We’ve all heard it, we’ve all read it; “early detection saves lives.” So, why do so many of us ignore this advice?
According to The American Cancer Society, colorectal cancer is the third most commonly diagnosed cancer and the third leading cause of cancer deaths. The majority of these deaths could be prevented with the use of screening tests. Yet, currently, only about half of people 50 yrs. or older receive colorectal cancer testing.*
Maybe, if you heard it from someone who has lived it; someone you know, in your own community, you will not ignore the words, “early detection saves lives.” At forty –five years old, I saw a substantial amount of bright red blood after using the bathroom. It only happened once, but, this was not normal and I felt I needed to see my doctor. A few days later, I saw my general practitioner. He said it could be a few different things, none of them serious. But, he felt it was his responsibility to send me for a colonoscopy because the blood I saw was not normal and in a few years I would be going for a test any way.
When I awoke from the colonoscopy, I was told a mass was found in my large intestine and that this type of tumor was cancerous about 90% of the time. But, the tumor was found early and if it was indeed malignant, it was not only treatable, but curable. Most likely, no treatment other than the removal of the tumor and a section of the intestine would be necessary. Biopsies taken during the colonoscopy came back benign. But, doctors warned in early stages just a small part of the tumor could be made up of cancer cells.
Having a third doctor, my surgeon, look me square in the eye and tell me, “because we caught this early, it is not just treatable but curable,” is what got me through the next three weeks until the surgery and pathology report were complete. I was given a “miracle”, doctor’s words. No cancer was found in the tumor or surrounding intestine, including lymph nodes. Colon cancer develops slowly over a period of 10 to 15 years.* Tumors like mine typically begin as non-cancerous and over time develop cancer cells.* Because my tumor was found early, it was not given time to become malignant. I was back to a normal routine by about 4 weeks and back to instructing fitness classes in 9 weeks!
March is colon cancer awareness month. If you are 50 years or older, you should talk to your doctor about what type of screening is best for you.
*Colorectal Cancer Facts and Figures is a publication of the American Cancer Society
Club Fit has a Cancer Wellness program. If you or a loved one are undergoing treatment for any form of cancer, please make an appointment to speak with one of our dedicated staff members. For more information on our Cancer Wellness Program, Visit us at Club Fit Cancer Wellness.
By Dr. Meryle Richman, Director of Physical therapy at Physical therapy at Briarcliff & Jefferson Valley
Yoga can help the healing process by learning proper breathing and
relaxation techniques which will calm the body and decrease pain by turning
off the “Fight and Flight response” in our bodies. Research has shown that
by activating the parasympathetic nervous system in your body, you can slow
down your breathing, lower your heart rate, and even your blood pressure.
If you experience a lack of flexibility which is causing you pain, than come
and learn about a safe and effective approach to perform yoga pose, while
being instructed in correct alignment.
This program is recommended for individuals with:
. low back and neck pain
. scoliosis and spinal stenosis
. fibromyalgia & chronic pain
. stiff and weak joints and muscles
. orthopedic injuries
. tension, stress and anxiety
Dr. Richman currently teaches gentle yoga for a wellness population; and for
patients with chronic pain, fibromyalgia and osteoporosis. She has received
her 200 hour yoga certification at YogaWorks, Irvington, NY in May 2011, as
a Registered Yoga Teacher. She is also the Director of Physical therapy at
Physical therapy at Briarcliff & Jefferson Valley, PC, located inside Club
Fit. She can be reached at www.ptrehab.com.
Signing up at the service desk for my MyZone activity belt.
This past week, I celebrated my birthday, which I have a very different perspective on in my cancer-remission world. Before I started out seriously on a path to health and wellness, I would celebrate my birthday in less healthy ways, but now, I see my birthday as an opportunity to reward myself with a gift that will help me on my new path. Last year on my birthday, I celebrated with an early morning workout and a massage. This year, I gifted myself with Club Fit’s newest toy, the MyZone belt. (If you haven’t heard of MyZone, check out this video to learn more.)
