Academic News, Fitness News, PE News

Top 10 posts of the year so far

Human Kinetics Logo As August  kicks in and we fall between academic terms what better time to reflect on what has happened over the past year and tell you, our fantastic readers, which posts have been the most popular and also let you catch up on some stories and topics you may have missed.

Continue reading

Fitness News

FitNews November 2008


Dear Colleague,

In this issue of Fit News we review two very different new titles from Human Kinetics.

The Outdoor Athlete is intended for those hardy souls who continue to practice their outdoor pursuits year round and appear to welcome the challenge posed by Winter conditions.

I Golf, therefore I am Nuts…. is a tongue in cheek look at the world of golf. This altogether more sedate activity is fraught with equally challenging elements, most of which seem largely self inflicted if this hugely entertaining book is to be believed.

We also take our regular look at relevant issues concerned with fitness and would welcome contributions from you either in the form of articles or comments.

Dates your Diary is an opportunity for you to publicise your event, whether it is a conference, exhibition, landmark anniversary etc. Just send us details and we will do our best to include them not just in Fit News but also in our other online newsletters.

In FitNews this month…

  • Featured product
  • £350m skiing resort gets go-ahead from ministers
  • Scientists find secret of perfect golf swing
  • A look at the lighter side of Golf
  • Gobbling food ‘doubles the chances of being overweight’
  • Fitness industry professionals to have their say
  • Dates for your Diary 

  • Featured product
    Outdoor activities such as Mountain Biking, Skiing and Climbing burn calories and build fitness all year round and the onset of Winter only serves to heighten the challenge.Wilderness fitness trainer Doug Schurman, believes outdoor enthusiasts should maximize performance, enjoyment and safety by undertaking a specific training regime tailored to meet the differing demands of their favourite pursuits.

    He and his wife, Courtenay, have teamed up to produce The Outdoor Athlete in order to provide just such training advice across a wide range of sporting activities.

    According to Doug Schurman strength training, so often overlooked in favour of endurance training, provides the basis for the safe pursuit of challenging outdoor activities.

    “Strength training is crucial to success in outdoor pursuits because appropriate training gives you power, strength, force and the ability to withstand both the predictable and unforeseen challenges,”

    He maintains “It also helps the body adapt to overload to prevent injuries, provides muscle balance, improves performance and enhances body composition.”

    Strength training gets the outdoor enthusiast ready for any and all overloads that might happen during their activities.
    Starting into an outdoor activity too quickly without allowing enough time to adapt to overload, leaves athletes susceptible to injury from trying to absorb stresses that are too great.

    Strength training also significantly improves performance with both outdoor and everyday activity.
    For example a trail runner with fantastic cardio- respiratory endurance might feel well prepared to tackle a challenging backpacking trip. However until he gets his legs used to moving uphill over uneven terrain with added weight, he might struggle with even a relatively short hike.

    It also enhances body composition by increasing lean muscle mass and improving calorie-burning metabolic functions.
    Instead of relying on the time on the watch or number on the scale, athletes should pay attention to what their body is saying about energy levels, task performance and a change in clothing size or inches lost.

    The Outdoor Athlete offers workouts and programmes for 17 activities, including hiking, trail running, rock climbing, off-road biking and skiing.

    The book also includes nutritional considerations for each activity and information on environmental factors affecting participation and training.

    View an extract from the book

    PRICE: £10.99 (14.85 Euros)

    Read more about the book…

    £350m skiing resort gets go-ahead from ministers


    Following long awaited government final approval, the UK is to get the world’s first indoor winter sports resort. Work will now commence on the 350 acre, £350 million SnOasis development sited in a disused quarry near Ipswich, Suffolk.

    As well as housing Europe’s largest indoor ski slope, SnOasis has been specifically designed to become the country’s first centre of excellence for winter sports athletes.

    Fourteen different sports disciplines will be brought together and provided with training facilities to match, if not surpass, the best in the world.

    In addition to boasting the largest indoor ski slope in Europe, the UK’s only 400 metre ice skating track, cross country skiing circuit, dedicated rollerblading track and 100 metre long bobsleigh push start, it will offer a range of other activities designed to match the needs of the entire family.

    These will include a 100 metre long nursery slope, luge run, 16 metre high ice climbing wall, bobsleigh fun ride, leisure ice rink, swimming pool, fitness gym, rock climbing wall, rowing, windsurfing, sailing, canoeing, fishing and a host of other fun activities in the dedicated entertainment dome.

    Locally, a package of benefits costing £29 million will be put in place covering a wide range of projects including a new main line Railway Station linking to London Liverpool Street, a 50 acre ecological mitigation area, cycle tracks, the planting of 130,000 trees, plus an array of skills and training initiatives.

    By being deemed a ‘Super Site’ by the construction industry means this aspect alone will make it of international importance.

    Yet, despite the massive size of the project, it will still manage to generate 75% of its energy from low carbon and renewable technologies which puts it at the forefront of construction development – a fact which no doubt will be closely monitored by governments and developers around the world.

    The project is due for completion in 2011 when the new facility is expected to attract up to 650,000 visitors a year and create 3,500 jobs.

    Scientists find secret of perfect golf swing

    Tiger Woods

    Scientists believe they may have finally found the answer to the perfect golf swing. The key apparently is knowing at exactly what stage of the swing you should exert the maximum force. Use too much strength too early or too late and the aspiring golfer will see their handicap stubbornly linger in double figures. .

    Tiger Woods, who has won 87 tournaments in his 12- year career, is viewed by many commentators as the golfer with the most perfect swing. Using a complex mathematical equation, Professor Robin Sharp from the Department of Mechanical, Medical and Aerospace Engineering at the University of Surrey, has calculated which parts of the upper body should be used at what stage.

    Breaking with conventional thinking, his study suggests that the wrists are not as important as the way a golfer uses their arms. His research also concludes that height is not as advantageous as previously thought, with short people able to hit a ball almost as far as their taller competitors if they use the right technique.

