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Hygiene Standards Are on the Rise

Covid-19 has created a shift in paradigms when it comes to indoor and group fitness. Many exercise buffs are now turned off by the thought of returning to the gym. The fears of these new gym germaphobes aren’t unfounded. A large number of people exercising in a contained space creates a breeding ground for communicable diseases. In a recent study, researchers tested surfaces in four athletic training facilities and found that the flu virus, bacteria, and other pathogens were present on approximately 25 percent of surfaces. So how are health clubs winning back their old fan base? With new rules that involve fewer people and more protocols. Sanitation efforts have increased, machines are distanced from each other, and windows and doors are opened when possible for better ventilation. Some gyms are operating under reservation-only rules. This allows members to sign up for time slots ahead of time, which limits the number of people allowed in the gym. This also provides the opportunity for a thorough sanitizing of equipment before the next group arrives.

Intuitive Eating Feels Right

With the advent of the smartphone and social media, people have been increasingly looking outside their own realm of knowledge for the latest in health and diet advice. Now, however, turning inward and listening to your inner voice has become the hottest diet trend. A wellness approach called intuitive eating, which was created by two registered dietitians in 1995, is finally having its time in the sun. Intuitive eating is an evidence-based, mind-body health approach comprised of 10 core principles. It encourages people to ditch restrictive ideas like counting calories and macros, and teaches them to tune into their body’s innate signals. This can help them break the cycle of chronic dieting and heal their relationships with food. Gone are the days of precise portion control and long lists of restricted food. Instead, those practicing intuitive eating are taught to rely on their internal hunger and satiety signals and essentially trust that their body will tell them what and how much to eat.

Mindset Matters More than Ever

It’s no secret that current events have taken a significant toll on people’s mental health. Stress levels have skyrocketed across the board, contributing to more anxiety and worry surrounding health, jobs, school, relationships, family, and money. Many people have spent the last year dwelling on negative thoughts and mentally catastrophizing events that were beyond their control. To counteract the stressful effects of the past year, research shows mind-body connection is more important than ever. Mind-body exercise, like yoga, tai chi, or Pilates, trains you to use your thoughts to positively influence some of your body’s physical responses. This, in turn, can help decrease stress levels. Practicing these types of mind-body exercises on a regular basis can help you retrain your brain to relax and keep calm in the face of chaos.

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