Club Fit Membership Rep and “World Racer” Jenny Muller

Club Fit Rep Jenny Muller

Club Fit Membership Rep Jenny Muller is preparing to participate in The World Race for charity.

“Race” can mean a number of things, whether you are rushing to get to the grocery store or competing against elite runners on the world stage. For Club Fit Briarcliff Sales Representative Jen Muller, “race” is going to mean a life-changing experience, as she prepares to participate in The World Race, a journey into eleven countries in eleven months to serve the underprivileged. Participants such as Jen experience an adventure where they abandon worldly possessions and a traditional lifestyle in exchange for a true understanding that it’s not about them, it’s about helping those in need.

Jen first found out about The World Race when her older brother entered the program, after searching online for missionary opportunities, something he had been interested in pursuing. As a professional poker player, he had the flexibility to take the year off − not so for Jen. But when she heard how rewarding his experience had been, she decided to take the plunge, which includes a year-long break from life in Ossining , NY, and her job at Club Fit.

The actual trip begins in September, after an intensive training session in July, where the participants are exposed to the conditions in each country they will visit. According to Jen, “Each day of training will mimic everything that can happen in a particular month in a particular location.” The itinerary currently has her beginning in Thailand, then going to Cambodia, Vietnam, Botswana, Swaziland, South Africa, Turkey, Albania, the Honduras, Nicaragua, and Costa Rica. The three she’s looking forward to the most? Thailand (“So beautiful!”), Albania (“It’s where Mother Teresa is from.”) and South Africa (“Who wouldn’t want to go on safari?!”).

But the trip is about so much more than seeing the world for twenty-six-year-old Jen. “I felt it was like a calling from God to serve the poor,” she says. “I wanted to get out of the Westchester ‘bubble’ and open my eyes to the rest of the world, which is made up of so many people who don’t have as much as we do here.” Jen will be part of a “squad” of approximately 60 people from all over the country (interestingly enough, there is a participant in her group from Mahopac!) who are broken down into teams of 8 to 10 in each location. Each team is given a specific area to focus on, which can include working with orphans, building and repairing houses, and helping victims of human trafficking. Jen is most looking forward to working with the kids. “I love kids, and you can learn so much from them!”

The main thing the teams are taught is, “Expect the unexpected!” Participants are matched up with host families at each location, usually religious leaders in the community, but living conditions vary from location to location. You can sleep in a bed, in a tent, on the floor; participants have to be prepared for anything. They travel with only a hiking backpack, and are only able to bring the bare essentials, which hopefully will include space for a tent.

As you can imagine, when asked what she will miss the most, Jen says, “A shower and a bed!” She will also miss her co-workers at Club Fit, as well as the members she has gotten to know so well since beginning in Reception four years ago. But she hopes to be back! “Everyone at Club Fit has been so supportive!”

As far as funding the trip, Jen saved her money and is paying her own way, but, like most participants, she is doing some fundraising to help cover the cost. Before she leaves at the end of June, she and Personal Trainer Jess Manfro plan to hold a special CFX class event – we’ll keep you posted! – and donations can be made directly to Jen or to the organization in general at www.theworldrace.org.

But before donating, Jen encourages everyone to check out the rest of the web site, including the blogs posted by participants. Jen already has her own blog (jennymuller.theworldrace.org), and she invites you to follow her progress as she moves through her journey. “When you have a better understanding of the difference this organization can make in the lives of so many people, it makes it so much easier to give, even participate,” she says.

CLUB FIT MAKES MILLION-DOLLAR INVESTMENT IN TENNIS!

We are excited to announce the upcoming installation of new, state-of-the-art air-supported domes to house the indoor tennis courts come this September, 2014. This million-dollar investment is expected to accomplish a number of things, including better playing conditions and more efficient energy usage in keeping with the club’s commitment to becoming more “green.”

The new infrastructures, manufactured by Yeadon Domes, a leader in the industry, incorporate new technology that all but eliminates the issues that had begun to surface in the existing bubbles. Read more here. Both are 20-plus years old, considered a normal life expectancy for structures of this kind. “This installation has been on our to-do list, but with the harsh winters of the past few years on top of normal wear and tear, we feel the timing couldn’t be better,” says Bill Beck, President of Club Fit. “It will not only eliminate many of our maintenance issues, it will help to make our members’ playing experience the best it can be, and that’s our priority.”

Rodrigo Schtscherbyna, Director of Tennis at Club Fit Briarcliff, is looking forward to the improved conditions for the club’s members and visiting teams. “We always want to go above and beyond expectations,” he says. “This will be just another part of providing good service to our tennis clientele.” He will be working closely with the maintenance staff during the summer months to minimize disruption, scheduling lessons and Summer Camp sessions earlier in the day and later in the afternoon. Most construction work will be done in the early afternoon, when the courts are traditionally not as busy. The club also intends to increase staffing focused on maintaining the courts during the summer months.

