Saturday, March 31, 2012

Get It in Writing

Another important aspect of action stage is contracting.You already know that contracts are verbal or written agreements stating what the client is to accomplish and what will happen when the accomplishment takes place.For instance a client and personal fitness trainer might produce a contract in which the client states.If I loss five pounds,I will buy myself a new skirt. Contracts should be stated in clear, positive terms.Avoid contracts that come off as a threat instead focus on positive rewards.Contracts can be effective motivation tools, especially when the reinforcement is received immediately following contract completion.

Friday, March 30, 2012

Be a Role Model

A personal fitness trainer will be most effective when he practices what he preaches.In other words, a client is more likely to comply with a personal trainer's fitness advice when it is obvious that the personal fitness trainer follows this advice himself.In achieving and maintaining an appropriate level of fitness, the personal fitness trainer models the lifestyle he advocates to his clients.

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Dealing With Stress

The hurried pace of modern life along with the seemingly endless stream of work and family responsibilities can leave a person frazzled, to say the least.The body has built in fight or flight mechanisms designed to respond to stressful situations.While these responses can be extremely useful during acute emergency situations, the constant activation of these mechanisms as a result of chronic daily stress can have detrimental effects on nearly every system in the body.

Chronic stress affects the musculoskeletal system, causing headaches and muscle and joint pain.It also increases tension in the neck,back,and shoulders.Stress leaves a person more vulnerable to cardiovascular disease, heart attack, and hypertension and suppresses the immune system, which leads to more viral diseases and bacterial infections.Chronic stress can impair a person's memory and even lead to gastrointestinal problems ranging from nausea to constipation and diarrhea.

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Restaurants and Fast Food Outlets

The restaurant business is booming, and people seem to be eating out more and more.In order to successfully attract customers, restaurants are offering larger portions and more hidden fats and sweeteners than ever before. Hidden fats are fats in foods where you would not expect them. Many restaurants use a lot of fat or sweeteners to make their food taste good and keep their customers coming back.It is important for athletes who are closely monitoring their calorie intake to ask the server about how foods are prepared and to find out what types and how much fat and sweetener are being used. Full dinners don't often fit with the way a top athlete should eat. Athletes shouldn't be afraid to order menu items separately.For example, the grilled Salmon may come with mashed potatoes, gravy, and broccoli in cheese sauce.To make this meal conform To the needs of an athlete, the athlete should ask for a baked potato or rice and steamed broccoli or carrots without sauce.When eating out, athlete can look for these high fat buzz words when ordering fried,pan fried, crispy,buttery, butter sauce, creamed, creamy, gravy, Au gratin, cheese sauce, scampi, breaded,meat sauce, sauteed, Alfredo sauce.In addition, follow the guidelines in the table 21.1 on how to make food choices at restaurant that will fuel the body for top performance.

The Bottom Line

The human body is resilient and can continue to function under extreme states of stress such as starvation, sickness, and injury. Adequate nutrient intake can help athletes recover as quickly as possible from injuries and can help them keep their bodies strong, thereby preventing future injury. There is no magic pill that will heal broken bones or injured muscles, but providing the body with adequate amounts of the essential calories and nutrients, including proteins, vitamins, and minerals, can speed healing and reduce recover time.

Monday, March 26, 2012

Physical Activity and Diabetes Mellitus

Physical activity causes increased metabolic demands that stimulate an increase in fuel mobilization and oxidation, or burning, in the body, In the athlete without diabetes mellitus, the body adjusts to these metabolic demands appropriately by altering hormonal balances and secretions.This appropriate hormonal regulation helps maintain blood glucose levels within desirable range.Unfortunately, these metabolic and hormonal adjustments are absent or impaired in athletes with diabetes Mellitus.Without this appropriate metabolic and hormonal control,athletes with diabetes are at risk for serious complications ( hypoglycemia and hyperglycemia ) that can adversely affect their ability to exercise and perform to their best. Ultimately, the physiological,  hormonal, and metabolic effects physical activity has on the athlete with diabetes significantly influence the type, duration, and intensity of activity the athlete can safely participate in.There are two basic types of diabetes Mellitus.Insulin dependent diabetes mellitus ( IDDM ) or type 1 diabetes ( in the past this was known as juvenile onset diabetes ).Noninsulin dependent diabetes mellitus ( NIDDM ),or type 2 diabetes (in the pass this was known as adult onset diabetes ).

