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!

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.”

Prevention of Golf-Related Injuries

Meryle Richman, PT, DPT, MS, Senior Director of Ivyrehab Briarcliff and Jefferson Valley

“Golf is a game now enjoyed by over 29.3 million golfers of all ages, shapes, and levels of physical fitness”. Although most people would agree that golf is not a rigorous sport, there is a wide range of musculoskeletal ailments associated with the full golf swing. Contrary to the slow nature of the game, the explosive action of the full swing places significant stress on shoulder, elbow, and wrist joints as well as producing high torque forces on the low back and hip structures.

Golfers of all levels could benefit from an effective golf-training program that serves a dual purpose of improving performance and reducing the risk for injury. Golfers have learned that it is much easier to make a mechanically correct swing when the body is strong and flexible. Golf fitness should include three major components: (1) maintaining and improving flexibility, (2) improving golf specific strength, and (3) improving postural balance and stability.

Flexibility & Strengthening Exercises:

Pre-season is a good time to begin a generalized stretching and strengthening program for your neck, back and extremities. For example, increasing joint flexibility can lengthen your swing; thus increasing the club head speed and result in longer shots. Increasing golf specific muscle strength requires an integrated, multi-joint strengthening program to allow for coordinated actions of major muscle groups of different body segments. The golf swing can also inherently create postural imbalances, which can lead to injury.

The most common injuries are discussed with stretching and exercise tips can help to prevent or reduce pain and/or injuries resulting from the repetitive nature of the golf swing coupled with the high velocity forces:

(1) Medial epicondylitis, or “golfer’s elbow”:
This ailment involves increased inflammation and pain on the inside of the right elbow (for right-handed golfers). Exercise Tip: A proper conditioning program will include wrist flexion/extension and supination/pronation (rotation of wrist clockwise and counter-clockwise) strengthening and stretching.

(2) Shoulder tendonitis, or “rotator cuff tendonitis”:

This can be a chronic problem for those with tight shoulder internal/external rotators and weak shoulder girdle stabilizers. Exercise Tip: The golfer who has concentrated his efforts in developing maximum strength and flexibility of the levator scapulae, rhomboids, sternocleidomastoid, rotator cuff muscles, and trapezius muscles will enjoy the greatest success.

(3) Low back pain:
This can affect most golfers at one time or another. The golf swing combines “unnatural” spinal movements of bending forward, bending backward, bending sideways, and rotating. Exercise Tip: A preventative-conditioning program will incorporate multi-directional stretching and strengthening 2-3 times a week with an 8-minute warm-up routine before playing. For example, a before round warm-up exercise routine would include knee to chest, modified squats, back extensions, shoulder stretch, and low back/neck rotations and sidebands. All exercises would be done in sets of five performed in a smooth, controlled manner.

(4) Neck Pain:
One important aspect often overlooked when striving for the pain free neck is unrestricted cervical spine rotation. The ability to “retract” your neck (or slightly tucking your chin) and fully rotate your chin to the left is necessary to achieve a good “top of back swing position” (for the right-handed golfer). Any limitation in flexibility in either plane of motion can cause muscle strain/or nerve pinching. The shearing and rotational stresses occurring at the lower neck at the top of backswing will be minimized with good muscle flexibility. Exercise Tip: Gentle rotation and side bending neck stretches done two times daily for duration of twenty seconds each will help eliminate pain and restriction.

Another reason for neck pain is mechanical in nature, often caused by overstretching of ligaments due to postural stresses. The golfer who spends countless hours practicing with the head in a forward, protruded position will always be at high risk to develop cervical (neck) pain. The walker versus the cart rider has far greater neck support as the postural muscles hold the head directly over the vertebral column, receiving maximum muscle support. The golf cart rider sits and relaxes in a cart approximately 75 times during a round. Exercise Tip: To avoid and minimize the forward head position, slightly tuck the chin and do this 2-3 times and hold for several seconds, while sitting in the golf cart.

Posture awareness and physical preparedness are key elements to pain free golf. If you have questions concerning screening examination or treatment of golf-related injuries feel free to contact our office and speak to a physical therapist.

