Tag: worcester ma

StrongTeam™

Did you know that Worcester Fitness offers team building programs? Our StrongTeam™ training program is the perfect combination of motivational coaching and group fitness training.

Recently, Andy Sharry and Meg Paradis conducted a session with Wachusett Regional High School's Girl's Vollyball Team that included a rocking spin class taught by Andy and Meg followed by a motivational discussion on the power of THE TEAM.

We are looking forward to working with YOUR team or business group! Contact Andy Sharry to schedule a StrongTeam™ Session at Worcester Fitness for your team!

Nicole Apelian

worcester-fitness-nicole

Nicole Apelian

NICOLE APELIAN

"Having the right mindset was my new best friend."

worcester-fitness-nicole

Nicole Apelian has been personal training with Fitness Director Andy Sharry five days each week over the last eighteen months. Nicole came to Worcester Fitness when she was at her physically weakest point, barely finished with her cancer treatments and sapped of her usual strength and energy. But, with a very strong spirit.  Nicole enjoyed her training sessions with Andy and within just a few short weeks, she was achieving monumental accomplishments.

"Nicole lifts weights, runs and jumps unlike anyone else I train." says Andy,  "Despite her petite statute, I don't train anyone who can bench press, squat or overhead press more than this 110 pound beast-combination of determination and grit."  Andy and others at Worcester Fitness are inspired by Nicole, and the manner in which she has handled her adversity.
 
"She just comes in with a smile, works her tail off, and does this days after day." says Andy,  "She respects her illness but also isn't defined by it, or limited in any way by it.  I really look forward to my time with Nicole."
 
Nicole’s story should emphasize to all of us the importance of being fully aware of your family medical history and mindful of the changes in your own body. Breast cancer has afflicted many people in Nicole’s family. She has been diligent about getting routine checkups every six-months since she turned twenty-five years old.
It was in the time between one of those biannual visits that she felt a lump in her breast and immediately scheduled to see her doctors. 
 
"That day in July of 2015 my whole entire world was forever changed." Nicole adds emphatically, "I was diagnosed with stage 2 breast cancer. I was in the best shape of my life. Training five days a week, eating right, and  my daughter was starting kindergarten. how could this happen to me? I was feeling a million different emotions but fear wasn't one of them. Having the right mindset was my new best friend. It got me through surgery, chemo, and it got me out of bed even on my sickest days. Today I feel the best I've ever felt and with the right mindset I won't have it any other way!"
 
Nicole now enjoys her time with her husband Dan and daughter Samara, who is enrolled in swim lessons at Worcester Fitness and occasionally accompanies her Mom in personal training sessions with Andy.  "A  healthy lifestyle is something I want to instill in Samara so she has a love for swimming, running, playing and being active and Worcester Fitness is a place she really enjoys being."

2017 Mid-Year Review • Yoga For A Cause

Back in February of this year, Worcester Fitness Yoga Instructor Jeanine Mchugh Skorinko went to Director of Fitness and Wellness Andy Sharry with an idea. Worcester Fitness would create a monthly event, centered around a yoga class, that not only introduced the positive effects of yoga, but also helped a local non-profit organization by raising money during the event.

Yoga for a Cause was born! 

Now over six-months later, Yoga for a cause is now one of our most popular events with members and friends alike.
 
As we approach another beautiful New England Autumn, we wanted to update you on the results of the program.
 
Yoga For A Cause is a monthly yoga class. It generally is scheduled for the first Saturday in each month. The class is unique in that both members AND non-members are invited to participate. Members and guests are asked to contribute $5.00 per class for the charity or non-profit organization supported that week.
 
Participants can sign up via the Worcester Fitness Mind Body app and can convienently access the app via Facebook or a blog post on worcesterfitness.com a few days prior to the event.

Events

Here is a complete list of charitable organizations supported by Worcester Fitness through the Yoga for a Cause program along with the total amount donated as a result of the event. Donations are delivered directly to each organization.
 