What will be different? For starters, the new bubbles will be insulated, which will make a big difference with heat retention, and make the heating process more efficient. Condensation, a normal part of “life in a bubble,” will be diverted so as not to drip on playing surfaces…or players! New three-paneled doors will replace the old four-paneled structures, with wider openings allowing for ease of entry and exit.
Prep work will involve removal of the old oil tank and heating units, and installation of the new equipment. It will also involve testing of the new equipment so as to avoid problems once the new bubbles are up and running. “We expect to remain on our normal schedule, with outdoor play all summer long and the bubbles open for business in early September, as usual,” says Bill Beck. “Our summer players will have to put up with a bit of commotion this season, but in the end it will be worth the inconvenience. We appreciate their patience, and know they’ll be happy with the end result.”

For 40 years, Club Fit has worked to enhance quality of life and physical well being for members of all ages. In addition to the club’s state-of-the-art facilities and comprehensive programming, Club Fit is also an active member of the local community. Founded in 1973, Club Fit operates clubs in Briarcliff Manor and Jefferson Valley, serving more than 10,000 members and their guests.
Click Here for information on our Tennis Summer Camp!
Click here for more on our staff of awesome Tennis Pros!
For some general Tennis information visit the Tennis page on our website!

Swimming lessons for children with special needs

Here are some of the benefits of this swim program:

1. Development of cognitive and gross motor skills
2. Increased muscle strength
3. Increased muscle endurance
4. Improved relaxation
5. Improved communication skills

Our new program, Adaptive small group swim lessons is for children with Special Needs and is taught by a NYS certified Teacher in Special Education. Each child is taught at their level with a student to teacher ratio of 4:1.

Click Here for more information and for our online registration form!

Meet the Club Fit Camp Directors!


Ashley (left) Kristyn (right)

We’d like to take a few minutes and introduce you to two extraordinary long time members of the Club Fit team: Ashley Di Salvo and Kristyn Reczek. They are also going to be the Camp Director Rockstar duo this Summer! These lovable, talented and accomplished ladies will be the ones making sure your kids have the time of their lives this year!

Meet Kristyn Reczek!

I grew up in Mahopac, NY where I attended high school, playing a variety of sports including basketball and field hockey. Throughout high school I worked as a part of the Mahopac Sports Association, recreation league, as a coach and referee. I discovered my love for working with children as well as athletics in one place. Through my work in high school, I realized that I wanted my work with children to become my career. After graduating from high school, I attended Pace University where I received Bachelor’s degrees in education and mathematics as well as a Master’s degree in special education. I now work as a math teacher at Somers High School where I work with children in a classroom setting but enjoy that I am able to have a work experience with kids in an athletic setting, at Club Fit.

As I began my college career, I also began working at Club Fit. I have been a part of the Club Fit staff since 2008 when I began working in the Energy Center. I was able to again combine my love for working with children with my love for athletics. In 2010 I became an Energy Camp counselor and then took on an administrative position the following year. Being a part of Energy Camp is a one of a kind experience. I am excited to start this new position as an Energy Camp Co-Director along with Ashley and am looking forward to yet another exciting summer!

What I love most about Energy Camp is getting to meet new campers and counselors every year as well as seeing those that are returners. I also love Pizza and Ice Cream Fridays and afternoons with DJ Hopeton! I think it is important for kids to come to camp, but especially ours, because we have campers from a wide area and we can help kids form friendships that they may never have formed in a school setting. I also enjoy that we provide our campers with a variety of activities so they may be able to try something knew that they never would have tried before, like kickboxing or zumba or tennis etc. I would love to continue working with Energy Camp for many years to come and see it evolve and grow into an even better camp than before.

My personal philosophy is to always do what you love and believe in what you do. I have always loved working with children and I am so happy that I have been able to do so by working at club fit. I am so excited to be working with camp at a director level this year because I am really able to make our campers truly enjoy their summers through the program that I have helped create along with Ashley!

Meet Ashley Di Salvo!

I grew up in Garrison, NY where I played basketball and lacrosse at Walter Panas High School. After high school, I attended Penn State where I discovered I wanted to be a teacher. Following four years of Blue & White pride at Penn State, I took a year off to travel before completing a Masters of Literacy Education at NYU. Currently, I teach at the Windward School in White Plains. I love that I get to spend my extra time at Club Fit where I get to not only support a healthy lifestyle but I also get to spend time engaging with children outside of the classroom through our camp programs.

