4 Exercises to Increase Balance for Seniors

Balance is one of the first things to go as people age. It’s a skill that most people take for granted in their youth and one’s ability to perform balance movements fades with time. But just because your reflexes get a little slower doesn’t mean you are stuck with poor balance as you age. As with most things, practice makes perfect, and balance is very much so a perishable skill.

So let’s get started.

1. Toe Raises
In this exercise, stand shoulder-width apart, next to a wall or chair should they need it for safety.

Start by holding your hands out from your body and shifting your weight to your toes and back through your heel, finishing each repetition with your feet returning to the ground. This constitutes one repetition. Do four more repetitions for each set.

If you are looking for a way to increase the difficulty, bring your feet closer together. This creates a more narrow support structure, forcing you to utilize stabilizing muscles more.

2. Torso Twist
For this exercise, begin with your feet shoulder-width apart and place your hands on your hips.

As the name indicates, begin by gently twisting your torso to the right and look back over your shoulder. Hold this position for five seconds, and then return to center.

Once this is complete, twist to the left and hold for five more seconds. Make sure to count slowly and deliberately.

Complete five repetitions per side. Then, if you like you can do more, repeat the exercise again with your feet closer together. Don’t forget to stand near a wall or a chair. Also, if you have difficulty standing, you can perform this exercise while seated.

3. Weight Transfer
For this exercise, begin with your feed shoulder width apart again and your hands resting on your hips.

Move your hands wherever you need to throughout this exercise in order to maintain balance. Plant your left foot solidly on the ground and push your right foot onto the ball and toes.

From here, extend your right leg while keeping the left leg planted. Tap the heel onto the ground and then move your foot back to your toes. Repeat this four more times, then switch legs.

Complete another five reps with your left leg and you will be done with a set. Make sure that you are near a wall or a chair so that you can grab it should you begin to lose your balance.

4. Walk in Straight Line
This is a “dynamic” balance exercise, meaning you will no longer be stationary. What this means is that you need to make sure that you are proficient in exercises 1-3 before you attempt this one.

Although it seems simple, this exercise can require some practice, especially as our bodies get older. For this exercise, begin with your feet together and arms extended. Place one foot directly in front of the other and take ten steps forward, following a straight line.

In the beginning, you don’t have to literally touch the heel of one foot to the toes of another, but as your balance skills increase, this is a great way to add an additional challenge to the exercise.

Safety is Paramount
Remember that if you get injured, it will take much longer to recover than it likely used to. As such, go into this with a “safety first” mentality. Start out with the easiest positions and steadily move on to more difficult ones.

These exercises are great for getting effective balance training. This will enable you to live a more full life as you get older and maybe even keep up with the grandkids. Don’t be afraid to ask for help from someone you trust, and always remember, again, that holding onto a chair or the wall is completely acceptable and even encouraged.

Balance is the key to independent movement. Train a little bit every day and you will soon start to see improvements. Following this program will help you to add years to your life and more life to your years!

Alzheimer’s and Exercise

It's been estimated that over 5 million Americans suffer from Alzheimer's, according to the Alzheimer's Foundation. Alzheimer's is a form of dementia which attacks the nerve cells in the brain. It results in a lack of memory and eventually language skills. This can be very difficult, both on the individual suffering from the disease as well as the caregivers looking after them.

The unfortunate truth about this population is that they really need fitness professionals. Without the assistance of someone who knows what they’re doing and can guide them accordingly, getting Alzheimer’s patients to exercise on their own and by themselves can be very difficult.

Benefits of Exercise for Alzheimer's
There is still a great deal about the disease that we don't know. There are always new trials and new research that is trying desperately to find a cure. But in the meantime, there is a correlation between fitness and dementia's effect on cognitive performance. In short, exercise can help to slow down the advancement of the disease.

Furthermore, it's possible to expand an individual's social circle while improving fitness levels. Patients suffering from Alzheimer's and dementia often lack social ties, relationships, etc. which help to keep the mind sharp. Exercise is an opportunity to not only help the body but to also help the mind of a dementia patient.

Emotional Wellbeing
One of the darker aspects to dementia and Alzheimer's is being confined to one space or another. This is exacerbated by the lack of many social connections the person might have relied on earlier in life, not to mention confusion at the loss of some friends or relatives. It can be quite a traumatic experience when episodes happen.

