We would like to take this time to thank all of you for your continued patronage. We know that there are many fitness club options, so we truly appreciate that each year you choose us.
We all strive to give you the best fitness information and instruction; but we also hope that you feel the sense of community and genuine care we feel for each one of you.
We love that you are always giving us your feedback with so many great suggestions. We find it very helpful to assist us in making changes to our schedules and to our daily operations.
Our wish for you in 2015 is a year filled with good health, peace, love and joy.
We also want to encourage you to try something new in your fitness routines, and challenge your body and your mind.
Believe in yourself and be the best you can be in 2015. HAPPY NEW YEAR!!
From the Director’s Desk …
I know that normally I write about exercise, but this time I would like to utilize another aspect of my background: Nutrition.
Now, I am not going to give you an ideal eating plan, or discuss calories in vs calories out, and I am not even going to discuss the best foods to eat. Instead, I would like to discuss the hormones that are major players in your appetite. Why? Because understanding these hormone functions and how to control them, will absolutely help you eat smarter and, for those that are looking to do so, maybe shed some of those unwanted pounds.
Eating the right foods at specific times throughout the day (when your body needs them most) curbs hunger hormones and dulls cravings. Tuning into your body’s natural refuel schedule keeps hormones balanced, which energizes you during the day and calms you right before you go to sleep.
Early Morning: Once you are awake, even if it feels like you should still be sleeping, grelin wakes up. Ghrelin is the “feed me” hormone that’s made in your stomach. Ignore ghrelin and not only do you set the stage for cravings later on, but skipping breakfast messes up your natural hormonal cycle. Once ghrelin is awake, neuropeptide Y (NPY), a gut hormone that regulates appetite and the craving for carbohydrates. If you don’t satisfy NPY, it will keep building all day.
A small serving of healthy carbs–such as adding veggies to an omelet or whole grain toast–will keep NPY from nagging you all morning and ultimately triggering the junk food craving! So, within an hour of waking up, make sure you have a relatively big breakfast that contains both complex carbs (like whole grain bread (not refined grains) or cereal and/or veggies), and protein (like eggs, egg whites, low fat cheese). The complex carbs and protein slow your blood sugar’s rise and suppress ghrelin longer. The food you eat in the morning has a higher satiety level (makes you feel fuller) than the food you eat at night.
A breakfast that is 60 percent complex carbohydrates, 30 percent bio-available protein and 10 percent fat, balances your appetite control center, restores your glycogen levels and diminishes NPY levels. It also raises your dopamine (feel alert) and DHEA (high enthusiasm, vibrant energy) hormones so your mood is balanced but elevated. Cholecystokinin is released from the protein in the stomach and intestines, sending a message of complete satiation to your brain. Insulin levels are balanced and you feel full, energetic, alert and bright for four full hours.
Mid-Morning: A couple of hours before lunch, ghrelin begins to rise to remind you to eat. Most of us will find a quick fix for those hunger-pains, but it’s usually not the right fix! You want to turn ghrelin off so that you don’t continue to have cravings. If you eat complex carbs and protein together you turn ghrelin off. So, have a small combo snack. The carbs will shut off ghrelin and the protein keeps it turned of longer. The mid-morning snack should be halfway between your breakfast and lunch.
Lunch: Here we go again! Ghrelin is back! However, this time we also now have galanin. Galanin is a hunger hormone that makes you want to eat fat. It starts up around midday and peaks in the evening. Now, we know that eating a high fat lunch is not a good idea, especially since you still need to satisfy ghrelin! Fatty foods do not suppress the “eat more” effects of ghrelin as well as carbs and protein do; they barely satisfy them at all. In addition, dietary fat promotes the production of more galanin, which then tells you to eat more fat! Yes, it is a messy circle that we all get caught up in!
Lunch is the meal to emphasize low-density carbohydrates that are minimally processed, as well as lean proteins, containing the amino acid tyrosine, which makes the “stay sharp” hormone dopamine. High dopamine levels in the early afternoon help keep us alert, vigilant, motivated. The ideal lunch would be predominantly vegetables with lean protein. The key to lunch isn’t just what you eat, but when. And, it’s best to eat your midday meal at the same time every day.