Call to set up a free appointment if you would like to attend this free Golf Fitness Screening located inside Ivyrehab Briarcliff at (914)762-2222. In addition, if you would like to be seen right away for an injury or chronic pain under Direct Access (no prescription required), contact us at Ivyrehab Briarcliff at (914) 762-2222; or Ivyrehab Jefferson Valley at (914) 245-8807. You can also visit our website 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) http://www.statista.com/statistics/227420/number-of-golfers-usa/
2) Batt, M., A Survey of Golf Injuries, British Journal of Sports Medicine 63-65, 1992
3) www.livestrong.com

Free Golf Screenings held inside Ivyrehab Briarcliff with Brian McLean, DPT, Director:
Monday, March 7, 2016 4:00- 7:00 PM
Tuesday March 8, 2016 9:00-11:00 AM
Wednesday, March 9, 2016 4:00-7:00 PM

Ivy Rehab

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!

Recommitting to Fitness Goals

Kendra3When I walked back into the gym after several months without exercise, I encountered one really big surprise: even after having lost fifty pounds through diet and exercise, I suddenly felt like the new kid at the gym. I had trouble figuring out where I should start!  

It reminded me of how I felt almost three years ago, walking into the gym for the first time after years of battling illness, and being terrified of putting a toe in the water, for fear of hurting myself, doing too much, doing too little, or doing something ineffective. 

Fighting the urge to turn around and go home, I got on the treadmill for a few minutes and just started walking, slowly. Just so I could get my head together and clear my thoughts. I felt like everyone was staring at me. (They were not.) I felt like I didn’t have everything I needed to accomplish a good workout comfortably. (I did. Headphones, iPhone, armband, water bottle, sweat towel, check. No excuses.) I thought that I didn’t know how to build my own workout. (I did.)

While it was true that I hadn’t exercised in some time, I knew that deep down, I knew what to do. It was just a matter of digging up that knowledge and putting it to good use. In the time since that “first day” almost three years ago, I’ve worked with personal trainers, and enough to know what works to motivate my mind and my body. As I walked, I coached myself silently, in my head: “You love spinning. You still hate running. You like strength training. You hate the track. You like the Woodway Eco-Treadmill. You love stretching, so save time for that. Remember?”

Slowly, I put the pieces back together. Once I got my head on straight and my confidence back, I cranked up the incline on my treadmill, put in my ear buds with my favorite workout playlist, and had a great powerwalk. So great, that I couldn’t stop myself from smiling. (That may have drawn a few stares.) I felt like singing along to my playlist and punching the air in front of me. (I resisted. You know, you don’t want to be THAT person.) In the end, I was surprised by a new feeling: freedom and joy.

On my way home after my workout, I remembered some really helpful advice I had gotten from a trainer: slow and steady wins the race. When you’re recommitting to fitness after an absence, it’s hard to resist temptation to overcompensate for your “time away.” What a recipe for injury and setbacks! Writers don’t write novels in a day, and likewise, we don’t build our healthiest, strongest bodies overnight, or even in a few weeks of hard effort and the best of intentions. In the past, I have been guilty of having fierce fitness energy for about a month, and then crashing when I felt like I was spending “all my time” at the gym. Working with a sustainable pace, and on a healthy schedule, is truly the best way to minimize setbacks. I’m so grateful for everything that I have learned that has brought me to this healthy place of mind and body. It makes the difference between starting over and starting anew.

If you’re struggling with getting to the gym for the first time, or getting back there after some time away, remember this: don’t bring yesterday with you. If you’re struggling with frustration or guilt, you need to leave those things at home. They are not tall enough to ride this ride.

superhero

 

Superhero Update: 50 pounds gone and STILL cancer-free!

Whoo-hoo!

Whoo-hoo!

I am thrilled to be able to celebrate a special milestone today. So far, on my journey of health and recovery, I have lost a total of FIFTY pounds, and after two and a half years, I am STILL cancer-free!!

