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CYQ comp 2013

2013 Competition Winners 

We are delighted to be partnering with CYQ at this year’s Fitness Trainer of the Year Competition, which will be taking place at St. George’s Park on the 1 May 2014. The competition winners will be recognised and rewarded through receiving a REPs membership, insurance and a goody bag.

The CYQ Fitness Trainer Competition is a skills competition for students of the fitness industry. Delivered in collaboration with British Colleges Sport (BCS), the competition celebrates the excellence of fitness instructors and personal trainers educated within further education colleges across the UK.

All finalists involved will be competing to become the UK's top fitness trainers in the following categories:

  • Level 2 Gym Instructor
  • Level 2 Exercise to Music Instructor
  • Level 3 Personal Trainer

Here’s what our Head of Membership Greg Small had to say about the competition:

“We are delighted to be supporting these young, up and coming professionals in their careers. By recognising these professionals, we are offering them the best start to their careers as they look to enhance the health and fitness of the nation. This competition is a fantastic opportunity for aspiring professionals to make their mark in the industry and we’d like to take this moment to wish everyone involved the very best of luck.”

The finalists

Level 2 Fitness Instructor – Gym

Name College
Liam Swan College of West Anglia
Hannah Palk Brockenhurst College
Amy Davis Cornwall College (St. Austell)
Chris Wood Darlington College
Gareth Jones West Cheshire College
Kathyrn Ingles Warwickshire College
Jake Rock Grimsby College
Stephen Donnelly South West College, NI

 

Level 2 Fitness Instructor – Exercise to Music

Name College
Jack Colbourne Brockenhurst College
Deborah Terry Truro and Penwith College
Ross Jarvis Warwickshire College

Level 3 Personal Trainer

Name College
Philip Lant College of West Anglia
Callum Green South Downs College
Holly Walsh Cornwall College (St. Austell)
Ross Pickersgill Redcar and Cleveland College
Alex Bruce North Warks & Hinckley College

So what will the judges be looking for?

All finalists have already successfully completed an online test and personal statement. The personal statements’ score will be added to the marks achieved at the finals.

Each competition requires the competitors to gather information about their client/s, within an agreed time frame and instruct their session to published criteria. The Level 3 Personal Trainer also requires a progressive plan to be written within timed conditions.

The judges will be observing, amongst many things, the ability of the competitor to relate to their client/s, and the quality of the competitor’s instructional and motivational skills. Plus, they will be judged on their ability to work in a pressurised, time sensitive and professional environment whilst maintaining excellent levels of customer care.

From all at REPs, we’d like to wish everyone taking part the very best of luck.

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Having officially launched the new Members Area at the beginning of the month, we've had some great feedback. We are glad to hear that it’s becoming a useful resource for you. However, in order for you to get the most out of it we thought we’d put together a little guide on how to use it.

What is available to me?

On the new Members Areas you will be able to add your Qualifications and CPD (which we will go into details further on this blog), you will be able to find the latest high street offers on the new Members Area which can be found on the same page the Qualifications and CPD icon. You’ll also be able to renew your membership and download any necessary resources such as your insurance and registration certificates all from this central page.

Homepage 2

 

On the central homepage you will also find an icon that shows your current CPD points, as seen above.

You will have received an email from us prior to the launch of the new site stating that “You do not need to do anything in terms of transferring your details and CPD points” The new Members Area currently displays the most recent CPD added and the number of points allocated to your current membership period (i.e. 2014-2015). We are continuing to develop this function of the site and we will keep you informed of any updates to the Members Area.

How do I access the new Members Area?

Step 1) Visit www.exerciseregister.org

Step 2) Select My Membership -> Manage my membership -> My profile

Step 3) You will need the following in order to login

  1. Your REPs number
  2. Your Password (which is provided in your welcome email)

Step 4) Click on the REPs logo – this will take you through the Members Area

REPs

 

Once you have logged you will see our newsfeed on your homepage keeping you updated with what’s happening on our social media channels, providing you with all the latest industry news.

