California Fitness Alliance: Join Today and Have Your Voice Heard

Founded in April 2020, the mission of the California Fitness Alliance is To Motivate a Healthier California by Providing Safe and Equitable Access to Exercise for AllThe CFA is focused on advocating for the fitness industry in California, educating policy makers, media and the public about the importance of physical fitness, and providing resources to our fitness community. This is the first state alliance representing thousands of fitness operators of all sizes, fitness professionals including instructors, coaches and trainers, and fitness industry vendors and suppliers. 

Thanks to the efforts of the CFA, in June 2021 Governor Gavin Newsom announced the CA Governor’s Advisory Council on Physical Fitness and Mental Well-being.  The Council members were announced in January 2022 and the fitness industry is represented by CFA President, Francesca Schuler.  See Council Members Announcement: CA Physical Fitness Council CA is the only state who has a Physical Fitness Council and the only state where the fitness industry finally has a “seat at the table”.   The Council has requested a $10 million budget to promote exercise as essential for physical and mental well-being for Californians which will help to increase awareness for our industry and demonstrate the essential role we play in the health of Californians.

In 2022 the CFA continues to focus on educating our elected officials and public health officers about the essential role of the fitness industry and to work with them to support the industry.  After the devastating impact of the pandemic on our industry, it is essential we have a strong voice advocating for our industry in California.  To do this, we need to make sure all voices are represented, and we are able to demonstrate the size of our industry.  Please join the CFA today.  Click to JOIN.

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Motivating a Healthier California by Providing Safe and Equitable Access to Exercise for All

CFA is focused on advocating for the fitness industry in California, educating policy makers, media and the public about the importance of physical fitness, and providing resources to our fitness community. This is the first state alliance representing thousands of fitness operators of all sizes, fitness professionals and fitness industry vendors and suppliers.

 

Arthritis Myths: To Lift or Not to Lift

by Christine Conti, MEd

Almost every day we read “expert” advice regarding the most effective exercises to help fight the symptoms or progression of various chronic diseases. Included among this misinformation is the statement that those suffering from arthritis should NOT be lifting weights because it will cause further damage to joints and bring on severe flare-ups. Those providing these falsehoods may also believe that incorporating weights can be dangerous if they suffer from weak muscles, balance issues, and poor flexibility. In fact, weightlifting when you have joint pain may sound like a terrible idea, but it is actually a very important way to manage, relieve, and reduce arthritis discomfort.

It’s time to DEBUNK the myths. Here are some facts!

According to the Centers for Disease Control, 1 in 4 adults in the U.S. has arthritis and out of those diagnosed, 1 in 4 of them report severe joint pain.  Due to that pain, 1 in 10 limit their activities.  The astronomical sum of $303.5 billion dollars is spent in the U.S. each year in medical spending and lost wages.

The Mayo Clinic created a list of reasons promoting why the NEED to exercise is beneficial for those with arthritis.

  • Strengthens the muscles around joints
  • Helps maintain bone strength
  • Improves energy to get through the day
  • Improves quality of sleep
  • Helps control weight
  • Increases balance
  • Enhances quality of life and independence

Lifting weights has proven to ease joint pain and stiffness, boost bone strength through load, improve metabolism, improve core strength, increase flexibility, and mimic everyday activities.

While the idea of “lifting weights” may conjure up images of people with overly developed physiques, grunting and struggling to lift what appears to be a three-ton barbell, this is far from the truth.  Lifting weights is  functional exercise that promotes longevity and independence for those suffering with arthritis. Whether one is using grip strength to open a soup can, unlocking a car door, lifting a pot off the stove, or even engaging in sit to stand positions throughout the day, incorporating weights in a safe and effective manner will improve joint stability. As a bonus, adding light weights to an exercise program will also reduce the risk of falls by strengthening stabilizer muscles.

Here’s a few weightlifting tips for those managing arthritis.

  1. Try resistance bands, they remove the need to hold weights and take the pressure off fingers, hands, and wrists.
  2. Weight machines provide extra stability and control resistance to protect against injury and may be a great start before introducing light weights.
  3. Using light dumbbells with slow and controlled movements and low repetitions will help with greater range of motion and flexibility.