    Previous studies have either suggested that maximum power should be used from the start of the backswing, or that a golfer builds up the power throughout the swing, using full force by the time they strike the ball. This latest study, however, published in the Proceedings of the Royal Society, suggests increasing the power of rotation – known as the torque – to a maximum shortly after starting the swing and maintaining this force until hitting the ball.

    Professor Sharp said: “Generating too much arm speed too soon causes an early release, with the club-head reaching its maximum speed before it arrives at the ball. “The optimal strategy consists of hitting first with the shoulders while holding back with arms and wrists and after some delay, hitting through with the arms. “At release, the timing of which depends on the combination of shoulder and arm actions employed, the wrists should hit through. “In the expert swings studied, control of the arms and not the wrists appears to be the priority.” Knowing exactly how long that “delay” should last is the crucial factor.

    Professor Sharp said under the model, being tall was not a huge advantage. “Dimensional reasoning shows that dramatic differences in performance between large and small players should not be expected on the basis of size alone,” he said. “A 21 per cent bigger player can be expected to have just a 10 per cent advantage in club-head speed.”

    Source: The Daily Telegraph

    Read the full article

    A look at the lighter side of Golf

    Fat of the land

    Finally, a book that delves into the warped and obsessive mind of today’s golfer. Whether your idea of golf is an occasional round with fellow duffers at the local municipal course or frequent forays to far- flung places in search of the perfect round, you’ll identify with this book like no other.

    Popular golf humorist George Fuller will have you laughing out loud as he makes light of the idiosyncrasies of otherwise sane people who are addicted to this holy, wholly frustrating game.

    Golfers of all ages and abilities can relate to the familiar situations described in the book and if they haven’t yet experienced all of them personally, they will do eventually.

    If your eyes light up every time you read about a new driver or putter, you receive Christmas cards from greenkeepers, you possess a collection of sweaters that would make Val Doonican blush or your children address you as ‘who are you’ then I Golf, Therefore I Am-Nuts! is for you.
    Read an excerpt

    “Congratulations! Every golfer should have this book and have a good old laugh! I love the style and laughed out loud on a flight as I was reading it. Everyone thought I was a lunatic! I love it!” Malcolm McDowell Actor and golf fanatic

    PRICE: £8.99 (12.15 Euros)

    Read more about the book

    Gobbling food ‘doubles the chances of being overweight’


    As with many old wives tales it seems that that there is more than a grain of truth in the advice to chew each mouthful of food thirty times before swallowing. According to new research, eating quickly and until you feel full triples the likelihood of suffering weight problems.

    Nutritionists warn that eating meals too rapidly can fool the body into consuming more calories than it needs, because of the time it takes for feelings of fullness to travel from the stomach to the brain. Busy lifestyles and the growing trend to eat on the move or while concentrating on other things, such as television programmes, have been blamed for the growing obesity crisis.

    More than one quarter of British adults are now overweight or obese and that figure is predicted to grow dramatically over coming decades. Just under half of men, 46 per cent, and more than one third of women, 36 per cent, who took part in the study admitted that they ate meals quickly. The research also found that 51 per cent of men and 58 per cent of women said that they ate until they were full. Both factors independently raised the risk of becoming overweight to around twice that of people who ate slowly and finished before they felt full. Combined, they tripled the likelihood of becoming overweight. .

    The study, carried out by the University of Osaka, in Japan, and published on, the website of the British Medical Journal, looked at more than 3,000 Japanese men and women, aged between 30 and 69, over the course of three years. Volunteers were asked to fill in a detailed questionnaire about their eating habits. Professor Hiroyasu Iso, who led the team which carried out the study, said that the combination of eating until full and eating quickly appeared to have a “supra-additive” effect on the chances of becoming overweight.

    Source: Daily Telegraph

    Read the full article

    Fitness industry professionals to have their say

    Industry professionals at all levels are called upon to have their say in a major consultation being commissioned by Skills Active in partnership with the Register of Exercise Professionals and the Fitness Industry Association..

    During 2008 the structures which underpin education and development in exercise and fitness have been under review. This has involved extensive industry research with employers and those who work in the sector.

    This review will impact on every part of the fitness industry from the content of qualifications to the industry career structure and employment practice.

    The proposals up for comment are relevant to every part of the fitness industry from the content of qualifications to the industry career structure and employment practice.

    The Review stage has now been completed and has resulted in a series of proposals industry professionals are now being given their chance to comment on them.
    These proposals cover three main areas:

    • Future Structure of the Register of Exercise Professionals
    • Qualifications in Health and Fitness
    • Continuing Professional Development

    This is you opportunity to make your views known and help shape the future of professional fitness in the UK
    You can comment on as many parts of this consultation as you wish

    The deadline for submission is Friday 28 November 2008.

    Find out more

    Dates for your Diary

    BHFNC 8th Annual Conference
    Opening Doors to an Active Life: How to engage inactive communities19th November, 2008 East Midlands Conference Centre, Nottingham

    For more information

    International Coaching Conference
    Expert coaches – Expert Systems 18th – 20th November Twickenham Stadium, London

    Aimed at coaches working at the highest level in sport and system builders, working within components of the coaching system. A mixture of keynote speakers and workshops, including the formation of working groups, will make up the programme with plenty of opportunities to network with international colleagues and delegates from around the UK to share best practice and inform latest thinking.

    If you are attending the Conference, don’t forget to visit the Human Kinetics stand

    Further Information

    The NWHPAF’s Annual conference for 2008
    This year’s conference will focus on inspirational ideas, programmes, networks and partnerships and aims to stimulate information sharing, networking and learning.

