How to Get Sustainable Health and Fitness Results – The Five Magic Questions

Many people want to believe that poorly designed “gimmick” machines are the way to get fast effective results in terms of health and fitness. Further all over the world fad diets are all the craze with more and more people spending amazing amounts of money on these quick fix solutions. “Gimmick” machines more than not prove to be both expensive and completely ineffective. Fad diets on the other hand seem to give people short term relief from their health and fitness burdens but are not sustainable in the long term. For an exercise and dietary regime to be effective it needs to focus on developing a long term lifestyle change. Therefore your exercise and nutritional programs should be conducive with your work, your budget and most importantly your goals.To make your exercise and nutritional plans effective they must be specifically designed to how you want to live your life now and in the foreseeable future. You must ask yourself the following five questions:1. How many times can I train per week?
2. How much time do I have to train during my training sessions?
3. What specifically do I want to achieve out of my training sessions?
4. Am I willing to make gradual changes to my diet over time so I can speed up the effectiveness of my training sessions?
5. How much do I want to spend on my fitness and nutritional needs knowing that I will be changing my life forever and some expenses will be recurring?These questions should guide you away from the thought of spending an initial large sum of money to get perceived fast results. Further the answers to these questions should provide you with information from which you can develop a plan to achieve your goals. Fast and effective results are possible with correct guidance and with the aid of professionals you will be able to maintain these results for the rest of your life. When budgeting for your lifestyle change, keep in mind that knowledge is often the most inexpensive yet effective tool in changing and maintaining your body. Simple exercises performed properly with minimal equipment often lead to the best results. In terms of nutrition, a restructuring of your existing diet, will prove most effective in ensuring you can maintain a nutritional plan in the long term.It is no secret that a healthy and balanced nutritional plan accompanied by a tailored exercise plan is the key to any health and fitness goal. So next time you think about that quick solution think about how long you want your results to last. In terms of health and fitness it would appear that sustainability is better than spontaneity.

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Current Trends in Health and Fitness – 2010

Earlier this year I attended the National Strength and Conditioning Association (NSCA) Personal Trainers Conference. During the conference, I learned some useful information and received validation that I am on the right path when it comes to my personal approach to workouts and fitness in general. Since these types of conferences are a good reflection of current trends and future directions of the health and fitness industry, at least among true fitness professionals, I thought you might be interested in learning about the most discussed topics during the conference.On a side note, there are always personal trainers and other health and fitness employees who have no interest in increasing their knowledge or providing better information to their clients/customers. These people are not representative of the entire health and fitness industry, although they do make up a significant portion of it. The true professionals realize that health and fitness information is constantly evolving and we have to keep learning if we want to provide our clients with the most accurate information and the best quality service.Personal trainers and other health and fitness employees who are not interested in improving their knowledge or staying up to date with information are usually more concerned about making money than they are about their clients. Naturally, it is best to avoid these people whenever possible, because they generally provide lower quality products or services that will not help you effectively reach your goals and generally result in disappointment and frustration.Okay, with that little diversion out of the way, let’s get back to the conference. There were many different topics covered during the conference including nutritional issues, performance enhancement for athletes, training special populations (children, elderly, people with injuries, etc.), and more. However, even with this wide variety of topics, there were some topics that seemed to keep coming up over and over in different presentations.Probably the most frequently discussed topics were related to movement, specifically the importance of moving correctly and training to correct poor movement patterns. If you have followed my writings over the years, it should be no surprise that proper movement is very important to me and it is great to see that movement issues are taking a more prominent role in the health and fitness industry.There are many reasons why movement technique is getting more attention, but one of the driving forces is actually the rising cost of health care. As health care slowly shifts from just treating problems to actively preventing them, research has found that people who have incorrect movement technique are more likely to develop muscle and joint problems later in life, which results in higher numbers of joint replacements, falls, and other major problems. To make matters worse, these problems are not only found in the elderly.With the removal of physical education from many schools, children are growing up being less active. This not only has implications for increasing levels of childhood obesity, but it has consequences for movement as well. We are finding that inactive children are much more likely to have poor movement technique when they grow up, which results in premature deterioration of their body. Younger people commonly have physical problems that should not occur for another 10-20 years or more and many of these problems are the direct result of poor movement technique putting excessive wear and tear on their muscles and joints.The good news is these incorrect movements can be retrained and when poor movement patterns are replaced with correct ones, people can dramatically improve their long-term health. Unfortunately, training biomechanically correct movements is more complicated than just performing random exercises and exercising on traditional machines will generally not do the job. It takes concentration and awareness of what muscles are contracting and how each segment of your body is moving, along with the knowledge of how each movement is technically supposed to be performed.When all these elements are put together in a well-designed training program, people of all ages and ability levels can improve their overall health and physical function. This was evident at the conference, because there were sessions on exercising and training movements with many different types of people including, children, elderly people, athletes, pregnant women, and people with injuries. It is clear that training is advancing past simply working individual muscles and becoming more about training each muscle to work correctly with the rest of the body.Proper movement was not the only topic covered and many of the usual subjects were represented as well. On the nutrition side, protein intake and supplementation are still popular, because people are always interested in learning things they can do to improve their results. Another topic that continues to be noteworthy is eating disorders, along with the importance of developing good eating habits. People with bad eating habits (eating too much before they go to bed, eating too few calories, etc.), almost always have a hard time making progress, because even a great exercise routine can be undone by poor nutritional habits.There were also many sessions with practical information about different types of training and demonstrations of new training equipment. Much of the focus was on training to improve specific attributes, such as speed, agility, power, and balance. Improving these different characteristics is important for improving physical performance in athletes, but they also have applications for improving performance in everyday tasks and improving the quality of life in all segments of the population.Of course, no conference would be complete without sessions on core training, because everyone cares about their abdominal muscles. Fortunately these sessions were not about generic topics, such as training to get 6-pack abs, but rather training to improve the function of your body. The core muscles are essential for protecting your spine, maintaining good posture, preventing back pain, and much more, but many people still only think about how they look and not about how they function.The topics discussed above were not the only ones covered during the conference, but they were the most common ones. When looking at everything, it’s clear the overall theme and general direction of the health and fitness industry is learning to use specific exercises and movements to improve physical function in people of all ages and ability levels. As time progresses, hopefully training not just to improve appearance, but also to improve physical function, will become a standard for personal trainers and others in the health and fitness industry. Unfortunately, right now we are still a long way from that happening.