In addition, even before exercise begins, the use of heat to relax joints and muscles is a great way to relieve pain from stiff joints. Slowly and gradually adding movements aimed to assess and improve range of motion should also be implemented before including any weight. Don’t be afraid to start with small cans or water bottles as to not overdue wrist or elbow joints when performing biceps curls or other upper body exercises. Using slow and basic movements will help ease the joints. They may be uncomfortable but should not be painful. Another great practice is to ice joints post-exercise to reduce the chance of swelling or discomfort.

When it comes to safe and effective exercises to improve the quality of life and decrease arthritis symptoms, weightlifting is a great option. With that said, it is also important to gain formal clearance from a doctor before seeking out a medical fitness or highly qualified fitness professional. Lastly, as a health and wellness pro, it is also paramount that you properly educate yourself by enrolling in an arthritis or chronic disease specialist course and learn how to best serve the arthritic population.

If you are interested in becoming certified in Active Aging or as a Chronic Disease Specialist, SCW Fitness offers full course online certifications to learn in the comfort of your own home with a FREE live course within a year at an upcoming SCW MANIA®.

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About the Author, Christine Conti, MEd

Christine is an international fitness educator and veteran in the fitness industry. She authored the SCW Chronic Disease Fitness Course, the MedFIT Network Arthritis Fitness Specialist Course, and co-authored both the Orthopedic Fitness Specialist Course and Eating Disorders Courses. She has devoted over a decade to researching how to best serve fitness clients with chronic illnesses and she is an RA warrior herself. Christine’s best-selling book, “SPLIT-SECOND COURAGE: What if your fears were the key to your dreams?” was released in January.

The Missing Link for Creating Healthy Behavior Change

by Kimberly Spreen-Glick

Motivation, such a simple word, is extremely important when it comes to our health; yet it’s only part of the recipe for living our best lives.   Research from The National Center for Biotechnology Information (a branch of the National Institutes of Health) shows “engaging in a suite of four health behaviors can lead to an 11 to 14-year delay in all-cause mortality”. Simply stated, these are the four actions needed to help live longer.

  • Physical activity
  • Eating a healthy diet
  • Not smoking
  • Drinking alcohol in moderation

Unfortunately, this list doesn’t even speak to one’s actual quality of life, which is also significantly impacted by participating in these healthy behaviors. One of the biggest challenges for leaders in the health, fitness, and wellness industry goes back to that simple word: motivation. Our clients and communities look to us to help them make changes that would lead to a healthier live.

As Health and Fitness Professionals, our job is to “motivate” people to make healthier choices, do the work, and reach their goals, right? The answer is ‘yes’; but that’s only part of the recipe for success. Another necessary part of the role we play, that is often overlooked is the need for “inspiration.”

What’s the difference?

Motivation is an external force that gives someone a reason and causes them to take action. It is what’s called a “push factor”. It compels one to act because of its presence.

As Trainers and Instructors, the guidance and encouragement we give to our clients is an external force. It is both positive and powerful. That said, because it is external, it’s temporary. When that external force is no longer present, what keeps your client in the mindset of making healthy choices the other 23 hours of that day and beyond?

The answer is inspiration.

Inspiration is an internal force that drives someone from within to want to take action. It is a “pull factor”. It causes one to be more proactive in their choices and decisions. Since inspiration is internal, it is generally both longer lasting and available to be tapped into as often as one would choose to. Furthermore, for inspiration to have fertile ground to take root, a sense of self-esteem and worthiness must be embraced. One can feel inspired all day; but, if they don’t believe they are worthy of a better life, they will likely talk themselves out of it.

Our ability to motivate those we hope to serve is important; but we must help our clients dig into something within themselves that inspires them to make the healthier choices when we’re not there. This is the only real path to long-lasting healthy behavior change.

There is both an art and a science to consider here. It’s time we got on board with this missing link to truly help people live longer, healthier, happier lives.

So, how do we do it?

For starters, we have to move beyond the physical to help others experience the fullness of their vitality. We can all agree that exercise, proper nutrition, and rest are critical elements for a healthy life. These are what we can call “table stakes.”

