Oops! I did it again! Having your children wear swim liners is better for you, the environment and the pools!

Swim Liners at Club Fit
By: Ruth Garcia, Aquatics Director
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Club Fit strives to provide our members and guests with the safest and cleanest facilities possible. In an effort to pool schedules running smoothly, Club Fit Briarcliff’s Aquatics Department has rolled out a new swim liner policy.

What is the new swim liner policy?

Accidents happen! In order to prevent as many fecal related incidents in the pools as possible, all children ages 4 and under are now required to wear 2 Reusable Finis Cloth Liners when using the pools. They are available for purchase at the Service Desk and in the Aquatics Center. Please do not use the pools or club if you or your child are showing any sign of a gastrointestinal illness. We take keeping a safe and clean pool environment very seriously. Your cooperation is greatly appreciated.

If you have any questions, please contact Ruthie, the Aquatics Director, at (914) 250-2796 or rgarcia@clubfit.com. We are asking all our members to help us by making sure your child is wearing these great Finis!

Here are some benefits of using Finis Reusable Cloth Diapers:

1. They are reusable! Great news for the environment and for your wallet! Go green, use them at home and at other public pools over and over!
2. They are machine washable . . . no hand washing needed. Just throw it in with your laundry and your all set!
3. They are very effective at containing accidents. Unlike disposables which can leak and even fall apart in the water!
4. They are a comfortable material, just like a bathing suit! It’s not like wearing those bulky disposables which will make your child feel good!

Accidents happen, but why the change?

Due to the volume of swimmers in our pools, we have increased likelihood to have fecal related incidents over the course of time. In the past, our policy required children age 3 and under to wear two disposable swim liners, and we found that this policy was not effectively decreasing our incidents. We have found that disposable diapers are not the most effective way to prevent contamination.

Why is it important for us to prevent Accidental Fecal Release (AFRs)?

When we have a fecal related incident in a pool, we have to shut our pools down properly clean and treat the water. We are trying to minimize having to do this to enhance your experience with us!

Where can I pick up Finis Swim Liners for my kids?
Finis Swim Liners are conveniently available for purchase at our service desk for 2 for $24. You can also purchase them online from various vendors!

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!

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)

Parisi Speed School has a New Director

— Written by Club Fit Member and Guest Blogger Joy Cain

 

Prescott Perry comes to Club Fit as the New Director for Parisi Speed School.

Parisi Speed School’s mission is to help young athletes become better, faster, stronger.

Who, then, is better equipped to help them than a young man who is on the fast track?

Enter Prescott Perry, the new director of the Parisi Speed School at Club Fit.

Prescott played lacrosse and studied kinesiology at the University of Rhode Island. He snowboarded competitively and worked as a personal trainer on Coronado Island (off the coast of San Diego). He also sailed competitively, participating in races in Newport and Larchmont. And he earned his MBA from Lynn University in Boca Raton, Fla.

One can only imagine what he’ll do when he finally turns 26.

“I’ve always thought that I wanted to be successful more than I wanted air to breathe, “ Prescott says, “so I try to do as much as I can with what I’ve got. ”

Indeed. And the success he’s chasing after now involves getting more athletes and teams to jump on the Parisi bandwagon. While noting that Westchester and Putnam counties have no shortage of gyms, health clubs, and exercise facilities, Prescott says that the type of training that Parisi offers is a cut above.

“Parisi has a measurable standard. When you’re able to show how much a certain drill or exercise is improving an athlete’s performance, there’s a certain amount of buy-in. ”

Prescott will be reaching out to local coaches to encourage them to bring their teams in to train with Parisi. Eventually he hopes to get a tie-in along with the buy-in; since a company he once worked for helps athletes get recruited for college, Prescott wants to introduce a similar protocol at Club Fit and post the stats of our Parisi-trained athletes on a nationally-recognized recruiting database. In this way, college coaches nationwide could view the athletes’ progressions and measure their athletic potential. It’s a win-win situation for everyone.

But while the focus on jocks and jockettes is important, it shouldn’t be the entire Parisi picture. Citing an upward trend of childhood obesity, Prescott says that Parisi needs to make room for couch potatoes, too.