How to add Qualifications and log CPD:

The new Members Area will allow you to add your qualifications. Here is our step-by-step guide in how to add your qualifications:

Step 1) Just as you would to log in please follow the same steps. Once logged in please select the ‘+Qualifications and CPD’ icon.

cpd and quals

 

Step 2) Please select Qualifications that will appear in the drop down box

adding cpd and quals

 

Step 3)You will then be able to add your qualifications by searching ‘Qualification Name’, ‘Awarding Organisation’, ‘Level’ and ‘Training Provider’ as seen below.

quals only

 

Please note all of these areas with a red asterix will need to be completed in order to submit your qualification.

How to log CPD:

The new Members Area will also allow your track and log your CPD at ease, here is our step-by-step guide in how to add you CPD points:

Step 1) Just as you would to log in please follow the same steps. Once logged in please select

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The recent findings from the All Party Physical Activity Commission has illustrated we must reassess how we engage children and young people in an active lifestyle. REPs member Arj Thiruchelvam  shares his thoughts in our latest blog.

arj

The noticeable rise in obesity and inactivity in children has many causes, one possible link relates to our fear of allowing our children to compete. Therefore it is important we find the middle ground of fun and friendly competition.

Children, like adults, respond to the right individual, however unlike adults who will take it upon themselves when absolutely necessary, children will generally not motivate themselves. In the early years children will always associate their initial experience with a strong emotive response, this indicates the importance of the coach or instructor.

With such a responsibility the coach or instructor must be inspiring, a role model, fun yet serious in the correct situation to gain mutual respect from the group. So much relies on forming a good rapport and as a result the person in charge has to be a ‘people person’ who enjoys the satisfaction of seeing their young athletes develop physically and socially.

Some suggestions…

As a nation we have been overly concerned that competition will negatively impact a child if they lose. It’s quite the contrary, as long as the environment and coach or instructor are right, such as a non-judgemental group where support is very apparent, and will always aid a child following a poor performance or loss. Children tend to have a very natural tendency to compete and improve right from infancy and this must be nurtured not neglected in order not to develop this fear of failure and competition.

Therefore, create games that appear to the child, not to have any relation to the sport but actually promote components of fitness with real objectives and low levels of competition. For example an item retrieval game in teams will promote running speed and endurance (over a prolonged period). The children don’t associate this with formal sport (or competition); they develop a strong social bond with their teams (camaraderie) whilst boosting their health and well-being.

For the coach or instructor there are great progressions such as teaching simple running drills beforehand and asking the children to think of key points during the game or even stating that a new rule is to perform that drill (i.e. high knees) to the item rather than running. Always ensure the winning team receives a polite applause for positive reinforcement, whilst any booing is stopped abruptly and an inspiring message is delivered to the other teams in preparation for the next game.

As with all objectives, competition should gradually increase, if it is commonplace, it won’t be feared or become a cause of stress but in fact enjoyed by your group.

Benefits of your REPs Qualifications

Obtaining your REPs qualifications, particularly Level 2 Physical Activity for Children,is a fantastic way to give you a strong foundation of knowledge when working with children, whilst also boosting

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shutterstock_95075494The first stage of the All-Party Commission on Physical Activity report: ‘Tackling Physical Inactivity’, makes recommendation to address the harmful levels of inactivity in the UK.  The population’s sedentary lifestyles pose a serious threat to health, wellbeing and life expectancy posing a huge burden to public services. As exercise professionals we have a large part to play in raising activity levels for children and adults.

The study has found that only 51% of children reach the recommended levels of sixty minutes of daily exercise, which falls off dramatically by the time they reach adulthood. Only 22.5% of adults perform half an hour of exercise a week, as compared with the recommended 150 minutes per week of moderate physical activity in bouts of 10 minutes or more. This highlights the need to encourage activity at every stage of life, particularly in young children to establish an active lifestyle habit that they can take with them to adulthood.

As REPs members, we are a critical part of addressing this problem at every stage of life by ensuring that all instruction is of the highest quality.  Sport experiences must be to motivate and inspire children to maintain the recommended levels of activity into adulthood. In delivering physical activity for children therefore, we have the responsibility to ensure that we arm children with the necessary physical literacy from a young age, helping to encourage participation in sport at a later stage of life. If properly instructed from a young age, we can have a pivotal role in giving them the foundations and skills for an active life.

In terms of instructing adults, we need to ensure that we are regularly updating our qualifications and experience to address the afflictions of much of the population; rising obesity and physical illiteracy require that we need to keep updating our skill set to cope with this unique set of challenges that many more clients present to us. Many obese adults with low levels of physical literacy have received medical referrals and have to be taught very basic skills.

