From the Director’s Desk …
I actually have three topics for you this newsletter!
First, I would like to remind you that this is the time of year that colds and flu are in the air! We can all help minimize the infectious spread by keeping our hands, and the equipment we use, clean. If you sneeze or cough into your hands, or have just blown your nose, please make sure that you wash them immediately or utilize one of the hand sanitizer dispensers that we have in various spots throughout the club. Also, spray and wipe down the machines in the equipment room after you use them. This, again, will help minimize the spread!
Next, I would like to remind you to continue to take care of “you” this time of year!
We all know with the approach of the holidays, we get busier and more stressed, so regular exercise and good eating habits start to go by the wayside! Just remember, that taking care of “you” is just as important as making it to the store before all of that item that you want is gone! Try not to give into too many of the holiday indulgences, but a little is always OK.
And, don’t beat yourself up if you have more than you should have then get moving! Burn as much off as you can!
It’s OK if you cannot get to all of the classes you would normally attend, or to the workout room every day after work, but it’s not OK to just stop exercising until after the holidays! Find ways to keep moving. If you are going shopping at the mall, briskly walk through the entire mall before you start your shopping! Take the stairs instead of the elevator or escalator. Park further away from the door so you have to walk a little more. Get to the gym as often as you can this may be a good time to try a different class!
Lastly, I would like to talk about stress.
Tension can go straight to your head your back, your belly…and more! The American Psychological Association reports that “42 percent of Americans say their stress levels have shot up in the last five years.” Left untreated, stress can lead to serious issues, including heart disease, depression, anxiety, high blood pressure, and diabetes. Research suggests that it could even speed up the spread of breast and ovarian cancers. Stress has also been shown to impact aging…at the cellular level. Stress can also pop up us aches and ills(symptoms) that affect us on a daily basis.
One of the good things about they way we are put together those “symptoms” are warning signs!They are how your body communicates with you, nudging you to take better care of yourself. Okay, so how? Well, most importantly, talk with your doctor. In addition, EXERCISE! And, not just for the endorphin rush! Studies show that 30-45 minutes of moderate to vigorous activity over a three day period, can reduce the affects of stress and we have a group exercise schedule that offers many classes of moderate to vigorous exercising. Mind-body formats have also shown to have a positive affect on stress levels.
Try one of our Yoga, Pilates, Barre Method, or Dance Leela classes. We offer two types of yoga classes; one is more active; one more meditative(although, I would classify this yoga style as “meditation in motion!” It calms nerves with deep breathing and improves flexibility).
A recent Carnegie Mellon study found that just three 25 minutes sessions of meditation alleviates
A balanced diet and adequate sleep are also essential.
The bottom line, no matter how you help yourself manage stress, just manage it! Don’t ignore
symptoms; the body and brain are not subtle about telling you when you are stressed.
Wondering What’s New at the Club?
Please join us in welcoming new TENX Club members to our family. We are excited about the renewed energy it has brought to our existing environment. They have spoken very highly of The Fitness Club members and appreciate the warmth and reception many of you have given them.
We just added four Techno Gym ellipticals to the equipment floor. It is the most innovative cross trainer on the market today. Its stride length and arm action are perfectly aligned to keep the body moving in a low impact high calorie BURN!
The machines have a private LCD and easy to use touch screens. Comcast will be hooking up these machines to bring your own private television previewing.
Coming late in November: Butt Blaster Machine! This is a weight lifting machine designed to enhance the strength and tone of buttocks and thighs.
Coming in December: Body Pump Barbell System! Get lean, strong, and chiseled while buring lots of calories with this weight lifting barbell set. We will probably incorporate this system with our small group training sessions.
Stay tuned bi-monthly as we continue to make exciting changes and updates to the club!
The Wellness Corner
Adrenal Fatigue and Stress
How the adrenal glands and stress can cause weight gain
There are actual physiological changes that happen in the body during times of stress that can predispose us to gain weight. These changes are rooted in our adrenal glands, which govern the stress response and many other fundamental bodily functions. When the adrenals are out of balance, the body prepares for disaster the best way it knows how — by storing calories. Yet if we restore the adrenals to their normal, healthy function, cravings disappear, energy returns, and your body will begin to lose weight.
The hidden ways that stress drives weight gain
We usually think that “being stressed-out” is an emotional state, but the body understands stress quite physically. And one of the ways it physically handles stress is by being stingy about how it uses calories, storing them primarily in the form of fat around the abdomen.
Why we’ve evolved this way has a lot to do with the fight-or-flight response which releases adrenaline and cortisol into the blood. This is a physiological reaction that occurs in response to a perceived harmful event, or threat. Under cortisol’s influence, we become less sensitive to leptin, the hormone that makes us feel full, and thus we tend to consume more calories.
