Fitness, Health, and Business Blog

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Happy New Year! Helping Clients Keep Those Resolutions!

I hope all of you enjoyed a happy and healthy holiday season and are enjoying the start of 2014.  As we know, this is the busiest time of year for fitness professionals!  New and returning clients come to us with their New Year’s Resolutions and need our help more than ever! 

A recent article in the Journal of Clinical Psychology reported some interesting statistics regarding New Year’s Resolutions!

  • The #1 Resolution for 2014 was to lose weight.
  • The #4 Resolution for 2014 was to live life to it’s fullest.
  • The #5 Resolution for 2014 was to stay fit and healthy.
  • The # 7 Resolution for 2014 was to quit smoking.

So, 4 of the top 10 most common resolutions are directly related to what we do as fitness professionals.  However, as we know, making resolutions is not the same as successfully achieving our goals.  In fact, the same article reports the following:

  • ONLY 8% of PEOPLE WHO MAKE NEW YEAR’S RESOLUTIONS ARE SUCCESSFUL!

How frustrating, but what a great opportunity for Personal Trainers and Lifestyle Fitness Coaches who can help individuals make the desired changes to achieve those goals.  In my opinion, an understanding of psychology, motivation and behavior changes is what separates the “good” PTs from the FABULOUSLY SUCCESSFUL ones. 

So, at this important time of year, as we are refocusing, setting our own goals for the year and helping others make positive behavior change to meet their goals, lets share some of our BEST Ideas for working with clients.  What are some of your most successful strategies for helping clients who are struggling to adopt and maintain a healthy, active lifestyle?

If you are interested in expanding your Personal Training business to include Lifestyle Fitness Coaching, consider taking our NEW online certification course.  It is self-paced and accessible 24 /7.  You will receive mentoring from our most successful faculty members and fitness professionals.  Earn this prestigious certification AND 11 CECs for your PT certification renewal!http://www.witseducation.com/certifications/fitnesscoaching.htm

Learn more about the Lifestyle Fitness Coaching Certification course by watching this short video:  http://easylink.playstream.com/wits/WITS LFC 00 PROMO.wvx

 

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Use Your Social Media Time and Resources Wisely!

Last blog post we shared some tips on using social media to market your business in a more effective and efficient way.

Using Hoot Suite to plan and schedule your posts was one of the most popular ideas!  What an amazing time saver!  I have found that with Hoot Suite (which is free and really easy to use), I can set aside an hour or two every other sunday and schedule everything that will be posted for the next two weeks!  Of course, if something comes up, I can always add to the posts and schedule!! 

For this post I want to focus a bit more on Facebook and using Facebook for our social media marketing strategy. Most of us are using Facebook for personal reasons–connecting with friends,  But we also know that Facebook is really effective for connecting with customers. Having said that, there are things to keep in mind to make sure you’re engaging your “friends”, increasing “likes”, keeping current, and ultimately, converting Facebook friends and followers to paying customers. 

We put together a short video clip from our Facebook Marketing class to best explain how to use Facebook more effectively for your marketing.  Please watch and let us know what you think!!

http://easylink.playstream.com/wits/Understanding Facebook EdgeRank.wvx

Also, as the year is winding down and you are looking for new continuing education classes, plan to take advantage of our January promotions!

20% off any item in the store for Jan.  promo code WITS20. 

And  $100 off of our new Lifestyle Fitness Coaching Online Certification

 

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Are You Tweeting, Posting, Following, and Friending?

My involvement in social media has snuck up on me!  Sure, I used Facebook to reconnect with old friends and become more connected and involved in the lives of my friends and family.  But in the past year, I’ve found myself using social media for business purposes.  I’m blogging, tweeting, following, friending, tagging, and all sorts of other things that I never expected to be doing!  In the beginning, it felt overwhelming, but I’ve learned a few things that have made it more manageable that I thought I’d share.  I’m hoping that you will share your tips too!

 1.         Be strategic about what you share and where.  It is tempting to want to send everything everywhere.  But it may not be the best approach.  Figure out where your audience “hangs-out” in the social media world and go where they are with the messages that will interest them.

 2.         Separate your personal social media communications from your personal ones.  There’s nothing wrong with letting your business audience get to know you on a personal level, but they don’t need to see pictures of you and your friends celebrating on a Friday night or be privy to your personal information and activities, or your friends’ activities—which you can’t control.

 3.         Work smart and not hard.  There are free, scheduling tools like Hoot Suite that will allow you to schedule all of your twitter and facebook posts ahead of time so you can be more efficient with your time and resources.