As such, it's essential to have in place a robust plan for focusing on mental health and self-esteem. Exercise can play an enormous role in helping to build up higher levels of endorphins in the brain, which will help them to have a more positive demeanor when possible.

The Importance of Fitness Professionals
When dealing with Alzheimer's and dementia patients, it can be dangerous for them to exercise alone. As such, pairing them with fitness professionals can have a multilayered benefit.

For one, it's another social interaction that the patient wouldn't otherwise have. Something as simple as a brief conversation about the client's day could be extremely beneficial to managing the disease. Furthermore, a fitness professional will help to ensure that the patient exercises in a safe and secure atmosphere, significantly decreasing the risk of injury.

Consistency
One of the most difficult aspects of getting Alzheimer's and dementia patients to exercise is forming a habit that didn't exist before the disease. This is another huge benefit that the fitness professional stands to offer.

Exercise without consistency in practice and schedule can severely inhibit the benefits the patient would otherwise receive. As such, having regularly scheduled sessions at the patient's residence can provide just that.

Partnering with Doctors
One great way to find patients who could benefit from your services is to contact the medical practices in your area which treat such people. You will be hard pressed to find a doctor who wouldn't want her patients to exercise more, and to do so in a safer environment. This can be a great strategy for getting more clients as well as providing a desperately needed service.

Helping to care for someone in need is an incredibly rewarding experience in and of itself. Take the time to think about how you might be able to use your own talents and skills to help those who can really use the services of a trained fitness professional. Medical Fitness Network also seeks to partner healthcare professionals with fitness professionals to do just that

Training Considerations for MS

People who suffer from Multiple Sclerosis already have a lot of challenges to contend with in their lives. Whereas many people already find excuses and ways to avoid hitting the gym, it's that much harder for those with chronic conditions to get in a good workout. This is an area in which a personal trainer can become an effective key to a patient's disease management strategy.

Multiple Sclerosis, or MS, is a disease of the central nervous system. The National Multiple Sclerosis Society states that MS is unpredictable and often causes the disabling of the central nervous system. As of now, the disease's cause is still unknown. It is also impossible to predict the escalation and severity of the disease on the patient over time. It requires special attention from a physician to diagnose, and is often missed on routine exams until more extreme symptoms begin to come forward.

Quality of Life
One of the most unfortunate aspects of the disease is its tendency to steadily inhibit motor function and control of the extremities. There are, in many cases, issues with balance, strength and endurance. Loss of autonomy can be especially troubling.

This also means that many people suffering from MS have an incredibly difficult time finding the right exercise regimen. As any fitness professional knows, fitness has a huge effect on every vital system of the body. Exercise increases brain activity, cardiovascular efficiency, immune response as well as mental wellbeing.

In this, MS patients are much better off when they have an avenue to fitness. But this can be incredibly challenging when fatigue sets in, balance issues, or basic motor function start to decline. So just what can a fitness professional offer this population?

A Way Forward
As many personal trainers can attest to, it's hard enough to get people to workout and stick to a plan when completely healthy. Throwing in a chronic condition makes it that much more difficult. But it also means that these individuals have that much more to gain. Fighting a disease like MS takes every ounce of strength and it can be very difficult for an individual to exercise while trying to manage their treatment schedule. That's where personal trainers and group fitness instructors can make a great difference.

What fitness professionals offer is a way forward — a way to extract a little more energy and to derive a little more enjoyment out of life.

Considerations
Before a trainer gets started working with any client, it's essential that they get the approval of their doctor. This can also be a source of powerful information for the trainer to find out what the doctor's recommendations are in terms of safety.

Does the client need to be especially mindful of balance issues? Are they having a particularly difficult time with certain parts of the body? These are the types of questions that a fitness professional needs to have in order to ensure they are responsibly working with a client who suffers from MS.

Take a Varied Approach
There are several different ways that trainers can take when training clients with MS. Due to the unpredictable nature of the disease, it is often advisable to stick to equipment that allows the client to experience resistance without significant risk, should a body part experience a loss of functionality during the workout.

For this reason, and taking the severity of the condition into consideration, bodyweight exercises can be a potential hazard. If you have your clients participating in such exercises, make sure that you maintain 100 percent of your focus on the client at all times.

Learn to Love the Pool
One of the best approaches that you can take for safely training clients who suffer from MS is getting into the pool. In aquatics, balance and muscle failure are less of a problem as the body's natural buoyancy in water will protect them from any major crashes.

