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The Instructor-or-Influencer Challenge: Social Media and Fitness Instructors

Exceptional group fitness instructors are influential. But is their influence an outcome of great instruction or its origin? When group fitness pros apply for a job, practical teaching skills and knowledge of exercise and movement top the list of “must-haves,” so what about social media influence? Is it relevant? It’s becoming more commonplace to judge group fitness candidates on their social media presence, but should this be the case?

Question Of The Month

Like the milkman used to do, more and more retailers will deliver groceries to your doorstep. According to data analytics company Nielsen, 70% of American consumers will do some of their grocery shopping online in the next 5–7 years. How is this shift in food-purchasing behavior going to influence eating habits?

Hashtag-Worthy Foods

In the age of Instagrammable food shots and food “influencers,” people increasingly turn to social media for advice on what to eat. And it turns out we still can’t get enough of avocado toast and that South American grain. A social media analysis from the food and nutritional consultancy New Nutrition Business showed that—in a list of 20 items marketed as healthy—avocado, almonds, blueberries, quinoa and kale garnered the most social media activity between 2017 and 2018.

Build a Better Club or Studio

Whether you’re the owner of a large gym, a small-studio entrepreneur, a mobile personal trainer, or a yoga or Pilates specialist, a basic tenet of keeping your edge sharp with clients is to shake things up frequently enough that they (and you!) don’t get bored. Certainly, that means changing your programming regularly, but it also means looking at your equipment with fresh eyes and considering some new tools for experimentation—all while being judicious about your budget.

Question of the Month

What is the leading trend in your fitness facility? Are wearables, group fitness and HIIT programs the leading fitness activities among your clients?

Share the top fitness activities in your facility and why you think they are successful.

We want to hear from you! Email executive editor Joy Keller, [email protected]

Question of the Month

dietary apps or food trackers to your clients?

Please share what apps you’re working with, whether you prefer one app or device to another, and any successes you’ve had with clients.

We want to hear from you! Email executive editor Joy Keller, [email protected]

Cutting Facebook Lowers Stress Levels

Need to cut some stress out of your life? Researchers from the University of Queensland in Australia say that taking breaks from Facebook can help.
Their study included 138 active Facebook users who were asked to either take a 5-day fast from the social media platform or maintain current usage. Each person self-reported on their well-being and stress levels and underwent salivary cortisol tests before and after the intervention.

Twitter’s Former CEO Shuts Down Fitness App Startup

Unable to solve the challenge of how to support positive behavioral change, Dick Costolo, former CEO of Twitter, decided in February to shut down Chorus, a social fitness app that began beta testing in April 2017. The app was designed to use a “chorus” of friends as team members and have them support each other in achieving self-proclaimed weekly fitness or other health-related goals.

Question of the Month

When you offer training advice to clients, are you discussing the significance of sleep? If yes, are you using sleep trackers and monitoring results? Please describe how you are educating clients regarding the role of sleep in effective training and weight management and share any success stories you have had.

Share your responses with executive editor Joy Keller, [email protected]

Exergaming May Improve Independence Among Older Adults

Maybe you’ve thought about integrating exergaming—exercise combined with video games and other elements of technology—into some of your classes or sessions. Don’t forget to include older adults. A recent study found that seniors with mild cognitive impairment (MCI), a precursor to Alzheimer’s, showed significant improvement in certain complex thinking and memory skills after exergaming.

Wearable Heart Rate Trackers: Which Works Best?

How accurate are the latest wearable heart rate trackers?
That’s an important question amid the flourishing demand for wearable fitness devices and wrist-worn heart rate monitors. Approximately 1 in 6 consumers in the U.S. uses some type of wearable technology, such as a fitness band or a smartwatch (Piwek et al. 2016). Industry research from 5 years ago predicted sales of 110 million wearable devices by 2018, but shipments of 115.4 million in 2017 have already outpaced that projection (Piwek et al. 2016; IDC 2018).

“Hearables” Are Here!

If you’re a fitness technology geek, here’s something to geek out on: By 2022, more than 285 million “hearables” could be in use worldwide. According to a Juniper Research report, shipments of hearables plus clothing-based wearables are expected to increase more than 60% every year between 2018 and 2022.

Activity Tracker Usage Improves

The initial finding—that people stop using their fitness trackers after the first 6 months—seems to be evolving. In a new study by insurance company Humana, 80% of participants in a structured program were still using activity trackers after 6 months. Researchers at the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia found that game design elements—such as points, levels, badges and financial incentives—helped to keep users active.

Helpful Productivity Apps

Do you struggle to stay focused or cross off items on your to-do list? There are apps for that. Here, five successful business owners share their favorite apps for getting things done:

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