Contributing to the Greater Cause (IDEA's new contributing editor board)
IDEA Health & Fitness Association would like to announce the new line-up of contributing editors for IDEA’s award-winning publications. Those selected are industry veterans who provide unique visions into the current state of the industry, as well as a keen understanding of where it’s headed. This exceptional assembly of professionals will assist in keeping IDEA’s editors informed of the most prominent trends; review manuscripts and abstracts to help maintain the high standard of content IDEA is known for; provide consultation; and contribute content for future publications. Please join us in welcoming our new group of contributors!
Nicki Anderson has been helping others discover a healthier path since 1978. In 1992, she opened Reality Fitness, a private, award-winning personal training studio based outside Chicago. Anderson is the author of several books designed specifically for the inactive population. She is also a contributing author to the 2nd edition of ACSM’s Resources for the Personal Trainer and a contributor to hundreds of health and fitness periodicals. Anderson strives to share her keen business sense with colleagues, frequently lecturing countrywide to “encourage them to reach for the stars and inspire others to do the same.” Eager to take on her new appointment as an IDEA contributing editor, Anderson hopes to share her knowledge with others and to determine what IDEA’s members need to achieve their highest potential. “I believe it will be my responsibility to listen to the members and find out what they’re looking for to be successful in the industry,” she says. “In addition to listening to and identifying members’ needs, it’s important that I help to provide cutting-edge information they can use to be some of the ‘best’ in the industry.” The “best” will then take this information and assist with the major issues looming along the horizon, such as obesity, inactivity and unhealthy living. “My hope is that our industry will eventually be recognized as a vital component to the health and well-being of this country,” she states. “If we can position ourselves as the necessary ‘cog’ in the wheel of wellness, not only will our industry flourish, but so will the health of our country.”
As a contributing editor, Shirley Archer seeks to enhance the understanding of “holism”—body, mind and spirit among IDEA members. “I hope to share my insight into the importance of an integrated approach to training individuals that comes from considering the entire person,” she says. “I want to provide a voice to support inclusivity in our industry among our certified personal training professionals, as well as among the clientele we serve.” Archer, an award-winning author, a media spokesperson and an international lecturer, understands what it’s like to be bogged down by life’s stressors. As a former Wall Street attorney, Archer suffered from chronic fatigue syndrome and “felt the pain of living in a sick body.” She realized the consequences of “poor habits” and set her sights on helping others avoid a similar path. She brings 20 years of industry experience to her roles as consultant for the Health Improvement Program at Stanford University and author of the Body-Mind-Spirit News column for IDEA Fitness Journal. She is a certified yoga and Pilates instructor, a mind-body skills coach, a group fitness leader, a personal trainer and a massage therapist. Archer frequently advocates for continued education and for helping colleagues raise the bar for quality instruction and service. “I’m passionate about maintaining high professional standards so that the fitness industry can continue to grow in credibility, can increase its partnership with allied health care and athletic training professionals and can be self-regulating.” Once the general population understands from fitness professionals the gravity of healthy living, it will have a greater chance of surviving against ailments prevalent today, contends Archer.
April Durrett is a San Diego–based freelance writer, editor and proofreader. Her specialty is interviewing several expert sources and weaving together their opinions and comments into articles that present varied viewpoints. She also works one-on-one with individual fitness and wellness professionals to help them improve their writing. She is a former senior editor of two consumer magazines: REAL and STRIVE. She is also a past senior editor for IDEA and has won APEX Awards of Excellence for technical writing, feature writing and editing. Durrett earned a bachelor of arts in English/American literature at the University of California, San Diego, and graduated Phi Beta Kappa and cum laude. In addition to writing, she is passionate about the theater. She coordinated the Creative Outlet teen program for Sushi Performance & Visual Arts, directed and acted with San Diego Playback Theatre and performed with San Diego TheatreSports and at Sea World. Her latest “project” is monitoring the health, fitness and well-being of her baby Daphne. Durrett has high hopes for the industry and for exercise professionals’ ability to absorb all the knowledge and techniques necessary to accurately and safely aid today’s populations. “I hope fitness professionals can develop intriguing, innovative methods to bring the love of movement to people in a variety of settings [and that they] will discover more communication and behavior modification tools to be able to make a difference with sedentary populations,” says Durrett.
