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!

Cooking Demo presented by Peter Pratt’s Inn

September 28, 2017 by karen

We enjoyed some food and fun last night in Jefferson Valley! Chef Jon Pratt of Peter Pratt’s Inn presented a free cooking demo to our members. We gathered in the Café to watch, listen, and — most importantly — taste! A vegetarian meal of soup and salad was taken to different level with the use of fresh, local ingredients and a variety of spices and seasonings. Jonathan gave us some useful tips and tricks along the way, including letting us in on a special “secret” ingredient.

John also shared his “Corn Chowda” recipe with us. Bear in mind, quantities will need to be reduced as this was made to fed a crowd! For best results, use fresh, local ingredients whenever possible. No time to shop for the best local produce? Join Field Goods and get your order dropped off weekly at our Jefferson Valley location. You can order produce, dairy products, spices and more.

We’ll be hosting another cooking demo next Week in Briarcliff, on Wednesday, October 4th. Hope to see you there!

Salad prepared by Chef Jon Pratt at our cooking demo
“Glazed & Confused Salad”
Grain and Arugula Salad with Miso Glazed Sweet Potato.
Chef Jon and Club Fit Member Pete dishing it up at our cooking demo
Jon & Pete
Corn chowder prepared by Chef Jon Pratt at our cooking demo
“Corn Chowda” by Jon Prat of Peter Pratt’s Inn

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

“Corn Chowda”

1 case: sweet corn, raw, peeled and cut off the cob
2 lbs: butter
10 each: Spanish onions, small dice
12 each: red bell peppers, small dice
1 head: celery, small dice
2 heads: garlic, peeled and minced
3 each: jalapeños, seeded and minced
3 bunches: thyme, chopped fine
½ cup: smoked paprika
as needed: corn stock
2 quarts white wine
4 quarts heavy cream
6 bunches basil, coarsely chopped
to taste: sherry vinegar (secret ingredient!)

Make corn stock by simmering corn cobs in water just to cover for about 45 minutes. Try to yield as little as possible while still covering the cobs with water for full extraction. Strain and reserve.

Sweat down the onions and garlic in the butter with salt and pepper until slightly tender and translucent. Add the rest of the vegetables, the thyme and the smoked paprika. Sweat until tender, no color. Add the corn in stages, stirring well to coat with butter. Once the mixture comes back up to a simmer, add the white wine and reduce to sec. Add corn stock and reduce until very thick, then add all of the cream and reduce until thickened again. Adjust seasoning with salt, pepper, and a little champagne vinegar if it’s too sweet. Remove from the heat, puree half of the mixture, and return it to the pot. Fold in the chopped basil, still off of the heat, and check the seasoning again. Yum!

“Glazed & Confused Salad”
Grain and Arugula Salad with Miso Glazed Sweet Potato

Peel and cut 3 sweet potatoes; toss with olive oil and s&p; set aside

Simmer 20 minutes: 1/2 cup white miso with 1/2 cup soy, 1/2 cup mirin, 1/2 cup sake, 2 tablespoon sesame oil, 1/2 cup brown sugar; set aside to just warm

Cook separately in lightly salted water:
1 cup quinoa
1 cup wheat berries
1 cup barley or faro or your favorite grain
1 cup French green lentils

Reserve to room temp:
1 cup avocado chunks
2 cups favorite mushroom sautéed

Roast sweet potatoes in 375 oven until caramelized on edges; toss with a few tablespoons of reserved dressing and set aside.

Assemble: Add greens to salad bowl and all above grains. Top with sweet potatoes, mushrooms and avocado. When ready to eat, drizzle the appropriate amount of sauce and a little olive oil and your favorite vinegar or lemon juice.

 

 

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.

 

Parisi Athlete: Golfer & Athlete Malachy Reynolds

June 6, 2017 by karen

Parisi Speed School
Athlete Spotlight June 2017:
Golfer Malachy Reynolds

Parisi Athlete: Malachy Reynolds
Parisi Athlete and avid golfer Malachy Reynolds finessing his putting stance.

“I enjoy playing soccer, basketball and golf. Last September, I decided to attend Parisi Speed School to improve my speed and agility. Jen and Vince provided me with exercises every week to improve my athletic skills. I feel that I have become faster, stronger and lighter on my feet. Thank you so much to Jen and Vince for helping me to achieve my goal.” – Athlete Malachy Reynolds

“Malachy has been working with us for the past nine months and has made great strides in his training. He has greatly improved his quickness and agility in the short time he has spent with us. He consistently comes in with a positive attitude ready to work hard and tackle whatever workout is scheduled. He is proof that being a great athlete isn’t always measured by being the fastest or strongest in class but by your determination, attitude and leadership.”

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 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!

 

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!

 

 

 

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!

 

 

 

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.”

Congrats to our Club Fit Flag Football Team!

