Fitness, Health, and Business Blog

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Adopting Lifelong Habits

Adopting Lifelong Habits

“When I Was Young We Walked Uphill Both Ways!”

I am from upstate New York, so this statement was fairly believable when my grandfather (dressed in a button down, khakis, loafers, cane, and pipe) used to say it.  Think back to the stories your family has told you…

field

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Now, how has your life changed from the rise of electronics and cable (1979)?  This was before we started counting calories, or needed to, and probably a sad reflection for scientists who feel we have missed opportunities measuring caloric expenditure.  We did not have today’s technology to compare calories burned in the 60’s, 70’s, or 80’s with today’s youth.  When I mention caloric expenditure, I am talking about calories used for walking/biking to school, the store, or friend’s houses.  Back before we used cars or public transportation to do most chores.

Are you more inactive today than 30 years ago?  Now consider the inactivity of other people’s lives: your parents, siblings, friends, colleagues, and kids.  Are there people in your life who have adopted lifelong exercise/activity habits?  What exercises do they do, and what do you do?  Maybe we need to define lifelong exercise habits?

How Can Fitness Professionals Help?

old man music

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Fitness Professionals are problem solvers.  We give people the tools and support to follow through with their goals, but ultimately, the individual determines the result.  The better exercise habits people have as youth, the healthier their adult lifestyle will be.  Bottom line, the exercise should be every day and at least 30 minutes.  But what are lifestyle sports?

sit upstretch

When I think about lifelong exercise habits, I think back to my senior year in P.E. class where we learned lifestyle sports like cross country skiing, golf, bowling, horseback riding, hiking, etc.  I have friends who experienced similar P.E. programs and seem to have continued skiing, bowling, playing tennis, or golf.  For the most part, these are low impact and social sports.  They are also sports that are found in the business world.  We should not depend on P.E. programs to promote this, but here is what we can do:

Provide Tools:

  1. Introduce youth to recreational activities.  Have your fitness center host a youth night once a month that includes a different lifestyle sport.
  2. Show them how to use the equipment, use proper form and etiquette.  Print a 1 page handout on form for each participant and move around the group giving each individual attention.

Provide Support/Coach:

  1. Support their goals.  Ask them which lifestyle sport they have enjoyed most.  Suggest they get a group of friends together on the weekends to partake in that particular activity.
  2. Check-in on their progress.  Ask them if they have been repeating the activity.
  3. Coach Etiquette.  Etiquette will come in handy if they become part of the business world.  They may not be an all-star football player, but knowing how to bowl or golf could help them climb the fiscal ladder and they should know that!

Provide Opportunity:

  1. If they prefer a particular night, or want to practice technique, repeat it.  Perhaps even make it a “Thursday” night summer club like adults have!

Provide Periodization:

  1. Drills – Youth have short attention spans.  Drills for any activity should not go beyond 7 – 10 minutes.  That means you have time for 4 drills on form, and 20 minutes or more of scrimmage/play/participating in an activity.
  2. Seasons- Cycle the lifestyle activity with the seasons.  Our bodies require periodization so we do not suffer from overuse injuries.  This suggestion is for athletes and recreational athletes alike.  It makes the body stronger to experience different planes of motion and skillsets.

When it comes to lifestyle sports, talk to kids.  If they do not like traditional team sports, find something else that suits their personality.  Then, teach them how to incorporate it into their life.  Talk about their future, and how to incorporate it into college or trade school and after.  It’s your job and they will probably be more likely to take these suggestions from you than their parents (wink)!

Paulette Kowalski, MS ATC cPT

 

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“If You Build It, He (They) Will Come.”

If You Build It, He (They) Will Come.

A famous line from the movie Field of Dreams.  If you are unfamiliar with it, you are missing out:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5Ay5GqJwHF8

The last scenes from the movie are the best, but I won’t spoil it.  Beneath one of the greatest sports movies is a great life lesson:  believe in your dreams.  I think it particularly relates to those of us growing our own business.  As fitness professionals, we need to be on our toes, constantly thinking of innovative ways to get people to move.

They Will Move!

Wouldn’t you like to get parents and children to move?  It is a family unit after all, and studies show that people are more successful at weight loss if their support system is “on board!”  Does your facility have any personal training programs for youth and parents?  Had you ever considered this idea?

