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|Exploring NYC's Private Gyms
by Chris Granville
Upon first arriving at Fitness Results in the Flatiron District, I found myself transported from the crowded Fifth Avenue block below to a tranquil setting that seemed part art gallery, part mediation chamber, and part fitness studio. And indeed, as I began to learn in my discussion with owner Jeff Shammah, they follow a holistic approach to fitness and well-being, exercising tolerance, respect, and understanding to integrate many different parts in an effort to make them work together.
The two main rooms where activates such as Pilates, yoga, dance, and personal training take place feature art from local artists, fish tanks, and plants that weave their way through the equipment. The result is a space with a calming presence and plenty to stimulate both mind and body. There is a full array of equipment such as cables, free weights, kettle bells, TRX, and cardio machines, but there are no redundancies and everything is thoughtfully placed to allow for a soothing flow. Only a small number of trainers are allowed at any one time in an effort to maintain the sense of serenity. The overall goal, as Jeff explained, is to allow for many different areas of practice to coexist in a single setting. As he described it, the studio is "a laboratory whose experiments are aimed at increasing the greater good of the client."
Between the two main rooms are several smaller rooms that are set up for massage, acupuncture, and Eastern arts and medicine. Practitioners of Tibetan and ayurvedic medicine, quantum biofeedback, reiki, and reflexology make use of the space, adding to the holistic setting. There is also a common area where clients and practitioners can relax and mingle next to the changing rooms and showers, complete with towel service and lockers.
Trainers, yoga and Pilates instructors, and specialists in a variety of health and wellness modalities are encouraged by Jeff to interact and learn from each other while working out of the entirely freelance Fitness Results space. Clients, meanwhile, are encouraged to explore the numerous treatments and approaches to well-being. In addition, art shows, music events, and other performances are common occurrences.
What's happening at Fitness Results is unique. Encouraging so many different varieties of fitness and therapy to work together allows for a sense of exploration and learning for both practitioner and client. I found their approach compelling and thought-provoking, and I can't wait to see what's next in store for Fitness Results.
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Atomic Total Fitness
Tribeca Health & Fitness
Velocity Sports NYC
Chris Granville is an ACSM certified personal trainer. A former NCAA Division 1 and professional athlete, he's a managing editor in book publishing and lives in New York City.
|A Fitter State of Mind
By Andrea Parkinson
Most of us commit to becoming more active for vanity's sake. We want to stand taller, look slimmer, and feel brighter. Some of us hope to ward off the side effects that are all too typical of our western industrialized lifestyles. Regular aerobic exercise has been proven to lessen the presence of triglycerides and glucose in the bloodstream while strengthening the heart and lungs. Strength training improves bone mass, connective tissue integrity, and muscle mass. Flexibility, agility, and core strength enable us to move with more freedom and less joint pain. But how does regular physical activity affect our brains? The benefits of improving and maintaining a healthy fitness level have been proven to go above the jawline. Exercise has been shown to increase neurogenesis, improve synaptic plasticity, and assist in synaptic strength in the hippocampus region of the brain. This post will describe in simple terms the meaning of these attributes and how an active lifestyle improves on them.
Neurogenesis is the production of neurons, which are the cells that process and transmit information via a series of chemical and electrical impulses to create our central nervous system. Neurogenesis is at it's most active in utero as our brains are rapidly developing. Throughout life, the generation of "newborn" cells is essential for learning, memory and mood regulation. As with most functions of the body, neurogenesis slows with age.
Dementia, and Alzheimer's, or what was once known as "senility" are sometimes considered to be the extreme example of a slowed or halted ability of the brain to create new cells. However, studies used with aging lab mice have shown that periods of exercise increase the presence of these newborn cells in the hippocampus. Further research suggests that exercise, specifically voluntary aerobic exercise stimulates the growth of new cells in adult humans. Of course, age related diseases such as those mentioned above have many more components to them, known and unknown. Exercise is not a cure for Alzheimer's, but among healthy older adults, it's a great way to keep the mind functioning optimally.
