TriggerPoint products focus on soft tissue, which ultimately can be restored via self-myofascial release and facilitate healing in other parts of the body.
Fascia is a sheet or band of fibrous connective tissue that envelopes, separates or binds together muscles, organs and other soft structures in the body.
These connective tissue fibers – primarily collagen – form sheaths or bands beneath the skin to attach, stabilize, enclos, and separate muscles and internal organs.
Fasciae are similar to ligaments and tendons as they largely are made up of collagen. They differ in their location and function, though. Ligaments join one bone to another bone, while tendons join muscle to bone and fasciae surrounds muscles and other structures.
Fascia forms a whole-body, continuous, three-dimensional matrix of structural support around our organs, muscles, joints, bones and nerve fibers. Fascia is directly related to movement, as it helps to support the muscles by transmitting force throughout the body. The fascial arrangement, similar to a spider web, also allows us to move in multiple directions.
But this connective tissue does much more than simply help transmit forces that drive movement. It also helps the nervous system with quick responses and is a key component in supporting the body during repetitive tasks. A runner will have dense fascia in the calves to support running, a weightlifter might have dense fascia in the back to support weightlifting, and a sitter will have dehydrated and “sticky” fascia in the glutes to support sitting.
Experience all these products can do for you first hand at any of our 2016 MANIA® Events! www.scwfit.com/mania
Our senior population is growing rapidly, as is their interest in leading active, fit lives. On the whole, we live longer than we used to, and we all want high-quality living and good health to be a part of our later years. As we grow older, however, we typically become more susceptible to ailments that are linked to aging, and, as a result, we tend to move less. The less we move, the more susceptible we become to a variety of ailments. And so it becomes a truly vicious cycle.
Although many of us feel that we should follow the advice of “taking it easy” as we grow older, that is actually what we shouldn’t do. Extended periods of sitting lead to muscular shortening, tightening and weakening. Lack of weight-bearing activity contributes to osteoporosis. Lack of movement and stretching leads to joint deterioration and loss of flexibility. Of grave concern for our senior population is the lack of balance, which stems, in part, from sitting rather than standing and from not challenging one’s balance in various positions. Complications resulting from falls among people over the age of 65 frequently lead to a multitude of serious problems, sometimes culminating in death.
Many health concerns have been linked to the sedentary lifestyle that is typical of many older people, including, but not limited to:
- Reduced joint flexibility
- High blood pressure
- Increased body fat and decreased lean body tissue
- Low back pain
- Breathing difficulties
- Poor blood circulation
- Vision problems
- Chronic pain
- Stress-related symptoms
- Inability to sleep peacefully
In light of our growing senior population and the health conditions associated with aging, researchers are beginning to take a closer look at how these issues can be addressed. Yoga is considered by many to be a tremendous tool for combating the concerns of an aging society. The following information will explain how Yoga can be used with this population to increase mobility and reduce many health concerns facing the elderly.
YOGA: AN EXERCISE PROGRAM FOR ALL AGES
Yoga has been shown to help alleviate or reduce many of these health challenges, making it an increasingly popular exercise choice for our older adult population. Senior Yoga classes are popping up everywhere – health clubs, senior centers, assisted living residences, and even church basements. The many benefits of Yoga have long been said to slow – or even slowly reverse – the aging process. This is undoubtedly a good part of the reason that this the more than 4000-year-old practice has survived and flourishes today. It’s also a primary reason that Yoga has experienced the most growth of any fitness program over the past seven years.
Armed with knowledge of the medical conditions of her class participants and the ability to modify poses to accommodate each participant’s health circumstances, a well-informed Yoga instructor can benefit all of her class, particularly the senior participants, given the age-related health concerns that they face. Most of you are aware of the well-researched and documented strengthening and flexibility gains brought on by the practice of Yoga. This article highlights several of the research findings involving the other ways in which Yoga benefits the elderly.
KEY ELEMENTS OF YOGA
Union of Mind, Body and Spirit: Those who practice Yoga in its purest form view it as much more than just a form of exercise. It is considered a holistic experience, which rejuvenates the mind, body and spirit. Even among those who practice “Westernized” (i.e., more fitness-focused) Yoga, the experience generally is felt to be more than strictly physically beneficial. The practice is calming and provides a rare opportunity in our chaotic lives to leave the outside world behind and be at peace, with a focus only on our physical, mental and spiritual selves.
