Topic: Fitness Education

SFA Graduating Class at College of Marin

Monday, April 15th, 2013 by American Senior Fitness Association   View This Issue of Experience!

Congratulations to Betsy Best-Martini’s latest Exercise Leader for Adults with Special Needs graduating class at California’s College of Marin.

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Introduction to Special Issue

Wednesday, October 31st, 2012 by American Senior Fitness Association   View This Issue of Experience!

Dr. Karl Knopf, the author of many popular books on fitness topics, has been involved in the health and fitness of disabled persons and older adults for 35 years. A consultant on numerous National Institutes of Health grants, Dr. Knopf has served as advisor to the PBS exercise series "Sit and Be Fit" and to the state of California on disabilities issues. He is a frequent speaker at conferences and has written several textbooks and articles. Dr. Knopf coordinates the Fitness Therapist Program at Foothill College in Los Altos Hills, California. "Dr. Karl" — as his students affectionately call him — is a longtime friend of the American Senior Fitness Association (SFA) and a member of the SFA National Advisory Board.

In today’s issue of Experience! we feature three of Dr. Knopf’s latest books. SFA likes these books both for lay readers and for professional fitness leaders. They are published by Ulysses Press (http://ulyssespress.com/?s=knopf), distributed by Publishers Group West, and available through book stores. The soft-cover publications are approximately 9 X 7.5 inches in size and have many black and white diagrams and photographs. More of Dr. Knopf’s new titles will be discussed in future issues of this newsletter.

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Just for Fun

Wednesday, October 31st, 2012 by American Senior Fitness Association   View This Issue of Experience!

Year 2012 marks the twenty year anniversary of the American Senior Fitness Association (SFA)! Recently our editors took a stroll down memory lane, back to the year 1997 when Dr. Knopf was interviewed for an article in an SFA periodical called The Senior Fitness Bulletin. Below are a few highlights from the piece:

"Karl Knopf earned an A.A. degree in recreation and physical education from De Anza College in Cupertino, California, in 1972. Two years later he completed his B.A. degree in physical education and sociology from San Diego State University. In 1978, he received a master’s degree in human performance and adapted physical education from San Jose University. In 1981, he earned his Ed.D. degree in post-secondary education from Nova University in Fort Lauderdale, Florida.

"Dr. Knopf is a former college wrestler and triathlete. In fact, to celebrate his thirtieth birthday, he ran 30 miles. Unfortunately, he subsequently hurt his back while lifting a patient out of a wheelchair. Now he exercises daily by swimming and using a recumbent bicycle."

The 1997 article goes on to quote Dr. Knopf discussing that injury: "I learned from this experience what it is like to live with daily pain. I think this makes me a better teacher because I feel worse than most of my students." With a touch of humor, he continued: "I also know that if I don’t exercise I’ll feel even worse!"

Indeed, Dr. Knopf never let his back injury slow him down very much. He has always remained active both physically and intellectually. Regarding his work with older adult fitness participants, he said: "My philosophy is that I like for people to set themselves up to win. After the first three times, I don’t want them to feel like they’ve exercised. It has to be fun!"

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Core Strength for 50+

Wednesday, October 31st, 2012 by American Senior Fitness Association   View This Issue of Experience!

Subtitle: A Customized Program for Safely Toning Ab, Back & Oblique Muscles
Copyright: 2012
Number of pages: 127
Suggested U.S. retail price: $15.95

The publisher’s description:

"Stay young with effective, efficient core strength training. From swinging a golf club to carrying a bag of groceries, the core is everything. Balance, agility and youthful stature are just a few of the benefits of a toned and powerful midsection. Core Strength for 50+ has everything you need to:

  • Improve posture
  • Enhance sports performance
  • Guarantee low back health
  • Avoid injury
  • "With workouts ranging from basic mat routines to unstable training with foam rollers and stability balls, Core Strength for 50+ provides more than 75 exercises that build and maintain strong muscles in the abs, obliques, lower back and butt."

    On page 16, Dr. Knopf writes:

    "I work with many 50-plus folks, and they’re often concerned about their appearance. They’ll spend great amounts of money on hair products, facials, and clothes but spend little or no time on their posture. To better understand posture’s role in how we look, check out a local high school play and see how the actor portrays an old person — all hunched over!

    "If you want to look young, stand tall. If you want to look thinner, stand tall. Core training is all about how you look and feel. Every time I do my core-strengthening exercises, I think about how they’ll help me stand straight and therefore improve my appearance."