“We want to focus more on the kids who get picked last in gym,” he says. “We want to let them see that what we’re doing is not hard, that it doesn’t take much to be considered athletic. You can be athletic and not know it. You just have to tap that inner athlete inside yourself. And that’s one thing I think Parisi is able to do. ”

Typically, Parisi’s small group sessions are broken up by age. The Jump Start program (ages 7–11) sets the foundation for success in any sport by focusing on speed, agility, and overall coordination. The Total Performance program (ages 12–16) focuses on techniques used in speed, agility and strength to maximize improvements in athletic performance. And the Peak program (ages 17–21) is an individualized coaching program for the elite athlete. It focuses on individual needs, goals and improvements needed to compete at a competitive level.

Although upwards of 100 young people are involved in the program right now, a demographic shift may be in the wind. Prescott hopes to see more adults train with Parisi—tennis players, swimmers and Weekend Warriors who could benefit from agility and strength drills that are tailor-made for their sport. “I don’t think it’s ever too late for adults to try and do something like that, to make themselves into better athletes,” he says.

His competitive snowboarding days are behind him, but Prescott, a bachelor, still plays in an adult lacrosse league. And although he hasn’t done much of it lately, he still sails competitively. “Yeah…. with a name like Prescott, I kinda had to do sailing,” he jokes. “I’m a stereotypical guy; my name is Prescott, I’m from Connecticut, I sail and do everything that goes with it…. ”

But all jokes aside, Prescott is committed to taking Club Fit’s Parisi program to the next level. Besides watching the bottom line and drumming up new business for the program, Prescott, along with Vince Wright and Jen Ritz, will also be one of the Parisi instructors. “I want to get this facility to be the new standard of training for this area,” he declares.

Better. Faster. Stronger. Now.

If anyone can get Parisi on the fast track, Prescott can.

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

The Importance of Play

By Noelle Napolitano
How can Club Fit help your child develop critical early learning skills?

We can answer the above question with one simple word; Play.

Parents can become overwhelmed, questioning if you are giving your child enough vegetables, the best preschool, etc, however, the most important thing you can be giving your child is something as simple as the time to play.

We can become so structured, and live our lives according to where our smartphones are telling us we need to be at a certain time, or running so many errands just to accomplish daily tasks, that we may forget to take the time out of our days and just let our children simply play.

Play helps your child build crucial early education skills such as sharing, socializing, logic, critical thinking, and imagination. These are the skills they will be building on for the rest of their lives, and we need to give them the best foundation.

Play also helps keep your child fit & healthy!

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Kids playing in nursery


Club Fit can do all of the above, and beyond!

Dropping your child off in our nursery while you workout gives your child such a great opportunity to help develop these skills. They are building key emotional and social skills, learning to separate from a parent, and bonding with others. They are forming their own social relationships right here at Club Fit! They are learning to explore and make their own decisions. That puzzle you see your child working on? They’re building their problem-solving and logic skills. Those cars you see your child driving down the ramps? They’re helping your child learn motion, gravity, size, & colors. The kitchen set up in the back? They’re role playing and using their imaginations!

Want to have your child’s party here at Club Fit? They will not only have a great social experience with their friends, they will also be developing their gross motor skills, by running, jumping, and getting fit while they have fun!

Take the time to introduce your child to all of the great offerings at Club Fit! Whether it be a trip to the nursery, a game of kickball in the Energy Center, or a Nerf Dart Tag Party, we surely have a way to help your children learn, get fit, and most importantly, have FUN!

Want more information on the importance of play?
Take a look at “10 Things Every Parent Should Know About Play” posted by The National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC)

The American Academy of Pediatrics have also done a study, and you can find more information here.

To learn more about the different programs and opportunities for families at Club Fit, visit us at www.clubfit.comor send an email to nnapolitano@clubfit.com to find out about what’s happening in the Nursery!

Parisi Director Jack Werther gives back.

Jack-werther-web

Parisi Director Jack Werther

Giving back is something that heightens the spirit and cleanses the soul. It is a good feeling to be able to do something that you are passionate about, and at the same time, help someone in need, or brighten their day – or week, for that matter!

In steps Jack Werther, Club Fit employee / Parisi Speed School Director. On a typical day, you can find Jack managing his speed trainers or heading up a local sports team’s training on the Parisi turf. His passion is working with kids… helping them to become stronger, faster, ultimately better athletes. This is a far cry from his college days, where he attended Western New England College and graduated with a degree in Finance. His love for personal training, pushed him to pursue his certification as a personal trainer in 2011, and in 2013 joined Club Fit and became a certified Parisi Performance Coach.