Suggestion:  If you have an idea, plan it out, present it to your club manager, take initiative, and see if it takes off.  Here’s your opportunity.  Grab a pen and paper.  Think of some programs you do not offer.  You have 30 seconds to write down some class names, GO!

Personal Training for Youth & Parents

Time is up!  What did you come up with?  Mommy & Me (for babies), Boot Camp Buddies, Teen Torcher, Family Fitness, etc.  Any of these can become small group training classes (6 – 8 people) or a fitness class (8+ people).  If it takes off, you will gain at least one parent and one child per class, and extra revenue!

There are many formats to teach these classes.  Consider the following styles when creating your classroom:

  1. Personal Training – Any format goes, but one-on-one attention is best. This works great for small group training sessions.
  2. Partner Training – Maybe the family wants to work out in a more personal environment. Offer parent/youth partner sessions at a special rate!  If you have a private area of the gym, use it!
  3. Circuit Training – This is a timed format that could include Tabata style training. It could also include staying at one station for 1 minute, followed by 30 seconds rest. This is great for medium size classes, but can be harder to manage in larger groups.  Consider drawing exercises on construction paper at each station.
  4. Boot Camp – Every person will participate in exercises at the same time, or in teams. It could also include newer exercises that are “flashier” like kettle bells, tire-flipping, or ropes.
  5. Sports Conditioning – These types of classes include sports movement with sports props (ladders, hurdles, tires, kettles, weights) and incorporate agility, power, balance, as well as many other forms of functional training. You may even provide a scrimmage at the end of this class.  Parents vs. Youth, anyone?!
  6. Teacher Lead Choreographed Instruction – Most often thought of as a group exercise class, with you providing a choreographed or free-style workout, to the beat of the music.
  7. Student Lead Instruction – How about making it more interactive where the youth get to learn a little about fitness! Have youth or parents who want to lead an exercise do so, and the other participants can choose what body part you are working.

No matter which style you choose, remember to provide an appropriate warm-up (dynamic in nature), cardiovascular and strength components, and a proper cool-down (3-5 minutes), followed by some static stretches during the recovery!

Setting Prices & Schedule:

So you have your idea, now it is time to figure out rates and schedule.  Typically price depends on the amount of people you are training per hour.  The more people participating, the cheaper you can offer your classes.  Partner training and small group training rates should almost match personal training rates.  Feel free to offer a small discount for first time sign ups to get people through the door (5-15%).  Offering a greater deal only decreases the value of the other services you offer.  As for schedule, remember that you are working with students.  After school (2:30pm – 7pm) or weekends are the best time to offer these types of sessions!

What are you waiting for?  You determine your clientele.  Be W.I.T.S., be innovative!

Paulette Kowalski, MS ATC cPT

References:

 

  1. movie: Field of Dreams, 1989. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5Ay5GqJwHF8
  2. Carol Kennedy-Armbruster and Mary M. Yoke, Methods of Group Exercise Instruction, 3rd Ed., Human Kinetics, 2014. Chapter 4.

 

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Recess, Sports, & Recreation: Part of the Solution?

Americans have agreed that childhood and youth obesity is an epidemic.  We have done a great job identifying the problem since the early 2000’s and coming up with funding for solutions since 2008.  Stay on task and spread the awareness of available solutions with the ideas below.

kidstires

School Programs

Fact: Twenty-three minutes of recess, that is the National average among elementary school children.  Considering that other blogs have touched on this, I will be brief.  For some students, this twenty-three minutes includes lunch.  The lack of movement has encouraged our teachers to be more creative in the classroom providing movement breaks.  Thank you teachers!

Though I do believe the movement breaks slightly increase our children’s ability to focus, we need to remember that this does not meet the necessary 20-30 minutes of cardiovascular movement needed to prevent obesity and to enhance children’s mental capacity.

Funding:  Yes.  The decreased funding for physical education is a problem, but recess is cheaper.  Are your schools fighting for the cheaper option?  We need to start somewhere, and I don’t know about you, but I loved recess!  Guess what?!  It’s virtually free…so are grants:

http://www2.ed.gov/programs/find/title/index.html?src=apply-page

We need to encourage parents to get longer recess times on the ballot, and recess every day, so children can meet the basic daily requirements for proper growth and development including motor skills and mental health.