    Along with other topics, the book addresses:

  • What is core strength?
  • Where is the core?
  • The benefits of a strong core
  • Core training the right way
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    It’s Time for Fall Savings

    Thursday, September 27th, 2012 by American Senior Fitness Association   View This Issue of Experience!

    The American Senior Fitness Association (SFA) hopes that you’ve had a great summer.

    Now, to help welcome Fall, we’re offering savings on all of our award-winning professional education programs. So if you’re ready to add a senior-specific fitness credential to your resume, to earn continuing education credits accepted by most fitness organizations or do both, be sure to place your order by Monday, October 8, 2012.

    Plus, here’s extra good news for early birds! Order your program by Monday, October 1, and SFA will pay the shipping on U.S and Canadian orders.

    Please click here to view discount fees or order online. You can also call SFA at 88-689-6791 to take advantage of this opportunity.

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    Who’s Who in Senior Fitness

    Thursday, August 23rd, 2012 by American Senior Fitness Association   View This Issue of Experience!

    Dr. Jessie Jones is Chair and Professor in Health Science, and Director of the Fibromyalgia and Chronic Pain Center at California State University, Fullerton, USA. A longtime friend and National Advisory Board member of the American Senior Fitness Association (SFA), Dr. Jones has an extensive teaching and research background in gerontological health.

    Professor Jones is co-author of the Senior Fitness Test Manual, co-editor of the book Physical Activity Instruction of Older Adults, has published numerous articles, and has presented at conferences throughout the U.S. and the world.

    Dr. Jones continues to focus her research agenda on factors related to health and well-being in later years and on factors associated with the physical and cognitive status of adults with fibromyalgia and other chronic pain disorders.

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    It’s Time For Spring Savings!

    Thursday, May 17th, 2012 by American Senior Fitness Association   View This Issue of Experience!

    To celebrate Spring and to honor Older American’s Month, SFA is reducing the enrollment fees on all of our award winning educational programs. But don’t delay, these reduced fees are only available through Wednesday, May 31 2012.
    Please call SFA at (888)689-6791/(386)423-6634 or visit our online order center to learn more.

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    Choosing a Health Club

    Friday, April 20th, 2012 by American Senior Fitness Association   View This Issue of Experience!

    Even with springtime upon us, many have yet to make good on their New Year’s resolution to exercise.Today, in a timely reprint that’s well worth repeating, SFA author Jim Evans outlines some of the main features to look for in a health club. Jim is a 44-year veteran of the health and fitness industry and an internationally recognized senior fitness consultant.

    DEAR JIM: I’ve been thinking about joining a health club, but I don’t know where to start. Is there anything in particular I should know? At 66, I’m just a beginner at this stuff, but I think I need the right environment to motivate me to reach my goals. Any suggestions? BEGINNER IN BETHANY

    DEAR BEGINNER: There are more than 30,000 health clubs in the United States, in addition to countless YMCAs, Jewish Community Centers, municipal recreation centers, and other fitness venues, so the choices of where to exercise are many. Whichever venue you choose, there are a few simple guidelines to help you in your decision:

