Snow Shoveling Injury Prevention

Snow Shoveling the Correct Way to Avoid Injuries

by Meryle Richman, PT, DPT, MS

Woman Shoveling Snow

Snow shoveling is a repetitive activity that can cause muscle strain to the lower back and shoulders. Back injuries due to snow shoveling are more likely to happen to people who may not know that they are out of condition. Following these tips can help you avoid injuries.

 

● Lift smaller loads of snow, rather than heavy shovelfuls. Be sure to take care to bend your knees and lift with your legs rather than your back.

● Use a shovel with a shaft that lets you keep your back straight while lifting. A short shaft will cause you to bend more to lift the load. Using a shovel that’s too long makes the weight at the end heavier. Step in the direction in which you are throwing the snow to prevent the low back from twisting. This will help prevent “next-day back fatigue.”

● Avoid excessive twisting because the spine cannot tolerate twisting as well as it can tolerate other movements. Bend your knees and keep your back as straight as possible so that you are lifting with your legs.

● Take frequent breaks when shoveling. Stand up straight and walk around periodically to extend the lower back.

● Backward bending exercises while standing will help reverse the excessive forward bending of shoveling: stand straight and tall, place your hands toward the back of your hips, and bend backwards slightly for several seconds.

Here are some Healthy Tips for Safely Shoveling Snow

Stretches that target the trunk, legs and upper body:

Counter-Top stretch (Low back): Place your hands on your kitchen counter and walk backwards until your body makes an L-shape. Bend or hinge forward from your hips, while keeping your back lengthened your arms forward. You will feel a stretch in your back and throughout your trunk. Hold this for 10 long, deep breaths.

Heel Up On a Chair stretch (hamstrings): While holding onto some support, straighten your leg out and place your heel up on a chair, tighten that thigh, and pull those toes towards your body. Feel the stretch in the back of your leg. There’s no need to bend forward and it’s better if you don’t. Just stand up tall and keep both legs active. Hold 10 breaths. Repeat other side.

Bent Knee with Ankle in Hand stretch (quadriceps): Keep holding onto some support as you grab one foot with one hand behind your buttocks and hold it as you bend that leg. You should feel this stretch in the front of the thigh of the bent leg as you hold for 10 breaths. Repeat other side.

Core Strengthening Exercise:

● While standing, imagine pulling your belly button in towards your spine and engage your abdominal muscles without letting your pelvis tuck under. Try holding this for 5-10 seconds while breathing normally and repeat this a few times until it makes sense. This exercise uses the innermost layer of abdominal and back muscles and reminds your body where the center of your core strength is.

Mindfulness:

● As you are shoveling snow, focus on the rotating movements happening in your  hip joints. You can place your finger on the front of your hip joints (located at the top of each thigh near the groin) and practice a few sways side to side, simulating raking. Avoid letting the rotation happen at your waist—this will cause unnecessary movement around your lumbar spine.

● Continue to focus on the core strength exercise above and engage your belly  button in towards your spine as you rake, activating those lumbar spine  stabilizers. Pay attention to loosening up any stiffness in your legs and trunk muscles and you will go a long way to preventing injury to your back!

If your back hurts from shoveling snow or you have complaints of neck or shoulder pain, call to make an appointment with one of our staff of knowledgeable physical therapists for a free 15 minute consultation. Our experienced and dedicated licensed physical therapists can also help you get started with treatment. With Direct Access a prescription is not required to be evaluated. . Most insurance plans are accepted. Contact IvyRehab Briarcliff (914) 762-2222 and IvyRehab Jefferson Valley (914) 245-8807 or visit our Website —www.ivyrehab.com — to learn more about Direct Access.

Reference: http://www.moveforwardpt.com/Resources/Detail.aspx?cid=bc1413cc-3ed6-4cf9-888f-3955df4a1b13

To Keep You Inspired … Denise D’Amico

Our Club Fit Members Keep Us Inspired

{by Lisa Olney, Club Fit guest blogger}

To Keep You Inspired… Club Fit Member Denise D'Amico

Club Fit Member Denise D’Amico chose to take care of her health through diet and exercise.

Club Fit Jefferson Valley member Denise D’Amico is a change maker and a problem solver, a trusted force in the Yorktown community. As a local real estate broker for over twenty years, a co-founder and past president of the Yorktown Chamber of Commerce, and a charter board member of Support Connection, helping others and creating meaningful change is simply what Denise does. In 2015, however, she discovered a new person in need of help — herself.

In January of 2015 a visit to the doctor revealed a serious weight-related health issue — pre-diabetes. That was the day that forced Denise to face weight issues that she had battled for years. Her doctor laid two options before her: take several medications every day; or 2) lose weight and see if her body responds. Amidst a flood of emotions, Denise called upon her inner grit — and chose option two. She also chose Club Fit as her partner in getting there.

Quarterly doctor appointments became the new norm for Denise, and after three months her doctor noticed a difference. After six months, everyone was noticing a difference. By the time July of 2016 rolled around, Denise had lost 125 pounds, thanks to her new routine at Club Fit, her modified diet, and her steely resolve and can-do attitude. Most importantly, Denise reversed her health issue, and as a result does not need any medications.

So, how did this inspiring transformation occur? After consulting with her doctor on nutrition and exercise, as well as her daughter who is a nurse and athlete, Denise changed her diet, eliminating most carbohydrates and sugar. Over time, she switched from meats to fish and from yolks to egg whites. Water is a constant throughout her diet as well, and she drinks half her weight in ounces, daily. Advance journaling of her food has been a key ingredient in her success as well. “If you know what you’re going to eat in advance, you’re less likely to fail,” Denise says. “Food is medicine, and the planning is vital to success.”

Denise exercises at Club Fit five to six days a week and feels it sets the pace for her day, keeping her centered. Her balanced blend of activity is a vital part of her daily routine. A typical day for Denise begins in the locker room with a weigh-in, and she feels it has been one of her most important habits throughout her weight loss. “It keeps me accountable to my goals,” she explains. By 6:30 am Denise is in the Club Fit lap pool where she swims one mile, daily. At 7:50 am, she switches gears and powerwalks two miles in the Fitness Center. Next, it’s time to get her dancing shoes on, and she meets her friends for the 9am Danceology class — her favorite Club Fit activity. On specific days, she now does kickboxing as well as the Circuit for her bone strength. Denise laughs that exercising is a love-hate relationship for her. “Sometimes, I hate to do it, but I love the way it makes me feel,” says Denise. “I wouldn’t trade that feeling for anything. It’s euphoria.”

