The top 10 fitness trends of the decade

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Wearable technology, the rise of athleisure and ‘fitfluencers’ are three of the biggest trends in fitness over the past 10 years according to fitness expert Michelle Bridges.

The 50-year-old, who is responsible for transforming the figures of half a million Australians with her 12 Week Body Transformation program, revealed the 10 fitness trends of the decade, and the four she doesn’t recommend for weight loss.

Michelle said 2010-2020 has seen a huge number of changes in the fitness industry, notably that we rely much more on the internet for how we choose to workout.

Michelle Bridges standing next to a body of water: Wearable technology, the rise of athleisure and 'fitfluencers' are three of the biggest trends in fitness over the past 10 years according to fitness expert Michelle Bridges (pictured)

© Provided by Daily Mail
Wearable technology, the rise of athleisure and ‘fitfluencers’ are three of the biggest trends in fitness over the past 10 years according to fitness expert Michelle Bridges (pictured)

Michelle Bridges standing posing for the camera: The 50-year-old (pictured), who is responsible for transforming the figures of half a million Australians with her Body Transformation program, revealed the fitness trends of the decade

© Provided by Daily Mail
The 50-year-old (pictured), who is responsible for transforming the figures of half a million Australians with her Body Transformation program, revealed the fitness trends of the decade

1. Online health and fitness programs


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Michelle said the top trend she has noticed over the past 10 years is online health and fitness programs.

‘For those without gym memberships; those who live rurally; those with time constraints; and, more recently, the whole country during COVID lockdown, online workouts have seriously changed the fitness game,’ Michelle told FEMAIL.

‘Online workouts have created a range of training environments to support each and every person, in a location that suits them best.’

Over the next decade, Michelle said she can only see online health and fitness programs continue to rise in popularity. 

What are the four trends Michelle Bridges doesn’t recommend for weight loss?

* WAIST TRAINERS: Waist trainers were popular with American celebrity influencers over the past few years, before they eventually made their way to Australian shores. Michelle Bridges said the compressive abdominal tubes supposedly targeted ‘fat loss in the ab area’, but there ‘wasn’t much scientific proof to back them up for me’. 

* DETOX TEAS: Another thing the 50-year-old explained she would steer clear of is detox teas, which Michelle described as ‘essentially laxatives’. ‘It was shown the prolonged use can cause diarrhea, cramps and bowel dysfunction,’ Michelle said. Instead, the trainer said she is a big advocate for workout and eating healthily most of the time, which will make the biggest change to your body.

* STATIONARY VIBRATION PLATES: The third thing Michelle said you should steer clear of is stationary vibration plates, which promised to ‘break up cellulite, improve muscle strength and increase bone density’. ‘If you’ve ever been home watching TV between the hours of 9am and 11am you’ve probably seen the informericals selling the latest and greatest fitness machines that will magically make you fit and healthy (with the six-pack of your dreams),’ Michelle said. ‘It just doesn’t work like that folks!’ The trainer said you are far better off exercising normally, improving your nutrition and keeping an eye on energy expenditure. 


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More Americans on diets from a decade ago, report finds

More Americans said they’re on diets to lose weight or for other health reasons compared with a decade ago

NEW YORK — If it seems like more and more people are on diets these days, you might not be imagining it.

The increase comes as obesity rates have continued to climb. The CDC report found that 17% of Americans said they were on diets during the 2017-2018 survey period, up from 14% a decade earlier. Over the same period obesity rates rose in the U.S. to 42% of Americans, up from 34%.

The report notes that about half of American adults have diet-related chronic conditions, such as diabetes and heart disease, and that special diets are a way many people try to manage them. Hunnes cautioned, though, that many people might not consider the way they eat to be a diet.

The report also looked at responses between 2015 and 2018 to determine other characteristics of people on special diets:

—The heavier and more educated people were, the more likely they were to report being on a special diet. The report found 23% of Americans who are obese said they were on diets, compared with 17% of overweight people and 8% of people who were normal weight or underweight.

—More women reported being on a diet than men.

—18% of non-Hispanic white Americans, 16% of Hispanic Americans and 15% of Asian and Black Americans said they were diets.

—A higher percentage of people 40 and older said they were on diets than those ages 20 to 39.

—Between 2007-08 and 2017-18, diets described as “weight loss or low calorie” grew in popularity, and remained the top category of special diet. Low-carbohydrate diets gained in popularity, while low-fat and low-cholesterol saw a decline.

The findings were based on an ongoing national survey in which participants were asked: “Are you currently on any kind of diet, either to lose weight or for some other health-related reason?”

Becky Ramsing, a registered dietitian and senior program officer at Johns Hopkins Center for a Livable Future, said that the dietary changes people make in hopes of losing weight can vary greatly. And in some cases, she said people might not understand why the choices they’re making aren’t leading to weight loss.

“They won’t eat bread, but then they’ll go eat a lot of other things that are higher in calories,” she said.