The MyZone belt is an ingenious little device that tracks your heart rate during your workout, and emails you a summary of your results after you’re finished! (What a world we live in, huh?) If you’re working out in the gym, you’ll be able to see your current heart rate, calories burned, and more, right on the nearest screen. I can keep one eye on it to see if I’m working too hard, or if I need to put more effort in, to get the most out of the time I’m putting into my workout. You can also take it with you outside the gym – it will store 16 hours of workout data, and then sync up again next time you get to the gym.
When I first started using my belt, I was really surprised to find that I wasn’t working as hard as I thought, and I needed step up my game a little bit. It also helped me identify the fastest activities to get my heart rate up, so I can use cardio intervals more effectively. It’s super comfortable to wear, easy to put on, easy to clean, and it’s just a really cool piece of technology that is so gosh darn fun to use! I mean, who doesn’t feel like a superhero with a bright red band around their chest?! (Secret superhero handshake, anyone?)
I’m SO, SO glad I made this investment. It has helped me immensely, and I’d recommend it for anyone who is serious about results from their training (or just wants to feel like a superhero.)
Yorktown resident and Club Fit member Steve Schaefer has found a good balance in life: a successful career in IT, a commitment to a healthy mind, body and soul, and a dedication to his first love – music. It’s his most recent musical work that is making the biggest impact now, benefitting a local family who has lost so much.
Steve, who has sung in choirs since the fourth grade, was touched by the story told to him by a fellow St. Patrick’s Church choir member of sisters Kalie and Lindsey Gill, both struck down by a car at a church carnival in Yonkers in October 2013. Kalie, only 15 years old, was killed, and her younger sister, Lindsey, was critically injured and has been recuperating at Blythedale Children’s Hospital since the accident. Steve was asked to sing at Kalie’s funeral, and that’s where the story begins.
The day of the funeral, the thing that struck Steve most was the incredible faith of the family. Though grief stricken, they displayed tremendous strength and a commitment to celebrating Kalie’s life. A benefit concert was planned for December to raise money for the Gills, and Steve was invited to write a song and perform at the concert.
Steve, a big believer in inspiration through exercise, actually had the lyrics to “Kalie” come to him on a hike to the top of Turkey Mountain. He produced a video tribute, and asked fellow musician Jesse Terry to provide the vocals. The result was a beautiful, simple, emotional song. Watch the Video Here.
CDs of the song were sold at the benefit, and the song is now available for download at CDbaby.com (search Kalie Gill). One hundred percent of the proceeds go to the Gill family. Steve covered the production costs, vocalist Jesse donated his talent, and Jesse’s wife Jessica Terry designed the CD cover. Over $2500 has been raised for the family, and Steve is hoping sales will continue. “The Gill family has been such an inspiration to me, ” says Steve, and he stays in touch with them, recently visiting Lindsey at Blythedale, where she continues to recuperate.
Steve and his wife, Ramona, both spend a good deal of time at Club Fit. He spends his time in the gym, pool and Fitness Center, and believes strongly in the “three-legged stool”: supporting good health through a balance of body, mind, and soul. “It’s always been important to me to help people, and it has been so rewarding to help the Gill family through this tough time,” says Steve. “I’ve also come out of it feeling a real connection to Kalie.”
Tune in to WHUD-FM on April 4 at 10:00 p.m., where Steve and his song “Kalie” will be featured on Night Rhythms with Kathy Millar. And please help out the Gills by visiting CDbaby.com and downloading Steve’s latest musical work! You can also contact Steve directly for a copy of the CD or to find out more about his music by emailing email@example.com.
We all do! — Whether we have a healthy back or a problem with our back. In order for your back to stay healthy and less prone to injury, you need strong, flexible muscles to support the spine’s natural curves. On February 20th from 6:00 – 7:00 PM Debbie Lenihan, PT from Physical Therapy at Jefferson Valley will talk about Back Pain: B.E.T. Principles of Movement.
In the meantime, if you are not able to attend here is what you should know if you are currently experiencing back discomfort:
Why all the fuss about back problems?
Statistics have shown that backaches are second only to the common cold as a cause of missed workdays. It’s estimated that 8 out of 10 Americans will have a back problem at some time in their lives. A large part of this is due to the neglect of their backs.
Back disorders are the accumulation of months or even years of poor posture, faulty body mechanics, stressful living and working habits, loss of flexibility as general lack of physical fitness.