Denise’s husband, Lou, joins her daily at the gym, taking a spin class, after which they return home for breakfast at 10:30am. In the afternoon, Denise takes advantage of the track where she lives and powerwalks two more miles. At 2:30pm she has lunch—typically a large salad with homemade dressing. Many times, Lou will join Denise for her afternoon walk, as well, but forgoes the powerwalk opting for a leisurely, relaxing pace. In the evening, Lou and Denise have a dinner around 4:30 of protein — typically salmon — and a variety of vegetables. Her special treat (from time to time) has become a square of Ghirardelli chocolate.

Weaving nutrition and exercise together was key for Denise in losing weight and reclaiming her health. She credits her Club Fit routine as essential in her weight loss success — both physically and mentally. “Club Fit is #1 and sets the pace for the rest of your day,” says Denise. “Exercising makes you happy; it makes you want to engage with others.”

Better Balance Now

Better Balance Now!— Fall Prevention
Meryle Richman, PT, DPT, MS, CST, RYT

As we age the ability to maintain balance becomes more difficult. Many factors influence good balance, some of them are biological; and some we are able to influence and are able to improve. Balance and stability are important factors for aging adults to maintain a healthy lifestyle. Loss of balance is the primary factor in falls, which often results in serious injuries.

Good balance is dependent on sensory input form the eyes, the correct functioning of the balance system in the inner ear, posture and center of gravity and our ability to sense the position and movement in our feet, legs and arms. Vision affects the balance system, as the eyes send messages to the brain telling us where objects are in space.

Aging adults are affected by a loss of muscle mass and strength. This is associated with an increased risk of falls and hip fractures. It also has a great affect on maintaining a healthy lifestyle. Weakness in the ankle musculature may cause difficulty in recovering lost balance more quickly. Strong quadriceps muscles are necessary for good balance and walking. Evidence shows the strength and aerobic training can lead to a reduction in falls.

Loss of flexibility occurs with age. This may lead to difficulty climbing stairs, transferring from sit to stand and or getting out of bed without difficulty. Much of the loss of flexibility is due to inactivity. Flexibility exercises, stretches, gentle yoga will help improve flexibility of major muscle groups and therefore improve ones ability to complete everyday activities.

Postural changes develop as people age but not because they age. Rounded shoulders, forward head postures, increased thoracic curves in the spine are common postural changes. These changes affect the center of gravity in the body moving it forward. With changes in the center of gravity, older adults are more prone to loss of balance and an increased risk of falls.

Medications also contribute to the deterioration of the balance system. Research has shown that adding new medications in the previous two weeks increases the risk for falling.

There are many ways we can adapt to the changes in our bodies as we age. Some helpful tips include:

Promote safety in the home by using non-skid surfaces, eliminating area rugs & improve lighting in the home

  1. Get a yearly eye exam
  2. Proper nutrition and hydration
  3. Know the side effects of your medication
  4. Use caution with pets running around in your home
  5. Different forms of exercise, such as strengthening exercises, flexibility and stretches, postural exercise, yoga, tai chi, and aerobic exercise such as walking, will all contribute to decreasing the risk of falls and improve your balance.

Guidelines from The American College of Sports Medicine suggest that:

1) Healthy adults under the age of 65 should aim for:

 – Moderate intense cardiovascular exercises 30 minutes a day (aerobic exercise), five days a week or vigorous intense exercises 20 minutes a day, 3 days a week and strengthening-exercises twice a week

– Flexibility or stretching exercises are also recommended a minimum of 2-3 days a week

 2) Healthy adults 65 years or older:

 – Low-to-Moderate aerobic exercises, 30 minutes a day, 5 times a week and gentle strengthening-exercises (very light weights), 2- 3 times a week

– Flexibility or stretching exercises at a minimum of 2-3 times a week

Types of Aerobic and Low-to-Moderate Exercises:

Moderate Intense Aerobic Exercises Low-to-Moderate Aerobic Exercises
  • brisk walking
  • running
  • swimming
  • cycling; spinning classes
  • water exercises
  • gardening
  • housework
  • dancing, yoga, tai chi

If you want to determine your fitness level, refer to the reference guide from The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention: http://www.cdc.gov/physicalactivity/everyone/measuring/index.html.

For beginners, you can simply start out by learning the basics of the talk test, which is a rule of thumb for doing moderate-intensity activity and you can still talk, but not sing during an activity. However, if you are doing a vigorous-activity you would want to learn how to find your target heart rate and determine what intensity range you should be exercising at for optimal cardiac performance.

Check out the Stay Healthy Website to determine a simple way to find your target heart rate at: www.cancer.org/healthy/toolsandcalculators/calculators/app/target-heart-rate-calculator. Once you find your target heart rate, wearing a heart rate monitor will make it easier to monitor your desired rate.

If you would like to improve your current level of fitness, but still have questions about how to begin a safe exercise program if you had an injury or illness, our experienced and dedicated licensed physical therapists can help you get started. With Direct Access a prescription is not required to be evaluated. Contact Ivyrehab Briarcliff (914) 762 – 2222 and Ivyrehab Jefferson Valley (914) 245 – 8807 or visit our Website: www.ivyrehab.com to learn more about Direct Access.

References:

(1) Exercise: Designing a Cardiac exercise Program. New York-Presbyterian Hospital. Retrieved September 2, 2011 from http://nyp.org/health/cardiac_exercis3.html

(2) American College of Sports Medicine Position Stand. Retrieved September 2, 2011 from http://www.mhhe.com/hper/nutrition/williams/student/appendix_i.pdf

To Keep You Inspired… Jason Needle

photo collage, Jason and friends.

A photo collage of Jason Needle with his friends and peers at Club Fit, along with our newly redesigned name tags, inspired by and honoring Jason.

You may have noticed that we changed the design of the name tags that we proudly wear at work.  And it’s all for a very good reason — Jason Needle — our colleague and friend. Jason passed away on December 4, 2015.The new name tags will serve to remember Jason, and to encourage us to be supportive of others.  We have implemented Jason’s “I Can. I Will.” tag line on the new name tags as a reminder of who Jason was; a brave person who inspired others to live with a strong sense of community and commitment to live life to the fullest.