This also leaves a great opportunity open for to hold small classes with appropriate supervision who can give those suffering with MS the ability to experience a group fitness class. This can be incredibly effective in terms of camaraderie and encouragement, as well as fostering a positive training environment.

Finding the Right Balance
At the end of the day, this is a wonderful way to provide a much needed service to people who really stand to gain from fitness. You, as a trainer, can become an essential part of the individual's treatment team and help your clients to get the most out of life. Exercise is a key ingredient to living long and living well. This is especially the case for those facing long-term treatment. Taking the time to craft an individual program that will maximize individual strengths while keeping them as safe as possible will make for an important addition to treatment.

Technology is Your Friend, Let’s Embrace It!

It seems like fitness technology is changing and improving everyday. I remember when the Fitbit first came out and it seemed revolutionary. However, now we have “smart clothes” that have embedded sensors, a plethora of health and fitness smartphone apps, and even virtual reality headsets. There’s so much out there and even more on the way. To some people technology (especially when used in fitness) can be incredibly intimidating. However, it doesn’t have to be that way. It takes some innovative thought and creative design but it can be a valuable tool for personal trainers.

By using some of the fitness technology that is currently available you’ll find a way to grow your fitness business AND have an enhanced experience with your clients. Technology should be a tool to add to your clients’ user experience–not to replace what you’re currently doing with them. In other words, it’s not meant to replace you, it’s meant to strengthen your services.

I began really implementing technology into fitness when I was teaching all online classes as a college professor. My initial course idea was to have a way to monitor the student’s heart rate during exercise in order for them to have a greater level of cardiorespiratory fitness. This course required the students to use a specific heart rate monitor that uploaded heart rate data to the company’s website. It was cutting edge for the college since this all happened around 2010. There has been a huge improvement in fitness technology since then making heart rate training easier than ever to do for a fitness professional. 

You may wonder what kind of results I got from the students in the class. Did they improve significantly during the semester? How was that measured? 

Well, the students and I saw phenomenal results. Each week I looked at and evaluated their heart rate charts. Did they work out long enough? Hard enough? Did they get in a minimum of 3 cardio workouts each week? 

It was almost impossible to cheat in this course because heart rate data doesn’t lie. For example, if I had a 46 year old female student and she gave her heart rate monitor to her 16 year old son to get in her workout, I would see very different heart rate charts. So, as I evaluated their workouts I would look for data that looked inconsistent. 

I realized toward the end of the semester how important this class was to the students. I had many students depressed over the fact that my accountability was going away. That my “watching” and tracking their workout intensity was the catalyst that kept them on track. The course would fill up as soon as registration started and I had many students take this course for several semesters in a row. In fact, I just got a LinkedIn message from a former student saying how much she liked the course and she took it 6 years ago.
Why don’t you try adding heart rate training to your list of services? First, though, here are some things to consider:

1. Use an accurate heart rate monitor. I think the chest strap heart rate monitors are much more accurate than ones worn on the wrist. There are many out there and they will either have their own websites to check your client’s data or they sync with a third party app. If your client prefers to use a device that only tracks heart rate at the wrist also have them track Rate of Perceived Exertion.
2. Do a fitness assessment. Have them do a cardiorespiratory fitness assessment as a pre-test before they start your program. Then have them repeat the fitness assessment as a post-test when they’ve completed 10-12 weeks of heart rate training. This will be very motivating to the client to see how much they’ve progressed and will allow you to help them set another 10-12 week goal.
3. Accountability. This is a great accountability tool for trainers to use with their clients. Most people perform better and are more successful when someone is monitoring and “watching” them. This is known as the “sentinel effect”. This is a powerful tool to help your clients be successful
4. Builds rapport and relationship with the client. It’s very important for a trainer to build rapport and establish a good relationship with their client. By monitoring your client’s progress on cardio even when you’re not face-to-face with them enables you to stay connected virtually and still be their “workout buddy”. 
5. Increased revenue. By tracking their heart rate during their workouts virtually you can increase your fees without having to travel or even leave your home. You can keep tabs on their cardio workouts anytime and anywhere. This is just another value add for your business and hopefully more income for you. However, you don’t have to charge extra for it. You could use it to promote your business and get more clients. You have more services to offer than other trainers so it’s a win-win for everyone.

