We’re Back Baby: Atlanta MANIA® Returns

by Robin Taylor

Do you know what Fitness Professionals are known for? Of course, you do! You are one.  All of us are strong, fearless leaders, but most important we are RESILIENT! We have been tempted, tried, and tested (literally), and yet we’ve overcome all the obstacles set in front of us, hurdled them, and come out winners.  More than two years ago we were confined to our homes, but did that hold us back? NO! We looked outside the box to see how our businesses and jobs could grow.  Virtual classes, led to hybrid, which led to creating alternative programming, like chair workouts, since our pools were closed.  We now teach and train in studios, gyms, on websites, and OnDemand.  Not only have we pivoted to survive, but we also realized we could overcome whatever life throws at us. We desire the education to learn as much possible and take our careers higher than ever. 

SCW Fitness reconvened in-person October 2021, with Midwest MANIA®, followed by Boston, DC, California, and most recently Florida.  Each fitness pro convention has grown with not only more attendees, but more exhibitors, Staff Assistants, and most definitely excitement.  We love getting real hugs and strong handshakes.  Sessions are getting fuller, livelier, and of course sweatier.  SCW has taken all the precautions to keep everyone safe, including antibacterial wipes, social distancing, and less waiting in line by incorporating QR codes. 

Atlanta MANIA®, August 5-7, was recently announced.  Full registration is open, and attendees have over 150 inspiring sessions and workshops to choose from including more than 45 lectures devoted to the Health & Fitness Business Summit. The 3-day event schedule encompasses education for everyone along with special hours to shop in our expo, filled with dozens of exhibitors selling equipment, athletic clothes, certifications, education, necessities, and more.  The SCW Booth has tons of great deals including 50% off Equipment, 20% off BOSU, 50% off Athletic Apparel, $4.99 DVD/Music Blowout Sale, new SCW T-shirts, Tanks, and brand-new Sweatshirts & Hoodies. Keep in mind Christmas is only 6 months away.

Over this action-packed weekend, earn up to 20 CEC/CEUs from SCW, ACE, AEA, AFAA, & NASM, plus enhance your teaching portfolio with 16 accredited certifications both pre & post-convention. Go home certified and ready to train clients and members in Barre, Yoga, Boxing, Personal Training, Life Coaching, or maybe even our recently released S.E.A.T. (Supported Exercise for Ageless Training) Certification.

Here’s a sneak peek video of what to expect.

The innovative and powerful schedule is filled with an enormous assortment of topics and focuses. Hold your spot in the latest trending sessions focusing on 15 of today’s hottest fitness formats and business spotlights, such as Functional Training, Active Aging, Mind/Body, Boxing, Strength Training, Leadership, Nutrition, and so many more.   Lectures and workshops from your favorite and soon to be favorite presenters, like “Pump Up Your Productivity” with Marissa Hoff, MEd, “Growth of a Muscle Cell” led by Melissa Layne, MEd, “Barracuda Booty” presented by Cheri Kulp, “Fight Night 2.0” with Diva Richards, “LIT 101” with Dane Robinson, and “H.I.I.T.- Prevent Chronic Disease” presented by Kurt Gillon.

Registration options have expanded to accommodate all our participants. Choose from either a 3-Day In-Person MANIA® for only $199 with promo code GO (was $359) or for those on a budget, apply to be a Staff Assistant. Work 1 day, get the other 2 days FREE, depending on where you assist.  Registration is only $99 (a $260 savings) and you choose which department where you want to help, while still earning up to 20 CECs. Not only that, but you receive 50% OFF all SCW Certifications, 20% OFF all SCW Products, a FREE T-shirt, FREE SCW Member Room refreshments, and a FREE SCW Staff Dinner Party with drinks & prizes. Lastly, new to SCW MANIA® registration is Recorded Sessions.  If you can’t join us in-person, register for 100 session recordings for only $199 (was $299) to watch at your own leisure for 40 days and still earn 20 CECs/CEUs.  Also, as an extra option for those attending Atlanta MANIA®, you can purchase the recordings to watch over 40 days for only $40, that’s $1 per day. What a deal!  This is a prime opportunity to review the workshops on your own time at home that might have been missed at MANIA®. 