Saturday, March 24, 2012

Updating The Prescrition

The rate at which a client progresses through a fitness program will depend on several factors such as age, fitness level,health status, motivation level,and equipment access.There are three stages that personal fitness trainers use to describe a client's fitness progression.

Initial Conditioning Stage

The first four to six weeks of an exercise program are the initial conditioning stage. It is best to have clients in this stage exercise at a relatively low intensity to help them avoid the muscle soreness, discomfort, and discouragement that may accompany intense physical exercise.As a client progresses through this stage, the frequency, intensity, and duration of workouts can be increased gradually.

Improvement Conditioning Stage

After the initial conditioning stage, a client moves into the improvement conditioning stage, during which the client makes the majority of his fitness progress.This stage generally lasts fore between eight and 20 weeks and includes a gradual increase in the client's workout intensity, frequency,and duration.Fitness level will progress quickly during this stage, and the personal fitness trainer should retest the client's abilities every three months to review this progress and check goal attainment.

Maintenance Conditioning Stage

When the client has reached her desired level of fitness,she enters the maintenance conditioning stage.This stage usually is reached five to six months after the exercise program begin, but it can be delayed depending on the client's initial fitness level and specific goal.Once a client enters the maintenance stage of her exercise program, the focus is on making fitness a lifetime commitment.

Wow! You've certainly learned a lot i this lesson.You're almost ready to develop exercise prescriptions for your clients.But before you complete the final practicum and this course let's do a quick review with the following Practice Exercise.

Friday, March 23, 2012

Cool Your Jets

Some people think the cool down is a waste of time  walking out to the car after a tough game of racquetball should be plenty of cooling down!Others treat post exercise time as a sort of happy hour, plopping down on the Grass after touch football with a cold beer. The truth is that the cool down is as important as the warm up, and stretching is more important in the cool down because warm muscles respond better to stretching .Allowing the body to gradually slow down helps the muscles get rid of waste products such as carbon dioxide and lactic acid more efficiently than slamming on the exercise bikes.
The duration of the cool down should be in proportion to the duration and intensity of the aerobic activity in general, another five to 10 minutes for a 30 to 40 minute aerobic session. The activities for a cool down, like those for a warm up session, really are limitless. Walk , cycle slowly with no resistance, swim with a slower rate of arm stroke, even marching in place at a gradually reduced speed and intensity will help your body recover from the hard work it's done.

Thursday, March 22, 2012

What Else Stresses The Respiratory System?

A few minutes ago we mentioned that exercise isn't the only thing that stresses your respiratory system.Anything that gives your body less oxygen to work with will influence how well your body function. Fortunately,the human body is highly adaptable.Altitude greatly affects your respiratory system because at higher elevations the air contains less oxygen.If you've ever taken a trip to the mountains and felt tired, that's why! Your system is getting a lot less oxygen than the amount it's used to getting.At about 3,900 feet the body starts to make changes to compensate for this lack of oxygen.At first, your rate of ventilation increases this happens at rest as well as during exercise.Although your muscle strength is relatively unaffected, your heart also adapts to the reduced levels of oxygen,increasing its output anywhere from 30 percent to 50 percent.Overall, the result is that your body will perform aerobic activity worse than usual when you first are at a higher altitude. Over three to six weeks, your body may adjust enough that it can perform nearly as well as it did at sea level, but it may always perform slightly worse  at that higher altitude. However, after adjusting to the altitude and returning to sea level, your performance may be better for a month or so before your body readjusts to the oxygen rich air.This is why some athletes especially marathon runners prefer to train in places with high altitudes.Another huge influence on your respiratory system is smoking.Some lung problems and diseases that smoking causes don't appear until later in life.However, smoking tobacco impairs the ability of your lungs to function in several ways.

Wednesday, March 21, 2012


Alcohol also influences the body.Within five minutes of its consumption,alcohol begins to take effect.If enters the bloodstream, slowing reaction time and affecting awareness, speech, and coordination. In large amounts, the consumption of alcohol leads to vomiting and unconsciousness.Longterm effects of alcohol include damage to the liver and pancreas and an increased risk of heart disease. Alcohol contains about seven calories per gram, and these calories offer no nutritional benefits.


Caffeine is  found in coffee, cocoa, soft drinks, and some teas and medications. America's demand for coffee products has exploded in recent years, and many people rely on caffeine to remain alert and energetic throughout the day. Unfortunately, consuming too much caffeine may result in sleeplessness at night,among other health risks and issues. Furthermore, many people rely on the energy boost they get from caffeine containing products and find the use of these products to be habit forming.The headaches that tend to occur when people are deprived of their regular caffeine fix also contribute to the continued usage of these products.

