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College Cuts Sports, Focuses on Fitness

Athletics have long been a cornerstone of the collegiate experience. One school in Atlanta has decided to terminate all sports programs in favor of a focus on fitness.

Spelman College, historically a black women’s college, has reallocated the $1 million dedicated to its sports programs to a campus-wide health and fitness program. The minimal participation in sports—only 80 students, or 4% of the student body, were involved—helped solidify the decision. According to Spelman President Beverly Daniel Tatum, PhD, the new program could help all 2,100 enrollees.

Runners Go Pants-Free for Charity

After his brother was diagnosed with neurofibromatosis, Chad Leathers and his two friends Brendan Hanrahan and Bobby Gill decided to help. Two years ago, the trio founded Cupid’s Undie Run, a fundraiser for the Children’s Tumor Foundation, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization working to end the disease.

On February 9, 2013, more than 8,000 people will hit the streets of 17 cities in the United States for a 1.5-mile run in, you guessed it, their underwear.

Individuals and teams will work to fulfill the goal of raising more than $1 million for the foundation.

Cycling Up

You know your next client, Doug, really well. He’s been working with you for 2 years, he’s committed to his fitness program, and while his body is already well-conditioned, he is determined to keep improving. His session will focus mainly on intense weightlifting, and Doug is used to “psyching himself up” before each set—he finds it helps—but you’ve both observed that it’s getting harder for him to make real gains. How can you help?

TRX® and 24 Hour Fitness Help Military Charity

On October 6 and 7, during San Francisco Fleet Week, 24 Hour Fitness and TRX teamed up to offer fitness challenges and classes to honor U.S. military personnel. Workouts were open to the military and the San Francisco Police Department. Nearly 250 personnel participated, making it the largest TRX workout to date.

Let’s Move! A View From the White House

Now that the presidential election is decided, it’s a good time not only to note the progress of First Lady Michelle Obama’s main initiative, Let’s Move!, but to explore how this important work will continue…

Thriving After a Stroke

Client: RayPersonal trainer: Julie Lombardo, owner, Sweet Success Personal TrainingLocation: Chino Hills, California

Making the switch. In 2005, now 80-year-old Ray suffered a hemorrhagic stroke that resulted in numbness on the left side of his body. Interested in improving function and fitness, he sought the guidance of physical therapists. Eventually, he was forced to give up treatment because his insurance coverage had reached its maximum.

Half of U.K. Adults Can’t Run 100 Meters

The 2012 Summer Olympic Games showcased the world’s fastest sprinters. Unfortunately, many of those watching the games are doubtful they could successfully complete one of the Olympic Track & Field’s major events.

According to a survey conducted by Slimming World, a United Kingdom–based weight loss company, and YouGov®, nearly 50% of U.K. adults feel it’s unlikely they could run 100 meters—one of track’s shortest events—without stopping.

Focus on Function

Client: George | Personal Trainer: Valentin, owner, Pilates Body by Valentin | Location: Dublin, CA

Weighty issues. George first began working with Valentin in 2006. “He came to me when he was at his maximum weight,” she recalls. “He was waddling around with a pair of bad knees and needed to get the strength to do activities of daily living.”

Post Office Promotes Physical Activity

In support of improving physical activity levels, the United States Postal Service (USPS) recently unveiled a new series of forever stamps. The four stamps show a young child learning to ride a bike with training wheels, a commuter riding to work, a road racer and a BMX rider.

Motorized Transportation and Weight Gain

It’s well known that sedentary living is associated with health risks. Now, researchers have been looking at motorized transportation dependence and its correlation with body fat and waist circumference.

New Report: Sitting Still Kills

Do your clients or members still spend the bulk of their nonexercise time seated? Encourage them to step away from the chair by sharing insights from this most recent study on the increased mortality risk of sitting.

Reasonable Expectations for Lasting Changes

Kimberly Searl, integrative fitness professional and owner of Mind/Body: Balance, a fitness studio that offers personal training, yoga, Pilates, and coaching services, believes that the path to health and vitality requires patience and time.

GeoPalz Gets Families Moving

September is Childhood Obesity Awareness Month. Help inspire the younger generations to become more active and fit with GeoPalz, an online fitness tracking website that offers rewards based on daily steps taken. A husband-and-wife team created the site to encourage their own kids to get moving. Children simply wear a pedometer to count daily steps taken, and then log the total each day. After logging a certain number of steps, a child is eligible to receive an activity-oriented prize such as a soccer ball or a Frisbee®.

Fidget for Improved Fitness

Encouraging sedentary and inactive individuals to exercise can be a challenge. However, according to a recent study published in Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise (2011; doi: 10.1249/MSS.0b013e31821e4ff2), even minor bouts of physical activity can improve cardiorespiratory fitness. Researchers from Queen’s University, Kingston, Ontario, wanted to determine whether “incidental physical activity,” or acute bouts of movement, is associated with cardiorespiratory fitness.

Improved Health Habits Needed Among Religious Groups?

According to a recent study, younger individuals who regularly participate in religious activity may be at risk for becoming overweight. The findings, presented in March at the American Heart Association conference in Atlanta, included data collected from 32,433 individuals aged 20–32. The individuals were followed for 18 years. Upon analyzing the data, researchers discovered that those who attended at least one “religious” event per week appeared to be more overweight or obese in their later years than those who did not.

Frequent Sitters Have Health Risks Regardless of Exercise Level

Couch potatoes beware: even regular exercise may not be enough to overcome the adverse affects of prolonged sitting. Getting more than 4 hours a day of leisure “screen” time significantly raises the risk of mortality or coronary problems, say researchers from the department of epidemiology and public health at University College London. The study followed 4,512 participants for a little over 4 years. The participants answered a variety of questions, which addressed physical activity and screen time, among other things.

Tricks of the Trade

Yes. I enjoy working with women who are fearful or intimidated about starting an exercise program. Working with these clients can be challenging, but it can also be incredibly rewarding. I love seeing the look on a client’s face when she exceeds her own expectations. Women who are overweight or lack confidence in their physical abilities have so much to gain from becoming more active. To reach this population, you need to use a nurturing, compassionate approach. Because resistant exercisers are less likely to come looking for you, you have to seek them out in creative ways.

Exercise Linked to Greater Sexual Function in Men

Men interested in improving sexual function may want to swap out those little blue pills for a set of dumbbells. Research presented at the Annual Meeting of the American Urological Association (2010; 183 [4], Supplement, e578) suggests that men who exercise regularly experience greater sexual function than those who do not. To determine the results, the researchers evaluated two surveys completed by 178 apparently healthy men.

The Commuter’s Workout

According to the American Public Transportation Association, Americans took 10.7 billion trips on public transportation in 2008. While many riders snooze or catch up on reading en route, a commute can also offer an opportunity…

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