Fitness Success Story: Janet Murff

Janet and Candice

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

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

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

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

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

Benefits of Tai Chi

by Master Trainer and Exercise Physiologist, Jie Yang

Master Trainer Jie Yang

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

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

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

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

Research-established benefits

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

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

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

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

 

Congrats to our Club Fit Flag Football Team!

Our winning Club Fit Flag Football Team

Our winning Club Fit Flag Football Team

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

Their success story…

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

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

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

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

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

Our Winning Team:

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

Club Fit Members
Matt Laccetti
Ryan Tompkins

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

To Keep You Inspired … Our Club Fit Members!

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

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

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Fitness Success Story: Kathi Grossman

Kathi before and after

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

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

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

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

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

To Keep You Inspired … Lizandra Vega

{by Lisa Olney, Club Fit guest blogger}

Lizandra with Tiana and Joe

To Keep You Inspired… Club Fit Member Lizandra Vega with Tiana and Joe

In 2014, Club Fit Briarcliff member Lizandra Vega had a birthday epiphany, and it was time to reassess her lifestyle. On the surface, her life was in perfect balance; a proud wife and hands-on mother of two — personal life, check; a 20-year career as an executive recruiter in Manhattan’s luxury lifestyle market, a certified image consultant, and an author — professional life, check; meaningful work giving back to the community — volunteer life, check. What she realized with striking clarity, though, was that she had slowly ceased stepping out of her comfort zone, challenging her own personal growth — a trait that she instills in her clients. “I motivate people, that’s part of my job,” says Lizandra. “I like to be authentic, so I have always put myself in situations that may not be comfortable at first in order to see how I’ll thrive.” On her blog, The Career Confidante, at www.LizandraVega.com, she lists her 10 Commandments of Success. The second commandment is “Thou shall not nurture anything but a positive physical, mental, and emotional state of being.” It was time to get back to nurturing her own healthy lifestyle.

Lizandra looked to her bucket list and decided it was time to conquer her fear of swimming. Raised in the Bronx with no real exposure to the water, she developed a fear of swimming after trips to the beach and constant warnings of the danger of the water. But Lizandra refused to pass that fear on to her children, who are avid swimmers. “Outdoors was never my thing,” recalls Lizandra, “But I made it my thing.”

A Briarcliff resident for the last 19 years, Lizandra turned to Club Fit to start her journey. She chose to take private lessons with swim instructor Joe Cave, who had taught many adults to swim, and he proved to be a great match for her. Initially, Lizandra could only float — no propelling herself forward and definitely no putting her head in the water. Her biggest fear was not knowing how she would be able to breathe, and it was paralyzing.

The lessons started in September of 2014, and Lizandra remembers feeling comfortable with him immediately. “I instantly trusted Joe the minute I shook his hand,” she recalls. “He would say, ‘I’m not going to let you drown. You are not going to drown with me here.’” This declaration was cathartic for Lizandra, allowing her to let go of her fear and begin conquering it. Lizandra felt it would take a long time just to get her head in the water, but her first lesson was empowering. “I was already doing little strokes — not with my head completely in the water, but I made such progress in just one lesson,” she remembers. “It felt so good, and I knew that I was really going to learn this time.” Step by step, she did just that, and she’s been taking lessons with Joe ever since. Today, she swims laps, working on technique and endurance for every stroke.

Saturday mornings quickly became Lizandra’s “me-time” with swim lessons at 10am. She added a small group training class, Women on Weights, with Master Trainer Tiana Gonzalez. Lizandra connected at once with Tiana, and in January 2015, began personal training sessions with her. Tiana’s supportive and caring style has helped Lizandra achieve many fitness goals and given her the confidence to step outside of her fitness comfort zone and use all the fitness options at Club Fit.

From Joe’s patience and ability to empower, to Tiana’s empathy and motivational style, Lizandra credits them both with helping her regain a healthier and proactive lifestyle. “Because I work in recruiting, staffing, and hiring, I am very discerning about who I hire to teach me,” says Lizandra. “Joe and Tiana show such professionalism, and their communication goes beyond expectations.”

Next on Lizandra’s bucket list are singing and ice-skating. While her Club Fit bucket list includes yoga and tennis, it’s safe to say that any area of the Club that Lizandra has yet to explore has a spot on her list. “I really am a person that loves to continue to learn and challenge myself,” says Lizandra, “When I become a member of a place, I’m all in.”