Let’s not forget that recess encourages problem solving, resolving conflict, and other important skills.  An extra thanks to those teachers who provide a “guided” or “structured” recess that encourages these life-skills.  An extra-extra thanks to the teachers who get in there and move because they know the kids will be more likely to play if they show them how!  Seriously folks, talk to your teacher friends today and learn some of these realities!

 

kidsrunning

Sports Teams & Community Recreation Programs

The funding for school programs tends to be included in our taxes.  Sports & Community programs tend to come out of pocket; though, there are grant resources (click the link above) that can be applied to afterschool and community programs.

The way I see it, we have a couple issues here: kids who want to play and kids who don’t.  Youth on sports teams tend to want to play.  They also tend to be fit and have more income to pay for extracurricular activities.  A lot of communities are better at recognizing that all youth should have equal opportunity for playing time.

This means the least fit kid should see as much playing time as the most fit kid, typically until Junior Varsity Sports.  Is this happening in your community?  Is there funding for kids who would like to play and do not have the money?  How about starting a sports scholarship for different age groups, male and female, to offer more opportunity for lower income families to have their children in athletics?  Your fitness center has the ability to take donations from members to create this scholarship.  You have the power to help!

kidsdog

What about Youth Who Don’t Like Team Sports?

I think you might be able to predict what I am going to say.  Music and arts are physical.  You are right, they may not meet the 20-30 minutes of cardiovascular health, but they very well could meet the 20-30 minutes of strength, coordination, agility, and motor skill requirements that we are also lacking.  Ask these kids what type of “play” they like.

You could have several 30 minute to 1 hour programs a month:  freeze tag, hikes, walk your dog day, kayaking, cycling, gardening, music lessons, voice lessons, acting classes, art, sculpting, photography, etc.  The list can go on and on.  How about a 24 hour “lock-in.”  You could schedule several games, events, fundraiser activities like a dance-a-thon or spin-a-thon!  Is your gym running any recreation programs like this?  Is there grant money for things like this in your community?

I hope your wheels are turning!  Get creative and incorporate some of these ideas into your facility by the new year!

 

 

Paulette Kowalski, MS ATC cPT

References:

  1. http://www.centerforpubliceducation.org/Main-Menu/Organizing-a-school/Time-out-Is-recess-in-danger
  2. http://www.hsph.harvard.edu/obesity-prevention-source/obesity-causes/physical-activity-and-obesity/
  3. http://www2.ed.gov/programs/find/title/index.html?src=apply-page

 

 

 

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How do Socioeconomic Issues Impact the Health of Our Youth?

Socioeconomic Issues:  Resources Revealed

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It’s safe to say that every area has different socioeconomic issues that impact childhood obesity.  But it’s also safe to say that we are working to change this.  What would your community say the largest socioeconomic issues are?  Money, location, school lunches, unsafe communities that minimize children’s activity, grocery stores that are second rate, lack of local farmers, or lack of public transportation to better resources?  Can you think of any others?  Take a look at this CDC video about the obesity epidemic for a brief visual on this topic:

http://www.cdc.gov/cdctv/ObesityEpidemic/

Did you know Pediatricians are pushing for more fruits and vegetables and advocating for better physical education programs? That the government is working to improve infrastructure for safe communities and greater activity?  They have also supported bringing local farmer’s markets into the communities and provided grant money to help with these issues.  We have support, but we are also responsible for educating our communities about this support.

How Can You Help?

Start by changing the conversation from a negative tone to a positive one.

You need to:

  • Recognize the issue the parent, teacher, or community is bringing to your attention.
  • Have a list of resources at your fingertip or take their information and follow up with a list of resources.

These two simple steps coach the community to recognize that things are starting to change, that you and your business can be used as a resource, and the future of our children CAN be improved.  Who knows, maybe you can even host a monthly meeting opening the communities eyes to these resources!

What Resources?

