Twenty years ago, if a friend said she was going to “aerobics,” you had a pretty good idea what that entailed. Today, however, that same person might attend any number and style of group exercise classes, including high-low, step, kickboxing, funk, hip-hop, cardio dance and circuit training, to name only a few. These diverse choices only scratch the surface. All of them can be mixed and matched to create fantastic format blends. While not a new concept, combination classes offer myriad benefits to instructors, program directors and participants.
Fitness Caching is an outdoor training program wherein participants use a hand-held GPS (global positioning system) receiver to hike, locate and find a “hidden” treasure called a cache. Creator Leigh Crews will lead this class during the IDEA World Fitness Convention® in San Diego, July 8–11.
If you’re like most group fitness instructors, having current and motivational music has always been a priority. The right tunes can make a big difference in your classes. Luckily, good songs have never been more accessible. Whether you need an entire CD of indoor cycling songs or just one track for your cardio cool-down, downloading music from the Internet may be the way to go.
Are your clients trying to lose weight on their own? They may be better off as part of a group. Why? New research conducted by Aston University’s Mike Green, PhD, and Nicola Elliman, in conjunction with the Western Human Nutrition Center at the University of California, found that organized weight loss groups had some significant advantages.
Is teaching your class a no-brainer? Do your participants readily comprehend your ideas? Effective communication begins and ends with you. If your cues aren’t being understood, the problem may lie not in what you are saying, but in how you are saying it.
Ageless Energy is a specialty program offered for people 55 years and older by Julie Luther at PurEnergy Health & Wellness Services in Greensboro, North Carolina. Luther developed the program with the University of North Carolina, Greensboro. The 50-minute class provides information on balance, nutrition and osteoporosis; explains the components of an exercise program; and teaches at-home exercises for strength and flexibility. “This program has expanded, and [its participants are] becoming our largest growing membership sector,” says Luther.
Every now and then, participants need
to be reminded that training in the swimming pool offers numerous benefits for all fitness levels. Based on speed, power and strength rather than rhythm and choreography, H2O Bootcamp incorporates pyramid training, kickboxing drills, interval training, power drills, speed bursts and strength exercises. While this class requires no coordination, it does demand a lot of stamina and is great for students who need a new challenge and prefer hard, athletic workouts.
Do you have clients with severe osteoarthritis (OA) who want to improve their strength and function? You may want to encourage them to exercise in the pool, according to a study from the December 2003 issue of the Annals of the Rheumatic Diseases (vol. 62, pp. 1162-7). This study’s findings indicate that people with OA can exercise at much higher intensities than popularly believed.