Impress your peers and clients with your ability to move into the 21st century! Embrace technology and all it has to offer personally and professionally. It’s not as difficult as you may think. Technology really is your friend! And while you're at it, why not check out our course on how to better incorporate technology into your training?

It’s You Against You

Inspiration can appear at unlikely times. This weekend, I watched Creed, the seventh (!) movie in the Rocky series, which was released in 2015. It is hard to believe that Rocky has been part of our lives since 1976.

It is pretty easy to find motivation in Rocky movies. The themes are clear: Determination over complacency. Good versus evil. Will versus circumstances. The thing is, I didn’t sit down and think “This movie will be good for me. I need a kick in the pants.” I just wanted to be entertained for a couple of hours.

In case you don’t know the story (and I’ll be sure to avoid spoilers), Donnie Creed -- the son of Rocky’s opponent from the first two movies in the series -- decides to become a professional boxer just like his late father, and asks Rocky to train him. Rocky accepts, and the movie illustrates the struggles of Donnie trying to build his own identity as he also builds his skills as a boxer. We also see the struggles of Rocky, who is facing his own mortality while now too old to participate in the one activity he was ever any good at.

People who are involved with athletics and sports understand better than most others that when it comes to training obstacles, we’re often our own worst enemies. I’m sore. I’m busy. I’m tired. We can think of any excuse in the book to take the path of least resistance. And I’m the biggest hypocrite in the world as I write this, because just this morning, I slept in instead of doing my usual morning roadwork and workout. Ugh. Do as I say and not as I do? Or perhaps I’m writing this so I can convince myself that it is within my power to get off my butt and start moving.

During a training session in the movie, this line of dialog made me sit up and take notice: "See this guy here?" Rocky said, pointing to Donnie’s reflection in a mirror, "That's the toughest opponent you're ever going to have to face.” That couldn’t be truer, at least in my case. I’m my own worst enemy, and toughest critic. If the statement “Acknowledging you have a problem is the first step in solving it,” then perhaps the second step is identifying the problem.

Fair enough. So what can we do to fix it? For me, it involves setting realistic goals. Sure I want to wake up at 4AM each morning without needing an alarm clock, pop out of bed like I’m ready to take on the world, and have a workout that rivals Olympic athletes. Not gonna happen. What I should expect, however, is a realistic target of three hard workouts per week, two light ones, and being lazy on the weekends. Sometimes I dangle my lazy weekends like candy in front of my face, especially on hard workout days. I tell myself “Do this now so you can be a slob on Saturday and Sunday.” That trick doesn’t work every time, but more often than not, it does.

I can’t tell you what will motivate you, but I bet you know what buttons to push. Dip into that well when you need to, and be sure to provide yourself some rewards. I’m not above self-bribery when necessary.

Prior to his championship fight, Rocky tells Creed, “It’s you against you” and pointing to his opponent, “He’s just in the way.” Win or lose, that’s going to be the case. Fortunately, nobody knows your opponent better than you do. Attack his weaknesses to find your strength.

Go see Creed. It won’t disappoint you. Now if you’ll excuse me, I’ve got a missed workout to make up for.

Keeping on Track

How many workouts did you get in last week? How intense were they? Were you able to do cardio and resistance training? Did you stretch? These might be questions that we ask our clients but we need to address these items ourselves. In order to be an effectual trainer or instructor we must make time for our own fitness. Our clients will look to us as role models and it’s essential that we demonstrate a fit lifestyle. This doesn’t mean that we have to do everything perfectly but we do need to “practice what we preach”. 

I know personally that the pressures of our daily lives can get us off our workout schedule but we have to make it a priority. I’ve always felt very fortunate that exercise has always been a part of my job. Early in my career I owned a dance studio so I got in hours of exercise almost every day. Then I became a college professor and originally taught face-to-face health and wellness lecture courses along with movement classes like Modern Dance and Aerobic Fitness. As I transitioned to teaching totally online it became more challenging to get my own workouts in. So, I came up with a few ideas that helped me and I hope they will help you too.

1–Put your workouts on your calendar and make it as important as any other appointment you have.
The best thing you can do for your family and your clients is to take good care of yourself so it must be a priority. Scheduling it and keeping the “appointment” will help keep you on track.

2–Work on time management.
It’s important to take 30 minutes in the morning to plan out your day. Also, put a limit on social media while you’re working. There are many ideas that will help you manage your time like a pro. Here’s some more!

