The Hiking Club

October 30, 2017 by jeanne

By Lisa Olney

Balancing the 24-7 responsibilities of everyday life while taking time for oneself can be as elusive as catching a cloud, and, often, the first casualties of this struggle are one’s own health, fitness, and sense of serenity. Experienced hiking leaders and Club Fit Jefferson Valley members Peter Meskin, Andrew Stein, and Michael Capsuto have the antidote, however, and it’s the longstanding Club Fit Hiking Club that has traversed the trails of the Hudson Valley for over two decades. A free activity for Club Fit members and their guests, hikes range from easy to challenging, and the only prerequisites are good physical condition, hiking boots, and a sense of adventure. The ability to combine exercise with the natural wonders of the Hudson Valley has never been easier … or more fun!

Peter Meskin is a former New York City high school English teacher whose innate gift for teaching earned him several awards for innovation in teaching his students desktop publishing in the days when computers were practically unheard of in the classroom. His inspiring teaching style still touches everything he does, whether in a classroom or in the great outdoors. The hiking bug first bit Meskin as a child growing up in Brooklyn, and as a young man, he went on day hikes with the American Youth Hostels hiking club throughout the Hudson Valley. Later, as a member of the Westchester Trails Hiking Club and the Appalachian Mountain Club (AMC), he became a hiking leader and received extensive training from the AMC at the 1,800-acre Blue Mountain Reservation in Peekskill. Not limited to dry land, however, Meskin was also a sailing instructor for the New York Sailing School on City Island, received his Coast Guard Captain’s license, and had his own charter boat business in the British Virgin Islands. His hobbies also include sculpting in wood and stone along with photography, and he and his wife, Diane, volunteer at a humane society animal shelter and Guiding Eyes for the Blind where they foster puppies to help socialize the potential guide dogs at a young age.

22 years ago, Club Fit Jefferson Valley reached out to Meskin about creating a hiking club, and it was about this time that Meskin met fellow Club Fit member Andrew Stein. Another avid hiker who grew up in the Bronx, Stein has hiked all over the country including Alaska and the Rockies, and as a videographer he has documented some of his favorite experiences. Encouraged by friends to share his local hiking experiences, Stein decided to look into starting a hiking club. As if Mother Nature herself introduced these two, their meeting couldn’t have happened at a better time. “Andrew is a caring and engaged hiking leader and has hiked the local trails since he was a boy,” says Meskin. “He shares his vast knowledge of local history and lore with the hikers, and his friendly dog Molly accompanies him on the trails, greeting all of the hikers and giving them even more reasons to smile. Andrew has been very important to the success of the hiking club.”

Hand-picked from within the hiking club, Club Fit’s third hiking leader is Michael Capsuto, a Yorktown resident who has been hiking since childhood. Capsuto discovered the hiking club 10 years ago, and his vast knowledge of area trails along with his Red Cross certifications in adult first aid/CPR/AED make him a valued addition as a hike leader. “Michael has an intimate knowledge of the trails from many years of hiking with the Club Fit Hiking Club and on his own,” says Meskin. “He is a caring and compassionate person who only wants the best for our members.”

Meskin, Stein, and Capsuto all combine working out at Club Fit with their outdoor exercise routines and agree that daily exercise is the key to staying healthy. They can often be found in the cardio area on the treadmills and elliptical machines or in the strength training area using equipment like the FitLinxx circuit. “I’ve been working out at Club Fit since the 1980s,” says Meskin. “They are constantly reinventing themselves, integrating new exercise strategies and programs to keep everyone involved and motivated.” Combine that with the physical and mental benefits of hiking, and the result is a full mind-body workout that spells balance with a capital B.

The Club Fit Hiking Club is always ready to welcome newcomers and familiar faces, alike. Hikes take place all year long, ranging from easy to challenging. No sign-up is required, and as part of the Club Fit membership, all hikes are free to members and their guests. The next two hikes are November 4th at Teatown with a Teatown naturalist and November 12th at the Fahnestock Park Appalachian Trail.  To view a Hiking Club photo montage from Hike Leader Andrew Stein, click here. Happy hiking!