    Thursday 27th November 2008 The Contemporary Urban Centre (CUC), Novas Scarman Building, 41 – 51 Greenland Street, Liverpool, L1 0BS

    For more information go to

    tenniscoachUK Annual Conference
    24th – 25th November Bisham Abbey National Sports Centre, Buckinghamshire,

    Limited availability remains for this event which features top class speakers such as Brett Hobden, Steve Green, Mike Walker and Mark Cox.
    Coaches can attend both days as resident or non- resident and can also choose to attend just one of the two days.

    Further Information

    The Annual Newsletter of the British Heart Foundation
    This informative newsletter is now available for download

    Get the Newsletter

    If you have a conference, seminar or event that you feel might be of interest to other FitNews readers please let us know and we’ll try and include details.

    __________________________________________ ___
    All prices in this email are valid until and include VAT where applicable. Postage & Packing within UK – add £2.75 for first item and 75p per additional item. Rest of Europe – add £4 (6 Euros) for first item and £1.50 (2.25 Euros) for each additional item. 


    Fitness News

    FitNews October 2008


    Dear Colleague,

    Welcome to the October Issue of FitNews.

    With the winter nights drawing in, the weather getting colder, the stock market plunging and unemployment soaring it’s a pity we can’t hibernate and wake up when it’s all over.

    To make it sound even worse, the human race has stopped evolving according to Professor Steve Jones, of University College London and this is as good as it gets!

    However he also said that in the not too distant future, all human beings will all be uniformly brown.
    If that’s so then no one will need to use sunbeds any more – so it’s not all bad news!

    But whatever your own particular sport or pastime, Autumn is a splendid time of the year to enjoy it.

    For instance there’s all those healthy and delicious seasonal foods to enjoy and as the weather cools there’s nothing better than getting out on a clear frosty morning and warming up with some form of vigorous exercise.

    You might even try your hand at cani-cross if being dragged across the countryside by a seemingly tireless animal is something that appeals.

    Personally I’ll stick to taking my dog for a brisk walk rather than the other way round.  

    In FitNews this month…

  • Featured product
  • Parents can learn too
  • A bona fido way to get fit
  • Squatters right
  • Surprising benefits in a recession
  • Doctors call for ban on sunbed use by under-18s
  • Dates for your Diary

  • Featured product
    Whether you are just starting out, have been competing for decades, or are returning to the game after an extended break, Playing Tennis After 50 will improve your play and enhance your experience both on and off the court.

    With tactics and techniques ranging from basic to advanced, you’ll learn to adapt court positioning and tweak shot selection for stellar singles, doubles and mixed doubles play. Special features such as how-to- practice games and Stroke Doctor tips will correct common errors and improve skills while you play the game.Off the court, Playing Tennis After 50 will help you avoid aches and injury with stretching and strengthening exercises. Then double your pleasure with expert information on the latest equipment, tips on finding the right club and playing partner and ways to make tennis a lifelong activity!

    What the experts say
    “Playing Tennis After 50 shows not only why someone over 50 should play the game but also how to play and enjoy it with a different set of skills and awareness of weaknesses.”
    Stan Smith
    1972 World No. 1 Player of the Year
    Rated by Tennis magazine as one of the 40 greatest singles and doubles players of all time

    “Tennis is the perfect sport to help keep you young and fit after 50. In Playing Tennis After 50, Kathy and Ron share their experiences and knowledge to make tennis a rewarding and healthy activity.
    Pam Shriver
    1988 Olympic Women’s Doubles Gold Medalist

    “This book is a must-read for those 50 and over! The same instruction that helped us win Grand Slams, reach and maintain worldwide No. 1 rankings and win the Davis Cup championship is yours in Playing Tennis After 50. For those players who come together for camaraderie or competitiveness, this is sure to be a smash hit.”
    Bob and Mike Bryan
    No. 1 Team in the World in 2003, 2005, 2006 and 2007
    Five-Time ITF Doubles World Champions

    PRICE: £10.99 (14.85 Euros)
    Read more about the book…

    Parents can learn too

    It’s not just children who can learn about the importance of maintaining a healthy lifestyle from this new publication, there is plenty in Physical Activity and Nutrition for Health for parents and carers as well.

    Many children and parents are struggling with weight issues as they never have before and as a consequence, face greater risks of developing type 2 diabetes, elevated cholesterol levels, and heart disease. Children are also more likely to experience depression, anxiety, social isolation, and decreased attendance at school.

    To combat this problem, many schools are turning to co-ordinated school health models to develop healthier students. And that’s where Physical Activity and Nutrition for Health comes in.

    Although developed primarily for schools to help promote fitness and nutrition among students and teachers, this book also contains nutrition services tools which help parents and carers to adopt the same regime at home.

    This package includes:

    • 60 developmentally appropriate, pilot-tested
      lessons for fitness and nutrition
    • CD-ROM with 124 reproducible items, including
      16 family activities, 45 worksheets, 6 transparencies,
      27 exercise cards, 24 food cards, and 6 station
    • Tools that offer practical ideas for building student
      health physically, emotionally, and cognitively
    • Details of activities suitable for the whole

    By integrating fitness and nutrition concepts as part of a healthy lifestyle everyone can improve in all areas of health-related fitness while establishing healthy living standards for the rest of their lives.

    PRICE: £21.00 (28.35 Euros)

    Read more about the book

    A bona fido way to get fit


    Why take your dog for a walk, when it can take you for a run? That’s the idea behind cani-cross, the name given to dog-powered cross-country running in which the owner – rather than his four-legged friend – is the one on the leash.

    Running behind your dog attached to a 10ft elasticated rope is certainly no walk in the park. Even in a nation of seven million dog-owners, surely only British eccentrics would take up the bizarre sport of cani-cross showcased at Crufts earlier this year for the first time in the competition’s 117-year history?

    But, Britain is entering its first squad of two- and four- legged athletes in next month’s European championships, a gathering of 500 runners from 11 countries being held in the Czech Republic.

    Eileen and Richard Cook co-founded CaniX, the organisation leading the British cani-cross team five years ago and what inspired them was Britain’s drift towards becoming a fat nation.

