Category: News

Weight Loss 75% Diet, 25% Exercise

By Emily Creamer-Collins, Master Trainer
Worcester Fitness 

If fat loss is your goal, both nutrition and exercise are important. Generally speaking, weight loss is 75% diet and 25% exercise. An analysis of more than 700 weight loss studies found that people see the biggest short-term results when they eat smart.

Weight Loss at Worcester Fitness
If fat loss is your goal, both nutrition and exercise are important.

Calories in/out

On average, people who dieted without exercising for 15 weeks lost 23 pounds; the exercisers who didn’t diet lost only six pounds over about 21 weeks. It’s much easier to cut calories than to burn them off.* For example, if you eat a fast food steak quesadilla, which can pack 500-plus calories, you need to run more than four miles to ‘undo’ it!

So what should you eat? It’s true that low-carb diets tend to be the most popular because they offer the fastest results, but they can be difficult to sustain. I recommend striving for a more balanced plan that focuses on real food - fruits, vegetable, lean proteins and whole grains.

*Huffington Post 2014

Worcester Fitness Nutritional Advice
"I recommend striving for a more balanced plan that focuses on real food - fruits, vegetable, lean proteins and whole grains. "

Less Meat, More Plants

One of my favorite quotes is from Michael Pollan, author of Food Rules, “Eat food, not too much, mostly plants.”  There’s no room for processed food in that rule!

But do yourself a favor and try focusing more on the FOOD you’re eating and less on the CALORIES you’re taking in.  Most people think controlling portions means counting calories, but there’s a better way.  Leading nutritionists at Precision Nutrition developed this cool Hand Measure System to use instead of getting bogged down by the confusing art of calorie counting. 

Palm of your hand

And your hand is all you need!

Your hand is proportionate to your body, its size never changes, and it’s always with you, making it the perfect tool for measuring food and nutrients – minimal counting required. 

Here’s the breakdown:

A serving of protein = 1 palm

A serving of vegetables = 1 fist

A serving of carbs = 1 cupped hand

A serving of fats = 1 thumb

Here’s how to use this method to build a plate of food:

 

Step 1 = PROTEIN (meat, fish, eggs, cottage cheese, Greek yogurt)

Men: two palm-sized portions [~ 40-60 g protein] Women: one palm-sized portion [~ 20-30 g protein]

Step 2 = VEGETABLES (broccoli, spinach, salad, carrots, etc.)

Men: two fist-sized portions
Women: one fist-sized portion

Step 3 = CARBOHYDRATES (grains, starches, beans, and fruits)

Men: two cupped hand-sized portions [~ 40-60 g carbs] Women: one cupped hand-sized portion [~ 20-30 g carbs]

Step 4 = FATS (oils, butters, nut butters, nuts, and seeds)

Men: two thumb-sized portions [~ 15-25 g fat] Women: one thumb-sized portion [~ 20-30 g fat]

Worcester Fitness Nutrition
"...pay attention to results."

Calories

Men eating 3-4 meals as outlined would get around 2,300 – 3,000 calories each day.

Women eating 3-4 meals as outlined would get around 1,200 – 1,500 calories each day.

This system is easier than counting calories and nearly as accurate.  Just like with counting, though, pay attention to results and adjust as needed.

Try it out and let me know what you think!

Encouraging Healthy Living for Our Youth

Bridging the Fitness Generation Gap

By Meghan Paradis, Physical Education Teacher, Fitness Instructor
City of Worcester, MA • Worcester Fitness 

How many of the activities that we start in our youth, do we continue with as adults? We look back fondly to the days of swimming in the pool, playing games in the yard, and always looking for some type of different adventure.  As children, we never concentrated on the things we were doing then as “healthy”…just fun!

Worcester Fitness Blog Generational Fitness
As children, we never concentrated on the things we were doing then as “healthy”…just fun!

Bridge

However, studies have shown that what we learned as children we continue to apply into adulthood, including all levels of physical activity.  The time to bridge the two is now; to teach our children the importance of life-long physical fitness, so that they will continue to embrace it as adults.  “It’s all about quality of life and finding a happy balance between work and friends and family,” said by Philip Green. As adults, we strive to find that balance of work, family, play, and health.  In the hustle and bustle of this crazy adventure we call life, we tend to put our own health last.  We find that there is never enough time in the day. Somehow, we are always too busy with the many lists we make of the “other things” we need to do first.

Worcester Fitness Blog Generational Fitness
"...what we learned as children we continue to apply into adulthood..."

