Blythedale Fundraiser at Club Fit

February 27, 2015 by karen

— written by Club Fit Member and Guest Blogger Lisa Skelton

 

Club Fit member Hannah Nemerever raises funds for Blythedale

Hannah Nemerever hosts Blythedale Fundraiser at Club Fit
Hannah Nemerever swimming at Club Fit

For a 13-year-old, Hannah Nemerever has a pretty impressive resume. Her “day job” involves attending eighth grade at George Fisher Middle School in Carmel, but in her spare time she swims competitively, tutors, and has gained quite the reputation for her community service.

Hannah decided to combine her two loves — swimming and helping others — by organizing a fundraiser for Blythedale Children’s Hospital involving her teammates on Club Fit Jefferson Valley’s USA Swim Team. This is the second year Hannah has spearheaded this event, with last year’s event raising close to $12,000! “Blythedale made it really easy for me to do this,” says Hannah. “Their Development Department gives you suggestions, and helps you set up goals.”

For Hannah’s event, which will be held in the Aquatics Center on March 4th, each swimmer gets sponsors who can donate a lump sum or a certain amount per lap, and commits to a minimum number of laps, between 50 and 200. The team’s goal is to swim a total of 60 miles. “I hope to swim 200 laps myself,” says Hannah. All proceeds will go directly to Blythedale.

Why Blythedale? “We were driving by the hospital and I was curious so I did some research and found out what they did, and I thought it was interesting,” says Hannah. Blythedale, which is located in White Plains, is one of only 19 pediatric specialty hospitals in the United States, and is nationally recognized for its innovative, multidisciplinary inpatient programs. The money raised in last year’s swim team fundraiser was used to support transportation services for sick children and their families, and this year’s proceeds will go to an area where the money is needed most.

But Blythedale is not the only beneficiary of Hannah’s philanthropy. She is a volunteer at Green Chimneys, a local nonprofit that is recognized as a worldwide leader in animal-assisted therapy and educational activities for children with special needs. Hannah helps care for the animals, and is also planning to volunteer at a pancake breakfast fundraiser for Green Chimneys in the spring.

Be sure to stop by on March 4th at 4:45 p.m. to cheer Hannah and her teammates on! And if you miss it, donations will be accepted in the Aquatics office. Checks should be made payable to Blythedale Children’s Hospital and are tax deductible. To find out more about the Blythedale Children’s Hospital and their mission, visit www.blythedale.org. You can also find out more about Green Chimneys at www.greenchimneys.org. Maybe you’ll find one of these organizations as worthy of your time and energy as Hannah does! She is truly an inspiration for all of us, regardless of age!

Operation PROM Fundraiser at Club Fit

February 26, 2015 by karen

Greater Than We founder Susie Mordoh
Greater Than We founder Susie Mordoh

Some people just have the knack for turning an overwhelming situation into a great experience. Event planner and life coach Susie Mordoh, a Club Fit Briarcliff member for the past 12 years, is one of those people! Susie’s company, Greater Than We, is just one part of her personal mission, which is to alleviate “the overwhelm,” and break things down into what she refers to as simple and easy “nuggets of love.”

Greater Than We began three years ago as a company focused on event planning and fundraising, but has grown into an invaluable support system for those looking to achieve a better work-life balance. Susie is hired for speaking engagements, runs workshops and coaches individuals looking for some clarity in their lives. “I strongly believe that when we raise each other up, extraordinary things can happen,” she says. Her mantra? “Feel the Love!”

Susie’s efforts are also directed at supporting nonprofits, including one that is near and dear to her heart, Operation PROM. Club Fit Briarcliff has supported Operation PROM as a dress drop-off location for the past few years, and is the location Susie chose for the 2015 Operation PROM Charity Ride held in February, which raised almost $4000. “The event was a win-win for everyone involved, and a welcome change, for some, from the regular gala dinner format,” said Susie. “The ride was fun, the room looked fantastic, we raised a lot of money, and everyone had a great workout!”

