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Archive for October 2010

Repositioning Poor Posture

Poor posture is prevalent in older adults. As we age, it is common for the head to move forward and the shoulders to round, which can cause chronic back and neck pain. Our once swift and sure stride is replaced with a sort of shuffle (Griegel-Morris et al. 1992). Sadly, this kyphotic posture (characterized by extreme convex curvature of the upper spine) can increase the risk of falling. Often, individuals who develop these physical characteristics must rely on a cane or walker to ambulate.

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Ask the RD

Unfortunately, mixed messages and consumer confusion persist regarding low-calorie sweeteners. Today’s hottest topic relevant to these sweeteners ties their use to weight gain. Finding that saccharin-fed rats went on to eat more and gain weight, researchers from Purdue University speculated that because calories were anticipated but did not
accompany the sweet taste, the body was left confused.

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Lessons Learned From a Master

On May 27, 2010, Kathy Stanford Grant passed away at the age of 89. A dancer, choreographer and protégé of Joseph Pilates, Grant taught the Pilates method for over 50 years. Her wisdom is the foundation of many programs and exercises being taught around the world today. Her lessons continue through the work of countless Pilates teachers. Here are a few lessons learned from Kathy Grant.

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Does Creativity Dilute Pilates?

The success of Pilates has sparked an explosion of innovative programs and props, but does all that creativity dilute the essence of Pilates or enhance its appeal and accessibility for a broader audience? Here’s what several industry leaders have to say.

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The SIMPLE Secret to a Successful Exercise

Using an easy-to-remember word as a “checklist” is a fun way to set up your client for success. Here are the six steps I go through when teaching the Pilates repertoire. I’ve found this checklist covers it all–from fundamentals to higher-level exercises.

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Yoga to Benefit Body, Mind & Spirit

The benefits of yoga go beyond more flexible hamstrings, a stronger core or relief from back pain. Yoga has the power to make you more resilient to stress. It reminds you of your inner strength. It can give you back a sense of joy and purpose in life. Many students come to yoga because they instinctively feel it will be a beneficial thing for them to do, in a holistic sense.

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Guerrilla Marketing: Strategies and Benefits

Business competition is at an all-time high, and traditional marketing isn’t getting the response rate it used to. The good news is that guerrilla marketing can help. It is a low- or no-cost form of marketing that can reap substantial profits if implemented correctly. It often involves unconventional and nontraditional ideas that cost very little to execute, so there is not much risk involved.

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Fix Your Feet With Pilates, Part Two

In part two of “Fix Your Feet With Pilates,” Kathryn Ross-Nash, author and Pilates teacher, affirms that Pilates is excellent for helping to correct and prevent foot problems: “I believe we need to remind our clients regularly about the importance of taking care of their feet. We need to train the feet just as we do the rest of the body.

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Thailand: An Ancient-Modern Fitness Marriage

Many people know where to go to find Thai food, yet are unsure where to find Thailand. The country is bordered to the north and west by Burma; to the north and east by Laos; and to the southeast by Cambodia. The southern, skinny “tail” is between the Andaman Sea and the Gulf of Thailand, with Malaysia at the very southern tip.

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Exercising With Kettlebells

Have you heard about kettlebells? Fitness enthusiasts, ranging from young to not so young, nonathletes to superstars, are starting to find use for this cast-iron tool that has its roots in Russia. A kettlebell is a weight shaped like a giant cannonball with a single U-shaped handle. The kettlebell’s unique spherical shape provides the ability to work with curvilinear movements, centrifugal force and momentum.

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Home-Based Activity Program and Social Visits Help Older People With Depressive Symptoms

For older people with depressive symptoms, home-based physical activity can improve mood and quality of life as effectively as social visits, according to a study published in the Annals of Family Medicine (2010; 8 [3], 214–23). Many older adults suffer from low mood and poor physical function. The purpose of this study was to assess whether a home-based physical activity program could help older adults with depressive symptoms to improve function, quality of life and mood.

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Pilates: Tools for Teen Athletes

High-school sports participation is at an all-time high, with a reported 55.2% of students (more than 7.5 million) taking part in high-school athletics in 2008–2009 (National Federation of State High School Associations 2009). In lots of ways, this is good news: participation in high-school sports promotes a physically active lifestyle; enhances social integration; aids in…

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Sounding Super: A Guide to Vocal Health

Have you ever noticed that many veteran group fitness instructors share a hallmark trait—a raspy voice? If left unchecked, vocal exhaustion can lead to permanent damage. This may result in lost wages, a voice to rival Joan Rivers’ and potentially the loss of one’s career.

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The Core as a Cylinder

Core work has gained a lot of attention in the past several years, focusing on everything from injury prevention to athletic power. How we choose to define the core influences how we integrate it into our self-image and into our movement. If incomplete or compensatory patterns are repeated often enough, and long enough, they become habitual. Only when a change takes place on the level of the nervous system are we able to move past these habits and permanently improve strength, posture and flexibility (Shumway-Cook & Woollacott 1986).

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Sample Class: Cross Currents

Exercising in the water is an excellent choice for high-intensity training. This class uses a variety of options for a fast-paced workout. As always, consider your participants when planning intensity levels and modifications. This class is intended for a healthy, fit population seeking a high-intensity workout and can be made shorter by focusing on any of the segments below.

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fun, engaging resources teach kids about food choices

Kids learn by example, right? Most are not getting food education in school, and with the family home-cooked meal becoming an anachronism in our fast-paced lives, where will they learn food rules for life—or at least get a framework for healthy eating habits?Carole Carson, author of From Fat to Fit: Turn Yourself into a Weapon of Mass Reduction (Hound 2007), has gathered these free interactive kids’ nutrition resources to help teach kids the basics about nutrition. Pass them along to your clients as a handout, or post them on your facility walls.

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Autumn-winter salad with persimmons and pomegranate seeds

Persimmons and pomegranates are lovely fruits. They’re harvested in California from October into December. Fuyu persimmons—a nonastringent variety that’s good for salads—are round, sweet and crisp like an apple, but with a golden-orange color inside and out. They taste great with pomegranates, which are nature’s jewel boxes. Persimmons and pomegranates teamed with tender baby greens, crunchy hazelnuts and chewy dates make this colorful salad a crisp-weather favorite. 2 Fuyu persimmons, peeled 1/2 pomegranate

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