But, if we really want to help people make change, we need to help them tap into their inspiration and self-esteem. We need to meet them where they’re at mentally and emotionally, as well as physically.

This means learning how to have conversations and ask questions that go beyond the workout. Isn’t this really what wellness coaching is all about? You’re not diagnosing or prescribing anything, you’re simply asking great questions that help people think and find the answers and inspiration that already resides within them. Your goal is to help them embrace their value and reveal their “why”.

Friedrich Nietzsche said, “He who has a why…can bear almost any how.”  The deeper and more intrinsic one’s why is, the more inspiration and fuel they will have for the journey.

Here’s an example to consider:

A client may come to you and say, “I want to lose 20 lbs.” And you could move forward with just that information. You can offer them workout routines and meal suggestions and they may even initially accomplish the goal. But why is it that most people who accomplish goals like these go backwards? It’s probably because they never embraced their personal value and deeper why.

With that same client, you could ask questions like:

  • “Why do you want to lose the 20 lbs.?” And if the answer is to fit into old clothes, try to go deeper until you get a more personal answer.
  • “What would it mean for you to lose this weight?”
  • “How would you feel if you lost this weight?”
  • “Do you know that you’re worth the effort?”
  • “Can you say out loud that you’re worth the effort?”

Conversations like these take an artful, supportive approach.  When people know you’re in their corner, rooting for their rise, they can be incredibly powerful and the next thing you know, you have nurtured a deeper relationship and helped that client find something that will inspire and fuel their efforts when you’re nowhere in sight.

The day we each realize that our wellness – our vitality – goes far beyond the physical body and we seek the training, certification, and support to help us ‘show up’ for our communities in a bigger way, is the day we start to make real, positive, lasting, healthy change through our industry.

May it be our goal as Trainers and Coaches to get our clients to a place where they don’t need us in order to live their best lives. They may still want us around; but they’ll be inspired from within as much as motivated by us. That is true empowerment.

Wishing you great success. Stay the course, Difference Makers.

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About the Author, Kimberly Spreen-Glick

Founder, The Inspired Life University www.theinspiredlifeuniversity.com

Kimberly has over 25 years of experience teaching and presenting internationally on fitness and yoga as well as leadership and personal development. She is a continuing education provider for ACE, AFAA, NASM and Yoga Alliance. Kimberly served as the senior director of group fitness at Life Time for over 10 years and is the 2015 IDEA Program Director of the Year. Through her online platform, The Inspired Life University, her primary focus now is helping fitness professionals expand their knowledge, perspective, and skillset so they can become wellness leaders who make a bigger difference for others, expand their income, and thrive!

Perseverance Pays Off

by Robin Taylor

Challenges and tragedies occur throughout our lives.  It’s how we choose to recover that determines our outcome.  The newest recipient of the Michael Scott Scudder Scholarship has proven that dedication and determination help keep oneself alive.  Life took two horrible turns leaving this incredible woman with chronic muscle spasms, fibromyalgia, and a brain injury.  A positive view of life and the drive to overcome allowed her to reclaim her health. 

SCW Fitness is proud to award Shenelle Williams the prestigious Michael Scott Scudder Scholarship.   Her desire to help others, strengthened with the will to heal, guides Shenelle towards a positive future. She hopes her path of consistency will provide the extra boost for others to never give up.

Just over five years ago, the fitness industry lost a true legend and icon, Michael Scott Scudder. He may be gone, but everything he stands for continues to thrive.  SCW Fitness created this generous scholarship to keep his memory alive and to provide resources and education to those who carry his values.  Michael’s four decades in the fitness and wellness industries helped him reach out to thousands of individuals.  He was always there to listen, think, evaluate, provide his opinion, predict, and respond to anyone and everyone who went to him for help and advice. 

This scholarship offers free attendance to an SCW MANIA® Convention for those who apply and are awarded. “He was our friend, our mentor, our mirror into our businesses and ourselves,” recalls Sara Kooperman, CEO of SCW Fitness. This gift shares his mission in reshaping the fitness world of today and those who join in the future.

