The Ten-Minute Bootcamp

Are you a catalyst for community-wide fitness promotion?

Would you consider helping me to reach out to the sedentary population to reintegrate physical activity into their daily routine?

 

Sharing her perspective in the preface of her book Instant Recess the late Dr. Antronette Yancey, MD, MPH wrote

“I feel in my bones, have for a long time, that movers and shakers — literally, athletes and former athletes, dancers, playground hackers, hikers and nature lovers, military types, putterers and fidgeters — will be the catalysts for community-wide fitness promotion” (Yancey, 2010).

 

Dr. Yancey, was of the opinion that is possible to change social norms as it relates to engaging in physical activity if physical activity were to be reintegrated into organizational routine in bouts of 10 minutes.  She believed that the persons who would take the lead in this charge would be ‘boisterous leaders or sparkplugs, charismatic and passionate leaders committed to population-wide physical activity promotion. 

I am sure you would agree that this is an apt description of the industry we love.

Hence, my purpose in contacting you all is to ask for your support in a project, that is part of a social marketing campaign named the Ten-Minute Boot Camp in my social marketing class at Teachers College, Columbia University.  For me this is more than a project.  I really believe that collectively, the health, fitness and wellness community, (particularly the fitness community), can be strong advocates for the reintegration of physical activity into the regular routine of everyday people.

 

I am asking for your help (if you have not done so as of yet) to consider changing your perspective of how we reach out to those who are sedentary. I am asking that you might consider guiding those who most need our services by offering them physical activity options in bite-size pieces in the hopes that they will eventually be able to engage in a bowl full of physical activity by encouraging those who you know that are sedentary to consider reinserting 10 minutes of physical activity into their daily routine.

Please understand this social marketing campaign is not about the sedentary population.  The focus of this social marketing campaign is on us as fitness professionals.  As Dr. Yancey stated she believed that those who would take the lead in community-wide fitness would be ‘boisterous leaders or sparkplugs, charismatic and passionate leaders committed to population-wide physical activity promotion.”  It is possible that we use our collective voices to gently nudge communities in the early stages of change to increase their levels of physical activity.

 

Collectively, we can facilitate behavior change at the community level by reframing not only how we market physical activity but educate populations how they might reframe how they view engaging regular physical activity.

The Ten-Minute Boot Camp asks that you all consider the possibility of reframing how you think about marketing physical activity to populations who most need it in order to effect change at societal level.

I do hope you will visit the Ten-Minute Boot Camp Facebook page, follow the Ten-Minute Boot Camp on Twitter, read, comment and contributeon the blogs associated with the Ten-Minute in addition to visiting the social networking sites associated with this campaign.

I believe it is possible that our voices to raise our collective voice regarding the reintegration of physical activity into daily routine.

It is my hope that by our collective involvement, this social marketing campaign will serve as a catalyst for change within our industry that will eventually trickle down to societal level and result in improved health outcomes within our respective communities.

 

In advance, I thank you for your support!

 

 

Joanne Duncan-Carnesciali

Raising The Bar in the Fitness Industry

It's no surprise that the entry requirements into the fitness industry are pretty low.

 

For the most part all that is necessary is that one have a high-school diploma be 18-years of age,  prepare for the certification exam and pass.

 

For this reason I became an educational partner with the American Council on Exercise.  I decided that at my studio I would offer the American Council on Exercise's 16-week university level course designed to prepare would-be fitness professionals to sit for and pass the ACE GFI, Personal Trainer or Lifestyle and Weight Management Coach courses so that potential fitness professional would have the minimum knowledge, skills and abilities to begin working in the fitness industry with a measure of confidence.

 

In the interest of self-disclosure the cost of the course is $999.  Included in the course are the course materials and the course is taught live.  The exam, which is $209 is not included.  The course follows a university semester schedule.  Classes meet twice a week for two hours.  In total there are 32 contact hours.  FYI, the course materials cost on average $110. If one does the math this works out to about to $27 hourly.

 

I preface this blog with the above because today a most interesting thing happened.

