To Keep You Inspired… Lizandra Vega

by Lisa Olney, Club Fit guest blogger.

Lizandra with Tiana and Joe

Lizandra with Tiana and Joe

In 2014, Club Fit Briarcliff member Lizandra Vega had a birthday epiphany, and it was time to reassess her lifestyle. On the surface her life was in perfect balance: a proud wife and hands-on mother of two — personal life, check; a 20-year career as an executive recruiter in Manhattan’s luxury lifestyle market, a certified image consultant, and an author — professional life, check; meaningful work giving back to the community — volunteer life, check. What she realized with striking clarity, though, was that she had slowly ceased stepping out of her comfort zone, challenging her own personal growth — a trait that she instills in her clients. “I motivate people, that’s part of my job,” says Lizandra. “I like to be authentic, so I have always put myself in situations that may not be comfortable at first in order to see how I’ll thrive.” On her blog, The Career Confidante, at www.LizandraVega.com, she lists her 10 Commandments of Success. The second commandment is “Thou shall not nurture anything but a positive physical, mental, and emotional state of being.” It was time to get back to nurturing her own healthy lifestyle.

Lizandra looked to her bucket list and decided it was time to conquer her fear of swimming. Raised in the Bronx with no real exposure to the water, she developed a fear of swimming after trips to the beach and constant warnings of the danger of the water. But Lizandra refused to pass that fear on to her children who have been longtime members of the Briarcliff Swim and Diving team. Lizandra served on the organization’s board of directors for the last seven years, and no one would have ever guessed that Lizandra didn’t know how to swim. “Outdoors was never my thing,” recalls Lizandra, “But I made it my thing.”

Living in Briarcliff for the last 19 years, Lizandra turned to Club Fit to start her journey. Lizandra chose to take private lessons with swim instructor Joe Cave, who had taught many adults to swim, and he proved to be a great match for her. Initially, Lizandra could only float — no propelling herself forward and definitely no putting her head in the water. Her biggest fear was not knowing how she would be able to breathe, and it was paralyzing.

The lessons started in September of 2014, and Lizandra remembers feeling comfortable with him immediately. “I instantly trusted Joe the minute I shook his hand,” she recalls. “He would say, ‘I’m not going to let you drown. You are not going to drown with me here.’” This declaration was cathartic for Lizandra allowing her to let go of her fear and begin conquering it. Lizandra felt it would take a long time just to get her head in the water, but her first lesson was empowering. “I was already doing little strokes — not with my head completely in the water, but I made such progress in just one lesson,” she remembers. “It felt so good, and I knew that I was really going to learn this time.” Step by step, she did just that, and she’s been taking lessons with Joe ever since. Today, she swims laps, working on technique and endurance for every stroke.

Saturday mornings quickly became Lizandra’s “me-time” with swim lessons at 10am. She added a small group training class, Women on Weights with Master Trainer Tiana Gonzalez. Lizandra connected at once with Tiana, and in January 2015, began personal training sessions with her. Tiana’s supportive and caring style has helped Lizandra achieve many fitness goals and given her the confidence to step outside of her fitness comfort zone and use all the fitness options at Club Fit.

From Joe’s patience and ability to empower to Tiana’s empathy and motivational style, Lizandra credits them both with helping her regain a healthier and proactive lifestyle. “Because I work in recruiting, staffing, and hiring, I am very discerning about who I hire to teach me,” says Lizandra. “Joe and Tiana show such professionalism, and their communication goes beyond expectations.”

Next on Lizandra’s bucket list are singing and ice-skating. While her Club Fit bucket list includes yoga and tennis, it’s safe to say that any area of the Club that Lizandra has yet to explore has a spot on her list. “I really am a person that loves to continue to learn and challenge myself,” says Lizandra, “When I become a member of a place, I’m all in.”

Your Commitment and Our Equipment

Reach your fitness goals with our exciting new equipment arriving soon in the Fitness department.

Keiser Squat and Keiser Runner 

Keiser Technology: With Keiser Pneumatic Technology, the muscles remain active and engaged throughout the entire range of motion and velocities, with reduced shock loading to muscles, connective tissues and joints, which allows for workout regimens that can safely improve physical performance in ways not seen with traditional strength-training methods.

Keiser Squat: Combining a low impact workout with the ability to move safely at higher speeds, the AIR300 Squat enhances explosive Power. The AIR300 squat work for all users through its self-adjusting comfort pads and a sturdy wide base. A range-limiting feature helps prevent ligament and joint injury to the knee. Adjust the air pressure at your fingertips for a functional, safe, and explosive workout!

