A Winter Fitness Boost!

By Liza Forster, RYT
Group Fitness Manager
Club Fit Jefferson Valley

Has Old Man Winter got you grounded? Being confined to home because of winter weather doesn’t need to put a cramp in your fitness routine. In fact, changing up how and where you exercise can actually give you an unexpected fitness boost.

First of all, remember that you don’t have to do everything all at once. 10 minute “legs” or intervals of exercise lets you crosstrain and keep you interested and more likely to push your own personal envelope. Three or four of these and you’ve exercised for 30 or 40 highly respectable minutes by the end of your day. Plus, jumping from isometrics, to endurance to strength work, etc, will keep your body and heart out of it’s comfortable routine, and out of it’s comfort zone. Combine the following as you like. Get your kids off of the laptops and make it a competition.

Ropeless jumproping- Put on your favorite music, and jump, jump, jump. One minute interval, 30 seconds of rest, repeat until you are at ten minutes total. Fast jump, joggy jump, skipping jump. Not only is jumping great cardio, but the impact lays bone on bone, increasing bone density. If you have bone issues, land lightly. Stepping in place is a safe alternative for delicate, more fragile bones.

Plank – Nothing like a straight arm plank to build some super strength. This one isn’t just for fighting the winter blues. Make this part of a daily practice all year round. Start at 30 seconds, and you progress, rock a 90 second plank. Pull your belly button firmly into your spine and keep it there. Wrists under shoulders, knees under hips. Can you say arms to die for?

Bicycle – Your grade school gym teacher got this right. Bicycle is a game changer. Back to one minute intervals on your back, 30 seconds rest in between. Alternate the work, fast bicycle for the first one, then S-L-O-W it way way down. Third one normal speed but hold the the elbow to the opposite knee as you cross, stay out of your comfort zone Keep your lower back flat on the ground.

Prisoner Squats – Nothing like squats to cut and define the glutes, quads, and hams. Lace fingers behind neck, elbows pulled back. Take a wide stance with feet parallel. Sit back into an imaginary chair, keeping knees over ankles and elbows pulled back. Up slowly and repeat. Exhale on the descend, inhale up and keep it slow. 4-6 rounds of 45 seconds with 30 seconds rest in between.

Wall handstand. Take a down dog (facing away from wall) with heels against a bare wall. Look in between hands at the floor. Walk your feet up the wall so that your legs are at a right angle from the wall. Hold for thirty seconds and walk down. As you progress, walk legs farther up so body is straight and almost perpendicular to the wall.

Repeat the series, and switch it up as needed throughout your snow day. Don’t forget to stretch everything out. 10 long breaths in a beautiful down dog hits the entire back of the body, sink into those heels, bend knees if you have any back pain. Don’t forget to shovel and have a snowball fight!
477643873

Winter Weather Workout with Susie!

suzie-reiner-1
By Susie Reiner, M.S., HFS, PES
Fitness Director, Club Fit Briarcliff

Unfortunately sometimes Mother Nature gets in the way of getting your workout in at Club Fit. Your safety is the most important on days where it’s dangerous to travel, so here are some exercise ideas for you to try at home:

Shoveling – the dreaded activity that is an essential part of living in the Northeast! Shoveling can be a great workout – if you do it right. Warm up ahead of time, do some dynamic stretches -toe touches side to side, side reaches, back extensions (hands support lower back), high knee pulls, quad stretches alternating, etc. Dress warmly with layers that you can take off if you get overheated. Be sure you are bending your knees EVERY time you pick up snow and switch sides/hands that you are throwing the snow with. Stretch your lower back, shoulders, and neck afterwards to avoid strain later on in the day. If you complete all these steps you will have a safe total body cardio and resistance workout. I’ve personally worn my Myzone belt while shoveling and got up to 200 MEPS in that time!

Got stairs? – There are a number of exercises you can do that strengthen your lower body and core while engaging cardiovascular benefits as well.
1. Step ups (up up down down) facing the step
2. Lateral step ups (step knee step touch)
3. Running the stairs – use the way down as recovery
4. Or try these fun exercises!

A great online resource for body weight workouts is Fitness Blender, a free website created by a husband and wife duo who felt like there was a lack of reliable health and fitness information on the web, and too many people in the industry were more focused on appearance than they were on good health. I’ve completed several of the workouts at home on this website and I can attest that they are safe and effective!

Need more advice? Please contact me at sreiner@clubfit.com and be safe in the snow!
163209567

CPR and Practical First Aid for Caregivers

If you are a parent, nanny, aunt, uncle, grandparent or anyone that spends any amount of time watching children, you need to know these essential lifesaving skills.

Anyone who spends time with infants, toddlers and adolescents knows that kids can get into all sorts of crazy situations and experience an injury. Nearly every parent has been through a mild to severe choking episode with a child that is learning to eat solids. We all see our kids fall at the playground at some point and most of the time, hopefully, it’s a superficial injury, but what about when it’s worse? What about small children and water safety? How do you know what to do in an emergency? Have you had prior training? What you can do is arm yourself with these practical skills in case you need them . . . and hopefully you never will!

