Creating Balance within your Fitness Routine

Written by Brianne Hovey 
RYT 200 
Additional certifications in Restorative Yoga, Yin Yoga, and Yoga Nidra

Do you ever feel like you need a re-set? I am feeling that way now as I type this. I could use a) a nap, b) a massage, c) a break from my ongoing to-do list and habitual thoughts. It’s times like these that I often think of the wisdom shared by one of my favorite travel writers, Pico Iyer. He says, “I turn to eccentric and often extreme measures to try to keep my sanity and ensure I have time to do nothing at all, which is the only time when I can see what I should be doing the rest of the time.” Sometimes I need someone else to offer me the space to step into where I can be free from doing and just be. As it turns out, I also LOVE being the person to offer this space for others.

What if I told you that you can come to Greenwood when you need a re-set? Our yoga program offers several weekly opportunities to nourish you on your rest day and in addition, we offer regular special workshops that offer deep restoration as well.

woman doing yoga outside

You do not need to have any prior experience of yoga to participate and you don’t even need any special gear. I will warn you, however, that once you start…you may just discover that yoga is your jam after all. That’s what happened to me. The benefits to the rest of my life are too good to pass up.

Without going down too many tangents, I will tell you that I came to yoga through the Power Vinyasa classes at Greenwood after many, many years of believing that yoga was not for me. I wasn’t flexible and the classes I had previously attended felt like they were designed exclusively for yogis who were already “great”. My yoga practice began as an effort to incorporate stretching into my routine as I was training for a triathlon and I found Greenwood’s yoga program the perfect, inclusive place to practice. After many months of practicing twice per week, I realized that I was receiving additional benefits from my practice: I was stronger, my lung capacity had grown and my grief from losing my father to cancer was shifting in a way I hadn’t anticipated. I had to learn more about what was happening in this practice. Unrelated, I took a trip to Nicaragua to learn how to surf at Holly Beck’s surf and yoga camp. I was {embarrassingly} audibly disappointed to learn that the yoga offered was yin yoga rather than the powerful, active vinyasa practice I had grown to love. I expended copious energy learning how to surf. And after that…. I found my way to the yin yoga class and felt only what I can describe as a visceral “ohhhhhhhhhhhhhh” throughout my body and mind. This meditative practice of postures held for time to help the connective tissues restore, was the absolute perfect way to support my body and mind as I recovered from my yang efforts of learning to surf. I had a new hook and a new practice to support my health and my sense of life balance. My love for yin yoga was quickly followed by restorative yoga and yoga Nidra. Each of these practices offer incredible balance for active lifestyles.

Here are some of the benefits you can expect by incorporating a Yin Yoga, Restorative Yoga and/or Yoga Nidra practice into your routine:

  • Deep sense of restoration
  • Balance for your nervous system by activating the parasympathetic nervous system
  • Improved energy and circulation
  • Reduced stress and anxiety
  • Increased awareness of body, mind and emotions
  • Enhanced physical flexibility and mobility (Yin & Restorative)
  • Enhanced personal acceptance and flexibility (all practices)
  • A calm mind, leading to an increased sense of focus and mindfulness

lotus floating in pond

I invite you to come to a class and experience the benefits for yourself. Below are our regular class offerings and all classes are appropriate for beginners:

  • Restorative Yoga, Sundays at 11am with Alana: Restorative yoga is a receptive, calming practice intended to align your physical and mental being with breathwork and a series of gentle poses held for 5 minutes or longer, completely supported by props. The focus in this practice is in letting go of tension and entering a deep state of relaxation. Leave feeling relaxed and energized.
  • Yin & Meditation, Tuesdays at 7pm with Malissa and Saturdays at 11am with Laurel: Yin yoga is a practice intended to target the deep connective tissues (ligaments, joints, bones, and fascia). The postures are held for time (90 seconds up to 7 minutes) and supported by props. In this time, students are encouraged to find an edge to their sensation, hold the pose for time, then release the pose mindfully. Additional healing benefits of meditation are incorporated to quiet the mind. Regular practice will yield increased circulation, improved flexibility, and renewed flow of energy throughout body and mind.
  • Yin & Yoga Nidra, Fridays at 4:30pm with Brianne: This 75 minute practice combines 30-45 minutes of yin yoga (see above description) with 30-45 minutes of Yoga Nidra. Yoga Nidra is an ancient meditation technique, practiced lying down in savasana. Beginners can expect to experience conscious relaxation on physical, mental and emotional levels through entering a state of non-doing. This state of relaxation provides an opportunity for energy, normally burned by the mind, to become available to heal and restore the body. With more practice, students also experience an exploration of the layers of consciousness and of their true nature.

