Archive for May, 2014

On a scale of 1-10…

Most people who belong to a gym or begin exercise programs fall into one of three categories

  1. Lifestyle Changes
  2. Healthy and Fit
  3. Experienced and Athletic

As a trainer, when gathering information to create a program, it is important to gather as much information as you can.  With this, I encourage you to only gather what you are comfortable doing.  Asking certain health history questions, taking measurements such as body composition or watching movement patterns may be part of your overall intake.  How you apply this information is key to designing individualized training programs.

Taking into account the above information with client’s goals, motivations, and obstacles, I begin to develop an idea in my mind of where they fall on a scale of 1-10.  One tends to lean towards the novice or deconditioned client, where ten leans toward the very experienced and/or elite athlete.  This is important because I want them to have success and motivation to keep coming back.  If I were to give a person that is a 3 the same workout I would give a 6, I may never see that client again.

The trainer/client relationship is a two-way street.  It is just as important for the trainer to be honest with the client about where they feel the client stands and how they progress as it is for the client to be honest with their trainer about intensity, motivation and program design.  At the end of the day, clients are hiring trainers because they want results.  If results of some kind aren’t happening, the relationship is sure to sour.  The best part of my job, no two clients are the exact same.  This keeps me motivated and thinking in order to help create specific programs.

If you are a trainer, I encourage you to think about your vision.  What is it that you want to get out of your clients.

If you are a training client, I encourage you to think about your vision.  What is it that you want to get out of your training sessions.

If you are neither, I hope you found something to learn in today’s post.

be well-

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Sticks and Stones

I was fourteen years old the first time a friend of mine used the word dyke to speak ill of another person, who was not there to defend themselves.  There was this visceral feeling in my stomach of uneasiness and I remember thinking how wrong it was to say such bad things.  That same feeling arises when I hear it now, 20+ years later.

How many times have you said the old childhood saying Sticks and stones may break my bones, But words will never hurt me?

Words such as dumb, stupid, moron, fat, freak, dork, faggot, slut, trash, worthless and many others are hurtful.  The Words of Choice Project is a visual photography display on the power of verbal abuse.  Other people’s words have an incredible power to affect how we see and feel about ourselves. While positive words of encouragement can uplift and inspire us, negative words cut to the core and resonate over and over again.

When I was a freshman in college, email was just becoming popular.   There were many fwd’s that got passed along.  The following piece is one I have always held onto:

“There once was a little boy who had a bad temper. His father gave him a bag of nails and told him that every time he lost his temper, he must hammer a nail into the back of the fence. The first day the boy had  driven 37 nails into the fence. Over the next few weeks, as he learned to control his anger, the number of nails hammered daily gradually dwindled down. He discovered it was easier to hold his temper than to drive those nails into the fence. Finally the day came when the boy didn’t lose his temper at all. He told his father about it and the father suggested that the boy now pull out one nail for each day that he was able to hold his temper. The days passed and the young boy was finally able to tell his father that all the nails were gone. The father took his son by the hand and led him to the fence He said, “You have done well, my son, but look at the holes in the fence. The fence will never be the same. When you say things in anger, they leave a scar just like this one. You can put a knife in a man and draw it out. It won’t matter how many times you say I’m sorry, the wound is still there.” A verbal wound is as bad as a physical one.

Do you choose to show and treat others with warm fuzzies or cold pricklies?

be well-

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Skills to Save your Life

This weekend marks the beginning of summer for many people.  They will be out on their boats, hitting the beaches, and opening community pools.

boating in the Boston Harbor

boating in the Boston Harbor

swimming at Walden Pond

swimming at Walden Pond

knee boarding in Provincetown Harbor

knee boarding in Provincetown Harbor

An analysis published in Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report found that infants most commonly drowned in bathtubs, young children in swimming pools, and people over 10 in natural water settings.  “Swimming is not just a recreational activity,” said the lead author, Dr. Julie Gilchrist, a researcher with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. “This is a recreational activity that also happens to give you skills that might save your life.”

I know many adults that are afraid of the water but have started to overcome that fear by taking swim lessons themselves.  Many times this is because they have young children and as parents, they want to be able to feel confident in an emergency situation.