Enhance Overall Health

No matter how many studies we see that indicate how important maintaining our physical health is, we STILL tend to put it last. But what if we embraced it with our children together? Suppose we introduced our children to activities, and a lifestyle that they will continue into their own adulthood full of activities like fishing, skiing, golf, or bicycling, walking, yoga, or running? Fun activities not just for adults, but for people of all ages. Could we bridge childhood and adult activities together to enhance the overall health of both our lives?

Worcester Fitness generational Healthy strategy
Fun activities not just for adults, but for people of all ages.

Lifetime Sports

Lifetime sports are activities you’re able to participate in throughout your entire life.  Many of these activities don’t require much equipment, if any!  “Promotion of leisure time activity is likely to become increasingly important in younger populations as people’s daily routines become more sedentary,” said by Science Daily. Physical Education programs throughout the country are embracing life-long fitness activities for our elementary, middle, and high school students.  Although the programs continue to experience regular cutbacks, the momentum is established to introduce our children to new approaches to healthy living.  However, this needs to be a joint effort and not simply an idea that is established in our schools. 

As New Englanders, we are so fortunate to have the beautiful outdoors...

Time to Focus

The time to start focusing on a healthy lifestyle, for our children, and for us as adults is now. As New Englanders, we are so fortunate to have the beautiful outdoors as a stepping stone to marvel at, but also to enjoy long walks or runs, skiing or snow shoeing or just to go exploring.

As wonderful as the outdoors is for some, as a member and an instructor at Worcester Fitness, I continue to be in awe of all the many offerings the club itself has; helping everyone reach THEIR goal to live a healthier life. From the state of the art facility, to the incredibly knowledgeable staff, there are many “extras” that lie within Worcester Fitness. They promote FAMILY and FITNESS, because that’s what THEY are all about. With the many swim instruction classes available for all levels and ages, swimming is a skill available for all to learn. Then there are many group exercise classes and activities that include small group instruction, running team, yoga, racquetball courts, and individual personal training all in one place.

The list of services and programs that Worcester Fitness offers goes on and on.

Go further in. It’s all there. Family. Positivity. Motivation. There is a world of healthy lifestyle options for our children and ourselves.  It’s time to bridge the gap.  The time to start is now. 

Start together, finish together.

Self Defense

By Roland J. Hamelin, Contributing Writer
Worcester Fitness
 
Worcester Fitness is proud to welcome 5th degree Aikido Black belt and instructor Bob Caron to the second of our our three-part Wellness Series.

Bob was the chief instructor of Zenshinkan Dojo (an Aikido and Zen school in Worcester) for 18 years. Caron Sensei has trained with many of the foremost experts of modern Aikido including his late teacher Fumio Toyoda Shihan, founder of the Aikido Association of America, and his current teacher, Ed Germanov Sensei, founder of the Bulgarian Aikido Association. He has taught seminars and workshops on Aikido, self-defense, Zen and leadership trainings nationwide. Caron is also a Doctor of Rehabilitation Sciences and is an Assistant Professor at Assumption College, where he teaches Health Sciences and Rehabilitation Studies. Caron Sensei emphasizes a holistic approach to self-defense where practical techniques are supported by emotional skill and spiritual development.
 

Worcester Fitness Self Defense Seminar
Caron will introduce you to fundamental concepts and skills...

Self Defense Introduction

​Thursday March 16th
6pm - 8pm
Members-Free!
Non-Members - $5
featuring Bob Caron

Workshop Summary

In this Introduction to Self-Defense Workshop, Caron will introduce you to fundamental concepts and skills that are necessary to ward off an aggressive attack. The workshop will be based on Aikido, which is a Japanese martial art grounded in non-violent conflict resolution but will also embrace basic modern self-defense concepts that are not Aikido-based. You will work in pairs and groups practicing techniques to release grips and grabs as well as apply basic principles against a striking attack. Discussion of safety skills like awareness, presence and using your intuition will be included.

 

Power Poses

Your body posture CAN impact your emotional state.

By Emily Creamer Collins, Master Personal Trainer
Worcester Fitness Personal Training

Have you ever found yourself making an assumption about someone based entirely on what they look like? I’m not talking about summing up a person by the clothes they’re wearing, that’s not what I mean.

What I mean is, have you ever judged someone by how they were carrying themselves?

And before you say, ‘No, I’d NEVER judge someone based on how they look!’ let’s try a little experiment.

Worcester Fitness Power Poses Blog
"...Close your eyes and picture someone walking into the room."

Subject 1

Close your eyes and picture someone walking into the room. Imagine this person hunched forward and frowning, looking down at the floor. They sit down in a chair and cross their ankles while also folding their arms across their chest. Their head down and their eyes looking down at the floor.
 
