How Can Yoga Help the Healing Process?

By Dr. Meryle Richman, Director of Physical therapy at Physical therapy at Briarcliff & Jefferson Valley

Yoga can help the healing process by learning proper breathing and
relaxation techniques which will calm the body and decrease pain by turning
off the “Fight and Flight response” in our bodies. Research has shown that
by activating the parasympathetic nervous system in your body, you can slow
down your breathing, lower your heart rate, and even your blood pressure.
If you experience a lack of flexibility which is causing you pain, than come
and learn about a safe and effective approach to perform yoga pose, while
being instructed in correct alignment.

This program is recommended for individuals with:

. low back and neck pain
. scoliosis and spinal stenosis
. arthritis
. osteoporosis
. fibromyalgia & chronic pain
. stiff and weak joints and muscles
. orthopedic injuries
. tension, stress and anxiety

Dr. Richman currently teaches gentle yoga for a wellness population; and for
patients with chronic pain, fibromyalgia and osteoporosis. She has received
her 200 hour yoga certification at YogaWorks, Irvington, NY in May 2011, as
a Registered Yoga Teacher. She is also the Director of Physical therapy at
Physical therapy at Briarcliff & Jefferson Valley, PC, located inside Club
Fit. She can be reached at www.ptrehab.com.

I finally picked up a MyZone belt, and here’s what happened.

Signing up at the service desk for my MyZone activity belt.

This past week, I celebrated my birthday, which I have a very different perspective on in my cancer-remission world. Before I started out seriously on a path to health and wellness, I would celebrate my birthday in less healthy ways, but now, I see my birthday as an opportunity to reward myself with a gift that will help me on my new path. Last year on my birthday, I celebrated with an early morning workout and a massage. This year, I gifted myself with Club Fit’s newest toy, the MyZone belt. (If you haven’t heard of MyZone, check out this video to learn more.)

The MyZone belt is an ingenious little device that tracks your heart rate during your workout, and emails you a summary of your results after you’re finished! (What a world we live in, huh?) If you’re working out in the gym, you’ll be able to see your current heart rate, calories burned, and more, right on the nearest screen. I can keep one eye on it to see if I’m working too hard, or if I need to put more effort in, to get the most out of the time I’m putting into my workout. You can also take it with you outside the gym – it will store 16 hours of workout data, and then sync up again next time you get to the gym.

When I first started using my belt, I was really surprised to find that I wasn’t working as hard as I thought, and I needed step up my game a little bit. It also helped me identify the fastest activities to get my heart rate up, so I can use cardio intervals more effectively. It’s super comfortable to wear, easy to put on, easy to clean, and it’s just a really cool piece of technology that is so gosh darn fun to use! I mean, who doesn’t feel like a superhero with a bright red band around their chest?! (Secret superhero handshake, anyone?)

I’m SO, SO glad I made this investment. It has helped me immensely, and I’d recommend it for anyone who is serious about results from their training (or just wants to feel like a superhero.)

 

 

Finding a Good Balance in Life: Member Steve Schaefer shares his experience

Yorktown resident and Club Fit member Steve Schaefer has found a good balance in life: a successful career in IT, a commitment to a healthy mind, body and soul, and a dedication to his first love – music. It’s his most recent musical work that is making the biggest impact now, benefitting a local family who has lost so much.

Steve, who has sung in choirs since the fourth grade, was touched by the story told to him by a fellow St. Patrick’s Church choir member of sisters Kalie and Lindsey Gill, both struck down by a car at a church carnival in Yonkers in October 2013. Kalie, only 15 years old, was killed, and her younger sister, Lindsey, was critically injured and has been recuperating at Blythedale Children’s Hospital since the accident. Steve was asked to sing at Kalie’s funeral, and that’s where the story begins.

The day of the funeral, the thing that struck Steve most was the incredible faith of the family. Though grief stricken, they displayed tremendous strength and a commitment to celebrating Kalie’s life. A benefit concert was planned for December to raise money for the Gills, and Steve was invited to write a song and perform at the concert.

Steve, a big believer in inspiration through exercise, actually had the lyrics to “Kalie” come to him on a hike to the top of Turkey Mountain. He produced a video tribute, and asked fellow musician Jesse Terry to provide the vocals. The result was a beautiful, simple, emotional song. Watch the Video Here.

