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

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

Which Athletic Shoe Should I Buy?

Meryle Richman, PT, DPT, MS, CST, RYT
Senior Director at Ivyrehab Briarcliff and Ivyrehab Jefferson Valley

Buying an athletic shoe involves multiple considerations!

It is important to wear proper footwear to avoid ankle and foot pain or injury. Factors that should be considered in determining which shoe is right for you include:

The activities that will be performed, the construction of the shoe, what surfaces you will be on and the type of foot you have. Each sport or activity involves different movements or jumping and shoes are designed to fit the activity. Running, for instance, primarily involves movement in a straight line. Basketball and aerobics involve jumping and time spent on the forefoot. For example, playing tennis which involves side – to – side movements in a shoe with supports for straight movement could result in an ankle sprain. In addition, if you are involved in weight training activities for the lower extremities, wear different shoes than you use for impact sports. The extra weight from training compresses the cushioning and affects the shock absorption of the shoe. Cross trainers should only be used for short distance running (less than two miles). Some activities are similar so it may not be necessary to buy different shoes for each activity.

Uneven surfaces cause increased movement in the foot and ankle. This makes the ankle joint and the foot more vulnerable to injury. For example, running on rough terrain calls for an athletic shoe that is wider. This increases medial and lateral stability and decreases the risk for ankle injury.

Important tips to know before purchasing an athletic shoe:

● It is important to evaluate shoe construction prior to making a purchase

● Bend the shoe from toe to heel. It should not bend in places that your foot does not. In addition, if you push it down, it should not rock

● Place the shoes down and look at them from behind to assure the shoes are symmetrical

●You should also check wear patterns because this will tell you when to buy a new shoe

● There are 2 basic foot types: pronators and supinators:
(a) Pronator type foot is: limited big toe mobility, a heel that appears to turn out and the inner border appears to flatten when stepping. This type of foot requires a” motion control” athletic shoe. These shoes have firmer heels and a straight seam down the middle of the sole.

(b) Supinator type foot is: high and rigid arches and a heel that turns to the inside. This type of foot requires a shoe with more cushioning especially if you plan on using it for running. The sole of the shoe usually has a curved seam down the middle.

In summary, no two feet are alike even on the same person. However, by using basic guidelines, you can reduce the risk of injury.

For a free 10 minute screening, contact Ivyrehab Briarcliff at (914) 762 – 2222 or Ivyrehab Jefferson Valley at (914) 245 – 8807. With Direct Access a prescription is not required to be evaluated and treated. Visit our Website: www.ivyrehab.com to learn more about Direct Access.

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References:

1. Athletic Footwear and Orthoses in Sports Medicine – INDER https://www.google.com/search?q=D.G.+Sharnoff+Matthew+B.+Werd%2C+%E2%80%8EE.+Leslie+Knight+-+2010+-+%E2%80%8EMedical&ie=utf-8&oe=utf-8

Tips for Water Safety this Memorial Day and All Summer Long!

Memorial Day is coming up and this is the time of year people begin opening their pools for the Summer. To ensure your family has a happy and safe Memorial Day and a great Summer packed with Swimming, here are some tips to help keep you and your family safe all season long!

Here is some helpful advice from Club Fit Briarcliff Aquatics Director, Ruth Garcia!

Screen Shot 2015-05-20 at 3.14.24 PM If you are a pool owner, make sure your pool is surrounded by an adequate fence or barrier to protect your family as well as potential wanderers.

Children should start learning to swim around 2.5 years of age. We recommend starting even sooner with infant/parent classes to get them acclimated to the water.

If swimming in an unsupervised area, make sure you have another person with you. Children should never be unattended.

Do not consume alcohol while swimming. It impairs coordination, judgement and your ability to function normally in an aquatic environment.

Use Coast Guard approved gear and non-inflatable pool toys and swim aids. Inflatable floatation devices pose an increased risk of drowning as they are prone to popping. We also do not recommend using mermaid-like/uni-fin fins. This new trend is cute, but not necessarily safe as it positions the body in an unnatural way and has the potential to cause a distressed swimmer.

