To Keep You Inspired, Dr. Franklin Zimmerman

DrZimmerman

Club Fit celebrated American Heart month in February, helping members maintain their commitment to regular exercise, a nutritious diet, and a healthy heart. But if you ask cardiologist Dr. Franklin (Bud) Zimmerman, a Club Fit Briarcliff member affectionately known as Dr. Z., a healthy heart is a prize to celebrate and maintain all year long.

A graduate of the Brown University Medical School, Dr. Zimmerman is a Senior Attending Cardiologist and President of the medical staff at Phelps Memorial Hospital. He trained at Columbia University, St. Luke’s Hospital and has been a cardiologist at Phelps Memorial Hospital since 1989 alongside his partners at Phelps Medical Associates, Dr. Arthur Fass, Dr. Dina Katz (both Club Fit members), and Dr. Jay Doshi.

The field of cardiology has always excited Dr. Zimmerman, especially working with acutely ill patients and making them healthy again. As important and rewarding as that aspect of cardiology is, however, he has an equal passion for preventative care. “It’s very dramatic when you help a patient with a heart attack,” says Dr. Zimmerman, “but I’d much rather work to prevent the event than respond to an emergency”

Dr. Zimmerman’s commitment to preventative care and education has made a lasting\ impact in his field as well as his community. He is an assistant clinical professor at Columbia and created the Heart and Health Education Foundation with his partners. He is also the director of Phelps Memorial’s Center for Occupational Medicine and Public Safety Services (COMPASS), a center in development that is devoted to the health needs of first responders. Dr. Zimmerman shares his expertise directly with Club Fit on heart healthy initiatives such as training staff members to use automatic defibrillators, a move that has already saved lives at the gym. He consulted on the Health Rx program, a referral program for people beginning an exercise program, and he created the Club Fit Chief’s Challenge, an exercise challenge for policeman and firefighters. Preventing cardiovascular disease in police and fire department personnel is an important area of research for Dr. Zimmerman. “First responders have a risk of heart attack that is out of proportion to the general public, and this strikes close to home for me, because I come from a police family,” said Dr. Zimmerman, whose sister is the current Police Chief of San Diego. After sharing this concern with Club Fit president Bill Beck, the club began offering a half-price membership for active police officers and firefighters, and Dr. Zimmerman created the Chief’s Challenge to encourage first responders to keep their hearts healthy through exercise. Every year Dr. Zimmerman’s foundation awards $1,000 each to the local police and fire department with the most check-ins to the gym. Club Fit tallies the visits, and at year’s end reports the numbers to Dr. Zimmerman. The 2016 winners were the Yorktown Police Department and the Mohegan Lake Fire Department.

According to Dr. Zimmerman, the most overlooked preventative measure for heart disease is exercise, and he feels that “many people would rather take a pill than spend an hour at the gym.” He is always quick to share his favorite mantras with his patients such as “Exercise is medicine” or his wry “You only have to exercise … on the days that you eat.” In 25 years at Club Fit, Dr. Zimmerman says “the most gratifying thing about going to Club Fit is the number of my patients that I see there following my heart-healthy advice.”

Barring a medical emergency, Dr. Zimmerman works out at Club Fit four to five times a week during his lunch hour, focusing on cardiovascular exercise and weight training. He begins with a five-minute warmup on the treadmill, light stretching, and a half-mile run on the track – either an easy jog or more vigorous interval running. For weight training, he uses the Nautilus and Cybex machines along with free weights for his arms, varying his routine to devote certain days to different muscle groups. Cross training keeps his workout both physically challenging and mentally stimulating, and he feels that Club Fit offers a distinctive advantage in its variety of equipment. On the weekends, he includes some distance work on his home treadmill before going out to dinner with family and friends where he admits to “eating some things a cardiologist avoids during the week.”

Dr. Zimmerman and his wife of 37 years, Laurie, enjoy an active lifestyle, as do their children: Stacey, a devoted runner, and Rick, an avid cyclist. But something you might not know about the Cleveland native is his passion for baseball and the Cleveland Indians. A lifelong Indians fan, he attended his fifth Cleveland Indians Fantasy Camp in January at the team’s spring training facility in Goodyear, AZ. A pitcher and infielder, Dr. Zimmerman modifies his Club Fit workout three months before camp to prepare himself for its physical demands and daily double-headers, drills, and practices. His managers this year were Mike Hargrove and pitcher Jaret Wright, who Hargrove started in Game 7 of the 1997 World Series. Dr. Zimmerman jokes, “Now, Hargrove’s managing me—how far he’s fallen.” Besides the joy of seeing his patients exercising and his love of Indians Fantasy Camp, what keeps Dr. Z. coming to the gym? “Exercise is fun—it makes you feel better and just keeps you healthy,” he says. “Plus, I want to get a few more miles on my fastball.”

Snow Shoveling Injury Prevention

Snow Shoveling the Correct Way to Avoid Injuries

by Meryle Richman, PT, DPT, MS

Woman Shoveling Snow

Snow shoveling is a repetitive activity that can cause muscle strain to the lower back and shoulders. Back injuries due to snow shoveling are more likely to happen to people who may not know that they are out of condition. Following these tips can help you avoid injuries.

 

● Lift smaller loads of snow, rather than heavy shovelfuls. Be sure to take care to bend your knees and lift with your legs rather than your back.

● Use a shovel with a shaft that lets you keep your back straight while lifting. A short shaft will cause you to bend more to lift the load. Using a shovel that’s too long makes the weight at the end heavier. Step in the direction in which you are throwing the snow to prevent the low back from twisting. This will help prevent “next-day back fatigue.”

● Avoid excessive twisting because the spine cannot tolerate twisting as well as it can tolerate other movements. Bend your knees and keep your back as straight as possible so that you are lifting with your legs.

● Take frequent breaks when shoveling. Stand up straight and walk around periodically to extend the lower back.

● Backward bending exercises while standing will help reverse the excessive forward bending of shoveling: stand straight and tall, place your hands toward the back of your hips, and bend backwards slightly for several seconds.

Here are some Healthy Tips for Safely Shoveling Snow

Stretches that target the trunk, legs and upper body:

Counter-Top stretch (Low back): Place your hands on your kitchen counter and walk backwards until your body makes an L-shape. Bend or hinge forward from your hips, while keeping your back lengthened your arms forward. You will feel a stretch in your back and throughout your trunk. Hold this for 10 long, deep breaths.

Heel Up On a Chair stretch (hamstrings): While holding onto some support, straighten your leg out and place your heel up on a chair, tighten that thigh, and pull those toes towards your body. Feel the stretch in the back of your leg. There’s no need to bend forward and it’s better if you don’t. Just stand up tall and keep both legs active. Hold 10 breaths. Repeat other side.

Bent Knee with Ankle in Hand stretch (quadriceps): Keep holding onto some support as you grab one foot with one hand behind your buttocks and hold it as you bend that leg. You should feel this stretch in the front of the thigh of the bent leg as you hold for 10 breaths. Repeat other side.

Core Strengthening Exercise:

● While standing, imagine pulling your belly button in towards your spine and engage your abdominal muscles without letting your pelvis tuck under. Try holding this for 5-10 seconds while breathing normally and repeat this a few times until it makes sense. This exercise uses the innermost layer of abdominal and back muscles and reminds your body where the center of your core strength is.

Mindfulness:

● As you are shoveling snow, focus on the rotating movements happening in your  hip joints. You can place your finger on the front of your hip joints (located at the top of each thigh near the groin) and practice a few sways side to side, simulating raking. Avoid letting the rotation happen at your waist—this will cause unnecessary movement around your lumbar spine.

● Continue to focus on the core strength exercise above and engage your belly  button in towards your spine as you rake, activating those lumbar spine  stabilizers. Pay attention to loosening up any stiffness in your legs and trunk muscles and you will go a long way to preventing injury to your back!

