BBC Radio 4 investigates PTs being charged to use parks

REPs Registrar Jean-Ann Marnoch joined the team of BBC Radio 4’s You and Yours on Friday January 20th to talk about the issue of fitness instructors and personal trainers being charged by councils to use parks and open spaces. An investigation by the BBC discovered that more than a third of local authorities in the UK charge for fitness classes in their public parks.

A survey by Radio 4’s You and Yours found more than 40% charged personal trainers a fee to run exercise sessions in their parks. In north-east England, 72% of councils charge, while only 14% in Wales charge. The Register of Exercise Professionals (REPs) says it is disappointed with the findings.

Jean-Ann commented: “This issue has prompted the biggest response we have ever seen from our members. While some appreciate the need for a nominal fee to pay for wear and tear on parks and open spaces many are finding themselves charged for multiple licenses for individual parks and by neighbouring borough councils.

“Often our members are having to find hundreds, if not thousands, of pounds to use parks – costs that they often don’t feel they can justify passing on to their clients. One of our members said they wouldn’t be able to justify the £350 cost for the few clients they train in the park. So what then? Do we tell clients to forget a healthy lifestyle and go back to sitting in a chair all day? That’s certainly not what we want.”

She added: “If there has to be a charge the Register would like to see councils working together on a cohesive and reciprocal approach that would mean each instructor pays a one-off fee allowing them to using any park in their borough and maybe parks in neighbouring boroughs too.”
Jean-Ann also expressed concern that charges would be passed on to clients and make exercise less affordable. She argues that classes in parks are often a cheaper way to achieve an active lifestyle.

Nine out of 10 councils responded to the survey, a total of 354 local authorities.
Of them, 150 confirmed that personal trainers had to pay a fee to run exercise sessions in their parks. To read more, or to listen to the broadcast click here:

Happy New Year!

Happy New Year to you all! As mentioned in the last e-zine 2012 marks the 10th Anniversary of REPs and the team has planned a series of events to mark this, including a public awareness campaign.

Registrar Jean-Ann Marnoch says: “During its 10 years REPs has been incredibly successful within the fitness industry and has earned the support of employers, training providers and, most importantly, individual instructors.

“We’d now like to spread the message of what we stand for to the general public – the very people REPs was set up to protect. We want to make checking your instructors’ registration status as automatic as using a Gas Safe registered heating engineer. We’re also asking members to act as ambassadors for REPs, wear your lapel badges with pride and use the REPs’ logo on your marketing materials.”

As part of this drive to make people aware of the importance of choosing a REPs registered instructor the REPs’ team is taking a stand at the Vitality Show from Friday 22nd March to Sunday 25th March. Billed as the UK’s largest health, beauty, fitness and wellbeing event, the show is set to attract more than 35,000 guests.

Jean-Ann Marnoch will also be taking part in a series of radio interviews on Monday January 23rd – known as Black Monday – the day when people are most likely to give up their New Year’s resolutions. She’ll be encouraging them to keep up an active lifestyle and promote working with REPs’ registered instructors.

Do your clients ask you for weight loss advice? If so, it could be worth £50

If the answer is yes we’d like your views on a brand new online service being designed for personal trainers and exercise professionals. You could receive £50 for your help as all completed questionnaires received by the 31st Jan 2012 will be entered into a prize draw.

Already available is a subscription online food and exercise diary service to help the general public lose weight.  The food diary sets a personal calorie target and tracks calories eaten. The user can search and add products from a food database of 90,000 items. It also monitors alcohol units, 5-a-day and calories burned through exercise.

Why we need you
A number of PT’s have asked if it’s possible to use this service for their clients.  In response, we are creating a weight loss service specifically tailored for PT’s needs to assist you in helping clients who are trying to lose weight.

Please click here >> to answer a short questionnaire and be entered into a draw to win £50 in cash. Responses must be received by Tuesday 31st Jan 2012.

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Coming to Cardiff?

There’s still time to take advantage of a great early-bird discount on tickets for the REPs Welsh Convention on Wednesday 8th February. Ever popular key-note speaker and weight loss guru Pete Cohen will be joining the REPs team at the convention to be held at Virgin Active in Cardiff. REPs Registrar Jean-Ann Marnoch will be looking at all REPs has achieved in the past 10 years, as well as out-lining what it hopes to do next. Claire Westrop from SkillsActive will be taking delegates on a virtual tour of the new Activepassport which will shortly be available to all members. This on-line careers tool will allow members to record all their qualifications and experience as well as connecting with employers (current and future) and training providers.

As well as a hearty (and healthy!) lunch delegates will also be able to choose from a menu of 12 interactive workshops including sessions on Functional Anatomy, Exercise Hormon
es vs Calories, Social Media, Adapted Aqua and Food for Mood.

Early-bird discounts mean the event is just £40 for REPs members and £60 for non-members (bookings made after 1st February will be £45 and £65 respectively). Attendees will also be able to earn 4 CPD points.  To book click here >>

Cancer patients want to know about exercise benefits

Research by Macmillan Cancer Support shows that most cancer patients (75%) believe their doctor or nurse failed to talk to them about the recovery benefits of physical activity. The study also revealed that a third of cancer patients are less physically active post-treatment despite evidence it is “vital” for the recovery process.

Out of the 1,495 adults questioned for the survey, 32% said they were less active after treatments, 52% were about the same and 15% were now doing more exercise than before. A recent Macmillan report, called Move More, revealed that bowel cancer patients could cut risks of recurrence and death by around 50% by doing six hours of exercise a week. Results also demonstrated that breast cancer patients can cut the risks by up to 40% if they completed 150 minutes of moderate exercise a week. Regular physical activity can also reduce the risk of treatment and disease side effects, such as depression, fatigue, heart disease and osteoporosis.

Professor Jane Maher, chief medical officer at Macmillan Cancer Support, said: “This is clear evidence that there is a need for a culture change within the NHS, to prioritise discussing physical activity and providing the relevant services during and after cancer treatment.” For more information click here >>

New study shows links between academic performance and exercise

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A Dutch review of past studies suggests children’s academic performance could be linked to how physically active they are. Writing in ‘Archives of Pediatrics and Adolescent Medicine’, researchers reported finding strong evidence of a link between exercise and academic performance.

The review looked at 14 studies involving more than 12,000 children. It concluded from them that exercise may help improve studies by increasing blood and oxygen flow to the brain. But the authors of the study, from VU University Medical Center in Amsterdam, said more accurate and reliable measurement instruments were needed to examine the link in greater detail.

Dr Amika Singh and colleagues were prompted to look at the relationship between physical activity and academic performance because of concerns that pressure to improve children’s school marks could mean they spend more time in the classroom and less time doing physical activity. So the authors identified 10 observational and four interventional studies for review. Twelve of the studies were conducted in the United States, one in Canada and one in South Africa. Sample sizes ranged from 53 to about 12,000 participants between the ages of six and 18 years. Continue reading >>

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