March Newsletter

Posted on Posted in Fitness Blog, News

From the Director’s Desk …

Fat. Let’s talk about it. Let’s talk about the good and bad.

I recently read an article that I think you will all find interesting as well.

Let’s face it, fat has gotten an unfortunate rap. We curse the dimpled cellulite that has settled on our thighs and survey the pudge around our belly with a quick poke and disapproving eye. Everyone has fat, even Olympic marathon runners,” says Osama Hamdy, MD, medical director of the Obesity Clinical Program at Harvard University’s Joslin Diabetes Center. “Simply put, we need it to survive. The trick to understanding the difference between the kinds of fat and keeping them in balance with diet, exercise, and some plain old common sense.”

Subcutaneous Fat

Subcutaneous fat is found directly underneath your skin. It can be anywhere: not just in your belly and backside but in your arms, legs and face.

This type of fat stores energy and provides essential padding for your body. It also generates the hormone adiponectin, which helps regulate insulin production. “Paradoxically, the more fat you have, the less adiponectin you produce, which means that your body has trouble regulating insulin, increasing your risk of heart disease and diabetes,” Dr. Hamdy says.

The best way to measure subcutaneous fat is to check your body fat percentage with a Body Mass Index test. A healthy range is between 20 and 25 percent for young women and up to 30 percent after age 50. You can ask your doctor to check this for you.

So, how do you get rid of the excess? Cutting calories is crucial for overall weight loss, but getting moving is necessary too. Any little burst of movement counts! Walking to and from the train, cycling, walking the dog, it all counts!

If you are already active, then ramp it up! Find ways to take your workout up a notch.

Visceral Fat

Visceral fat is found deep within the belly, where it pads the spaces around your abdominal organs. You can’t feel or grab it.

This type of fat has been dubbed “toxic” fat, and for good reason: “It secretes inflammatory proteins called cytokines that affect insulin production and increase inflammation throughout the body, which raises the risk of developing type 2 diabetes and heart disease,” Dr. Hamdy says. You cannot directly measure visceral fat unless you undergo an MRI or CT scan. The next best thing? Grab a tape measure and wind it around your waist; if your midsection is more than 35 inches, you most likely have too much visceral fat.

Blasting this off? “To mobilize visceral fat, a balanced diet is essential,” says Dr. Cederquist, MD, a bariatric physician and author of The MD Factor Diet. “Eat lean protein throughout the day, while controlling your carb and fat intake.”

For keeping visceral fat off, cardio workouts are the way to go. A 2011 Duke University study found that regular aerobic exercise – the equivalent of jogging about 12 miles per week at 80 percent max heart rate – was the best workout for losing visceral fat.

Brown Fat

Brown fat is mainly around your neck, collarbone and chest. For years researchers assumed it was present primarily in infants to keep them warm, and then gradually disappeared through childhood. But in 2009, studies revealed that some adults still have brown cells.

This “good” fat becomes metabolically active when we are exposed to cold temperatures, burning up energy. “Since brown fat is used to generate heat, it burns more calories at rest,” says Ruth Loos, MD, professor of preventive medicine at Mount Sinai Hospital in New York.

Fifty grams (about 4 Tablespoons) of brown fat, if maximally stimulated, could burn 300 calories a day.

How do we get more of this fat? According to a study in Cell Metabolism, people who spent 10-15 minutes in temps below 60 degrees produced a hormone irisin, which appears to make white fat cells act like brown fat; they got a similar boost from an hour of moderate exercise at warmer temps.

Ectopic Fat

This type of fat has the same metabolic properties as visceral fat, except instead of padding your abdomen, Ectopic fat settles in your heart, liver, pancreas, and muscles. This is dangerous because it is inside vital organs and can increase your risk of heart disease, liver damage, and type 2 diabetes.

You do need an MRI or CT scan to determine if you have this type of fat. Keep ectopic fat at bay by staying active. The more you sit, the more likely you are to have this type of fat.