What you need to learn in order to feel confident in handling just about any emergency that is child related:

• Conscious and Unconscious Choking
• Chipped Tooth
• Anaphylaxis and Epi-pen Injectors
• Responding to Breathing Emergencies
• Controlling Bleeding
• Signs of Shock & How to Care for Shock
• Diabetic Emergencies
• Sudden Illness
• Concussion Awareness Training
• Recommended First Aid Kit Products
• Appropriate Antiseptics
• Basic Safety Facts and Statistics

first aid for care givers

first aid for care givers

Club Fit will be offering CPR and Practical First Aid for Caregivers on February 20, 2015!
This course is designed to provide participants with lifesaving skills. Gain the confidence to effectively administer care for breathing and choking emergencies in adults, children and infants. Empower yourself with the knowledge to perform practical first aid skills. This course is designed for parents, expecting parents, care givers, and anyone who is looking to become certified in CPR and learn first aid skills.
American Red Cross CPR for the Professional Rescuer Certification upon completion

CPR and Practical First Aid for Caregivers will leave you prepared in the event that you encounter a situation that needs attention. For more information on CPR and Practical First Aid for Caregivers visit us online. Questions? Contact Club Fit Briarcliff Aquatics Director, Ruth Garcia at rgarcia@clubfit.com.

The Importance of Play

By Noelle Napolitano
How can Club Fit help your child develop critical early learning skills?

We can answer the above question with one simple word; Play.

Parents can become overwhelmed, questioning if you are giving your child enough vegetables, the best preschool, etc, however, the most important thing you can be giving your child is something as simple as the time to play.

We can become so structured, and live our lives according to where our smartphones are telling us we need to be at a certain time, or running so many errands just to accomplish daily tasks, that we may forget to take the time out of our days and just let our children simply play.

Play helps your child build crucial early education skills such as sharing, socializing, logic, critical thinking, and imagination. These are the skills they will be building on for the rest of their lives, and we need to give them the best foundation.

Play also helps keep your child fit & healthy!

nurserykids

Kids playing in nursery


Club Fit can do all of the above, and beyond!

Dropping your child off in our nursery while you workout gives your child such a great opportunity to help develop these skills. They are building key emotional and social skills, learning to separate from a parent, and bonding with others. They are forming their own social relationships right here at Club Fit! They are learning to explore and make their own decisions. That puzzle you see your child working on? They’re building their problem-solving and logic skills. Those cars you see your child driving down the ramps? They’re helping your child learn motion, gravity, size, & colors. The kitchen set up in the back? They’re role playing and using their imaginations!

Want to have your child’s party here at Club Fit? They will not only have a great social experience with their friends, they will also be developing their gross motor skills, by running, jumping, and getting fit while they have fun!

Take the time to introduce your child to all of the great offerings at Club Fit! Whether it be a trip to the nursery, a game of kickball in the Energy Center, or a Nerf Dart Tag Party, we surely have a way to help your children learn, get fit, and most importantly, have FUN!

Want more information on the importance of play?
Take a look at “10 Things Every Parent Should Know About Play” posted by The National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC)

The American Academy of Pediatrics have also done a study, and you can find more information here.

To learn more about the different programs and opportunities for families at Club Fit, visit us at www.clubfit.comor send an email to nnapolitano@clubfit.com to find out about what’s happening in the Nursery!

Doing a Bosu Burpee

If you’re a fan of the burpee this is for you! The Bosu Burpee is a variation on the traditional burpee. This exercise adds weight to the upper phase and stability to the lower phase.

Here’s a closer look at what a Bosu Burpee should look like:

maura1

maura3

maura2

Demonstrating this move is Maura Maloney. Maura is training for the NYC Half Marathon and is a hopeful for the 2015 NYC Marathon! Good luck Maura!

The Desk Workout: Part 1

Here is some important advice to keep your body active even during your work day! Desk workouts are important!
Here is a suggestion from our very knowledgeable Fitness Director, Susie Reiner M.S., HFS, PES:

The most important thing to do is to stand up! Take time each hour to stand up, stretch your back (hands on the small of your back and lean back to extend your spine), and walk around the office a bit. If it’s possible to walk to someone’s office instead of calling/e-mailing them, always do it! It not only does your body good but more meaningful work relationships come from face to face interactions! When seated at your desk, be aware of your posture, sit up straight with your feet flat on the floor, your shoulder blades pulled down your back, your computer at eye level to avoid kyphotic tendencies.

Screen Shot 2015-01-16 at 11.21.47 AM

Check back for more tips from Susie and her team on how to workout from your desk! Visit us online for more information on our fitness programs and how you can be part of our community. health is for everyone! www.clubfit.com

Welcome New Club Fit Briarcliff Manor Staff – December 2014

Cemar Jesurum

Briarcliff Manor ReceptionistJesurum

Cemar joined the Club Fit team in December 2014. He is currently a student at John Jay College of Criminal Justice. He enjoys playing sports, being active and being in the company of other people.

