So you have been converted. Your meal plate is perfectly balanced. Achieveing your five a day is a walk in the park. You have even made huge progress in converting your other half to your healthier lifestyle and food choices. But what about the kids? Now there's the real challenge! Here are some of our favourite tips for getting the children into healthier eating habits.
There is a world of confusion surrounding nutrition these days. This is in part due to new research conflicting with old almost as soon as the previous article is published; but it's also perpetuated by half baked ideas, Chinese whispers and unsound advice from those who should take the time to know better.
In this brief article I'll try and cut through five of the more common carbohydrate fallacies out there.
One of the reasons I love working with the fitness, dance and martial arts industries is that a significantly higher percentage of individuals have such a positive mental attitude when compared to other business areas such as trades or finance. However, this positive mental attitude can sometimes be short-lived. After all, the industry is what some would refer to as a "high staff turnover" industry and while many come into the industry fired up and raring to go, positivity is sometimes difficult to sustain in the face of competition, rising prices, unreliable support networks/colleagues etc. Nevertheless I firmly believe that it is those who maintain that self belief during times of adversity that go on to become successful. For example, you'd be hard pressed to find a miserable personal trainer who has been in the industry for 5 years plus!
So how do we a) cultivate a positive mental attitude and b) sustain it?
Over the coming weeks I hope to shed some insight into just that, beginning with a story I heard some years ago at a business networking event. I've tried wearing the badge myself at networking events, when meeting clients and even in my classes and it works!
In business Power Teams, sometimes called "Power Circles", are groups of closely related businesses, often in the same industry but not always, who work together to build their businesses. With competition becoming increasingly higher not only in the fitness class industry, but also in dance and martial arts, the ability to build your Power Team is an essential business skill to learn.
Over the years I have attended most types of business networking events, joined one or two networking groups and even been involved in starting one up. At these I have represented myself as a number of different businesses including a Personal Trainer and indeed as Fit2BFit.
I am always staggered by the lack of health and fitness professionals in attendance and while the numbers are on the increase this is still a largely untapped market for the more forward thinking and outgoing fit pro.
I decided to put together a quick list of dos and don'ts in response to some truly terrible posts and profiles I've seen recently on Twitter. These are profiles belonging to fitness "professionals" who no doubt are well qualified, very nice people and quite possibly great trainers and instructors. The thing is many of their potential customers will never find out how great they are as they will have been put off by what they see online.
1) A photo speaks a thousand words In general terms it's a good idea to include a photo of yourself as people like to have a face to relate to and it makes the whole experience more personal. However, it should not be too personal. Photos or yourself in your underwear or swimwear will do little to help your business credibility unless of course you are a fitness model and at the top of your game. Potential clients don't want to be intimidated by you. It's also a thin line between showing that you are fit and showing off. No one likes a show off. Get an inexpensive commercial profile photo done with you wearing professional but well fitted fitness gear.
2) Who, what, why? You only get 160 characters in your Twitter profile to tell people about yourself. Don't waste them talking about your hobbies and things you love. And especially don't use this space to tell people about your own weaknesses. For example, someone looking for help to get in shape and lose weight is unlikely to approach a personal trainer who says "...and I'm addicted to chocolate biscuits"! You need to tell them who you are, what you do and why they should use you. End of. You can build up more about your personality in your tweets. For example:
"I am a Personal Trainer and group exercise instructor in Poole, Dorset offering bespoke personal training and fun and dynamic fitness classes. Try for free."
3) Keep your personal life separate unless relevant It's important to build up a bit of a rapport with your followers and to get across some of your personality. With this in mind by all means share in your achievements and the occasional bit of personal news. Don't tell people how many tequila slammers you knocked back on Saturday night before throwing up in the kebab shop. Also, be careful of Twitter conversations with personal friends as you can never be sure what they may say.
4) Avoid profanity This should be obvious, but I see so much effing and blinding and this probably stems from it being an industry with a very young demographic. You wouldn't, I hope, swear in front of someone you have only just met... so don't swear in front of your followers and your potential clients and fitness class members. At the very least save it for your personal profile. The occasional "WTF!", "OMFG!" may be acceptable to express some passion in your tweet but use sparingly or it becomes meaningless, and even then... there's probably a better alternative.
