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3 Things To Know When Working With Diabetic Clients

3 Things to Know When Working with Diabetic Clients

By: Fitness Learning Systems


  1. Symptoms of Hypoglycemia

Prevention of hypoglycemia is important for a safe exercise program for someone who has diabetes. Anyone taking insulin or an oral medication that may cause hypoglycemia should be aware of symptoms and how to manage this situation especially during exercise. Hypoglycemia occurs when glucose levels are < 70mg/dl. This condition may become worse if not treated. Prevention is the best intervention.

Symptoms may include: (more…)

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Avoiding Liability: Sexual Harassment

Avoiding Liability Bulletin –

Sexual harassment is in the news. Allegations of inappropriate and unlawful conduct based upon sexual conduct currently permeate Washington DC, Hollywood and even Main Street USA. Fitness facilities and fitness personnel, including personal trainers and other fitness professionals, are not immune from sexual harassment claims and litigation. As a consequence, fitness professionals need to know what is involved, what kind of conduct is prohibited and how professionals may be able to avoid claims and suits based upon such grounds.

Sexual harassment can take several forms. Mere verbal expressions of unwanted of sexual conduct coupled with some overt action amounting to an unwanted sexual advancement but short of actual physical contact can be an assault as well as sexual harassment under federal and state civil rights laws which protect discrimination. The actual unwanted “sexual” touching of another in this regard can be a battery as well as a violation of state and federal civil rights laws. The posting or display of nude photos or depictions of sex acts or various sexual scenarios, the communication of sexually based jokes, remarks about sex or gender can all be forms of sexual harassment. Promises of hiring, promotion or good employee reviews in exchange for sexual favors can be sexual harassment. In essence, all forms of harassment because of a person’s sex can amount to sexual harassment. (more…)

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3 Common Personal Trainer Insurance Myths

Author: CPH and Associates


Identifying the myths of personal trainer insurance is just as important as understanding the facts of trainer insurance. Being able to distinguish between fact or common misconception can mean the difference between being fully insured during a claim or having inadequate coverage. Inadequate coverage means that there will be more out-of-pocket fees for the trainer who is the defendant in a suit. Make sure that, as a trainer, you fully understand and can identify common myths about personal trainer insurance to avoid being blindsided with legal fees.

Myth #1: Policy coverage only covers trainers in their place of employment. In fact, our policies are portable and will provide coverage anywhere you can legally render service. This means that in the event that a trainer wants to practice outside of their place of employment, they will be legally insured in the event of a claim. This can include instructors who train at parks or any other place that is not their official place of employment.

Myth #2: Trainers do not need their own policy because their gym insures complete coverage. This is not entirely true. Even if a trainer is covered by their gym’s insurance, this does not necessarily mean they are completely covered. Also, if there are multiple people who are having a claim filed against them, the gym’s policy may not have enough coverage for everyone named in the suit. With an individual insurance policy, trainers can rest assured knowing that they have adequate coverage if they have a claim filed against them.

Myth #3: Trainers need separate policies for all of the certifications they hold. In actuality, one policy will cover all certifications covered. If a trainer holds multiple fitness certifications such as personal trainer and yoga instructor, all certifications will be covered under one policy. However, in the event that an instructor carries both titles of mental health or allied health practitioner and fitness professional, they may need separate policies to provide the appropriate coverage for all service modalities.

All three of these common personal trainer insurance myths can cause trainers to be involved in a claim without the necessary coverage. Purchase a full coverage personal trainer insurance plan to be prepared for any possible lawsuit during your career.


CPH and Associates is our trusted partner for Professional Liability Insurance for W.I.T.S.-Certified Fitness Professionals, offering coverage for a variety of certifications, including personal trainer insurance. Trainer insurance protects your career in the case of an incident, with prices as low as $75 for the year. For more information and to receive an instant quote for coverage click here.

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What You Need To Know: Does My Insurance Policy Cover Me Wherever I Go?

Does My Insurance Policy Cover Me Wherever I Go?