Jason Needle once described himself as an Iraq war veteran, a two-time cancer survivor, and a proud member of the Club Fit family. Beating cancer and defending our country are two things everyone can identify as substantial accomplishments. Although it may pale in comparison, Jay’s association with Club Fit would prove to be of paramount importance in his life story. Jay grew up coming to Club Fit and fell in love with the atmosphere. He enjoyed it so much that he went to college to pursue a degree in exercise sports science with the end goal of working at his favorite place.

Jay began working as a personal trainer in the fitness department in 2005. When he wasn’t working, he could still be found in the building working out, lifting weights, or playing basketball. Jay was outgoing, enthusiastic, friendly, and genuinely interested in other people. Because of this, it wasn’t long before everyone knew who Jay was – both staff and members alike. He was also one of the trainers who spearheaded the Parisi Speed School program when it was introduced. This is the area where Jay really shined. He had a passion for training young athletes; watching kids improve and achieve goals and, more importantly, gain confidence was everything to Jay. “Being able to help a child grow confident through fitness and performance is a beautiful thing to me,” he told the Briarcliff Daily Voice. He knew they looked up to him and never lost sight of that.

Jay was the picture of health and fitness when he was diagnosed with Acute Myeloid Leukemia (AML) in November 2010. He spent over 200 days in the hospital the first year of his treatment and achieved remission only to have the leukemia return less than a year later. He was then diagnosed with a rare gene mutation that made it difficult for treatments to be successful. During his five-year battle, he traveled all over New York City and Boston, spoke to countless doctors, went through over twenty different chemotherapy treatments, most of which were experimental trials, radiation and two bone marrow transplants.

Throughout his fight, Club Fit remained an important support system for him. A Facebook page was created entitled “Jason’s Army” which he posted on frequently to stay in touch with everyone. He used his Parisi clients as motivation for himself: “The excitement they show when they reach a new goal or do something they thought couldn’t be done is what drives me day in and day out. If these kids can do it, then so can I!”

And so Jay’s tagline was born. Jay coined the motto “I Can. I Will.” and believed with all of his heart that he would beat the odds against his disease. Again, Jay’s energy and sense of purpose was infectious. His positive and energetic posts more often than not served as motivation for its readers to work to make the world a caring, supportive place. His “I Can. I Will.” attitude exploded and the support was phenomenal as the page grew to over 1,100 followers.

Jay was able to use this following to help other people fighting against cancer as well. By hosting an annual 5k run/walk in 2013, 2014, and 2015, Jason’s Army raised over $40,000 for local charities that support cancer patients. For someone who was going through so much, all he wanted to do was give back and recognize others. He was so thankful for the support of staff, members, and clients from Club Fit that he wanted to help those who didn’t have the same support.

Jay died on December 4, 2015. As the legendary ESPN anchor Stuart Scott said, “When you die, that does not mean that you lose to cancer. You beat cancer by how you live, why you live, and the manner in which you live.” He continued by saying, “So live. Live. Fight like hell. And when you get too tired to fight, lay down and rest and let somebody else fight for you.” The best way to honor Jason’s life and to keep his memory alive is to adopt his “I Can. I Will.” attitude and employ it in your own life.

Reduce Your Risk of Osteoporosis: Learn Preventative Exercise Tips

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

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

Who is at Risk for Osteoporosis?

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

What can happen if you have Osteoporosis?

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

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

Tips on how Physical Therapy can help Osteoporosis:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

To Keep You Inspired… Club Fit Instructor Lisa Coffman

by Lisa Olney, Club Fit guest blogger.

Lisa Coffman and her family

Club Fit instructor Lisa Coffman and her family of four.

For the last twenty years, Mahopac resident Lisa Coffman has helped the greater Club Fit community to reach their goals and overcome life’s challenges both in and out of the water. An aquatic exercise instructor, swim instructor and one of the assistant coaches for Club Fit’s swim team, Lisa has helped many members to strike back against potentially sidelining injuries and arthritis through aquatic exercise classes like H20 Waterwalking and Cardio Splash. She has helped members of all ages master the life skill of swimming both recreationally and competitively. Perhaps most impactful, she has also helped members overcome their fears of the water and learn to swim.

Lisa’s passion and loyalty to the Club Fit aquatics program has been a steadfast anchor over the years. These same qualities have also colored the pages of Lisa’s life from her childhood in the Dakotas and Minnesota to her career as a standout collegiate swimmer at Division III Cornell of Iowa where she swam the 50 meter butterfly at the NCAA Championships and then as a walk-on member of the Division I University of Minnesota Golden Gophers team. While in college she had her first taste of teaching people to swim, a feeling of reward and purpose that remains with her today. “One of the most rewarding aspects of what I do,” says Lisa, “is when I’m teaching somebody, and it just clicks.” Whether it’s in a class, in a swim lesson or on the swim team, Lisa has made a real difference to countless members of Club Fit.

Lisa brings this same passion and loyalty to her volunteer work as a member of the Yorktown Heights chapter of P.E.O. Founded in 1869, P.E.O. stands for Philanthropic Educational Organization. An international organization, P.E.O. has over 6,000 chapters in the U.S. and Canada and over 250,000 members. P.E.O. strives to increase women’s opportunities for higher education through scholarships, low-interest loans, grants, emergency funds and the Cottey College in Nevada, Missouri. In addition to supporting P.E.O. programs, the Yorktown Heights chapter donates funds to local organizations Guiding Eyes for the Blind, Friends of Karen, and Hope’s Door. They also sponsor local women for P.E.O. assistance and programs. To learn more about P.E.O. and the Yorktown Heights chapter visit www.peointernational.org.

Lisa has always led a busy life working at Club Fit, volunteering with P.E.O., and raising her family. She and her husband Paul have two children Paul, 28, and Stephanie, 25 — who works full time at Club Fit Jefferson Valley as the WSI coordinator, a swim instructor, and a swim coach. While Lisa has a full schedule, her goal is to log at least 30 minutes of exercise every day. Sometimes she’ll work out before her classes in the women’s section or on cardio in the fitness center. Some days it’s lap swimming, and some days it’s just walking outdoors and enjoying the fresh air. Lisa feels daily exercise in any form is important to keep physically and mentally healthy. “Get thirty minutes of something in every day,” says Lisa. “Whether it’s cardio, weights, or swimming, just do something.” From Nike’s “Just Do It” to the NFL’s “Play 60”, Lisa’s E-30 philosophy is something we can all strive to incorporate into our lifestyle.