September 21, 2016 by karen

Our winning Club Fit Flag Football Team
Our winning Club Fit Flag Football Team

We are very proud of our Club Fit Flag Football team. Staff, members, family and friends joined forces to participate in a local football league, winning the trophy after only three seasons.

Their success story…

We started out as a group of friends just playing a pick-up two-hand touch game of football on Christmas Day, 2015. A few days later, Personal Trainer Russ Schum suggested playing in a Holiday Flag Football Tournament coming up the next month. Excited and ready to get started, we began to recruit more employees from Club Fit, as well as family and friends. Eventually, we changed leagues, and joined the Tappan Zee Flag Football League (TZFFL), entering in the Spring B Division.

Under the name “Squadd” we started the 2015 season with a well-deserved 7-6 victory. Throughout the season, we took our fair share of bumps and bruises – we struggled at times, but finished our season with a 2-6 record. Despite the losses, we were determined to improve and push ahead.

With one season of experience under our belts and a crop of new players on our team, we began the second season filled with hope and an expectation of winning more games.  We won the first three of four games – and it was evident the changes we made were coming to fruition. Unfortunately our early success was short lived – we stumbled during the middle of our season, but managed to carry ourselves to the playoffs.  Although we felt confident in our abilities to win, we were outmatched and ultimately lost.

Our third season brought renewed vigor and determination, under our new name – the Westchester Spartans.  With the help of a few key players, we devised new strategies. We kicked off the season with an outstanding 19-0 victory. We went into our second game with renewed confidence, only to be quickly humbled by a 26-21 loss.  Nevertheless, we won the last 6 games of the regular season and entered the playoffs with seven wins and one loss – ready to tackle the championship game. We fought hard and won!

After two seasons of accomplishments, and a few setbacks, we finally came out as the success story we were hoping to become. Perhaps the most meaningful aspect of this journey for us was that we started out simply as colleagues from around Club Fit, and ended as close friends and champions.  Through the seasons, we got to know more about one another and learned how to play football successfully together as a team.  We may have lost a few people along the way, and added some new players, but we’re all dedicated and determined to play more football and play it well into the future, as a team.

Our Winning Team:

Club Fit Staff
Brandon Brailsford — Team Captain (BR Fitness)
Bobby Drinks (BR Energy Center)
Jordan Archible (BR Reception)
Russ Schum (BR Fitness)
Jesse Drinks (BR Energy Center)
Tyler Hamberg (BR Fitness)
Sam Lacour (BR Energy Center)
Tommy Weingart (BR Fitness)
James Johnson (BR Energy Center)
Joe Riley (JV Fitness)
Jason Fancie (BR Energy Center)
Tarik Stovall (BR Energy Center)

Club Fit Members
Matt Laccetti
Ryan Tompkins

Family and Friends
DeVonte’ Brailsford
Mike Olave
Alejandro Rodriguez
Ryan McNiff
Tyson Agler
Nick Miranda
Al Brailsford
Kevin Miranda
Chris Fucci

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!

Better Balance Now!

August 22, 2016 by Liz

Ivy Rehab
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:

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

2. Get a yearly eye exam

3. Proper nutrition and hydration

4. Know the side effects of your medication

5. 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:
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If you want to determine your fitness level, refer to the reference guide from The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

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

Which Athletic Shoe Should I Buy?

August 22, 2016 by Liz

Meryle Richman, PT, DPT, MS, CST, RYT
Senior Director at Ivyrehab Briarcliff and Ivyrehab Jefferson Valley

Buying an athletic shoe involves multiple considerations!

It is important to wear proper footwear to avoid ankle and foot pain or injury. Factors that should be considered in determining which shoe is right for you include:

The activities that will be performed, the construction of the shoe, what surfaces you will be on and the type of foot you have. Each sport or activity involves different movements or jumping and shoes are designed to fit the activity. Running, for instance, primarily involves movement in a straight line. Basketball and aerobics involve jumping and time spent on the forefoot. For example, playing tennis which involves side – to – side movements in a shoe with supports for straight movement could result in an ankle sprain. In addition, if you are involved in weight training activities for the lower extremities, wear different shoes than you use for impact sports. The extra weight from training compresses the cushioning and affects the shock absorption of the shoe. Cross trainers should only be used for short distance running (less than two miles). Some activities are similar so it may not be necessary to buy different shoes for each activity.

Uneven surfaces cause increased movement in the foot and ankle. This makes the ankle joint and the foot more vulnerable to injury. For example, running on rough terrain calls for an athletic shoe that is wider. This increases medial and lateral stability and decreases the risk for ankle injury.

Important tips to know before purchasing an athletic shoe:

● It is important to evaluate shoe construction prior to making a purchase

● Bend the shoe from toe to heel. It should not bend in places that your foot does not. In addition, if you push it down, it should not rock

● Place the shoes down and look at them from behind to assure the shoes are symmetrical

●You should also check wear patterns because this will tell you when to buy a new shoe

● There are 2 basic foot types: pronators and supinators:
(a) Pronator type foot is: limited big toe mobility, a heel that appears to turn out and the inner border appears to flatten when stepping. This type of foot requires a” motion control” athletic shoe. These shoes have firmer heels and a straight seam down the middle of the sole.

