Is BMI just a big fat lie? The obesity measure under the microscope

Great to see our Head of Memberships Greg Small in the Metro this week giving his opinion on BMI. When it comes to BMI it would seem a good case of common sense should be applied to the guidance of professionals.

Win the chance to deliver your fitness class on stage to 1500 people

Big Burn bannerWe have teamed up with BIG BURN, the new mass participation fitness event in London, which is taking place on 31st May at Alexandra Palace. BIG BURN offers a spectacular festival atmosphere with 1,500 people working out together. Each session will be led by a celebrity instructor to help people get in shape for the summer!

BIG BURN is offering you, as REPs members, the opportunity to take centre stage and teach thousands of people your work out. One lucky member will picked from the competition to teach their routine to a live audience.

Here is all the information you’ll need to enter:

Competition Details

Step 1 Click here to enter

Step 2 Upload your best picture and 20 words about your routine by 31 March 2014

Step 3 Share, tweet & send to your friends and fitness followers asking them to vote for you

Step 4 Remember that voting closes 30 April 2014 – Vote Here

Selection Process

  • You MUST be a REPs certified instructor to enter the competition
  • The 5 instructors with the most votes will be reviewed by the BIG BURN panel
  • 1 instructor from these top 5 will be selected to perform their fitness routine on stage at AlexandraPalace, London on 31st May
  • The winner will then be announced on 6th May

More information

  • The fitness routine will last between 10 and 15 minutes and take place as part of one of the headliners sessions
  • The routine must be equipment free
  • The winner will receive a range of promotional benefits from BIG BURN
  • Headliner instructors include Darcey Bussell, Josie Gibson and FitSteps® duo Natalie Lowe and Ian Waite
  • Go to www.BIGBURN.co.uk for more information about the event

So what are you waiting for? Get ready for the BIG BURN and enter the competition now!

A call for responsible journalism

Newspaper

In recent times it has become the norm to open the paper and to find out that something is bad for our health, can give us cancer, or can help fight obesity, which for the average member of the public can become very confusing, and lead to a contradiction in determining which advice to take.

In the past couple of months there have been reports that “Seaweed could slow the obesity tidal wave”, “High Protien diets are just as bad as smoking” and “Want to lose weight? Play Tetris: Classic game distracts dieters from food cravings”, all of which have featured in broadsheets such as The Daily Telegraph and the Guardian, not just the tabloid newspapers.

With the case of high protein diets and smoking, we were quite shocked that the newspapers could even put the two in the same category as we all are fully aware of health implications smoking can cause. The NHS has decades of evidence proving that smoking kills and – fortunately for meat lovers – it would seem that this latest comparison with high protein diets is to be a triumph of PR spin. The story itself came to light in a recent press release about a large study which found that for people aged 50-65, eating a lot of protein was associated with an increased risk of dying. However, the study, which assessed the diets of Americans in a single 24-hour period (rather than long-term), found in those aged over 65 that a high protein diet was actually associated with a reduced risk of death from any cause or from cancer. These differing findings meant that overall there was no increase in risk of death, or from dying of cancer with a high protein diet.

As stated in the NHS’s Behind the Headlines “We need to eat protein, we do not need to smoke.” and here at REPs we certainly agree with this.

The NHS stated: “The reporting of the results of the study was reasonable. However, the prominence given to the story (which featured as a front page lead in The Daily Telegraph and The Guardian) in the UK media seems disproportionate. The headlines suggesting a high protein diet is “as harmful as smoking” was not a specific finding of the study and could be seen as unnecessary fear-mongering. This is particularly of note given that the effects of a high protein diet were found to differ dramatically by age.”

Here at REPs we understand the effects health articles in the media can have on our perceptions, which is why as Exercise Professionals we should perhaps being telling our clients to sometimes question what it is they are reading and to seek out professional advice when it comes to our health.

The NHS’s Behind the Headlines is a great place to start if you are wondering whether or not a health story has any truth in it, as they provide an unbiased and evidence-based analysis of health stories that have been in the news.