CoriEllen Grande
Fitness Director


FCFW Separator

“Worrying doesn’t take away tomorrow’s troubles
it takes away today’s peace.”

FCFW Separator

Are You in an Exercise Rut?

If you are like me, this winter took a toll on my motivation level to exercise. As a result, all those healthy habits are thrown out the window. Let’s face it no one jumps out of  bed and runs with excitement to their gym or to do something they dread.  If you don’t like  your workouts, you aren’t likely to stick with it; and it will decrease the quality and quantity of your workouts too.

Stay committed to your decisions, but stay flexible in your approach.” – Anthony Robbins

Wondering what you can do to get out of an exercise rut?  Here are some tips:

  • Come up with a system or framework for the amount of exercise you get each week, but what you do may vary.
  • Add weight training to your cardio workouts
  • Vary your intensity.  Mix it up!  When running and walking  on the treadmill,  increase speed slightly.  Don’t be afraid to push yourself a bit.  If you enjoy classes more, focus more on your technique and put more effort into the class.  You might even decide to increase weights a bit.  Anytime you make a change, your body will make a change in your body.
  • Add intervals to your routine.  Add bursts of intense activity with intervals of lighter activity.  Use walking and running intervals on the treadmill. For example  walk leisurely for two or three minutes followed by power walking.
  • Try something new!  Chances are there’s another form of exercise you will love just as much as your current classes.  For example, we have a new small group kickboxing class starting Wednesday, March 25th with Janine Brown at 10:15am.
  • Lengthen your workout by 10 or 15 minutes.  Believe it or not, a few extra minutes will make a difference.
  • Change your playlist.  Figure out what best motivates you.
  • Vary your workouts from day to day. Choose a couple of classes and use the equipment room on your own a couple of days too.  For example, participate in a yoga class one day and a muscle conditioning class the next followed by a treadmill workout the following day.
  • Be open to change and new fresh ideas. If you need help, schedule a ½ hour visit with one of our trainers to help you refresh your routine.
  • Set some rules for yourself. Try to never go more than two days in a row without exercise even if you are traveling.  It’s a healthy rule to keep.

Say goodbye to winter and hello to spring!  By utilizing some of these strategies, you will no longer be wishing your body could be different because it will be different!

Cheryl Steele


The Wellness Corner

You May be Deficient in Vitamin B-12

If you are over 40, or have any of the following symptoms, then – yes – you may be deficient in vitamin B-12.

  • Fatigue
  • Weakness
  • Fainting
  • Shortness of Breath
  • Pale Skin
  • Anemia
  • Tingling of Hands or Feet
  • Vision Loss
  • Hallucinations
  • Heart Palpitations

What is Vitamin B-12 and What Does it Do?

Vitamin B12 is a nutrient that helps keep the body’s nerve and blood cells healthy and helps make DNA, the genetic material in all cells.  We need B-12 for metabolism – all the processes in the body that depend on energy – including breathing, and digesting food.

Two steps are required for the body to absorb vitamin B12 from food.  First, Hydrochloric acid is needed in the stomach to separate vitamin B12 from the protein to which B12 is attached in food. (Note: hydrochloric acid does not digest food, enzymes do: so, if hydrochloric acid cannot be adequately produces, as may be the case with older adults, enzymes do not activate).  Second, vitamin B12 combines with a protein made by the stomach called the intrinsic factor and is absorbed by the body.

Naturally we want to do everything we can to keep your body’s storehouse of B-12 at a healthy level.  But some people are more likely than others to suffer from a B12 deficiency.

You could have a deficiency if you

  • Are over age 40
  • Follow a vegetarian or vegan diet
  • Have had gastrointestinal surgery
  • Have digestive disorders such as celiac or Crohn’s disease
  • Do not produce sufficient hydrochloric acid or digestive enzymes to breakdown and absorb vitamin B12 found in food  (supplements are available to help this)

Get The B-12 You Need

Vitamin B12 is found naturally in a wide variety of animal foods and is added to some fortified foods.  Plant foods do not have any Vitamin B12 unless they are fortified.  You can get vitamin B12 by eating the following foods:

  • Beef liver and clams –  which are the best sources of vitamin B12
  • Fish, meat, eggs, milk, and other dairy products.
  • Some breakfast cereals and other food products are fortified with vitamin B12

How Much Vitamin B12 Do I Need?