As the report highlights, for the first time in history, the current generation of young people is expected to die five years younger than their parents. It has never been more important to engage today’s young people in physical activity and keep them engaged into adulthood.

To read the report in full please click here.

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Big Burn bannerWe have teamed up with BIG BURN, the new mass participation fitness event in London, which is taking place on 31st May at Alexandra Palace. BIG BURN offers a spectacular festival atmosphere with 1,500 people working out together. Each session will be led by a celebrity instructor to help people get in shape for the summer!

BIG BURN is offering you, as REPs members, the opportunity to take centre stage and teach thousands of people your work out. One lucky member will picked from the competition to teach their routine to a live audience.

Here is all the information you’ll need to enter:

Competition Details

Step 1 Click here to enter

Step 2 Upload your best picture and 20 words about your routine by 31 March 2014

Step 3 Share, tweet & send to your friends and fitness followers asking them to vote for you

Step 4 Remember that voting closes 30 April 2014 - Vote Here

Selection Process

  • You MUST be a REPs certified instructor to enter the competition
  • The 5 instructors with the most votes will be reviewed by the BIG BURN panel
  • 1 instructor from these top 5 will be selected to perform their fitness routine on stage at AlexandraPalace, London on 31st May
  • The winner will then be announced on 6th May

More information

  • The fitness routine will last between 10 and 15 minutes and take place as part of one of the headliners sessions
  • The routine must be equipment free
  • The winner will receive a range of promotional benefits from BIG BURN
  • Headliner instructors include Darcey Bussell, Josie Gibson and FitSteps® duo Natalie Lowe and Ian Waite
  • Go to www.BIGBURN.co.uk for more information about the event

So what are you waiting for? Get ready for the BIG BURN and enter the competition now!

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Newspaper

In recent times it has become the norm to open the paper and to find out that something is bad for our health, can give us cancer, or can help fight obesity, which for the average member of the public can become very confusing, and lead to a contradiction in determining which advice to take.

In the past couple of months there have been reports that "Seaweed could slow the obesity tidal wave", "High Protien diets are just as bad as smoking" and "Want to lose weight? Play Tetris: Classic game distracts dieters from food cravings", all of which have featured in broadsheets such as The Daily Telegraph and the Guardian, not just the tabloid newspapers.

With the case of high protein diets and smoking, we were quite shocked that the newspapers could even put the two in the same category as we all are fully aware of health implications smoking can cause. The NHS has decades of evidence proving that smoking kills and – fortunately for meat lovers – it would seem that this latest comparison with high protein diets is to be a triumph of PR spin. The story itself came to light in a recent press release about a large study which found that for people aged 50-65, eating a lot of protein was associated with an increased risk of dying. However, the study, which assessed the diets of Americans in a single 24-hour period (rather than long-term), found in those aged over 65 that a high protein diet was actually associated with a reduced risk of death from any cause or from cancer. These differing findings meant that overall there was no increase in risk of death, or from dying of cancer with a high protein diet.

As stated in the NHS's Behind the Headlines "We need to eat protein, we do not need to smoke." and here at REPs we certainly agree with this.

The NHS stated: "The reporting of the results of the study was reasonable. However, the prominence given to the story (which featured as a front page lead in The Daily Telegraph and The Guardian) in the UK media seems disproportionate. The headlines suggesting a high protein diet is “as harmful as smoking” was not a specific finding of the study and could be seen as unnecessary fear-mongering. This is particularly of note given that the effects of a high protein diet were found to differ dramatically by age.”

Here at REPs we understand the effects health articles in the media can have on our perceptions, which is why as Exercise Professionals we should perhaps being telling our clients to sometimes question what it is they are reading and to seek out professional advice when it comes to our health.

The NHS’s Behind the Headlines is a great place to start if you are wondering whether or not a health story has any truth in it, as they provide an unbiased and evidence-based analysis of health stories that have been in the news.

At REPs

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us reps

REPs is pleased to welcome the all-new U.S. Registry of Exercise Professionals (USREPS), which launched last month. The Register has been designed for those who seek to hire, work with, or are referred to a qualified, certified exercise professional. The public can easily search, find, and verify all of his or her credentials in real time.