3–Have your own accountability partner.
You are an accountability partner for your clients and it works very well. So, why wouldn’t you have one for yourself? Also, this gives you perspective from the “other side”. You’ll know more of what your clients experience with you. It’s always good to understand what they go through and I know this will make you a better trainer.

4–Reward yourself.
Everyone likes rewards! It gives you something tangible to work toward. I give my clients a little “tip” jar. Every time they workout they are to “tip” themselves one dollar. When they have accumulated $50 they are to buy themselves something. Try this with you clients but also include yourself. 

These are just a few ideas to get you thinking. I’m sure you can think of some more. Feel free to post your ideas below and comment on what works to keep yourself on track.

Je Ne Sais Quoi

Have you ever made a decision and couldn’t quite put your finger on what caused you to choose one side or the other? On paper all attributes may have been equal, but the option you went with had an intangible quality to it that made you say, “That’s the one.”
 
The French expression je ne sais quoi literally translates to “I don’t know what,” and at least makes it seem as if somebody once made an attempt to define the intangible before they gave up and just said “Whatever, OK? It has a thing that the other one doesn’t.” Maybe they were trying to explain why there was a new Citroën in the driveway versus a more practical Renault.
 
The English also attempted to put the concept into words, and called it an X-Factor. They assigned this Factor to people who have an intangible charisma, and even made a music reality TV show with that title that has been running for 13 seasons so far. Rather impressive, if you realize that the winner each year is the one with the most “don’t know what.”
 
As you’d expect, the What? Factor applies to more than British pop singers or quirky French automobiles. It also plays a large role in your potential customer acquisition.
 
Getting Punched in the Head Can Be Fun
Some years ago I moved from one major city to another. I was leaving the only karate studio I’d ever known, and was very interested in continuing my studies in my new hometown. I knew I’d have to change styles. That’s usually a given if you start out with something more obscure. What I wanted to preserve was the atmosphere of what I had experienced so far, which was a family-run operation that showed interest in me as a person and cared about my development.
 
I researched the studios in my area, wrote out a list, and decided to go take a look and observe some classes. By now I was a green belt, which by no means was an expert, but at least I wasn’t a noob and I did have a grasp of what I knew constituted a good studio versus a bad one. And all I found were bad ones.
 
There’s a sadly apropos expression in the martial arts world, and that is to label a studio a Belt Factory. Those are businesses that exist mainly to self-perpetuate, not to provide a high level of instruction for their students. The expectation is that if you show up and pay your fee each month, you’ll advance to the next belt on a regular schedule whether your skills advance or not. The “everyone gets a trophy” mentality. Every place I visited seemed to have a strong Belt Factory vibe to it.
 
Even then, I was OK with that. I knew I could end-run that mentality by working as hard as I had been before, and I could succeed despite my surroundings. Unfortunately, I was wrong. Wrong because the Belt Factory mentality wasn’t just a studio policy, it had become ingrained in the instructors as well.
 
Each instructor I interviewed seemed far more concerned with letting me know the payment programs and how much money I could save by signing a yearly contract rather than month-to-month. They asked what I did for a living, and other probing financial questions. I’m not sure if they saw another person sitting in the office chair, or if I was instead nothing but a big dollar sign in their eyes. I get that business is business, but at least try to make a human connection. It would’ve made a difference.
 
As a consequence, I didn’t sign up at any of the schools I visited, and while I never gave up my dreams of continuing my training, I figured that it might not realistically happen.

Wax On / Wax Off
Martial arts were far from my mind when one Saturday I went shopping for gifts in a plaza that I had never visited before. Right in front of where I parked was a red sign that said Karate. The studio was new, so it wasn’t on my original list. I figured the least I could do is look in the window. I was here, after all.
 
Inside was all of the usual stuff: floor mats, mirrors on the wall, heavy bag. Some people were inside, doing individual workouts. This was not usual. It wasn’t a class. These people were here because they wanted to be here. The owner saw me looking and came to the front door.
 
He asked if I had taken karate before, and when I answered yes, asked what style. What belt. Wondered where I was from. And the whole time, looked me in the eye. When I told him I was interested in finding a new studio, he said “Bring your equipment by sometime and try a workout.” 
 