Trainer of the Month Christian Guerrero

August 30, 2017 by karen

September 2017 Club Fit Jefferson Valley Trainer of the Month Christian Guerrero

 

Personal Trainer Christian Guerrero | Westchester, NY | Club Fit Jefferson Valley

Qualifications:

• SUNY Cortland ’17 Graduate
• B.S. Exercise Science
• NCCPT Certified Personal Trainer
• CPR/AED Certified

Specialties:

Sports Performance, Nutrition, High Intensity Interval Training, Anatomy and Physiology, Functional Training

Hobbies: 

Sports (Baseball, Basketball), Exercise, Music, Cooking, Movies

Frank will be leading FREE workshops on September 18th (6:00 pm) and September 27th (10:00 am).

FUNCTIONAL TRAINING/HIIT will consist of three circuits differentiated by emphasizing different areas of the body. These three circuits (upper body, lower body, full body), will alternate between 3 exercises in each circuit, with 30 seconds of work followed by 30 seconds of rest before the next exercise.
Upon completion of one circuit, move directly to the next circuit. (Upper -> Lower -> Full -> REPEAT)
This process will be repeated three times through with a minute of rest after the first run through of all three circuits. Program should take exactly 30 minutes if done correctly.

Want to know more? Contact Christian at 914-214-2167 or cguerrero@clubfit.com.

 

Fitness Success Story: Patrick Doanne

June 28, 2017 by karen

Club Fit Member Patrick Doanne is pleased with the fitness success he achieved during Tiana’s Training Challenge

 

Master Trainer Tiana Gonzalez helped Club Fit Member Patrick Doanne achieve fitness success
Master Trainer Tiana Gonzalez and her happy client Patrick Doanne

Patrick wrote us to thank Tiana for the great results she helped him achieve during the 40-day Training Challenge: “After rehabbing my injured knee for the past 10 months this program provided me with a great bridge bringing me back to fitness. During the 40 days I achieved all of my goals including improved strength and conditioning. Through the increased activity and Tiana’s nutritional counseling, I also achieved a substantial weight loss. Tiana is an excellent coach that has a tremendous understanding of fitness and movement patterns. She was able to modify each exercise to make it both safe and effective for me. Thank you for everything, Patrick”

The goals of the Training Challenge include losing weight, improving stamina and strength, and becoming the strongest version of yourself.  Keep an eye out for future challenges!

Congratulations to Patrick on his hard work and success achieving his fitness goals!

Dryland & Kids Conditioning July 2017 Athletes

June 7, 2017 by karen

Dryland & Kids Conditioning programs with Club Fit Master Trainer Beth Kear
Dryland Athlete of the Month: Victor Zhou

 

Club Fit Dryland Athlete of the Month Victor Zhou
Club Fit Dryland Athlete of the Month Victor Zhou

Victor has been with the program for a few sessions now and always tries his best. His speed and agility have seen much improvement as well as his coordination and running. Victor should see continue to see improvement due to his dedication during our conditioning sessions. Keep up the good work, Victor! 

 

 

 

Most Improved Dryland Athlete: Daniel Luan
Most Improved Club Fit Dryland Athlete Daniel Luan
Most Improved Club Fit Dryland Athlete Daniel Luan

Daniel’s competitive nature is apparent when we perform team drills & activities. Daniel is a quiet force of nature and also a heck of a soccer player. Though not always available for our training sessions, he has still improved in many areas. Great job, Daniel!

 

 

 

Dryland & Kids Conditioning June 2017 Athletes

May 23, 2017 by karen

Dryland & Kids Conditioning programs with Club Fit Master Trainer Beth Kear

 

Dryland Athlete of the Month: Richard Liu
Club Fit Dryland Athlete of the Month Richard Liu
Club Fit Dryland Athlete of the Month Richard Liu

Richard has been with the Dryland program for several sessions. He has shown that he will give 100% effort in whatever drill we are doing. When the weather is nice you will see him using the bounding rings, jumping rope or running hurdles out by the pool. Keep up the good work, Richard!

Most Improved Dryland Athlete: James Wang
Most Improved Club Fit Dryland Athlete James Wang
Most Improved Club Fit Dryland Athlete James Wang

James is a pleasure to have in the Dryland program! He has shown a great desire in excelling with all the drills given to him. James has a competitive spirit and strives to do his best. He loves to improve his racquetball skill, and his balance and core strength has improved. Way to go, James!