Now that we’ve got you jumping out of your skin with excitement, it’s time to check out the schedule and get registered. Rub elbows with your idols, and speaking of idols, don’t forget to check out the SCW Fitness Idol Competition on Friday night.  You might become the next big STAR and present at a future MANIA®.

Here’s your chance to do something for your career, your members, and of course YOU! Lastly, don’t forget to share this exciting news with your friends and family.  The more the merrier but reserve your room quickly. The room rate specials will sell out quick.  Looking forward to seeing you in at SCW Atlanta MANIA®, August 5-7.

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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.

“So, Your Doctor Told You to Start Exercising! Now what?”

by Christine Conti, MEd

Have you ever been given this very simple, yet incredibly complicated advice from your doctor?

“You could really benefit from starting an exercise program.”

If so, you are lucky to have a doctor who understands the power of exercise! In fact, exercise has been proven to help prevent diseases, reduce pain, decrease dependency on medications, and improve overall quality of life.  The benefits are seemingly endless. However, are you someone who hasn’t the slightest clue as to what to do next? Where should you go? Who should you ask for help? Fear not, because you are not alone! Take a deep breath and follow these simple steps to begin a safe, effective, and lasting exercise program today.

  1. Identify the Why

If a medical professional suggests you begin an exercise program, what is their reasoning behind it? While “obesity is linked to more than 60 chronic diseases,” your doctor may not be suggesting that you need to lose weight, but instead, suggesting that you need to address a specific weakness. Do you have a medical condition where weight loss or improved cardiovascular health could add more quality years to your life or reduce your dependency on medications? Asking your doctor to fully explain these questions will help you understand how specific exercises can improve your physical and mental wellbeing.

For example, if you have a heightened risk for falls, improving strength and balance is of utmost importance. However, if you are overly dependent on high blood pressure medications, your goal may be to improve cardiovascular health through aerobic activities. If you suffer from chronic pain or various forms of arthritis, the objective of your exercise routine will be more focused on enhancing mobility and flexibility, improving muscle imbalances and strength, as well as assisting with the pain management through mindfulness technique. Knowing your “why” is the first step towards clarifying your “how.”

  1. Invest in Yourself

“The most important things in life are NOT things.” -Anthony D’Angelo

It is rumored that Tom Brady, better known as the G.O.A.T. and the winningest quarterback in the NFL, spends over a million dollars a year on his health. Odell Beckham Jr., another famous NFL star, says that “I take care of my body each and every day. I put, probably, over $300,000 in my body in the offseason…It’s a lot to upkeep. I don’t ever want to decline.” In all honesty, do you blame these athletes for spending so much money on their health when their health is their livelihood?

When a medical professional suggests that you begin an exercise program, it is because they believe it will help your overall mental and physical well-being. While you may not be a professional athlete, you may be someone who wishes to remain active and independent for the remainder of your life. Therefore, it is paramount to invest in a certified fitness professional or medical fitness trainer to help create a program that meets your individual needs.

Think about it like this, when your car needs to be fixed, do you try to fix it yourself or do you seek a certified specialist who will make an educated assessment, create a game plan, and implement the necessary changes? I think it is safe to say that you will spend money on your car but may scoff at the thought of hiring a trainer. What is more important? Things can be replaced, but people are irreplaceable. There are certified fitness professionals in your area you can find via a simple internet search or by posing a question on social media to your local chamber of commerce. With that being said, don’t be afraid to shop around and interview various trainers to make sure they are a good fit for you!

  1. Find a Match

“Find a job that you enjoy doing, and you will never have to work a day in your life.” -Mark Twain

Mark Twain was onto something when he spoke about the importance of enjoying what you do! This same principle applies when you set out on an exercise journey. If swimming scares you or you have nightmares about running, then pick exercises that you enjoy. Do you love to dance? Try taking some dance classes! Do you enjoy riding your bike? Let that be a part of your new exercise routine. If you dread your exercise sessions, loathe your trainer, or hate every minute of your workout, then it is not going to last. If it feels like work, it’s not going to work! Exercise should be an enjoyable, yet challenging, part of your day!

In addition, be sure that you take the time to assess how you are feeling and clearly communicate this to your trainer. If you are feeling run down, overly sore, or under-the-weather, your body is trying to tell you something. All these signs are extremely important when it comes to enjoying the endless benefits of making exercise a part of your life. Now, let’s take action and begin to take control of your health.

