Category: News

We can help you determine if you might be overtraining

You can’t flip open a magazine or turn on the television without seeing or hearing someone going on and on about the multitude of benefits from getting regular exercise. No doubt each of those messages will be accompanied by recommendations of what to do, how long to do it for, and what results you might see as a result. And so we piece these recommendations together and suddenly find ourselves working out hard every day, sometimes multiple workouts in the same day. But is that much exercise a good thing?

 

In short, it depends. Many athletes engage in multiple workouts every day. For the non-athlete, however, doing that much without the proper coaching can do more harm than good. The term we use to describe exercising too much is “overtraining”. It is likely that almost every athlete and most health-conscious exercisers have experienced this to some degree, even without realizing it. If ignored, overtraining can set you back and even lead to injury.

 

We recognize overtraining by noting certain symptoms that tend to cluster together. For example, lack of energy, being easily fatigued, and feeling irritable are strong indicators of overtraining. Other reliable gauges are a lack of motivation to exercise, frequent sickness, prolonged muscle soreness, and lack of progress. These symptoms, especially when experienced together, make a convincing argument that you are overtraining.

 

There are an array of remedies for overtraining, and most are quite simple and economical. Rest, taking a few days off for an extended recovery period, is often the most effective intervention. Take the time to analyze your nutrition and hydration to make sure it is sufficient for the activities you are engaging in. Meet with a certified personal trainer to examine your exercise program so that it can be made more efficient and specifically tailored to your goals. Have session with a licensed massage therapist to help with muscle soreness and fatigue. Try a Pilates, yoga, or a spin class if these are not in your usual routine.

 

If after reading this article you are questioning whether you might be overtraining, please consult any member of the staff here at Worcester Fitness. We can help you determine if you might be overtraining and can recommend an appropriate intervention to get you back on track. As they say in medicine, “the dose makes the poison.” This is as true of exercise as it is with everything else. Be vigilant, work hard, play hard, and never be afraid to reach out and ask a professional for advice.

Meet Certified Personal Trainer Samuel Kowaleski

Sam has been a W.I.T.S. Certified Personal Trainer for two years.  

He started as in intern at Worcester Fitness in 2017 and soon earned a position as the welcome desk and as a personal trainer.  

He also leads small group training sessions with a focus on teen athletes. He has helped teens and adults and seniors to build healthy strength and endurance.

Sam believes that nutrition and personal health are not just a job to him, but instead is his true passion!

Sam grew up in Rutland, MA and now resides in Paxton, MA.

He attended Wachusett Regional High School.  

Sam loves to play Disc Golf and hike in his free time away from Worcester Fitness.

Quote “A moment of pain is worth a lifetime of glory”- Louis Zamperini

As much as we would like to avoid it, the numbers show that back pain will visit most of us in our lifetime. There is, however, no need to sound the alarm bells. The most of the common cause of back pain - simple muscle strain - is usually treatable at home. Strains heal reasonably quickly and do not always require treatment from a medical professional. By utilizing a few pain-management strategies, this temporary condition can heal and soon be a distant memory.

 

Here is a list of self-care treatments that can help with back pain:

 

  • Rest: Pain can be in indication that you have done something too strenuously. The muscle(s) may need a chance to recover, and a short period of rest may assist in this recovery. Do keep this rest period short (one to two days) to avoid possibly contributing to a different problem (tightness/pain due to inactivity).
  • Ice/Heat application: Generally speaking, ice has been advised in the first 24-48 hours after injury, and heat recommended for time periods after that. Alternating between the two (heat/ice/heat/ice), known as contrast bathing or contrasting therapy, can also provide some symptomatic relief.
  • Pain medication: For back pain due to injury (especially acute/recent injury), the class of medication called non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs can be helpful for temporary relief of symptoms. These medications include ibuprofen (Advil), naproxen (Aleve), and aspirin (Bayer). A pain reliever, such as acetaminophen (Tylenol) may also be helpful.

 

The next step in recovery is to get moving again! There is no need to fear movement during or after an episode of back pain. The best research in back pain recovery and prevention has shown that movement is the best tool in the arsenal. First, start with awareness - notice what positions and movements relieve pain, increase pain, or have no effect at all. Move in those pain free zones and see if you can expand them over the course of a couple of days. Gentle stretching may also help relieve discomfort and help restore your normal movement patterns.