At about the same time, Jack was introduced by a friend to an organization based out of White Plains — Family Services of Westchester. FSW offers a broad range of innovative programs designed to meet the needs of children, teens, and the elderly through several family centers. What interested Jack the most was a program called “Camp Viva”. Camp Viva’s mission is simple — to serve HIV affected children, families and care partners in Westchester County, who are living with or affected by HIV and/or Aids.

For the past 3 years, Jack has been volunteering as a camp counselor there. Every August for the past 3 years, he has packed up his bags, and spends a full week at Camp Viva, a sleep away camp, located at the Ramapo Anchorage Camp for Children in Rhinebeck, NY.. “Making a difference in these kids’ lives has made me a better person. One of the things that I reflect back on is that kids are kids…they all want to be accepted, they all want to be “cool”, they all want to have friends. At the start of the week, their defenses are up. They come in with a “too cool for school” attitude. By Tuesday, their defenses are down, and they just want to be accepted…they just want to be kids”.

Jack spends the majority of his seven days as a Sports Specialist there, planning activities and running sports programs for these kids. Very similar to his job at Parisi. It’s the love that he has for kids and the love that he has for sports that makes him the perfect person for both jobs.

Inspired by Jack, we will be doing a give back to benefit Family Services of Westchester — a “Mitten, Scarf and Hat Drive” from November 28th through December 13th. New or gently worn items can be dropped off at the Club, and the proceeds will go to families in need throughout Westchester County.

During the month of November, we give thanks and share thanks. A big thanks to Jack Werther — for his unselfishness and the time that he gives back to Family Services of Westchester. If anyone is interested in learning more about Camp Viva, click here.

For the Love of Tennis

— Written by Club Fit Member and Guest Blogger Joy Cain

 

For JV’s Director of Tennis Hal Touissant, tennis is all about love.

Either that, or it’s a rerun of Groundhog Day. Why? Because at 8 in the morning, you may find Hal giving a lesson on the tennis court. At 3 in the afternoon, you may find Hal giving a lesson on the tennis court. At 8 at night—you guessed it— there’s Hal, giving a lesson on the tennis court.  And here’s the crazy part: Lately, Hal says, he’s been cutting back.

“My days can easily run 12 hours, whether it’s on the court or off the court. But I’ve slowed down a little bit. Before I used to work 6 or 7 days. Now I try to work 5 or 5 ½.”

Yes, it must be love.  And there’s a lot to love in the tennis department these days, especially with the arrival and installation of a sleek new tennis bubble.  After 22 years of service, the old bubble was laid to rest, making way for a modern $350,000 covering. Featuring a skylight and a glossy-painted interior that will make everything seem brighter, the new bubble’s vastly improved heating and condensation system should make tennis more enjoyable for everyone.  After all, if this bubble is good enough for John McEnroe’s Lake Isle tennis facility—well, it’s good enough for Club Fit! “It’s going to be a whole new experience, ”notes Hal.

JV’s slender, soft-spoken tennis director certainly has had a wide range of experiences.  Born in Petion-Ville,  Haiti, Hal attended Catholic school and was around 12 years old when he began picking up tennis balls behind his older brother, Yves. Eventually, Hal—the youngest of four brothers—became the “beneficiary” of  Yves tennis wisdom. “He gave me two lessons, and after that, I was on my own,” Hal says with a smile.  “So I hit against the wall.” Soon, Hal’s friends also began playing tennis, but the game took on greater importance during the military coups that followed the departure of Jean Claude (Baby Doc) Duvalier. “School was sometimes closed because of political issues, but I was busy with sports, ” he says.

Along the way, Toussaint became friends with Ronald Agenor, who represented Haiti on the professional tennis tour and in 1989 was the 22nd-ranked player in the world.  Whenever Agenor returned to Haiti, he and Hal would hit together.  “He didn’t like to play matches, but he’d just hit just for the fun,” Hal says. “He’s a good guy. I learned a lot from him—whether it’s in terms of playing or being a coach.” Around this time, Hal often did double duty: He’d train in the morning and compete in tournaments in the afternoon. Hal’s game improved  to the point where he spent five years on the men’s satellite circuit. In 1992 Hal was ranked No. 4 in Haiti; in May 1996 he was ranked No.8 in the USTA’s  men’s 25 and over. Things were going well—until tragedy struck. Hal was about to play in the finals of a men’s tournament in Florida when he learned that his brother Jacques was killed during political unrest in Haiti.

