by Shelley Lerea
Member Services Director
Club Fit Briarcliff
Did you know that you can change your credit card information online? As well as your address, phone number and email address? You can also check your account and monitor your housecharges. It’s simple and easy, here’s how:
If you don’t have a user ID and password, use the barcode on your membership card as your temporary user ID and password. If you are having trouble one of our friendly member service representatives can help set this up for you.
Eating at the café a lot? Getting several massages? Taking classes? You can check your current housecharges before they are collected from your credit card to make sure everything is correct. Do not click on “view statements” but instead click on “My account” and then go to “my account history” and view housecharges daily!
Has your credit card number changed? You don’t have to wait till member services is in the office, you can change this yourself any time of day! Click on “my info” and follow the prompts. Not only can you change your credit card, but you can change your address, phone number and email address.
Want to make sure you are coming to the club on a regular basis? You can check your visits by clicking “my usage history.” This way if you are not coming enough, you can start coming more!
Hope this helps. If you have any questions feel free to email me at firstname.lastname@example.org or call member services at 762-3446.
I have been a travel soccer coach for over 10 years and every year there is a period of anxiety and chaos, before, during and after tryouts. Is my child going to get cut? Should my child tryout? Will he be on a team with his/her friends? What if? What if? What if?
Most kids going through the tryout process are unfazed by the process; after all, this is normal and part of being a soccer player.
Every piece of research you can find points to FUN being the main reason that children take part in sports, but is that the main reason parents want their children to be involved in sport? Fun, health benefits and social development are part of most parents thought processes, but are the real reasons ‘College Scholarships’ ‘bragging rights’ and ‘keeping up with the Joneses’?
The most important part of tryouts is knowing your child and having realistic expectations. Always have a backup plan: If your child doesn’t make the travel program, would they be happy in the in-house program? Or, would they like to try a different sport that would aid their development? Or, maybe supplement the in house program with some clinics that will keep your child engaged with the sport and give them a better chance at tryouts next time around.
As the travel soccer tryout season in your town draws to a close, remember that no matter the outcome of the tryouts, right or wrong, your child plays sport because they enjoy it! If they enjoy it, they will improve, know your child and be realistic about your expectations. Being involved in sport has massive health and social benefits regardless of the level you play at. Make sport FUN for your kids and they’ll play for life and they’ll have a happier longer life because of you!
In honor of Women’s Health Week (May 12- 18), this post is for all us gals! Depending on where we are in our life cycle, our needs for certain vitamins and minerals will vary. One particular mineral, calcium, has been the center of attention for quite awhile- and rightly so! Calcium is the most abundant mineral in our body and it is utilized to maintain strong bones and teeth. In fact, 99% of our total body calcium is found in these two locales. When calcium levels become too low, the body starts depleting calcium from the bones, which increases the risk of developing osteoporosis. Since we do lose trace amounts of calcium daily, it is essential to consume a balanced diet with calcium rich sources to replete our bodily stores.
How much calcium do I need?
Since the body cannot make calcium, it is important to obtain it from dietary sources. As with any vitamin or mineral, the body can utilize it better from its food form rather than a supplement. Speak with your doctor if you are thinking of taking a calcium supplement. Here are the daily recommendations for calcium intake:
What are some calcium – rich foods?
I’m sure we are all well aware of dairy being chock-full of calcium. This includes the gamut of milk, yogurt, cheese, and all of the above. Not everyone likes dairy foods, and luckily there are other sources to pick from. Consider some of these options:
1. Fortified cereals/ juices (almost all fortified foods are a good source of calcium)
2. Soy products- soybeans, tofu
3. Almonds/almond milk
4. Dark leafy greens- Chinese cabbage, kale, spinach, bok choy, turnip greens
8. Fish, canned with the bones
Discover the top ten fitness trends in the world, reported for this year by the authoritative American College of Sports Medicine.
Mark T. Cuatt
The rise of the fitness professional: Ranked number one in 2013, this trend has been included for the sixth consecutive year. Across the industry, trainers and operators alike are raising the bar in terms of professionalism, through an exponential growth in certification, training and accreditation. We at club fit will be including an in depth internal on line certification process with www.smartfitness.com
Strength training: In second place for the second year in a row, strength training is a key focus for people of all backgrounds and ages. It’s widely undisputed to be a fundamental cornerstone of optimal fitness and wellness programs for most professionals.