 

 

Trainer of the Month Frank Murphy

April 27, 2017 by karen

May 2017 Club Fit Jefferson Valley Trainer of the Month Frank Murphy

 

Personal Trainer Frank Murphy | Westchester, NY | Club Fit Jefferson Valley
May 2017 Club Fit Jefferson Valley Trainer of the Month Frank Murphy

 

Qualifications:

• B.S. in Nutrition and Dietetics
• NCCPT Smart Fitness Certified
• Basic Life Support (CPR & AED) Certified

Specialties:

• Personal Nutrition Consulting
• Speed and Conditioning
• Strength and Power Hypertrophy

Hobbies: 

• Nutrition & Cooking
• Football
• Hockey
• Lacrosse

Frank will be leading FREE workshops on Saturday, May 20th (8:00–8:30 am) and Saturday, May 28th (1:00–1:30 pm).

PURE FORCE is a high intensity class that uses a variety of circuits and intervals that will push your body to the limit. In just 30 minutes, PURE FORCE will torch your body fat, increase aerobic capacity, and build lean muscle mass. This class will utilize equipment such as slam balls, battle ropes, kettlebells, plyometric boxes and much more! Come put your body through the ultimate test, and may the force be with you.

Want to know more? Contact Frank at ext. 1257 or fmurphy@clubfit.com.

 

New HOIST Smith Machine

April 24, 2017 by karen

New HOIST Smith Machine at Club Fit Briarcliff

HOIST Dual-Action Smith Machine
HOIST Dual-Action Smith Machine at Club Fit Briarcliff in Westchester, NY

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Just added to our fitness area at Club Fit Briarcliff—the HOIST CF-3754 Dual-Action Smith Machine!

While traditional Smith machines have a constrained range of motion, the advanced design of this unique HOIST dual-action system allows it to be utilized as a safety-assisted Smith machine AND incorporate the fuller range of motion of a free-standing squat rack. The range of exercises that can be performed on this machine is nearly endless! 

• Dual Action technology allows for both horizontal and vertical bar movement

• Travel distance of horizontal bar movement: 30.25” (77 cm)

• Travel distance of vertical bar movement: 63.50” (161 cm)

• Integrated racking system provides 9 positions for Smith exercises

• Adjustable safety tiers

• Incorporates 10 weight plate holders for easy storage

• Starting weight of Olympic bar: 52 lbs. (24 kg)

• Maximum weight storage capacity: 1.450 lbs. (612 kg)

• Maximum exercise weight capacity: 540 lbs. (245 kg)

Come in and try it out! Need a demo or some pointers? Ask one of our Fitness Coaches—they’ll be happy to assist!

 

Parisi Athlete: Soccer Player Lucas Buono

April 10, 2017 by karen

Parisi Speed School
Athlete Spotlight April 2017:
Soccer Player Lucas Buono

Parisi Speed School Athlete: Lucas Buono
Parisi Athlete Lucas Buono practicing his soccer skills even while on vacation!

Parisi Speed School has helped me in many ways. I have gotten faster as well as stronger. Jen and Vince have helped me so much. They are really nice and they are always encouraging me to do better. I really think that all my training will help me become a much better soccer player. I want to thank Jen and Vince for all they have done to help me and for nominating me for this award.” – Athlete Lucas Buono

“Lucas brings a focus and determination to his Parisi sessions that you normally expect out of an athlete much older than he is. At twelve years old, he is consistently the youngest athlete in the workout but you would never know it based on his demeanor and performance. Lucas completes each exercise with a quiet confidence, a smile on his face and always aims to improve from week to week. His athletic future is bright and we are proud to be a part of it!”– Coaches Jen Ritz & Vince Wright

The Parisi Speed School, a state-of-the-art speed and agility training program, has become an industry leader in youth performance. Club Fit Jefferson Valley is the only facility in Northern Westchester to offer the program.

 

Dryland & Kids Conditioning April Athletes

April 1, 2017 by karen

Dryland & Kids Conditioning programs with Club Fit Master Trainer Beth Kear

 

Dryland Athlete of the Month: Brittany Corbett
lub Fit Dryland Athlete of the Month Brittany Corbett
Club Fit Dryland Athlete of the Month Brittany Corbett

This is Brittany’s second year in the Dryland program. She has shown her athletic talents from day one. Her enthusiasm and energy is apparent and she always is looking to improve at the drills given to her. She excels at the speed and agility stations, and always seems to be enjoying everything she does. Brittany is always willing to lend a hand with the earlier class when a partner is needed. Thanks, Brittany, for setting the example!