Be sure to protect yourself from harmful UV rays. Here are some suggestions from the American Cancer Society on how to stay safe in the sun!

Sign up for a CPR class so you are prepared in the event there is an emergency. Click here for dates in May.

If you need further information on water safety, visit the American Red Cross for their top recommendations.

Interested in swim lessons at Club Fit? Contact braquatics@clubfit.com or call and speak to someone in our Aquatics department for more information! Club Fit Briarcliff: 914.762.3444 ex. 2108)

“Play” Matters

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

Ted

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

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

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

Summer Camp Play

Summer Camp play

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

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

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

A Winter Fitness Boost!

By Liza Forster, RYT
Group Fitness Manager
Club Fit Jefferson Valley

Has Old Man Winter got you grounded? Being confined to home because of winter weather doesn’t need to put a cramp in your fitness routine. In fact, changing up how and where you exercise can actually give you an unexpected fitness boost.

First of all, remember that you don’t have to do everything all at once. 10 minute “legs” or intervals of exercise lets you crosstrain and keep you interested and more likely to push your own personal envelope. Three or four of these and you’ve exercised for 30 or 40 highly respectable minutes by the end of your day. Plus, jumping from isometrics, to endurance to strength work, etc, will keep your body and heart out of it’s comfortable routine, and out of it’s comfort zone. Combine the following as you like. Get your kids off of the laptops and make it a competition.

Ropeless jumproping- Put on your favorite music, and jump, jump, jump. One minute interval, 30 seconds of rest, repeat until you are at ten minutes total. Fast jump, joggy jump, skipping jump. Not only is jumping great cardio, but the impact lays bone on bone, increasing bone density. If you have bone issues, land lightly. Stepping in place is a safe alternative for delicate, more fragile bones.

Plank – Nothing like a straight arm plank to build some super strength. This one isn’t just for fighting the winter blues. Make this part of a daily practice all year round. Start at 30 seconds, and you progress, rock a 90 second plank. Pull your belly button firmly into your spine and keep it there. Wrists under shoulders, knees under hips. Can you say arms to die for?

Bicycle – Your grade school gym teacher got this right. Bicycle is a game changer. Back to one minute intervals on your back, 30 seconds rest in between. Alternate the work, fast bicycle for the first one, then S-L-O-W it way way down. Third one normal speed but hold the the elbow to the opposite knee as you cross, stay out of your comfort zone Keep your lower back flat on the ground.

Prisoner Squats – Nothing like squats to cut and define the glutes, quads, and hams. Lace fingers behind neck, elbows pulled back. Take a wide stance with feet parallel. Sit back into an imaginary chair, keeping knees over ankles and elbows pulled back. Up slowly and repeat. Exhale on the descend, inhale up and keep it slow. 4-6 rounds of 45 seconds with 30 seconds rest in between.

Wall handstand. Take a down dog (facing away from wall) with heels against a bare wall. Look in between hands at the floor. Walk your feet up the wall so that your legs are at a right angle from the wall. Hold for thirty seconds and walk down. As you progress, walk legs farther up so body is straight and almost perpendicular to the wall.

Repeat the series, and switch it up as needed throughout your snow day. Don’t forget to stretch everything out. 10 long breaths in a beautiful down dog hits the entire back of the body, sink into those heels, bend knees if you have any back pain. Don’t forget to shovel and have a snowball fight!
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Winter Weather Workout with Susie!

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By Susie Reiner, M.S., HFS, PES
Fitness Director, Club Fit Briarcliff

Unfortunately sometimes Mother Nature gets in the way of getting your workout in at Club Fit. Your safety is the most important on days where it’s dangerous to travel, so here are some exercise ideas for you to try at home:

Shoveling – the dreaded activity that is an essential part of living in the Northeast! Shoveling can be a great workout – if you do it right. Warm up ahead of time, do some dynamic stretches -toe touches side to side, side reaches, back extensions (hands support lower back), high knee pulls, quad stretches alternating, etc. Dress warmly with layers that you can take off if you get overheated. Be sure you are bending your knees EVERY time you pick up snow and switch sides/hands that you are throwing the snow with. Stretch your lower back, shoulders, and neck afterwards to avoid strain later on in the day. If you complete all these steps you will have a safe total body cardio and resistance workout. I’ve personally worn my Myzone belt while shoveling and got up to 200 MEPS in that time!

