How to Achieve Optimal Chair Positioning at Your Desk

By Sara Talbert

As a Pilates instructor, I think of myself as a teacher of posture. When my clients walk in the door, I look at their posture and ask myself, “what are the best exercises for this person today?” When I teach Spin classes, my cues always involve “sitting tall” and “keep your neck” meaning don’t let your shoulders take over your upper body. When I ask my clients what they think is causing their back pain, they often reply with “sitting at my desk.”

Your chair is perhaps the single most important part of a healthy working environment. I’ve put together some guidelines for achieving optimal chair positioning for long hours at your desk.

1. THE BASICS

You should be able to sit comfortably in the chair, using as much of the chair back as possible for support. The lumbar support should fit comfortably into the curve of your lower back and your feet should be flat on the ground (use a footrest if necessary).

Posture Image 32. CHAIR HEIGHT

Start with your seat at the highest setting and then adjust downward until your legs and feet feel comfortable and the back of your knees are at an open angle (90° or slightly greater and not compressed).

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3. SIT BACK IN THE CHAIR

Adjust the height and/or depth of the lumbar support to provide comfortable lower back support.

 

 

4. ADJUST THE RECLINE

If the chair has a recline lock, set this at a comfortable position. Remember to unlock this periodically allowing the backrest to move with your back as you change posture. It’s generally better to be slightly reclined, as this helps relieve tension from your lower back. If the chair allows you to, adjust the recline tension as you move back and forth so that the chair provides consistent support.

5. ADJUST THE SEAT PAN

When sitting back, make any adjustments to the seat pan (e.g., seat pan tilt) to reach a comfortable position. The seat pan should extend about an inch on both sides of your legs and should not apply pressure to the back of your knees.

6. ADJUST THE ARMREST

If possible, adjust the height, width and position of your armrests to one most comfortable for how you work. Keep in mind that armrests will be used only between typing sessions, not while typing or using your mouse. Consider lowering or swinging the armrests out of the way when not in use so as to not inhibit your movement.

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7. CLEAR OBSTACLES

Make sure that the chair casters (wheels) move smoothly and that nothing obstructs your ability to position the chair in front of your desk and computer. Lastly, try and get up frequently and walk around. Find the water station at the other end of your work space to fill up your bottle. Your body will thank you.

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To learn more about posture, check out our schedule for available Pilates classes at Greenwood Athletic Club, or contact Sara Talbert for more information.

The Key to Exercising? It’s Balance!

When the media describes a new fitness trend or training method, they advertise that this is the best new way to train.  Whether it is long duration/low intensity, high intensity interval training or weight training only, each proclaim to be the best. Running from one extreme or another inevitably leads to short-term gain but long-term ruin. Let’s look at the facts versus the fads

1. SAID means Specific Adaptations to Imposed Demand. This means “you get what you train for and nothing else.” For example, if all you do is lift weights and do not train for any form of endurance, you will be able to work up to two minutes and then fatigue out. The same is true for endurance-only training in a steady state; you are not powerful at any level.

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2. Flexibility, but more precisely being able to move within a greater range of motion, is wonderful. But if you have no strength in that range of motion, all you have done is stretch ligaments and joint capsules and have not created a strong and stable joint to increase range of motion.

3. Neurological adaptation is a principle that says the more you perform a movement, the more efficient you become at that movement. The more efficient you become, the less calories you burn at that activity.

4. The larger your muscle, the more calories you burn, the better you look and the better bone density you have. So where does this leave us? Here are some principled suggestions to change your training regime:

Balance what you do. Do less intense cardio one to two days a week for 45 minutes or longer. Do cardiovascular intervals, going to a higher heart rate, up to two days a week. Lift weights to failure two to three days a week. Work on some type of range of motion training one to two days a week.

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Train using periodization. Have a goal for a 12-week training cycle. Within that cycle, make two week micro cycles where you vary your workouts with a specific purpose. The first two weeks can be focused on stability (Yoga, lighter weights and stability ball work, Pilates.) The second two weeks can be focused on strength building by doing sets to failure. The third two weeks can be power movements (Olympic lifting, HIIT and Spinning.) Then you repeat the three phases.

REST! Every athlete needs an off-season. Rest and recovery is sometimes the thing you need after training hard for an event or an 8-12 week workout cycle. Recover by also doing massage, trigger point or Rolfing. Resting between intense bouts of exercise is needed, so make sure you have a rest day somewhere in your week.