Most Improved Dryland Athlete: Kaitlyn Bennett
Most Improved Club Fit Dryland Athlete Kaitlyn Bennett
Most Improved Club Fit Dryland Athlete Kaitlyn Bennett

This is Kaitlyn’s first year working with the trainers. She began in September learning about flexibility, balance, accuracy and speed.  Kaitlyn continues to show her personal best each and every time she is at Dryland class.  She is a pleasure to work with and to see her improvement. Keep up the great work, Kaitlyn!

 

 

Dryland & Kids Conditioning March Athletes

March 1, 2017 by karen

Dryland & Kids Conditioning programs with Club Fit Master Trainer Beth Kear
Dryland Athlete of the Month: Patrick Fang
Club Fit Dryland Athlete of the Month Patrick Fang
Club Fit Dryland Athlete of the Month Patrick Fang

Patrick, who joined the program in the fall, has really shown his talents this season. He has improved in all training aspects excelling on the track as well as at the SAQ drills that the trainers give him. He always gives 100% effort, challenges himself on a daily basis, and encourages the other class participants to do the same. Congratulations, Patrick!!

 

Most Improved Dryland Athlete: Xander Sohng
Most Improved Club Fit Dryland Athlete Xander Sohng
Most Improved Club Fit Dryland Athlete Xander Sohng

Xander was new to the program and has made marked improvements since beginning this fall. He is very focused and stays on all tasks given to him. His skills on the obstacle course have improved and he always gives his best. Xander is a pleasure to work with. The trainers commend his hard work and efforts. You go, Xander!

 

 

Parisi Athlete: Soccer Player Chayce Buono

March 1, 2017 by karen

Parisi Speed School
Athlete Spotlight March 2017:
Soccer Player Chayce Buono

Parisi Speed School Athlete: Soccer Player Chayce Buono
Chance is on her game on the soccer field, with help from Parisi Speed School

“Throughout my training at Parisi I have noticed a significant change in my speed and my overall strength. I couldn’t be more grateful for my trainers Jen and Vince. Every Tuesday I work with Jen and every Thursday I work with Vince on my strength and my speed. They both have taught me so much including my technique in running and they push me to be a better athlete. I am very excited to continue my training with both Vince & Jen.” – Soccer Player Chayce Buono

“Chayce is the kind of athlete all trainers love to have in their classes. She is diligent in “the small things” like concentrating on her form and having proper mechanics throughout each drill. Chayce always comes ready to work hard and complete each workout to the best of her ability. These traits not only make her a great athlete in the Parisi studio but also on the soccer field. We look forward to continuing her training and helping her achieve the next level success she is working towards!”– Coaches Jen Ritz & Vince Wright

The Parisi Speed School, a state-of-the-art speed and agility training program, has become an industry leader in youth performance. Club Fit Jefferson Valley is the only facility in Northern Westchester to offer the program.

 

Dryland & Kids Conditioning February Athletes

February 1, 2017 by karen

Dryland & Kids Conditioning programs with Club Fit Master Trainer Beth Kear

 

Dryland Athlete of the Month:  Allison Corbett
Club Fit Dryland Athlete of the Month Allison Corbett
Club Fit Dryland Athlete of the Month Allison Corbett

This is Allison’s second year with the Dryland program. Her running has improved immensely and she is always looking to improve her time. She continually strives to improve and get faster, yet keeps it fun. Allison consistently goes “all out” and puts her heart into everything we do in class. She is often asked to demonstrate skills for her classmates. Love to have you in class, Allison!

Most Improved Dryland Athlete: Elizabeth Kracht
Most Improved Club Fit Dryland Athlete Elizabeth Kracht
Most Improved Club Fit Dryland Athlete Elizabeth Kracht

Elizabeth was new to the Dryland this past fall. From the first day she has demonstrated her enthusiasm and desire to learn new skills, and to better the skills that she already knows. Her running continues to improve as she challenges herself on a weekly basis. We are thrilled to have Elizabeth in class. Way to go, girl!

 

 

 

Parisi Athlete: Step Dancer Grace McClay

January 3, 2017 by karen

Parisi Speed School
Athlete Spotlight January 2017:
Step Dancer Grace McClay

Parisi Speed School Athlete: Step Dancer Grace McClay
Parisi Speed School has enhanced Grace’s performance on the stage and on the soccer field.

