To Keep You Inspired, Dr. Franklin Zimmerman


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.


● 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 — — to learn more about Direct Access.


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

Fall is on its way! Are you ready?

Fall is coming and you know what that means! It’s time to hit the ground running. Literally and figuratively. It’s a busy time of year for everyone . . . especially families. It’s about coordinating schedules, getting kids back into the routine of heading to school every day, preparing for meetings, switching up your gym routines and restoring a sense of order back to life.

It doesn’t have to be a bummer and maybe even some of you can’t wait for the heat to break and the school bells to ring. We have some great things for kids that you might just love! Check out Breakfast Club Fit Kids at Club Fit Briarcliff. Drop off the kids at 7am and let them hang with us, work on homework, have breakfast or just chill out until the buses arrive! We’ll have movie nights and plenty of Parent’s Nights Out, so you’ll be able to relax while the kids are having fun! Keep an eye out for the School’s Out Camp Calendars too. That’s always a favorite during the school year! Of course we’ve always got your kids covered for various sports programs and swim lessons! Not to mention the awesome Swim Teams at each location! Our Jefferson Valley Swim Team deserves a special shout out for all their accomplishments last year!

For those of you who will mourn the Summer, don’t worry! Summer will be here again before you know it. Try to take advantage of the awesome Fall weather- take a hike with the Hiking Club, go for a run . . . maybe register for a Turkey Trot or any 5K! We’ll have a Paint Nite at Jefferson Valley on September 23rd that is sure to be a great time!

Be sure to look for the new Group Fitness Schedule, coming out on September 19th! There are so many great things to be excited about this Fall and we can’t wait to see you in the club!

Group four friends in helmets riding bikes on a forest path

Group four friends in helmets riding bikes on a forest path

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!

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!


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.

Lifeguarding and Water Safety: What you need to know

Dan M

By Dan Malone
MSED School Administration, MSED Special Education, Lifeguard Instructor, Water Safety Instructor Trainer, CPR Trainer

In the northeast, we often associate aquatics with the opening of summer pools. Students are on break for several months and the local swimming pools are open from morning till early evening. Children and parents of all ages anxiously await the opportunity to enjoy the water and bask in the sun.

This spring make a cohesive plan to ensure your child is water ready! Successful swimming programs explicitly teach children how to be safe in, on and around water. Children learn to bob to safety, float on their backs, change directions while swimming and swim to safety. Students are instructed on how to properly size and wear a life jacket. Most importantly children ascertain how to identify water hazards and stay safe. Children learn to identify lifeguards, read water depth markers and made educated decisions when around water.

Parents need to remain vigilant when their children are around water.

The best swim programs in Westchester County promote and teach water safety while allowing children to have fun. Water Safety Instructors need to be highly qualified. Signs of a quality program include several lifeguards on deck, water safety instructors who are in the water, adequate teaching equipment and a clean structured environment.

Club Fit in Briarcliff offers one of the most comprehensive aquatic programs in the area. Swim lessons are offered for children and adults of all ages. Programs start for children as early as six months of age. School age children develop their swimming skills in the Learn to Swim Program, which spans across six levels. Adults have opportunities to enroll in beginner, intermediate and fitness swimmer classes. The water in the recreational pool is a comfortable 86 degrees.

Club Fit also offers lifeguard training, CPR/AED training and the Water Safety Instructor Course for teenagers and adults who are interested in working in aquatic environments. Dedicated professionals, including former collegiate swimmers, EMT’s and NYS certified teachers and school administrators provide pinnacle instruction on how to teach water safety and save lives. When examining programs this spring, seek out professionals who are caring and passionate about aquatic safety.

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

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:

• 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.”

Fitness Success Story: Mary Healy

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Mary Healy joined Club Fit in February 2015 and began personal training with Master Trainer Beth Kear in March. Here is what she has to say about her fitness journey with Club Fit:

Most of my life I have been overweight. After much time and effort, at this point in my fitness journey, I have lost over 65lbs and I am now off Hypertension medications. My main interest in joining Club Fit was to use the pool for exercise post back surgery. Once I felt stronger I wanted to learn how to use the Fitness Center but was anxious regarding safety. Soon after, a club manager suggested working with a personal trainer to ease my way into a new fitness regime and help with my balance and strength weaknesses. Master Trainer, Beth Kear stepped into my life and everything changed. She has shared her knowledge as tools to use everyday until they become part of you. My strength, balance, and endurance has all increased, but most of all — my confidence. This is my first experience joining a health club, it has been one of my best decisions I have made. It is true you never stop learning!

