Fitness Blog

5 Healthy Thanksgiving Dinner Ideas

 Sports Nutrition Certification

Creating a healthy Thanksgiving feast doesn’t have to add stress to the already bustling holiday. There are things that you can do to make your Thanksgiving table healthier without having to sacrifice taste. If you ask a fitness expert if they eat Thanksgiving dinner with their families, they will tell you how they indulge in their favorite holiday foods and secrets to how they keep it healthy. 

Athletic women and men alike want to keep holiday meals as healthy as they can. They’ve worked hard all year long and may have even worked with a certified diet coach to make the progress they have along their wellness journey. They do not want to give up or sacrifice those results over a Thanksgiving dinner and then have to spend months ahead trying to get back on track. Here are some ideas that you can use to keep your Thanksgiving meal healthy:

1. Add extra nutrients to your regular foods to increase the nutritional content. You can add chia seeds to your salads and breads to increase the nutritional value. Chia seeds benefits include Omega-3 fatty acids, antioxidants, and a reduction in body inflammation. Chia seeds are rich in protein, fiber, and can help you feel full and aid with weight loss. 

2. Bake or roast your turkey instead of frying it. Baking or roasting the turkey helps to cut back on calories. Eating less fried foods also increases personal wellness and overall health.

3. Add colorful vegetables to your table spread. Dietician classes boast the health benefits of vegetables. Use this holiday season to experiment with new vegetables and go for color! Replace your iceberg lettuce with spinach or kale. Add fresh vegetables and hummus dip or another vegetable dip to your table to snack on instead of sweets. 

4. Go fresh! Fresh vegetables and fruits have higher nutritional content than canned. Use fresh green beans and fresh cranberries instead of canned. Use fresh sweet potatoes instead of canned yams. Using fresh vegetables tastes better, looks more visually appealing on your Thanksgiving table, and boosts the nutritional value of your meal.

5. Add healthier dessert options. Nobody likes to skip desserts on Thanksgiving. Serve a pumpkin pie or sweet potato pie instead of a meringue or sugary pie. Pumpkin has less calories and fat and provides fiber and other vitamins for health benefits. Serve fresh berries with a yogurt topping and fresh nuts. This combination provides antioxidants and protein and is naturally sweet without the guilt. 

Making your Thanksgiving dinner healthier is easier than you think. Contact a dietary consultant for additional ways to make your holiday meals more nutritious. They can also help you if you have specific dietary needs or food allergies and need more creative ideas for making your holiday meals healthier.

Click the link below to learn more about becoming a certified Sports Nutritionist!    24/7 convenience, pay only if you pass!  

Sports Nutrition Certification


ASFA Product Highlight: Advanced Personal Trainer Certification

Advanced Personal Trainer Certification

ASFA’s Advanced Personal Trainer Certification provides a key opportunity for the experienced fitness professional to build on his/her existing knowledge.  This certification is a broad-based qualification that helps highlight a trainer's advanced expertise is the field of personal training.  An Advanced Personal Trainer qualification shows that you have the dedication it takes to push your ability to the next level by specializing your continuing education.

Earning an Advanced Personal Trainer Certification online is a great choice for personal trainers looking for a more in-depth understanding and mastery beyond the basics. Taking the step up from basic personal training not only shows that you possess a superior grasp of training concepts, but also shows your clients that you have a vested interest in providing them with a higher level of service.

An Advanced Personal Training Certification from ASFA® can help the experienced fitness professional expand their career through:
- Demonstrating commitment to training excellence through advanced continuing education.
- Obtaining broad-based expertise that appeals to a wide variety of client demographics.
- Enhanced understanding of essential components for a successful workout regimen including biomechanics, kinesiology, cardiorespiratory fitness and more.
- Increased knowledge of training philosophies and methods.

Click the link below to learn more about ASFA's Advanced Personal Training Certification today and take your career to the next level!
Advanced Personal Trainer Certification

Sports Nutrition – Stay Fit for the Holidays

Sports Nutrition Certification

Proper sports nutrition allows you to stay fit during the busy holiday months. Nutrition consulting is in high demand when the holiday season approaches. Individuals who do well with their nutrition for wellness seek out consulting to maintain their success throughout the year, even when holiday treats are more accessible. Others want to consult over their nutrition so they can start their new year off right with healthy choices for a healthier lifestyle.