A balanced back is a healthy back
It is time to take a new look at the prevention of back injuries rather than the treatment of back problems after they have occurred.
Back problems can be avoided by understanding what the problems are, how to prevent them and what to do if they do occur. It involves self-responsibility and a desire to have a healthy back.
In order for your back to be healthy, there are three natural curves that must be in balanced alignment. This should occur at all times i.e., sitting, standing, lying down or moving. These curves are the cervical (neck), thoracic (middle back), and lumbar (lower back).
When your ear, shoulder, and hips line up straight, then the three curves are balanced and you have achieved “good posture”. To test whether your curves are in their natural alignment, imagine a line beside the mid-part of your body. If your ears, shoulders, pelvis, knees and ankles line up on this line (plumb line), your three curves are in their correct position. In order to maintain a balanced back you must also have strong and flexible muscles and joints:
Here are some additional tips that may prevent low back pain or its recurrence:
1) Always bend with the knees, not from the waist when lifting 2) When sitting, place at least one knee higher than your hips; either by crossing your legs or putting your legs with knees bent, on something like a foot stool 3) When standing place one foot on a stool to keep the back straight 4) Standing is better than sitting, and lying down is better than either; sitting puts 40% more pressure on the discs than standing and 75% more than lying. 5) When driving adjust the seat so you can sit closer to the pedals with the knees bent and back supported. 6) Avoid exercises that put excessive strain on the lower back. These include straight leg exercise such as leg raises, toe touching, or sit-ups with the legs straight on floor.
For those individuals that suffer from prolonged back pain, the first goal of physical therapy is to reduce pain. The next step is to determine which muscles are tight and need to be stretched and which muscle groups are weak and could be strengthened. An evaluation of the individual postural and work habits should then follow. Based on all this information, corrective measures, which are tailored to the individual, can then be recommended. Some suggestions may include changing the type of chair used at work, taking exercise breaks to stretch tight muscles and finding ways to handle stress. Other physical therapy measures can consist of any one of a combination of moist heat, ice, electrical modalities, aquatic therapy, soft tissue massage, mobilization, stretching and gradual strengthening exercises.
For more information on this topic contact Physical Therapy at Briarcliff at (914) 762-2222; or Physical Therapy at Jefferson Valley (914) 245-8807 for a free 15 minute screening. Also check out on our website free classes that are offered at Club Fit www.ptrehab.com.
Here is a great resource for all the Moms and Dads who need a quick resource to see what we offer by age group at Club Fit! It is hard to jump from one page to the next so we’ve compiled a list of all our offerings for infants, toddlers, grade-schoolers, tweens and teens!
Jenn and me posing for instructor Leslie after our awesome Barre class workout.
Ugh, winter; am I right? The excitement of the holiday season has faded, and now it’s just….cold. REALLY, REALLY, REALLY COLD. How can we stay active and committed to our fitness routine, when our hibernation instincts are screaming “Blankets! Hot cocoa! Netflix!”?
I decided to shake the winter blues by shaking things up at the gym. Despite knowing that I shouldn’t do the same thing all the time, I found myself mentally checking out and, well…doing the same thing all the time. Working out had become a little bit of a chore. To combat the monotony, I decided to try a Barre class that I’d had one eye on for some time. Maybe, in the back of my mind, I was saving it for Cabin Fever Season, but I shouldn’t have waited so long. It was an incredible workout! The movements are small and very controlled, but they are intense, and they work more muscles than an average workout. I really did use muscles that I had forgotten I had. The best part is, I got Jenn to join me, and we had a blast! (I’ll admit, it’s a little boost to watch your personal trainer sweat just as hard as you.)
For those of you who have taken ballet (or even Pilates) at any point in your lives, Barre class will feel familiar, but not like a repeat. If you’ve never taken ballet before, Barre is a great way to have fun and strengthen a lot of supporting muscles, especially your core, and it’s great for your posture. But if you want to just pretend to be a ballerina, that’s okay too. It’s a great way to shake things up, any time of year.
by Meryle Richman, PT, DPT
Director of Physical Therapy
It has certainly been a snowy winter! With all the shoveling or even using a snow blower, repetitive improper bending over can cause stress and strains on the muscles and joints in your body.