The problem is that this sequence of events takes place whether the threat is real or psychological. Since most of our modern-day stressors don’t require fleeing or fighting, we generally don’t need all the extra calories our bodies make available. What has also changed is that many of us exist now in a state of constant stress, operating under elevated cortisol levels over long periods of time.
Adrenal fatigue feeds belly fat
Women with adrenal imbalance often develop a “spare tire” around the waist. This happens for several reasons. Under normal circumstances, when we haven’t eaten for a while, our blood sugar (glucose) drops and the brain sends a message to the adrenals to release cortisol. This cortisol mobilizes glucose, amino acids, and fat to prevent low blood sugar and keep your brain and body fueled with energy in the absence of food. Cortisol maintains glucose levels in the blood, while insulin helps usher glucose into our cells.
When we have long-term stress, cortisol and insulin remain high in the blood, and the extra glucose that isn’t needed for energy gets stored in the form of fat primarily abdominal fat cells. Scientists have discovered that fat cells have special stress-hormone receptors for cortisol, but that there also seem to be more of these cortisol receptors on the fat cells in the abdomen than anywhere else in the body!
What Can We Do?
- Eat well, and regularly. If you want to convince your body that it’s in no danger of starving to death, eat good food regularly. Cortisol is integral to maintaining blood sugar, so it makes sense that keeping your blood sugar as level as possible lightens the load on the adrenal glands. Incorporate micro-nutrient-rich foods into your diet to support your adrenals like asparagus, avocado, cabbage, garlic, ginger and protein.
- Sleep. It is recommended to strive for no fewer than 8 hours of sleep. If you are struggling with sleep, try an herb or other holistic alternatives that promote sleep. I have used **Serenity, an Amazon Herb product distributed by Trivita. You can purchase it by on our website and clicking on recommended products.
- Exercise wisely. If you already exercise regularly and feel good, keep it up. But for those who are feeling exhausted all the time, try easing up on the intensity for a few months while your adrenals are healing.
- Breathe. Three to four deep breaths through your nose can slow your heart rate and calm the whole body down. Find time throughout your day to just breathe, especially when you feel stressed.
For many of us, the stress in our lives is directly connected to our weight. Our bodies are wise. When stress is the predominant state, our bodies will protect us by holding onto extra pounds. Healing the adrenals will assist our bodies in losing unwanted weight.*
*Information taken from Women’s Health Network
** Serenity contains Lemon Balm, Passion Flower, Mulungu and Catuaba botanicals used by indigenous people in the Amazon Rainforest to help the body adapt to stress.
From Women’s Health Newsletter
On and Off the Mat with Jenn
Yin Yoga Poses for Deep Relaxation!
Yin Yoga is a slow-paced style of yoga with poses or asanas held for a minimum of five minutes. Yin Yoga poses do not tax the muscles rather they gently challenge the connective tissues – tendons, fascia and ligaments. Yin Poses are deep stretching poses. Increased circulation and flexibility are the results. Yin Yoga also offers a relaxing respite to the busy holiday season.
You may be concerned with holding a pose for 5 minutes or longer. However, Yin poses tend to be very relaxing with many seated and supine positions. Gomukasana or Cow Faced Pose without the arms is a great choice. Eka Pada Rajakapotanasna or One Legged King Pigeon Pose can be very calming. Enter each of the poses in a comfortable place and up the ante slowly intensifying the stretch.
In Yin poses, props are a must. Rather than sitting upright, folding forward onto a prop allows the torso to relax. Utthan Pristhasana or Lizard Pose can feel wonderful when the body is collapsed on blocks or a bolster. Surprisingly even Hanumanasana or Splits can feel relaxing. The key is to use as many blocks, bolsters, pillows and props as one needs to let go fully. Experiment with your props placing them wherever you feel tight. Hold nothing back.
Many say the hardest pose in Yoga is Svanasana or Corpse Pose. Yes; laying on the floor in total relaxation is surprisingly difficult. Letting go of thoughts, muscles, impulses and giving in to complete relaxation is the hardest pose of all. That is why we save Svanasana for the end of class. When one’s mind and body are tired from concentrating on more typical active yoga poses, it is much easier to attain total peace.
In this busy Holiday Season, try a passive approach to your practice. Try Yin Yoga and let yoga happen to you rather than “do yoga.” Do less, and you may feel more.
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:
Roasted Cod with Warm Tomato-Olive-Caper Tapenade
The Mediterranean flavors of a warm tomato tapenade will brighten all kinds of white fish as well as chicken. Make It a Meal: Orzo and sauteed spinach will round out this meal.
