Day in the Life: Petite Elite Preschool

My name is Christina Garthwait and I am the director and a teacher of the Elite Sports Club-Brookfield Petite Elite Preschool. (Petite Elite Preschool at Elite Sports Club-River Glen opens next Fall!) I have been in education for 11 years and absolutely love my time with the 3 and 4 year olds in Petite Elite.

The Petite Elite school day in the 4 year old class looks a little like this…

Petite Elite Preschool Elite Sports Clubs Children Masks

9:00 a.m.

Kids arrive and free choice playtime.

9:20 a.m.

Carpet time (hello song, counting, calendar and songs, theme of the week, letter of the week activities, travel the map, math skills, story).

10:00 a.m.

Bathroom break followed by snack time.

10:20 a.m.

Rotation of small group learning time with the teachers (when not with the teachers, children work in small groups on theme-based, curriculum-based, or skill-based centers).

11:20 a.m.

Art project.

11:40 a.m.

Music, parachute games, play-dough, scavenger hunts, movement games.

12:00 p.m.

Story and good-bye.

We have karate and swimming lessons alternating on Monday mornings during school time.

Optional Afternoon Enrichment program on Mondays and Wednesdays after the 4 year old class looks a little like this…

Petite Elite Preschool Elite Sports Clubs Children Educational Project

12:00 p.m.

Lunch.

12:30 p.m.

Tennis lesson or swimming lesson depending on the day.

1:00 p.m.

Art project or game in classroom.

1:30 p.m.

Outdoor play.

2:00 p.m.

Pick-up.

About 75% of the Petite Elite students stay for the Afternoon Enrichment program.

Open enrollment for Petite Elite Preschool at Elite Sports Clubs is still open! Start your child’s educational journey with Petite Elite and have your child come grow with us, register today!

Did you, or do you plan to enroll your child in a preschool? What do you look for most in a preschool curriculum? Tell us in the comments!

Keeping Up Your Fitness Routine Through Pregnancy

By Jen Bauman, Elite Sports Club-Brookfield Group Exercise Director, ACE-certified Personal Trainer, Prenatal/Postpartum Exercise Certification

You have all heard of those women who talk about how they absolutely LOVED being pregnant. Well I have to say, I am one of them. I felt great throughout my entire nine months. I truly believe that the reason I felt so good, was that I kept up with my regular workouts. Now before I go any further, one thing I will say is that you must check with your doctor to make sure working out is okay for you as an individual. Every body and every pregnancy is different.

One of the first things I noticed was the fatigue. My heart rate was higher and it took much more out of me to perform my pre-pregnancy routine. I continued with my normal workouts but realized that I would have to slow down a bit to allow my body to take in enough oxygen for both the baby and myself. I also added a small snack before my workouts. I loved my banana, yogurt, and granola parfait that I’d whip up about 30 minutes before exercise. (As a general rule, 300 additional calories are needed per day during pregnancy.) Other than having to modify my intensity, I initially was able to continue with my cardio and strength workouts as I had pre-pregnancy.

pregnant woman on treadmillAs my pregnancy progressed, however, I did make several adjustments to my workouts. For cardio, I taught regular kickboxing and step classes, both of which I was able to continue. Nonetheless, my movements overall became smaller. Joints become more flexible during pregnancy so it is important to be aware of the range of motion you are taking your body through. I do remember around 8 ½ months feeling really light-headed after one of my step classes. This was my body telling me to stop what I was doing–always listen to what your body is telling you. From that point on, I replaced my step workouts with a walk on the treadmill.

Pregnant woman exercising with kettlebellFor my strength training workouts, it was really just a matter of adjusting my weights. As my belly got bigger, my weights got smaller. I continued to work all areas of the body, concentrating on my back to keep my posture strong. Standing for a prolonged period of time is not recommended, so I used a stability ball to sit on and perform rows, shoulder presses, bicep curls, and overhead triceps extensions. If I was standing, I would make sure to maintain a wide stance, with my toes turned out. This provided a good base for stability. I also avoided lying flat on my back because it can decrease blood flow to the uterus. One option I used was lying on an exercise step with two risers on one end to provide an incline that was comfortable.

