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Recovery Strategies

Control Your Moods, Achieve Your Goals

Anxious, fatigued, unhappy, uncertain? We’ve all been there, all known times when our emotional hot buttons take over. We swear to ourselves that this time we will overcome them and stay committed to our goal, but it doesn’t work and we react with indulgent self-gratification. “I had such a long day, and I just don’t feel like going to the gym today.” “I’ve already fallen off the wagon so I’ll just eat what I want and start again on Monday.”

“How do you incorporate breathing strategies into clients’ workouts?”

Breathing strategies help keep clients focused on the movement and minimize distractions. When your clients take a deep breath just before a set, they can turn their thoughts inward and focus on proper body alignment, rather than moving the weight. This improves body awareness and posture and creates better engagement of the muscles needed for the lift.

Can You Climb Out of Depression?

Access to indoor climbing gyms has become more widespread, and so, too, has interest in
the benefits of the sport. Recently, a team of researchers from the University of Arizona and the University of Erlangen-Nuremberg in Germany studied the impact of indoor climbing
on depression.

Women, Men and Mindfulness

Educating men in mindfulness skills via mind-body movement like yoga and tai chi may be more successful than encouraging introspective activities.
In a paper presented in Frontiers in Psychology (2017), Brown University researchers in Providence, Rhode Island, discovered that men and women respond differently to training in meditation and mindfulness skills. Women significantly improved a negative mood by participating in the training, while men felt slightly worse.

10-Minute Meditation Helps With Anxiety

For people with anxiety, just 10 minutes a day of mindful meditation is enough to prevent the mind from wandering, according to a preliminary study reported in Consciousness and Cognition (2017; 51, 157–65). Mind-wandering disrupts productivity and contributes to accidents, and it’s particularly an issue for people with anxiety, as they tend to worry and ruminate about negative events that are not happening in the present moment.

Tai Chi: The Perfect Balance for Aging Adults

Why tai chi?
These Chinese movement patterns have been around for centuries. In recent years, study after study has proven the benefits of tai chi—particularly for older exercisers—yet most fitness professionals seem to know little about it.
That’s too bad, because just about any fitness client can learn tai chi, and any fitness professional can teach it. Like other types of exercise, tai chi simply requires you to learn its movements and experience its benefits.

The Care and Feeding of Superheroes

You’ve heard it often: Your people are your greatest asset. But as author Rodd Wagner points out in his book Widgets: The 12 New Rules for Managing Your Employees As If They’re Real People (McGraw-Hill 2015), “Your people are not your greatest assets. They’re not yours, and they’re not assets.”

Exercise Mitigates Stress-Related Weight Gain in Kids

School work, social situations, family challenges—young kids are faced with a great deal of pressure and perhaps lack the proper outlets to handle it. And as previous research has shown, stress and weight gain sometimes go hand in hand. A new study published in Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise (2017; 49 [3], 581–87) shows that exercise may help kids manage stress and prevent weight gain.

Music Listening, Meditation and Brain Fitness

Older adults may be able to enhance memory and brain fitness by meditating or listening to music, according to preliminary research findings reported in the Journal of Alzheimer’s Disease (2017; 56 [3], 899–916). West Virginia University researchers in Morgantown, West Virginia, conducted the study to determine whether simple mind-body practices could boost cognition or improve perceived memory loss among older adults with cognitive decline.

Mind-Body Exercise and Menopause

Are you in menopause? Chances are that you sometimes feel that you are not in control of your body! If you are seeking ways to cope with unpleasant menopausal symptoms, you may want to try yoga and other mind-body practices.
Shirley Archer, JD, MA, 2008 IDEA Fitness Instructor of the Year, an award-winning author and IDEA’s mind-body spokesperson, explains the research and application of mind-body exercise on menopause.

Irritability and Mood Swings

The Poetry of Yoga

Some 80 million Americans were expected to try yoga last year, according to the 2016 Yoga in America Study (Yoga Journal & Yoga Alliance 2016). Couple this statistic with the continuing effort to entice baby boomers with new and effective movement class designs, and you get a sense of the opportunity yoga provides for dedicated teachers with skill and creativity.

Exercise and Children: Better Brain Health, Less Obesity, Less Stress

Physically active young people can do better in school and improve their self-expression, self-confidence and social interaction compared with more sedentary children (WHO 2017). Indeed, two studies published in 2017 underscore the value of children getting plenty of exercise.
Let’s take a quick look at this research. Study 1. Fitness and Academic Achievement

The Joy of Movement Rings True

There's nothing like post–knee surgery downtime to catch up on my IDEA Fitness Journal reading. The February 2017 issue is just chock‐a‐block full of delectable goodness. In particular, I enjoyed Ryan Halvorson's article "Embracing the Joy of Movement" and Kelly McGonigal's "Ready to Love Your Stress?" Even after 38 years as a fitness pro, I learn something every issue to help me improve as a group fitness leader and baby boomer specialist. Both articles made their points logically, succinctly and persuasively.

When Students Grieve

Death is not the greatest loss in life. The greatest loss is what dies inside us when we live.
—Norman Cousins

Sooner or later, most of us will lose someone we care about. The pain this causes can be overwhelming, and we may feel that nothing will ever be normal again. Losing someone we love is a highly personal experience, and no two people cope in the same way or progress within the same time frame. There is no right or wrong way to grieve.

Tai Chi, PTSD and Veterans

Tai chi practice may help veterans with posttraumatic stress disorder to manage symptoms like instrusive thoughts, concentration difficulties and psychological arousal. Boston University Medical Center researchers conducted a small pilot study with 17 veterans with PTSD to
evaluate whether tai chi would be a feasible and beneficial activity.

Don’t Worry, Be Healthy

New research highlights the power of the mind and the influence of our perceptions on disease chances. Healthy people who worry about having a heart attack have a higher possibility of heart disease, independent of other risk factors, compared with those who don’t worry, according to a study in BMJ Open (2016; doi: 10.1136/bmjopen-2016-012914). A preoccupation with having or acquiring a serious illness is an anxiety disorder.

Creative Ideas That Inspire

Rock Steady Boxing is offered at TITLE Boxing Club in Carlsbad, California. The program is based on professional boxing training but is geared to people with Parkinson's disease. The noncontact boxing techniques allow participants to enjoy a boxer's workout without sparring or fighting. The method's goal is to "attack" the vulnerable neurological points of Parkinson's by increasing balance and decreasing instability, rigidity and tremors. The class is open to men and women of all ages and fitness levels.

Coaching Your Fitness Clients: Inside Out

You don't need me to tell you—the research is in! Exercise is a breakthrough medicine. In the long term, it enhances the health of our brains and bodies. It improves neuroplasticity and learning (Hotting & Roder 2013) and helps us avoid, delay or treat many health issues, both physical and mental (CDC 2017). What's more, we don't need research to tell us we feel good and perform well if we exercise—when we move our bodies with enthusiasm and vigor, we get calmer and clearer, our energy increases, and we are more productive.

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