                                                                                                                        

Ellen Pollack, Briarcliff Manor

Group Fitness Instructor

Pollack

Ellen has a powerful background in core conditioning, Pilates, spinning, heart rate training, group exercise and Pilates personal training. Her hobbies include kayaking, hiking and swimming.  Ellen loves the family friendly atmosphere and supportive learning and teaching environment at Club Fit.

                                                                                                                        

 Melanie St. Pierre, Briarcliff Manor

Group Fitness Instructor

StPierre

Melanie loves teaching classes and working out!  She is a certified Group Fitness, Boot Camp and Mad Dogg Spinning instructor.  When not working out, Mel is an adjunct professor for the Developmental Reading/Writing and Business Departments at Mercy College.  She has a BS in Elementary Education from SUNY New Paltz and a Masters in literacy from Mercy College.  Melanie is excited to join the Club Fit team and has found our staff to be friendly and warm.

                                                                                                                        

Joseph Suschinsky

Briarcliff Manor Receptionist

Suschinsky

 Joe Suschinsky joined the Reception Team in December 2014.  He is a Pace University graduate. He enjoys basketball, hiking, reading and music.

How to perform the Bulgarian Split Squat

It can be difficult to try new exercises on your own. That’s why we are dedicating a series of posts to help you learn the ins and outs of these particular strength exercises.

Liz Roarty, Fitness Coach and long time member, performs a Bulgarian Split Squat with her toe propped up on a high step behind her. When you are executing this exercise, be sure to center your weight between both legs.
HoistFacebook Split Squat

Bend the back knee into a 90 degree angle, keeping the front knee in line with the heel. Keep your shoulders back and your abs tight as you move through this exercise.
Hoist Facebook Split Squat

Stay tuned in to our series of Hoist Circuit Strength exercises with your favorite Personal Trainers and Fitness Coaches! If you have questions or would like to sign up for Personal Training session, visit our website to find a Club Fit Personal Trainer who is right for you! Contact Fitness Director, Susie Reiner with questions comments or concerns.

Are you new to the HOIST ROC-IT circuit? We have Fit Coaches available to you at all times to guide you through the equipment. We are excited to be offering our members the newest technology in Circuit Training while delivering a safe and effective workout!

Squatting during Pregnancy, Labor and Birth

By Perinatal Exercise Specialist, Denise Weber

Denise Weber

Denise W.


Squatting is one of the most advantageous positions for labor and birth. Women the world over have used it for centuries, yet it is much less commonly practiced in the United States.

In times past, women relied more on their bodies, and less on intervention, with midwives guiding them through the process of labor and birth. “Prehistoric figures and ancient Egyptian drawings show women giving birth in the sitting or squatting position. Midwives and birthing stools are also mentioned in the Old Testament.” 1

So why squat?

Labor has been compared to an athletic event, and an athlete prepares for the event with specific exercises geared to improve the outcome. The exercises are done for weeks or months, depending on the event, strengthening the muscles needed, and increasing endurance. There is no last minute “cramming,” as this could certainly lead to injury. Squatting is one such exercise specific to pregnancy.

Done correctly during pregnancy, squatting can have many benefits that prepare our bodies for labor and birth.

Increase leg strength.

Stretch the muscles of the inner thighs.

Increase mobility of the pelvic joints and hips.

Relax the muscles of the pelvic floor.

Alleviate back pain and pressure.

Improve pelvic circulation.

During Labor, squatting encourages proper positioning of the baby, and can help bring the head in contact with the cervix, thus increasing the strength of the contractions. It aids gravity and encourages dilation of the cervix.

Squatting during birth has been shown to shorten the duration of time spent pushing, Yeah!! Because it shortens the birth canal, and helps to relax and open the pelvic floor muscles. It can also help encourage the “urge to push,” if it is lacking.

1. The start of Life: A history of Obstetrics, J. Drife, January, 2002

Always check with your doctor before you begin any exercise regime. In certain instances, squatting can be contraindicated or need modifications. Women with bad knees or varicosities should talk to their caregiver before practicing squats. Sitting on a stability ball or a stool can modify the position of a squat Sitting on the stability ball has the added benefit of alleviating pressure on the pelvic floor if vaginal varicosities are an issue.

Denise Weber teaches various prenatal and postnatal classes. She is available for Personal Training, private and semi-private. Do you have a group of friends you would like to take a prenatal or postnatal class with but nothing is scheduled? No problem! Small group classes can be arranged.

For a list of classes available at Club Fit Briarcliff, Click here.

For information on Prenatal and Postnatal classes at our Jefferson Valley location Click here or contact Tricia Weinbaum at tweinbaum@clubfit.com for more information!

Club Fit Employee Chris Becker

Club Fit employee Chris Becker with some happy campers!

Club Fit employee Chris Becker with some happy campers!

Beyonce enters a room and people holler “B!!” or “Queen Bey!!” Justin Bieber hits the stage, and followers scream “Biebs!!” or “JB!!” And when Chris Becker strolls into the energy center, his fan base is equally animated. Unlike Beyonce and Bieber, Becker has no nickname. Still, the sound of children calling out to him is sweet music to Chris’s ears.