For more tips and inspiration, join me at Atlanta MANIA®, August 5-7 at the Grand Hyatt Atlanta Hotel.  My sessions include “Arthritis Exercises: From Head to Toe”, “Words Matter: Eating Disorders & the Fitness Industry”, and “Chronic Pain Relief”.  Now is the time to take that step for a healthier you!

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About the Author, Christine Conti, MEd

Christine is an international fitness educator, speaker, course author, Arthritis and Orthopedic Fitness Specialist, and creator of SCW Chronic Disease Specialist Certification. She has worked over 20 years in the medical fitness industry helping to prevent and battle disease through healthy lifestyles. Christine serves on the MedFIT Network education advisory board, she is an avid podcaster, as well as the creator of FallPROOF Fall Prevention and Let’s FACE It Together Facial Exercise & Rehabilitation. Christine’s signature best-selling book, SPLIT-SECOND COURAGE, was released in January 2022.

Six Truths Great Health and Exercise Professionals Live By

by Dr. Erin Nitschke

Every professional has what they would call a “secret sauce” to their success. Of course, it is different for each individual and each profession but there are common great truths most certified and experienced health and exercise professionals would identify as the key ingredients to long-term success in the industry.

Aside from the obvious such as a degree, background, education, and/or accredited certification in an area of the industry, health and exercise professionals need to be mindful of the secret six when laying the foundational bricks of their careers.

  1. Commitment to Education. Becoming certified is not the ending point; it is a starting point. The health and exercise industry is under constant evolution. What applied 20 years ago is mute in today’s contemporary practices. New philosophies emerge, new research findings are published, and more sophisticated understandings of training tools and modalities develop. To be successful in this space, certified professionals must create a continuing education plan and commit to following it through. A solid plan begins with the question of “what do I most want to learn?” or “what strengths do I need to hone to accomplish X?” I see some professionals wait until “it’s that time” to renew their certification or enter their continuing education credits and suddenly, it’s a race to beat a clock. This results in poorly absorbed information and minimally applied knowledge. Depending on your certification cycle (often it is every two years), identify two or three topics you would most like to explore and seek out learning opportunities.
  2. Respecting the Scope. As we work with our clients, we nurture a relationship with them. We learn about their lives, their work, their families, their worries, and their successes. As a result, clients feel compelled to confide in us or ask us questions that may be outside of our scope of practice to address (such as mental health counseling/psychological treatment, diagnosis of an injury, specific nutritional or dietary supplement recommendations, etc.). We must grow comfortable in our ability to effectively communicate with our clients what our scope is and what it means for the work we commit to. To address this, I like to include a “what you can expect in working with me” summary that is part of my client welcome packets. In this document, I summarize what to expect with each service: personal training, health coaching, and nutrition coaching. I also include a list of FAQs for future and potential clients to examine and revisit as I receive and add more common questions. You will face times when your scope of practice is challenged; be ready to address what is outside of your abilities to offer.
  3. Always Networking. Networking is a powerful tool, and it is something that needs consistent attention and massaging. Chances are, you already have a professional network if you were part of a study group, cohort, or undergraduate class of professionals. Or, you may have even attended a conference or watched a webinar. Each individual you come in contact with has the potential to become a part of your network. As you grow your career, it is important to plant seeds with other professionals – not so much so that you can “get something out of them” but to invest in them and develop a reciprocal relationship in which you engage with each other’s work and content. I follow this rule each time I attend a conference, watch a webinar, or take a class: The Conference Rule of Connection. This is not an industry rule or something all professionals do, but it is something that has served me well. After the class, conference, or webinar, I email the presenter or follow their social media handles and reach out to them with a personal note saying, “thank you for contributing to the industry and my knowledge.” It is my way of showing appreciation to another professional who is brave enough to put themselves out there and share their expertise. Most of the time, I get a response back thanking me for my interest and time. It feels good to lift other professionals up. It is how we elevate ourselves and our industry.
  4. Embrace Mistakes. Success is never a straight, smooth path. Part of the path includes errors in judgement and silly mistakes. The successful professional is one who acknowledges their mistake, apologizes for the oversight, and commits to learning from the error. We are human and mistakes are part of the process but being doomed to repeat them is not. Embrace the errors you make. No one gets stronger by skipping the struggle.
  5. Commitment to Teaching or Mentorship. A formal mentorship program is missing from the health and exercise industry and, I believe, it is one reason we lose certified members of the community of professionals we have worked so hard to develop. As a professional, you can commit to doing your part to mentor new professionals by sharing your knowledge openly and authentically, by providing guidance, being a safe space to ask questions, and invest in the future of the profession.
  6. Authenticity is what our clients need – it’s what turns the initial exchange from transactional to relational. It becomes about the process and not the result. Showing up as your authentic self, hot mess, struggle bus, or otherwise, allows our clients and colleagues to see us as human; as an individual they can relate to; as someone who understands the hard work and dedication it takes to make a lifestyle change (and sustain that change). Be your authentic self, use humor, laugh, smile, and cry if you need to. The most successful professionals are those who never lose themselves on their way to that success.