 

Some time ago, I was contacted by someone who expressed interest in taking the ACE approved personal training course.  As I do with all individuals, I explained the course curriculum and let the interested party know what to expect from the course.  This individual was very anxious to become certified in order to and begin working and wanted to have the right credentials in order to do so.  This is admirable.

 

Well, today I received an email from the interested party informing me that he/she had passed their ACE exam. The individual also expressed disappointment that the course he/she. took was a fraction of the cost of the courses I teach  The course, by the way was two days long and cost under $200.  Course materials were not included and the exam was not included.  From my calculations the investment this individual made in their career is approximately the same amount of money he/should would have spent if he/she purchased the ACE study bundle direct from ACE and he/she would have had access to American Council on Exercise study resources.

 

FYI, the ACE requires that education partners and continuing education providers meet certain educational requirements in order to teach their courses and/or teach continuing education courses.  For the most part this includes earning a 4-year or a masters degree.

 

One would think that if one invests time in pursuing and earning higher education they would inspire others to do the same.  I guess that is naivete speaking.

 

I've been brainstorming for quite some time now about what can be done to raise the bar on the entry requirements to become a personal trainer or a group fitness instructor.

 

I end this blog by sharing with you that I earned my first fitness credential in London, England and the course was six months.  We met twice a week and I had to pass a theoretical exam as well as practical exam.  On the practical exam, I had to bring in 15 people and lead a group fitness class in front of examiners from the Royal Society of the Arts.

 

After that course I was ready and confident to lead exercise to music classes as they were then called in 1990.

 

A similar system would be ideal here in the US.

 

The dilemma is.....

 

It costs money.

 

What are your thoughts?

 

 

COSTOCHONDRITIS

As I opened my profile page this morning I came across a question posed by an IDEA Fitness Connect  user regarding the above condition.

 

I wrote this blog sometime ago and I have decided to edit and repost it for the benefit of the IDEA Fitness Connect community.

 

If you are unfamiliar with the costochondritis, costochondritis as defined by Taber's Cyclopedic Medical Dictionary is "inflammation of the costochondral joints of the chest, which can cause chest pain.  The pain of costochondritis can sometimes be distinguished from other, more serious forms of chest pain by its reproducibility on palpation of the involved joints and the absence of abnormalities on chest x-ray examinations, electrocardiograms and blood tests.

 

The symptoms include pain and tenderness over the joints lateral to the sternum.  It is treated through the use of NSAIDS which often helps reduce the discomfort, which normally resolves itself spontaneously over time."

Examples of illnesses that feature costochondritis include:  fibromyalgia, psoriatic arthritis, ankylosing spondylitis, reactive arthritis, inflammatory bowel disease, ulcerative colitis and Crohn's Disease."

Unfortunately, there isn't much research regarding exercise programming for the costochondritis population.  There is, however, much research on exercise programming for fibromyalgia which might be a more prudent approach. 

The American College of Sports Medicine recommends that individuals living with fibromyalgia undergo exercise testing first with the objective of determine exercise intensity levels.  Once that is determined, the guidelines for exercise programming are:

Aerobic

Engage in aerobic activities that use large muscles like walking, cycling and aquatics.  The goal is to restore and maintain functional ability, decrease pain, decrease anxiety depression, go faster/longer and to increase time to exhaustion. 

The intensity that you should perform the activity is at 50-75% of your heart rate reserve.  The duration is 20-40 minutes on two to three days a week.  It is important that you monitor your pace and your heart rate.  Focus more on duration than how hard you are working.  And progress gradually.  Remember these are guidelines.  Everyone comes in at different levels of condtiioning.

Strength

 

Begin with one set of 8-12 repetitions peformed at 40% of the heaviest weight you can lift one time.  Don't forget to pause between reps.  Remember this is just a guideline.

Flexibility

 

Increase your flexibility around your shoulders, hips, knees and ankles.  Stretch to a tolerable point as often as you can as long as you don't develop pain.

Functional

 

Perform lifting activities as your body can tolerate.  The objective is to improve your quality of life.