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Processed Sugar

Now, let's have an in depth discussion about sugars.Americans eat too many processed sugars. In fact the average American eats more than double the maximum recommended intake of sugar everyday . Processed sugar is found in high amounts in many of the packaged foods we eat. Even foods considered healthy by most standards such as commercial yogurt,some bran cereals,and boxed granola bars, often have large amounts of processed sugars in them.Sugar in Processed food goes by a variety of different names, often making it difficult to identify on nutrition labels and ingredient lists. A few of the more common names that sugars go by are high fructose com syrup, sucrose, and sorghum syrup.So what's the problem with processed sugar?Many of the accusations regarding sugar, including the idea that it causes hyperactivity in children or Type 2 diabetes in adults, have not panned out in scientific studies.The main problem with America's love of processed sugars is that sugar is one of the few foods that provides calories but has little nutritional value. It's not to say that all sugars are bad. Sugars found in fruit, honey, and molasses do provide some nutrients as well as energy over time.After all,sugar is a carbohydrate that the body turns into glucose, which we talked about in Lesson 1. But when people fill up on processed sugar they may fail to eat the nutrient containing foods their bodies need to function correctly, resulting in one or more nutrient deficiencies.


We've already talked about sodium briefly, but now let's examine it more closely. Sodium has been said to cause a rise in blood pressure and the retention of water.There is truth to both of these claims, but first let's look at the benefits of sodium. Sodium is vital for fluid balance, thus during exercise it.
increases your thirst, encouraging you to drink
helps you retain water to aid in preventing dehydration
replaces water lost through sweating

The human body needs sodium both to maintain proper water balance and for normal nerve and muscle activity.Sodium,more commonly referred to as salt, draws water to it, ensuring that the proper amount of water is kept both inside and outside the body's cells.Sodium's water attracting abilities explain why we often get thirsty after eating salty foods such as popcorn or potato chips.Salt in the food we eat  draws water away from our cells, causing the body to excrete the water and leave us feeling dehydrated. As mentioned previously, sodium is an essential that people must ingest for their bodies to function properly.Too little sodium can cause health problems such as low blood pressure, dizziness, muscle cramps, and in the worst case, coma.However, the majority of Americans get far too much salt in their diets, leading to health problems such as high blood pressure.Americans tend to get too much sodium as a result of the highly processed modem diet.Sodium and potassium combine to regulate the balance of fluid in cells.However, when too much sodium is taken in ,the regulation does not take place. Too much fluid is left in the cells, causing blood volume to expand and thus causing high blood pressure.

High blood pressure affects nearly 25 percent of all adults in this country, and the risk of developing it increases as one gets older.High blood pressure is dangerous because its presence greatly increases a person's chances of having a stroke or heart attack or of developing heart disease or kidney failure.

Monday, March 19, 2012

Exercise Intensity

For cardiorespiratory training benefits strengthening your heart and improving your cells ability to manufacture energy exercising at 40 percent to 85 percent of your VO2 max or 55 percent to 90 percent of your maximum heart rate is recommended.Beginners will benefit from exercising at 40 percent to 50 percent of VO2 max, but even 50 percent to 60 percent is a good goal to have.

Saturday, March 17, 2012


A person who remains consistently committed to his healthy new lifestyle for an extended length of time, is in the maintenance stage of behavior change.The specific length of time that needs to pass before one is declared to be in this stage varies depending on several factors.Such as the behavior that was changed and the mental feelings a client has toward the change.For example, does he still require a personal fitness trainer to motivate and reward him for staying on his program, or does he do the exercise because he now enjoys it? Establishing a new habit takes a minimum of 30 days, and when it come to diet and exercise practices, three to six months often is needed before a person feels that the behavior change is a part of his lifestyle.


An individual in the contemplation stage of behavior change is aware that she has a problem whether it is obesity risk of disease, or simply being out of shape.Despite the realization of their problem,people in the contemplation stage have not made a commitment to change their unhealthy behavior or behaviors and are probably still weighing the pros and cons of making a change.

Friday, March 16, 2012


A person is in the action stage of behavior change when he makes the time and commitment to modify his lifestyle.In the action stage, people make lifestyle choices that benefit their health on a daily basis.Personal fitness trainers help clients in the action stage cope with obstacles that may interfere with their new, healthy lifestyle choices.For example, a nutritional specialist might develop a plan to help a client avoid overeating at an upcoming family gathering.A personal fitness trainer might encourage a client to continue to exercise despite a recent romantic break up.