To Keep You Inspired… Club Fit Instructor Harriette DeCarlo

by Lisa Olney, Club Fit guest blogger.

Club Fit Instructor Harriette DeCarlo

Club Fit Instructor Harriette DeCarlo

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

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

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

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

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

The importance of drinking water

Lemon

Lemon water is invigorating and detoxifying

Let’s talk about how good it is to stay hydrated! What does your body need? Water! After all, the adult human body is comprised of 60% water. More details about the water inside you can be found on the U.S. Geological Survey in this great article on water properties!

Did you know that you need different amounts of water depending on your lifestyle? The general recommendation for how much water an adult needs daily is 3 liters for men and 2.2 liters for women according to the Mayo Clinic. If you exercise you need more, if you are pregnant or nursing you need more. For a complete list of daily recommended amounts, click here.

You should never be thirsty. If you are, you are not hydrating enough. If you prefer drinking beverages that have more flavor, try adding some lemon to your water! Not only does it taste refreshing, but there are added benefits. Some of which include, cleansing your system, helping to keep your skin blemish free, added vitamin c and even gives your immune system a boost! More great benefits of drinking lemon water are right here on Lifehack.

Get yourself a nice water bottle (glass or metal is preferable) and start drinking water throughout the day! Hydrate and stay happy!

ACL: Injury, Treatment & Prevention

Come and meet Dr. Dhar and Brian McLean, DPT on April 28th at 6:30 PM inside the lobby of Club Fit Briarcliff. Attend the lecture from 7:00-8:00 PM (upper conference room).

ACL treatment with Dr. Yasmin Dhar

Dr. Yasmin Dhar will offer advice on treating ACL injuries

Collegiate and High School females are 9-10 times more likely to suffer a non-traumatic Anterior Cruciate Ligament (ACL) injury than males in similar sports. This is the result of an anatomical increased angle at the knee in women, also known as a “Q” angle, which puts more pressure on the inside of the knee . However, according to Dr Yasmin Dhar, “It is more common to tear the ACL from a noncontact injury, like hyperextending or landing and twisting the knee, than a direct contact injury.”
Does a torn ACL have to be fixed with surgery?

From Dr. Yasmin Dhar’s experience with ACL tears, “The ACL cannot heal on its own, but not all tears of the ACL need surgery; treatment can depend on your activity level and amount of instability in your knee. People participating in sports or activities where they plant their feet, and twist or cut are susceptible to having an unstable knee and may be better off with surgery. Also if they are unable to modify their activities and desire an unrestricted lifestyle, they should consider surgery to have the best chance of returning to their pre-injury functional level. On the other hand, people who do not perform many cutting or pivoting activities, have no feeling of looseness in their knee, or lead a sedentary lifestyle may be able to function well with physical therapy to strengthen the leg, and possibly a brace. However, even sedentary people can experience giving way with simple activities such as going down stairs or stepping off a curb. When there is instability or giving way with simple life activities or sports, surgery is needed to restore normal kinematics and stability to the knee, preventing further damage to other structures in the knee.”

Come and learn more about ACL injuries and treatment options from Dr Dhar. www.YDharMD.com

Ways to Prevent and Minimize Knee Injuries

In order to prevent or minimize knee injuries, Brian McLean, DPT and Director at Ivyrehab Briarcliff will discuss the ACL Screening & Prevention Program that is currently being performed at Ivyrehab Briarcliff and Ivyrehab Jefferson Valley. By using a video analysis of the athlete’s knees in several positions of jumping (start position, before and after jumping), suggestions are made on the athlete’s exercise program, which is recommended to be done 3 times weekly for 6 weeks.

The ACL injury prevention program consists of an exercise program that includes: (1) warm-up exercises for maximum efficiency and conditioning, (2) integrating the components of ACL injury prevention for muscle and joint preparation with (3) combining flexibility and strengthening exercises and (4) plyometric exercises and agility drills that can facilitate a quick transition into practice activities.

Dr Yasmin Dhar is the Sports Medicine and Arthroscopic Surgery Specialist for Specialty Orthopedics in Harrison, New York. She completed her orthopaedic training at Westchester Medical Center, a level 1 trauma center, and her Sports Medicine fellowship at University of Pennsylvania. She is board-certified in orthopedic surgery as well as sports medicine. An avid athlete herself, her clinical practice focuses on the prevention and treatment of sports-related injuries of the shoulder, elbow, hip and knee.

She currently serves as the Chief of Sports Medicine at Montefiore New Rochelle Hospital, Assistant Clinical Professor of Orthopedic Surgery at New York Medical College, an affiliate physician for the LPGA tour, team physician for a number of local schools, and an Associate Master Instructor for the Arthroscopy Association of North America. http://www.ydharmd.com/

For additional information about attending this presentation please contact Ivyrehab Briarcliff at 914-762-2222.. You can also visit our website at www.ivyrehab.com.
Space is limited so call or stop in the register.

Ivy Rehab

National Physical Therapy Month is Celebrating Healthy Aging

By Meryle Richman, PT, DPT, Senior Director
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National Physical Therapy Month (NPTM) is hosted by The American Physical Therapy Association (APTA) each October to recognize how Physical Therapists help transform society by restoring and improving motion in people’s lives. This October the focus is on Health Aging.

As movement experts, the goal of the Physical Therapists at IvyRehab Briarcliff and IvyRehab Jefferson Valley, which are now located inside Club Fit, will be offering free 10 minute screenings and advice to its’ club members to overcome pain, gain and maintain movement, and preserve their independence-without the need, in many cases, for surgery or long-term prescription drug use.

If treatment is required individuals now have the opportunity under the Direct Access Law in New York State to be evaluated and treated without a prescription for 10 visits or treatment within 30 days before seeing their physician.

Exercise may be the closest thing we have to the fountain of youth. The right type and amount of it, prescribed by a physical therapist, can help prevent or manage many age-related health conditions.