Who needs Back Exercises?

By Meryle Richman, PT, DPT, MS, CST, RYT

We all do- whether we have a healthy back or a problem with our back. In order for your back to stay healthy and less prone to injury, you need strong, flexible muscles to support the spine’s natural curves.

Why all the fuss about back problems?

Statistics have shown that backaches are second only to the common cold as a cause of missed workdays. It’s estimated that 8 out of 10 Americans will have a back problem at some time in their lives. A large part of this is due to the neglect of their backs. Back disorders are the accumulation of months or even years of poor posture, faulty body mechanics, stressful living and working habits, loss of flexibility as general lack of physical fitness.

A balanced back is a healthy back:

It is time to take a new look at the prevention of back injuries rather than the treatment of back problems after they have occurred.

Back problems can be avoided by understanding what the problems are, how to prevent them and what to do if they do occur. It involves self-responsibility and a desire to have a healthy back

Basic Anatomy:

In order for your back to be healthy, there are three natural curves that must be in balanced alignment. This should occur at all times i.e., sitting, standing, lying down or moving. These curves are the cervical (neck), thoracic (middle back), and lumbar (lower back).

When your ear, shoulder, and hips line up straight, then the three curves are balanced and you have achieved “good posture”. To test whether your curves are in their natural alignment, imagine a line beside the mid-part of your body. If your ears, shoulders, pelvis, knees and ankles line up on this line (plumb line), your three curves are in their correct position. In order to maintain a balanced back you must also have strong and flexible muscles and joints:

●Muscles: A healthy spine is supported by a strong and flexible back, abdominals, hip and leg muscles. Muscles that lack strength and flexibility cannot maintain your back’s natural curves, which can lead to back problems, and possibly injury.

●Joints: Strong and flexible hip, knee, ankle, and back joints help balance your back curves ad allow movement. Joints that lack strength and flexibility fail to support your spine, and this can also contribute to back problems.

Other important structures to understand about the back:

●Vertebrae and facet joints: the vertebrae (or bones) provide the structural support for your back. The facet joints, which are located on the outside of the vertebrae, control the amount and direction of movement.

●Ligaments: These are tough and non-elastic bands that hold the vertebrae together. They connect to the discs and vertebrae, lending support and stability to the spine.

●Disc: The discs act as shock absorbers and allow normal motion to take place. The center of the disc is jellylike and is composed of water and fluid. It is surrounded by tough rubber-like bands that are attached to the vertebrae.

●Nerves: Provides the energy to make the muscles work. Once the goals of a well back are achieved the individual should follow up with a regular exercise program that includes an aerobic activity, such as walking or swimming.

Here are some tips that will prevent low back pain or its recurrence:

● Always bend with the knees, not from the waist when lifting

● When sitting, place at least one knee higher than your hips; either by crossing your legs or putting your legs with knees bent, on something like a foot stool

● When standing place one foot on a stool to keep the back straight

● Standing is better than sitting, and lying down is better than either; sitting puts 40% more pressure on the discs than standing and 75% more than lying

● When driving adjust the seat so you can sit closer to the pedals with the knees bent and back supported

● Avoid exercises that put excessive strain on the lower back. These include straight leg exercise such as leg raises, toe touching, or sit-ups with the legs straight on floor

● Additional suggestions include: changing the type of chair used at work, taking exercise breaks to stretch tight muscles and finding ways to handle stress.

Learn how Physical Therapy at Ivyrehab can help you:

For those individuals that suffer from prolonged back pain, the first goal of physical therapy is to reduce pain. The next step is to determine which muscles are tight and need to be stretched and which muscle groups are weak and could be strengthened. An evaluation of the individual postural and work habits should then follow. Based on all this information, corrective measures, which are tailored to the individual can then be recommended.

Other physical therapy measures can consist of any one of a combination of moist heat, ice, modalities, aquatic therapy, soft tissue massage, mobilization, stretching and gradual core and strengthening exercises.

If you would like to be seen right away for learning how to set-up an exercise program, prevent an injury or chronic pain under Direct Access (no prescription is required), contact us at: 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. Ivyrehab accepts most insurance plans (which our office obtains pre-approval from your insurance carrier) and will submit your office visit treatments for payment. You will be responsible for your co-payment depending on your particular insurance policy. With one-on-one care this permits the therapist to construct a personalized program for the individual. After all, when it comes to rehabilitation, “It’s all about the people”.