Let’s congratulate Shenelle and all the other winners of the Michael Scott Scudder Scholarship.  To apply, please visit: www.scwfit.com/scudder. SCW wishes you the best of luck and we look forward to seeing you participate at an upcoming SCW MANIA®

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About the Author, Robin Taylor

Robin is the SCW Editor for Spotlite, Tidal Waves and Weekly Work-UP, as well as Assistant Product Manager for MANIA® Fitness Conventions and Team Manager for WATERinMOTION®. Having taught Aquatic Fitness for over 15 years, Robin is AEA and AFAA certified and a WATERinMOTION® Champion. She has participated in several WIM educational videos, as both a pool participant and on-deck presenter. Robin has been an employee of SCW for almost five years. She is married and has two adult daughters and has a bachelor’s degree in journalism from the University of Florida.

Creating a Well-Balanced Golf Fitness Plan

Part 2: Mobility

by Carol L. Teteak, MS, NASM PES, ACE CPT

The seasons are changing…will your golfer be ready to hit the course?

Creating programming that safely and effectively fits the needs of a client is crucial to a successful outcome. In Part 1 of this series, we established that Stability Training was one of three key components needed within a golf fitness routine. This installment will briefly discuss Mobility Training and its supportive role in optimizing the sequence of the golf swing, then offer a few go-to exercises that can be performed on OR off the links!

M is for Mobility

Mobility is range of motion at a joint…or more specifically, movement. When we consider some of the major joints involved in the golf swing (the ankle, hip complex, thoracic spine, and shoulder complex) we want freedom from restrictions to allow optimal swing range. Additionally, it’s important to think of mobility and stability as the dynamic duo supporting each joint. Movement can’t happen without the other and any inefficiency in either can lead to an excessive amount of stress on the body and ultimately poor performance.

So Many Choices

There are many kinds of mobility training options as well as equipment used to aid in improving flexibility. Ability, cost and learning curves may be factors that determine which works best for the golf client, while the depth of knowledge on a specific training modality or piece of equipment may limit the fitness professional from teaching or using it. The bottom line is to work within scope of practice and never stop learning!

Keep it Simple

The variety of styles and tools available to help improve mobility can be overwhelming. I recommend starting simple and with a piece of equipment a golfer is familiar with – a golf club! Choosing dynamic stretches prior to exercise or a round is a great way to prep the body in all 3 planes of motion by mimicking typical golf movement patterns. Static stretches are beneficial when seeking a more concentrated effort in a particular area of the body and can be performed as needed. Try the examples below and you’ll be swinging into the season feeling up to par!

Sets: 1-3 of each exercise

Repetitions: As needed, but baseline suggestions are below

  • Dynamic Stretches – Consistent movement throughout full range of motion
    • 20-60 seconds each or 8-16 repetitions
  • Static Stretches – Hold at end range of motion
    • 10-30 seconds

Cadence: Can be performed daily, as needed and conveniently before, throughout or after a round of golf!

Notes: Each are effective independently or linked together for a complete routine

#1 Dynamic Total Body Mobility

  • Perfect for a pre-workout OR pre-game warm-up
  • Perform fluidly altogether to hit all three planes of motion
  • Golf club is a nice prop to hold on to, but not necessary – arms follow same sequences without
  • Perform on both sides of the body

#2 Ankle and Hip Flexor Mobility

  • Golf club adds additional contact point on floor if needed
  • Can use sturdy dowel rod or similar in place of golf club
  • Perform on both sides of body
  • For Hip Flexor Stretch
    • Choose split stance either standing or ½ kneeling
    • Choose arms overhead or crossed at shoulder

#3 Shoulder, Trunk & Hip Complex

  • Keep spine as neutral/straight as possible throughout each version
  • Hinge at hip and push tailbone back
  • Can use a sturdy dowel rod or similar in place of golf club

#4 Chest and Upper Back Mobility

  • The golf club is the perfect length for these exercises
  • Keep shoulders down throughout each

Stay tuned for the 3rd and final installment of Creating a Well-Balanced Golf Fitness Plan on Reactive Training available in the May issue!