Keiser Runner: The Air300 Runner is a unique and innovative product designed for the athletic performance and functional training market. It allows users to train speed, resistance, and form of the lower body to improve functional movement and pattern. Whether you are looking to improve your acceleration for sport or form and strength in the lower body, this equipment is for you!

THE FROG!

This Total Body Training Device will work every major muscle in your body with a variety of exercises in unique planes of motion. Get ready for a killer core workout. Stay tuned to see the Frog in our new CORE-FIT class starting soon.

CORE-FIT — Core and Cardio Circuit:

We will be incorporating three new pieces of equipment into this NEW Circuit class on the Group Fitness Schedule (formerly known as Abs Express).

Total Gym Core Trainer: A unique piece of core exercise equipment that strengthens the abdominals, while engaging the entire core musculature.  The Core Trainer helps enhance basic core stability for beginners while providing advanced strengthening and a competitive edge for the most seasoned athletes.

Total Gym Row Trainer: A new and unique rower that emulates a rowing movement pattern using adjustable bodyweight resistance, the Total Gym Row Trainer produces a full body workout, integrating a strength component into a traditional cardio machine. Built on an incline, the Total Gym Row Trainer targets all the muscles groups simultaneously and enables a smooth consistent load through the entire range of motion, due to loaded concentric and eccentric phases of the exercise. Designed for multi-planar movement including exercises such as biceps curls and an alternating side to side row, the Row Trainer is fun to use and user friendly, accommodating all fitness levels.

Cybex Eagle Abdominal Machine: Innovative design isolates abdominal muscles and allows different body types to enjoy a comfortable range of motion. The counterbalance mechanism offsets the user’s trunk weight for more consistent loading and greater effectiveness, and the patented pelvic stabilization eliminates hip flexor involvement while rear foot pegs provide for expanded training variation.

See a Fitness Coach to learn how to use any of our new equipment. We strive to bring you the best and newest machines on the market to help you achieve your fitness goals at Club Fit.

To Keep You Inspired… Jason Needle

photo collage, Jason and friends.

A photo collage of Jason Needle with his friends and peers at Club Fit, along with our newly redesigned name tags, inspired by and honoring Jason.

You may have noticed that we changed the design of the name tags that we proudly wear at work.  And it’s all for a very good reason — Jason Needle — our colleague and friend. Jason passed away on December 4, 2015.The new name tags will serve to remember Jason, and to encourage us to be supportive of others.  We have implemented Jason’s “I Can. I Will.” tag line on the new name tags as a reminder of who Jason was; a brave person who inspired others to live with a strong sense of community and commitment to live life to the fullest.

Jason Needle once described himself as an Iraq war veteran, a two-time cancer survivor, and a proud member of the Club Fit family. Beating cancer and defending our country are two things everyone can identify as substantial accomplishments. Although it may pale in comparison, Jay’s association with Club Fit would prove to be of paramount importance in his life story. Jay grew up coming to Club Fit and fell in love with the atmosphere. He enjoyed it so much that he went to college to pursue a degree in exercise sports science with the end goal of working at his favorite place.

Jay began working as a personal trainer in the fitness department in 2005. When he wasn’t working, he could still be found in the building working out, lifting weights, or playing basketball. Jay was outgoing, enthusiastic, friendly, and genuinely interested in other people. Because of this, it wasn’t long before everyone knew who Jay was – both staff and members alike. He was also one of the trainers who spearheaded the Parisi Speed School program when it was introduced. This is the area where Jay really shined. He had a passion for training young athletes; watching kids improve and achieve goals and, more importantly, gain confidence was everything to Jay. “Being able to help a child grow confident through fitness and performance is a beautiful thing to me,” he told the Briarcliff Daily Voice. He knew they looked up to him and never lost sight of that.

Jay was the picture of health and fitness when he was diagnosed with Acute Myeloid Leukemia (AML) in November 2010. He spent over 200 days in the hospital the first year of his treatment and achieved remission only to have the leukemia return less than a year later. He was then diagnosed with a rare gene mutation that made it difficult for treatments to be successful. During his five-year battle, he traveled all over New York City and Boston, spoke to countless doctors, went through over twenty different chemotherapy treatments, most of which were experimental trials, radiation and two bone marrow transplants.

