SCW Spotlite: Issue 64
But ChatGPT is Not the Solution
Today, content is king, and businesses must capitalize on a variety of written marketing tools to remain competitive. More than just a website and social media posts, fitness professionals, studios, and gyms have to continually produce blogs, newsletters, promotional materials, videos, ads, and more to raise awareness of and build loyalty to their brand.
However, given the vast volume of information, clients and prospects likely only devote a few seconds while navigating content to determine what is worthy of their attention amidst this digital deluge. How can you make sure they choose your content?
Great writing makes a difference.
Quality Trumps Quantity
Quality is critical.
You may think that because people tend to skim – rather than fully read – so much written material today, quality is a secondary consideration and that good enough is enough.
But consider if you operate with that philosophy in other areas of your business. Is good enough a license to teach the same group ex class over and over, without changing the choreography, exercises or music?
Is it good enough to cycle several clients through the same workouts rather than invest in customization?
And is it good enough to skip preventative maintenance of equipment because you’re short-staffed?
To excel, you can’t settle for good enough anywhere. When it comes to written content, many competing demands exist for your audience’s attention. Therefore, why not make the effort to ensure that your content is compelling so that it fully benefits your business?
Why ChatGPT Isn’t the Answer
Good writing is well-constructed, grammatically accurate, properly punctuated sentences that are clear and logically organized to inform readers. With smart prompts, reference checking and human editing, you may be able to get this from AI like ChatGPT.
ChatGPT can give you the basics, but its writing is robotic, generic, and forgettable. It lacks creativity and human insight. Relying on it to produce your content will result in bland, stilted messaging that easily gets lost in a sea of sameness.
Great writing is much more. It educates, inspires, connects, prompts, persuades, and impacts readers. It conveys voice and emotion, tone and nuance, character and allusion. It stands out and is memorable. By nature, then, great writing must come from human authors; AI is a machine and simply isn’t capable of this sophistication.
That doesn’t mean that all written content you produce must be worthy of a literary award, of course. But moving beyond basic writing to ensure that your communication is meaningful, engaging, and effective is worth it and can lead to powerful results for your business.
Benefits of Great Writing
Well-written content with relevant keywords drives traffic to your online presence and attracts greater interest in printed materials. This can lead to new leads, business opportunities, recruitment, and revenue.
Typos on your website or in your marketing materials instantly make your business look sloppy and diminish the value of your brand. Great writing includes strong editing and precise proofreading.
Enhances your credibility.
With so much misleading and false information in the fitness industry, accurate and clear writing positions you as an expert, builds trust and encourages people to read your content.
Customizes your brand.
Consumers today want to connect with brands they believe in and that share similar values. Great writing humanizes your brand voice so people understand the people behind the business.
Differentiates your business.
Let’s face it; there are only so many ways you can write about building your biceps. Stand out from competitors with thoughtful, practical content that your audience can easily digest and apply. Understand their interests and deliver accordingly.
Builds relationships and loyalty.
Despite all the advantages of technology, people still crave genuine connection and relationships. Good writing compels people to read, share, and comment on your content, which facilitates familiarity and trust and can foster positive reviews.
From Good to Great
Although many people seem to think they are great writers, the reality is that effective writing is a trained skill and not a universal talent. Just because you – or ChatGPT – can write doesn’t mean that you should be writing for your business.
Like you hire an accountant to manage your books, powerful writing is available through professional writers. Many are available on a contract basis and can work within your budget parameters. Or you may choose to hire an employee to manage all writing for your business.
Delegating this task to someone unqualified or simply relying on ChatGPT results only in words on paper and not much else in terms of achieving business objectives. Furthermore, if your content continually falls short, your audience will learn to tune out, thereby further reducing its effectiveness.
Being mindful of and intentional about harnessing the impact of great writing helps your business stand out and succeed. In today’s competitive landscape, investing in compelling content delivers a valuable and enduring ROI.
About the Author: Julie King, MS
Julie King, MS, has spent two decades as a freelance writer and content creator, specializing in the fitness industry, and working for a variety of companies and professional organizations. Holding multiple certifications, a bachelor’s degree in journalism and a master’s degree in kinesiology, she has been a group exercise instructor and personal trainer for more than 30 years. She also has served as a manager, fitness director and fitness/wellness coordinator within health clubs and corporate fitness centers. Reach her at [email protected].
