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Archive for February 2012

The Dos and Don’ts of Social Media

We’ve seen the power of social media—it can create brand ambassadors for your company; it can directly affect sales and increase your customer base; and it can be a platform for outstanding customer service. There are also countless stories of social media coming back to haunt people, sometimes with disastrous results.

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Keep Clients on Track With Their Goals!

It’s early March. Any fitness pro knows the New Year’s cycle: large numbers of nonexercisers vow to get fit, show up in January–and then disappear within a month or two. How can you prevent this? People fall off the workout wagon for many reasons: Too tired. Too busy. Too boring. Too hard. Let’s look at why the motivation to change and the intention to work out aren’t always enough, and how you can help exercisers stick to their resolutions.

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Personal and Social Factors Strongly Influence Health

As a wellness professional, you may influence the health not only of your clients but also of their family members and friends. Social contacts are a primary influence on people’s health, says a recent survey. The Edelman Health Barometer 2011, a global survey presented at the 14th European Health Forum held in Bad Hofgastein, Austria, in October 2011, looked at how social interaction and technology could spread good health and how the definition of health was evolving.

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Asian Black Rice Salad

½ cup black rice
1 carrot, shredded
½ green bell pepper, diced
½ pint grape tomatoes, halved
¼ cup dried cranberries, chopped
¼ cup slivered almonds

Sauce
1 teaspoon (tsp) grated ginger
1 tablespoon (tbs) soy sauce
2 tbs honey
1 tbs light sesame oil
½ tsp black pepper

Rice: Boil black rice in 2 cups of water until softened, adding additional water as necessary. Remove from heat and allow to cool completely.
Sauce: Combine all sauce ingredients in bowl; set aside to marinate for 15 minutes or longer. Add sauce to cooled rice and combine.

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Salt Preferences in Foods May Start in the Crib

If you’ve always had a savory tooth and craved salty snacks and foods, it may date far back in your personal history—perhaps to when you were in diapers. A study in the January issue of the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition (95 [1], 123–29) suggests that you may have been conditioned as an infant to have a penchant for these flavor profiles based on what you were fed as a baby.

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Telephone Diet Plan Based on Hopkins Research

Successful weight loss may be just a phone call away.

Johns Hopkins Medicine and Healthways are collaborating on launching a weight loss program designed to replicate the success of a recent clinical trial demonstrating that telephone counseling helped patients lose significant weight and maintain it successfully for 2 years.

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Ask the RD

Answer: Made popular by the Chia pet, these tiny black seeds offer health benefits beyond watching something green grow. Turns out chia seeds are a good source of fiber and are rich in antioxidants and ALA (alpha-linoleic acid), the plant-based omega-3 fatty acid—
even more so than flaxseed. They also provide a variety of minerals, including iron and calcium.

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Food Trendspotting for 2012

Food aficionados everywhere are trying to figure out the next cupcake phenomenon. But our food isn’t simple anymore. The social, economic and moral aspects that underpin it are shaping the landscape of food trends more than ever.

What do experts forecast for this year? Get a glimpse with these key takeaways from consulting and market research firm Hartman Group’s Looking Ahead: Food Culture 2012 report.

1. Chefs, rather than policymakers, are the food educators of our time.

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Black Rice: Ancient Superfood!

When you think of “superfoods,” typical associations you make are likely leafy dark greens, fish, beans, berries and other types of fruit. However, one superfood that may not come immediately to mind is black rice.

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appetizers

In early January a subway ad campaign developed by the New York City Department of Health that slams oversized portions of food and beverages greeted public-transit riders. Perhaps other U.S. cities should take a bite of the Big Apple’s ideas: its awareness campaigns over the past 5 years have helped reverse the childhood obesity trend by 5.5%.

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The Psychology of Biofeedback

As winter wanes and the year picks up speed, New Year’s resolutions typically peter out and eager new exercisers often disappear from the gym. For fitness and wellness professionals, this can be a frustrating time. But if we recognize this phenomenon and engage our clients early with tools that keep them motivated, we can help people stay on track.

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The Pros and Cons of Being a Hobby Instructor

The fitness industry’s reach extends far and wide. In venues ranging from small fitness studios in large cities to huge recreational health and fitness centers in small towns, scores of people rely on fitness professionals for guidance. While personal trainers bring in considerable revenue, group exercise (GX) instructors, on average, might actually “touch” more people. With this in mind, why aren’t there more opportunities for group fitness instructors to teach full-time? The answer is not that simple.

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Yoga Can Help Neck Pain

In our high-stress, hurried world—filled with financial pressures, information overload and “terror alerts”—many people feel the weight of the world on their shoulders. Add to this emotional tension the physical stress of sedentary lifestyles with long hours spent hunched over computers and, all too often, the result is a serious pain in the neck. Chronic neck pain is linked to a host of related disorders, including headache, jaw soreness, and pain radiating into the shoulders, upper back and arms.

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Core Strength With Kettlebells

Your program director invested in a set of kettlebells for the group fitness studio, and you’ve attended the introductory workshop on proper form and basic teaching skills. However, you don’t feel confident enough to lead participants through a selection of drills. There’s no need to let the kettlebells rust in the corner of the studio! Use the core section of your next class to teach students three simple and effective moves.

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The Energy Balance Equation

We are taught that weight loss is simply an equation of calories in versus calories out. If only it were that simple. There is no magic formula for weight loss, of course, but researchers have developed many mathematical models to help us better understand how the body sheds weight. This article examines major concerns associated with these calculations (they are far from perfect) and then discusses simpler solutions that empower all of us to confront one of the most vexing issues of our times.

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The Compliance Solution

Tough clients. Every fitness professional’s got them. You know, the ones who make you gnash your teeth, bite your tongue and think, “What is wrong with you? Why can’t you follow simple instructions or do what’s good for you?” Don’t take it personally. Pharmaceutical companies and physicians are gnashing their teeth as well. Too many medical patients are not taking their pills.

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“Is it ethical for personal trainers to take clients with them when they leave an employer?”

As a manager and as an owner of a personal training studio for 20 years, I have had trainers leave and take clients three times. You can have trainers sign all the noncompete contracts you want, plus sign a contract that says they won’t steal clients. However, the loyalty that clients and trainers develop is a tough one to come between. Furthermore, you can sue a trainer for “stealing” a client, but after all is said and done, and time and energy lost, the client will still end up with the trainer, so choose your battles.

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