Susie is on the board of Operation PROM, and has witnessed firsthand the impact the organization has made over the years. The organization was originally established in 2005 to help low-income students attend their proms by providing free dresses and tuxedo rentals, but has since expanded to include scholarships and donations of clothing and school supplies to students who are sick, homeless, or live in shelters and don’t have family to assist them.

“When you put it on a collective scale, small donations add up and make a big difference to someone in need,” says Susie. “We’ve reached the point where we can fund an entire prom for a deserving school, including dressing each guest.” This year’s beneficiary is Hope Academy in Orange, CT, which accommodates students who struggle in traditional academic settings due to various learning differences.

Club Fit was a natural choice for the Operation PROM spin event Susie organized. “The club has been a very supportive environment for events like this,” she says. Susie, a Briarcliff resident, uses almost every area of the club, from Group Fitness classes to USTA tennis. She is also a big fan of MYZONE, which she considers a “pivotal upgrade” to her membership. “I definitely have experienced measurable results.” Her husband and two children also frequent the club, and if dogs were allowed, her two Labrador Retrievers would probably be there, too.

Whether you are looking for a little personal inspiration or trying to make a difference for someone in need, follow Susie’s advice, and “Feel the Love!” Her success is proof that it works. For more information on Susie and her company, Greater Than We, visit www.greaterthanwe.com. You can also find information on how to join Susie and Club Fit in supporting Operation Prom at www.operationprom.org.

 by Lisa Skelton

“Play” Matters

February 23, 2015 by Liz

Why “Play” Matters
By Club Fit Briarcliff Assistant General Manager, Ted Gilsinger

Ted

Don’t underestimate child’s play. It may look like leisure time, but when children are playing, fighting imaginary dragons or organizing a game of kickball, they’re actually developing crucial life skills and preparing their brains for the challenges of adulthood. The bad news, child development experts say, is that free playtime has been shrinking for children over the past three decades.

Play teaches kids to play nice!
Research published in the Early Childhood Education Journal in 2007 revealed that both free play and guided plan can help preschoolers learn awareness of other people’s feelings. Playing also teaches kids to regulate their own emotions, a skill that serves them well as they move through life. “You get to try things out with no consequences,” said Kathy Hirsch-Pasek, a child development psychologist at Temple University. “Play allows you to wear different hats, to master social rules and that’s huge.”

Play allows children to use their creativity while developing their imagination, dexterity, and physical, cognitive, and emotional strength.
Play is important to healthy brain development. It is through play that children at a very early age engage and interact in the world around them. Play allows children to create and explore a world they can master, conquering their fears while practicing adult roles, sometimes in conjunction with other children or adult caregivers. As they master their world, play helps children develop new competencies that lead to enhanced confidence and the resiliency they will need to face future challenges. Undirected play allows children to learn how to work in groups, to share, to negotiate, to resolve conflicts, and to learn self-advocacy skills. When play is allowed to be child driven, children practice decision-making skills, move at their own pace, discover their own areas of interest, and ultimately engage fully in the passions they wish to pursue.

Summer Camp Play
Summer Camp play

The Club Fit Summer Camp aims to promote a healthy active life style while fostering the benefits of play. Our full-day campers build new friendships all summer long while engaging in a multitude of developmentally aligned activities. Campers from kindergarten through 8th grade have the opportunity to try out new activities such as yoga, tennis, karate, and Zumba, each taught by certified specialists. In addition, campers are encouraged to build positive relationships with their peers and counselors through a variety of sports and gym games where sportsmanship is key. Energy Camp is dedicated to fostering a spirited summer community through camp-wide events like weekly theme days and special events all summer long.

Club Fit’s Summer Preschool Program aims to attend to the whole child by nurturing their psychological, social, emotional, and physical needs. Through a daily morning circle routine, campers will engage with picture books and develop both their number and time sense. In addition, circle time is an opportunity for our young campers to develop meaningful relationships with their peers and teachers. As a community dedicated to the health and physical well-being of our program participants, preschool campers will also engage in a variety of gross-motor activities such as Super Soccer Starts, Quick Start tennis, movement through music, and daily swim.