10 Reasons Why Health and Fitness Programs Are Beneficial to You and Your Employees!

With the current trend of getting in shape and eating better comes the concept of having a healthy workforce. The quality of our employees determines the quality of the company.You may think that you can’t afford to have a health and fitness program for your office, but when you look at what we have to say, you may actually see that you can’t afford not to!Why is it so important to have healthy employees and what will it do for your bottom line?#1 Healthy employees have more energy.
And while you may think that does not matter, think about what happens to so many people when their energy wanes. They sit and stare at their desk and when someone walks by, they pretend to be working. When your employee has energy, they are more productive and can get more work done in the day! Not to mention how good they feel when they are being productive!#2 Healthy employees take less time off for being sick.
Exercising keeps our whole body functioning better so we are less likely to get sick physically. In addition to that, people who exercise more have a better mindset, which leads to less sick days due to “mental health”. The healthier the person is, the less health care costs. And I am sure we would all like to save money there!#3 The healthy habits employees are learning are usually carried over into home life.
And while you may think this is irrelevant, how many times have employees not come into work because they were taking care of a sick family member? The healthier your employee and their family is the less often they miss work.#4 Healthy employees are more confident.
This leads to a job better done, and they spend less time waiting to get an answer on every little thing that could have been done already. They take on more challenges and are generally higher producers. This trait is contagious around the office too, inspiring others to follow suit. You wind up having more people for leadership roles due to the confidence they have!#5 Owners who help their employees to create a healthy lifestyle, tend to be more loyal to the company.
When you take an interest in your employees well-being they tend to be happier where they are. This means less wasted money training new people and less time wasted waiting for that person to get to the proficiency level of the old employee.#6 Fitness minded people tend to be goal setters.
Therefore, these tendencies are brought into all other areas of their lives, including the work place. When someone sets goals they are much more likely to accomplish much more than the average employee. Knowing how to set goals and the steps that each goal can take is a great tool!#7 Healthy employees tend to be able to handle stress and high pressure situations much better than the average person.
Exercise can be a great way to let go of tension and keep you focused on the solution. This also affects happiness of the employee. When we work out, we release endorphins into our system which makes us feel good. We also have higher levels of serotonin from regular workouts, making us happy and more emotionally stable.#8 When you have an office health and fitness program, you create more camaraderie with the all the employees.
When everyone gets to work on something together they create a bond. When you have more relationships throughout the work place you also have employees that are more likely to stick around longer and are happier to come into work everyday!#9 The physical appearance of your employees says a lot about your company.
Look around and ask what your employees say about your company image. When you have overweight, unhealthy, tired employees it shows in everything that your company does. When you have healthy, happy, energetic employees, you have people that would like to do business with you more and you wind up having more people that are wanting to work with you. Having a steady stream of people that are waiting to get into your business can be a great thing!#10 The motivational tactics learned in health and fitness workshops are many times cross over skills that can be used on their business issues that arise.
In fitness we are taught that it is not about the problem, but about the solution. What people don’t realize when they are learning this is that they are changing every other aspect of their lives as well with this one power technique of looking for the solution.There are so many benefits to health and fitness in the work place, These are just a few. Your employees are worth it and your bottom line is worth it. LIVE FULL OUT!