Marie was a client who had long suffered from anxiety. I’d discovered years ago that a walk outside before a strength training workout calmed and focused her mind, resulting in a more effective workout for her and a more positive experience for both of us. When my boss found out, he went ballistic.
Back in Canada, when my colleagues and I developed strength and fitness programs for hockey athletes, we began to notice something fascinating: Farm kids had distinct advantages when their “farm strength” was transferred to the ice. These young athletes were stronger on the puck, stronger in front of the net when battling their opponents, and stronger in odd body positions.
Whether you want to run a marathon for the thrill of it, to cross it off your bucket list or to qualify for the prestigious Boston Marathon, it all starts with a single step. When you put together enough steps to cover 26.2 miles, you become a marathoner!
So how do you run a marathon? Jason Karp, PhD, the 2011 IDEA Personal Trainer of the Year and author of Running a Marathon for Dummies, gives you strategies below.
A woman’s body will change more in 9 months of pregnancy than a man’s will in his lifetime—and she needs an exercise program to match the transformation. So says maternal exercise expert Farel Hruska, national fitness director of FIT4MOM® (formerly Stroller Strides®) in San Diego. “The biomechanics of motherhood are unique and specific,” Hruska explains. “A mom-to-be will need to master strength, agility, balance, speed, acceleration, deceleration, directional change and rotation . . . all with load that increases every day.”
The health and fitness world confronts a complex paradox. Exercise causes consternation and elation, angst and joy. It can prevent—and lead to—illness and injury. Workouts can keep you out of a hospital and put you into one.
Driving isn’t a sport for most of us, yet it does require strength, motor skill, joint mobility and fast reaction time. Chances are you aren’t offering functional exercise training for “driving skills,” but if you work with a senior population, you should be.
Fitness “toys” can make a big difference in helping class participants heighten body awareness—especially awareness of their core muscles. Case in point: a small, soft, inflatable exercise ball known as a sponge ball or Pilates miniball. The miniball comes in a range of sizes, from 7 to 12 inches in diameter, and is a great addition to many classes.
We’ve seen many activity trends come and go in the fitness industry, but perhaps none quite as “dirty” as the current obsession with mud runs and obstacle races. While some events are milder than others, many could be described as an “ordeal” that also happens to be a workout. For example, you might find yourself slopping through mud, scaling impossibly high verticals and pushing yourself to the limit—physically and mentally.