Check out the new Free Lunch Menu for Summer Camp! Meet our Summer Camp Co-Directors!

Learn how to prevent changes in balance for a fall-free future

February 19, 2015 by Liz

Learn how to prevent changes in balance for a fall-free future.
Practice exercises to improve your balance!

Debbie Lenihan
PT Director
Physical Therapy at Jefferson Valley

As we age the ability to maintain balance becomes more difficult. Balance and stability are important factors for aging adults to maintain a healthy lifestyle. Loss of balance is the primary factor in falls, which often results in serious injuries.

Many factors influence good balance. Some of them are biological and some we are able to influence and improve. Good balance is dependent on sensory input from the eyes, the correct functioning of the balance system in the inner ear, posture and center of gravity, and our ability to sense the position and movement in our feet, legs and arms. Vision affects the balance system, as the eyes send messages to the brain, telling us where objects are in space.

Aging adults are affected by a loss of muscle mass and strength, and have an increased risk of falls and hip fractures. Weakness in the ankle musculature may cause difficulty in recovering lost balance more quickly. Strong quadriceps muscles are necessary for good balance and walking. Evidence shows that strength and aerobic training can lead to a reduction in falls.

Loss of flexibility occurs with age. This may lead to difficulty climbing stairs, transferring from sit to stand and/or getting out of bed without difficulty. Much of the loss of flexibility is due to inactivity.

Postural changes can develop as people age which includes rounded shoulders, forward head postures and an increased thoracic curve in the spine. These changes affect the center of gravity in the body, moving it forward. With changes in the center of gravity, older adults are more prone to loss of balance and an increased risk of falls.

There are many ways we can adapt to the changes in our bodies as we age. Different forms of exercise, such as strengthening exercises, flexibility and stretching exercises, yoga, tai chi, and aerobic exercise, such as walking, will all contribute to decreasing the risk of falls and improving balance.

Screen Shot 2015-02-24 at 10.27.53 AM

Join Physical Therapy at Club Fit Jefferson Valley for a free lecture: “Use it or Lose it” on March 31!

If you would like to attend this free presentation contact Physical Therapy at Jefferson Valley at (914) 245 – 8807 to reserve a seat. Space is limited to 10 participants.

Keeping Our Kids Healthy by Avoiding Childhood Obesity

February 17, 2015 by Liz

By Ashley DiSalvo, School Teacher and Summer Camp Co-director

When we think of childhood, we think of laughter, playing with friends, and being carefree. However, childhood obesity rates have been on the rise for the last three decades and that means a trend toward devastating physical and mental health implications for our nation’s youth. Luckily, one of the most effective preventative measures is simple: more time spent playing.

The CDC recommends 60 minutes of daily activity for children age six to seventeen. While 77% of children ages 9 -13 reported spending free time on physical activity during the seven days prior to the survey, that number dropped to just 27.1% for high school students! Studies show that by senior year, only 35% of students are even attending weekly physical education classes.

As rates of physical activity decrease, the rates of children and adolescents who are overweight and obese continue to rise. According to the CDC, in 2012, one-third of children and adolescents were overweight or obese. Sadly, the obesity rate of children age 6 – 11 rose from 7% in 1980 to 18% in 2012. In addition, children and adolescents are at risk for many of the same weight-related ailments as adults. For example, obesity increases risk factors associated with cardiovascular disease such as high blood pressure and cholesterol. Other health issues include joint problems, sleep apnea, and prediabetes, a condition where high glucose levels indicate a high risk for developing Type 2 diabetes. Since childhood obesity is a strong indicator of obesity in adulthood, these health issues can expand to include greater risk of stroke and certain types of cancer later in life.

