When people think of Russia, some picture the frozen steppes of Siberia, while others see the onion domes of Red Square. But what about this country’s long tradition of placing a high value on sport and physical fitness? That aspect of Russian culture is just as ingrained.
Personal Trainer: Laura Gideon, MS, owner of Bamboo Balance
Location: Los Angeles
First Impressions. Heidi was physically active as a dancer during high school. But by age 24 the loss of her left foot in a motorcycle accident and the rigors of graduate school had propelled her into a sedentary lifestyle. Eventually Heidi became determined to embrace a more active lifestyle and began to attend various aerobics classes. The classes proved unsuccessful because her prosthesis would slip as she began to sweat.
The Brain Emporium, a brain exercise center founded and directed by T.J. McCallum, associate professor of psychology at Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland, Ohio, opened at the Fairhill Center in Cleveland in March 2009. The Brain Emporium is another example of the growing popularity of computer-based mental fitness games.
Meet the Rollin’ Couch Potatoes, one of the more than 1,600 walking teams that
recently completed the 2009 Green Steps Challenge, organized by RR Donnelley, which prints IDEA Fitness Journal. The program ran from June 1 to August 21 and consisted of three 4-week walking sessions, during which all participants were encouraged to log as many steps as possible. Pedometers and walking journals were provided.
As the popularity of reality television dance programs increases, it seems dancing for fitness is following suit. This increase in popularity may provide fitness professionals yet another way to help more people get active. According to research presented at the American College of Sports Medicine’s 56th Annual Meeting in Seattle in May, ballroom dance methods can help adult dancers increase heart rates and
Americans’ attempts to improve their health are plummeting faster than the Dow Jones Industrial Average, according to the results of a new study
published in the June issue of The American Journal of Medicine. What makes this most distressing is that
it is happening despite countless government campaigns to improve the
nation’s dietary and exercise habits.
Dedicated fitness professionals in Australia are regularly inspiring people to become healthy, says Ken Baldwin, fitness professional and presenter in Brisbane, Australia, who has worked in the industry for over 25 years. “We are becoming more credible and expanding our knowledge due to demands placed on our industry for certifications and insurance,” he says. “We now work more closely with other allied professionals, and there’s been increased interest in functional training.
Even though 2009 has been a tough year economically, Canadians are still willing to invest in fitness, as these days it is viewed more and more as a necessity, not a luxury. So says Peter Twist, MSc, president and chief executive officer of Twist Sport Conditioning, based in North Vancouver. Even the government is involved, setting a goal of increasing the physical activity level of Canadians 10% by next year and giving tax credits to parents who invest in their children’s physical activities and sports.