Ivy Rehab

Reduce Your Risk of Osteoporosis: Learn Preventative Exercise Tips

by Meryle Richman, PT, DPT, MS, CST, RYT
Ivy Rehab

Osteoporosis is a disease affecting approximately 10 million men and women in America. It is the progressive loss of bone mineral density. With bone loss over time the bones become weak and brittle leading to the increased likelihood of fractures, and bone deformation. The cost to our nation’s economy can be as much as 13 billion dollars per year in lost productivity and health care costs.

Who is at Risk for Osteoporosis?

Eighty percent of those with Osteoporosis are women. Women over 65 years of age are at much greater risk than men for Osteoporosis. Anyone diagnosed with Osteopenia, low bone density and a precursor to Osteoporosis is at greater risk. Other risk factors include women who are white or Asian, postmenopausal, cigarette smoking, sedentary lifestyle and some medication. Also women who have had long-term menstrual problems or have mineral absorption problems may also be at risk.

What can happen if you have Osteoporosis?

Osteoporosis causes a hunched forward posture and the formation of a hump, in the middle back and decreasing height. Poor posture and muscle tension due to the hunched posture can contribute to the increase of falling because the person’s center of gravity is shifted forward. Weak and brittle bones increase the likelihood of fracture during falls or fractures of the spine.

Some symptoms that may be caused by Osteoporosis include back pain, poor posture, lost height and decreased mobility. Anyone over 65 or postmenopausal women should be screened for osteoporosis even if symptoms are not present. Doctors will perform bone density scans to rate the persons bone density and determine their diagnosis based on that scan.

Tips on how Physical Therapy can help Osteoporosis:

1. Physical therapy can be utilized to manage to progression of Osteopenia, Osteoporosis and their symptoms. The patient’s goals include prevention of bone loss and increasing bone density.

2. According to the American Physical Therapy Association (APTA), “The right exercises and good habits can keep bones strong and prevent or reverse the effects of osteoporosis. Weight-bearing exercise, such as walking, is an important way to build and maintain healthy bones. Muscle strengthening exercises have been found to stimulate bone growth and can help prevent and treat osteoporosis. These types of exercises are best if started early in life and done regularly. However, it is important to remember that you can begin exercising at any age and still reap great benefits”.

3. Avoid exercises and daily activities which round the spine, such as sit-ups, crunches, bending down to tie your shoes, certain exercise machines that involve forward bending of the trunk, and even movements and sports that round and twist the spine. Instead, hinge forward from your hips, while keeping your back straight.

4. Practice balance exercises (even at a wall or holding on) to reduce falls and resulting fractures. An individualized program may include a walking regimen, Tai Chi, yoga, Pilates and other exercises geared toward conditioning, balance, and coordination.

5. The APTA recommends: Using proper posture and safe body mechanics during all activities protects the spine against injury. Here are some tips:
– Keep your back, stomach, and leg muscles strong and flexible.
– Do not slouch.
– Use good body positioning at work, home, or during leisure activities.
– Ask for help when lifting heavy objects.
– Maintain a regular physical fitness regimen. Staying active can help to prevent injuries.

6. Always consult with your physician or physical therapist before beginning an exercise program, if you have osteoporosis, are at high risk for a fall, fracture, or have a medical condition that might affect your ability to exercise.

If you would like to be seen right away for learning how to set-up an exercise program, prevent an injury or chronic pain under Direct Access (no prescription is required), contact us at: www.ivyrehab.com.

Ivyrehab accepts most insurance plans (which our office obtains pre-approval from your insurance carrier) and will submit your office visit treatments for payment. You will be responsible for your co-payment depending on your particular insurance policy.
With one-on-one care this permits the therapist to construct a personalized program for the individual. After all, when it comes to rehabilitation, “it’s all about the people”.

References:
1. National OP foundation, www.nof.org/osteoporosis.
2. Meeks, Sara Walk Tall. Triad Publishing Company (FL); 1st edition (June 15, 1999).
3. Bassey E. Joan, Exercise for prevention of osteoporotic fracture. Age and Aging. Nov. 2001: 29-31.
4. Rahmani, Poupak, Morin, Suzanne. Prevention of osteoporosis-related fractures among post menopausal women and older men. CMAJ. 2009:181; 815-820.
5. American Physical Therapy Association, Bone Health.http://www.moveforwardpt.com/Resources/Detail/bone-health-2

To Keep You Inspired… Club Fit Instructor Harriette DeCarlo

by Lisa Olney, Club Fit guest blogger.