Stop by the lobby at Club Fit Briarcliff on the following days/times to learn tips on aging well and about Direct Access. You can also sign up for a 10 minute free screening for sports, balance and/or spinal screening by our Licensed Physical

Therapist:
10/05/15 9:00 – 10:30 AM (Monday) Meryle Richman, PT, DPT, Senior Director
10/15/15 8:30 – 10:00 AM (Thursday) Meryle Richman, PT, DPT, Senior Director
10/19/15 9:00 – 10:30 AM (Monday) Meryle Richman, PT, DPT, Senior Director
10/29/15 5:00 – 6:00 PM (Thursday) meet our NEW Director Brian McLean, DPT

OR Stop by the lobby at Club Fit Jefferson Valley:
10/01/15 7:30 – 8:30 AM (Thursday) Jacek Golis, PT
10/06/15 9:00 – 10:00 AM (Tuesday) Meryle Richman, PT, DPT, Senior Director
10/12/15 9:00 – 10:30 AM (Monday) Meryle Richman, PT, DPT, Senior Director
10/22/15 4:00 – 5:00 PM (Thursday) Deborah Lenihan, PT, Director
10/26/15 9:00 – 10:30 AM (Monday) Meryle Richman, PT, DPT, Senior Director

At either location fill out a free raffle and win a chance for a free gift ($75.00 Basket/gift card), when you stop by to say hello and learn more about how the staff at IvyRehab can help you. Any questions please contact us at IvyRehab Briarcliff (914) 762 -2222 or IvyRehab Jefferson Valley (914) 245 – 8807. Visit our website at www.ivyrehab.com.

Stroke Awareness and Recovery

— written by Club Fit Member and Guest Blogger Joy Cain

Club Fit’s Syd Berman shares her experience to promote stroke awareness.

Syd Berman promotes stroke awareness.

Syd having fun with friends from the Club Fit “Dance ‘N’ Funk” crew.

The morning of June 6, 2012 was like any other beautiful spring morning at Club Fit. Swim classes were going on in the program pool, treadmills and stair climbers were being used in the fitness area, and up in Studio I, Syd Berman was leading her Dance ‘n’ Funk class, just as she had done hundreds of times before. But about 15 minutes into this particular class, things went awry. And Syd Berman’s life was changed forever.

“I didn’t feel anything,” Syd responds when asked if she felt pain. “I was just teaching a dance, and I thought, ‘Wait a minute. I’m an instructor, and it’s almost like I’m stumbling.’ Then I said something over the microphone and two of my students recognized what was going on and stopped the class.”

What was going on was that Syd was having a stroke. The alert students who saw Syd’s unusual stance and heard her slurred speech reacted immediately. They notified the front desk, and 911 was called. Syd was whisked off by ambulance to Hudson Valley Hospital. A day later, she was transferred down to Columbia Presbyterian, where she remained in the ICU for a few days. When doctors determined that she wasn’t in imminent danger of having another stroke, Syd was transferred to Burke Rehabilitation Center in White Plains for what turned into a six-week stay.

For those in the Club Fit family, the overwhelming sentiment surrounding the entire episode was one of shock and incredulity. This wasn’t some weekend warrior, some wannabe jock who suffered the stroke — this was SYD! Syd… who had begun working here when the facility was known as the Jefferson Valley Racquet Club. Syd… who, since 1993, had been the Club’s dance coordinator and was later put in charge of all the group exercise programs. Syd… who ate all the right foods and slept the right number of hours and who, at the age of 59, was in better physical shape than most women half her age. The stroke had happened to Syd! And the underlying thought was this: If a stroke can happen to someone like Syd, what chance do the rest of us have?

“I had none of the precursors,” Syd says. “I’m just happy I was here when it happened because our emergency response was excellent.” What Syd had was an ischemic stroke, which means that a blood clot interfered with the flow of blood to her brain. Doctors told her that the clot probably formed after she made a sudden movement with her head. “When I do the warm up, I get very high energy, so I might have just twisted too hard or something,” she says. “My doctor told me that was it. I said, ‘Well why hasn’t Beyonce stroked out ?’ and he said it’s just the luck of the draw. My GP told me that sh*t happens — so I said, ‘Thanks a lot — that really helps me out.’ But you know what? I’m still here and I feel very lucky because everyone has a story. Everybody has a tragedy in their life and I’m lucky I survived, because stroke is the No 4 killer in the country.”

Syd is speaking from the bridge area overlooking the pool at Jefferson Valley, waiting for a chair yoga class to begin. She has gained weight in the three years since her stroke, which is to be expected given that she is so much less mobile than she used to be. She needs a cane to get around, and her left arm is virtually useless. But her speech is back to normal and the smile on her face is real. She’s wearing a black Club Fit shirt with the words Live, Laugh, Love on it, and around her neck is a rhinestone turtle, a gift someone sent to her when she was rehabbing at Burke. The turtle is her reminder that recovery from stroke is a slow process — but the idea is to keep moving forward.

When she arrived at Burke, Syd had absolutely no movement in her left arm or her left toes, and her left leg felt like it was in a bucket of cement. The left side of her face drooped slightly. She was riding on an emotional roller coaster, going from a place of initially joking about her predicament in the hospital (“little did I realize the joke was on me,”) to a place of feeling no emotions at all. It wasn’t until some instructors from Club Fit sent 100 red roses to her room at Burke that Syd finally broke down and cried.

She knew that she would do whatever she could to restore her health.“Any testing they had at Burke, I volunteered for it,” she says. “Electrical stimuli (I felt like Frankenstein), a low carb diet that was supposed to help the brain — I was game to try anything I could.“ She went to physical therapy three times a week and eventually made such amazing progress that, in 2014, she was asked to return to Burke to share her story at a clinical conference.

Which brings us to today.

“I’m good. It’s a struggle everyday to live with a disability — boy, do I have appreciation now for people that have disabilities! — but I get along. I still have a good arm, a good leg, and my husband (Howie) is so good at taking care of me!

“I can do pretty much everything myself — except I can’t cook on the stove because that’s dangerous. I’m left-handed, so I try to write, but I can’t write too well — I sort of scribble with my right hand.

“I feel very lucky. I get to take care of my grandkids, I see my friends, I get out and about. I joined a singing group — we’recalled the Sweet Seasons — and we have such a good time! Everything I read says that the more you do for your brain, even without a stroke, the better it is for you.”With that in mind, Syd tries to keep mentally busy. One of her goals is to learn Spanish. Also, Syd recently took the written test to recertify herself as a group instructor; perhaps one day she’ll be able to lead a fitness class for those with special needs.

