Add Dancing To Your Fitness Routine To Stay In Shape

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Periodically we allow FitSW users to submit guest blog posts.  Today’s guest blog post is by Wendy D who discusses adding dancing to a fitness routine:

Fitness Routine Coach Dance Dancing
Photo credit: Michael Zittel

We all want to be fit and healthy. We may not get it right 100% of the time, but we watch what we eat. It’s not too hard to drink plenty of water, and we get our rest. But there is one area that holds us back, and that is exercise. Exercise is a very important part of your fitness routine. But it is hard to fit something into your busy schedule that you really don’t want to do.

When we are inactive, our muscles suffer. You can be small in size, and still be unfit, if your muscles are underdeveloped. Your bones will respond to the demands you put on it. But, if you do not exercise enough, your bones weaken. With age, they grow brittle and osteoarthritis can set in. This is painful and life-altering.

Reasons people avoid exercise

Some people love to exercise. You see runners in the parks, people playing tennis, basketball, and jogging. Others easily find a reason not to do so. For them, exercising is time consuming, boring, difficult to learn and get used to or they just say that it costs too much money for the items you need.

Let’s look at these reasons, realistically.

It’s time consuming – According to the Mayo Clinic, you only need to exercise 30 minutes per day to maintain your fitness level, and a little more if you want to lose a few pounds. Truthfully, how many of us have waited 30 minutes for our specialty drink at Starbucks?

It’s boring – If the exercise you have chosen is boring, it is not your thing. Keep looking, find an exercise you enjoy, and add that to your fitness routine. (We will talk more about this later.)

It’s difficult to learn – While some things are harder to learn than others, nothing that you really want to learn is too difficult.  Again, if you do not enjoy the exercise enough to work for it, it is just not what you are looking for.

It cost too much money – It is rare to find any activity that does not cost something. You have to weigh the pros and the cons.  

Fitness Routine Action Adult Dance Dancer
Photo credit: https://www.pexels.com/photo/action-adult-dance-dancer-270837/

Dance in your Fitness Routine

You may have never danced, but that is okay. Most people who join a dance class have not. There are many forms of dance, so you are sure to find one that you like.  Dance class is usually once per week, so it is not too time consuming and can fit nicely into a fitness routine. But the best thing, is you can turn on your favorite CD and dance your heart out at home.

Expenses

The expense you will incur will be very reasonable. You might need a leotard or tights. If you are learning hip-hop the instructor will tell you. There is a fee for joining the class, and there is one item that is a must for every dancer. You must wear the right shoes.

Hip-hop (and other dancers) dance in sneakers. If you decide to take up dancing, Just for Kix has high quality sneakers for dance  More formal dancers wear ballet shoes. Footwear is important, for two reasons:

  • A dancers shoe may look like something you see at the local department store, but they are not. Shoes can help protect you from injury. They fit differently, and they are secure. Imagine the pain you would feel if you did a spin and jump, and your shoes were stuck to the floor. Your body is in motion and when the shoe moves, it is not going to be in the correct position. This could cause injury.
  • The second reason is that street shoes can damage the dance floor. You may not see the tiny scratches and surface damage your shoes are causing but sometime someone can hit those spots and could get hurt. 

Take some friends and go check out a local dance facility. Dance is one of the most effective and productive exercise you will ever find.

Organizing Workouts and Diets iOS App Sorting

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Organizing Workouts and Diets iOS App Sorting

Our latest iOS app helps Personal Trainers and their clients with organizing workouts and diets by allowing them to sort their workout (or diet) list.  Users can sort lists by Date Ascending, Date Descending, Name A to Z, or Name Z to A.  This makes it very easy for personal trainer and their clients to find whatever workout they are looking for.  To make it easier to stay organized, the iOS app remembers the last setting so that if a trainer likes their workouts, diets or tasks listed a certain way they can keep it that way.

Organizing Workouts Diets Tasks iOS App Sorting View
Trainers and clients can sort their workouts, diets, and tasks to make it easier to find specific events.

Changing the Sort Order of Workouts, Diets and Tasks

To change the sort order of events, users can tap on the “Sort by …” button highlighted in red above.  This will bring up a menu for users to select the particular type of sorting they would prefer.   Personal trainers and clients can choose Sort by Date Descending, Sort by Date Ascending, Sort by Name A-Z, or sort by Name Z-A.  The app will save the selection a user chooses for the next time they pull up that same screen.