Mindful Breathing: As we age, we stop breathing fully. Yoga reminds us that it is important to exhale as fully as we inhale. As we grow older, we lose flexibility in our rib cage, and sometimes suffer from spinal deformities, creating less room for lung expansion. Mindful breathing takes into consideration the three purposes of breathing: replenishing, warming and cleansing. Focusing on full inhalations and exhalations serves to slow down the heart rate, which, in turn, improves focus and increases concentration.
Asana/Pose: The Sanskrit term “asana” is translated as pose or posture. The final positioning of an asana is achieved when all body parts are positioned correctly and mindfully. The goal of the positioning of an asana is that a balance is realized between each side of the body and that no undue stress is placed on any particular organ, muscle, joint or bone.
TEACHING YOGA TO SENIORS
Following are suggested guidelines for practicing Yoga with active aging adults:
- Be aware of health concerns and ability level for each of your participants. Keeping class size small, if at all possible, will help you in obtaining, remembering and making use of this information.
- Always cue body alignment and posture. Also, slow down the transition between poses. This can be accomplished by cueing each pose thoroughly, describing the positioning of each body part. Start the cueing at the top of the body and move downward.
- Reduce the length of time for which an asana is held. Older participants might not have the strength required to hold the pose for a longer period of time but will gain strength from practicing the pose even for 10 or 15 seconds. The pose can be repeated, if desired.
- Avoid the use of Sanskrit labels for the poses. Use of the English terms is much less intimidating to the participants. Using terminology that participants understand will help them to remember and master the poses.
- Train your participants to focus their gaze in a specific spot to assist with balance. This is especially important with older adults whose balance might be challenged. In rotational poses, advise your senior students to focus their gaze toward the ground or straight ahead rather than upward.
- Whenever you cue the class to stretch one area, cue them also to release tension in another.
- Focus on the participants’ success. Encourage them and praise their efforts. Create a supportive environment, and your students will want to come back for both the health benefits and the psychological perks.
- Offer plenty of options for each pose, and be aware of the props you have available to assist with body alignment and balance, as well as to support and protect joints. Don’t be afraid to use unconventional props – water bottles and purses can offer nice support in a forward bend, for example! Keep in mind that seniors often lack physical contact in their lives. Offer them modifications that encourage them to use each other for support and balance, when appropriate, to increase physical contact.
- Focus on poses which stretch and strengthen areas that are typically tight or weak in seniors. Ankles, hips, hamstrings, low backs and pectorals need special attention. Along these lines, be cautious of the weight that they put on their wrists, as seniors’ wrists are often weak.
- Do not perform a lot of complicated poses, but always include at least one pose that is a bit more challenging.
- Maintain proper fitness etiquette at all times.
SUGGESTED POSES FOR AN ACTIVE AGING YOGA CLASS
Adapt positions as necessary to prevent undue strain:
- Warrior I
- Warrior II
- Seated Twist
- Laying Twist
- Happy Baby Pose
- One-legged Downward Dog
HEALTH BENEFITS TO SENIORS
Sleep: Older adults are often plagued with difficulty falling asleep and staying asleep. The result is a fragmented, poor night’s sleep, which reduces daytime alertness. In many cases, it is advisable to avoid the use of pharmaceutical sleep aids in older people due to the risk of side effects.
A recent study compared the impact of Yoga, including physical postures, relaxation techniques, voluntary regulated breathing and Ayurveda (an herbal preparation), on sleep in the geriatric population (Manjunath, Telles, 2005). Sixty-nine seniors living in the same residence were stratified based on age and randomly assigned to three groups: Yoga, Ayurveda and Wait-list (no intervention of any sort).
The groups’ sleep patterns were evaluated via self-assessment over a one-week period prior to the intervention and after three and six months of their respective interventions. The results were enlightening. The Yoga group showed a significant decrease in the time it took to fall asleep (an approximate average decrease of 10 minutes) and an increase in the total number of hours slept (an approximate increase of 60 minutes). The other two trial groups showed no significant change in sleep. The study’s conclusion was that Yoga practice improved the quantity and quality of sleep among the geriatric population.
