Mission Statement - Fairfield Strength:

To cultivate growth opportunities for children of all ages and abilities, bringing together the learned and the learning, in a spirit of helpfulness and respect, to improve our health and wellness, using fitness and sport as a medium to teach life lessons.

Thursday, November 27, 2008

2008 Physical Activity Guidlines for Americans

The Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans At-A-Glance: A Fact Sheet for Professionals is designed for busy professionals as a quick desk-side reference to the 2008 Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans published by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

These Guidelines are needed because of the importance of physical activity to the health of Americans, whose current inactivity puts them at unnecessary risk. The latest information shows that inactivity among American children, adolescents, and adults remains relatively high, and little progress has been made in increasing levels of physical activity among Americans.
Key Guidelines.

Substantial health benefits are gained by doing physical activity according to the Guidelines presented below for different groups.
Children and Adolescents (aged 6–17)

* Children and adolescents should do 1 hour (60 minutes) or more of physical activity every day.
* Most of the 1 hour or more a day should be either moderate- or vigorous-intensity aerobic physical activity.
* As part of their daily physical activity, children and adolescents should do vigorous-intensity activity on at least 3 days per week. They also should do muscle-strengthening and bone-strengthening activity on at least 3 days per week.

Adults (aged 18–64)

* Adults should do 2 hours and 30 minutes a week of moderate-intensity, or 1 hour and 15 minutes (75 minutes) a week of vigorous-intensity aerobic physical activity, or an equivalent combination of moderate- and vigorous-intensity aerobic physical activity. Aerobic activity should be performed in episodes of at least 10 minutes, preferably spread throughout the week.
* Additional health benefits are provided by increasing to 5 hours (300 minutes) a week of moderate-intensity aerobic physical activity, or 2 hours and 30 minutes a week of vigorous-intensity physical activity, or an equivalent combination of both.
* Adults should also do muscle-strengthening activities that involve all major muscle groups performed on 2 or more days per week.

Older Adults (aged 65 and older)

* Older adults should follow the adult guidelines. If this is not possible due to limiting chronic conditions, older adults should be as physically active as their abilities allow. They should avoid inactivity. Older adults should do exercises that maintain or improve balance if they are at risk of falling.

For all individuals, some activity is better than none. Physical activity is safe for almost everyone, and the health benefits of physical activity far outweigh the risks. People without diagnosed chronic conditions (such as diabetes, heart disease, or osteoarthritis) and who do not have symptoms (e.g., chest pain or pressure, dizziness, or joint pain) do not need to consult with a health care provider about physical activity.
Adults With Disabilities

Follow the adult guidelines. If this is not possible, these persons should be as physically active as their abilities allow. They should avoid inactivity.
Children and Adolescents With Disabilities

Work with the child's health care provider to identify the types and amounts of physical activity appropriate for them. When possible, these children should meet the guidelines for children and adolescents—or as much activity as their condition allows. Children and adolescents should avoid being inactive.
Pregnant and Postpartum Women

Healthy women who are not already doing vigorous-intensity physical activity should get at least 2 hours and 30 minutes (150 minutes) of moderate-intensity aerobic activity a week. Preferably, this activity should be spread throughout the week. Women who regularly engage in vigorous-intensity aerobic activity or high amounts of activity can continue their activity provided that their condition remains unchanged and they talk to their health care provider about their activity level throughout their pregnancy.

Health Benefits of Physical Activity—A Review of the Strength of the Scientific Evidence

Adults and Older Adults
Strong Evidence

* Lower risk of:
o Early death
o Heart disease
o Stroke
o Type 2 diabetes
o High blood pressure
o Adverse blood lipid profile
o Metabolic syndrome
o Colon and breast cancers
* Prevention of weight gain
* Weight loss when combined with diet
* Improved cardio respiratory and muscular fitness
* Prevention of falls
* Reduced depression
* Better cognitive function (older adults)

Moderate to Strong Evidence
Two images of a child and adolescent riding a bike and of two older adults wallking.

* Better functional health (older adults)
* Reduced abdominal obesity

Moderate Evidence

* Weight maintenance after weight loss
* Lower risk of hip fracture
* Increased bone density
* Improved sleep quality
* Lower risk of lung and endometrial cancers

Children and Adolescents
Strong Evidence

* Improved cardiorespiratory endurance and muscular fitness
* Favorable body composition
* Improved bone health
* Improved cardiovascular and metabolic health biomarkers

Moderate Evidence

* Reduced symptoms of anxiety and depression

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Have a wonderful Thanksgiving.

On behalf of Fairfield Strength we wish all of our extended family and friends a safe and wonderful Thanksgiving. In a very crazy world it is the simple things that remind us what is truly important. So eat a little more than you should, laugh a little louder than some would like, and smile really wide, even if you have something stuck in your teeth. We pass this way but once, Enjoy. Captain.

OH NO!!! Jonathan got the video camera.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Congratulations to our new PFT

First we learn, we learn with a teacher's mind, knowing that someday we will share what we have learned. Then we practice, perfect practice, until we own the movement. Then we teach - This photo shows Dan, our newest PFT learning the triceps press. You have come so far, and yet your journey has just begun. Keep up the great work!!!

Fairfield Strength Welcomes A New PFT - Congratulations Dan!!