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About the Author, Carol L. Teteak, MS, NASM PES, ACE CPT

Carol uses her love of athletics and knowledge of the human body to drive her passion for helping others move better in life and sport. Armed with a Master’s in Exercise Science, ACE & NASM certifications, hundreds of continuing education hours in sport conditioning, 18 years of training golfers – and just as many working for BOSU® – she created a fitness-based program (aptly named GolfSMART) to improve performance & reduce the risk of injury for golfers. Although busy as the Medical Fitness Supervisor at Edward-Elmhurst Health & Fitness in Naperville, IL, she still enjoys offering virtual and in-person Golf Fitness training sessions!

Sponsor Corner: SOULfusion ™

As a fitness professional, if you’re looking for that one-stop-instructor-shop, LOOK NO FURTHER! SOULfusion™ has it all. They offer plug-n-play easy to learn choreography filled with a creative blend of yoga-inspired flows, short cardio bursts, balance sequences, and both bodyweight and weighted strength training exercises all set to crazy fun music. There are modifications for all levels in the group exercise environment (in-person or virtual). SOULfusion™ trains strength, balance, and flexibility, to help improve overall fitness levels driven by music, movement, and motivation.

SOULfusion™ is so much more than meets the eye (or body).  Becoming a part of the SOULfusion™ Instructor Squad is easy-peasy.  As a SOULfusion™ instructor you receive a digital course, 1-year of choreography, and amazing support of a community driven by the same inspiration.

If becoming a SOULfusion™ Instructor isn’t enough, how about tagging on SOULstrength™ to your fitness portfolio.  SOULstrength™ is a creative blend of rhythmic resistance, cardio conditioning, manageable mobility, and core strength exercises all set to crazy FUN music. 

SOULstrength™ is the total package. Let’s HIIT the beat with a SOUL lifting strength class designed to bring all forces of FUN together! 

Lastly, if you love to dance, then BarreFusion™ is what you have been dreaming of.  It is barre with a twist. This low-impact, total body workout inspired by ballet offers a unique approach to barre training with cardio bursts and signature fuses. This fusion format offers all the benefits of rhythmic movement, high repetition strength work, athletic dance moves in an easy to learn, easy to teach, fun to take barre training. Modifications are offered for all levels in the group exercise environment (in person or virtual). BARREfusion™ improves overall fitness levels while bringing out your inner ballerina! 

The Choreography Club, for certified SOULfusion™ instructors contains development and education to upskill your repertoire. as a Fitness Instructor. It was created by Instructors for Instructors and contains everything you need as an instructor. The Choreography Club contains content, class formats, apparel, music, resources, and much more.

Member benefits are Quarterly SOULfusion™ content:

  • Quarterly SOULfusion™Collection:
  • SOULfusion™Collection Preview video
  • SOULfusion™Collection Workout video
  • SOULfusion™Music (for in-person and virtual uses)
  • SOULfusion Choreography Notes
  • SOUL Community access
  • Quarterly FREE instructor trainings
  • Quarterly PAID accredited trainings
  • 1st access to NEW modalities and formats (not included in SOUL membership)
  • Off-month BONUS SOULfusion™content

Michele Park, the Creator and Top Fitness Program Designer, has been mentoring and training clients in the fitness industry for over 30 years.  Approved by NASM, AFAA, and ACE, she developed the ingenious concept of SOULfusion™ as a way to tie together movement and music in order to create magic in the exercise room. Her goal is to … INSPIRE, MENTOR & CREATE.

SOULfusion ™ is all your favorite workouts wrapped into ONE! MEET US ON YOUR MAT! To experience a SOULfusion ™ workout, join Michele at SCW California MANIA®, and save $50 on an instructor certification.

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About SOULfusion ™

SOULfusion is a creative blend of yoga-inspired flows, short cardio bursts, balance sequences, and bodyweight and weighted strength training exercises all set to crazy fun music. It offers modifications for all levels in the group exercise environment (in person or virtual). SOULfusion trains strength, balance, and flexibility, and can help improve overall fitness levels. It is driven by music, movement, and motivation. SOULfusion is all of your favorite workouts wrapped into ONE! MEET US ON YOUR MAT!

3 Ways TaijiFit Can Positively Impact You

by David-Dorian Ross

What is TaijiFit?

Simply put, TaijiFit is a place for Old Souls and Seekers. If you’re someone who is looking for better physical, mental, and spiritual health, you’ve found your community! TaijiFit is a place where you can improve yourself, but without the self-help books and toxic positivity. We’re your guide along the journey to Inner Transformation.