Sports nutritionists deal with nutrition that is specific to athletes and other active individuals. Active lifestyles have higher nutritional demands. Working with a sports nutrition coach can help ensure that you are calculating your macros right for the physical demands that you have for your individual sport. They can also help you make adjustments so that you stay on track during the hustle and bustle of the holiday months and continue to make progress toward your personal fitness goals. You have worked hard all year long to get where you currently are. Don’t give up your efforts for holiday treats!

Practicing moderation can help you enjoy your favorite holiday foods and still stay on top of your sports nutrition. Proper sports nutrition can help prevent you from over-eating or over-indulging in sugary and fatty foods. When you have the right amount of protein, carbohydrates, and fats ratio, you will not be chronically hungry all of the time, making it easier to resist foods that are not approved by your sports nutrition plan. When trays of sweets and holiday candies come out, if your body is properly fueled, you won’t want to indulge and won’t feel like you are missing out. 

Proper sports nutrition also makes you feel more energetic and leads toward a more positive attitude and outlook. Stress is usually higher in the general population during holiday months. Proper nutrition combined with an active lifestyle can help reduce stress and can help you manage stress better. Find a sports nutrition expert or personal trainer in your area and learn about how proper fitness and nutrition can help you stay on track during the upcoming holiday months.

If you would like to learn more about becoming a sports nutritionist, just click the link below! Pay only if you pass, 24/7 online convenience!

Sports Nutrition Certification

Hiking Shoes vs. Hiking Boots

Personal Trainer Certification

Becoming a wellness coach makes you the go-to person for individuals wanting information about all topics surrounding fitness and health. When you complete your coach certification, you’ll have the knowledge to not only share but also ideas to help people get fit, especially the clients who don’t necessary enjoy working out. Recommending a hike outdoors is a great activity to encourage health improvement for both physical and mental benefits. 

Having the right gear can make your hike a better experience. Many hiking enthusiasts often talk about the differences between hiking shoes and hiking boots. Both are designed for good traction on uneven surfaces and both should have a rock plate on the bottom to protect your feet from sharp rocks and tree limbs underfoot. The shoes become different depending on what you want to get out of it and your hike.  Let’s break it down into functionality and style of training. 

Hiking shoes are lighter in weight than hiking boots. They are less bulky. They are meant for power hiking and even some trail running. They were designed to move at faster paces along a variety of surfaces such as trail, mud, and slippery or loose rocks. They generally do not lace up higher than your ankles.  They are made to get on and off fairly easily and quickly. The multi-directional lugs on the bottom are not very aggressive in terms of profile. If your outdoor event is exposed to a lot of rocks or sand, you can wear gaiters on top of your hiking shoes to keep debris out of your shoes and socks. 

Hiking boots are much heavier and are often thicker soled and made from heavier fabrics such as leather and vinyl. You will need to wear heavier socks with them for comfort and feel. Hiking boots lace up higher than hiking shoes and trail running shoes to better protect the legs from brushing up against the outdoor elements. The higher lacing also stabilizes the ankle better, lessening your chances of twisting an ankle while maneuvering over tough terrain. The multi-directional lugs on the bottom are more aggressive for really good traction in poor conditions. You do not need to wear gaiters with hiking boots since they lace up higher on their own. Many hiking boots have built in gaiters to prevent pebbles and dirt from getting into the shoes. Hiking boots are not designed for speed. They are made for protection against environmental factors. Athletes who train for endurance events will most likely benefit from a hiking shoe that is lighter weight and provides the greatest mobility of the foot and ankle. 

Get out there and enjoy the mild, fall temperatures and colors. To learn more about becoming a certified Personal Trainer, just click the link below!