Am I pushing choosemyplate.gov?  Have you taken a look yet?  This is HOW you provide resources so listen up!  Several resources are revealed in the lower left hand corner.  All it takes is one click.

veggies

The Let’s Move Campaign:

I have already mentioned this program in previous posts, so I’d like to point out this link to eating on a budget. You can print this out for the community along with other PDFs on this site:

 

http://www.choosemyplate.gov/food-groups/downloads/TenTips/DGTipsheet9SmartShopping.pdf

Know Your Farmer, Know Your Food:

lettuce

This program encourages the growth of local farms.  Fun fact: since 2008 local farmer’s markets have increased by 67 percent!  Sounds like this initiative might be working?!  This creates jobs, cultivates healthy eating habits, expands access to locally grown fresh foods, and helps our environment.  You can find your local farmers here.  There is so much information on this site, you must take a look!

USDA People’s Garden:

This initiative encourages people to start gardens at their schools, in their communities, volunteer at farms, and find gardens in their community.  Sounds like a resource to me.  Oh, did I mention that as of May 14, 2014 this initiative has donated 3.8 million pounds of produce to those that need it most?  Yup, 3.8 MILLION pounds of produce!

Are you inspired?

Just a few facts to spark your interest in these websites.  Remember, small steps lead toward leaps in fighting this epidemic.  What are you waiting for?  Find out about planting a garden at your school, or locate your local farm, or Farmer’s Market today!

 

Paulette Kowalski, MS ATC cPT

 

References:

 

  1. choosemyplate.gov
  2. http://www.cdc.gov/cdctv/ObesityEpidemic/
  1. http://www.letsmove.gov/
  2. http://www.usda.gov/wps/portal/usda/knowyourfarmer?navid=KNOWYOURFARMER

http://www.usda.gov/wps/portal/usda/usdahome?navid=PEOPLES_GARDEN

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What Can You Do to Help Families Make Better Food Choices?

In our last blog (www.witseducation.com/blog/) we discussed the childhood obesity epidemic and introduced recommendations for childhood movement.  So what happens if students see no weight loss improvement?  It all comes down to the 23 hours they are not with you.

Implementing Choose My Plate for Family Dynamics

 kidscoach

 “Old habits die hard?”  But these are young people!  When it comes to diet, are you comfortable coaching healthy eating habits?  Can you provide reputable nutrition resources for parents?  Are you prepared to refer clients to another professional?  You NEED to be prepared for these conversations, for the adolescents’ health, and to be seen as a competent professional.

Create a Coaching Foundation: 

Parents may take these conversations “personal.”  How can we make these topics more comfortable to discuss?  The International Coach Federation talks specifically about creating rapport with your client (the family).  Let’s face it.  Anyone can use tips when it comes to coaching parents.  Create a foundation for the coaching environment first, then provide tools.

  • Build trust and intimacy: They don’t care how much you know until they know how much you care.
  • Be honest using positive terms: “Johnny is performing below average at his sessions.  I think he has great potential and we need to figure out what types of activities he prefers.”
  • Ask to coach the parent on issues that could be considered sensitive: “I noticed that Johnny came in with donut holes for a snack.  Would you be interested in hearing some grab-and-go options that could help his performance in school and in the gym?”

There you go!  Creating these positive conversations builds a platform for more serious topics.  You can observe the parents reaction and learn how to approach future topics like whole family nutrition.

Choose My Plate

my plate

Seriously, check out www.choosemyplate.gov.  This website has so many resources, and it is perfectly legal to refer to it.  You can also refer to a well-respected glycemic index researcher (Jennie Brand-Miller) who writes books about adolescents with type I and type II diabetes and has been cited in several nutrition medical journals.

Do Not…

…Prescribe daily meal recommendations to your clients.  Snack or meal suggestions in line with choose my plate are fine, but do not recommend a meal-for-meal plan.  That is out of our scope of practice as fitness professionals.

Two of the best tools from the government site are the SuperTracker, and the picture of a plate.  The SuperTracker is an online profile, which requires more set up, but gives more detailed information for that person.

But my favorite is the picture of the plate because it is universal and a great visual.  Hey, have your clients hang this on their fridge as a reminder before meals!

 

Refer And Refer:

Are you still within your scope of practice after looking at choosemyplate.gov?  Are you worried about losing clients to a dietician referral?  Relax.  Most professionals are on board with the fitness profession, so refer to a dietician, a life fitness coach, or a therapist.  They are more qualified to discuss diet and goal-setting, and parents need to hear a team of professionals’ advice to help make important decisions for their family.

Who knows, they may even respect you more for your confidence to refer so start talking more in depth with those parents today!