“When I walk into the energy center and the kids are like, ‘Chris, Chris’ — and they want to hang out with me — it’s such a rewarding experience,” he says. “It’s hard to call it ‘friendships’ when you’re talking about 2 or 10-year-olds — but there’s a real connection, there’s a bond between us. I love the kids here, I really do.”

Chris Becker has worked at Club Fit since the summer of 2011. Initially hired to work as camp counselor to four and five year olds, Chris returned periodically to work at the club during breaks from his studies at SUNY Buffalo (where he majored in early childhood education). Since December 2013, Chris has worked nights and weekends at the club while pursuing his masters in elementary and special education at Mercy College. The only thing consistent about Chris’s schedule is that kids are involved…otherwise, it’s up for grabs. Sometimes Chris is watching infants in the nursery. Sometimes he’s monitoring older kids after school in the energy center. And sometimes he’s hosting weekend birthday parties. That’s the task he enjoys the most.

“Parties are fun; there are so many different options. You could do a two-year-old’s birthday party — where there’s a maze and then you go into the bounce castles — or you could do a 12-year-old’s birthday party where you’re playing dodge ball and capture the flag,“ Chris says. “I like seeing how excited each kid gets.”

The oldest of three children, Chris grew up in Mahopac. He says that a few excellent teachers he had along the way inspired him to want to work with kids. His education on how to handle children has occurred on multiple fronts. Through college classes, substitute teaching, and interactions with kids at Club Fit, Chris learned that to successfully manage children you must a) be patient, b) have the confidence to lead, c) be quick on your feet, and d) be compassionate and empathetic.

“I feel like being able to interact with the kids on their level is really important because the way you interact with one kid is different than the way you interact with another,” he observes. “If one kid has a very strong personality, you’re going to deal with him in a different way than a kid who is very sensitive or shy. I think [working] camp and birthday parties have helped me out most by making me a leader of 20 kids. I have to be completely in charge.”

One thing no one is completely in charge of is life; life has a way of throwing curveballs at us. That certainly happened to Chris. Although he didn’t play baseball in high school, Chris pitched on a college development team and wound up receiving an offer (and academic money) from Clark University in Worchester, Mass. Enter… curveball. “I turned it down because I tore my Tommy John (elbow) ligament,” he says. “But everything happened for the best. I was able to find a different athletic path and still be able to compete.” That path turned out to be running. Chris is a marathoner whose best time is 3 hours and 50 minutes; his goal is to get under 3 hours and 30 minutes. He finished 103rd out of 450 runners in the Brooklyn Marathon and plans to run the New York City half marathon in March.

Chris’ s professional and personal plans for the future are simple. Ideally, after completing his masters, he’d like to land a teaching job somewhere in the Yorktown, Mahopac, Putnam Valley area. And he’d also like to settle down. “A bunch of my friends want to travel the world and do all these crazy things — I just want to have what my family has: A very stable house, dog, kids, family — that’s what I want,” he says. “ I just want the traditional family.”

Know this: The Club Fit family is proud to call Chris one of our own. And if you enter the energy center on any given evening, you may hear loud, verbal evidence that this is true. “Chris, Chris, Chris!!”

Bey and Biebs….eat your heart out!

— by Guest Blogger Joy Cain 

Joy Cain

Published Author and Guest Blogger, Joy Cain

The Health Benefits of Diet and Exercise

The new year is upon us, a time for reflection, reevaluation and change. Even if what you are doing is working, there is always room for improvement! Just ask Bill Lulow, a Club Fit Briarcliff member for 20 years who used good judgment when faced with a recent health scare. He is now taking steps to educate himself on the benefits of a good diet to supplement an exercise regimen he has fine-tuned over the course of 30-plus years.

Bill, a commercial photographer, has been working out steadily since 1979. But the 70-year-old Chappaqua resident has had a few hiccups, including shoulder surgery and a recent angioplasty brought on by some unusual symptoms. “My dad died of a heart attack, so I’ve always been on top of my cardiac health,” says Bill. “He was a doctor himself, and was experiencing chest pain. He waited a few days to get to his own doctor, and it was a few days too late. I was determined not to let that happen to me.”

This past February, Bill felt a pain in his collarbone, in the carotid artery area, and couldn’t walk up a flight of stairs. The feeling passed, but a few weeks later it happened again while shopping with his wife of 32 years, Judith. When it didn’t pass by morning, he went to the Emergency Room. An angioplasty was performed, and revealed that he did suffer from coronary disease but did not have a heart attack. His attention to the pain probably saved him from a worse fate, and he was back in the gym doing cardio rehab almost right away.

Today, Bill spends six days a week in the Fitness Center, with three 20-minute days of cardio and weights and three days of an hour-long cardio workout. He’s modified his routine over time, getting tips from Assistant General Manager Ted Gilsinger after his shoulder surgery last year and help with his form from Master Trainer Sean Weil. “What I like about Club Fit is that the staff is so knowledgeable,” says Bill. “I feel comfortable taking direction from the Fitness Coaches there.”