Personal Trainer Certification

Learn Pilates Exercises Online

Pilates Certification

Modern conveniences, such as internet access, have made physical training education easy to do online. Pilates certification programs are one of the trainer courses which can be completed online. Online certifications make it easy for trainers to continue their education when it is convenient for them to do so. You can work at your own pace when you have extra time. Online certifications are also a great option for busy individuals who want to make a career change and need to complete their studies during non-business hours. 

Pilates accreditation can be done online. The videos that are part of study guides are a great resource for learning Pilates exercises online. Pilates increase strength, flexibility, balance, and provide a great all-over toning workout. Pilates exercises can be done with props or without. They can also be performed on a mat or on a fitness machine. Whichever style you choose to do, online options provide a wealth of guidance and education.

Popular fitness trainers go online and use social media as their platform for promoting fitness and personal training services. Pilates certifications can be acquired online from the very beginning of your career in health and fitness. There are many sites that are dedicated to the study of Pilates. These sites can connect you to the larger community of individuals who also perform Pilates. Online support can keep you connected and can help provide encouragement and motivation. If you need information about a specific exercise, your online community would be a great place to start. If you want information on Pilates props, your online community would be able to share an unbiased opinion and likes or dislikes of specific props or equipment.

Online fitness can help strengthen your fitness community by bringing people together who share the same interests and fitness goals. In a traditional class setting, people are often rushed to leave due to other commitments or are sometimes too busy to attend classes. It can become difficult to make connections outside the internet due to time restraints and over commitments. 

If you are new to Pilates, look online for beginner classes that emphasize the core. These strengthening moves will help you focus on those different muscles that are normally missed with other sports and it will help you be successful with the more advanced moves later on. Consistency is the key to success with Pilates. When you are consistent with your training, you will be able to celebrate the successes and achievements of your online Pilates routines.   

Interested in becoming a certified Pilates Instructor? Just click the link below to get started today, pay only if you pass!

Pilates Certification


HIIT Training – Making The Most Of Your Workouts

HIIT Certification

HIIT training, or High-Intensity Interval Training, can help you take your workouts to the next level. HIIT training works by doing short-timed intervals of high-intensity cardio workouts, followed by shorter timed intervals of strength training. Getting your heart rate up multiple times, as opposed to just once and holding it, allows the body to burn more calories than regular cardio based workouts and helps to increase fitness and endurance faster.

HIIT training classes are popular for trainers who want to start a training business. The classes are fast- paced and fun. The trainer gets to be creative with exercise choices and the flow of class to keep clients challenged and to prevent boredom and burnout. Clients love that no two classes are ever exactly the same. If the trainer is focusing on something specific like the gluteus medius, there will be a variety of exercises to target that area so the muscle will be worked in every way. If you have an injury or are prone to injury, your group fitness trainer is skilled to show you modifications which can be incorporated into your workouts so that you can safely work that same muscle group differently, yet effectively.  

HIIT training classes can be done anywhere making them extremely versatile. You don’t need to rent a gym or fitness space from a trendy fitness studio. Many of the HIIT classes are now taking place outside allowing clients to enjoy the great outdoors along with a great workout. For individuals who dislike going to a gym or being stuck on a treadmill, outdoor HIIT training classes provide the perfect solution.  

Another benefit to HIIT training classes is you do not need a lot of equipment to get in your workout. For the high-intensity cardio segment, you can do jumping jacks or sprint a very short distance and back. For the strength training segment, you can use your own body weight for resistance training. Exercises such as plank holds, lunges, squats, and donkey calf raises can be done without the use of equipment. If you wanted to add something extra to make the resistance training more challenging, you can add exercise bands, small dumbbells, resistance bands, or a body bar for added weight resistance.  

HIIT training can help you take your workouts to the next level and can help improve cardiovascular health and improve overall fitness. HIIT training burns the maximum number of calories when compared to other group exercise classes and can help you reach your personal fitness goals faster.  

To learn more about becoming a HIIT Instructor, just click the link below!

