How to De-Stress Your Life. Part 1

Stressed out, burned out, left out or out in left field? With downsizing, cost-cutting, member demands, information overload and the pace of life at an all-time high, the daily irritability factor is also at an all-time high. People and circumstances have the opportunity to push your buttons 24 hours a day. (more…)

Take a Hike

Walking is one of the best exercises for people of all ages and it is easy on your joints. Take walking and combine it with nature and you have hiking. So, if walking is your preferred exercise consider trail walking, which improves endurance yet also stirs the mind and spirit as well. (more…)

The Tai Chi Stance, Part 2

You may at first, and definitely later, feel Chi moving from your fingertips and/or palms during the Standing Meditation. It is that flow which you are after while performing this or any Tai Chi move. Once you’ve familiarized yourself with the stance, add to it the placement of your tongue in the roof of your mouth. This practice allows the Chi to flow through what is called the ‘central meridian’ in your body. Because the mouth separates that meridian running from the top of the head to the Dan Tien, the tongue is needed to form a ‘bridge’ Chinese medicine uses ‘meridians’ in the body to rebalance it through acupuncture and other healing modalities allowing the Chi to flow freely through them. (more…)

The Tai Chi Stance, Part 1

Just as there are basic elements of a golf swing to learn before walking onto a golf course, so too are there basic things to know before beginning a Tai Chi Form. (more…)

Guides to Corporate Fitness Success. Part 5

Also, many corporate fitness managers must deal with a facility that is converted office space or set in a small corner of the basement. This presents unique marketing challenges to make sure all employees know where the facility is located and what equipment is offered. Standard ceiling heights in many offices do not accommodate taller pieces of equipment, and the centers are often not big enough to offer a separate area for group exercise classes. (more…)

Guides to Corporate Fitness Success. Part 4

Companies also have to be very careful with incident documentation. Any injury that occurs at the workplace (even in a fitness facility) while on company time can become a potential claim for worker’s compensation. (more…)

Guides to Corporate Fitness Success. Part 3

Workforce-appropriate program design

An exercise facility and its programs should be designed with the workforce in mind. Employees who are desk-bound will need a general exercise program that includes all three aspects of fitness, while construction workers may need special equipment to strengthen the lower back and upper body. Also, a majority of corporate fitness customers would benefit from a class on stress management. (more…)

Guides to Corporate Fitness Success. Part 2

Keep costs modest

Most companies want reasonable results (such as improved morale) from modest exercise expenditures, particularly when the workforce is small. For example, having several full-time personal trainers, group exercise instructors and administrative personnel on staff might be possible for a large corporation, but a small company may only be able to afford one fitness employee. (more…)

Guides to Corporate Fitness Success. Part 1

An onsite fitness center is an important recruiting and retention tool for corporations. Employers who offer exercise opportunities experience improved job performance, productivity and morale, and may benefit from reduced healthcare costs, reduced absenteeism and reduced turnover. (more…)

Planning Tips for Your First Bike Race or Major Ride From the Pros

The following tips on travel and preparation were given by Professional Mountain Bike Team Manager Scott Daubert. Daubert manages the Gary Fisher Mountain Bike team, team of two-time Olympic Champion Paula Pezzo, as well as half a dozen other international cycling heroes!

Perhaps you have been thinking about entering a bicycle race or tour. Planning this event can be an excellent way to set long-term goals, and then help you stay motivated for the weeks or months leading up to the occasion. It is very important to have your plans well organized, especially if you are traveling some distance for your race or tour.

1. Take an open mind with you from the start. If you must travel to your event, realize there can be long waits at airline check-in, cancelled flights and lost baggage at the other end. Always carry your helmet and shoes with you on the plane. That way, if the worst-case scenario happens, and your bike is lost, you can always borrow a buddy’s bike. It is much easier to find a bike that fits than a pair of shoes and helmet! It also makes sense to have a copy of your measurements for your bike’s seat height in case you did have to borrow a bike.

2. Develop a plan of training and preparation that allows for a period of 4-5 days of less training and more rest just before the event. Be sure to give yourself adequate preparation if this is your first event. Two to five months is not unrealistic for building the fitness needed to complete a multi-day tour or first time race.

3. Find a partner or group of people who would be interested in the same cycling event. I recently read about a small group of women who raised several hundred thousand dollars for an AIDS ride in California. If you have other like-minded cyclists to plan, train and complain about sore butts with, it will be easier!

4. Every race or tour is an opportunity to learn. Go thinking it will be fun and enjoyable. Set realistic goals for yourself. Most beginners set goals that are too high, and don’t include the enjoyment factor. Having a great time is the first thing you should plan to take home with you! This insures that you will make a lifetime commitment to fitness!

5. Take all of the necessary tools and pieces of equipment that you use at home to your event. Familiar tools and parts help your adjustment. Don’t rely on borrowing something essential at the tour or race. This includes favorite socks, water bottles, a pump and even your stuffed animal that brings you luck! You never know if what others have will be what you really need. Organize your tools well before departure, and eliminate the unnecessary.

Even basic cycling tools can provide solutions to mechanical problems. These should include a floor pump, tire irons, spare tubes, Allen wrenches and an adjustable wrench.

Many local bike shops offer basic mechanical courses, or you can buy a book on the topic. Maintaining your bike at a basic level is not very complicated, and may win you lots of new friends!

Good Luck!