Mid-Afternoon: It’s at this point in the day (approximately 3PM) that your body temperature drops; so does blood sugar, triggered by insulin secretion after your lunch. Leptin also hits bottom. So, here comes the next wave of cravings! This is a great time for a protein rich snack, like a turkey roll-up or some string cheese. Again, the amino acid tyrosine found in protein, promotes alertness, making protein your best afternoon pick-me-up food.
Dinner: Your body produces ghrelin and galanin again. Ghrelin is telling you to eat and galanin wants you to eat fat; because it wants to make sure that you have enough calories in your system to keep you from waking up at night. This is a great time to load up on healthy fats like those in olive oil and fish. Yes, you want to eat enough to stay asleep, but don’t overdo it, it is fat after all! The ideal dinner should contain twice as much complex carbohydrates as lean protein. Good carbohydrate choices can be whole grains such as millet, amaranth, quinoa, kamut, wild rice, brown rice, baked yam, baked sweet potato, colorful salads, squashes, whole grain pastas or breads, or soba noodles.
The “feel good” hormone serotonin rises from the complex carbohydrates and low protein eaten at dinner, leaving you satisfied, tranquil and calm. Neuropeptide Y levels decline as do galanin (fat craving) levels, which curbs your appetite. Complex carbohydrates in the evening also creates tryptophan, which promotes good sleep patterns.
In addition, carbs are necessary to fill your glycogen storage tanks, to supply the brain and millions of nighttime metabolic processes with the fuel-mix blood glucose, so you can have an uninterrupted sleep without the urge to refuel midway through the night.
I know I did not say much about fruits. Yes, fruits should be included in your daily food intake, but in moderation; although fruits pack a good amount of fiber, they are also sugar. Yes, fructose, although a natural sugar found in the fruit, is still sugar. So enjoy, but don’t overdo.
it became a butterfly” – Unknown
What’s New at the Club?
The Buttocks of a Movie Star
You might have noticed a change in equipment and weight machines in the equipment room. We switched out a few older pieces and added a new Inner/outer Thigh Machine and a Butt Blaster!
Not familiar with a Butt Blaster, no problem! If you are getting tired of jogging, and doing squats and workouts are taking too long, this is the machine for you!
The Butt Blaster will shape, mold, stretch, and carve the muscles to perfection without the strain on your lower back. The machine is designed to get those hard to reach glutes, hamstrings, and quadriceps muscles.
The design of the Butt Blaster ensures that before you feel tired from the work out, you will have already done enough to ensure that your glutes are in tiptop shape. The buttocks of a movie star – what more could you ask for?
In the aerobics we added a bar bell system that can be used for muscle classes. This system allows you to choose weight by adding on pieces to create the ideal weight for you. If you realize it is too heavy or too light you can adjust very easily by adding or removing plates. Stay tuned for special classes using this system.
And for the best of all, we have added a Fitness on Demand Unit. This is a true cinematic experience. Users choose a class on the kiosk, the projector screen drops down and class begins! It is that simple. There are over 600 videos and classes to choose from. You will be able to use the unit whenever the room is free and the best benefit of all is that is we cannot find a sub for a class we won’t need to cancel anymore! Please be patient as we install this new system.
Finally, we will be doing some upgrades to the showers and painting throughout the club in the near future. Thank all of you for your patience as we make all upgrade changes.
The Wellness Corner
Stay Healthy with Vitamin C
Though essential to health, vitamin C is not synthesized within the body and must be obtained through diet or supplementation. As vitamin C is water soluble and not stored by the body, you need to get adequate amounts of this very important nutrient every day if you want to achieve or maintain optimal health. While it’s rare to be seriously deficient in vitamin C, evidence suggests that many of us may have low levels of this highly protective nutrient. And while scurvy, a potentially life threatening disease caused by severe vitamin C deficiency, has been largely eliminated, there has been a rise in the occurrence of deficiencies due to poor diets, eating disorders, and a diminishing ability to absorb the vitamin.
