Meditation and Personal Training

Meditation and Personal Training

Meditation Certification Expands the Services Provided by Fitness Professionals

Meditation, a buzz word and hot trend right now among many circles. Spas, fitness studios and wellness clinics are beginning to add meditation classes to their class schedules. Meditation is a mental exercise that when practiced routinely trains the brain to think, process and react differently. Just like physical exercise, this mental exercise has many benefits backed by science including its ability to reduce stress and anxiety, improve cognitive function, improve focus, strengthen the immune system and improve cardiovascular health.

Meditation comes in many forms and styles, similar to workouts and most well-known for “clearing the mind” or “letting go of your thoughts” these are not the only techniques meditation has to offer. Meditation can come in the form of walking, listening to music and even observing your thoughts rather than letting them go.

As a fitness professional you coach your clients to live a healthier lifestyle, incorporating exercise into their daily routine to strengthen their body and improve their health, many times clients are facing a mental game that may be limiting or discouraging them from reaching their optimal goals. Meditation and mindfulness practices can help combat this often negative mental dialogue.

Fitness professionals are continuously searching for ways to enhance their skills, help their clients and obtain continuing education credits. This newly available Level 1 Meditation Certification course is a great addition to your current career path. Below are three ways you can expand your revenue as a fitness professional by becoming certified to teach meditation.

Personal Training – Add On
Becoming certified in meditation adds value to personal training sessions in many ways, often clients come to the session stressed out from work, family obligations and to-do lists. Fitness professionals can begin their training sessions with a five to ten-minute meditation to center and focus their clients.  A short meditation is great for calming the body and focusing their mind for the workout ahead. One of the benefits of meditation is that it improves focus and concentration, when visualization techniques are used prior to a workout a client will visualize their form and technique of a workout, enhancing the effectiveness of the workout. By having them visualize parts of their routine, coupled with breathing techniques to reduce the tension and stress in their muscles, a client will be able to focus on their workout from a better state of mind and a body that is ready to receive. Adding a short meditation to the beginning of your workout means adding revenue to your pocket. Increase your hourly rate by $10 or $15 to reflect the “new service offering”. While this may not seem like a huge amount, multiply this by ten sessions a week and you have increased revenue by $100 to $150 per week for less than two hours of work.

Group Classes
Group meditation classes are an excellent way to increase revenue. If you are at a gym where they are looking to expand their current class offerings, becoming certified to teach group meditation classes brings value to the gym and money to your pocket. Another option is to rent a room and bring together your current clients for a mental fitness group class priced between $15 and $20 per person which gives you the flexibility to earn up to $400 or more per class. If you choose to host events with a fitness aspect and mental fitness aspect, the amount that can be made per event is even higher; upwards of $1,500 to $3,000 per event.

Private Meditation Coaching
Private coaching is in demand for business professionals and entrepreneurs who are working to find some type of balance between their professional and home life. Many want to create space for finding stillness, reducing stress and creating time for inner peace. Private coaching per session begins at $65 per hour and can extend as high as $150 per hour depending on the type of session, length of time, etc. Many of your current clients may be the perfect candidate for mindset coaching without you having to spend a lot of time searching for new clients.

Becoming certified to teach meditation is a great way to expand your training offerings. The Journey into Tranquility course is a Level 1 Meditation Certification online course that is offered by AAPTE for continuing education credits. If you want to expand your knowledge and earn CEC’s without becoming certified to teach classes, we only require the online portion of the course be fulfilled. For those wanting to teach, there are additional requirements to become certified. This course teaches a 3-step process for teaching meditation that is also beneficial for your own life by implementing the steps taught in this course to reduce stress and improve productivity within your own career.

The Effects of Sugar on Health

The Effects of Sugar on Health

The 2010 Dietary Guidelines for Americans recommend limiting your intake of solid fats and added sugars to between 5 and 15 percent of your daily diet. Added sugars increase your calorie intake without providing the body with essential minerals. They also increase your risk for diseases such as diabetes, heart failure and obesity among others. Traditionally, fruits were the primary sources of sugar. Today, you find processed sugar in almost all packed foods.

Natural sugars available in milk, lactose and fruits benefit the body. Additionally, taking sugar in moderation helps your body function properly. Sucrose, available in table sugar, serves as your body’s primary energy source. Your small intestines produce sucrase, which breaks down the sucrose into fructose and glucose for easier absorption into the blood stream. It then travels to the liver for processing and distribution into cells, where it metabolizes into an immediate energy source.

Your body also stores extra glucose as glycogen. When the primary source of energy is unavailable, your body breaks down the glycogen into single glucose units. They serve as energy sources during workouts, at night, when you take a rest and in between meals to prevent dangerous drops in your bloods sugar levels.

Sugar critics frown on sugar for its lack of nutritional value; it delivers empty calories to the body. Nutritionists advise that you use complex carbohydrates such as starchy vegetables, cereals and grains as your main sugar sources. Simple sugars metabolize fast, causing rapid blood sugar spikes and drops. Complex carbohydrates help with more stable blood sugar levels, sustained energy levels and provide more vitamins and minerals than simple sugars.

Several scientific studies also indicate that sugar ultimately affects your health negatively. A sugar-laden diet increases your risk of heart disease, obesity, diabetes and dementia among others. Sugar taps into your preference for sweet tasting things and can easily become addictive. While you cannot liken sugar ‘addiction’ to drug addiction, people that experience sugar cravings often exhibit dependency symptoms. A good example is obese people, who keep taking sugary things even when they experience difficulty walking or breathing.

Every time your sugar intake goes beyond the recommended levels, you increase your risk for diabetes by up to 1.1 percent. Over a prolonged period of time, diabetes becomes inevitable. Diabetes further increases your risk for heart disease; over 65 percent of diabetes deaths occur from a heart-related complication. Sugar intake also increases bad cholesterol levels and dangerous triglyceride blood fats, while inhibiting your body’s ability to clear our bad cholesterol.

High sugar levels in the blood affect your face. Sugar attaches to proteins, forming new molecules such as advanced glycation end products or AGEs. The new molecules attack and damage nearby protein, including collagen and elastin, the components that help your skin remain firm and elastic. Eventually, skin proteins become brittle, leading to wrinkly and saggy skin. AGEs further promote the growth of fragile collagen, which affects your body’s natural antioxidant enzymes. This affects your skins ability to deal sun damage and environmental toxins.

Sugar triggers your liver to increase its fat storage in weird places; eventually, globules of fat develop around your liver, heart and around your stomach. This can gradually lead to liver and heart disease.

Ultimately, sugar is not the enemy; your consumption of sugar is the problem. The first step to reducing health risks associated with sugar is reducing your intake of simple sugars, and choosing complex sugars instead. Some changes in the beginning may include a sugar-free diet, where you only rely on natural sugars from carbohydrates and fruits.

Additional Text
Sources The Washington Post: Where People around the World Eat the Most Fat and Sugar

SFGATE: Importance of Sugar in the Human Body

WebMD: The Truth About Sugar

Harvard Health Publication: Eating too Much Added Sugar Increases the Risk of Dying with Heart Disease

Prevention: 11 Weird Things Sugar’s Doing to Your Body