Strength/Arthritis: A study was conducted that measured improvement in hand grip in rheumatoid arthritis patients versus non-arthritic volunteers following Yoga training (Dash, Telles, 2001). The results were significant. Hand grip strength in both hands (measured with a grip dynamometer) increased in non-arthritic adults and children AND in rheumatoid arthritis patients following Yoga. Hand strength did not improve among the corresponding control groups.
Diabetes: A study at the University College of Medical Sciences in New Delhi evaluated 30- to 60-year-old patients with Type II diabetes (Jain, Uppal, Bhatnagar, Talukdar, 1993). A 40-minute-per-day regimen of Yoga was followed for a period of 40 days. The results showed a significant decrease in fasting blood sugar levels. Furthermore, these patients showed an average improvement in lung capacity of approximately 10 percent. This suggests that, over time, Type II diabetics can achieve better blood sugar control and pulmonary functions when they follow a daily Yoga regimen.
Hypertension: Researchers at Bhabha Atomic Research Centre, Medical Division, in Mumbai (formerly known as Bombay), India, evaluated the overall benefits of Yoga on risk factors for heart disease (Damodaran, Malathi, Patil, Shah, Suryavansihi, Marathe, 2002). A group of 20 patients, 35 to 55 years of age, who had mild to moderate high blood pressure, began a daily one-hour Yoga program. Prior to the implementation of their Yoga program and following three months of Yoga, biochemical and psychological parameters were studied. The overall results were quite impressive. After three months of Yoga practice, the patients experienced a decrease in blood pressure, as well as a decrease in blood sugar, cholesterol and triglycerides. Feedback also indicated that the patients were calmer.
Excess Weight: Recent research found that practicing Yoga regularly for at least half an hour per week may help offset middle-age weight gain (Kristal et al, 2005). It is estimated that people typically gain about one pound per year between the ages of 45 and 55. Researchers at Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center found that weight gain in those who practiced Yoga weekly for at least four years had a 3.1-pound reduction in expected weight gain.
Mood/Anxiety: The Harbor-UCLA Medical Center conducted a study to assess what effect, if any, Yoga has on stress levels (Gaur, 2001). During the study, all participants expressed that their moods and anxiety levels were improved as a result of their Yoga sessions.
Chronic Pain: Yoga practice has been shown to aid those suffering with chronic pain. A study by the Harbor-UCLA Medical Center (Gaur, 2001) found that patients experiencing chronic pain either improved or maintained their symptoms after only four weeks of practicing Yoga. No patients experienced deterioration, and every patient significantly reduced the amount of needed pain medication.
Many people speculate that any form of group activity, be it Yoga or otherwise, is mood-elevating for seniors as they may be living alone and/or have limited social interaction due to physical limitations. The social aspect of attending a group exercise class, as any instructor who works with seniors will tell you, is invaluable. The contact group provides a sense of belonging.
Lung Problems/Breathing Difficulties: Breathing difficulties in 86 bronchial asthmatics were treated by a Yoga-chair breathing procedure composed of simple neck muscle relaxation movements and postures (or “asanas”) with breathing exercises (Nagarathna, Nagendra, Seethalakshmi, 1991). Seventy percent of the episodes were relieved within approximately 30 minutes. The patients gained confidence in this breathing technique and used it before resorting to prescription medication. Reduced anxiety worked well toward relieving the acute breathing difficulty episodes.
Evidence highlighted in this article, as well as substantial additional research regarding the health benefits of Yoga, is causing many to take notice and explore the use of this practice in varied settings. Even some insurance companies now cover the cost of Yoga and other therapies, which previously were considered “alternative,” because of the far-reaching health benefits that have been reported. Furthermore, most United States medical schools now include courses in these alternate forms of therapy. The number of Yoga participants, both young and old, is expected to continue to increase as a result of the proven health benefits of this ancient practice. Fitness instructors should respond, in turn, by focusing efforts on learning how to implement Yoga for the health and well-being of the aging population.
Be sure to check out a Yoga For Active Aging session with Sara Kooperman and our NEW for 2016 Active Aging Online (I cannot find a link for this?) and LIVE Certification with Lawrence Biscontini at any of our 2016 MANIA® Events! www.scwfit.com/mania
Experience SCW OnDemand, which feature Sara Kooperman and her Active Aging Yoga practices, in the comfort of your own home.