When I started out on my fitness journey, weight loss was not my primary goal. I didn’t even buy a scale until a year ago (check out this post from last year about my scale-buying experience.) I just wanted to be healthy, and to be able to do some of the physical activities that I did before I fell ill. More than anything, I wanted to be in fighting shape, so if cancer came knocking again, I could knock it down with one punch. At the time, I certainly didn’t feel like a fighter – but now I do.

Being plagued by health problems for so long led me to have serious doubts that I could ever become a “healthy person” again. I thought I was stuck being a “sick person”, because I really didn’t believe that my body could recover from everything it had been through. It breaks my heart, even as I type these words, that I could ever think or feel that way about myself – but I did. I do not exaggerate when I tell you that Club Fit saved me.

In addition to the incredible support of my family and friends, I am so grateful to have had the support of Club Fit and its stellar staff. Every group fitness instructor who shouted a motivating phrase, every trainer I have worked with who helped me get a little bit better every day, and every staff member who flashes me a thumbs-up when I’m sunk down on a bench, totally exhausted, has helped me on my way to being a healthier, happier me! I still have a long way to go, but now I know that it’s possible.

Celebrating this milestone gives me the opportunity to look back and see how far I’ve come. It reminds me that fitness and good health are within my grasp, and that I am empowered with the tools to obtain them! Taking the first step towards better health and fitness is the greatest gift I have ever given myself, and I’m so glad I did it.

superhero

 

 

What’s Happening at Club Fit- June 2014

A Letter from Lynne:

June is a month for celebrations! Happy Father’s Day all to of our dads and grandfathers, and congratulations to all of our recent and upcoming graduates!

I’d also like to congratulate the winner of our recent “So You Think You Can Choreograph” competition, Carla Sams, and runners up Maureen Milazzo and Ellen DeGrazia! Each contestant choreographed a dance to their favorite song and presented it to our panel of judges. Carla’s routine will be used in an upcoming Dance*ol*ogy session. We also raised more than $3000 for the National Stroke Association. Congratulations to all!

As a give back to our membership, we would like to invite the first 40 members to sign up for an evening of Italian cooking! Come and taste the dishes prepared by Executive Chef Nazareno Daniele from Trattoria 632. Join us on June 11th for a four-course tasting in the Café, starting at 6pm. Reservations are necessary by emailing jgiannico@clubfit.com.

Join us at our opening Friday Lunchtime BBQ starting on June 13th, and every Friday through the summer (weather permitting). Enjoy either a burger or hot dog, chips and a bottle of water — all for $5! This month you can also cast your vote for your favorite Club Fit Smoothie, with the winning smoothie offered at a 20% discount during the month of July.

The beautiful weather is a great excuse to take advantage of our Hiking Club. Click here to get more information on the schedule and to read about our experienced hike leaders, Peter Meskin and Andrew Stein. The Hiking Club is open to both members and non-members, so bring a friend!

A big thank you goes out to our maintenance team, for a seamless and expedient “bubble down” process, yet again. As you know, we’ll be replacing the bubble with a new structure in the fall, and thought that in our efforts to “Go Green” these past few years, we would recycle the old material by cutting it into individual tarps and offering them to our members. We have 10′ x 10′ tarps available (size approximate) — if anyone is interested in taking some of the free tarps made from our old bubble please send an email to plestage@clubfit.com by Saturday, June 7th to arrange for pick up.

Parents, a reminder that Summer Camp begins June 30th, and registration is ongoing. I hope to see the whole family at the club!

Lynne Welling
General Manager
914.245.4040 ext.1183
lwelling@clubfit.com

Don’t be left out of the water this summer! We offer swim lessons for all ages and all levels. Click here to learn more about our Aquatics programs or to register online. For more info, call Aquatics Director Patrick Montgomery at ext. 1140 or email pmontgomery@clubfit.com.

Looking for a high intensity workout to improve your overall athleticism this summer? Look no further — Parisi is here to help with instructional classes on Mondays and Thursdays, and open times on Wednesdays. Call 914-245-6993 or email jwerther@clubfit.com for more info.



