturally found in plants like Jerusalem artichokes, yacon root,
    chicory root, onions, garlic, and bananas.

    While probiotics have enjoyed the limelight in recent years, highlighted as a
    key ingredient in certain health foods and supplements, prebiotics will see more
    attention as they become available in healthy snack foods.

  • World’s Largest Recreational Marathon Research Study

    February 7, 2019 UBQFIT Fitness

    According to RunnerClick research, data from 39 countries reveal U.S. has
    highest proportion of female runners; 40-49 year-old age group is fastest and
    most popular; Slovenia, Iceland and Ukraine are fastest counties; Boston
    Marathon boasts fastest average runtime of ‘popular races’; 90-99 year-old age
    group fastest growing.

    The most comprehensive study of recreational marathon runners released today
    from RunnerClick
    [https://runnerclick.com/marathon-finishing-times-study-and-statistics/] reveals
    new insights about differences in runners around the world.

    Analyzing more than 3.5 million records across 39 countries over four years, the
    data reveal surprising findings including the gender inequality of male and
    female runners in many countries. The U.S. has the highest proportion of female
    runners, making it the most gender equal country (45% female), followed by
    Canada (40% female). Greece is the worse in terms of female participation with
    90% male and 10% female.

    Another surprising finding was that the 90-99 year-old age group is the fastest
    growing, increasing 39% from 2014 to 2017. Other findings include the 40-49
    year-old age group holds that fastest average runtime (and is the most
    populous), and Slovenia, Iceland and Ukraine boast the fastest average times
    globally.

    A breakdown of some of the standout data can be found below, with all the data
    on RunnerClick.com, here
    [https://runnerclick.com/marathon-finishing-times-study-and-statistics/].

    Peak age performance and gender participation: The fastest age group for men is
    40-49 years of age while the fastest age group for women is 20-29 years of age.
    The countries with the highest proportion of women runners are the U.S. at 45%
    and Canada at 40%. Greece is the worse in terms of gender equality with 90%
    male, and 10% female runners. Ukraine had the largest increase for both men,
    +394%, and women, +383% participation. Turkey had the biggest decline for men at
    -60%; Turkey also had the biggest decline for women at -79%.

    Staggering growth in older adult participation: Between 2014-2017, there was a
    39% increase of participants in the 90-99 year old age group.

    North America makes up about 50% of the worlds marathon runners with Boston,
    Chicago, and New York being the most popular marathons in the U.S. In Europe,
    Berlin and London are the most popular marathons.The marathon that averages the
    fastest runtimes out of those above mentioned ‘most popular’ races (in the U.S.
    and Europe) was the Boston Marathon, with an average runtime of 3:56:17.

    The data analyzed was made up of 3.5 million race records from 196 marathons
    between the years 2014-2017 spanning 238 nationalities across 39 countries. The
    research was conducted by research specialists and data scientists, and was
    commissioned by RunnerClick, an online resource for reviews and help-content for
    running and other activities. The full research results including graphs and
    comprehensive data findings, as well as the research methodology, can be
    found here
    [https://runnerclick.com/marathon-finishing-times-study-and-statistics/].

  • Breathwork For Optimal Health & Wellness

    February 7, 2019 UBQFIT Fitness

    Breathing is the foundation of all movement, health & well-being,” says Ed.
    Respiration patterns and rates influence physiology, biochemistry, biomechanics
    and psychological responses.

    Author, speaker, continuing education provider, Executive coach, health &
    wellbeing expert and peak performance coach, Ed Harrold, brings 18 years of
    experience successfully implementing programs with a mind/body health model into
    corporate, healthcare, fitness and athletic industries. His passion is educating
    healthcare providers, wellness & life coaches, fitness and personal trainers,
    psychotherapists, dental & sleep medicine professionals as well as the general
    public on how breathing rates and patterns are influencing our health and
    well-being.

    We are all breathing aren’t we? Technically, yes. But, it’s how we are breathing
    that’s the problem. In this hurried and fast paced environment, we’ve lost our
    relationship to proper breathing. Most people today are shallow breathers or
    mouth breathers. This has led to dysfunctional breathing which trains our brain
    and autonomic nervous system to live in a perceived life-threatening response;
    the stress response. This chronic state of hyper-vigilance is a contributing
    factor in Heart Disease, Sleep Disorders, Upper Respiratory Disease,
    Dysautonomia, Digestive Disorders, Mood Disorders, Pain Management and more.

    At the root of all stress
    [https://www.edharrold.com/lifewithbreathblog/stress-is-1-health-risk-for-employers]
    is an imbalance in our Autonomic Nervous System. The overuse of our sympathetic
    response is either contributing to many of the chronic illness conditions we see
    today and/or a factor in a chronic illness condition. The most powerful tool we
    all have access to in rebalancing autonomic nervous system function is our
    breath.

    “Breathing is the foundation of all movement, health & well-being,” says Ed.
    “Respiration patterns and rates influence physiology, biochemistry, biomechanics
    and psychological responses. These responses play a large role in our ability to
    manage stress, improve and/or are the cause of ill-health, enjoy healthful
    fitness routines, manage cognition and emotional intelligence as well as our
    ability to improve lifestyle habits leading to poor health.”

    Learning how to apply “Breath AS Medicine” with various techniques and sequences
    provides the platform for improving heart health, brain health, autonomic
    function, circadian & ultradian rhythms, endocrine function, cognitive function
    and emotional intelligence. And, yogi’s new it best!

    Yoga breathing is called Pranayama which means to artfully control the extension
    or regulation of breath. Breathing in most mind/body traditions is the link to
    connecting the mind and body. Without proper breath, the body pays the price for
    the mind’s endless unconscious and sub-conscious patterns of behavior in
    response to the thinking mind. The “monkey mind” enslaves the body’s physiology,
    biomechanics, biochemistry and psychology into ill-health.

    Ed Harrold’s “Breath AS Medicine” continuing education training provides tools
    and strategies to prevent, treat and reverse lifestyle-related chronic diseases
    caused or exacerbated by dysfunctional breathing rates and patterns. Currently,
    Ed’s “Breath AS Medicine” training offers Continuing Medical Education (CME)
    with George Washington University School of Medicine & Health Services to
    deliver a program led by yoga instructors and supported by healthcare
    professionals as well as CEC’s with the American Council on Exercise. There are
    2 “Breath AS Medicine” trainings in 2019 offering these continuing education
    credits with the first training beginning January 21, 2019
    [https://www.edharrold.com/events/ed-harrolds-25-hour-breath-as-medicine-breathmed-live-webinar-training]
    and the second in October 2019
    [https://www.edharrold.com/events/ed-harrolds-25-hour-breath-as-medicine-live-webinar-breathwork-training-october].
    Both are an 8-week LIVE webinar training series.

    This year, we’re thrilled to add wellness coaching continuing education credits
    to the list. In 2019, our partnership with the Wellcoaches School of Coaching
    now affords not only Wellcoaches professionals with credits, but is open the
    public offering the following CEU’s: Wellcoaches 12, ACSM 12, ICHWC 12, NCHEC
    12. Beginning March 2019, join the Wellcoaches Premium Class: Breath AS Medicine
    [http://www.wellcoach.com/images/Breath%20As%20Medicine%202019%20Premium%20Class.pdf]
    to bring the breathwork strategies into your corporate and wellness coaching.

    Mind/body medicine has become its’ own highly regarded field with physicians,
    psychiatrists and other health care professionals increasingly adopting
    integrative techniques as part of their everyday practice for self-care,
    complimentary patient care and lifestyle medicine. Breathwork is another
    essential tool in the toolbox for anyone in the health and fitness fields.