Got stairs? – There are a number of exercises you can do that strengthen your lower body and core while engaging cardiovascular benefits as well.
1. Step ups (up up down down) facing the step
2. Lateral step ups (step knee step touch)
3. Running the stairs – use the way down as recovery
4. Or try these fun exercises!

A great online resource for body weight workouts is Fitness Blender, a free website created by a husband and wife duo who felt like there was a lack of reliable health and fitness information on the web, and too many people in the industry were more focused on appearance than they were on good health. I’ve completed several of the workouts at home on this website and I can attest that they are safe and effective!

Need more advice? Please contact me at sreiner@clubfit.com and be safe in the snow!
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The Benefits of Becoming a Lifeguard

One of the best possible early career opportunities as a mature teen or young adult is becoming a certified Lifeguard. Here are 5 reasons why Lifeguarding might be a great fit!

1. Developing Leadership Skills:
Being charged with People’s Safety is no light matter. A lifeguard must be responsible, alert and assertive when they see warning signs or unsafe behavior. Being in a position like this, means there is truly no option to be timid. Even when certain rules may be difficult or touch on sensitive subjects, a lifeguard must find a way to communicate and enforce them. When a lifeguard begins his or her career, they may not feel 100% about their leadership qualities, but after a few weeks to a few months, you can see that persons’ sense of self-worth and leadership grow.

2. Increased Communication and People Skills:
For many of the same reasons mentioned in number 1, lifeguards must interact with people. Even when they are not in their comfort zone. A good lifeguard will know how to handle unsafe behavior, aggressive patrons, or potential dangers/threats to swimmers. Everyone is certainly different in their approach to communicating these issues to patrons, but their job requires them to do so. This allows them to develop their personal communication skills and etiquette, helps them to speak up, and in many instances helps them to make more mature decisions.

3. Improved Self-Confidence:

Being a lifeguard is a position that requires a great deal of responsibility. Lifeguards are responsible for the safety of all patrons under their watch. This means enforcing rules and guidelines, noticing the first signs of distress, making sure the surrounding areas are safe for swimmers and even saving peoples lives when it comes to that. This can really boost self-confidence. Doing a job they know is keeping people safe makes them feel good about the work they do! Plain and simple.

4. Working as part of a Team:

Lifeguards often work together. Whether it is at an indoor facility, outdoor rec center, Lake, River or Ocean. In most of these environments, working as a team is key. Not only do the use those communication skills, but their is often an understanding about who needs to do what when there are multiple guards on duty. Lifeguards may be a different stations and will often have to follow a rotation. Now their coworkers are counting on them to stick to that rotation to avoid on the job fatigue. They are also responsible for watching different “zones” of the water or elements within their facility/settings. This means their must be a mutual understanding of the division of zones and who is responsible for which. Sometimes, a lifeguard will even need more than just him or herself to perform the rescue depending on what the circumstances are. This requires an incredible amount of focus and teamwork. Finally, most places that employ lifeguards require what is known as “In Service Training”. These are cooperative trainings that simulate potential real-life scenarios in which a guard may have to participate in. It always requires working together and role-playing rescue situations.

5. Lifeguards Possess Desirable Skills for Future Careers:

Let’s face it . . . navigating the job market can be tough when someone is just starting out. Being a lifeguard gives you skills that other professionals and hiring managers like to see in potential employees. Teamwork, Self Confidence, Communication and Leadership are all vital skills that are often not learned in school. They are learned through life experience. Lifeguards certainly have a jump on their competition when it comes to possessing these skills and they can often adapt to their surroundings by leveraging those very skills.

The question is not why you should become a lifeguard, but more importantly, why you shouldn’t?

At Club Fit, we offer American Red Cross Lifeguard Certification Courses at our Briarcliff and Jefferson Valley locations.
LIFEGUARD

Climbing for a Purpose

By Kurt Kannemeyer

Two months ago, I lost the most important person in my life – my Mom. I am still struggling with the reality that she is gone. Every day comes with new challenges and opportunities to make her proud and live out her legacy. She was indeed a great woman.