 

To be clear, physical activity is vital to maintaining a healthy back. Even during an episode of pain, regular activity and exercise help maintain joint health and muscle strength. These activities also help maintain a healthy blood flow to the tissues to promote healing. During an episode of back pain, walking and other low-impact aerobic exercises (water aerobics, for example) are appropriate as they will minimize any jarring of the spine.

If your back pain does not begin to subside within two weeks, you may want to consult with your physician. You will want to meet with your physician immediately if any of the following symptoms are also present: severe abdominal pain, fever, loss of bowel or bladder control, numbness in the legs, muscle weakness in the legs, bloody urine, or the pain suddenly travels to other areas of the back. These are all serious symptoms that require examination by a qualified medical provider.

Aside from the self care strategies mentioned above, there are many other common therapeutic interventions that can be used with back pain. There is no one correct course of action, and each person will likely respond differently to these options. Less invasive treatments include physical therapy, chiropractic care, massage therapy, and personal training. More complex interventions can  include prescription pain medications and steroid injections. The most invasive option of all is surgery, but that is often the last resort after trying all other avenues.

 

Please do not let all this talk of complications and surgery scare you. Most back pain is treatable, recoverable, and in many cases preventable with the right strategies. Any of the professionals here at Worcester Fitness are ready to advise you of your options for managing back pain. In house, we have personal training, massage therapy, stretching programs, yoga, water fitness, and and many other offerings that can fit into your plan of care. So be active, stay engaged, and don’t let a little back pain stop you.

Keeping our muscles pliable is HARD WORK!

Sometimes we don’t have the time to do all the hard work ourselves, and other times we don’t have the ability to do what needs to be done on our own. Stretching is something we all know we should do, but don’t do enough.

Aspects of stretching are as much neurological as muscular, and our therapists are trained in many of these techniques. Often, we mix these techniques in during a typical Sports Massage.

Assisted stretching has been used with professional athletes for several years. Most recently, professional golfers with the PGA enjoy the benefits of assisted stretching and massage at PGA events.

Other high profile athletes, like Tom Brady, have been more interested in pliability over brute strength for performance and longevity.

Assisted stretching is an incredible program ideal for golfers, racquetball and tennis players, runners and athletes from any sport!

Our therapists, Steve and Chris, are available to do regional or full-body stretches. During these sessions, you stay dressed while your therapist works on lengthening your muscles.

Sessions are available for 30 or 60 minutes!

30 minutes - $45
60 minutes - $79

Book an Appointment

Assisted Stretching

"Every child deserves the opportunity to learn to swim!"

Jenni Waldron, Worcester Fitness WSI Instructor

Adaptive Swimming is a parent and child class tailored to the needs of children living with various intellectual and behavioral disorders including Autism Spectrum Disorder, Down Syndrome, ADHD, and Intellectual Disabilities.

The primary goal of this class will focus on water safety, i.e., waiting to jump in the water with adult permission, in addition to enhancing swimming ability. The course will be taught with principles derived from Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA), and families are welcome to bring visuals and incentives that work for their child to aid in their learning process.

Adaptive Swimming further aims to provide children with learning differences in a socially safe environment that is accepting of all learning styles.

Every child deserves the opportunity to learn to swim and enjoy the many therapeutic benefits the water has to offer - come join us for the watery fun!

This class is geared to ages 10 and under.

Adaptive Swimming is led by WSI Instructor Jenni Waldron. Jenni has her Masters in Clinical Psychology and is studying for her doctorate in Clinical Psychology at William James College.

ADAPTIVE SWIMMING
Parent and Child Swim Class

SESSION DETAILS
July 21st - August 25th [6 week session]

Ages 10 and under

Price $135

Back Pain Action Plan

By Christopher Jones, Worcester Fitness Massage Therapist

Low back pain is one of the most common pain complaints in the United States, with about 80% of people having at least one incident of back pain in their lifetime. Globally, back pain causes more disability than 291 other health problems. In one study conducted in a joint effort between Australian and US-based researchers, 20 years of data from 187 countries showed that just over one-third of work-related disability was related to low back pain. That is a lot of missed work, missed play, and missed opportunities every day. So how did we get to a point where back pain is so common?