According to the American Physical Therapy Association the shoulders, back, neck and knees are prime target areas for injuries. Following the suggested tips can help you minimize the risk of injury:
• Warm up before you begin. Get your heart rate up by taking a 10-minute walk followed by some stretches for your upper and lower back, neck, arms and legs. Roll your shoulders back in a circular motion and slowly move your head from side to side a few times to loosen up.
• Don’t overdo it. Be mindful of how the body feels. If you experience an aching back or neck, slow down and stretch or stop and switch to a different task.
• Change positions frequently to avoid stiffness or cramping.
• Practice proper body mechanics. Bend at your knees when you grab something; bend your knees and contract your abdominal muscles to avoid straining your back. Slight bending at your knees also applies to shoveling
• When shoveling, turn and pivot on your feet instead of twisting from your trunk to remove snow from your shovel.
• End your cleaning-up session with a short walk or some light stretching. Take a warm bath or shower to help prevent next-day soreness.
If you experience pain or have questions, you are welcome to contact Physical Therapy at Briarcliff at (914) 762 – 2222 or Physical Therapy at Jefferson Valley at (914) 245 – 8807; or visit our web at www.ptrehab.com. We are located inside Club Fit since 1983.
Five years ago, Kim Gilman and her family began a journey that no parent ever wants to travel. Her son was diagnosed with medulloblastoma, a malignant brain tumor, followed by surgery, radiation therapy and months of chemotherapy. Thankfully, their story had a happy ending.
But it wasn’t just an ending. It was also a beginning for Kim, leading to her involvement in A Kid’s Brain Tumor Cure, a non-profit dedicated to finding more effective, less toxic and less punishing treatments for brain cancer in children. Kim, a Club Fit Briarcliff member and mother of three, now works in development for the organization, and is chairperson of Think Fit For Kids, an annual event that is growing into a major source of funding for the organization.
Think Fit For Kids 2014, scheduled for March 16 (mark your calendar!), is in its fourth year at Club Fit Briarcliff, and has raised more than $650,000 since 2011. “The greatest thing about it is, every penny goes to research, and the doctors I’ve met are very optimistic that this research is going to make a real difference in treatment options,” says Kim. “The other great thing is that the event itself is so amazingly positive. It’s great to see parents and kids working out together and just experiencing a truly ‘feel-good’ day.”
Part of Kim’s focus is on raising awareness in the metro NY area. The AKBTC Foundation has grown into an international effort that has supported conferences of world-renowned researchers and clinicians as well as 26 research projects at institutions around the world. “I was shocked by the lack of government funding for pediatric brain tumor research, and feel like our work really makes an impact,” says Kim.
Kim’s connection with Club Fit also plays a role in her success, in a number of ways. “From day one, Club Fit has been so supportive of our efforts,” she says. She also credits her workout routine to helping her in her work. “I do my best thinking in Spin class!” she says, and feels that all parents and caregivers can only benefit from making an effort to be healthy. “You can’t take good care of someone else if you aren’t in a good place yourself. I truly feel both my mind and my body are healthier when I make exercise a priority.”
Think Fit For Kids is open to both members and non-members of Club Fit, and local vendors have generously donated to all aspects of the event, from the extensive silent auction and food to the DJ and other activities. “We originally considered holding a private event, but when it became open to everyone, we discovered that members in for their regular workouts were curious and joined in on the fun. Since that first year, we’ve developed quite a following!” Kim is happy to report.
For more information on this year’s event, visit thinkfitforkids.org.
And be sure to join in on the fun on March 16th!
Why is Summer Camp Important?
Top 6 opportunities provided by Club Fit Summer Camp
Choice – Club Fit Summer Camp offers a wide range of activities on a daily basis. Whether it’s Swim, Tennis, Art, Special Events or Camp games you find it all here at Club Fit Summer Camp. Club Fit Summer allows your child to discover their passions and their talents. Confidence – At the end of the summer, campers are ready for school because they have mastered new communication/ social skills and have learned to be part of a team. Character Building – It is at camp where the underachieving child suddenly takes a leadership role in a project; an overachieving child learns to help others. All of these experiences build character and develop leadership skills. Community – The campers are under the same roof and with the same adults and peers for an entire day. Many camps create a close-knit community among staff, parents and children — something that typically doesn’t happen in the school year. Employment - Most camps provide teens with their first job. It is this job training experience that allows many teens to be successfully employed outside the camp setting in later years. FUN! – Ask children about their Club Fit summer camp experiences and you will hear “I live for summer camp,” “I can’t wait for the summer to come,” and “Summer camp is where I found my best friends.”