 4.         Keep the “end” in mind!  What do you want to accomplish with your social media efforts?  More clients?  More revenue?  Stronger relationships with current clients?  If you don’t know where you are going, you won’t know how to get there—nor will you know when you’ve arrived!  So set goals and monitor progress!

 5.         Educate yourself!  I’ve spent the last few months taking classes, participating in webinars, and following what my competitors are doing with their social media!  There’s a lot to learn—but like anything else— it takes time, study, and practice! 

To learn more about social media and how to use the different approaches more effectively to increase business, check out W.I.T.S. new classes in Facebook Marketing, Twitter, Internet Marketing, and You Tube!  They are all customized for fitness industry professionals and mentored by successful, established professionals in the field! 

 

 

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Personal Training and Clients with Diabetes

We are in the middle of Diabetes Month and I thought I’d continue with the theme and reach out to you for input.  Many of you responded to the last post about Diabetes and suggested that you work with clients who struggle with this disease.  I hope you’ll share your expertise with us so we can better support our students and new professionals. 

The following case study is based on a real client and comes from our Exercise Program Design for Special Populations online course.  How would you respond to this scenario?

Jane is 50 years old and was diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes 5 years ago. Jane is 5’2” and weighs 180 lbs. She is currently taking an oral medication (troglitazone) for her diabetes and an antihypertensive medication (beta blocker) for her stage 1 high blood pressure, and does not monitor her blood glucose. Jane reports that her health is OK. She does not suffer from complications, but gets easily fatigued doing housework and cleaning. Furthermore, she reports that taking a stroll with her husband at the local mall makes her knees and hips uncomfortable after about 15 to 25 minutes. She has not seen her doctor in over a year; however, her diabetes educator has encouraged her to participate in regular physical activity. She has asked you to assist in the development of an activity regime. Her goals are to improve her endurance and lose about 45 lbs.

We will gather your responses to share with our students.  Help us help our students!  I look forward to hearing from you! 

 

If you want to learn more about exercise program design for individuals with diabetes, please check out our online course, Exercise Program Design for Special Populations.   We have a section completely dedicated to Diabetes.  Also, our Personal Trainer Certification and Older Adult Exercise Specialist Certification touch on the importance of safe and effective exercise to prevent and slow down this disease. 

For more information about Diabetes and American Diabetes Month, please visit http://www.diabetes.org/diabetes-basics/?loc=GlobalNavDB

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November is American Diabetes Month!

Yesterday was Halloween, and although I don’t want to be a “party pooper” and understand how much fun the holiday can be— I have to say, seeing so many children walking around with bags of candy—who also appear to be moderately or morbidly obese was disheartening.   Ironically, today, the day after Halloween, starts the beginning of American Diabetes Month. So, I’d like to focus today’s blog on diabetes, and more importantly, how we can prevent or slow down the disease with physical activity.

Diabetes complications can be prevented or delayed by properly managing blood glucose, blood pressure and cholesterol levels.  Eating healthy, being physically active and quitting smoking also can help lower the risk of diabetes complications.

Prevalence

  • Nearly 26 million children and adults in the United States have diabetes.
  • Another 79 million Americans have prediabetes and are at risk for developing type 2 diabetes.
  • Recent estimates project that as many as one in three American adults will have diabetes in 2050 unless we take steps to Stop Diabetes.

The Toll on Health

  • Two out of three people with diabetes die from heart disease or stroke.
  • Diabetes is the leading cause of kidney failure and of new cases of blindness among adults.
  • The rate of amputation for people with diabetes is 10 times higher than for people without diabetes.
  • About 60-70 percent of people with diabetes have mild to severe forms of nerve damage that could result in pain in the feet or hands, slowed digestion, sexual dysfunction and other nerve problems.  

How Can Physical Activity Help?

  • Keep blood glucose, blood pressure, HDL cholesterol and triglycerides on target
  • Lowers risk for pre-diabetes, type 2 diabetes, heart disease and stroke
  • Relieves stress, strengthens your heart, muscles and bones
  • Improves your blood circulation and tones your muscles
  • Keeps your body and your joints flexible

 I’m curious to know how many of our Personal Trainers are working with clients who have diabetes or prediabetes?  Please share your experiences and success stories so we can all learn from you.   I think we all have a responsibility to do what we can to reduce the prevalence of this serious disease. Please share! 

If you want to learn more about exercise program design for individuals with diabetes, please check out our online course, Exercise Program Design for Special Populations.   We have a section completely dedicated to Diabetes.  Also, our Personal Trainer Certification and Older Adult Exercise Specialist Certification touch on the importance of safe and effective exercise to prevent and slow down this disease. 

