Day: December 16, 2015

Inspiration Member of The Year: Hazel Singer

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Hazel Singer

Hazel is such an inspirational person, throughout our time together she has motivated me in ways that she most likely doesn’t know. When I first met with Hazel I was taken aback. She came to me with an array of physical hurdles that most people would have used as an excuse to stay at home and as far from the gym as possible. Yet there she was! Not only was she ready to train, she was well informed and eager to find ways to stay active despite her surgeries and other physical ailments.

When I think of Hazel I don’t think about the fact that she has had a hip replacement, a knee replacement, bilateral retracted rotator cuffs, collapsed bones in one foot as well as scoliosis. No, I think about a woman who goes to the gym 5 days a week without fail, who follows her workout regimen religiously and always has a smile on her face about it. Working with her has taught me to not only question the limitations that I have put on myself but also to question the limitations I put on others.

When I asked Hazel what motivates her and she said she loves the gym culture, the people she sees every morning and knowing that she has control of that aspect of her life. I can honestly say that I didn’t expect Hazel to have progressed as quickly as she did, but her confidence and persistence encouraged me to push her harder. Hazel went from using a cane and the hand rail when going up and down the stairs when we first met to walking confidently without any assistance and this is due to her own will to overcome any hurdle thrown her way.

Hazel is always challenging herself in ways most won’t even dream of. Whether it is her pushing the prowler, doing rope throws or killing the high intensity interval circuits on the elliptical, Hazel is sure to be giving 110%. On days when I want to give myself an excuse to slack I think if Hazel and am reminded that I can make the most out of where I am and that I am the only person n my way.

2015 Employee of the Year

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Mark Magdaong

 

Mark has been with us at the Sports Desk for less than a year, but in that time, he has made such an impact on members and coworkers alike.

One of the many comments we receive from members about Mark is that he genuinely cares and will go above and beyond what is expected of him. Every morning, he always has a smile on his face and is ready to assist members with their questions. Rarely is Mark asked a question that he cannot answer.

Mark is one of those people that always want to learn more. Day after day, he is curious and exploring, whether it be for the desk or in his pursuit of healthy living. He is a leader at the desk.

Pilates Exercise of the Month: Side Kick Series: Inner Thigh Lifts

PURPOSE: This exercise works your inner/outer thighs and stretches the back of the hip.

1. Lie on your right side with your left foot crossed in front of your right leg. Try to keep the left foot flat on the floor; knee cap facing the ceiling.

2. Rest your head on your arm. Press the palm of the other arm down into the mat in front of you; elbow towards ceiling.

3. Extend your straight (right) leg long out from your hip and raise it off the floor. Turn your heel slightly toward the ceiling.

4. Lift and lower your straight (right) leg 5-10 times without letting it touch the mat.

5. Then hold the leg in the lifted position pulsing it for 10 small pulses. You can also try 5 small circles forward and back staying lifted.

6. Repeat other side.

 

Modifications:

  • If it is too uncomfortable to keep the leg crossed over the straight leg, rest your knee on the mat in front of you.

 

Head to Toe Checklist:

  • Maintain a long steady upper body.
  • Don’t bend your outstretched leg as you lift/lower and/or pulse.
  • Keep the quadriceps relaxed, not gripped.

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A Better Bowl of Cereal

If you like cereal for breakfast or a late night snack, you’re not alone. The most popular varieties I see on food logs are Honey Bunches of Oats, Honey Nut or regular Cheerios, Special K, Chex, Raisin Bran, etc. While these don’t have a ton of sugar it’s certainly true that they’re processed and lack protein and fiber so they break down very fast in the bloodstream as sugar/glucose. All highly processed carbohydrates do that. Luckily, when we use dairy or soy milk we add some protein to the mix, but unfortunately beverages are digested quickly too. Bottom line is that any processed cereal digests quickly and can create a rise in blood sugar and for some a dopamine-induced pleasure response. And for some this can lead to an addictive response and cravings can escalate. This can certainly make it challenging to maintain or lose weight.

There are other reasons cereal can be alluring; we usually have it around and it’s easy. The crunch of cereal before it gets soggy can also be highly rewarding as we seek to chew our way out of the day’s stress.

When confronted with your next bowl of processed flakes, here are some whole food add-ins that can bring you more satiety and nutrition. You’ll likely feel fuller longer and avoid some of the physiological responses that lead to being hungry sooner or craving more. Try swapping half your bowl with the following add-ins:

  • Raw rolled oats (full of fiber and protein)
  •  Dried fruit
  •  Frozen blueberries (keeps the milk cold)
  •  Sliced banana
  •  Sliced almonds or chopped nuts (full of fiber, protein, and healthy fat)

If you’d like to start with a higher protein cereal, try any of the Kashi Go Lean varieties or Special K Protein Plus. (Kashi Go Lean also has added fiber.) I still think the whole food add-ins listed above are better choices as their nutrients take longer to digest and enter the bloodstream.

So, my advice is to experiment with ways to make your cereal less flaky. With half of your bowl as whole food add-ins, you’ve turned your average bowl into a better bowl.