If your back hurts from shoveling snow or you have complaints of neck or shoulder pain, call to make an appointment with one of our staff of knowledgeable physical therapists for a free 15 minute consultation. Our experienced and dedicated licensed physical therapists can also help you get started with treatment. With Direct Access a prescription is not required to be evaluated. . Most insurance plans are accepted. 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.

Reference: http://www.moveforwardpt.com/Resources/Detail.aspx?cid=bc1413cc-3ed6-4cf9-888f-3955df4a1b13

To Keep You Inspired … Balancing Indulgences

My indulgence is … I find balance by …

My indulgence is chocolate — particularly a shortbread cookie dipped in chocolate my family has made for the holidays for years.

I find balance by not keeping “indulgence foods” in the house or at least put them away so they are not easy to grab when looking for a snack. – Ellen Koelsch

My indulgence is cheese, GLORIOUS CHEESE!
I find balance by allowing myself to nibble on cheese only after achieving 12,000 steps in a day. – Lynne Welling

My indulgence is candy…lots of it!
My balance is tennis, treadmill, and training. – Alice Daly

My indulgence is dessert.
I find balance by being out on the tennis court for 8 hours a day. – Michael Bratt

My indulgence is a special family crumb cake recipe that is more crumbs than cake.
I find balance by only serving this during the holidays and in between I enjoy the many classes at Club Fit and biking the trailways. – Maura Schneider

My indulgence is pasta/carbs! And I’m not even Italian!
I find balance by not eating bread. – Diane Rich

My indulgence is alcohol, especially red wine and scotch.
I find balance by skipping one or two snacks on the days I indulge or cut a meal in half. On the days that I overindulge I increase my next cardio workout to compensate. – Prudence Pitter

My Indulgence is spaghetti and meatballs.
I find balance by eating it only twice a month. – Jasmin Fleming

My indulgence is eating potato chips. “You can’t eat just one” certainly applies to me.
I find balance by only buying the small bags. Portion control!! – Mary Ann Helf

Joe: My indulgence is ITALIAN FOOD
I find balance on the stair stepper and treadmill! – Joe Riley

My indulgence is eggnog.
I find balance with spin classes. – Jen Schildwachter

My indulgence is dessert.
I find balance by going for holiday runs and extra cardio. – Evan Delfs

My indulgence is pasta.
I find balance through smart eating the rest of the day. – Jen Ritz

My indulgence is ‘grazing’ appetizers at holiday parties.
I find balance by picking my favorite having 2 and skipping the rest. – Denise Harrington

My indulgence is pie and rainbow cookies. I find balance with intervals on the stair stepper. – Jim Ready

My indulgence is extra chocolate crinkle cookies.
I find balance by lifting heavy. – Dan Franz

My indulgence is the homemade cookies.
I find balance by practicing mindful eating. – Cathy DiSomma

My indulgence is pizza.
I find balance in allowing myself to have it once a month but only if it is exactly the perfect pie from one of my favorite pizza places, never from a box, never just to simply eat an average piece of pizza. – Brenda Bettman

My indulgences are nuts and chocolate.
I find a balance by not baking for the holidays — if it’s not here, I can’t eat it. – Rose Arrucci

My indulgence is the peanut butter chocolate bars my mom makes for every holiday.
I find balance by running an extra mile or two on the treadmill when I know I’ve eaten a few too many! – Megan Bradbury

My indulgence is Little Sorrento bread.
I find balance in bringing dinner home instead of dining in so I cannot ask for more. – Jodi Coitino

My indulgence is chocolate!
I find balance by taking nice walks and bike rides along the Hudson. – Pam Rotando

My indulgence is carbs (mainly pasta and bread).
I find balance by not over-indulging and making sure I stick to my work out routine 3 – 4 times a week – Laura Crowe

My indulgence is Pepperidge Farm Goldfish. I find myself eating bags at time.
I find balance by purchasing only one bag of Pepperidge Farm while grocery shopping and purchasing more unprocessed ready to consume foods like fruits, nuts, and vegetables. – Phil Brigante

My indulgence is television.
I find balance by spending time with friends and family. – Abby Jennings

My indulgence is wine
I find balance by working out, yoga and meditation every day. – Liza Forster

My indulgence is: ice cream sundaes.
I find balance by eating ice cream one – twice a month. – Andrea Vittoria

My indulgence is cheese – definitely mozzarella!
My balance is exercise (meeting my step goal)! – Amanda Raiano

My indulgence is SmartFood popcorn … can’t get enough of it!
I find balance by buying the small 100-calorie packs! – Laura Susi

My indulgence is football.
I find my balance by getting all of my schoolwork done so I can enjoy all the games! – Gianna Ronca

My indulgence is sweet beverages like coffees, chai tea lattes, milkshakes…
I find balance by keeping them as treats and sticking with herbal teas and fruit/veggie smoothies as my daily go to. – Vanessa Carter

My indulgence is chocolate covered almonds… yum!
I find balance by only rewarding myself after I finish a task or chores. :) – Michelle Furgiuele

My indulgence is sweets.
I find balance in walking at last 10,000 steps a day. – Laura Braun

My indulgence is chocolate covered Oreos.
I find balance by working out 3 – 4 days a week. – Kaitlyn Schmeir

My indulgence is my baking.
I find balance by working out at least 15 minutes. – Jo Ann Schmeir

My indulgence is ice cream.
I find balance by only having it a few times a week. – Angelina Curcio

My indulgence is sweets.
I find balance by not keeping to many sweets in the house. – Jennifer DeBellis

My indulgence is pizza and cupcakes!
I find balance by training for/running Tough Mudders. – Kristen Saffo

My indulgence is chocolate of any kind.
I find balance by having only small amounts and not keeping it in the house. – Dana Tatela

My indulgence is eating McDonald’s.
I find balance by eating three apples a day. – Jackson Childs

My indulgence is food/cheeseburgers.
My balance is working out & doing Tough Mudders. – Ryan Williams

My indulgence is candy…
I find balance by working out at the gym and playing sports. – Kelly Becker

My indulgence is eating Ben & Jerry’s (Creamy dark chocolate brownie with hot fudge and vanilla with chocolate chips, brownie, and caramel).
I find balance in maxing out my workouts. – Dana Marie DeNapoli

My indulgence is cookies.
I find balance by making healthy choices all week before enjoying my indulgence! – Gina Acker

MY indulgence is bagels. The real deal bagel. Fresh, chewy adorned with a modest coat of cream cheese and topped with, when available, a slab of fresh tomato.
I find balance with exercise!!!!!! – Larry Koffer

My indulgence is wine,
I find balance by only drinking on Saturday – Angela Sampogna

My indulgences are Italian food and beer,
I find balance by working out 2 – 3 times a week at Club Fit – Rachel M

My indulgence is martinis;
I find balance by working out a few times a week – Ally G

My indulgence is dark chocolate with caramel and sea salt.
I find balance with wine – Tara C

My indulgence is bread with butter.
I find balance by not buying it every day. – Nicole R

My indulgence is beer.
I find balance by playing soccer and basketball. – Luke F

My indulgence is Chinese food.
I find balance by using the step machine – J.P.T.

