Healthy advice from Dietitian Cathy DiSomma

Cathy DiSomma, Registered Dietitian and Health Specialist  at Club Fit Jefferson Valley

Cathy DiSomma, Registered Dietitian and Health Specialist at Club Fit Jefferson Valley

We often pick one approach over the other… exercise more so you can eat more, or eat less so you can exercise less. But a healthier approach, especially with the calorie-heavy, time-consuming holidays around the corner, is to balance your exercise and nutrition. They work together to get you optimal results, whether you are trying to lose weight or just maintain.

Just ask Cathy DiSomma, who joined the Club Fit Jefferson Valley staff this summer. Cathy, a Registered Dietitian, certified Dietitian-Nutritionist and American College of Sports Medicine Certified Health (ACSM) Fitness Specialist, is very excited to help our members out. She has an undergraduate degree in Food & Nutrition from Fordham University, and earned her Master’s degree in the same at Lehman College. She also serves as an adjunct professor at Westchester Community College.

Cathy will be playing an integral part in the club’s Healthy Holidays program, a new version of our popular Merry Maintenance program from past years. “I’ve already gotten very good input from the Club Fit members on what they are interested in, from a survey I put out for possible presentation topics, and interaction at informational tables and presentations,” says Cathy. “The topics we’ve come up with are very diverse, from food allergies to proper diet for athletes, healthy lunches, and post-cancer nutrition.”

Healthy Holidays will be a bit different from Merry Maintenance. There is no weigh-in or weigh-out, just a focus on maintaining healthy habits and keeping members moving during the holiday season. Cathy is working closely with Fitness Director Joelle Letta on weekly emails that will be sent to participants on topics such as maintaining a fitness routine, better food and drink choices, low calorie recipes, reducing holiday stress, and keeping up the motivation to stay on track.

According to Cathy, statistics show an average 5- to 6-pound weight gain through the holiday season. It starts with munching on Halloween candy, then Thanksgiving feasts, followed by Rosh Hashanah, Ramadan, Christmas, then the big finale, New Year’s. Some helpful topics Cathy wants to cover include how to approach holiday party food and drinks as a guest, how to offer healthy options if you are hosting, alternate recipes for high-calorie or high-fat dishes, and portion control. “People are very interested in portion control at this time of year. You don’t want to skip your favorites, but you don’t want to overdo it, either,” says Cathy.

“We felt the weigh-in and weigh-out process may have intimidated some people who were just interested in maintaining their weight through the holidays. What makes this program fun is that you can earn points for activities throughout the club, and for each 100 points you are entered into a raffle for great prizes rewarding your efforts,” says Cathy. No limit on entries!

Beyond Healthy Holidays, Cathy is enjoying working with the entire population at Club Fit. Even the staff members are using her as a resource. “Instructors and trainers have many questions that come to them from their clients,” says Cathy. “They want to be in the know on nutrition, so they can help our members separate fact from fallacy.” There is so much information out there that it can be confusing for everyone, even the professionals! “We can give them the real story.”

Outside of Club Fit, Cathy is also Fitness Director at Kendal on Hudson, a Continuing Care Retirement Community in Sleepy Hollow, on the campus of Phelps Memorial Hospital. Her schedule is flexible, allowing her to also serve our Club Fit members, and she loves the combination of jobs because it allows her to work with people of all ages with a variety of needs. “I so enjoy working with the seniors at Kendal, but then I can mix up my day at Club Fit working with kids, athletes, and other seniors with other issues and questions.” She also notes that Kendal and Club Fit share many of the same values and practices, and Club Fit Briarcliff has shared space in the past with Kendal residents when they are in need of the pool. “Both are very community-oriented, and I’m proud to be a part of organizations that have that focus.”

Cathy, a resident of Ossining, loves the outdoors, and is an avid hiker and cyclist. She also loves Pilates, and is certified to teach but that has taken a back seat to her work helping others with fitness and nutrition. She is available evenings and weekends, but her schedule is flexible if those hours don’t suit your schedule. Cathy looks forward to hearing from you, and can be reached 914-245-4040, ext. 1214 or cdisomma@clubfit.com if you would like to set up a consult or would like more information on Healthy Holidays. “It’s great that the fitness and nutrition connection is finally coming full circle,” says Cathy. “Our goal at Club Fit is to help our members reach their goals, and by incorporating knowledge from both areas, we can do that!”

 

 

A Bikram Journey: Dolores Orchanian

Born and raised in Brooklyn, NY now residing in Yorktown Heights, NY for the last 33 years. Raised five children ages 41 down to 25. After having my third child, my husband and I won a free month at Club Fit. We became members soon after as I looked forward every night to exer-fit classes. I loved class so much that under the guidance of Mary Taglianetti and Audrey Compabasso, I received my ACE Group Fitness Certification and started teaching classes at Jefferson Valley Racquet Ball Club – when it really was just a racquet club. Health and fitness have always been a big part of my life. In 2001 I reached further to fill a life long dream of going to college. At the age of 50, I graduated from WCC with a degree in Nursing. Working full time as a nurse, I continued to teach classes at Club Fit. Soon after that, I worked to acquire my Personal Training license. With the help of Barbara Cullen, I had many happy clients at Club Fit Jefferson Valley.