Throughout his fight, Club Fit remained an important support system for him. A Facebook page was created entitled “Jason’s Army” which he posted on frequently to stay in touch with everyone. He used his Parisi clients as motivation for himself: “The excitement they show when they reach a new goal or do something they thought couldn’t be done is what drives me day in and day out. If these kids can do it, then so can I!”

And so Jay’s tagline was born. Jay coined the motto “I Can. I Will.” and believed with all of his heart that he would beat the odds against his disease. Again, Jay’s energy and sense of purpose was infectious. His positive and energetic posts more often than not served as motivation for its readers to work to make the world a caring, supportive place. His “I Can. I Will.” attitude exploded and the support was phenomenal as the page grew to over 1,100 followers.

Jay was able to use this following to help other people fighting against cancer as well. By hosting an annual 5k run/walk in 2013, 2014, and 2015, Jason’s Army raised over $40,000 for local charities that support cancer patients. For someone who was going through so much, all he wanted to do was give back and recognize others. He was so thankful for the support of staff, members, and clients from Club Fit that he wanted to help those who didn’t have the same support.

Jay died on December 4, 2015. As the legendary ESPN anchor Stuart Scott said, “When you die, that does not mean that you lose to cancer. You beat cancer by how you live, why you live, and the manner in which you live.” He continued by saying, “So live. Live. Fight like hell. And when you get too tired to fight, lay down and rest and let somebody else fight for you.” The best way to honor Jason’s life and to keep his memory alive is to adopt his “I Can. I Will.” attitude and employ it in your own life.

New Club Fit Staff Member – Terita Bradoc

IMG_20160526_171841TeritaNew Club Fit Staff Member – Terita Bradoc

Jefferson Valley – Massage Therapist

Returning Massage Therapist, Terita, graduated from the Hudson Valley School of Massage in 2011.  She also holds an Associates Degree in Nutrition.  Terita is well versed in several modalities including Swedish Deep Tissue, Active Isolated Stretching and Myofascial Release, to name a few.  Terita believes that proper nutrition, hydration, physical activity and massage therapy are important components to a healthy life.

New Club Fit Staff Member – Morgan Spiegel

IMG_20160521_114730 Morgan SpiegelNew Club Fit Staff Member – Morgan Spiegel

Briarcliff Manor – Lifeguard

Morgan is excited to become a member of the Aquatics Club Fit Lifeguarding team!  She has always loved the water!  She swam competitively for about 9  years. She is now studying to become a registered nurse and from there she will go to medical school.  Morgan loves to exercise and take care of her body.  She loves meeting new people and is really looking forward to working at Club Fit!

Who needs Back Exercises?

By Meryle Richman, PT, DPT, MS, CST, RYT

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.

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

Basic Anatomy:

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:

●Muscles: A healthy spine is supported by a strong and flexible back, abdominals, hip and leg muscles. Muscles that lack strength and flexibility cannot maintain your back’s natural curves, which can lead to back problems, and possibly injury.

●Joints: Strong and flexible hip, knee, ankle, and back joints help balance your back curves ad allow movement. Joints that lack strength and flexibility fail to support your spine, and this can also contribute to back problems.

Other important structures to understand about the back:

●Vertebrae and facet joints: the vertebrae (or bones) provide the structural support for your back. The facet joints, which are located on the outside of the vertebrae, control the amount and direction of movement.

●Ligaments: These are tough and non-elastic bands that hold the vertebrae together. They connect to the discs and vertebrae, lending support and stability to the spine.

●Disc: The discs act as shock absorbers and allow normal motion to take place. The center of the disc is jellylike and is composed of water and fluid. It is surrounded by tough rubber-like bands that are attached to the vertebrae.

●Nerves: Provides the energy to make the muscles work. Once the goals of a well back are achieved the individual should follow up with a regular exercise program that includes an aerobic activity, such as walking or swimming.

Here are some tips that will prevent low back pain or its recurrence:

● Always bend with the knees, not from the waist when lifting

● 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

● When standing place one foot on a stool to keep the back straight

● 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

● When driving adjust the seat so you can sit closer to the pedals with the knees bent and back supported

● 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

● Additional suggestions include: changing the type of chair used at work, taking exercise breaks to stretch tight muscles and finding ways to handle stress.

Learn how Physical Therapy at Ivyrehab can help you:

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.

Other physical therapy measures can consist of any one of a combination of moist heat, ice, modalities, aquatic therapy, soft tissue massage, mobilization, stretching and gradual core and strengthening exercises.