HIIT Certification



5 Healthy Holiday Snack Ideas

Sports Nutrition Certification

Eating healthy can sometimes be challenging during the busy holiday season. You don’t have to become a fitness or wellness coach to know that eating healthy provides you with benefits not only during the busy holidays, but all year long too. Here are some healthy ideas to incorporate into your holiday snacks to make them healthier and to add more nutritional benefits:

1. Enjoy the seasonal produce. Fall and winter provide a new harvest of colorful fruits and vegetables to enjoy. Take advantage of the season’s harvest to enjoy fresh produce. Add a handful of fresh cranberries to your pancake and muffin batters or add them to your smoothie. Cranberries also mix in well with cereal and homemade jams. 

2. Pumpkin is in abundance during the holidays! Pumpkin is full of benefits including fiber and antioxidants. You can mix pumpkin with a little cream cheese to make a creamy spread and dip for raw veggies, apples, or crackers. 

3. Nuts are another healthy way to snack and enjoy the season. Articles on health and wellness boast eating nuts on a regular basis for their high fiber and protein content. Diets which are high in fiber can help reduce your risk of heart disease and can help lower cholesterol levels as well. Certified weight loss coaches encourage healthy snacks such as nuts as part of a healthy lifestyle. Nuts can be snacked on by themselves or added to other foods such as cereals and oatmeal to help increase the nutritional value of those meals. 

4. Make your own chips! If you are a chip lover, you can make your own healthy version of chips. Take a sweet potato and slice it very thin. Place on a roasting pan and drizzle lightly with olive oil and sprinkle with sea salt if desired. Roast at 400 degrees for thirty minutes for a crispy and tasty chip! You can do this with all different types of potatoes for variance in texture and color. 

5. Use hummus as a dip! Dip your veggies or pita chips into hummus for a healthy treat. Hummus is made up of mashed chickpeas and olive oil. Hummus and chickpeas offer a good source of fiber in addition to other nutrients including folate, potassium, iron, and magnesium. 

Incorporating healthy snacks into your diet during the busy holiday season doesn’t need to be stressful or difficult. Simple changes or modifications can be made to help you reach or maintain your wellness goals. The benefits of healthy living are seen in both diet and fitness for a healthier version of you!

Ready to take your fitness career to the next level? Check out ASFA's Sports Nutrition Certification by clicking the link below! Pay only if you pass!

Sports Nutrition Certification

Hiking Shoes vs. Trail Running Shoes

Running Coach Certification

Exploring a new trail can be part of a fun family fitness plan for individuals who enjoy being outdoors. Fitness doesn’t have to be limited to a gym or health club. Taking your workouts outside can be invigorating for those looking for a change in routine to prevent burn-out and boredom. Having the right kind of footwear can help you enjoy the trails more comfortably.

Hiking shoes are generally made of thicker fabrics such as leather to help protect the foot from debris. The bottoms are thicker than regular shoes and have multi-directional lugs to help aid in traction on a variety of surfaces. Hiking shoes often come up higher on the foot than traditional shoes to help protect the ankles from getting scratched from thorny vines and tree roots. The hiking shoe generally has a waterproofing coating on the fabric to help keep your feet dry during muddy and rainy hikes. The shoe itself weighs more than a regular shoe and due to all of the extra protection it provides. Hiking shoes are made to walk in and to move at a slower pace but supportive enough to be comfortable on your feet for the day. 

Trail running shoes are similar to the hiking shoe but are made for speed!  The shoe is much lighter and similar to the weight of a regular fitness shoe. The bottom of the shoe has multi-directional lugs but usually less aggressive lugs than the hiking shoe or boot. The support can vary depending on your personal preferences. You can wear a minimalist trail running shoe which has minimal support or a full cushion trail running shoe for maximum support and comfort.

Most trail running shoes have a rock plate on the bottom in the forefoot region to protect your foot from sharp rocks and tree roots as you are running. The fabrics are often much thinner and similar to a traditional running shoe.  Many are coated with environmental protective treated fabrics to make them repel mud and water. Trail running shoes have a lower profile, like a regular running shoe, and normally fit below the ankle. Trail runners who need extra protection from the elements can attach gaiters to their shoes for added protection against dirt, rocks, sand, and other debris. 