For more information about Diabetes and American Diabetes Month, please visit http://www.diabetes.org/diabetes-basics/?loc=GlobalNavDB

 

 

 

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Don’t Miss Out—Less than a week away!

Are You Attending Club Industry In Chicago this week?  Let me know and we’ll get together!   Following are some great opportunities for you to participate in while attending this event!

We have a special discount code just for W.I.T.S. friends and colleagues! Just follow the link below and when you register, use the promo code SAVE25, which provides a $125 discount on the full conference pass.
Club Industry Convention, McCormick Place, Chicago, IL October 23 -24, 2013CI13_BoxOfficeListing_200x280
While at the event, you’ll want to check out the “Business Program for Personal Trainers.” You’ll learn from the experts the secrets of sales, marketing and social media to insure your success as a business person!
Club Industry, Business Program for Personal Trainers, October 23, 2013
And while you are at the Club Industry Convention, we have a “MUST DO” event for those interested in the future of the fitness industry!
3rd Annual Personal Trainer Summit
Thursday, October 24, 2:00pm
Location: Room E351
Open invitation to all employers, trainers, educators and certification organizations. Why a meeting? We need to solidify and establish an industry wide image and policy to help support and direct our professional services. Much has been written about what “we” have come up with to meet legislative initiatives or to help obese children etc. Now you actually have a voice and a forum to formalize and legitimize our profession.
Let me know if you’ll be there! I’d love to meet you!

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UPCOMING EVENTS AND DISCOUNTS FOR YOU!

I wanted to use this post to let you know about some fabulous events you don’t want to miss—AND provide you with a special discount!
Don’t miss the October Club Industry Convention in Chicago! We have a special discount code just for W.I.T.S. friends and colleagues! Just follow the link below and when you register, use the promo code SAVE25, which provides a $125 discount on the full conference pass.
Club Industry Convention, McCormick Place, Chicago, IL October 23 -24, 2013CI13_BoxOfficeListing_200x280
While at the event, you’ll want to check out the “Business Program for Personal Trainers.” You’ll learn from the experts the secrets of sales, marketing and social media to insure your success as a business person!
Club Industry, Business Program for Personal Trainers, October 23, 2013
And while you are at the Club Industry Convention, we have a “MUST DO” event for those interested in the future of the fitness industry!
3rd Annual Personal Trainer Summit
Thursday, October 24, 2:00pm
Location: Room E351
Open invitation to all employers, trainers, educators and certification organizations. Why a meeting? We need to solidify and establish an industry wide image and policy to help support and direct our professional services. Much has been written about what “we” have come up with to meet legislative initiatives or to help obese children etc. Now you actually have a voice and a forum to formalize and legitimize our profession.
Let me know if you’ll be there! I’d love to meet you!

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Who Should I Hire To Train My Mom?

Almost two years ago, my mom suffered a massive heart attack after undergoing major back surgery.  This was followed by 9 months in hospitals and rehab, followed by heart surgery, and more rehab.  Months later, she suffered a minor stroke.  I’m happy to report that mom is doing well, back at home, living independently, and enjoying her life.   She now is trying to improve her health and fitness, joined a gym and hired a Personal Trainer.   

After her first session, mom was in so much pain and discouraged.  She now thinks exercise is “not for her.”  I asked about her personal trainer’s credentials.  She had no idea, other than the fact that he “looked good and had lots of muscles.”   I called the gym and learned that he had been certified for one year.  The certification included a home study book and a written exam.  That was it!  No hands-on training or testing!  No advanced degree!  

I’m sure this frustrates you as much as it did me.  Given her age, health history, risk factors and medical concerns—I can’t believe that the trainer did not require medical clearance, consult with her cardiologist and/or other physician.  My mom could have been severely injured and is now afraid to exercise. 

This personal experience is unfortunately all too common in our industry.  There are so many certifications— all resulting in the same credential, but requiring very different education, training, and demonstration of competence.  We need to come together to change this if we want to elevate the creditability of our profession and to have “fitness” considered part of the health care continuum.   It is imperative for our industry AND more importantly, for the health and well-being of our family, friends, and communities. 

Please share your thoughts on these issues and what you believe we can and should do to improve professionalism and standards in our industry.  Also, If you are going to be in Chicago for Club Industry, please attend the 3rd Annual Personal Trainer Summit, where we will continue our previous years’ discussions on industry standards. 