I have heard many women say they avoided working their abs entirely during pregnancy. I believe this is one of the most important areas to concentrate on. You can’t exactly perform bicycles until you’re exhausted, but you can work your core in other ways. I often used the stability ball to do slow, small crunches or did planks on my knees. Just this little isometric contraction is a great way to keep your abs tight and strong. However, avoid excessive oblique work, it can cause strain on the lower back.

These are just some of the concepts that helped me during my pregnancy. I can’t say that it helped me through the horrible, painful back labor I had, but I absolutely believe it helped keep my weight gain under control. It also allowed me a quicker return to my normal routine after giving birth. I plan on doing it all again with the next one!

Do you need help determining which exercises you should do while pregnant? Our certified personal trainers can help you set up a personalized plan! When you are in a group exercise class, you can also ask the instructor to for modifications.

What were your (or your significant others’) favorite ways to exercise while pregnant? Did you find that you had to temporarily give up certain workouts? Tell us in the comments!

Four of the Best Foods You Should be Eating Regularly

By Rita Larsen, Elite Dietitian & Nutrition Counselor

For a long time, the American Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics has been speaking in very general terms to “eat a variety of foods.” Today, scientists are able to be more specific about their research in order to target those foods that will help you prevent certain kinds of illnesses and disease processes. These include heart disease, diabetes, and some cancers—and promote better overall health. You can look better and feel better, too, when you eat a healthy diet. So, consider putting some of these foods to use in your eating plan today, and every day!

Berries

Berries at Farmers Market

According to the American Cancer Society, foods rich in vitamin C may lower the risk of cancers of the gastrointestinal tract. The antioxidants in berries may help maintain normal communication of the neurons in your brain. Strawberries are an excellent source of vitamin C, and raspberries and blackberries are good sources too. Strawberries, blueberries, raspberries and blackberries are also low in calories and high in fiber.

Cruciferous Vegetables

Cruciferous Vegetables

Vegetables in this family contain compounds called glucosinolates, which are being studied for possible anticancer effects. A new laboratory study shows that compounds in cruciferous vegetables can selectively target and kill cancer cells while leaving normal, healthy cells unaffected. The family includes broccoli, cabbage, cauliflower, brussel sprouts, kale, turnips, radishes and watercress.

Nuts

Nut bowl

Almonds are rich in vitamin E, an antioxidant that may help protect against heart disease and promote brain health. Some research suggests that nutrients such as vitamin E may be important in lowering the risk of Alzheimer’s disease. Nuts also are high in protein and fiber (but also in fat, so be careful with portion size).

Whole Grains

Whole GrainsIn contrast to refined grains, such as white flour and white rice, whole grains are rich in fiber, healthy fats, vitamins, minerals and phytochemicals. Eating whole instead of refined grains can help to lower cholesterol, triglycerides and insulin levels, decreasing the risk of heart disease. Eating whole grains can also reduce the risk of diabetes and improve digestive health. Refining wheat strips away significant amounts of vitamins B and E and virtually all of the fiber.

Courtesy of the American Cancer Society, and the Cotton—O’Neil Heart Center. Spring 2013, Heart Health News.

Sweet-and-Sour Savoy & Fennel Salad

Serves 4

Sweet Sour Savoy Fennel Salad

Ingredients:

• 1 ½ cups thinly sliced Savoy Cabbage (about 6 oz.) [or Napa Cabbage]
• 6 Tbs. Olive Oil
• ¾ lb. Fennel Bulb (sometimes called anise) stalks trimmed flush with bulb and bulb chopped fine (about ¾ cups)
• ¼ cup Water
• ¼ cup Cider Vinegar
• 1 cup Orange sections

Preparation:

1. Using a sharp knife cut cabbage and fennel in strips as you would for coleslaw.
2. Mix well.
3. Mix dressing ingredients together.
4. Pour over salad mixture.
5. Section orange and add.
6. Let set in refrigerator for 1 hour.
7. Serve chilled.