Key to Balance 3Balance in exercise, diet and lifestyle is key to longevity and happiness. Any of our personal trainers would be happy to meet with you and talk about what kind of balance works best for you. Please contact Vic Spatola, Director of Personal Training, or look through our Personal Training page for more information.

 

Five Reasons to Try a Barre Class

Five Reasons to Try a Barre Class

Maybe you have seen one of the flyers at the athletic club, but have you tried a Barre Class yet? Certified Barre Instructor Christine Morris shares five reasons why you should try a Barre class today!

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  1. Our program is unique! The Barre at Greenwood is not a franchised program, which means that we can adapt to the needs of our clients and provide outstanding service. It also allows our instructors the flexibility to vary their exercises, choreography and music so that no two classes, or instructors, are exactly alike. Not to mention, all classes are one hour and limited to 13 participants per class, which creates a fun and personable environment.

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2. You do not need dance experience. Barre is a group fitness class, not a dance class. We incorporate ballet postures, vocabulary and variations into the workout, but they are taught at a level that non-dancers can understand. You will learn to work out with the mind of a dancer. And soon, you’ll have the body of one, too!

 

 

3. Barre focuses on small, isometric movements. You will use your own body weight as resistance and target muscles with small, isometric movements to work them to the point of fatigue. These small motions are how Barre transforms your muscles and gives you a more toned physique.

4. Barre is a music-based class. You will follow the beat; if you’re a music lover, you’re in luck! Music drives a Barre class. All exercises are performed to tempo, and let’s face it, performing exercise to upbeat music is just plain fun.

5. Consistency is key. Continuing to take a Barre class every week will help your form improve. Not only will you get stronger and have a better understanding of the method and the movements, but you will see a positive change in your body. Try a class today!

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Sign up in advance online or at the Service Desk, 303.770.2582 x274. Our class schedule is available online via the Barre Class link.

Tips for a Fun, Active Summer!

With the kids out of school, summer is the perfect season for changing up your routine. GATC offers rich opportunities for fitness and fun. Whether you discover some new time for yourself, with friends or time as a family, we have over 130 complimentary group fitness classes a week to choose from.

Kid Working OutDid you know that our youth policy allows you to bring your son or daughter with you to a class? What a great way to connect with your child/teen/young adult and establish healthy fitness habits. They must be at least nine years old and in direct visual and speaking contact with a supervising and responsible adult member 18 years of age or older. Your 14-year-old can arrange to become youth certified and use the club without your supervision.

So where should you start? Change up your routine or introduce a new one for your friends/family. Pick some activities that you’ve always wanted to try. Treat yourself to a 30 minute CXWORX class, which is a 30 minute revolutionary core training. This dynamic workout will challenge your abs, glutes, back, obliques and “slings” connecting the upper and lower body, toning core muscles and improving functional strength.

Why not try an hour of Spinning? Or you might enjoy one of our many cardio, strength, or mind-body classes or experience the Barre at Greenwood. Our early morning Summer Boot Camp is a great opportunity to beat the heat, enjoy the beautiful outdoors and find extra motivation to drive yourself to the next fitness level. There’s something for everyone and the advantage of group fitness is that you are more likely to push yourself harder and be more consistent in a group setting than on your own.

If you have any questions, please be sure to contact Andrea Morris, Director of Group Fitness

Pregnancy Workouts: 4 Reasons to Work Out Before, During and After

**Always consult your physician before beginning any exercise program. This general information is not intended to replace your healthcare professional. Consult with your healthcare professional to design an appropriate exercise prescription.*

Exercise has many benefits for women before and after pregnancy. Although the gym might feel like the last thing on your mind, it is important to keep active during all three trimesters of your pregnancy. Greenwood Athletic Club trainer Kelly Buresh has a passion for helping people find their happiest and healthiest self through exercise. “I was always taught that if I put my heart into something, not only could I achieve my goal but I would get immense satisfaction from it.” She believes that taking care of yourself physically improves your life in every facet. She shared with us four important reasons to keep moving before, during, and after your pregnancy.

Leading up to Pregnancy: If you are looking to get pregnant, maintaining a healthy regiment as far as physical exercise, diet and nutrition is key in prepping your body to even attain pregnancy! It can be a challenge to become pregnant if you are overweight or if you are not regularly meeting your nutritional needs.  Furthermore, maintaining healthy levels of blood pressure, and maintaining a healthy diet makes it less likely to experience complications at any stage during pregnancy. While the gym is a great place to get your workout, the best place to start is with something you already enjoy doing, whether it be going on walks, running, taking a group fitness class, playing tennis, or any other form of physical activity. Getting out and moving is important.

