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Archive for August 2011

Creating an Online Community

Group fitness is the heartbeat of the facility, but not because of the blaring music or sweaty bodies. People exercise in groups for the motivation, accountability and energy it brings them. Wouldn’t it be great to capture this energy outside the studio? As instructors, we’ve tried almost every trick in the book to influence more end users, get more bodies in classes and help educate members. Despite this, we’re still reaching only a handful of people.

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Fiber Choices for Active People

You can barely pick up a health magazine without reading an article about how wonderful fiber is. Yet many people struggle to consume the recommended amount of fiber.

Learn why eating fiber is so beneficial, how athletes should add fiber if they need more and what foods are rich sources of fiber. Pamela Nisevich Bede, MS, RD, CSSD, LD, creative mind behind Nutrition for the Long Run, a wellness and nutrition communications consulting firm, and co-owner of Swim, Bike, Run, Eat! LLC, an online sports nutrition consulting firm, provides insights below.

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Selling to Seniors

Medicine and technology are making life better for 21st century Americans. Doctors help us fight disease and infection, while computers let us access information and communicate at warp speed. Quality of life is on the rise, and so is quantity of life: as people live longer, the senior population continues to grow every year. Retirees…

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Expanding Your Audience Reach

IDEA FitnessConnect (IFC) is reaching greater audiences by syndicating its information to top health and fitness websites. Think of it as embedding the directory within a third-party site, making it easier for fitness professionals to reach potential clients in high-traffic areas. This also positions many fitness pros in front of new markets.

You can select which websites display your profile information. By clicking on “Privacy Settings” in your profile page, you can enable (or disable) your profile on each website.

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The Soothing Power of Music

In the April issue of IDEA Fitness Journal, you asked if anyone was using music to enhance the experience of clients. I am a clinical musician intern playing harp for patients in the hospital as well as in hospice care. I include harp playing to induce the relaxation response during my yoga classes. I use the musical scale to tone the body to get ready for exercise and then use harp music at the end for relaxation, meditation and visual imagery.

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Finding Balance With Tai Chi

Over 35 years ago fitness industry visionary Ruth Stricker discovered tai chi, and it changed everything. “Tai chi is my favorite subject,” she laughs. “I’ve been to China 14 times—I kept going back because I just love the philosophy. It was the philosophy of tai chi that inspired The Marsh.”

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Creative Ideas That Inspire

Legacy Gym in Los Angeles recently launched SKORE Cross Conditioning, a semiprivate group training program. SKORE fuses Spinning® and Kranking for a “complete upper and lower body workout.” According to the press release, each instructor or trainer teaches a maximum of eight participants per 55-minute session.

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Psychology 101: A Course on Communication

Psychology: the study of mental and emotional behaviors. “The great problem in sales is that we all tend to see the world through our own eyes,” says Brian Tracy of Solana Beach, California, a bestselling author of more than 50 books and 500 audio and video programs on sales, leadership and business success, including The Psychology of Selling (Thomas Nelson 2006). “As a result, we tend to treat everybody else as if they are the way we are.”

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Build a Better Breakfast

Estimates vary, but around 25% of Americans skip breakfast on a regular basis. The potential perils include a more sluggish metabolism as the body shifts into starvation-response mode. And coupled with a tendency to become ravenous and binge later: weight gain. Cognitive abilities can also suffer: you may get headaches, feel fatigued and be less able to concentrate.

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Sample Class: Step Solutions

Increase intensity in your step class without adding complexity or impact by incorporating some tap-free techniques you may have forgotten about. Because teaching tap-free keeps you moving, even basic combinations feel harder. But when there are no taps in your step choreography, movement is smoother. Your feet spend less time on the ground. Following are some suggestions for transforming tap-based step choreography to tap-free.

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Sample Class: Sculpt Fusion

What are students looking for? Do they want to look better, perhaps perform better in sports or leisure activities? Do they want to be stronger? For many, it’s all of the above. In addition, most people want to feel better. What can we do as instructors to help participants feel empowered and rejuvenated? In this sample class, we apply yoga principles to traditional strength training moves. This fusion offers the best of both worlds: improved strength, posture, performance and appearance, as well as an increased sense of calmness and self-acceptance.

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The Stability Ball Challenge

You’ve spent a lot of time and energy working on your class, and you’re ready to wow your students with another great workout. But wait: How much effort did you really put into that warm-up? Not only does the warm-up set the stage for what’s to come; it also ensures a safe and effective environment for students. Don’t skim over this crucial opportunity to make a lasting impression.

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Tricks of the trade

Make sure the space you’re leasing is tied to your budget. I have seen business owners jump at an available space only to realize later that they didn’t factor in the time it takes to build up a client base. Equally important: Know the market you’re seeking, so you can decide if the location will…

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Tapping the College Market

Personal trainers interested in financial success are often advised to market services to individuals with disposable income. It’s a no-brainer. People with money are more apt to pay for personal training and other potentially costly programs. However, you can also derive personal and professional rewards from lesser-served populations.

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What Trends Are Driving Personal Training?

Since last year’s survey, we’ve seen a modest uptick in the economy. Perhaps with that comes increased optimism for growing your businesses and expanding your services to new (and old) clients who are looking to loosen up some dollars to spend on their health and fitness. How do you best prepare for this? How do you know in what direction to steer your offerings or what equipment to buy? This survey, specific to personal trainers, is a bellwether of what you can expect and plan for in the coming year.

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ACSM American Fitness Index™

Each year the American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM) tallies up the top fit cities in the United States. The ACSM American Fitness Index program was developed “to provide an evidence- and science-based measurement of the state of health and fitness at the community level throughout the U.S.

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GeoPalz Gets Families Moving

September is Childhood Obesity Awareness Month. Help inspire the younger generations to become more active and fit with GeoPalz, an online fitness tracking website that offers rewards based on daily steps taken. A husband-and-wife team created the site to encourage their own kids to get moving. Children simply wear a pedometer to count daily steps taken, and then log the total each day. After logging a certain number of steps, a child is eligible to receive an activity-oriented prize such as a soccer ball or a Frisbee®.

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Ease Shoulder, Neck Pain With 2 Minutes of Daily Exercise

Do you have clients who experience neck and shoulder pain? Just 2 minutes of exercise per day can reduce that pain, say researchers from the National Research Center for the Working Environment in Copenhagen, Denmark. The findings were presented at the 58th Annual Meeting of the American College of Sports Medicine and the 2nd World Congress on Exercise is Medicine®.

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