  • Convenience. One of the most important factors in your decision should be convenience. Why? Because the most difficult part of exercising at a health club is getting there in the first place. Once you’ve made it to the front door, it’s a no-brainer, so the closer and more convenient the club is to where you live, the more likely you are to take advantage of it. It is difficult enough for most people to motivate themselves to exercise without adding the excuse of "it’s too far."
  • Exterior. Is the parking lot free of litter? Is the landscaping well groomed and free of weeds? These are deeper signs of a troubled business that may not be apparent in the inside.
  • Front Desk. How are you greeted when you first enter the club? Is the greeting courteous and professional? The manner in which you are acknowledged will tell you a lot about whether ownership views you as a person or just another number. Watch to see if the front desk attendant is paying attention to members when they sign in or is distracted by personal phone calls, texting or socializing with other employees.
  • Activity Level. Busy is one thing, crowded is something else. It’s all right if you have to circle the parking lot looking for a parking spot. After all, you are going there to work out, right? However, you shouldn’t have to wait in line for equipment once you’ve made it past the front door. Busy is good — crowded means the club may be oversold. Expect every facility to be busier than usual on Monday night — everybody typically has a guilty conscience after the weekend. Accept it.
  • Equipment. Does the equipment appear to be clean and well maintained or are there a lot of out-of-order signs? Is the equipment well spaced so that members are not stumbling over each other trying to get from one exercise to the next?
  • Safety. Is the staff trained in first aid and CPR? Does the club have a defibrillator?
  • Staff. Are the employees neat and well groomed? Are they circulating throughout the club helping members or standing behind the front desk chitchatting with each other? Are the trainers certified? Do they have references?
  • Cleanliness. Thoroughly inspect the facility. Is the exercise equipment clean? Check for mold in the grouting of showers, the steam room, and the sauna. Check for rings around the whirlpool and swimming pool. Does the facility smell clean? Are cleaning materials readily available for members to clean up after using equipment? Does the club provide free towels?
  • Members. Visit the club at the time of day you anticipate using the facilities. Are there any members your age or does the club seem to cater to a different age group? If there are members your age, introduce yourself and ask their opinion. Most members will be frank, one way or the other.
  • Sales Pitch. Most reputable clubs will not use the hard-sell sales pitch of a generation ago, but it still exists in some clubs, so guard against being pressured to make a hasty decision. Still, there may be some legitimate discount opportunities that are worth the investment, so trust your instincts.
  • Trial Period. No health club is obligated to let you use their facilities for a trial period, but it doesn’t hurt to ask if you can try things out for a week or even a month before you make a decision. If no trial period is available, ask if you can join on a short-term membership to start.
  • Before You Sign. Ask if you can take a copy of the membership agreement to read in the privacy of your home, and be sure to ask questions if there is something you don’t understand. Every membership agreement has a three-day right of rescission by federal law (five days in California), so if you discover something you’re not comfortable with after you join, you can still cancel your membership. If you’re still not sure, take it to your attorney.
  • Membership Options. Except for a short-term "starter" membership, avoid term memberships and expensive prepayments. Look for a month-to-month membership that allows you the right to cancel at any time with just 30 days’ written notice. Some clubs will even offer you a 30-day money back guarantee. Don’t object to a one-time enrollment fee or initiation fee — it can have the positive effect of reconfirming your commitment to fitness.
  • Better Business Bureau. The BBB has no enforcement ability, but it can give you a report on the number of complaints registered against a club and how those complaints were handled. Even the best clubs will have complaints in proportion to the number of members, and the manner in which the club handles those complaints will tell you a lot.
  • Fitness is an investment in yourself and the best investment you will ever make, and a health club can be an important vehicle to help you reach your goals if you follow these guidelines.

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    Whole-Person Wellness

    Monday, March 19th, 2012 by American Senior Fitness Association   View This Issue of Experience!

    Mark your calendar for May 22-24, 2012! On those dates, the "Advancing Whole-Person Wellness" workshop will be conducted at California State University, Fullerton. The multi-day workshop will focus on whole-person wellness strategies for community-based and senior living organizations. Featured speakers will include Jan Montague, Debra Rose and Wiley Piazza. The American Senior Fitness Association (SFA) will award 10 hours (1.0 units) continuing education credit to SFA members who attend. For more information, click here. To view a PDF copy of the brochure, click the image below

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    SFA Debuts Online Learning Center

    Monday, December 5th, 2011 by American Senior Fitness Association   View This Issue of Experience!


    SFA’s innovative Brain Fitness for Older Adults educational program is now available on-line! And, to help us introduce our new online learning center, this $249.00 course is being offered at a special introductory price.

    Until January 2, 2012:

    • Non-members: $199.00
    • SFA Members: $179.00

    As many Experience! readers know, on-line testing for SFA’s certificate of completion programs is already available. Now complete on-line editions of our award winning courses are becoming available. SFA’s online courses include all of the valuable information and instructional resources contained in our “hard copy” programs, and they are accepted for continuing education credit by many fitness organizations. For example, the American Council on Exercise awards Brain Fitness for Older Adults 20 hours continuing education credit (2.0 CECs).

    Please click here to check-out our "Learning Center." While you’re there, you can even try our "Dowel Exercise" course for free. "Dowel Exercise" is a brief sample on-line educational program that’s very similar in format to our in-depth educational programs. 

    So, whether you’re an internet veteran that already knows about the speed and convenience of on-line education or you’re newcomer looking to learn more, don’t miss this opportunity to try our sample Dowell Exercise course and, if desired, enroll in Brain Fitness for Older Adults at a special introductory price.

    Note: Special introductory pricing only applies to the on-line edition of Brain Fitness for Older Adults.

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