My indulgence is mac & cheese.
I find balance by playing soccer. – Fabian F

My indulgence is shopping.
I find balance by working. – Sasha W

My indulgences are pizza and cannolis.
I find balance by running. – Daniella S

My indulgence is mac & cheeses.
I find balance by eating salad. – Amanda S

My indulgence is Dunkin Donuts iced coffee.
I find balance by eating healthy meals the rest of the day. – Lisa F

My indulgence is tacos.
I find balance by walking as much as I can instead of driving. – Rebecca B

My indulgence is reading.
I find balance by making sure chores are done first. – Joyce D

My indulgences are chocolate and cookies.
I find balance by working out at Club Fit and being active with my son and dogs – Jennie B

My indulgence is to sleep late on my day off. –
I find balance in spending time with family / friends, working on my classes and working out with some of the most amazing people. – Marie Senno

My indulgence is family.
I find balance by making time for them. – Stef Fucci

My Indulgence is a long hot shower twice a day.
I find balance by keeping active physically and mentally – Carol Newman

My indulgence is chocolate.
I find balance by staying mindful, practicing yoga, and being with family. – Lucy Conway

My indulgence is life.
I find balance by breathing. – Scott Verardo

My indulgence is chocolate.
I find balance by teaching Belly Dance and socializing with my friends. – Liz Ford

My indulgence is dark chocolate
I find balance by exercising my body mind and soul. – Barbara Dellicurti’

My indulgence is wine and dining.
I find balance by doing yoga and spending time with family & friends. – Diana Morgan

My indulgence is definitely chocolate or something sweet.
I find balance through exercise, practicing moderation, and being thankful for what I have. Sarah Garcia

My indulgence is dessert every night.
I find balance by eating small, healthy meals and exercising. – Danielle Clark

My indulgence is dessert.
I find balance by limiting it to weekends only. – Diane Purdy

My indulgence is ice cream.
I find balance by allowing myself only one day per week to have it. – Andrew Amalfitano

My indulgence is dessert.
I find balance by working out every day. – Bonnie Natale

My indulgence is ice cream.
I find balance by allowing myself only one day per week to have it. – Andy Avolio

My indulgence is wine and dark chocolate.
I find balance by only allowing myself to enjoy it on the weekends! – Joanna Zottoli

My indulgence is any form of junk food (ughh).
I find balance by walking/running 4 times per week. – Nelly Belmonte

My indulgence is ice cream
I find balance by having ice cream on Monday nights only, while watching Dancing with the Stars. – Joan Serrecchia

My indulgence is chicken wings.
My balance is working out and playing basketball. – Kyle Legato

My indulgence is potato chips.
I find balance by only eating them on the weekend. – Dean D’Alessio

My indulgence is ice cream.
I find balance by hiking and being outside as much as possible. – Heather Norberto

My indulgence is chocolate.
I find balance by hiking. – Sabine Diller

My indulgence is dark chocolate!!!
I find balance by trying not to take things too seriously, dancing, surfing, laughing a lot, enjoying my family and friends, and reminding myself that I am not really in control of the big picture — just going on a wonderful ride! – Liz Mallon

My indulgence is concerts and restaurants.
I find balance in being grateful and mindful of all the good life offers. – Andrea Klekman

My Indulgence is McDonald’s.
I find balance by taking different routes home to avoid driving by one. – Rodane Robinson

My indulgence is pizza.
I find balance by running three times per week. – Matthew Macias

My indulgence is red wine.
I find balance by only having one glass and planning for an extra 30 minutes of cardio beforehand – Gillian Cobb

My indulgence is chocolate chip ice cream.
I find balance by totally enjoying it once a week, after a long run. – Cathy Cousin

My indulgence is 2 slices of chicken, bacon and ranch pizza.
I find balance by working it off on the basketball court. – Aldo Redendo

To Keep You Inspired … Diane Purdy

Club Fit’s Payroll Specialist Diane Purdy Keeps Us Inspired

{by Lisa Olney, Club Fit guest blogger}

Club Fit’s Payroll Specialist Diane Purdy with Personal Trainer Lori Nigro

Club Fit’s Payroll Specialist Diane Purdy with Personal Trainer Lori Nigro

Club Fit’s highest staff honor is its Annual Service Award, presented under veil of secrecy each year at the Annual Meeting — a day of education, team building, and staff appreciation. So, when Diane Purdy, Club Fit’s Payroll Specialist of almost 20 years was asked to lead a Q & A about the Club’s new human resource management system, Dayforce, she was prepared and ready for any question that came her way. What she wasn’t prepared for was the proverbial table turn. Instead of being introduced as the afternoon’s next speaker, she was introduced through a cleverly written poem as Club Fit’s 2016 Annual Service Award winner!

Diane may have been the only person in the room surprised by the announcement. Her consummate work ethic and dedication strikes a lasting impression for all who meet her. Diane’s attention to detail and support to managers and staff has made her invaluable in every area of Club Fit. Diane takes her responsibility as Club’s Payroll Specialist seriously, and over the years she has braved many of Mother Nature’s wicked weather curve balls to get to work, even during weather closures, because, simply put, “Our people need to get paid.” The support she provides has become her calling card, and Diane has helped guide her team through two significant technology launches helping to maximize Club Fit’s internal efficiency and overall position as a leader in the fitness industry. But most importantly, on Diane’s watch, people come first, and everyone is taken care of with equal care and attention.

Diane grew up playing basketball, softball, and running track. As an adult, she enjoyed an effortless balance of health and fitness. But time marches on, and bodies change. As Diane entered her 50s, she realized that maintaining this balance was finally going to require a little more effort. So, she decided it was time to focus on improving her own health and fitness. She found her perfect partner in Club Fit Jefferson Valley Personal Trainer Lori Nigro.

“Lori knew that I was interested in getting in shape and losing weight,” recalls Diane. After their first session, the rest was history, and they’ve been training together since March of 2015. Every Tuesday at 3:30, the duo meets for a 30-minute personal training session. Lori has incorporated high intensity training (HIT) and functional training into Diane’s repertoire. Some days are dedicated to specific body parts, and each session includes stretching and cardio. Diane’s favorite machine is the cross cable machine, and she complements her Club Fit routine by staying active and bicycling through her neighborhood.

“Over the years, I’ve tried just about everything — spinning and cardio tennis, but, this is what I do on Tuesdays,” says Diane. It has been just over 18 months since Diane started her weekly sessions with Lori. She noticed changes right away, and is proud that she has maintained her fitness and weight loss. As for her future fitness goals, Diane is happy continuing her Tuesday sessions with Lori. “I’ll stick with my program,” says Diane. “Lori has shown me so many things. She is motivating, very encouraging and great to work with.”

This February will mark Diane’s 20-year Club Fit anniversary, and Diane most values the caring and friendly culture at the Club, from the staff to the members. “It’s my home away from home, and I love the people,” said Diane. “Everybody cares about their well-being, and the Club cares about helping the community. It’s a great place to work.”

As Diane closes in on the big 2-0, staff and members alike may already know of her love of traveling, NBA basketball, and her favorite team, the San Antonio Spurs. But, did you know that Diane is a huge country music fan with an ear that would make any Nashvillian proud? In 2016 she has already seen 16 big-name artists in concert such as Martina McBride, Reba McEntire, Luke Bryan, Kenney Chesney, Miranda Lambert, and on October 26, Carrie Underwood. 2016 is not over yet, however, and in November she will see Keith Urban and Brett Eldridge, and Stevie Nicks is on the docket for December. Diane has already purchased her tickets for Faith Hill and Tim McGraw’s Soul2Soul tour in October of 2017 — just another fun fact that exemplifies Diane’s attention to detail and strategic planning, a strength that can always be counted on by the Club Fit community.

Fitness Success Story: Janet Murff

Janet and Candice

Club Fit Member Janet Murff and Personal Trainer Candice O’Brien — working together to help Janet reach her goals.

Healthier and happier — Club Fit Member Janet Murff started training with Personal Trainer Candice O’Brien in 2015 and is now stronger, fitter, and happier.

I’d like to express my appreciation to my trainer Candice and Club Fit. I am thrilled! The physical & mental benefits of exercise are amazing.