Workouts, Diets, and Tasks all have this feature making organizing workouts and diets and tasks easy.  The settings for each event type is saved independently.   So a user could sort Workouts by Ascending Date, Diets by Name A-Z, and Tasks by Descending Date.   The system would save the settings for each screen separately.

Organizing Workouts and Diets iOS App Sorting Selected
Choose from four different ways to sort Workouts, Tasks and Diets. Sort by Date Descending, Date Ascending, Name A-Z, Name Z-A.

This same sorting feature is already available on the web application at FitSW.com and is coming this month to our Android app.

 

PAR-Q iOS App – Physical Activity Readiness Questionnaire

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PAR-Q iOS App – Physical Activity Readiness Questionnaire

Today, we added the ability for both personal trainers and clients to fill-out and store PAR-Q’s in the FitSW iOS App.  This PAR-Q iOS App feature is extremely easy to use on phones or tablets and lets trainer’s collect the necessary information to determine their clients physical activity readiness.  Previously, personal trainers and their clients have been able to Fill Out, Print, or Save a PAR-Q form here. We also let personal trainers that have a free account also store their clients PAR-Q’s online.  Trainers can then access this information from anywhere from their phone or computer. More details on how to use the web version are here. Now, we have also added this ability to our iOS app.  If you are interested in the Android App PAR-Q, see here. 

Accessing the PAR-Q Feature in the iOS App

To access the PAR-Q feature, make sure you have the latest version of the iOS app.  Then click the More tab button at the bottom.  You will see the PAR-Q in the menu list.

PAR-Q iOS App How to access physical activity readiness questionnaire.
Access the PARQ iOS App feature through the More menu.

If you are a trainer, the FitSW iOS App will show a list of clients whose PAR-Q’s you can view.  Choose a client and the iOS app will take you to their PARQ.  If you are a client, the app will take you directly to your own PARQ.

Viewing and Updating Your PAR-Q Form

Once in the PAR-Q screen you will see something similar to the following:

PAR-Q iOS App Viewing Editing Physical Activity Readiness Questionnaire
Personal Trainers or their clients can fill out the fields and answer the PAR-Q questions on the go. Answers are saved automatically as the user fills them out.

Personal Trainers and clients can fill out these fields and the app will save answers as the user fills them in.  No need to click save or anything like that.  Trainers and clients can configure Height units to be inches or cm and weight units to be either lbs or kg.

Here is what the rest of the form looks like:

PAR-Q iOS App Physical Activity Readiness Questions
Physical Activity Readiness Questions portion of the form.

We have also included the standard General & Medical Questionnaire questions in this same form.

PARQ iOS App General and Medical Questionnaire Section
General & Medical Questionnaire portion of the form.

Create Workouts For Multiple Personal Training Clients

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Create Workouts For Multiple Personal Training Clients at Once

We recently added the ability to create workouts for multiple personal training clients at once at fitsw.com.  In the iOS app and on the website you can still copy workouts from one client to another.   Now with this update, you can save even more time by adding a workout for multiple clients from the start when you first build the workout.  Here is how to do it:

1) Go to Workout View and Add Workout like Normal

Go to the Workouts screen for one of the clients that you would like to add a workout for.  In the specific clients Workout screen, click the Add Workout button as usual.

Create workouts for multiple Personal Training Clients add workout button
From the Workouts screen for one of your clients, click the Add Workout button as normally done.

2) Click the link to “Select Additional Clients to Apply Workout To

Enter the workout information as normal.  Then click the link that says “Select Additional Clients to Apply Workout To.

Create Workouts for Multiple Personal Training Clients Click Additional Client Field
Enter workout information as normal. Then click the link highlighted in red.

3) Select the Additional Clients to Add Workout For

The link will then change to a list of clients that you can select as clients you also want the workout added for.  You can use shift or command / control to select more than 1 client in the list.

Create Workouts for Multiple Personal Training Clients Click Select Multiple Clients
Click the additional personal training clients that you would like this workout also to be added for.

Then click the Save Workout button at the bottom as normal.  This workout will then be added to the main client along with all of the additional clients that you selected.

