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Archive for August 2010

Problem Clients: Hypochondriac; Negative Nancy

We’ve all had them. We dread seeing them. They are the clients who absorb your enthusiasm and lead you to question your abilities. They keep you up late at night, in frustration, and wake you with anguish in the pit of your stomach. They are your problem clients. Each week the struggle simply to survive the session increases and you wonder whether it’s time to throw in the towel. Have heart; all is not lost. In many cases, there is a superstar client lying dormant underneath that rough exterior.

The Behavior Blueprint

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Use Staff Retreats to Boost Teamwork, Profits

Your staff is a team. And the team consists of people in a variety of skilled positions needed to conduct your business and deliver on your brand promise. If your company is to thrive, economically and as a social group, it is vital to bring your staff along with you at every stage, building a healthy corporate culture by addressing the inevitable gaps that open up between your people and your corporate vision.

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What Is the Future of Pilates?

This spring, CNBC reported that Pilates is the nation’s fastest-growing activity, with 8.6 million participants, up more than 450% since 2000, based on the most recent report from the Sporting Goods Manufacturers Association. In reality, participation may have peaked mid-decade (American Sports Data Inc. reported 10.5 million participants in 2004), but clearly Pilates has staying power. The 2010 IDEA Fitness Programs & Equipment Trends report found that Pilates continues to grow while several other mind-body formats are declining.

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The Truth About Cellulite

Cellulite, a “dimpling” appearance on the thighs, buttocks and sometimes lower abdomen and upper arms of females, is many women’s enemy. Unfortunately, about 85% of postpubertal women have a form of it (Avram 2004; Rawlings 2006). The condition, however, is rarely observed in males.

Below, Len Kravitz, PhD, program coordinator of exercise science and a researcher at the University of New Mexico, Albuquerque, and Nicole J. Achenbach, a graduate student in physical therapy, give answers to several questions about cellulite.

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Men’s Health Magazine’s Fittest and Fattest Cities

Men’s Health has recently published its annual list of “fittest and fattest” United States cities. To determine the results, the study authors calculated percentages for the following factors among city residents: overweight, type 2 diabetes; money spent on junk food; inactivity; and more. Following are the five leanest and five heaviest cities: Fittest 1. San Francisco 2. Burlington, Vermont 3. Washington, DC 4. Seattle 5. Austin, Texas

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Government Agency Helps Parents Find Safe Playgrounds

Some gymnasiums and playgrounds may pose dangers to children. Now, a free service is available to help parents and teachers lobby for safer conditions. Last year, researchers and physical and health education students at the University of Alabama, Birmingham (UAB), department of human studies studied potential hazards at 52 school and community playgrounds. Based on…

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Kick Off Your Shoes!

I encourage my clients and running friends to try barefoot running whenever they can. They don’t have to be a “total convert” to gain some of the benefits. The strength that develops in the feet and lower legs, the lighter landing while running that reduces stress and the sheer fun of going without shoes is worth it.

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ROM Machine

In today’s time-strapped society, typical hourlong exercise bouts can be prohibitive to many potential exercisers. Schedule-conscious individuals interested in improving fitness levels with minimal time investment may have a solution. According to manufacturers of the ROM (range-of-motion) machine, 4 minutes is all that’s necessary to get into better shape. The 677-pound machine is equipped with an 85-pound flywheel that automatically adjusts resistance to the individual’s strength (cardiovascular and muscular) level.

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Way Beyond

Childhood obesity is epidemic. Fortunately, prevention efforts are yielding some success, as reports indicate that rates may have leveled. This could be thanks in part to companies that use nontraditional tactics to tackle the issue. One such company, WayBeyond, is dedicated to bringing play back into fitness. “WayBeyond was designed with the idea that kids will play without knowing they’re exercising,” states Brian Blacher, vice president of program development. “Kids today don’t play, which is why we have so many issues today.

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Plow Through Muscle Hypertrophy and Strength Plateaus

A common goal among male exercisers is to increase muscle mass and strength. For many men, achieving this goal can be a struggle. IDEA author Lance Breger, MS, head private trainer at MINT Fitness & Spa in Washington, DC, suggests some out-of-the-box techniques to help clients overcome strength and hypertrophy plateaus.

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Conflict Resolution in the Workplace

Managers often have to deal with conflict among staff members. Clashes can become disruptive if not dealt with properly. But how do you quell arguments and create a team-oriented environment? “My overall philosophy is ‘Seek to understand,’” says Helen Vanderburg, president of Heavens Fitness in Calgary, Alberta. “My best advice is to confront the problem without judgment.

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Become a Consultant, Increase Cash

Industry experts often advise fellow fitness professionals to diversify business offerings for optimal success and greater cash flow. One way to increase your bottom line is to become a fitness consultant. “In the fitness context, a consultant is a professional who provides educated information and guidance to [help fitness pros] develop, improve and maintain a successful fitness enterprise,” explains Ingrid Knight-Cohee, MSc, IDEA presenter and associate director of health and fitness at YWCA Vancouver, in British Columbia.

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Active Pregnant Women Deliver Smaller Offspring

The American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists advises pregnant women to exercise at least 30 minutes most days of the week. The organization states that regular exercise may provide relief from some of the symptoms of pregnancy and help women cope with the pains of labor. A recent study published in the June issue of the Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism (2010; 95 [5], 2080–88) has found that physical activity during pregnancy can lead to a modest reduction in offspring birth weight.

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Blood Flow a Key to Older-Adult Balance

Incorporating balance techniques into older-adult training programs is often a go-to method for reducing falls. Recent research suggests that a focus on improving blood pressure may also be necessary to keep older adults safe. The study was published in the May 18 issue of Neurology (2010; 74, 1627–33).

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Australian Courts Approve Music Licensing Fee Hike

On May 17, the Australian Copyright Tribunal voted to increase rates paid by fitness facilities for licensed music used in fitness classes. The new fee structure requires facilities to pay $15 (AUS) per class, or $1 (AUS) per participant ($0.866 [U.S.] at time of reporting); previously, gyms paid $0.97 (AUS) per class. The request was filed by the Phonographic Performance Company of Australia (PPCA), a nonprofit organization that provides nonexclusive licenses for protection of sound recordings and music videos.

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Cheerleading Most Dangerous Female Sport

Fitness professionals working with cheerleaders should be aware of some alarming statistics. According to the 26th annual Catastrophic Sports Injury Research report from the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill (www.unc.edu/depts/nccsi), cheerleading is the cause of more catastrophic and fatal injuries than any other female sport. The report stated that—between 1982 and 2008—112 high-school girls experienced catastrophic sports injuries. Of those, 73 were related to cheerleading.

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Which Exercise Is Best for Abdominal Activation?

The development of a strong and stable core has been linked to better physical performance, less back pain and other benefits. There are many exercises designed to strengthen the core, but which are most effective? This question was posed in a recent issue of the Journal of Orthopaedic & Sports Physical Therapy (2010; 40 [5], 265–76).

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