Looking for more recipes to add to you cookbook? Or just general guidance on how to incorporate the above foods into your daily menu? Get in touch with Rita, our Registered Dietitian at Elite Sports Clubs! Also, make sure you follow our other Nutrition blog posts for more great tips!

Berries, cruciferous veggies, nuts, and whole grains! Oh my! Do you eat foods from all of these categories on a regular basis? Tell us in the comments!

Featured Member: Rebekah Schaefer

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:

Rebekah Schaefer Elite Featured Member

The tremendous amount of support and encouragement I’ve received from Elite training staff and members has been an integral part of my journey in the last two years. So much positive reinforcement! Never underestimate the impact of a few kind words.

Our daughter was a lovely surprise, but after her arrival in 2008 I didn’t recognize myself. I’d never been heavier, and wasn’t feeling especially confident in my tight, size 22 jeans. A broken futon, a plethora of blood pressure meds and the threat of Type II diabetes provided the kick in the pants I needed to get healthier. With the expertise and guidance of Elite’s Registered Dietitian, Rita Larsen, I’ve dropped over 90 pounds and take only one blood pressure medication.

Spin is my all-time favorite group exercise class; Elite’s excellent instructors keep it interesting and challenging. I’ve enjoyed the intensity of TRX training since October, 2010. It’s ridiculously hard (and I really suck at it), but I’m much stronger than I was a year ago. My “bingo arms” are gradually diminishing! Hooray! I like to zone out while logging mileage on the treadmill or in the pool, and I’ve discovered that yoga isn’t as boring as it looks.

Most of my workouts would not be possible without Elite’s playroom and friendly staff that has cared for my kids since they were infants. Two hours of free childcare* preserves my sanity and helps me meet my ongoing fitness goals. It’s often the only chunk of “me” time I can carve out of a day with two small, very active children, Matthew and Annaliese.

In August of 2011 Rebekah was diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis. She has since adapted her lifestyle and is fitter than ever! Rebekah has been an Elite Sports Clubs member for 16 years!

If you have an “elite” story to share about your own personal accomplishment or someone else’s please share it with us at MyStory@eliteclubs.com or tweet it to us @MyEliteStory! We’d love to hear from you too!

What gave you the “kick in the pants” you needed to get healthier? Tell us in the comments!

*Childcare is included in all Family memberships at Elite Sports Clubs.

Personal Training and the “I Can’t Afford It” Excuse

Personal Training sessions can be more affordable than you think! Plus the cost is worth the immediate as well as the future benefits!

Think about the last time you or someone you know had an injury. How much did you spend on doctor visits or physical therapy to get back to your regular health? What if instead of looking at the cost of healthcare, you looked at how much it costs to PREVENT those injuries from ever happening? Personal Training is a way that you could pay to prevent those injuries and avoid all the hassle and inconvenience.

Personal Training Session

Personal training not only makes you strong to prevent future injury but professional supervision can ensure that you are completing the exercises correctly. We have heard multiple times about people performing a squat incorrectly or with too much weight, and they end up with knee and hamstring injuries. A knowledgeable trainer will create programs that are tailored specifically for one individual, because everyone’s bodies and goals are different. In addition, eating healthy in combination with training can help prevent many illnesses, including heart disease, one of the leading causes of death in America.

The bottom line–when you spend your money try asking yourself: How is this item or service going to benefit me now and in the future?

You might be saying to yourself “I can’t afford a personal trainer,” but making only a few lifestyle changes can help you to afford these services. First, you should create a budget based on how much training you want to receive. Most people meet with a trainer at least once a week although you could opt for bi-weekly or even just monthly meetings. You could also opt for semi-private or group training which can save you a significant amount of money (and offers a much more social atmosphere).

Example: Let’s say you go out Friday nights for dinner at a nice restaurant and a few cocktails, staying in one week per month could easily save you about 60 dollars–and many calories! That’s a personal training session right there!

Making simple lifestyle changes can not only help you save money, but also help you improve your health and prevent expensive medical bills in the future.

Get started with personal training today! Or check out our fitness schedule for small group training options!

Have you ever injured yourself exercising? Could that injury have been prevented with proper form & instruction? Tell us in the comments!