 

Bottom Line

 

Never forget that exercise should be restorative.  If you are having pain after your workout, it's a good idea to decrease the intensity to a point to where you are feeling invigorated after every workout.

All the very best!

IDEA World 2011 - Inspire the World to Fitness

How I wish you were there to experience the 2011 IDEA World Fitness Convention.

After having attended the fitness convention, I have a renewed desire to be part of the change.

Of the many highlights of the convention, I was left impressed by the keynote speech by Apolo Ohno and Dr. Daniel Amen.

Apolo Ohno was a dynamic speaker.  He shared with us his personal experience of what it took to become a world champion.  By his example he explained to the audience filled with fitness professionals dedicated to this industry, what each one of us can personally do to be our personal best professionally.  He helped us see that it might mean that personally we have to make some hard choices, but if we put the energy into it, we can be successful.

Dr. Daniel Amen impressed upon us how the things that we ingest can have a negative effect on brain health--specifically alcohol.  He also shared with us how he personally is "inspiring the world to fitness" by his collaboration with churches to assist its members to adopt a healthy lifestyle. In the audience was one of his clients.  A gentleman who was once (if my memory serves me correctly) over 600 pounds who by doing the hard work lost a considerable amount of weight.  This gentleman has lost over half his weight--truly inspiring.

Peter Davis shared with us his personal experience of travelling to India and coming to the realization that if he was going to "inspire the world to fitness" he had to be willing to "be the change."  He encouraged us as fitness professionals to be the change.

 

Not to be forgotten is the wife of the late Jack LaLanne, Elaine, who accepted an award on behalf of her husband presented by Kathie Davis.  It was refreshing to see her perform three full pushups at  85 years of age.  This is testimony that one can maintain their strength throughout their lifetime.

All three speakers through their actions have demonstrated that it is possible for each and every one of us to be a catalyst for change as far as "inspiring the world to fitness" is concerned.

Portals such as IDEA Fitness Connect allows us through blogs and responding to questions, to "be the change."

I had a fabulous time at the 2011 IDEA World Convention and plan to be their next year.

I wish you could've been there.

Conquering Food Sabotage

It's happened to just about all of us.  You are journeying up the road to health and wellness.  All week you've made good choices as far as fitness and and nutrition are concerned and you are feeling great!

You get an invitation from a dear friend to come over for a visit.  You arrive, and as you both sit down to spend time together you realize that she has your favorite cake or pie placed on the table in a very well presented manner and you smell the coffee brewing. What do you do?  At that moment you may hear a several little voices in your head telling you go ahead, eat the sweet.  It's okay, this is my friend.  She loves me.  Or, you might hear another voice in your head saying.  All my life, I've struggled with controlling how much I consume of this sweet.

As those thoughts swirl through your mind, you might be experiencing a bit of anxiety as a consequence of reaching a challenge that you really didn't see while your are journeying up the road to health and wellness.  Your heart begins to race, you get a lump in your throat or a bit of discomfort in your tummy as a consequence of this anxiety.  Had you known that this challenge was up the road, you say to yourself that you would have made adequate preparations in order to be successful at this challenge.

Likely in one way or another you've met situations similar to this.  Perhaps it was the church dinner, perhaps it was a birthday party or some type of social gathering.  Maybe you declined an invitation to a  social setting where food is being served because the temptation is too great.

Is it possible to prepare in advance for situations like the above when well meaning friends innocently offer of foods or drink that are likely to prevent you from reaching your wellness and fitness goals?   Yes.

It's probable that you listen to the weather report on a regular basis.  We do this so what we can prepare ourselves or perhaps our children for the conditions that they will be subjected to.  One might need to put on sunblock  or carry an umbrella.  However, what we all do is prepare ourselves in order to meet the weather challenge.

It's no different when well-meaning friends and family innocently offer goodies that might present itself as a roadblock or speed bump as you are travelling up the road to health and wellness.  How can you prepare for this guaranteed eventuality?

