Soy Milk

Congratulations on your valiant fight against breast cancer! I would like to recommend that you first talk with your oncologist and primary care physician and ask their advice on your eating plan.

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Sports Supplements The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly! Part 3

Based on the current research, it would seem that DHEA should be approached with caution. It is too early to tell the real benefits and dangers of using DHEA. In the future, we may have more information on which to make an informed decision. However, those wishing to take DHEA should have their own DHEA levels checked before taking this supplement. In addition, this supplement should only be utilized by those over 50 years of age.

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Sports Supplements The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly! Part 2

Chromium was popularized after studies revealed that exercise increased chromium loss, which raised the idea that many athletes may be chromium deficient. The theory is that chromium enhances the action of insulin, especially in relation to protein, fat and carbohydrate metabolism. However, promoters (manufacturers) of chromium supplements claim that it reduces body fat, increases muscle tone and increases energy. Although some early studies seemed to indicate that chromium helped subjects reduce body fat and increase lean body tissue (muscle), recent studies refute these claims.

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Sports Supplements The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly! Part 1

In the old days, to succeed at sports and athletic endeavors all you needed to do was train hard and eat heartily. Athletes involved in sports such as football, basketball, and weightlifting are prime examples of this kind of thinking.

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Points to Remember

The next issue is that exercise must become a routine in your life. It must be like brushing your teeth or ironing your clothes; it is not your most favorite thing to do, but it is part of your lifestyle. Do you see this strategy? Most people do not decide daily if they are going to brush their teeth or not. They just do it, because at some point in their life they made the choice that they need to brush their teeth daily, and now they do. No criteria to meet, no mental struggle, they just do it with no questions asked. This is the key to changing your lifestyle; make exercise a daily routine, no different than taking a bath.

Step Five
The last issue in starting and maintaining an exercise program is boredom. You need variety. It is ok to change exercises, routines, health clubs, etc. Try the treadmill, swim laps, do an aerobics class, anything that keeps you from feeling bored or tired of the routine. Remember, the ONLY thing that needs to be routine is exercising your body. How you do that is up to you and your creativity.

To recap, here are some points to remember when making exercise a permanent part of your lifestyle:

Believe that regular exercise is required to have a long and health life.
Understand that it is going to be mentally difficult or challenging for the first few months, but it will get easier.
Do not set up criteria that need to be met in order for you to work out.
Make the choice (only once) that you are committed to exercising, and just do it!
Make exercise a part of your normal routine.
Do not give exercise more thought than brushing your teeth, taking a shower, etc.
Change your routine frequently to prevent boredom.

You can play the odds and pretend that nothing will happen to you as a result of inactivity. But, chances are you’ll lose!

If you don’t believe this, just look again at the millions of people above who played the odds and lost. Feel lucky? If not, follow these steps and make a commitment to exercise. Remember, you are the only person responsible for your health. So make the choice to live a happier and healthier life. Don’t make me have to tell you, “I told you so!”

Traumatic Knee Injury, Part 2

Damage to the meniscus can be caused by sudden rotations of the knee joint while the foot remains stationary. Pain occurs when attempting to straighten the knee. Swelling and inflammation can ensue, which may be worsened if the joint was previously damaged and not allowed to heal properly.

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Traumatic Knee Injury, Part 1

A study in the Annals of Internal Medicine indicates that by age 65, traumatic injury to the hip or knee joint sustained during childhood resulted in a higher incidence of osteoarthritis (about 14 percent) when compared to children who did not suffer hip or knee injury (six percent).

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Quadriceps Stretches

Prone One Leg Quadricep Stretches: Lay belly down (prone) on a pad on the ground. Grasp the left foot at the instep or front of the toes with the hand of the same side. Put the knee of the left leg next to the knee of the right leg. Pull on the foot to bend the left knee. Maintain this position for 20 seconds, then switch legs and repeat. Do each leg at least twice.

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Stumbling Blocks

For waste elimination to work properly, club operations have to be carefully scrutinized. The risk with budgeting is that it becomes an insular affair, with managers locking themselves in their offices to progressively tweak columns of figures until the chief accountant gives an all clear.

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What Influences Price Setting?

Setting prices in your facility, from pro shop goods to personal training services, requires an understanding of the price floor and price ceiling. Based on your costs and desired profit, the price floor is the price below which you cannot sell and still make a profit. The price ceiling is set by the market and determines the maximum price at which the product/service will sell.

Both internal and external factors affect your price floors and ceilings. Understanding where to gather this information can target your pricing and eliminate random shots in the dark.

The most important internal sources you have are your members — those who purchase your goods and services. Encourage not only your managers, but also your front-line staff, such as personal trainers, massage therapists and front desk clerks, to solicit feedback about pricing.

Train your staff to ask members why they purchase the product/service — what motivates them? Do they patronize the pro shop or restaurant out of convenience, or do they prefer the quality and/or service there? Why do they use your facility’s nail technicians or laundry service?

Also ask how much they value the product/service. Is it seen as an absolute necessity, or as an occasional luxury? How do your members feel about the worth of the product/service? Do they feel as though they are paying a reasonable price? Would they prefer volume discounts or packages?

Other sources of internal information are overall company developments, such as shifts in strategic goals or financial targets. Introduction of new products/services also will affect overall pricing. Past financial records for your facility, including sales reports, will give you a history of pricing and average actual selling prices.

External factors, such as your competition, economic fluctuations and consumer behavior, also greatly influence pricing. The better you understand your competitors, the more strategically you can position your facility. Although market research can be costly, the information you learn is worth the cost. You can even do an informal market research by sending “spies” to your competitors to gather facts.

Discover whether competitors are developing new products/services or programs, or if they are changing existing packages or special deals. For instance, if other clubs in the area have begun to offer spinning classes for free, you’ll have difficulty charging your members for these classes. If every nearby facility offers free parking, attracting new members or retaining old ones will be challenging if you charge for valet parking.

Finally, determine if your competition is expanding into new markets that you do not serve. Are local clubs offering senior’s or children’s programming and thereby attracting more families or making better use of traditionally slower periods? Are other facilities providing special services like physical therapy or nutritional counseling to serve as more of a wellness resource? Those with a wide array of goods/services that appeal to different markets usually can be supported by higher prices.

In addition to watching your competitors, you must consider the economic climate to help predict consumer spending behavior. Naturally, a recession will cause lower overall spending, particularly on items that consumers deem special treats or nonessentials. Soliciting economic data on past trends and comparing these to your sales can provide information for forecasting future purchasing patterns.

Also, use your accountant and consult business publications to predict the future economic climate. This will help you more accurately project sales.

Again, the more information you learn about the economy and its influence on consumer behavior, the more likely it is you’ll stay competitive.

Pricing can be intimidating for some accounting-challenged fitness center managers. But with research and careful study, setting prices correctly can become an effective method to boost your bottom line.