Health and fitness news from around the globe.

  • According to a recent IDEA survey, Pilates-based classes have increased (among the survey participants' clubs) from 10 percent in 1997 to 47 percent in 2001. All in all, there are approximately 500 facilities that offer the exercise program based on the works of Joseph Pilates, states a news release from Stott Pilates.

  • The National Fitness Therapy Association (NFTA) and American Council on Exercise (ACE) have partnered to promote education, training and professionalism in the delivery of post-rehabilitation therapy and preventive health care services. Through the partnership, ACE will become an associate member of NFTA, and the council's Clinical Exercise Specialist (CES) certification will be endorsed by the association as one of the top certifications recognized for accreditation as a medical fitness professional.

  • Men are less likely to take exercise advice than women, indicates a new study sponsored by the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute (NHLBI). While women were more likely to improve their fitness level following counseling by health care professionals, the men were much more resistant to change their unhealthy behavior patterns, researchers report.

    In a study of 874 inactive men and women, study participants were broken down into three control groups. One group was given a standard doctor's “pep talk” regarding a healthy lifestyle plus a referral to a health educator. The second group received behavioral counseling in addition to the pep talk, as well as one telephone call, an electronic device to measure activity, and a monthly newsletter. The third group received all of the above, as well as regular telephone counseling and weekly informational classes. After two years, scientists' data showed that none of the male participants heeded doctors' advice on diet and exercise, while women reported an increase in activity levels.

    Scientists are unclear at this time as to why men were more resistant to professional exercise advice than women.

  • Grandparents are more active than their grandchildren, according to the 14th annual Superstudy of Sports Participation, conducted by American Sports Data. According to the study, nearly one out of four health club members in the United States is age 55-plus. In fact, 55-plus membership has grown a whopping 379 percent since 1987, four times as fast as the general health club population.

    Counting all forms of exercise, including gym workouts, 26 percent of all seniors over the age of 55 participated in a single fitness activity on at least 100 occasions in 2000. This compares with 23 percent for the 35-54 age group and 20 percent for those 18-34. Particularly significant, however, is that only 18 percent of children ages 12-17 participated in frequent fitness activities in the year 2000 — a decline of 31 percent from the rate measured in 1987, according to the study.