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Entries in nutrition (25)


Food Smarts: How to Get Kids to Eat Right

The following was written by Stacy Achua for Get Active! Magazine 

It’s one of the most difficult challenges parents face: getting your children to eat healthy. While it seems impossible at times, there are a number of simple steps you can take to tilt the odds in favor of your kids getting the nutrition they need to be healthy and happy. 

One thing’s for sure: It matters. Research continues to support the importance of a healthy diet for small children and adolescents, even when it comes to mental health and cognitive abilities. 

The need for more effort for family nutrition is clear. Obesity rates have nearly tripled among youth over the past three decades. Today, about one in three children and teens in the U.S. is considered overweight or obese. 

Here are some steps to take to keep your family healthy and happy at the dining room table. 

Set the Right Example

This seems obvious, but you may surprise yourself with how much unhealthy food you may eat in front of your kids. Be mindful of your own habits, especially when the young ones are around. 

Replace Junk Food with Healthy Snacks 

Food companies are becoming much better at creating tasty finger foods that can replace those treats with heavy calories. While your kids may demand a specific favorite you may disapprove of, you can always augment their cravings with fruits or low-calorie replacements.

It’s OK to start with minor changes, especially if you have fussy eaters to deal with. Small reductions in fat and sugar add up. 

Make Breakfast Mandatory 

New research published in Public Health Nutrition found that kids who eat breakfast tend to get higher grades in school. Starting the day with breakfast is also linked to children eating better throughout the rest of the day. With 8–12% of school-age children skipping breakfast, and 20–30% of adolescents missing the first meal of the day, it’s clear that more parents need to strongly encourage children to eat in the morning. 

Read the full article in the Spring 2016 issue of Get Active! Magazine.


This Week in the Fitness Industry: Technogym to Debut on Milan Stock Exchange

Technogym to Debut on Milan Stock Exchange on May 3
On April 20, Technogym announced that CONSOB (Italian National Commission for Companies and the Stock Exchange) approved the registration documents the company filed on March 26. Salhouse Holding (a vehicle of Arle Capital—a Technogym minority shareholder that owns 40% of the company capital) intends to sell 50 million shares and has granted the joint global coordinators an option to purchase up to 7.5 million additional shares under the greenshoe. The 57.5 million shares correspond to 28.75% of the total share capital of Technogym. The Alessandri family will retain the majority of 60% share capital. The price range was set at 3.00 – 3.75 € per share. Read our full blog post on the Technogym IPO.

New Google Calendar Feature Helps Users Meet Exercise Goals
A new Google Calendar feature called “Goals” is aiming to help users make room in their schedules for fitness goals. The feature, which launched last week, helps busy Google users find time in their schedules to fit in a workout. Users are asked to create a goal, such as “work out more” or “practice yoga for four hours each week.” Then Google will ask them to answer a few questions to learn more about their goal and expectations. “And then the magic happens,” reports “Based on your responses, Goals will scan your schedule and pencil in sessions for you. If you have to schedule a conflict before your scheduled Monday a.m. gym session—like a legit morning meeting or you just want to defer a bit so you can sleep in—Goals will automatically reschedule your sweat sesh.”

IHRSA Supports Release of 2016 National Physical Activity Plan
Leaders gathered in Washington D.C. on Wednesday for the release of the 2016 National Physical Activity Plan (NPAP), which encourages all Americans to participate in routine physical activity as a way of improving national health by reducing rates of obesity, preventing the onset of chronic disease, and creating a culture of wellness. Jim Whitehead, CEO of the American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM), spoke at the ceremony along with a number of other prominent representatives from organizations such as the American Heart Association and the President's Council on Fitness, Sports & Nutrition. IHRSA representatives Jay Sweeney and Tom Scanlon were also in attendance. The 2016 plan capitalizes on the importance of habitual physical activity for every citizen and aims to "establish a set of initiatives that the NPAP Alliance views as critical to moving the physical activity and public health field forward and accomplishing the overall goal of increasing physical activity in the U.S. population." Read our full blog post on the National Physical Activity Plan

Healthcare Group Calls for ‘Activity Equivalent’ Labels on Food
The Royal Society for Public Health, an organization of healthcare professionals in the UK, is advocating for "activity equivalent" labels to be added to food packaging, CNN reports. The labels would tell consumers how many minutes they would have to engage in certain kinds of exercise, like walking and jogging, to burn the calories in a serving size. "The aim is to prompt people to be more mindful of the energy they consume and how these calories relate to activities in their everyday lives, to encourage them to be more physically active," wrote Shirley Cramer, chief executive of the Royal Society for Public Health, in an opinion article published on Wednesday in The BMJ.