Do you have what it takes to become a 2016 SCW Fitness Idol? As the winner of this prestigious title, not only will you receive coverage in all 2016 SCW press releases, but you’ll get a chance to show off your skills as a featured presenter at the 2017 SCW MANIA® Convention of your choice!
The SCW Fitness Idol competition gives a Group Fitness Professional the chance to “fast-track” his or her career by demonstrating their talents in front of fitness trendsetters and receive valuable feedback from a panel of esteemed MANIA® Convention Presenters. One winner will be awarded per MANIA®.
Each 2016 SCW Fitness Idol Winner receives:
- A slot as a presenter at a 2017 SCW MANIA®
- Complimentary SCW MANIA® Convention attendance*
- A complimentary SCW Certification
- Coverage in all SCW press releases
- Gifts from SCW MANIA® Sponsors
- Mentoring from SCW MANIA® judges
Click here for more information and application form!
1. Enhanced Cardiovascular Health
You hear it all the time: You need to do cardio to protect yourself from heart disease, burn calories, and lose or maintain your weight. But “doing cardio” doesn’t have to mean hopping on a treadmill to log your required minutes – you have other FUN options!
The whole point of cardio is to place a moderate amount of stress on your heart and lungs so that they’re challenged enough to make beneficial physiologic adaptations to support the higher level of physical activity. But how you choose to place stress on your heart and lungs is up to you. As long as you keep your heart rate up during your workout, there’s no reason you can’t punch, kick and jump your way to a healthy heart at your local boxing gym.
All that punching, kicking and jumping requires a surprising amount of strength. During a boxing workout, you may punch or kick a bag or pad hundreds of times, requiring your upper body, lower body and core to engage as you make contact with the bag. Plus, most boxing gyms incorporate other strength training moves into a boxing workout, including squats, pushups, planks and weighted medicine-ball exercises, all within the context of a fast-paced, 30-minute circuit workout.
3. Better Hand-Eye Coordination
You might not think about the importance of hand-eye coordination and its effect on total health, but hand-eye coordination plays an important role in a person’s gross and fine motor skills. Individuals with good hand-eye coordination tend to have faster reflexes and reaction times and tend to have better physical coordination as a whole. This is particularly important during aging, as coordination and balance become compromised, increasing the risk of falls.
Boxing can help hone hand-eye coordination. When you’re tasked with punching a speed bag (a lightweight boxing bag suspended from a disc that turns and bounces quickly with each punch), or you’re paired up to spar with a partner or a product such as the Boxmaster (punching strategically located pads on a steel tower), you must be able to see the target, react to the target, and hit the target, all while the target is moving and changing position. It’s tough, but with practice, your hand-eye coordination improves substantially.
4. Decreased Stress
Almost any form of moderate to intense physical activity can decrease stress. According to the Mayo Clinic, exercise increases endorphins, boosts mood, works as a form of meditation and improves sleep, all of which help reduce stress.
But sometimes you need more than a walk around the block to help you forget your stressors. There are some days when it would feel really good just to hit something! Boxing is a great outlet for stress for two reasons: First, during a boxing workout, you typically transition between high-intensity bouts of exercise and moderate-intensity recovery periods. When you’re pushing yourself through a couple minutes of high-intensity punching or kicking, you don’t have much mental power left to worry about your crazy job or your dirty house. And even during rest periods, you’ll be focused on sucking wind and mentally preparing for the next round, not stressing over your packed schedule.
Second, there’s an incredibly cathartic release when you get to take some of your stress out on a punching bag. It’s an empowering feeling to punch your stress away!
5. Improved Body Composition
Boxing is an incredible mechanism for improved body composition because it perfectly combines muscle-building strength training moves and calorie-torching bouts of cardio. By regularly participating in a boxing program and following a nutritious eating plan, there’s no reason you won’t see changes in your shape and improvements to your fat-mass percentage. And if you’re hoping for a pat on the back from your bathroom scale, you’re likely to see changes in your weight as well.