Sherry's House/Why Me - $160
Worcester Animal Rescue League - $125
Abby's House - $50
Rachel's Table - $65
Veterans, Inc - $106
Ivy Child - $60
Planting the Seed Foundation - $100

Next Event

Yoga for a Cause at Worcester Fitness will be in support of the Dana Faber Cancer Institute on Saturday October 7, 2017 at 10:00am. We would love to see you there!

Details

SATURDAY Yoga Class (Dana Faber Cancer Institute)
10-11am
Worcester Fitness, Grove Street
Price: $5 for Non-Worcester Fitness Members (all proceeds go to Dana Faber) & Free for Worcester Fitness Members.

This is open to anyone—you don’t have to be a Worcester Fitness Member to participate.

Bring: your own mat (blocks and straps are available at the gym), water, & any donation you want to make to Dana Faber Cancer Institute.

The Mom Olympics

By Steve Dozois, LMT, Worcester Fitness
Contact Steve 

Here at Worcester Fitness, everyone is an athlete.  Today I'd like to highlight the moms who do so much in what I call the Mom Olympics.  One big difference from the real Olympics is that mom's don't compete for medals or even recognition.  Many moms out there may not consider themselves athletes if they don't get to the gym often or have any other regular fitness training, but I'd argue otherwise!

Every Day Power Moves

Here are just a few things that mom's do or have done regularly that require some physical activity that don't include fitness training.  Carrying babies and toddlers, bags, and bags, and bags!  Racing strollers from place to place, lugging kids in and out of the car to all kinds of events like sports, dance, gymnastics, play groups, school, and more.  There is the constant running around the house to get things for the rest of the family, cleaning up after everyone, and hurdling over toys.  

Every Day Lifting

Some moms spend half the day cleaning the house until they can't clean any more.  Shopping for groceries and preparing the meals can often be a contact sport, especially when their kids are around.  Think of all the heavy lifting involved with doing the laundry!
Now, I know not all moms do all of these things and sometimes they have help, but let's face it...all of our mom's deserve a gold medal for everything they do every day.  

If you are interested in Worcester Fitness, we want to meet you!

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Picky Lanigan MS Exercise Specialist

By Roland Hamelin, Contributing Writer
Worcester Fitness 

Worcester Fitness is very proud to announce that Personal Trainer Picky Lanigan has recently become a certified Aquatic Exercise specialist for clients with Multiple Sclerosis through the Aquatic Exercise Association and MSAA Multiple Sclerosis Association of America.

Latest Certification

Picky has been working with clients with serious pre-existing conditions for many years utilizing her experience as a nationally recognized water fitness expert. She has also been certified through the AEA for over 25 years!

What is MS?

According to the National Multiple Sclerosis Society "Multiple sclerosis (MS) is an unpredictable, often disabling disease of the central nervous system that disrupts the flow of information within the brain, and between the brain and body.The cause of MS is still unknown – scientists believe the disease is triggered by as-yet-unidentified environmental factor in a person who is genetically predisposed to respond.

The progress, severity and specific symptoms of MS in any one person cannot yet be predicted. Most people with MS are diagnosed between the ages of 20 and 50, with at least two to three times more women than men being diagnosed with the disease."

Aquatic Therapy and MS

Benefits of aquatic exercises*

The unique qualities of water provide exceptional benefits to people with MS. Water helps people with MS move in ways they may not be able to on land. Here is why:

Buoyancy: The feeling of being lighter in the water; of floating.

Provides support for weak limbs.
Movement takes less effort. A greater range of motion can be achieved.
Promotes muscle relaxation.
Viscosity: The sensation that there is resistance to your movements; that you move slower through the water.

The resistance of water can be used to improve muscle strength.Slower movement in water provides an opportunity to work on skills such as balance and coordination which may be harder to do on land.
Hydrostatic pressure: The sensation of compression while the body is in the water. Pressure increases with depth.