“That was a big turning point for me in my life,” he says. “We were very close. I stopped playing because I could not focus. Teaching was a way for me to escape, to help people, and to deal with what was going on.  And here I am.”

After teaching in Florida for a few years, Toussaint was hired by Briarcliff in early 2003 to run their Advanced Tennis Performance (ATP) program for juniors. He became JV’s Director of Tennis later that year.  When he came to Jefferson Valley the staff consisted of himself and two other people; today’s staff has four pros (Toussaint, Michael Chitu, Laura Gabella, and Paul Fielek) and an office manager (Alice Daly).  The department has seen other changes as well. “When I first came, you could do a walk on nice and easy. We were not charging for courts. Then it came to the point where we had to charge because people were fighting for courts. So the courts have gotten a lot busier. Our club is small, but there is a lot happening.” On the adult level, approximately 100 people are signed up.

But the biggest happenings are with the younger players. Toussaint credits former tennis office manager Maureen Heaslip with helping to get the junior program off the ground; at its peak, three years ago, it had 150 members.  The funny thing about kids, however, is that they grow up, graduate, and move on—so the program now has between 80-100 members. But new classes, like the 10 and under group session, have been created to pump fresh blood into the tennis pipeline. Since kids like to play with other kids, Hal believes that teaching tennis in a group setting is a win-win situation. When he isn’t giving lessons or clinics on court, Hal’s in the office doing the behind-the-scenes work (returning phone calls, answering e-mails and working on programming and scheduling) that keeps the tennis programs moving.

“We offer tennis at all levels–whether people want to play college or just for fun or whether they want to play competitively,” Hal says. “So that’s really our goal…to be the best program around. We’re small, but the work and the structure are great.”

Speaking of great, lately a few great things have been happening in Hal’s life. In November 2011 he became an American citizen. And recently–although they have yet to set a date—Hal asked his girlfriend, Sophie Moins, to marry him. Naturally, Sophie is a tennis player.  And fortunately, she is also a member of Club Fit….so she’ll know just where to find her beloved. Because at 8 in the morning or 3 in the afternoon or 8 at night, Hal might very well be out there on the tennis court.

Proving once again, in every way possible, that tennis is all about love.

Read more about Hal and the Club Fit Tennis Pros here.

Five things you can do to help prevent childhood obesity

habits begin early

habits begin early

Did you know that one in five children is overweight or obese by age 6?
You can help.

As parents, your role as a mentor and educator for your child are essential influencers in their lives. Help them learn habits that prevent childhood obesity and can keep them healthy for life.

Focus on a few goals:

1. Physical Activity: Provide 1-2 hours of physical activity throughout the day, including outside play when possible.
2. Screen Time: Try and limit screen time to no more than 30 minutes per day.
3. Food: Incorporate fruits or vegetables at every meal and eat foods closest to the original form
Ex> potato instead of mashed potatoes, or potato chips.
4. Beverages: Provide access to water during meals and throughout the day, and don’t serve sugary drinks. For children age 2 and older, serve low-fat (1%) or non-fat milk, and no more than one 4- to 6-ounce serving of 100% juice per day.
5). Sleep: Be sure children get adequate sleep. It is essential for proper functioning. At least 8 hrs. Per night.

If you are looking to get your children involved in sports, fitness and other great activities that will keep them active, visit Programs for infants, kids and teens at Club Fit Jefferson Valley and Programs for infants, kids and teens at Club Fit Briarcliff for information on some of the things we offer.

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.

Adaptive Swim Program Benefits Special Needs Children

Adaptive Swim Coach Helen Peters

Adaptive Swim Coach Helen Peters with happy student Adam

“I DID IT!” Those three words are probably the sweetest three words a parent can hear from a child with special needs. And it’s a phrase that Club Fit’s Helen Peters has the privilege of hearing from her students in the Adaptive Swim program.