6 Breathing Exercises to Reduce Stress
by Elizabeth Kovar
Courtesy of ACE Fitness
About the Author, Elizabeth Kovar
Elizabeth Kovar, MA, has studied yoga in five different countries. Her master’s thesis, “Creating Yoga Programs for People with Movement Disabilities,” was implemented on a 12-week study for people with Stage 1-2 Parkinson’s disease. Based in Seattle, she serves as fitness coordinator at a local recreation center.
Managing Your Fitness During the Holidays
Courtesy of Heartline Fitness
Reminder: The American College of Sports Medicine’s recommends 150 minutes of moderate activity or 20 to 60 minutes of vigorous cardio three times a week, plus strength training and stretching. How’s that working out for you during this pandemic? And now that the holidays are almost here, do you even have a chance of keeping up with your exercise routine? YES, you can do it!
What you need is a plan. You may have heard the expression “make your plan then work your plan” as the guiding principle for accomplishing almost anything you set your mind to. Fitness is no different. So here we’re going to share some top fitness experts’ tips for working in your workout in the coming weeks of celebration.
Here’s another factoid: Research shows that half the weight you gain over the holidays takes until the summer months to come off — if it comes off at all.
Rather than giving up and giving in to the holiday cookies, cakes, big carb-loaded dinners and the like, one personal trainer advises his clients who have an existing fitness routine to compress their workouts into short but intense sessions that get your heart rate up and build strength. He’s talking about 20 minutes three or four times a week. Then get back to your regular routine right after the new year starts.
Here are some good, specific, short workouts to give you the maximum benefits in the shortest amount of time over the holidays:
- Try squeezing in 15 to 20 minutes of high-intensity interval training (HIIT) on the treadmill or at the park, raising your heart rate to 80% of maximum in one running interval for three minutes, then lowering it to 60% in the following three-minute recovery period by walking or slowing to a light jog. Repeat the sprint-and-recover intervals three or four times each workout.
- If you’ll travel over the holidays, it can be especially hard to keep up with your strength routine. So, pick just a handful of basic bodyweight-based strength exercises that can be done anywhere – lunges, squats, pushups, plank-ups— at your in-laws’ house or an airport layover. Set a timer on your phone for one minute and crank out 15 reps of one, rest for the remainder of the minute and then switch to the next exercise. Repeat the exercises in this every minute on the minute (EMOM) circuit three times a session at least three times a week.
- Find a way to squeeze in mini workouts throughout the day. Called “exercise snacking” in the fitness industry, it means doing at least 10 minutes of exercise at a time two or three times a day when you can find the time. You will get the same benefits of a longer session if you commit to it.
- If you know you have a party or family gathering coming up on a Saturday evening, make sure to schedule an exercise session on your calendar for that afternoon. Yes, put it on your calendar, set a reminder. It’s more of a commitment if you write it down. That evening, you’ll feel better and can indulge without all the guilt
Here’s another research finding to motivate you: Again, research shows that taking just a week or two off from exercise can erase months of favorable metabolic gains and gaining just 1 percent of your body weight can have serious health implications.
- Make a pact to exercise with a friend or group of friends. It’s a great way to motivate yourself over the holidays. Even if you don’t workout together, checking in with someone else daily will make you think twice about skipping a workout session. And if your friends are all couch potatoes, head online to find an accountability partner. Around the holidays especially, social media is bursting with workout challenges and support networks. Or check out the forums on fitness-oriented sites and apps, like MyFitnessPal and Spark People.
- Your local gym will almost certainly be offering specials on membership fees, class packages and even monthly rates during the holidays. In fact, you may be able to enjoy free trial periods at multiple facilities. Not only can this practically get you through the whole season on the cheap, but it’s also the perfect way to compare facilities and find the one that offers the best mix of value and services.
When in doubt, just move. It’s easy to say you don’t have time, but everyone has a few minutes to devote to feeling better. Park far from the store where you’re shopping, drop into pushups during that Christmas special or walk with the kids through your neighborhood looking at holiday lights and decorations. Any time you can devote to a structured, though shorter, exercise program is great, but take advantage of any opportunity to move. It is literally better than nothing.