In the life span of a fitness professional, it is common to hold several positions within this career field. Some choose to work for a gym or several gyms throughout their career, others prefer to do in-home personal training and others prefer the more adventurous type of clientele offering fitness classes outdoors in parks, on the beach or other recreational hotspots.

Having an individual personal trainer insurance policy is important no matter what career path is chosen in the field. Holding an individual policy ensures if your name is mentioned in any kind of lawsuit without question you are covered for defense. Many trainers believe that because they work for a gym they are automatically covered under their policy. In some cases this may be true, in other cases the gym’s policy may or may not cover a personal trainer, or the gym may not have enough coverage to cover all named in the lawsuit.

As a personal trainer if you are only covered by a gym’s policy, the policy will not follow you should you decide to work outside of that gym. With an individual portable policy, you can choose any type of position within your career and know you’re protected.

A portable insurance policy offers coverage for both employed and self-employed services offered within your field. A portable policy is also not location specific, meaning services can be offered anywhere and you are still covered as long as the services being offered are within the scope of your certification.

Whether you are just graduating a certification program or are a seasoned fitness professional, we encourage everyone to hold their own personal trainer insurance policy, rates begin as a low as $75 for the year for coverage and peace of mind that the career path you’ve chosen is protected.

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The Value of Relationships to Your Business

The Value of Relationships to Your Business

How much does a relationship mean to your business? Kind of a silly question, isn’t it? It’s an understatement to say that relationships are key to any business. Oddly enough, so often businesses neglect maintaining and strengthening relationships when it comes to online marketing. In the same way that a personal trainer may send a text to a client after a workout with a tip about relieving sore muscles, this same type of behavior also needs to happen online. And, of course, social networks such as Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and Instagram are ideal places to execute this well.

Social media & relationships – 2 peas in a pod

Hate to burst your bubble, but social media needs to be about more than just pushing products and services. While social does allow you to do this, more conversions will happen when you put relationship-building first. It’s cliché, but it’s really about keeping the “social” side of social media alive. When you think about how these platforms began, the sole purpose was to communicate online – to have conversations.

But, the intention has gotten somewhat convoluted even in the small number of years that social networking has been around. Businesses are largely to blame for this. Not all have done this, but many have taken what was very personable and made it quite the opposite. Simply put, businesses, just like people, need to be real and human. If businesses can do this, they have the ability to not only strengthen existing client relationships, but they also have the opportunity to grow new ones.

How can fitness professionals build relationships on social networks?

Businesses ranging from corporations to small businesses such as a local gym frequently get bogged down by the business side of social media strategy, planning, tracking, and analyzing and simply forget what they’re actually trying to do. While these areas are very important, they have to be accompanied by real human behavior. One way fitness professionals can do this is to facilitate conversations.

What conversations happen when you’re training someone? What do people want to know when they call the gym? Answer these types of questions to keep the human element alive on your various social accounts.

Images and videos are great conversation starters as well. According to research firm Simply Measured, photos account for 77% of all post engagement for brands. We live in a social media-centric world meaning that society is used to digesting information in the form of 140 characters or less, an Instagram photo, Snapchat, or some other form of very speedy media. And, images, including memes, seem to the goldmine to initiate conversations.

Secondly, and what some would incorrectly consider counter-productive to building relationships, is the need for fitness pros to listen on their social networks. Listening is hands down one of the most important elements of an effective social media strategy. One-sided conversations never work, which means one-sided relationships fail as well.

If you’re struggling to find content, listen. Your audience and clients will tell you what they want to know. Based on what you hear, you can establish yourself as a go-to that they always refer to on matters related to proper techniques for training the core and any other issues that they have.

Lastly, every strong relationship has its ups and downs, and social media is no exception. In other words, there are times when businesses of all sizes make mistakes. Digital marketing research agency Econsultancy recently published the top social media fails of 2014. Incidentally, these fails are from brands like Delta Airlines, J.C. Penney, Best Buy, Build-A-Bear and other highly visible brands. If they mess up, understand that you will make mistakes too.