When I made my decision in November 2015 to have a personal trainer, I was out of shape and feeling stressed from two years of the life changing activities of caring for one’s parents; too much driving, too much sitting. Realizing what a difference a trainer would mean to my success, I signed up — and as luck would have it, I was paired with the right trainer from day one. I began with the goals of improved health and fitness. I knew that I could only commit to two or three gym visits per week. Consistency would make it work. Weight loss was far down my list. Today, I am much stronger, fitter, more toned, and happier than I was a year ago. Weight loss has been a bonus. I know that I could not have done this alone. I am excited to set new goals for 2017 and look forward to continue working with Candice to help me reach these.

Congratulations to Janet on her hard work and her commitment to health!

Benefits of Tai Chi

by Master Trainer and Exercise Physiologist, Jie Yang

Master Trainer Jie Yang

Master Trainer Jie Yang will be leading a New Tai Chi class at Club Fit Brircliff

Born in Xi’an, China, Jie Yang is trained in various martial arts forms including Taichi and Xingyi. He holds his Master’s in Exercise Science and Rehabilitation and is a Certified Exercise Physiologist by American College of Sports Medicine.

Jie will be leading a new Tai Chi fitness program at Club Fit Briarcliff, beginning October 21st.

The core training in this class involves a slow sequence of movements (solo form) which emphasize a straight spine, abdominal breathing, and a natural range of motion, with the form being performed over their center of gravity. Accurate, repeated practice of the routine can retrain posture, encourage circulation throughout our bodies and maintain flexibility through the joints.

Research-established benefits

  1. Promotion of balance control, flexibility, cardiovascular fitness, and has shown to reduce the risk of falls in both healthy young performers and elderly patients [2, 15], and those recovering from chronic stroke [3], heart failure, high blood pressure, heart attacks, multiple sclerosis, Parkinson’s, Alzheimer’s and fibromyalgia [4-5].
  2. Tai chi’s gentle, low impact movements burn more calories than surfing and nearly as many as downhill skiing [6].
    Tai chi, along with yoga, has reduced levels of LDLs 20–26 milligrams when practiced for 12–14 weeks [7].
  3. Compared to regular stretching, tai chi showed the ability to greatly reduce pain and improve overall physical and mental health in people over 60 with severe osteoarthritis of the knee [8]. In addition, a pilot study, which has not been published in a peer-reviewed medical journal, has found preliminary evidence that tai chi and related qigong may reduce the severity of diabetes [9].
  4. In a randomized trial of 66 patients with fibromyalgia, the tai chi intervention group did significantly better in terms of pain, fatigue, sleeplessness and depression than a comparable group given stretching exercises and wellness education [5].
  5. A recent study evaluated the effects of two types of behavioral intervention, tai chi and health education, on healthy adults, who, after 16 weeks of the intervention, were vaccinated with VARIVAX, a live attenuated Oka/Merck Varicella zoster virus vaccine. The tai chi group showed higher and more significant levels of cell-mediated immunity to varicella zoster virus than the control group that received only health education. It appears that tai chi augments resting levels of varicella zoster virus-specific cell-mediated immunity and boosts the efficacy of the varicella vaccine. Tai chi alone does not lessen the effects or probability of a shingles attack, but it does improve the effects of the varicella zoster virus vaccine [10].

Stress and mental health
A systematic review and meta-analysis, funded in part by the U.S. government, of the current (as of 2010) studies on the effects of practicing Tai Chi found that, “Twenty-one of 33 randomized and nonrandomized trials reported that 1 hour to 1 year of regular Tai Chi significantly increased psychological well-being including reduction of stress, anxiety, and depression, and enhanced mood in community-dwelling healthy participants and in patients with chronic conditions. Seven observational studies with relatively large sample sizes reinforced the beneficial association between Tai Chi practice and psychological health [11].”
There have also been indications that tai chi might have some effect on noradrenaline and cortisol reduction with an effect on mood and heart rate. However, the effect may be no different than those derived from other types of physical exercise [12]. In one study, tai chi has also been shown to reduce the symptoms of Attention Deficit and Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) in 13 adolescents. The improvement in symptoms seem to persist after the tai chi sessions were terminated [13].
In June, 2007 the United States National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine published an independent, peer-reviewed, meta-analysis of the state of meditation research, conducted by researchers at the University of Alberta Evidence-based Practice Center. The report reviewed 813 studies (88 involving Tai Chi) of five broad categories of meditation: mantra meditation, mindfulness meditation, yoga, Tai Chi, and Qi Gong. The report concluded that “the therapeutic effects of meditation practices cannot be established based on the current literature,” and “firm conclusions on the effects of meditation practices in healthcare cannot be drawn based on the available evidence [14].

In 2003, the National Library of Medicine, the largest medical library in the world and subdivision of U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, awarded a grant to American Tai Chi and Qigong Association to build a website titled “The Online Tai Chi & Health Information Center.” The information center was officially released in 2004 and has since then been providing scientific, reliable, and comprehensive information about various health benefits of Tai Chi – for arthritis, diabetes, fall prevention, pain reduction, mental health, cardiovascular diseases, fitness, and general well-being.

References
1. Wang, C; Collet JP & Lau J (2004). “The effect of Tai Chi on health outcomes in patients with chronic conditions: a systematic review”. Archives of Internal Medicine 164 (5): 493–501
2. Wolf, SL; Sattin RW & Kutner M (2003). “Intense tai chi exercise training and fall occurrences in older, transitionally frail adults: a randomized, controlled trial”. Journal of the American Geriatric Society 51 (12): 1693–701.
3. Au-Yeung, PhD, Stephanie S. Y.; Christina W. Y. Hui-Chan, PhD, and Jervis C. S. Tang, MSW (January 7, 2009). “Short-form Tai Chi improves Standing Balance of People with Chronic Stroke”. Neurorehabilitation and Neural Repair 23(5): 515.
4. Taggart HM, Arslanian CL, Bae S, Singh K. Armstrong Atlantic State University, Savannah, GA, USA. Effects of T’ai Chi exercise on fibromyalgia symptoms and health-related quality of life. PMID: 14595996
5. McAlindon, T, Wang, C; Schmid, CH; Rones, R; Kalish, R; Yinh, J; Goldenberg, DL; Lee, Y; McAlindon, T (August 19, 2010). “A Randomized Trial of Tai Chi for Fibromyalgia.”. New England Journal of Medicine 363 (8): 743–754.
6. “Calories burned during exercise”. NutriStrategy. http://www.nutristrategy.com/activitylist3.htm.
7. Brody, Jane E. (2007-08-21). “Cutting Cholesterol, an Uphill Battle”. The New York Times. http://www.nytimes.com/2007/08/21/health/21brod.html?adxnnl=1&adxnnlx=1190862080-FWYKVQhkU70Kz/P+y3V9pw.
8. Dunham, Will (October 25, 2008). “Tai chi helps cut pain of knee arthritis”. Reuters.
9. Pennington, LD (2006). “Tai chi: an effective alternative exercise”. DiabetesHealth.
10. Irwin, MR; Olmstead, R & Oxman, MN (2007). “Augmenting Immune Responses to Varicella Zoster Virus in Older Adults: A Randomized, Controlled Trial of Tai Chi”. Journal of the American Geriatrics Society 55 (4): 511–517.
11. Wang C, Bannuru R, et al (2010). Tai Chi on psychological well-being: systematic review and meta-analysis.
12. Jin, P (1989). “Changes in Heart Rate, Noradrenaline, Cortisol and Mood During Tai Chi”. Journal of Psychosomatic Research 33 (2): 197–206.
13. Hernandez-Reif, M; Field, TM & Thimas, E (2001). “Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder: benefits from Tai Chi”. Journal of Bodywork & Movement Therapies 5 (2): 120–123.
14. Ospina MB, Bond TK, Karkhaneh M, Tjosvold L, Vandermeer B, Liang Y, Bialy L, Hooton N,Buscemi N, Dryden DM, Klassen TP (June 2007). “Meditation Practices for Health: State of the Research (Prepared by the University of Alberta Evidence-based Practice Center under Contract No. 290-02-0023)” .Evidence Report/Technology Assessment No. 155 (Rockville, MD: Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality) (AHRQ Publication No. 07-E010): 6
15. UMR 6152 Mouvement et Perception, CNRS and University of the Mediterranean, Marseille, France (April, 2008). How does practise of internal Chinese martial arts influence postural reaction control? Journal of Sports Sciences 26(6): 629 – 642

 

To Keep You Inspired … Denise D’Amico

Our Club Fit Members Keep Us Inspired

{by Lisa Olney, Club Fit guest blogger}

To Keep You Inspired… Club Fit Member Denise D'Amico

Club Fit Member Denise D’Amico chose to take care of her health through diet and exercise.