What kind of reaction are you having to this person? Do you want to talk to them? Do you want to find out more about them?

Worcester Fitness Power Poses Blog Post
"...But this time, they are standing up tall and smiling..."

Subject 2

Now picture that very same person walking into that very same room. But this time, they are standing up tall and smiling – teeth and all – and looking right at you. They sit down in a chair, plant both feet on floor and raise their arms to clasp their hands behind their head, still looking at you with a big smile.
 
What kind of reaction are you having to this person? Do you want to talk to them? Do you want to find out more about them?
 
I would definitely want to get to know the person from the second scenario! I’ll admit it – I would be put off by the body language exhibited by the person in the first scenario.
 
Would you?
 
Body language tells us a lot about people. That’s not news to you, I’m sure. But what may surprise you is that YOUR OWN body language tells YOUR OWN mind how to feel. Your posture literally sets the stage for your emotions.
 
Consider the case of Amy Cuddy.

Worcester Fitness Blog Post on Power Poses
Photograph by Fred Field
Amy Joy Casselberry Cuddy (born July 27, 1972) is an American social psychologist, author and lecturer known for her research on stereotyping and discrimination, emotions, power, nonverbal behavior, and the effects of social stimuli on hormone levels.

What is a Power Pose

This Harvard Business School social psychologist is famous for a TED talk promoting the idea that “a person can, by assuming two simple one-minute poses, embody power and instantly become more powerful.” The so-called “power pose” is characterized by “open, expansive postures.” Cuddy and her collaborators report that such posing can change your mood by changing hormone levels.
 
When you’re in a “closed” position, like the one we described in the first scenario with ankles and arms crossed in front of your body – you’re in a low power pose. Your stress hormone, cortisol, increases and your confidence-building hormone, testosterone, decreases. (Yes, ladies, you have testosterone too). Other lower power poses can include placing a hand over your neck, slumping forward at the table, even standing with feet and arms crossed in front of your body.
 
When you’re in an “open” position, like the one described in the second scenario with both feet squarely on the ground, arms up and open, and a big smile – you’re in a high power pose. Your cortisol is decreasing rapidly and your testosterone is increasing, making you feel more confident. Other high power poses can include sitting with one ankle crossed over the opposite knee, standing with feet wide apart and hands on hips (many people call this the Wonder Woman pose).

Worcester Fitness Power Pose Blog Feature
"Your cortisol is decreasing rapidly and your testosterone is increasing, making you feel more confident."

Non-Verbal Displays

Cuddy describes this theory:
“Posing in high-power nonverbal displays (as opposed to low-power nonverbal displays) would cause neuroendocrine and behavioral changes for both male and female participants: High-power posers experienced elevations in testosterone, decreases in cortisol, and increased feelings of power and tolerance for risk; low-power posers exhibited the opposite pattern.”
 
I describe it to my clients in more simple terms:
 
“It’s hard to feel fired up, confident or excited if you’re slouched down and looking sad. Even if you’re feeling low, stand up tall and hold your head high. If you can do this for two minutes, you will feel much more powerful!” Remember the expression ‘Fake it till you make it’?
 
So next time you have an important meeting or a job interview, a race or even a training session, check in with yourself about your mood. If it could use a boost, find a place to strike a power pose (I’ve even used a bathroom stall!) for two minutes and I guarantee that you’ll feel more confident to kick butt on whatever lies ahead of you.
 
Try it and let me know how it goes!

Pedal to End Cancer Update

By Roland J. Hamelin, Contributing Writer
Worcester Fitness
 
Thanks to the incredible commitment and determination of the entire family at Worcester Fitness Nation, we are completely sold out for the Sunday March 5, 2017 Pedal to End Cancer spin event. Amazing!

We are now in serious "fundraising mode". Our goal is to be the number one producing club in our area.
With your help...we will make this happen!
 

Worcester Fitness Pedal to End Cancer
Cancer is a fierce opponent, but our company is committed to helping the American Cancer Society raise awareness about what we can do, together, to help end this disease.

2017 PTEC Team!

We're full!! 22 Bikes have been reserved!!!!
We're in 3rd Place at $3,435 with 61 donations.
We trail Paxton Sports and Tennis Center by $300, and we are the only two clubs in Central MA participating.
22 bikes at $300 per bike puts us at a guaranteed $6600.
Last year we hit over $11,000.00.
Worcester Fitness has raised $94,000 in the history of Pedal to End Cancer, that's easily in the top 10 nationwide.

Can we put a little push into fundraising and break through $11,000? It won't be easy, but together we can do it.

