Inspire The World To Fitness An IDEA Whose Time Has Come
“Exercise and fitness do not have to be complicated. Whether it is gardening or training for a race, the principles are the same – get moving! Many people are intimidated to start exercising because they feel they are in NO shape to get in shape. Regardless of your weight or fitness level, you can achieve success if you just get moving. Even if it is just for a few minutes a day, every little bit of activity counts,” says Jay Blahnik, IDEA’s Inspire the World to Fitness™ spokesperson.
How IDEA Fitness Professionals Inspire the World to Fitness™:
• Two years ago, Jolene Dodson weighed close to 300 pounds and didn’t feel comfortable exercising at the gym. Yet she had a desire to start a fitness program. Having enjoyed weekend gardening for years, Jolene thought that if she could somehow use her garden as a gym, she would be much more likely to stick with a program.
As a result, she turned to Los Angeles-based personal trainer and IDEA member, Kim Ruby and together they created a gardening exercise program that has become a part of Jolene’s lifestyle. Since then she has progressed from 20 minutes of walking around the yard to some vigorous gardening activities, such as planting trees and chopping wood. Recently she even recruited a couple of neighbors to help her build a shady nook for her hammock. A true fitness inspiration, Jolene has lost approximately 85 pounds since undertaking her exercise program and she is writing a book – The Garden Workout by Barclay Square Media – about her experience.
Fitness professional Ruby points out that any moderate exercise such as yard work can be beneficial. And a gardening exercise program comes with many perks: it’s enjoyable for the client; easy to modify for beginners and seniors; can eliminate the need to hire a gardener; and, create a beautiful garden at the same time. Despite these selling points, Ruby adds that a gardening workout is not for everyone. If your client is a fitness fanatic, they will probably want something more challenging. Still, for many people such as older adults and beginning exercisers, a program of this sort might yield the same beneficial results as it did for Jolene Dodson.
• In 1993, Brandon Flowers made a major career change. A catastrophe claims representative and supervisor for years, Brandon decided he would take a new direction when the corporate climate shifted. This former college shot-putter and discus thrower had never lost touch with his active lifestyle, and since moving to California he discovered personal fitness training.
Almost 10 years and three fitness certifications later, IDEA member Flowers co-owns The Dynamic Advantage, a group strength training program for cancer survivors that uses elastic resistance tubing to improve posture, body awareness, balance, bone density and functional strength. Since most of his clients have unique needs, Brandon approaches program design in an individual way. “We evaluate a person’s mobility level and conditioning, especially as it relates to treatment-related fatigue from chemotherapy, radiation and even surgery,” he says.
Part of Brandon’s success – his company has introduced more than 400 people to the benefits of resistance training since 1996 – is its mission to incorporate all levels of fitness, as Brandon explains. “We work with the wheelchair-bound, as well as their apparently healthy team members. Since elastic tubing is used in multiple levels of resistance, no one is ever excluded from exercise.”
• Jonathan Ross is a personal trainer and IDEA member and his entire career focus is to Inspire the World to Fitness™. In fact, he started years ago with his own mother, Pat. In 1995, at the beginning of her training partnership with him, Pat’s weight topped 370 pounds but she has since shed 160 and continues to lose weight. “I’ve helped her make nutritional changes and incorporate exercise into her life,” Ross explains. “She takes stability ball, water exercise and cycling classes and does resistance training with me twice per week.”
Ross has also made a huge difference for another client, a 12-year old named Nicholas. Because, as an infant, Nicholas had a porencephalic cyst that resulted in right hemiparesis, he has always had significant motor limitations on his right side, so Ross designed for him an exercise program that focuses on reintegrating right-side movement patterns.
Focusing on right-side activities that redirect neural connections in Nicholas’s brain and facilitate strong unilateral and bilateral motor development, Ross uses innovative exercises and positive reinforcement to help the youngster believe he can succeed. “At the end of every session, I make him shake hands with me,” Ross says. Over the weeks and months, it has been a real thrill to feel his handshake become firmer. His mother reports that he is now proud to extend his right hand for a handshake with others."
• “With its short fat body, little short wings and small wing span, some experts claim that the bumblebee is theoretically incapable of flight,” says IDEA member Sharon Snyder. “Yet despite all the experts contentions, the bumblebee defies those rules.”
Sharon is the owner of Bumblebee Fitness that provides personal training services to plus-size women in San Francisco. She explains that she uses “the bumblebee as a symbol for my business because, as fat women, we are so often told we cannot be physically fit. However, I am a healthy size 14/16, a competitive athlete and a personal trainer. My clients prove every day that fitness is independent of weight and size. We can all enjoy the benefits of improved health, fitness and vitality at any size. We can fly!”
Although Snyder works one-on-one with clients, she enjoys group training. Because of this, she formed a group of plus-sized woman to train for the recent Bay to Breakers 12K race in San Francisco and 20 women completed her program and the race. “I was so excited to see these historically non-athletic women accomplish an athletic goal they’d set for themselves,” Snyder says. “Using an athletic event as a goal was a revolutionary idea for them. Many participants had been told that they had to use weight loss as a goal, which was often a source of shame, frustration and failure. It’s been a very validating experience for them to work toward an event goal, which no one can take away from them.”
“We are seeing more and more that long-term exercise success is directly related to choosing activities you enjoy. Even if your choice of activity is lower intensity, such as walking or gardening, you will see results if you just stick to it, and what better way to stick to it than by picking activities you love to do,” Jay Blahnik adds.
To contact these individuals or for more examples of how fitness professionals are working to Inspire the World to Fitness™, contact IDEA’s Communications Office at (858) 535-8979, ext. 262 or e-mail: gilroyd@IDEAfit.com.
World to Fitness™ is designed to connect inactive consumers with qualified
and experienced fitness professionals while giving fitness professionals
– personal trainers, fitness instructors and fitness facility owners and
operators – the motivational tools and resources they need to provide
effective exercise programs. By working with major consumer-oriented companies,
fitness equipment manufacturers and suppliers, and fitness professionals
and facilities, Inspire the World to Fitness™ is providing consumers with
credible fitness options so they can live healthy and active lifestyles.
For more information on IDEA events, publications, educational products,
member services or other activities, visit the IDEA website at www.IDEAfit.com.