Physical Therapy: Back Care Safety for Winter Weather

January 30, 2014 by Liz

by Meryle Richman, PT, DPT
Director of Physical Therapy

It has certainly been a snowy winter! With all the shoveling or even using a snow blower, repetitive improper bending over can cause stress and strains on the muscles and joints in your body.

According to the American Physical Therapy Association the shoulders, back, neck and knees are prime target areas for injuries. Following the suggested tips can help you minimize the risk of injury:

• Warm up before you begin. Get your heart rate up by taking a 10-minute walk followed by some stretches for your upper and lower back, neck, arms and legs. Roll your shoulders back in a circular motion and slowly move your head from side to side a few times to loosen up.
• Don’t overdo it. Be mindful of how the body feels. If you experience an aching back or neck, slow down and stretch or stop and switch to a different task.
• Change positions frequently to avoid stiffness or cramping.
• Practice proper body mechanics. Bend at your knees when you grab something; bend your knees and contract your abdominal muscles to avoid straining your back. Slight bending at your knees also applies to shoveling
• When shoveling, turn and pivot on your feet instead of twisting from your trunk to remove snow from your shovel.
• End your cleaning-up session with a short walk or some light stretching. Take a warm bath or shower to help prevent next-day soreness.

If you experience pain or have questions, you are welcome to contact Physical Therapy at Briarcliff at (914) 762 – 2222 or Physical Therapy at Jefferson Valley at (914) 245 – 8807; or visit our web at We are located inside Club Fit since 1983.

Reference: Move forward; Physical Therapy Brings Motion to Life.

Think Fit For Kids

January 24, 2014 by karen

Five years ago, Kim Gilman and her family began a journey that no parent ever wants to travel. Her son was diagnosed with medulloblastoma, a malignant brain tumor, followed by surgery, radiation therapy and months of chemotherapy. Thankfully, their story had a happy ending.


But it wasn’t just an ending. It was also a beginning for Kim, leading to her involvement in A Kid’s Brain Tumor Cure, a non-profit dedicated to finding more effective, less toxic and less punishing treatments for brain cancer in children. Kim, a Club Fit Briarcliff member and mother of three, now works in development for the organization, and is chairperson of Think Fit For Kids, an annual event that is growing into a major source of funding for the organization.


Think Fit For Kids 2014, scheduled for March 16 (mark your calendar!), is in its fourth year at Club Fit Briarcliff, and has raised more than $650,000 since 2011. “The greatest thing about it is, every penny goes to research, and the doctors I’ve met are very optimistic that this research is going to make a real difference in treatment options,” says Kim. “The other great thing is that the event itself is so amazingly positive. It’s great to see parents and kids working out together and just experiencing a truly ‘feel-good’ day.”

Part of Kim’s focus is on raising awareness in the metro NY area. The AKBTC Foundation has grown into an international effort that has supported conferences of world-renowned researchers and clinicians as well as 26 research projects at institutions around the world. “I was shocked by the lack of government funding for pediatric brain tumor research, and feel like our work really makes an impact,” says Kim.


Kim’s connection with Club Fit also plays a role in her success, in a number of ways. “From day one, Club Fit has been so supportive of our efforts,” she says.  She also credits her workout routine to helping her in her work. “I do my best thinking in Spin class!” she says, and feels that all parents and caregivers can only benefit from making an effort to be healthy. “You can’t take good care of someone else if you aren’t in a good place yourself. I truly feel both my mind and my body are healthier when I make exercise a priority.”


Think Fit For Kids is open to both members and non-members of Club Fit, and local vendors have generously donated to all aspects of the event, from the extensive silent auction and food to the DJ and other activities. “We originally considered holding a private event, but when it became open to everyone, we discovered that members in for their regular workouts were curious and joined in on the fun. Since that first year, we’ve developed quite a following!” Kim is happy to report.


For more information on this year’s event, visit
And be sure to join in on the fun on March 16th!

So What Makes Summer Camp So Awesome?

January 14, 2014 by Liz

Why is Summer Camp Important?
Top 6 opportunities provided by Club Fit Summer Camp

Choice – Club Fit Summer Camp offers a wide range of activities on a daily basis. Whether it’s Swim, Tennis, Art, Special Events or Camp games you find it all here at Club Fit Summer Camp. Club Fit Summer allows your child to discover their passions and their talents.
Confidence – At the end of the summer, campers are ready for school because they have mastered new communication/ social skills and have learned to be part of a team.
Character Building – It is at camp where the underachieving child suddenly takes a leadership role in a project; an overachieving child learns to help others. All of these experiences build character and develop leadership skills.
Community – The campers are under the same roof and with the same adults and peers for an entire day. Many camps create a close-knit community among staff, parents and children — something that typically doesn’t happen in the school year.
Employment – Most camps provide teens with their first job. It is this job training experience that allows many teens to be successfully employed outside the camp setting in later years.
FUN! – Ask children about their Club Fit summer camp experiences and you will hear “I live for summer camp,” “I can’t wait for the summer to come,” and “Summer camp is where I found my best friends.”