    However, our beloved canines offer the perfect excuse for us to get fit. Eileen says that cani-cross is essentially running with good company. When attached to a dog that’s straining at the harness, cani- crossers find themselves running at a faster rate than they would normally. “It’s a great way to keep fit and get your weight down,” she says. “If you want a fantastic training partner, your dog will never let you down. They are born to run.”

    The medical benefits of running are well-established. It not only promotes weight loss and is a good work- out for the heart, it also reduces stress levels, releases “feel good” chemicals into the body, and can improve bone strength which cuts the risk of osteoporosis. Running with a dog adds an element of surprise that can be beneficial to the body. An unstructured run that alternates from gentle jog to sprint – such as when your running buddy spots a cat in the distance – is more effective at fat-burning than maintaining a regular pace.
    For more information about cani-cross, visit

    Source: The Daily Telegraph

    Read the full article

    Squatters right


    Fitness instructors rate the squat as being among the best strengthening moves for the lower body, with one recent American survey of more than 36,000 gym trainers naming it as the most effective exercise for toning muscles and improving balance.

    Done properly, this flexing of the hips, knees and ankles will lengthen and strengthen the spine and simultaneously will work all the main muscles in the legs – including hamstrings, quadriceps, gluteal and calf muscles – as well as the trunk and lower back muscles that help to stabilise the body

    A less enviable accolade, though, is that the squat is often performed with appallingly bad technique. Among the most common errors is lowering the legs beyond a 90-degree angle, causing the bottom to stick out and the spine to tilt in the lumbar region, eventually leading to postural weakness.
    Arching the lower back so that the head and neck are crunched back can also cause tightening in every part of the body from the neck down. Studies have shown that badly executed squats can cause knee and back problems over time. “.

    Source: The Times

    Human Kinetics has over 230 books relating to back exercises and treatment of disorders. Follow the link below and enter ‘Back’ in the search box
    For full details

    Surprising benefits in a recession


    During the past ten years of boom, a group of American economists and psychologists has been trying to work out whether people really are better off in the in times of plenty.

    Their answer is that recessions (rather than booms or depressions) might actually be a blessing. People tend to drink less, smoke fewer cigarettes and lose weight. They enrol in higher education, the air is cleaner, the roads are less crowded.

    When times are good, research by Stanford University and the University of North Carolina shows that people of all classes tend not to take care of themselves and their families. The better off may have gym membership but all classes drink too much, eat more fat-laden food – either pre-packaged from supermarkets or in restaurants – and are more likely to neglect their families.

    In downturns, people have more time to visit their elderly relatives and are more likely to look after their children themselves rather than booking them into expensive after-school activities or crèches.

    Grant Miller, an assistant professor of medicine at Stanford, says that in a boom people work longer, harder hours to take advantage of the conditions and are more stressed and less likely to do things that are good for them: “Cooking at home and exercising are seen as a waste of time.”

    But when wages drop, and jobs are scarce, the young feel that it makes more economic sense to prolong their education, and the elderly will retire earlier because there is less incentive to keep earning.

    So while there is no such thing as a good recession, it doesn’t have to cause unmitigated gloom and despondency.

    Source: The Times

    Doctors call for ban on sunbed use by under-18s


    Children under 18 should be banned from using sunbeds, doctors said today following a major review into the link between sunbeds and skin cancer.

    They reviewed published research on the health effects of ultraviolet radiation and found clear evidence that using sunbeds or prolonged exposure to sunlight in childhood raises the risk of people developing skin cancer later in life. A ban on under 18s using sunbeds should be accompanied by a clampdown on advertising campaigns that claim they are safe to use, the doctors added.

    Writing in the journal Pigment Cell and Melanoma Research, doctors at St George’s Hospital Medical School in London, Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston and the University of New Mexico Cancer Centre conclude: “UV radiation exposure is one of the most avoidable causes of cancer risk and mortality in man. Whereas genetic and other factors undoubtedly contribute importantly to skin cancer risk, the role of UV is incontrovertible, and efforts to confuse the public, particularly for purposes of economic gain by the indoor tanning industry, should be vigorously combated for the public health.”

    The researchers also highlight studies that suggest skin only develops a tan as a direct response to DNA damage caused by ultraviolet radiation, implying there is no such thing as a “safe” tan.

    More than 150,000 children under 16 have used sunbeds in Britain, according to a survey conducted earlier this year by the consumer association Which? That is despite recently updated guidelines from the Health and Safety Executive to ban under 18s from using sunbeds, and a recommendation from the industry body, The Sunbed Association, that its members refuse to accept the custom of anyone under the age of 16.

    Earlier this year, Scottish MSPs voted to ban under 18s from using sunbeds, a move the Department of Health is considering under its ongoing Cancer Reform Strategy. According to Cancer Research UK, cases of skin cancer in the UK have nearly tripled since the 1980s, with women more likely to develop the disease than men.

    Source: The Guardian

    Dates for your Diary

    Heart Foundation Logo

    The British Heart Foundation National Centre for Physical Activity and Health are to further develop the Guidelines on Older People and Physical Activity.

    Invitation to Consultation events:
    Tuesday 28th October 2008 – Loughborough University Thursday 30th October – London

    There will be no charge for these events, but participants should ensure they have the support of managers and colleagues before committing to these events to assist in avoiding last minute withdrawals.
    Both events are timed for 10.00 a.m. – 3.30 p.m. Numbers will be limited to 20 -25 for each event.

    For further information and to attend consultation events, please download

    BHFNC 8th Annual Conference Opening Doors to an Active Life: How to engage inactive communities

    19th November, 2008 East Midlands Conference Centre, Nottingham

    For more information

    NHPAF Logo

    The NWHPAF’s Annual conference for 2008
    This year’s conference will focus on inspirational ideas, programmes, networks and partnerships and aims to stimulate information sharing, networking and learning.