Let’s start with a quick look at the back. The back is a strong, supportive structure made up of the bones of the spinal column (24 vertebrae, sacrum, coccyx,) the shock-absorbing discs between the vertebrae, and all of the muscles and connective tissue responsible for movement and stability of the spine. Housed within the protective confines of the spine is the spinal cord, and between the vertebrae are the nerves that extend out to all parts of the body. When the back is strong and healthy, all of these structures work harmoniously to let us work, play, and live our lives. When back pain is experienced, however, it can make it difficult to engage in even the most basic of activities.

Back pain can have many causes, including degenerative joint disease (also called osteoarthritis), disc degeneration, bulging disc or disc herniation, spondylolisthesis (one vertebrae slips forward), spinal stenosis (narrowing of the canal inside the spinal cord), tumors, and infection. Please note that these conditions can be present and produce no pain symptoms whatsoever. Unfortunately, the most common type of back pain is what is called “non-specific low back pain” where there is no apparent cause for the pain. Other factors that can contribute to back pain include prolonged periods of inactivity, poor lifting techniques, high-impact sports and activities, excessive sitting, and previous back injury. A growing body or current research also points to many psychological factors (anxiety, depression, job satisfaction) as contributing to back pain.

The good news to all this is that the best preventative strategy and treatment method for back pain is to keep moving! Regular physical activity, even something as simple as walking, has been shown to be the most effective tool to prevent and recover from episodes of back pain (especially non-specific low back pain). The best evidence for back pain management shows the effectiveness of a positive outlook on recovery, engaging in as many normal daily activities as possible, maintaining an active lifestyle, and the strategic short-term use of medication when needed. Interventions like heat, physical therapy, massage therapy, yoga, and psychotherapy have also been shown to be effective additions for the treatment and prevention of back pain.

Here at Worcester Fitness, we have a team of professionals ready to help with the prevention and treatment of back pain. Whether you are looking to improve your fitness with one of our experienced trainers, looking for pain relief from our expert massage therapists, or are wanting see if yoga or one of our pool exercise classes is a good fit for you, our team is ready to answer your questions and guide you in the right direction. Back pain, despite the numbers, does not have to be something that “just happens” or keeps you from enjoying the things you love to do. With the right steps, and some expert guidance, you can get back on track!

Skin Cancer Screenings

Worcester Fitness has been providing corporate clients with skin cancer clinics including screenings and sun safety seminars for over 20 years!

Now, as part of our 40th Anniversary celebration, Worcester Fitness will be offering free skin cancer screenings on Thursday May 17 from 10am to 6pm. Included will be information on the dangers of excessive sun exposure and tips on preventing skin cancer.

Our friends at The World Skin Project will be performing the screenings using the Dermascan device which is designed to show potential sun damage areas on the face.

Our Massage Therapy team will also be offering free chair massage.

Stay healthy, stay safe...get the most out of the beautiful weather of the season!

MAXIMUM OUTPUT CYCLE

Meg Paradis' MAXIMUM OUTPUT CYCLE is BACK!

Join this high intensity/maximum output cycle and strength class, that focuses on power, perceived exertion, speed, and strength! TWO new sessions!  Each individual will be building from their own base gear on the bike, and will have to reach specific watts designated for intervals. Short bursts on the bike, to follow with short intervals of strength exercises off the bike, with all receiving a high cardio intense full body workout.

Class each week will have a different format, more intensified and personal to the participants.

Summer Session 1

Tuesdays • 5:45am-6:45am
May 8 - June 12
5:45am-6:45am

Class Fee- $119-6 Weeks

Open to Members & Non-Members
Limited to 8 Participant

Summer Session 2

Tuesdays • 5:45am-6:45am
July 10 - July 31
5:45am-6:45am

Class Fee- $80-4 Weeks

Open to Members & Non-Members
Limited to 8 Participant

Mindful Relaxation for Mothers

Join Yoga instructor Mary Beth Woodward and Mental Health Counselor Jenni Waldron on a three week journey to complete mindfulness and relaxation specifically geared for mothers.

