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Archive for April 2018

How (and Why) to Host a Family-Themed Indoor Cycling Class

Every Thursday morning, my cycle studio fills with an array of participants, ranging from accomplished Ironman® finishers to preschool moms trying to maximize their minutes—and Nora, a 92-year-old great-grandmother. Together we pedal like maniacs, laugh, sing a few refrains and walk out soaked through with sweat. In the cycle studio, participants of all ages and abilities can be motivated by being in a group, but riders can still slow down when they need to without sticking out. In fact, my own cycling journey began when I was pregnant and in search of a low-impact workout.

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Facilitated Flexibility

While some participants don’t stick around for the cooldown, those who do are rewarded with the many benefits that stretching offers. Help students go a little deeper with a very simple yet versatile tool: a stretching strap.
Straps are great to have in your fitness toolbox (and relatively inexpensive for the program manager’s budget). They not only assist with proper positioning and numerous techniques but also nullify the “I’m not flexible enough” excuse.

Five Techniques
Before we get to the stretches, consider these options:

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The Subtalar Joint: An Important Link in the Kinetic Chain

You may have noticed that many of your clients are blissfully unaware of just how much work the foot and ankle complex does—unless and until, of course, an ankle sprain or tendinitis occurs. The ankle “negotiates” ground reaction forces, informing the kinetic chain in numerous ways. Among other functions, the feet and ankles help the body adapt to uneven terrain through side-to-side movement (Price 2008).

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Corporate Fitness Evolves

Employers are looking for partners to provide experiences and solutions in social, emotional, financial, family and career growth and well-being,” says Grace DeSimone, national group fitness director with Plus One Health Management, an Optum company, in New York City. Companies are also embracing mindfulness, meditation and virtual solutions for telecommuting employees, according to DeSimone. All these changes represent an evolution from programs aimed primarily at improving physical health and controlling healthcare costs.

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High-Intensity Functional Training—Make It Safe

Many clients can’t seem to get enough of workouts that meld functional movements with high-intensity resistance training. Indeed, workouts using dynamic, high-intensity, full-body movements are great for strength and health-provided the body functions properly and exercisers use correct technique.

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Positioning Yourself to Get Hired

Corporate wellness represents significant growth opportunities as organizations embrace a culture of personal well-being and optimal health to retain the best employees and reduce healthcare costs. Fitness professionals who enjoy being part of a collaborative team with employees, other wellness staff and corporate management are likely to thrive.

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NEAT Exercise for the Brain

Have you heard that prolonged sitting can be as bad for health as smoking (Owen, Bauman & Brown 2008)? The good news is that movement can help, and it doesn’t have to be a marathon. One avenue worth exploring is nonexercise activity thermogenesis (NEAT). NEAT encompasses the calories burned while living life: walking to work, fidgeting, typing, folding clothes, washing dishes, running errands and so on; only sleeping, eating and sports are not included (Levine & Yeager 2009).

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Get Your Business Out of Debt in Three Steps

What if you walked into your facility tomorrow and everything was paid off?
What if there were
no weight equipment or treadmill payments due;
no payments due for a rubber floor or a state-of-the-art sound system; and
no loan bills due—that is, no bank requesting its piece of your pie plus interest?
What if instead of paying the bills (aka “your debts”) every month, you could put all that money into a savings account and begin to build true wealth? Does this sound like a fairy tale?

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Best Foot Forward

A challenging beginning. Ezra didn’t have an easy start. Born with club feet—a congenital condition in which the foot is twisted out of shape or position—he had his first surgery shortly after birth and spent the first few years of life sleeping with corrective boots.

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Where Your Career Goes From Great to EPIC

The IDEA World Convention means a lot of things to different people. For some, it’s primarily about updating their skill sets and knowledge to maintain a competitive edge. For others, the connections and relationships they build at the fitness event are priceless in advancing their careers and enriching their lives. Whatever stands out for each individual, one thing unites allIDEA World attendees: an intense desire to create a career that thrives.

Making Connections That Boost Career Success

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Curried Shrimp Kebabs With Spring Slaw

This recipe by Michelle Babb, MS, RD, CD, author of Anti-inflammatory Eating for a Happy, Healthy Brain (Sasquatch Books 2016), is one of 75 in an evidence-based cookbook that aims to teach readers how to use diet to improve one’s state of mind with anti-inflammatory foods. Babb opens the book by explaining the science behind this eating plan and then provides the “how-to” with tasty con­coctions ranging from simple to easy gourmet. Satisfy your taste buds, your microbiome and your mood with this dish, just right for ushering in spring.

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Question of the Month

Despite government-funded health campaigns promoting healthier eating, Americans still eat shockingly low amounts of fruits and vegetables. According to a state-by-state survey by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, only 1 in 10 American adults meets federal fruit or vegetable recommendations—at least 1½–2 cups per day of fruit and 2–3 cups of vegetables.

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Greens on Your Mind

Maybe smart people do eat more kale. A study published in the journal Neurology in December 2017 discovered that eating daily servings of leafy greens is associated with more youthful brains.

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When at First You Don’t Succeed, Try Again . . . and Again

Persistence pays off when fostering a new generation of healthy eaters. A paper published by pediatric researchers from the University of Buffalo in the December 2017 edition of Obesity Reviews shows that repeatedly exposing infants and children to healthy foods, even when they snub their noses at them at first, is key to promoting healthy eating behaviors over the long term. This don’t-give-up attitude is particularly effective at getting little mouths to eat a greater variety of fruits and vegetables.

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Alcohol May Boost Cancer Risks

Previous studies have associated light to moderate alcohol consumption with a lower risk for cardiovascular disease and maybe even diabetes, according to the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health’s Nutrition Source, but teetotalers may have a leg up on avoiding cancer.

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Egg Whites or Whole Eggs for Muscle Building?

Here’s more evidence that whole foods are the winning choice for athletic success. University of Illinois researchers gave resistance-trained men either three whole eggs (yolk plus whites) or just egg whites after two separate bouts of resistance exercise and then measured rates of muscle protein synthesis. Though each option had identical protein volume—18 g—the men built about 40% more muscle after eating whole eggs than they did with egg whites alone, according to research in the December 2017 edition of the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition.

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Waste Not, Want Not

In America, 30%–40% of the food supply goes to waste, the U.S. Department of Agriculture estimates. You probably know by now that most “use-by” and “best-by” dates are not toss-out dates, and you’re likely monitoring the contents of your fridge so you use as much of your food as possible before it goes bad. But you may be less aware of another important way to take a bite out of food waste.

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