Paulette Kowalski, MS ATC cPT

References: 

  • Faigenbaum and Westcott; Youth Strength Training, Human Kinetics 2009.
  • Gavin and Mcbrearty; Lifestyle Wellness Coaching, Human Kinetics 2013.
  • Brand-Miller, Foster-Powell, and Gilbertson; The New Glucose Revolution Pocket Guide to Childhood Diabetes, Marlowe & Company 2004.
  • choosemyplate.gov

 

 

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Activity and Inactivity in Youth: Dodgeball vs. Dodging Requirements

Activity and Inactivity in Youth:  Dodgeball vs. Dodging Requirements

In our last post I introduced some issues regarding childhood obesity-–and want to continue discussing this important topic.

Do you know the current recommendations for today’s youth?  Do you know how much activity children receive in the schools?  While organized sport programs have their place in youth fitness, participation in physical activity should not start there.  Chronic diseases mentioned in the previous posts are being diagnosed earlier, and finding activity that prevents these diseases is a multi-faceted problem due to safety, funding, parents, and several other reasons.  Today we explore the history, controversy, requirements, and touch on our role as fitness professionals in meeting recommendations for youth movement.

 

hopscotch

Talk to Baby Boomers and Beyond

I really mean it.  Have a conversation with someone who knew life without cable or cell phones.  Do you remember planning activity as youth?  Remember, activity is any movement outside of planned exercise, so we are not talking about a pick-up game or organized sport.  I am willing to bet Baby Boomers would say no, they did not plan activity.  These were the days when you came home as the street lights turned on.  It was a regular part of our day to run around the park, play hide and seek, hopscotch, build forts, and bicycle to our friends’ houses.  We did not know the role these activities played in our bodily health, strength, cognition, motor skill, and social development.  As society began to understand the importance of movement, Physical Education (PE) started changing in the schools.

 

Dodgeball vs. Dodging Requirements

Fast forward.  Does anyone remember the Dodgeball Debate?  In 2001, there was a movement to take this out of PE classes, a debate misunderstood.  Some schools banned it from playgrounds, PE, and the media compared it to violence in America.  Unfortunately, the latter became the take home message.  As I understand it, this debate was an example of Darwinism, survival of the fittest and meeting requirements.

The most athletic kids tended to stay in the game the longest, and therefore, met requirements of having their heart rate in aerobic zones for 20-25 minutes.  The less fit kids, the first out of the game, would not sustain their heart rate.  Hence, PE teachers removed it from the curriculum.  Though this is an example of planned exercise, the point remains that physical educators recognized that all kids needed to meet minimum aerobic requirements for health and wellness benefits.  How did violence become the issue?  America in denial?

Though many people may not connect this, PE became more about participation and socialization, but dodgeball took the fall.  Activities in the PE classroom were redefined.  Unfortunately, funding has been an issue and recess has been greatly minimized (20-30 minutes per day, if at all).  This is why we as fitness professionals need to educate parents on requirements for their children’s health and wellness outside of the schools.

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Requirements

Improvements in musculoskeletal health, body composition, cardiovascular fitness, performance, and psychological well-being result with regular (5-7 days/week) participation in 60 minutes or more of moderate to vigorous physical activity including aerobic & strength training.  I think this is a good time to point out that it does not have to be sport related as parents from other generations may remember.  Please emphasize this!

The Youth Fitness Pyramid illustrates the importance of FUNdamental fitness conditioning. This includes FUN strength, power, aerobic, flexibility, and agility exercises.  All conditioning you can get from non-competitive games and movement on the playground.  This will prevent mental and physical burnout or overuse injuries.  Our job as fitness professionals is simple:  Create programs that are developmentally appropriate and enjoyable in our fitness club!  Try relay races, tag games where “frozen” participants do crunches or jump jacks, or take your youth on a hike for the day.   Please feel free to create discussion around this topic and stay tuned for Blog 5 & 6 where we will discuss several other ideas for recreation games and lifestyle fitness programs!

 

References:

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Childhood Obesity: It’s Time for Us to Do SOMETHING!

W.I.T.S. is pleased to introduce, Paulette Kowalski!  Paulette will be our guest blogger for the month of October as we focus on childhood obesity.   Paulette is a member of the W.I.T.S. faculty, on our curriculum development team, and also runs her own successful Personal Fitness business.   WELCOME PAULETTE!