Getting Started: During pregnancy, it is important to stay active because the exercise and nutrition decisions you make while pregnant can affect not only you and your baby during pregnancy, but it can affect your child long after their birth. Not only does regular exercise help to relieve unnecessary symptoms such as excessive weight gain, uncomfortable swelling, premature labor, low back pain, sciatica and other pregnancy discomforts. It also greatly reduces the likelihood of experiencing complications such as high blood pressure, hypertension or gestational diabetes during your pregnancy. Maintaining a healthy weight through diet and exercise can help your child avoid things like diabetes and excessive weight in their early childhood as well. Even if you don’t already exercise on a regular basis (and unless your doctor tells you otherwise), it is recommended that you can begin an exercise regimen while pregnant. The types of exercise you might do varies from each person, but going on short 10-15 minute walks are a great way to get in some movement. Also, body weight exercises such as squats will be helpful in building leg strength, your abdominals, and even your upper body if you want to add in some weights. These exercises help to maximize your time and energy.IMG_2175IMG_2179

Benefits of Exercise: Maintaining muscle tone and building your endurance are both factors in helping women deliver babies. By building up your muscles and maintaining active, it can help alleviate the physically exhaustive process of delivering a baby. A helpful exercise for maintaining muscle tone is to do lunges with weight on one side. This requires your upper body where you have to brace your abdominals during labor to be strengthened. Another exercise, the farmers carry, even with just one weight forces you to use your abdominals to keep upright, again strengthening an area that’s key to labor.IMG_2170IMG_2173

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Getting Back After Pregnancy: During pregnancy, you might feel a bit of derailment not just with weight, but it might be that your muscle structures have changed as well. Returning to your pre-pregnancy body doesn’t happen quickly and its different for everyone, since each woman has a different labor and birth experience. The important thing is to have a plan and be sure to consult with a personal trainer who can help you get ideas for how to recover. The best thing you can do after labor is to make time for yourself.
It is important to mentally have some time each day for yourself, not to mention the many mental benefits you get from adding in physical exercise. After consulting with your doctor and a personal trainer, you might consider starting 2 to 3 days a week and then assessing how much you can physically handle. Not to mention, our GATC Kids Club is available for you to drop off infants ages 6 weeks to 6 months for 1 ½ hours per visit. Our infant area is completely enclosed offering your baby a quiet and peaceful environment.

Please be sure to reach out to our Kelly Buresh and our Personal Trainers if you are interested in learning more about personal training sessions, and making time to have Greenwood Athletic Club be the best part of your day!

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Big Changes Start with Small Decisions

Big Changes Start with Small Decisions

As another beautiful spring season approaches, I am excited for all of the upcoming changes we are about to enjoy….longer days, bluer skies, greener grass, blooming flowers, chirping birds and warmer weather. Big changes like these start small and improve with every sunrise. The same can be true of you! Big changes in our health, strength and wellness begin with small decisions every morning to choose health. That is all it takes. A commitment to make small changes every day. Every small decision impacts the end result, so whether you are just starting out or have hit a plateau, make the decision to add something positive or remove something negative that could be sabotaging your efforts. Make this the best spring season of your life!

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Make the decision today to eat whole foods, show up for that Group Fitness class, use the weight room, stay a bit longer on that cardio equipment or swim a few more laps. Every small decision will add up to improvements in heart health, strength and overall wellness.

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Be careful though, because the same can be true in reverse. Small decisions to ignore your health, drive past Greenwood, skip that class, ignore the weight room, take a few minutes less on that cardio equipment-even choosing to order the fat- laden fries or super, crazy desert-can add up to big results in the wrong direction.

Choose to support your health and you will sleep better, feel better and even look better! Need ideas on how to switch things up or challenge yourself just a bit more this spring? Call me and take advantage of Greenwood’s complimentary Member Coaching services. It’s another small decision that could lead to big results.