We want everyone to enjoy the holidays—perhaps this year more than ever but go into this holiday season with a resolution for moderation. Then spend quality time with your family, enjoy some delicious foods, and take a break from their normal grind. But try these tips to help you do your best to keep up an effective exercise program until you get through the holidays and start those 2021 New Year’s resolutions.
Look for some in-home exercise tools in our eStore. Many – like the Gorilla Bow – are good for travel!
The Beat of a New Generation
by Mariana Santos
In a world dominated by screens and sedentary lifestyles, dance fitness emerges as a beacon of hope for Gen Z and Millennials. More than just a calorie-burning workout, dance fitness is a path to self-confidence, resilience, and the realization of dreams. Today, we’ll dive deep into why this form of exercise is exactly what younger generations need and why passionate instructors are in high demand as we explore dance fitness beyond the traditional “Zumba-esque” style format.
Dance fitness has an enticing appeal to younger audiences. It’s an electrifying blend of fitness, culture, and community that transcends the typical gym experience. An escape from the mundane, a break from the constant scrolling, and a fast track to a healthier, happier self. Programs like Brazily Dance and other new brands offer a different, unique view, setting themselves apart from what is already mainstream.
Why is it so appealing? For starters, dance fitness is a mirror for the social dynamics that Gen Z and Millennials crave. Group workouts foster the sense of belonging that people are looking for and can’t usually find in traditional exercise. The rhythm creates togetherness and, builds a community or tribe that sweats and progresses together!
Zumba style formats, while a valid form of dance fitness, seems to have lost its sparkle among younger generations. 20 & 30-Somethings are looking for new and exciting! A fresh take. Enter Brazily Dance, a high-energy experience that fuses the vibrant beats of South America with a contagious shake, twist, and roll energy. With Brazilian music styles, such as Brazilian Funk, taking over social media platforms, Brazily is a dance fitness revolution captivating Gen Z and Millennials, speaking to their love for novelty, diversity, and cultural exploration.
Looking for an unforgettable experience as a dance fitness instructor? It’s time to take a step back and look at dance fitness as more than just a way for your students to burn calories. Your class is an incredible tool for boosting confidence! The mastery of new moves, the synchronization with the beat, and the achievement of pushing yourself beyond your limits all contribute to a sense of accomplishment. When done right, Brazily Dance fitness classes are an endorphin-fueled rush that leave participants radiating confidence!
It’s not just about learning to move your body as one with catchy beats. It’s about learning to love your body, embracing the unique rhythms, and stepping out of your comfort zone. Never a truer word as spoken by Anna, a Brazily Dance fitness instructor, “When you dance, you surrender to the music, you surrender to yourself. You learn to lead, and not just follow.”
In a world where Gen Z and Millennials are continually navigating the tough social media comparison game, dance fitness acts as a beacon of self-love and self-acceptance. It’s something our younger generations desperately need. It also provides a resilience-building journey. As with any new skill, it can be filled with stumbling blocks, however these challenges serve as incredible opportunities for personal growth; teaching younger generations to keep going, get up after falling, and ultimately, chase their dreams relentlessly.
Your role as an instructor is critical. You are the pulse of every class, the motivator, the community builder. You play an instrumental role in creating an environment that is both welcoming and challenging, ideal for fostering personal growth and community.
Brazily Dance fitness is much more than a fun way to get in shape. It’s boosts confidence, builds resilience, and offers today’s generation an opportunity to chase their dreams. It’s a testament to the power of fitness that extends beyond physical health, impacting mental and social wellbeing. What’s stopping you? Let’s turn up the music and let the younger generations dance their way to a better future!
To all the dance fitness instructors out there, you are more needed than you can even imagine. You’re not just teaching steps; you’re shaping lives and creating memories.. You’re nurturing a generation of individuals who are resilient, confident, and ready to chase their dreams. So, keep doing your thing, because your classes are the rhythm that our younger generations need, now more than ever, to navigate their world. –Mariana Santos, Founder & CEO of Brazily Fitness
For more information about Brazily Fitness and becoming a motivating, life-changing instructor visit the
Brazily Fitness site, www.brazilyfitness.com. Join the new evolution of dance fitness, feel sexy & confident with the World’s Hottest Brazilian Dance Workout!