Club Fit Instructor Harriette DeCarlo

Club Fit Instructor Harriette DeCarlo

At 85 years young, Club Fit aquatic exercise instructor Harriette DeCarlo is an energetic powerhouse whose confident, welcoming handshake is indicative of the joie de vivre in which she lives her life. Always moving, always educating, Harriette leads those around her to a healthy body, a healthy mind and a healthy lifestyle.

A swimmer in high school, Harriette has always been an athlete — an avid runner, rower, and follower of Tai Chi, which she practiced at the Chuang Yen Monastery, a Buddhist monastery on 225 acres in Carmel, NY. But it wasn’t until joining Club Fit 30 years ago, that exercise truly became a part of her daily routine. Recognizing Harriette’s passion and knowledge of aquatic exercise and Tai Chi, Club Fit hired her two years later as an aquatics instructor, and she helped the club launch its first aquatic Tai Chi class in the 1990s. Since then Harriette has been enlightening members at Club Fit to the strengthening and restorative power of mind-body fitness in the water. Currently, Harriette teaches “Mind/Body Aquatics” on Tuesday mornings at 10:00 am. The class — a blend of yoga, Pilates, balance, and tai chi — is a full body workout integrating breathing, core strengthening, balance and relaxation.

So, how does Club Fit’s version of the Energizer Bunny keep going? “I can’t imagine a week without exercise,” says Harriette. “The Club is so much a part of my life that I don’t feel good if I’m not here.” Her routine at the club anchors her day, and she works out three to four days a week. On Tuesdays before her 10:00 am Mind/Body Aquatics class, she arrives at the gym around 7:00 am, and does her normal workout of cardio, weights, and stretching. Then she goes to the Café to meet with her longtime breakfast group of almost 20 years. Next, she heads to the Aquatic Center for her class, and then it’s back to the café to meet her lunch group, which has been meeting since she started teaching in 1988. Yes, her lunch group is 28 years old and an amazing testament to the friendships formed over the common bond of exercise, camaraderie and healthy lifestyles.

“I don’t think there’s a club in Westchester that compares to this,” says Harriette, “I will never give up Club Fit.” Harriette also feels the club is not afraid to lead, to take the initiative to do things that haven’t been done before — and not only in programming. “This is the only club I know that hires people with special needs,” Harriett says proudly. “I’ve never worked in a club that had the guts to do that — that took the initiative to do that.”

So, what’s next for Harriette? Rest assured, it will be more of the same with the current aquatic trend featuring yoga and Pilates — components she already integrates into her Mind/Body Aquatics class. And, rest assured, Harriette stands ready to welcome newcomers and regulars, alike, to Club FIt, the Aquatic Center, or even her breakfast and lunch groups, with her captivating smile and and that joie de vivre that make her not only an amazing instructor, but an amazing friend.

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 sreiner@clubfit.com, or 914-250-2795. And begin to make the most of your workout time!

Jack Normoyle collects donations for local food pantry.

— written by Club Fit Member and Guest Blogger Lisa Skelton

Junior Club Fit member Jack Normoyle forgoes birthday gifts  to collect donations for local food pantry.

Jack Normoyle supports local food pantry

Jack and his mom, Suzanne, at Club Fit.

Ask any kid what their favorite thing about birthdays is, and the answer will invariably be, “Presents!” Number two on the list is probably parties. Nine-year-old Club Fit Jefferson Valley member Jack Normoyle decided to change things up, skipping the presents and using his party as a vehicle to help the needy.

Jack, who will be going into the fourth grade at Lincoln-Titus Elementary School, held his Minecraft-themed birthday party at the club in May, opting for the Surf & Turf package for his friends. But instead of sitting back and collecting presents from the partygoers, he asked them to bring a nonperishable food donation for the Church of the Holy Spirit Food Pantry in Cortlandt Manor, part of the Food Bank of Westchester. And this isn’t the first time he’s done this. He did the same at his 7th birthday party.

“Jack saw a Facebook post from one of my friends mentioning the idea, and decided he wanted to help people out by doing the same,” says Jack’s mom, Suzanne. “The work that the food pantry does makes a difference in our community, and Jack has seen for himself that what he is doing matters.” The Holy Spirit Food Pantry services approximately 160 families, helping to feed about 600 people.

