No doubt someone’s gonna pitch a reality show combining geocaching the hunger games and the biggest loser. The good news, is that whatever motivates you to move — will work.
New Texas A&M Study Reveals Health Benefits of Geocaching
Outdoor game to discover hidden containers increases health and helps players meet CDC standards for physical activity
SEATTLE – The search to find geocaches delivers never-before-known health benefits. Geocaching is an outdoor adventure where players use a GPS-guided app or GPS device to find hidden containers. Nearly 1,000,000 geocaches are currently hidden by players throughout the United States.
The Texas A&M Geocaching for Exercise and Activity Research (GEAR) study, funded by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to explore reducing rural obesity, tracked 1,000 geocachers throughout the U.S. over 12 months. The study identified adults who geocached at least once a week. Final analysis of the study conducted by the Texas A&M Center for Community Health Development began in April. Newly released results from that analysis conclude:
Geocachers reported improved health and fewers days of poor mental health and physical health than a comparative sample.
Study participants reported geocaching as a moderate physical activity for 134 minutes per week. The CDC recommends 150 minutes of moderate physical activity per week.
Active geocachers were 40% more likely to meet CDC recommendations for physical activity compared to non-frequent geocachers.
Study participants reported walking on average 10 miles a month while geocaching.
Study author Whitney Garney, M.P.H., says “GEAR participants who report geocaching once a week or more are more likely to meet national guidelines for physical activity and are more likely to report good or very good health status compared to those who geocache less frequently.” Garney also says, “Geocaching is one option for people to have fun and be physically active at the same time without going to the gym and may be just what America needs to get moving.”
FREE GEOCACHING APP
Players can begin geocaching by signing up for a free account and downloading the free app.
Texas A&M and Geocaching.com are planning to continue their partnership and apply for additional funding to support further research. Geocaching.com along with Texas Parks and Wildlife also partnered in the GEAR study.
Texas A&M School of Public Health: Director of Communications Rae Lynn Mitchell firstname.lastname@example.org
Geocaching: Public Relations Manager Eric Schudiske email@example.com
Yoga is supposed to bring attention — not tension — to the body
Yoga, which can provide relaxation while combining strength training and deep stretches, is becoming a mainstream form of exercise in society. With this popularity have come many publications and online tutorials promoting yoga as a form of intense cardio exercise, one that some instructors caution against unless the practitioner has a strong background in the practice.
“Yoga is a personal experience,” said Shelley Taylor, adjunct instructor of yoga at Indiana University School of Public Health-Bloomington’s Department of Kinesiology. “Every individual body develops at a different pace, and it can never be a competition.”
Taylor, who has taught yoga in Bloomington for more 30 years, specializes in a more “restorative style” of hatha yoga and believes this style allows the body to slowly maneuver into poses to prevent injuries. She recommends this style for any level of student.
“The purpose of yoga is not to create tension but to give attention to the areas of the body that need energy through the breath,” she said.
Instead of viewing it as a rigorous workout, the key is to view it as connecting to the body rather than pushing the boundaries of the body, which is common in other forms of exercise. It is crucial to understand the proper way to do certain poses and the positive impact they can have on the body, as well as the many ways the poses may have a negative impact if performed inaccurately. Taylor said that taking a class with a qualified, experienced instructor will help the yoga student make sure the breathing, stretching and strengthening poses are being done correctly and safely. This can also eliminate any questions or doubts that may arise from exploring only on one’s own.
“The best way to explain the experience is that it is about learning something deeper than what we see in the mirror,” she said. “It’s about acceptance, forgiveness and compassion for the mind and body you have today.
“Creating space and time for quiet contemplation and observation, and listening deeply to what is occurring in one’s own mind and body, can be very informative. We all have wisdom within us, and yoga is a practice for tapping into that wisdom.”
Here are more safety tips for yoga practice:
- Practice yoga on a relatively empty stomach — eat lightly one to two hours before class if needed.
- Hydrate before, during and after yoga.
- Listen to your own inner guidance and do what is best for you.
- Breathe slowly, deeply and through the nostrils if possible.
- Wear loose, comfortable (or stretchy) clothing and remove anything that might get in the way.
- Do twisting poses from the right side of the body to the left to prevent digestion issues.
- Women should refrain from doing inverted (upside down) poses while menstruating.
To speak with Taylor, contact Tracy James at 812-855-0084 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Top
Photo By Indiana University
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Thanks to Women’s Health
for these ofter overlooked health and fitness tips
If you’re like 99.99% of women in America, you probably own an amazingly comfy pair of workout pants. These tights or capris are so wonderful, in fact, that you wish you could wear them to work, but since you’re not looking to have an HR meeting anytime soon, you settle for wearing them to work out. And then, you know, for 3 hours after your workout, because they’re so comfy that YOU CANNOT TAKE THEM OFF. EVER.
Well, hate to burst your bubble, but not showering right away, a.k.a. keeping your workout clothes on after you exercise for as long as humanly possible, is actually really bad for you—it can cause yeast infections, much like keeping on a wet bathing suit for too long, explains Trina Warren, a certified personal trainer and Pilates Instructor at AYC Health & Fitness in Kansas City. And it doesn’t even matter if you exercise inside a toasty gym or the chilly outdoors—both are bad. “It’s the overall dampness of your workout gear plus the sweaty undergarments that trigger the infections,” Warren explains.
Her advice? Take a shower immediately after your sweat session. This is extra important if you worked out outside and you have environmental allergies, like grass allergies or hay fever, because pollen (an allergen) sticks on your clothes and hair.
Or, if you know you’re going to be running errands afterward and won’t have access to a shower ASAP, at least opt for workout clothes made from synthetic fabrics that are specifically designed to get rid of sweat and keep you cooler and drier. That is, stay away from cotton—that material is the worst because it actually retains sweat and moisture, keeping you sticky and stinky for longer until you shower.