Still, if you handle them correctly, you’ll walk away more respected than you were before. Zappos is one company that is known for its exceptional customer service. If someone calls out on Facebook that their delivery was late, Zappos jumps on and offers a sincere apology and a coupon. This is how it should be done. Mistakes shouldn’t be covered up and not acknowledged. This is NOT human behavior. If you are honest and try to make it right, chances are, the client or prospect will walk away unscathed and may even turn into an ambassador for you.

For fitness pros specifically, clients expect authenticity. Sensitivity and egos play a large role in the fitness world, which is why consumers seek trainers and gyms they can trust. If you build these trusting relationships offline, there is no reason why you can’t do the same on your social media channels to advance your business efforts.

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Why Pinterest Is a Viable Channel for Your Business

Why Pinterest Is a Viable Channel for Your Business

W.I.T.S. is excited to invite Jennifer Cario to be our guest blogger this month. Jennifer will also be presenting our December Webinar Series on Social Media Marketing and Strategy. To find out more about these presentations and to register, contact


In our last post, we discussed the use of Facebook to market your business as well as strategies for cost-savings for using Facebook Ads.

As recent as last year, many professionals would roll their eyes at the thought of using Pinterest for business usage. But, with the likes of brands such as GE, Lowe’s and Nordstrom embracing the platform aggressively AND having immense success, the tide has drastically turned.

Data shows that Pinterest has more than 50 million monthly active users in the U.S. and that it’s quickly passing Twitter in terms of popularity. Still, there are skeptics since the platform has been mostly used by women. Once again, the tide is turning. In November of 2014, Michael Lopp, Pinterest’s head of engineering, revealed the company has doubled its number of male active users in the past year. He also reported that more men use Pinterest in the U.S. than the combined number of men who read Sports Illustrated and GQ magazines. This is staggering!

What does this mean for you?

As fitness professionals, these statistics should make you very excited about the opportunity before you. The Health & Fitness category on Pinterest is one of the most popular on the site. Consumers are constantly looking for exercises, healthy recipes, quick tips to build abs, tone arms, legs and countless other advice from fitness trainers and gym owners. In other words, people are hungry for the information you have at your fingertips, so what are you waiting for?

Getting Started on Pinterest

Just like with other social media channels, you need to have a plan for Pinterest that compliments your overall social strategy and your marketing efforts. Just as Facebook works in conjunction with your blogging efforts, Pinterest is the same way. Social channels should provide supplemental support to your website and blog.

Your plan for Pinterest should be direct because, as those of us who are addicted to the site know, one can get easily distracted on the platform. To avoid falling victim to the funny dog pictures or the “fool-proof” DIY pin for building your own headboard under $10, it’s wise to lay out exactly what type of boards and pins you’ll be creating and why.

Secondly, you should set up an informative profile. Yes, this seems obvious, but you’d be surprised at how many people and, sadly, businesses fail to do this. Briefly describe yourself and the services you offer as well as what visitors may find on your Pinterest board. You should also verify your website and add your other social channels to your profile.

After this, you can do some snooping. What are other fitness professionals doing? Is there a competing gym that is doing what you’d like to do on Pinterest? Research competitors, people and businesses you admire. See what they’re doing right and wrong, and then learn from them.

Now is the time to start pinning. This is where the fun begins. You can start by pinning your own content whether it’s blog posts or images you have taken or created. If you want to specifically tailor an image or manipulate an image with a blog post title, there are free tools such as PicMonkey that allow you to add special features and text that can be very eye-catching.

But, your boards and pins should not only be around your own service offerings and content. Instead, you should include related material such as recipes for foods one should eat before and after a workout, images of the right clothing for particular exercises or routines and inspirational quotes to provide encouragement for people with fitness goals. If you pin this type of content alongside your own content, you will build much stronger credibility for yourself.

The other piece to pinning and re-pinning is the opportunity to engage with your audience. Based on the trends you see and comments people make, you can chime in and communicate with current clients and potential clients. You can also create challenges through other social channels or on your blog to encourage your audience to create their own boards on a specific topic. This is a fantastic way to utilize Pinterest for your benefit, and users will enjoy participating as well.

Once you’ve implemented these steps, you then need to analyze your results. Is it working? What pins are getting the most traction? As you gather this type of information, you’ll have a broader understanding for what you need to change or ramp up going forward.