Six years ago I began working at Club Fit Jefferson Valley as a camp counselor. I spent two years there before transferring to Briarcliff where took on a different role as the Assistant Camp Director. Now, as we eagerly wait for warm weather to grace us, I am looking forwarded to taking on yet another new role as a Camp Co-Director with Kristyn Reczek!

This will be my 7th summer with Club Fit and I love that I’ve had the opportunity to work at both clubs as well as both a counselor and a director. I feel like this has given me perspective on how to interact with parents as well as how to understand what it’s like to be a camp counselor. I strongly believe that great counselors are what allow campers to have memorable experiences.

I love summer camp because it provides children with an opportunity to explore new interests and to often step outside of their comfort zone. I love that summer camp gives kids a place to make new friends outside of their schools and to find role models in their counselors.

My long term aspirations are linked to my personal philosophy. I always try to go with the flow and keep my mind and heart open to new opportunities, experiences, and ideas. I believe that by doing this, we allow ourselves to continuously grow and discover new passions therefore creating a future that is open to change. I think that if we teach children to have this mindset, they will have endless opportunities to experience all life has to offer.

A Journey With The Hiking Club

Come with us on an adventure!

March 16, 2014

After an unusually rough winter, there finally was a good day for hiking. The destination today for the Club Fit Hiking Club, was Sprout Brook Park in Peekskill. The temperature was only in the 30s, but the sun made it feel warmer.

At the beginning of the hike, some people looked like Star Wars characters, in their multiple layers of clothing.

There were hiking sticks left at the beginning of the trail for people to borrow, for those who did not own sticks or had spouses who drove off with their poles in their car.

There was a variety of conditions on the trail. We walked over small streams

and next to rivers

over some mud and snow, but most of the trails were in pretty good condition.

Like all Club Fit hikes, there was time for jokes (not sure if Abby is attacking the tree, or pretending to attack our leader),

and lots of laughs

and beautiful views along the way.

We stopped for lunch, and a chance for more conversations. Some were discussing life in Colorado, Abby seems to be describing something with her hands. Many thanks to her for the delicious no-bake cookies, and trail mix.

Many of us felt warm enough by lunch time, to take off our hats and gloves.

We posed for a photo

and another one, by a sign posted near the end of the hike.

One person took a selfie too, to post on Facebook, all while Molly patiently waited.

It was a fun day, and a nice place to explore. Thank you, Andrew, for getting us outside and for leading such a great hike. Thank you too to Frank for acting as our sweep. The next Club Fit Hike will be the annual frog one, held in early April. Hope the weather is even better for that hike.

-Marty

Just Breathe Using Breathing & Relaxation Techniques for Stress and Pain

Do you sometimes experience pain and do not know what to do?

Pain is a perception that we perceive as a result of pressure, compression or restriction to an area of the body. Nerve signals are sent to the brain which is translated into pain. It causes muscle tightness, tension and fatigue and sympathetic nervous system response. An effective way to relax and alleviate the pain is to start noticing how you breathe.

When you breathe shallowly – into the chest instead of the belly-muscles in your diaphragm, rib cage and low back tighten up. Over time, that tension translates into pain. If you answer “yes” to the following questions than learn how to properly breathe:

a. Do you breathe more than 8 breaths a minute? The more shallowly you breathe the more breaths you have to take each minute. This translates into stress.

b. Does your chest rise more than your lower chest? When you breathe you are taking oxygen mostly into the upper part of your body. This type of “thoracic” breathing is causing the lungs to work inefficiently and more stress is placed on accessory muscles.

Diaphragmatic Breathing: What is it?

By learning how to do diaphragmatic breathing this will help to lower blood pressure, decreases heart rate, reduces tension in muscles, gives a sense of well- being and control over the body and help to decrease pain.

Practice: Place a hand both on your chest and abdomen. Notice whether these areas move, and if they do which area moves more. In relaxed breathing, the abdomen expands fully as you breathe in (fill the belly like a balloon) and the chest remains relatively quiet. Imagine the breath as soft and caressing. Breathe in through your nose and out through your mouth. Try breathing in for a count of 4 and blow out for a count of 4.

Diaphragmatic breathing can be performed in sitting, standing, and activities such as walking.

On May 6th, 2014, Tuesday from 5:30 – 6:30 PM Meryle Richman, PT, DPT, MS will be presenting, “Just Breathe! Using Breathing & Relaxation Techniques for Stress and Pain”. This will be presented in the upper conference room inside Club Fit Briarcliff.

If you suffer from chronic pain the advice from a physical therapist can start you on the path to better health and fitness, no matter what your age. If you have questions, please call Physical Therapy at 914-245-8807 or 914-762 2222 for more information or our website at www.ptrehab.com.