Alcohol and medications such as analgesics, antidepressants, oral contraceptives and steroids may all reduce vitamin C levels in the body. Smoking increases the risk of deficiency. Low levels of vitamin C are associated with health conditions such as high blood pressure, gallbladder disease, stroke, cataracts, some cancers and atherosclerosis.
What role does vitamin C play in health?
- As an antioxidant, vitamin C helps to neutralize free radicals, thereby reducing some of the DNA damage that contributes to cellular aging. Its antioxidant properties also help protect vital molecules such as proteins, lipids, carbohydrates, DNA and RNA. Over time, the buildup of free radicals is believed to contribute to the development of health conditions such as arthritis, cancer and heart disease.
- Vitamin C is necessary for the normal growth, development and repair of all body tissues. It functions as an essential co-factor in many enzymatic processes including adrenal gland function and the biosynthesis of collagen, carnitine and catecholamine.
- Vitamin C has a role in both innate and adaptive immunity. It stimulates the production and function of white blood cells and protects the body against reactive oxygen species (ROS) that are generated by immune cells to kill pathogens. While vitamin C may not prevent colds, it is widely believed that children and adults with adequate daily levels of vitamin C have colds of shorter duration and with milder symptoms.
- Vitamin C is believed to be cardio-protective in its ability as an antioxidant to slow the progression of atherosclerosis. Studies show that it may aid in keeping arteries flexible and may protect arteries against damage caused by plaque buildup. People with low levels of vitamin C may be more likely to have a heart attack, stroke or peripheral artery disease, all potential consequences of atherosclerosis.
- Population based studies show that people who have high antioxidant diets have a lower risk of high blood pressure than those with poorer diets. If you are at risk for high blood pressure, a diet rich in antioxidants such as vitamin C is frequently recommended.
- Evidence shows that people who eat diets rich in vitamin C are less likely to be diagnosed with arthritis, as the antioxidant properties of vitamin C appear to limit joint damage from free radicals. Vitamin C is essential for collagen production. Collagen is a normal part of cartilage, which cushions joints and aids joint function. Free radicals are believed to contribute to cartilage destruction, advancing the natural aging deterioration.
- Along with the antioxidants zinc, beta-carotene and vitamin E, vitamin C acts to protect the eyes from macular degeneration, the leading cause of blindness in people over age 55.
What are the signs of vitamin C deficiency?
- Chronic low energy
- Gingivitis and tooth loss
- Irritability or rapid mood changes
- Bruising that occurs easily and lingers
- Chronic limb, bone or joint pain or swelling
- Increased susceptibility to viruses or infections
- Slow wound healing
- Dry brittle hair
- Rough, dry skin
- Advanced aging of cells
To get the most benefit from supplemental or dietary sources of vitamin C, be sure to eat lots of raw or lightly cooked fruits and vegetables and be sure to drink plenty of fluids. There are many types of vitamin C supplements available. I take Camu Gold, an Amazon Herb (camu camu which has the highest concentration of vitamin c) distributed by Trivita which you can find by viewing the recommended products on our website.
*Information from Professional Supplement Center Newsletter
On and Off the Mat with Jenn
Post Holiday Detox!
I kept my eye on the ball through Halloween, Thanksgiving, and at all the holiday parties. Then Christmas Eve struck, and I splurged. In fact, I indulged straight through New Year’s Day. I seem to do this every year and wouldn’t have it any other way. For me, holidays are about spending time with family and friends sharing traditions and recipes rich with ingredients we don’t eat on a daily basis. Holidays remind me of traveling. We eat, drink, exercise, and sleep differently.
Well, now the holidays are behind us, and it’s time to get back on track. What better time to detox? Yoga offers excellent poses and sequences for detoxing.
Poses offering detox include twists, elongations, and compressions. Challenge your stamina in twisting standing poses such as Parvritta Alanasana (Revolved Crescent Pose) or Pavritta Trikonasana (Revolved Triangle Pose).