Like other social networks, Pinterest was designed to be fun and social. The added benefit today is that businesses can also use these to market themselves. However, the key is to make sure the original intent remains. Just as you have to be consistent in your workout routines, if you’re consistently social in executing your Pinterest strategy, you will see clear and successful results.

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Facebook Advertising: A Little Ad Spend Goes a Long Way

W.I.T.S. is excited to invite Jennifer Cario to be our guest blogger this month. Jennifer will also be presenting our December Webinar Series on Social Media Marketing and Strategy. To find out more about these presentations and to register, contact

As many fitness professionals are finding, Facebook is quickly becoming a natural part of their business. Whether it’s engaging with clientele, serving up fitness tips or pushing classes or specials, trainers and gym owners recognize their clients are on Facebook and want to capitalize on the opportunity.

The challenge is that, as Facebook has grown, taking advantage of this opportunity has gotten harder. Not only is Facebook itself trying to be more profitable and continuously making changes to how it operates, but also more and more businesses are competing to get in front of their part of the 1.35 billion users on the platform. This is why Facebook’s paid promotion and advertising options are becoming so enticing for businesses.

Yet, society today has associated a certain stigma with advertising. We often equate it to old-school methods, and specifically, local television commercials, used car salesmen and other very aggressive and, quite honestly, very annoying and unappealing content. But, the game of advertising has changed. It’s gotten very sophisticated and actually compelling, believe it or not. Just think about the success of the “Got Milk?” ad campaign and Super Bowl ads – this is the type of advertising we’re becoming accustomed to. It’s sleek, fun and targeted. The latter is the winning ingredient in successful advertising and is why Facebook’s options are a logical fit for businesses looking to take their endeavors to a higher level.

Making Facebook Ads Work for You

The first step in making your ads work is having the very best content. What are the most frequent questions you get asked? What specific issues do your clients face? This is the type of content you need to provide on your Facebook page. Save the seventeen ideas for using kettlebells and the daily workout soundtracks for your Pinterest or your Twitter feeds. Facebook content needs to be incredibly useful to your audience. This content could range from a series of photos of doing exercises correctly and incorrectly to recipes for foods that will help to burn the most calories.

Putting together a great piece of content and giving it a simple budget of $10-$20 can often provide a huge surge in exposure and an accompanying boost in engagement. Here are some basic facts related to Facebook ads:

  • Facebook ads can reach as many people, and most of the time, more than radio or TV ads can reach
  • The minimum ad spend is merely $1.00 per day
  • The average cost to reach 1,000 people in a magazine is $20.00. For Facebook, the average cost is $.25

What’s more, Facebook counts engagement on promoted posts toward your overall engagement score, meaning that a short-term financial boost ensures your posts are getting into the News Feed of users.

If you’re new to Facebook or simply haven’t built up the following you want, you can also use Facebook advertising to target the perfect audience for your page. Facebook’s targeting options are unparalleled, and as with boosting posts, the costs don’t have to be high. By walking step-by-step through Facebook’s self-serve advertising system, you can limit your audience by gender, age, interest and geographical area and then set a price point for your campaign. As little as $100 could make a significant difference for a local gym or trainer in getting a business up and running or taking it to a new level.

Like it or not, Facebook today is a key driver in getting people to your website, which further leads to getting them into your gym or class. Even brands such as Target see Facebook’s value by investing a hefty chunk of its more than $1 billion dollar marketing budget on Facebook alone. According to market research firm eMarketer, digital ad spend is at its highest increasing rate since 2004 and is expected to grow even further in coming years. Mobile is mostly responsible for this trend since consumers are spending more and more time on their various mobile devices. Since Facebook is a favorite pastime for many, the reason to embrace Facebook advertising for mobile speaks for itself.

While Facebook business pages can be very effective with a strong organic strategy that pushes valuable and engaging content, the marketplace has gotten much more competitive. The question now is, do you want to coast along doing the same old routine that you’ve always done to simply maintain your status, or do you want to dig a little deeper and push yourself into a new class? If you equate this to your own fitness goals, the answer is obvious.