Compression can provide support for standing activities, such as walking, with less effort than on land.
Temperature control

Cooler water can help maintain lower core body temperature even during vigorous activity. This is especially helpful for people with heat sensitivity issues.
*Information obtained from National Multiple Sclerosis Society

Congratulations Picky!

Now Picky will be working with Physicians who specialize in treating patients with MS by offering on-site exercise programming right here in the Worcester Fitness pool. Congratulations Picky and thank you for your continued passion for making the lives of your clients better and putting smiles on EVERYONE'S face here at the club EVERY day!

If you have MS or know someone that has MS, please use the contact form below to find out more about how Picky may be able to help you with Aquatic Exercise Therapy at Worcester Fitness.

Personal Trainer Janine McCarthy

Worcester Fitness Nation welcomes Personal Trainer Janine McCarthy!

Janine returns to central Massachusetts after earning her Bachelor’s degree in Health Sciences from Lock Haven University in Pennsylvania and her Master’s Degree in Adapted Physical Activity from Slippery Rock University in Pennsylvania.

Janine is a Certified Disability Sport Specialist Level 1 with BlazeSports and a Certified Personal Trainer through NASM. She specializes in working with people who have either short term or long term disabilities.

Janine also specializes in rehabilitative exercises and athletic training geared towards clients looking to prevent future injuries and also improve their athletic performance. If you are interested in training with Janine or talking to her about your goals..send us a message!

https://worcesterfitness.com/personal-training/

SOMETHING NEW : LITTLE YOGIS!

Yoga in an active, safe, and inclusive environment that incorporates mindful movements and breathing techniques with stories and games. In this class every child will feel supported and encouraged.  It will help kids grow confidence, promote healthy bodies, coordination/balance, and improve concentration. In addition this will help preteens learn how to cope with the pressures of school, and emotional “ups and downs.”

 

INSTRUCTOR - DENLEIGH • Classes start April 11, 2017

Tuesday’s • 9:30am ages 2-5 • Wednesday’s 5pm ages 6-12
Free to members.  $10 for non members.

Sign Up

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.

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

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]

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!

Smart Season

Written by Emily Creamer Collins, Master Trainer
 
This morning as I was mindlessly eating a Christmas cookie for breakfast - after having eaten several of them last night - I realized that I needed to get a grip on my food intake for this holiday season!
 
But how??
 
I beat myself up for a while and figured it was a lost cause but then I remembered a cool tip I learned my while getting my Personal Training certification.
 
It’s about setting SMART goals.

S.M.A.R.T.

Most of us know that goals provide the roadmap to help make our dreams a reality. But setting goals is not always simple!
 
It’s more than a general statement of what you want, like in my example, “I want to avoid gaining weight.” Goal setting requires a well-conceived plan of action. Determining what you want is the starting point, but to be most effective we’ll need to write SMART goals.
 
The acronym SMART stands for: Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic, and Timely.
 
Let’s break it down…

Specific

When writing goals, state exactly what you want to accomplish. Get down to the nitty-gritty. Getting fit is not a goal, it is an idea. Fitting into a size-six dress for a holiday party, or losing three pounds of body fat during the month of December are specific goals. See the difference?

 

Measurable

Your goals need to be quantifiable.
 
Measuring progress toward your goals allows you to ascertain whether your strategy is working. For example, “drinking less alcohol” is not measurable, but “to limit my alcohol intake to one drink at each holiday party” is measurable.
 

Attainable

Goals should be challenging yet achievable based on your time constraints, resources and motivation.
 
For example, planning to exercise everyday even if it means skipping all social and family gatherings is a poor goal because it conflicts with other commitments.
 
A better goal would be, “I plan to exercise at 7:00am Monday through Thursday so my other commitments are not conflicted.”

Realistic

Realistic goals are goals within reach.
 
Unattainable goals set you up for failure, discouragement and loss of interest. An example of an unrealistic goal would be, “I will eat a perfect diet throughout the entire holiday season.”
 
