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Published in Health Club Management 2018 issue 2

Adding ‘ Just a Minute’ of high impact exercise to group classes could make a big difference to women’s bone health

Vicky Stiles
Vicky Stiles
Vicky Stiles,

PhD, senior sport and health sciences lecturer,

University of Exeter

Exercise undoubtedly plays an important role in maintaining good bone health at every stage of life; but last year at the University of Exeter, we were able to measure exactly how much activity at a particular intensity is associated with better bone health in women.

Using wrist-worn activity monitors to measure short, dynamic and sporadic bursts of high-impact physical activity in a study of approximately 2,500 women, we found that those who did one to two minutes of activity per day at an intensity equivalent to slow running (for post-menopausal women) or faster running (for premenopausal women) had better bone health compared with those who did less.

While some women love to run, the women in our study did not. This means they most likely got the short daily dose of bone-specific activity measured in the study in ways that were more accessible to them, possibly during group exercise classes.

Group exercise, which is especially popular with women, is generally considered good for bone health but not all classes provide activity that is optimal for bone health. This year, we’re aiming to find out if Just a Minute (JAM) of bone health activity exists in a range of group exercise classes and if it can be easily incorporated into all group exercise classes.

Bringing group exercise and JAM bone health activity together will help to promote all forms of group exercise while improving the nation’s bone health, and the fitness industry is perfectly positioned to help with this.

“Group exercise, which is especially popular with women, is generally considered good for bone health but not all classes provide activity that is optimal for bone health”

A group class could be an ideal setting for JAM exercise / PHOTO:  SHUTTERSTOCK.COM
A group class could be an ideal setting for JAM exercise / PHOTO: SHUTTERSTOCK.COM

Technology, no matter how advanced, cannot deliver all the advantages a gym-floor PT can

Darryl Taylor
Darryl Taylor
Darryl Taylor

Operations Manager,

networked fitness EMEA, Precor

I was interested to read industry opinions on the impact of data-driven CV training on the future of gym-floor PTs in the January issue of HCM (Data Driven Training, p36 ). As a provider of fitness equipment that incorporates user data to deliver a more personalised experience, I don’t believe that a growth in the popularity of this type of training signals the end of gym-floor PTs either.

Data-driven CV training is pretty much like driverless cars; whilst the technology is available, few passengers seem comfortable trusting a computer with the multifaceted task of driving. Even if the technology can expertly take charge of making crucial decisions, such as when to accelerate, slow down and signal, human input will remain invaluable for providing the context needed to best make these decisions.

I think there will always be a need for PTs to educate customers on how to use the technology and understand the data insights offered.

PTs should use this data to their advantage, to set measurable and achievable goals and to track, message and motivate their client. For the client, the data also provides the ability to monitor their performance and progress each session, helping them to remain motivated and see improvements – which is the ultimate key to success.

Most people like to spend time with a good PT, even if it’s primarily for the personal attention. However, the one-on-one interaction can also be the assistance or motivation gym-goers need to stay on track, whatever their fitness level. One size doesn’t fit all and good PTs will tailor the digital experience for each of their clients.

“ Data-driven training is like driverless cars; whilst the technology is available, few passengers seem comfortable trusting a computer with the task”

PTs provide the human interaction gym-goers desire / PHOTO:  SHUTTERSTOCK.COM
PTs provide the human interaction gym-goers desire / PHOTO: SHUTTERSTOCK.COM
Can group exercise classes improve bone health
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