The introduction of the USREPS registry is the first move by the Coalition for the Registration of Exercise Professionals (CREP, pronounced C Rep). CREP is comprised of exercise certification organisations in the USA that have programmes which are accredited by the National Commission for Certifying Agencies (NCCA), the recognised standard in the US for the assessment of professional competence.

The CREP organisation will maintain USREPS and advocate on behalf of exercise professionals that hold current, NCCA-accredited certifications and the stakeholders of the profession. Current member organisations of CREP include:

  • American Council on Exercise (ACE)
  • AmericanCollege of Sports Medicine (ACSM)
  • Cooper Institute (CI)
  • National Council on Strength and Fitness (NCSF)
  • National Exercise Trainers Association (NETA)
  • National Strength and Conditioning Association (NSCA)
  • Pilates Method Alliance (PMA)

“This launch is a big step towards the inevitable inclusion of highly qualified exercise professionals into the healthcare continuum,” said Graham Melstrand, CREP Board of Directors President.

“Recognition of exercise professionals as health providers is a logical progression due to their unique expertise in the areas of disease prevention and wellness promotion. Until now, truly capable professionals have been inhibited by concerns regarding the qualifications of individuals representing themselves as exercise professionals, and the lack of an easily accessible mechanism to identify and verify professionals with current NCCA-accredited certification programs. That barrier is gone, which we expect will help exercise professionals gain the respect and recognition they deserve.”

Similar to us here at REPs UK, USREPs mission across the pond is to secure recognition of registered exercise professionals as health providers, in order to make structured physical activity accessible and safe for all.

What’s even better is that CREP is now a full member and part of the ICREPS family, which allows for more job opportunities available to REPs members, offering international recognition in America.

To find out more about USREPS please visit www.USREPS.org

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reps website

As some of you may have already noticed, we have updated the REPs website. The new site offers a more refreshed, modernised look and feel as well as making the time spent on the site more enjoyable.

We caught up with SkillsActive Head of Digital, Doug Burtenshaw, who gave us a little insight on the site update.

In a newly structured team, Doug leads on all things digital at REPs, and you will be sure to see the impact of his role over the coming months.

Why has the REPs website been updated?

Primarily, user Journeys needed to be improved. We needed to make sure that when people visited the site, they could get what they need as quickly as possible.

The new site is a lot more compact, and there is a clearer focus on finding the information quickly.

What can REPs members expect from the new site?

There are now more direct ways of finding the information you want, which is fundamental.

We have also updated the design, meaning the website is now responsive to tablets and mobile devices. The upward trend we are seeing in people accessing the site from these devices is huge, so this was at the core of the re-design.

Following from this trend, we have also ensured the new site has an increased social media presence, making it much easier to interact with REPs across our social media channels.

There has to be substance with this new-found style, too. Through the new website, REPs members will find it much easier to source CPD points and new training.

What about those who aren’t REPs members, what difference will they notice?

The new site will make it much easier for members of the public to find a qualified exercise professional. This is a great service, and means REPs members can showcase their qualifications, and assures the public that their trainer is appropriately qualified.

What more can we expect to see from the digital side of REPs?

There will be a lot more to come from us. With a structured team in place, we are confident we can make some real strides and bring a lot more to the table for a REPs member. Our cards are close to our chest for now, but watch this space as there is definitely more to come.

Visit the new REPs website here: www.exerciseregister.org

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Running-in-Hyde-Park-Lond-007

In light of recent press coverage surrounding trainers using public parks, REPs outlines its stance on the issue.

When enforced responsibly and professionally, we are supportive of local parks and public spaces charging a fee for exercise professionals to use these spaces.

At REPs, our primary concern is to protect the public from rogue trainers. The maintenance of public parks will make for a better space, thus offering the public a better training environment. We appreciate the need to pay a fee in this circumstance, and are ensuring that parks and local councils make their plans clear and go about this in a professional manner.

To hear from members of aggressive behaviour being used as a deterrent is concerning, and REPs stresses the need for parks to carry out their duties in a responsible manner.

REPs encourages members to contact us if they feel these regulations are not being carried out as they should.

While we encourage our members to take advantage of these spaces, we do appreciate that, as with any business venture, there is a cost involved.

REPs is pleased that the issue of the significant difference between a 1:1 session and group exercise has been considered and as a result, pricing has been adjusted accordingly.