A commercial photographer with studios in Chappaqua and Manhattan, Bill’s focus on fitness helps him maintain his active lifestyle. He spent many years teaching photography in the New York City public schools, and now does freelance corporate work and teaches photography privately and in local art programs. He also teaches in the Kaplan Test Prep program, and enjoys golf and skiing in his free time. His photography is currently being exhibited at the Katonah Village Library (click here for more information), and will be featured at the Scarsdale Public Library in April. Visit Bill’s web site, www.williamlulow.com, to view his work and to read about his journey through the world of photography. And if you see Bill in the Club, congratulate him on his proactive approach to good health — an approach we can all learn from!

Regular Exercise is important for your heart and overall health.

Regular Exercise is important for your heart and overall health.

Teamwork to find a cure for Arthritis

Now this should make you feel all warm and fuzzy! We’d like to share what Group Fitness Instructor, Carol Migliorelli, sent us about what she and some of our members were up to this weekend . . .

“This weekend at the Arthritis Foundation 5K, lots of Club Fit members joined the honoree, Denise Olsen to walk/run the event.

Denise was gravely ill a couple years ago and never thought that she would be able to walk again after a horrific flair up with her arthritis. However, she fought hard and long and has recovered. This year they honored her for her tremendous spunk and hard work!

We participated last year and raised over $3500 this year we pulled in over $8000!

Club Fit donated a gift card for a raffle (see young lady below) she gave a scream when she found out that she won “such an awesome prize!” So thank you Club Fit for supporting our efforts to hopefully one day find a cure for arthritis, but also for offering quality fitness programs that provide a safe place for people with arthritis to work out and promote a healthy quality of life. Denise said the aquatic center and classes were an important part of regaining her strength. When I see people improve and get their life back it makes me so proud to be a part of Club Fit.”

To Carol and all who participated in this great fundraiser: you are what makes us tick! You are all a fantastic example of what it means to be a team, working toward a goal for an excellent cause. We will continue to support these great works whenever possible! Great job!

Dees joints 6

1561108_10154863920600234_8729812328983999926_n

522107_10154863920645234_4151448365428921754_n

Are you living a healthy lifestyle?

Don’t laugh! It’s a good question to ask yourself! Some of us are super motivated when it comes to health and fitness, some people may even go a little too far with their workouts, some of us need a little push, some of us would really rather not workout, but we do for health reasons and some of us just simply don’t do it.

Here is a little factoid: There is no “too late” for anyone. Do you have a friend, relative or even a neighbor that needs to get active? It begins with encouraging them. Our society puts a great deal of pressure on us and sometimes we do not even notice it. It doesn’t automatically register in our minds that all the models we see in magazines and on TV are all photoshopped and airbrushed to the nines. We are fed unrealistic images of how people look and feel, and we assume that these “beautiful people” are all also healthy. This is not always so, but it sure does a number on our self esteem to be inundated with these images. Sometimes all it takes is a little push from a loved one or friend to get us to do something that is good for ourselves. Even when we are in the habit of working out, we still need that encouragement to stay motivated.

There is more to health than just working out. We need to consider our diet (including consumption of alcohol), our sleep habits, and our daily behaviors. It doesn’t always occur to us to check how many calories are in that Latte or what the side-effects of a particular medication are. Many times we don’t look behind the curtain. It’s time to start. Start by asking questions. Take a more active role in understanding health as whole and not just a piece of a puzzle. Where are we without our health? Probably not where we would like to be.

If you need some guidance and are ready to make a change, we are here to help you on your journey. We have registered dietitians, personal trainers and many programs that were designed specifically for your needs no matter where you are with your health. Whether you have been instructed by a doctor to start working out or are an avid fitness enthusiast, we want you to be a part of our community. We also have a Cancer Wellness Program that is open to anyone actively undergoing cancer treatments.

Get started today at our Jefferson Valley or Briarcliff location! Visit the Club Fit website for more information!

Breast Cancer Wellness

Dr. Sandra Brennan, radiologist & breast cancer specialist

Club Fit member Dr. Sandra Brennan, Director of Breast Imaging and Interim Director of Radiology at the West Harrison outpost of New York’s Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center.

Dr. Sandra Brennan may be new to Club Fit, but the benefits of a healthy lifestyle, for both her patients and herself, is not new at all. Dr. Brennan is Director of Breast Imaging and Interim Director of Radiology at the new West Harrison outpost of New York’s Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center, a long-anticipated and welcomed resource for Westchester County’s cancer patients.

Hailing from Ireland, where she attended University College Dublin and completed her residency at Mater Misericordiae Hospital, also in Dublin, Dr. Brennan came to the United States in 2005 to complete a fellowship at Sloan-Kettering’s Breast and Body Imaging Center, and the rest was history. During the fellowship, she sharpened her expertise in imaging of tumors in the chest, abdomen and pelvis, as well as in breast imaging and intervention, and upon completion of the fellowship she was invited to join the faculty in Sloan-Kettering’s Department of Radiology.

Currently, her focus is on breast imaging, which involves interpretation of screening and diagnostic mammograms, ultrasound examinations and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI). Her clinical work includes state-of-the-art procedures such as image-guided biopsy under stereotactic, ultrasound and MRI guidance, and breast localization procedures with both radioactive seed and wire localizations. Radioactive seed localizations are a relatively new approach that she says will be put into practice in MSK West Harrison in the new year. “The field is constantly evolving, and the number of options available to our patients continues to grow,” she says.