SheriWarren_webSheri Warren, Director of Sales and Retention

 

Get Your Veggies

GET YOUR VEGGIES

This article originally appeared in the Spring 2017 issue of The Pulse

By Kristin Burgess, RD

Vegetables are an important part of your diet, providing fiber, vitamins, minerals and phytonutrients that protect cells from improper replication. The media leads us to believe that it is hard to eat the large amount of recommended servings but here are a few tips:

  1. Eat vegetables with at least two meals a day. Don’t worry about portion size- just eat them! Aim to fill half your plate with vegetables.vegetable salad on plate with blank spcae for wording
  2. Eat three vegetables a day in addition to your two meals.
  3. Eat a large salad with lots of healthy greens every day. You can always pick one up at Ink! Coffee here at the club.
  4. Many vegetables need to be cut, sliced, dipped or cooked but think about the convenient vegetables that don’t! Carrots, cucumbers and bell peppers do not need any preparation as they are easy and convenient to eat raw. Try something new – eat a bell pepper just like you would an apple! Throw them into your bag and eat one anywhere, anytime
  5. Always have a vegetable on hand. Bring one with you so it is always available.

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If you are low on vegetables in your diet, put them at the top of your grocery list. Do a little washing, slicing and dicing in the morning when packing lunch. Plan ahead, eat your veggies and be healthy!

Greenwood Yoga Teacher Training

At Greenwood Yoga Teacher Training we believe that yoga teacher training is about so much more than learning to teach down dog. Greenwood’s well-respected Yoga Alliance registered 200-hour program will empower you to understand the depth of the yoga tradition while learning to apply it to your life.

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With a solid foundation in alignment, yogic philosophy, and practical teaching skills, Amy Baker and our experienced teacher trainers will help you find your unique voice and teaching style. Hone your skills of communication and education so you can share this life-changing practice with others in a welcoming and accessible way. Whether you’re looking to become a yoga instructor or simply want a deeper experience in your practice, our curriculum boils down the complexities of the modern yoga tradition to the key fundamentals so you’ll come away with a solid understanding of a safe, inspiring, and authentic approach to practice and teaching. You can expect to be challenged on all levels and create relationships with fellow Trainees, these bonds will last a lifetime.

Here are some additional areas that we will cover during our time together:

  • In-depth breakdown of asanas
  • Clear and concise cueing
  • Verbal/hands on adjustments
  • Anatomy, Chakras and Koshas
  • Philosophy and History of Yoga
  • Extensive emphasis on practice teaching
  • Find your voice and teach dynamic yoga classes and learn to public speak
    with confidence

We look forward to connecting with you further, answering your questions and getting to know you!

Please join us for Informational Sessions on Tuesdays, August 8th at 5:30pm. There will also be a complimentary Alignment Vinyasa class from 4:30-5:30pm.

To learn more or register click here»

Namaste,

Marda Zechiel Yoga Manager 303-770-2582 x324 mardaz@GreenwoodATC.com
Amy Baker YTT Lead Teacher 970-331-4493 aritaberger@gmail.com
Greenwood Yoga Teacher Training, 200RYT

Grab the Dumbbells: Using Free Weights at the Gym

By Vic Spatola, Director of Personal Training

This article originally appeared in the April 2017 edition of The Pulse

What is the difference between working out on a singular weight lifting machine and lifting with free weights? Aren’t both weight training activities? Shouldn’t they give you the same benefits? In a word-NO!

Lifting in a fixed machine has some benefits:

  • It gives you the ability to isolate a muscle for maximal growth or hypertrophy
  • If you have an injury, the machine can limit the range of motion to allow you to work in a safe method

Traditionally, fixed isolated machines have been the default equipment for most weight rooms. Their simple and easy use has made gym participants more likely to lift weights. They were originally created for body builders in the 1970’s to allow them to isolate specific muscles for competition. Most were designed by former lifters who knew how an exercise should feel and then put resistance against that motion. Arthur Jones revolutionized this type of training by introducing the first line of Nautilus equipment. This equipment was the first to use a cam method, allowing the strength curve to increase as the muscle got stronger and it brought many gym goers into the weight room.

But let’s fast forward to modern times. We now understand that training exclusively in a machine limits core activation, range of motion and hampers your functional ability. Even though machines can isolate a particular muscle, they lack an overall whole body benefit.

