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The low-down on bone health

We often focus on improving fitness levels and strengthening muscles when we think about exercise. However there is another key aspect that activity providers should keep in mind - the role exercise plays in building strong healthy bones. Did you know that the primary determinants of bone density over which we have control are frequency, intensity, duration and type of physical activity, as well as calcium and vitamin D intake?

According to trainer Megan Riddington: "Good bone health is often considered relevant only to older adults with their increased concerns about osteoporosis, falling and the potentially debilitating effects of breaking a bone. The fact is that bone health is important to people of all ages, and taking care of it is one of the most valuable ways of increasing quality of life in your older years".

Check out Megan Riddington's paper 'Strong bones, strong future' for more information and exercise prescription advice about how you can help your class participants and clients develop and maintain strong bones - published in the Resource Library of the Australian Fitness Network.

Older adults in an small exercise group.

View the March/April 2018 Active Canterbury Newsletter online.

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Spice it up with variety!

"Variety is the proverbial spice of a fitness programme" according to trainer John Pidgeon. Not only is it essential for creating long term participant adherence, but it’s also vital for maintaining the motivation and enthusiasm of the trainer.

Studies have reinforced the importance of variety to exercise adherence. If you’re looking to retain more clients in the new year, and to help them achieve more... it may be time to shake up their training.

According to Pidgeon, the best kind of workout variety is a diverse and challenging programme with clear options that you can adopt wholesale or configure to the needs and abilities of your clients.

View the February 2018 Active Canterbury Newsletter online.

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Investing in training is money and time well spent!

This edition focuses on training and development and why it’s important for all activity providers to have the necessary qualifications and skills to lead and instruct community classes and programmes.

Over 40% of people working in exercise have a level 5 diploma or higher According to a 2017 Skills Active NZ report on the Exercise Industry. With some 26.5% having a bachelor’s degree or higher. This is good news! Both these figures are higher than the average for the total economy. However there is also a large number of activity providers who have no qualifications or formal training in exercise prescription or instruction.

Women of all ages doing a group exercise class.

View the November-December 2017 Active Canterbury Newsletter online.

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Prolonged sitting erodes health, even for the active

Did you know that even if we meet the recommended daily levels of physical activity, sitting for long periods of time boosts the likelihood of declining health?

A recent study concluded that 'prolonged sedentary time was independently associated with deleterious health outcomes regardless of physical activity'.

Sit Less September is a local campaign aimed at raising awareness about the importance of breaking up prolonged sitting and standing more. The average time spent sitting is now nearly 8 hours a day! We would love your help to share four key messages during September:

  1. Just standing up more throughout the day can improve your health.
  2. Standing up, sitting less and moving more is great for your mind and cognitive function
  3. When you replace sitting with standing you reduce your chance of being overweight and obese
  4. Sitting for prolonged periods is bad for your health no matter how fit you are.

Sit Less September.

View the September-October 2017 Active Canterbury Newsletter online.

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Marketing ideas for limited budgets

Street sign on the footpath outside a gym or fitness centre.Activity providers often ask us for ideas on easy, low cost ways to promote their activities, classes and programmes. Here are some strategies you might like to try:

Awesome business cards. Get yourself some snazzy business cards, then give them to every person you lay eyes on. Every handshake should come with a business card. The more people who find out about your business, the better – even if it’s just a quick glance at a business card.

Quality posters and fliers. Print out posters/fliers and post them on community notice boards (libraries, cafes, schools and community centres) in your area.
Canva provides premium templates and easy to use software to design just about anything!

Signage. A creative, attractive sign can help your business stand out. This is a good strategy if you use a community facility or church hall. Signage helps draw attention to your place of business and can help attract new people.

View the July-August 2017 Active Canterbury Newsletter online.

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Are you meeting your Health and Safety responsibilities?

Ticking off a checklist.The new Health and Safety at Work Act 2015 (HSWA) came into effect in April 2016 and has some important implications for anyone delivering classes and activities. It is vital that you take the time to understand the Act and your responsibilities.

Under the Act, a business or undertaking (PCBU) must look after the health and safety of its workers and any other workers it influences or directs. It is also responsible for the health and safety of other people at risk from its work including customers, visitors, or the general public. This is called the 'primary duty of care'

View the May-June 2017 Active Canterbury Newsletter online.

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