    Thursday 27th November 2008 The Contemporary Urban Centre (CUC), Novas Scarman Building, 41 – 51 Greenland Street, Liverpool, L1 0BS

    For more information go to

    If you have a conference, seminar or event that you feel might be of interest
    to other FitNews readers please let us know and we’ll try and include your details.


    All prices in this email are valid until and include VAT where applicable. Postage & Packing within UK – add £2.75 for first item and 75p per additional item. Rest of Europe – add £4 (6 Euros) for first item and £1.50 (2.25 Euros) for each additional item.

    Fitness News

    FitNews September 2008

    Welcome to the September Issue of FitNews

    With School holidays a fading memory, many parents can now breath a sigh of relief, safe in the knowledge that their offspring are in safe hands and off theirs. However, during the break, many families will have been inspired by the events in Beiijing to try a new sport or revive an old interest and having taken the plunge it would be shame not to continue, despite the prospect of Autumn and worsening weather – can it really get worse?

    Judging by some of the articles below, the road to fitness lies in being realistic in your ambitions, don’t overdo it and formulate a plan and stick to it.

    In FitNews this month…

    • Product of the Month
    • A Balanced Approach for the Elderly
    • How long will it last?
    • Schools told to cut down on competitive team sport
    • Stores still promoting junk food despite warnings on obesity
    • Planning to get fit
    • Skipping to Success

    Featured Product

    Guiding Yoga’s Light

    guiding Yogas Light
    This comprehensive new publication is intended to aid instructors wishing to go beyond the anatomical aspects of yoga and teach their students some of deeper concepts of yogic philosophy and offer insight into the integration of yogic teachings into everyday life.

    Guiding Yoga’s Light is made up of 74 easy-to-follow, succinct lesson plans offering instruction in hatha yoga, including asana, pranayama, the yamas and niyamas, the chakras, creating mindfulness and understanding emotions.

    The text also includes three new, teacher-requested chapters on Salutations in Motion, Lessons of the Heart Centre, and Relaxation. For convenient reference, teachers and students can also refer to the vocabulary of Sanskrit pronunciations included in the glossary.

    The text takes students and teachers on a journey through the various aspects of yoga to understand the foundations of hatha practice. Beginning with basics of breathing, Guiding Yoga’s Light progresses to the physical and spiritual philosophy of the asanas and salutations and ends with lessons to bring clarity, calmness and relaxation into daily life.

    The author, Nancy Gerstein has been a student of yoga for almost 30 years and is a certified hatha yoga teacher with the Himalayan Institute of Yoga Philosophy and Science. Ms. Gerstein is also a reiki master practitioner and yoga therapist.

    PRICE: £17.00 (22.95Euros)

    Read more about the book…

    A Balanced Approach for the Elderly

    ABLE Bodies Balance Training offers an activity- based programme to improve balance and mobility for both fit and frail older adults. This practical instructor’s guide provides more than 130 balance and mobility exercises that consider flexibility, strength and cardiorespiratory endurance.

    The exercises enhance the ability of older adults to maintain balance in completing their everyday tasks, thereby fostering increased self-confidence, reducing the occurrence of falls and improving quality of life.

    The text is based on ABLE Bodies techniques, which were proven effective in a randomised, controlled study. Results showed that ABLE Bodies training significantly improved balance, mobility, activity levels, gait speed, flexibility and strength for participants 70 years of age and older, living in retirement and assisted living facilities.

    ABLE Bodies Balance Training uses current research and a component-based approach to balance training. Instructors are encouraged to use activities covering all five components of the programme: flexibility, posture and core stability, strength, cardiorespiratory endurance and balance and mobility. The exercises and activities are easily implemented with the use of existing facilities and inexpensive equipment. They also encourage fun and social interaction, helping instructors to create and maintain an energised and positive environment that improves communication, motivation, and overall progress. The programme may be used in group or individual settings and can be customised according to level of experience of the individual Instructor.

    As a bonus, access to a dedicated ABLE Bodies Balance Training web site is included with the book. It offers 15 downloadable activity handouts that instructors can print out and distribute to patients or clients for use at home. It also offers downloadable printouts of all the balance training activities in the book – over 130 conceptual ideas and activities for instructors to choose from, either for planning their own sessions or for aiding their delivery of the 16- week session plan. Instructors can access the supplemental materials at BalanceTraining

    PRICE: £29.00 (39.15Euros)

    Read more about the book…

    How long will it last?

    Have you noticed how, since the Olympics, the parks, pools and gyms have been packed with people huffing and puffing their way through new fitness activities? Even ordinarily niche velodromes have become oversubscribed. There’s no doubt about it: team GB’s unsurpassed medal success has inspired many into action.

    However, while charging into a new sport with all guns blazing is to be applauded, 40% of novices fall off their fitness wagon within the first year of taking them up, according to a Fitness Industry Association report.

    Professor Greg Whyte, from the Research Institute for Sport and Exercise Sciences at Liverpool John Moores University and author of Get Fit, Not Fat urges proceeding with caution. “People shouldn’t expect too much, too soon, or they lose motivation,” he says. “Bear in mind that the success of our Olympic athletes is the end product of years of sport-specific training. It takes time – not to mention hard work and commitment – to acquire new skills and undergo the necessary physiological adaptations required to perform at your peak. Be patient.’

    But whether they have weight loss, a 10km race or a stage of the Tour de France in their sights, the golden rule for people taking up a new sport is to go easy. “The commonest reason I see for people failing to maintain an exercise regime is that it is too challenging for their existing level of fitness,” says Whyte. Overly demanding fitness programmes are likely to end in failure for two main reasons. Firstly, you’re unlikely to stick to such a gruelling schedule, and even if you do hang in there for a while, you won’t enjoy it much. Worse still, you risk overdoing it, getting injured and rendering yourself out of action.

