Tag: worcester fitness

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!

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

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!

Last Sunday (March 4, 2018) Worcester Fitness hosted our very first "Spin for Kids" event as part of our Fitness for a Cause Program. The event was in support of our friends at Why Me Sherry's House. We welcomed Why Me families and friends, the Worcester Fitness team, and 55 different riders to the club.

What a ride!

As a group, we raised over $22,000 for for Why Me Sherry's House...in just four hours.

We want to thank every one of the 50+ riders who dedicated their Sunday morning  to raise money for this fantastic organization.

We could not have done this without our amazing sponsors. A very special thank you to all of our friends at S&G Business Consultants, Sansoucy Stone, One Off Apparel, Group Benefit Strategies, Creedon & Co., Barry Electric. We are also grateful to our photographers - Jim Ushkurnis Photography and Joe Santa Maria of  Kill the Ball Media

Still interested in making a donation? It is not too late... visit our donation page!

As we enter into our 40th year, we at Worcester Fitness can look back on a long history of connecting with our community with fondness and pride.  We've always held the fundamental belief that it is our responsibility as a local company to play a leadership role in supporting local charitable organizations who look to us for assistance.  We are a family owned and operated health and wellness club located in Worcester, and we've been here for 40 years.  Our Worcester roots run deep, and we're proud of that.  Staff and members affectionately refer to us as Worcester Fitness Nation.  In 2017, we in the nation answered the call and delivered help to those in need. 
 
2017 may have been our finest year for giving back.  When discussing charity and giving back, we are not just referring to the monetary and in-kind donations to countless causes that we make as a company.  We're talking about the time, effort and money that our members race to offer those who need it the most.  We believe in charity, and love providing the platform for our members to give, but it's the generosity and compassion of our members that drives our philanthropic efforts forward.  2017 saw more than $75,000 raised and donated.  $75,000 in one year, generated by this little health club on Grove Street and it's friendly, kind and generous members!  $75,000 that went to local partners in need such as Ivy Child International, Worcester Animal Rescue League, Why Me/Sherry's House, Veterans Inc, Dana Farber Cancer Center, American Cancer Society, Mary Beth Benison Foundation, Fit Club Foundation, Planting the Seed FoundationAbby's House and Homes for Our Troops.  
 

Staff and members are also strongly involved with the Worcester Public School Mini-Olympics program where we volunteer our time to cheer and support athletes in the Fall and Spring events.  We also provide uniforms for all students who participate, with over 35 colors unique to each school so the young athletes can proudly unify while representing their school.

 
We raised our money in unique and fun ways like our seasonal Touch the Tower  Run/Walk to Bancroft Tower and back.  Our annual Spin-a-Thon held every March has raised $31,000 in the last two years.  Our new Knock-out 90 breast cancer event was held in October and is sure to become a big part of our annual fundraising campaigns.  When two Worcester Fitness members were diagnosed with devastating cancer, Worcester Fitness Nation held a big bash and raised money to assist them in their drive to get well.  Our monthly Yoga for A Cause events raised money for several small, local agencies in Worcester.  The Worcester Fitness Running Team traveled to the Marine Corps Marathon in Washington, D.C. and raised $34,000 for Homes for Our Troops.  Our year was capped off with our Merry Midnight Madness ultimate fitness and endurance event, we finished the year in style putting us well over $75,000 raised in 2017.
 

2018 is our 40th year, and we have planned a wonderful series of unique, fun, exciting, and innovative ways to engage our members while making significant contributions to local charities right here in Worcester.  For more on our connection to the community, past and future events, please contact me, andy@worcesterfitness.com

Valentines Yoga

Valentine's Day Heart Opening Yoga and Essential Oils

This unique and special class for those looking to make a deeper connection with ourselves, and each other. As you practice heart opening in your physical body, you can also experience an opening of the heart in your thoughts and emotions. This class is designed to open your chest, shoulders and heart. Come enjoy this relaxing practice combined with essential oils to pamper your sense of smell and experience connection on a deeper level.

Valentine's Day Heart Opening Yoga and Essential Oils- All levels welcome. Bring a yoga mat, a blanket for comfort and an open heart!! Members free - $5 for guests Sunday, February 11th 10:00 am -11:00 am with Refreshments to Follow

Get Registered!

Our Anniversary Celebration Continues!

February is Heart Month

Worcester Fitness is offering free blood pressure screenings during the month of February. Get your blood pressure checked and you're instantly entered into a drawing to win one of FOUR $40 gift cards to Peppercorn's!

Screening Schedule

Wk  1- Tue 2/6 8-10am w/ Janine
           Wed 2/7 5-7pm w/ Bob
Wk  2- Mon 2/12 8-10am w/ Janine
           Thur 2/15 5-7pm w/Bob
           Sat 2/17  9:30-11am w/Janine

Wk 3- Tue 2/20 5-7pm w/ Bob 
           Wed 2/21 1-3pm w/ Bob
           Fri 2/23  8-10am w/ Janine
Wk 4- Mon 2/26 7-9am w/ Janine
           Mon 2/26 5-7pm with Bob