The Camp Bash at Club Fit is coming up in February! It’s always a crowd pleaser for our kids! Click here to register for summer camp or for more information: SUMMER CAMP AT CLUB FIT
It turns out juggling isn’t just for clowns – it’s the latest circus-inspired fitness trend that’s accessible to all ages, and now is your chance to check it out. Club Fit Jefferson Valley will be offering a special adult and kids master classes with JuggleFit founder Heather Wolf on Friday, February 28. “Most people don’t think of juggling as a workout,” says Wolf, “but it burns up to 280 calories an hour and even doubles as a brain exercise.” Wolf learned to juggle while touring with the Ringling Bros. Barnum & Bailey Circus as a musician, and is the founder of New York City-based fitness company JuggleFit.
Club Fit fitness director Joelle Letta noticed Time Out New York’s recent feature on JuggleFit, and was excited about bringing a fun new workout to club members. “We’re always looking for something exciting and unique for offer our members, and juggling definitely fit the bill.”
Class attendees can expect to learn to juggle in a simple, step-by-step way, and get a low-impact cardio workout while improving balance, coordination and engaging core muscles. “JuggleFit breaks juggling down into simple steps, making it much easier to learn. We start everyone out by juggling in slow motion to get a feel for how it works.”
Several studies have shown that juggling actually increases gray matter in the brain. “That’s what makes it so fun,” adds Wolf, “it requires concentration and focus, so you actually forget you’re even exercising. It’s a nice activity to add to your fitness routine to spice things up.”
The adult class will he held at 5:30 pm and the kids class at 6:30 pm, both on Friday, February 28. The classes are available to Club Fit members and non-members for $25 per person. To register or for more information, please contact Joelle at Club Fit at firstname.lastname@example.org.
￼Defy gravity. Stand strong & live taller. Experience a workout like you have never experienced. Take the ultimate standing challenge and learn how to synchronize your body to create a firm stability, an unstoppable force & a body that looks good. Core strengthening, body lengthening, balance training and functional strengthening. Do you want to get the edge? Come and get it! Challenge yourself to perform the classic mat work standing up & then put a Physioball finish on it. Take your fitness and physique to the next level. Taught by experienced Pilates Instructor, Tina Sferra, MSPT. Re-engineer your body through a highly filtered lens. Treat yourself well!
You will grow with Pilates. As you properly learn how to dynamically engage your transverse abdominus against gravity in an upright position, you will create a natural human corset at your waist which increases spinal space preventing collapse and degenerative disc disease. Our discs are like a sponge that fills up and gets wrung out. Defy gravity and take everything that you have been learning on the mat for years to channel your strength, length & core stability to the next level. Envision a longer, stronger you. Then take action. Standing Pilates offers you to develop dynamic upright core control which is remarkable of true achievement & mastery. NFL Wide Receiver, Antonio Brown, does Pilates. Smart athletes achieve elite performance with Pilates. Work your legs and upper body in the framework of building a strong neutral spine to carryover into every athletic endeavor that you do as well as into the quality and function of your daily life. Your results will definitely be noticed by all as you stand 10 years younger in strength and appearance. Who wants to sip from the fountain of youth?
Starting January 18, 2014 you can take a Standing Pilates class at Club Fit Jefferson Valley every Saturday morning at 9:05. The weekends are for your body!
New Year’s Resolutions…Most people have them, and the majority of people break them! And, as you can imagine, losing weight is almost always at the top of the list, as well as spending more time with family and friends and staying fit and healthy.
The month of January is almost always the busiest month at a health club, as everyone plans to stay committed to their resolutions. It’s also probably the best emotional time to join. The first step usually is seeing which health clubs are in your local community. Being able to get to a gym that is close by is key, as well as extended hours of availability. Finding a health club that fits your needs and lifestyle is important.