Well, on a day when you are presented with this challenge, reflect upon a time when a similar situation occurred and how you responded to the challenge. What were you feeling?  What where you thinking? Ask yourself, who was I with when I decided to have that slice of pie.  Did anything happen during the day that served to be a trigger to me eating one or perhaps two slices of pie?  Do I have friends or family members that innocently offer food because it is their custom?

If you can identify what the triggers or circumstances are that are not conducive to you making good lifestyle choices, then you can prepare well in advance for the challenge that will definitely meet you as you travel up the road to health and wellness.

By the way, I deliberately use "up" the road as it is indeed an uphill climb until you reach your personal pinnacle.  You can do it.

In preparing for those speed bumps as you are on your journey ask yourself:

What people, resources, systems, and environments can you draw upon to help you realize your vision and meet your challenges?  It is vital that you identify them as these people and resources understand your journey and won't innocently present you with challenges that will thwart your growth.  They will have your best interests at heart.

Strategize, strategize, strategize!

What strategies might be effective to help you reach your health and fitness goals?  Perhaps when you go to visit your friend who loves preparing delicious sweets, you might offer to bring a bag a of apples instead or a pineapple.  Perhaps you might introduce her to some of the wonderful recipes you are having success with on your journey to health and wellness.  Maybe you might pre-prepare some healthy snacks and have them on the ready when you go out and aboutKeep them in your handbag, keep them at work, bring them with you when you go to visit friends.

What's most important to remember, though, is:

1.  Have a strategy to utilize before you meet the challenge.  Role play with someone so you know what you will say or do when that challenge presents itself.

2.  Have a network of friends and resources you can tap into to cheer you on  and support you when the road is steep.

As always, I do hope this is helpful to you and I anticipate your comments.

End of an Era - Jack LaLanne Fitness Pioneer Dies

No doubt if you are of a certain age, you are familiar with Jack LaLanne.  He is the first person to have a nationally-televised exercise show. 

As I listened the the news after the NY Jets failed to advance to the Superbowl, the normal programming was interrupted with the announcement that Mr. Jack LaLanne succumbed to death as a consequence of respiratory failure due to pneumonia.  He was 96 years old.

Jack LaLanne was instrumental to me pursuing a career in fitness and wellness. I was five years old then.  He demonstrated through his lifestyle that one can avoid diseases and conditions many believe are associated with aging like diabetes, hypertension, high cholesterol and immobility by making healthy food choices consistenltly as well as engaging in physical activity on a regular basis.

Jack LaLanne hit the nail on the head when he said that, "the only way to hurt your body is not to use it."  He recognized that "inactivity is the killer" and that "it is never" too late to get started."

As I reflect on all the programs that are currently being televised and the growth of the health and fitness industry, it would not be an understatement to say today's fitness and wellness professionals owe many thanks to Mr. Jack LaLanne for getting the message out that exercise is medicine.

Jack LaLanne was truly the real deal.  He will be missed.

Jack LaLanne

No doubt if you are of a certain age, you are familiar with Jack LaLanne.  He is the first person to have a nationally-televised exercise show. 

As I listened the the news after the NY Jets failed to advance to the Superbowl, the normal programming was interrupted with the announcement that Mr. Jack LaLanne succumbed to death as a consequence of respiratory failure due to pneumonia.  He was 96 years old.

Jack LaLanne was instrumental to me pursuing a career in fitness and wellness. I was five years old then.  He demonstrated through his lifestyle that one can avoid diseases and conditions many believe are associated with aging like diabetes, hypertension, high cholesterol and immobility by making healthy food choices consistently as well as engaging in physical activity on a regular basis.

Jack LaLanne hit the nail on the head when he said that, "the only way to hurt your body is not to use it."  He recognized that "inactivity is the killer" and that "it is never" too late to get started."

As I reflect on all the programs that are currently being televised and the growth of the health and fitness industry, it would not be an understatement to say today's fitness and wellness professionals owe many thanks to Mr. Jack LaLanne for getting the message out that exercise is medicine.

Jack LaLanne was truly the real deal.  He will be missed.

Kangoo Jumps - What in the world are those crazy shoes supposed to do?