Club Fit Jefferson Valley member Denise D’Amico is a change maker and a problem solver, a trusted force in the Yorktown community. As a local real estate broker for over twenty years, a co-founder and past president of the Yorktown Chamber of Commerce, and a charter board member of Support Connection, helping others and creating meaningful change is simply what Denise does. In 2015, however, she discovered a new person in need of help — herself.

In January of 2015 a visit to the doctor revealed a serious weight-related health issue — pre-diabetes. That was the day that forced Denise to face weight issues that she had battled for years. Her doctor laid two options before her: take several medications every day; or 2) lose weight and see if her body responds. Amidst a flood of emotions, Denise called upon her inner grit — and chose option two. She also chose Club Fit as her partner in getting there.

Quarterly doctor appointments became the new norm for Denise, and after three months her doctor noticed a difference. After six months, everyone was noticing a difference. By the time July of 2016 rolled around, Denise had lost 125 pounds, thanks to her new routine at Club Fit, her modified diet, and her steely resolve and can-do attitude. Most importantly, Denise reversed her health issue, and as a result does not need any medications.

So, how did this inspiring transformation occur? After consulting with her doctor on nutrition and exercise, as well as her daughter who is a nurse and athlete, Denise changed her diet, eliminating most carbohydrates and sugar. Over time, she switched from meats to fish and from yolks to egg whites. Water is a constant throughout her diet as well, and she drinks half her weight in ounces, daily. Advance journaling of her food has been a key ingredient in her success as well. “If you know what you’re going to eat in advance, you’re less likely to fail,” Denise says. “Food is medicine, and the planning is vital to success.”

Denise exercises at Club Fit five to six days a week and feels it sets the pace for her day, keeping her centered. Her balanced blend of activity is a vital part of her daily routine. A typical day for Denise begins in the locker room with a weigh-in, and she feels it has been one of her most important habits throughout her weight loss. “It keeps me accountable to my goals,” she explains. By 6:30 am Denise is in the Club Fit lap pool where she swims one mile, daily. At 7:50 am, she switches gears and powerwalks two miles in the Fitness Center. Next, it’s time to get her dancing shoes on, and she meets her friends for the 9am Danceology class — her favorite Club Fit activity. On specific days, she now does kickboxing as well as the Circuit for her bone strength. Denise laughs that exercising is a love-hate relationship for her. “Sometimes, I hate to do it, but I love the way it makes me feel,” says Denise. “I wouldn’t trade that feeling for anything. It’s euphoria.”

Denise’s husband, Lou, joins her daily at the gym, taking a spin class, after which they return home for breakfast at 10:30am. In the afternoon, Denise takes advantage of the track where she lives and powerwalks two more miles. At 2:30pm she has lunch—typically a large salad with homemade dressing. Many times, Lou will join Denise for her afternoon walk, as well, but forgoes the powerwalk opting for a leisurely, relaxing pace. In the evening, Lou and Denise have a dinner around 4:30 of protein — typically salmon — and a variety of vegetables. Her special treat (from time to time) has become a square of Ghirardelli chocolate.

Weaving nutrition and exercise together was key for Denise in losing weight and reclaiming her health. She credits her Club Fit routine as essential in her weight loss success — both physically and mentally. “Club Fit is #1 and sets the pace for the rest of your day,” says Denise. “Exercising makes you happy; it makes you want to engage with others.”

Congrats to our Club Fit Flag Football Team!

Our winning Club Fit Flag Football Team

Our winning Club Fit Flag Football Team

We are very proud of our Club Fit Flag Football team. Staff, members, family and friends joined forces to participate in a local football league, winning the trophy after only three seasons.

Their success story…

We started out as a group of friends just playing a pick-up two-hand touch game of football on Christmas Day, 2015. A few days later, Personal Trainer Russ Schum suggested playing in a Holiday Flag Football Tournament coming up the next month. Excited and ready to get started, we began to recruit more employees from Club Fit, as well as family and friends. Eventually, we changed leagues, and joined the Tappan Zee Flag Football League (TZFFL), entering in the Spring B Division.

Under the name “Squadd” we started the 2015 season with a well-deserved 7-6 victory. Throughout the season, we took our fair share of bumps and bruises – we struggled at times, but finished our season with a 2-6 record. Despite the losses, we were determined to improve and push ahead.

With one season of experience under our belts and a crop of new players on our team, we began the second season filled with hope and an expectation of winning more games.  We won the first three of four games – and it was evident the changes we made were coming to fruition. Unfortunately our early success was short lived – we stumbled during the middle of our season, but managed to carry ourselves to the playoffs.  Although we felt confident in our abilities to win, we were outmatched and ultimately lost.

Our third season brought renewed vigor and determination, under our new name – the Westchester Spartans.  With the help of a few key players, we devised new strategies. We kicked off the season with an outstanding 19-0 victory. We went into our second game with renewed confidence, only to be quickly humbled by a 26-21 loss.  Nevertheless, we won the last 6 games of the regular season and entered the playoffs with seven wins and one loss – ready to tackle the championship game. We fought hard and won!

After two seasons of accomplishments, and a few setbacks, we finally came out as the success story we were hoping to become. Perhaps the most meaningful aspect of this journey for us was that we started out simply as colleagues from around Club Fit, and ended as close friends and champions.  Through the seasons, we got to know more about one another and learned how to play football successfully together as a team.  We may have lost a few people along the way, and added some new players, but we’re all dedicated and determined to play more football and play it well into the future, as a team.

Our Winning Team:

Club Fit Staff
Brandon Brailsford — Team Captain (BR Fitness)
Bobby Drinks (BR Energy Center)
Jordan Archible (BR Reception)
Russ Schum (BR Fitness)
Jesse Drinks (BR Energy Center)
Tyler Hamberg (BR Fitness)
Sam Lacour (BR Energy Center)
Tommy Weingart (BR Fitness)
James Johnson (BR Energy Center)
Joe Riley (JV Fitness)
Jason Fancie (BR Energy Center)
Tarik Stovall (BR Energy Center)

Club Fit Members
Matt Laccetti
Ryan Tompkins

Family and Friends
DeVonte’ Brailsford
Mike Olave
Alejandro Rodriguez
Ryan McNiff
Tyson Agler
Nick Miranda
Al Brailsford
Kevin Miranda
Chris Fucci

To Keep You Inspired … Our Club Fit Members!

For our members and for us, fitness is a way of life.

For our members and for us, fitness is a way of life.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Our members inspire us every day. YOU are why we do what we do. Listen to what some Club Fit members had to say during last month’s Member Appreciation Weeks.

Tess Cerra
“Shortly after joining Club Fit 3 years ago, my husband suddenly passed away. Thanks to all of the club activities, and the friendship of the members, I was able to get through that difficult time. Club Fit was a wonderful lifesaver for me. I will be forever grateful!