When you lift free weights, you benefit in these ways:

  • More intense core activation
  • Stabilizer muscle activation to decrease unwanted motion
  • More muscles working and more calories burned during workouts
  • More balance and vestibular system challenge
  • Better preparation for sports and daily life

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Lifting with free weights allows you to train in a three-dimensional world where as a machine locks you into one plane of movement. Every day we are affected by many external forces (i.e. gravity, rotational forces and linear resistance) and these forces are taken away when training on a machine. Not only does free weight training allow for a more complete workout, it allows for compound movements to occur with resistance. For example, if I do a bicep curl and then I add a step up on a bench as I do it, I can burn more calories and have more muscles working then simply doing either exercise. Also, when doing a barbell exercise like a deadlift or a squat, you use more core activation and increase flexibility and overall range of motion.

As the demands of a busy life increase, we need to be more efficient and selective about how we work out. Doing the same old line of machines that we have been doing for the last five years is less beneficial than moving in a three-dimensional pattern with resistance. Ask one of our personal training experts to set you up on a new weight training program!

Greenwood offers One-on-One Training, which allows you and your trainer to individualize your workout and spend a great deal of time focusing on form, technique and the best way for you to see results, or Semi-Private Personal Training, where you and a friend (or group of up to four friends) will get a great workout together with one of our professional trainers. This is a perfect option for those who like to workout with a friend but need guidance and instruction to maintain consistency and remain efficient.

We also offer a number of PWRFIT classes throughout the week, which deliver functional training movements in a circuit style format to create a high energy, calorie burning, muscle-building workout with professionally mixed music. We offer three class options: Upper Body/Core, Lower Body/Core and Total Body.

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Smart Start by Les Mills

Smart Start by Les Mills

by Andrea Morris, Director of Group FitnessBodyPump at Greenwood Athletic and Tennis Club

When it comes to motivation, your brain is a mysterious creature. One minute you’re pumped, full of enthusiasm, a few weeks later the excuses start to creep in and before you know it you haven’t been to the gym all week. Smart Start is a beginner’s plan for fitness that is based on scientific research. Follow this simple approach to guarantee that your first steps to fitness are not your last.

Three Secrets to Success

  1. START SLOW– Don’t push your body too soon. It’s okay to stop working out when you’ve had enough.
  2. BUILD GRADUALLY– Aim towards completing full workouts as your fitness builds.
  3. MIX IT UP– Mix strength, cardio and flexibility training options and learn what workouts consistently motivate you to get moving.

Small Changes

When you’re starting out, a good goal to aim for is 150 minutes of exercise a week. Research shows that with 150 minutes of exercise a week you will start enjoying the health benefits of exercise. The next goal is 250–300 minutes. This is the suggested amount of weekly exercise needed to begin seeing some of the physical changes that accompany exercise without making  any changes to your diet. If you’re up for this challenge, you can begin following our scientifically-proven six-week introduction. This workout plan lets you know how to mix up your workouts to maximize effectiveness and keep it interesting.

Another smart move is to set goals. Setting goals can be a huge help at any stage of your exercise journey. We suggest setting two goals; one based on the results you’re after and one on the behavior you’re trying to change. For example, I want to drop one size and I want to get to the gym twice next week. Post these goals where you will see them often, like on the fridge or on your mirror. Make sure your goals are realistic and don’t be too hard on yourself. As you reach each of your goals you can reevaluate how much time you are exercising and what you are trying to achieve.

Get Together

People who work out in a group are far more likely to stick to exercise than those who go it alone. Get Fit Together, a study conducted by Dr. Jinger Gottschall from the Pennsylvania State University, followed 25 sedentary adults through a 30-week program of group fitness classes. The 30 weeks started with an initial six-week period encouraging the exercisers to “dip their toes” into fitness before building up to a six-day-a-week exercise schedule. The gradual introduction meant that instead of feeling sore from overworking unfit muscles and giving up, the group actually enjoyed their path into exercise. The results were so good that participants delayed the onset of cardiovascular disease by an average of 3.6 years. Over the 30-week study, 20 out of 25 study participants never missed a workout – a compliance rate of 98.8 per cent – almost unheard of in exercise studies. This commitment is proof that, when it comes to exercise, you shouldn’t go it alone. Combining a steady start with the support of others works wonders.

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After Six-Weeks

To really lock in your healthy new habit, the next 12 weeks are just as critical to your success. Each week from now should include three 60 minute cardio workouts, two 60 minute strength workouts and one 60 minute session of core/flexibility work. If you want to find out about cardio, strength, core and flexibility workout options, please consult our Group Fitness Schedule.

Andrea Morris, Director of Group Fitness | 303.770.2582 x312 | AndreaM@GreenwoodATC.com