• Active's Swim-Ready Tips

    6/12/2015 10:53:00 AM | Amy Kendig

    Featured on The Square

    Our Active Sports Clubs Union Square team is proud to contribute to The Square, the Union Square Business Improvement District's blog. Check out our latest tips for diving into an active summer at the club!

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  • Why Yoga?

    4/1/2015 8:04:00 AM | Active Sports Clubs Instructor Kelly Scanlon, E-RYT, CPT

    Not Just For Pretzel People

    Whenever someone tells me that they are in yoga class for the very first time, I get chills of excitement running up my spine. What an honor to be part of someone’s first impression, and what a responsibility to give him or her the right dose of yoga for those 60 minutes.

    In all honesty, yoga is a menu of options to choose from. If you’re looking to compliment your exercise routine, yoga can help to wind down and stretch your muscles. There are also vigorous yoga practices that can replace your workout altogether–generating enough heat to count as a cardio and strength training workout. Yoga can be purely physical, or it can serve as a spiritual tool as well. Whatever you want your yoga practice to be, is what it will be.

    According to the 5,000-year-old texts, yoga is an eight-limb path to spiritual enlightenment. If you’re looking to take your practice off the mat, consider the first two limbs; the yamas and the niyamas, and how they relate to your daily life. The yamas are outward behaviors towards other people: non-violence, truthfulness, non-stealing, moderation, and non-hoarding. The niyamas are behaviors towards one’s self: cleanliness, contentment, discipline, study of self, and devotion. Choose one of these each week and notice how they play a role in your decision-making and your thought patterns. Over time, observing the yamas and niyamas can lead to huge changes mentally, emotionally and spiritually.

    If you’re looking to begin a home meditation practice, you must start small and gradually build. For example, sitting quietly with your eyes closed for 5 minutes each day, and slowly building up to 10, 20 or 30 minutes. A common misconception is that meditation is thinking about nothing. In reality,...Read More

  • Exploring Moods and Foods

    3/1/2015 11:02:00 PM | Gretchen Halverson, Itrim Program Manager and Health Coach at Oakland

    We’ve all done it, and sometimes we don’t even realize it is happening.  Maybe you snack when you're bored, or every time you walk by that cookie jar you can’t help but grab a couple cookies. Perhaps when you’re feeling tired or anxious, you grab for that snack food that always makes you feel better.  No matter why food calls your name, one thing rings true: we’ve all eaten something when we are truly not hungry. While this is okay sometimes, too much eating without thinking can affect your weight and overall health.

    When we talk about "mood and foods," we must first talk about "hunger", and what hunger really is. Physiologically, hunger is the only reason to eat, but sometimes we eat for reasons that have nothing to do with hunger.

    How do you know you’re hungry?

    • Hunger is triggered by signals from blood glucose, the hypothalamus, emptiness in the stomach & small intestine, and various hormones, including insulin, ghrelin and leptin.  It’s physiological and not the same as just an “urge” to eat.
    • Hunger feels like an empty, “gnawing” sensation in the stomach, possibly accompanied by a growling/rumbling of the stomach.
    • Prolonged hunger can bring on symptoms, such as a headache, lightheadedness, irritability, lack of energy, or shakiness.  (http://www.webmd.com)

    Understanding Hunger Hormones: Ghrelin and Leptin
    Leptin is a hormone, made by fat cells, that decreases your appetite.  Ghrelin is a hormone that increases appetite, and also plays a role in body weight. Levels of leptin, the appetite suppressor, are lower for people who are thin and higher for those who are overweight.  Many obese/overw...Read More

  • Active Recovery

    2/4/2015 7:47:00 PM | AJ Seeliger, Active Personal Trainer, MS, CSCS, CISSN, CES

    How to Shorten Your Workout Time & Improve Results

    The great majority of people who exercise struggle to find the time they think is necessary to achieve their  goals. Spending hours a day working out, five to six days a week, is often thought to be the only prescription to losing weight and building strength. Because this type of time commitment isn’t sustainable, it may be the reason so many people struggle with keeping New Year’s resolutions and meeting long-term goals. It turns out that active recovery is as important as working out when it comes to losing body weight, building strength and improving your cardiovascular fitness.  

    It’s been shown over the years that strictly using endurance-type cardio routines, like grinding it out on a treadmill or elliptical, only leads to a modest weight loss of around 3.5 pounds after 6 months and 3.7 pounds after one year (1). By comparing the time put into working out with the amount of weight loss achieved, this does not seem like a very efficient plan!

    Improve your efficiency with High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT), a training approach that maximizes benefits while minimizing the time spent exercising (2).  This type of training combines short durations of higher-intensity work with low-intensity active recovery periods.  In half the time of a traditional cardio session, people using HIIT get the same or better benefits of weight loss, improved cardiovascular fitness and higher metabolism. What makes HIIT so special is the higher-than-normal work followed by rest times, referred to as active recovery periods. High-intensity cardio and resistance-training workouts create an increase in lactic acid production, and active recovery removes and buffers this increase  (3).Read More

  • Active's New Year Tips Featured on The Square

    1/13/2015 8:55:00 PM | Monica T.

    Our Active Sports Clubs Union Square team is proud to contribute to The Square, the Union Square Business Improvement District's blog. Check out our latest tips for enjoying life and staying fit in 2015!

    Read more >


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