“I was surprised to see how much food people brought!” says Jack. “It made me happy to help out the people who really needed it.” Suzanne and Jack delivered the food a few days later, and the staff was understandably appreciative, as well as impressed by Jack’s generosity. “The ladies at the pantry definitely make a fuss over Jack!” says Suzanne. As they should!

The Normoyle family, residents of Cortlandt Manor, joined Club Fit just this past March, but have quickly become regulars. Suzanne comes to the club about three days a week, and is working with a Personal Trainer to get her fitness routine back on track. She uses the Fitness Center and Women’s Fitness Area, and husband John is working on getting more time in around his work schedule.

Jack is definitely getting his time in, doing the Junior Cycle kids’ cycle class on Mondays, and the Yoga for Kids class on Wednesdays. “It used to be all girls, but more boys are doing it now,” he says. He also enjoys the Energy Center, where he’s made some new friends, and is looking forward to attending Energy Camp this summer. “I don’t really have a favorite thing, I just like that there are a lot of different things to do here,” he says. He also enjoys basketball, soccer and karate.

We could all take a lesson from this fourth-grader, whose willingness to help is benefitting so many of the neighbors we often forget about. Hopefully other young people in our community will get wind of Jack’s act of kindness and follow his lead! For more information on the programs run by the Food Bank of Westchester and how to contribute, visit www.foodbankforwestchester.org. And if you run into Jack, give him a well-deserved pat on the back!

Fueling Your Workout

by Registered Dietitian, Kristen Klewen Kristin

As a Registered Dietitan at Club Fit, I frequently get asked, “What should I eat before and after a workout?” This question depends on the client, but there is some common knowledge I can share that apply pre- and post-workout nutrition when it comes to fueling your workout!

1. Don’t skip the carbohydrates!
• Carbohydrates are known as fuel for your “engine” (ex. Muscles). The harder you work your engine, the more carbohydrates you need.

2. How soon should you be eating before a workout?
As a general rule of thumb, it is best to not eat immediately before you workout, because while your muscles are trying to function, your stomach is simultaneously trying to digest the food. This competition of demands is a challenge for optimal performance. Eating too close to a workout may cause you to experience some GI discomfort while you train or play. Ideally, you should fuel your body about 1 to 3 hours pre-workout, depending on how your body tolerates food. Experiment and see what time frame works best for your body. If you’re a competitive athlete, this is something you need to explore during your training days and not during game day. Notice that each of the suggestions below includes protein and carbohydrate. We know that carbohydrates are fuel, and are a necessary part of our diet. Protein is what rebuilds and repairs, but also “primes the pump” to make the right amino acids available for your muscles. Getting protein and carbohydrates into your system is even more vital post workout.
• Below are some suggestions for pre-workout fuel:
– A peanut butter and banana or PBJ sandwich
– Greek yogurt with berries
– Oatmeal with low-fat milk and fruit
– Apple and peanut or almond butter
– Handful of nuts and raisins (two parts raisins: one part nuts)

3. Post Workout Nutrition:
Your body uses stored energy (glycogen) in your muscles to power through your workout or game, but after that workout, you need to replenish the nutrients lost. What to do?
• As soon as possible post workout, get carbs and protein immediately into your body. This gives your muscles the ability to replenish the glycogen they just lost through training and helps your tired muscles rebuild and repair with the available protein and amino acids.
• I suggest fueling within 15 to 20 minutes post training with a 3:1 ratio of carbohydrate and protein for optimal muscle repair and recovery, eating a regular mixed meal 3 to 4 hours after.
• Post-workout meals include:
– Post-workout recovery smoothie (or post-workout smoothie made with low-fat milk and fruit)
– Low-fat chocolate milk
– Turkey on a whole-grain wrap with veggies
– Yogurt with berries

4. Take Home Points
• Your body needs carbohydrates to fuel your working muscles.
• Protein is there to help build and repair.
• Get a combination of the two in your body 1 to 3 hours pre-workout and within 20 minutes or so post-workout.
• Never try anything new on race or game day!! It’s always best to experiment during training to learn what works best for your body.

High-Protein Snacking

KristinBy Kristin Klewan, B.S. in Nutrition and Dietetics

Studies show high-quality protein can improve satiety, help manage weight, and prevent chronic disease.

