Tuesday, August 18, 2009

The Wide World of Fitness

I just recently returned from the IDEA World Fitness Convention, this year held in Anaheim. I have been to this conference in the capacity of presenter or attendee since 1985 and have been fortunate to witness the global evolution of fitness first hand. What first began as a convention featuring primarily high-impact aerobics has now become a yearly destination for instructors, personal trainers, business owners, managers, equipment suppliers who specialize in multiple formats/systems, using unlimited equipment or none at all. Over 4000 of us come together from all corners of the globe with the same purpose in mind, to be inspired, to learn what’s new and to witness the exciting ever-changing industry of fitness and wellness. Here’s a sample of some of the movement based classes on the schedule this year: “Beach Olympics”, “Hot Hula”, “Partner Tubing”, “Drums, Dance and Rhythm”, “Fuego!”, “Three Canadians and a Step”, “Indo-Row”, “Kranking®”, “Boot Camp Boogie”, “Beam-lates™”, “Aqua Zumba®”…this is only a sample of the 300+ sessions. This year marked the 20th anniversary of The Step with a celebration workout sponsored by Reebok. Hard to believe we have been stepping this long. Does anyone remember the hand-made wooden boxes we started with at Queen Anne (8”, 10”, 12” high) which we eventually sold as plantar boxes when we were finally able to get the real thing?? ProRobics has been a creative, expressive and enthusiastic part of this fitness revolution right from the beginning!

Along with all the workouts there were informational sessions and lectures that ran the spectrum from A to Z covering new information about: Aging and Exercise, Youth Fitness, Stress and Wellness and multiple sessions on Gym Programming, Personal Training, Club Management, Lifestyle Coaching, Pregnancy/Menopause Issues, and Post Op Care. You name it and it was there. The biggest problem at these conferences is deciding which of the 40 sessions offered in each time block you want to attend. You are on the run from 7am to 6:30pm. These are exhausting days filled with workouts and lectures but even more enjoyable is the time spent with old and new friends worldwide.
One of the events not to miss is the Welcome Celebration for all attendees. It’s a dance-off, food fest and cocktail party. There is no dance party like the kind a couple thousand fitness instructors/trainers create with a hot LA DJ. It’s a showcase of vibrant, movement-addicted type A personalities—all want to lead, be heard and be noticed. It’s hilarious and oh so fun.

Just so you know this event isn’t only for those in the business. Fitness fans from all over come and spend four days overdosing on workouts with some of the best instructors and speakers in the world. So next summer let me know if this is something you would like to do and I will make sure you get the info. Many of your favorite instructors here at the gym attend as often as they can. It’s an amazing celebration and reminder of what a great gift the BODY is to all of us!


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