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It's never too late to enjoy the benefits of exercise throughout the body and within the mind.
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Let new clients find them here. NeighborhoodTrainers is looking for great trainers and instructors in Manhattan, Brooklyn, Queens, Staten Island, & the Bronx.
|Top 3 Healthy Snacks for Busy People
By Maritza Molina
Sometimes we are in a rush to work and/or don't have too much time to prepare something healthy to eat on the go. The following are quick and easy to do and can work for anyone with a limited amount of time.
1- Organic Raw Pumpkin Seeds (Pepitas)
Containing good fats, vitamins and minerals
Has anti-inflammatory properties.
Are crunchy and have a nutty taste.
2- Almonds and dates
Containing good fats, vitamins and minerals
Great alternative to eating a candy bar
3- Carrots with hummus (sold in many varieties)
Carrots are rich in Vitamin A which are great for eye health.
Together you get a crunchy and sweet taste.
Maritza Molina is driven by the passion to help those who are new or returning to health and fitness. She will use functional training and assisted stretching with a focus on proper movement mechanics in her sessions to help you maximize the efficiency in your daily activities and prevent injuries.
|Is neck or back pain stopping you from reaching your weight loss goals?
Is neck or back pain stopping you from reaching your weight loss goals? The good news is, most back pain is treatable. Follow these 5 steps to get "back" on track.
1) Get a different second opinion. Most patients get a second opinion from the same type of practitioner, which is usually a waste. Two people from the same field are very likely to tell you the same thing. So, if your first opinion was from an orthopedist, get a second opinion from a chiropractor. Or, if your first opinion was from a chiropractor, get a second opinion from a phsycial therapist.
2) Stay in treatment at least 2 days/week. Whatever treatment you choose (physical therapy, chiropractic, accupuncture), patients who go in 2 or more days per week get far superior results to those who only go once a week or once every other week.
3) Consider adding massage to your treatment plan. While I wouldn't recommend massage as a stand-alone treatment for severe neck or back pain, it can be a brilliant addition to other treatments, like chiropractic or physical therapy. Make sure whoever you work with is licensed (they are an LMT).
New York City came in at #24 in the latest America's Fittest Cities ranking by ACSM. We can do better. Start today with the amazing advice and insight from Brett, Lisa, Bill, Andrea, Phillip, Ashley, Sarah, and Judy. Lastly, this month Chris visited Fitness Results.
For your summer fitness needs, have a personal trainer help you design a great program for your goals.
Enjoy the summer!
|How do we get that much needed four-syllable yet loaded word: Motivation?
For most individuals, going to the gym is a form of torture versus salvation. I've heard every unimaginable excuse and statement from "I loathe cardio more than my second wife" to "No, I can't do that machine today because I just got a Keratin Treatment." My first thought is always "Why are you here then?!??!" Then, I have to remind myself that at least they're being active versus lounging on their couch. And wait a second, I used to be one of those people that justified hovering over a public toilet seat as a modified squat. You may be asking yourself: "Is it normal to possess these thoughts and feel this way?" Absolutely. And yes, it happens more often than not and with certain people more often than others. However, it's unquestionable that sometimes we all need more of that four syllable yet loaded word: MOTIVATION!
Motivation. . .what is it and how do you get it? Unfortunately, motivation can't be taught because it must come from within. Fortunately, the upward spiral for motivation is oftentimes triggered by your environment and others. It is that slight yet significant thought pattern alteration that escalates motivation and eventually becomes an effortless part of your daily existence. It comes from thinking of obstacles as challenges versus hindrances and changing your negative thoughts into neutral and/or positive ones. Regardless, start small, so you can truly have an inner to outer transformation. So, the question remains: "How do you inspire the uninspired?" Answer Number One: The Reward System.
The reward system is an effective way to refuel your motivation when it's lacking gas but....(read the rest and leave a comment)
Find motivation with Ashley Mitchell and Lift Your Way to Fit!