Many diet trends

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50,000 children in Louisiana are without health insurance, the largest increase in a decade | Health care/Hospitals

Roughly 11,000 children in Louisiana lost their health insurance last year, the largest single-year drop in over a decade and an alarming reversal of years of progress getting kids covered.

About 50,000 children, or 4.4% of children in Louisiana, were uninsured in the state in 2019, according to an analysis of U.S. Census data by the Louisiana Budget Project, compared to 39,000 children who lacked health insurance in 2018. In 2016, the number of uninsured children was even lower, at 36,000.

The data in Louisiana mirror a nationwide trend that experts fear will worsen amid job losses and an unstable economy due to the coronavirus.

What contributes to Louisiana's high maternal mortality rate? The distance to care, research says

22 of Louisiana’s 64 parishes have no hospital offering obstetric care, birth center, OB/GYN or certified nurse-midwives 

“This reflected 2019, which was a year in which we had record low unemployment and a decade of strong economic growth,” said Stacey Roussel, policy director for the Louisiana Budget Project and author of the report. “Still, we were seeing the uninsured rate for children rising across the country as well as here in Louisiana.”

“It also means a record increase in the number of families without insurance for their children as we were going into the largest public health emergency we’ve seen in our generation,” she added.

Access to health care is critical for young brains and bodies, according to researchers and medical experts.

In the first few years of life, over 80% of brain development takes place and the foundation is laid for growth of major body systems.

Interventions are most effective when doctors can spot conditions at a young age before they become a bigger issue.

“Preventative care is the hallmark of pediatric care,” said Dr. Ryan Pasternak, an adolescent medicine specialist and associate professor at LSU Health New Orleans School of Medicine. “Our goal is not only to identify and treat acute and chronic illnesses, but also to address and identify lifelong illnesses.”

Even short gaps in care can allow things to slip through. Pasternak said he saw a young patient this month who lost Medicaid and put off care for seven months. When the patient regained coverage, it was a two and a half hour visit.

“There were just a plethora of issues that had not been addressed,” Pasternak said.

Boy born 22 weeks into mother’s pregnancy

It’s not yet clear exactly why Louisiana’s number of uninsured children has grown so much in a year.

In 2016, Louisiana expanded Medicaid to include those making up to 138% of the federal poverty level, or about $36,000 for a family of four as of 2020. By April 2019, the expansion provided coverage to more than 500,000 additional people.

But in May of last year, Medicaid enrollment dipped after wage checks that automatically kicked off people appearing to make too much money to qualify, dropping by about 50,000 enrollees by the of 2019. But in January, enrollment started to climb again, with 550,000 people covered by the expansion as of Sept. 2020. 

Providers searching

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US suicide rate fell last year after decade of steady rise

The U.S. suicide rate fell slightly last year, the first annual decline in more than a decade

NEW YORK — The U.S. suicide rate fell slightly last year, the first annual decline in more than a decade, according to new government data.

It’s a small decrease and the data is preliminary, but the decline is “really exciting,” said Dr. Christine Moutier, chief medical officer of the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention.

The fall may be partly due to years of suicide prevention efforts, like increasing mental health screenings, she said. Other factors, like the pre-pandemic economy, might also have played a role, she added.

Suicides had been on the rise since 2005. In 2018, the national suicide rate hit its highest level since 1941 — 14.2 per 100,000 people. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention posted new death rate data this week showing that for 2019, it dropped to 13.9.

Drug overdoses rose in 2019, and deaths from falls were up, too. But death rates for the nation’s two biggest killers — heart disease and cancer — were down, as were death rates for flu, chronic lung disease and Alzheimer’s disease. The firearm death rate was flat, probably because the small decline in suicides was offset by a slight uptick in gun homicides.

When all that is factored together, the U.S. life expectancy calculation for 2019 should stay the same as it was in 2018 or maybe even increase slightly, said Robert Anderson, who oversees death data for the CDC’s National Center for Health Statistics.

“I think 2019 will turn out to be a pretty good year for mortality, relatively speaking,” Anderson said. “2020 will not.”

There have been at least 300,000 more deaths this year than expected, the CDC said this week in a separate report. About two-thirds of those are being attributed directly to COVID-19, but many of the others are believed to be related to the pandemic.

It’s not yet clear whether suicides are up this year.

The pandemic sparked a wave of business closures, some temporary and some permanent. Millions of people were forced to stay at home, many of them alone. Surveys suggest more Americans are reporting depression, anxiety and drug and alcohol use. Adding to that dangerous mix, firearm purchases rose 85% in March, when the virus was first surging.

“There are clear forces pressing suicide risk factors in a negative direction,” Moutier said, but that’s doesn’t mean suicide rates will automatically rise.

There are some “silver linings” to the pandemic, she added. One is increasing acceptance that mental health distress is normal, and that it’s OK to seek counseling. Another is increasing availability of telemedicine.

Anderson noted many COVID-19 deaths have been in the same set of late-middle-aged white people who are considered at high risk for

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