About the Author: Mariana Santos
Mariana Santos was introduced to the Brazilian approach to dance, fitness & lifestyle when she moved to Brazil as a teenager. This experience propelled her to a career in fitness as a Personal Trainer and group fitness instructor for the past 19 years. She is the co-founder and CEO of Brazily Fitness, which aims to help fitness instructors advance their careers and transform more lives by boosting confidence from the inside out through the magic of Brazilian music, dance, fitness & lifestyle.
Keeping Your Gut Happy
The human body is a complex ecosystem, teeming with trillions of microorganisms that play a crucial role in maintaining overall health and well-being. Among these, the gut microbiome, a diverse community of bacteria, viruses, fungi, and other microorganisms residing in the digestive tract, has emerged as a central player in human health. In this article, we will delve into the fascinating world of microbiomes and their profound influence on gut health.
Before we can tackle how to make your gut happy, we need to understand exactly what we are working with. The Microbiome! This refers to the varied communities of microorganisms that inhabit specific environments. While microbiomes can be found in various parts of the body, the gut microbiome is perhaps the most renowned. It comprises trillions of microorganisms, with bacterial species being the most dominant. This intricate ecosystem is unique to each individual, influenced by factors such as genetics, diet, environment, and lifestyle.
The gut microbiome is primarily located in the large intestine and colon, where it plays a pivotal role in breaking down complex carbohydrates, synthesizing vitamins, and aiding in the digestion of certain foods. It is a dynamic and diverse ecosystem, with around 1,000 different bacterial species identified in the human colon. However, two major phyla, Firmicutes and Bacteroidetes, dominate this microbial landscape.
You may wonder; how does the gut microbiome affect gut health? The answer is simple, through digestion and nutrient absorption. In reality, those few words can make or break how happy your gut can be. The gut microbiome significantly influences the way our bodies digest and absorb nutrients. Gut bacteria break down complex carbohydrates and fiber that our bodies cannot digest on their own. This process produces short-chain fatty acids (SCFAs), which not only serve as an energy source for the colon but also have anti-inflammatory and protective effects on gut health.
A substantial part of the body’s immune system is centered in the gut, making the gut microbiome an integral part of immune function. A well-balanced microbiome helps to train the immune system to recognize harmful pathogens while distinguishing them from beneficial microbes. This delicate balance is essential to prevent autoimmune diseases and allergies.
One factor to be aware of is the protection against pathogens. A healthy gut microbiome acts as a barrier against pathogenic invaders. Beneficial bacteria in the gut can outcompete harmful pathogens for resources and produce antimicrobial substances. When the balance of the microbiome is disturbed, it can lead to overgrowth of harmful bacteria and increased susceptibility to infections.
Do you realize there is a connection to being mentally healthy and a happy gut? Research into the gut-brain axis has revealed a strong connection between the gut microbiome and mental health. The gut microbiome can influence the production of neurotransmitters, affecting mood, anxiety, and even cognitive function. This connection has led to the emerging field of psychobiotics, where specific probiotics are being explored for their potential to improve mental health.
There are several ways to influence the gut microbiome. Each one directly affects how the gut reacts during digestion and nutrient absorption.
Diet is one of the most influential factors shaping the composition of the gut microbiome. A diet rich in fiber and diverse in plant-based foods promotes a healthier microbiome. In contrast, diets high in processed foods, sugars, and saturated fats can lead to dysbiosis, an imbalance in the gut microbiota associated with various health issues.
Antibiotics and Medications
The use of antibiotics and certain medications can disrupt the gut microbiome. Antibiotics, while crucial for treating bacterial infections, can also harm beneficial gut bacteria. It is essential to use antibiotics judiciously and consider probiotics or dietary interventions to help restore the microbiome.
Lifestyle choices, such as physical activity and stress management, can impact the gut microbiome. Regular exercise has been shown to promote a more diverse and beneficial microbial community. Conversely, chronic stress can lead to an imbalance in the gut microbiota and negatively affect gut health.
You may ask, how do I maintain a healthy gut microbiome? Well, just listen to your gut.
