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IDEA Member Spotlight: Tasha Edwards

I’m not even sure when attending IDEA became an idea. Perhaps it was in the back of my mind, subconsciously, when I took a job selling memberships at a local gym in 2004, shortly after moving to Huntsville, Alabama, with my family. I didn’t know IDEA by name, but I most certainly knew it by connection. I knew there had to be a place to help me become better at what I was doing in the fitness industry at the time, a place bigger than what I was seeing.

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Tending to Tendons

You’re no doubt familiar with the Achilles tendon, named after the Greek demigod whose singular physical weakness brought him to his knees. But how much do you know about tendon functionality? When it comes to mobility, tendons are the unsung heroes of our anatomy. These tough yet flexible cords of fibrous tissue connect muscle to bone—unlike ligaments, which connect bone to bone.

Tendons are found throughout the body, to help facilitate movement. When a muscle contracts, the tendon absorbs some of the impact and pulls the attached bone into action.

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Meet an IDEA Team Member!


Have you ever met someone whose last name fits them perfectly? Such is the case with IDEA’s educational products director, Magali Sparks, who can ignite an entire room with her warm smile, her kindness and her humility. Indeed, sparks fly when “Mags,” as many of us call her, gets on a creative streak with the impressive line of products she and her team develop and manage.

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Breathing New Life Into a Yoga Journey

When I landed at IDEA over 17 years ago, I had tried yoga just a handful of times.

Roll back to 1997. We had moved from Los Angeles to San Diego, and I was working part-time, waiting for my newly minted PhD husband to get hired somewhere (please, anywhere!) as a college professor. Working just 20 hours per week, I had plenty of time to explore San Diego. I bought a gym membership at the University of California, San Diego, and spent a lot of time there, self-guided, trying all the classes and training myself based on what little I knew about movement and the body.

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Set the Pace!

The best indoor cycling instructors get it: The workout isn’t about you; it’s about the people you’re coaching. Your class is an opportunity to shine a light on others and help them feel successful. It’s a forum for building confidence, inner strength and community.

An engaging start is like a handshake; it introduces you to the riders. It’s your time to capture your audience by rolling out the carefully constructed plan you’ve created especially for them.

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Sample Class: Sand Bell HIIT

More flexible and variable than dumbbells or kettlebells, sand bells are sand-filled disks that can be lifted, slammed, tossed, curled, or flipped like a heavy pancake. The following playful workout mixes high-intensity cardio and strength training with two levels of progression, creating a user-friendly class for any participant.

Sand Bell HIIT Details
FORMAT: strength and cardio conditioning
TOTAL TIME: 55 minutes

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Elevate Your Career and Live Your Passion

Your purpose as an impassioned personal trainer, manager and owner is to deliver life-changing fitness experiences for your clients. It is also up to you to invest in yourself so that you can become the fitness leader your community deserves. The best way to do that is to surround yourself with people who have already succeeded and can show the way.

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Steamed Lemony Tilapia

o keep blood pressure numbers from boiling over, it might be a good idea to tame the flame when preparing meat, chicken and fish, according to research from the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health.

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Ask the RD: Are sugar alternatives healthier?

QUESTION: I know white sugar isn’t good for me, but what about other sugars? Are alternative sugars like honey and agave syrup any healthier?

ANSWER: Too much added sugar is linked to increased risk of obesity, type 2 diabetes and heart disease, which is why the American Heart Association recommends no more than 25 grams (about 6 teaspoons) of added sugar per day for women and 38 g (9 teaspoons) per day for men (AHA 2018).

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Open The Taps

When you guzzle bottled water, you might be getting more than just H2O. An analysis of 259 bottles of water from 11 brands in nine countries (including the United States) found that 93% contained microplastics—tiny bits of plastic resulting from the breakdown of plastic materials in landfills and oceans. Levels of microplastics were about double what was found in tap water tested from various countries, according to the analysis. The study was conducted by the State University of New York and Orb Media, a nonprofit, U.S.-based journalism organization.

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Feeling Blue? Eating More Fiber Could Help

Lifting your spirits might be as easy as adding more beans and other fiber-rich foods to your plate. A study published in the journal Nutrition in October 2018 found that people who reported eating the most fiber overall (including from cereal grains, vegetables and fruits) had fewer depressive symptoms. The data came from 16,807 American adults enrolled in the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES).

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Question of the Month

For years, health experts have been beating us over the head about the importance of scaling back our salt intake for the sake of our heart health. Based on research findings, the World Health Organization recommends a daily consumption of less than 2,000 milligrams of sodium—one teaspoon of salt—as a preventive measure against cardiovascular disease. The American Heart Association is even stingier with the salt shaker—just 1,500 mg of sodium a day for individuals at risk of heart disease.

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