The Camp Bash at Club Fit is coming up in February! It’s always a crowd pleaser for our kids! Click here to register for summer camp or for more information: SUMMER CAMP AT CLUB FIT

Juggle Your Way to Fitness at Club Fit Jefferson Valley

January 14, 2014 by Liz

It turns out juggling isn’t just for clowns – it’s the latest circus-inspired fitness trend that’s accessible to all ages, and now is your chance to check it out. Club Fit Jefferson Valley will be offering a special adult and kids master classes with JuggleFit founder Heather Wolf on Friday, February 28. “Most people don’t think of juggling as a workout,” says Wolf, “but it burns up to 280 calories an hour and even doubles as a brain exercise.” Wolf learned to juggle while touring with the Ringling Bros. Barnum & Bailey Circus as a musician, and is the founder of New York City-based fitness company JuggleFit.

Club Fit fitness director Joelle Letta noticed Time Out New York’s recent feature on JuggleFit, and was excited about bringing a fun new workout to club members. “We’re always looking for something exciting and unique for offer our members, and juggling definitely fit the bill.”

Class attendees can expect to learn to juggle in a simple, step-by-step way, and get a low-impact cardio workout while improving balance, coordination and engaging core muscles. “JuggleFit breaks juggling down into simple steps, making it much easier to learn. We start everyone out by juggling in slow motion to get a feel for how it works.”

Several studies have shown that juggling actually increases gray matter in the brain. “That’s what makes it so fun,” adds Wolf, “it requires concentration and focus, so you actually forget you’re even exercising. It’s a nice activity to add to your fitness routine to spice things up.”
The adult class will he held at 5:30 pm and the kids class at 6:30 pm, both on Friday, February 28. The classes are available to Club Fit members and non-members for $25 per person. To register or for more information, please contact Joelle at Club Fit at

Stand 10 Years Younger & Stronger with Standing Pilates

January 10, 2014 by Liz

Defy gravity. Stand strong & live taller. Experience a workout like you have never experienced. Take the ultimate standing challenge and learn how to synchronize your body to create a firm stability, an unstoppable force & a body that looks good. Core strengthening, body lengthening, balance training and functional strengthening. Do you want to get the edge? Come and get it! Challenge yourself to perform the classic mat work standing up & then put a Physioball finish on it. Take your fitness and physique to the next level. Taught by experienced Pilates Instructor, Tina Sferra, MSPT. Re-engineer your body through a highly filtered lens. Treat yourself well!

You will grow with Pilates. As you properly learn how to dynamically engage your transverse abdominus against gravity in an upright position, you will create a natural human corset at your waist which increases spinal space preventing collapse and degenerative disc disease. Our discs are like a sponge that fills up and gets wrung out. Defy gravity and take everything that you have been learning on the mat for years to channel your strength, length & core stability to the next level. Envision a longer, stronger you. Then take action. Standing Pilates offers you to develop dynamic upright core control which is remarkable of true achievement & mastery. NFL Wide Receiver, Antonio Brown, does Pilates. Smart athletes achieve elite performance with Pilates. Work your legs and upper body in the framework of building a strong neutral spine to carryover into every athletic endeavor that you do as well as into the quality and function of your daily life. Your results will definitely be noticed by all as you stand 10 years younger in strength and appearance. Who wants to sip from the fountain of youth?

Starting January 18, 2014 you can take a Standing Pilates class at Club Fit Jefferson Valley every Saturday morning at 9:05. The weekends are for your body!

Club Fit Open House

January 10, 2014 by Liz

New Year’s Resolutions…Most people have them, and the majority of people break them! And, as you can imagine, losing weight is almost always at the top of the list, as well as spending more time with family and friends and staying fit and healthy.

The month of January is almost always the busiest month at a health club, as everyone plans to stay committed to their resolutions. It’s also probably the best emotional time to join. The first step usually is seeing which health clubs are in your local community. Being able to get to a gym that is close by is key, as well as extended hours of availability. Finding a health club that fits your needs and lifestyle is important.

Look for a health club that has a lot to offer, as you can switch up your routines as frequently as you want. Is the health club willing to give you some passes so that you can have a comfort in knowing what the club is all about? See the environment and mingle with the members. Really picture yourself there… Take advantage of all they have to offer so you could see if it would really be a good fit for you.

Some questions to ask: Is there an annual contract or do you allow the member to go month to month? Do you allow guests to come in with you during the month.? Are classes an additional fee? Is there someone that will be there on staff to help you when you need the help? (especially during the first month – or two!)

The key is making the commitment – keep that New Year’s Resolution, and start your journey to good health!

In keeping with tradition, Club Fit will be holding their annual Open House in Jefferson Valley on January 25, 2014 and in Briarcliff on January 26, 2014. Activities start at 9am! You can visit for the day – free of charge – and see all they have to offer. Spend some time walking through the club, win some prizes, take part in some classes – it’s all on us!