Body weight training: This new trend refers to strength training exercises that tap into one’s own body weight
without the need for free weights. Simpler and more affordable, it allows people to “get back to basics” on the training floor. Over the next few months we will be redesigning our fitness center to accommodate modalities and improve layout and function
Concern over child obesity: The widespread epidemic of overweight and obese children continues to be a serious public health problem. In recent years, schools have focused on academic performance and limited time spent on physical education and nutrition classes. The responsibility for growing physical activity among children may fall into the hands of fitness and wellness professionals through. We are implementing a position of wellness coordinator to work directly within the fitness center and to be a liaison for member integration and community wellness involvement. This position will require a health related degree with minimum of 2 years working directly within the health care industry
Exercise for weight loss: This has always been a key motivation for exercise and of late, the integration between diets and exercises to grow energy expenditure and decrease caloric intake, has been of growing interest to fitness professionals. It is particularly important to design the right fitness program for each person and build more touch-points between trainer and client to grow compliance. Adding Dietetics related programing and Nutritional Counseling.
Fitness for older people: The aging baby boomer generation enjoys a longer life expectancy, but with that comes a higher likelihood of serious health issues. Doctors recommend that this group engage in more physical activity in an ‘Exercise is Medicine’ approach. More programs for both active and less active older adults need to be developed with a particular focus on functional activities.
Safe, secure and easy to use. Our circuit and fit coaches are ideal for bringing movement to both young and older generations.
Personal training: Personal trainers are now being employed in community-based programs, corporate wellness programs, hotels, medical fitness facilities and commercial settings – making them more accessible and affordable for more people. Personal trainers are also growing in expertise, with more attention being paid to training and certification.
Functional training: Functional fitness is designed to improve the client’s ability to perform daily activities without stress or problems. Particularly well suited to older people, it improves balance, coordination and strength and works on specific motor patterns that the client goes through every day. Over the next few months we will be redesigning our fitness center to accommodate modalities and improve layout and function
Core Training: Core training focuses on the stabilizing muscles of the abdomen, chest and back, including exercises for the hips, lower back and abdomen, which all provide support for the spine. Exercising the muscles of the core improves posture and overall trunk stability, allowing the individual to meet the demands of daily life and their sport of choice.
Group personal training: This trend allows the personal trainer to evolve their service by adapting their programs to small groups of up to four people. The shift towards higher intensity training is rising. Offering small group training can help operators to differentiate themselves, generate additional revenue and provide alternatives for personalized training at lower costs. We have integrated TRX, Kettle bell, CFX classes, and are reviewing current group exercise offerings to add more HIIT classes
Do you remember the food pyramid? Chances are you do….and that it also probably confused you. Don’t fret- you weren’t alone. In case you lost all hope for how to manage your meals, hope has been restored! There is a new icon in town and it is here to stay!
Welcome to the era of MyPlate! Born in 2011, this extremely visual guide is a clear reminder of how our plates should look at our main meals. Super easy to understand, MyPlate takes the guesswork out of mealtimes. But…wait! There are only THREE simple rules MyPlate emphasizes! These are: 1) enjoy your food, but eat less of it, 2) avoid oversized portions, and 3) balance your calories. Think you can do that? You sure can!
So how exactly should your plate look?
But, wait…..what is this telling me? Well…..
1) Make half your plate fruits and vegetables—whatever you like!
2) Make half your grains whole grains
3) Vary your protein—switch it up during the week and try those new recipes you’ve stashed away
4) Switch to non-fat or 1% dairy—same nutrient content, just less fat and calories!
Congratulations, now you are well versed with the ideology of MyPlate! Go forth and have fun planning your meals around these easy, healthful tips. Remember to include your daily dose of physical activity and you will be on the right path to staying healthy!
I’ve been working at Club Fit in Jefferson Valley since 2007 as a trainer. Currently, I’m happy to say I’m a Master trainer, Certified through National Academy of Sports Medicine(NASM) for personal training, corrective exercise specialist and most recently for Fitness Nutritional Specialist.
