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Archive for March 2008

Curbing Restaurant Cravings

Going to a
restaurant while trying to lose weight or adopt healthier eating habits can
present a real challenge. For many dieters, dining out is a time when
temptations can win out despite the best intentions. Fear not: there are ways
to stay strong in the face of all those temptations. Just follow …

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Sports Nutrition for Young Athletes

More and more young athletes are seeking
personal fitness trainers for specialized workouts. As part of their training,
we strive to help these young people become stronger and better able to
withstand the rigors of sports competition. But physical training is only one
part of the equation: young athletes also need to learn why proper nutrition is
vital to optimizin…

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Tricks of the Trade

My biggest challenge is finding the
right trainers to work with me. It is hard to find qualified
trainers who are willing to train some of the clientele that I have (the
morbidly obese). Some of my clients require a lot of motivation, and not every
trainer is a motivator. I would rather have trainers wh…

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Taking SOAP Notes

Personal training is evolving at an
unprecedented rate, and keeping pace requires developing innovative approaches
to professional skills. Documenting client progress is one such skill. Emerging
training models require more sophisticated methods of documentation. Today,
trainers working with special populations often work as part…

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Physiology Refresher

You can probably remember studying for
your certification exam: What is the difference between a strain and a sprain?
a tendon and a ligament? an artery and a vein? the sympathetic and the
parasympathetic nervous systems? After the exam was over, you probably used or
heard these words yet forgot the exact medical definitions, the precise
functions or even the distin…

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How to Finance a New Fitness Studio

Are you thinking about opening your own fitness studio?
There are a lot of good reasons to do so: it’s an opportunity to be your own
boss, control your workplace, increase your income and have more job security.
For every one of these reasons, however, there is a downside. The trouble is
too few business novices—especially those whose background is fitness, not…

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Managing Your Money Before It Manages You

It is a beautiful January day in Texas,
and I am sitting in my home at my favorite writing spot (the kitchen table)
with my laptop. At this moment in time, the United States is experiencing its
worst housing crisis in 17 years with a 10-month supply of unsold homes (Deener
2008). In addition, housing starts are down 40% from a year ago, and the
subprime mortgage cri…

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Determining Your Corporate Structure, Part 1

One of the most important decisions you will make as a business owner is how to legally structure your company. Your own assessment of the risks and costs involved, together with guidance from your professional advisers, should determine your corporate structure.
Many personal trainers open their studios as sole proprietorships and then find that as their businesses grow, that st…

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Biological Impact of Loneliness

Scientists have long known that people who suffer
from loneliness or social isolation have a higher mortality rate than people
who don’t. What has not been known is whether loneliness has a direct
biological impact on health or whether the effect is indirect, stemming from
the fact that lonely people have fewer social resources (e.g., physical or
economic help…

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NATA Recommends Yoga, Tai Chi and Pilates

The National Athletic
Trainers Association (NATA) recognizes the benefits of practicing yoga, tai chi
and Pilates. The organization has released a 10-step guide to help people of
all ages improve their quality of life by reducing physical stress and preventing
back pain. One of the 10 recommendations, “Make yourself mobile,” notes that
poor posture and muscle stiffne…

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The Fitness Farm

Wake up your group strength or boot camp
warm-up with animal-themed movements that include static and dynamic stretches.
Encourage participants to focus on precision, breathing and progressions. Take
these moves through a full range of motion to increase the stretch. Remember
that not all exercises are appropriate for all populat…

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Acetaminophen Alert

Fitness
professionals may sometimes take products containing acetaminophen (e.g.,
Tylenol®) to soothe their
aching muscles after heavy exercise bouts. They might also reach for a
caffeinated product like Diet Coke® Read More

When Morning Sickness is Dangerous

Many pregnant
women experience morning sickness, usually during their first trimester. In
fact, 70%-80% of pregnant women report having some degree of morning sickness,
according to the American Pregnancy Association. While pesky, this condition is
quite normal and (blessedly) short in duration.

However, in about 1% of pregna…

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Injury Prevention for New Moms

If you are a new mother, congratulations!
Along with the blessings, however, come some physical challenges. Various
movements associated with care of a baby can cause serious distress to your
body if you don’t perform them functionally. How can you lessen the risk of
injury? Learn proper movement patterns for typical activities y…

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The Secret to Client Retention

Client retention is one of the greatest
obstacles fitness professionals can face. However, since it is far more
difficult to attract a new client than to keep a current one, it’s crucial to
strengthen your retention know-how. Discover how to boost client adherence
levels by incorporating fundamental coaching elements into your se…

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Pilates and Breast Cancer: Rebuilding the Foundation

Fashion designer and breast cancer
survivor Sigrid Olsen began a Pilates program with me just months after her
surgery. “I had no physical strength in my upper body,” she says. “I had lost
the endurance to hold myself up straight. The Pilates program got me feeling my
body again and gave me the strength to keep my shoulders back and down. I had a
sense of self again…

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How to Be a Great Instructor

Most people have been lucky enough to
have teachers who left a lasting impression on their lives. Think about one of your favorite mentors or
instructors. What made him or her so special? And what can you do to create the
same experience in your own classes? You may presume …

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Guiding New Instructors

As vice president of GoodLife Fitness
clubs in Canada, Maureen “Mo” Hagan, PT, still teaches group fitness, inspiring
200 participants per week in her classes. She also travels to several new club
openings a year, introducing hundreds of members to group fitness programs. She
combines her passion for group exercise and her intere…

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Sample Class: No Equipment Needed

Every time we turn around, there’s a new
piece of equipment to master and throw into our already overflowing fitness toy
boxes. Whether you are looking for new programming ideas sans equipment because
the well (money or mind) has run dry or whether you want to provide alternative
workouts for equipment-phobic participants, a “no …

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