These “secret six” are lessons I learned along my almost 20-year journey as a certified health and exercise professional. They are lessons I now teach my college students and share with my industry colleagues alike. What secrets have you learned about a successful career journey?

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About the Author, Dr. Erin Nitschke

Erin is a professor of exercise science at Laramie County Community College. She holds certifications including NFPT-CPT, NSCA-CPT, ACE Health Coach, Fitness Nutrition Specialist, Therapeutic Exercise Specialist, and Pn1. Erin is an editorial author for IDEA, NFPT, where she writes regularly on topics related to personal training and health coach skill building, behavior change, and career success. Connect with her at [email protected], @nitschkeerin on Instagram or on LinkedIn.

There’s No Place Like Foam

by Ed Halper

As fitness evolves, more recognition has been put into how we can continue to exercise and keep fully functional in our “golden years.”  What magical piece of equipment can help us stay flexible and mobile? The answer, foam rollers!  They are just as essential in a club as dumbbells and Elliptical machines.

Professional athletes swear by them. I remember ageless wonder Bartolo Colon of the Mets, attributed roller work with his ability to pitch effectively into his mid 40’s. Ever watched the U.S. Open and noticed the top tennis players in the world “rolling” before their matches?

Wonder why? Simply put, foam rolling is self-massage, or in technical terms, myo-fascial release. Fascia has been described like a “sausage casing;” connective tissue that acts as a protectant and communication system for our muscles, joints, tendons, blood vessels, and internal organs.

With age, inactivity, and injury Fascia “balls up” and becomes gel-like. Rolling, safe to perform every day, pre- and or post-workout, helps keep the Fascia doing its job of protecting and strengthening our entire body. One interesting fact in the SCW CEC Course, “There’s No Place Like Foam” (ably taught by Sara Kooperman, CEO of SCW Fitness) is that “30% of the body’s force is transmitted by Fascia.” You want to get strong? Don’t ignore your foam rolling!

A quick on-line search will give you plenty of ways to use the foam roller. A variety of sizes and densities are available depending on which part of the body needs attention; back, shoulders, or lower body.

A couple of user tips:

  • When you hit a “hot spot,” you’ll know it, and it could be quite painful (the hips/IT band always get me!) Take some of your body weight off and use steady breathing techniques to make it more comfortable. Moving one inch in each direction around the “hot spot” can also help.
  • Avoid a 90-degree angle on the wrists. Keep it at 45 degrees if you’re using the roller for planks or push-up variations.
  • Generally, stay on one spot for 30-90 seconds, rolling over it slowly.
  • Don’t roll directly over joints.
  • Rolling once or twice a day is fine but give yourself a 48-hour recovery period after a medical rolling treatment.
  • Before a run or strength workout, I almost never “roll” because I’m either pressed for time or just anxious to start and/or “get it over with!” After training (and occasionally, in-between sets when lifting) I always roll and feel better. Plus, rolling even just a little bit, can be considered a beneficial part of your fitness program. What’s better than that!