Look for a health club that has a lot to offer, as you can switch up your routines as frequently as you want. Is the health club willing to give you some passes so that you can have a comfort in knowing what the club is all about? See the environment and mingle with the members. Really picture yourself there… Take advantage of all they have to offer so you could see if it would really be a good fit for you.
Some questions to ask: Is there an annual contract or do you allow the member to go month to month? Do you allow guests to come in with you during the month.? Are classes an additional fee? Is there someone that will be there on staff to help you when you need the help? (especially during the first month – or two!)
The key is making the commitment – keep that New Year’s Resolution, and start your journey to good health!
In keeping with tradition, Club Fit will be holding their annual Open House in Jefferson Valley on January 25, 2014 and in Briarcliff on January 26, 2014. Activities start at 9am! You can visit for the day – free of charge – and see all they have to offer. Spend some time walking through the club, win some prizes, take part in some classes – it’s all on us!
If you are looking for a health club that has both indoor and outdoor tennis courts, indoor swimming pools, over 130 group fitness classes weekly, a Fitness Coach on staff from open to close to answer all of your fitness questions, as well as a nursery with child care, a healthy café menu, massage therapists on staff (and so much more!!!) look no further. We’re waiting for you! Visit us at www.clubfit.com.
4×4: Monday 6:00 pm (replacing Boot Camp)
Four exercises in 4 minutes: 1 minute each of cardio, lower body, upper body and core with 30 seconds of active recovery between rounds.
Rounds include plyometric, dumbbells and body weight exercise for a challenging, fast paced workout!
NEW -Barre Pilates: Monday 6:15 pm, Wednesday 10:10 am, Thursday 9:25 am (replacing several barre and pilates mat classes) Develop a strong core, lean muscles and improved posture in this fusion class ~ Pilates inspired barre exercise followed by traditional mat work. Intermediate level.
Cardio Strength: Wednesday 6:00 pm (replacing Definitions)
Total body workout using a variety cardio modalities interspersed with strength training, utilizing weights, bars and balls.
M.E.L.T: Wednesday 6:00
Myofascial Energetic Lengthening Technique – Release tension and rehydrate connective tissue using soft foam rollers and hand/foot balls.
NEW- Core Bar: Thursday 7:10 pm, Saturday 9:05 am
Non-stop movement – Non-stop sweat! Using principles of Metabolic Training, Corebar combines varying cardio intensities with strength training, balance, agility and muscle conditioning using the weighted Corebar. Intermediate level
Chair Yoga: Mondays at 11:30
Offers the ability to improve your health through an amazing form of adaptive exercise. You are supported by a chair so you can receive yoga’s healing and restorative benefits.
Head to Toe Yoga: Wednesdays at 10:30
A hatha yoga class with 26 postures and two breathing exercises. Works every part of the body, helping maintain optimum health and function of the internal organs, ligaments, tendons and muscles to increase strength and flexibility, while improving body alignment and the immunity system.
Core Bar: Tuesdays at 10:20 & Sundays at 9:15
Corebar employs the scientific principles of metabolic training, the workout is a combination of varying cardio intensities plus strength, balance, agility and muscle endurance conditioning exercises using the signature weighted “corebar” The training is intense , energetic and fun!!
Standing Pilates: Saturdays at 9:05
Want the edge? Come and get it! Challenge yourself by performing classic mat work standing up. A physioball finish takes your physique to the next level
Piloxing: Sundays at 11:35 & Mondays at 6:35pm
Uniquely mixes Pilates and boxing moves into a fat torching, muscle sculpting, core-centric interval workout.
Over lunch last week, my husband Bryan asked me if I’d made any New Year’s resolutions. I hadn’t thought about it yet, but it made me think of this post last year where I shifted my perspective on New Year’s resolutions, and I’m so glad that I did. Now that I can look back on 2013, this year was so much healthier than any year I’ve ever had – and I hadn’t made a single resolution.
