Defining the Problem
Instructors who field desperate questions from participants about spot reducing and calorie burning know firsthand about people’s preoccupation with body image. And negative body perception runs rampant in our own industry.
Q:I would love to travel to other countries, teaching fitness classes as I go. I’ve heard of so many instructors who have done this that I know it is possible. But I’m not sure where to begin. What does it entail besides having experience, strong teaching skills and a good fitness knowledge base? I would be grateful for any advice you can offer!
Recent articles have focused on the benefits of teaching new, specialized classes, such as hybrids that combine several complementary elements into one group session. Perhaps you are toying with the idea of creating your own new class but are unsure how to start. How do instructors come up with innovative concepts and titles like “Indoor/Outdoor Intervals,” “Step ’n’ Sculpt” or Yogilates®? What has to happen for
a new class to become a reality?
As amazing as it now seems, back in the 1970s we had to prove that aerobic dance could actually increase your heart rate. “Yes, cardio activity is effective,” our new and growing industry asserted. Once this effectiveness was established, researchers began publishing studies that detailed injuries sustained during aerobics classes. So in the 1980s and 1990s, our adolescent industry committed to making classes safe.
How do I handle an in-class injury? I know the injured person needs immediate attention, but what are the logistics of dealing with the rest of the group? How can I be responsible to both the class and the injured person? Any ideas that will keep me out of legal hot water plus handle the situation effectively?
“My goal this year really is to focus on teaching classes that attract deconditioned and aging populations. However, I am stuck on what to call such classes—how to strike that tricky balance between identifying my market and not alienating anyone. How much do deconditioned and 50-plus exercisers want to be separated and labeled? Also, how different should the exercise content be from the content of mainstream beginning and intermediate classes?”
As the new millennium begins to take shape, philosophers and ethicists are again posing questions that have dogged humankind for centuries. What is right? What is good and true? When do we have the right to make decisions for other people? How can we use our reason and intuition to be the best we can be; to contribute to the new epoch?