At REPs we would like to see a more balanced approach when comes to reporting of health news and perhaps headlines that aren’t so fear mongering. As always we would advise that it’s best to seek out health and fitness advice from the trained, qualified professionals rather than sensationalist headlines.

REPs UK welcomes new USREPS

 

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REPs is pleased to welcome the all-new U.S. Registry of Exercise Professionals (USREPS), which launched last month. The Register has been designed for those who seek to hire, work with, or are referred to a qualified, certified exercise professional. The public can easily search, find, and verify all of his or her credentials in real time.

The introduction of the USREPS registry is the first move by the Coalition for the Registration of Exercise Professionals (CREP, pronounced C Rep). CREP is comprised of exercise certification organisations in the USA that have programmes which are accredited by the National Commission for Certifying Agencies (NCCA), the recognised standard in the US for the assessment of professional competence.

The CREP organisation will maintain USREPS and advocate on behalf of exercise professionals that hold current, NCCA-accredited certifications and the stakeholders of the profession. Current member organisations of CREP include:

  • American Council on Exercise (ACE)
  • AmericanCollege of Sports Medicine (ACSM)
  • Cooper Institute (CI)
  • National Council on Strength and Fitness (NCSF)
  • National Exercise Trainers Association (NETA)
  • National Strength and Conditioning Association (NSCA)
  • Pilates Method Alliance (PMA)

“This launch is a big step towards the inevitable inclusion of highly qualified exercise professionals into the healthcare continuum,” said Graham Melstrand, CREP Board of Directors President.

“Recognition of exercise professionals as health providers is a logical progression due to their unique expertise in the areas of disease prevention and wellness promotion. Until now, truly capable professionals have been inhibited by concerns regarding the qualifications of individuals representing themselves as exercise professionals, and the lack of an easily accessible mechanism to identify and verify professionals with current NCCA-accredited certification programs. That barrier is gone, which we expect will help exercise professionals gain the respect and recognition they deserve.”

Similar to us here at REPs UK, USREPs mission across the pond is to secure recognition of registered exercise professionals as health providers, in order to make structured physical activity accessible and safe for all.

What’s even better is that CREP is now a full member and part of the ICREPS family, which allows for more job opportunities available to REPs members, offering international recognition in America.

To find out more about USREPS please visit www.USREPS.org

Top 5 Marathon Preparation Tips from Louise Hazel

It’s only four weeks until the London Marathon, and I’m that sure many of you will have your preparations well underway and will be clocking up the mileage as we speak. By now you may have months and months of preparation under your belt, for what will be another monumental event in 2014, so it is important to maximise this final phase of preparation. Whether you’re a marathon virgin or a seasoned professional looking to add an extra edge to your performance;  here are my top 5 marathon preparation tips to make sure that you make it to the start line in top shape!

trainers

1.      Shoes

You should be wearing footwear that is both lightweight and supportive. The best brands for specialist running shoes are Asics, Mizuno and New Balance. Make sure you get a few weeks of training (or at least 10 miles) in your shoes before race day to “wear them in.” When it comes to socks go for breathable and specialist running socks such as @compresssportUk. Our main aim with footwear is comfort and avoiding blisters.

2.     Race

Around four weeks prior to the marathon you should be aiming to race. Enter yourself for a half marathon, not only will this provide you with a strong mental boost but it will be great for your training too. Aim to run the half marathon slightly quicker than marathon pace.

3.     Speed

You should plan your longest run (up to 26 miles) around four weeks prior to the marathon. Aim to run the first 20 miles easily and with just 6 miles to go try to up your pace. This will teach you how to dig deep when you are feeling fatigued.

4.     Hydrate

Never refuel with water, you should be consuming a sports drink during your training that combines carbohydrates for fuel and electrolytes to replace lost salt through sweating. If you are on a budget, you can make this at home using simple orange squash and a pinch of salt.

water

5.     Taper

Avoid last minute marathon panic of trying to cram in extra mileage prior to race day this will only hinder your performance. The aim is to taper your training in the last few weeks by reducing your mileage so that you feel fresh on the day.

