Lawrence BiscontiniLawrence Biscontini, MA, has made fitness history as a mindful movement specialist, winning awards that include the Inner IDEA Visionary Award. He is a philanthropist, presenter, keynoter, and course development specialist for various companies, including ACE, AFAA, FIT and NASM. He also serves on the advisory boards for the International Council on Active Aging and Power Music®, and is an International Spa Association reporter-in-the-field for its #ISPAInterviews series. Lawrence teaches with yoga RYT 500 and decades-long certification experience. His company, Fitness Group 2000 offers scholarships to professional conferences and competitions on several continents. Lawrence runs fit camps in Puerto Rico in the winter months and has authored more than a dozen books.
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Life isn’t predictable, so why should our movements be? Add fun games to your cooldowns to help active agers learn to react to on-the-spot activities in a functional way. The following games include a social neuroscience component that builds camaraderie, upgrades reaction time and improves balance. Try them toward the end of class to get seniors on the same page.
Storks and Gazelles
Purpose: to train gait efficiency and reaction time.
quiz 2: Page 75
“I had prepared the atmosphere for a special candlelight Yin &
Restorative class, and everyone had settled in for savasana,” recalls
Marla Ericksen, founder of Empower ME Yoga Studio in Ottawa, Ontario. “I
reached for my iPod to start the soothing music that was to accompany
our journey to serenity when ‘Locked Out of Heaven’ by Bruno Mars
blasted out of the speakers at what seemed like 9,000 decibels.”
Falling is one of the top concerns of our active-aging clients.
As a profession, we’ve addressed this issue by encouraging a functional “train- to-transfer” mentality. Fortunately, strategies for balance improvement and fall prevention have come a long way from the single, static “stork stance” so often prescribed just a decade ago. Thanks to a combination of scientific research and success stories of fitness pros working with this population, we know more now than ever.Read More
How many of your class attendees sit most of the day? Between work, commuting and Facebook scrolling, a lot of people are chronically “sedentary in the sagittal plane.” Empower participants to strengthen their cores outside of class in novel ways with an often-overlooked piece of fitness “equipment”: a stable, stationary desk (or table). These standing core moves will activate, innervate and stretch clients’ muscles beyond the sagittal plane of sitting.
Note: Teach these exercises using a mat, a wall, or steps and risers to simulate a desk.Read More
Adding mental exercises to training can go a long way toward helping people age gracefully. Research backs this up. Because the brain controls the body (and not the other way around), brain training adds an often-overlooked opportunity to improve quality of life for almost everyone (Diener
In today’s complicated world, just listening to the evening news on television or radio can raise cortisol rates in the body. High stress levels, combined with current technological advancements, almost unending sensorial bombardment, and the ever-changing dietary habits of many developed countries, can deny the body time for repose and resynthesis.Read More
It’s happened to every group fitness instructor: Time-crunched participants pick up (or abandon) their equipment and leave before the end of the experi- ence. Not only does this create a distrac- tion, but it prevents these students from reaping the benefits that occur in the final phase. How do you get people to stay? Read on for tips on how to encourage everyone to remain in class until the close.
Why Stay?Read More
Many group fitness instructors are independent contractors and teach a variety of classes at various facilities. The majority of them would prefer to offer their teaching talents at a single facility in exchange for regular pay and full benefits, but such opportunities are hard to find.Read More
You’ve been asked to reinvigorate—or create—a mind-body program at your facility, and you have no clue where to start. In addition to being a freshman at this task, you run up against a few unforeseen obstacles. How do you create an amazing mindful program that supports membership and the bottom line?Read More
Most group fitness instructors introduce and close their classes with some remarks to participants. Style will vary depending on personality, but openings and closings are always important opportunities. Petra Kolber, 2001 IDEA Fitness Instructor of the Year, says, “People may not always remember the actual choreography, but they will recall the first and last 5 minutes. Since we only have one chance to make a great first impression, being prepared for the beginning and ending is key for success.”Read More
Our work as fitness and wellness professionals can be hugely rewarding. We are there on the frontlines, helping people win back their health from the jaws of obesity and sedentary living. We give loyal participants the joy of those regular exercise sessions they love. And we train some of the fittest people in the country as they strive to break through plateaus and achieve new personal bests.Read More
Here’s an idea: Add spinal stabilization (in neutral) and mobilization movement to your core-training repertoire. Students’ posture will improve, and the exercises will ensure that daily living activities involving extension and rotation are efficient and pain-free.Read More
As the fitness industry embraces wellness concepts such as mental training, mindful movement and holistic programming, now more than ever the spa world offers viable career opportunities. Why? One reason is that it has long embraced these same healthy goals. The fitness professional who is curious about employment in the spa industry must take methodical steps toward discovering whether or not this specialty field is a good fit.
Spa History and LegacyRead More
Are you using cross-promotion to market and promote your new fitness program options? If not, it may be time to start. An often-untapped method of giving more exposure to programs, cross-promotion relies on current resources and staff participation, requires virtually no capital investment and reaps instant rewards. Incorporate the following strategies and methods to market both personal training and group programming and grow your business through cross-promotion.
“Sell” to Staff FirstRead More
Aware Pilates instructors know that mat class participants need a variety of cues—visual, auditory and kinesthetic—in order to master the repertoire. If they are primarily visual learners, they will learn best from visual cuing. But there may be auditory or kinesthetic learners in the group.Read More
Your goal as a group fitness leader is to provide consistent, quality service each time you teach. When circumstances prevent you from appearing in your regularly scheduled time slot, however, responsibility for creating positive experiences falls on substitute teachers, commonly called “subs.” The following tips will help you prepare both subs and class participants for a positive subbing experience in a nonideal situation.Read More
Welcome to part four of our five-part “Crash Course in Excellence” series with takeaway strategies. This article explores two different kinds of customer service scripts: one designed to boost fitness instructors’ talent, productivity and creativity; the other aimed at enhancing overall customer service skills throughout your facility.Read More