Libby O'Hara
Kerry Mulchahy
Deb Servideo
Gerry Motiverdi
Rich Gaitani
Louise O'Neill
Mark Huard
Charlie Leblanc, Brian Babine, Peter Lombardo
Kylee Shliapa
Jim Andreoli
Lindsay Demers
Kate Sharry, Molly Eastman Burnham, Jillian Moriarty
Todd McDonald, David Lamontagne
Nick Jackson
Jane Jackson
Laura Cosenza, Elisa Bernier
Leslie Andreoli
Rob Loring
Annette Loring
Cheryl Nathan
Paul King
Marianne Dadokian

Worcester Fitness January Blog
Photo Credit - Kill the Ball Media

Fundraising Tips!

Be personal with your requests.
Tell a story, make sure you ask for the money.
Update your fundraising page to ensure it has a photo of you and your own story.
While the generic posts to social media are quick and easy, they lack that personal touch.
Pick 30 people in your email address book that you have a connection with and send them a request for a donation.
Send Facebook Private Messages to your close friends asking them for $25.00.
Ask everyone you've ever donated to make a donation.
Facebook is filled with boring requests for money, so make you request stand out!

Stairway to Heaven Update

By Roland J. Hamelin, Contributing Writer
Worcester Fitness
 
The results are in for the Winter 2017 Worcester Fitness "Stairway to Heaven" Competition!

Congratulations to EVERYONE who participated..we were absolutely thrilled with the number of people involved for this first in a series of fresh new Worcester Fitness Fitness Challenges!
 

Worcester Fitness Stairway to Heaven
Grand Prize winner Jane Rabbis finished with 3,145 flights climbed!

Final Stats

1. Jane R: 3145

2. Megan B: 2420

3. Nickeisha T: 1739

4. Kelley F: 1068

5. Caitlin B: 927

6. Mike S: 780

7. Jane D: 772

8. Picky L: 595

9. Cheryl M: 515

10. Matt D: 356

11. Stephanie B: 315

12. Cynthia M: 287

13. Colleen M: 215

14. Jean C: 167

15. Cherie S: 100

16. Nick 0: 40

17. Jaime D: 36

Worcester Fitness Stairway to Heaven
Second Place Winner Megan Briggs finished up with 2,240 flights climbed!

Holistic Therapy

By Roland J. Hamelin, Contributing Writer
Worcester Fitness
 
Worcester Fitness is proud to announce the first event in brand new Wellness Series!

Worcester Fitness presents a three-part series of interactive workshops that have been designed to teach healthy active people how to protect and care for their bodies. The Wellness Series will feature three skilled and qualified professionals and always meet in at the fun and encouraging environment at Worcester Fitness.
 

Holistic Therapy Techniques

​Thursday February 16th
6pm - 8pm
Members-Free!
Non-Members - $5
featuring Jen Caron
Holistic Therapy Techniques​

Caring For Your Body with Holistic Medicine

Jennifer Caron is a Licensed Acupuncturist and founder of Body Therapeutics, an integrated holistic medical center in Worcester. She is also a proud member of the Worcester Fitness Running Team!

She earned her Masters Degree in Acupuncture from the New England School of Acupuncture (now part of MCPHS), and is licensed by the Massachusetts Board of Registration in Medicine.

 

Eight Years Experience

Jen has spent the last eight years running her holistic practice and furthering her acupuncture education in areas of pain management and women's health. Jen is also a 3rd degree black belt in Aikido, and spent many years teaching meditation and martial arts to children and adults at Zenshinkan Dojo before opening up her practice. She is also the smitten mother of two boys, ages six and four.
 

Worcester Fitness Wellness Series
Holistic medicine refers to therapies that treat the whole person with a conservative, natural approach.

Workshop Summary

Workshop Summary: Holistic medicine refers to therapies that treat the whole person with a conservative, natural approach. The team at Body Therapeutics consists of acupuncturists, chiropractors, and massage therapists, and we also often collaborate with nutritionists, reflexologists, psychotherapists, personal trainers and others.

In this workshop we'll discuss in detail how some of these therapies can help your body achieve more optimal well-being, and you'll have an opportunity to experience acupuncture and group meditation first-hand. We'll also talk about how the integration of these holistic therapies can help you achieve greater results than doing just one in isolation.

 

Worcester Fitness Team

By Roland J. Hamelin, Contributing Writer
Worcester Fitness
 
Worcester Fitness Nation joins forces with the American Cancer Society along with thousands of phenomenal health clubs all over the United States to fight cancer. Join us on Sunday March 5th by reserving a bike, pedaling hard and raising money for a cure!
 