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Beating Diabetes: Get Ready for Type 3

This month, guest blogger Michelle Matte, CSCS has been discussing diabetes in recognition of American Diabetes Month. Read previous posts such as a general overview to increase awareness about diabetes, Managing Type I and 2 Diabetes through Exercise , Nutrition and Diabetes and Children and Type II Diabetes.

– See more at:

From Bad to Worse

We know that Type 2 Diabetes Mellitus, or DM 2, is a lifestyle disease that gets worse over time unless decisive measures are taken to change the contributing factors. The solutions seems simple. Increasing daily physical activity and minimizing the consumption of grains, sugars and processed foods will increase insulin sensitivity and ameliorate the symptoms of DM 2. Yet people persist in sedentary living and excessive carbohydrate consumption. Now, new research is revealing an even more insidious outcome of these persistent behaviors. Alzheimer’s disease is being dubbed the newest form of diabetes, Type 3.

wits oa cognitive

Prevalence of DM 3

According to statistics provided by the Alzheimer’s Association, in 2014 over five million Americans are living with Alzheimer’s disease. Once relegated to the elderly, the disease is manifesting in younger adults under age 65. Early onset Alzheimer’s can show up in your 40s and 50s, and younger adults currently make up five percent of those living with Alzheimer’s. The disease is the eighth leading cause of death in the United States, and one in three adults over age 65 will die with the disease.

Who Is At Risk?

Women are at higher risk for DM 3 than men, making up two thirds of the diagnosed population. A woman over age 65 has a one in six risk of developing Alzheimer’s, compared to a one in eleven risk of getting breast cancer. Older adults are at higher risk than younger adults. As the Baby Boom generation ages, the Alzheimer’s Association predicts that the disease may possibly triple by the year 2050.

wits oa man w baby

Exercise, Diet and DM 3

Evidence is mounting that exercise is the most effective tool for the prevention and treatment of Alzheimer’s, even for those who are genetically predisposed. Regular moderate to vigorous exercise performed for a minimum of 150 minutes per week is recommended to boost brain glucose uptake and reduce the deterioration of brain tissue associated with Alzheimer’s. A study published in “Medical Hypotheses” pointed to a diet low in carbohydrates and high in essential fatty acids as an effective strategy for preventing and treating DM 3.


Journal of Diabetes Science and Technology: Alzheimer’s Disease Is Type 3 Diabetes–Evidence Reviewed.


American Psychological Association: Could Alzheimer’s disease be a kind of diet-induced diabetes?


Diabetes Health: Alzheimer’s New Name: Type 3 Diabetes.


Alzheimer’s Association: Alzheimer’s Facts and Figures.


Scientific American: Exercise Counteracts Genetic Risk for Alzheimer’s.


Medical Hypotheses: High Carbohydrate Diets and Alzheimer’s Disease.

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Beating Diabetes: Type 2 Diabetes Mellitus and Metabolic Syndrome

By Michelle Matte, CSCS

Recipe for Disaster

In adults, Type 2 Diabetes Mellitus, or DM 2, is often a part of a cluster of metabolic disorders known as metabolic syndrome. According to the International Diabetes Federation, metabolic syndrome is a cluster of the most dangerous risk factors for heart disease. In addition to diabetes and elevated blood glucose, individuals with metabolic syndrome typically exhibit abdominal obesity, high cholesterol and high blood pressure. They are more than twice as likely to die from a heart attack or stroke, and three times more likely to develop cardiovascular disease than people who do not have the syndrome.

diabetes metabolic 2

How It All Relates

The more elements of metabolic syndrome an individual has, the more likely he or she is to die from heart disease. It all begins with insulin resistance, the precursor to diabetes. Cells become insulin resistant when glucose stores are at capacity, and the individual continues to consume more carbohydrate based foods than the body can process. The end product of carbohydrates is glucose. Because glucose is an important fuel for energy metabolism, people who engage in regular physical activity and who restrict their carbohydrate consumption are at a low risk for insulin resistance and metabolic syndrome. Excess blood glucose can damage the endothelial lining of arteries, setting them up for atherosclerosis. Excess calories from carbohydrates can lead to obesity.

