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Archive for February 2002

Health Club Memberships on the Rise

While the number of Americans considered overweight or obese is on the rise, so is the number of Americans
who belong to health clubs. Memberships grew from 21 million in 1991 to 30.6 million in 1999, according to the International Health, Racquet & Sportsclub Association (IHRSA). A consumer study sponsored by IHRSA found that health club members currently visit the gym an average of 89 times per year.

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Understanding What Teens Think About Exercise

As a health and fitness educator and an exercise physiologist, I have enjoyed working with a variety of populations for many years. However, I began working with teens only recently. I knew the percentage of overweight children and adolescents in the United States was growing. I also knew that obese children and adolescents are more likely to become obese adults at high risk for disease—and that an increasing number of teens were leading sedentary lifestyles.

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in Times of Crisis

As fitness professionals, we are well aware of the beneficial effects of exercise during stressful situations. But on September 11, 2001, managers and staff at fitness facilities worldwide wrestled with how best to help their members cope in a time of unprecedented tragedy and fear. Was it best to keep clubs open and try to offer members some semblance of normalcy? Could staff be expected to carry on and teach regular classes? What would be the right way to respond if a club did stay open? And when should normal activities resume if the club closed down for a while?

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Five Steps to Effective Delegation

When you think about delgating a job to a staffer, is your motive to simply unload some of your own work? According to author Greg Balanko-Dickson, it shouldn’t be. He says it should be more about gaining cooperation to achieve a goal. It’s an opportunity for the business owner or manager to:

  • empower the individual
  • motivate (inspire an employee to new levels of performance and responsibility)
  • encourage an employee in the delegation process
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Vitamin A and Hip Fracture Risk

A new study indicates that older women who consume too much vitamin A may increase their risk of hip fracture. Researchers found that women with the highest total intake of vitamin A, from both fortified food and multivitamin supplements, had double the risk of hip fracture compared to women with the lowest intake. The study appeared in the January 2, 2002, issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association.

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When Drugs and Exercise Collide

You probably know that problems can occur when you combine different drugs or use certain drugs in conjunction with certain foods. Yet are you aware that a wide variety of commonly used drugs—including prescription, over-the-counter and herbal products—can affect your response to exercise, potentially increasing your risk of injury? Discover how to stay safe using these tips from Carol Krucoff, coauthor of Healing Moves: How to Cure, Relieve and Prevent Common Ailments With Exercise (Harmony Books, 2000).

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Partnering With the Medical Community

Perhaps what is most frustrating about the rising number of people with diabetes, heart disease and obesity is the fact that in many cases exercise and diet can prevent these conditions. And prevention is more cost-effective than treatment, which is why partnerships between fitness facilities and hospitals are growing.

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Does Oxygenated Water Work?

The more oxygen your muscles get, the better your athletic performance. But can oxygenated water products deliver more oxygen to working muscle? Probably not, according to a study by the American Council on Exercise (ACE).
Oxygenated waters claim to have up to 10 times more oxygen content than normal tap or bottled water. Product manufacturers claim that this additional oxygen can increase stamina, reduce recovery time and improve overall athletic performance.

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“What was your most unusual program design and why did the client need such special accommodation?”

My clients typically fall into one of three categories: top-level athletes of all ages; postrehab clients for shoulders, knees and backs; and, of course, the typical “I just want to tone” clients with whom we are all familiar.
I rarely get to utilize my experience in hospital-based physical therapy or my certifications as a clinical exercise specialist and medical exercise specialist. Although the following program may be typical for trainers who work with special populations, it is unusual for me.

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Assisting the Community

Subject: Brad Ruger
Location: Atlanta
Company: 180 Degrees Fitness
Experience: Five years as a trainer, two years as owner
Maverick Strategy: Brad Ruger spends
20 percent of his work week training brain and spinal cord injury patients at the Shepherd Center and has obtained referrals
to his private practice from the doctors and physical therapists he works with.

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Training Trainers in Postrehab

As baby boomers age and insurance companies crack down on physical therapy bills, more trainers are probably seeing clients with some type of physical ailment—whether they specialize in postrehabilitation or not. IDEA and Physiotherapy Associates San Diego realize this and have started a new personal training postrehab credential program designed to help physical therapists and personal trainers work together to benefit patients and clients.

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Is Flexibility Overrated?

You have probably heard that stretching prevents sports injuries, and you might even tell your clients that. But is it true? Surprisingly little research validates the link between stretching and injury prevention, according to the Georgia Tech Sports Medicine & Performance Newsletter (August 2001).

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Soft Drinks: Bad to the Bone?

The word is out. One out of every two women and one in eight men will suffer from a debilitating bone fracture caused by osteoporosis. These staggering statistics have made this fragile-bone condition a major health concern among your clients. And as they should be well aware, consuming adequate calcium and participating in regular exercise both play key roles in osteoporosis prevention. But confusion surrounds other diet factors that may be protective or harmful to bone health.

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