Future Updates and App Improvements

Let us know what you think of this new feature and if you would like to see us add this to our iOS app or Android app.

FitSW Personal Trainer App Android Updates

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FitSW Personal Trainer App Android Updates

We recently released a new version of our Android App that includes a ton of new features.  These personal trainer app android updates include the following:

  • Call, text, and Email Personal Training Clients from within the app
  • Fitness Progress Graph Navigation Improvements
  • Improved Workout layout when listing exercises with multiple reps & weights.
  • Personal & Client Profile Pictures
  • Demo Exercise Video viewing Improvements
  • Create client accounts without requiring email
  • Several Other Usability improvements and bug fixes
  • Workout Interval Timer

Below is a bit more detail of these improvements along with some screen shots.

Call, text, and Email Personal Training Clients.

You can now contact your personal training clients any way you would like from within the FitSW Android app at the push of a button.

Personal Trainer App Android Contact Clients
Call, Text, or Email your clients quickly from within the Android App

Fitness Progress Graph Navigation Improvements

We have made it easier for you and your clients to navigate the Fitness Progress Graph menu screens.  To add new data, click the plus symbol in the upper right.  From that screen, you can also edit your assessments or add new ones as needed.

Personal Trainer App Android Fitness Progress Graphs
You can now add new data by clicking the plus in the upper right. From there you can edit or add assessments as well.

Improved Workout layout for Exercises with Multiple Reps & Weights

Instead of being separated by commas, we now have the multiple rep / weight exercises display this info vertically.

Personal Trainer App Android Workout Display
Multiple Rep / Weight exercises now list this information vertically to improve the layout.

Personal & Client Profile Pictures

Personal Trainers and their clients are able to add profile pictures at FitSW.com and in the iOS app.  We have now added the ability for users to view these profile images in the android app.  The ability to upload in the android app is coming soon.

Personal Trainer App Android Profile Pictures
Profile pictures are now displayed in the Android app.

Demo Exercise Video Viewing Improvements

For demo videos that are on YouTube, the demo link will create some space below the exercise to show the video right there in the Workout Details screen.  For videos not on YouTube and other links, the demo link will open a new page that is easy to view in the browser.

Create Client Accounts Without Requiring Email

This is for cases where you have a client that won’t be logging into the system but you would still like to manage their data through the app.  For this case, you don’t need to create a login account for the client – you just need to create a client in the system that you can view.  We have made it easy to create clients this way if needed using the switches in the upper right.

Personal Trainer App Android Client Accounts
Toggle the switches in the upper right to configure whether your personal training clients should have a login.

Workout Interval Timer

The new workout interval timer allows you and your client to stay on track with your workout.  Another updated to FitSW’s personal trainer app Android.

Personal Trainer App Android Workout Interval Timer
Keep your clients on track during their workout with our new interval Timer.

Copying Workouts for Personal Training Clients iOS App

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Copying Workouts for Personal Training Clients iOS App

You can now save even more time by copying specific workouts or diets from one personal training client to another in the iOS app.  Previously you could only copy workouts for personal training clients on FitSW.com.  We have also made it easy for you to modify the workout after you copy it so that you can tailor and customize it for the personal training client you copied it to.  Below we outline how to do it.

1) View the Workout in the Workout Details Screen

First, go to the specific workout you would like to copy and view it in the workout details screen.  Click the green copy button at the top.

Copying Workouts for Personal Training Client Copy Button
View the specific workout you would like to copy and click the green Copy button at the top

2) Select Client to Copy Workout To

After you click copy, you will be taken to a screen where you can choose which client to copy the workout to.

Copying Workouts for Personal Training Clients Choose Client
Select the client that you want to copy the workout to.

3) Customize Workout as Needed and then Copy

After selecting the personal training client to copy to, you will see the workout you are copying.  You can then change or customize as you would like for the new client.  When you are done customizing the workout, click Copy in the upper right.  That’s it – you have copied the workout.

Copying Workouts For Personal Training Clients Customize
Customize or change the workout as needed and then click Copy in the upper right.

4) Viewing the Newly Copied Workout

After clicking Copy, you will be taken back to the original workout you copied from.  To see the new workout you created, go back to the specific client you copied to and you will see it in their workout list.

