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Archive for April 2010

Designing Fun Fitness Programs for Kids

Did you know that only about 4% of our nation’s schools offer daily physical education, while 20% of schools provide no physical education at all? Given these statistics, some youngsters may get their first and only introduction to exercise through a personal trainer. That experience will affect their abilities and attitudes toward physical activity for the rest of their lives.

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The Franklin Method: Anatomy + Imagery

Eric Franklin believes that a person’s physical habits and mental attitudes are the key to living a long, happy and healthy life. His work embodies true mind-body principles that can be incorporated into most lifestyles and exercise modalities. He developed his method by employing a combination of practical experience, scientific and anatomical analysis and personal insight. His unique style is now embraced worldwide by a variety of health and fitness professionals.

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2 Effective Core Exercises for Adults

Before you teach Baby Boomers and older adults a core conditioning routine, remember that in order to maintain stability and support, the core is activated milliseconds before any movement occurs in the body, so don’t limit your thinking of core exercises to the abdominals or lower back. Even small movements in the periphery of the body are sufficient to recruit and condition the core musculature.

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Making Peace With Blogging

Getting a blog up and running is not a monumental task, even for people like me who know very little about HTML code or the technical side of how the Internet works. The rewards of having a blog include better Web presence and networking opportunities, another way to connect to clients and leads, and a do-it-yourself platform for promoting yourself as a fitness expert.

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Fit for Communication

Imagine a force that has the power to influence people’s thoughts, emotions and bodies. A description of this “force” might seem to be the stuff of science fiction, and yet it
is a power that resides within each one of us—the power of communication. Communication is a basic building block of relationships. This article reviews ideas and practices related to creating effective communication with your clients and students.

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Tai Chi May Help Older Adults Improve Proprioception

Practicing tai chi helps older adults maintain their balance when their eyes are closed, according to a small study published in the Archives of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation (2010; 91 [1], 9–14). Researchers from university facilities in Amiens Cedex, France, wanted to determine whether tai chi practice would provide healthy subjects aged 70–85 with more…

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MBSR Helps Variety of Chronic-Pain Conditions

The effectiveness of mindfulness-based stress reduction [MBSR] in easing pain and improving quality of life and
well-being varies according to the nature of the chronic-pain condition and the consistency of home meditation practice, according to data analysis from a 6-year longitudinal study published in the Journal of Psychosomatic Research (2010; 68, 29–36).

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The Four Elements of Perfect Class Design

If you’re new to group fitness or just stuck in a rut, try this fail-proof formula for creating a class that makes the grade every time! By understanding and applying the basics of kinesiology, anatomy, physiology and party planning, you’ll be in the perfect position to design an experience that pleases even the pickiest patrons.

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Adult Playground

Who says that playgrounds are only for kids? In an effort to improve activity levels in older adults, a “playground” geared to adults 60 and older is set to open in spring 2010 in London’s Hyde Park. The “Hyde Park Senior Playground” will have six pieces of outdoor exercise equipment, including a stationary bicycle, a cross-trainer and a sit-up bench. A similar park, equipped with pull-up, push-up and pedaling stations, was built in Manchester’s Dam Head Park 2 years ago.

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The Hawaii Chair

Hula-Hoop enthusiasts take heart—it may now be possible to get
the same gyrational movements while sitting at your desk. The Hawaii Chair of infomercial fame promises users an opportunity to get fit while you work. According to the manufacturer’s website, the Hawaii Chair “combines the ancient art of the Hula of the Hawaiians with an easy-to-use, fun exercise machine.” Users’ hips gyrate as the seat rotates clockwise and counterclockwise at the desired speed.

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Springtime Activities Yield Great Caloric Expenditure

As the snow melts and April rains make way for May flowers, encourage your training clients and class participants to supplement structured exercise with outdoor activities. Here, courtesy of The Cooper Institute, is a list of common springtime endeavors, along with their calorie expenditures in a 30-minute period:

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Bone Up on Bone Health

Maintaining bone health and avoiding fractures are important concerns for older adults. For those who have experienced fractures, research has found that the potential for a second fracture can increase fourfold. Help your older-adult clients remain strong and healthy with Own the Bone™, a Web-based registry that features tools for reducing future fractures.

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Heel-First Gait Pattern Best?

Lots of research has emerged about the kinematics of running, fueling debates over footwear and strike patterns. A recent study published in The Journal of Experimental Biology (2010; 213, 790–97) sought to slow things down a bit and look at the energy costs of different gait patterns. “Our heel touches the ground at the start of each step,” stated David Carrier, biology professor at the University of Utah and lead study author.

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Fitness Facilities Lack Adherence to Health Screenings

According to ACSM’s Guidelines for Exercise Testing and Prescription, “potential [exercise] participants should be screened for the presence, signs, symptoms, and/or risk factors of various cardiovascular, pulmonary, and metabolic diseases as well as other conditions that require special attention.” Yet despite these recommendations, a recent study has found that many fitness
facilities do not require new members to complete pre-exercise screenings.

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Too Much Sitting Can Kill You, Says Study

It is well known that inactivity can lead to health problems. However, a recent study has found that active individuals are not without risk if they spend a significant amount of time sitting each day. Published in the May 2009 issue of Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise (2009; 41 [5], 998–1005), the study…

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Manage Multigenerational Staff Successfully

Fitness facilities worldwide are filled with employees and contractors whose ages span multiple generations. With each generation comes a different work ethic and sense of how responsibilities are handled. For a fitness facility owner or manager, an understanding of generational differences can help foster a sense of community and success among staff. Here are tips for managing a multigenerational staff, courtesy of Chicago-based Lakeshore Staffing:

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Cognitive Improvements and Exercise

People who experience cognitive impairments should be encouraged to engage
in regular cardiovascular activity, says
a recent study. Published in the January
issue of Archives of Neurology (2010; 67 [1], 71–79), the study sought to discover whether regular exercise could have a beneficial effect on mild cognitive impairment.
According to the Mayo Clinic website, mild cognitive impairment affects about 20% of the population over 70.

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Michelle Obama Tackles Childhood Obesity

First Lady Michelle Obama wants to change
the way U.S. children eat and play. Disturbed by childhood obesity rates, she has enlisted the help of the White House to launch the Let’s Move campaign. According to a press release, she has gathered support from people in government, medicine, science, business, education and athletics to overcome the childhood overweight/obesity problem. For example, several school lunch suppliers have agreed to
reduce the fat, sugar and salt content of their meals over the next
5 years.

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