Overcome Your Fear of Joining The Gym
Joining a gym and or exercise program for the first time can be very intimidating for most people. Especially if you are out if shape, haven't worked out in a while and feel insecure with how other people may view you.
Many times I hear people say: I want to drop 20 pounds before I join the gym. That is a ridiculous statement because nothing will change your body or speed up your metabolism like lean body mass.
Women naturally have more body fat compared to men and resistance/high intensity training is the best way to get faster results. Therefore most people with that philosophy will not lose the weight and likely give up after a short time.
I'm hear to tell you that the hardest part of getting started on any program is making up your mind to commit and then following through with the right program for you. A great way to conquer your fear is to contact and hire a professional trainer/nutritionist that will put together a successful workout program and meal plan. This will give you a concrete plan and a specific road map that will work best for you. After a short time you will start to feel better and see results for yourself.
*Make sure you do your homework first.
*Research gyms, trainers and other programs of interest before you commit.
*Next go visit the facilities and ask the right questions of professionals, to get all the information you need.
Once it feels like the right match for you, go for it. You can overcome your fear and disbelief in yourself. Believe in yourself and you will look back and kick yourself for not starting sooner. The most important step is getting started.
I am happy to guide you and answer any questions you may have.
It's your time!
Please contact me if you have any other questions or comments.
|10 Tips for Preventing Running Injuries
By Brett Cohen
June is Injury Prevention Month for runners, so as someone who has developed a program specifically designed for that purpose I decided to write an article on the topic I'm so passionate about. This article is a very abbreviated version of my upcoming book called; Ready to Run, Every Runner's Guide to Staying on the Road and out of Rehab, and is reflective of the principles I currently use in my Ready to Run conditioning program. The Ready to Run program takes a pro-active approach to injury reduction using a holistic approach to fitness, wellness and conditioning. Whether you run to get fit, get fast, or just have fun-these principles will help guide you every step of the way.
First, let me start off by saying I, nor anyone else can 'prevent' running injuries. Prevent literally means: to keep from happening or existing. The only way to prevent running injuries is to not run at all. But what I can guarantee you is that if you follow the principles outlined in this article you can dramatically reduce your injury risk potential and spend more time on the roads and less time in rehab.
1) Understand Your Risk (Know Before You Go)
I have read a lot of articles on preventing running injuries. And many of the suggestions I will make are made by other authors as well. But I have yet to read an article that suggests anyone considering taking up running get a physical screen to see what their individual injury risk potential is prior to beginning a running program. NEVER.
According to the CDC, prostate cancer is the most common cancer amongst men in the United States, according to 2009 numbers. About 1 man in 6 (16%) will be diagnosed with prostate cancer during his lifetime.
According to the American Cancer Society, breast cancer is the most common cancer among American women. About 1 in 8 (12%) of women in the U.S. will develop invasive breast cancer in their lifetime.
To help prevent these diseases the medical community highly encourages men and women to get screened regularly, especially after a certain age. For women, yearly mammograms are recommended starting at age 40. For men, most doctors recommend waiting until age 55 unless there is a family history of these diseases and then your risk is higher.
A 2009 runnersworld.com poll revealed that 66 percent of respondents had suffered and injury.. That's 2 out of every 3 runners! Yet to become a runner all you need to do is tie your shoes and put one foot in front of the other. No screening necessary! Why is screening not encouraged by the medical community? There's more money in treating injuries than there is in preventing them.
The sad fact is that most people that take up running to get fit aren't even fit enough to run. They don't possess the physical prerequisites; (joint mobility, muscular flexibility, muscular stability and strength) that are needed to survive the repetitive pounding this sport dishes out. Canadian Physiotherapist Diane Lee said it best, "You can't run to get fit, you need to be fit to run."
The best way to reduce your injury risk potential is to use a physical screening process that helps to identify how susceptible you are to injury in the first place. Using a movement screen helps to determine weak links in an athlete's body by gauging and assessing human movement patterns: simply, watching how well you move. The screen becomes a predictor of future injuries as well as a confirmation of current complaints.