Beth Klewan
Club Fit is more than a health club to me. It’s a place that enhances my life. I have made friendships and have improved my health. I feel that Club Fit is a place to enhance your physical and emotional health. I feel like the people that work here are my family and my friends. Thank you for being my health club. Everyone at Club Fit seems to be concerned about myself and all members.

Ophelia Hill
Club Fit is an environment which houses a group of multi-ethnic, highly professional individuals focused on giving us a program of healthy, varied, motivating exercises for all. Special events and other surprises keep things exciting and inspire us.

Deb Ross
Club Fit motivates me to stay young, stay fit and to keep going for my kids. Once day, when they are strong athletes I can keep up with them and not be old!

Usha Ragheran
Hmmm…where do I begin? Many Group Fitness classes, like Zumba (with awesome instructors) Danceology (unique to Club Fit) and Barre! The M.E.L.T. class and Definitions class are amazing. And…drum roll…the incredible socialization and sense of community we bet. Some of my best friends are my “exercise mates”. I love the Energy Center — very reasonable and wow…lots of toys!

Sandy Olsen
Club Fit motivates me to be as fit as I can get. I became a member with my daughter who was diagnosed with Rheumatoid Arthritis her freshman year in college. The water classes were suggested for her joints and it helped greatly. That was over 15 years ago and I’ve met wonderful friends here. Love it!

Theresa Prestopino
This last year, I lost 13 pounds. My best friend encouraged me to get strong and gave me her guest pass to go to Sunday’s Definitions class with Shelby. The class includes a lot of equipment for an hour — it absolutely challenged me. It also made me realize I needed to take back my health. It is never too late to make time for happiness.

Andrea Sonenberg
Going to Club Fit and working out gave me emotional strength during a very difficult time in my life. I’ve been able to keep healthy and physical as well. It’s been a life-saver (and a life investment) for more than 25 years!

Michael Carozza
Club Fit is a great club. I Have been a member for the past 18 years. Always upgrading equipment… What keeps me motivated is that I will be 69 years old and don’t take any medication. Doctor tells me it’s all because of my exercise routine!

Elizabeth Plager
I like that there is something for the whole family to do at Club Fit!

Catherine Zsiday
Club Fit has helped me maintain my weight loss for the past 9 years. Your staff is an awesome group of people. Keep up the good work!

Brian Lett
I enjoy the variety of equipment and classes that allow me to achieve a well-balanced level of fitness.

Paul Pecoraro
Was a Club Fit member years ago, and now I am motivated to get back in excellent condition.

Janet Lyman
Group Fitness classes motivate me! Cycle, 20/20/20 and BODYPUMP. Love seeing my successes through MYZONE!

Janet Tinari
The Chair Yoga class is great. Instructor, Lucy, is so good. She motivates me to get here!

Karen Lett
Club Fit has healed me and keeps me healthy… physically, emotionally, mentally and socially. It is truly my second home. I love the classes, the instructors and the racquetball opportunities! I love that I can take the Yoga Teacher Training at Club Fit!

Fitness Success Story: Kathi Grossman

Kathi before and after

Kathi before, and how she looks today. Amazing progress on her fitness journey!

Kathi Grossman joined Club Fit in October of 2013 at the recommendation
of her doctors. Read how Club Fit has helped to impact her life and help her reach her fitness goals.

I have been morbidly obese all my life. I ended up with Type 2 diabetes, hypertension, hyperlipidemia, arthritis, and no cartilage in one of my knees. I was injecting insulin up to four times a day and taking numerous medications. I finally had enough! I had WLS (weight loss surgery) on September 22, 2011, and lost 210 pounds, which changed my life more than I ever could have imagined. Within hours of the WLS I was off all medications. I am still medication free, except for supplements. Having been obese all my life, as the weight came off, other issues arose. No core, no muscle tone, loose skin EVERYWHERE!! My doctor gave me a prescription to join Club Fit on the HelpRx program, which was the best thing that could have happened to me. Personal Trainer Russ was my first encounter with a trainer. I was pretty intimidated, but Russ took his time, listened to me and my physical limitations, and designed a routine just for me. This was the beginning — I started taking classes, and I mean everything, even things I thought I couldn’t do just to challenge myself. I started with Retro-Low, Low-impact Zumba, Kickboxing, Definitions, 4×4, Corebar, Spin, and Yoga. If they had a class I was there. I started to see where I fit and what I liked to do. This could have been overwhelming as exercise was NEVER a part of my life. Now I love to spin and weight train and do a few machines. The instructors were excellent and most helpful. There are so many wonderful people who have escorted me on my journey. There is, however, one person who stands out and that is General Manager Mark Cuatt. He took me under his wing and gave me a crash course in nutrition and then an exercise regimen for me to follow. He didn’t have to do that; he has enormous responsibilities running the club on a day-to-day basis. Nonetheless, we would meet at the gym, I would email him my food menus and things started to change again! This has not been an easy journey. I had a few setbacks but, to date, I have lost 250 pounds!! As I type the number it seems surreal.

I take advantage of most of the things Club Fit offers. I have a MYZONE belt, I use it always and should I forget it, I am lost. I do the FIT-3D scans, which help you see the transformation you are attaining. This experience would not have been as successful without the help of so many of the personal trainers, instructors and coaches. I wish I could name all of you, as you are all very special to me, because at one time you made it a point to help me with your time, advice or even a friendly “Hello!”. ALL of you have made an impact in changing NOT only my outward appearance but teaching me that being healthy is an everyday choice. Mark Cuatt told me once, I am always going to wage this battle in my head with my weight. Some days I’ll win and some days I’ll lose; but “never give up” is the moral of this story.

So I thank Club Fit for helping me find ME — the me I was meant to be. You have helped
to give a healthy me back to my husband, children and granddaughter. Hopefully I
will be around a long time still working out, and if I can inspire ONE person
through my story, then I have made a difference!

To Keep You Inspired … Lizandra Vega

{by Lisa Olney, Club Fit guest blogger}

Lizandra with Tiana and Joe

To Keep You Inspired… Club Fit Member Lizandra Vega 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 are avid swimmers. “Outdoors was never my thing,” recalls Lizandra, “But I made it my thing.”

A Briarcliff resident for the last 19 years, Lizandra turned to Club Fit to start her journey. She 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.

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.

To Keep You Inspired… Club Fit Member John Gillespie

by Lisa Olney, Club Fit guest blogger.

John before & after

Picture 1: Before: May 2014: John, 14 days into his stem cell transplant at 260 pounds from the impact of his treatment.
Picture 2: After: March 2016: John, healthy, fit and cancer-free at 190 pounds.

If you’re part of the 5:00 am exercise crowd, chances are you’ve met Club Fit Briarcliff member John Gillespie, 57, whose natural energy and captive smile is hard to forget. John’s early-morning workout includes cardio and weight lifting and gives him the energy and jump-start he needs to start his day as a health care public relations professional in the City. John, who recently moved to New York from his native St. Louis, had always led an active lifestyle filled with golf, running, and exercise. That is until two years ago on March 27, 2014, when a normal day at the office became anything but routine.

John was working at a St. Louis hospital in the health system that he worked for when excruciating abdominal pain sent him to the emergency room. John’s bloodwork showed a hemoglobin level of 8 (very low) and an iron level of 0 (non-existent). John was bleeding from his intestines, and his body was unable to stop it.

Diagnosed with a rare and advanced form of lymphoma, called peripheral T-cell lymphoma (PTCL), and four tumors in his small intestine, John’s treatment included a dangerously aggressive six-round, high-dose E-CHOP chemotherapy regimen followed by an autologous stem cell harvest. The E-CHOP began destroying the four tumors, however, two of the tumors burst, forcing emergency surgery to clean up the toxic contents spilling into John’s stomach and to sew his small intestine back together. “The good news was that the chemo worked,” said John, “and the bad news was that the chemo worked.”