A change is needed.  My mom’s health—and your mom’s health—depend on it!

Thank you for letting me share my personal story.  Please share yours.

SPECIAL FOR BLOG READERS!  Join us at the Club Industry Business Conference this October 23-25th. Get CEC’s for W.I.T.S. too. As a blog reader and follower, you can use this PROMO CODE: “SAVE25” for $125 OFF the registration! Here is the link so see you in 6 weeks. http://www.clubindustryshow.com/National2013/Public/Content.aspx?ID=1044377

 

 

 

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Social Media Maze! Where Do I Start?

 

What a week!   Lots of travel, met great people at the IDEA Conference, and now, my body is tired but my head is spinning and my brain is full! 

Of all the ideas exchanged at the convention, I found myself engaged in more conversations about social media!  Specifically, how to use social media for marketing a personal training or fitness business!  What great timing considering this month’s theme!  So, I thought I’d share some of the main points!

  • Social media should be an essential component of our marketing plan.  You can reach your targeted audience, build relationships, and increase your visibility at NO or low cost.  Did you know there are more than 900 MILLION users on Facebook?  WOW!!
  • Be strategic with your social media plan.  Don’t try to be EVERYWHERE!   Facebook, Linkedin, Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram, and the list goes on!  Identify who you want to reach, find out what social media they use, and customize your message to connect with those people.
  • Blogs are one of the most effective communication tools in internet marketing.   Your blog should be the “home base” for all of your other social media messages.  You can control your blog.  You can customize your messages.  You can demonstrate your expertise and express your personality.  And, as I’m learning, they are a lot of fun to write! 

This is a small sampling of the gazillion ideas shared at the conference. Many of which I also learned in our new internet marketing classes. 

If you want to enter the world of internet marketing but aren’t sure where to start, I recommend taking our new course, “Use Internet Marketing to Find Personal Training Clients & Build A Business.” This class taught me the basics on internet marketing, how to use social media effectively, AND how to measure the impact my social media efforts are having on the bottom line!  Basically, it taught me to work smart and not hard!

So, what are your tips for social media and internet marketing?  Please share your ideas with us! 

I look forward to hearing from you!

Amy

Check out our new Fitness Business Institute!  We have a new catalog of sales and marketing classes designed specifically for YOU!  http://www.witseducation.com/business-institute/

Call our customer service department and find out how you can earn your CECs, learn from top Fortune 500 faculty, AND save lots of money.  Call (888)330-9487.

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Marketing for $1 or less! Marketing on a Shoestring!

 

As I talk to new professionals and even some with more experience, I hear the same thing:  “I don’t have any money for marketing.”  “How am I supposed to get new business and clients if I don’t have the money.”  It’s a Catch-22.  Without money—they feel they can’t market.  Without marketing, they can’t get clients—so no money for marketing.  And the cycle continues. 

Through my research, experience, and conversations with successful professionals, I’ve learned that some of the best marketing strategies are the most simple, and the least expensive. 

1.            Build a client loyalty program.   It costs a lot less money to keep a customer than to get a new one.  So, take care of the clients you have.  Reward them for their loyalty to you and their commitment to their own health and fitness.  KEEP THEM COMING BACK!

2.            Create a referral program!   Word of mouth is still the most powerful marketing and advertising strategy.  Reward your clients who bring you more clients!  LET YOUR CLIENTS BE YOUR MARKETING DEPARTMENT!

3.            Network, network, network!  Every person you meet, every clerk in a store, every server who brings you food—EVERYONE IS A POTENTIAL CLIENT!   Always have your business cards ready—always “look the part” of the competent fitness professional, and always communicate your passion for fitness!

4.            Give to your community and get involved!  I firmly believe that what we give comes back to us tenfold!  Volunteer with a local charity or cause that you feel passionate about.  This will increase your visibility, your network, and your list of prospective clients.  And you will be doing something GOOD FOR OTHERS! 

With all of the emphasis on technology, social media, and the internet  I think we’ve forgotten about the basics!  These simple approaches are proven to be effective and most are FREE!

So, what are your best ideas for marketing on a shoe string budget?  Please share your ideas with us! 

I look forward to hearing from you!

Amy

 

Are you going to be at the IDEA World Convention in Los Angeles August 7 – 10?  If so, please stop by our booth in the exhibit hall!  I’d love to meet you! Plus, we’ll be giving away FREE classes, including our marketing and business classes!

Check out our new Fitness Business Institute!  We have a new catalog of sales and marketing classes designed specifically for YOU!  http://www.witseducation.com/business-institute/