If you would like to be seen right away for learning how to set-up an exercise program, prevent an injury or chronic pain under Direct Access (no prescription is required), contact us at: Contact Ivyrehab Briarcliff (914) 762 – 2222 and Ivyrehab Jefferson Valley (914) 245 – 8807 or visit our Website: www.ivyrehab.com to learn more about Direct Access. Ivyrehab accepts most insurance plans (which our office obtains pre-approval from your insurance carrier) and will submit your office visit treatments for payment. You will be responsible for your co-payment depending on your particular insurance policy. With one-on-one care this permits the therapist to construct a personalized program for the individual. After all, when it comes to rehabilitation, “It’s all about the people”.

Ivy Rehab

Reduce Your Risk of Osteoporosis: Learn Preventative Exercise Tips

by Meryle Richman, PT, DPT, MS, CST, RYT
Ivy Rehab

Osteoporosis is a disease affecting approximately 10 million men and women in America. It is the progressive loss of bone mineral density. With bone loss over time the bones become weak and brittle leading to the increased likelihood of fractures, and bone deformation. The cost to our nation’s economy can be as much as 13 billion dollars per year in lost productivity and health care costs.

Who is at Risk for Osteoporosis?

Eighty percent of those with Osteoporosis are women. Women over 65 years of age are at much greater risk than men for Osteoporosis. Anyone diagnosed with Osteopenia, low bone density and a precursor to Osteoporosis is at greater risk. Other risk factors include women who are white or Asian, postmenopausal, cigarette smoking, sedentary lifestyle and some medication. Also women who have had long-term menstrual problems or have mineral absorption problems may also be at risk.

What can happen if you have Osteoporosis?

Osteoporosis causes a hunched forward posture and the formation of a hump, in the middle back and decreasing height. Poor posture and muscle tension due to the hunched posture can contribute to the increase of falling because the person’s center of gravity is shifted forward. Weak and brittle bones increase the likelihood of fracture during falls or fractures of the spine.

Some symptoms that may be caused by Osteoporosis include back pain, poor posture, lost height and decreased mobility. Anyone over 65 or postmenopausal women should be screened for osteoporosis even if symptoms are not present. Doctors will perform bone density scans to rate the persons bone density and determine their diagnosis based on that scan.

Tips on how Physical Therapy can help Osteoporosis:

1. Physical therapy can be utilized to manage to progression of Osteopenia, Osteoporosis and their symptoms. The patient’s goals include prevention of bone loss and increasing bone density.

2. According to the American Physical Therapy Association (APTA), “The right exercises and good habits can keep bones strong and prevent or reverse the effects of osteoporosis. Weight-bearing exercise, such as walking, is an important way to build and maintain healthy bones. Muscle strengthening exercises have been found to stimulate bone growth and can help prevent and treat osteoporosis. These types of exercises are best if started early in life and done regularly. However, it is important to remember that you can begin exercising at any age and still reap great benefits”.

3. Avoid exercises and daily activities which round the spine, such as sit-ups, crunches, bending down to tie your shoes, certain exercise machines that involve forward bending of the trunk, and even movements and sports that round and twist the spine. Instead, hinge forward from your hips, while keeping your back straight.

4. Practice balance exercises (even at a wall or holding on) to reduce falls and resulting fractures. An individualized program may include a walking regimen, Tai Chi, yoga, Pilates and other exercises geared toward conditioning, balance, and coordination.

5. The APTA recommends: Using proper posture and safe body mechanics during all activities protects the spine against injury. Here are some tips:
– Keep your back, stomach, and leg muscles strong and flexible.
– Do not slouch.
– Use good body positioning at work, home, or during leisure activities.
– Ask for help when lifting heavy objects.
– Maintain a regular physical fitness regimen. Staying active can help to prevent injuries.

6. Always consult with your physician or physical therapist before beginning an exercise program, if you have osteoporosis, are at high risk for a fall, fracture, or have a medical condition that might affect your ability to exercise.

If you would like to be seen right away for learning how to set-up an exercise program, prevent an injury or chronic pain under Direct Access (no prescription is required), contact us at: www.ivyrehab.com.

Ivyrehab accepts most insurance plans (which our office obtains pre-approval from your insurance carrier) and will submit your office visit treatments for payment. You will be responsible for your co-payment depending on your particular insurance policy.
With one-on-one care this permits the therapist to construct a personalized program for the individual. After all, when it comes to rehabilitation, “it’s all about the people”.