The opening of the West Harrison facility was a great opportunity for Dr. Brennan, who is also mom to six-year-old Samuel and four-year-old Leah, to get out of the city and into the more family-friendly suburbs. The family recently moved to Chappaqua and joined Club Fit Briarcliff, where they enjoy the Aquatics Center on weekends, and Samuel has been playing basketball. Dr. Brennan is no stranger to health clubs, and staying fit has been a lifelong practice. “I run, cycle, hike, swim…I’ve even completed some half-marathons!” she said. Since joining Club Fit, she gets in two to three visits per week, and has been spending her time in the Fitness Center. She’s looking forward to exploring other areas of the club with her children in the coming months.

One program that piqued her interest was the Cancer Wellness Program, which has been a part of Club Fit’s programming for a number of years. Free to cancer patients, both members and non-members, this strength and cardio conditioning program is designed to meet the special needs of people undergoing and recovering from cancer treatment. “There is growing evidence to suggest that maintaining a healthy weight and being physically active may reduce your risk of getting certain types of cancer such as breast, colon, endometrial and prostate,” says Dr. Brennan. “Patients who exercise and pay attention to their overall wellness tolerate treatment better, and in many cases experience a faster recovery.”

With the opening of the West Harrison facility, Sloan-Kettering has expanded its presence in Westchester County, which it has served since 1995 through its facility at Phelps Memorial Hospital in Sleepy Hollow. The facility’s staff includes more than 100 professionals, including cancer surgeons, medical and radiation oncologists and radiologists. “What we’ve done is bring all the services of the main campus in Manhattan to Westchester, allowing patients access to the same high-quality services without the commute into the city,” says Dr. Brennan. Add that to the plethora of support groups and other resources available to cancer patients in our area, and a cancer diagnosis becomes a much easier burden to bear, for both patient and caregiver.

Click here for more information on Sloan-Kettering’s West Harrison facility, as well as Dr. Brennan and her colleagues. You can also click here to find out more about Club Fit’s Cancer Wellness Program, a valuable resource to anyone fighting the battle against cancer.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Vince Wright shares “Some of the Good Stuff”

Joy Cain

Published Author and Guest Blogger, Joy Cain

Vince Wright is in the Club Fit café, happily munching on a plate of chicken tenders and mashed potatoes from Kentucky Fried Chicken. Hmmmm. This is not the typical type of meal you’d expect to see Jefferson Valley’s newest personal trainer eat . . . but then again, Vince is not your typical type of trainer. “It’s not about restricting yourself,” he says in defense of his occasional foray into KFC-land. “It’s about getting into a healthy lifestyle and making it so that you can enjoy some of the good stuff.”

Born and raised in Saginaw, Michigan, Vince was a small, sickly kid who suffered from asthma. He vividly remembers not being able to climb the rope in gym and not being able to play with his classmates at recess. Vince couldn’t walk up a flight of stairs without gasping for breath. And he was bullied. Determined to get stronger, he asked for and received a set of weights from his father—not that he really knew how to use them. But Vince desperately wanted to change his physical condition. He just didn’t know how.

Then one day a friend challenged him to see who could jump furthest on a bike. What happened next was Light Bulb Moment No. 1. Vince’s fifth-grade mind reasoned that jumping on a bike was basically a matter of lifting the bike, while in motion, and then landing. So to train for the upcoming bike jump challenge, every day for two weeks Vince lifted his bike. When competition day came, he was more than ready. “I smoked him– just smoked him, “ Vince recalls. “I remember the bike felt so light when I went to lift it, and I thought—‘Wow, that really worked!’ So that began my fascination with weight training and how it could improve my performance and make me better.”

During high school, Vince spent countless hours in the family garage lifting weights and reading Muscle and Fitness magazine, but his results were mixed. On the plus side, his asthma symptoms disappeared. But on the minus side, despite eating healthfully and working out for hours each day, Vince wasn’t bulking up. His 5’8” frame wouldn’t budge above 140 pounds.

It wasn’t until he was 21 years old that Vince experienced Light Bulb Moment No. 2, which basically came down to this: Simpler is better. Everyday, Vince had been spending hours trying to exercise each muscle group—when in reality he should have been focusing on one muscle group for just 45 minutes a day. Moreover, he was doing some of the exercises incorrectly. And although Vince often ate a healthy dinner, he never ate breakfast and lunch, at best, was a crapshoot. Bottom line: His food intake was off. Vince made some adjustments.

“I looked at my workout program and whittled it down. I made it lean and effective. I started focusing on certain muscle groups on certain days, and I didn’t go beyond a certain period of time in each session,” Vince says. “And I made sure that I was providing the proper nutrition for myself in order to sustain those workouts. The result was like night and day. My body—it was like a plant. It finally got the light. It finally got the water. And it finally got the food to grow. “ By making those changes, Vince gained a much-desired 40 pounds in one year. He felt empowered by his newfound knowledge and the transformation he had made in his life. And he hasn’t looked back since.