The common thread of these practices is intentional stillness and rest. Treat yourself to a class and find out for yourself how you can personally benefit from the practices offered.

Look for additional workshop offerings announced via the member email and/or flyers outside of the Jade studio. We host sound healing gong baths regularly and our annual Yoga Immersion weekend is coming up October 24-27, which will include many workshop opportunities to take a deeper dive into your yoga practice.

“In an age of speed, I began to think, nothing could be more invigorating that going slow. In an age of distraction, nothing can feel more luxurious than paying attention. And in an age of constant movement, nothing is more urgent than sitting still.” – Pico Iyer

Attend Brianne’s Classes:
Sunday 4pm Candlelight Vinyasa
Friday 4:30pm Yin & Yoga Nidra  (75 min)

What is Functional Fitness?

By Vivian Griggs
Personal Training Coordinator

Functional Fitness has been a buzzy term for several years now.  But what does it really mean?  At its core, functional fitness is exercises or activities that make you stronger, fitter and more flexible in your day-to-day life.  Putting luggage in the overhead compartment?  Functional fitness can help with that.  Playing sports with the kids or grandkids in the backyard?  Functional fitness can help with that.  Getting up and down the stairs or in and out of the car?  Functional fitness can help with that!

Woman lifting child into air

Functional exercises are those that multiple joints through multiple planes of movement.  For example, doing a bicep curl while doing a squat.  Your body has to stabilize itself using your core muscles, your leg muscles have to work to lift not only your body weight but the weight of the dumbbells and your arm work to lift the dumbbells in the bicep curl.  Just about every joint you have gets involved in this move, and your core has to stabilize you.  Talk about getting more bang for your buck! 

Man squatting and lifting weights in gymSome great functional exercises are squats with a bicep curl, squats with an overhead press, a plank, a pushup, or a lunge.  The list is almost endless and can be customized to what your specific needs are.  Curious how you can optimize your time in the gym and really make that workout work for you?  Book a session with a trainer and they can show you a full routine of functional exercises that will specifically help you!

3 Simple Steps Toward Better Fitness and Health

By Gary Stotler
Member Coach

How simple is starting an exercise routine?

It’s as easy as 1.2.3.

  • Eat an apple a day
  • Walk around the block
  • Read 10 pages of a positive or inspirational book

Too simple? 

Maybe. However, think about it. If your goal is to live a more healthy and active lifestyle, what better way than to start adding in some positive action rather than cutting out something you “have to have”?

Does going on a diet scare you? Yeah, me too… so start with eating an apple a day. How good would you feel about yourself if you ate an apple a day for 30 days?

Does working out at the club for two hours, seven days a week scare you? Yeah, me too… so why not start with parking a little farther away and adding 1,000-1,500 steps to your daily routine? The average calories burned would add up to about 3,500 per month which is equivalent to one pound.

Does reading a book a month scare you? Yeah, me too… so why not start with 10 pages a day? Did you know that would be 300 pages a month? That would equate to about a book a month. How much could you learn reading 12 positive and inspirational books in a year?

I have an unfair advantage in answering these questions, but I know you will not only feel better physically, but mentally as well. The idea of setting a goal and taking the action to achieve the goal will lead to more self-confidence. Imagine having more self-confidence in 30 days after eating an apple a day, taking a walk around the block and reading 10 pages of an inspiring book every day.

What do you think you could accomplish the following 30 days?

I have done this exercise with hundreds of people and I am happy to report the people who are willing to commit and follow through on their action plan finish the 30 days with more energy, more inspiration and more belief in what they can accomplish the next 30 days.