The best part is all of it is immediately accessible! We use courses, coaching, and interactive Zoom sessions to get the specific and practical tools you need to start living The Good Life.

So how can TaijiFit positively impact you? The answer is with our three tenets: Feeling Good, Doing Good, and Leaving Good Behind You.

Feeling Good

Take a moment, right now, to check in with your body. How do you feel? Are you burdened with aches and pains?

Now let’s check in on your mental health. With all the things that are going on in the world, it’s highly likely you’re experiencing anxiety—and that doesn’t even take into account the stressors of our everyday lives.

The truth is, it’s hard to find meaning when we are burdened with stress, anxiety, and pain. But what if you could heal your body, and calm your heart and mind?

This is where TaijiFit could really help improve the quality of your life. We offer free weekly Tai Chi shows that you can attend either by joining our Zoom room, our social media, or YouTube. This helps your body by getting in the movement that so many of us need in this age of working behind a computer. And the TaijiFit method really hones in on the art of ‘moving meditation’, so we work on clearing your mind of stress and anxiety during these sessions as well.

Another great benefit is our Weekly Positive Thought emails. Each Monday, you’ll get an email that takes a great quote and really breaks down how to positively integrate the message into your everyday life without encouraging toxic positivity. We like for our members to take a few minutes to sit down with their favorite beverage (sleepytime tea with honey, anyone?), read through the short email, and reflect on how they feel about the message. These Positive Thought emails encourage our community members to take a few minutes to quietly reflect, and because they come at the same time each week, also encourage healthy ‘me-time’ habits.

Each month, we have a hangout on Zoom where we can talk about what’s going on in the community, check in with each other, and just be. There’s also a Facebook group full of people from all over the world, sharing their journey as it relates to the community. It’s a lively place!

Doing Good

Kindness, compassion, empathy, respect, and gentleness with Nature are important parts of life. We believe that each person is born knowing how to be their best selves, but there are times when life itself can try to overwhelm the brightest parts of our soul. And that’s one of the reasons we offer all the perks of a membership with us—we want to do good, but also make sure others have the tools they need to do good, too.

There’s an old saying that reminds us that we can best feel better by helping others. And that’s what TaijiFit does. We help others, so that they can help others. It’s a big wave that we’re spreading to the whole world, one person at a time.

Leaving Good Behind You

Speaking of a big wave of good, leaving good behind you means that you intentionally plant a seed of good whenever possible. Your actions have a ripple effect across space and time, so be sure those actions have a positive impact. Just like Johnny Appleseed, we want to plant Good wherever we go!

One of the ways TaijiFit does this is by our Tai Chi for Veterans program. We offer courses so that anyone who would like to teach TaijiFit to Veterans can take one (or more!) of our courses, get credentialed, and then teach Veterans through the VACCN. TaijiFit’s vision is to ensure that every Veteran has access to TaijiFit through their local VACCN, and anyone who has the ability to be an instructor has the opportunity to do so. You can learn more about the courses we offer here.

Want to join us? Here’s how!

We have a few ways to join in. If you’re new to TaijiFit, we recommend starting out with one of our newcomer memberships. There’s everything from a free level to an immersive level that includes weekly live classes, so be sure to check those out here!

If you are interested in trying TaijiFit firsthand, join David-Dorian Ross at SCW California MANIA®, April 1-3 or at SCW Florida MANIA®, May 20-22.  He is leading four incredible sessions throughout the weekend at the beautiful Hyatt Regency San Francisco Airport and Caribe Royal Orlando. California and Florida MANIA® Registrations starts at only $99 with schedules boasting over 150 workshops and lectures.

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About the Author, David-Dorian Ross

David-Dorian Ross has introduced more students to Tai Chi than any other teacher in America. He has been studying Tai Chi since 1979 from some of the top masters in the world. He’s also a US and world record holder in Tai Chi forms and competitions. He is the founder and CEO of TaijiFit, the creator of the TaijiFit method, and is the #1 best-selling author and creator of 150 Tai Chi educational DVDs and television programs. He is also the National Coordinator for the VA’s Tai Chi for Veterans program. 