In October, W.I.T.S. will focus on the childhood and youth obesity epidemic.  It has happened before our very eyes, and the information presented in the next month will enlighten you on a variety of topics from the history of this epidemic, motivating children and parents, your role as a fitness professional, and more.  This series goes beyond business strategy and focuses on how to change youth lives, the heart of why people choose fitness as a profession.  I urge you to stay tuned each week for our posts and create discussions around this topic, not only with us, but among your fellow fitness professionals.  Read on for the October introduction…

“Video Killed the Radio Star” AND started the Childhood Obesity Epidemic?

So how did we get here as a Nation?  Let’s face it, the American lifestyle is much different than it was leading up to 1980.  Some would argue that electronics started the epidemic, as big names in gaming (Nintendo, Atari, etc.) were just becoming popular, and television was going through major changes.

We went from playing sports and dancing, to viewing ESPN’s first broadcast and the first music video on TV in 1979 (Video Killed the Radio Star).  Shortly after, in 1984, Cable launched several stations. Our rise in inactivity occurred just as packaged foods became popular.  After much research, these foods were found to have additives, preservatives, and trans-fats, which did not show up on labels until 25 years later (2006).  Let’s not forget the intake of red meats and sweets (high in saturated fats) was also on the rise during this time.  It’s a fact, our abdominals had no choice in their disappearance.  Taking these facts into consideration, it is no surprise that the prevalence of obesity among children and adolescents has almost tripled since 1980.

We have more opportunities to move, why are we less fit? 

Shouldn’t we have seen a decrease in obesity over the past 30-40 years with the implementation of government programs and regulations?  For instances, Title IX gave women the equal opportunity to play sports at academic institutions starting in 1972.  This resulted in greater movement opportunities for female school-aged youth and young adults.   Think about it, half the population was given greater opportunity to move in their younger years and it did not prevent the adolescent obesity epidemic.  How? Why?

 Are we teaching young people to enjoy active lifestyles? 

Part of the problem is mentioned above, but the other problem is that not everyone enjoys competitive aspects of movement, or movement at all.  That’s where we come in, but our profession wasn’t thought to be in great demand until recently.  So our activities of daily living were decreasing and our endorphins for movement weren’t being stimulated.  A vicious circle that leads to disease.  To be drastic, we do not sow seeds in the fields anymore, and our lifestyle changed from walking to school or work, to play dates at the McDonald’s playground and parent meetings at Panera.  I know, I know, you get the point and I am preaching to the choir.

Is the Let’s Move Campaign getting us  moving? 

While there is momentum towards a healthier Nation, the problem could be viewed as an existing snowball effect that puts our children at risk for type II diabetes, cardiovascular disease, high blood pressure, and asthma; not to mention depression and anxiety at a younger age.  All of this is taken into adulthood, and our healthcare system is forced to lean toward treatment instead of prevention.  Some would speculate that this could lead to a change in our nation’s economic growth and security, and increase the socioeconomic barriers that are thought to cause obesity.   The “Let’s Move” campaign has recognized these issues and placed an emphasis on prevention.  Fitness professionals have been heard!

Recently, statistics have come out from the “Let’s Move” campaign that obesity rates have dropped by 43% in ages 2-5 over the past 10 years.  We should note that more research needs to be done to replicate these statistics, but this gives health and wellness professionals hope that we are moving in a very positive direction and prevention programs are working.

WE MUST TAKE ACTION!  IT’S OUR JOB! 

Our responsibility as fitness professionals, is to keep this momentum the same way we would during a sporting event.  It is Fitness Professionals vs. the Obesity Epidemic.  We need to focus and motivate these young people to move in the present and future.  This goes beyond Title IX and the “Let’s Move” campaign, though this campaign has created several financial avenues for our business.

With momentum on our side, we need to take action.  We need to create programs in our fitness centers and schools that encourage both parent and child involvement, youth movement outside of sports camps, awareness of lifestyle sports (i.e. walking, golf, tennis, bowling, etc.); I would even group music and art involvement in this category because it is movement, and stimulates the brain in similar ways.