    Regular and consistent training is important, but that doesn’t mean you need to be hitting the gym, track or pool seven days a week. “Only increase the intensity and amount of time you spend training gradually,” advises Whyte. “In my experience, this is far more successful than attempting to go from inactivity to athlete overnight.” Whyte should know. He coached actor David Walliams to swim the English Channel back in 2006. “He could just about manage a mile when I first started coaching him, but by making small but steady increases in his training, he was able to swim over 25 miles just 33 weeks later.”

    Heeding all this advice will hopefully enable people to stick with their programme, and avoid the sports injury clinic. But if they do face a setback, or don’t see results as quickly as they had hoped, they shouldn’t lose heart. The Beijing podiums would have seen far fewer British athletes if they had all thrown in the towel at the first sign of adversity

    Source: The Guardian

    Schools told to cut down on competitive team sport

    School Association Football

    Schools should cut down on competitive team sport amid fears it is putting children off PE, say researchers from Loughborough University. They said an over-emphasis on team sport meant many pupils were “not developing healthy exercise habits”.

    To the dismay of many traditionalists, the researchers said many pupils risked being turned off physical education altogether by the current emphasis on football, rugby, hockey and netball. The focus on fitness and team games in many secondary schools is doing “little or nothing” to help curb the UK’s record teenage obesity rates. Instead schools should give children more opportunity to take part in solo exercise, such as aerobics, pilates, skipping and cross-country running, they stated.

    The report came just days after Gordon Brown pledged a further push on competitive sport, saying the anti-competition, “medals for all culture” seen in previous years had backfired. In an attempt to build on the heroics of Britain’s Olympic gold medal-winning squad, he insisted schools had to “correct the tragic mistake of reducing the competitive element in school sports”.

    The Government is preparing to increase the amount of compulsory sport at school, with the current minimum of two hours’ PE a week due to become five hours by 2012, the year of the London Olympics.

    Since the early 90s, schools have been required to teach pupils about health-related exercise as well as other physical activities such as team games, gymnastics and dance. Figures show that football remains the most popular sport among pupils, played at 98 per cent of schools, followed by athletics at 92 per cent, cricket at 89 per cent, netball at 81 per cent and hockey and rugby at 77 per cent.

    But Laura Ward, from Loughborough University’s School of Sport and Exercise Science, said too many PE teachers – particularly men – were still emphasising the importance of competitive team sports at the expense of more individual activities.

    Source: The Daily Telegraph

    Stores still promoting junk food despite warnings on obesity

    Tesco Store

    Supermarkets are undermining healthy eating by bombarding shoppers with cut-price offers for unhealthy food during the credit crunch, according to a report into the £90bn grocery market. The National Consumer Council found twice as many promotions for fatty and sugary foods as there were two years ago.

    Researchers checked stores operated by eight major grocers: Tesco, Asda, Sainsbury’s, Morrisons, the Co- op, Somerfield, Marks & Spencer and Waitrose and found promotions for products high in sugar and fat outnumbered those for fresh produce by four to one.

    A total of 54 per cent of cut-price deals were for fatty and sugary foods, despite advice that these foods should make up 7 per cent of people’s diets – and despite promises by supermarkets that they would smarten up their act.

    The research for the Department of Health reported that despite a well-publicised campaign to tackle childhood obesity and produce a comprehensive picture of the problem, the results “may underestimate the true population prevalence of obesity and overweight at national, regional and local level”.

    Only 12 per cent of cut-price offers were for fruit and vegetables, when they should make up one-third of food consumed. Overall, there were 4,300 promotions, a rise of 17 per cent compared with the last NCC survey in 2006.

    “The volume of in-house promotions for fatty and sugary foods the supermarkets are all offering is staggering,” said Lucy Yates, the report’s author. “We expected to see evidence of big improvements since our last investigation, but we’ve been sadly disappointed. Despite their claims, the supermarkets all still have a long way to go to help customers choose and enjoy a healthier diet.”

    The British Retail Consortium, which represents the supermarkets, dismissed the report as “misleading” because the checks had been done in March, not July as in 2006. “Customers will have seen for themselves the current high-profile supermarket price war centred on fruit and vegetables,” he said. “Of course ‘treat’ foods are on offer at Easter. What matters is the balance of promotions across the year.”

    But in the report, Cut-price, what cost?, the NCC excluded all promotions for Easter eggs or Easter cakes to ensure Easter did not skew its figures. To check the overall health performance of supermarkets, it visited the eight chains in Sheffield, where they each have a store.

    Planning to get fit

    Gutenberg Marathon

    A German study of 30 adult novice runners preparing for the Gutenberg marathon in Mainz looked at how they conducted their training and what results they achieved in the race. It compared intention and behaviour and found that those who set out a clear training schedule achieved better results.

    In the months building up to the event they completed a questionaire about their training and in particular three aspects of their motivation: Action Planning – forming “concrete plans” about implementing their programme. Coping Planning – dealing with setbacks such as injuries or bad weather Action Control – checking that the training schedule was being adhered to Runners who made a detailed plan regarding their physical exercise were the ones who increased their mileage most over the course of the year.

    Dr Urte Scholz, of the Department of Psychology, Social and Health Psychology at the University of Zurich, who led the study, said individuals who were less diligent in drawing up and implementing a training plan fared worse than their more organised rivals.

    “The more unstable individuals were in their intentions, action planning, and action control over the 11 months, the less increase they reported in running over this time span,” he said. “Individuals with stable intentions show a higher increase in running associated with a lower fluctuation in running behaviour as compared with individuals with unstable intentions.”

    British Journal of Social Psychology

    Start Planning Now
    Human Kinetics has an excellent publication on the preparation of training plans for marathon running. Marathon Training – Second Edition by Joe K. Henderson presents three separate 100-day training programs to maximize your efforts. Use as you would a personal coach in order to motivate, inform, and inspire you through 91 days of marathon training and 9 days of post-race recovery..”
    Find out more

    Skipping to Success

    Heart Foundation Logo

    The British Heart Foundation National Centre for Physical Activity and Health is seeking to recruit a bank of casual staff (based across the UK) to deliver practical skipping workshops to teachers and youth leaders in schools across the UK. The work is on a casual basis predominately from early afternoon to early evening, mainly during school term times.