Being revolutionary sometimes requires reinventing the wheel, or in this case, the focus mitt. The BoxMaster by Stairmaster takes everything fitness enthusiasts love about boxing – total body work, high-energy cardio exertion and all-round fun – and makes it better. “This is one of the most interesting and popular pieces of equipment I have experienced in my 20-plus years as a fitness pro,” explains Sonja Friend-Uhl, BoxMaster Master Instructor, personal trainer and health club owner and executive. “Created by champion boxer Rai Fazio, its strategic design caters to both the competitive fighter and the fitness enthusiast who has never worn a glove but is longing for a fun change from his/her current regimen.”
There is no denying the benefits of boxing. It is a full-body, cardio-pumping, calorie-killing way to stay fit while having fun. But boxing in a gym setting has always been a two-person job, with one person donning the gloves and the other person holding the focus mitts to absorb the punches. (Occasionally, one might also find a heavy bag buried deep in the back of the gym as an option for a boxing workout.)
Boxing can be a bit intimidating for those not familiar with the sport, without a personal trainer to help introduce the nuances of each move. The chance for injury to either the boxer throwing punches or trainer absorbing them can be high, causing some facilities to eliminate boxing as an option in their clubs.
Enter the revolutionary BoxMaster. With a set of 12 strategically placed pads on a secure stand, exercisers can replicate a different style of punch per pad, allowing the participant to throw any punch, or a series of punches, at any time for a completely customized workout experience.
Each pad houses a spring system that replicates the “give” a boxer would get on impact, throwing punches at a focus mitt. Because they are punching into a sturdy pad, the boxer’s aim remains consistent, reducing the risk of injury without minimizing the workout.
BoxMaster pads can be adjusted to meet the height of almost any user and they are setup to cater to both left- and right-hand dominant exercisers at the same time, meaning there is no need to overreach or twist the body in an unnatural, injury-inducing way.
Gives a Punch to the Gym
Boxing is a great workout and always has been. And with the BoxMaster, it is now an approachable workout option for anyone in a club, regardless of age, height or ability.
In fact, gyms with at least one BoxMaster in place note that 55% of their users are women, meaning this workout is truly more approachable to a wider audience than ever before.
BoxMaster is a great new workout option, but how does a club introduce it and where does it go on the fitness floor?
A 12-pad BoxMaster piece requires only a 4-by-5-meter space, so it can fit wherever there’s room in a gym. It can go near the strength area, in a corner near a functional training space or in a group exercise studio. There are no moving pieces, so it’s not limited to a confined space as would a heavy bag.
It is ideal as a stand-alone product, or it can be incorporated into a high-energy, high-impact, small-group training session. In just 30 minutes, exercisers can go through a warm up, active punching reps, active recovery and a cooldown designed to maximize the product and challenge the stamina of any exerciser.
And it’s built to last. After more than 600 classes, BoxMaster pads and springs are still going strong with no signs of replacement on the horizon.
Core Health & Fitness has created a support package to help introduce the program quickly, efficiently and profitably. The package includes access to online videos; programs designed for various skill levels and targeted muscle groups; customizable promotional piece templates; tips for revenue and return on investment; set-up instructions; and details about live training (for an additional fee).
Core Health and Fitness’ support package offers the guidance to turn a one-time product investment into a dependable profit center that differentiates any gym from the competition.
For more information, visit www.stairmaster.com
Experience a BoxMaster class LIVE at any 2016 MANIA® Event!
If you want the sculpted legs and toned butt of a cyclist (and let’s be honest, who doesn’t?), then it’s time you gave a workout like RPM™ a spin.
Cycling might conjure up images of packs of riders training outdoors in tight outfits, but that’s not the whole picture. Indoor cycling can get you the same impressive results. Those killer legs you’ve noticed pumping at the pedals can be yours. A cycling class combines a range of cycling styles to sculpt your muscles and get your heart racing, all with no need for a new wardrobe or to sacrifice half your weekend on a road ride.
Here are six reasons that indoor cycling can deliver the results you want:
- When you are peddling, your gluteus maximus muscles are engaged – this means your butt is working throughout an entire cycling workout. You may be seated, but all that peddling is no easy ride for your ass.
- The cleverly designed mix of peaks, flat riding, time trials and interval training in a cycling class is designed to maximize your results and push you further. In a short space of time you get an intense and varied workout designed by professionals.