5) Don't get dragged in Don't get dragged into arguments, flaming, Twitter wars etc. It doesn't matter whether you are in the right or the wrong, all the arguing parties tend to look like idiots and there is no place for it in business.
6) Watch your opinions and how you express them You are of course allowed to have opinions and post about them especially if they are relevant to the fitness industry. Passing comment for example on the food industry and the duty of care they owe the consumer with their sugar and additive policies would be fine. However, passing comment on all the "fat arses hogging the equipment" you saw in the gym tonight is unlikely to win you any "fat arse" customers, and may well lose you some others.
7) Positive mental attitude Be a positive influence rather than a "moaning Minnie". It's fine to have the occasional whinge about something (did I mention the food industry and sugar?) but don't moan in every post. You need to be seen as a positive bucket of energy constantly overflowing that positivity to the people around you, rather than someone that sucks the enjoyment out of life.
8 ) The key is the detail When you are tweeting about your classes remember the "when" and the "where" again! Include the times of the classes and their location including the town name. Make sure you hashtag keywords as well like the type of class, e.g. #Zumba and the town, e.g. #Poole. By including the details, your followers (including @Fit2BFitsocial) are more likely to retweet you; and by including the hashtags you are more likely to get found and retweeted by non followers such as local event guides.
9) Tag @Fit2BFitsocial If you include all the details above and include "@Fit2BFitsocial" in the tweet we'll gladly retweet your class information, and if you're members of the site we'll include a link to your class information on our site as well so people can get even more information about you and your fitness classes.
While we have seen a substantial increase in the popularity and number of Hot Yoga establishments and classes in the last few years, it has actually been around since the 1970's when Bikram Choudhury developed a series of yoga moves and postures based on Hatha Yoga techniques and encouraged the practice of these in a heated environment over a 90 minute period.
While many Hot Yoga studios and their classes are still based on Bikram Yoga's series of 26 postures (including 2 breathing techniques) not all Hot Yoga is Bikram Yoga. Other styles, such as Vinyasa, are now being regularly taught in a Hot Yoga environment.
The rooms are usually heated to around 40oC with 40% humidity ensuring that participants get quite a sweat on. With this in mind, bringing your own mat, wearing appropriate clothing and having a water bottle to hand are essential.
There are a number of benefits to Hot Yoga put forward by practitioners, over and above normal yoga:
1) It's good to sweat. While there is some scepticism over the degree of actual detoxing the body does during a Hot Yoga session there is no question that sweating does bring about a gentle detox, and is good for the skin too.
2) Increased flexibility with heat. As your body's muscles warm up quicker and to a greater degree, so it becomes easier to achieve some of the postures required in the workout.
3) A better workout. Working in a heated room is also said to increase the heart rate forcing the body to work a little harder.
4) Increased psychological reward. With a combination of a good sweat and raised endorphins from the tougher conditions participants feel a greater sense that they have had a workout.
Whether Hot Yoga is better for you than traditional yoga is difficult to say. There are as many reports saying that there is no difference as there are saying that there is. The bottom line is that it's a variation on yoga (which has numerous health and fitness benefits) and if some people enjoy it more than traditional yoga and therefore attend regularly and stick to it, and if more people are being introduced to yoga as a result of this current fitness trend, then it's a winner in our book!
While Nordic Walking was first formally defined in 1979 as part of a Finnish article on the methodic of cross-country skiing, it wasn't until 1997 when the first Nordic poles (as we think of them) were manufactured and marketed to the general public, resulting in the term Nordic Walking becoming wider known.
Nordic Walking, sometimes called Pole Walking, involves using two poles whilst walking to apply pressure from the arms and torso, propelling the user on. It makes walking feel that much easier but as it employs many additional muscles compared to normal walking, such as triceps, biceps, chest, lats, shoulders, core it has been shown to use up to an additional 46% increase in calorie burn.
In the last decade the number of Nordic Walkers has risen dramatically making the transition from the walker and backpacker scene to the fitness scene. In the last few years we have seen Nordic Walking groups spring up all over the country. They are especially popular as they are suitable for people of all levels of fitness with the only requirement being that you can walk and learn to use the poles. Most classes will teach proper pole techniques for different conditions and terrain to anyone who requires it, ensuring that they get the best from their walking workout!