Kangoo Jumps are the world's lowest impact shoes.  It enables the user to engage in high-intensity, low impact activity.  One can use the boot for just about any sports application (no soccer).

You've probably seen them from time to time over the past few years.  Perhaps you had thoughts similar to mine when I was first invited to try the shoes. "No way!  My legs are my bread and butter.  I can't risk falling and hurting myself just to try something I know little about."

And for the most part that is how people feel when they see Kangoo Jumps.  They feel happy to see how much enjoyment the users get from using the shoes but at the same time experience a bit of apprehension when they see that the surface of the shoe is unlike any shoe that they've ever worn.

My personal opinion and I am indeed biased....I am a Kangoo Jumps fanatic!  For my 45 year-old body this is the perfect workout for me.

I first saw Kangoo Jumps when I was living in England in the 90s.  I was young spry and invincible and was able to teach any group fitness format on any surface--sprung floor or cement.  High-impact aerobics was my workout and class format to teach of choice.  Oh! The euphoria I would feel after teaching a hi-lo class.  Remember those days? 

Well, one day I saw someone jumping around Covent Garden wearing those crazy boots and inquired about them.  I was told that they were a low-impact shoe.  At the time my brain nor body was receptive to low impact training of any sort so I dismissed it, although it appeared to be whole lot of fun.

Fast forward to 2009.  I am at an IDEA Convention with my husband and son and we see a stand that is advertising the very shoes I saw at least 10 years previously.  However, this time it was a group of people jumping around and having a good time.  When I approached the booth I was encouraged to give the boots a try, however, I was so afraid that I might fall and it wasn't worth the risk of injuring myself.  You all understand my legs are my work. 

As I had my 13-year old son with me, I told him that he could have a pair of Kangoo Jumps if he wanted a pair.  In reality, I wanted to live through him.  How I wanted to jump and be as bouncy as those who were using the shoes were having.  After purchasing the boots, my 13-year old son put the boots on in about 10 minutes, without exaggeration he was a pro.  Throughout the convention he jumped and had a grand old time.  I was happy for him.

We return to NY from the convention and my son challenged his father, who by the way has a peripheral neuropathy called Charcot-Marie-Tooth, to try the Kangoo Jumps.  For those of you who don't know a peripheral neuropathy is a disease of the nerves.  The myelin sheath, which insulates the nerve is damaged in the periphery (arms and legs), hence my husband has challenges with balance among other things.  Well, he put the boots on and in a matter of minutes, he was jumping, smiling and laughing.  Talk about impressed and humbled all at the same time.  Imagine that, the fitness professional, too afraid to put on Kangoo Jumps.  I am sure you can imagine what ensued afterward.  My 13-year old son teased me that his Dad was able to Kangoo Jump and me the fitness pro was too afraid to try.  Truly humbled by a 13-year old.

Having no choice but to try on the boots, I waited until my son went to school and my husband went to work and and tried the boots on.  I gingerly put on the boots, stood up and held on to my massage chair as I was still quite afraid that I would fall.  I walked around my apartment a bit before I summoned the nerve to hop.  And then I hopped, and skipped and jumped and become totally addicted to Kangoo Jumps.

Kangoo Jumps has given back to me to ability to jump and play as energetically as I did way back in the 90's when I was teaching hi-lo group fitness but in an incredibly gentle way.  This is a workout you must try in order to appreciate what the workout gives you in return.  I can wholeheartedly say that I will never run or jump in a pair of sneakers unless I have to.

All of us have had days when we know we should train and don't have the energy but not the drive to do so.  We push ourselves on those days only to come home feeling pleased that we accomplished out goal but acknowledging that it was one tough workout day.  There have been days my body wants to skip a workout, however, there has never been a time when I put on the Kangoo Jumps and willed myself out to play, when I didn't return feeling like a new person.

As a seasoned fitness professional, I can honestly say that Kangoo Jumps is a workout for apparently healthy populations who have clearance from their physicians to engage in physical activity.  It's a winner!

To learn more about Kangoo Jumps, visit my website www.focusedwellness.com.  Scroll down to the bottom of the homepage and click the Kangoo Jumps link.