Category: Health and Fitness Tips

Good Listening Skills Can Help You Reach Clients

“I just had my first session with a new personal trainer,” you overhear one member telling another. “I don’t think I want to keep working with him, though. I am sure he is very smart, and he certainly knows a lot about exercise science, but I don’t think he heard a word I said, and I don’t think I could possibly follow all the suggestions he made. He must think I have nothing else in my life besides my exercise program! And I didn’t even get a chance to ask him about exercise and stress management –the reason I am exercising in the first place.”

Since, as fitness professionals, we get paid to give good advice, we tend to think that the more we talk, the better we are performing. Besides, we love to talk about exercise and health, and are eager to demonstrate our expertise and knowledge. Unfortunately, our enthusiasm can get in the way of our work when we dominate conversations and interrupt speakers with our recommendations. Before we start pouring out endless advice, we need to do something quite at odds with our active and outgoing natures: We need to be quiet and listen.

Sharpen your listening skills

If you are a personal trainer or exercise instructor, you need to listen carefully to your clients to understand their concerns. Listening carefully allows you to receive not only information, but also feelings and reactions to your suggestions.

Listening is an important part of communication. It helps people to understand one another, and to feel understood. Think about how you feel when someone takes the time to really listen to you and understand you. Listening carefully is good for the listener, too. Listening with attention forces you to slow down and be mindful in the present moment, which can help reduce the stress you feel from trying to do too many things at the same time.
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Summer’s Almost Here: Get Out the Bike

Bicycling can be a very enjoyable sport and a great physical exercise. But you need to make sure you come prepared. Riding in the hot sun for long periods of time can deplete your body of valuable nutrients and can cause dehydration.

Always be sure to wear a powerful sunscreen and bring plenty of small snacks (protein bars, bananas, etc.). Always have sufficient amount of water with you at all times. You should be drinking at least a water bottle for every hour of riding you do, depending on temperature outside. You might need more if it is extremely hot out.

Unfortunately you should make sure you have extra tubes and tools to change a flat for the ride, in case you get a flat or two. As a safety precaution it is always a good idea to let someone know where you are going and an estimated time of when you’ll be back. If you have a cell phone that’s even better.

Remember when you’re riding your bike on the road, you are considered a vehicle, so obey all traffic signals, ride on the right side of the road and give signals when you are going to turn.

Now get out there on your bike and enjoy the end of spring and the beginning of summer!

Plyometric Training Basics

 Originally developed in East Bloc countries, plyometric exercises are used to translate the increased strength from resistance training into increased speed and power. Although plyometrics are designed for intermediate and advanced athletes, they may be able to help you improve your game.

Beginners in fitness need to go slowly to learn proper exercise technique. Improper exercise technique increases the risk of injury. Since the fitness level of each participant is unknown and there is less supervision, there is an increased risk of injury, especially if the participant has pre-existing injuries. Therefore, the risk of use in general fitness classes are too great when related to the benefits. Coaches in athletic events can gauge whether the athlete is ready for plyometrics and closely watch their technique to avoid injury.

In athletics, as well as general fitness training, there are five stages of development. The first stage is neuromuscular facilitation, also called kinesthetic awareness. This stage involves learning to control how the body moves. The second stage is developing muscular endurance, which allows a person to be able to complete the workout routine without undue fatigue. The third and fourth stages (increased muscle mass and increased strength [the ability to exert increased force]) occur at about the same time. The fifth and final stage is development of power, which is strength with speed. The fifth stage is where plyometrics is used most effectively and requires prior development of the other four athletic qualities. Continue reading