Diets and Conclusion

You can also copy diets the same way as above.  Copying diets and workouts for personal training clients make it much faster to create these events.  This will save you time while still allowing you to add the personal touch of customizing the copied workouts as needed.

Automatically Email Personal Training Clients iOS App

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Automatically Email Personal Training Clients iOS App

FitSW saves you time by allowing personal trainers to set up automatic emails and notifications for your clients.  We recently added the ability to control these automatic emails and notification right there in the iOS App.  A personal trainer can have FitSW automatically email personal training clients when the trainer creates or updates a new workout, diet, task or scheduled an appointment.

Automatically Email Personal Training Clients Profile Screen
The updated iOS App Profile screen lets you control which Automated Emails are sent.  These same settings are also available at FitSW.com

If this is set up, the trainer doesn’t need to do a thing.  The system will automatically email personal training clients.  This email will prompt them to login to the app / website to view their workout, diet, task or appointment.  If the personal trainer wants to send the workout, diet plan, or task directly to the client through email they can do that to using the “Email” button on that particular event.

Automatically Email Personal Training Client Email Workout
Personal Trainers can click the “Email” button on a particular event screen in order to send the Workout, Diet, or Task directly through email.

Receiving Workout Completion Notifications

Personal Trainers can also setup FitSW to notify themselves via email when a client marks a workout, diet plan, or task as complete.  These automatic emails make it easier for trainers to keep tabs on fitness clients without always having to log in to the app.  These notifications can also be turned on or off on the profile screen in the iOS app.  They can also be updated at FitSW.com.

Other Updates

Changing to Personal Training Client Account

FitSW gives Personal Trainers the power to create client accounts and control everything around that setup.  There has been a case recently where a client accidentally signed up on their own and accidentally created a trainer account.  We now have created a way to quickly remedy that problem on the Profile screen.  The client just needs to get their personal trainer’s Trainer Code from their trainer and then click the “Change To Client Account” button on the Profile screen.

Automatically Email Personal Training Client Change Account Type
Clients who accidentally signed up with a trainer account can now change to a client account. They just need their trainer to give them the trainer’s trainer code.

Submit Feedback Quickly Within the iOS App

We love all the feedback you have given us.  So we have now given you another way to provide it quickly, right in the iOS App.  Simply click on the Feedback link in the more menu.  Tell us what you think or let us know your improvement suggestions.  We are listening.

Automatically Email Personal Training Client Send Feedback
Personal Trainers and their clients can now send us feedback quickly without having to leave the iOS App.

Client Fitness Progress Tracking Tables added to iOS App

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Client Fitness Progress Tracking Graphs and Tables iOS App

Today we released a new version of our FitSW iOS app that, in addition to showing you Fitness Progress Tracking in Graph form, also shows this data in table form.  You can edit, delete or add new data all from this fitness progress table.  We updated the fitness progress tab so that its easier and faster to navigate.

Personal Training Client Progress Table

Access the new Personal Training Client Progress Table directly from the fitness Progress Graphs screen for your particular client.  You just need to click the Edit Diet Table button.

Client Fitness Progress Tracking Graph
Click the “Edit Data Table” button to View, Edit, or Delete progress data points that make up the graph.

Here is what the Edit Data Table screen will look like:

Client Fitness Progress Tracking Data Table
Personal trainers can now view the data behind their progress graphs in table form. They can also Edit or Delete progress data entries.

Tap on table rows to update the data or swipe left on them to delete the data.

Client Fitness Progress Tracking Edit Data
Tap a table row to edit the data entry.
Client Fitness Progress Tracking Delete Data.
Swipe left on a table row to delete it.

Updated Fitness Progress Tab

In addition to the above, we have also improved the way the Progress tab navigation.  The first screen you see for a specific client will be their progress graphs.  From there, if you want to add new fitness progress data, click on the “+” in the upper right.

Client Fitness Progress Tracking Add Progress
Add new progress data by clicking the “+” in the upper right.

The updated Enter Progress screen:

Client Fitness Progress Tracking Enter New Data
The Enter Progress screen has been improved and updated.

To edit the Assessments that progress is measured for, personal trainers can click on the Assessment name and they will be taken to a new screen.  Add a new assessment by clicking the “Add New Assessment To This List” link at the bottom.