Instead, set reasonable goals that are manageable such as “I will bring a healthy lunch to work rather than eating fast food.”
 

Timely

Your goals should always have a specific date of completion.
 
The date should be realistic, but not too distant in the future. Allow yourself enough time to achieve your goal, but not too much time, as this could negatively affect your motivation and willpower.
 
Tasks are much easier to accomplish when there’s a deadline.
 
A poor time-specific goal would be “I will lose 10 pounds by the time the next holiday season roles around.” One year is too much time for this goal. A better goal would be, “I will lose 1 pound per week within the month of December (end date 12/31).”
 
Let’s try to be SMART this season! Give it a try, and I will too. We can compare notes!

Changing Direction

Written by Roland J. Hamelin
Editors note- Worcester Fitness will be launching it's brand new Massage Therapy Department led by Steve Dozois on January 1, 2017.

 
What do you do when you are really good at something, extremely successful as a result and seen as someone with unlimited potential within your industry?
 
If you're Steve Dozois, you decide that you should be doing something completely different.
 
So you do it.

Looking for changes

Steve started his professional life by spending ten-years learning and mastering the highly competitive world of business-to-business sales as an account representative for a global office supply corporation. The harder Steve worked, the more successful he became.
 
But something was missing.
 
With the economic upheaval of late 2008 and 2009, the office supply industry (along with most others) hit a brick wall. Steve was adapting but the personal satisfaction was gone.
 
He knew it was time for a change...and a big one at that.
 
He looked for a way to transition away from sales goals and budgets and into a field that would allow him to help people feel better, be healthier and relieve stress.
 

Time to reflect

Steve has been certified and licensed for Massage Therapy in Massachusetts since 2009 with a primary focus on overall health and wellness, and an interest in Sports Massage. After tearing his ACL in 2011, having surgery to reconstruct it, and subsequently going through physical therapy, he had a renewed interest in Sports Massage and massage for injury rehabilitation.
 
"I became a massage therapist  to help people enjoy day to day life more without worrying about injuries." says Steve,  Through my practice, I've dedicated myself to providing the best care for pain relief as well as overall health and wellness."
 

Ergonomics

Deep Tissue and Sports Massage are Steve's specialties. His Goal- to help relieve you of every day aches and pains while working specific muscles for your athletic training so you experience improved performance and proper recovery.
 
"Aches and pains associated with working in today's offices has been a specialty of mine after spending eight years in the office interiors industry." says Steve, "I spent the majority of my time in the industry focusing on office ergonomics."
 
Steve states that his experience with office ergonomics gave him a unique understanding of how people work at their desk, how they SHOULD work at their desk, what their common complaints are, and how to address them.
 
Steve also works with many marathoners and triathletes in the area to help them reach their peak performance.

Building Muscle After 50

Article reprinted with permission by author Mark Nutting.

Learn More about Mark at https://www.linkedin.com/in/marknutting and at https://twitter.com/marknutting

 

In a recent article in the New York Times, Can You Regain Muscle After 60, author Gretchen Reynolds discussed research done in which “men and women in their 60s and 70s who began supervised weight training developed muscles that were as large and strong as those of your average 40-year-old.” This is important because what keeps us able to do what we want as we age, is muscle. Strength, power, and your resting metabolism depend on gaining, or at least not losing, muscle. So, how do we do that?

Keep what you have

Let’s start with the idea of not losing what you have. In a previous post, How Many Years Do You Have Left?, I mentioned sarcopenia, or the physical declines that come with muscle loss. Sarcopenia is predominantly caused by a lessening of physical activity as we get older. One of my favorite examples of someone not slowing down as he got older, was my father-in-law, Karl Stirner. Karl was a metal sculptor (he passed early in 2016 at the age of 92). He hauled iron around on a daily basis until he was almost 90. His strength always amazed me. That continued physical activity kept him young and physically capable of living life on his terms. The same can be true for you. If you are physically active, stay that way. If you’ve had a physical job all of your life and you find yourself retiring or changing jobs, find other ways (maybe more fun ways) of staying active.