So my only question to you now is… are you willing to take the first step?

Is Your Child’s Diet Optimal for Mental Health?

by Kristin Burgess, RD, Registered Dietitian / Personal Trainer

You feed your kid breakfast. You feed them snacks. You provide dinner every night. You send them to school with a water bottle. There is no way they are malnourished or dehydrated…or is there?

There absolutely is! The brain gets most of the nutrients it needs to perform properly (cognitive and behavioral function) from the food you feed it. Therefore, every single bite of food or sip of liquid you ingest during the day, and when you do it, has an impact on its development and performance. Studies have proven with an EEG, that breakfast is the most important meal of the day. Not just what is eaten but also how much. Kids come in all shapes and sizes and their caloric needs might vary. Most kids, ages 6-12, need 1800-2200 calories per day. This means that breakfast needs to be 500 calories. Lunch needs to be 300-500 calories and dinner likely needs to be 500+ calories. Many children feel rushed during school lunch or are preoccupied playing with friends to eat a full 500 calorie meal, therefore dinner becomes a bit more of a make-up area.

So, what does a 500 calorie breakfast look like? Two slices of 100% whole grain toast, two eggs with two tablespoons of avocado plus a banana; a 100% whole grain bagel with a schmear of cream cheese and one-two eggs or 1 ½ cups of Kashi Go Lean cereal, 1/2c whole milk and a banana. Always add at least ten ounces of water to breakfast to top it off.

I know mornings are rushed. I am a mom also. I have an eight year old and a six year old. Trust me, I get it. However if you encourage your child in a positive manner to eat this breakfast and you take the time to do so, watch them change! The anxiety and the signs and symptoms of ADHD or other mental challenges might fade. Remember that breakfast is just the start. Proper snacks, dinner, water consumption and pre/post activity nutrition is also a piece of the puzzle.

For more tips or personalized information, contact Kristin Burgess, RD Club Greenwood’s Health and Wellness Coach.

Top 7 Ways to Achieve Your Fitness Goals

The reason we exist at Club Greenwood is for the honor of positively impacting people’s lives. There are many ways in which we strive to do this. We offer over 130 Group Fitness classes each week as part of your membership. The types of classes are thoughtfully chosen, the instructors are carefully recruited, and the class times are strategically placed with the goal of providing you with the best selection of classes offered at the optimal times that cater to a wide variety of interests and provide ample opportunity for achieving results.

On an average day, approximately 1500 people check into the club. Roughly 30% of those check-ins, or 450 people, attend a group fitness class. So how can you optimize your membership utilizing Group Fitness to achieve your fitness goals? Here are your top seven ways:

  1. Find Something You Enjoy And Do It

If you’re not having fun or being challenged with your workout, it’s easy to lose interest. Instead of dreading the treadmill, consider one of our many other options. With a nice balance of strength, cardio, balance and flexibility classes to choose from each week, there is great opportunity to find your new favorite.

Take advantage of our shorter classes that can be done in combination. Cardiovascular Intervals, Strong 30, BODYPUMP 30, BODYCOMBAT 30, CXWORX and Stretch and Roll are great choices. If you would like some assistance, we offer complimentary member coach services. When you find what you enjoy, you’re more likely to stay consistent and see better results.

  1. Set Goals

Maybe you want to avoid holiday weight gain, fit into a certain dress size, decrease your body fat percentage, cut your mile time or set a new lifting PR. Map out your plan of attack setting both short-term (30-day) and long-term (3-6 months) goals. That plan will help you stay focused and on the path to success. Share your goals with your group fitness instructor so they can help encourage you and keep you accountable.

  1. Drink Enough Water

The general recommendation is to  drink half your body weight in ounces every day. This is on top of replenishing fluids lost during your workout.  While the reminder to drink water may sound unnecessary and obvious, it is essential to your health.

  1. Eat Well

No training regimen is complete without the complement of good nutrition. Make sure you eat a consistent well-balanced diet. Dedication to both your training and your nutrition will offer the best results.