It seems as though snacking may have replaced baseball as America’s favorite pastime. National dietary surveys have found that about 90% of adults, 83% of adolescents, and 97% of children snack every day, sometimes several times per day. Whether or not that’s a good thing largely depends on the quality and quantity of the snacks being consumed. Many of the most common snacks, such as chips and soda, are high in both salt and sugar. It’s no coincidence then that increased snacking is associated with decreased protein intake. However, there’s much research to suggest that choosing snacks high in protein, rather than high in salt and sugar, could provide a host of health benefits.

Satiety and Weight Management
High-protein snacks, as well as balanced meals, have been linked to increased satiety. Protein-rich snacking may boost satiety and facilitate weight loss. In a longitudinal study, researchers gave 17 men and women with type 2 diabetes moderately high-protein morning and afternoon snacks (7 g to 12 g of protein) for four weeks, and compared the results with their normal eating habits for four weeks. The subjects who ate the two high-protein snacks lost a modest but significant amount of weight (1 kg) during the four-week period. Researchers noted that the subjects’ weight reduction occurred without changes in total energy intake.

In a study that examined the effect of high-protein snacking on satiety and appetite control, researchers found that healthy women who ate a high-protein yogurt snack (14 g of protein) in the afternoon experienced improved appetite control, satiety, and reduced subsequent food intake compared with eating other common, energy-dense, high-fat snacks.

Blood Glucose
High-protein snacks also can help maintain normal blood glucose levels. In a study of 20 healthy males, who were given a variety of mid-morning snacks, those given the snacks with the greatest protein-to-carbohydrate ratio, including plain yogurt and skim milk, had the lowest blood sugar levels. Researchers determined that the improvement in blood sugar was due to improved insulin action, rather than to increased concentrations of insulin.

Blood Pressure
A high-protein diet also may help lower the risk of developing hypertension. A study published in the American Journal of Hypertension found that participants consuming the highest amount of protein (an average of 100 g per day) had a 40% lower risk of high blood pressure compared with those consuming the least. Adults who consumed the most protein, whether from animal or plant sources, had significantly lower systolic blood pressure and diastolic blood pressure levels after four years of follow-up. Because high-protein snacks contribute to overall protein intake, based on the findings of this study, it would appear that high-protein snacks could aid in lowering blood pressure.

Athletic Performance
For athletes, protein powders and high-protein snacks are easy to find. But how necessary are they, and can they really improve performance? The International Society of Sports Nutrition recommends consuming high-quality protein, and singles out milk-derived whey protein isolate and casein, egg white powder, and soy protein isolate as proteins that provide essential amino acids that readily aid in muscle tissue synthesis.

Athletes should include protein at all meals and snacks, especially post workout. Ideally, 20 g of high-quality protein should be consumed within 45 minutes after exercise to promote the recovery process. Athletes demand a higher level of protein intake (1.2 to 1.4 g/kg for endurance athletes and 1.6 to 2 g/kg for strength athletes), and they have to work harder to obtain it, because of the larger quantities of high-protein foods they must consume, she adds. High-protein snacks, such as low-fat dairy foods or protein bars, are a good way to work more protein into the diet.

While dietary protein is important, research suggests that the combination of physical activity (eg, resistance, interval, stretching, and endurance) and 20 g of whey protein may be particularly beneficial for weight loss, fat loss, increasing lean body mass, and improving insulin resistance.

Protein Distribution
Just as important as consuming high-quality protein, is the time of day when it’s consumed. The typical American dietary pattern is a consumption of about three times more protein at dinner than at breakfast. Most Americans don’t eat an adequate amount of protein in the morning, which may cause decreased performance, hunger, and poor eating habits throughout the day.
Evenly distributing protein intake throughout the day has been found to be optimal.

The idea of 30% of daily protein intake at each meal is being promoted, with some protein snacks between meals.
Maintaining muscle mass is important for overall health, especially in older individuals. Research shows that proper protein distribution also may help prevent age-related sarcopenia, the loss of muscle mass with age. To lower the risk, research suggests 25 g to 30 g of protein per meal in older people. Protein synthesis response is blunted in older adults when protein is less than 20 g per meal or snack, research suggests, so getting enough protein becomes even more important with age, she says.

Counseling Clients
Protein is an important component of every cell in the body. Hair and nails are mostly made of protein. Your body uses protein to build and repair tissues. You also use protein to make enzymes, hormones, and other body chemicals. Protein is an important building block of bones, muscles, cartilage, skin, and blood.