Helen, who has been a swim instructor at Club Fit for more than 20 years, is also a Special Education teacher in the Newburgh School District. When Club Fit decided to incorporate the Adaptive Swim lessons into the Aquatics programming about seven years ago, Helen’s experience in both teaching and swim made her the perfect candidate to teach. She holds a master’s degree in Special Education from Fordham University, and has been a swim instructor since the age of 16.

“We teach kids all along the spectrum, and we try to group the kids by age and ability,” says Helen. Some parents prefer to do private or semi-private lessons, but the 4:1 student-to-teacher ratio does allow Helen to give each child the needed attention. The small-group classes are offered three days a week, and are available to members and nonmembers.

Helen works with each child in the group and modifies her approach based on each child’s limitations. She is currently working with two blind children, who cannot see her directions so she needs to actually do the movements with them. Some children have sensory issues, which may require trying different types of goggles to see which are more comfortable, as well as a little more time to get used to the water. Helen has actually found that with most kids, the water is a soothing environment. “The water can calm them down, and usually the hardest part of the entire lesson is at the end, when they don’t want to get out of the pool!” she says.

There have been students as young as three years old, including two three-year-olds with cerebral palsy. The program is available to kids up to age 13. “It’s a unique program that isn’t offered many places,” says Helen. “Our students run the gamut, from those afraid of the water to those who can do laps on their own, but at whatever level it is so rewarding to see their sense of accomplishment.” One student recently passed the Aquatics Center swim test required for him to swim independently in the pool. Another, who is blind and started out with a fear of swimming, recently mastered jumping in the pool by himself. Others are involved in sports programming outside the club, and Helen loves to hear about their accomplishments out of the water. “The kids get so much out of any activity where they can work toward a goal, not matter how big or small, and master it.”

Helen, married and a mother of three, lives in Peekskill and uses the club herself to keep in shape. She does cardio and plays racquetball, in addition to her time in the Aquatics Center. “People sometimes don’t recognize me outside of the pool!” she says.

The next session of Adaptive Swim will begin September 8. If your child or someone you know would benefit from this unique program, please contact Kristina Wolak at kwolak@clubfit.com. It’s a win-win for everyone involved, including Helen! Visit us online to learn more about Adaptive Swim Lessons and to register!

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.

Programs for infants, kids and teens at Club Fit Jefferson Valley!

Here is a great resource for all the Moms and Dads who need a quick resource to see what we offer by age group at Club Fit! It is hard to jump from one page to the next so we’ve compiled a list of all our offerings for infants, toddlers, grade-schoolers, tweens and teens!

Ages: 6 months – 3 years
Parent Toddler Swim Lessons
2 Much Fun
Tumble Tots
Summer Camp
Ages: 3 – 4
Yoga for Kids
Intro to Sports
Pre-School Group Swim Lessons
Summer Camp
Ages: 4 – 6
Pee Wee Karate
Zumba Kids Jr
Summer Camp
Pre-School Group Swim Lessons
Swim Lessons
Soccer (ages 5-8)
Ages: 5 – 9
Step up Your Sports
Soccer (ages 5-8)
Yoga for Kids
Tumbles
Kids Karate
Swim Lessons
Tennis
Beginner Swim Clinics
Beginner Swim Clinic
Summer Camp
Schools Out Camp
Ages: 7 – 12
Paris Speed School
Tumbles
Kids Karate
Zumba Kids
Yoga for Kids
Quickstart Tennis
Junior Team Tennis
Summer Tennis Camp
School Break Tennis Camp
Tennis Beginner
Tennis Advanced Beginner
Summer Camp
Boy Scout Swimming Merit Badge
Beginner Swim Clinic
Advanced Swim Clinic
Junior Spin (ages 9-12)
Junior Boot Camp (ages 8-12)
Racquetball
Racquetball School’s Out Camp
Schools Out Camp
Soccer Schools Out Clinic
Basketball School’s Out ClinicSummer Camp
Parisi Cat Club Challenge
Parisi Cat Club Challenge
Ages: 12 – 15
Parisi Total Performance
Parisi Private Training
Boy Scout Life Saving Merit Badge
Parisi Cat Club Challenge
Tennis Beginner High School Level (starting at age 14)
Tennis Intermediate
Tennis High Performance
Ages: 15 – 18
Boy Scout Life Saving Merit Badge
Parisi Cat Club Challenge
School Break Tennis Camp
Summer Break Tennis Camp
Junior Team Tennis
Tennis Beginner High School Level (starting at age 14)
Tennis Intermediate
Tennis High Performance
All Ages
Private Swim Lessons