  1. Get Sufficient Sleep

Rest is crucial to our fat-loss and muscle-building goals. Lack of sleep raises cortisol levels and hampers proper recovery. Exercise places stress on your body, and it’s your body’s ability to respond to and rebuild from this stress that creates growth, results and body improvement. This is why nutrition and recovery are essential to achieving your fitness goals.

  1. Mix It Up

Many dedicated gym-goers fall into a workout rut. Break out of boredom by challenging yourself in new ways. Try new movements, set aside the dumbbells in favor of a barbell or cables, or grab a buddy and try a class. Don’t just set up camp at your usual corner or elliptical. If you are bored with your workouts, chances are your body is, too. Make some changes for a new challenge leading to new results.

  1. Stay Consistent

None of this information will be of much value if it’s not done consistently. No matter your goal, consistent efforts are rewarded with hard-earned results.

By Andrea Morris, Director of Group Fitness

My Friend Sheri’s Last Story and 3 Steps You Should Take

by Drew Overholser

At 55, Sheri Warren was in the prime of her life. She had two wonderful sons, a loving husband, an adorable 4-year-old granddaughter, and a newborn grandson. Her granddaughter loved, loved, loved her grandma. As the Director of Sales and Retention, Sheri was my supervisor. She offered a rare combination of respected work colleague and friend. She gave me a chance at a job I needed four years ago and she created an environment I thrived in.

Sheri’s death is a tragic loss of the highest magnitude. I’m heartbroken over losing my friend. How did she die from a blood clot when she was a fit, active, vibrant person with a healthy diet, along with a nice Cabernet on occasion? Since she had a family history of blood clots and had a blood clot herself five years ago, it’s tragic that this latest clot wasn’t discovered before it killed her.

This is so scary. Could it happen to me? Could it happen to you? Is there anything we can do to reduce our risk? I believe there is. In 2010, I wrote a book called BVibrant, which included a chapter about circulation. The following is a modified excerpt from that chapter…

A few years ago I attended a presentation by Rob Daigle, who is a vascular technologist. His specialty is diagnosing vascular diseases and circulatory problems using ultrasound. He wrote a medical ultrasound textbook which is primarily about how blood and lymph circulate through the body. For this presentation, Rob brought in a Doppler ultrasound unit, a device that allows you to hear the blood flowing inside the arteries and veins in the body. He asked one of the students to remove a sock and shoe and roll up a pant leg. Rob put conducting jelly on the student’s lower leg, just above his ankle. Then he placed the ultrasound probe on the student’s leg where the jelly was. Then all of us in attendance took turns listening through headphones that were attached to the base of the Doppler device. The headphones allowed us to hear the sounds of blood flow inside our volunteer’s leg. In other words, the Doppler allowed us to hear circulation. It’s no great revelation that blood flows through the body all the time. Yet, to hear movement coming from the inside of a still leg is fascinating. Next, he asked the student to move his foot, ankles, and toes vigorously while we listened through the headphones. This movement, or exercise, changed the sound dramatically. Instead of just a gentle, soft swishing, the volume and amplitude of the sound increased dramatically. The lesson is this:

Movement increases circulation!

This information could save your life. Rob is a frequent flyer, traveling around the country giving presentations on vascular health. If your vascular system is not in particularly good shape AND you sit for a long period of time without moving, as we typically do on a flight, you could be at risk for a blood clot in the legs because your blood stagnates when you sit for long periods of time. If a blood clot develops in the veins in your legs, it has the potential to travel to your heart and lungs when you get up and start moving. If the blood clot is large, it can be fatal.

Rob says he periodically does simple leg and foot movements during long plane flights to keep his circulation flowing. This reduces the risk of blood clots and pulmonary embolus, a clot that travels to the lungs.