Keep your eyes peeled for my tips on race day preparation and check out my pinterest board http://www.pinterest.com/thepodiumeffect for some delicious gluten-free meal ideas to spice up your training plan and boost your immune system.

REPs launches new website

reps website

As some of you may have already noticed, we have updated the REPs website. The new site offers a more refreshed, modernised look and feel as well as making the time spent on the site more enjoyable.

We caught up with SkillsActive Head of Digital, Doug Burtenshaw, who gave us a little insight on the site update.

In a newly structured team, Doug leads on all things digital at REPs, and you will be sure to see the impact of his role over the coming months.

Why has the REPs website been updated?

Primarily, user Journeys needed to be improved. We needed to make sure that when people visited the site, they could get what they need as quickly as possible.

The new site is a lot more compact, and there is a clearer focus on finding the information quickly.

What can REPs members expect from the new site?

There are now more direct ways of finding the information you want, which is fundamental.

We have also updated the design, meaning the website is now responsive to tablets and mobile devices. The upward trend we are seeing in people accessing the site from these devices is huge, so this was at the core of the re-design.

Following from this trend, we have also ensured the new site has an increased social media presence, making it much easier to interact with REPs across our social media channels.

There has to be substance with this new-found style, too. Through the new website, REPs members will find it much easier to source CPD points and new training.

What about those who aren’t REPs members, what difference will they notice?

The new site will make it much easier for members of the public to find a qualified exercise professional. This is a great service, and means REPs members can showcase their qualifications, and assures the public that their trainer is appropriately qualified.

What more can we expect to see from the digital side of REPs?

There will be a lot more to come from us. With a structured team in place, we are confident we can make some real strides and bring a lot more to the table for a REPs member. Our cards are close to our chest for now, but watch this space as there is definitely more to come.

Visit the new REPs website here: www.exerciseregister.org

REPs outlines stance on parks and exercise

Running-in-Hyde-Park-Lond-007

In light of recent press coverage surrounding trainers using public parks, REPs outlines its stance on the issue.

When enforced responsibly and professionally, we are supportive of local parks and public spaces charging a fee for exercise professionals to use these spaces.

At REPs, our primary concern is to protect the public from rogue trainers. The maintenance of public parks will make for a better space, thus offering the public a better training environment. We appreciate the need to pay a fee in this circumstance, and are ensuring that parks and local councils make their plans clear and go about this in a professional manner.

To hear from members of aggressive behaviour being used as a deterrent is concerning, and REPs stresses the need for parks to carry out their duties in a responsible manner.

REPs encourages members to contact us if they feel these regulations are not being carried out as they should.

While we encourage our members to take advantage of these spaces, we do appreciate that, as with any business venture, there is a cost involved.

REPs is pleased that the issue of the significant difference between a 1:1 session and group exercise has been considered and as a result, pricing has been adjusted accordingly.

While many exercise professionals have acknowledged the need to charge for a group exercise session, a cause for concern has been those delivering 1:1 sessions, where the profit to be made is much lower. REPs is pleased that parks have also acknowledged this, and have created a price structure that is in tune with this.

We encourage members who use parks to pay these fees, just as we encourage parks and local councils to act professionally and appropriately in managing this.

We advise members to check the regulations of parks before use, and not consider this a deterrent, but to acknowledge that these fees will help protect and maintain these spaces, making them sustainable for ongoing use as a high quality exercise space.

REPs Compliance and Standards Manager Rob Wilkie will be available from 10:45 – 12:00 on Friday 28th February to discuss the issue with you across our Facebook and Twitter channels.

REPs Welsh Convention a huge success

Over 80 delegates enjoyed the latest REPs convention

Over 80 delegates enjoyed the latest REPs convention

Taking place at the Sport Wales National Centre yesterday (12th February), the REPs Welsh Convention was a great success, enjoyed by both REPs members and the wider exercise community.

REPs conventions, now running for a number of years, offer a unique opportunity for members to earn CPD points across a range of activities and workshops in what is a day-long event.