While many exercise professionals have acknowledged the need to charge for a group exercise session, a cause for concern has been those delivering 1:1 sessions, where the profit to be made is much lower. REPs is pleased that parks have also acknowledged this, and have created a price structure that is in tune with this.

We encourage members who use parks to pay these fees, just as we encourage parks and local councils to act professionally and appropriately in managing this.

We advise members to check the regulations of parks before use, and not consider this a deterrent, but to acknowledge that these fees will help protect and maintain these spaces, making them sustainable for ongoing use as a high quality exercise space.

REPs Compliance and Standards Manager Rob Wilkie will be available from 10:45 – 12:00 on Friday 28th February to discuss the issue with you across our Facebook and Twitter channels.

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[caption id="attachment_2357" align="aligncenter" width="300"]Over 80 delegates enjoyed the latest REPs convention Over 80 delegates enjoyed the latest REPs convention[/caption]

Taking place at the Sport Wales National Centre yesterday (12th February), the REPs Welsh Convention was a great success, enjoyed by both REPs members and the wider exercise community.

REPs conventions, now running for a number of years, offer a unique opportunity for members to earn CPD points across a range of activities and workshops in what is a day-long event.

On this occasion, sponsored by Nordic Walking UK, Timely and LeisureForce, over 80 delegates enjoyed workshops from SkillsActive endorsed training providers including KBT Education and PTA Global.

John Byers, REPs representative for Wales, managed the event and was delighted with how the convention went.

“Yesterday was certainly one of our most successful conventions to date. We were fortunate to have some leading industry experts leading workshops which were of real value to delegates.

“Having so many professionals at the convention looking to learn, develop their skills and network with likeminded people is real mark of success for REPs, and we look forward to continuing these conventions for our members , and the fitness community, across the country in the future.”

REPs Compliance and Standards Manager, Rob Wilkie, who opened the event with a welcome speech, was equally thrilled with the day.

“Members looking to upskill and commit to CPD is always pleasing. To have over 80 exercise professionals with us in Wales for the event made it a real success, and on a personal level it was enjoyable to be able to meet and speak to so many members; being able to address and any concerns and share plans and thoughts for the future.”

The next REPs Convention will take place in the south-east this summer. Keep checking the REPs website for updates.

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Wow 2013 certainly was a busy year for REPs, gaining some great coverage across both national and local press as well as featuring in various magazines. So we thought we would share a few of our highlights with you.

Over the past 12 months, we’ve seen national media approach REPs more often for comment across a range of exercise and health issues.

dailymirror

(Daily circulation of 1million)

DM article

tm logo 2

(Circulation of 1.9million per issue)

TM

 

We also worked with Women’s Health on a fantastic article which discussed how important it is to have an appropriately qualified trainer.  (Monthly circulation of 107,965)

wh logo

wh article

MO

REPs Operations Manager, Greg Small also featured in the Mail Online commenting on Miley Cyrus. While we can all agree the topic is perhaps not the most newsworthy, it’s great to be acknowledged as an ‘expert’ when health and fitness is being discussed in mainstream press. Click here to read the article in full. (Daily circulation of over 10million unique browsers)

gs mo quote

As well as our print and online press coverage, we were delighted to feature on BBC Radio 5 Live Radio (audience of 6.12 million listeners) and BBC Breakfast (daily reach of 6.8 million), giving our expert advice on key fitness issues.

 

bbc-radio-5-live-logo                            BBC-Breakfast-logo

We hope 2014 continues to be a prosperous year for the Register!

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As we write these blogs, the process often starts with some research, be it online, on the phone or even directly with you, our members.

Something we perhaps didn’t see coming was the current discontent around hygiene in gyms, something that is coming more to the forefront at a time of year known for being that bit busier with newer gym goers.

Despite being known for the place to go to remain fit and healthy, we were drawn to wonder whether there is actually more chance of picking up a bug or illness in the gym.

In a survey in a popular fitness magazine, it was seen that germs appear in all corners of gyms, right from benches to changing rooms, and of course, in swimming pools.

The lack of hygiene in some areas has concerned trainers, who, spending much of their working week in these environments, have to keep a close check on their health.

While a gym filled with sweat and kit will unlikely ever be ‘germ free’, we have recommended some tips that may help keep risk of illness to a minimum.

