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Archive for January 2012

Strengthen Numbers and Stay Safe

Recently I had the opportunity to do some stealth field research. A local personal training facility hosted a “bring a friend” promotional week. My friend invited me and another guest to join her weekly 30-minute session.

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Introduction to Apprenticeship Programs

As the director or owner of a personal training business, you know that your greatest asset is the people you choose to work with. So how do you hire the right team of trainers to join your cause? How can you be sure that every fitness professional you hire will truly help you move forward?

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How to Thrive in Low-Income Markets

Do you believe that fitness is for everyone? Do you struggle to accommodate people who can’t afford to work with you? You may be so passionate about reaching everyone that you volunteer in the trenches, speak at service clubs, host health fair booths and support charitable runs.

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Multicultural Marketing

The United States is experiencing profound demographic changes, and if fitness centers want to remain successful they must take these changes into account. Minority groups are increasing in size?on their way to becoming the majority of the American population.

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FITzee Foods

FITzee Foods could well be the secret weapon you need to help clients with their eating challenges. FITzee sells ready-made meals that are prepared daily with fresh, organic, all-natural ingredients. From fusion-inspired, gourmet dishes to comfort classics, there are appetizing options to satisfy many palates. All meals and snacks are available in a variety of specifically portioned sizes to fuel individual lifestyles. All you need to do is heat, eat and taste the FITzee difference! Based in San Diego, FITzee ships nationwide: www.fitzeefoods.com.

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Neuromuscular Warm-Ups Reduce Knee Injuries

According to a study published in the Archives of Pediatrics & Adolescent Medicine (2011; 165 [11], 1033–40), sports participation among high-school girls has increased 900% since 1972. Alongside increased participation, however, come higher numbers of injuries, with soccer and basketball the most offending sports. To combat injuries, more fitness professionals and coaches are integrating solid warm-up plans prior to practice or competition.

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Obesity Gene Managed Through Exercise

Researchers have previously identified a gene—FTO—that seems to predispose individuals to obesity. A recent study published in PLoS Medicine (2011; 8 [11], e1001116) contends that exercise can reduce the effects of the FTO gene. The researchers analyzed 45 studies from Europe, North America and Asia that encompassed data from more than 218,000 adults along with a meta-study of 19,286 children. The data included body mass index, waist circumference, body fat percentage, self-reported levels of physical activity and genotypes.

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Crunches Don’t Cut Fat

Have you come across clients or exercisers who insist that the best way to carve a tight midsection is through endless repetitions of abdominal exercises? Here’s a study that will help them understand that it takes more than crunches to get that six-pack. Researchers from the department of kinesiology and health education at Southern Illinois University, Edwardsville, had one goal: to determine the effect—if any—of abdominal exercises on abdominal fat.

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Psoas Stretches Benefit Seniors

Improving inefficient gait patterns is often a focus among fitness professionals working with older adults. Walking problems can diminish independence and increase injury potential. A recent study suggests that regular stretching of the hip flexor muscles can improve gait patterns among this population. The purpose of a study published in PM&R (2011; 3 [4], 324–29) was to determine the effectiveness of a 10-week hip flexor stretching program on walking patterns among 82 older adults.

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State University Opens Performance Lab

Late last year, Florida State University (FSU) opened a performance laboratory designed to improve sports performance and reduce sports-related injuries. The lab is part of the university’s Institute of Sports Sciences and Medicine (ISSM). According to the FSU website, “The Human Performance Laboratory . . . will house research teams who will study the variables of sports performance, including acceleration, speed, agility, strength, endurance, proprioception and biomechanics . . . The studies will also focus on the prevention and treatment of athletic injuries.”

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Study: Telephone Consultations Effective

When you’re coaching clients for fat loss, face-to-face interaction isn’t mandatory. According to research published in The New England Journal of Medicine (doi: 10.1056/NEJMoa1108660), telephone interventions are as effective as in-person meetings. The 24-month study included 415 obese individuals with a mean age of 54 years. “One intervention provided patients with weight loss support remotely—through the telephone, a study-specific website, and e-mail,” the study authors explained.

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Exercise to Live Longer

Countless studies link regular exercise with reduced disease risk. A recent study points out that individuals who exercise regularly are also likely to live longer than those who do not exercise. The report, published in the International Journal of Epidemiology (2011; 40 [5], 1382–1400), includes data from more than 1.3 million individuals across 80 studies. The goal was to identify possible parallels between all-cause mortality levels and physical activity levels.

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Ask the RD

Answer: Soy is the richest source of legume protein and is very versatile. It is enjoyed in many forms, including edamame, tofu, milk, nuts, tempeh, flour, textured vegetable protein and protein powder.

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Shrimp Ceviche for Lovers

Instead of focusing on indulgent sugar-laden sweets for Valentine’s Day, consider trying a lean, savory, aphrodisiac dish like this ceviche from New York University nutrition sciences professor and chef Lourdes Castro, MS, RD. The shrimp, chiles, tomatoes and avocados all have aphrodisiac qualities and combine for a healthy, sexy starter (or main dish) and visually beautiful plate to tantalize your sweetheart.

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Teen Diets:Fiber Over Fat

A recent study concludes that higher intakes of dietary fiber—but not low intakes of saturated fat or cholesterol—are related to lower risk of metabolic syndrome in adolescents. The authors suggest that to reduce metabolic syndrome—a collection of risk factors that include high blood pressure and a large waistline—it is more important to emphasize fiber-rich, nutrient-dense, plant-based foods than to focus on restricting foods high in cholesterol or saturated fat.

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It’s Not Just What You Eat But How You Eat

Most of us have been told what to eat, but rarely does anyone talk about how to eat. After conducting several studies, Brian Wansink, PhD, director of the Cornell University Food and Brand Lab and author of Mindless Eating (Bantam 2006), has concluded that eating with a smaller plate, cup and utensils can help you lose weight without even thinking about it. Try these other tips too, and keep a journal of your observations. Though you don’t have to eat with baby utensils or chopsticks for the rest of your life, these experiments just may teach a lesson that will last a lifetime.

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