Yoga For Special Needs

Teaching yoga for special needs can be a rewarding experience. But I have found that each class is as unique as the population you are teaching.  Here are some great tips to use as you work for any fitness class with individuals with special needs.

First of all, I knew that I needed to be aware of the class I was teaching.  One season it was filled with Special Olympics clients so I needed to do stretches and strengthening for the various sports. Another had a heavy autistic population so I knew I needed to have students do yoga games with the purpose of teaching social skills and interacting with one another. Another season it was stress relief since many of my participants suffered from anxiety and fear.   I would always start class with an introduction of the class, a brief answer and question session about each person’s week, and sometimes things we were grateful for.

The Role of Exercise in Stress Management

Life can be a constant challenge full of daily hurdles. Everyone has their own struggles. No one is immune from stress. While some stresses can actually lead to positive action, stress can be an absolute killer to us physically, mentally, and spiritually. It’s very easy to not want to move or exercise when feeling this constant negative tension. However, this is exactly what we must all do to reverse the adverse effects of stress: exercise. And, as fitness professionals, it’s vital to teach and provide proper guidance to our clients to move even when not with us. So, what’s the proper vernacular that the fitness professional should reiterate to their clients about stress and exercise? Moreover, how does the fitness professional inspire their clients to move especially when not in their company?  How does the need become greater than the want?

The Body Survival Kit

Have you ever stopped to notice how many things disconnect us on a daily basis from earth? As the rate of technology and lack of inner connection to our body, mind, and soul is rapidly increasing, we are seeing an incredible rate of illnesses, diseases, and injuries. Holistic training focuses on bringing your body, mind, and soul into alignment with yourself and nature in order to improve your: health, well-being, and give you the best looking natural corpse your body was designed to look like while feeling amazing. Here are three simple easy to do steps to get started.

Beginning Sports Program for Preschoolers

It is a challenge to prepare for a preschool fitness program with young children.  Parents have various expectations that are realistic to have fun but unrealistic thinking that this one class will prepare them for a particular sport or skill.  However, I have found that even a hectic program for preschool students with special needs and their siblings can be effective if the following protocols are followed. 
Preparation:  Trainers or teachers need to have all the equipment ready.  That means that the teachers need to get to the program early and make sure you are prepared for all the activities.  Having a skeleton plan is helpful, not only for you but also all of your staff that works for you.  I typically have a lanyard with a list of activities but I also explain that I may or may not go in that particular order of activities. 

Headaches, Migraines, and Other Pains in the Head

Headaches are unpleasant pains in your head that can cause pressure and aches. They can range from mild to severe pain and usually occur on both sides of your head. Some specific areas where headaches can occur include the forehead, temples, and back of the neck. A headache can last anywhere from 30 minutes to a week. Tension headaches aren’t the only type of headaches that occur. Other headache types include: Cluster headaches are severely painful headaches that occur on one side of the head and come in clusters.

This means you experience cycles of headache attacks, followed by headache-free periods. Often confused with migraines, sinus headaches co-occur with sinus infection symptoms such as fever, stuffy nose, cough, congestion, and facial pressure. These headaches are intense or severe and often have accompanying symptoms in addition to head pain. Symptoms associated with a migraine headache include nausea, pain behind one eye or ear, pain in the temples, seeing spots or flashing lights, sensitivity to light and/or sound, temporary vision loss, and vomiting. A migraine headache will cause intense pain that may be throbbing and will make performing daily tasks very difficult.

12 Tips for Taper and Marathon Time

After a season of 12-32 weeks for a marathon, the last three weeks are geared toward tapering.  Initially, it is a relief knowing that the hard work you have gained through training is coming to an end. But also with it comes a new frustration knowing and not knowing how it will not only affect your body but also your mind.

After your final last long run, it is time to rest for your marathon.  It is perfectly normal to start to feel the aches and pains from muscles healing as you lessen your intensity, running miles after miles.  Feeling down and achy is also normal as your body adjusts to changes from training intensely.

5 Basic Types of Relays To Make Great Field Days

As the weather gets warmer children are ready for a change as you train them. Try the option of doing field days and relays with your kids. They are a great finale to your fitness training sessions.

Relays and field day activities reinforce teaching direction, timing, agility, and coordination. They also teach the importance of cooperation, conforming to following rules, and winning and losing games graciously. Emphasis should be on improving skill; not to prove who the best athlete in games is. Group instructors can also individually time students and see their improvement in a skill by performing the relays at the beginning and ending of a training program. It is also a great way to test kids without having to buy special equipment. Relays can be easily done with cones, beanbags, ropes, balls and other ordinary gym equipment. Some relays do not need any equipment at all. Most relay and field days can be played inside or outside.

Crawling like a Baby: How to Break Records and Restore Your Body

When was the last time you crawled on the ground?

Now, you’re probably thinking:

“Crawling … seriously? That’s for babies!”

Yes, crawling is for babies. And, it may be one of the best things you can ever do for your bodily health and strength, whether you’re a baby or not.

Here’s how to crawl: (Knees off the ground is the next step after mastering this one)

Disability Youth Overview

Inclusion is a term used quite frequently in our society.  It means that as trainers and teachers, we will have students with disabilities in our classrooms and fitness facilities, and we must learn how to meet their unique needs in daily activities and welcome them in our schools, churches, and recreation/gyms, while striving to serve the general public as well. This is a daunting task even for those people who specialize in special education. I believe that this article is essential for anyone who works with children with disabilities. This series is divided into four categories addressing those students with physical, mental, learning and emotional/behavioral disabilities. Please read each of these sections since the person you may be working with will have a variety of disabilities and perhaps a combination of multiple diagnoses.  This month we will explore physical disabilities.

The Benefits of Running

Runners have known for years the benefits of the sport. But as my years of running have come and gone, I see a lot of my friends still sitting on the sidelines, wondering whether or not to lace up their shoes and start running.  Running is incredibly effective at making you healthier in a number of ways.   Here are some reasons that running is actually good for you.

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