We’ve all heard of probiotics and prebiotics. You’ve seen them in foods and drinks like yogurt and kombucha, but do you know what they really are? Probiotics are live beneficial bacteria that can be consumed through foods. These can help replenish and maintain a healthy gut microbiome. Prebiotics, on the other hand, are non-digestible fibers that serve as food for beneficial gut bacteria, promoting their growth.
Also, a diet rich in dietary fiber from fruits, vegetables, and whole grains can provide essential nourishment for the gut microbiome. Fiber supports the growth of beneficial bacteria and the production of SCFAs, which are essential for gut health.
Fermented foods like kimchi, sauerkraut, kefir, and kombucha are rich in beneficial bacteria. Including these foods in your diet can introduce a variety of probiotic strains to support gut health.
As mentioned above, limiting the use of antibiotics is recommended. While they are essential in treating infections, their overuse can disrupt the gut microbiome. It is crucial to only use antibiotics when prescribed by a healthcare professional and follow their instructions.
So, what did you learn?
The gut microbiome is a remarkable ecosystem with a profound impact on our overall health. Understanding the intricate relationship between microbiomes and gut health provides valuable insights for maintaining and improving well-being. By adopting a balanced diet, reducing stress, and making thoughtful lifestyle choices, we can support a flourishing gut microbiome, leading to improved digestive health, stronger immunity, and even enhanced mental well-being. As we continue to unravel the secrets of microbiomes, the path to optimal gut health becomes clearer, promising a healthier and happier future for us all.
About the Author: Dr. Kella Price
Dr. Kella B. Price, DBA, has more than 20 years of experience in training and an MS in Exercise Science and Wellness. She has published and spoken on various topics including workplace wellness, weight loss, healthy lifestyle and balance, and exercise. Kella is a fitness and nutrition coach, traveling across the globe as a health and wellness expert.
Looking for a New Job? SCW Can Help!
Facilities need you! Whether it’s Teachers, Trainers, Directors, or Managers, SCW’s new FREE JOB BOARD is supporting the industry’s need for qualified fitness pros.
We post openings in all three of our monthly e-newsletters: Spotlite, Health & Fitness Business News, and Tidal Waves which are emailed out to tens of thousands of fitness professionals teaching and training in all formats along with managers and directors at all fitness facilities: big box, gyms, boutique, studios, not for profits and independent centers.
Valley Health Wellness & Fitness Center – Winchester, VA
The part time Aquatics Supervisor is responsible for providing supervision to the aquatic department associates. They ensure the aquatic department associates are providing the highest level of programming and customer service to members and guests of the facility.
Bilingual Fitness Professionals
Seeking certified professionals to deliver virtual(remote) Portuguese-language classes across various wellness categories for our diverse user base. Partners need to: record classes 5 minutes or longer, teach in certified area of expertise (fitness, wellness, medical, mindfulness, nutrition, etc.), post 2-5 times/month. Payment is quarterly revenue share based. Join Burnalong today!
Central YMCA – Arlington, TX
We are looking for passionate certified aqua instructors for our summer outdoor pool classes. The class schedule begins the end of May and runs through early September and the class times are 7:15a and 8:15a.
Georgia Southern University – Statesboro, GA
This position develops and supervises a comprehensive group fitness program, to include small group training, and related special events.
Assistant Director, Fitness
Leonard J. Kaplan Center for Wellness – UNC Greensboro
The Assistant Director, Fitness is responsible for the overall design, management, and implementation of a comprehensive fitness program for the students, faculty, staff and UNC Greensboro community. This includes leadership of two professional positions and a graduate assistant as well as student employees.
Element3 Health – Chicago Heights, IL
Element 3 Health is looking for a skilled club leader to lead a club for older adults. Theses clubs include fitness, yoga, dance, and arts and crafts. This, is a unique opportunity to teach an in-person session, to actively train older adults and be responsible for your own club.
Woman’s Center for Wellness – Baton Rouge, LA
Conducts 1-on-1 and group training exercise sessions with cancer survivors, bone health sufferers, and other related diagnoses. Other duties include exercise testing and evaluation, and the development of appropriate exercise programs. Performs other duties assigned by department management. Must be knowledgeable of exercise standards and guidelines established by the ACSM.
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