The average American is faced with a myriad of challenges in their daily lives with one of the most commonplace being their own health. Somewhere between juggling a demanding career with a loving, yet equally challenging family life, they have forgotten that their own well-being is dependent on healthy nutrition and regular exercise. Despite the Department of Health and Human Services recommends at least 50 minutes of moderate exercise a week, only approximately 23% of American adults meet these requirements according to the CDC.
Exercise is a critical component when it comes to both mental and physical health. Almost 30% of Americans, or over 80 million people over the age of six, live a sedentary lifestyle, which can have a significant negative impact on health. Unfortunately, not all of us are able to work out safely due to chronic conditions. Underlying health issues can prevent a person from exercising, and it’s critical that fitness experts and physical trainers help their clients to understand these conditions before pursuing any workout routine or diet plan. With a sensitive approach, you can help push clients towards a healthier and happier lifestyle.
A new mom has a million things she wants to teach her baby, but her baby has a thing or two to teach her as well. Babies develop in stages that can’t be rushed, and for good reason. They will crawl, stand and walk, only when their bodies are ready. There is great wisdom in this for new moms—to only do what their bodies are ready for and that at the time when their bodies are ready. Perhaps then, the first and most important tip for new mom’s about fitness is to listen to their bodies, get enough time off, and start slow.
Stretching is important for any age especially children since their muscles and bones have not finished growing yet. Though injuries to children are more easily repaired than for adults, bone and ligament injuries never repaired as fully as healthy new muscle. Stretching is generally overlooked in children’s training programs yet children need to stretch for the same reasons as adults.
Hence the following animal poses designed to teach flexibility, strength, balance, concentration, and the importance of stretching, presented as a play, achieve the desired results.
Whether you’re 16 or 60, working out is a way to ensure good health and a fit body. For adults aged 65 years and older, the CDC recommends at least 2 hours and 30 minutes of moderate-intensity aerobic activity every week and muscle-strengthening workouts at least twice a week. Having the motivation to exercise when you’re older can be a challenge, but wearing the right fitness clothes can make you look forward to sweating it out in the gym or outdoors. Even the fashion industry knows this as it has caught on to the demand for beautiful and functional fitness wear dubbed as athleisure clothing which has an estimated market size of $44 billion in the US alone.
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.
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 agility ladder is a great tool to use for training for children as well as inexpensive and easy to use. Ladders can range from chalk drawings outside to using a dry erase marker, duct tape inside and sports tape inside a gym. Kids love the equipment and they can easily shuffle, crawl, jump or hop through each rung as they practice their math facts, spelling words, grammar or multiple guess questions.
Every muscle and organ have its own function and task, but our core is the Queen of your body. It is the fundamental part of our body that keeps our posture upright, supports our back, keeps our immunity and keeps our major organs well intact. Basically, if you did not have a core you could not do 90% of things you are already doing, so begin loving your core.
Now that we all share something in common- abs, the question is who has the prettiest and best-designed abs? The way we train our abs can differentiate how our abs look like. For example, if you do heavy weight training you develop more of the 6 pack abs look. If you exercise holistically you will develop a more natural look.
As a personal trainer, one of the difficulties I often run into is trying to balance what a client can do with what they want to do. Often times these situations will look like this:
Client: “I want to build my glutes.”
Me: “Okay, let’s add in some lunges today.”
Client: (During the first set) “Ouch, this is bothering my knee.”
I call this dilemma the physiological/mechanical tradeoff. It’s a tradeoff because, as personal trainers, we know how we want to challenge our clients’ physiology, but we need to be able to do so within the mechanical parameters that are presented.