A friend of mine, Irit, who is a physician, added that the heart pumps blood to the limbs through arteries. Veins return the blood back to the heart. However, there is no pump that does this. Instead, movement or exercise is what creates the return of blood.
What actions can we take to reduce our risk? Here are three suggestions:

1. ROM exercise. For a long time, I’ve advocated for a simple non-weight bearing range of motion (ROM) exercise for healthy joints, ease of movement, and improved circulation. Consistent ROM exercise reduces stagnation and keeps blood flowing. It’s pretty obvious how important this is. Here’s a link to my ROM video. https://youtu.be/uDXNAlNBCSA.
Give this exercise video a try. It takes only about 15 minutes, it’s easy to do, and it feels great. Will it save your life? I don’t know. Surely it will reduce your risk. Next month I’m going to reshoot this video with the help of a professional videographer. Plus, I’ll make additional videos with other ROM exercises. These videos will be released as part of my website launch in October. Stay tuned!

2. You are in charge of your health. Sheri tended to put everyone else first. Although she did take care of herself, she didn’t urgently insist on getting the help she needed when it mattered the most. This is understandable. We tend to downplay our own needs. We don’t want to create a fuss. Doctors give us information, guidance, and valuable assistance. But you have to be the driver of your health. Keep asking questions and dig deeper for answers. Ultimately, you are responsible for your health. Many health issues that happen to you might not be your fault, but how you respond is up to you. Don’t wait. Take action. Insist on getting what you need.

3. Know your history. As the driver of your health, it’s your responsibility to know your history and health tendencies. There is so much diagnostic information available today. Take the time to use the valuable resources around you and get assistance from valued health care providers. Go to specialists if need be. Get your heart checked. Get your skin checked. Get your prostate checked. Do cancer screenings. Do dental and vision tests. Learn about healthy food choices from a dietician. Consider alternative therapies. Do these things so you know where you’re vulnerable, which helps you stay ahead of problems.

RIP my friend, Sheri.

Dear Greenwood Mom

Julie Staley, Youth Program Coordinator

Dear Greenwood Mom,

Let’s be honest, sometimes we all need a minute to ourselves. We need a minute to take a shower, grab a coffee, send an email, do yoga or just sit in the lobby and sleep with our eyes open, a trait you get really good at as a mom. Many moms come to Greenwood just to have a minute to themselves and we want to invite you to do the same. Your first stop is at the Kids’ Club. Our Kids Club is designed with an outside entrance so when you enter those heavenly gates of the club, all your worries about your kids are gone. No crying, no asking for a snack, no one saying Mommy, Mom, Mama, no little human rolling their eyes, it’s just you.

So, you made it through the gates and into your kingdom. What do you do now? There are so many options! You look around there’s a comfy chair in the lobby. You could just stop and sit……..Danielle and George, the Club Ambassadors won’t judge you for taking a short nap. Or, you decide to power through and get a workout in. You go girl! Before you hop on a treadmill, you smell the coffee, oh the coffee. You need it! You stop at ink! and get your small coffee and see your friend Erin. You need to talk to her about the new Group Fitness classes you saw on the schedule. You and Erin get into an hour long conversation about how your kids won’t sleep because of daylight savings time. Then, you look at your watch and figure out you only have 30 minutes to shower, that dry shampoo can’t last another day. Into the locker room you go. It’s great you can take a shower in peace and BY YOURSELF! All the amenities are there, shampoo, conditioner, soap and they don’t have a Disney character on them. After your shower you even get to blow dry your hair. You exit the locker room, take a deep breathe in and realize you totally needed the club today. You then head back up to Kids’ Club to pick up the kids and hope the staff recognized who you are with your hair done. You realize you have been at the club for two and a half hours and didn’t even work out! That’s okay. We are a health club and sometimes you just need a minute for you, and that is also good for your HEALTH! Being a mom is hard, let Greenwood be your minute.

Cheers!

Julie Staley, Youth Program Coordinator
303.770.2582 x287 | JulieS@GreenwoodATC.com

5 Tips for Becoming Your Best Self

Sheri Warren, Member Coach

I’m confident that being your best self is important to you! It has to be. You’ve chosen to invest in your personal health simply by being a member of Greenwood and we want to support you in that quest.