It’s good to check in with yourself once a year, to see where you’ve been, where you are, and where you want to be – but making hard and fast rules to live by just seems such an unkind thing to do to yourself. Where is the room for growth, or forgiveness? Instead, I set goals. Goals have nothing to do with the calendar year, so they aren’t as easily forgotten, and they aren’t erased for new ones on December 31st. Also, achieving those goals gives you an excuse to celebrate, and doesn’t that feel good? (New gym sneakers? Yes, please!)
Our discussion about resolutions led to lots of things we’d like to do this year. Lose weight, volunteer more, stress less, more book time, less screen time, etc., but in the end all we resolved to do was support one another in our individual goals – and it has already made a huge difference in how I feel about my journey toward optimal health. My wish for all of you in 2014 is to find a workout partner that supports you in your health journey, through good and bad. If you don’t have that person in your life already, they are worth finding.
As for Bryan and me, we are taking the first step by continuing with my trainer Jenn… together!
Even people that are dedicated to the idea of fitness being part of their lifestyles can fall into a seasonal slump of sorts. First there is Thanksgiving and Hanukkah followed by Christmas and New Year. For some, it’s a real challenge to get back on the horse after the overeating, celebrating and even just the plain old comfort of being a homebody. It’s a far cry from Spring which motivates us to get in shape for Summer, and Summer where we want to feel our best so we have abundant energy for vacations, the beach, camp and other adventures. Even the Fall allows us to take advantage of some beautiful outdoor activities like hiking, biking and jogging. Really, it’s the end of Fall/Beginning of Winter challenge we are talking about.
So how do we stay motivated? There is no one right answer, but the good news is, there are many things we can suggest that just might help you out! If you are someone who is accustom to the fitness lifestyle, the New Year usually brings new trends. Try something different, take a class that you commit to, treat yourself to a fitness assessment or personal training session so you can set some new goals with a professional. It will give your routine a boost.
For those that might be yearning for a renewed sense of overall wellness who may not be full steam ahead with fitness, start small. Baby steps. Just like anything else. Setting goals are paramount to creating a wellness lifestyle. Don’t set goals so big that you set yourself up for disaster and don’t psych yourself out if you don’t go from a walk to the car to marathon training. Maybe you make your goal to take a walk 4 times a week, maybe your goal is to lose weight, perhaps it is to eat healthier . . . There are professionals to help with every one of these, but you don’t need them to get started. Always make sure you are clear to start working out if you have a medical history of any kind.
Notice that we haven’t mentioned anything about New Years Resolutions! Instead of making a resolution, create new habits. Keep setting obtainable goals. When you achieve one, set a new one.
Hannah Nemerever is a seventh grade student at George Fisher Middle School, and is studying for her Bat Mitzvah at Temple Beth Elohim.
She has volunteered to do community service work for school and is required to do a Mitzvah (good deed) for her religious education. She found a way to do both.
Her first challenge was to find something that was important to her and something she enjoyed. Hannah’s first question to her parents was that she wanted to do something to help kids in need. They searched the internet for ideas and came across Blythedale Children’s Hospital. The website had more than enough information and included a video explaining what they do.
The challenge was – how could they raise funds?
Hannah is a member of the USA Swim Team at Club Fit in Jefferson Valley. She approached Club Fit Swim Coach Kerri Going-Balbino, and was told that the swim team has raised funds for charities in the past.
Lena Cavanna, Director of Fundraising at Blythedale, invited Hannah in to meet with her and to give her a personal tour of the facility, where she could understand the importance of the operation and why they need help.
The next step was to contact Jacquie Giannico, Marketing Director at Club Fit, to bring the event together. Her efforts tied both of the Club Fit Swim Teams together – Jefferson Valley and Briarcliff. With all parties on board, a plan was laid out to get each team to fund raise together, with a Swimathon for Blythedale, on Friday, December 9th. Each swimmer was given a package to help solicit funds either by lump sum or by lap.
All in all, the event was exciting, the kids had fun, and more importantly, they raised money for a great cause. A donation check for almost $11,105.85 will be presented to Blythedale – Thanks to Hannah’s idea and the Club Fit USA Swim Team.