One of the famous exercise quotes about taking the road less traveled is appreciated by hikers and trail runners alike. Both have mastered the fat burning secrets of the trail, using more muscles on uneven surfaces and burning more calories than their road running friends. If you want to try trail running and are looking for a trail recommendation near you, contact fitness associates in your region or connect with local trail running groups mentioned in fitness articles from your area. Hiking and trail running can be enjoyed by all ages and all fitness levels.

If you are interested in taking the next step in your fitness career today, just click the link below and learn what it takes to become a running fitness coach!

Running Coach Certification


Interval Training For Speed

Sport Specific Training Certification

Incorporating interval training into your workouts can help increase speed for athletes and endurance sports. Fitness trainers and coaches will both use interval training to keep personal training clients challenged and competitive for their individual sports. Knowledge of interval training for speed can help personal trainers and sport specific coaches provide more services and in turn get more fitness clients. There is also personal trainers software that can help coaches and trainers with interval training programs when building fitness schedules and routines for clients.

Interval training for speed includes a short-timed sprint or high-intensity exercise followed by a longer-timed recovery period. For runners, this could mean a fast sprint for one minute followed by two minutes of easy jogging or power walking. Players of soccer, football, basketball, and baseball can all benefit from these types of interval training for speed. Interval training for speed can help them not only get faster, but also can help improve their agility, stamina, and endurance.  

Interval training for speed is important to look at for personal training business ideas, especially for trainers who work with athletes and/or coach other athletes. Speed training needs to be monitored by your sports trainer or personal fitness trainer. Doing too much too soon or not having enough rest time between workouts can significantly increase your chances of getting a sports related injury. Sometimes the problem is an increase of speed or mileage too quickly. That problem is common for newer runners or athletes who feel great and want to push harder.  Speed and distance need to be respected. Bad form could also be a culprit for sports related injuries during interval training for speed. Having a personal trainer or sports specific coach watch your form can be helpful. They can make sure you are performing the movements and exercises safely and correctly. Being mindful of form and following a training schedule, even if you feel like doing more, can help you get stronger, faster and keep you injury free.  

Maybe it is time to boost your fitness resume and start specializing in ASFA's Sport Specific Trainer certification or become a High-Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) Instructor or Speed and Agility Trainer! Click the link below to get started today! 24/7 online convenience, pay only if you pass!

ASFA Personal Trainer & Fitness Certifications

How To Start Your Fitness Story

Personal Trainer Certification 

This Veterans Day, American Sports & Fitness Association salutes and thanks
the more than 18 million U.S. veterans for their service.

Starting your fitness story can be varied from trainer to trainer. It is a reflection of your personal experiences that have shaped where you are today with fitness and health. For those personal trainers that share an interest on how to start your own fitness business, your story becomes more important as you retell it with hopes to inspire and motivate others to get healthy and fit.  

Sharing your fitness story can be challenging at times when you are trying to group ideas together more fluidly. A fitness industry marketing planner can help you create your fitness story so that it can be more easily shared. Reaching out to others with your story can help bring hope to those who struggle with their own motivation and health.  

Many individuals have a specific moment in time when they realized they must make a positive change in order for goals to be met. These specific moments are the start of your personal fitness story.  That specific moment is different for each individual person. For some people who have used fitness to lose weight, it may have been a realization of the link between obesity and fast food. That person might be diligent on how to teach the nutrition facts panel so others can learn and be inspired from those changes. Helping others to understand the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) requirements for food labels can help individuals make healthy food choices or better choices in comparison to what their current diet looks like. Another individual may have had a senior-aged parent or family member whose health declined quickly from an illness or condition that may have been able to be managed using fitness. That person would be passionate about baby boomers business in health and fitness. Functional training exercises are perfect for seniors to do to help increase stability and lower the risk of falls.  

Every individual has a fitness story to share and all are inspiring as the general community strives to make positive changes for greater personal health and fitness. Knowing that everyone starts somewhere brings comfort to those who are first starting their personal fitness journey.  

Ready to share your fitness story as a Functional Fitness Trainer, Senior Fitness Instructor or Sports Nutritionist? Click the link below to learn more about all the certifications ASFA has to offer! 24/7 online convenience, pay only if you pass!

Personal Trainer & Fitness Certifications

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