Still, she fatigues easily. An occupational therapist regularly visits Syd at home, and, among other things, makes Syd get down on her hands and knees to try and do push ups. That, along with trying to lift her left arm by itself, are two of her most challenging physical tasks. Although doctors have told her that her disabilities are permanent, Syd refuses to accept that. “I’m not gonna stop working,” she says. “I’m never gonna give up hope.”

Life has a way of teaching us everything we need to know. Prior to the stroke, Syd says that she was super critical of her looks. “I was very self conscious and didn’t think I was good enough. Now, of course, I look at pictures and say, wow, I was pretty good,” she says. The lesson here? “Appreciate your body — no matter how big it is, how thin it is. Embrace yourself — don’t let society tell you that you have to be perfect. Embrace yourself and just make the best out of it.

“A lot of people just don’t want to go out when they’re like this [with physical challenges] — but you know what? I’m here and I’m gonna live my life the best I can.”

She’s also doing what she can to make a difference. Syd’s proud of the fact that Club Fit partnered with her to raise funds for the National Stroke Association (NSA). Among other things, the NSA seeks to educate people about strokes, help stroke victims receive extended therapy, and advise hospitals on how to become better equipped to deal with stroke victims. In May, this Club Fit fundraiser was held in conjunction with the So You Think You Can Choreograph contest and raised over $4,000 for the NSA. Last year’s fundraiser raised over $3,500.

Syd is also proud of the fact that so many of the women she taught in Dance ‘N’ Funk contributed in some way to the fundraiser, and that they are still there for her — and for each other. Says Syd: “The dance girls are unbelievable. It makes me so happy to see them bonding and being friends.”

More than 30 years have passed since Syd Berman and Club Fit first crossed paths, a path that has seen its share of twists and turns. And as Syd looks back over what’s transpired these last three years, some more of life’s lessons are revealed.

“Family is more important than anything — and keeping your spirits up, no matter what happens, is important.,” Syd says. “I’ve discovered that I have so many wonderful friends at the club, it’s like my second home. And I also discovered that I am strong. I used to wonder what would I do if something happened [to me],

Fueling Your Workout

by Registered Dietitian, Kristen Klewen Kristin

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

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

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

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

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

High-Protein Snacking

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Club Fit Walkers Take Manhattan!

— written by Club Fit Member and Guest Blogger Lisa Skelton

 

It’s been an interesting road for this group of women — literally and figuratively!

Suzanne and Tess in Manhattan

Suzanne and Tess in Manhattan

Most goals, whether fitness-related or not, are met one step at a time. But Club Fit Briarcliff member Tess Cerra and her band of walkers have racked up MANY steps in reaching their goal: walking every street in Manhattan!

Sound like an insurmountable feat? It has taken this group of nine women, all members of the Chappaqua Neighbors Club, nearly three years to cover the approximately 1200-mile route, which they plan to complete in the next month. “We became more regimented as we went along,” says Tess. “Once we realized we could actually achieve our goal, we all became a little more obsessed with finishing!” One member is in charge of mapping out their routes, and distributes maps to each walker. Weather permitting, the group walks every Monday, and averages 6 miles per day.

But this isn’t their first project. And it is certainly not their last. The group first tackled the Old Croton Aqueduct route, which is approximately 37 miles long and ends in Manhattan’s Bryant Park. And after they tackle Manhattan, they plan to tackle the other boroughs of New York City, one by one.

Suzanne Keay, a member of the group who is also a member of Club Fit Briarcliff, says, “My endurance has definitely improved, and the mental boost we get from the camaraderie we have developed is priceless!” Tess adds, “Some walk a little harder than others, but we all have to keep up.”

One unexpected benefit the women have experienced is the fact that they have met many people along the way. Passers-by approach them to ask what they are doing, and some go out of their way to enlighten the women on interesting facts about their neighborhoods. “We’ve learned a lot!” says Tess. They have also have had a variety of culinary adventures, making sure a good lunch spot is part of the itinerary. Their favorite area? “The West Side was lovely,” says Tess. She says the most interesting road they traveled was a secret underground street in Chinatown that was once used by gangs.

When they’re not out walking, both Tess and Suzanne use various areas of Club Fit to work out. Both do The Circuit, with Tess favoring Aquatics and Tennis programming, and Suzanne using Group Fitness, the Hoist Roc-It circuit, and the Fitness Center. And as mentioned earlier, both are members of the 75-year-old Chappaqua Neighbors Club, of which the walking group is just one part. Tess heads up the organization’s cultural activities, and Suzanne is the club historian and works on the club’s newsletter.

How has the walking group added to their club experience? “I feel like I own Manhattan!” says Suzanne. The group has also gotten some press, with a profile in the Journal News and an appearance in USA Today, where they were pictured with well-known historian and author Doris Kearns Goodwin, whose publicist they came across on one of their walks.

It’s been an interesting road for this group of women — literally and figuratively! — but they haven’t reached the end of their journey! If you see Tess or Suzanne at the Club, congratulate them on their achievement, and be sure to find out where they are headed next!

 

Learn how to prevent changes in balance for a fall-free future

Learn how to prevent changes in balance for a fall-free future.
Practice exercises to improve your balance!

Debbie Lenihan
PT Director
Physical Therapy at Jefferson Valley

As we age the ability to maintain balance becomes more difficult. Balance and stability are important factors for aging adults to maintain a healthy lifestyle. Loss of balance is the primary factor in falls, which often results in serious injuries.

Many factors influence good balance. Some of them are biological and some we are able to influence and improve. Good balance is dependent on sensory input from the eyes, the correct functioning of the balance system in the inner ear, posture and center of gravity, and our ability to sense the position and movement in our feet, legs and arms. Vision affects the balance system, as the eyes send messages to the brain, telling us where objects are in space.

Aging adults are affected by a loss of muscle mass and strength, and have an increased risk of falls and hip fractures. Weakness in the ankle musculature may cause difficulty in recovering lost balance more quickly. Strong quadriceps muscles are necessary for good balance and walking. Evidence shows that strength and aerobic training can lead to a reduction in falls.

Loss of flexibility occurs with age. This may lead to difficulty climbing stairs, transferring from sit to stand and/or getting out of bed without difficulty. Much of the loss of flexibility is due to inactivity.

Postural changes can develop as people age which includes rounded shoulders, forward head postures and an increased thoracic curve in the spine. These changes affect the center of gravity in the body, moving it forward. With changes in the center of gravity, older adults are more prone to loss of balance and an increased risk of falls.