Climbing Mount Kilimanjaro: First Club Fit Fitness Assessment


My name is Kurt Kannemeyer and I am the Director of Development at St. Christopher’s, Inc. St. Christopher’s, Inc. is an innovative adolescent development organization dedicated to helping children with special needs and their families by delivering a seamless continuum of care. We provide quality education; therapeutic intervention and life planning skills in a safe and nurturing environment with the goal of helping each child reach his/her full potential.

Last year, I traveled all the way to Africa to attempt to climb Mt. Kilimanjaro for all of our children! Though I did not reach the top, I am determined to achieve my goal this year! My belief is that when we fail at something, we must try again and most importantly, never give up.

This year I have some very essential help from Club Fit! They have provided me with gym membership as well as trainer, Sarah. Just yesterday I met with Sarah and Liz Swan, Club Fit’s Social Media Specialist, along with other Club Fit Staff. After an initial consultation and orientation, we went straight for my fitness assessment! There was no better way to get into training mode than to jump right in!

In this blog, I intend to chronicle my journey back to the top of Mt. Kilimanjaro. Stay tuned for fitness updates, healthy eating tips and more on my inspiration – the wonderful children of St. Christopher’s, Inc. For more information please visit, www.sc1881.org.

I hope you all will read along about my journey and achieving my goal of climbing to the top of Mt. Kilimanjaro with the help of Club Fit and their amazing facilities!

Osteoporosis: A Safe Way To Exercise

Osteoporosis and Exercise
Osteoporosis is a systemic skeletal disorder, with a reduction of bone mass. A as result this predisposes an individual to be at increased fracture risk. (NIH Consensus Development Panel on Osteoporosis Prevention, Diagnosis and Therapy JAMA 2001:285:785-795). Exercise is one of the important keys to help prevent the changes in posture, help restore loss of body height, increase muscle strength with an emphasis on core strength and improve balance to reduce the risk of falls.

After being diagnosed with osteoporosis, the question quickly becomes what exercises should I do? It is important to address some basic concerns for types of exercise that are not safe. First and foremost, any exercise that emphasizes trunk bending is contraindicated, side-bending and trunk twisting should be done with caution. When working out in the gym or independently, avoid any exercise that involves the above trunk movement especially exercise that combines these movements. It is important to avoid knee to chest exercise, toe touches, straight leg raise or raising both legs together. Use caution when working out in the gym on any seated exercises using machines. The rule of thumb is to avoid machines that cause increased compression on the spine or bend the spine. It is also important to warm up with stretching exercises prior to beginning weightlifting or weight training exercise

Walking is an excellent exercise because it promotes weight bearing through the hip joints. It strengthens the bones with different forces. You can also walk backwards, sidestep; walk on uneven surfaces (for example, grassy surfaces or a hike in the woods) and inclines additional exercising can be Yoga and Pilates are also excellent forms of exercise, but this should be modified if you are diagnosed with Osteoporosis.

On April 9, 2014 pm Wednesday, 1:00 – 2:00 pm Caron DuBois, PT, MS will present a free lecture on “Osteoporosis. Learn Safe Ways to Stretch and exercise” at Briarcliff Physical Therapy at Briarcliff inside Club Fit.

If you have questions, please call 914-245-8807 or 914-962-2222 for more information or free consultation. Visit our website at: www.ptrehab.com

Information used and/or adapted from the course OSTEOPOROSIS:A Comprehensive Treatment Strategy with permission of SARA MEEKS SEMINARS, P.O. Box 5577, Gainesville FLA

Stretch Your Way Into Wellness

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

According to the Mayo Clinic, although studies have shown that the benefits of stretching are mixed, stretching has great benefits. Stretching can help you improve your joint range of motion, which in turn may help improve your athletic performance, decrease your risk of injury, improve flexibility and increase the blood flow to your muscles. Understand and learn how to stretch safely by using proper techniques.

Here are some tips to know about stretching:

How long?

– Hold the stretch 15 to 30 seconds is ideal
– Repeat 3 to 5 repetitions each time

How?

– Gentle
– Sustained
– No bouncing
– Slow
– Use proper posture/technique

REMEMBER TO BREATHE while stretching!

Stretch with Caution!

In some cases, you may need to approach stretching with caution. If you have a chronic condition or an injury, you may need to adjust your stretching techniques. For example, if you already have a strained muscle, stretching it may cause further harm. Also, don’t think that because you stretch you can’t get injured.

If you would like to learn more about stretching stop by Physical Therapy at Briarcliff (914)762 – 2222 or Physical therapy at Jefferson (914) 245 – 8807 or visit our website at www.ptrehab.com.

Ivy Rehab
Stretch Your Way into Wellness. FREE presentation by Jacek Golis, M.S.P.T. 10:30 am–11:00 am. Sign up in IvyRehab office. 914-245-8807.

Mayo Clinic: the art of stretching