Sanitisers
Encourage your gym to install hand sanitisers. You’ll find people are encouraged to use these, and they will help prevent the spread of germs.

Towels
Does the person before you wipe down the equipment after use? Encourage your gym to encourage its members to bring towels, or at least provide tissues and spray to clean equipment after use.

Flip flops
Shower at the gym? Make sure you cover your feet. Changing rooms are a hotspot for verrucas and athlete’s foot.

Staying hydrated
We all re-use water bottles, so there’s no shame in that. Just make sure you change it every couple of weeks.

Image credit: www.capitaltimes.co.nz

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wales banner

CPD points are on offer at our next convention, taking place on Wednesday 12th February at the Spot Wales National Centre in Cardiff.

A major event for exercise professionals, a range of workshops will take place throughout the day, offering an excellent professional development opportunity.

Our key note speaker Matthew Wallden (Faculty Member, at CHEK Europe), will be delivering 'Flatten your abs forever', which will be an eye opener for all attending. The workshop will use the unique holistic and multidisciplinary approach that the CHEK (Corrective Holistic Exercise Kinesiology) Institute is renowned for.

Matthew will explain all the reasons why your exercise programme may not be getting the results it should. You will also learn about the common problems preventing people from achieving flat abs including ineffective exercise programming, poor nutritional habits, hormonal imbalance, gynaecological, gastro-intestinal disorders and much more.

We are certain that you will leave this presentation with some new ideas to take back to your classes, PT sessions and exercise programmes!

There will be a choice of 12 interactive and informative workshops to keep you up to speed with all the latest industry news and developments.

Along with Matthew’s session and 11 other interactive informative workshops, the REPs Convention is also a chance to speak directly with some key people at REPs, including Compliance and Standards Manager Rob Wilkie. Delivering the ‘Welcome’, Rob will be available throughout the day to address any concerns or questions you may have.

The day-long event is £45 for REPs members (£60 for non-members) and this includes refreshments and a buffet lunch. Please note any bookings made after the 4th February are subject to an additional £5 ‘late booking’ charge.

FOLLOW THIS LINK FOR MORE INFO AND TO REGISTER NOW!

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Anne Taylor

We are delighted to be partnering with the European Commission on a new two year project, European Fitness Inclusion Training for Work, which will equip fitness professionals with the sufficient knowledge, competence and skill to work with people with disabilities in fitness environments.

The initiative is led by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) Chair in Inclusive Physical Education, Sport, Fitness & Recreation, and is also being delivered in partnership with the European Observatory of Sports Employment, Universidad Poltenica De Madrid, Palacky Univerity, MonentumBD Ltd and International Health, Racquet & Sportsclub Association (IHRSA).

The project uses an innovative approach by embedding inclusive fitness professional training within the fitness club environment in a sector skills alliance involving trainers, trainees, employers and people with disabilities.

Justification for the project stems from the reality that people with disabilities are three times less likely to be physically active and twice as likely to be obese than the able bodied population. They are under-represented in mainstream fitness environments. Many fitness centre managers and instructors do not feel confident working with people who have disabilities. This unease is exacerbated by a lack of awareness among employers, those with disabilities and their families regarding the benefits to be gained from their participation. A number of factors contribute to this including: the vocational preparation of professionals, operating policies and attitudes of staff, employers and society as a whole. Few Vocational Education and Training (VET) programmes equip fitness professionals with sufficient knowledge, competence and skills to work with people with disabilities. The project will be piloted initially in Ireland, the UK, Spain, France and the Czech Republic with instructors in their work environments.

This is huge project of which REPs is proud to be a part. Importantly, this project is predicted to have an impact upon 30,000 clubs, and over 1 million staff and associated VET providers.

If you have any questions about the project or would like more information please contact our Compliance and Standards Manager This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., who will be leading this project.

We’d love to hear your thoughts on this, so please don’t hesitate to comment in the space below.

Image credit: www.theguardian.com

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Dementia

As exercise professionals we most certainly welcome the Government announcing the funding research into dementia doubling.

The Government has already committed to spend £52 million in 2012 to 2013, and up to £66 million by 2015; the ambition is now to double public, commercial and charitable R&D in dementia in the UK by 2025, supporting leading scientists, universities and other institutions in seeking the next breakthrough.