We are so happy for your success Mary, congratulations in your progress and your accomplishments!

Mary before and after

Mary’s fitness journey had yielded amazing progress, as shown in these before and after photos.

These are photos of Mary before her weight loss and after.

Rosemary’s Fitness Success Story

My name is Rose Burgos-Bennett, and I have been struggling with weight loss for most of my life. I am the type of person that loses interest quickly, and I have explored many different ways to lose weight. I have even taking my plans to the extreme. After I had my son, I was at my heaviest — 280 lbs! I tried various home programs to lose weight; the P.I.N.K method, Shaun T’s Insanity and T-25. From these programs, I lost approximately 45 to 50 lbs. I also tried Crossfit and Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, but due to a shoulder injury and then a neck injury, I had to stop. I was in physical therapy for almost 2 1/2 years, but my weight remained at 230 lbs. I needed to get into Physical Therapy, and this is when Club Fit came into my life. Once recovered, I wanted to try to get fit and healthy and continue my weight loss journey.

My husband and I decided to join the Summer Shape Up program with personal trainers Tiana Gonzalez and Nick Paganelli. Both my husband and I had completely different goals. Steven’s goal was to gain muscle mass and mine was to lose weight. I was hesitant at first to begin personal training but Tiana has been a class act! She has been extremely helpful, and worked with my abilities and pushed me to do more. She has been an incredible coach and cheerleader and has celebrated my success every step of the way. She was also attentive to form and intensity to ensure I never injured myself during the workouts. During the 8-week program I lost 17lbs! MYZONE has been an essential tool in the process. Tiana used it to monitor me during training and paced me accordingly. I love that it tells me how many calories burned during an activity and that it shows how much I am pushing myself during my workouts. I am always trying to get to the red…LOL. It has been excellent — and I love it.

My husband and I use our MYZONE belts even when we are not in the Club. We monitor each other when jogging/walking on the outside track. We go out there as a family and we try to engage both our kids in all we do. I know I am not at my goal weight yet, but I am going in the right direction. I am taking it a day at a time and celebrating my successes in my continual journey to lose weight.

Prevent Skiing – Knee Injuries on the Slope

Screen Shot 2016-01-19 at 12.37.05 PMBY: Meryle Richman, PT, DPT, Senior Director of Ivyrehab Briarcliff and Jefferson Valley

As the cold weather approaches, many of us turn out thoughts and energy to the ski slopes. With this ever increasing interest, we gathered information to enhance conditioning for downhill skiing to help prevent common knee injuries.

The most common skiing injuries that occur in the lower limb, as a result of collisions and falls, are knee sprains/tears, which include Medial Collateral Ligament (MCL) and Anterior Cruciate Ligament (ACL) sprains/tears. With new advances in ski equipment today such as releasable bindings, the statistics have changed to decreasing leg fractures to 90% and 30% for knee injuries.

According to the American Physical Therapy Association, (, (1) Medial Collateral Ligament (MCL) injuries are more common in the beginner and intermediate skier when the ski tips are pointed towards one another in a snow plow positon, when the skier is trying to slow down or stop.

Prevention Tips for MCL injuries:
● Make sure your weight is balance when you are in a snowplow position
● Stay on comfortable terrain

(2) Anterior Cruciate Ligament (ACL) injuries occur when the skier lands from a jump with their weight back on the boot. This causes a significant force on the back of the boot and the force pushes on the calf, which results in spraining or tearing the ACL

● Another common ACL tear is the “phantom foot” phenomenon. This occurs when the skier tries to stand up in order to prevent a fall. All the weight goes on the outside of one ski, and the arms and trunk rotates away from that leg.

Prevention Tips for ACL Injuries:
● Land safely with your weight forward. Start with simple jumps and gradually advance to more difficult jumps

● Do not try to stand up and go with the momentum of the fall and maintain good ski technique

Tips for Preparing for the slopes:

1. Make sure you have the proper equipment and take a skiing lesson if you have not skied in a while. Prepare yourself to three to four weeks before you go skiing with the recommended flexibility, strengthening and endurance program recommended below:

2. A safe and enjoyable ski season begins with a pre-slope program designed to promote adequate flexibility, strength and endurance. The scope of the conditioning program is dependent upon the physical condition of each individual.

Flexibility is among the most vital components of an effective conditioning program. Primary consideration should be given to maximizing the flexibility of the quadriceps, hamstrings, gastrocnemius, soleus, trunk rotators, shoulder girdle and low back musculature. Long, slow static stretching of these muscle groups is recommended.