“I started training with Jessica at Parisi Speed School because I wanted to become stronger, faster and more agile, which would help me with my two main sports — Irish dancing and soccer.  I danced at the World Championships for Irish dancing earlier this year, and it is my goal to qualify to compete there again next year, so I need do a lot of extra work in addition to dancing to help me to meet my goal.  In the short amount of time I have been training with Jessica, she has helped me so much. My strength has improved and my speed has increased tremendously. Every time I come to train, even though I’m tired and sweating, I have fun because my trainer is there beside me pushing me. Also, when I feel like I can’t do anymore, I tell myself I can do it, and that it’s only going to help me. I believe there is no limit to the ability to be successful; you can do anything and everything is possible. I’m so excited to continue training and to see additional improvements in the future.” – Step Dancer & Soccer Player Grace McClay

“Grace has made incredible progress since starting Parisi training. She is the perfect example of how skills of strength, speed, and agility, translate through all platforms, such as dance. Grace always comes to training in high spirits and eager to challenge herself. It is a pleasure to see Grace’s skills and confidence evolve through training.”– Coach Jess Petti

The Parisi Speed School, a state-of-the-art speed and agility training program, has become an industry leader in youth performance. Club Fit Jefferson Valley is the only facility in Northern Westchester to offer the program.

 

Dryland & Kids Conditioning January Athletes

January 1, 2017 by karen

Dryland & Kids Conditioning programs with Club Fit Master Trainer Beth Kear

 

Dryland Athlete of the Month:  Susannah Radick
Club Fit Dryland Athlete of the Month Susannah Radick
Club Fit Dryland Athlete of the Month Susannah Radick

Susannah has returned to the Dryland program this season and already has shown great desire in excelling with all of the drills given to her. She has a competitive spirit and strives to do her best. Susannah loves to improve her SAQ skills and her balance/core strength has improved greatly. Always ready to do the “Carlton” dance and lighten a difficult set, she is a pleasure to have in class. Way to go, girl!

 

 

 

Most Improved Dryland Athlete: Hunter Skodzinski
Most Improved Club Fit Dryland Athlete Hunter Skodzinski
Most Improved Club Fit Dryland Athlete Hunter Skodzinski

Hunter has made a name for himself and I love to see what I can give him next. His running has greatly improved and he always gives 100% effort in whatever exercises he is performing. Hunter’s coordination, strength and agility have all seen great improvement. Keep up the great work Hunter!

 

 

 

To Keep You Inspired: Diane Purdy

October 28, 2016 by karen

Club Fit’s Payroll Specialist Diane Purdy Keeps Us Inspired

{by Lisa Olney, Club Fit guest blogger}

Club Fit’s Payroll Specialist Diane Purdy with Personal Trainer Lori Nigro
Club Fit’s Payroll Specialist Diane Purdy with Personal Trainer Lori Nigro

Club Fit’s highest staff honor is its Annual Service Award, presented under veil of secrecy each year at the Annual Meeting — a day of education, team building, and staff appreciation. So, when Diane Purdy, Club Fit’s Payroll Specialist of almost 20 years was asked to lead a Q & A about the Club’s new human resource management system, Dayforce, she was prepared and ready for any question that came her way. What she wasn’t prepared for was the proverbial table turn. Instead of being introduced as the afternoon’s next speaker, she was introduced through a cleverly written poem as Club Fit’s 2016 Annual Service Award winner!

Diane may have been the only person in the room surprised by the announcement. Her consummate work ethic and dedication strikes a lasting impression for all who meet her. Diane’s attention to detail and support to managers and staff has made her invaluable in every area of Club Fit. Diane takes her responsibility as Club’s Payroll Specialist seriously, and over the years she has braved many of Mother Nature’s wicked weather curve balls to get to work, even during weather closures, because, simply put, “Our people need to get paid.” The support she provides has become her calling card, and Diane has helped guide her team through two significant technology launches helping to maximize Club Fit’s internal efficiency and overall position as a leader in the fitness industry. But most importantly, on Diane’s watch, people come first, and everyone is taken care of with equal care and attention.

Diane grew up playing basketball, softball, and running track. As an adult, she enjoyed an effortless balance of health and fitness. But time marches on, and bodies change. As Diane entered her 50s, she realized that maintaining this balance was finally going to require a little more effort. So, she decided it was time to focus on improving her own health and fitness. She found her perfect partner in Club Fit Jefferson Valley Personal Trainer Lori Nigro.