To Keep You Inspired . . . Club Fit Member and Cancer Warrior Diana Pernicano

When you are a nineteen-year-old college student, the last thing you expect to hear are the words, “You have cancer.” But that’s exactly what happened to Diana Pernicano this past November, when she was diagnosed with Hodgkins lymphoma. Luckily, Diana had a happy ending. On February 28, after three months of intense chemotherapy at Sloan-Kettering, Diana was declared cancer-free.

She decided to make a positive out of a negative by learning as much as she could about the disease, and devoting herself to educating others, kids in particular, about cancer. “Kids in middle school and high school need to understand that it’s important to go to the doctor and to stay healthy, that cancer doesn’t just happen to adults,” she said. But people of all ages also need to understand that cancer doesn’t always have to end badly.
Click here to read more…

“Today, two out of three cancer patients will become a survivor.”

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.

How to choose your workout shoes.

A number of people have recently asked me about how to choose good workout shoes, and I must confess: I have absolutely no idea. Being on a tight budget, I have tried to find what appear to be the best quality shoes within my price range. I use a comfortable and supportive cross-training shoe for any exercise that absorbs impact, but for spinning and weight training, when my feet are constantly in contact with the pedal or floor, I use low-cost workout sneakers from Old Navy. I find them to be very lightweight, breathable, comfortable, and supportive enough for exercise without impact, but I wasn’t sure when I bought them that I was making the right decision for reasons other than cost. Thankfully, I was at least smart enough to ask my amazing personal trainer, Jenn Gannon, who has offered us all her expert professional advice!

I asked Jenn my top three burning questions about choosing workout sneakers, and here’s what she had to say.

Q: What should I look for in a good pair of all-around workout sneakers? Do they have to be expensive?  A: Think about what types of activities you are involved with at the gym, or even at home! If you are utilizing cardio equipment and weight training, even our group exercises classes, the best shoe is a cross trainer. They are going to provide you with stability, comfort and are the most durable to withstand all the various activities. With that being said, the price does not have to be astronomical but because a cross trainer will be of value for all of these activities you might want to splurge on a reliable shoe. Try outlet stores, Reebok is notorious for “2 for $99” deals. Even some online searching for shoes you’ve already owned, research is key!

Q: Is it okay to use “running shoes” for general exercise?  A: No, Running shoes are a specific kind of shoe that is tailored for runners. Running shoes provide extra cushioning to absorb the impact of foot striking. Not only that but running shoes come in different varieties that give extra support for a persons’ foot mechanics, such as their arches or the degree of pronation or supination. Most running shoes are designed with the intention of improving a runners performance. Any good sporting goods store will be able to judge all of these mechanics and find a proper shoe. Do your research if you are a runner if you are looking to improve!

Q: When should I replace my workout shoes?  A: Shoes should be replaced between every 300-500 miles. It ultimately depends on how you wear and tear the soles of the shoe. If you find a shoe you like and there is a deal, buy more! I like to rotate through shoes so that they last longer, especially if you are an avid exerciser. Shoes are the most important part of a work out, if you feel that they no longer are providing you the support or you can start to see your socks showing through a hole you are way over due for a new pair!

I hope you find these responses as helpful as I do. Happy exercising!

Why we love the Keiser M3 Plus Indoor Cycle

Aside from looking completely sleek, this is one of the coolest indoor fitness bikes you will ever set eyes on. Developed by one of the top providers of commercial workout equipment, the M3 Plus is designed with additional bells and whistles missing from other manufacturers bikes. The built-in back lit computer calculates your power output. The Keiser M3 Plus lets you see exactly how hard you are working out and delivers great feedback such as cadence (pedaling RPMs), watts, elapsed time and distance . . . Information that has always left the rider guessing at the end of a class.

The bike has virtually unlimited adjustments that fit any body size and type. It is durable enough to support all of the extra fat that you are planning on sweating off. Both small and tall users love that you can completely adjust the seat and handlebars to get an ideal fit.

