To help address some of the problems facing youth today—physical inactivity, diabetes and obesity, among them—the Gray Institute has launched the not-for-profit Free2Play.
Utilizing the institute’s Applied Functional Science™, Free2Play aims to improve “movement literacy” and athleticism through “progressive” lesson plans available via online learning with on-demand access. Free2Play doesn’t replace health and fitness programs or curriculum.
As a personal trainer, you may recognize this scenario:
“Mary” is a fictional 30-year-old woman who was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis soon after her 21st birthday. She is often tired in the morning, even when she gets a full night’s worth of restful sleep, which is rare. The fatigue is unpredictable, gets worse throughout the day and tends to be triggered easily. Muscle spasms and weakness in her legs make it difficult for her to walk long distances.
Since many schools no longer offer physical education, a lot of fitness professionals are volunteering their time before and after school. This is a great (and needed) community service, but unless you have experience working with kids aged 7–11, you may not be fully prepared for the challenge of corralling them for a cool-down. When kids are having fun, they don’t want to stop, listen and be quiet. The transition from a workout to a cool-down can be tough. That’s why you need a plan.
The following activities offer many creative ways to rein in kids.
With the Baby Boomer population aging, movement professionals have to become more prepared to meet the needs of older adults. And while it may be tempting to think seniors need less when it comes to program development, clients of advanced age actually need more.
It’s not enough to modify the intensity or safety of their fitness programs. It’s also essential to understand how the mindset that older clients bring to a session—in this case a fear of falling—can influence their exercise needs.
Suspension exercise (SE) is a popular way to get fit for many people, and it’s no secret as to why. This method of exercise, where an apparatus attached to a single overhead anchor point supports the hands or feet, offers numerous benefits. Due to its popularity and the results people see from performing SE, programming has evolved to a point where fitness professionals are introducing it to their older-adult clients in the 65–80 and older age range.
According to a report from the British Medical Journal (2012; 344; doi: http://dx.doi.org/10.1136/bmj/e2672), 25%–74% of the world’s 50 million stroke survivors require assistance or are fully dependent on caregivers. To gain more physical independence, many seek help from physical therapists. That same report suggests circuit training can be a successful alternative to physical therapy.
PERMA-based fitness training can pack a positive punch for IDEA fitness professionals looking to contribute to the well-being of our fast-growing population of active older adults.
What Is PERMA?
PERMA is devoted to developing social and mental strength, which can be very helpful in motivating older exercisers. The acronym was coined by Martin Seligman, considered the father of modern positive psychology, in Flourish:
Exercise early in life—benefit later in life. That’s what researchers from Ball State University’s Human Performance Laboratory, in Indiana, concluded in a study published recently in the Journal of Applied Physiology (2013; 114 , 3–10).
Scientists looked at “whole body aerobic capacity and myocellular markers of oxidative metabolism in lifelong endurance athletes and age-matched healthy, untrained men.”
It is well known that the United States faces a childhood obesity epidemic. In fact, 81% of respondents in a poll on the topic considered childhood obesity a serious concern and two-thirds believed the problem was getting worse (Hassink, Hill & Biddinger 2011). Actually, national surveys show a stabilization of childhood obesity rates and even small declines in some localities (RWJF 2012).
Demonstrating the power of the mind-body connection, familiar music can lower stress and reduce sedative use among intensive-care-unit patients requiring ventilators, says a report in the Journal of the American Medical Association (2013; doi:10.1001/jama.2013.5670).