As a result of my Mom’s battle with breast cancer, I made several trips to be by her side in South Africa. I haven’t truly updated my blog, and I must be honest – I have not been training. Finding out about my Mom’s diagnosis, truly hit me hard. It was as though my life literally stopped. Everything I held dear became of little importance and all I simply wanted to do was to be by her side. Even writing this short blog brings back so many memories and I am still missing her so dearly. Life is short and sometimes we take opportunities for granted – opportunities of showing affection, placing a call and sending our loved ones a text telling them that we love them. Fortunately, I always did that with my Mom – and I SO miss doing it again. I am back in the US now and the mountain I am about to climb in a couple of months from now will not only be for our children BUT also for my Mom.

I dedicate this last paragraph to her as an endearing gesture for the woman that she was:

Dear Mom,
I am so proud to be your son. Not a day goes by that I do not long to hear your voice, feel your touch and simply say, “I love you.” You taught me how to love, treat people with respect, care for the needy and destitute, brush my teeth, tie my shoelaces, sign my name and so much more. I will forever treasure these memories and I will never forget the life lessons and values that you’ve instilled in me. Mom, as I climb, I do so for you. Every step I am about to take will be a step of victory, knowing that you will be with me. You were in so much pain but through it all, you stayed strong and you fought a good fight. I will always love you and I am so thankful to have had you as my Mom. Your legacy will live on in and through me, dad, your daughters and grandchildren. I will NEVER forget you – LOVE you so much! Your Son, Kurt

Kurt and Mom

Digging deeper into Fall running

Tim Robinson

Club Fit Personal Trainer, Tim Robinson

by Tim Robinson

The Fall has arrived and that means prime running weather. The air is crisp and cool and this means it’s easier to dig a little deeper, exploring your limits as runner . . . just do it safely. Yes, you will find it easier on these cooler days to step up the pace, but do so in a considered way. It’s too easy to feel that extra seasonal bounce and go out too hard, without a warm-up, or to push that long run at too frisky a pace and then regret it later. There are lots of races in the Fall and it’s a great idea to pick one, a month or more down the road, and use the favorable conditions to build your strength and speed. Incorporate intervals and tempo runs twice a week and maybe even venture onto the track, where the real nitty gritty gets done. Put a stopwatch to your workouts and see exactly where you stand. It’s a good time to meet with other runners, outdoors, to push each other into that zone where the body really starts to transform. It’s also a good time of year to shift some runs to the morning. The evening light is going away and soon enough the clocks will shift. If you’re used to getting up early for a run, surviving the winter in good shape becomes a real possibility. In short, get out outside, enjoy the perfect temperatures and push yourself. Dress for the temperature, hydrate, even if you don’t feel as thirsty as you did in August, and make sure your shoes are still in decent shape. Go for it – this is the time!

Need a little added help with your running? Check out some of our structured programs from beginner to marathon training: Running Programs at Club Fit Briarcliff.

Tim received a B.F.A. from Syracuse University, he is an A.C.E. Certified Personal Trainer and a certified Heartsaver CPR/AED.
Tim’s specialties include Running, Cross Country, Track and Roads, Triathlon, Swim, Bike, Run, TRX. Some of his hobbies are Trail running, Hiking, Kayaking, Cooking, Gardening, Music and Art.

Do you have questions for Tim? Ask him in the comments!

Run Smart, Run Safe: Tips from Club Fit Personal Trainer, Tim Robinson

Tim Robinson

Tim Robinson


Okay, so it’s hot, and you’re asking, can I (should I?) be running outdoors in these temperatures?
Sure, just do it right and be prepared – HYDRATE ahead of time, wear light, moisture-wicking fabric, and take it down a notch (or two).

Listen, there are folks who run races across Death Valley, so it’s totally doable. Just get your ducks in a row. If you can, get your miles in early, when the cooler night air is still hanging around. Either that, or wait – block out some time in the evening. I often run in the dark, or near dark, but I’m careful.