Worcester Fitness Pedal to End Cancer
Cancer is a fierce opponent, but our company is committed to helping the American Cancer Society raise awareness about what we can do, together, to help end this disease.

Why We Support the American Cancer Society

Worcester Fitness' participation supports the American Cancer Society, the leader in the fight to end cancer. The donations our team raises will enable investment in groundbreaking cancer research and free information and services for people facing cancer. For more than a century, the American Cancer Society has led the way in the fight to end cancer – and we are excited to be part of their team.

Worcester Fitness Pedal to End Cancer 2017
Please join us in the fight - and help us save more lives!

Shoulder-to-Shoulder

We stand shoulder-to-shoulder with the American Cancer Society in the fight against cancer.

Cancer is a fierce opponent, but our company is committed to helping the American Cancer Society raise awareness about what we can do, together, to help end this disease. Our mission is clear - keep fighting for the day when no one hears the words “you have cancer.”

Please join us in the fight and help us save more lives!

Is more exercise the answer?

By Steve Dozois, Licensed Massage Therapist
Worcester Fitness Massage
 
This time of year a lot of us have renewed dedication to health and fitness goals.  We make our way to the gym or do our own workout routines more frequently and try to eat a little better.  For others, this is almost a "rest" time as their training season is getting ready to start.
 

Worcester Fitness January Blog
This time of year a lot of us have renewed dedication to health and fitness goals.
Photo Credit - Kill the Ball Media

Consequences of Activity

What happens to your body when you increase your physical activity or try a new fitness routine?  If you're doing it right, you will be sore for a day or two, because you are increasing the load on your muscles and activating other muscle groups that aren't used to the work.    So, then what?  If you have goals of really improving your fitness and performance, you can't afford to rest.  There is also research to suggest that the best thing for sore muscles is more exercise! 

However, there is a fine line to walk.

Worcester Fitness Massage Therapy Injury Prevention
The danger of not recovering properly is that at some point, your form will begin to breakdown.
Photo Credit-Big Stock

Form is the thing!

The danger of not recovering properly is that at some point, your form will begin to breakdown.  That could be your running, swimming, cycling, squat, or any other movement form.  When your form falls apart, that's when injuries can occur.  When your form is off your body starts recruiting other muscles to do the motion, and when pushed too hard those muscles may cave with the added and unusual work load, creating pain.
 

Worcester Fitness Massage Therapist Steve Dozois
Visit a qualified massage therapist who understands your activities and goals.
Photo Credit- Kill the Ball Media

Take Care!

So, how do you keep pushing yourself without getting injured?  You need to take care of your muscles, tendons, and joints.  Think of it like brushing your teeth.  To have proper teeth and mouth health, it is recommended to brush your teeth 2-3 times per day and visit your dentist every six months.  There are many ways to maintain your muscles and connective tissue.  Some of the most effective are various stretching activities, foam rolling, or self myofacial release, and of course visiting a qualified massage therapist who understands your activities and goals.
 

Just Ask

Want to learn more about how to maintain your muscles at home or at the gym?  Ask one of our personal trainers or massage therapists, and we'll show you some great, efficient techniques!
 

Let us help you put a bustle in your hedgerow.

By Roland J. Hamelin, Contributing Writer
Worcester Fitness
 
The lyrics might be confusing (if not downright meaningless) but Worcester Fitness want's you to be thinking "Stairway to Heaven" for the next couple of weeks, and hit our three StairMills like a rockstar!
 
Here's how it works.

WORCESTER FITNESS LED ZEPP
"It's just a spring clean for the May Queen." Right on.

StepMill Contest

When: Sunday 1/15 through Saturday 1/28. The Stairway to Heaven contest uses the three big stair mills only. The top three members climbing the most flights of stairs in the thirteen day period will win a prize.

There is a binder at the Welcome Desk where members log in their flights at the end of each workout. Worcester Fitness will post results every other day so you can see where you stand in the contest.

Members should take a photo of the display screen and post to Social Media with the HashTag #WorcesterFitness and #StairwayToHeaven. This should be done at least four times in the thirteen days, or every day if possible!

Worcester-Fitness-Stairway-to-Heaven
This album cover would have been MUCH cooler this way.

Why Are We Doing This?

It's fun and competitive.
It exposes existing and new members to one of our best cardio machines.
It creates an opportunity for staff/member engagement.
Trainers and Instructors should challenge their people to enter the contest.
It creates an opportunity for us all to use Social Media to help promote Worcester Fitness by Checking In and using Hashtags.
 
The prizes will showcase our cool sweatshirt, massage and personal training services and our smoothies.