After you complete this CEC course, you may want to consider getting certified to train others in the art of Foam Rolling.  SCW Fitness has a superb online certification “Practical Approach to Recovery & Rolling” which teaches you everything A to Z when it comes to learning about performance, pain reduction, and injury prevention. From the comfort of your own home, examine current research and applied physiology of foam rolling and other self-myofascial tools and techniques. The educational materials include the SCW Foam Rolling Course Manual, Outlines, Instructions, Online exam, and “There’s No Place Like Foam” streaming video. The certification is only $149 and earns up to 6 CEC from providers like AFAA, NASM, ACSM, AEA (2), and SCW, plus you receive a FREE Live Certification of the same course within a year at any MANIA® Fitness Convention.

Hope you enjoyed this SCW CEC Course review, “There’s No Place Like Foam” and it has inspired you to learn more about staying flexible, mobile, and of course healthy. Stay tuned for the next review in an upcoming Spotlite newsletter.

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About the Author, Ed Halper

Ed has been a member of SCW since its inception, and currently holds four Certifications in Personal Training and Nutrition. He and wife, Laurie, were the proprietors of Mountain Fitness in Warren, NJ, from 1998-2018, and he still is employed at the site as a Fitness Trainer. Ed earned his B.A. from Monmouth College (now University) in 1980, where he participated in cross-country and track and served as head coach afterward. He pursued his love of fitness with a master’s degree in Education (concentration in Phys Ed) from Trenton State College (now College of NJ) in 1991. Ed, an active road runner with a marathon best of 2:43.06, has worked in the fitness field for over 35 years. He and Laurie are proud parents to two grown children, living in Washington, DC, and Boston. (The site of two SCW MANIA which give him a great reason to visit!)  Ed’s fitness and nutrition articles can be found on the Mountain Fitness Facebook page. He can be reached directly at [email protected].

Be Confident in Generating Gym Profit and Making an Impact

by Katie Swanson

Much like you set non-scale goals with your members and clients you need non-profit goals for your business.  Not the non-profit philanthropic kind but kind of.  You are in business, so you do need to generate a healthy profit.  And you went into business for something more than profit.  That something may be a mark you want to leave on the world or to make an impact on individual lives or maybe even to solve a problem.  When your focus is on that reason then the profit will come.

You may tell your members a similar story.  Focus on the why and the what will be easier.  The scale is a way to measure how well your members are tracking to plan and if or how the plan needs to be adjusted.  Focus on getting the things in the plan right and the scale will get right.  Profit is like the scale.  You measure profit to see how well you’re executing in your business.  One suggestion to drive profit and impact is by following a business financial plan.  Are you following a plan?

The purpose of losing weight is about much more than the number on the scale.  It’s about what the members will be able to do once they reach their scale goal.  Just like their purpose is bigger than the scale, your purpose is bigger than profit.  What you plan to do with that profit and the impact you plan to make on others’ lives is uniquely yours.  Your experience is customized and individually yours.

When I talk about money, I am talking about a lot more than the financial numbers because it’s not just about the money in your fitness business.  I take a customized and individual approach when I work with gym owners.  When we work together, we kick-off our on-boarding with a meeting focused on goals and strategy.  This is where we get into deep conversations about goals – business and personal goals.  Business goals help you meet personal goals and business goals need to reflect your personal goals.    These goals are the foundation of the business financial plan we will create to help you gain confidence in your numbers to make business decisions to lead you to impact.

Look at four considerations as you develop your goals.

Impact. The impact you want to make can be “big” on a few people or “broad” on many people.  This can be a single studio or virtual training or multiple locations or virtual group fitness classes.  You can make impact through personal training, group fitness, nutrition, or health coaching.  Your vision is uniquely yours.  Think about what you want your impact to be and what you can financially sustain.  Make sure your impact aligns with your financial resources.

Finances.  Know your cash position or cash investment.  Know where you are starting from.  This will help understand how quickly you can grow with the financial resources available.  Know your comfort in taking on debt and or other investors to fund your vision.  Know your numbers and what it is going to take.  This will help narrow the direction you will take.

Sustainability.  The goals you set for yourself must be sustainable and practical.  You do this with your members and make sure their goals reflect what is actually possible.  So, make sure your business goals reflect what is possible.  Understand what it takes to gain 10 new members per month – both the financial investment and the time investment.  Do you have enough money or time or human resources to make this happen?  And for how long?

