Member Stories: Emily Sydnor “Motivation was the most difficult part.”

We’re extremely proud of our members. Over the years their work out agendas and sporting endeavors serve as healthy examples of how it feels to be Elite, and how exercise not only adds years to your life, but life to your years! Today we’d like to highlight another member’s accomplishments:

About a year ago, I had a bit of a wake up call. For a time prior, I was under a lot of stress and, in turn, gained a bit of weight. I knew I something needed to change.

My family joined Elite many years ago and I had always been around the club. I was a multi-sport athlete in high school, so I was no stranger to training and conditioning. Like most people, motivation was the most difficult part of change. Training for sports is much different, and in my opinion less difficult, than training for “pleasure.” When training for sports, coaches and other players are there to guide and motivate you through the process. When training by yourself, you have to push yourself.

Luckily, my mom has been going to Body Pump class at West Brookfield for years. I began going to Body Pump three mornings a week and developed relationships with the other members in the class. Having someone to workout with made the process so much easier. They were always so positive and complimented me as my weight loss became apparent.

After months of Body Pump class, cardio training, weight training, and watching what I ate, I lost 60 pounds. Everyone, including me, was so proud. My Body Pump family and support from family and friends were instrumental in my weight loss journey. Thank you, Elite, for helping me attain my goal!

Congratulations Emily for meeting your goal! Body Pump is a great class, and we are happy that along with support from others, it could help you lose weight.

For those of you out there still trying to lose the weight, have you considered incorporating regular exercise classes in your routine? Clearly it’s not just about exercise, it’s also very much about support and finding those who will help you push yourself.

What’s your favorite group exercise class? What about it makes the class “awesome”?

Submit your own “elite” story. Or tweet us @MyEliteStory with not just your major accomplishments, but also those little everyday wins too.

Are You Balanced?

By Bernie Feyrer, Personal Trainer, Elite Sports Club-Mequon

Have you ever had your feet fly out from underneath you on slippery pavement? That feeling usually sends your heart into a panic! No matter who you are–an athlete, a multitasking 30 something, middle aged, or a senior–you can benefit from working on your balance. It only takes a few minutes a day to see amazing results in your reaction time, ankle strength and leg endurance.

Balance is the key to life

Here are a few exercises to do at home everyday:

  • As you brush your teeth in the morning, stand on your left foot and brush with your right hand. Do the opposite in the evening.
  • Take a few minutes and stand toes to heel. Turn your head to the right and look over your shoulder and then to the left about five times. Switch feet and repeat. To make it more challenging, close your eyes.

Here are a few more exercises you can do at the fitness center with the help of some equipment:

  • Try squats on the Bosu Balance Trainer.
    Bernie Bosu Balance Squat
  • Stand on different wobble boards or the half-foam rollers.
    Bernie Wobble Board Balance Bernie Half Foam Roller Balance
  • Stand on a platform with one leg and lower your other leg to the floor.
  • Ask a trainer for more options.

Over time your stability will improve and your reaction time will increase. Have fun and get balanced!

Do you feel like you are balanced? What exercises or classes do you use to improve your balance? Tell us in the comments!

Elite Sports Clubs offers many group exercise classes and small group training programs to help you work on your overall balance. Not sure where to start? Our fitness staff would be happy to offer you a fitness assessment to evaluate your current level of balance and determine exercises to help you improve.

Eating Healthy at BBQ’s, Tailgate Parties, and All Your Outdoor Gatherings

Interview with Rita Larsen, Elite Sports Clubs Registered Dietitian and Nutrition Counselor

Summer and fall are great times to enjoy eating outdoors with friends and family. Who doesn’t love the smell at a barbecue, or the fun of a tailgate party or picnic? However there are definite ways to make these outdoor feasts healthier for everyone.

Rita Larsen, RD, CD, dietitian for Elite Sports Clubs, who has hosted many outdoor picnics and barbecues, has some tips for these outdoor festivities.

Grilling BBQ Tailgate

Since there have been some questions on how safe barbecuing actually is, Larsen suggested a safe way of barbecuing is to slow cook the meat until it is very well done. Larsen gives this great shortcut, “prepare what you are going to barbecue indoors in an oven, slow cooking it at 250 to 275 degrees and finish on the grill, then there is no burning fat on the meat. If you are going to serve it somewhere else then you can still cook it for several hours at home. In both instances you can then brown it with the sauce on the outdoor grill itself. Keep it cool on the way to the site of the outdoor feast. Always cover with aluminum foil.”