Remember to elongate the spine in all twists. Watch your hips and work to keep them squared to the mat. Concentrate on twisting from the ribs and not the hips.
Twisted floor poses are ideal for holding a long, deep relaxing pose such as Parvritta Pavanmuktasana (Reclined Double Leg Twist) with bent or straight knees. Hold your reclined twists as long as you would like. Remember to draw the pubic bone up to the frontal lower ribs to elongated the lower back. To deepen this floor twist, move the top hip toward the ceiling and away from you. Work to keep both shoulder blades on the mat.
Looking to drain the Lymphatic System? Garudasana (Eagle Pose) either standing or Supta (reclined) will aid in detoxing your limbs. The mild compression integral to the pose helps release toxins. Reclining Eagle? Try Garudasana crunches drawing the elbows and knees together while deeply pulling down on the belly. For Standing Eagle, try bringing your elbows down to your lower knee. While standing, try adding a twist to your Garudasana bringing the elbows across the top thigh.
See you on the mat every Tuesday at 11:15 and Thursday at 9:30 FCFW!
BarSculpt Certified Instructor
…from the kitchen of Jill Blondek:
This healthy spinach-apple juice is a green nutrient powerhouse loaded with calcium for bone health, and vitamins A and C for antioxidants. No juicer? No problem. See the juicing variation below to make this spinach-apple juice recipe in a blender.
- Yield: 2 servings, 10 ounces each
- Total: 15 Minutes
- 1 1/2 cups spinach
- 1/2 grapefruit, peeled, white pith removed
- 2 green apples, cut into eighths
- 1 1-inch piece peeled fresh ginger
- 2 large stalks celery
- Ice (optional)
- Working in this order process spinach, grapefruit, apples, ginger and celery through a juicer according to the manufacturer’s directions. (No juicer? See Tip.)
- Fill 2 glasses with ice, if desired, and pour the juice into the glasses. Serve immediately.
No juicer? No problem. Try this DIY version of blended and strained juice instead: Coarsely chop all ingredients. First, place the soft and/or juice ingredients in the blender and process until liquefied. Then, add the remaining ingredients; blend until liquefied. Cut two 24-inch-long pieces of cheesecloth. Completely unfold each piece and then stack the pieces on top of each other. Fold the double stack in half so you have a 4-layer stack of cloth. Line a large bowl with the cheesecloth and pour the contents of the blender into the center. Gather the edges of the cloth together in one hand and use the other hand to twist and squeeze the bundle to extract all the juice from the pulp.
From EatingWell: September / October 2013
The Fitness Corner
So, it has begun… The snow has finally entered our lives this winter with the capability of throwing a major monkey wrench into our plans to get to the gym!
The question is… What to do about it? It is simple. There are many ways to get those exercises in from the confines of your home. All you need is your own body weight and some imagination.
Always remember to warm up for at least 5 minutes before beginning. This could be going up and down the stairs, some marches in place, step touches, light jogging in place, jumping jacks, you name it – just don’t forget to incorporate movements into the upper body as well.
Now, for the exercises!
Let’s begin with some basic squats to continue firing up the lower body. Make sure your feet are a bit wider than hip width, hips, knees and toes facing forward.
Begin reaching behind you with your hamstrings and gluts as if you were about to sit on a chair. Then slowly come back to standing while squeezing your gluts.
Now, play with this idea. You can adjust the number of reps, the tempo, accentuate the lowering phase or the return phase, and have fun with it!
Next how about some pushups? If you have stairs, you can use them to raise your upper body for modification, if not, you can do them against a wall or take it to the knees on the floor.
Just make sure your form is spot on-beautiful plank position, hands should be slightly wider than shoulder-width, body in a strong straight line from toes through the knees, hips, shoulders to the ears!
Then slowly lower down, leading with the chest, not the forehead, and then slowly raise back up to your starting position. Again, you can play with these too, tempo, number of reps, focus on the lowering phase versus the pressing phase.
Let’s stand back up and work with lunges.
These can be done many, many ways.