No matter what you do each day, investing in yourself will ensure that you are the best version of yourself possible. Math is math and things add up over time. Are you consistently doing the things that will add up to your best self? Greenwood offers options for everyone — no matter your personal goal, challenge or desire. It is our honor and privilege to help you reach those goals by providing opportunities to improve your muscular strength, cardiovascular fitness, balance and stability, flexibility, overall blood and weight profile, as well as providing an environment to help you lower stress and engage in relationships with those of like mind!

New to Greenwood and not sure where to begin? Need some personal guidance with choosing the best classes that suit you best? Need a qualified professional to design a program of strength to improve your health, appearance or athletic potential? Need a review of your nutrition intake to assess if you are fueling your body to achieve your goals? Need to lower stress or rehab from injury? Greenwood’s staff of fitness professionals are here to help. As Member Coach at the club, I can help point you in the right direction, make recommendations and connect you to the best staff person possible. Together we will ensure you are utilizing the programs and services of the club to the fullest.

Some simple tips that everyone can follow:

  • Schedule your workouts into your calendar for the week – an appointment is more likely to be kept than a general desire to get your workouts in
  • Plan on six workout days with one day off as life will inevitably show up and steal one of those workout days
  • Review your plan to ensure you are addressing key areas of fitness — muscular strength, cardiovascular fitness, flexibility and balance
  • Plan your meals in advance
  • Manage your stress with breathing, mindfulness practices and downtime activities prior to sleep

Still have questions? Contact me anytime at 720.838.2513.

Sheri Warren, Member Coach
720.838.2513 | Sheri@GreenwoodATC.com

What’s Myzone, Anyway?

Lisa Thomas, Director of Member Services

To put it simply, Myzone tracks your effort to help you get the most out of every workout. Myzone measures your heart rate to tell you the truth about how much effort you’re putting in, and it’s 99.4% accurate.

As the name suggests, everyone has different fitness zones that can change over time. Myzone helps you identify these zones, adapt to new zones, and rewards you for your effort. These zones are displayed using five simple-to-read, color-coded tiles that reflect the intensity of your workout. The more effort you put forth, the higher your zone and the more MEPs — Myzone effort points — you earn. When you earn these MEPs, you turn fitness into a fun and exciting game.

Myzone tracks your heart rate, activity time and calories burned via a comfortable chest strap. With Bluetooth and built-in memory, Myzone has the versatility to stream live stats to your smartphone, third party apps and devices (including Apple Watch, Garmin, Android Wear), and Myzone group displays at participating fitness centers.

The free Myzone app gives you access to the customized activity page where you can view your daily, weekly and yearly results. You can set goals, view status rankings, enter group challenges and even connect with your friends. Myzone differs from wrist-based trackers by accurately measuring effort readings no matter what form of exercise you choose. (Swimming, however, poses some difficulty with the Myzone belt staying connected to skin.)

Myzone levels the playing field so everyone can compete and effort is rewarded. Real-time feedback increases motivation and accountability, and, over time, leads to real results.

Stop by the Welcome Desk and pick up your Myzone belt. You will be rewarded and once again feel good about exercise!

Lisa Thomas, Director of Member Services
303.770.2582 x284 | LisaT@GreenwoodATC.com

How Do You Move?

Sheri Warren, Member Coach

One of the latest trends in fitness is training for the ability to move freely to improve your athletic performance, enjoyment of your favorite form of recreation, or ability to hold that yoga pose longer and with more depth.

This renewed focus on moving the body well with flexibility, pliability and mobility will enhance any end goal, whether it be competing at the national level or getting down into the sand to play with the grandkids.

Not sure how to enhance your overall ability to move freely? We have the answers for you here at Greenwood. Set up a complimentary appointment with me, your Member Coach, and I will help point you in the right direction.

We can review our current class and programming options, discuss how the guidance of either a personal trainer or Pilates instructor could be just the ticket, and even discuss how proper nutritional intake or therapies like Rolfing or Muscle Activation Technique might be what be the missing piece for you.

The good news is, this fitness trend with a focus on moving well has opened up new and functional ways of training the body. You will not only function at your best, no matter what that means to you, but feel your best as well.

For more information, contact Sheri Warren.

Sheri Warren, Member Coach
303-770-2582 x320 | Sheri@GreenwoodATC.com