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Health Notes: New research puts CrossFit to the test; fit pregnancies mean healthy babies

Find out how the latest scientific research can help your business.

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>>New study takes a look at benefits of CrossFit
We are hearing a lot about CrossFit lately. It’s bordering on too much. But the fact remains that consumers love this stuff — 10 million of them according to ACE Fitness.

But is it really good for you? Until now there hasn’t been much scientific research about just how effective it is. ACE recently released results from a study that examined the intensity and caloric expenditure of the popular activity.

The study followed 16 moderately to very fit men and women from the ages of 20-47. Each was required to complete two different “Workout of the Day” (WOD) workouts with the goal of finishing as fast as they were able.

Each workout consisted of a 5-minute warm-up, skill phase, the WOD activities and then a 5-minute cool-down. Subjects were required to be able to do the movements in each workout properly.

The study found that CrossFit is a great workout to burn calories: The WODs studied burned an average of 20.5 calories per minute for men, and 12.3 calories per minute for women. It also found the workout is great for improving aerobic fitness in a short amount of time.

It did, however, find that it was more focused on form in order to be successful than other high-intensity interval training workouts. Bad form could mean more injuries.

“The thing we’ve seen with a lot of these workouts is you go flat-out as fast as you can, but then your form falls apart. You really need to be technically correct with a lot of these exercises or else you may get hurt,” said John Pocari, Ph.D, one of the researchers who led the study.

So what? Don’t be scared of CrossFit, embrace it. It’s an effective, popular workout your customers are probably already doing. Plenty of traditional fitness companies, like Fitness Master, Inc., have launched new products that you could stock your showroom floor with. Plus accessories are always a great sell and there are plenty of CrossFit accessories to go around.

For the scientifically minded: Check out the full study here.

>>Pregnant women who exercise have children that grow to be healthy adults
If your mama exercised when she was pregnant with you and didn’t when she was pregnant with your brother, chances are your healthier than your brother.

That logic comes after reading the results of a study from researchers in the U.S. and Germany that found that people whose mothers exercised while pregnant with them have healthier blood vessels as adults.

The researchers said that other studies have proven fit women have healthy babies, but this is the first study to suggest that those healthy babies become healthy adults. An added benefit to exercising while pregnant is an easier time with labor.

According to the study, which was published in the Experimental Physiology journal, adult children studied whose mothers exercised were found to have better quality blood vessels compared with those with mothers who did not exercise.

So what? Pregnant women spend a lot of money to have healthy babies, on everything from prenatal vitamins to baby thermometers. Products you’ll be able to sell them will now not only keep them healthy, but make their babies — no matter how big they grow — healthier too.

For the scientifically minded: Find an article recapping the study here.