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Archive for December 2012

Pilates for Winter Sports

In colder months, how often are you asked, “Can Pilates help prepare my body for winter sports?” The answer, of course, is yes, there are a number of exercises that help prevent injuries, improve balance and augment sport-specific strength.

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Inner IDEA® Conference Explores Range of Topics

Pilates instructors and enthusiasts left their studios behind for a weekend to delve into the evolving body of Pilates education presented at the 7th annual Inner IDEA Conference at La Quinta Resort & Club in Palm Springs, California, October 25-28, 2012.

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Exercise Intensity vs. Volume: Which Is Better for Heart Health?

According to a study from the British Medical Journal, (2012; doi:10.1136/bmjopen-2012-001711), a daily power walk offers more heart health benefits than a leisurely stroll, even if the stroll lasts longer.

As part of The Copenhagen City Heart Study, the researchers followed 10,135 men and women aged 21–98 for 10 years. The purpose was to find links between leisure-time physical activity and risk of developing metabolic syndrome.

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TRX® and 24 Hour Fitness Help Military Charity

On October 6 and 7, during San Francisco Fleet Week, 24 Hour Fitness and TRX teamed up to offer fitness challenges and classes to honor U.S. military personnel. Workouts were open to the military and the San Francisco Police Department. Nearly 250 personnel participated, making it the largest TRX workout to date.

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Regular Exercise Improves Quality of Life in Stroke Patients

According to the National Stroke Association, stroke is the fourth leading cause of death in America and a leading cause of adult disability. A stroke can significantly impact quality of life and reduce functional capacity. However, research presented at the Canadian Stroke Congress in October suggests that stroke patients who engage in regular exercise can improve function.

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Customer Service How-Tos

With savvy customers often looking for that little bit extra when they invest in fitness, customer service skills can make or break a business.

“It is the personal, little things that make a difference,” says Nicki Anderson, owner of Healthy Innovations Inc., in Naperville, Illinois. “You don’t have to spend thousands of dollars on advertising [to draw clientele]. You simply have to care, bring value to your clients and always go a step beyond their expectations.”
Here are Anderson’s top tips for providing tip-top customer service for your clients and facility members:

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Kettlebells improve strength, Power

Kettlebell training has experienced a resurgence of late. Going by the physical improvements the training can offer, is its popularity warranted? The answer is yes, according to a study published recently in the Journal of Strength & Conditioning Research (2012; 26 [8], 2228–33).

The scientists’ goal was to determine what effects the kettlebell swing had on maximal and explosive strength. They employed half-squat
1-repetition maximum and vertical jump height as assessment markers.

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Come On, Get Happy

Cultivate Happiness

What helps someone become happier depends on the person, says researcher Sonja Lyubomirsky. “However, when we research strategies, the two that are often at the top of the list are physical activity and acts of kindness,” she says. “They seem to work better because they’re more tangible.”

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Weaving Mindfulness Into Movement

The October issue asked readers for examples of how they are integrating mindfulness practices into classes [Mind-Body-Spirit News]. I work at a university and run a variety of programs in fitness and wellness. One series we are doing this semester is a “Reflective Hike to Yoga” series.

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Creative Ideas That Inspire

20/20 FUNKtion in Wethersfield, Connecticut, combines two unique workouts into one 40-minute class. Participants choose classes such as Kickin’ Core, a combination of kickboxing and an abdominal workout, and Gentle Grace, a class that merges low-impact aerobics, flexibility, balance and stability exercises for a full-body workout.

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Sample Class: Kids’ Kickboxing

Kids naturally love to move. Why not take advantage of their innate urge to wiggle? This kickboxing class not only helps kids strengthen their muscles and hearts; it also teaches body awareness, coordination and balance. You’ll even provide an environment that builds self-confidence; however, students won’t know that! They’ll just remember how much fun they had and will spend the rest of the day showing everyone the cool moves they learned in class.

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The Proper Preparation

When it comes to warm-ups, indoor cycling instructors often fall victim to the “oatmeal effect”—good for you, but not very memorable. It’s easy to just jump on a bike and ride. However, with a little creativity and skillful instruction, you can engage participants from the start. Be prepared, connect with riders and add a little ingenuity. Begin with a warm welcome and a short introduction, and then ride into one of the following warm-ups.

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