Through the years working as a trainer and fit coach on the busy fitness floor, I’ve often heard members talking about nutrition and supplements and the importance of incorporating both in their lifestyles.
I find myself most fascinated and intrigued by keeping a healthy immune system. I help oversee the Cancer Wellness and Help Rx programs here at Club fit, I see the importance of Probiotics and Prebiotics and how they can enhance your immune system.
What are Probiotics? What are Prebiotics? What’s the relationship between the two?
Probiotics are foods that contain live microorganisms and are found in such foods like yogurt and fermented foods. Such as aged cheeses, pickles and fermented cabbage.
What are Prebiotics?
They are the non-digestable carbs that act as food for the probiotics. Ex: whole grains, bananas, garlic and honey.
You can take Probiotics in a supplemental form; like in a liquid, tablet or capsule. Capsules are found by surveys to be the most popular form of supplement to take.
Here’s an interesting factoid: not all brands of yogurt contain live, active cultures. Look for the seal adopted by the National Yogurt Association to identify products that contain a minimum of 100 million live lactic acid bacteria per gram of yogurt.
Additionally, experts state: Ideal healthy ratio of good to bad bacteria living inside your gut should be 85% good to 15% bad bacteria (9 : 1 ratio)
Its all about maintaining “Balance” inside and out!!
Compound resistance exercises might be right for you!
by Jeff Aston
Chasing after that elusive ‘beach-body’ we all covet and hope to one day call our own? Well, compound resistance exercises might just be the solution for you! Compound exercises are multi-joint/muscle movements such as the squat, deadlift, pull-up, and dip. These exercises work a greater number of muscle groups than conventional isolation exercises, burn more calories, and promote the release of natural fat-burning and muscle building hormones!
Sound too good to be true? Fortunately, for you, me, and everyone else out there trying to build a stronger, healthier physique, these exercises are just as fantastic as they sound. Now, there is one caveat to keep in mind. Due to their multi-joint/muscle nature, compound exercises are more challenging to perform correctly than your typical machine-based or free-weight isolation exercise. That being said, If you are unfamiliar with these movements, or are simply looking to improve your technique, I strongly encourage you to stop by the fitness office and we’d be happy to help. What are you waiting for?!
Jeff Aston is an ACE certified Personal Trainer at our Briarcliff location.
He is currently enrolled at New York Medical College and is an MD candidate for 2015! He can be reached by calling Club Fit Briarcliff 762-3444 ext. 2223.
Question: Have you seen small groups of people in the fitness center doing tricks on foam rollers and boards that look like skateboards and wondered what are they doing? Women, men, young and old with conditioned and not so conditioned bodies are using the Vew –Do balance boards. I am one of the class devotees. The thirty- minute class gives you some workout! The warm up alone gets your heart pumping! You would be wise to have water with you! I should warn you that these exercises take time and effort to master. I can’t say enough about Nancy and Ann the two instructors who were running the program. They each had their own special way to motivate and help you succeed. Because of the small class size, they are able to give you individualized help. The new class schedule will have more classes with instructors from the fitness center.
I have been a Club Fit member for twenty-eight years. Working out and staying fit is very important to me. Now that I am retired I have even more time to devote to exercise with good friends I have made at the gym over the years.
When Club Fit launched a balance training class in the TRX area of the Fitness Center last November, I knew I would give it a try. Boasting that these classes would strengthen core and improve balance and flexibility, I thought it would be a good match for my personal needs. Over five years ago, I was diagnosed with osteopenia and shortly after that I fell while taking an aerobics class and broke my femur. Luckily, I am completely recovered but the scare of falling and breaking other bones never goes away. This workout has helped me strengthen my back, ankles and calves. I have noticed a huge improvement in my posture, too! I feel that I am better equipped to prevent injuries if I should lose my balance.
Class size is limited to six so you must call the gym the morning of the class. Sign up and join me in the fun!
This Earth Day we wanted to provide you with some things you can do to make a difference. Here are a few things you can do that will help better your health and fitness as well as the Earth!