Strength is another consideration. The quadriceps muscle group is of primary concern to the heavy demand placed on it when downhill skiing. Strengthening of the gluteals, hip adductors and the arms are also recommended. Inadequate strength affects ski technique and increases injury risk.

Endurance should also be addressed in a ski conditioning program. As with the other components of strength and flexibility, the amount of endurance training is relative to the fitness level of the individual. One can choose from running, swimming, cycling, rowing and Elliptical trainer. Endurance workouts may also incorporate a plan that strengthens the muscles used in skiing, as well as increasing endurance. Examples of ski- oriented training are: traverse running; box jumping.

Skiers should also prepare themselves with an adequate warm-up of stretching the upper extremities and the back before getting the skis on in the morning and can even include jumping jacks or jogging in place. Due to the nature of the physical demands of the sport, a run or two on an easier slope is recommended as a final warm-up.

Fatigue is inherent in a full day of skiing. Studies have shown that injury rates are increased toward the end of the day. Beginners should consider skiing a half day until their endurance improves. Care should be taken to monitor physical status and pacing your runs on the slopes with adequate food and water breaks in order to have a safe day.

Recommended Flexibility Program:
• Standing quadriceps stretch – pull heel toward buttock until a stretch is felt in front of thigh, hold 30seconds, repeat on opposite side.

• Standing hamstring stretch – Place heel on a bench. Slowly lean forward reaching down towards your shin until a stretch is felt at the back of the thigh. Keep the knee straight and back straight, hold 30 seconds, repeat on opposite side.

• Calf stretch – Keeping back leg straight, with heel on floor and turned slightly outward, lean into wall until a stretch is felt in calf, hold 30 seconds, repeat on opposite side.

• Standing trunk rotation stretch – Turn shoulders to one side while keeping hips forward, hold 30 seconds, repeat on opposite side.

• Standing trunk lateral flexion stretch – Reach over and upward while sliding opposite arm down leg, hold 30 seconds, repeat on opposite side.

Recommended Strengthening Exercises:

• Circuit training

• Free weights

• Isometric strengthening in the “downhill position”

Have fun on the slopes!
Ivy Rehab

Astorino Launches Keep Healthy Campaign

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Sherlita Amler, MD, Commissioner, Department of Health
Ned McCormack, Communications Director
Contact: Caren Halbfinger (914) 813-5013 / after hours: 813-5000


Health Department partners with local health clubs to offer free blood pressure screenings, flu shots and tips

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County Executive Robert P. Astorino joined the Westchester County Health Department and local health clubs today to announce the county’s Keep Healthy campaign – an education initiative focused on providing residents with best practices and services to help lead a healthier lifestyle.

The campaign brings county Health Department professionals to five locations of three area fitness centers – Crunch, Club Fit and 24 Hour Fitness – on Tuesdays this month to offer free flu shots, blood pressure screenings and #KeepHealthy tips and information. Each of the health clubs will also provide free guest passes and giveaways to visitors and club members during the Health Department’s visit.

“The county teaming up with Crunch, Club Fit and 24 Hour Fitness is a great way to help residents keep their New Year’s resolutions to stay active and lead healthier lives,” Astorino said kicking off the campaign at Crunch in White Plains. “The Keep Healthy campaign accomplishes three things: it gets free health services and information to residents, it promotes healthy living and it supports local businesses.”

Health Commissioner Sherlita Amler, MD, explained that the health department targeted health clubs to reach adults between the ages of 18 and 50 who are less likely to make time for a flu shot or check their blood pressure than children or seniors.

“Keeping healthy is all about the choices we make, both large and small. The decision to get a flu shot or take your blood pressure can be the first step to a healthier you,” Amler said.

Representatives from the local health clubs were excited to partner with the county to support the healthy living campaign.

“We at Crunch are thrilled to help keep Westchester healthy,” said Eric Jozwiak, district marketing manager for Fitness Holdings, owner of Crunch in White Plains and Port Chester. “We think this is a great benefit for anyone who cares about their health and encourage residents to come to our club.”

Karen Santiago, manager at 24 Hour Fitness in Yonkers, added: “We at 24 Hour Fitness are glad to join Westchester County to offer more ways for our members to stay healthy this year. We believe real health and fitness begins by understanding your current mindset–the set of beliefs that determines what you do–so you can start taking steps to achieve your goals.”