- There’s no stopping for a scenic selfie, coffee break or traffic light. An indoor cycling class means constant motion, including recovery time. All those revolutions deliver a high-impact cardio blast that works your legs from start to finish – not a moment wasted.
- Cycling workouts are great for your cardiovascular fitness, which puts the emphasis on toning and sculpting. You won’t be bulking up your muscles at this pace. But you will be sweating and working those legs.
- It’s not just about the butt and thighs – indoor cycling gets all your leg muscles working. All that peddling sculpts strong calf muscles and targets your quads and hamstrings. You get a complete leg workout from peddle to bike seat.
- If you think a stationary bike doesn’t offer a challenge – think again. Every time the instructor ups the ante for a hill climb, your glute and thigh muscles will be burning. It’s like having a personal trainer pushing you up every hill.
Check out RPM LIVE at a MANIA® near you! www.scwfit.com/mania.
Our MANIA® attendees, followers and freaks have been voting to nominate their Favorite MANIA® Presenters & Programs and the California MANIA® results are in!
Nominated presenters are selected from YOUR feedback via the MANIA® session evaluations! One nominee per category will be honored as the MANIA® Presenter of the Year for that particular event location (Philadelphia, California, Florida, Atlanta, Dallas, D.C., Midwest, Boston). These MANIA® Presenter of the Year Award Winners stand prestigiously on their own.
There will be an SCW MANIA® Presenter of the Year Award ceremony held on Saturday, Oct 1st at Midwest MANIA.
All voters receive the one-time use of a $50 AWARD off the 2017 MANIA® of their choice! (Can not be combined with other discounts.) Get Voting Today – Florida MANIA® Nominations have just been posted!
CONGRATULATIONS CALIFORNIA MANIA® SCW AWARD WINNERS!
California MANIA® Female Presenter of the Year:
Tricia is an American Council on Exercise faculty member and the Fitness Director for four health clubs in Seattle, WA. In addition to co-creating Barre Basics, she has developed many highly acclaimed programs for the industry including Urban Striptease Aerobics, which has over 1750 instructors worldwide and My Best Friends Workout, a fitness program designed for pet owners to get in shape while walking their pet, which is sold in pet stores and on-line nationwide.
California MANIA® Male Presenter of the Year:
Jonathan is a two-time Personal Trainer of the Year Award winner, SPRI and ACE Master Trainer, host of the Discovery Fit & Health web series “Everyday Fitness with Jonathan Ross”, and his book, “Abs Revealed”, delivers a modern, intelligent approach to abdominal training. His “800 Pounds of Parents” directly inspired his prolific fitness career. A former astronomer, Jonathan used to study stellar bodies but now he builds them! Jonathan was nominated for the 2015 Boston MANIA® Presenter of the Year.
California MANIA® Up and Coming Female Presenter of the Year:
Jessica is a certified ACE Personal Trainer, AFAA Group Fitness instructor and Sports Nutritionist. She is a Master Trainer for BOSU, Tabata Boot Camp, Lebert Training Systems, and Barre Above as well as the co-creator of LOK Fitness. She is also a program developer and consultant for fitness companies across the nation. Jessica enjoys helping other fitness professionals realize their own potential and dreams while spreading fitness education across the nation.
California MANIA® Up and Coming Male Presenter of the Year:
Marc holds a B.A. from Whittier College and is a Senior Master Course Instructor (one of nine worldwide). He also is a conference presenter for TRX and Master Trainer/conference presenter for TriggerPoint, as well as a Master instructor for LifeFitness, who shares his passion of training, movement and education. An expert in connecting people to movement and energy, Marc is known for his presentations at NIRSA, TSI NY, ACSM, ECA and IDEA to be full of humor and empowerment as well as a sought after fitness consultant and program director worldwide as he has helped a multitude of gyms start their businesses. Marc has trained all walks of life from professional athletes, actors, models, celebrities, secret service, law enforcement, moms, dads, grandmas, and children.
California MANIA® Innovative Program of the Year:
LOK Fitness specializes in affordable three- hour fitness educational workshops with ACE and AFAA CEC’s. Use these workshops for new choreography, use the entire format, or add it to your existing class plans to freshen them; Use this education however YOU need! These workshops are geared for all fitness professionals from Group X Instructors to Personal Trainers.