Pick a route that’s well-lit and low on traffic. Wear bright, REFLECTIVE clothing. And please, save the speed work and the long run for a later day when the forecast is friendlier. On these hottest of Summer days, just get some miles in and don’t amp it up to high. Think. If you have to strike out more towards midday, wear a cap to keep the sun off your head (I wet one and throw it in the freezer beforehand… seriously).

Drink more water than usual, steadily, through the day before you head out. As soon as you finish up, drink more. Once you stop sweating, take a cool shower to get your core temperature back into a comfortable zone.

As always, if you’re out there and it gets to the point where you’re feeling it too much, pack it in. Heat exhaustion is no picnic and heat stroke is seriously dangerous, so don’t push past any signals that your body is offering up. If you’re thinking, I should probably slow down, you certainly should. Your body will acclimate to the heat if you give it time and you’re cautious. Get used to it and keep your first hot runs shorter than usual.

All that said, I’m not a huge lover of treadmills, but for the timid, this just may be the time for them. Now, and when snow is falling, knee-deep, all over creation – that was a rough winter for us runners. Be safe. Be smart.

Want to get into running, but don’t know where to begin?
Check out the variety of Running Programs at Club Fit Briarcliff!

Not sure if your clothes are reflective enough for an early morning or late evening run? Click here to check out all the great kinds of reflective running gear!

Tim Robinson has a B.F.A. from Syracuse University, he is an A.C.E. Certified Personal Trainer and Heartsaver CPR/AED Certified.

His specialties include: Running, Cross Country, Track and Roads, Triathlon, Swim, Bike, Run and TRX. In his spare time, Tim enjoys Trail running, Hiking, Kayaking, Cooking, Gardening, Music and Art.

His Philosophy of Exercise: There are no gimmicks – Dig deep and dedicate yourself to real, lasting fitness. Your body is all you’ve got – there’s no place else to go, so lets take care of it.

You can contact Tim at timrobinson@mindspring.com or come schedule a training with him in at Club Fit Briarcliff!

MYZONE “Fanatic” and Club Fit Member Rich Polombo

MYZONE user Rich Palombo

Club Fit member Rich Palombo stays motivated with MYZONE.

When it comes to MYZONE, everyone has their own approach. Some are more laid back about it, but there are also the MYZONE fanatics! These people check their numbers religiously, enter every MYZONE Challenge (the Summer Sizzle Challenge begins July 1st at both clubs), and truly track their progress while keeping an eye on everyone else’s numbers on the MYZONE screen. Rich Palombo is in this second camp, and is happy to admit it.

Rich, who has been a Club Fit member for close to 15 years, started using his MYZONE belt last August, when the program was rolled out. And it fell right in line with his competitive nature. Not only did he participate in the various MYZONE challenges, he compared his numbers to his fellow members, at times trying to outpace them, or just keep up. In fact, in one of the early challenges, he spent the entire first weekend working out just to be the first in the club to make the required 1800 MEPs (MYZONE effort points, based on duration of activity and heart rate). And he did it!

The long and short of it? The MYZONE belt gives him the incentive to put more effort into his workout. It is a motivator! “I am all about measurements and metrics,” says Rich. “MYZONE actually made me realize that I could push myself a little bit harder and still work out safely.” At the club, Rich primarily uses the elliptical machines in the Fitness Center, and also plays Tennis and Racquetball. “I’ve always been active, but was never a ‘health club type.’ Club Fit and MYZONE changed that for me.” He also brings his seven-year-old daughter to the pool on weekends, and feels that the club is a great place for people to go as a family. “You may not be working out together, but you are all there to feel better and can leave happy, together.”

Because of Rich’s current job, which takes him to Long Island from his home in Putnam Valley, his workout time has been limited, but he still gets in five workouts a week. “I try to come twice on Saturdays and Sundays, and once during the week,” he says. But even outside of the club, Rich stays active, and wears his MYZONE belt to track his MEPs. He has worn it playing hockey and doing yardwork, and was amazed at how much effort was put forth during these activities.