2) Improve Your Posture
You may not be able to give me a definition of posture but I'm sure you can easily identify someone who exhibits good or poor posture. Static posture can be defined as; the position from which movement begins and ends.. Dynamic posture is; the maintenance of the optimal working relationships of any/all working joints when moving, regardless of how fast you are moving.
A static misalignment will undoubtedly disrupt dynamic posture. When posture is poor, the joints no longer fit together the way they are supposed to and that non-optimal alignment contributes to degenerative joint conditions when accompanied by overuse. A runner who runs at a 7 minute/mile pace takes 750 foots steps per mile. If your joints are poorly aligned, the repetitive nature of running will cause uneven wear and tear, resulting in friction, irritation, pain and eventually permanent injury.
Poor posture always indicates the need for a stretching program to lengthen short/tight muscles and a strengthening program to tighten and strengthen long/weak muscles. "A person's posture is the foundation of movement, and like a house, if the foundation is poor-the whole body will suffer."-Chris Norris, Physiotherapist. As runners we want to get as close as we can to ideal posture; which is the position from which the musculoskeletal system functions most efficiently.
Whether your goals is to look better, feel better or perform better, improving your posture will improve the efficiency of your movements, allowing you to train more effectively and will go a long way in helping to reduce your injury risk potential.
3) Improve Tissue Quality
The tissue I'm speaking of is your muscle and fascia. We all know what muscle is, but not very many runners can define fascia and understand the importance of keeping it healthy. According to Thomas Myers, Author of Anatomy Trains, "Muscles are the engine of movement, fascia is the medium of movement." "Think of fascia as the inner skin of the body"-says Guy Voyer, World Renowned Osteopath. "Fascia is the 3D cobweb that holds everything together"-Thomas Myers.
Muscle and fascia don't just get short, they also gets dense. Dense tissue means there are adhesions, knots or trigger points in the connective tissue beneath the skin. These adhesions cause soreness, restrict fluid movement throughout the body and can cause pain. By applying pressure using tools such as; foam rollers, massages sticks and balls, you will be softening and lengthening the fascia, breaking down scar tissue, improving flexibility and joint range of motion and allowing your body to recover more quickly.
Endurance athletes tend to avoid the self-care strategies of foam rolling and stretching and instead opt to do that same run again and again. But most endurance athlete's bodies are a mess of trigger points and overuse injuries are just waiting to rear their ugly head. Regular soft-tissue work followed by regular stretching would be time much better spent than logging more and more miles. Every injured runner I have rehabilitated had poor tissue quality. One of the most important things you can do to reduce your injury risk potential as a runner is to regularly perform myo-fascial release-DO IT DAILY...
4) Pre-Run Stretching
Whenever I've asked a runner if they stretch before they run they look at me as if I'm speaking in a foreign tongue. And when I do get someone who says they stretch they are usually using a less than optimal method. The best way to stretch before activity is with 'active-stretching'. In active-stretching you are stretching multiple muscle groups over multiple joints in movement patterns for short periods of time, just a few seconds. Active stretching also lengthens fascial trains and helps to improve joint range of motion as well as preparing the nervous system for activity. In contrast, static stretching isolates individual muscles and holds that muscle for an extended period of time. When the stretch is released, the nervous system will not know how to integrate the new length into movement patterns.
The reality is that static stretching is a poor way to warm up before exercise, and an active stretch routine is superior. I have created a series of 5 stretches in my Ready to Run program that once learned, takes only 5 minutes to perform. Do these regularly and you are a step further way from injury.
5) Add Strength Training
Runners look forward to strength training about as much as the average person enjoys going to the dentist. But running in and of itself requires high levels of muscular strength in order to avoid running related injuries.