Supervised Strength Training

By Jack Werther, Parisi Speed School Director, Club Fit Jefferson Valley

From the moment one sits up in the crib, they begin strength training. Strength training is simply a form of physical activity by which muscular fitness is improved by working against an external force. Strength training can take many forms, such as lifting free weights, pushups, standing up from a seated position, or sprinting. Because strength training can take so many forms, it is beneficial for all ages, from birth until death . . . with one caveat; it must be done correctly and appropriately.

There is no reason for an eight year old to be on a bench trying to press double is body weight, or in the rack trying to squat for a new PR; it’s simply counter-productive. At some point in time that may in fact be something that is appropriate, however at the onset of every strength training journey there are two constants: begin with body weight exercises and have proper supervision. According to the American Council on Exercise (ACE), weight training can commence as early as 7 years old. While physiologically that may absolutely be correct, how many 7 year olds do you know that can perform a pushup or squat utilizing absolutely perfect form? My guess would be none. Once an athlete has mastered the movement patterns with body weight, it is absolutely appropriate to add external resistance . . . with proper supervision. Proper supervision is imperative not only to make sure that everything is done safely, but correctly. There is a big difference between lifting weights and exercising your muscles with weights. Proper coaching ensures the latter; maximizing results and reducing the potential for injury.

Learn more about Parisi Speed School at Club Fit.

Programs for infants, kids and teens at Club Fit!

Here is a great resource for all the Moms and Dads who need a quick resource to see what we offer by age group at Club Fit! It is hard to jump from one page to the next so we’ve compiled a list of all our offerings for infants, toddlers, grade-schoolers, tweens and teens!

Ages: 3 Months – 2 years:
Aquatics – Parent Infant Class
Private Swim Lessons
Zumbini ages 1yr -3yr
Ages: 3 to 4
Group & Private Swim Lessons
Pre School Tennis
Tennis- Private Lessons
Ages: 5 to 6

Yoga – free for members
Zumba- Free for members
Racquetball- Junior Development Program
Tennis – Quickstart program
Tennis- Private Lessons
Tennis – Kids’ Play Day
Basketball Youth Development Program (YDP)
Group & Private Swim Lessons
Swim Clinic/Re Team & Swim Team
Ages: 7 to 8
Zumba- Free for members
Yoga – free for members
Tennis – Quickstart program
Tennis – Kids’ Play Day
Tennis – 10 & Under
Tennis- Private Lessons
Racquetball- Junior Development Program
Group & Private Swim Lessons
Swim Clinic/Re Team & Swim Team
Basketball Youth Development Program (YDP) & Next Step Basketball Skill Building
Ages: 9 to 10
Zumba- Free for members
Racquetball- Junior Development Program
Tennis – Quickstart program
Tennis – 10 & Under
Tennis – Intermediate
Tennis – Junior Ladder
Tennis- Private Lessons
Swim Team & Swim Clinic
Next Step Basketball for Girls and Boys
Ages: 11 to 12
Swim Clinic/Re Team & Swim Team
Next Step Basketball for Girls and Boys
Tennis – Intermediate
Tennis – Junior Ladder
Tennis – Advanced
Tennis – Tournament Training
Tennis – Private Lessons
Racquetball- Junior Development Program
Ages: 13 to 14
Tennis – Intermediate
Tennis – Advanced
Tennis – Competitive
Tennis – Tournament Training
Tennis – Private Lessons
Ages: 15 & up
Lifeguard Training Certification
Tennis – Advanced
Tennis – Competitive
Tennis – Tournament Training
Tennis – Private Lessons
Racquetball- Junior Development Program

The stuff kid’s dreams are made of?

For some kids, getting involved in athletics is not always first nature. Maybe sometimes it is a matter of self confidence. If they are not naturally the biggest, strongest, fastest or even the most coordinated, they are not going to be the first ones to ask you to sign them up for football. Moreover, (and I feel this is more the case, in today’s society) there are so many things that take away the desire and motivation to be active. There are movies, video games and all sorts of technological advances that kids are drawn to- even we are! (I can’t remember the last time I left my house without my iphone and didn’t freak out or feel lost).