Bill Beck, president of Club Fit, also added: “We’re delighted to team up with Westchester County to put the focus on fitness and health. Keeping Westchester Healthy is our mission, too. We hope this initiative will encourage new members to stop by and join us.”

To take advantage of the free flu shots, blood pressure screenings and health information, visit one of these clubs:
Jan. 12
• Crunch, Port Chester, 12 p.m. to 2 p.m., 24 Waterfront Place
• Crunch, White Plains, 4 p.m. to 7 p.m., 1 North Broadway
Jan. 19
• Club Fit, Briarcliff Manor, 12 p.m. to 2 p.m., 584 North State Road
• Club Fit, Jefferson Valley, 4 p.m. to 7 p.m., 600 Bank Road
Jan. 26
• 24HourFitness, Yonkers, 4 pm to 7 pm, 589 Tuckahoe Road

The Health Department’s brochures and flyers will be available in the department’s clinics in White Plains and Yonkers, on the department’s website and distributed at health fairs, community events and through partnerships with other health providers and county departments. Tips and information will be shared through social media on and on Twitter @wchealthdept.

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Club Fit Briarcliff Fitness Director Susie Reiner

— written by Club Fit Member and Guest Blogger Lisa Skelton

Club Fit Briarcliff Fitness Director Susie Reiner loves
helping Members improve their well-being.

Club Fit Briarcliff Fitness Director Susie Reiner

Club Fit Briarcliff Fitness Director Susie Reiner

When you put yourself in the hands of a Personal Trainer, that’s exactly what it is for many people… personal. You trust that your trainer has your best interests at heart, and you need to feel comfortable opening up to them about your goals, your insecurities, your expectations. And feel comfortable letting them see you pre-shower, in all your workout glory!

If the thought of using a Personal Trainer intimidates you, spend some time with Club Fit Briarcliff Fitness Director Susie Reiner… you’ll feel totally comfortable in no time. Susie has served as Director since June 2014, and not only is she one of the most approachable staff members here at Club Fit Briarcliff, she is highly qualified for the position. She began as a dancer, earning her BA in Theater from CUNY Hunter College, but through her own experience with fitness regimens soon realized that personal training was a better fit. “I realized that personal training could accomplish more than just treating someone’s injury or disease. I could get instant feedback, and felt I was actually affecting and preventing disease.”

Susie went on to earn her Master’s in Exercise Science & Health Promotion from California University of Pennsylvania, and began at Club Fit Jefferson Valley as a Group Fitness Instructor in 2009. Her personal training career began in 2010 with her appointment as Personal Training Coordinator. She took a break from Club Fit with a few other positions, including time spent at Texas A & M University, where she served as Fitness Coordinator in the campus gym and as Lecturer in the Health & Kinesiology Department. Lucky for us, she’s back at Club Fit!

“I’m not a salesperson, and I don’t hire salespeople,” says Susie, who is a Certified Exercise Physiologist (ACSM) and a Performance Enhancement Specialist (NASM). “All I know is that fitness is good for you, and I want to make sure everyone is here for the right reasons. I want to improve our members’ well being and quality of life.” That explains Susie’s focus on staff, and their development and growth. She also emphasizes that she does not want any of her staff members to focus on one demographic group. “I want the Club Fit Trainers to be in a position to help everyone, at every age and ability level.” In order to do this, Susie has been putting an emphasis on education and certifications.

Since Susie started, the Personal Training staff has taken an important step in differentiating itself from other health club trainers – Smart Fitness certification. The program was rolled out at Club Fit in January 2015, and in six months, every trainer had successfully completed the program. “It sets us apart from the competition because the training equips the trainer with a baseline knowledge that qualifies them to work with and handle certain medical conditions if a doctor suggests a client begin a fitness regimen,” says Susie. The program also helped put our veteran trainers and the new hires on the same level. For more information on each of our Personal Trainers, click here.

Club Fit is also partnering with CUNY Lehman and Mercy College, with students interning in our Fitness Center. Susie and Club Fit Briarcliff General Manager Mark Cuatt have also been guest lecturing at Mercy College. “It’s a growing relationship, in a growing field,” says Susie.

Susie is also working to create more options for members within the Fitness Center. “Ideally, we can offer a variety of different small group programs at different price points,” she says. “But almost all of our Fit Coaches are now certified Personal Trainers, so you are getting the biggest bang for your buck no matter what you do!”

For more information on Club Fit’s Fitness programming and Personal Training packages, contact Susie at, or 914-250-2795. And begin to make the most of your workout time!