Find a safe and warm escape from the crazy lives we lead by surrounding yourself in healthy, happy, positive energy. You'll be with a group of like-minded Mothers as you transport yourself from the stresses of life to a place where you are calm, centered and peaceful. Marybeth will use music, essential oils, gentle yoga, body movements, and mindful relaxation techniques to achieve your peace.

After your 60 minute class, you'll gather together for an important group workshop led by Jenni to help with all the dynamic requirements of being a woman and mother. Complete each session with refreshments, wine & light snacks.

This three part series will provide you with serenity during the sessions, and will give you the necessary skills to use during your lives away from Worcester Fitness.This exclusive three week series is open to just 10 women. You will have valuable time with Marybeth and Jenni in a small group setting, and various resources you can apply to your life.

Marybeth Woodward has been a yoga professional at Worcester Fitness for 10 years. She is a registered 200-hour Lyengar Yoga Instructor with more than 10 years experience.

She believes that " Connecting mind, body and soul, leads to strength, confidence and inner peace"

Fridays
April 27th • May 4th • May 11th
6:00pm-8:30pm
$169.00

Jenni Waldron has her Masters in Clinical Psychology from Antioch University, after earning her undergraduate degree from Suffolk University.

She is studying for her doctorate in Clinical Psychology at William James College. She loves to teach children how to swim in her role as a swim instructor at Worcester Fitness.

Her belief is that it's our mission to find a balance between work and play that leads us to peace and
happiness!

Nick Crossman • Swimming Instructor

Team Spotlight | Nick Crossman

Today we highlight another member of the Worcester Fitness Swim Lesson Team, Nick Crossman. Nick has been involved with teaching young people to swim since he was just 16 years old when he became a swim instructor aid.

Nick took a liking to the water even earlier though! He started his own personal swim instruction when he was only three years old in the Water Babies classes and has been on swimming teams since the age of eight.

Nick was also the captain of the swim team at Sandwich High School.

It's no coincidence then that Nick's favorite place to be is at the beach!

When he's not teaching young people to swim or swimming competitively himself, Nick enjoys playing the piano and cooking. Nick is a big proponent of trying new types of food.

A VERY special Thank You to Worcester Fitness member Joe Peterson for this fantastic feedback! We are incredibly proud of Picky Lanigan and the words like these make our day!

"I never post reviews but I feel the need, so here goes! I have a rare genetic disease that basically limits me to a zero impact work out if any.

I came here in November and met with Picky. I had no lofty expectations, being an overweight out of shape forty-something, year old man, but she made me feel comfortable and welcome. Five months later, while staying aware of my limitations she has helped me shed almost forty lbs in a pool!

Although I know I could never have done it without out her she has made me feel like she is proud of me! This is why I had to leave this review. Thank you Picky!"

 

Team Spotlight | Jenni Waldron

The Worcester Fitness Swimming Lesson Team is fast becoming one of the most widely regarded youth swim lesson groups in Massachusetts. The team, led by Kat Butterfield, has done a remarkable job not only teaching children how to swim in a fun and safe way, but also positioning Worcester Fitness as the premier swim lesson location for parents and children in Worcester, MA.

Today, we would like to introduce you to Swim Instructor Jenni Waldron.

Jenni swam competitively for 14 years, with her main event being 100 yards Butterfly.

She began teaching swim lessons and spreading her love and passion for the water while in high school when she became certified in Water Safety Instruction (WSI) at the age of 17. Jenni attended undergraduate school in Boston where she taught swim lessons at YMCA Chinatown - in fact, it was at this facility where she learned how to teach Parent Child classes!

Jenni continued teaching private swim lessons when she relocated to Los Angeles for graduate school. Upon her return to Massachusetts, Jenni found herself settling down in the city of Worcester where she worked full time in nearby Rutland, MA. Shortly after her arrival, Jenni began to crave the water again and discovered Worcester Fitness in her search for a positive, fun and health promoting community to continue to channel her passion for swimming as an instructor.

Given her educational training and work experience, Jenni is especially passionate and experienced in teaching students with a variety of special needs, including Autism, Down Syndrome, partial paralysis, ADHD, Intellectual Disabilities and the like.

Jenni strongly identifies with marine life and feels the only thing that separates her from the dolphins is a fin!