I walked away thinking “That’s the guy. I want to learn from him.” He had the intangible quality, the X-Factor, in spades. It wasn’t until much later that I realized what made him so compelling (otherwise this would be an “I DO know why” story). There was no sales pitch, no mention of cost. He was simply encouraging me to do something I liked, using his space. He was confident enough to know that his best sales pitch was to show me that he was ready to teach me, not that he had a good payment plan. I didn’t want to sign up for a payment plan, I wanted to sign up and continue to study karate. So I did, and continued as his student until he retired.
 
Prospective clients are judging you in many ways, and first impressions are hugely important. They’re going to want you to be confident in your abilities. Caring and dedicated to your craft. And they absolutely don’t want to feel as if they are nothing but a payday. They might see you more often than they see their close friends, so help them to feel comfortable in the fact that you are a good person to be around. That’s the kind of person who tells others “I really love my trainer. Why? I can’t exactly say. But you should sign up too.”

Fitness Professionals Don’t Get Paid Enough!

Do you make enough money right now?

For many Americans, the answer is a resounding "NO!" In truth, for all Americans, it's been fairly stagnant over the past decade or so. Especially in the fitness industry, there are often long hours and thankless, tough work.

The Problem
So you work these long hours, both on and off the clock, and then you have to worry about whether or not you have enough clients to keep going. It can be a tall order. The struggle is very much so real.

Most gyms you work at will take a chunk of your fee — which is understandable considering overhead costs like equipment, the building, and maintenance. But, this means that you need even more clients to make a decent living.

But there's a secret that a lot of fitness professionals don't realize:

Your certification gives you the ability to make all the money they want!

YOU Have the Power
Overall, business comes down to supply and demand. Supply represents your services and demand represents your clients. The only limit to your supply is time and space — either for individual clients or fitness class participants. Basically, your ability to make more money comes down to the number of clients or class participants you have.

Whether it's working for a gym franchise or as a lone wolf, the calculation comes down to this. Some right now are thinking, "Well, duh, that's obvious!" and they would be right. But if it were as simple as knowing the problem, everyone would be making money hand-over-fist. So what are the solutions to this problem?

What to Do
Now, there are always going to be obstacles in your way, but they are usually obstacles that you can overcome. Let's go over a few...

1. Finding the RIGHT New Clients
There's a very basic formula that most personal trainers use to find new clients. You might strike up a conversation in your gym. Your company might have people who ask about better workouts and accountability. Someone might respond to a web inquiry. There are a lot of ways to find clients like this. But how often do you go looking for new clients?

In FitFixNow's FREE Continuing Education Course, we go over this concept. Most trainers nowadays are focused on the hottest new thing, intensity from training and workouts, and driving success from their clients. This is all well and good, but if everyone's competing over this same territory, then it gets harder and harder to get these younger clients.

Instead, consider what older clients could offer. Medically speaking, they are in the highest need in the nation for people with YOUR specific knowledge and skills. And, as of 2012, Baby Boomers (the group born between 1946 and 1964) possess over 70 PERCENT of ALL of the wealth in the United States. It might not be trendy or sexy to train aging populations — but it's DEFINITELY where the money is. Think about where such people are in your life. Do many come into your gym? If not, you might want to go seek them out.

Just as a matter of percentage, you could  make more money off of fewer clients AND you would be serving a population in desperate need of fitness instruction that only YOU can provide! Just remember that safety is even MORE important with this group.

2. Some Non-compete Agreements
Non-compete agreements can be a lot of things. Some of them are geared at preventing you from stealing clients. Others stipulate that you cannot work for a competing gym within 20 miles or so. But the worst type are the ones that don't allow you to train clients independently of the gym. Basically, you have to make a determination — are you capable of going out on your own? Do you have enough equipment to train clients or have classes outside of your gym's environment?

Sometimes they can last for a while. In some cases, you might want to ask an attorney if your particular situation holds up or not. But this can be one obstacle in your own personal business, so make sure to check first!

3. Groupthink
One of the single biggest problems with finding new clients is groupthink. In many circles, people only know one or two ways of achieving their goal. This shouldn't be the case with fitness professionals, but unfortunately it often IS. Fitness professionals are having to find creative solutions all the time to problems like injuries or limited mobility, yet when it comes to their thinking about their business model, they too often stay on one track that's safe. With all of the other Fitness Pros in the industry following the same playbook, that leaves less demand for your services.