Jim Gavin received his PhD in psychology from New York University in 1984 and has focused his attention on the psychological aspects of sports and exercise since 1985. He has practiced counseling and health promotion for the past 35 years and is the author of eight books and more than 150 professional articles. He recently published Lifestyle Fitness Coaching, which he states is “a pioneering integration of exercise psychology and life coaching.” He has taught counseling, health promotion and behavior change at graduate and undergraduate levels and has instructed life coaches and lifestyle fitness coaches since 1998. He is also a very active individual, and has been a competitive swimmer, triathlete and modern dancer. He has taught aerobics and yoga and has a black belt in aikido. A regular contributor to IDEA publications, Gavin is eager to share his unique insights with IDEA members. He looks to provide “awareness of psychological research pertaining to health and fitness professionals.” He also looks forward to providing IDEA authors with guidance so they can maximize impact and understanding among readers and help shape the future of fitness and wellness. “My vision is that mind-body exercise will be the norm; that individuals will pursue their dreams with the support of physical activities that can bolster essential skills and competencies; and that the fitness industry will represent itself through the way people live their lives more than through physical structures (clubs, gyms) that currently symbolize the industry.”
Jeffrey Janot, assistant professor of kinesiology at the University of Wisconsin –Eau Claire and technical editor for IDEA Fitness Journal, has been active in the clinical and health/fitness aspects of exercise science since the early 1990s. He graduated with a bachelor’s in exercise science from the College of St. Scholastica in 1994, obtained a master’s degree in adult fitness/cardiac rehabilitation from the University of Wisconsin– La Crosse in 1997 and followed with a PhD in exercise physiology from the University of New Mexico in 2001. He has worked as a personal trainer and assistant manager, as an exercise physiologist for the Employee Health Promotion Program at the University of New Mexico and as a clinical exercise physiologist for cardiac rehabilitation programs at facilities such as the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota. Janot is currently developing research in the areas of body composition, sports physiology, cardiovascular physiology and clinical exercise physiology. He plans to use his post as contributing editor to share his unique knowledge. Janot anticipates that, with this information, IDEA members will take the appropriate steps to elevate the world’s understanding of what the fitness industry can provide. “For too long, we have focused our attention, time and money on managing disease and associated problems after they occur through continued rehabilitation,” he says. “If the focus on rehabilitation from preventable diseases can be altered in this country, exercise professionals in our industry will be poised to experience tremendous growth and success.”
Len Kravitz has been a part of IDEA’s extended family since the early days of leg warmers and sweatbands and was the first person selected for the coveted IDEA Fitness Instructor of the Year award in 1987. He received his PhD with an emphasis in health promotion and exercise science from the University of New Mexico in 1994 and, 2 years later, served as the program director of exercise science and graduate coordinator of wellness at the University of Mississippi. He returned to his alma mater in 1999 and gained the position of coordinator of exercise science in the department of physical performance and development. He has authored more than 120 articles in peer-reviewed professional journals, as well as several monographs, textbook chapters and manuals. He has been honored with various awards, including International Presenter of the Year in 1999 and 2006 Specialty Presenter of the Year—both from Can-Fit-Pro—and was selected as Fitness Educator of the Year for 2006 by ACE. “In all of my teaching and writing approaches and strategies, I strive to guide students so they will love to learn and continue learning,” says Kravitz. He sees his students and colleagues as having the potential to affect great change in the industry and beyond. “I hope that we will overcome the obesity pandemic and that exercise will be a regular and welcome part of the lives of all people.”
Registered dietitian and wellness coordinator for the Albuquerque Public School District in New Mexico, Jennie McCary has devoted her life to helping others learn to make healthy nutrition choices. She focuses a great deal of attention on younger citizens in her role as chair of Action for Healthy Kids in New Mexico, part of a national organization to improve nutrition and increase activity levels in schools. She is also on the executive committee for the New Mexico Healthier Weight Council and a board member of the New Mexico Dietetic Association. “I am a strong proponent of local activism and hope that nutrition information shared with members inspires and provides them with the practical tools to effectively communicate with clients and to take action in their community,” says McCary. A part-time instructor at the University of New Mexico, where she received her master’s in nutrition and dietetics, she also writes for the Journal of the American Dietetic Association and is a regular contributor to IDEA Fitness Journal. McCary is a frequent presenter at local conferences and was named the Recognized Young Dietitian of the Year in her home state in 2005. She has worked as a clinical dietitian for St. Vincent Hospital in Santa Fe, New Mexico, and strives to make health and fitness an integral part of her lifestyle. McCary recently completed three marathons and several half-marathons. “It is my hope that the prevention work of health and fitness professionals will be well funded in order to have an impact on shaping healthier habits in youth and in families to reverse obesity trends,” she states.