1. Do you live near town or commute to a local train station?
Think about riding a bike or walking to your commuter station on days when the weather allows. This will not only provide you with extra cardio, but will cut down on the amount of gas you consume and the emissions that your car is producing. It may seem like a small and insignificant contribution but the fact is, it makes a difference. A nice walk to town can also be a fun activity for the family . . . sort of an adventure! You just have to commit and leave a little extra time for your travels. If none of that works for you, try carpooling.
2. Buy local and fresh produce and goods from your neighborhood farmers markets.
Not only are you buying products that are GMO free, but you are more likely to make smarter decisions on what you eat because there are very few processed foods available at these markets. You’re also supporting a local business and let’s face it, it just feels good!
3. Recycle. Recycle everything you can. Switch to reusable products and bags when possible. Use BPA free plastics.
Sure, it might take an extra few minutes to put a plastic bag in a pile of recycling, take out the bottles and cans and sort paper products, but we can reduce the amount of wast we produce by taking small steps. BPA is a chemical that has been linked to some health concerns ranging from reproductive abnormalities to obesity and insulin resistance. You don’t have to go crazy, but learn which types of plastic are safer for you and your family.
4. Use products that are free of harmful chemicals such as mercury or lead.
Here is a helpful link of some chemicals in common household items to try to avoid. Chemicals in Household Products.
5. Invest in some Earth-friendly workout clothes.
Clothes that are long lasting that you don’t have to replace often are better for your wallet and the earth! Clothes that are made using sustainable methods are even better. Here are some suggestions if you are looking for Green Fitness Gear!
6. Teach your kids about going green and what that means.
Everything starts with education at home! Talk to your kids about conserving energy, recycling, go for a nature walk, make some crafts from recycled goods and ask them what they want to do to help!
7. You can even recycle your old gym sneakers to companies like NIKE. They will be made into materials that are used to build sports courts!
Not too shabby, eh? Give it a try for a healthier you and a healthier world.
I stayed up until about 1:20 last night watching the US soccer team play Mexico in the World Cup qualifying round. And the damnedest thing was, we were playing for a tie. Playing Mexico at home in Azteca Stadium is virtually a guaranteed loss, so we were playing for the tie. A tie was a win. And we won. I mean, we tied, 0-0.
So I was thinking. At 61, working out 3 or 4 times a week at CF, I’m not really playing to win. I’m playing to tie.
I grew up watching Jack LaLanne and his dog, Happy, on black and white TV, and I remember one episode where he read some viewer mail asking whether older people could actually build muscle mass to look like him. “No”, he shook his head, “you have to do it when you are younger. Once you pass 50, you just are what you are”. I remember clearly thinking that that would never happen to me. I would start building myself up sooner or later.
Now, later, I guess I am what I am. My LDL might be descending, but I am what I am.
Meanwhile, I just came back from a marathon night at CF: I ran 6 laps in 12 minutes, 3 miles on the cyclotron (maybe more, I forget), the dreaded Circuit with the dreaded Jenn (“do your 12 reps while I set up the next machine ” – no rest for the out-of-shape). (She’s great).
And finally, exhausted, ready to leave, there was my daughter Anna starting a TRX class right in front of me. I joined in.
After a night on the hunt for fitness, I wasn’t at my best. Someone has figured out that there is an exercise method in hanging ropes from the rafters and calling it something inscrutable like TRX. I was shaking, yes, like a leaf, and feeling like my muscles were begging for forgiveness. And Anna next to me was doing superhuman things, as was the woman, maybe my age,next to her who, Anna told me later, had once run across the Sahara. 400 miles. Did I mention that I ran 1.5 miles on the treadmill tonight while watching Jeopardy?
But there I was, trying to put my toes into the rings and doing push-ups. Nope. I reverted to a yoga pose. When in doubt, do yoga.
But I’m feeling good tonight. I’m playing for the tie. I’m not trying to look like Jack LaLanne anymore, although I am eating like he did (spoiler alert!)at the end of his life (he was 96). But I’m going to prove him wrong. In the Circuit last week, Ross, a fit young man who guided me through, started chatting about March Madness, and I remarked that I hadn’t yet had the courage to enter the CF Gym, as in basketball gym.
He said he was more of a football guy but maybe we could play sometime. And I thought yeah. Let’s play some ball. (I played a lot as a kid). I’m still six foot three and I think I got a little game left. My skyhook is still a lethal weapon.