CDs of the song were sold at the benefit, and the song is now available for download at CDbaby.com (search Kalie Gill). One hundred percent of the proceeds go to the Gill family. Steve covered the production costs, vocalist Jesse donated his talent, and Jesse’s wife Jessica Terry designed the CD cover. Over $2500 has been raised for the family, and Steve is hoping sales will continue. “The Gill family has been such an inspiration to me, ” says Steve, and he stays in touch with them, recently visiting Lindsey at Blythedale, where she continues to recuperate.

Steve and his wife, Ramona, both spend a good deal of time at Club Fit. He spends his time in the gym, pool and Fitness Center, and believes strongly in the “three-legged stool”: supporting good health through a balance of body, mind, and soul. “It’s always been important to me to help people, and it has been so rewarding to help the Gill family through this tough time,” says Steve. “I’ve also come out of it feeling a real connection to Kalie.”

Tune in to WHUD-FM on April 4 at 10:00 p.m., where Steve and his song “Kalie” will be featured on Night Rhythms with Kathy Millar. And please help out the Gills by visiting CDbaby.com and downloading Steve’s latest musical work! You can also contact Steve directly for a copy of the CD or to find out more about his music by emailing steve@goingtothecape.com.

Who needs Back Exercises? By Meryle Richman, PT, DPT, MS


We all do! — Whether we have a healthy back or a problem with our back. In order for your back to stay healthy and less prone to injury, you need strong, flexible muscles to support the spine’s natural curves. On February 20th from 6:00 – 7:00 PM Debbie Lenihan, PT from Physical Therapy at Jefferson Valley will talk about Back Pain: B.E.T. Principles of Movement.

In the meantime, if you are not able to attend here is what you should know if you are currently experiencing back discomfort:

Why all the fuss about back problems?

Statistics have shown that backaches are second only to the common cold as a cause of missed workdays. It’s estimated that 8 out of 10 Americans will have a back problem at some time in their lives. A large part of this is due to the neglect of their backs.

Back disorders are the accumulation of months or even years of poor posture, faulty body mechanics, stressful living and working habits, loss of flexibility as general lack of physical fitness.

A balanced back is a healthy back

It is time to take a new look at the prevention of back injuries rather than the treatment of back problems after they have occurred.

Back problems can be avoided by understanding what the problems are, how to prevent them and what to do if they do occur. It involves self-responsibility and a desire to have a healthy back.

In order for your back to be healthy, there are three natural curves that must be in balanced alignment. This should occur at all times i.e., sitting, standing, lying down or moving. These curves are the cervical (neck), thoracic (middle back), and lumbar (lower back).

When your ear, shoulder, and hips line up straight, then the three curves are balanced and you have achieved “good posture”. To test whether your curves are in their natural alignment, imagine a line beside the mid-part of your body. If your ears, shoulders, pelvis, knees and ankles line up on this line (plumb line), your three curves are in their correct position. In order to maintain a balanced back you must also have strong and flexible muscles and joints:

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

1) Always bend with the knees, not from the waist when lifting
2) When sitting, place at least one knee higher than your hips; either by crossing your legs or putting your legs with knees bent, on something like a foot stool
3) When standing place one foot on a stool to keep the back straight
4) Standing is better than sitting, and lying down is better than either; sitting puts 40% more pressure on the discs than standing and 75% more than lying.
5) When driving adjust the seat so you can sit closer to the pedals with the knees bent and back supported.
6) Avoid exercises that put excessive strain on the lower back. These include straight leg exercise such as leg raises, toe touching, or sit-ups with the legs straight on floor.

For those individuals that suffer from prolonged back pain, the first goal of physical therapy is to reduce pain. The next step is to determine which muscles are tight and need to be stretched and which muscle groups are weak and could be strengthened. An evaluation of the individual postural and work habits should then follow. Based on all this information, corrective measures, which are tailored to the individual, can then be recommended. Some suggestions may include changing the type of chair used at work, taking exercise breaks to stretch tight muscles and finding ways to handle stress. Other physical therapy measures can consist of any one of a combination of moist heat, ice, electrical modalities, aquatic therapy, soft tissue massage, mobilization, stretching and gradual strengthening exercises.