Psychological Diseases

Our rushed, modern lifestyles also contribute to the development of mental or psychological diseases.Chronic worry and stress lead to depression, anxiety, and sleeping problems.Often, the medications prescribed for these problems have unwanted side effects such as headaches or nausea, and these medications only mask the underlying problem.Worse yet, some people become tolerant to the medications,causing them to need higher and higher doses to achieve the desired effect.Stress also leads to painful ulcers, which are lesions in the lining of the stomach.Soft drinks, fatty foods, coffee, and alcohol all common in the modern diet aggravate ulcer.

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Assess Your Fitness Level

As you assess your fitness level, it is important to judge yourself in relation to those close to your own age.Fitness has four main components. Cardiovascular efficiency and endurance, muscular strength and endurance, muscle and joint flexibility,and body composition.Let's start with cardiovascular efficiency and endurance. Do you perform regular aerobic activities that increase your heart rate?Are you able to run up several flights of stairs or perform everyday activities without becoming winded? if so, great! If not, there's no time like the present to get started!

Monday, March 12, 2012

Motivating Clients

Keeping a client motivated during the first few months of a new exercise program is vital since this is when a person is most likely to drop out and revert to old behaviors. A personal fitness trainer creates a feeling of teamwork by encouraging a client to be open and honest in communicating feelings regarding an exercise program.

Who Is Responsible?

Some clients may try to blame their personal fitness trainer for their failings in the gym.Therefore, it is important that clients understand from the beginning that you, as their trainer,cannot do the work for them, ultimately,clients are responsible for their own success or failure.The personal fitness trainer is responsible for creating a program that is as easy as possible for the client to adhere to, but the client must adhere to this program both in the gym and in daily life.Until the client is ready to help himself, there is little chance for success.

Who Is Responsible?

You now know the many ways that a personal fitness trainer and nutritional specialist can help a client achieve fitness goals.But sometimes a personal fitness trainer does all these things right, and the client still doesn't succeed.Even the best personal fitness trainers in the world have clients who drop out of their programs or fail to follow their advice. Ultimately, the responsibility of a client's health lies within the client herself, and there is little a personal fitness trainer can do to help a client who refuses to do her part.

Sunday, March 11, 2012

You Are What You Eat

Nutrition refers to the food that a person takes into his body and the way that food influences his health.What we eat plays an important role in determining how we feel.Our diet can help or hinder our daily physical and mental functioning and affect our long term health.You probably have heard the saying, "You are what you eat." Modern medical studies have concluded that this is true! just as your car runs best when maintained properly and give the best gesoline, our bodies function best when we ear healthy and nutritious foods and beverages. Not only does good nutrition help us to be at our mental and physical best on a day to day basis, but it also plays a large role in keeping our bodies healthy and disease free over a lifetime.As a personal fitness trainer and nutritional specialist, you'll be able to help your cvlients eat a more healthy diet.

The Fitness and Nutrition Connection

To achieve optimal fitness,a body must follow an effective exercise program, as well as be supplied with adequate nutrition.Good nutrition gives the body the energy it needs to complete a physical workout and repair itself following the workout. Nutritionists who earn four years degrees may prescribe programs to help clients treat various health conditions and diseases. In contrast, a nutritional specialist can expect to provide much more basic information about nutrition as it relates to his or her clients fitness.Let's take a look at the role I play as a personal fitness trainer and nutritional specialist.

Roles of the Personal Fitness Trainer and Nutritional Specialist

As a personal fitness trainer and nutritional specialist, you will serve several roles.First and foremost, you will fill the role of a professional helper in your field much as a lawyer or psychologist is looked to for advice in her field.Roles you also can expect to fill in your new career include teacher, coach, and motivator.

As a teacher you will share your knowledge of fitness and nutrition. You will teach subjects such as how to use equipment correctly, follow a sensible nutrition plan,and exercises to perform to reach clients goals. You will coach clients by helping them to make better dietary choices and improving their form and technique while exercising. As a motivator you will offer your clients encouragement as they work toward their fitness goals.Personal fitness trainers also serve as good listeners by listening to the personal difficulties that may stand in the way of achieving clients fitness goals.However, it is important to note that as a personal fitness trainer you are not a doctor or psychologist. When a client's personal or health problems lie outside a fitness trainer's professional expertise, you should refer him to other qualified health professionals.While a personal fitness trainer can offer a client a variety of services, the ultimate responsibility for achieving fitness lies within the client himself. By encouraging, empowering, and educating, personal fitness trainers increase the likelihood that their clients will succeed in their fitness goals.This, in turn, increases the likelihood that you will achieve your financial goals!As a personal fitness trainer and nutritional specialist, you''ll help your clients get healthy and motivate them to achieve their fitness goals. But to really begin to understand the fitness and nutrition industry, you need to be familiar with several terms. You'll hear these terms throughout this course and your new career.