On this occasion, sponsored by Nordic Walking UK, Timely and LeisureForce, over 80 delegates enjoyed workshops from SkillsActive endorsed training providers including KBT Education and PTA Global.

John Byers, REPs representative for Wales, managed the event and was delighted with how the convention went.

“Yesterday was certainly one of our most successful conventions to date. We were fortunate to have some leading industry experts leading workshops which were of real value to delegates.

“Having so many professionals at the convention looking to learn, develop their skills and network with likeminded people is real mark of success for REPs, and we look forward to continuing these conventions for our members , and the fitness community, across the country in the future.”

REPs Compliance and Standards Manager, Rob Wilkie, who opened the event with a welcome speech, was equally thrilled with the day.

“Members looking to upskill and commit to CPD is always pleasing. To have over 80 exercise professionals with us in Wales for the event made it a real success, and on a personal level it was enjoyable to be able to meet and speak to so many members; being able to address and any concerns and share plans and thoughts for the future.”

The next REPs Convention will take place in the south-east this summer. Keep checking the REPs website for updates.

Louise Hazel announces plans to come out of retirement for Glasgow 2014

ImageREPs ambassador and international heptathlete Louise Hazel has confirmed that she has come out of retirement in a bid to defend her Commonwealth title later this year.

 

We are delighted by the news that Louise, who won gold in Delhi 2010 , has come out of retirement. Speaking to BBC Sport yesterday she said the lure of competing in Glasgow was too strong to resist.

 

“I’m in better shape than I thought I was in. I’m really excited and I can’t wait to get started,” said Louise.

 

Louise announced her retirement from heptathlon last September, but added she was “not ruling out other sports”.

 

But after a series of tests on Wednesday, involving sprint work, the long jump, shot put and sessions in the gym, she confirmed her return.

 

“I was really pleasantly surprised by my tests. It’s a thumbs-up for Glasgow, if I’m selected,” said Hazel, who will now put together a “plan that involves coaching and sponsorship”.

 

She added: “I also have to chat to Commonwealth Games England to discuss the selection process and to see what hurdles have to be overcome.

 

“I wouldn’t be doing this if I didn’t think I could successfully defend my Commonwealth crown – I’m definitely targeting the podium.”

 

After making her major championship debut for Great Britain at the 2006 European Championships, Hazel finished 14th at the 2009 World Championships in Berlin.

 

Her personal best of 6,166 points, set in Germany in 2011, makes her the seventh best British heptathlete of all time, but she could only finish 27th at London 2012, where Ennis-Hill took goldand another fellow Briton, Katarina Johnson Thompson, was 15th.

 

Whilst there is still a long way to go before Glasgow 2014, which begins on the 23rd July, the REPs family is 100% behind Louise and we wish her the very best of luck.

REPs in the News

Wow 2013 certainly was a busy year for REPs, gaining some great coverage across both national and local press as well as featuring in various magazines. So we thought we would share a few of our highlights with you.

Over the past 12 months, we’ve seen national media approach REPs more often for comment across a range of exercise and health issues.

dailymirror

(Daily circulation of 1million)

DM article

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(Circulation of 1.9million per issue)

TM

 

We also worked with Women’s Health on a fantastic article which discussed how important it is to have an appropriately qualified trainer.  (Monthly circulation of 107,965)

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wh article

MO

REPs Operations Manager, Greg Small also featured in the Mail Online commenting on Miley Cyrus. While we can all agree the topic is perhaps not the most newsworthy, it’s great to be acknowledged as an ‘expert’ when health and fitness is being discussed in mainstream press. Click here to read the article in full. (Daily circulation of over 10million unique browsers)

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As well as our print and online press coverage, we were delighted to feature on BBC Radio 5 Live Radio (audience of 6.12 million listeners) and BBC Breakfast (daily reach of 6.8 million), giving our expert advice on key fitness issues.

 

bbc-radio-5-live-logo                            BBC-Breakfast-logo

We hope 2014 continues to be a prosperous year for the Register!

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