Vince has been certified by the National Strength Conditioning Association and currently holds an International Sports Science Association certification. Since moving east, he has worked in three Westchester gyms and experienced numerous success stories among his clients. One woman had shin splints, terrible posture, and bad feet-–but she wanted to be a marathoner. Says Vince: “I thought I was a little bit out of my league because I wasn’t a runner, but I always had a need for information so I researched what was going on with her and what she needed to do.” Long story short—after training with Vince for over a year, the woman’s body was transformed. She developed a little six pack, some muscle definition in her arms and her posture improved. Most importantly, she ran in two marathons, completing the second one in under four hours.

Another success story was that of the high school swimmer who, after training with Vince, won a New York State swimming championship. And no, Vince isn’t really a swimmer, either. But as with the marathoner, Vince’s persistence, his knowledge base, and his willingness to research and cross-train made all of the difference for his young client. Here at Club Fit, Vince hopes to create group classes that help women transform themselves and eventually, he hopes to work with all types of athletes through the Parisi program. Naturally, personal training sessions are on his agenda as well.

“I’m in this to help people,” Vince says. “ I’m in this to make a change in someone’s life, just the way I made a change in my own life. That’s what I look forward to. That’s what drives me and keeps me going.”

Vince Wright

What else keeps Vince going? Here’s a quick connection with Vince Wright, Club Fit style:

Favorite guilty pleasureMoosetracks ice cream.

Most exciting G-rated experience– Going across country, from Chicago to San Francisco, with my mother on a bus. I was in the fourth grade. It was an amazing trip, seeing the countryside.

Favorite type of musicDrum and bass (electronic dance music from England)

Favorite TV show—Breaking Bad.

Least favorite vegetableRed beets.

Favorite actor, and whyI like Morgan Freeman. Morgan Freeman’s my man. You know why? When I was a kid, he was on the Electric Company, and then as I grew up, he was always out there somewhere. I’ve always respected Morgan Freeman.

Fitness goalRight now I’m at about 12 percent body fat; I want to be at 8 or 9 percent. And I want to be bigger. Right now I’m about 190 pounds, but I want to be like 200, 205. It’s almost like being anorexic. When I look in the mirror, I see a small guy. For as hard as I work out, I don’t feel like my body represents that.

Weightlifting routine– On my heavy days, I’ll deadlift 430 pounds for 5 reps. On my chest day, I’ll bench press 325 for 5 reps. On my leg day, I’ll squat 430 for 5 reps.

But that’s on my heavy days. Then I have lighter days and I have moderate days—you can’t always go heavy, not at my age, you’ll beat yourself up. I’m 43. When I was 20-something I could do that, but at 43, you have to cycle it a little bit.

Favorite Sports teamEither the Chicago Bears or the New York Giants. I’m torn because I’m a hometown boy, but at the same time, I’m here now–and I love the Giants. I love my football.

A perfect day consists ofSpending time with my three sons (ages 21, 16, and 8) and going to the beach and barbequing. I enjoy cooking out.

What would people be most surprised to find out about you? That I’m a nerd. I’m a tech nerd. I enjoy computers, I like talking about the technical aspects of things.

Learn more about Personal Training at Club Fit! Click here for Personal Trainer Bios.

 

Join Me for a Zumba Class!

With just over two months to go until my Mt. Kilimanjaro climb, we are very excited! We are getting closer and closer to our goal – raising $30k! That $30k will be put toward the renovation of an ILS (Independent Living Services) Center for our developmentally disabled children on our Valhalla Campus.

To keep my workout going and to continue my momentum, I want to invite you to join me for a Zumba class on Tuesday, November 18th from 5:00-6:00pm at Club Fit of Briarcliff! Join me and together we can learn Zumba and either kick start our workout together or add a new challenge to our routine. The Zumba class is FREE and we encourage you to come and bring some friends! It is sure to be a great time to learn a new workout routine and have fun with friends, old and new! See you there!

Screen Shot 2014-11-17 at 9.54.17 AM

Personal Trainer Nick Paganelli shows how a well executed squat is performed

Over the weekend an old friend brought one of our posts to our attention. It was of a poster that offered a holiday special on personal training packages. The form of the person doing a squat was not spot on. We asked Personal Trainer, Nick Paganelli, to demonstrate what a squat that is done using proper technique looks like:

And as a bonus for the more advanced gym-goers . . . here he is doing an advanced balance exercise!

We are proud to have a staff that exemplifies professionalism! If you are interested in learning more about our Personal Trainers and their extensive backgrounds, click here. From now through December 31st we are offering a holiday special on Personal Training packages. For more information, email Susie at sreiner@clubfit.com.

The Benefits of Becoming a Lifeguard

One of the best possible early career opportunities as a mature teen or young adult is becoming a certified Lifeguard. Here are 5 reasons why Lifeguarding might be a great fit!