Dan -

Excellent job on your request for consideration. You have worked really hard in our program and I am very proud of you. Congratulations - on Thursday you start as a peer trainer. You will be on probation for at least 1 session. To complete probation you have to perform 1 pull up, 1 perfect push up, a box pistol on each leg, and perform the Turkish Get Up properly on each side. These physical challenges are in addition to maintaining the high standards of conduct that we expect from our trainers: respect, courtesy, and helpfulness. Keep up the great work.


Dan's request for consideration:

Dear Captain,
This is Dan writing to become a peer fitness trainer.

I have attended 3 sessions of Fairfield Strength so far. I want to become a PFT because I think I could handle the responsibility of teaching others and helping others out. I also have the experience a PFT needs to teach others. I have learned so many workouts and ways to do those workouts correctly. I also learned that working out the wrong way will just make you worse and force a bad habit in your body and you will not be as strong.

Fairfield Strength has had many affects on my life. I have become a faster, stronger, and more agile through this program. These qualities have earned me more playing time in sports, helped me do better in gym, and put me in top physical shape. I hope I can become a peer fitness trainer very soon.

Thank You,

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

First Day of our new session went GREAT!

Special welcome to all of our new students - Keely, Benjamin, Billy, Emma, Logan, Emily. (If I forgot anyone please post a comment - that way I know you are reading this.) Welcome back to everyone else - great work out today. The warm up was great - our box squats and box pistols were very strong. The planks and push ups were also done well - remember perfect practice - if you cannot do a full plank or push up - do half kneeling - the key is to stay tight and maintain a straight line from your sternum to your pubic bone. Congrats and many thanks to Ben and Jack for their demonstration of the Turkish Get Up - almost perfect - excellent work - there is a short video of the TGU on this blog - just scroll back a few entries and review if you need help remembering the steps. I expect you to practice this skill at home. I know that Jack and Ben have been practicing - and today it showed. Great Job!! Finally - pull ups - pull ups define your dedication as an athlete - practice them when ever you can - every time you see a bar you can hang from - grab the bar, adjust your grip, squeeze the bar as tight as you can with a thumb less grip - from a dead hang tense your whole body starting with your feet, then try to drive your elbows into your sides, squeezing the bar as tight as you can. Practice this skill every day and very soon you will own the pull up.

Take care, see you Thursday. Captain

Monday, November 17, 2008

Congratulations to our new PFT


Great job on your request for consideration. Congratulations! You have been accepted as a peer fitness trainer. Your hard work the past 3 sessions have paid off. We are very proud of all you have accomplished.

Keep up the great work.


Will's letter of request:

Dear Captain,

I would like to be a Peer Fitness Trainer. I have taken 3 sessions of Form and Function since last year. I have learned how to use the machines, what cardio is, and how to do farmer walks. SInce I began, I feel that I am in much better shape than when I started. I would like to be a peer trainer because I have gotten really fit from this program and I would like other kids, with my guidance, to become as in shape as I have.

If you accept me for this program I will only talk when I have to and help anyone with a question about the program.


Thursday, November 13, 2008

Session 1 Ends Strong - Pistols, Pushups, and Pullups

We finished our first session today. We have seen amazing improvements in strength and stability. Everyone in both sessions was able to perform the box pistol, or one legged squat. Considering many had difficulty balancing on one leg when we started, this is quite an accomplishment. Our push ups are also getting very strong. As demonstrated today - you don't need to to do a full push up. The half push up can be quite a challenge if we use high tension training technique: pull some air into the lower lobes of your lungs, compress, stay tight and maintain a straight line between our chest and our knees - pull down slow and hard into the push up, stomp your hands at the bottom and zip up (hiss on the way up) The more tension you create the stronger each push up becomes. We have also come a long way with our pull ups. Your grip strength has improved (and I am not sorry about the callouses - wear them with pride, they are a badge of honor) and your pull ups are getting stronger. I am very proud of your progress. Finally - our Turkish Get Up - excellent job today - practice what we have learned at home - GTG - grease the groove - every day - several times a day - frequent, perfect practice, never to failure. Our next session starts on Tuesday. We will have some new people joining us, and a maybe even a few new PFT's. There are a few spots open in our 3-4 and 4-5 classes. If you know someone who is interested have them send an email to the link on this page. Keep up the great work. Captain.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Go for a run!

When our program is closed use this time to take a long walk, jog, or practice your 1.5 mile run. Another excellent option is called trail running. Instead of running on the track or road try running "off road." Fairfield has many open space areas that offer excellent trail running options. If you are looking for a real challenge try running on the beach - this time of year is perfect for a beach run. Vary your stride, your speed, and the type of sand you are running in to increase the challenge of your work out. The hard sand near the water is easier to run on, the soft sand above the high tide line is more difficult.

Track, road, trail or beach - go for a run and enjoy this day.

Some resources available - The Fairfield Fitness Council created this wonderful guide to walking which includes a suggested walking route - find additional information at: http://www.fairfieldct.org/fitnesscouncil-walk.pdf

A listing of Fairfield Open Space areas can be found at the Town of Fairfield Web site at: http://www.fairfieldct.org/openspace.htm

Program Closed on Veteran's Day

Reminder - When school is closed we are closed.

Monday, November 3, 2008

Program Closed on Election Day

Fairfield Strength - Form and Function is closed on Tuesday due to Elections. Your homework is to practice your box squats, box pistols (one legged box squats - start with 2 legs down and one up, work to one leg up and down), perfect push ups (incline, bent knee, or full - but with perfect form) AND the Turkish get up - (TGU) Practice each technique every day - grease the groove - perfect practice, several times a day, never to failure. And make sure to remind your parents to vote!!!