The evidence is definitive. Risks of smoking far outweigh the health dangers of a sedentary lifestyle. It’s important to raise awareness of the hazards of inactivity, but distorted information about risks of behavioral choices can confuse the public. “The simple fact is, smoking is one of the greatest public health disasters of the past century. Sitting is not, and you can’t really compare the two,” said study author Terry Boyle, PhD, an epidemiologist at the University of South Australia, Adelaide.Read More
As many as one-third of all adults over 65 years old fall each year, with consequences that include serious injury, limited activity and significant costs. Researchers at California State University, Northridge, conducted a study that shows that Pilates reformer training—as little as once per week—can effectively reduce these risks.Read More
Kickboxing classes may not be as popular today as they were in the late 1990s, but people still love to hone their skills with this effective cross-training option. Whether you’ve been teaching for several years or you’re just getting started, it’s always a good idea to review the foundational concepts that make up this total-body workout.Read More
Over the past few decades, snowboarding has quickly become one of the fastest-evolving and most popular winter season sports. The impressive combination of power, velocity and technique make this activity appealing to both recreational riders and high-level competitors. But speed, terrain, gravity and the unique snowboard stance also create the potential for injury.Read More
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.Read More
One day, while stretching my client Jim, I was taken aback when I realized he wasn’t wearing underwear. His shorts were swim trunks with interior netting. I quickly looked away and continued to stretch him. This happened with Jim on several other occasions, but I never mentioned it because I wasn’t sure how to broach the matter. I also didn’t feel as if he was doing this intentionally, nor did I believe he meant harm.Read More
Owing to the part-time nature of most group fitness instruction jobs, program directors don’t always interact with staff on a daily basis and may not know that an instructor is teaching while injured.Read More
Thanks to a spike in pace-related research over the past decade, we now know that walking speed is a significant vital sign for older clients. Study findings have associated slow walking speed with a heightened risk of mortality in older adults, while brisk walking has been linked to better health (Franklin et al. 2015).
These are important insights because, until recently, researchers had no idea that walking speed was such a strong vital-sign predictor. Connections between walking speed and health improvements make a persuasive case for helping older clients pick up the pace.
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.Read More
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).
client: Frank | personal trainer: Frank McKenna, MEd, owner, Beach Better Bodies | location: Virginia Beach, Virginia
A dire situation. In the summer of 2016, personal trainer Frank McKenna received news he never expected to hear. At age 56, he had recently completed his own physical transformation and was arguably in tiptop shape, so when his doctor told him he had stage 4 lung cancer, he was stunned.Read More
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.Read More
Did you know that rowing has been a competitive sport for hundreds of years (and an official Olympic event since the modern Games began)?
At lower intensity levels, rowing is a great training tool. As long as rowing form is correct and efficient, people of all ages, sizes and abilities will enjoy better cardiovascular and muscular function from rowing regularly. Rowing can strengthen your aerobic system, making it easier to take care of kids, work around the house, use the stairs at work and race from one meeting to the next without running out of breath.
Eager class participants want to tap into their highest potential, and group fitness instructors have been acknowledging this by offering workouts that are more explosive, more powerful and fuller in range than ever before. However, intense, dynamic workouts demand a warmup that truly prepares the body. Specifically, you must target the hips—hip flexors, piriformis, glutes and hip rotators—to avoid possible tweaks from all those lunges, squats and burpees (not to mention repetitive stress from cycling and running).Read More
Yoga injuries in the United States are on the rise, particularly among older adults, according to data from hospital emergency rooms nationwide. Researchers from the Center for Injury Sciences at the University of Alabama in Birmingham (UAB), Alabama, examined data from 2001 to 2014 to establish the injury risk involved in yoga participation.Read More
Over the past several years, researchers have reported on the negative impacts of extended periods of sitting on health and mortality. Some have looked at whether exercise can mitigate any of those effects. The debate continues in a recent study.Read More
client: Gary | personal trainer: Tracy Markley, owner, Tracy's Personal Training | location: Florence, Oregon
Surviving a stroke. In May 2014, 65–yearold Gary had a stroke so severe his doctors were skeptical he'd survive it. Fortunately they were wrong, but he suffered so much damage that physical therapists were initially convinced he'd be wheelchair–bound for life.Read More