Nutrition counseling can be a critical component of good health care, especially for people recently diagnosed with diabetes or high cholesterol who need to adhere to a specific diet. People also meet with nutritionists for help developing a healthy vegetarian or vegan diet, developing an eating plan to lose weight or gain muscle, or improving their sports performance by changing their diet. Nutritionists may be covered by health insurance depending on your reason for meeting with them. Nutrition counseling is more likely to be covered if it is part of a doctor-prescribed treatment for a particular medical condition, such as diabetes, obesity, high blood pressure or coronary heart disease. For example, Medicare covers medical nutrition therapy services only for people diagnosed with diabetes or kidney disease, as long as they get a referral from their doctor. Also, insurance providers more often cover nutrition visits if the patient has been referred to a registered dietitian within the carrier’s network of providers. Insurance plans vary greatly, so research your benefits before visiting a nutritionist.
Fitness boot camps are a heart-pounding way to boost your fitness level. Boot camps are led by a fitness instructor and are based on the concept of military boot camps — intensive workout programs to get new recruits into shape, quickly. Fitness boot camps encourage camaraderie, and the group momentum helps participants get through fast-paced intervals of cardio, isometric training, strength training and endurance drills. Classes may range anywhere from 30 to 60 minutes, and usually meet multiple days per week. Boot camps often run a specific duration of time, say four to six weeks, which creates a team-like environment for class members. Other boot camps run year-round and students purchase package pricing for classes, similar to subscriptions that allow them a set amount of classes per week or per month.
Boot camps can be held indoors at a gym, outdoors in a park or on a beach, in a backyard — anywhere there’s room for running, jumping and sweating. Some instructors also provide DVD and online boot camps. You can also find boot camps tailored to your heart’s desire, such as bikini boot camp, or boot camps for new mothers. Boot camps offer an intense workout and are usually led by energetic instructors pushing you to do your best, but unlike military boot camp drill sergeants, fitness boot camp instructors typically don’t use intimidation or punishment to spur you on. Check with your doctor before starting a boot camp if you have health concerns, and always let your instructor know ahead of time if you have injuries.
What you wear to kickboxing can vary based on the setting. For kickboxing group fitness classes that are part of a gym’s cardio class schedule, standard fitness attire is appropriate. Athletic sneakers, pants or shorts that you can comfortably kick in without getting tangled or flashing anyone, and a top that allows for easy movement when punching and jabbing are all good choices. You won’t need protective gear or gloves, as most cardio-based kickboxing classes do not use punching bags.
Kickboxing training that takes place at a martial arts studio typically requires protective gear. You may need boxing gloves (beginners may want 12-ounce or heavier gloves for more cushioning) and hand wraps that protect and support your hands under the gloves while you punch the bag. If your kickboxing training includes sparring with opponents, you’ll need a mouthguard and any protective head and body gear your studio requires. Always be sure to bring plenty of water, too.
A nutritionist provides expertise and guidance to help clients with all diet-related health matters, including losing weight, gaining muscle, improving their sports performance, and managing diabetes or high cholesterol. Nutritionists can help people learn to follow special diets in a healthy way, such as becoming vegetarian or vegan or developing a low-sodium or gluten-free eating plan. The average national cost of a nutritionist is $60 to $100. Nutritionists often require an initial consultation with a new client, during which they’ll take a medical history, assess the client’s nutritional needs, and determine the best course of action; this first meeting usually averages $100-$120 for a 45-minute to 90-minute consultation. Subsequent nutritional counseling sessions generally cost less, ranging from an average of $45 for a half-hour session to $60-$90 for a one-hour session. Like many professional service providers, nutritionists may offer discounts through package pricing. For instance, a one-month package with two sessions and email support costs an average of $190; a three-month package with three sessions and email support costs an average of $360; and a six-month package with six sessions and email support costs an average of $540.
Kickboxing is as intense a workout as you want it to be. As with any fitness regimen, the more effort you put in, the more results you will get. The type of kickboxing you do will determine how physically challenging it is. Combat or self-defense kickboxing, where you train in a martial arts studio with sandbags or spar against combat partners, can be an intense physical workout. Group kickboxing classes that use sandbags as part of the workout will also elevate the degree of intensity, because of the level of exertion punching and kicking the bag requires. Cardio kickboxing group fitness, which employ kicking and punching moves but no sandbags, has comparable intensity to jogging but works a wider range of muscles while increasing strength, flexibility and coordination. Here are some of the core kickboxing moves:
- Cross: A straight punch that you throw slightly across your body, using your dominant hand.
- Jab: A quick, straight, face punch. Usually thrown with the non-dominant hand.
- Uppercut: A punch thrown up from the midsection (using either hand) that connects with the underside of your opponent’s chin.
- Hook: A curved punch (using either hand) that connects with your competitor’s jaw or chin.
- Side kick: A kick delivered when your competitor is at an angle to you. Raise your leg to the side, then bend at the knee to deliver the kick.
- Front kick: A kick delivered straight on while you are facing your opponent.
- Roundhouse kick: A kick delivered by swinging a leg up in a clockwise or counterclockwise motion (depending on which leg you’re using) with momentum to strike the opponent with the instep of the foot.