Personal Goals.  Make sure your business goals still allow for you to meet your personal goals.  At least understand how long you’re willing to put off personal goals to meet business goals.  If you like to travel, make sure your business goals don’t require so much of your time that you don’t have the time freedom to travel.  Or if you are giving up that personal goal of travel to focus on your business, how long are you willing to do that?  Or even If you want to pay yourself $5k per month and you also want to hire a full-time coach.  If both goals are not possible how long are you willing to take less pay or go without a full-time coach.  Personal goals and business goals hand in hand.

Developing goals and identifying impact is the first step of my 5-step process to creating a business financial plan.  You can learn more about business financial planning during my presentation in the Health & Fitness Business Summit at the upcoming Dallas (August 26-28) and Midwest  (September 30-October 2) MANIA® Conventions.  Or stop by the Change Collaborative booth in the Expo – I will be there all weekend and would love to meet you.  Otherwise visit my website,  www.changecollaborative.co, for more information to help you become more confident in setting goals.

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About the Author, Katie Swanson, CPA, CVA

Katie Swanson, Founder of Change Collaborative, specializes in strengthening the financial core for fitness businesses to bring financial stability in driving business forward. Katie spent much of her career working in corporate finance and accounting roles, where she led corporations through complex accounting and managerial and financial reporting, including the creation of a financial planning and analysis team. Her most rewarding times have been working with business leaders to live their higher purpose through meeting their strategic and financial goals.

Where to Start as a New Fitness Trainer

by Lou Atkinson

The pandemic has given a lot of people a reason, and in some cases an opportunity, to consider a career change. Many can agree that being a fitness trainer is a rewarding job. As a trainer you combine the fulfilment of helping individuals achieve their health and fitness goals while being paid to do what you love – exercise. Maybe you have been enviously looking across the gym or studio at that superstar trainer and wanting to follow in their footsteps, or perhaps you have already received a certification and are looking to take your first steps into the world of fitness training. Either way, the initial stages of your trainer journey can be nerve-wracking, so here are a few tips on getting started and working towards your career goals. 

1) Practice, practice, practice!  

Knowledge and skills only become honed and embedded with repetition and reflection. Take every opportunity you can to teach a class or train a client and treat it as a learning experience. We can use Kolb’s Learning Cycle as a guide to facilitate experiential learning.

Experience – you deliver a training session 

Reflective Observation – take time after the session to review it. Ask yourself: what worked well? What didn’t work well? What might have worked better? How did the client(s) respond? You can do this by just recalling the session, but as memory can be selective, recording the session can really help with this process. Asking clients for explicit feedback to include in your review can also really accelerate your learning. Although it is hard to do so, remember to focus as much on the positives as on the negatives! 

Conceptualization – what have you learned from the review? Take time to analyze why certain things happened. For example, if you stuttered over your words, was this because you were nervous or because you hadn’t spent enough time preparing your session? If the client gave you positive feedback about how well the session was tailored to their needs, was that because you took time to speak to them about their goals and abilities before the session, or because you checked in with them during the session and modified your plans on the go in response?  

Active Experimentation – based on what you have learned, what do you want to implement in the next session? Make a plan and try it out. To avoid doing too much at one time, it can be helpful to think of just one thing you will do differently next time. Consider each action separately as to stop, start, or continue next time. Then repeat the cycle as you continue to learn more.  

2) Learn from others

We learn basic skills by watching those around us. Becoming a great trainer is no different. Take time to attend other trainers’ sessions. Observe what they do and say, and how they interact with their clients. What makes them great? What elements do they use that you could adapt to your own style and personality? If possible, work with those trainers, by supporting or co-teaching their sessions. This offers the opportunity for more experiential learning. Feedback from an experienced trainer can be insightful alongside your own reflections. You can also open conversations to learn more about them; how they developed their own skills and what mistakes they made along the way, so you can try to avoid them. 

3) Work on your weaknesses until they become your strengths

When you first start out there will be a lot you don’t know, and plenty of skills you don’t have. Decide which of those gaps you want to fill and when and how you will achieve them. Identify continuing professional development options that will enable you to build new competencies. Sometimes this will be about learning how to deliver a completely new exercise modality or program that can be added to your repertoire, making you more versatile and valuable to employers. Other times, this will be about getting on top of the latest trends or finding ideas to spice up your classes. This not only keeps your sessions fresh, but it will keep you motivated and build your confidence.  