The amount of vitamin B12 you need each day depends on your age. Average daily recommended amounts for different ages are listed below in micrograms (mcg):

As studies continue to show the adverse health effects of a B12 deficiency, it may be a good idea to use a quality supplement.  I recommend using Dr. Libby’s slow dissolve B-12 tablets.  The tablet is put under your tongue and the capillaries in your mouth enhance the absorption of these critical nutrients right into the bloodstream and throughout the body.  If you are interested in purchasing this supplement, go to, click on recommended products and type in Super B-12 in the search engine.

In Health,
Michele Shea

*Information from Professional Supplement Center Newsletter

On and Off the Mat with Jenn

Share your Practice!

After a cold and snowy winter, spring has arrived in Boston.  Well, at least that’s what the calendar says!  It’s time to come out of hibernation and socialize.  What better way than through yoga?

Try practicing with a family member or friend.  Begin in your favorite pose side by side in front of a mirror.  You’ll find that by teaching the pose, you will fine tune your own practice.  When forced to analyze and explain the pose, you will discover many nuances in each pose.  Feel what is happening in your body and describe it to your friend.  Witness the adjustments made in both bodies.  Which corrections serve, and which do not?  Is it the same for you and your friend?  Why or why not?    Now close your eyes and hold the pose.  What do each of you “see?”



Another approach for sharing yoga is partner poses.  Most poses can become partner poses.  For example Vrskasana or Tree Pose is great fun holding hands and leaning in all directions.  Virabhadrasana III or Warrior III works well with the extended arms and palms touching each other.  Turn around and extend the sole of the raised foot until they meet.  Experiment – create your own partner poses.  By patterning, you may find a deeper elongation, stretch or muscular challenge.  Discuss your needs and limitations with your partner.  Don’t over do it for you or your partner.  Do you notice any correlation off the mat?  Does your partner?

Perhaps you would like to invite someone to class with you?  Did you know that non members may attend Yoga any Tuesday or Thursday for just $15?  Perhaps you and your friend would like a more tailored practice?  Private yoga sessions are available at the studio or in your own home.

Share your practice with others-the rewards are great.

See you on the mat every Tuesday at 11:15 and Thursday at 9:30 FCFW!

Jennifer Cooper
E-RYT-200Yoga Instructor
BarSculpt Certified Instructor

…from the kitchen of Jill Blondek:

Corn & Black Bean Quinoa Salad

Make this spicy poblano, corn, black bean and quinoa salad recipe to serve with whatever you’re grilling, or have a larger portion as a main dish. To use canned beans, skip Step 1 and add about 2 1/2 cups beans in Step 7.

  • Makes: 12 servings, about 1 cup each
  • Serving Size: about 1 cup each
  • Active Time: 1 1/2 hours
  • Total Time: 1 1/2 hours


  • 12 cups water, divided
  • 1 cup dried black beans
  •     6 cloves garlic, peeled
  •     1 1/2 teaspoons salt, divided
  •     4 medium poblano peppers
  •     2/3 cup red quinoa
  •     3 large ears fresh corn, husked
  •     6 1/2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided
  •     1 large red onion, halved and sliced
  •     1 teaspoon whole cumin seeds, toasted and ground (see Tip)
  •     1 cup crumbled cotija cheese
  •     1/4 cup fresh lime juice, plus 1 whole lime, cut into 12 wedges
  •     2 cups cherry tomatoes, halved
  •     1/2 cup cilantro leaves
  •     1 avocado, thinly sliced