If you are looking for a health club that has both indoor and outdoor tennis courts, indoor swimming pools, over 130 group fitness classes weekly, a Fitness Coach on staff from open to close to answer all of your fitness questions, as well as a nursery with child care, a healthy café menu, massage therapists on staff (and so much more!!!) look no further. We’re waiting for you! Visit us at

More details on the Open House Events at Club Fit Briarcliff and Club Fit Jefferson Valley:
Click here for Jefferson Valley Schedule of events.
Want to work out with us? Group Fitness Classes at Jefferson Valley
Click here for Briarcliff Schedule of events.
Want to work out with us? Group Fitness Classes at Briarcliff

New Classes at Briarcliff!

January 9, 2014 by Liz

4×4: Monday 6:00 pm (replacing Boot Camp)
Four exercises in 4 minutes: 1 minute each of cardio, lower body, upper body and core with 30 seconds of active recovery between rounds.
Rounds include plyometric, dumbbells and body weight exercise for a challenging, fast paced workout!

NEW -Barre Pilates: Monday 6:15 pm, Wednesday 10:10 am, Thursday 9:25 am (replacing several barre and pilates mat classes) Develop a strong core, lean muscles and improved posture in this fusion class ~ Pilates inspired barre exercise followed by traditional mat work. Intermediate level.

Cardio Strength: Wednesday 6:00 pm (replacing Definitions)
Total body workout using a variety cardio modalities interspersed with strength training, utilizing weights, bars and balls.

M.E.L.T: Wednesday 6:00
Myofascial Energetic Lengthening Technique – Release tension and rehydrate connective tissue using soft foam rollers and hand/foot balls.

NEW- Core Bar: Thursday 7:10 pm, Saturday 9:05 am
Non-stop movement – Non-stop sweat! Using principles of Metabolic Training, Corebar combines varying cardio intensities with strength training, balance, agility and muscle conditioning using the weighted Corebar. Intermediate level

New Classes at Jefferson Valley!

January 8, 2014 by Liz

Chair Yoga: Mondays at 11:30
Offers the ability to improve your health through an amazing form of adaptive exercise. You are supported by a chair so you can receive yoga’s healing and restorative benefits.

Head to Toe Yoga: Wednesdays at 10:30
A hatha yoga class with 26 postures and two breathing exercises. Works every part of the body, helping maintain optimum health and function of the internal organs, ligaments, tendons and muscles to increase strength and flexibility, while improving body alignment and the immunity system.

Core Bar: Tuesdays at 10:20 & Sundays at 9:15
Corebar employs the scientific principles of metabolic training, the workout is a combination of varying cardio intensities plus strength, balance, agility and muscle endurance conditioning exercises using the signature weighted “corebar” The training is intense , energetic and fun!!

Standing Pilates: Saturdays at 9:05

Want the edge? Come and get it! Challenge yourself by performing classic mat work standing up. A physioball finish takes your physique to the next level

Piloxing: Sundays at 11:35 & Mondays at 6:35pm
Uniquely mixes Pilates and boxing moves into a fat torching, muscle sculpting, core-centric interval workout.

Buddy Up for 2014!

January 7, 2014 by Kendra

Bryan and I working out with Jenn!

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

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

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

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

Keeping the Momentum in the New Year

January 2, 2014 by Liz

Even people that are dedicated to the idea of fitness being part of their lifestyles can fall into a seasonal slump of sorts. First there is Thanksgiving and Hanukkah followed by Christmas and New Year. For some, it’s a real challenge to get back on the horse after the overeating, celebrating and even just the plain old comfort of being a homebody. It’s a far cry from Spring which motivates us to get in shape for Summer, and Summer where we want to feel our best so we have abundant energy for vacations, the beach, camp and other adventures. Even the Fall allows us to take advantage of some beautiful outdoor activities like hiking, biking and jogging. Really, it’s the end of Fall/Beginning of Winter challenge we are talking about.

So how do we stay motivated? There is no one right answer, but the good news is, there are many things we can suggest that just might help you out! If you are someone who is accustom to the fitness lifestyle, the New Year usually brings new trends. Try something different, take a class that you commit to, treat yourself to a fitness assessment or personal training session so you can set some new goals with a professional. It will give your routine a boost.

For those that might be yearning for a renewed sense of overall wellness who may not be full steam ahead with fitness, start small. Baby steps. Just like anything else. Setting goals are paramount to creating a wellness lifestyle. Don’t set goals so big that you set yourself up for disaster and don’t psych yourself out if you don’t go from a walk to the car to marathon training. Maybe you make your goal to take a walk 4 times a week, maybe your goal is to lose weight, perhaps it is to eat healthier . . . There are professionals to help with every one of these, but you don’t need them to get started. Always make sure you are clear to start working out if you have a medical history of any kind.

Notice that we haven’t mentioned anything about New Years Resolutions! Instead of making a resolution, create new habits. Keep setting obtainable goals. When you achieve one, set a new one.