Start now!

What if you’ve never been never been active or worked out or it’s just been a really long time since you have? You need to start to build muscle. The best way to do this is resistance training. This includes free weights, machines, tubing, body weight, etc. As long as the exercise is challenging to you within a general repetition range of 8 – 20 repetitions, it’s going to help you build strength and muscle. However, start small, start light. With the prospect of doing this for the rest of our lives, we can take our time building the intensity and the volume of the program. This will help minimize the risk of injuries. I will often only give 5 or 6 exercises to someone just starting out. One set of 12 repetitions for each of the exercises on day one and then see how they feel the next day. If they are not too sore and have no issues, we can start to progress the program. Ultimately, the program has to become very challenging or you won’t have enough stimulus to build muscle.

Feed your muscles!

Finally, you need to support muscle growth by eating enough calories and enough of those calories coming from protein. That will be my next post. In the mean time, know that you can (and should) build strength and muscle no matter what your age.  If you’re doing it, keep doing it. If you’re not, get started. It’s never too late.

Weight Lifting Might Lead To 46% Reduced Risk Of Death

Article by Lisa Jones, Lifehack.org

Milk apparently is not the only thing that does a body good. Now research has shown that strength training into older age can actually help to prolong life. It only takes a trip to the gym twice a week to reap the benefits of this form of body good exercise.

The Study

Researchers at the Penn State College of Medicine, Penn State Health Milton S. Hershey Medical Center, and Columbia University discovered that older individuals who took part in strength-training only twice per week helped the individuals who were 65 years of age or older to live longer. The research sample they had for this specific group was small, and really only came in at 10 percent of the age group’s overall count, but the evidence obtained is priceless.

The data came to the researchers through surveys that spanned over 15 years of the participants lives, and from information found on their death certificates from the years 1997 to 2001. This research found that the older adults who took part in strength training twice a week had a 41% reduction in cardiac death, and a 19% lowered chance of being killed by cancer.

Pump it up

Exercise of any type can help to prolong a life, and strength-training provides plenty of perks. When it comes to older age our muscles are one of the first things that start to deteriorate. With strength training muscles stay healthy and strong. This is important as these muscles help provide cushion and balance to help keep older individuals safe from falls.

According to an article in Men’s Health titled “Lifting Weights As You Age Cuts Your Risk Of Early Death By 46%” falling accidents are said to be the number one reason why older individuals collect disability.

Working the muscles also helps to cut down on body fat, which is great for helping to reduce cholesterol levels, and even helps to slow or even stop diabetes that many older individuals acquire as they age.

Strength training can also help keep the bones strong, and we all know the importance of strong bones as we age. This type of exercise also has the ability to keep the heart pumping and blood flowing.

Oxygen is another benefit of exercising, which is something that our brains need always, but even more so as we age. When oxygen is flowing through the blood in our veins it helps to keep the brain alert and active. It, unfortunately, will not stop Alzheimer’s from occurring, but it could help to prevent it from happening early.

Getting Started

At the time that this study took place only 10% of the older population took part in strength training. This is a small portion of individuals in this age group that would benefit from this type of exercise routine.

Sharing the research with individuals of any age could help get more people in strength training programs. Many gyms are able to help guide older individuals in the type of training exercises that they should be able to do, and they are there in case any emergency occurs.

Get
Connected

There are social groups that work together on exercise programs for the elderly, and some may already be in the area. If there are not any programs in the area where the individual lives a few short phone calls to places like the Community Action Agency or Senior Support Services may get the ball rolling so that a strength-training program can be started.

While exercise is beneficial to most individuals it should be advised that anyone who would like to start strength training should consult with their physician first. Exercise does help to improve the over-all quality of life, and strength-training does that in abundance.