Clubfit Blog | heart health

Club Fit Heart-Healthy Smoothie

February 6, 2019 by karen

We’ve created a nutrient-packed and delicious heart-healthy smoothie in honor of Heart Healthy Month at Club Fit! You can order one in the café or use the recipe below to make and enjoy at home.

Ingredients:

• ¾ cup of cranberries
• 1 apple, peeled, cored, and cut into chunks
• ¼ cup chopped raw walnuts
• 1 tbsp maple syrup, honey, or other sweetener (optional)
• 1 cup almond milk
• ¼ tsp cinnamon
• 1 scoop vanilla protein powder (optional)
• ice cubes (optional, if you prefer your smoothie more chilled)

Instructions:

1. Blend all ingredients until desired consistency is reached.
2. Enjoy!

Nutritional Benefits

Cranberries: According to the American Heart Association, the micronutrients found in cranberries accelerate the condition of the digestive system and antioxidant system while also boosting positive heart health, potentially decreasing blood pressure and cholesterol as well.

An Apple, a cup with the clubfit logo and some walnuts
Club Fit’s Cranberry Apple Walnut Smoothie for Hearth Healthy Month

Apples: According to Medical News Today, apples contain high levels of important antioxidants, flavonoids, and dietary fiber. The phytonutrients and antioxidants in apples could potentially lower the probability of developing cancer, elevated blood pressure, diabetes, and heart disease.

Walnuts: According to an article published by WebMD, a researcher stated that walnuts are the #1 nut for heart health because a study conducted showed that they contain a higher amount and better quality of antioxidants than other nuts. Nuts can help decrease cholesterol, lessen the amount of oxidative stress caused by free radicals (due to their antioxidant content), and reduce inflammation.

Honey: According to Healthline, honey contains a variety of essential antioxidants such as phenolic compounds including flavonoids. Two experiments found that buckwheat honey raised the amount of antioxidants in the blood, which are associated with a decreased probability of heart attacks, strokes, and certain forms of cancer.

Almond Milk: According to Medical News Today, almond milk is high in Vitamin E, which shields fats from oxidation, lessening the amount of oxidized LDL cholesterol, which is known to increase the risk for developing heart disease. Additionally, 50% of the calories in almond milk stem from fat, and oleic acid, the main fatty acid in almond oil, have been associated with lowering levels of LDL cholesterol and increasing levels of HDL cholesterol.

Cinnamon: According to WebMD, cinnamon has one of the highest concentrations of antioxidants out of all the spices. Additionally, studies have shown that taking cinnamon as a supplement can help reduce total cholesterol levels, which help decrease the risk for developing heart disease.

Protein Powder: According to Health Line, one study showed that consistently consuming whey protein daily was positively associated with a decrease in LDL cholesterol. Additionally, glutathione, a natural antioxidant produced by the body, requires a high abundance of amino acids, including cysteine, which at times is not available in sufficient quantities. Since whey protein is high in protein, it may increase the body’s ability to produce antioxidants and decrease oxidative stress. Finally, research has demonstrated that the intake of dairy is associated with decreased blood pressure due to lactokinins, an ACE inhibitor found in whey protein.

 

 

 

Healthy Heart Nutrition with Alicia

January 25, 2019 by karen

Club Fit Registered Dietitian Nutritionist Alicia Lusardi
Club Fit Registered Dietitian Nutritionist Alicia Lusardi

You may ask yourself, “What factors play a role in maintaining a healthy heart?” There are many, but the good news is, YOU have control over almost all of them! Aside from genetics, cardiovascular exercise, nutrition, alcohol consumption, and smoking/tobacco use are the main agents that influence your heart health. Specifically, staying active will help prevent obesity, decrease blood pressure and LDL cholesterol, raise HDL cholesterol, improve blood sugar control, and make that heart of yours nice and strong! Developing good eating habits such as avoiding processed foods, limiting sugar intake, and increasing consumption of fruits and vegetables will aid in sustaining adequate blood flow by decreasing the risk of hypertension and lowering LDL cholesterol.

Eating foods lower in sodium and limiting alcohol consumption to 1–2 drinks daily can help lower blood pressure as well. Finally, abstain from smoking or using tobacco and make an effort to spend time in smoke-free environments whenever possible. Consciously following these simple guidelines or making small changes to work towards them will ensure longevity and a thriving heart. Happy Heart Healthy Month everyone!

Come join Alicia at this month’s Nibble and Nourish in our JV café to learn about the heart health benefits of cauliflower and how you can incorporate it into your diet this month!

Club Fit Members Love MYZONE!

June 1, 2015 by karen

I love that when I am away I can now track my progress (with MYZONE). While it is great to have it tied to the gym and I love seeing it on the screen, I do go away for the summers and this allows me to keep up with my training in a consistent manner. And as we all know with fitness, consistency is key!

There are places in the gym where there are no MYZONE screens or they can’t be viewed (TRX room, certain spin bikes, the new ellipticals). I just realized today, I can just put my phone on and track my progress! So if I am bopping around on different machines/classes, I can continuously monitor myself.

— Club Fit Member Danielle O’Reilly

Take Care of Your Heart Health

January 28, 2015 by karen

— written by guest blogger and Club Fit member John Fisher

 

A couple smiling and hug
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.

Related post: Best Heart Rate Monitor Reviews.