- Yield: 4 servings
- Total: 25 Minutes
- 1 pound cod fillet
- 3 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided
- 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
- 1 tablespoon minced shallot
- 1 cup halved cherry tomatoes
- 1/4 cup chopped cured olives
- 1 tablespoon capers, rinsed and chopped
- 1 1/2 teaspoons chopped fresh oregano
- 1 teaspoon balsamic vinegar
- Preheat oven to 450°F. Coat a baking sheet with cooking spray.
- Rub cod with 2 teaspoons oil. Sprinkle with pepper. Place on the prepared baking sheet. Transfer to the oven and roast until the fish flakes easily with a fork, 15 to 20 minutes, depending on the thickness of the fillet.
- Meanwhile, heat the remaining 1 teaspoon oil in a small skillet over medium heat. Add shallot and cook, stirring, until beginning to soften, about 20 seconds. Add tomatoes and cook, stirring, until softened, about 1 1/2 minutes. Add olives and capers; cook, stirring, for 30 seconds more. Stir in oregano and vinegar; remove from heat. Spoon the tapenade over the cod to serve.
The Fitness Corner: With Great Power comes Great Responsibility
I came across this article by Mike Boyle. He is a world renowned strength and conditioning coach who has the most amazing ability to explain things so that everyone can understand. He likes to say he wakes up each morning stupid so as to keep his mind open to new concepts and ideas, even if that means abandoning older ones that once were the norm. He never lets ego get in the way of learning new ways to keep his athletes safe and free of injury and to me, that is the sign of a true mentor.
Below is a concept that I embrace and want to share with you.
Is Doing Abs a Waste of Time? by Mike Boyle BodyByBoyle.com
I can’t even tell you how often I hear someone at the end of a workout say something like “I need to do more abs, I want to get a six-pack.” The truth is that passing on a six-pack is a better way to get a six-pack than six hundred sit-ups. The key to abdominal definition is the visibility of the abdominal musculature, not the strength of the muscles. You can do one million sit-ups, crunches or whatever exercise you want and it will have no effect on abdominal definition. When people ask me the best exercise for abs, I tell them table push-aways. It usually takes a few minutes for them to get it. It’s not a joke. It’s the truth. If you want better abs, eat less and train more, but don’t just train your abs.
The idea of working abs to get abs is one of the oldest misconceptions in training. This goes back to the old idea of spot reduction. Spot reduction has never and will never work. The research has been done over and over and the answer is always the same. You can’t decrease the fat layer on a particular area by working that area. Simply, the guy doing sit-ups to lose abdominal fat and the lady sitting on the adductor (inner thigh) machine, are both wasting their time. Good total body work is, was, and always will be the key to fat loss.
Want better abdominal definition? Finish every workout with some hard interval training instead of extra sit-ups or crunches. Interval training, or what is currently called High Intensity Interval Training (abbreviated HIIT), is the real key to fat loss and the resulting definition. Interval training burns more calories than steady state aerobic training.
Abdominal training may potentially reduce the diameter of the waistline but will do very little to reduce body fat. The truth is, there are lots of good reasons to do abdominal work or core training, as we now like to call it. A strong core is one of the key components to preventing back pain. It will also help you look better and improve performance in a host of sports, but sit-ups or any other abdominal exercise, will not reduce body fat. The fact of the matter is that crunches will lead to back pain long before they lead to visual abs.
Another good tip. Don’t do crunches. A good abdominal or core program is a lot more than crunches. Most of your core work should be isometric exercises like front planks and side planks or carries, such as Suitcase carries. One of the major functions of the core musculature is the prevention of motion. What does that mean? It means that the abdominals are great stabilizers. Work on the stability function, not on flexion and extension.
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 from Chiropractor Noel Cappillo
In the previous issue, I discussed the role of stress hormones in prolonged muscle recovery. Stress is an issue for everyone in today’s lifestyle. Did you know that stress causes inflammation in the body which lowers a person’s immunity? This time of year when colds and Flu are starting to wreak havoc, it is important to arm yourself. Manage stress with meditation, yoga or a long hot bath in Epsom salts.
Follow these measures to boost your immunity:
- Supplement with vitamin D daily (5000 IU’s)
- Take a good quality probiotic daily
- At first onset of cold symptoms supplement with Astragalus or liquid Echinacea (at Whole Foods) and Emergen-C or Airborne every 2-3 hours.
- Anti-inflammatory diet: High in Omega 3’s (think wild salmon, nuts), dark leafy greens, spices like Turmeric and ginger but low in sugar, alcohol and trans fats.
- Visit your Chiropractor to be sure your alignment is correct! A cervical (neck) subluxation put stress on the nervous system which compromises our immune response.
Call Dr Noel Cappillo for your complimentary Chiropractic consultation. Available to FCFW members only by mentioning this newsletter! 781-237-5118. Located on Linden Street in Wellesley. For more immune boosting tips go to: CappilloChiropractic.com.