You can hold the lunge position isometrically, you can hold in place while lowering and lifting, you can add dynamic movement such as a step forward into a lunge, or a step back into a lunge.
You can lunge to the side, working laterally, or lunge back diagonally, working the transverse plane. The possibilities are endless! Whichever way you decide to lunge, always ensure that your form is perfect. The front knee should not pass your toes, the back knee should drop towards the floor while the heel stays up, and the torso should stay as tall as possible with the core engaged.
Speaking of core…
Back down to planks. Planks work the core as a stabilizer, which is a most important function that will serve to protect us from any wonky movements which could tweak our backs.
You can hold planks on the toes, or the knees, the hands, or the forearms. Whichever you choose, yup, form is everything.
Let’s take a forearm plank on the toes. Carefully lower down onto the forearms, while extending the legs behind you on the toes. The elbows should be directly beneath the shoulders, and the body in a straight strong line through the shoulders, to the hips, knees, and then toes. Press through the heels and lift the crown of the head to extend along your nice straight line. Make sure to draw your belly button to the back of the spine, making sure the low back does not sag.
Try and work up to a 60 second hold. This may start at 15 second increments, or 30. Just keep at it. Always remember to keep breathing. It is very easy to hold your breath here which may raise your blood pressure.
Many varieties to choose from here. You could choose to be on the hands instead – hands directly beneath the shoulders. Or how about side planks? This tends to be more demanding on the shoulder complex so tread lightly. Same cues though, Elbow directly beneath the shoulder, straight strong body line and to modify, you may bend the knee of the bottom leg.
Now all of these are great basic exercises you can do just about anywhere. If you want to spice things up, you can purchase some resistance bands, or even some paper plates! Resistance bands will add the ability to work the postural muscles with pulling exercises as well as other pressing movements without taking up much space when not in use.
The paper plates can be used to enhance your lunges by placing a foot on the plate and sliding it in and out of position – all with perfect form, right? Plates can also be used for plank work, you can place one or both feet on the plates while in plank and work on sliding each foot out to the side, and back in. You can even slide both feet in towards the chest with knees bent or straight for a bigger challenge. These techniques will place different loading demands on the core in order to keep that strong position. Did I mention that none of these take up much space? Making them great candidates for not only home work but for travel as well!
So, come on Winter! Do your worst, we will have plenty of options to get us through the season without our fitness levels needing to suffer the consequences.
Personal Trainer and Fitness Instructor
Jeannine Guillaume is a AFAA Certified Group Fitness Instructor at the Fitness Club for Women and a certified personal trainer with Future Shapes, a top-notch training facility located in the Fitness Club for Women.
Tips – Chiropractor Noel Cappillo
How to Quickly Boost Your Fat Burning Potential
Did you know that if you work out harder for a shorter amount of time at least once a week you can burn more fat and lose unwanted pounds faster? Save time and burn more? Sounds good right?
The key is engaging fast twitch and super-fast twitch muscles which occurs when “sprint-recovery” exercises are performed. Typical exercise that many of us do on the elliptical machine for example, at the same pace for 30-60 minutes only engages slow twitch muscles. When super-fast twitch muscles are engaged, a hormone called human growth hormone (HCH) is produced in greater amounts which slows the aging process. Calories are blasted off by the anaerobic exercise and metabolism rates are boosted.
Try once a week adding this exercise if you don’t already engage in a high intensity workout. For example, on the elliptical, bike or treadmill, warm up for 5 minutes, then do 2 minute cycles of high intensity followed by a recovery. Go as hard as you can for 30 seconds and recover (jogging or pedaling) for 90 seconds. Repeat this 7 more times so that you have done 8 cycles total. This is based on the “Sprint 8 exercises” designed by fitness expert Phil Campbell.
If you experience pain when you work out then you should see a Chiropractor to check your alignment. A misaligned pelvis or spine can put muscles under increased strain and lead to pain and injury.
Call Dr Noel Cappillo for your complimentary Chiropractic consultation. Available to FCFW members only so mention this letter!
148 Linden St, Wellesley