While some people are using the belt to help them lose weight, at this point in his busy life Rich is happy to maintain. But he does know how effective it can be. “I took a month off between my last job and current job, and was at the gym religiously. I dropped almost 10 pounds in that month by staying focused.” He loves the fact that he can check his numbers after every workout, even on his phone. “With MYZONE you can hold yourself accountable. Unless other people know your user name and follow you on the screen, only you know exactly how hard you are working and whether you are meeting your personal goals.”

Even though his time at the club is now limited, Rich is a huge fan of Club Fit. “The staff and the facility are wonderful,” he says. “I love that I can go there and get a smile from everyone, and that most people know my name. I’ve developed great relationships with some staff members as well as others who use the club.” Rich works in the customer service industry managing call centers, and feels that Club Fit is a definite leader in this area. “In general, people will spend up to 10 percent more on a product or service if the customer service is top-notch. With the personalized attention I get at Club Fit and the great facility, I’m happy to spend a few more dollars to belong here as opposed to a bare bones or quick service gym.”

Even if you are not as much of a MYZONE fanatic as Rich, you can join him this month in the Summer Sizzle Challenge, taking place at both Briarcliff and Jefferson Valley! Simply log in to your MYZONE account and accept the challenge. You only need to rack up 1800 MEPs to earn an entry into a raffle for great prizes. Make it fun, like Rich does; follow fellow members as they rack up points, and set little challenges for yourself. And if you don’t have a belt yet? Stop by the Service Desk at Briarcliff or the Reception Desk at Jefferson Valley and invest in one! “It was such a great investment for me because I like to stay on top of things and know what I am accomplishing,” says Rich. If you are working out at Jefferson Valley, look for “RICHPA” on the MYZONE screen and see if you can keep up!

Want to hear more about Rich’s MYZONE experience? 
Click here to read a MYZONE interview with Rich.

Sizzle Summer Sizzle MYZONE Challenge JULY 1ST – JULY 31ST

MYZONE is all the rage and it’s no surprise! This super motivating piece of technology helps keep us on track even through our vacation seasons. It’s simple, it’s a heart rate monitor- an incredibly smart one! You wear it during your workouts here at the club OR during your home and outdoor workouts. Then when you are near one of the upload stations, it pulls in all that awesome data from your workout and tells you how much effort you were exerting!

One of the best parts of MYZONE is that it allows you to compete against your own personal best or against others when we are holding our challenges. Even some small group trainings utilize it to measure progress throughout a session of trainings or group fitness classes! What’s more, is that we will reward you for reaching your challenge goals!

This Summer, you can join in the fun with our Summer Sizzle Challenge! Check it out:
Summer Sizzle
Keep active during the beautiful summer season!
Going on vacation? Don’t forget to pack your MYZONE belt and upload your workouts in the club when your return. Every participant who reaches 1800 MEPs will earn an entry into a fabulous raffle. (Only one entry per participant, please.)

Challenge—
Earn 1800 MEPs in 30 days:
Each participant who reaches 1800 MEPs will be entered into a raffle for a
chance to win one of three prizes. Drawing will take place on August 6th.
(Winners will be posted at the front desk.)

Prizes:
1st: Pair of Tickets to Westchester Broadway Theatre
2nd: $50 eCash | 3rd: Pair of Tickets to Comedy Night at Club Fit

How to get involved:
If you have a MYZONE belt, login to your personal MYZONE web page
and accept the challenge invitation. If you don’t have a belt yet,
see the front desk for details and join in the fun.

Click here for more information on the MYZONE Challenges at Club Fit Briarcliff: MYZONE Challenges

Click here for more information on the MYZONE Challenges at Club Fit Jefferson Valley: MYZONE Challenges

A Spartan Team Experience

What a great day!!!!! Our team entered the race 30 strong and we became even stronger after crossing the finish line. I’ve never been a part of such a fun and rewarding race. Our team had the wisdom and experience of some Spartan veterans, which helped us navigate some of the challenges and the nervous excitement of rookies, like myself, to keep the energy high. Together we encouraged each other, supported each other and literally pushed each other over obstacles. Our team truly was in it for each other. No teammate was left behind. It was awesome!

