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Handling Negative Body Image Issues

Thank you for including my voice in the Tricks of the Trade column [January 2014] that discussed body image. Many people have contacted me about the issue, telling me I am an inspiration to them. They want my advice on how to get through this size-zero world living as a plus-size trainer. Wow, I am overwhelmed by the thanks I am receiving. Trainers and everyday women have appreciated my story and say they hope one day to inspire as I am doing. Thank you. I can’t tell you how much this means to me.

Patricia Butler
Queens Village, New York

Are You a Sound Friend or a Sound Foe?

Thank you for the article on music levels in classes [Skills & Drills, March 2014]. This is such important information, because, as Corbin says, hearing loss is a silent injury. I worry about the instructors who have had much more exposure
than I had. Twenty years ago, I campaigned for lower volumes. I researched the industry standard for noise levels and brought in an audiometer, to no avail. I was told that the club was private and did not have to comply with any standards.

Dianne Woodruff, PhD

Certified Movement Analyst
Oakville, Ontario

Programming That Gets Seniors Moving

Editor’s note: In our Making News column in March, we asked what readers are doing to engage older women to increase their physical activity levels. Here are two readers’ responses:

I work with both older men and women. The average age of our residents is 84. Many do not like to participate in conventional exercise classes for a variety of reasons (many are frail and are afraid of walking). We have been offering a chair dance class for more than 5 years. Participants learn footwork and hand movements that are choreographed to a particular song. We use a tempo of about 120 beats per minutes and play music from the participants’ era.

This type of class boosts brain function (because there are step sequences to remember); and even though participants are sitting, the exercise boosts their cardiovascular endurance without causing concerns about losing balance. For those with diminishing cognitive function, the music of their era stimulates the memory centers of the brain and helps to ease anxiety. My participants love this class.

Kim Hall
Fitness Instructor, Elim Park
Cheshire, Connecticut

I have been working with the elder population for over 20 years; our program, called LIFT (Low Impact Functional Toning) and Balance, is based on the ability of the student, rather than the participant’s age. Cardio and strength are the top two components of fitness at any age, so this program emphasizes these, as well as posture, balance and flexibility. During the class, participants learn health and wellness information. We talk about creating daily movement that will help maintain overall fitness and reduce the aging process. We show them how these moves can carry over to activities outside the class, allowing them to care for themselves and others. We impress upon students to work at their own level, and we focus on wellness and ability, not age and disabilities.

Students develop long-lasting friendships and a network of encouragement when setbacks happen. If a regular participant misses a couple of classes, a classmate will find out if he or she is okay and arrange for a group card to be signed and sent. Knowing that you are missed is important for any group, but especially for this one.

I often have students give testimony to what the class has done for them. The fact that they feel empowered and can live a strong, healthy lifestyle is all I need to continue working with this population!

Diane Barton
Lead Instructor, Providence/Mercantile Fitness Center
Lake Oswego, Oregon

Mindful Movement

Editor’s note: A reader responds to our Question of the Month in Mind-Body- Spirit News in February regarding the benefits of mindfulness meditation practice:

I’ve had a mindfulness practice for many years now. In fact, it became the catalyst for me to finally leave my corporate job to retrain as a personal trainer. My training business is built on principles of mindfulness. Educating clients on sound mechanics and breath awareness has enabled many of them to eliminate chronic pain caused by years of poor movement. I’ve seen tremendous increases in function through conscious
breathing. I’ve also seen common injuries avoided as clients increase exercise intensity as a result of being so fully aware of their bodies in space.

Mindfulness as a practice is traditionally established through meditative techniques. In my training business, I’m attempting to bring mindfulness to a wider audience by introducing the principles through mindful movement.

Linzi Stahlecker
Birth Doula, Prenatal Exercise Specialist, The Mindful Practice

Fan Mail!

@ideafit the Fitness Journal magazine is amazing. So much useful information. I read it religiously every month. #fitnessinstructor

Irene Robertson

I have told IDEA over my many years of membership that this is the best fitness publication in the world. [It has long] been my “bible.” I always look forward to receiving the journal.

Colin Grieve
Fitness Instructor
Central Coast, Australia

I read “Extreme Fitness: How Intense Is Too Intense?” by Amanda Vogel, MA [February 2014]. Thank you! Very well done. I’ve been feeling pretty jaded about the fitness industry lately, and the article renewed my faith!

Jill Cucheron
Independent Trainer, She’s Fit!®

Surrey, British Columbia


On page 52 of the April issue, we provided the wrong website address for the IDEA World Fitness ConventionTM microsite. The correct URL is www.ideafit.com/world.

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