We need to teach the youth what activity vs. exercise means, and most importantly, we need to become the coach/mentor we admired growing up.  Our youth need examples to follow, phrases and patterns to fall back on during hard times, because of the very reflections you are having now.  Movement does help our youth manage life in adulthood and you know from experience!

So, if you are on board with my points above, help W.I.T.S. help you to set foundations for today’s youth and stay tuned for the following, and shorter, blogs this month:

  1. Activity and Inactivity in Youth Obesity: Dodgeball vs. Dodging Requirements.
  2. Role of Diet in Youth Obesity: Implementing Choose My Plate for Family Dynamics.
  3. Socioeconomic Issues: Resources Revealed.
  4. School, Sports, & Community Recreation Programs.
  5. “If You Build It, They Will Come:” Personal Training for Youth & Parents.
  6. “When I Was Young We Walked Uphill, Both Ways:” Adopting Lifelong Exercise Habits.
  7. Fitness Professionals as Role Models: Be the Coach You Admired.

If you are interested in learning more about Childhood Obesity, sign up for our monthly webinar.  There are spots available in our October 2nd: 3pm EST; October 15th: 2:30pm EST; and October 16th: 3:30pm EST.  To register, contact evaughan@witseducation.com.

Paulette Kowalski, MS ATC cPT

 

References:

 

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Health and Fitness Facilities: NSF Standard WITHDRAWN!

If you have been following this story, you know that this is REALLY big news!

In this month, we’ve been talking about raising the bar in the fitness industry, with regards to education, training, and professional practice.  Of particular interest were the standards for the education, training, and certification of Personal Trainers.  Given the timing, I think it’s appropriate to talk about health and fitness facilities and the recent announcement that NSF International has withdrawn the NSF 341 Health/Fitness Facilities Standard.

NSF 341 was introduced a couple of years ago with the intent on establishing standards for the operation of fitness clubs.  According to an article published by Club Industry, “[the fitness club] industry is in the process of creating a standard for a voluntary certification that some people see as crucial to establishing the legitimacy of the industry. The goal of the standard, some in the industry say, is to help make fitness clubs a more respected resource in the eyes of the public.”   

Of course, none of us would argue about that in theory.  However, since NSF 341 was introduced and published for public comment, many concerns regarding the development of the Standard have been brought to light.  Of greatest concern was that the group that created the Standard was not representative of the industry and didn’t reflect the needs, interests, and concerns of the different professionals, businesses, educational organizations and certification groups.  In fact, some felt that the group itself was not at all inclusive and created a Standard that served the interests of those who were invited to participate.

So, fast forward— after the Standard was presented for approval and went out for public comment, it was eventually withdrawn.   I recommend you read the full article in this edition of Club Industry. 

My take-away, and I hope the lesson learn–is that WE ALL must be involved, engaged, and informed.  Had this Standard been accepted and implemented (or enforced!)  many could have lost their jobs.  Clubs could have possibly been forced to shut their doors.  The potential impact is significant!  We cannot be passive observers in our industry and our profession.  We must stay involved and participate in the process of shaping our industry!

Are you involved, informed, and engaged?  Read the full article and let me know what YOU think about it!    

AND PLEASE –Register for our upcoming webinar to discuss important and time-sensitive industry issues.  You don’t want to miss this one–but space is limited!

Webinar Title: Professional Standards Past, Present and Future For A Self Regulated Fitness Industry.

When: Sept 18, 2014 3:00 PM EDT

Register at: https://attendee.gotowebinar.com/register/1464586132956497921

 

 

Posted on

Space Is Limited: REGISTER TODAY! Professional Standards for A Self-Regulated Fitness Industry

Make sure you register for our upcoming webinar to discuss important and time-sensitive industry issues.  You don’t want to miss this one–but space is limited!

Webinar Title: Professional Standards Past, Present and Future For A Self Regulated Fitness Industry.

When: Sept 18, 2014 3:00 PM EDT

Register at: https://attendee.gotowebinar.com/register/1464586132956497921

 

Posted on

Personal Trainer Certification: What Does it Mean?

Our focus this month is on professional standards in the fitness industry.  In any credible profession, there should be a “path” one must follow to become “certified” and steps to ensure that anyone calling themselves “certified” has the requisite qualifications, education, and training.  This seems like a pretty simple, undisputed concept.  However, it does not reflect the reality of the fitness industry.

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