There are many ways we can adapt to the changes in our bodies as we age. Different forms of exercise, such as strengthening exercises, flexibility and stretching exercises, yoga, tai chi, and aerobic exercise, such as walking, will all contribute to decreasing the risk of falls and improving balance.

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Join Physical Therapy at Club Fit Jefferson Valley for a free lecture: “Use it or Lose it” on March 31!

If you would like to attend this free presentation contact Physical Therapy at Jefferson Valley at (914) 245 – 8807 to reserve a seat. Space is limited to 10 participants.

Take Care of Your Heart Health

— written by guest blogger and Club Fit member John Fisher

 

Master Trainer Beth Kear and Club Fit Member John Fisher

Master Trainer Beth Kear and Club Fit Member John Fisher

I had just completed another cardio fitness session with Beth Kear, a Master Trainer at Club Fit/Briarcliff and went up to the cafeteria to get a snack and relax. Once there, I paused to reflect on just what brought me together with Beth (a remarkable person, 100% experienced trainer and a compassionate and spiritual mentor who is teaching me to connect my mind to my stretches to feel my body’s response and stop mechanically counting seconds).

Anyway, my story begins about three years ago…and what I have to share just might save your life, or that of a loved one.

Then 75, physically trim and active, an avid tennis player, the first awareness of diminishing capacity came when when I began to find my reaction time and movement on the tennis court diminishing. It was driven home to me when the captain of our men’s indoor winter tennis doubles game approached me awkwardly to ask me to drop out of the group because I was beginning to drag down the quality of play. I attributed my reduced mobility to a lack of fitness, and signed on for a series of sessions with another Club Fit Master Trainer, Mike Cohen.

After our first package of sessions, I decided I could carry on by myself, using Club Fit’s FitLinxx equipment and supplementing that with a regular exercise program at home. But that required a level of self-discipline I just didn’t maintain. Sound familiar?

Now we come to 2013, and I find myself experiencing shortness of breath at the slightest exertion. I cannot keep up with my wife and friends on hikes, walking the streets of NYC or getting about on our son’s farm, having to stop periodically to catch my breath before continuing. Just wheeling our garbage can 150’ up our inclined driveway twice a week became a challenge.

“Do something about it!” I scolded myself. Time to resume a disciplined fitness routine. So in late 2013 I re-contacted Mike Cohen. But he could not fit me into his crowded schedule, so he introduced me to Beth. Well, at the end of my 2nd 1-hour session, I went to stand up after stretching on a table…and blacked out momentarily. Fortunately, Beth caught me before I hit the floor. After regaining my equilibrium, I lectured myself, not to sit up and then stand so abruptly so blood does not drain from my head suddenly, causing light-headedness. Enter self-deception/rationalization once again.

One week later, at the end of my next session, I again felt light-headed as I stood up, but immediately caught myself, sat down and avoided another blackout. That did it!

A call to my family physician at the Mt. Kisco Medical Group, a CT scan of the chest, a referral to their chief cardiologist, and the diagnosis: “You’re headed for open-heart surgery. You have calcification of the aortic valve, which needs to be replaced. And while they’re in there they’ll also need to perform a triple bypass to restore adequate blood flow, currently acutely compromised by blockages in three main arteries.”

I asked my cardiologist where he’d take his heart if he were facing the same circumstances. He gave me the names of two heart surgeons, one at Columbia Presbyterian and the other at Vassar Brothers Medical Center in Poughkeepsie. I chose the latter…with a highly-regarded team of cardio-thoracic surgeons, the best in the mid-Hudson Valley.

I had the surgery nine months ago, on April 4, 2014. Five days in the hospital; left for home pain-free, with a new tissue (cow) valve. Six weeks of monitoring at home by a nurse from the Westchester Visiting Nurse Service, followed by 40 closely-monitored sessions at the cardio rehab center run by Northern Westchester Hospital at Chappaqua Crossing, after which I resumed training with Beth. Beth and Mike Cohen (who also happens to be a cardio-rehab specialist) got together to review my progress report from the NWH cardio rehab center and designed a cardio fitness program to transition me to Club Fit.

I can report goodbye to shortness of breath; lung and heart functioning normal; and I feel like a completely new man at 78. All that remains is to test — and win — the quest for self-discipline. Stay tuned!

John also uses MYZONE heart rate and effort monitoring system as part of his health & fitness regimen.

Jimmy McDonough Cancer Foundation

[written by Club Fit blogger Lisa Skelton]

Jimmy McDonough Foundation founder Suzi McDonough

Jimmy McDonough Foundation founder Suzi McDonough

It takes a special person to take a family tragedy and turn it into a positive, but that’s just what Suzi McDonough did. When her husband, Jimmy, a longtime member of Club Fit Jefferson Valley, was diagnosed with lung cancer in 2004 and passed away less than a year later, Suzi and her family didn’t turn inward. They founded the Jimmy McDonough Foundation, a nonprofit that supports cancer patients and their families in the local community, and makes a big impact despite keeping a low profile.

“Our goal is to relieve as much stress as possible for families going through a cancer diagnosis and treatment,” says Suzi. “My family and I know firsthand the importance of a good support system, and want to provide that to those who don’t have the support they need.”

Her husband’s diagnosis was a surprise to everyone. Father of five, Jimmy never smoked and was focused on his fitness routine, working out at Club Fit almost every day. He was an involved and enthusiastic supporter of his community and kids’ sports in Mahopac, continuing to coach even after his diagnosis. He was being treated for pneumonia when a CT scan and subsequent biopsy revealed Stage 3 lung cancer. He passed away in February 2005, after seven months of chemotherapy and alternative treatments, but he and his family remained optimistic and positive throughout.

Since its inception, the Jimmy McDonough Foundation has helped countless people in our community. From rides to appointments to financial assistance to family outings, the Foundation supports families through their cancer journey. Family members serve on the Foundation’s board, and their single fundraiser is a golf outing held every May at Mahopac Golf Club. “One hundred percent of our fundraising proceeds go to funding our services,” says Suzi.

An additional fundraiser was held last year at FDR Park in Yorktown, a 5K Run that involved Club Fit’s Jason Needle, who is also battling cancer. “Jason is so like Jimmy with his positive attitude, and he is such an inspiration,” says Suzi. “His enthusiasm during the 5K event reminded me of Jimmy’s optimism throughout our family’s ordeal.”