diabetes metabolic 1

Turning Things Around

As menacing as metabolic syndrome sounds, it can be reversed with lifestyle modification. As we discussed in earlier posts, insulin acts as the key that unlocks the doors to the cells, allowing glucose to enter. When cells are already full to capacity, they become insulin resistant. Engaging in moderate to vigorous physical activity on most days of the week will deplete cellular glucose stores, increasing their sensitivity to insulin. Boosting your consumption of whole fresh foods and restricting consumption of sugar, grains and processed foods with reduce the amount of glucose being released into your blood stream.

diabetes metabolic 3

Raising Awareness

Many people think that metabolic diseases are a normal part of aging, and that taking drugs to manage disorders like high cholesterol, high blood pressure, and diabetes is inevitable. But making healthful lifestyle choices can prevent and reverse metabolic syndrome, and restore optimal health. As fitness professionals, we can educate our clients and those around us about the risks of physical inactivity and poor nutrition. We can promote healthful lifestyle behaviors by example, and motivate our clients, friends and families to follow in our paths.


International Diabetes Federation: Metabolic Syndrome.


Cardiovascular Diabetology: High glucose induces human endothelial dysfunction through an Axl-dependent mechanism.


American College of Sports Medicine: Targeting the Metabolic Syndrome with Exercise: Evidence from the HERITAGE Family Study.

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Beating Diabetes: Diabetes During Pregnancy

This month, guest blogger Michelle Matte, CSCS has been discussing diabetes in recognition of American Diabetes Month. We started with a general overview to increase awareness about diabetes. We then focused on Managing Type I and 2 Diabetes through Exercise , Nutrition and Diabetes and Children and Type II Diabetes. Today we will discuss Diabetes During Pregnancy.

Gestation Situation

During pregnancy, many changes take place in your body over which you have no control. Weight gain, fluid retention and fatigue are common changes that go away once the baby is born. While some of these physiological fluctuations are harmless, some, like gestational diabetes, can have negative repercussion for both you and your baby. The American Diabetes Association estimates that as many as 9.2 percent of expectant mothers will develop gestational diabetes. Learning about the causes and treatment of gestational diabetes can help you plan and prepare for a healthier pregnancy and a healthier baby.

diabetes pregnant

Signs, Symptoms and Side Effects

Gestational diabetes is marked by a rise in circulating blood sugar, brought on by hormonal fluctuations that affect insulin production. Other symptoms include fatigue, nausea, blurred vision, unusual thirst, frequent urination and a high incidence of skin, vaginal and bladder infections. Women over age 35, women who are overweight or obese, and women with a family history of diabetes may be at a higher risk. If left untreated, gestational diabetes can result in large birth weight, premature delivery, increased chance of Caesarian Section surgery, and increased risk of fetal death.

Lifestyle Factors

Although gestational diabetes does not manifest itself until between the 24h and 27th week of pregnancy, lifestyle behaviors prior to and in the early stages of pregnancy may play a role. Regular exercise, healthy nutritional practices, adequate sleep and stress management may reduce your risk of developing gestational diabetes. Soft drinks and juice, candy, cookies and other sugary foods should be avoided during pregnancy. Staying hydrated with plain fresh water will help your body’s systems function at optimal levels.

diabetes pregnant apple

Game-Changing Behaviors

Strategies for treating gestational diabetes include modifications in physical activity and nutrition. The American College of Sports Medicine and the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists recommend at least 30 minutes per day of aerobic exercise that involves repetitive movement of large muscle groups. Activities like walking, swimming, elliptical training and other sustained rhythmic movement are appropriate. Cycling may prove hazardous in the later stages of pregnancy due to weight redistribution and a shift in your center of gravity that can throw you off balance.

A whole foods diet that includes plenty of fresh produce is recommended. Steer clear of processed carbohydrates like flour, corn, wheat and rice, and avoid processed snack foods and junk foods.


American Diabetes Association: What is Gestational Diabetes?


American Pregnancy Association: Gestational Diabetes.


British Journal of Sports Medicine: Guidelines of the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists for exercise during pregnancy and the postpartum period.