    Ideally, candidates should have, or be working towards, a teaching qualification in Physical Education or Fitness. They will also posess a good understanding of physical activity recommendations and the targets in schools to fulfil these recommendations. Excellent communication and presentation skills are a must as is an ability to travel throughout the UK as required so a full UK driving licence required. Under 21’s are unable to use hire cars and must therefore have their own vehicle. Full training will be provided, but the ability to skip is essential. Those thinking of applying are advised this post may be physically demanding.

    Fitness News

    FitNews August 2008


    Welcome to the August issue of FitNews.

    For busy parents, the school holidays can be a mixed blessing. After the initial high of ‘breaking-up’ kids often become lathargic and bored. Finding ways to keep them active and entertained isn’t easy. Asking them what they would like to do often illicits a shrug of the shoulders and a mumbled ‘dunno’. But more than any other time of year the holidays give you a chance to touch base.

    The kids aren’t alright

    This month we get closer to generation XXL by looking at some of the social, cultural and political factors affecting their lives.

    In FitNews this month…

  • Featured product
  • Fitness Swimming
  • Complete Conditioning for Swimming
  • The REAL health map of Britain: From the lowest life expectancy to the fattiest diet, how are you likely to fare?
  • Fat reports on children to be sent to parents
  • Children and healthy weight
  • Food fables
  • Healthy eating for kids on days out
  • Primary ‘free school meals’ call
  • Britain’s first live-in school for fat pupils
  • UK Strength and Conditioning Association Seminar Series

    Featured product
    Now in its third edition, Essentials of Strength Training and Conditioning is the most comprehensive reference available for strength and conditioning professionals. In this text, 30 expert contributors explore the scientific principles, concepts, and theories of strength training and conditioning as well as their applications to athletic performance.Developed by the NSCA Certification Commission, the certifying agency of the National Strength and Conditioning Association, Essentials of Strength Training and Conditioning is the most-preferred preparation text for the Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist (CSCS) exam. The research- based approach, extensive exercise technique section and unbeatable accuracy of Essentials of Strength Training and Conditioning make it the text readers have come to rely on for CSCS exam preparation.The third edition presents the most current strength training and conditioning research and applications in a logical format designed for increased retention of key concepts. The text is organised into five sections. The first three sections provide a theoretical framework for application in section 4, the programme design portion of the book. The final section offers practical strategies for administration and management of strength and conditioning facilities.PRICE: £45.00 (67.50 Euros)Read more about the book…



    Fitness Swimming

    Want more from your workout? Whether you seek to improve your technique, trim your times, swim greater distances, or simply improve your fitness level, Fitness Swimming will help you achieve your goals, all in full-colour.

    Expert swim coach Emmett Hines has created 60 new workouts and 16 sample programmes, each arranged into suggested training zones to correspond to your fitness level and performance goals. Over a dozen cutting-edge technique drills help you progressively build an effective freestyle stroke. The text covers stretching, warm-up and cool-down methods, heart rate zone targets, expanded instruction for stroke efficacy, progressive drills, conditioning tips, and fitness assessments. Fitness Swimming has all the information you need to chart progress and maintain peak performance.

    “Emmett has done a great job of creating a resource for swimmers on the technique and conditioning fundamentals of the sport. No matter what level, the drills and workouts will help you become a better all-around swimmer.” Glenn Mills U.S. Olympic Swimmer and Founder of

    PRICE: £11.99 (17.99 Euros)



    Complete Conditioning for Swimming

    From more powerful strokes to quicker turns, propel yourself to improved times with Complete Conditioning for Swimming.

    This multidimensional training programme uses fitness assessments to tailor strength, endurance and flexibility exercises to each swimmer’s individual needs.

    Dave Salo, coach of Olympic medalists Lenny Krayzelburg, Aaron Peirsol, Amanda Beard, Jason Lezak and Scott A. Riewald, performance specialist for the U.S. Olympic Committee, have teamed up to create a comprehensive program that provides you with the following tools to improve your times:

    • Exercises and drills for each stroke
    • Event-based workouts and programmes
    • Dryland training
    • Tapering for peak performance
    • Year-round conditioning plans
    • Nutrition before, during and after swim meets.

    In addition, the 80-minute DVD takes you to the pool and into the gym to demonstrate the drills and exercises used by the sport’s elite. Complete Conditioning for Swimming is simply the best guide to preparing your body for competitive success.



    The REAL health map of Britain: From the lowest life expectancy to the fattiest diet, how are you likely to fare?

    Fat of the land

    Where we live really does have an impact on our health, as this unique map reveals.

    Drawn from a variety of sources, including the Healthcare Commission, the Office of National Statistics and charities such as the British Heart Foundation, it paints a fascinating real-life portrait of the health of the nation.

    Some of the findings are predictable – but others are highly surprising. For as this map shows, it’s not as simple as a North/South divide, with some areas in the South, where you’d expect people to be healthier, faring worse than other parts of the country.

    Here, Good Health reveals the healthiest, and unhealthiest, regions and towns in Britain.

    So how are you likely to fare?

    Form the Mail online



    Fat reports on children to be sent to parents

    Parents are to get school “fat reports” detailing their children’s weight as part of the fight against childhood obesity.

    Rules to be introduced at the start of the academic year in September will see the parents of all children aged between four and five, and 10 and 11 receive the reports, after Government-commissioned research suggested the weight problem among Britain’s children is worse than originally thought.

    The most recent figures available show that one in 10 children aged between four and five are obese and 13 per cent are overweight, with the figures rising to 17.5 per cent and 14.2 per cent by age 11.