Because of the damage to his small intestine and the proximity of one of the remaining tumors to his large intestine, an ileostomy was ordered rather than reattaching his small intestine to the large intestine. The ileostomy diverted the end of his small intestine through his lower abdominal wall where it was attached to an external waste bag for 18 months, a painful experience that made it difficult to exercise and get proper nutrition and hydration. Upon completing his chemo, the stem cells were transplanted and successfully grafted which regenerated his bone marrow. After being cancer- and chemo-free for one year, John was given the green light for an ileostomy reversal on November 4, 2015, to reattach his small intestine to his large intestine which would return his body to normal functionality.

John’s two-year battle with PTCL had been the most painful experience of his life, and he credits the love of his family and two children with helping him persevere. After the pain receded from the ileostomy reversal, John was cleared to begin an exercise program. Enter Club Fit’s HelpRx — a three-month, physician-referral, new-member program for $150 that offers support, guidance and motivation to help people successfully and safely integrate the benefits of regular exercise into their routine. For John, who had lost all muscle tone and a level of fitness and health that had always been a part of his identity, HelpRX was the answer, and he started on the Rx program the week before Thanksgiving.

Restricted from exercise involving abdominal strain for eight weeks, John began his routine with cardio and resistance training, transitioning to weight lifting in January. Under the guidance of Club Fit’s training staff, John’s fitness, strength, and energy quickly improved, and at the end of his three-month Rx membership he signed on to a regular membership because he did not want to go backward. “Exercising is not work anymore,” explains John. “It’s become a routine, a commitment.”

In his four months with Club Fit, John has lost 20 pounds, six inches, and his strength has increased dramatically. “I missed being fit,” said John. “The Club Fit staff has always been very supportive of my goals. I’ve never had to pay for training or classes to access their expertise.” John tries to exercise 5-6 days a week with 35-40 minutes of cardio exercise on the StrideClimber elliptical machines and 30 minutes of weight lifting, with bench pressing being a favorite activity. “Weight lifting has become my favorite,” says John. “Reaching new benchmarks is very rewarding.” John’s latest benchmark is seven reps at 190 pounds, and this month he may hit his next benchmark of 200 pounds.

“I’ve gone from not being able to lift a carton of milk to bench pressing 190 pounds,” said John. “So if I can leave anyone with just one thought, it would be that it is possible to feel healthy again — to recover from cancer or severe injury or just to get healthy.”

To Keep You Inspired… Club Fit Member Mia Matteo keeps active

by Lisa Olney, Club Fit guest blogger.

Mia Matteo

Mia celebrating her 90th birthday in September with her youngest great-grandchild at the time, Connor. Two more great grandchildren have since blessed her family.

Aquatic classes, massage, lunch in the Café, if your personal Venn diagram includes any of these activities, chances are you’ve met the amazing Mia Matteo, who at 90 years old personifies perseverance, positivity, and inspiration. A Jefferson Valley member since 2001, Club Fit has become a part of Mia’s life, keeping her physically and mentally strong, helping her battle through breast cancer, a hip replacement, a pacemaker and Parkinson’s Disease.

A former lap swimmer at the Club, Mia has transitioned to the H2O Water Walking classes on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday at 10:15. If she can’t make one of the class times, she’ll go in the pool on her own to exercise. It’s an energy and interaction that Mia looks forward to every time she goes to the Club. “The water classes and talking to people gives me a lot of energy. To just sit at home would be the worst thing for me,” says Mia. “Club Fit keeps me young.” Mia also adds massage therapy to her gym routine and sees her favorite massage therapist, Jayne D’Ambrosio, every other week. “Jayne knows my body and knows me very well,” says Mia. “My whole body just feels good after a massage.”

So, what is Mia’s philosophy? Stay active, move. “You just have to keep going every day,” explains Mia. “I go to church, I pray a lot, and I thank God every day that I’m still here.” After a life that for years was filled with uncertainty and tragedy this should come as no surprise.

Born in Austria, Mia’s family struggled and was on welfare. With no money and hardly any food, the family was starving. Her mother was also suffering from post-partum depression, and by the time Mia was four, she and her brothers were removed from their home and isolated from one another in different buildings of an orphanage in Vienna. Her mother was placed in a sanitarium.

Mia experienced loving, neglectful, and abusive situations while shuttled between foster homes and the home of her father who had begun a new life and a new family. All without her brothers; all without a sense of why this was happening. When Mia was 12 Adolph Hitler ordered the 1938 invasion of her homeland. The following year Mia’s mother was killed in the gas chambers of Hartheim Castle, a victim of Hitler’s adult euthanasia program, a mass-murder project to kill all mentally and physically disabled adults living in Germany and German annexed territories.

Mia was drafted into the German Air Force at 16 and captured as a prisoner of war alongside several female soldiers. She remembers the cruelty of her Russian captors and a grueling, nine-day march of 40 kilometers per day (24.9 miles) back to Germany where exile and a train to Siberia awaited. Mia and her best friend Annalie escaped as they neared the train station aided by “a group of German women who created a circle around us and hid us with their big dresses.” One of the women sheltered the two in her home where they rested before fleeing to the safety of the American side of the Austrian border.

Life began to shift dramatically for Mia. She married U.S. Air Force Tail Gunner Walter Donelan, and for once life was peaceful. In 1952 Walter was transferred, and the growing family of four made their way to Arlington, MA. Additional transfers took them to France, back to Boston, and finally to New Mexico in 1962. During this time, they had two more children, but the challenges of military life took their toll, and by the end of the year their marriage ended.

New Mexico, however, offered a silver lining when she met Alexander Matteo at a St. Patrick’s Day party in 1963. Kindred spirits, the two were instant soul mates, and ironically, both had four children — two boys and two girls, each — from their first marriages. The couple married that August in Tuckahoe, NY and moved to Shrub Oak where they added two children of their own for a total of ten. Al, passed away three years ago on Thanksgiving, and Mia’s third child, Peter, lost his battle to pancreatic cancer four months later. Like sturdy branches of a grand Oak, however, their family tree continues to grow — honoring the past, embracing the future. Today, Mia is the proud grandmother to 63 grandchildren and great grandchildren.

Mia’s unwavering positivity has seen her through the scariest and happiest times of her life. Together, Mia and Al built an impenetrable foundation for their family of love, hard work, and an active lifestyle that included Club Fit. With her children and grandchildren by her side, Mia is ready for next chapter as well — a chapter that will continue to include Club Fit, rain or shine. “I don’t care if it’s raining or if I’m tired — I go, because it always makes me feel so much better when I do,” explains Mia. “I had a very hard life, and I still want to live a little bit. So, I do a little every day and see what happens.”

To Keep You Inspired… Club Fit Member Luzmarina Lalli

by Lisa Olney, Club Fit guest blogger.

Luzmarina with her family

Club Fit Briarcliff member Luzmarina with her family.

They say exercise is medicine for your soul. And, if anyone doubts it, look no further than Club Fit Briarcliff member Luzmarina Lalli, wife, mother, grandmother, and warrior. Eternally young at heart, Luzmarina uses the Fitness Center, Group Fitness classes, and the Aquatics Center, with her hands-down favorite being Zumba classes. Sounds like a description that could fit many of Club Fit’s faithful members, however, there is a difference. Luzmarina is battling chronic kidney disease (CKD).

CKD is the gradual loss of kidney function over time. According to the National Library of Medicine, sometimes the loss of function can be so slow that you do not have symptoms until your kidneys have almost stopped working. Diagnosed in the 1990s, Luzmarina had no idea she was sick — no warning signs that her body was rebelling against her, until blood work at a routine trip to the doctor uncovered the disease. Doctors found none of the symptoms typically associated with kidney disease and urged her to keep up her healthy lifestyle. Luckily, a healthy lifestyle was routine for Luzmarina and her family. The only addition was check-ups to monitor her kidneys.

