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IDEA Fitness Fusion Conference™ Feedback

This year, my goal [at Fusion] was to try as many of the “new” group formats that were offered, while fine-tuning my personal training and management skills.

With that being said, I took Indo-Row®, Step-Tonic™ and Beaming™. I really enjoyed the rowing class for the theory and the presenters. I enjoyed Step-Tonic and think the concept is exciting, and I will definitely follow it to see where it goes.

I really enjoyed Shallon Fable’s “Evolved Evaluations.” We evaluate our instructors on a regular basis, but the information I learned during this session is going to help take us to the next level. I purchased a copy of the session on DVD to share with our team. Not only will it serve as a training tool, but it will also help train any new staff we acquire in the upcoming years–it will help them understand why we do what we do. My thanks to everyone at IDEA for creating such an enjoyable experience.

Heather Simpson

Wellness Coordinator, BlueCross BlueShield

Myrtle Beach, South Carolina

Applause for March Issue Articles

My manager just shared with me Donna Hutchinson’s article, “From Good to Wow!” in the Group Ex Skills and Drills column in the March 2010 issue of IDEA Fitness Journal. It was excellent! We’ve passed it on to all our instructors. Being an exceptional group fitness instructor is an art; the skills needed to do it properly are often lacking. Most people don’t realize how hard it actually is! So many elements need to come together to create a successful, exciting and fun exercise experience for participants. The article really highlighted ways to take it to the next level. Thanks for understanding! [I’m] still teaching group fitness classes after 27 years.

Sandy Earle

Programmer, Active Communities

New Westminster, British Columbia

Among the many excellent articles in the March issue was the Core column by Christian J. Thompson, PhD, “The Big Three Can’t-Miss Exercises for Seniors.” I teach mainly seniors, who are at a variety of ability levels, and I remain impressed that it is often the “least able” groups doing the “simplest” exercises that seem to develop a greater awareness of core action and control. As we know, many back problems arise from poor control at low loads, leading to the “I-was-just-picking-up-a-pencil-and-my-back-went-out” phenomenon. Thompson’s suggested exercises are similar to many I do while also drawing my participants’ attention to what they feel happening in their midsections. Most of us tend to be unaware of the stabilization we do during these easy moves.

I have belonged to IDEA since 1997—an excellent investment. I have requested (and received) permission to use several articles for my instructor-training courses. These add an up-to-date dimension to the courses when textbooks fall behind the times. Thanks to Christian Thompson for one more enlightened article among many in the magazine.

Melanie Galloway

Vancouver, British Columbia

Lower-Back Issues for Youth

After reading “Lower-Back Pain in Kids and Teens” by Chris Gellert, MPH, in the May issue [Ex Rx column], I felt inspired and motivated. It compelled me to tell you how much I genuinely appreciated this simple, educational explanation for one of the most prominent problems I see in most of my clients—both young and old. It will be an excellent supplement to support the importance of effective awareness. Thank you very much.

Kali Vandervort, CPT

Frog’s Fitness Center

Solana Beach, California

I just read Chris Gellert’s article, “Lower-Back Pain in Kids and Teens,” and I agree with the information the author provided. I have been researching corrective exercise, and once I began to understand postural deviations I noticed that lots of people have these problems. Just a couple of weeks ago, I assessed my 12-year-old stepdaughter and [realized] that she had overpronation of the feet and excess lordosis. I try to get new information every day to better understand postural deviations and how to correct them. I thought the author presented some great ideas to help parents realize that their kids may have these issues. Thanks for the great article.

Casey Miller

Owner, Biomechanically Fit

San Antonio, Texas

Breathe Easy

Editor’s Note: In the Mind-Body-Spirit News section of the May issue, we asked readers the following questions: “Have you or has your facility offered any workshops or classes on breathing exercises or pranayama? If yes, how were the programs structured and how were they received?” Read on to learn of some innovative ideas involving breath work.

I teach “Yin Yoga” at a traditional fitness facility. Despite the fact that the class is slow-paced and meditative (we hold each pose for 5 minutes while doing breath work), weekly classes are packed with both hard-core athletes and long-time yogis. Just this week, a member mentioned to me that she’d never thought she would be able to hold a yoga pose for 5 minutes straight. She told me that focusing on her breathing makes the time go by much faster, and after class she feels calmer and more focused mentally.

Christine Binnendyk


Tigard, Oregon

I am a nationally certified senior fitness specialist at Brooksby Village, a senior independent living community. I specialize in tai chi and qigong and have brought these wonderful art, science and exercise [formats] to the community for many years, teaching ongoing classes weekly. I also provide workshops throughout the year, one of which is “Qigong: Chinese Mind Body Health Exercises for the Prevention and Treatment of Lung Health,” It has proved to be a great success!

Structure of the workshop includes:

In this session, there were 50 senior attendees, many with walkers and wheelchairs; others did not require assistance. The beauty of this workshop is that everyone can participate. Qigong is user-friendly and can be modified to fit [participants’] limitations.

I determined that the workshop was a success based on the questionnaire/evaluations. The [seniors] thoroughly enjoyed it, learned how to practice better breathing and understood the meaning of mindfulness and focusing in the moment to achieve the task at hand. They also understood that breathing becomes a vehicle for relaxation. They felt invigorated and left with a sense of well-being!

Lisa B. Kirshon

Senior Fitness Specialist

Peabody, Massachusetts


In the April issue, the year when the FIFA World Cup will take place in Brazil was stated incorrectly in the World Beat column. The correct year is 2014. We regret the error.

We Want to Hear From You!

Send your letters and opinions to Ryan Halvorson, IDEA Fitness Journal Fitness Forum, 10455 Pacific Center Ct., San Diego, CA 92121-4339; fax them to him at (858) 535-8234; or e-mail them to [email protected] You may also leave a voice mail letter in the editorial voice mail box at (858) 535-8979, ext. 239. (For general membership questions or information, however, please e-mail member services at [email protected]) We reserve the right to edit letters for length or clarity.


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