This is obviously not kickboxing; I learned quickly that kickboxing is no place for selfies. This is me rocking out some TRX earlier this winter.
After crawling out from under a hectic schedule, I was looking for something to change up my cardio routine. It’s been a while since I’ve tried a kickboxing class, and by that I mean somewhere in the ball park of a decade. I vaguely remember it being a great workout, but also that it was really, really hard. (I guess there was a reason I didn’t go back.) It also brings up 90′s-era visuals of Billy Blanks in a shiny electric blue singlet, which may be either fun or scary, depending on your level of exposure to the “Tae-Bo” fad.
Anyway, I took notice of it on the group exercise schedule when I started here at Club Fit, but since it was labeled as an intermediate class, I stayed far away. Even now, though I’ve been working out consistently for months, each new activity definitely makes me feel like a beginner again, and I wasn’t sure about jumping right into an intermediate class. But this week, I considered kickboxing again, because I felt that my cardio endurance had improved (thanks to Spinning), and that my core stability had started to improve as well (thanks to Pilates), and that I had a pretty good chance of getting in a good workout without injury or a traumatically embarrassing fall.
There were definitely a lot of missed steps and a little bit of flailing around, but also a lot of sweating, a lot of using new muscles, and a lot of fun! The music was definitely inspiring, the moves were fairly easy to follow, and there was a good amount of air-punching involved, so it’s definitely a great way to end a stressful day. I probably shouldn’t have been so timid to try this earlier, but I won’t worry about it. Now that I’ve started to get the hang of it, I’ll definitely be back.
Due to a necessary repair, the Spa will be closed until further notice. Members may use our Jefferson Valley Spa during this period.
Thank you for your patience, and we apologize for this inconvenience.
I'm a big fan of the rowing machine, thanks to my trainer, Susie.
This week has been unusually frustrating for me. A multitude of personal commitments outside of work, both morning and night, have kept me from visiting the gym for the last 3 days. I won’t say that’s any kind of devastating fitness drought, but it is a big deviation from my recent 5-6 visits per week. When I exercise, I feel better and sleep better, and when I don’t, I feel stiff and lethargic. So, feeling “blah” instead of great on top of a busy week was really starting to grate on my nerves. Once this thought crossed my mind, a shocking realization came to me: I have become one of those people! A person who craves exercise!
I can’t even tell you when it happened. It’s been about 6 months since I started working out regularly, and it feels like only yesterday that I was so concerned about my ability to commit and stay motivated enough to get to the gym every day. But when scheduling is your obstacle, and not motivation, it can be especially irritating. The feeling of not having enough time for yourself is not a good one.
We’re now in mid-March where the weather warms up, social calendars start filling up again, and New Year’s resolutions sometimes fall by the wayside. I can see that this is a turning point where a person could be tempted to say “this isn’t working with my lifestyle anymore, I’ll take a break and get back to it when I have more time.” I’ve even done it myself in years past, which only led to me shamefully cancelling my gym membership a few months later. Not this time! The gifts that exercise has given me are too wonderful to let go of now.
This week has taught me an important lesson: no matter what you’re doing (exercise or not), it’s important to always make time for yourself, or you may find yourself tempted to give up on the thing that keeps you going. Thankfully, one thing that IS on my busy calendar today is an appointment with Susie, and she won’t put up with any of this giving up nonsense.
When I gave up meat and dairy 13 months ago, my advisors – my wife Louise and my cardiologist Dr. Ostfeld at Montefiore – assured me that those cravings for steak, chicken skin, and butter-soaked lobster would diminish. That hasn’t entirely happened. The aroma of roasting salty chicken regularly seeping through the floorboards of my workshop from the downstairs deli often calls the question: now why am I doing this again? Oh yeah. Trying to postpone death. Shit.
And my fitness friends assure me that once I start to work out, I will begin to crave it. I won’t feel satisfied until those endorphins are coursing through my quivering, expanding muscle fibers. After 2 weeks, I would have to say that hasn’t happened yet either.
But the positive news is that it’s not quite a living hell.