References:
1. National OP foundation, www.nof.org/osteoporosis.
2. Meeks, Sara Walk Tall. Triad Publishing Company (FL); 1st edition (June 15, 1999).
3. Bassey E. Joan, Exercise for prevention of osteoporotic fracture. Age and Aging. Nov. 2001: 29-31.
4. Rahmani, Poupak, Morin, Suzanne. Prevention of osteoporosis-related fractures among post menopausal women and older men. CMAJ. 2009:181; 815-820.
5. American Physical Therapy Association, Bone Health.http://www.moveforwardpt.com/Resources/Detail/bone-health-2

New Club Fit Staff Member – Danielle Della Pella

IMG_20160516_115507 DanielleNew Club Fit Staff Member – Danielle Della Pella

Jefferson Valley – Marketing Project Administrator

Danielle is joining the Club Fit Marketing team after a 20+ year career in communications and, most recently, starting her own small business.  Mom to three children, ages 13, 12 and 7, she enjoys hiking, playing tennis, running and spin class.  As someone who has been passionate about fitness for many years, Danielle is very excited to join the Club Fit family.

New Club Fit Staff Member – Mae Rum

IMG_20160512_164304 maeNew Club Fit Staff Member – Mae Rum

Briarcliff Manor – Receptionist

Mae is currently attending SUNY Purchase majoring in Cinema Studies. She is also an actor in NYC, writes screenplays and creative fiction, is a filmmaker, and an active participant in the local arts community. She loves animals and has a dog of her own, named Albus, and two twin cats.

New Club Fit Staff Member – Jaclyn Gabriele

IMG_20160512_164335JaclynNew Club Fit Staff Member – Jaclyn Gabriele

Briarcliff Manor – Group Fitness Instructor

Jaclyn is a graduate of the University of Rhode Island with a degree in Elementary Education and Spanish. She has been a ballet dancer since age 3. Jaclyn is a certified group fitness instructor with AFAA. She brings her love of movement and wealth of knowledge to every class she teaches.

Welcome New Club Fit Staff Member – Grace Lurcott

IMG_20160505_154309 Grace LurcottNew Club Fit Staff Member – Grace Lurcott

Jefferson Valley – Lifeguard & WSI

Grace has always been passionate about fitness and swimming. Since she was a child, she has always loved being in the water. Grace is also an artist and enjoys doing drawings and paintings of different subjects in her spare time. She exhibits a wide range of talents and interests.

Welcome New Club Fit Staff Member – Joan Serrecchia

IMG_20160421_105828370 Joan2 (1032x1280)New Club Fit Staff Member – Joan Serrecchia

Jefferson Valley – Member Services Representative

Joan lives in Putnam County with her husband Rocky and her fur babies Ruby and Oscar.  She is the mom of 5 grown children and has 4 granddaughters. In a previous life, Joan was the owner and proprietor of Curves in Mahopac, and is passionate about
health and fitness. Her favorite pastime is to sit surf side at the beach. Joan has no nickname but if you yell “Surfs Up” you’ll be
sure to get her attention.

To Keep You Inspired… Club Fit Instructor Lisa Coffman

by Lisa Olney, Club Fit guest blogger.

Lisa Coffman and her family

Club Fit instructor Lisa Coffman and her family of four.

For the last twenty years, Mahopac resident Lisa Coffman has helped the greater Club Fit community to reach their goals and overcome life’s challenges both in and out of the water. An aquatic exercise instructor, swim instructor and one of the assistant coaches for Club Fit’s swim team, Lisa has helped many members to strike back against potentially sidelining injuries and arthritis through aquatic exercise classes like H20 Waterwalking and Cardio Splash. She has helped members of all ages master the life skill of swimming both recreationally and competitively. Perhaps most impactful, she has also helped members overcome their fears of the water and learn to swim.

Lisa’s passion and loyalty to the Club Fit aquatics program has been a steadfast anchor over the years. These same qualities have also colored the pages of Lisa’s life from her childhood in the Dakotas and Minnesota to her career as a standout collegiate swimmer at Division III Cornell of Iowa where she swam the 50 meter butterfly at the NCAA Championships and then as a walk-on member of the Division I University of Minnesota Golden Gophers team. While in college she had her first taste of teaching people to swim, a feeling of reward and purpose that remains with her today. “One of the most rewarding aspects of what I do,” says Lisa, “is when I’m teaching somebody, and it just clicks.” Whether it’s in a class, in a swim lesson or on the swim team, Lisa has made a real difference to countless members of Club Fit.