1. Developing Leadership Skills:
Being charged with People’s Safety is no light matter. A lifeguard must be responsible, alert and assertive when they see warning signs or unsafe behavior. Being in a position like this, means there is truly no option to be timid. Even when certain rules may be difficult or touch on sensitive subjects, a lifeguard must find a way to communicate and enforce them. When a lifeguard begins his or her career, they may not feel 100% about their leadership qualities, but after a few weeks to a few months, you can see that persons’ sense of self-worth and leadership grow.

2. Increased Communication and People Skills:
For many of the same reasons mentioned in number 1, lifeguards must interact with people. Even when they are not in their comfort zone. A good lifeguard will know how to handle unsafe behavior, aggressive patrons, or potential dangers/threats to swimmers. Everyone is certainly different in their approach to communicating these issues to patrons, but their job requires them to do so. This allows them to develop their personal communication skills and etiquette, helps them to speak up, and in many instances helps them to make more mature decisions.

3. Improved Self-Confidence:

Being a lifeguard is a position that requires a great deal of responsibility. Lifeguards are responsible for the safety of all patrons under their watch. This means enforcing rules and guidelines, noticing the first signs of distress, making sure the surrounding areas are safe for swimmers and even saving peoples lives when it comes to that. This can really boost self-confidence. Doing a job they know is keeping people safe makes them feel good about the work they do! Plain and simple.

4. Working as part of a Team:

Lifeguards often work together. Whether it is at an indoor facility, outdoor rec center, Lake, River or Ocean. In most of these environments, working as a team is key. Not only do the use those communication skills, but their is often an understanding about who needs to do what when there are multiple guards on duty. Lifeguards may be a different stations and will often have to follow a rotation. Now their coworkers are counting on them to stick to that rotation to avoid on the job fatigue. They are also responsible for watching different “zones” of the water or elements within their facility/settings. This means their must be a mutual understanding of the division of zones and who is responsible for which. Sometimes, a lifeguard will even need more than just him or herself to perform the rescue depending on what the circumstances are. This requires an incredible amount of focus and teamwork. Finally, most places that employ lifeguards require what is known as “In Service Training”. These are cooperative trainings that simulate potential real-life scenarios in which a guard may have to participate in. It always requires working together and role-playing rescue situations.

5. Lifeguards Possess Desirable Skills for Future Careers:

Let’s face it . . . navigating the job market can be tough when someone is just starting out. Being a lifeguard gives you skills that other professionals and hiring managers like to see in potential employees. Teamwork, Self Confidence, Communication and Leadership are all vital skills that are often not learned in school. They are learned through life experience. Lifeguards certainly have a jump on their competition when it comes to possessing these skills and they can often adapt to their surroundings by leveraging those very skills.

The question is not why you should become a lifeguard, but more importantly, why you shouldn’t?

At Club Fit, we offer American Red Cross Lifeguard Certification Courses at our Briarcliff and Jefferson Valley locations.
LIFEGUARD

Parisi Director Jack Werther gives back.

Jack-werther-web

Parisi Director Jack Werther

Giving back is something that heightens the spirit and cleanses the soul. It is a good feeling to be able to do something that you are passionate about, and at the same time, help someone in need, or brighten their day – or week, for that matter!

In steps Jack Werther, Club Fit employee / Parisi Speed School Director. On a typical day, you can find Jack managing his speed trainers or heading up a local sports team’s training on the Parisi turf. His passion is working with kids… helping them to become stronger, faster, ultimately better athletes. This is a far cry from his college days, where he attended Western New England College and graduated with a degree in Finance. His love for personal training, pushed him to pursue his certification as a personal trainer in 2011, and in 2013 joined Club Fit and became a certified Parisi Performance Coach.

At about the same time, Jack was introduced by a friend to an organization based out of White Plains — Family Services of Westchester. FSW offers a broad range of innovative programs designed to meet the needs of children, teens, and the elderly through several family centers. What interested Jack the most was a program called “Camp Viva”. Camp Viva’s mission is simple — to serve HIV affected children, families and care partners in Westchester County, who are living with or affected by HIV and/or Aids.

For the past 3 years, Jack has been volunteering as a camp counselor there. Every August for the past 3 years, he has packed up his bags, and spends a full week at Camp Viva, a sleep away camp, located at the Ramapo Anchorage Camp for Children in Rhinebeck, NY.. “Making a difference in these kids’ lives has made me a better person. One of the things that I reflect back on is that kids are kids…they all want to be accepted, they all want to be “cool”, they all want to have friends. At the start of the week, their defenses are up. They come in with a “too cool for school” attitude. By Tuesday, their defenses are down, and they just want to be accepted…they just want to be kids”.

Jack spends the majority of his seven days as a Sports Specialist there, planning activities and running sports programs for these kids. Very similar to his job at Parisi. It’s the love that he has for kids and the love that he has for sports that makes him the perfect person for both jobs.

Inspired by Jack, we will be doing a give back to benefit Family Services of Westchester — a “Mitten, Scarf and Hat Drive” from November 28th through December 13th. New or gently worn items can be dropped off at the Club, and the proceeds will go to families in need throughout Westchester County.

During the month of November, we give thanks and share thanks. A big thanks to Jack Werther — for his unselfishness and the time that he gives back to Family Services of Westchester. If anyone is interested in learning more about Camp Viva, click here.