I started taking Bikram yoga classes to help with knee pain. It remedied the problem and eliminated the need for surgery. In 2009 after much coaxing from my daughter (who is a Bikram teacher), I went away for nine weeks to train to become a Bikram Yoga teacher. At this time, I would like to bring a form of this class to Club Fit. I see the need for these remedial properties as well as maintaining a healthy lifestyle in many of our members. Though the class is traditionally taught in 105 degrees – it can be just as beneficial practiced in a warm room – reaping the benefits of this yoga.

I like to think I am aging gracefully due to all the exercise Club Fit has allowed me to do – and the amazing world of yoga. I would like to pass on my knowledge and expertise as a Nurse, as an exercise professional and as a yoga teacher to others and allow them to age gracefully with me.

Holiday Season: surviving the stress


We all know that the holiday season is a stressful time. Whether you are the sort of person that welcomes the holidays, or if your the type that does not really get all the hoopla, you feel the stress regardless. The mayhem begins with the crazed shopping efforts, extends through the decorating shenanigans and all the cooking and entertaining means we are eating more and thinking of other people more than ourselves. It’s great to consider other people- it’s largely what the holidays should be about. They should be about who we care about and being thankful for people and things we have and love.

Some things to think about:

1. Don’t forget yourself. Without your sanity, you can’t accomplish much. Take time for yourself whether it’s treating yourself to a massage, reading a book, taking a walk to clear your head or getting a manicure or pedicure (that goes for both Men and Women by the way). Club Fit also is offering a great special on massages through the holiday season. Click here to read more about the benefits of massage therapy.

2. Don’t sweat the small stuff. So your garland fell off the railing, the kids missed the bus, you’re stuck in traffic and are late for work. Let it roll off your shoulders. Those are small things that inconvenience us. We tend to get more worked up about the fact that they happened. Don’t dwell, let it go.

3. Don’t be too proud to ask for help.
If you need a hand, ask someone! Too often we take on too much by ourselves when our friends and family would be more than happy to help us out.

4. Stay active. Fitness is a great stress reliever. Take a class, stack some wood, go for a jog . . . doesn’t matter what you do, just that you do it.

5. Spend some quality time with your spouse or significant other. Take a hike, go for a drive or even plan a quiet evening together at home. It’s easy to take relationships for granted during this stressful time so make sure to appreciate each other.

6. Remember and reflect on what is truly important. Don’t go crazy over gifts, appearances and food. The important things, are health, family, thankfulness and friends.

For those of you that suffer from seasonal depression, The Mayo Clinic has some exceptional advice. Click here to read Stress, depression and the holidays: Tips for coping.

This season, don’t forget to take care of yourself. There ARE things we can do to prevent the state of panic, stress or even depression. From a perspective of well-being, it behooves us to mention that you should not sacrifice your fitness regime through this time. Your body is used to being active. Make sure you make time to fit in your workout. Consider them this season!

Dr. Zimmerman and the Chief’s Challenge at Club Fit

Club Fit and Dr. Zimmerman have teamed up to bring all active duty Police and Fire workers this fantastic opportunity! Take advantage of a Club Fit membership and compete to win money for your local precinct, department and dispatch. Want to know more about the Chief’s Challenge? Click here for the WHUD announcement!

The Contest: Register no later than 12/31/12. The contest runs from 1/1/13 through 3/31/13. To be eligible, each police/fire precinct must have at least 3 members participating. The department with the highest average club usage will be awarded $500 (one police, one fire).

The Promotion: 3 months free for any ACTIVE duty policeman, fireman, or volunteer fireman. They do not have to be part of the contest to get the 3 months free.
Proper ID must be presented to verify active duty.
All memberships will expire 3/31/13. Anyone registering prior to 12/31/12 will get the extra time in November/December free.

Topic # 1 THE GLYCEMIC RESPONSE:

The body normally regulates your blood sugar levels by releasing two hormones secreted by the pancreas. Insulin is secreted when blood sugar concentrations get to high, and Glucagon is secreted when blood sugar levels get too low. (Remember). Diabetes and Hypoglycemia are two conditions where glucose regulation is hindered.

Although our body regulates these responses, it is important for us to eat properly to maintain optimal blood sugar levels, and all body responses. Every cell in our body depends on glucose for fuel, especially the brain and nervous system.
So what can you do to maintain optimum levels? First, eat smaller meals more frequently throughout the day. You should be eating approximately every 2½ hours. Second, when you do eat, make sure the meal or snack consists of carbohydrate, fat, and protein. Fats slow down the digestion and absorption of carbohydrates. Protein triggers the release of many important substances including glucagon, which hinders the effect of insulin. By adhering to these practices, you prevent fluctuations of blood sugar level and help prevent surges of glucose in the blood. You will also feel much better both physically and mentally.

There are times when an athlete may want a surge of blood sugar to get nutrients into the cells quickly. The prime opportunity for this is directly after exercise when the “window of opportunity’ is the best. More glucose and nutrients will replenish deleted stores used during exercise. The longer you wait after exercise the less amount is restored. How does this translate into something useful? Well, the more glycogen and amino acids that are replenished quickly, the better your recovery and preparation for the next bout of exercise. You will notice increased strength and more energy.