Below are statistics according to the CDC

  • Males: Nearly 80% of people who die from drowning are male.
  • Children: Children ages 1 to 4 have the highest drowning rates. In 2009, among children 1 to 4 years old who died from an unintentional injury, more than 30% died from drowning.1,2  Among children ages 1 to 4, most drownings occur in home swimming pools.2 Drowning is responsible for more deaths among children 1-4 than any other cause except congenital anomalies (birth defects).1 Among those 1-14, fatal drowning remains the second-leading cause of unintentional injury-related death behind motor vehicle crashes.
  • Minorities: Between 2005 and 2009, the fatal unintentional drowning rate for African Americans was significantly higher than that of whites across all ages.2 The disparity is widest among children 5-14 years old. The fatal drowning rate of African American children ages 5 to 14 is almost three times that of white children in the same age range.2 The disparity is most pronounced in swimming pools; African American children 5-19 drown in swimming pools at rates 5.5 times higher than those of whites.  This disparity is greatest among those 11-12 years where African Americans drown in swimming pools at rates 10 times those of whites.5
  • Lack of Swimming Ability: Many adults and children report that they can’t swim.7,8  Research has shown that participation in formal swimming lessons can reduce the risk of drowning among children aged 1 to 4 years.9,10
  • Lack of Barriers: Barriers, such as pool fencing, prevent young children from gaining access to the pool area without caregivers’ awareness.11  A four-sided isolation fence (separating the pool area from the house and yard) reduces a child’s risk of drowning 83% compared to three-sided property-line fencing.12
  • Lack of Close Supervision: Drowning can happen quickly and quietly anywhere there is water (such as bathtubs, swimming pools, buckets), and even in the presence of lifeguards.13,14
    • Swimming skills help. Taking part in in formal swimming lessons reduces the risk of drowning among children aged 1 to 4 years.9,10 However, many people don’t have basic swimming skills. A CDC study7 about self-reported swimming abilityfound that:
      • Younger adults reported greater swimming ability than older adults.
      • Self-reported ability increased with level of education.
      • Among racial groups, African Americans reported the most limited swimming ability.
      • Men of all ages, races, and educational levels consistently reported greater swimming ability than women.
    • Seconds count—learn CPR. CPR performed by bystanders has been shown to save lives and improve outcomes in drowning victims. The more quickly CPR is started, the better the chance of improved outcomes.19
    • Life jackets can reduce risk. Potentially, half of all boating deaths might be prevented with the use of life jackets.16

Do you have the skills to save your life?

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Are you due for a Makeover?

This week marks National Women’s Health Week.  What a perfect opportunity to take a break and give yourself a makeover.  Women across our great nation are taking steps to make their health a priority.

  • Regular physical activity can help keep your thinking, learning, and judgment skills sharp as you age.  Try to get 30-60 minutes of exercise most days of the week.  This will help reduce depression, improve your sleep, and build strength and endurance.
  • Studies conducted in the community reveal an association between short sleep duration and excess body weight. Recent research has indicated that depressive symptoms may decrease once sleep apnea has been effectively treated and sufficient sleep restored. The recommended amount of sleep for adults is 7-8 hours a day.
  • Using more fruits and vegetables along with whole grains and lean meats, nuts, and beans is a safe and healthy way to lose or maintain a healthy weight.
  • Take care of your skin by using sunscreen, wearing light-colored clothing that protects your arms and legs, and try to stay in the shade during midday hours.

 

What steps are you going to take to make yourself a priority?

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Think-Live-Be Well

Before my yoga class on Tuesday afternoon there were a few snowbirds catching up with each other from their winter getaways.  It was apparent they were talking about how they felt on all levels.  One of them said, “I’m wealthy because I’m healthy.”

I wish more people would have this attitude.  Too many of us take for granted our health until we or a loved one falls ill.

We each experience a different journey towards health.  And what health means to me could be very different from what it means to you.  Below are some simple, yet effective ways to improve your health.

  • Eat Right- Choosing to eat whole foods, fruits, and veggies instead of processed food reduces the risk of diabetes, stroke, and heart disease.
  • Be Active- Taking part in daily physical exercise such as walking, jogging, biking, yoga or strength training helps to build strength and endurance.
  • Manage Stress- Incorporate quiet time a few minutes every day.  Turn off technology, close your eyes, focus on breathing.
  • Maintain Healthy Skin- Quit smoking, use sunscreen, wash your skin gently.

The choice is yours.

be well

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