For more information on this topic contact Physical Therapy at Briarcliff at (914) 762-2222; or Physical Therapy at Jefferson Valley (914) 245-8807 for a free 15 minute screening. Also check out on our website free classes that are offered at Club Fit www.ptrehab.com.

Programs for infants, kids and teens at Club Fit!

Here is a great resource for all the Moms and Dads who need a quick resource to see what we offer by age group at Club Fit! It is hard to jump from one page to the next so we’ve compiled a list of all our offerings for infants, toddlers, grade-schoolers, tweens and teens!

Ages: 3 Months – 2 years:
Aquatics – Parent Infant Class
Private Swim Lessons
Zumbini ages 1yr -3yr
Ages: 3 to 4
Group & Private Swim Lessons
Pre School Tennis
Tennis- Private Lessons
Ages: 5 to 6

Yoga – free for members
Zumba- Free for members
Racquetball- Junior Development Program
Tennis – Quickstart program
Tennis- Private Lessons
Tennis – Kids’ Play Day
Basketball Youth Development Program (YDP)
Group & Private Swim Lessons
Swim Clinic/Re Team & Swim Team
Ages: 7 to 8
Zumba- Free for members
Yoga – free for members
Tennis – Quickstart program
Tennis – Kids’ Play Day
Tennis – 10 & Under
Tennis- Private Lessons
Racquetball- Junior Development Program
Group & Private Swim Lessons
Swim Clinic/Re Team & Swim Team
Basketball Youth Development Program (YDP) & Next Step Basketball Skill Building
Ages: 9 to 10
Zumba- Free for members
Racquetball- Junior Development Program
Tennis – Quickstart program
Tennis – 10 & Under
Tennis – Intermediate
Tennis – Junior Ladder
Tennis- Private Lessons
Swim Team & Swim Clinic
Next Step Basketball for Girls and Boys
Ages: 11 to 12
Swim Clinic/Re Team & Swim Team
Next Step Basketball for Girls and Boys
Tennis – Intermediate
Tennis – Junior Ladder
Tennis – Advanced
Tennis – Tournament Training
Tennis – Private Lessons
Racquetball- Junior Development Program
Ages: 13 to 14
Tennis – Intermediate
Tennis – Advanced
Tennis – Competitive
Tennis – Tournament Training
Tennis – Private Lessons
Ages: 15 & up
Lifeguard Training Certification
Tennis – Advanced
Tennis – Competitive
Tennis – Tournament Training
Tennis – Private Lessons
Racquetball- Junior Development Program

On my toes! My Barre class experience.

Jenn and me posing for instructor Leslie after our awesome Barre class workout.

Ugh, winter; am I right? The excitement of the holiday season has faded, and now it’s just….cold. REALLY, REALLY, REALLY COLD. How can we stay active and committed to our fitness routine, when our hibernation instincts are screaming “Blankets! Hot cocoa! Netflix!”?

I decided to shake the winter blues by shaking things up at the gym.  Despite knowing that I shouldn’t do the same thing all the time, I found myself mentally checking out and, well…doing the same thing all the time. Working out had become a little bit of a chore. To combat the monotony, I decided to try a Barre class that I’d had one eye on for some time. Maybe, in the back of my mind, I was saving it for Cabin Fever Season, but I shouldn’t have waited so long.  It was an incredible workout!  The movements are small and very controlled, but they are intense, and they work more muscles than an average workout. I really did use muscles that I had forgotten I had. The best part is, I got Jenn to join me, and we had a blast! (I’ll admit, it’s a little boost to watch your personal trainer sweat just as hard as you.)

For those of you who have taken ballet (or even Pilates) at any point in your lives, Barre class will feel familiar, but not like a repeat. If you’ve never taken ballet before, Barre is a great way to have fun and strengthen a lot of supporting muscles, especially your core, and it’s great for your posture. But if you want to just pretend to be a ballerina, that’s okay too. It’s a great way to shake things up, any time of year.

Club Alert JEFFERSON VALLEY

Operational Update – Women’s Steam Room

We are beginning the process of renovating the steam room in the ladies locker room beginning Sunday, February 9th. Until the work begins it is difficult estimating the scope and timeframe of the project. Excluding any operational surprises we look to have the steam room up and running as quickly as possible. Our members are most welcome to take a steam at Club Fit Briarcliff during the upgrade.

Stay tuned for further updates. Thank you for your patience.

In Health,

Lynne Welling