Larsen gave added tips for safety. “Keep meat about to be barbecued in a safe condition. Place it as high as possible on your racks. Use as little fat as possible to grill with and don’t char it, which could be carcinogenic. Research shows that with charring comes HCA, which are carcinogens. Charred meat is no longer chic.” She added, “Cook on grayer briquettes and hold a nice heat.”

For healthier grilling she suggested using fish, rather than beef and poultry. “Lightly oil grill with canola oil, as it lasts longer than olive oil, and keep temperatures low.” A clean grill is also paramount. “Scrape off black residue with a brush after each use.”

Larsen said that just about anything could be grilled. She suggested that vegetables should be moistened and soft. Marinade food just before you cook. However barbecue sauce can be put on afterwards. Put corn on the top shelves of the grill.”

Grilled Pineapple Peaches

A surprisingly wonderful treat, Larsen suggested, was grilling pineapple and peaches. “They taste sweet like candy. They are absolutely delicious.”

So many people today are vegetarians, so it’s a good idea to inquire ahead of time if any of your guests are in that category. If you’ll have vegetarian or vegan guests there are a number of such products you can buy or you can even make your own veggie patties.

Larsen added a couple more safety tips. “Try not to use gasoline as a fire starter, for health reasons. Also always try to keep any perishable food you are transporting cooler than forty degrees.”

Larsen strongly suggested discarding any perishables instead of bringing them home. “If they are out in the heat or in bright sunlight beyond a couple of hours, you’re taking a big chance bringing them home. It would be a heck of a risk, especially with all those spoons in and out. The food starts to break down.”

If you can keep it from melting, Larsen said that “the best desert is ice cream, for health and nutritional value as well as taste.”

Larsen also cautioned people about overeating at outdoor feasts. “Eat what you think your system can handle. A client of mine actually felt ill after overeating at a rich Texas barbecue.”

Serious Barbecue Book Adam Perry Lang

She also explained that though “tailgate food, picnic food, and certainly our favorite BBQ is the highlight of summer cuisine, it does not need to be high in calories, fats, sugars, or salts. Many families today want to cut the calories of outdoor foods, simply by searching cookbooks for the best taste with the least caloric output. In his book, “Serious Barbecue,” author Adam Perry Lang, encourages cooks to use, among other things, wine, seasonings, and herbs to enhance the taste of good pieces of meat. I recently tried a flatiron steak marinated in red wine. It had a wonderful flavor, it was lean but chewable, and the combination of flavors was memorable.”

Adding, “Too often, we resort to quick combinations of flavors, such as bottled BBQ sauces and prepared salads, or store-bought desserts, which really drive up those calories. However, if you are a seasoned cook, you can often taste the preservatives and extra fat that have been added to picnic deli foods that keep them on the grocer’s shelf for weeks. Consider making these substitutions for your next events. Switch to oven baked-off meats with basic seasonings, adding a little BBQ sauce of your own rather than to use a heavy, sweetened sauce bought off the shelf.”

“Make your own coleslaw with fresh lime juice,” Larsen suggested. She felt that it would be much healthier than deli coleslaw and potato salad, both which have added preservatives. “Making your own will have fewer calories, and be fresher in taste. You can even add the light mayo at the outdoor event. Make homemade potato or pasta salad, using light mayonnaise and fresh garden vegetables and herbs; rather than prepared salads from deli counter, which may contain a lot of preservatives. Oven-baked potatoes are also a good substitute; using just a little olive oil and fresh herbs to taste.”

“Also limit the number of chips, and salty snacks that you have available for guests. The best choices would be homemade Chex mix, baked chips, and bagel or tortilla chips that you have prepared yourself. Even make your own salsa. Plan a good time, and a healthy one that is conscious of the overall experience for your guests!”