Obviously we don't want to train runners for big bulging muscles. But with the careful manipulation of loading parameters (the exercises, sets, reps, rep speed, load and rest periods) we can adjust the body's response so that strength training can increase muscular strength and power without increasing size. This is done by applying heavy loads to clean movement patterns. This type of strength training helps to improve how messages are carried from the brain to the muscles, so more fibers contract with greater force.
Strength training myth: Runner's should only use light weights. Wrong! No one gets strong doing high reps of 'light' weights.... We actually need to be performing a lower number of reps with high loads in order to gain strength, power and train your neuromuscular system, allowing you to better control your body.
I always say, "get strong before you go long." You can use lighter weights in movement patterns while training for an event but it's not appropriate to do all of the time, which brings me to my next topic.. Periodization..
Read the last 5 and then let Brett know what you think
Brett Cohen is a fitness consultant, holistic lifestyle coach, runner and creator of Ready to Run, a comprehensive conditioning program specifically designed for runners and triathletes. He can be reached at: www.integratedtrainingsystems.com.
| Breakfast Turkey Patties |
Straight from Sarah's Kitchen
Breakfast is a great time to start adding some protein to your day. Eggs are always a great go-to food for breakfast, but what if eggs aren't your thing? These breakfast patties are a great alternative for breakfast and are quick and easy to whip up! The syrup adds a nice sweetness, but if you are looking for a lower carb option just take it out and enjoy!
Breakfast Turkey Patties
Makes about 15-20patties
1 lb. lean ground turkey
1-2 tablespoons pure maple syrup
1 tsp crushed red pepper
1 tsp ms dash's all purpose seasoning
1. Mix all ingredients in a large bowl
2. Roll mixture into balls about 2in
3. Heat skillet on med-high heat
4.Coat skillet with cooking spray
5. Place balls onto skillet and press lightly to flatten into patty
6. Cook 2-3min/side or until pink is gone
7. Serve hot or let cool and place in airtight container to store.
*add different spices or portions based on personal taste preference
|One Plus One Adds Up To A Healthy You
"One plus one equals two..."
Yes, here they were - these cute kids - gleefully clapping hands, along with their teacher, while reciting what to so many before them should now be obvious:
"Two plus two equal..."
You get the idea.
But, thankfully, while counting is no longer a problem, do we really get the idea that, in many instances, the numbers game is the avenue to success? And, yes, wouldn't you know it, that idea also extends to slimming down and toning up. In fact, the research is definitive:
Adopt a numbers strategy. In other words, incorporate several ideas that in their totality will be efficient. Do this and you would have employed the fastest strategy to sculpting that body that'll have you turning heads this summer.
Here's a snapshot of what your strategy may look like:
� Do full-body workouts. Remember, you are looking for quality and not quantity. Do repetitions that will challenge the maximum number of muscles at once. which means your workouts will be shorter but more effective. Resistance exercise is king because you continue burning calories for hours after your last rep.
� Make the best use of protein. Because it takes your body twice as much energy to break down protein as it does to break down carbohydrates, you'll need to include protein in all your meals and snacks.
� Nourish your body smartly. Ingest the majority of your carbohydrates when you're active. For example, your body needs protein and carbohydrates before and after your workout, with as little fat as possible - no more then two grams.
� Eat fats when you are less active. Examples would be fatty fish like salmon, nuts, avocado, turkey, etc. The idea here is that your body will burn what's available. Hence the saying, you need fat to burn fat. This is where you'll need to go very, very easy on carbohydrates
� Rest. Remember, your body does most of its repairing and growing when you rest.
� Drink water. All that needs saying here is that every metabolic reaction in your body needs water..
� Avoid, as much as you can, sitting for long periods. If you have a job that confines you to a desk, take a standing break once an hour. Why? Research has shown that right after sitting down the electrical activity in your muscles slows down and your calorie-burning rate decreases to one calorie per minute. Over an extended period this puts you at risk for weight gain.
So, what are you waiting for? Start planning that strategy now. Make a checklist, and pretty soon you'll discover that one plus one can magically add up to lot more than two.