New E-book Provides Resources for Health Club Nutrition Programs

Many health clubs have found that incorporating nutrition education into their programming has benefitted their club, serving as a market differentiator and helping members achieve results. 

According to the 2013 IHRSA Trend Report, overall health and wellbeing was the number one reason people continued to use their health club, and getting healthy was their number one goal. And, of course, nutrition is a crucial component to getting and staying healthy—and health clubs are perfectly positions to provide this guidance to members. 

The latest issue of “12 Months of Health Promotion” will help you get started, with resources that will enable you to develop a nutrition program, train and hire the right staff, and celebrate National Nutrition Month this March. 

March resources include:   

  • 5 Tips To Celebrate National Nutrition Month In Your Club
  • Best Practice E-books: Bringing Nutrition Expertise To Your Club
  • Demystifying HIPAA: How HIPAA Relates To Your Club
  • Nutrition-related blog posts to read and share  

“12 Months of Health Promotion” is a monthly series of e-books that will provide information, resources, and ideas to help you capitalize on the communication opportunities available to you in the U.S. and around the world. Look for a new issue at the beginning of each month.

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Free Member Resource: Bringing Nutrition Expertise to Your Club

When it comes to health, research shows that nutrition and physical activity go hand-in-hand, and better results are often seen when the two are combined compared to each alone. As a result, many clubs are adding nutrition expertise to their offerings. 

There is a lot of opportunity for health clubs to help their members reach their goals, improve retention, and generate new revenue by working with nutrition experts in the club. 

IHRSA’s new e-book, Bringing Nutrition Expertise to Your Club, will discuss benefits of working with a nutrition expert, review several best practices that can help clubs maximize profitability and member benefit, and highlight a few case studies of successful nutrition models. 

The e-book features:  

  • Four case studies focusing on top IHRSA member clubs have integrated nutrition expertise into their programming.
  • Best practices, business benefits, and business challenges.
  • Advice for clubs looking to start or expand on their nutrition program.
  • Helpful resources and additional information about nutrition expertise in health clubs.

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IHRSA 2016 Session Spotlight: Keys to Successful Nutrition Programming in the Health Club Setting 

It was a sales tax change that prompted Vivafit’s Portugal clubs to expand their nutrition program. 

When the country’s VAT increased significantly a few years back, health clubs scrambled to soften the blow to consumers by offering registered dietician services, since medical services are not subject to the tax. 

“We had initially started with more of an educational approach of best practices of nutrition where we trained all the fitness professionals in our gyms in the basics—just reminding them of the principles of nutrition,” says Constance Ruiz, president and co-founder of Vivafit. “Then we had a new opportunity arise—stimulated by changes in the environment—to work with registered dieticians, and it became the right fit for us.” 

Ruiz will share the strategies and best practices she learned from her experience in the IHRSA 2016 panel, “Keys to Successful Nutrition Programming in the Health Club Setting.” 

IHRSA Health Promotion Manager Alexandra Black will moderate the panel, which also includes Jane Polley, nutrition director at The Longfellow Clubs, and Kim Trudel, a certified sports nutritionist and ACSM certified personal trainer.

The Monday, March 21 panel will help attendees: 

  • Understand the opportunities associated with incorporating nutrition expertise into the club's offerings
  • Discuss tips for finding the right fit for your club
  • Identify successful models for nutrition programs or services in the club setting
  • Discover best practices for making your program work
  • Learn to market your program and get the most out of community outreach 

“I’ll explain the principles for other people who are trying to decide what type of nutrition program is right for them,” Ruiz says. “For some, the right opportunity is to incorporate nutrition as added-value knowledge delivered by fitness staff as a general program in your club. But others may want to go in a more clinical approach and work with registered dieticians, so I’ll explain how they would do that. The weight loss results of our members definitely increased significantly and that’s very exciting as a service in the club.” 

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E-book Ensures Weight Loss Success!

Weight loss. It’s the main reason that most people join health clubs—but weight loss programs can cut both ways.

When people are successful, they’ll rave about your club to friends and family, attracting more prospects who are anxious to enjoy the same sort of success. Positive word-of-mouth increases your club’s visibility in your local community.

On the other hand, when clients aren’t successful, you may find comments posted on social media that might tarnish your reputation and dissuade others from giving your club a try. Read more.

Click to read more ...


Next Webinar Will Cover Nutrition At Your Club

Sometimes a potential roadblock can lead to a more prosperous avenue.

That is certainly what happened at the VivaFit locations in Portugal – for the company and its members.

In 2011 the sales tax in Portugal skyrocketed to 23%, from the previous 6%. But VivaFit owners Constance and Pedro Ruiz discovered that if they employed a dietician then their sales tax would be a more-than-manageable 0%.