“Best Ever Tomato-Based BBQ Sauce”

Rita's Best Ever Tomato Based BBQ Sauce 1 large sweet white onion; diced
3 large cloves of garlic
1 green pepper; sliced or diced into small pieces
2 Tbsp. canola oil

Cut up ingredients into 2-3 inch-sided sauce pan. Cook briefly to a softened state; and then add 1 cup tomato sauce and 1 cup water to mixture. Let the mixture blend; then add ¼ cup of white wine vinegar to taste. Add ¼ cup of fresh herbs, perhaps from your garden, such as sage, Italian parsley, fresh parsley, and tarragon.

Next, add the final touches to your self-styled sauce, to your taste:
1 Tbsp. Worcestershire sauce
2 Tbsp. dark brown sugar
2 Tbsp. lemon juice
Salt and pepper to taste

Keep in the refrigerator in an air-tight container for up to two weeks.


What are your favorite (healthy) BBQ & tailgate foods? TRUTH: Would you rather attend an outdoor party empty handed, than with a store-bought side dish? Tell us in the comments!

If you have more questions about healthy outdoor eating you can contact dietitian Rita Larsen at
Elite Sports Club-Brookfield at 262-786-0880. You can also contact us online for more health & fitness advice.

 

Member Stories: Elite Kids-New friends in the pool & on the courts!

We’re extremely proud of our members (of ALL ages!) Over the years their work out agendas and sporting endeavors serve as healthy examples of how it feels to be “Elite,” and how exercise not only adds years to your life, but life to your years! Today we’d like to highlight another member’s accomplishments:

Elite Kids-Joshua KlossHi! My name is Josh Kloss. This year I will be a fifth grader at Wilson Elementary School in Mequon. I spent this summer participating in the Mequon Elite tennis and swim programs. I enjoyed competing at the swim meets as well as making new friends in the pool and on the tennis courts. During swimming this year, I was supported by coaches, friends and family, knowing that when everyone swims, everyone wins! I look forward to participating in the fall tennis tournaments and upcoming swimming meets as a member of Elite Sports Club.

Way to go Josh! We’re so glad that you had fun in Elite’s summer tennis & swim programs. Looking forward to seeing you again this fall at the club!

Check out our website for more information on Elite Sports Clubs extensive swim lessons, swim club (available at our Brookfield, Mequon, and River Glen locations), and tennis programs (available at all Elite Sports Clubs).

Hey all you other Elite Kids! Don’t let just the grown ups share their stories. We’d love to hear from you about what you enjoy doing at Elite Sports Clubs too! Submit your story here (with help from your parents).

 

Use Exercise to Reduce Stress

By Amy Hall, Group Exercise Director & Personal Trainer, Elite Sports Club-North Shore

Who among us isn’t stressed in some way or another? As we go through life we experience many situations that can lead to either short or long-term stress. I’m not about to start naming them, but I can certainly give first hand testimony to that! Raise your hand if you agree…

Exercise Relieves Stress

Okay, so how do you handle it? Exercise! It’s a proven stress-buster. Just one exercise session can generate 90-120 minutes of relaxation response. This is caused in part by the increase in production of endorphins, your brain’s feel-good neurotransmitters. They improve your mood and leave you feeling relaxed. Clinicians have actually done studies on this and have measured a post-workout decrease in the electrical activity of tensed muscle and an increase in the flow of oxygen.

Exercise can also be a very positive distraction from life’s daily struggles. Concentrating on your body’s movements can cause you to forget about whatever else may be on your mind and replace it with a new sense of calm and balance. This creates a reduction in anxiety which may continue on to other aspects of your life and even improve your quality of sleep.

Sometimes the hardest part is just getting started. Any form of movement will do as long as it’s something you enjoy so that you’ll stick with it and want to do it on a regular basis – that’s the key. For some exercisers an all-out sweat session is in order, while for others the focused and controlled movements of yoga or pilates are more desirable. All varieties are sure to improve your mood and body, therefore increasing your self-confidence.

Think about what works for you, your body and your daily schedule. Make it a priority and write it on your calendar. Work out alone or ask a friend to be your workout buddy. Find a personal trainer who can motivate, inspire, and encourage you to reach your goals. Make it your controlled environment, you have the power. Stop stressing and start moving!

Check out our Mind/Body calendar for a list of yoga & pilates classes. Or get started with a personal trainer (special training packages available for new members!)

What do you do to reduce the stress in your life? How does exercise affect your stress levels? Tell us in the comments!