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Archive for January 2013

Pilates and the Prime Male

IDEA member and fitness and Pilates consultant and instructor Kevin Bowen, based in Denver, has created a Pilates mat and equipment program to address the specific needs of men in their 40s, 50s and beyond, while also educating Pilates instructors about these requirements.

Bowen believes that Pilates is an ideal method of training for men in these age brackets, but he emphasizes that a program geared to the “prime male” must target a man’s changing body and his psyche.

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Pilates Helps People With Ankylosing Spondylitis

Pilates practice may help people with ankylosing spondylitis to improve functional capacity, reports a study published in Rheumatology International (2012; 32 (7), 2093-99; doi: 10.1007/s00296-011-1932-9).

AS is a chronic, inflammatory disorder characterized by pain and stiffness of the back and the sacroiliac joints, but it can also affect peripheral joints like the shoulder, hip, knee and ankle. Over time, breathing becomes increasingly difficult, and affected joints eventually lose all mobility.

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College Cuts Sports, Focuses on Fitness

Athletics have long been a cornerstone of the collegiate experience. One school in Atlanta has decided to terminate all sports programs in favor of a focus on fitness.

Spelman College, historically a black women’s college, has reallocated the $1 million dedicated to its sports programs to a campus-wide health and fitness program. The minimal participation in sports—only 80 students, or 4% of the student body, were involved—helped solidify the decision. According to Spelman President Beverly Daniel Tatum, PhD, the new program could help all 2,100 enrollees.

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IDEA Author, Presenter Reaches Everest Base Camp

Here I am [on the right] at the base camp of Mount Everest, which is 17,600 feet. Our training and acclimatization were brilliant. We started at around 9,000 feet and then went progressively higher and slept at a higher level. The day before base camp we climbed Kala Pattar, which is 18,200 feet. We had a great view of Everest and a psychological edge for the following day. The guides and sherpas could have had a degree in exercise physiology. They knew our bodies better than we did. Two of the 10 people on our team needed to go back down because they had symptoms of altitude sickness.

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Runners Go Pants-Free for Charity

After his brother was diagnosed with neurofibromatosis, Chad Leathers and his two friends Brendan Hanrahan and Bobby Gill decided to help. Two years ago, the trio founded Cupid’s Undie Run, a fundraiser for the Children’s Tumor Foundation, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization working to end the disease.

On February 9, 2013, more than 8,000 people will hit the streets of 17 cities in the United States for a 1.5-mile run in, you guessed it, their underwear.

Individuals and teams will work to fulfill the goal of raising more than $1 million for the foundation.

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Improve Running Economy

Want to improve your client’s running time in less than 30 minutes? Try this new 10-20-30 concept proposed by researchers from the University of Copenhagen’s department of exercise and sports sciences.

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Water Workouts Work Well

Many people exercise in the water because of its low-impact nature. According to research presented in October at the Canadian Cardiovascular Congress, water exercise may provide similar cardiovascular benefits to land-based workouts.

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Lift Weights, Avoid Metabolic Syndrome

Weight training has many benefits. Warding off metabolic syndrome may be one of them, suggests a recent study.

Part of the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey, the study set out to determine (1) how many adults lift weights regularly and (2) the impact of weight training on the prevalence and risk of metabolic syndrome. The findings, reported in the Journal of Strength & Conditioning Research (2012; 26 [11], 3113–17), included data on 5,618 adults aged 20 and older from 1999–2004. Here are some takeaways:

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Kids’ Sleep, Obesity and Electronic Devices

The rates of overweight and obesity among kids continue to climb. Food choices and inactivity are considered major culprits. Are electronic devices also to blame?

Scientists from the School of Public Health at the University of Alberta have linked use of electronic devices, poor sleep patterns and obesity among Canadian 5th graders. The researchers surveyed sleep habits, food intake, physical activity levels, height and weight measurements, and nighttime use of electronic devices among 3,398 children.

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Leisure-Time Activity Helps Hearts

Leisure-time physical activity is generally considered any exercise, sports or recreational activity that is not job related, is not a household chore and is not fulfilling a regular transportation need. This study provides fresh evidence that leisure-time physical activity can positively impact heart health and longevity.

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Carbohydrate Intake for Endurance Training: Redefining Traditional Views

What Is the Glycemic Index?
The glycemic index is a numerical ranking system used to measure the rate of digestion and absorption of foods and their resultant effect on blood glucose. A food that ranks high on the GI produces a large, momentary spike in glucose after the food is consumed. By contrast, a food with a low GI causes a slower, sustained rise in blood glucose.

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Cycling Up

You know your next client, Doug, really well. He’s been working with you for 2 years, he’s committed to his fitness program, and while his body is already well-conditioned, he is determined to keep improving. His session will focus mainly on intense weightlifting, and Doug is used to “psyching himself up” before each set—he finds it helps—but you’ve both observed that it’s getting harder for him to make real gains. How can you help?

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Detox Diets: myths vs. reality

Catherine Towers forked over $1,000 for a physician-supervised “detox.” “I felt that I needed a drastic change,” says Towers, a brand-marketing consultant in New York City. “Slow weight loss from trying to eat better is uninspiring, so a detox plan was more appealing.”

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Older-Adult Fitness: Gauging the Limits of Your Fit Clients

What do you think of when you hear “senior fitness”? For some personal trainers, the term might conjure images of gentle exercises performed in a noncompetitive environment. Yet many older athletic adults are not interested in mild “senior” movement, and plenty of them can—and want to—work out pretty intensely or for long durations.

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Youth Fitness: Teaching Strategies

Now more than ever, teens (aged 13-19) are attending group classes, either general sessions or teen-specific ones. To design safe, successful workouts for teens, it’s vital for instructors to understand this age group. Teens are no longer children but are not quite adults. Adolescence is a time of great growth and development–physically, emotionally and mentally.

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Goals + Incentives = Client Loyalty

Retention, retention, retention. The fitness industry is continually seeking better ways to retain members. The problem is that many facilities simply bring new members in the door, provide a basic orientation and set them free—free to slowly lose interest in attaining their fitness goals and coming to the gym. This occurs frequently. In fact, according to the International Health, Racquet & Sportsclub Association, the membership attrition rate is currently 34.5% a year (IHRSA 2012)!

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Kettlebell Research: What Science Says

Kettlebells have enjoyed growing popularity as a total-body training tool for improving cardiovascular health and musculoskeletal fitness. Yet for all the enthusiasm among personal trainers, experimental research on the effects of KB training was scant until last year, when studies began showing up in peer-reviewed journals. Here are the recent research findings on KB training.

Study 1. Metabolic Demand of Kettlebell Training

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Exploring the Amazing Heart

The heart is an incredible organ, not only delivering a constant, reliable stream of life-giving oxygen and nutrients, but also responding instantly to challenges like stress, cardiovascular workouts and high-intensity bursts of energy.

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