As it turned out, what possibly could have debilitating instead was an “ah ha” moment for VivaFit, a women-only gym. The Ruiz’s realized that employing a dietician at the clubs can do so much for their members as well as their bottom line.

Constance Ruiz will share her experiences and knowledge when she hosts the next IHRSA webinar, Successfully Launch a Nutrition and Weight Management Program in Your Club, on Thursday, Nov. 6, 2 to 3 p.m. EST.

Read on to see what Ruiz will discuss during the webinar.

Click to read more ...


Know your members' needs when considering a nutritional program

Eating healthy paired with being physically fit can do wonders for anyone. You will feel refreshed and have more energy, as well as being healthy that will lessen health issues and be a basis for a longer life. And, of course, eating right will enhance workouts.

More and more, health clubs are looking to add nutrition programs to give its members a well-rounded wellness option as members.

Q: We want to add a nutrition program to our club’s offerings. Do you have any suggestions about the best way for us to approach this process? We’re looking for recommendations on every aspect - from planning to implementation.

A: The Houstonian prides itself on creating an environment that provides members with a complete set of tools to help them achieve their health and lifestyle goals. One example of this is our 12-week program, which offers group fitness with a trainer, plus nutrition education with a dietitian.

To create your own program, you’ll have to learn about your members’ interest in nutrition. You’ll also need a dedicated and knowledgeable nutrition staff, led by at least one registered dietitian (RD) who’s certified to dispense nutritional and health advice.

Next, consider your members and their goals. Do they want, for example, to lose weight or to improve their sports performance? To find out, have them fill out a questionnaire, or offer them a few short seminars, conducted by the dietitian, on healthy eating plans or how to jump-start weight loss.

Once you’ve ascertained their interests, you can use this information to design the ideal nutrition program for your facility. To get the word out, create a marketing table in your club, overseen by your dietitian, to dispense information about these new services. The materials should help members understand the importance of educating themselves about nutrition, and the role that nutrition can play as they pursue their goals. Post details about these services on Facebook and your Website, and include them in your club’s newsletter.

Finally, review, reevaluate, and, if necessary, revise your program regularly.

Mark Stevens
Regional Director
Houstonian Health Clubs and Spas
Houston, Texas


A: My 15 years of experience in the corporate and commercial fitness sector have taught me that the best approach, when implementing a nutrition program, is to communicate a simple, personalized diet philosophy to members.

People have been inundated with a lot of false information about what constitutes a proper diet. However, fad or cookie-cutter diets simply don’t work. People also may be skeptical, recognizing that many popular diet plans are designed, primarily, to generate revenues. They need to be reminded that nutrition is a lifestyle - not a quick fix. So, when it comes to diet, a simple, honest philosophy is best.

You also need to provide members with the facts and program options that relate to their unique needs. For instance, if a person is diabetic, they’ll require a specific diet supervised by a dietitian or nutritionist. An obese member also will need guidance in order to adhere to a healthy, calorie-restricted diet.

Whether someone is trying to lose five pounds, or their doctor suggested that they lower their cholesterol—the goal, whatever it is, has to be approached in a way that’s appropriate for that particular member. Consider hiring a nutritionist or dietitian to plan and implement these tailored programs. Having this sort of professional on staff will provide your members with a sense of security. They’ll trust that the information they’re being given is correct, and that the program they’re following will, in fact, help them achieve their goals.

Jerome Scaturro
Program Manager
Mercedes Benz Fitness & Wellness Center
Montvale, N.J.



The Point of Clubs: Personal Progress  

Five weeks ago, CBI Assistant Editor Nancy Murray Young embarked on a quest to regain her health and improve her mobility. Out of shape and overweight after years of injuries and chronic pain, she signed up for the 90 Day Commit to Get Fit program at The Weymouth Club, just south of Boston. Read on to find out what—and how—she’s doing:

Click to read more ...


Clubs focus on members' weight and nutrition in the fall

Ellipse Fitness Rock Your Jeans programIt is that time of year again that parents look forward to - kids going back to school. They certainly won’t miss the oft-repeated lines, “there’s nothing to do” or “drive me to my friend’s house.” 

With no longer devoting time to the kids’ whims and desires during the summer, it now opens up a bunch of free time for the chauffeurs, admins and party planners of the family.

Health and fitness clubs know that, and thus there are many new options out there for members and non-members alike. Most clubs don’t see a big, if any, uptick in membership in the fall. So, they cater both new programs and old ones put on the shelf during slow times in the summer, to current members who are looking to get back into the swing of things, gym-wise.

For the rest of the story, click here.