    The research for the Department of Health reported that despite a well-publicised campaign to tackle childhood obesity and produce a comprehensive picture of the problem, the results “may underestimate the true population prevalence of obesity and overweight at national, regional and local level”.

    A Department of Health spokesman last night (SUN) said: “If you do not opt out and your child is measured at school you will automatically get feedback.”…

    Telegraph, July 27th 2008



    Children and healthy weight

    Your child’s weight matters, and there are things you can do if you are concerned about it. You can also calculate your child’s height and weight to see if they are in a healthy range.

    Why your child’s weight matters

    Children are getting heavier these days and that is bad news for their health, especially as they get older.

    Children who are overweight are more likely to develop diabetes or heart disease in later life and are more likely be obese as adults. But health is not the only issue. Overweight children could also be affected by:

    • teasing or bullying
    • low self-esteem
    • embarrassment when playing games or sports
    • difficulty in being active (for example, getting breathless quickly)

    Even if your child is not overweight or obese, it is important that they eat healthily and are physically active. The tips outlined on this page are relevant to all children, no matter what their weight is…

    Child height and weight calculator click here
    Adult height and weight calculator click here

    DirectGov website

    Read the whole story



    Food fables

    Pause for thought

    Leading food companies in the UK are still not doing enough to curb their marketing of less healthy food to children. While most now have impressive sounding policies on marketing to children, they still leave plenty of scope for less healthy promotions.

    Signs of improvement

    Some of the big food companies have stopped targeting young children, and Kentucky Fried Chicken (KFC) and Weetabix stand out for taking a more responsible approach.

    At the end of 2007 eleven leading food companies pledged to ‘change food and beverage advertising on TV, print and internet to children under the age of 12 in the European Union’.

    However, this only covers younger children where they make up at least 50% of the audience, it doesn’t include all types of promotion and the criteria for distinguishing healthier and less healthier foods have yet to be published. Our review of individual company policies has shown some improvement in self- imposed restrictions on advertising and promotion to young children. However we think they fall short of what is needed to help improve children’s diets…

    If you’d like to find out more about what we found for each company, you can read the full report

    Which? Campaigns



    Healthy eating for kids on days out

    From a veggy hotpot to fruity jellies; what to pick from children’s menus at some of our leading tourist attractions

    Summer outings will do the whole family good only if you know that the castle, zoo or park has a decent café. Otherwise, unless you got up early to make sandwiches, you risk feeling resentful as you shell out on rubbishy kids’ food in a cafeteria.

    A survey published last month by Lacors, the body that regulates council services, found that most theme parks, wildlife parks, museums, leisure centres, heritage sites and farm parks offered children fatty, salty and sugary food. Not one of the 397 meals for seven to ten-year-olds tested by environmental health officers and trading standards officers at 220 attractions met the nutritional guidelines for schools.

    The average children’s meal surveyed had 44 per cent more salt than the maximum 1.2g recommended by the School Food Trust, which oversees school dinners.

    A few sights, including National Trust properties, offer decent food for all ages. Elsewhere, even when salt- free nuggets are made from free-range chicken breast and ices are the creamiest of the local crop, children’s meals may not include vegetables…

    The Times, July 26 2008



    Primary ‘free school meals’ call

    Ministers are being urged to offer free school meals to all primary school pupils in England.

    Currently, free meals are only offered to children from poorer families.

    But Labour-affiliated unions want the means test to be removed, so that all primary school children can receive a free healthy canteen lunch.

    A Department for Children, Schools and Families spokesman said it was looking at the results of a free meals pilot in Hull, but had no plans to extend it.

    Delegates at Labour’s National Policy Forum in Warwick are understood to have tabled an amendment calling for the change.

    They hope it will boost the number of pupils taking the meals, which are now subject to strict nutritional guidelines…

    BBC News, 25 July 2008



    Britain’s first live-in school for fat pupils

    Overweight children will learn dieting tips as well as the three Rs at a new private boarding facility

    Britain’s finest boarding school exclusively for overweight and obese teenagers is to open in the Lake District. It will take children aged 11 to 18 who are at least 9kg (20lb) too heavy and have had diet problems for more than a year.

    As well as being taught the national curriculum, pupils will learn food science and weight management. They will be encouraged to take part in intensive physical activity and consume just 1,500 calories and 12g of fat per day.

    The school will open in three years and will be run by the American company Wellspring Academies. Founded in 2002, Wellspring already runs two specialist boarding schools in the United States, attended by 20 British pupils.

    If the Lake District school is successful, there are plans to open more across Britain. Wellspring UK, the organisation’s British arm, already runs ‘fat camps’ at Lake Windermere for overweight and obese teenagers…

    The Observer, July 27 2008



    UK Strength and Conditioning Association Seminar Series

    Strength and Conditioning logo

    The UK Strength and Conditioning Association Seminar Series – 23 September 2008 in association with Sports Development Week at NEC Birmingham.

    Want to know the training secrets of the UK’s leading athletes? Learn from UK’s leading experts in this 3 hour seminar.

    For the second year running, the UK Strength and Conditioning Association will be presenting at LIW with three of the country’s leading experts in Strength and Conditioning. Both sessions last for three hours covering the key aspects of Strength and Conditioning with the option of attending a one hour practical demonstration at lunch time in the main arena.

    The morning session begins at 10.00 and runs until 13.00 and is repeated in an afternoon session from 14.00 to 17.00. The practical demonstration takes place in the hour between the morning and afternoon sessions.

    The programme is geared specifically for those looking to move into Strength & Conditioning. In particular:

    • personal trainers and fitness professionals
    • sports science/related degree students/recent graduates
    • sports specific coaches
    • related professions such as physiotherapy, sports massage, sports therapy

    It is essential to reserve your place for the session you want. Attendance costs £25 for UKSCA members, £40 for non-members. Book early, as last year’s event sold out in 3 weeks!

    For more information on the UKSCA please visit