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Injury / Injury Prevention

How Fast You Walk May Affect How Long You Live

Want to outwalk the grim reaper? Pick up the pace, say researchers. A new study from the United Kingdom suggests that quicker walking may add years to your life.
The study’s primary aim was to examine the impact of walking pace and volume on all-cause mortality. To determine this, researchers looked at mortality records for 50,225 individuals from Scotland and England who had self-reported their walking data via interview.

Strong Starts

The warmup. Is it simply a time for small talk while people trickle in, or is it an opportunity to ignite attendees’ best efforts? This may be the class section that fitness instructors plan the least, yet devoting some time to designing the warmup is really worthwhile. Why? Because starting on a strong note significantly affects the outcome of the entire workout. We want our participants to get the most from our classes, so let’s set them up for success.

An Eye on Vision Health

When it comes to muscles, we rarely think about our eyes, and yet the eye is the fastest and most active muscle in the human body (VSP 2018). We say “in the blink of an eye” for a reason! While you probably don’t program “eye lifts” into your strength training routines, exercise does support healthy vision. Read on to find out more about the benefits, along with a few fun facts you can share with clients to further inspire them to keep moving.

Pilates for Recreational Athletes

Professional athletes of all kinds have discovered that adding Pilates to their training can improve performance, reduce injury, speed recovery, and help their hardworking bodies stay balanced and healthy (Caple 2016; Knowlton 2016; Saxon 2016). Pilates—a whole-body exercise system that can help you develop strength, functional flexibility, coordination and balance—can offer those same benefits to recreational athletes. A well-rounded program, particularly one offered in a fully equipped Pilates studio, can do wonders for athletes of almost any age, ability or sport.

Tennis: Reduce Pain, Improve Performance

Tennis is one of the most popular sports in the world. In the U.S. alone, there are almost 18 million players, with another 14 million expressing interest (TIA 2018). Unfortunately, the dynamic, forceful twists and turns of the game pose ever-present injury risks to players (Roetert & Kovacs 2011).
If your fitness clientele includes people interested in playing this sport, you need to understand the causes of tennis-related injuries. This will help you develop strategies to improve movement function, reduce pain and keep clients on the court.

Stand Up to Aging

Getting up off the ground grows more difficult as we age. Muscles and bones weaken, coordination becomes less fluid, and simply doing chores around the house gets more challenging. Ground-to-standing (G2S) exercises address these changes. hile even performance athletes can benefit from G2S drills (see the sidebar “G2S Exercises Also Help Performance Athletes”), they’re supremely helpful for older exercisers who are at risk for broken hips and other threats to their mobility.

Best Foot Forward

A challenging beginning. Ezra didn’t have an easy start. Born with club feet—a congenital condition in which the foot is twisted out of shape or position—he had his first surgery shortly after birth and spent the first few years of life sleeping with corrective boots.

Spotting and Fixing Flaws in Walking Biomechanics

Participating in a program of regular exercise is a good idea at any stage of life, but particularly as we get older. Exercising frequently and consistently has many documented benefits, including promoting good health, preventing disease, enhancing mental health and physical capacity, aiding recovery from injury and illness, minimizing the effects of aging, and improving one’s ability to handle the physical demands of life (Bird, Smith & James 1998).

Smoking and Musculoskeletal Injury Risk

Researchers have identified more reasons to quit smoking and to alert any clients who do smoke. A recent research review on smoking and musculoskeletal injury risk in military trainees found that for those who smoked, injury risk was 31% higher for men and 23% higher for women. The risk grew as smoking levels increased. For example, among the heaviest smokers, risk increased up to 84% for men and up to 56% for women.

Shoulder Blades: The Right Moves

The shoulder blades, or scapulae, are critical links in the kinetic chain from the waist through the shoulders, up to the neck and down to the fingertips. Abnormalities in the position or movement of the shoulder blades—technically called scapular dyskinesis—can trigger pain and discomfort, especially among people who spend long hours sitting and using computers.

Programming to Prevent ACL Injury

Your new client, 16-year-old Alexis, is a competitive athlete who wants you to design a fitness program that will help her prevent a second anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) tear. She partially tore her ACL while playing soccer and rehabbed it with a physical therapist, who cleared her to play again. Alexis returned to spring softball without an issue, but she would like to be as fully prepared as possible for the upcoming fall soccer season. She hopes to be recruited to play in college, but her parents are concerned she will sustain another ACL injury, perhaps a more severe one.

Getting to the Bottom: The Ischial Tuberosity

The posterior aspect of the body, along with its muscles, tendons, bones and attachments, is easy to overlook because it’s out of sight and, therefore, often out of mind. Until, that is, pain occurs. The ischial tuberosity—also known as the “sit bones” or even “sitz bones” (from the German word sitzen) (Garikiparithi 2017)—has many different connections, although it is mainly associated with the hamstring muscles (Drake et al. 2010).

Pillars of Functional Training for Active Aging

Healthy aging is more than the absence of disease, according to the World Health Organization (WHO): “For most older people, the maintenance of functional ability has the highest importance” (WHO 2015). Colin Milner, founder and CEO of the International Council on Active Aging in Vancouver, British Columbia, echoes these comments. “When looking at the healthy aging market today, the focus is all about function,” he says.

130/80 = High Blood Pressure

For the first time since 2003, the American College of Cardiology and the American Heart Association have produced a substantial report updating blood pressure recommendations. People with a reading of 130/80 are now classified as having high blood pressure. This is down from 140/90.
According to the ACC, this means 46% of U.S. adults will now be categorized as having hypertension.
Those in the “hypertensive crisis” category require medication intervention and immediate hospitalization if there is organ damage, according to the report.

The Achilles Tendon

Many fitness professionals have dealt with an Achilles tendon injury, either their own or a client’s. The largest and strongest tendon in the body, the Achilles connects the lower-leg muscles and calf to the heel. “Synchronous functioning” of the tendon and calf is crucial for many activities, including standing on tiptoe, running, jumping and climbing stairs (Bhimji 2016).
Dutch surgeon Philip Verheyen named the tendon (after the Greek hero Achilles) in 1693. Previously, it was known as “tendo magnus of Hippocrates” (van Dijk 2011).

The Anatomy of Functional Training Risks

Many clients can’t seem to get enough of workouts that meld functional movements with high-intensity resistance training. Indeed, workouts using dynamic, high-intensity, full-body movements are great for strength and health—provided the body functions properly and exercisers use correct technique.

The Pelvic Floor: Base Support & More

Does the pelvic floor get the props it deserves? Many fitness professionals who specialize in women’s health think it warrants more respect and attention. Trista Zinn, founder of Hypopressives in Toronto, says the pelvic floor is “overlooked and misunderstood by many.” She adds, “Our quality of life and athletic performance literally rest on [the pelvic floor’s] synergistic ability to function with the core as a whole.”

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