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Archive for March 2015

Benefits of Mind-Body Activities for Kids

Today’s fast-paced, digital world pressures children to grow up fast. Instead of running around grassy playgrounds, most of them live highly structured lives, shuttling from one organized activity to the next, often while playing with hyper-stimulating devices. For school-age children, homework, peer pressure, teasing, poor grades, bullying, parental demands and isolation can all trigger stress.

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Which of These Healthful Foods is the Better Choice?

As you know, a food dollar doesn’t stretch nearly as far as it used to. As a result, many of your clients who are eager to eat a clean diet might find themselves increasingly hemming and hawing over which healthy foods to toss into their grocery carts and which to leave behind.

The more nutritious choice isn’t always obvious. Apple or pear? Chicken breast or turkey breast? Well, let’s get ready to rumble. We’re sending similar edibles into the ring to duke it out so we can crown nutrition’s heavyweight champs.

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Reed Alexander Gets Kids Cooking!

Depending on your age or, more aptly, how old your kids are, you likely remember 20-year-old Reed Alexander as the infamous arch-nemesis “Nevel” on Nickelodeon’s hit TV show iCarly. The actor has a wide array of projects and interests these days. Chief among them is being a youth educator and role model for healthy eating and an active lifestyle, a skill set drawn from personal experience with weight loss and lifestyle change.

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Cycling Class Etiquette

A cycling instructor wears many hats: coach, trainer, motivator and mentor. But one title many of us would happily relinquish is “enforcer.” It’s never a pleasant job to police workout etiquette. From time to time, though, situations arise that must be dealt with. Knowing what to do, or at the very least knowing how to respond, can make tricky cycling studio dilemmas less uncomfortable and easier to manage. Here are effective responses to some sticky situations.

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The Parkour Phenomenon

Parkour gyms have seen increased demand as the training protocol has been featured more and more in films and commercials. The increasing popularity of American Ninja Warrior also helps, observes Ryan Ford, cofounder of APEX Movement, which now has five locations.

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Cardio and Creative Core

Group fitness participants can’t seem to get enough of creative core and cardiovascular exercises. If you need innovative ideas to challenge your students, this class is for you! It targets core muscles while introducing unique variations of familiar moves.

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Expand, Diversify and Evolve at the 2015 IDEA World Fitness Convention™

Fitness pros have called the IDEA World Fitness Convention the most valuable investment of their careers because of the sheer volume and variety of learning opportunities packed into one weekend: over 375 cutting-edge lectures, workouts and workshops; over 200 world-renowned presenters; and over 300 top industry brands. All are specifically designed to help transform your future and to raise your earning potential. There are success strategies, hot topics, specialty areas and in-depth training for every kind of fitness pro.

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“How do you stay motivated as a personal trainer?”

About 6 years into my career, I suffered from trainer burnout. I lost all enthusiasm and passion for training, and going to work became a huge chore. Instead of focusing on my clients, I was watching the clock, recycling everyone’s exercise programs and finding every excuse to cancel my clients’ sessions. Crazily enough I still had a great clientele, and I was making good money. The worst part about it was that I was comfortable. It’s a horrible position to be in.

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10 Questions to Ask Before Opening a Studio

Many fitness professionals dream of designing a studio that reflects their unique perspective and approach to health and fitness—a place where they can grow their business, their brand and their client base (and, of course, their paycheck!) on their own terms.

There’s a huge appeal to running your own space, especially if you’ve been working long enough to imagine how you might design a space specifically suited to your clients’ needs and your vision.

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A Back-Pain Solution

Starting with the basics. Personal trainer Jamal Younis first met 38-year-old Jessica in August 2014. Jessica, a former competitive collegiate swimmer, suffered from a degenerative disk disease, which had resulted in three surgeries to address the issue. Post physical therapy, she decided that in order to keep her back healthy she’d need to continue with a structured training program. She met Younis through a friend of his who was also a personal trainer.

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Creative Ideas That Inspire

At The Barre Code® in Pittsburgh, members can choose from a variety of classes, including Brawl. This session combines kickboxing with strength training that focuses on the thighs and glutes for an intense lower-body workout.

O Dance in Boulder, Colorado, transports its members to Latin locations with Latin Soul Play. This hourlong dance experience is set to soulful Latin rhythms and teaches footwork and body mechanics for a playful workout.

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Sample Class: Farmhand Fitness

Several years ago, I attended an IDEA World Fitness Convention™ session led by Michol Dalcourt, director of the Institute of Motion. During that presentation, he discussed hockey camps he used to lead and described the differences in capabilities among the young athletes. He remarked that athletes from rural areas tended to perform better on the ice than those from cities and towns. His assertion: The rural hockey players’ advantage was due to full-body training using low-tech “tools” like heavy logs or hay bales.

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From the Couch to Conditioning

Youth are flocking to fitness classes as parents face concerns over inactivity, obesity, sports injuries and performance. Instructors are learning to cater to the vast needs of this market, and it can be difficult to create a safe environment where all children can participate, get results and have a good time. While challenges will always exist in group classes, some simple strategies, particularly during the first few minutes, can turn frustration into fun.

Engagement and Physical Literacy

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Coping With Instructor Burnout

The new year likely brought with it a crush of new class participants. But then along came spring, and the inevitable happened: As the snow melted, so did resolutions; visits became less frequent as members began suffering from a classic case of burnout. In fact, many fitness professionals also experience burnout. What can you do to stay inspired??
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Meeting Clients Where They Are

Jessica Matthews, MS, E-RYT, wears many hats in the fitness industry, most notably through her work as an ACE expert, a media spokesperson and a fitness blogger. She also serves as an assistant professor of exercise science at Miramar College in San Diego, where she teaches courses within the department of exercise science, health and nutrition. In addition to holding ACE Personal Trainer, Group Fitness Instructor and Health Coach certifications, Matthews is an experienced yoga teacher, registered through Yoga Alliance.

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