Do you ever wish you could attend a conference with over 12,000 exercise professionals? Do you wish you could sit beside them as they learn what’s new in weight management science and fitness technology or as they learn new exercise techniques and tools? I wish each one of you could have been by my side as I did TRX Atomic Pushups and walked the Expo sampling new protein bars while checking out the latest shoes from Ryka at IDEA World Fitness. Since my budget wouldn’t allow me to buy badges for everyone, let me share THE five things you need to know from IDEA World Fitness 2014.
- Did you know 50 percent of people who buy activity trackers or wearable fitness technology no longer use their gadgets? Many of those who do wear them use them ineffectively. They don’t review the data to look for habits or they use numbers to help rationalize unhealthy behaviors. Have you heard about the study that showed FitBit users actually gain weight? Participants were eating all the calories their device said they burned. What they were unaware of is how large the margin of error is on activity trackers. Trackers are about creating awareness not providing statistically accurate data.
- Forget SMART goals and go SMARTER. Hopefully you are familiar with goals that are Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant and Time Based. I want you to add E for Enthusiastic and R for Revisable. Working towards a goal should make us feel good and should always be open for adjustments.
- The Affordable Healthcare Act could really make a difference if the prevention provisions were activated. In the balancing act of improving quality of healthcare and keeping costs under control we know exercise does both. Yet Congress hasn’t done it’s job to ensure that Medicare and Medicaid patients get access at NO COST to things like health coaching and diabetes prevention programs. Medicaid in particular is a challenge because it is a state managed program, not a federally managed one. No state wants to go first in providing health coaching benefits. I plan on writing my state representatives and governor to ask them to take the first steps. I encourage you to do the same.
- Even fitness professionals fall prey to the fads. I saw SO many trendy exercise programs and questionable supplements at the Expo. It’s easy to get caught up in the NEXT BIG THING but we, as professionals, need to keep our heads in the game. We all need to stick to what is proven to work for long-term health and fitness.
- Fitness can and should be fun. I had a great time learning about fitness games and the value of play. We should all stop taking our workouts so seriously and laugh a little. Wouldn’t your office be a better place if you played a game that made you get up and move during a team meeting? Wouldn’t you have a better retreat if you got outside and played Human Bowling or Shark Island?
What do you think you could learn at a conference like IDEAWorld Fitness? What would the name of your favorite session be?