Ok, I admit. I did check the results afterwards to see where I finished, but the website posted the team times before they had the individual times. That’s when I realized it didn’t matter what I ran it in. I had a ton of fun and made a whole lot of new friends. We were one of the largest teams to compete and we finished 150th out of 854 teams. I think we had a pretty unique team as well, with an age range from early 20’s to early 60’s with every one of us completing the race.

Our training methods varied. Some were diligent and followed a very structured plan. Some joined a special training class and began bonding early. Some participated in regular classes and some, like myself, trained on their own. Now matter how we trained or how much we trained it didn’t take long for us to feel like part of a team. Now when we see each other we share that special smile and plan for the next event.

A BIG Thank You to all of my teammates for making it an awesome race day. Arrooo!

-Bill Pagel

And as an added bonus, Bill is letting us take a peek at his myzone results from the day of the race. It looks Like he got quite the workout!

Upcoming: Club Fit Hiking Club Annual Gourmet Hike!


Ahoy Hikers!
Spring is really here and with it our Club Fit Hiking Club Annual Gourmet Hike. As many of you have requested, we are returning to the amazing Innisfree Gardens in Millbrook next Saturday, June 7th for this delightful stroll around the lake and our gourmet feast.

As usual, we will enjoy whatever we gourmands bring with us. You will not have to carry your food or even your backpacks as we can leave everything in the cars. So that means you can bring your coolers if you wish to store whatever delectables you bring.

For newcomers to our gourmet hikes, you do not have to call to check what to bring. Simply bring whatever you like and understand that you do not have to feed the entire group, only enough for two or three people is just fine. We always seem to have enough as everyone is so very generous and creative. Do, please, bring along whatever you need to serve your dish.

PLEASE NOTE: Innisfree Gardens is now charging $6 per person payable in the parking lot to the attendant. Try to bring exact change.
SPOILER: You will not lose weight on this hike!

We will meet opposite Toys “R” Us near JV CLUB FIT at 10:00AM, as we always do.

Here is a link to our newly redesigned Club Fit Hiking Club home page. Click on the 2014 Schedule there where you can read the details of this as well as the other upcoming hikes: Club Fit Hiking Club.

Feel free to call if you have any thoughts or questions.
Looking forward to seeing you on the trails,

Peter
captsail@ verizon.net
914–245–7693 H
914-715-4068 C

Spartan Training Continues . . . sometimes there are bumps along the way!

by Bill Pagel

Well fellow Spartans, my training has not been going well. Very sporadic and inconsistent, but there’s still time and I was encouraged by my efforts in my last 2 workouts. Over the weekend I completed a 5 mile run consisting of 1/4 mile hill intervals. My pace was slow, but I completed the run, which was the goal. I’m lucky that my neighborhood has a perfect loop for this.

Yesterday, I completed a 4 mile progression run. (Treadmills are great for this kind of run.) A one mile warm-up followed by progressively increasing the pace over the next 2.5 miles and I finished with a half mile cool down jog and another half mile of walking.Topped it off with 20 yards of inchworm walks to help stretch and get a little upper body work in. It was tough, but the goal was to finish. Now I have to keep the consistency going over the next 17 days and hopefully I’ll be able to keep up on race day.

Arooh!

Bill Pagel’s tale of training . . . The Spartan Race


Well, it’s 6 weeks to go until my first Spartan Race in Tuxedo, NY. The butterflies started kicking in this week with anticipation of the unknown challenges and the excitement of competing with a team of well-conditioned Club Fit members.

I know my team will be ready because I see how hard they work every day in one of our CFX classes or in the Extreme Endurance class. I also know there will be a group that will be supremely prepared after going through the Obstacle Race Training with Jane and Brian. I just hope I’m ready!

The good news is that I still have some time to train and I’ll be kicking it up a notch to make sure I can keep up with the team. Things I’ve found helpful in preparing for the race are the support form staff and members, the daily Spartan WODs and the great Spartan recipes that I’ve been trying. My favorite recipe so far is the scrambled eggs with avocado and salsa. I have that for breakfast almost every morning in the café. Love it!

I’d love to find out what your favorite recipe is to fuel your training and any other insights on preparing for a Spartan race. I’ll continue to share my journey over the next several weeks and maybe have a post race video to share.

Happy Trails!