Greg Small, Operations Manager for REPs, says, “While it’s obviously upsetting there are so many dementia and related conditions needing this funding, the investment is a welcome boost that can positively affect the lives of those people suffering from these conditions. Dementia issues already cost the NHS £5 billion each year – yet data shows that physical activity can drastically reduce the risk of major illnesses.”

A study [i] published this week in the journal PLOS One found that people who consistently followed four or five key behaviours experienced a 60% decline in dementia and cognitive decline, with exercise being the strongest mitigating factor. The other four behaviours were low bodyweight, a healthy diet, low alcohol intake, and not smoking.

Greg, who is also a REPs registered instructor, continued to say: “The increased funding should enable health clubs and leisure facilities to ensure people can get bespoke, professional training – enabling those people who need it the most to access appropriate fitness training from qualified professionals. REPs fitness professionals are fully qualified to provide the best possible encouragement and motivation, and ensuring correct exercise habits.”

According to the National Health Services, mental illness accounts for a third of all illnesses and, at any given time, one person in six experiences anxiety or depression. It is estimated that 25% of the UK population will experience at least one mental health condition at some point in their life.

Greg concludes, “Our aim as exercise professionals is to help everyone in the UK to get more active, and fitter. Through the combination of this additional funding, medical intervention and physical activities, we can all work together towards relieving families and society of the awful impact of dementia and its related conditions. If spent well, this investment will ensure patients and clients will receive the best possible treatment from those professionals qualified to do so.”


[i] Published in the PLOS One journal by researchers from Cardiff University, the study is the longest of its kind to probe the influence of environmental factors in chronic disease. http://www.cardiff.ac.uk/news/articles/healthy-habits-reduce-dementia-risk-12191.html

 Image Credit: www.nuffieldbioethics.org

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not-enough-time

Do you ever feel like you could do with an extra hour in the day just to fit everything in? Finding time for ordinary tasks such as washing your hair can feel like a luxury for which you have to set aside time. People are living increasingly busy lives, any free time is considered sacred. With time so precious, putting a large chunk of it aside for exercise is an indulgence many feel they cannot afford.

The average Brit spends 43 hours in full-time work each week, without taking into account all the other duties required of them. Many industries are rethinking the way they provide their services due to the increased demands on time. An open-all-hours culture is already rife in the beauty industry, a trend set in cities that don’t sleep such as New York. On demand services are also popular, where people can get express treatments without having to book a long way in advance, every moment of spare time needs to be taken advantage of.

To exercise professionals, the benefits of making time for workouts is obvious, not least for the extra energy it can give for the day ahead. It is easy for exercise to be lingering at the bottom of the list of priorities in a hectic schedule; fitting in gym classes or personal training sessions is just not a realistic possibility for some. Short of becoming nocturnal, it is hard to fit it all in. Kim Kardashian might be a fan of 3am workouts, but realistically this is not feasible for making long-term changes. Incorporating exercise into the lives of busy people may seem like a daunting prospect, but it is imperative that exercise is an important focus. Showing how this can be achieved through changes to the daily routine, without sacrificing too much precious time. Being busy should not be an excuse for not staying fit!

Make it part of the commute

Commuting is a fact of life for most people, an ordeal to be endured every day. An office-based job encourages a sedentary lifestyle, so having an active commute can help counteract that. Brainwaves such as Home Run, a series of guided runs home from Central London, help achieve that. Following popular commuter routes such as Waterloo to Clapham Junction, covering distances between 2 and 6 miles, Home Run takes the tedium out of one of life’s necessities. They even carry your bag!

If running is not for you, or your commute still requires more traditional means, there are still plenty of ways to make it more active. Fitting in as much walking as possible is a step in the right direction; walking to the station, taking the steps rather than the escalator and getting off a stop early will get the daily miles clocking up. Apps such as Moves calculate all movement throughout the day, a great way to quantify how much you are actually doing, and a great incentive to keep on improving that figure.

Be organised

Being

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fitness

Some people love the gym. It can offer some well-deserved time to focus on you, a great stress reliever and releases endorphins that make you happy. Others view it as an experience similar to the dentist; bringing a sense of foreboding, an uncomfortable experience to put off for as long as possible. Just like the dentist, many people have irrational fears about exercise, avoiding it wherever possible rather than realising the benefits it can bring.

