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This week: just one hour of exercise a week can help prevent depression; why it pays to have Vision; do you have what it takes to be a Spartan on new TV show? + more.

Move for an hour to prevent depression

The connection between physical fitness and mental wellbeing has been demonstrated in numerous previous studies, but it’s always helpful to have the connection further bolstered by new research. This week findings from an Australian-supported study of data from 34,000 Norwegian adults over an 11-year period showed that non-exercisers were 44% more likely to develop depression than those who did even as little as an hour or two of physical activity a week.

Lead study author Professor Samuel Harvey from the Black Dog Institute noted that incidences of depression could be significantly reduced if more people undertook a very manageable hour of moderate exercise a week: ‘Most of the mental health benefits of exercise are realised within the first hour undertaken each week’.

Are you tough enough to apply for the new Spartan TV show?

Channel 7 is on the hunt for super-fit teams of three to audition for its upcoming TV show Australian Spartan.

Hot on the heels of Channel 9’s hugely successful Ninja Warrior, the show promotes its team focus as its point of difference, billing itself as the ‘Ultimate Team Challenge’.

Applications to take part close next week, so if you think that you and a team of your clients, fitness industry colleagues or family members have what it takes to push each other to your mental and physical limits as you race across highly challenging Spartan courses, then now’s the time to apply HERE.

We were proud and excited to see a few long time Network Members and event presenters appearing on Ninja Warrior recently, so it’ll be great to see if there are any Spartans among you!

A full stomach can trigger more eating

Well this just doesn’t seem fair. Last week we reported on how a specific enzyme could break the weight loss-regain cycle by inhibiting the production of the ‘hunger hormone’ ghrelin. This week researchers highlighted the psychological aspect of hunger when they reported that the feeling of fullness after eating may actually trigger more eating. The study team from the University of Vermont concluded that the feeling of satiety can serve as a ‘context’ that could condition people to want to eat more.

Meditation may fight heart disease

A recent review of research into strategies for preventing heart disease has found that meditation may have a role to play – in addition to exercise, healthy eating habits and not smoking.

Putting aside mind body practises that include a physical as well as mental aspect, the researchers focused instead on ‘purer’ practices such as mindful meditation, transcendental meditation and Zen meditation. Their review led them to conclude that meditation might reduce stress, anxiety and depression, leading to better sleep and overall wellbeing. It also prompted them to suggest that, although it cannot be stated for certain, meditation may also help reduce blood pressure – a major risk factor for heart disease.

Vision PT makes Smart Company finals

Vision Personal Training has been shortlisted as a finalist for Smart Company’s 2017 Smart50 Top Franchise Award. This acknowledgement comes hot on the heels of recognition by the franchising sector, with the Franchise Business of the Year accolade also firmly in the fitness studio franchise’s sights.

Business founder Andrew Simmons said the nomination is testimony to the excellence in systems and processes in place at Vision; ‘My business philosophy is to attract and retain top talent in the industry; motivated professionals whose core values align with Vision’s, and with that, we can provide superior service to our clients. We’re on course to grow from 60 studios to 100 by 2020, and to be recognised by Smart Company for our achievements reassures us that we’re building a brand that is having a strong impact with the community’.

Andrew has shared his insights into best practice for franchising with Network Members over the years, including in this great read.

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