Joy KellerJoy Keller is executive editor of IDEA Fitness Journal and IDEA Fit Business Success, and is also a certified personal trainer, indoor cycling instructor, yoga teacher (RYT 200) and Reiki Master.
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When it comes to muscles, we rarely think about our eyes, and yet the eye is the fastest and most active muscle in the human body (VSP 2018). We say “in the blink of an eye” for a reason! While you probably don’t program “eye lifts” into your strength training routines, exercise does support healthy vision. Read on to find out more about the benefits, along with a few fun facts you can share with clients to further inspire them to keep moving.Read More
While life may not always be a highlight reel, thousands of the best personal trainers, group exercise instructors, fitness entrepreneurs and nutrition/wellness professionals added significant footage to their lives at this year’s IDEA World Convention, where everyday actions became epic adventures in education. At the 2018 event, held in San Diego, June 27–July 1, more than 14,000 like-minded pros converged to learn from more than 350 workshops and workouts taught by the industry’s keenest minds.Read More
When you’re designing a fitness program, you may or may not consider the endocrine system, and yet it’s a key component of wellness. A network of glands that secrete hormones to support bodily functions, the endocrine system regulates internal processes—including growth and development, metabolism, homeostasis, response to stimuli, and reproduction—via the bloodstream (Sargis 2016).Read More
Located behind the stomach in the upper abdomen, the pancreas is a glandular organ that has two primary “jobs.” It is both a digestive exocrine gland (secreting products via ducts) and a hormone-producing endocrine gland (secreting substances directly into the bloodstream). The pancreas excretes enzymes to break down the foods we eat, and it secretes insulin and glucagon to control blood sugar (Taylor 2018). Spongy, and shaped like a flat pear, it’s about 6–10 inches long (Columbia University Medical Center 2018).Read More
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).Read More
Any routine visit to the physician includes the familiar cold-hands-under-the-earlobes lymph node check. But how often do you think about what the doctor is checking for or how important the lymphatic system is? And have you told your clients that physical activity plays a key role in supporting this crucial system?Read More
The posterior aspect of the body, along with its muscles, tendons, bones and attachments, is easy to overlook because it’s out of sight and, therefore, often out of mind. Until, that is, pain occurs. The ischial tuberosity—also known as the “sit bones” or even “sitz bones” (from the German word sitzen) (Garikiparithi 2017)—has many different connections, although it is mainly associated with the hamstring muscles (Drake et al. 2010).Read More
Many fitness professionals have dealt with an Achilles tendon injury, either their own or a client’s. The largest and strongest tendon in the body, the Achilles connects the lower-leg muscles and calf to the heel. “Synchronous functioning” of the tendon and calf is crucial for many activities, including standing on tiptoe, running, jumping and climbing stairs (Bhimji 2016).
Dutch surgeon Philip Verheyen named the tendon (after the Greek hero Achilles) in 1693. Previously, it was known as “tendo magnus of Hippocrates” (van Dijk 2011).
Does the pelvic floor get the props it deserves? Many fitness professionals who specialize in women’s health think it warrants more respect and attention. Trista Zinn, founder of Hypopressives in Toronto, says the pelvic floor is “overlooked and misunderstood by many.” She adds, “Our quality of life and athletic performance literally rest on [the pelvic floor’s] synergistic ability to function with the core as a whole.”Read More
Some anatomy geeks get a kick out of asking unsuspecting people to name the largest system or external organ in the body. The answer: The integumentary system, of course, which includes the skin, hair, nails, and sebaceous and sweat glands (Springhouse 2002). Its main function is to protect the body from “the outside world” (bacteria, for example), but it also eliminates waste products, regulates body temperature and retains body fluids (AAAS 2017).Read More
No training program is complete without at least some focus on balance, an ability many people take for granted. We monitor the environment and our relationship to gravity quite automatically, thanks to the vestibular system, which helps us maintain our center of mass over a base of support. A properly functioning balance system allows us to see properly while in motion;
helps us orient ourselves to gravity;
determines direction and speed; and
makes automatic postural adjustments (Vestibular Disorders Association).
Wherever they are, the best personal trainers, group exercise instructors, fitness entrepreneurs and nutrition/wellness professionals excel at what they do, but in the macrocosm of motion that is the IDEA World Convention, they redefine the limits of their potential. At the 2017 event, held in Las Vegas, July 19–23, more than 10,000 like-minded pros placed a bet on continued happiness and success, upping the ante as they attended more than 330 workshops and workouts taught by the industry’s greatest minds.Read More
Talk about workouts! The human tongue stays busy with speaking, tasting and swallowing, not to mention any extra tongue tricks we make it do out of nervous habit (curling, thrusting, etc.). What do you know—or think you know—about this muscular organ?
Do you remember in biology class when your teacher told you the ability to curl your tongue was genetic?
Clients often focus on the many aesthetic benefits of exercise, including weight loss and improved skin tone (Jaret 2011). Remind your hard-working clients of the numerous other benefits they’re reaping when they’re repping—the good stuff that happens behind the scenes, or rather, beneath the skin.Read More
Gut microbiota has been a hot topic recently, and for good reason, as it is a key indicator of health. Gut microbiota contains trillions of micro-organisms, including at least 1,000 species of known bacteria, with more than 3 million genes (Gut Microbiota for Health 2016). There are many benefits to having a healthy gut, including but not limited toRead More
When you work with enough clients, eventually you notice all the variations in biomechanics and anatomy. You may or may not remember from your fitness professional certification studies that only about half of people have a psoas minor muscle. When it's there, it lies in front of the psoas major and originates from the sides of the 12th thoracic vertebra (T12), the first lumbar vertebra (L1) and the corresponding intervertebral disk (Farias et al. 2012).Read More
Clients sometimes experience general pain in the knee during or after an exercise session, and while it's not within your scope of practice to diagnose, a broad understanding of issues that affect this important joint can be helpful. Here's a snapshot of plica syndrome.
Plica is a fold of synovial tissue that's a "remnant" of embryologic development. The knee is initially divided into three compartments by membranes, which are then resorbed by the third or fourth month of fetal life (Scuderi et al. 1997).