Having the right mindset for exercise is so important in allowing it to become a lifestyle. Exercise professionals understand the benefits and pleasure that exercise can bring, and the difference it can make to an individual’s life. Communicating this positive attitude to someone who has negative connotations associated with fitness can be as important as anything else you teach them. You must train the mind as much as the body; it should not be underestimated what a useful tool a positive mindset is when it comes to achieving your goals.

Getting people to realise that exercise is something accessible to them, can provide a moment of awakening in people’s lives.  To do this, the common misconceptions must be challenged.

I have to work hard for hours to see any results

Nothing worth doing is ever going to be easy; not putting the necessary input into exercise will not bring any noteworthy results. Not trying small changes with the belief it won’t make a difference is counterproductive. To someone with a sedentary lifestyle, adding 15 minutes a day will make a difference. Keeping that up will allow for the duration and intensity to be increased.  Making small changes can make a big difference, doing something is far better than doing nothing at all. Every step forward is one step closer to achieving a fitter, healthier lifestyle, and they all count.

15 minutes a day is almost two hours each week, or 104 hours a year; compared to doing nothing before, 104 hours is not to be sniffed at.

I’m too old or unfit to exercise

Exercise professionals have a duty to quash this misconception completely; exercise isn’t just for those who are young and fit, in fact it is arguably more important for those who don’t fit into this category. It is vital for these groups to understand that exercise can be individually tailored for any specific requirement. It is not necessary to compare themselves to anyone else’s standards, other gym users are far too engrossed in their own workouts to worry what anyone else is doing. What’s more, however long exercise has been ignored, it is never too late to start.  It’s not the level that is started at that it is important, just the direction headed.

The gym is boring

Going to the gym may not be for everyone, but it does offer a practical solution to being able to exercise for lots of people. Gym boredom can be kept at bay by switching between gym work and other activities. Running

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Scottish convention

Nearly 100 attendees enjoyed a variety of sessions at The REPs Scottish Convention held at The Lagoon Leisure Centre, Paisley. The event included a brilliant keynote presentation from Keith Smith (Global Master Trainer, Life Fitness) on ‘The biggest market for the fitness industry in the next 20 years - The Independent Older Adult’. Keith was exceptionally insightful and spoke with great passion about the next “big opportunity” in fitness.

REPs Compliance and Standards Manager, Rob Wilkie, who was present on the day, gave the following feedback: 

“The day was a resounding success with fantastic information delivered to a crowd of extremely dedicated members. The variety of workshops on offer is testament to the varied numbers of roles we see as members of the Register.” 

Here’s what REPs member Kathyn McCubbin had to say:

“I really enjoy coming along to the conventions. There were so many good workshops today I couldn't decide! It is also a great chance to meet other fitness professionals and network”

Kicking off with the day we had a number of workshops covering a spectrum of activities relevant to our members, here are highlights from a few of those workshops.

Lincoln Bryden spoke at length on ‘Metabolic Physique Conditioning: Bridging the Hormonal Gap between Muscle Growth and Fat Loss’. Highlighting that metabolic conditioning is wonderful at burning fat, but it continually falls short in the muscle building category. He explained the variances and outlined what we as a team can do to help restore the balance.

KBTEducation highlighted the benefits of advanced Olympic lifting and functional training. Lifting weights can be the ideal training for many of your clients, some of which may never have considered it.

Premier Training International led a session focused on several often ignored health and lifestyle factors that must be fully understood and applied in order to witness truly successful, long term weight management. This scientific approach to beating the bulge was a great session.

Classical Pilates UK also delivered a brilliant session outlined how current science is only now catching up with one of the longest lasting functional training methods.

Later Life Training ran a workshop that looked at the importance of evidence and good practice guidance, as recognised by bodies important in the writing of National Level Strategic Documents, including the Department of Health and Royal College of Physicians.

Drummond Education gave us all a crash course in social media in the run up to one of the busiest times of year for an instructor. This timely session gave us all insight into the ways in which we can be smart with our engagements and increase the number of clients we have, alongside keeping better connected to our existing clients.

This is short round up of what we would all agree was a fantastic day. The number of people who took time out of their busy schedules to earn CPD points and also contribute to valuable discussions was fantastic. We would like to say a large thank you to the

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