Client Fitness Progress Tracking Edit Assessment.
Edit an assessment by clicking on the assessment name.  The app will take users to a screen to update that assessment. To add a new assessment, trainers can click the “Add New Assessment To This List” link at the bottom.

Here is the “Edit Assessment Screen”

Client Fitness Progress Tracking Update Assessment
Clients are able to update the assessment name or description from this screen.

FitSW Android App For Personal Trainers Update

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FitSW Android App For Personal Trainers Update

We recently released a complete redesign of the FitSW Android App For Personal Trainers and Clients and also added new features and improvements.  This new design makes it easier to navigate the app and quickly do what you need to do. Whether it’s adding workouts, updating a diet meal plan, or viewing progress, the side bar lets you quickly do what you need to do.  We also added new features to the android app for personal trainers and for clients described below.

New Side Bar Menu for Both Personal Trainers and their Clients

Trainers can access the new side bar menu from any screen in the upper left.  Below is what the side bar menu looks like.

Android App For Personal Trainers Sidebar
The new side bar helps personal trainers and their clients quickly navigate the FitSW Android App.

New Personal Trainer Schedule / Calendar Page

Personal Trainers and their clients can now view and update their Schedules just like they can at FitSW.com and with the FitSW iOS app.

Android App For Personal Trainers Schedule
The FitSW android app now includes a scheduler that is linked to the website scheduler.

Separate Food List and Exercise List Menus

We have broken out the Food List and Exercise List items into their own menu items.  This lets you quickly add, edit, or delete items in your food or exercise list without you having to navigate through many places.  It also simplifies the Workouts and Diets pages so that those are easier to use

Improved Exercise Demo Video Drop Down

Its now easier for your personal training clients to view exercise demo videos without leaving their workout page.  The new demo links slide down the page to show a video instead of taking you to a brand new page.  Here is how it looks:

Android App for Personal Trainers Workout Page
Demo exercise video links are next to each exercise. Check out the next image to see what happens when it is clicked.
Android App for Personal Trainers Workout Demo Video
Instead of leaving the page, your client can watch the demo video on the same page as their workout with our slide down demo links.

Other Android App Changes

The above are just a few of the improvements in our new Android app.  We have also added several usability improvements and other changes.  Give it a try and let us know how we can make it even easier for you to use.

iOS Interval Timer for Personal Trainers and Clients

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iOS Interval Timer for Personal Trainers and Clients

In a previous post we told you about the new Workout Timer that was built into the Workout Details page.  We also created a similar interval timer that is its own tab within the FitSW iOS app.  This iOS Interval Timer has larger text since it doesn’t have to be viewed within a workout.  We also specifically designed it so that it can be viewed easily from far away or while you are moving around.

iOS Interval Timer App Personal Trainers Stand Alone
FitSW’s iOS interval timer helps you manage you and your personal training clients interval training with easy to see display.

iOS Interval Timer Features

Here are just a few of the features:

  • Specify number of sets or repeating cycles
  • Set Active Time per cycle
  • Set Rest Time per cycle
  • Audible and visual cues to indicate transitions
  • Large display to view easily while moving or from far.
  • Pause & restart buttons

Let us know if you have additional feature requests.

How to Use the iOS Interval Timer

  1. Access the Timer in the More tab

    iOS Interval Timer App Personal Trainer More Tab
    Access FitSW’s stand-alone iOS Interval timer through the “More” tab.
  2. Click the “Set” button and the app will show a new screen.

    iOS Interval Timer App Personal Trainer Set Button
    Click the “Set” button to set up your timer.
  3. Specify the number of repeating sets or cycles, the Active Time per cycle and the Rest Time per cycle.  Then click Start in the upper right.

    iOS Interval Timer App Personal Trainer Set Screen
    Set the timer specifics and then click “Start” in the upper right
  4. Your timer will begin.  You can Pause it at anytime by clicking the “Pause” button.  You can also reset it by clicking the “Reset” button.
    iOS Interval Timer App Personal Trainer Running Example
    Screen will be green when in an Active Period of the workout and then change to Red when it’s a Rest period.

    We provide both the workout timer and this interval timer to give you flexibility. This one has larger text and the easy to see cues indicating Active or Rest stages of the set.  The timer on the Workout Details page has smaller text but lets you view Workout Details at the same time.  Use whichever one works best for you.  You can even switch over between the two and the timer count will maintain consistency.

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