The MP3 Plus uses a magnetic system to provide the resistance. This creates a nearly silent and very smooth ride. The resistance adjustment is so exact, so you can just click it into the correct level of resistance when prompted by your favorite instructor instead of “guessing” what level of resistance you should have it set at compared to the current pad-resistance systems.

Our research has been extensive. Trusted resources in the health and fitness community across the country have been using the MP3 Plus for years have shared wonderful testimonials and positive member feedback. The MP3 Plus is a solid bike, has little to no maintenance issues and the lasting durability keeps the bike in service longer than other brands. We feel this investment in our members experience is positive and look forward in taking the spin program to new heights.

Buddy Up for 2014!

Bryan and I working out with Jenn!

Over lunch last week, my husband Bryan asked me if I’d made any New Year’s resolutions.  I hadn’t thought about it yet, but it made me think of this post last year where I shifted my perspective on New Year’s resolutions, and I’m so glad that I did.  Now that I can look back on 2013, this year was so much healthier than any year I’ve ever had – and I hadn’t made a single resolution.

It’s good to check in with yourself once a year, to see where you’ve been, where you are, and where you want to be – but making hard and fast rules to live by just seems such an unkind thing to do to yourself.  Where is the room for growth, or forgiveness?  Instead, I set goals.  Goals have nothing to do with the calendar year, so they aren’t as easily forgotten, and they aren’t erased for new ones on December 31st.  Also, achieving those goals gives you an excuse to celebrate, and doesn’t that feel good?  (New gym sneakers? Yes, please!)

Our discussion about resolutions led to lots of things we’d like to do this year.  Lose weight, volunteer more, stress less, more book time, less screen time, etc., but in the end all we resolved to do was support one another in our individual goals – and it has already made a huge difference in how I feel about my journey toward optimal health.  My wish for all of you in 2014 is to find a workout partner that supports you in your health journey, through good and bad.  If you don’t have that person in your life already, they are worth finding.

As for Bryan and me, we are taking the first step by continuing with my trainer Jenn… together!

How I Learned to Run (Again)

Here's me, running on a treadmill. Words I thought I'd never say!

So… remember that time I said I hated running?  I never, ever thought this photo (left) would happen.  It’s still true that I do not enjoy extended running as general cardio exercise, but my trainer introduced me to interval workouts called Tabata training.  They let me run for only four minutes, with frequent rests, and still gets my heart rate up to where it needs to be.

Jenn explained to me that the varying intervals of activity and rest make your heart work harder, and boost your heart rate faster.  I run for twenty seconds, then rest for ten seconds, and repeat these cycles until I’ve finished four minutes – and by then, I am wiped out!  This is perfect for me, because twenty seconds seems to be my exact tolerance for running on a treadmill.  I can even use these Tabata intervals during strength training workouts to keep my heart rate up, and accomplish cardio and strength work at the same time.  Intervals also create “afterburn”, which boosts your metabolic rate for a period of time after you finish working out.  Talk about efficiency!

The best part about these workouts is that I really can feel a measurable increase in my cardiovascular endurance.  I can tell that they’re working, because each week, it gets a little easier (or should I say, I get better?)  It’s a great reminder that my body is totally capable of performing whatever I train it to do – I just need to put the work in.

The Superhero Returns!

Back in action!

Hey, everybody!  I’M BACK!

I haven’t posted for a few months because I haven’t been well, but I’m happy to say that I am now fully recovered.  This spring, I developed some benign but painful complications from my hysterectomy last year, which required surgical intervention. While my incredible team of doctors took superb care of me (thank you, Sloan-Kettering), my recovery kept me in bed for a couple of weeks, and then even more time before I was cleared to exercise again.  Right when I was ready to get back in the game, I got sidelined again – this time by bad headaches and fatigue – and my doctor confirmed Lyme disease!  (I should really play the lottery – I’m due for some good luck by now, right?)

