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In a technology-filled society that operates around the clock, sleep has become a scarce commodity. Rather than recharging their bodies’ energy systems with adequate rest, millions of Americans are choosing to work or entertain themselves – despite the well-known fact that humans need 7-9 hours of sleep every night. However, a lack of sleep may be more harmful than the most people realize. Sleep deprivation has been linked to obesity, cravings, poor job and athletic performance, illness, and possibly even mortality. Choosing to operate a daily lifestyle centered on a healthy sleep pattern may be the missing link which holds back many people from achieving goals of successful athletic or workplace performance.

Eating a gluten-free diet has become a mainstream topic in the media, and has led to increased availability and marketing of gluten-free products in supermarkets and restaurants around the country. This is all great news for those (like myself) who have Celiac Disease, an auto-immune disorder which prevents the body from properly digesting gluten, a protein found in wheat, barley, and rye. However, less than 1% of the population of the United States has Celiac Disease, or about two million people.[1] While that is still a large number, the prevalence of gluten-free dieting has spread beyond those with Celiac Disease. Researchers are still debating whether or not non-Celiac gluten sensitivity exists, but that has not stopped millions of Americans from choosing to follow a gluten-free diet. Nevertheless, the current public obsession with gluten-free dieting should not be accepted at face-value. A lifestyle of gluten-free eating habits may not be a wise or healthy choice for the majority of the population, and may even lead to a poor vitamin status.

The thoracic spine can be defined as the 12 vertebrae of the middle and upper back which join the neck to the lower back. This area in the middle of the back has the propensity to become tight and immobile in a large percentage of the adult population. This is a direct result of the hunched over position many office workers put themselves in on a daily basis (changes are you are doing it right now). Not only does this not look appealing, it can play a big role in neck and lower back pain, as well as overall health and function of the body. Virtually everyone – from busy office executives to professional athletes – can benefit from improved thoracic mobility and using floor slides are a great way to do just that.

The squat – one of the most primal and necessary movements of the human body, yet one of the most poorly coached and performed movements at your local Lifetime Fitness. This is primarily due to lack of mobility in sedentary individuals, but also poor coaching from personal trainers and coaches. The following is a list of three coaching cues for the squat, why these cues are flawed, and alternative cues to help reduce injuries and improve performance.

A few of the most common mistakes coaches make in training youth athletes.


 

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