Suzi has kept herself busy in the years since Jimmy’s passing, not only with the Foundation, but as Town Councilwoman in Carmel. She also works for the State Senate, and enjoys spending time with her five now-grown children. “I have a choice,” says Suzi. “I can wilt away or look ahead.”

But the Jimmy McDonough Foundation is clearly her priority. “Through the work we do, Jimmy’s legacy will live on,” says Suzi. And Club Fit Jefferson Valley is jumping on the bandwagon, donating all proceeds raised at the club’s Open House on January 31 to the Foundation. With a $50 donation, attendees received raffle tickets for prizes including massages, tennis lessons, a week of summer camp, a big screen TV, etc. A win-win for everyone! If you couldn’t make it and would like to help Suzi and her family make a difference in the lives of cancer patients in your community, you can mail your donation to The Jimmy McDonough Foundation, 72 Lockwood Lane, Mahopac, NY 10541, and know that you helped brighten someone’s day!

The Health Benefits of Diet and Exercise

The new year is upon us, a time for reflection, reevaluation and change. Even if what you are doing is working, there is always room for improvement! Just ask Bill Lulow, a Club Fit Briarcliff member for 20 years who used good judgment when faced with a recent health scare. He is now taking steps to educate himself on the benefits of a good diet to supplement an exercise regimen he has fine-tuned over the course of 30-plus years.

Bill, a commercial photographer, has been working out steadily since 1979. But the 70-year-old Chappaqua resident has had a few hiccups, including shoulder surgery and a recent angioplasty brought on by some unusual symptoms. “My dad died of a heart attack, so I’ve always been on top of my cardiac health,” says Bill. “He was a doctor himself, and was experiencing chest pain. He waited a few days to get to his own doctor, and it was a few days too late. I was determined not to let that happen to me.”

This past February, Bill felt a pain in his collarbone, in the carotid artery area, and couldn’t walk up a flight of stairs. The feeling passed, but a few weeks later it happened again while shopping with his wife of 32 years, Judith. When it didn’t pass by morning, he went to the Emergency Room. An angioplasty was performed, and revealed that he did suffer from coronary disease but did not have a heart attack. His attention to the pain probably saved him from a worse fate, and he was back in the gym doing cardio rehab almost right away.

Today, Bill spends six days a week in the Fitness Center, with three 20-minute days of cardio and weights and three days of an hour-long cardio workout. He’s modified his routine over time, getting tips from Assistant General Manager Ted Gilsinger after his shoulder surgery last year and help with his form from Master Trainer Sean Weil. “What I like about Club Fit is that the staff is so knowledgeable,” says Bill. “I feel comfortable taking direction from the Fitness Coaches there.”

A commercial photographer with studios in Chappaqua and Manhattan, Bill’s focus on fitness helps him maintain his active lifestyle. He spent many years teaching photography in the New York City public schools, and now does freelance corporate work and teaches photography privately and in local art programs. He also teaches in the Kaplan Test Prep program, and enjoys golf and skiing in his free time. His photography is currently being exhibited at the Katonah Village Library (click here for more information), and will be featured at the Scarsdale Public Library in April. Visit Bill’s web site, www.williamlulow.com, to view his work and to read about his journey through the world of photography. And if you see Bill in the Club, congratulate him on his proactive approach to good health — an approach we can all learn from!

Regular Exercise is important for your heart and overall health.

Regular Exercise is important for your heart and overall health.

Teamwork to find a cure for Arthritis

Now this should make you feel all warm and fuzzy! We’d like to share what Group Fitness Instructor, Carol Migliorelli, sent us about what she and some of our members were up to this weekend . . .

“This weekend at the Arthritis Foundation 5K, lots of Club Fit members joined the honoree, Denise Olsen to walk/run the event.

Denise was gravely ill a couple years ago and never thought that she would be able to walk again after a horrific flair up with her arthritis. However, she fought hard and long and has recovered. This year they honored her for her tremendous spunk and hard work!

We participated last year and raised over $3500 this year we pulled in over $8000!

Club Fit donated a gift card for a raffle (see young lady below) she gave a scream when she found out that she won “such an awesome prize!” So thank you Club Fit for supporting our efforts to hopefully one day find a cure for arthritis, but also for offering quality fitness programs that provide a safe place for people with arthritis to work out and promote a healthy quality of life. Denise said the aquatic center and classes were an important part of regaining her strength. When I see people improve and get their life back it makes me so proud to be a part of Club Fit.”

To Carol and all who participated in this great fundraiser: you are what makes us tick! You are all a fantastic example of what it means to be a team, working toward a goal for an excellent cause. We will continue to support these great works whenever possible! Great job!

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Are you living a healthy lifestyle?

Don’t laugh! It’s a good question to ask yourself! Some of us are super motivated when it comes to health and fitness, some people may even go a little too far with their workouts, some of us need a little push, some of us would really rather not workout, but we do for health reasons and some of us just simply don’t do it.

Here is a little factoid: There is no “too late” for anyone. Do you have a friend, relative or even a neighbor that needs to get active? It begins with encouraging them. Our society puts a great deal of pressure on us and sometimes we do not even notice it. It doesn’t automatically register in our minds that all the models we see in magazines and on TV are all photoshopped and airbrushed to the nines. We are fed unrealistic images of how people look and feel, and we assume that these “beautiful people” are all also healthy. This is not always so, but it sure does a number on our self esteem to be inundated with these images. Sometimes all it takes is a little push from a loved one or friend to get us to do something that is good for ourselves. Even when we are in the habit of working out, we still need that encouragement to stay motivated.

There is more to health than just working out. We need to consider our diet (including consumption of alcohol), our sleep habits, and our daily behaviors. It doesn’t always occur to us to check how many calories are in that Latte or what the side-effects of a particular medication are. Many times we don’t look behind the curtain. It’s time to start. Start by asking questions. Take a more active role in understanding health as whole and not just a piece of a puzzle. Where are we without our health? Probably not where we would like to be.

If you need some guidance and are ready to make a change, we are here to help you on your journey. We have registered dietitians, personal trainers and many programs that were designed specifically for your needs no matter where you are with your health. Whether you have been instructed by a doctor to start working out or are an avid fitness enthusiast, we want you to be a part of our community. We also have a Cancer Wellness Program that is open to anyone actively undergoing cancer treatments.

Get started today at our Jefferson Valley or Briarcliff location! Visit the Club Fit website for more information!