As adults, we are constantly bombarded with media outlets that inform us of the newest super foods and how to “slim down in 7 days,” but the reality is that healthy eating habits and engaging in regular physical activity are habits that are formed over time and they are solidified by genuine enjoyment in the benefits of those habits. Who wants to go hike a mountain, or attend a spin class, or challenge their flexibility in a yoga class if they don’t enjoy it? That’s why at Club Fit’s Summer Camp we provide a variety of physical activities such as Zumba, yoga, karate, swim, and a variety of sports so that all of our campers can find an activity that they truly enjoy and can develop into a lifelong “healthy habit.” Regular physical activity in children and adolescents improves strength and endurance and aids in the development of healthy bones and muscles. But the benefits don’t stop at the physical. Physical activity has also been shown to decrease anxiety and stress and to improve self-esteem. In addition, an increase in self-esteem is linked to greater academic performance as reflected by achievement and more time spent on task during the school day.

National trends depict us as a nation less inclined to physical activity as we age and therefore more apt to develop life threatening illnesses. At Club Fit’s Energy Camp, we encourage children to develop healthy and active lifestyles by providing opportunities for physical activity that are more aligned with “play” than “exercise.” Whether the campers are trying out pickelball for the first time or taking tennis lessons from a pro, summer camp is one of the best ways to introduce children to a variety of physical activities that can help establish lifelong healthy habits.

active healthy girl

Learn more about how your kids will stay healthy and active at Club Fit Summer Camp!

Click here to Meet our Camp Directors!

Want to get your kids involved in an activity or sport now? Check out some of our ongoing programs for kids by visiting the “Sports” section of our website!

Here are just a few things we offer:

Basketball
Flag Football
Sports Nights
Football Kickoff
Pickleball
Pick-up Sports
Soccer
After School Sports
Sports Scramble
Volleyball
Self Defense
Zumba
Yoga
Karate
Tennis
Swimming

We offer programs for various ages from Preschool all the way through High School and Adulthood! Come visit us and try our facilities for free and see what living a healthy lifestyle in a healthy family oriented environment can do for you!

Kids should Lead Active Lifestyles!

February 13, 2015 by Liz

By Summer Camp Co-director and School Teacher, Kristyn Reczek

Get kids off devices and into an active lifestyle! They may just thank you for it!

In today’s society, most of us rely on technology to communicate with our friends and family. Cellphones, iPads, and computers have become such a large part of all of our lives, including even our youngest children. Kids today are using various types of technology to learn from, play on, and stare at. Although, there are many benefits from our ability to use technology so readily, we should also want to show our children how beneficial it is to put down our technology devices and be active. “Regular physical activity in childhood and adolescence improves strength and endurance, helps build strong bones and muscles, help controls weight, reduces anxiety and stress, increases self esteem, and may improve blood pressure and cholesterol levels” according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

During the school year, kids are allotted time for activity during physical education. Over the summer months, camps can provide a great source of physical activity for our kids. Educator, author, and psychologist Dr. Peter Scales stated “Camp is one of the few institutions where young people can experience and satisfy their need for physical activity, creative expression and true participation in a community environment.” Activity during a camp day can include playing games and sports, dancing, swimming, or even just running around. But, camp can also help children to build healthy social skills. Camps help children to interact with friends but can also help them to interact with new peers that may turn into new friends. Many children of today find friends not only in school but also online, through social media websites and even by playing video games. Camp provides them with the opportunity to interact face to face with peers to create new friendships.

Summer camp is a fun and interactive way for kids to put down their cellphones and iPads, step away from their computers and enjoy physical activity with some old friends and maybe even some new ones.

Meet our Summer Camp Directors, Kristyn and Ashley!

Click here to learn more about Summer Camp at Club Fit Briarcliff or Club Fit Jefferson Valley! We also offer Tennis Camp at Briarcliff and Jefferson Valley and Swim Lessons at Briarcliff and Jefferson Valley!

Sign up today and receive 15% off enrollment!

Summer Camp Fun
Summer Fun at Club Fit