Born and raised in Brooklyn, NY now residing in Yorktown Heights, NY for the last 33 years. Raised five children ages 41 down to 25. After having my third child, my husband and I won a free month at Club Fit. We became members soon after as I looked forward every night to exer-fit classes. I loved class so much that under the guidance of Mary Taglianetti and Audrey Compabasso, I received my ACE Group Fitness Certification and started teaching classes at Jefferson Valley Racquet Ball Club – when it really was just a racquet club. Health and fitness have always been a big part of my life. In 2001 I reached further to fill a life long dream of going to college. At the age of 50, I graduated from WCC with a degree in Nursing. Working full time as a nurse, I continued to teach classes at Club Fit. Soon after that, I worked to acquire my Personal Training license. With the help of Barbara Cullen, I had many happy clients at Club Fit Jefferson Valley.
I started taking Bikram yoga classes to help with knee pain. It remedied the problem and eliminated the need for surgery. In 2009 after much coaxing from my daughter (who is a Bikram teacher), I went away for nine weeks to train to become a Bikram Yoga teacher. At this time, I would like to bring a form of this class to Club Fit. I see the need for these remedial properties as well as maintaining a healthy lifestyle in many of our members. Though the class is traditionally taught in 105 degrees – it can be just as beneficial practiced in a warm room – reaping the benefits of this yoga.
I like to think I am aging gracefully due to all the exercise Club Fit has allowed me to do – and the amazing world of yoga. I would like to pass on my knowledge and expertise as a Nurse, as an exercise professional and as a yoga teacher to others and allow them to age gracefully with me.
Danielle Weisberg is a busy woman. Her title is proof enough: Director of Child Welfare Services and the Children’s Advocacy Center at Westchester Institute for Human Development (WIHD). After 16 years in social work in New York City, she was hired by WIHD three years ago, when she decided it was time to move her career closer to home.
Danielle, a member at Club Fit Briarcliff, plays a critical role in Westchester County’s foster care system, overseeing close to a dozen services for kids and families in and at risk of foster care, including those in the post-adoption phase, and facilitating the investigation of alleged physical and sexual abuse. This part of her job involves working closely with law enforcement, CPS, mental health specialists and other providers, in addition to her oversight of a large staff of social workers, psychologists, physicians and therapists.
The work Danielle does is so important to so many people, but so is quality time with her family. Club Fit helps her achieve that balance. She joined Club Fit about 6 years ago, and is enjoying what the club has to offer, including family time and a chance to connect with others in the community, something she has a hard time accomplishing with her busy work schedule. “It’s great to come in and run in to neighbors, parents from my daughter’s school, and other acquaintances I wouldn’t get to touch base with on a regular basis,” she says.
Husband Dan is a longtime Club Fit member − a “big runner,” she says − who also swims and competes in triathlons. He’s also a Volunteer member of the Briarcliff Manor Fire Department and a participant in the club’s popular Chief’s Challenge program. Daughter Anya, 9, has taken swim and tennis lessons at Club Fit, and has also attended Tennis Camp. “My husband and I will sometimes take advantage of the time Anya is in a tennis lesson and grab a court for ourselves to play,” she says.
Danielle also enjoys Spinning and the Fitness Center, where she finds she never has trouble finding a machine. “It’s nice because the club is so spread out that even when the parking lot seems full, the club really doesn’t feel that way.” And in the winter, when going outside isn’t that appealing, the family likes to come in to work out for a few hours, then hang out in the Café and get a bite to eat. Anya’s particular favorite is the yogurt parfaits!
But it’s something else about Club Fit that impresses Danielle the most. “It is such a part of the local community. They go out of their way to help.” One example is the club’s presence at Step Up for Kids, a Children’s Advocacy Center event held at Westchester Medical Center this past September, which helps to raise awareness of the prevalence and the realities of child abuse in New York State. Club Fit instructor Judy Slominski ran a Zumba class for participants that was a big hit, particularly because of Judy’s enthusiasm, according to Danielle.
This month, Club Fit is also running a Toy Drive to benefit the children Danielle serves at WIHD, from those at risk of placement to those in the post-adoption phase. “I hope people realize how much Club Fit really does for our community and those in need,” says Danielle. “What they are doing for our kids through the Toy Drive is a small gesture to some, but will make a huge difference to our kids.” Look for boxes at the entrance to Club Fit to deposit your donations; toys will be accepted through December 10th. Thanks in advance from the kids served by our child welfare programs!