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Range of Motion or Rom

As a personal fitness trainer and nutritional specialist,I often work with a client's range of motion.As you know,each synovial joint performs a particular ROM.For instance,the elbow joint only can bend and straighten flex and extend whereas the shoulder joint can raise,lower,open wide,hold close, and roll around.In other words it can flex,extend,rotate,abduct,adduct,and circumduct all terms you'll learn in the next section.

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Blood in Motion

Now let's review how blood moves throughout the cardiovascular system.Remember,cardio refers to the heart,while vascular refers to veins,arteries,and capillaries.The right side of the heart receives blood from the body through systemic veins the superior and inferior venae cavae.This blood has delivered its oxygen load to the cells.First,the blood flows into the right upper chamber,the right atrium.It passes into the right ventricle,where it is pumped through pulmonary arteries to each lung.At the lungs, it gives off carbon dioxide and receives a fresh supply of oxygen,then returns to the left side of the heart through pulmonary veins.The blood fills the left atrium and passes into the left ventricle,where it is pumped through the aorta to take its supply of oxygenated blood to the rest of the body.

Monday, March 5, 2012

Body and Mind are Connected in Many Ways.

Whenever a person chooses to move,her body messages are sent from the brain and spinal cord to the bones and muscles, telling them what to do .Thought processes guide voluntary muscles.So when a person wants her arms or legs to move, her brain can control this action.Besides voluntary actions, the brain also sends out signals to individual blood vessels and organs, telling them  to ensure the muscles have what they need to perform.The brain does this involuntarily, meaning it's not something a person needs to think about doing or has any control over.Finally, the brain causes the body to excrete certain hormones that play an important role in physical performance.For instance,the hormone testosterone plays a role in muscle maintenance during exercise.

Steroids and Performance

There is a clear relationship between taking anabolic steroids and muscle mass gains.However, whether these gains lead to increased strength or improved athletic performance is less clear.No study to date has demonstrated a clear link between steroid use and improved athletic performance.Studies fail to show that steroids and able to do many of the things that people take them for including better muscle endurance, improved sprinting abilities,and shortened recovery times following workout.There are side effects that steroids bring on that can adversely influence performance such as unwanted increases in body weight,as well as declines in performance when steroid use is stopped.Furthermore,athletes who participate in team sports may find that the emotional outbursts that accompany steroid use hinder teamwork.

Sunday, March 4, 2012

Athletes and Supplements

When advising the use of supplements as a personal fitness trainer and nutritional specialist, it is important to consider each client's case individually.In doing so, you will be able to make a recommendation that will prove most beneficial to that person.Some supplements can have a positive impact on athletic performance,especially if the diet is deficient in certain vitamins and minerals.Diets lacking in key vitamins and minerals provides the body with what it needs to perform at its best.People who restrict food intake or avoid certain food groups are most likely to need supplementation to meet their daily vitamin and mineral requirements.

Thursday, March 1, 2012

Increaseing Calcium Intake

Calcium is a mineral that composes much of the bone tissue found in the body.From birth we must obtain all our bodies calcium needs from dietary sources.Calcium supplements may be necessary particularly for those who avoid dairy products or have a low caloric intake.Exercise increases the rate at which the body breaks down bone.Physically active people must be sure to meet their calcium needs if they want to avoid bone loss.

Some People have Special Needs

Today,we know that some groups of people require more of certain vitamins and minerals than others to function at their best.For example,women of childbearing age especially those who are pregnant require more folic acid.Our client Jessie falls into this category.Those taking oral contraceptives have an increased need for several vitamins such as thiamin and riboflavin.Smokers should consume more vitamin C, while heavy drinkers require more of the B vitamins.Older people may need higher amounts of all vitamins and minerals as a result of their bodies decreased absorption abilities.Those who take certain medications or are recovering from surgery,illness,or injury also can benefit from supplements.Along with a healthy,balanced diet,taking a daily multivitamin helps ensure that your client is providing her body with all the vitamins and minerals it need to function properly.