Anyway, after a month-long dose of tough antibiotics (and some extra rest) I was fully healed, and this Superhero was ready to throw on her cape again!  But I was surprised to find that my grand return was overshadowed by some shyness and trepidation.  I had been ill for so long, did I really remember what it felt like to be capable of vigorous exercise?  I had made Club Fit my second home for so many months, and coming back after a long absence felt strange – like visiting friends who live in an apartment that you used to rent.  It’s so familiar, but you don’t inhabit it like you used to. I was nervous about getting on a spin bike, lifting a weight, or taking a class.  My nerves were getting the better of me, big-time, and I felt like I was starting all over again and didn’t know where to begin.

My first trip back to Club Fit was for an appointment with my trainer (Jenn!), which I was really looking forward to. I knew that no amount of self-doubt would keep me from this appointment, and the safety net of having someone paying personal attention to me was very reassuring.  (Jenn would most certainly be able to identify if I was doing something wrong, or pushing myself too hard.)  We ended up having an amazing session where I did MORE than I thought I could, and the slight soreness I felt later on that week was a happy reminder that I had overcome my emotional setbacks and done something healthy for myself.

It feels so good to be back on the right track again. See you at the club!

Every Superhero Needs a Sidekick.

Squat rows are my new favorite. Thanks, Susie!

If you’ve been reading along with my blog posts, you are well aware by now that I am a devotee of group exercise classes.  I enjoy the group mentality, the social energy, the instructor’s availability to answer questions, and the need to be on time, all of which are motivating to me.  But if I hit traffic on the way to the gym and missed the first part of a class, I felt lost.  With the whole gym available to me, all felt confident in was plugging into my workout playlist and power walking on my favorite treadmill for a while.  One day, I came to a stunning realization: I had absolutely no idea how to structure my solo workout time.

I was relying on classes because it was a built-in workout that I could just step into. This is a great thing, don’t get me wrong, but I knew that in order to make permanent changes, I needed to be proactive and learn how to make the most of my workout time on my own.  I thought about it for a while, and decided to invest in a series of personal training sessions.  Enter Susie; my amazing, energetic, supportive, intelligent Superhero Sidekick who’s here to coach me on to fitness glory!!

Susie takes me through great workouts that are tailored just for me, and I feel so energized afterwards.  Those hulking weight machines that intimidated me before are my friends now.  Instead of wondering if they’re torture devices, I’m setting them up for squat rows and tricep pushdowns.  Being able to work out on my own makes me feel like I have more time to do it – instead of racing to get to a class on time, I can squeeze in 30 minutes here or an hour there.

Working with a personal trainer is a big deal for me.  It’s an investment that I’ve had to make a few personal budget cutbacks to afford, but even after only two sessions I know what this is the best investment I’ve ever made in myself.    I know this will be the support that I needed to help me make permanent changes in my health and fitness, and I can’t wait for my next session!

Attention Triathletes and Junior Triathletes!


Attention Triathletes! We have some exciting things in store for you beginning this February that will be a great addition to your triathlon training!

Why train alone all winter? Join our Adult Tri Club made up of like-minded athletes in triathlon-specific training groups. Our twice-a-week program includes a specialized yoga class and swim instruction on Thursday mornings beginning at 6am and alternating weeks of Spin and Parisi sessions Wednesdays at 7:30am.

We also offer a Junior Tri Club for 13-17 year olds! Spin/Parisi classes Mondays at 4:30pm and Swim instruction Fridays at 3:30pm.

Tri Club participants will receive free entry into our indoor triathlon on April 11th.

Both sessions begin the week of February 4th, contact Jen at jritz@clubfit.com for more information. Click Here for more information!

Understanding Nutrition

                        MENTAL ATTITUDE

The human mind is a very powerful tool. The statement has been made, “If the mind can conceive and believe, than the body can achieve”. This concept is true. To obtain anything in your life, you must believe you can. We all have the inner strength to take control, and create our paths. Some people may never believe this to be true, while others accept the challenge and embrace it. Success is an attitude. Success is a state of mind. It is easily available to all who want it, believe they can have it, and follow the necessary path to achieve it.