(b) Supinator type foot is: high and rigid arches and a heel that turns to the inside. This type of foot requires a shoe with more cushioning especially if you plan on using it for running. The sole of the shoe usually has a curved seam down the middle.

In summary, no two feet are alike even on the same person. However, by using basic guidelines, you can reduce the risk of injury.

For a free 10 minute screening, contact Ivyrehab Briarcliff at (914) 762 – 2222 or Ivyrehab Jefferson Valley at (914) 245 – 8807. With Direct Access a prescription is not required to be evaluated and treated. Visit our Website: www.ivyrehab.com to learn more about Direct Access.

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References:

1. Athletic Footwear and Orthoses in Sports Medicine – INDER https://www.google.com/search?q=D.G.+Sharnoff+Matthew+B.+Werd%2C+%E2%80%8EE.+Leslie+Knight+-+2010+-+%E2%80%8EMedical&ie=utf-8&oe=utf-8

To Keep You Inspired … Lizandra Vega

July 25, 2016 by karen

{by Lisa Olney, Club Fit guest blogger}

Lizandra with Tiana and Joe
To Keep You Inspired… Club Fit Member Lizandra Vega with Tiana and Joe

In 2014, Club Fit Briarcliff member Lizandra Vega had a birthday epiphany, and it was time to reassess her lifestyle. On the surface, her life was in perfect balance; a proud wife and hands-on mother of two — personal life, check; a 20-year career as an executive recruiter in Manhattan’s luxury lifestyle market, a certified image consultant, and an author — professional life, check; meaningful work giving back to the community — volunteer life, check. What she realized with striking clarity, though, was that she had slowly ceased stepping out of her comfort zone, challenging her own personal growth — a trait that she instills in her clients. “I motivate people, that’s part of my job,” says Lizandra. “I like to be authentic, so I have always put myself in situations that may not be comfortable at first in order to see how I’ll thrive.” On her blog, The Career Confidante, at www.LizandraVega.com, she lists her 10 Commandments of Success. The second commandment is “Thou shall not nurture anything but a positive physical, mental, and emotional state of being.” It was time to get back to nurturing her own healthy lifestyle.

Lizandra looked to her bucket list and decided it was time to conquer her fear of swimming. Raised in the Bronx with no real exposure to the water, she developed a fear of swimming after trips to the beach and constant warnings of the danger of the water. But Lizandra refused to pass that fear on to her children, who are avid swimmers. “Outdoors was never my thing,” recalls Lizandra, “But I made it my thing.”

A Briarcliff resident for the last 19 years, Lizandra turned to Club Fit to start her journey. She chose to take private lessons with swim instructor Joe Cave, who had taught many adults to swim, and he proved to be a great match for her. Initially, Lizandra could only float — no propelling herself forward and definitely no putting her head in the water. Her biggest fear was not knowing how she would be able to breathe, and it was paralyzing.

The lessons started in September of 2014, and Lizandra remembers feeling comfortable with him immediately. “I instantly trusted Joe the minute I shook his hand,” she recalls. “He would say, ‘I’m not going to let you drown. You are not going to drown with me here.’” This declaration was cathartic for Lizandra, allowing her to let go of her fear and begin conquering it. Lizandra felt it would take a long time just to get her head in the water, but her first lesson was empowering. “I was already doing little strokes — not with my head completely in the water, but I made such progress in just one lesson,” she remembers. “It felt so good, and I knew that I was really going to learn this time.” Step by step, she did just that, and she’s been taking lessons with Joe ever since. Today, she swims laps, working on technique and endurance for every stroke.

Saturday mornings quickly became Lizandra’s “me-time” with swim lessons at 10am. She added a small group training class, Women on Weights, with Master Trainer Tiana Gonzalez. Lizandra connected at once with Tiana, and in January 2015, began personal training sessions with her. Tiana’s supportive and caring style has helped Lizandra achieve many fitness goals and given her the confidence to step outside of her fitness comfort zone and use all the fitness options at Club Fit.

From Joe’s patience and ability to empower, to Tiana’s empathy and motivational style, Lizandra credits them both with helping her regain a healthier and proactive lifestyle. “Because I work in recruiting, staffing, and hiring, I am very discerning about who I hire to teach me,” says Lizandra. “Joe and Tiana show such professionalism, and their communication goes beyond expectations.”

Next on Lizandra’s bucket list are singing and ice-skating. While her Club Fit bucket list includes yoga and tennis, it’s safe to say that any area of the Club that Lizandra has yet to explore has a spot on her list. “I really am a person that loves to continue to learn and challenge myself,” says Lizandra, “When I become a member of a place, I’m all in.”