The Olympics make now a great time to get the kids excited about sports. With all of the amazing accomplishments of these proud hardworking athletes, we can teach our children the value of teamwork, discipline, talent and perseverance no matter which sport is vaulting ground for inspiration. Seeing the USA Women’s Soccer team win may inspire your daughter to be a soccer star, seeing the USA Men’s Basketball team blow away the competition may inspire your son to want to learn to dunk a ball one day.

I’m not saying that technology is to blame or that one of these reasons applies to all kids. I am merely saying that if your kid is one who has trouble getting into the active lifestyle, encouragement by world class athletes is a great way to inspire them and get them excited. We all need motivation and it behooves us to remember what dreams are made of and where they come from!

If your kids are interested in trying some new sports, the club is a good place to start!

To find out more about our sport specific camps and programs at Briarcliff, contact jwalsh@clubfit.com! To find out more about available programs at Jefferson Valley contact jritz@clubfit.com!

Top 10 Reasons Why Your Child Should Attend Club Fit Energy Camp

If you’ve been to camp, you’re not surprised when you hear about the benefits of summer camp. Experiencing life at camp yourself as a child, you know the profound positive effects that still matter to you as an adult, and you also know that you want the same thing for your own children.

But if you didn’t go to camp as a child, you may not realize just how good the experience is for children. You may not know why so many parents are committed to sending their children to camp. So here is a list of the top 10 reasons to send your children to camp and why to send them to Club Fit Energy Camp:

1. Choice – There are camps that focus on academics, sports, music, drama, arts and crafts, technology. Summer camp is where children often discover their passions and their talents. Energy Camp at Club Fit is a sports oriented camp where your children will experience a wide range of sports, fitness, swim and outdoor activities on a daily basis.
2. Confidence – At the end of the summer, campers are ready for school because they have mastered new skills, learned to be part of a team. Campers at Club Fit learn to be part of a team which carries with them for lifetime.
3. Character Building – It is at camp where the underachieving child suddenly takes a leadership role in a project; the shy child assumes the lead role in an team activity; an overachieving child learns to help others. All of these experiences build character and develop leadership skills which your child will experience at Club Fit Energy Camp.
4. Community – Children are under the same roof and with the same adults and peers for an entire day. Club Fit Energy Camp creates a close-knit community among staff, parents and children.
5. Employment – Most camps provide teens with their first job. It is this job training experience that allows many teens to be successfully employed outside the camp setting in later years. Counselor’s at Club Fit are young adults of which working with children is the professional direction they are pursuing.
6. Physically Active – As children spend so much time these days inside and mostly sitting down, camp provides a wonderful opportunity to move. Club Fit Energy Camp is geared to promote good health, exercise, running and swimming. Club Fit Energy Camp is ACTION!
7. Exploration – For many children, camp provides opportunities to participate in a variety of activities, giving a better understanding to their future passions. Club Fit Energy Camp offers a wide variety of activities that change day to day to help peak your child’s interest.
8. Mentoring – In the past few years, scientific research has shown that the single biggest predictor of success for young people is the presence of one or more non-parent adults in a child’s life. We have seen time and time a strong bond created not only between campers but also between camper and counselor.
9. Quality Time – One week of summer camp is equivalent to one month of after-school activity.
10. FUN! – Ask children about their summer camp experiences and you will hear “I live for summer camp,” “I can’t wait for the summer to come,” and “Summer camp is where I found my best friends.” It’s what Club Fit Energy Camp is all about…..FUN!!!

There’s a Club Fit for Everyone!

Club Fit inspires our members to get more out of every day.

It’s a place to work out and a place to unwind. It’s a place to play your favorite sports and a place to take charge of your health & well-being. It’s a place for kids of all ages and people of all levels. It’s a place to meet friends, socialize and indulge a little. With so much you and your family can do here, it’s a world apart from fitness as usual.

And it’s all right here, in a refreshingly relaxed, welcoming environment. From the moment you come in the door, our people know you by name, and our exceptional trainers and staff are always here to help.

There’s a Club Fit for everyone. What’s yours?