There are many books written about mental attitude, and the powers of positive thinking. A positive mental attitude is the foundation for everything in your life. The most often noted key words in most of these books are desire, determination, perseverance, and focus. Success than, cannot be attributed to fate, but to your own application of the above principles. Mark Fisher sums it up very well in his book, “ The Millionaires Path”. Fisher states,“ You may have reached that critical point that will change your life. No matter how old you are or what circumstances you may be in, all you have to do is be alert and receptive and believe. Know that it is possible to start from scratch as so many others have done and achieve your loftiest goals. It’s just a matter of believing it is possible and becoming determined to create the life you desire”.

There are several steps in the decision making process, and most people remain in what is called the contemplation or preparation phases. These are phases, in which you think about making a change, because you know you should. You even start the process.  Please understand, that in order to succeed you must pass these stages and take action. Also, do not stop until you reach your destination. Weather your goals are to lose weight, to improve your nutrition, or to become a better athlete, take the first step, and never lose sight. Stay focused.        

What usually happens when someone makes a decision to change? Let me use the example of someone trying to lose weight. They know that they are overweight, but usually are focused on other things. Statements are made like “I should really lose some weight”. This is a pre-contemplation stage. Then, in the contemplation stage they say, “My clothes do not fit properly”, I am going to start a diet on Monday.  At this point, being overweight is affecting their self- esteem. They may also notice increased difficulty performing everyday tasks. For example, walking up stairs and experiencing shortness of breath.

An attempt to lose weight begins. Upon awakening the first morning, the attitude is “Today is the day”. Breakfast usually consists of something like bran cereal or oatmeal, skim milk, and a piece of fruit. These are considered some typical diet foods, so the feeling of accomplishment is achieved. After breakfast, another meal is not consumed until lunch- time, which is usually about five hours later. Lunch consists of tuna fish on whole wheat bread, a salad, and maybe fruit. The mental attitude is good. Even dinner is a success with three ounces of chicken, and some vegetables.

Then comes the difficulty. About two hours after dinner, sitting around watching television. The body is now starting to notice some type of depravation. Much less food was consumed. Hunger starts to set in, and the refrigerator or cupboards are visited. The amount of food consumed is more than what should be eaten. The mental attitude diminishes, and failure is perceived. Lets start again tomorrow.

This is a typical pattern that is followed. I have counseled many people who have experience it. Sometimes it may take two or three days before too much is eaten, but the body will usually win over will power. There are physiological reasons why the body responds this way. I will discuss this in future blogs  

If this pattern looks familiar to you, I want you to think about how positive you felt when you were in control. That is the power that must be sustained. Not many things life comes easily. Certainly not dieting. It all begins with the mental attitude. To that end, it is important to understand the decision making process, and the power of goal setting.

 STAGES OF READINESS TO CHANGE

 

PRECONTEMPLATION

A PERSON EXPRESSES AN INTEREST TO CHANGE.

CONTEMPLATION

A PERSON IS THINKING ABOUT MAKING CHANGE.

PREPERATION

A PERSON IS DOING SOMETHING, BUT LESS THAN DESIRED.

ACTION

PERFORMING THE REQUIRED BEHAVIOR FOR LESS THAN SIX MONTHS

MAINTENANCE

ADHERES TO THE BEHAVIOR FOR MORE THAN SIX MONTHS.

 

Any health or behavior change must start from within. The first step is to identify the problem. As I used in the example, the clothing not fitting comfortable, and it was harder to perform everyday activities. Second, was the commitment to make a change. Third, is setting goals. You must have a goal, a focus to achieve. Without goals, is like sending a sports team out to play, with no plan book, or reason why they are playing. When you have a plan of action, you are likely to remain focused, and committed to achieve.

            There are several books that reiterate the importance of setting goals. One such book is “The 7 Habits Of Highly Effective People”, by Stephen R. Covey. In his book, Covey states, “ An effective goal focuses primarily on results rather than on activity. It identifies where you want to be, and in the process, helps you determine where you are. It gives you important information on how to get there, and tells you when you have arrived. It unifies your efforts and energy. It gives meaning and purpose to all you do. And it can finally translate itself into daily activities so that you are proactive, you are in charge of your life”.

