‘Weather’ to train outside or not?

This post is written by Owain Matthews. Hailing from Wales but now living in NSW, Owain is an amateur triathlete who has the long term goal of transitioning to 70.3/Ironman racing, and the hope of competing at a professional level. Read more of his blog posts at http://owainmatthews.wordpress.com
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Back pain? Walk it off…

The study, published in the journal Clinical Rehabilitation, analysed the effects on back pain of a program that involved two to three bouts of walking per week – for between 20 minutes (initially) and 40 minutes – compared to a standard muscular strengthening program of two to three sessions per week.

The results indicated that both groups significantly improved their back pain, demonstrating, in this study at least, that a basic low intensity aerobic program might be as effective as more conventional treatment. The benefit of the walking program (in addition to the cost savings) over the rehabilitation program, is that it encourages patients to follow a healthier lifestyle overall, therefore helping to keep back pain at bay, said the authors of the study.

As I see it, the best course of action, for those of you who train clients with this potentially debilitating condition (which is probably every one of you!) is to combine a strengthening program with a low intensity aerobic program. Click HERE to read the study abstract or to gain access to the full study article.

Do you train clients with back pain? If so, what's your usual course of action, referral to physio or an alternative rehab program?
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Challenging the stereotype of ageing

The following Blog post was written by Kay MacKenzie, a fitness professional with over three decades experience. Kay is also Network's Ambassador for SA.

I was interested to read about a recent study by Victoria University into the efficacy of exercise for older adults which highlighted the fact that it’s never too late to start working out. Hooray to that!
If you think about a class for ‘older adults’ what do you visualise? Now that I am considered to be one (demographic over 50), I have been reflecting on the stereotype of the older adult and exercise – and it doesn’t sit well with me. I have been working with older adults for over 30 years, and my experience is that the hundreds of men and women I have had the privilege of teaching flourish in classes that are planned to challenge their ability, regardless of age. In fact, I believe that what you expect may well be what you get.  Read More

Are the mid afternoon munchies a thing of the past?

Recent research from the University of Exeter has showed that simply taking a short 15 minute walk could significantly reduce the amount of chocolate that is consumed by workers – even in the face of the most stressful of workplace situations. 78 individuals who all confessed to regular midday chocolate consumption took part in the study, where they were asked to abstain from eating chocolate for 48 hours before taking part in a workplace simulation. 

The study, published in the journal Appetite, involved 2 groups who walked on a treadmill for 15 minutes before being given a large or moderate volume of work to complete. The other 2 groups were allowed to rest whilst the other groups walked on the treadmill and were then given the same amount of work to complete. The chocolate was placed freely in a bowl on the desk of each individual taking part.   Read More

The Biggest Winner - Fitness Industry Success Story

Australian Fitness Network recently received the following email from Cherie Drinkwater, a convert to exercise with an amazing experience to recount. As fitness professionals we frequently encounter personal success stories, but the degree of achievement detailed here by Cherie is a fantastic reminder of why we work in this industry, and of the power we have to transform lives for the better. And at a time when many clients and members are being influenced by the unrealistic ‘weight loss’ achievements of those undertaking rapid body mass transformations on reality TV shows, it is refreshing to hear about the same level of success being achieved in a sustainable and realistic manner, with the guidance and support of a dedicated fitness professional.

“My name is Cherie Drinkwater; I would like to share my weight loss story with you.

I am so passionate about this wonderful journey that I am on, and I would love to share it with you and hope that it will inspire others that are unhappy and unhealthy, as I was before starting this amazing weight loss journey. I started one of the best and hardest life changing journeys of my life just eight short months ago when I entered the doors at Planet Fitness at Lambton, where I met Olivia Meek (National Sales Manager) and the team.  Read More

Do we need a Code of Conduct for PTs?

The following post was written by Meredith Julliard, a personal trainer, coordinator and group exercise instructor.

I have worked in the fitness industry for the last 16 years and have had the privilege of helping hundreds of people reach significant fitness, health and, more importantly, personal growth goals.
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Biggest Loser – A hit show or offensive?

Based on the popularity of our previous Blog Post called "The Biggest Loser, friend or foe of fitness", when we came across Justin Tamsett's recent post we thought it pertinent to re-post here. You can visit Justin's very informative blog at www.justintamsett.com

As filming has begun on the next series of Biggest Loser in Australia, I was thinking does this reality show help or hinder the over weight problem in Australia.

The journal Obesity Management explored the attitudes of people toward the Biggest Loser here in Australia. The group they surveyed were overweight: 42% classified as obese and 58% as morbidly obese. Here are the results:  Read More

An industry response to the article: The Myth About Exercise in Time Magazine

On a recent trip to America, I was browsing a newsagent at the Seattle airport and came across TIME magazine with the following title on the cover: "The Myth About Exercise. Of course it's good for you, but it won't make you lose weight. Why it's what you eat that really counts." And to top it off, there was a massive picture of a woman on a treadmill eyeing a cupcake! Of course, I had to immediately buy the magazine and read the article Read More

Vibration Training, the new fitness frontier?

The following post was written by international presenter and educator, Steve Schiemer.

Having lived in Europe for the last 12 years, I have watched this type of training explode onto the fitness and rehab scene. It first hit the fitness market about 6 or 7 years ago. Vibration training is the act of passing a vibration through the body to elicit a series of responses, in particular to activate the deep core muscles of the body, to stimulate the nervous system, increase strength and power, reduce pain perception, increase bone density, improve circulation and lymphatic drainage and improve proprioception. The two most popular ways to do this are to either stand on a vibrating plate, such the Power Plate, and allow the vibrations to enter the body via the legs, or to use a handheld oscillating device such as a FLEXI-BAR, which is a long flexible fibreglass bar with weights on the end and a handle in the middle that you push/pull to get the bar to swing back and forth, allowing the vibrations to pass into the body via the arms.  Read More

Is CrossFit Training for Everyone?

The following post is written by Lori Eggers from PTontheNET.

Type in the word “CrossFit” into any search engine, and you’ll see literally hundreds of entries for CrossFit programs in various cities, states and countries around the world.

Developed by a former gymnast in California, the CrossFit program is designed to “deliver a fitness that is, by design, broad, general and inclusive,” where the same routines are used for “elderly individuals with heart disease and cage fighters one month out from televised bouts.”  Read More