That's why FitFixNow has people from all sorts of backgrounds on their team. They can offer expert business development advice that's been tried and tested throughout the nation, but for some reason the fitness industry hasn't yet adopted. So we'll be here along the way to help out with new tidbits of advice to help your Fitness Business like NEVER before!

Don't forget to check out our FREE course here. You get two full hours of CEUs (certificates and all) absolutely free for a limited time! It's exciting to think about what we can accomplish together. We look forward to the journey.

CEUs Are a Drag, But Better Than Lapsing Your Certification!

Like death and taxes, continuing education CEUs are inevitable if you want to keep your fitness certifications. Once you pass your certification test, you don’t want to have to go back and take it again to keep your certification from lapsing.

I know from experience because it happened to me!

My Background
I originally took my personal trainer exam in 1998. Back then it was with pencil and paper and it took a few weeks for it to be graded and find out if you passed or not. I was very happy to have passed, even though I had an advanced degree in the field of physical education. I kept enough CEUs to keep it current for a few years and then was hired to teach at a college full time and unfortunately I let it lapse. Big mistake!

Then in 2010 I spearheaded the initiative to bring a personal trainer certification course to the college I worked at. I knew that many students would be interested and if they passed the personal trainer exam they could make a great income while they continued to get their degree. At that point I knew that I needed to sit for the exam again because I thought it was important that whoever taught the course should be certified also, not just part of academia.

What I Discovered
The exam was totally different! The material had changed over the years and, although I always kept up-to-date for my classes, there was a lot of small details I had to memorize and   I signed up online, went to a testing center, took the exam on a computer, and got my results right after I submitted it. I passed again, but it was a monumental pain! I swore to myself that I would never let my certification lapse again.

How I Moved Forward
I was on a journey to get my required CEUs within the mandatory 2 year time frame. I have continued to get mine in a variety of ways, from attending expensive conferences to going to various face to face CEU opportunities, as well as doing some home studies where they mail you the book (which can take a couple of weeks) and then mailing in the final test. I haven’t been happy with any of these options because they take so long to wait for results and are extremely inconvenient.

I have been teaching college courses online for 16 years, doing so full-time since 2009. I’ve developed course templates for other teachers to use and I’ve received awards for teaching excellence in online education.

I had an epiphany a few months ago that this was missing from continuing education for fitness professionals. To be able to sign up for a course, immediately view videos with the course information, take the quiz, and instantly receive the course certificate is, in my opinion, the best way to get those continuing ed credits.

What’s even better is being able to take them in my own home when it’s most convenient to me takes it to a whole new level.

We’re in the 21st century with so many innovative options and I think it’s time for us to take advantage of the technological opportunities to save time, money, and be as convenient as possible. What about you? Are you ready to go with us into 21st century education? I know you’ll be glad you did!

Are You Ready?

Summer is in full swing and what a great time to be at the beach! That’s where I am right now and it’s sunny and HOT. The first couple of days were overcast and windy, so the heat wasn’t too bad and it was wonderful to walk on the beach. So this week, I’m walking and doing intervals in the sand to get in my cardio and I’ve noticed a thing or two.

When I first wake up and look at the beach from our balcony I see the serious exercisers. They’re the only ones on the beach and they are either running, jogging, or walking at a great intensity. They want to get out there before the heat of the day sets in making exercise much more difficult and potentially dangerous, especially without adequate hydration.

As the day progresses, most people are more sedentary. They sit in their beach chairs with their coolers next to them and may get up to walk to the water to get wet and cool down. Then it’s back to sitting and relaxing. Don’t get me wrong, there are advantages to sitting and relaxing. The problem I’m seeing is that the majority of the people that I’m currently observing on the beach have done a little too much of it and it shows. 

I really enjoy watching the kids. Most of them are very active and having a great time. I watched one little boy make trip after trip to get water from the ocean, only to dump it out repeatedly to help his sister form a moat around her sand castle. 

Another child would chase the waves as they went out and then when one would return she would run to try to keep ahead of it. This game seems to keep her entertained for a very long time and will probably help her sleep well tonight.

As I’m writing this a summer thunderstorm is sending most of the sedentary people scattering for cover. At least they’ll get a little bit of exercise before returning to get the remainder of their beach paraphernalia. 

How about you? Are you going to have a sedentary vacation? Or are you going to take the opportunity to use your increased free time to make some healthy activity choices? My suggestion is to take a lesson from the children–play, have fun, and be active. Please feel free to comment and let me know!