Always remember, for a goal to be truly effective, you must believe that you can achieve it. Never give up, or lose sight of your desired outcomes. Once you lose sight, it is a long and disappointing journey that will lead to feelings of failure.

 FOCUS

“IF YOU CHASE TWO RABBITS, BOTH WILL ESCAPE”.

ANCIENT PROVERB

The first thing I would like you to do is to determine what your long- term goal is.What is your final outcome?  Then, you must set a series of short- term quantifiablegoals. When you achieve the first short-term goal, move on to the next one. It is a stepby- step process. It is necessary to learn how to crawl, before you can run a marathon.

Keep in mind it is the journey that is the exciting and rewarding process, not the finaldestination. You appreciate the end results much more when you know you busted yourbutt to achieve them. This process is what makes true champions and leaders.

Are You a Tech Minimalist, When it Comes to Working Out?

We’ve all heard about thousands of runners giving up on wearing their running shoes. But have you considered giving up all your tech gear? Ipods, Smart Phones, GPS Watches are used by millions of runners and people in gyms. It’s become more unusual to see someone not plugged in while they workout. But is this best way to achieve maximum results and high performance goals? Studies indicate that you may want to unplug yourself and start listening to your body.

As a lifelong competitive runner and collegiate athlete I would never go out to train with something plugged into my ears. The focus that is needed when you train should not allow for distractions intended to entertain. As a matter of fact you would never go into a competition attempting to perform to your highest potential by deliberately distracting yourself. Is there a place for the use of music while working out? In my opinion, yes, if used appropriately. As a coach, instructor, trainer you can use music when you want the tempo to pick up or continue for longer stretches of time, but you better be prepare to provide the type of music that accomplishes that goal. On the flipside you also want to listen to your body. When working out all your sense are fully engaged, if something is not right, you want to be able to react accordingly. When you add tech devices to your training there is a good chance they may distract you from taking notice of what may be going wrong or what may feel great.

In HP 30 classes at Club Fit Jefferson Valley instructors will use music strategically to achieve a specific tempo (for example a slow build of rhythm as you warm-up) and no music when they want you to focus on how your body should be performing (athletic coordination drills).

If you’re training yourself or your out on your own running, biking, etc. devices that measure your progress (time, distance, location) can be important for immediate feedback and safety purposes. It’s a matter of personal preference, but if you’re trying to get the most out of your workout, tech devices can distract and prevent you from accomplishing your overall goals.

Do you use tech devices while working out? Would you consider cutting back and focus on listening to your body? Let us know your thoughts and how you use tech devices to workout.

Scott Lancaster
Parisi Director
Club Fit Jefferson Valley

Understanding Nutrition


 “If you give a person a fish, they will eat for a day

But teach a person how to fish, and they will eat for a lifetime”

Diet and exercise are two words that seldom go unheard. Just turn on your television, search the internet or read any magazine, and you will be inundated with advertisements or claims promising quick fix results. Unfortunately, nutrition and exercise are two very marketable concepts in today’s society. Many people are trying to maintain a healthy lifestyle or lose weight, which has lead to an influx of information and gadgets for this “Industry” to capitalize on.

With all this focus, I want you to ask yourself, why is America getting fatter and becoming more unhealthy? Studies have shown that fifty five percent of Americans are overweight, and health problems have increased.

It is my intentions with this blog, to provide information that is reliable and useful. My philosophy is that “Knowledge is power”. This is not another quick fix diet and exercise sale that promises miraculous results and contributes to the statistics mentioned above. This blog is an informational guide for you to obtain practical applications and apply it towards your goals.

Nobody can get results for you. You fulfill this sense of achievement alone. People can provide you with the right path to follow, or unfortunately lead you the wrong way with fads and gimmicks created to influence you and make money. My goal is to provide you with information based on scientific and clinical principles that give you the tools to accomplish a wellness lifestyle change. Whether it is weight management, controlling diabetes, lowering risks of heart disease, or optimizing sports performance, I intend to empower you to empower yourself.

Follow me monthly,

Sincerely,

Mark T. Cuatt

General Manager