Pam Peeke, assistant professor of medicine at the University of Maryland, is a Pew Foundation Scholar in nutrition and metabolism. She is a nationally recognized speaker on nutrition, fitness and integrative medicine and is a fellow of the American College of Physicians. Peeke is the chief medical correspondent on nutrition and fitness for Discovery Health Television and hosts The National Body Challenge, which, together with its healthy-living Web component, is followed by 1 million Americans. She has been a regular commentator for national networks and contributes to numerous publications, including Fitness, Prevention and O, the Oprah Magazine. “I hope to provide insights into the understanding of cutting-edge science as it applies to healthy living and aging,” says Peeke. “My skill set includes the ability to translate leading research into accessible information that will help fitness professionals to increase their knowledge base and to incorporate that data into practical programs for their students and clients.” She believes in the development of easily accessible and inexpensive methods for increasing healthy living among the population. “I predict that the fitness professionals’ work will expand to include more structured and credentialed psychological counseling, stress management and nutritional education. I would call them ‘healthy lifestyle professionals,’ and I hope that these hybrids become the focal point for guiding others through the lifelong journey of optimal healthy living and aging.”
Cody Sipe is the former director of the A.H. Ismail Center for Health, Exercise & Nutrition at Purdue University. He is the co-owner of Miracles Fitness in West Lafayette, Indiana, and holds a master’s degree in exercise science. Sipe has been an advocate for improving fitness levels in older adults and, for the past 12 years, has worked in medical-based, for-profit, not-for-profit and community-based facilities and programs. He is the vice president of the Coalition for Living Well After 50, chair of the Alliance for Health Promotion and a member of the Strategic Health Initiative on Aging with ACSM. A certified exercise specialist, registered clinical exercise physiologist and balance and mobility specialist, Sipe was selected as one of four gubernatorial delegates to the 2005 White House Conference on Aging. He was the 2003 Midwest ACSM Clinical Exercise Specialist of the Year and, in 2005, was honored as IDEA Program Director of the Year. He is a regular contributor to IDEA publications, has written for the Journal on Active Aging, The Eldercare Activities Guide, and Fitness Management and has contributed two chapters to the 2nd edition of ACSM’s Resources for Personal Trainers. “[As contributing editor] I would like to share my expertise about how to better understand and thus more effectively work with the diverse, burgeoning market of adults over the age of 50.”
Peter Twist, president and chief executive officer of Twist Conditioning Inc. based in Vancouver, British Columbia, has extensive knowledge in the field of sports training. His company is a provider of continuing education for fitness professionals and offers sports conditioning certifications, products and franchised sports conditioning facilities. He is an 11-year veteran conditioning coach for the National Hockey League (NHL) and currently works as a consultant for NHL athletes and agents. He received an MSc in exercise physiology with a specialization in coaching science and has used his academic and practical knowledge to author more than 300 papers and eight books. He has also developed 16 DVDs and delivered presentations to thousands of trainers and coaches internationally. When taking time away from his hectic schedule, Twist can be found traversing mountains, whether by foot, ski, mountain bike or snowshoe. He believes that his unique understanding of sports conditioning can help IDEA’s members enhance their own knowledge in this area, enabling them to further elevate client programming. “I hope to provide input on emerging trends in sport conditioning and functional training, impacting content focused on improving the performance of the human body,” he states. He believes that the industry needs to head in a direction where higher standards of quality training are the norm. These standards will help the exercise specialist to “liaise successfully and respectfully with medical services; to educate consumers, coaches and others on points of difference between trainer’s skills and training styles; and, personally, to offer more specialized education for trainers aspiring to work in sport conditioning,” says Twist. “Ultimately, my hope is that such a large percentage of the population will be interested in hands-on training there will not be enough trainers to keep pace!”
“My fitness career began in 1983 when I was offered a job teaching aerobics in West Berlin,” recalls Alexandra Williams. “It was also my first chance to be a presenter, as my sister and I were part of a weekly television fitness program on the American military channel in West Berlin.” Toward the end of the 1980s, Williams picked up the pen and began writing on health and fitness; since then she has been a regular contributor to IDEA publications. Her interests in fitness and wellness took a turn after she determined that her students seemed to experience more mental than physical discomfort. “During my first years as an instructor I was approached by a lot of students with issues that were more related to mental rather than physical health. This convinced me of a strong link between the body and mind, so in the mid-1990s I went back to school for an advanced degree in counseling.” Currently, Williams is on the teaching staff in the department of exercise and sports studies at the University of California, Santa Barbara, and she is also on the staff of the Spectrum Club. She plans to use her position as contributing editor to share her enthusiasm, experience, education and eye for future trends, and to help professionals gain greater understanding of various populations. “As an instructor to students who range from college-age to older adults, I also hope to represent their desires, goals and myriad needs,” she continues. “Finally, I hope to use my education as a counselor to assist in offering articles that continue to look at the mind-body link.”
—Compiled by Ryan Halvorson
“If we can position ourselves as the necessary ‘cog’ in the wheel of wellness, not only will our industry flourish, but so will the health of our country.”
“I hope fitness professionals can develop intriguing, innovative methods to bring the love of movement to people in a variety of settings.”
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