My first contact at CF, the person who would orient me, was Liz Swan, schooled in England, a social media specialist, who, in addition to her patience and kindness to weenies like me, was known as Slash Borden in Westchester’s Suburbia Roller Derby, a flat track roller derby league. ( That I have watched it many times while channel-surfing tells you something about me, and that she was a touring athlete in that tough league tells you something about her. ) She’s impressive.
She sent me on to Ted Gilsinger, the Fitness Director of CF, who used to train cadets in their workouts at West Point. Not weenies. He debriefed me on my general health and skinny-ass physique and plotted a workout plan of attack. I told him that if he made it too onerous, I would just stop coming, blame him, and choose the heart-attack option. He said not in this man’s army.
So I’ve been showing up to CF on snowy days in my Nike shorts and T-shirt, trying to look nonchalant, like I know what I’m doing. I come dressed because, unlike you endorphin guys, I’m still a little shy about the locker room, and every time I go, it takes me extra time to figure out which way to insert the card in the locker to get the key.
My routine – yeah, I guess that’s what I call it – is to bike a while, do the Circuit, and then run uphill on the treadmill for literally minutes. I’ve been at it for a couple of weeks now, three times a week. No endorphins yet. No muscles either. But it’s getting easier and even, occasionally, fun. I need to find ear buds that stay in place while I run. So much to know.
In the days of Michael Jordan I wanted to “Be Like Mike”. To all of you spinners, runners and weightlifters around me at CF- I just want to be like you.
One of the greatest gifts from my college experience (aside from my education) was core stability, thanks to Pilates. My new goal is to rediscover that strength.
More than a decade ago, in college, I studied musical theater performance. This may sound like a cupcake degree to some, but it was a rigorous and multifaceted program of study that involved every aspect of performance. In addition to a host of performance classes I spent most of my day in a sweat, moving between movement, dance, and stage combat classes, with instructors who relentlessly pushed us to be our best, and always better than the day before. Aside from the inherent life lessons there, I’m very grateful to those professors for introducing me to one essential and valuable practice: Pilates.
Almost like boot camp, one professor led us through a 45-minute Pilates mat workout each day of our freshman year at the crack of dawn. At the time, Pilates was not as much a part of the public consciousness; there were no Pilates studios in town, and no local gyms had classes around the clock as we see now (and as we are so lucky to have here at Club Fit.) My fellow students and I didn’t even really know what had hit us; we would crawl back to our dorm rooms, cradling our exhausted and sore abdominal muscles, and silently cursing Joseph Pilates for inventing such torture.
After a not-so-long period of time, we all started to notice amazing changes, not just in our physical appearances, but more importantly, in our capabilities. In dance classes, our leaps and turns got bigger and better. In stage combat we had better balance, stronger “punches”, and we fell down less frequently. We had greater energy, injuries became fewer and further between, and we improved rapidly in all of our other physical practices. Even though I carried a significant amount of extra weight, I found myself able to double pirouette with the rest of my ballet class – I can’t begin to tell you how wonderful that felt. It wasn’t long before we realized that the Pilates mat workouts had given us an incredible gift: core stability. The workouts we dreaded became practices that we craved, because of the miraculous abilities it gave us. As upperclassmen, we would continue to practice anywhere we could find time and space; even in our tiny apartments and dorm rooms. We were converts! Some days, we’d sneak into those early morning freshmen classes we used to fear, to squeeze in a guided mat class alongside them. One of my classmates was so devoted to the life-changing benefits of Pilates that she went on to become an instructor after college.
All of these memories came back to me one day as I was looking through old photos from college, and I asked myself, how did I forget how valuable this practice was, and why am I not incorporating Pilates into my workout routine now? Even though I’ve changed career trajectories off stage and into nonprofit arts administration, the benefits of this practice are no less valuable to me, or anyone, especially when it comes to preventing injury. I got myself to a Pilates mat class at Club Fit as soon as possible, and I can’t say it was like riding a bike. After ten years away, it really felt like starting all over again. It’s hard work, the exercises seem unusual at first, and my abs hurt just the same, but I’m here to tell you that sticking to the practice equates to a really miraculous transformation. I’m committing myself to rediscovering that core strength, and if you haven’t tried Pilates yet, I encourage you to give it a try – not just once, but a few times, to see what it can do for you.