  1. Combine 8 cups water, beans and garlic in a large saucepan. Bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce heat to a simmer and cook the beans until tender, 1 to 1 1/4 hours. Add 1/2 teaspoon salt and simmer another 10 to 15 minutes so the salt can flavor the beans. Drain and discard garlic; let cool.
  2. Meanwhile, preheat broiler to high.
  3. Place peppers on a baking sheet and broil 3 to 4 inches from heat source, turning often, until blistered and charred, 8 to 15 minutes total. Transfer to a paper bag and seal or place in a bowl and cover with plastic wrap. Let stand 10 minutes. Peel the peppers and discard the stems, ribs and seeds. Tear the peppers into fat strips and cut the strips in 1-inch lengths.
  4. Bring 4 cups water to a boil in a medium saucepan. Add quinoa and 1/4 teaspoon salt; boil until tender but still crunchy, 10 to 14 minutes. Drain well and spread on a plate to cool.
  5. Meanwhile, bring another pot of water to a boil. Add corn and cook for 3 minutes. Let cool slightly, then slice the kernels off the cobs with a sharp knife.
  6. Heat 1 1/2 tablespoons oil in a medium nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add onion and 1/4 teaspoon salt. Cook, stirring frequently, until limp and speckled with charred spots, 4 to 8 minutes. Stir in cumin.
  7. Combine the beans, the peppers, the corn, the onion and cheese in a large bowl. Add the remaining 1/2 teaspoon salt and toss. Add the remaining 5 tablespoons oil and lime juice and toss again. Gently stir in the quinoa.
  8. Just before serving, stir in the tomatoes and cilantro. Serve the salad with avocado and lime wedges.


Make Ahead Tip: Prepare through Step 7, cover and refrigerate for up to 1 day. Finish with Step 8 just before serving.

Toasting brings out the flavor in spices like the cumin. Toast seeds in a dry skillet over medium heat, stirring, until fragrant, about 2 minutes. Transfer to a plate to cool. Grind with a spice mill or mortar and pestle.
From EatingWell:  July/August 2013

The Fitness Corner

Happy Spring Everyone!  ????

So, here it is, late March and let’s face facts… It’s still wicked cold!

Nevertheless, spring is here and temps will begin to rise. That means the outdoor activities we have long forgotten will be starting up again soon. Tennis, golf, swimming, hiking, running, rowing or whatever your outdoor passion, it will be doable again.

With that in mind, it is a great idea to get our bodies ready for new movements, or for movement patterns we have not focused on for a while. With a little bit of sport-specific preparation, we can start up again with ease, ready to hit the ground running!

Sometimes, these movements are done in a class setting, but perhaps it is a better idea to be pro-active. To insure you are getting the right exercises for your outdoor passion, consider working with a personal trainer. It is a trainer’s job to help you prepare for these more personalized goals. A few sessions with the right focus will do wonders and many who do well in classes should find it easy to retain the knowledge learned during training. If your outdoor sport is one you tend to do every year come end of winter, then sport-specific training is a great investment in your own success.

At FCFW, you have easy and convenient access to a fabulous training facility, Future Shapes, where there are many highly effective, well-qualified trainers who are happy to help you achieve your goals. Don’t hesitate to be the best you can be!

Jeannine Guillaume
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

We have all been suffering through the seemingly unending winter and snowfall. Increased time indoors means less vitamin D production by our bodies when we are exposed to sunshine.

7rulesoflifeVitamin D has been shown to have a more important role in immunity than we had previously thought. Most people think about taking extra vitamin C at the first signs of illness. But I always boost vitamin D intake. If you are unsure of your vitamin D levels it is always smart to have your general practitioner test them. But most likely, if you’ve been living in New England and not supplementing vitamin D all winter, your levels are low.

Start by supplementing 1000 IU per day (400-800 IU for children) of the D3 form of the vitamin.  If symptoms of illness are experienced, you can temporarily increase that to 2000-4000 IU’s.  Early Spring is often when viruses creep up on you.

You can also boost your immunity by having you alignment checked by a chiropractor.  If you spinal alignment is correct, there is less stress on your nervous system. Your nervous system modulates your immune functions.

Call Dr Noel Cappillo for a complimentary assessment – only available to FCFW members.
148 Linden St, Wellesley

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