Along with fat and carbohydrates, protein is a “macronutrient,” meaning that the body needs relatively large amounts of it. Vitamins and minerals, which are needed in only small quantities, are called micronutrients. But unlike fat and carbohydrates, the body does not store protein, and therefore has no reservoir to draw on when it needs a new supply. Find sources of protein in Fish, Lean meats, beans, nuts, and whole grains.

I personally recommend to clients and patients to snack on foods that provide a good supply of protein compared with fat and carbohydrate, both for possible appetite and blood sugar control. Mix up your proteins throughout your meals, and make sure the rest of your meal is colorful (the more color in fruits and vegetables, the more nutrient dense).

If you have medical conditions or concerns, please consult your Club Fit Registered Dietitian, or your MD for further information. It is always recommended to consult an RD or MD before making any dramatic changes to your diet.

Learn more about Kristin, schedule an appointment and see what else is happening at the club!

Keeping Our Kids Healthy by Avoiding Childhood Obesity

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

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

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

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

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

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

active healthy girl

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

Click here to Meet our Camp Directors!

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

Here are just a few things we offer:

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

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

Kids should Lead Active Lifestyles!

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

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

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

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

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

Meet our Summer Camp Directors, Kristyn and Ashley!

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

Sign up today and receive 15% off enrollment!

Summer Camp Fun

Summer Fun at Club Fit

Winter Weather Workout with Susie!

suzie-reiner-1
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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Personal Trainer Nick Paganelli shows how a well executed squat is performed

Over the weekend an old friend brought one of our posts to our attention. It was of a poster that offered a holiday special on personal training packages. The form of the person doing a squat was not spot on. We asked Personal Trainer, Nick Paganelli, to demonstrate what a squat that is done using proper technique looks like:

And as a bonus for the more advanced gym-goers . . . here he is doing an advanced balance exercise!

We are proud to have a staff that exemplifies professionalism! If you are interested in learning more about our Personal Trainers and their extensive backgrounds, click here. From now through December 31st we are offering a holiday special on Personal Training packages. For more information, email Susie at sreiner@clubfit.com.

Meet Marc Quintiliani, Master Swim Instructor, Assistant Swim Coach and Lifeguard

Lifeguard Marc Quintiliani

Club Fit Master Water Safety Instructor, Assistant Swim Coach and Lifeguard Marc Quintiliani

“One step at a time” is a common sense approach, but not everyone practices it. For a child with special needs, it’s a recipe for success. So says Club Fit Master Water Safety Instructor, Assistant Swim Coach and Lifeguard Marc Quintiliani, who teaches students of every age and skill level, but has a definite connection with this particular group of students.

Marc, a former mechanic who has been with Club Fit for five years and has been a swimming instructor for close to fifteen years, loves to see his students realize they can accomplish what once seemed out of reach. “I like breaking down their walls,” he says of his special needs students. “It’s especially rewarding when I hear parents say they can’t believe what their child is doing, milestones they couldn’t imagine reaching,” he says.

Most parents opt for private lessons, which is helpful because Marc can focus on a child’s particular needs. And “one step at a time” is key. “The first thing I focus on is getting them to be comfortable with me,” he says. He tries to schedule these lessons when the Aquatics Center is quiet, so the student doesn’t have to deal with sensory overload. On the other hand, a certain amount of distraction can sometimes be helpful with children who are nervous about being in the water. “One of my students had a previous bad experience, so I gave him things to do like counting drills to take his mind off of being in the pool.” Another boy would get in the water but actual swimming was a particular challenge…today he is comfortable swimming in all areas of the pool. “I try to get the kids to let their guard down and just relax,” says Marc.

Kaleb is a current student whose grandmother Linda Schulman can’t say enough about the strides he’s made. Kaleb, who turns three on August 2, had a stroke at a very early age, leaving him with motor issues, and one side of his body weak and less functional. Hoping swim lessons would strengthen him, but not completely optimistic, Linda turned to Marc, and has seen improvement in the short amount of time that Marc has worked with her grandson. “Kaleb has a great attitude, and our sessions got even better after I realized that he sometimes uses sign language to communicate,” said Marc, who now supplements his vocal praise with encouraging signs. “We focus a lot on getting him to use his left side more, since that is his weaker side.” Linda is extremely happy with his progress. “Kaleb is almost fearless in the water now,” she says.

