April is National Education Month
Along with showers and tax day, National Education Month comes in April. That said, today’s post is from fitness educator Angela Corcoran, founder of Corcoran Fitness and Director of the Focus Personal Training Institute. You can learn more about Angela’s own education here.
April is National Education Month. Reflecting on my own educational journey, I am often surprised that I have really always been a student, and at how important I feel education is in the fields of Exercise Science and Personal Training.
The advances in science during this decade have been unprecedented. The discovery of the FTO gene has changed the way we view obesity, and biomarkers of cancer have shown to be controllable through exercise. In fact, new evidence suggests that most diseases can be prevented or controlled through exercise. A recent article published in the Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research (JSCR) entitled, The Effect of Different Volumes of Acute Resistance Exercise on Elderly Individuals with Treated Hypertension, suggests that high-volume resistance training can reduce systolic blood pressure in elderly individuals with treated hypertension. When I studied the effects of resistance training on hypertension in college, we thought the exact opposite was true. Goes to show how much this field can change.
The Cybex Arc Trainer is a relatively new piece of cardiovascular equipment and was recently studied at UNC-Charlotte.
As reported in the JSCR, Turner et al. compared the treadmill, elliptical cross-trainer and Arc trainer and found that VO2 values were similar on the Arc trainer and treadmill but not on the elliptical. Moreover, greater discomfort was experienced with the elliptical compared with the Arc at similar exercise intensities, suggesting that individuals with or at risk for lower-extremity joint pathology may benefit most from exercising on the Arc trainer. When I was in school, the Arc didn’t even exist.
In light of such vast changes, how can we ever function effectively in a science-centered practice without furthering our knowledge base? We can’t. Exercise Science and Personal Training are new fields that are constantly evolving. Like our close relative, Physical Therapy (officially in existence in the U.S. since 1914 but not a licensed profession until the late ‘70s, and even the ‘80s in some states), the field of Personal Training started as an unlicensed, unregulated field. Unlike Physical Therapy, however, Personal training continues to be unregulated and unlicensed in this country. As a result, personal trainers and their educators have a professional responsibility to consistently ensure their information is up to date and relevant to current practice.
~ Angela Corcoran, MS, RCEP, CSCS (PhD in progress!)