It can be challenging to take time out of your schedule to educate yourself, but you will come out inspired and refreshed, and your clients will notice the difference. This is why Core Health & Fitness offers a vast range of options to grow and develop your skills, including webinars, blogs, online self-paced education programs, and live workshops, all designed and delivered by our world class master instructors. You can become the best by learning from the best so as you build your client base and roster of classes, don’t overlook the importance of continually challenging yourself to learn and grow. Before you know it, you will be the inspiration for the next generation of trainers. 

Learn More About Core Health & Fitness Instructor Education Offerings

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About the Author, Dr. Lou Atkinson

Dr. Lou Atkinson is a Lecturer in Psychology at Aston University, UK, and a Senior Master Instructor for Core Health & Fitness. 

Chia Benefits & Recipes

by Robin Taylor

We often see terms like antioxidants and superfoods in the headlines and on social media, but do you really know what they are? What makes them “super”? How can they keep us healthy?

Here’s a quick definition of a superfood: Mainly plant-based foods that have a variety of nutrients known to fend off diseases like cancer, heart disease, diabetes, and digestive issues.  Their chemical make-up from dark colors, phytochemicals, and healthy fats offers many health benefits. 

The list of superfoods, like blueberries, kale, acai, dragon fruit, and pomegranate, keeps growing, but one particular option can be used in various ways, creating yummy meals that can be eaten throughout the day.

Let me introduce Chia Seeds.  The tiny black seed from the mint family that packs a lot of punch.  It is native to Mexico and Guatemala and is the Mayan word for Strength.  Aztec culture used chia for medicinal purposes and included it as an important part of daily diets.  Chia seeds are found to have antioxidants that fight free radicals in your body to help repair cell damage. They are believed to help reduce heart disease, improve blood sugar levels, and reduce inflammation.  According to WebMD.com, 1-ounce of chia has 39% of daily recommended fiber. 

The seeds absorb the water, expanding in the stomach, creating a feeling of fullness, thus helping to control weight. They also contain nutrients, such as magnesium and phosphorus, extremely important for bone health and 18% of your calcium RDA.  Another benefit of chia seeds is the amount of omega-3 fatty acid which helps to reduce the risk of chronic and inflammatory conditions.

1-ounce of Chia contains:

  • 138 calories
  • 7 g protein
  • 7 g fat
  • 12 g carbohydrate
  • 8 g fiber
  • 0 g sugar

Enjoy these easy two recipes to be eaten at any time of day.

Chia Seed Pudding

By Sohailla Digsby, RDN, LD

INGREDIENTS:

  • 1/3 cup chia seeds
  • 1 can light coconut milk
  • Pinch of salt
  • Dash of vanilla (optional, for flavor)
  • Agave or maple syrup (optional, for sweetener)

DIRECTIONS:

  1. Whisk around ⅓ cup chia seeds in with 1 can light coconut milk.
  2. Add a pinch of salt and optionally a bit of vanilla and either agave or maple sugar.
  3. Let sit in fridge overnight to “congeal”.
  4. Whisk the mixture briefly a few times during the first 1-2 hours to make sure the texture is uniform.

Makes 4-8 servings depending on how much you like to eat. Eat in the morning with fresh berries, fruit, jam, coconut flakes etc. ENJOY! 😋

Banana Muffins w/Chia

INGREDIENTS:

  • ½ cup oil (olive, canola, sunflower)
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1tsp vanilla
  • 1 2/3 cup flour (white) or mix whole wheat (1 cup) & white (2/3 cup)
  • 1 tbs chia seeds
  • 1/3-1/2 cup sugar (depending on how sweet you want it)
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 3 bananas (very ripe)

DIRECTIONS:

  1. Preheat the oven to 350
  2. 12-count muffin pan- spray w/oil or butter
  3. In a bowl- Mix the eggs and oil together, add vanilla
  4. In another bowl- combine flour, chia, sugar, baking powder, & baking soda
  5. Mix the contents of both bowls together
  6. Add bananas
  7. Mix well
  8. Fill muffin pan
  9. Bake for 15-20 minutes
  10. Cool and enjoy
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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.
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