Marc’s experience includes more than 10 years of competitive swimming, including Junior Olympic, County and State meets. He currently has a diverse clientele at the club, including everyone from his special needs kids, to triathletes, to seniors. He also serves as Assistant Coach for the Club Fit Swim Team under Head Coach Bill Walsh, and has seen a great improvement with the team. “We had some work to do, but the kids are starting to come together and I’m excited about the upcoming season,” he says, which begins in September.

As for kids like Kaleb, Marc will continue to work his magic and help them achieve what once seemed impossible. “It’s great to see the kids succeed,” he says. “They come in thinking they have so many limitations, and realize that it’s not so hard to overcome them.” For more information on programs available, contact braquatics@clubfit.com.

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

Meet the Club Fit Camp Directors!


Ashley (left) Kristyn (right)

We’d like to take a few minutes and introduce you to two extraordinary long time members of the Club Fit team: Ashley Di Salvo and Kristyn Reczek. They are also going to be the Camp Director Rockstar duo this Summer! These lovable, talented and accomplished ladies will be the ones making sure your kids have the time of their lives this year!

Meet Kristyn Reczek!

I grew up in Mahopac, NY where I attended high school, playing a variety of sports including basketball and field hockey. Throughout high school I worked as a part of the Mahopac Sports Association, recreation league, as a coach and referee. I discovered my love for working with children as well as athletics in one place. Through my work in high school, I realized that I wanted my work with children to become my career. After graduating from high school, I attended Pace University where I received Bachelor’s degrees in education and mathematics as well as a Master’s degree in special education. I now work as a math teacher at Somers High School where I work with children in a classroom setting but enjoy that I am able to have a work experience with kids in an athletic setting, at Club Fit.

As I began my college career, I also began working at Club Fit. I have been a part of the Club Fit staff since 2008 when I began working in the Energy Center. I was able to again combine my love for working with children with my love for athletics. In 2010 I became an Energy Camp counselor and then took on an administrative position the following year. Being a part of Energy Camp is a one of a kind experience. I am excited to start this new position as an Energy Camp Co-Director along with Ashley and am looking forward to yet another exciting summer!

What I love most about Energy Camp is getting to meet new campers and counselors every year as well as seeing those that are returners. I also love Pizza and Ice Cream Fridays and afternoons with DJ Hopeton! I think it is important for kids to come to camp, but especially ours, because we have campers from a wide area and we can help kids form friendships that they may never have formed in a school setting. I also enjoy that we provide our campers with a variety of activities so they may be able to try something knew that they never would have tried before, like kickboxing or zumba or tennis etc. I would love to continue working with Energy Camp for many years to come and see it evolve and grow into an even better camp than before.

My personal philosophy is to always do what you love and believe in what you do. I have always loved working with children and I am so happy that I have been able to do so by working at club fit. I am so excited to be working with camp at a director level this year because I am really able to make our campers truly enjoy their summers through the program that I have helped create along with Ashley!

Meet Ashley Di Salvo!

I grew up in Garrison, NY where I played basketball and lacrosse at Walter Panas High School. After high school, I attended Penn State where I discovered I wanted to be a teacher. Following four years of Blue & White pride at Penn State, I took a year off to travel before completing a Masters of Literacy Education at NYU. Currently, I teach at the Windward School in White Plains. I love that I get to spend my extra time at Club Fit where I get to not only support a healthy lifestyle but I also get to spend time engaging with children outside of the classroom through our camp programs.

Six years ago I began working at Club Fit Jefferson Valley as a camp counselor. I spent two years there before transferring to Briarcliff where took on a different role as the Assistant Camp Director. Now, as we eagerly wait for warm weather to grace us, I am looking forwarded to taking on yet another new role as a Camp Co-Director with Kristyn Reczek!

This will be my 7th summer with Club Fit and I love that I’ve had the opportunity to work at both clubs as well as both a counselor and a director. I feel like this has given me perspective on how to interact with parents as well as how to understand what it’s like to be a camp counselor. I strongly believe that great counselors are what allow campers to have memorable experiences.

I love summer camp because it provides children with an opportunity to explore new interests and to often step outside of their comfort zone. I love that summer camp gives kids a place to make new friends outside of their schools and to find role models in their counselors.

My long term aspirations are linked to my personal philosophy. I always try to go with the flow and keep my mind and heart open to new opportunities, experiences, and ideas. I believe that by doing this, we allow ourselves to continuously grow and discover new passions therefore creating a future that is open to change. I think that if we teach children to have this mindset, they will have endless opportunities to experience all life has to offer.