Bill

A Journey With The Hiking Club

Come with us on an adventure!

March 16, 2014

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

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

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

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

and next to rivers

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

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

and lots of laughs

and beautiful views along the way.

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

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

We posed for a photo

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

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

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

-Marty

Earth Day: A Healthier You and a Healthier World

This Earth Day we wanted to provide you with some things you can do to make a difference. Here are a few things you can do that will help better your health and fitness as well as the Earth!

1. Do you live near town or commute to a local train station?
Think about riding a bike or walking to your commuter station on days when the weather allows. This will not only provide you with extra cardio, but will cut down on the amount of gas you consume and the emissions that your car is producing. It may seem like a small and insignificant contribution but the fact is, it makes a difference. A nice walk to town can also be a fun activity for the family . . . sort of an adventure! You just have to commit and leave a little extra time for your travels. If none of that works for you, try carpooling.

2. Buy local and fresh produce and goods from your neighborhood farmers markets.
Not only are you buying products that are GMO free, but you are more likely to make smarter decisions on what you eat because there are very few processed foods available at these markets. You’re also supporting a local business and let’s face it, it just feels good!

3. Recycle. Recycle everything you can. Switch to reusable products and bags when possible. Use BPA free plastics.
Sure, it might take an extra few minutes to put a plastic bag in a pile of recycling, take out the bottles and cans and sort paper products, but we can reduce the amount of wast we produce by taking small steps. BPA is a chemical that has been linked to some health concerns ranging from reproductive abnormalities to obesity and insulin resistance. You don’t have to go crazy, but learn which types of plastic are safer for you and your family.

4. Use products that are free of harmful chemicals such as mercury or lead.
Here is a helpful link of some chemicals in common household items to try to avoid. Chemicals in Household Products.

5. Invest in some Earth-friendly workout clothes.
Clothes that are long lasting that you don’t have to replace often are better for your wallet and the earth! Clothes that are made using sustainable methods are even better. Here are some suggestions if you are looking for Green Fitness Gear!

6. Teach your kids about going green and what that means.
Everything starts with education at home! Talk to your kids about conserving energy, recycling, go for a nature walk, make some crafts from recycled goods and ask them what they want to do to help!

7. You can even recycle your old gym sneakers to companies like NIKE. They will be made into materials that are used to build sport courts!

Not too shabby, eh? Give it a try for a healthier you and a healthier world.

A 300 Mile Bike Ride and the Motivation to Get There.

Sharon Rowe, a long time member of Club Fit Briarcliff, accomplished a great feat when she biked 300 miles from New York to DC. She hadn’t ridden a bike in years prior to deciding to do this. The organization she rode with is called climateride. “Climate Ride is a non-profit organization that organizes fully supported, charitable bike rides to support sustainable energy solutions, bike advocacy, and environmental causes.” ClimateRide What makes Sharon’s story unique, is that she decided to do this having absolutely no training experience with something of this magnitude. Her motivation? Riding for a cause!

Sharon’s training included a great deal of time on the e-spinners, pushing her limits each day to raise her endurance levels. After all, having to ride 60 miles a day is quite a switch from not riding a bike at all for a number of years! In addition to using the e-spinners to train and riding outdoors, Sharon found Yoga to be a helpful part of her preparation. “It offered a nice balance to my endurance training and helped with my flexibility and mindset.”

We asked her how this experience raised her awareness about her body and physical fitness. It forces you to have better awareness and raise the bar on better engagement. “It takes me about 8 miles to get through to the next level. Those 8 miles are the toughest, they are the ones that test you, that make you want to give up. Once I get through that phase, I am ready for another 40 miles!” Sharon is a conscious, friendly and positive person who is motivated to make a difference on a personal and global level. She is full of passion and life. You can tell that this experience taught her a lot about pushing beyond what you think is possible. You don’t have to be a super-human athlete to do something like this. All you really need is the motivation and the goal no matter how big or small. What are you waiting for?

Sharon Rowe is the founder and CEO of Ecobags. Their “primary purpose is to create and offer thoughtfully produced and sourced products that help people reduce, re-use and recycle.” You can learn more about the company by clicking the link. Ecobags