“Lori knew that I was interested in getting in shape and losing weight,” recalls Diane. After their first session, the rest was history, and they’ve been training together since March of 2015. Every Tuesday at 3:30, the duo meets for a 30-minute personal training session. Lori has incorporated high intensity training (HIT) and functional training into Diane’s repertoire. Some days are dedicated to specific body parts, and each session includes stretching and cardio. Diane’s favorite machine is the cross cable machine, and she complements her Club Fit routine by staying active and bicycling through her neighborhood.

“Over the years, I’ve tried just about everything — spinning and cardio tennis, but, this is what I do on Tuesdays,” says Diane. It has been just over 18 months since Diane started her weekly sessions with Lori. She noticed changes right away, and is proud that she has maintained her fitness and weight loss. As for her future fitness goals, Diane is happy continuing her Tuesday sessions with Lori. “I’ll stick with my program,” says Diane. “Lori has shown me so many things. She is motivating, very encouraging and great to work with.”

This February will mark Diane’s 20-year Club Fit anniversary, and Diane most values the caring and friendly culture at the Club, from the staff to the members. “It’s my home away from home, and I love the people,” said Diane. “Everybody cares about their well-being, and the Club cares about helping the community. It’s a great place to work.”

As Diane closes in on the big 2-0, staff and members alike may already know of her love of traveling, NBA basketball, and her favorite team, the San Antonio Spurs. But, did you know that Diane is a huge country music fan with an ear that would make any Nashvillian proud? In 2016 she has already seen 16 big-name artists in concert such as Martina McBride, Reba McEntire, Luke Bryan, Kenney Chesney, Miranda Lambert, and on October 26, Carrie Underwood. 2016 is not over yet, however, and in November she will see Keith Urban and Brett Eldridge, and Stevie Nicks is on the docket for December. Diane has already purchased her tickets for Faith Hill and Tim McGraw’s Soul2Soul tour in October of 2017 — just another fun fact that exemplifies Diane’s attention to detail and strategic planning, a strength that can always be counted on by the Club Fit community.

Fitness Success Story: Janet Murff

October 19, 2016 by karen

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

 

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

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

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

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

Benefits of Tai Chi

September 30, 2016 by karen

Benefits of Tai Chi

by Master Trainer and Exercise Physiologist, Jie Yang
Master Trainer Jie Yang
Master Trainer Jie Yang will leads a Tai Chi Fitness class at Club Fit Briarcliff

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

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

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

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

Stress and mental health:
• A systematic review and meta-analysis, funded in part by the U.S. government, of the current (as of 2010) studies on the effects of practicing Tai Chi found that, “Twenty-one of 33 randomized and nonrandomized trials reported that 1 hour to 1 year of regular Tai Chi significantly increased psychological well-being including reduction of stress, anxiety, and depression, and enhanced mood in community-dwelling healthy participants and in patients with chronic conditions. Seven observational studies with relatively large sample sizes reinforced the beneficial association between Tai Chi practice and psychological health [11].”
• There have also been indications that tai chi might have some effect on noradrenaline and cortisol reduction with an effect on mood and heart rate. However, the effect may be no different than those derived from other types of physical exercise [12]. In one study, tai chi has also been shown to reduce the symptoms of Attention Deficit and Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) in 13 adolescents. The improvement in symptoms seem to persist after the tai chi sessions were terminated [13].
• In June, 2007 the United States National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine published an independent, peer-reviewed, meta-analysis of the state of meditation research, conducted by researchers at the University of Alberta Evidence-based Practice Center. The report reviewed 813 studies (88 involving Tai Chi) of five broad categories of meditation: mantra meditation, mindfulness meditation, yoga, Tai Chi, and Qi Gong. The report concluded that “the therapeutic effects of meditation practices cannot be established based on the current literature,” and “firm conclusions on the effects of meditation practices in healthcare cannot be drawn based on the available evidence [14].
• In 2003, the National Library of Medicine, the largest medical library in the world and subdivision of U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, awarded a grant to American Tai Chi and Qigong Association to build a website titled “The Online Tai Chi & Health Information Center.” The information center was officially released in 2004 and has since then been providing scientific, reliable, and comprehensive information about various health benefits of Tai Chi – for arthritis, diabetes, fall prevention, pain reduction, mental health, cardiovascular diseases, fitness, and general well-being.

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

 

To Keep You Inspired … Denise D’Amico

September 29, 2016 by karen

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.”

To Keep You Inspired … Our Club Fit Members!

August 30, 2016 by karen

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

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Fitness Success Story: Kathi Grossman

July 29, 2016 by karen

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

 

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

 

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

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

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