The Physics of Pain and Performance

by Symmetry for Health

Do you remember your first year of life? Of course, you don’t, but everyone’s first year is relatively the same in terms of how your body develops around the force of gravity. You start on your back, eventually roll onto your stomach, then start to crawl, then sit, and finally you find your legs. On average it took you a full year to stand and walk.

Why is this so important? It’s important because it literally takes 12 months for your brain to connect the dots neurologically. You figure out how to tie your body’s levers and pulleys into an effective system of holding and moving your body upright around the force of gravity. You then cement this pattern by moving consistently every day for the rest of your life, which is your body’s natural intent. But we don’t. Not even close.

According to WebMD, there are more than 100 million Americans who suffer from chronic pain. If you or your clients are one of those people, then I want you to consider something that most people aren’t told: pain is not the problem, but it is a warning and can point us in the direction of a solution. Consider your car for a moment. Let’s say that your tires have begun to wear unevenly. You take your car to your mechanic who tells you that your tires are bad and need replacing. You spend $500 on new tires but one month later the new tires are worn in the same manner. At this point, if your mechanic tries to sell you another set of new tires then I suggest that you find another mechanic. A good mechanic would diagnose your car as being out of alignment which directly caused your tires to wear unevenly. It’s physics.

In 2004, we performed a study at my daughter’s elementary school in San Diego.  We measured the posture of more than 500 students ranging from kindergarten through the 3rd grade. What we found was that kindergarten through 2nd grade students had consistent, aligned posture, emulating more of the Planes of Motion we all learned at one point. However, what we also found was that 3rd graders started showing major misalignments. Sitting catches up to our frame by then which begins the process of gravity working against the natural alignment of the body. From then on, we sit in school through college to get a job where we sit all day. Combine this with injuries and accidents, repetitive stress, dominant sports, and it’s a recipe for a very crooked frame over time. When your frame becomes misaligned, the body isn’t functioning properly which leads to chronic pain and more injuries. Bad posture leads to bad movement.

Once someone establishes a long-term pattern of structural misalignment, moving the body with this frame does not maximize the body’s potential for optimal movement and function. As well, passively treating the symptoms using pain relievers, massage, or injections does not maximize the body’s ability to heal simply since you as a practitioner cannot go home with your clients and treat them every day. The structural imbalance needs to be addressed first and then new daily habits need to be formed to correct and maintain a healthy frame in between sessions with you.  There are 4 main steps to accomplish this:

  1. Measure– Measure your client’s posture to quantify your assessment.
  2. Educate– Explain your client’s compensation patterns as it relates to their pain or dysfunction.
  3. Correct– Implement the right corrective exercises in the proper sequence. Prepare the frame to maximize movement.
  4. Empower– Symmetry’s AlignSmart Technology ensures daily compliance and support, which ultimately allows for true healing and better performance.

If you are interested learning more about Symmetry’s advanced system of corrective exercise, give us a call 1-916-467-7764 or visit our site at http://www.symmetryalignsmart.com/personal-trainer. You are also able to meet with us at the upcoming SCW Florida MANIA®, May 20-22, or at SCW Dallas MANIA®, Aug 26-28, where we will host a lecture and activity session.

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About the Author, Symmetry for Health

Symmetry is a complete and profitable corrective exercise system to improve your clients’ posture, relieve their pain and improve their function.  Our certified practitioners use our patented AlignSmart technology to measure alignment, create individualized corrective routine, and provide an easy-to-use interface that engages their clients to be proactive daily for a lifetime of optimum performance.

The Neglected Building Block of Life

by Amber Toole

As a Fitness Professional and Nutrition Coach, my job is to help clients make better choices in their diet. After coaching hundreds of people, I have noticed three common mistakes many people make in reference to their nutrition and eating habits. This article will highlight only one of these but provide ideas on how to help your own clients adjust areas needed to achieve a more well-rounded healthy eating plan, leading to improved results.

Let’s take a look at protein, which many of my clients mistakenly do not eat enough of. Protein is the building block of the body. It helps repair and build muscle, promote healing from injury, and curb hunger.  It also helps maintain healthy weight.