Get in touch with Phillip or Leave a comment.
|How to Motivate and Build Great Training Relationships with High-Powered Clients
By Judy Kuan
Are you (or are you training) a seasoned executive, aspiring entrepreneur, or a jet-setting road-warrior? If so, then you know well that for people in high-powered and pressure-cooker positions, finding the time and motivation to workout can be a huge, overwhelming challenge. And once the training begins, it can be hard to wait to start seeing results.
Speaking from experience - in my prior life as a healthcare investor, the amount of time I spent working out was precisely inversely-related to the hours of shut-eye I would get that night. That's why I ended up hiring a personal trainer at an elite fitness in NYC, with our weekly sessions set to start at 5:30am. Having committed (in word and in $$) to meet with my trainer every week, it didn't matter if I had only received 2 hours of sleep - or been on a red-eye international flight - the night before (not recommended, by the way), I would still show up and put in my best effort for the workout. And I saw great results in terms of improved body composition and energy levels. I still credit my former trainer for instilling the belief in me that personal training is an extremely effective way to achieve substantial and sustained physical and mental improvements through positive behavioral modification.
The point of sharing this anecdote is that I've found that same level of commitment in the vast majority of my trainees - many of whom hold those same titles (e.g., CEO, division head, portfolio manager, etc.) that I had aspired to achieve before choosing to pursue a career as a personal trainer. People who have become successful in their careers typically have done so by honoring commitments - to themselves and to others. Many times, they have also achieved success by pushing ahead harder and faster than their competitors and colleagues - but at the expense of their own well-being.
From a trainer's perspective, one of the highlights of training these go-getters is that they just don't quit - they know how to push past discomfort and enjoy a good challenge. The flipside is that it can be challenging to convince my newer trainees to build a solid foundation before pushing hard and upping the intensity levels. At times, new clients have come to me in highly deconditioned states, but want to go from zero to 60 from Day 1. And they can be hard on themselves when met with perceived failure.
So, if you're a trainee, how do you ask your trainer to help you achieve a solid sense of improvement without ending up with an injury that takes you out from training for weeks, or even months? And if you're a trainer - how do you keep these high-powered executive clients happy while being mindful of their safety as well? Here are a few quick tips that I've found to be helpful:
- Tracking Progress: In addition to physiological metrics to track over time (e.g., heart rate recovery, body composition, BMI, etc.), also choose some "functional" metrics that provide interim feedback and motivation. Things like max # of push-ups or burpees, or wall-sit time challenge. While the scale may take time to budge - especially if the first step is building muscle mass and revving up metabolism - these functional metrics can see improvement quickly.
- Mix Mental and Physical Challenges: Many of my workouts integrate elements of boxing circuits and kickboxing combos, which provide an added mental challenge to remember each series of moves - and consequently a sense of achievement when the trainee perfects the set. Use the more intricate moves as "active recovery" times between higher intensity intervals.
- Instill a Healthy Sense of Competition: Whether it's completing a marathon or mud run, or an office fitness challenge with colleagues, make sure there is always at least one training goal that has a competitive element. It is human nature to compare ourselves with others, so go ahead - harness this instinct to achieve positive fitness results.
- Don't Give Up: Life's not an all-or-nothing endeavor, and neither should be your training program. We are all human, and there are times when we may slip up or fall short of our objectives. Don't let that deter you. At times, I see my clients being hard on themselves, and I simply say, "It's okay - I'm not judging you, and I hope you aren't judging yourself either. I'm confident you will do better next time."
Learn Your Body Mass Index (BMI)
Body Mass Index (BMI) is essentially a height to weight ratio. Am I a healthy weight for my height.
Figure out your BMI now.
Underweight = < 18.5
Normal Weight = 18.5-24.9
Overweight = 25-29.9
Obese- 30 or higher
Remember, speak to your doctor before starting a fitness program and then seek out the right personal trainer for correct program design. Enjoy your workout!