Lisa brings this same passion and loyalty to her volunteer work as a member of the Yorktown Heights chapter of P.E.O. Founded in 1869, P.E.O. stands for Philanthropic Educational Organization. An international organization, P.E.O. has over 6,000 chapters in the U.S. and Canada and over 250,000 members. P.E.O. strives to increase women’s opportunities for higher education through scholarships, low-interest loans, grants, emergency funds and the Cottey College in Nevada, Missouri. In addition to supporting P.E.O. programs, the Yorktown Heights chapter donates funds to local organizations Guiding Eyes for the Blind, Friends of Karen, and Hope’s Door. They also sponsor local women for P.E.O. assistance and programs. To learn more about P.E.O. and the Yorktown Heights chapter visit www.peointernational.org.

Lisa has always led a busy life working at Club Fit, volunteering with P.E.O., and raising her family. She and her husband Paul have two children Paul, 28, and Stephanie, 25 — who works full time at Club Fit Jefferson Valley as the WSI coordinator, a swim instructor, and a swim coach. While Lisa has a full schedule, her goal is to log at least 30 minutes of exercise every day. Sometimes she’ll work out before her classes in the women’s section or on cardio in the fitness center. Some days it’s lap swimming, and some days it’s just walking outdoors and enjoying the fresh air. Lisa feels daily exercise in any form is important to keep physically and mentally healthy. “Get thirty minutes of something in every day,” says Lisa. “Whether it’s cardio, weights, or swimming, just do something.” From Nike’s “Just Do It” to the NFL’s “Play 60”, Lisa’s E-30 philosophy is something we can all strive to incorporate into our lifestyle.

To Keep You Inspired… Club Fit Instructor Harriette DeCarlo

by Lisa Olney, Club Fit guest blogger.

Club Fit Instructor Harriette DeCarlo

Club Fit Instructor Harriette DeCarlo

At 85 years young, Club Fit aquatic exercise instructor Harriette DeCarlo is an energetic powerhouse whose confident, welcoming handshake is indicative of the joie de vivre in which she lives her life. Always moving, always educating, Harriette leads those around her to a healthy body, a healthy mind and a healthy lifestyle.

A swimmer in high school, Harriette has always been an athlete — an avid runner, rower, and follower of Tai Chi, which she practiced at the Chuang Yen Monastery, a Buddhist monastery on 225 acres in Carmel, NY. But it wasn’t until joining Club Fit 30 years ago, that exercise truly became a part of her daily routine. Recognizing Harriette’s passion and knowledge of aquatic exercise and Tai Chi, Club Fit hired her two years later as an aquatics instructor, and she helped the club launch its first aquatic Tai Chi class in the 1990s. Since then Harriette has been enlightening members at Club Fit to the strengthening and restorative power of mind-body fitness in the water. Currently, Harriette teaches “Mind/Body Aquatics” on Tuesday mornings at 10:00 am. The class — a blend of yoga, Pilates, balance, and tai chi — is a full body workout integrating breathing, core strengthening, balance and relaxation.

So, how does Club Fit’s version of the Energizer Bunny keep going? “I can’t imagine a week without exercise,” says Harriette. “The Club is so much a part of my life that I don’t feel good if I’m not here.” Her routine at the club anchors her day, and she works out three to four days a week. On Tuesdays before her 10:00 am Mind/Body Aquatics class, she arrives at the gym around 7:00 am, and does her normal workout of cardio, weights, and stretching. Then she goes to the Café to meet with her longtime breakfast group of almost 20 years. Next, she heads to the Aquatic Center for her class, and then it’s back to the café to meet her lunch group, which has been meeting since she started teaching in 1988. Yes, her lunch group is 28 years old and an amazing testament to the friendships formed over the common bond of exercise, camaraderie and healthy lifestyles.

“I don’t think there’s a club in Westchester that compares to this,” says Harriette, “I will never give up Club Fit.” Harriette also feels the club is not afraid to lead, to take the initiative to do things that haven’t been done before — and not only in programming. “This is the only club I know that hires people with special needs,” Harriett says proudly. “I’ve never worked in a club that had the guts to do that — that took the initiative to do that.”

So, what’s next for Harriette? Rest assured, it will be more of the same with the current aquatic trend featuring yoga and Pilates — components she already integrates into her Mind/Body Aquatics class. And, rest assured, Harriette stands ready to welcome newcomers and regulars, alike, to Club FIt, the Aquatic Center, or even her breakfast and lunch groups, with her captivating smile and and that joie de vivre that make her not only an amazing instructor, but an amazing friend.