Beginning around the age of 30, people start to lose muscle mass as a part of the aging process. This is known as sarcopenia. In order to maintain muscle mass, a person must challenge the muscles to stimulate growth, typically through progressive weight training, and fuel those challenged muscles with sufficient protein. Ignoring either of these practices means that the rate of muscle lost will be significantly higher and can lead to weakness, joint pain, and imbalance.

One of the most asked questions from my clients is “how much protein should I eat?” Let’s take a look at recommended daily allowances of protein. For the general public, protein RDA is 10% – 35% of total daily caloric intake. For example, a person who consumes 2000 calories daily would need a range of 50 grams – 175 grams of protein a day. The average of that range is approximately 113 grams. If your client were to strive to reach that amount of protein in their day, that would mean they would have to consume approximately 38 grams of protein in each meal (breakfast, lunch, and dinner) or about 23 grams of protein spread out across 5 meals and snacks.

Take a look at some examples of lean protein sources a person could eat in order to consume those recommended amounts:

Source

Amount for 23 grams of protein

Amount for 38 grams of protein

Chicken Breast, cooked

74g

122g

Mahi, Mahi, cooked

98g

160g

Egg Whites, weighed raw

211g

350g

Pork Loin, cooked

81g

133g

Turkey Breast, cooked

77g

127g

Shrimp, steamed

110g

182g

When coaching your clients on increasing quality protein amounts, it may be helpful to provide them with many options and ideas. Lean protein sources are chicken, turkey, fish, seafood, egg whites and pork (loin, chops.) Many clients believe snacking on nuts, seeds, dairy, quinoa, beans, and legumes are viable protein sources, but these options don’t provide large enough amounts for the serving size. Others may also find that a quality protein powder is a convenient and easy way to supplement their daily protein intake. The key is eating a balanced diet, not just focusing on protein, but also the correct amount of carbohydrates and good fat intake as well.

FOOD TIP:
Meal prepping lean protein sources helps cut down on time spent in the kitchen!

Crockpot Chicken Recipe

Ingredients:
1.5 lbs. of boneless skinless chicken breast
1 tsp garlic powder
Salt and pepper
3 cups of low sodium chicken broth (or enough to just cover the chicken)

Directions:
Season the chicken breast with garlic powder, salt, and pepper on both sides. Lay seasoned chicken breasts in the crock pot and cover with the chicken broth. Cook for 4 hours on high or 6 hours on low.
Once the chicken is done, remove to a cutting board and shred with a fork.

Use the shredded chicken to create multiple meals throughout the week. Here are some ideas.

  • Mixed green salad topped with chicken
  • Chicken salad wrap – mix in your favorite – chopped almonds, chopped grapes, tomatoes, Greek yogurt, or mustard, add greens and wrap up in a tortilla
  • Chicken Soup – mix chicken broth, seasonings, corn, celery, carrots, beans or lentils together and top with a dollop of Greek yogurt or a little shredded cheese
  • Chicken tacos – layer chicken, avocado, tomatoes, cilantro and onions on corn tortillas
  • Quinoa bowl – mix chicken with quinoa and your favorite vegetables, herbs and spices
  • Stuffed Sweet potato

If you want more fun food and nutrition tips, join Amber at SCW Florida MANIA®, May 20-22 at the Caribe Royale Orlando.  Come play and learn only minutes from Walt Disney World and Sea World.  With over 150 workshops and lectures over three full days, along with an exciting expo, there is never a moment to spare.  Bring the family and enjoy the 2-room suites and the lagoon pool with a built in rock-slide. MANIA® registration starts at only $99.

For those of you who can’t make it to sunny Florida, take advantage of over 80 recorded sessions from DC MANIA® including Amber’s Nutrition Math – Calories, Grams, and Sizes, OH MY! Workshop for a deeper understanding. Lastly, be sure to check your email inbox for announcements for the upcoming Nutrition Coaching Summit this June.

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About the Author, Amber Toole

Amber Toole holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Physical Education and Health. Through educating, coaching, training, and teaching, Amber is passionate about spreading the truth about health and fitness. It is her life goal to share self-care, through safe and effective exercise, proper nutrition, stress management techniques, recovery, and rest.

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