Luzmarina joined Club Fit 15 years ago and immediately found a place for her passion for dance in the group fitness classes. When Club Fit first started offering Zumba classes, Luzmarina was hooked, and she’s been sashaying her way across the Club Fit studio floors ever since. Her current routine is two to three Zumba classes a week, if her schedule allows, followed by a workout on the Hoist Strength Training Circuit. She’s just discovered the Aquatic Arthritis class and the post-class visit to the whirlpool that is not only medicine for the soul, but medicine for an arthritic knee.

20 years into her diagnosis, Luzmarina’s CKD has, unfortunately, progressed to an advanced stage. While she’s feeling better now, August through mid-December of 2015 was a struggle marked with fatigue. Still Luzmarina tried to make it to Club Fit for Zumba and strength training when she could, but it was difficult. “Sometimes I could hardly stay awake,” recalled Luzmarina. “In Zumba I was so slow, but it was great for my attitude to go and be able to feel that I accomplished something.” Though fatigued and sick, she was still able to maintain a high enough level of fitness to avoid dialysis. Her doctors at Columbia-Presbyterian in Manhattan want to keep it that way.

Luzmarina’s doctors have recommended pursuing a living donor kidney transplant before a deceased donor kidney transplant. According to Columbia University Medical Center’s Renal Transplant Program webpage “A deceased donor kidney has a 50/50 chance of functioning for 10-20 years, post-transplant. In contrast, a live donor kidney has a 50/50 chance of functioning over 20 years. In addition, 50-60% of deceased donor kidneys are fully functional immediately upon transplantation, versus 97% of live donor organs” (Deceased Donor Kidney Transplant, 2015.)

So, while her family and friends rally around her to help find a match, Luzmarina is back to her routine, maintaining her health and fitness, while inspiring everyone around her with her energy, positivity, and love of Zumba. When a match is found, one thing is for sure — our Zumba warrior will be ready.

To learn more about chronic kidney disease and kidney transplantation, visit the following websites:

Reference:

1) Chronic Kidney Disease. (2016, Jan.). Retrieved from:
https://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/ency/article/000471.htm

2) Deceased Donor Kidney Transplant. (2015). Retrieved from: http://columbiasurgery.org/conditions-and-treatments/deceased-donor-kidney-transplant

Additional Source:

3) Transplantation: Living Donor Kidney Transplants. (2015). Retrieved from:
http://nyp.org/services/transplantation-surgery/kidney-transplant-living-donor.html

To Keep You Inspired… Club Fit Member Dr. Dede Aronian

by Lisa Olney, Club Fit guest blogger.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

A captivating array of paintings adorns the walls of Dr. Dede Aronian’s beautifully rustic home, greeting you at every turn, daring you to break your gaze and look away. From landscapes to portraits a few of these paintings are by Dede, herself, and to learn that she is a relative newcomer to painting is inspiring to all who yearn to pick up a brush and explore their creativity.

Dede retired in 2003 from a 33-year career as an ophthalmologist in Manhattan with a subspecialty in retinitis of prematurity, but Dede found it difficult to adjust to retirement. “I was in mourning for what felt like years,” said Dede. “I just missed my work so much.” From her deceased mother, who had been a fine artist in her own right, she had inherited a box of excellent pastels. Was her mother speaking to her and showing the way? In 2005 Dede enrolled in her first class; “Portraiture in Pastel” and the adventure began.

From the start Dede jumped into painting with the same drive she had in her professional life, starting with pastel and quickly progressing to oils, her favorite medium. She took classes and workshops at the old Northern Westchester Arts Center in Mount Kisco, the Katonah Arts Center, the Art Student’s League of New York in Manhattan, and, currently, the Rye Arts Center with noted artists such as Daniel Greene, Laurel Boeck Stern, and Ismael Checo, who has become her mentor.

Three years ago on a trip with her husband John to the Abaco Islands in the Bahamas, Dede attended a workshop led by a colorful, abstract artist, Bob Brundage, where the medium was acrylics and the theme was bold imagination. “I was a fish out of water surrounded by a sea of abstract acrylic painters when all I knew was representational oil painting!” recalled Dede. So she borrowed some acrylics and dug down deep for inspiration. “The impression I had in seeing thousands of cases of retinitis over the years stuck with me very strongly,” said Dede. “So, I thought, why not paint a picture of retinitis of prematurity? Nobody would know what it really was.” She did just that, and at the end-of-workshop show hers was the only painting purchased. Dede was so excited that when she returned home, she continued painting in this vein, bringing an artist’s eye to the inner beauty of the body. A collection was born.

Dede is Club Fit Jefferson Valley’s featured artist for February, and her collection, “Inner Beauty” provides a synergy with Club Fit. An intriguing blend of whimsical sophistication, “Inner Beauty” started with the retina and grew to include inspirations from electron microscopy and laparoscopy images. “Inner Beauty” challenges the mind in a fun way to identify the anatomical muse in pictures such as Lady in Blue, Tree of Life, and Yellow Tide, to name a few.

A member since 2014, Dede believes that exercise in moderation is integral to good health and when done with the guidance of a trained professional, can help avoid specific ailments such as osteoporosis and back disorders. Dede loves to swim and can often be found swimming laps with her waterproof iPod. She is also looking forward to trying Qi Gong, a Chinese, low-impact exercise program. But it’s not just exercise that releases the endorphins for Dede. “I paint because it gives me joy. It gives me that serotonin rush – the same as if you played a good tennis match or have a runner’s high. You definitely get that when you are painting.”

To see Dede’s work in person, stop by the Club Fit Jefferson Valley Gallery during February, or visit her website at www.aronianart.com.

Welcome new Jefferson Valley Fitness Director Joe Riley

Club Fit Jefferson Valley Fitness Director Joe Riley

Club Fit Jefferson Valley Fitness Director Joe Riley

Club Fit Jefferson Valley is pleased to welcome Joe Riley to his new position of Fitness Director and Parisi Program Director. Joe grew up in Ossining, and attended Ossining High School. After High School, he attended The College At Brockport and received a double major in Exercise Physiology, Kinesiology, and a minor in Biology. At Brockport, he played 4 years as a linebacker for the Golden Eagles. Following undergraduate studies, Joe received a Master’s Degree in Sports Management from St. John’s University. While completing his Master’s, he  began working at Club Fit Briarcliff as a Fitness Coach, a Personal Trainer and eventually a Manager on Duty. Joe’s fitness experience is extensive, working with a wide range of clientele; college athletes at the Division 1, 2 and 3 levels, exercise testing, youth populations, elder populations, cardiac rehabilitation, and many more. Joe has coached high school football and his hobbies include football, ice hockey, baseball, golf and, of course, fitness. His passion for fitness began when it helped him overcome obstacles to achieve his goals. Since then, his goal has been to help as many people possible through fitness. Joe feels Club Fit is an extraordinary place and is excited to help others accomplish their goals!

Joe’s full bio:

Education/Experience:
• Master’s Degree in Sports Management — St. John’s University
Undergraduate Degree B.S. Exercise Physiology and Kinesiology, minor in Biology — The College at Brockport
• Experience in Division 1, 2 and 3 strength and conditioning programs
• High School Football Coach
Division III Collegiate Football Player
• NCCPT Certified Personal Trainer
• CPR/AED/First Aid Certified

Specialties: Power Training & development, Strength Training & Development, Sport-Specific Training, Agility Training, Functional Lifestyle Training.

Hobbies: Football, Hockey, Weight Training, Baseball, Golf.

Philosophy of Exercise: “Fitness is a competition with oneself. Work hard, love what you do and strive every single day to be better than you were yesterday.”