CornerStone Blog

How Meal Planning Can Help You

It seems like once we flip the calendars over to September, not only are we saying goodbye to summer, but we are saying hello to our regular routines and schedules. September means back to school, no more BBQs and parties every weekend, and back to reality. This is what makes September the perfect time to focus on your health. As boring as it sounds, having a routine is what makes most people so successful. When you have a plan, it makes hitting the gym and making healthy food choices so much easier. This is why so many people do weekly meal planning to stay on track. Meal planning keeps you organized, can help you stick to a grocery budget, and can help you make healthier food choices throughout the week.

What Is Meal Planning?

Meal planning means exactly what it sounds like…having a plan for your meals each day. It can be as simple as keeping a list in your head of what you want to make for dinner each night, or it can be as detailed as you writing down what you plan to have for breakfast, lunch and dinner each day.

If you’re new to meal planning, I recommend starting small. Start by planning out your dinners for the week. Dinner tends to be the hardest meal for people because evenings can be so hectic. And if you don’t have a plan, the fast food drive-thru starts to look really appealing.

How To Get Started

Getting started is really easy! Grab a pen and paper and start thinking. If we continue with the dinner example from above, then sit down and write out what you want to have each night for dinner. Then think about the ingredients that you need in order to cook each meal. Check out your kitchen for things you already have on hand, and then write down whatever you will need to buy at the store.

Once you have your grocery list ready, you can shop with confidence knowing that you will have all of the ingredients on hand to stick to your weekly meal plan! Once you have all of your groceries, now you can sit back and relax knowing you have a plan for the week. The key is now making sure you stick to it!

Tips For Success

Having a plan is only helpful if you actually stick to it. I always recommend choosing meals that fit into each night’s schedule. For example,  if Monday nights are crazy in your house, maybe choose a meal that cooks all day in the Crockpot, or a one-pan meal that cooks in the oven while you help your kids with homework. Don’t choose a brand new, complicated recipe for a night that is busy.

With that being said, plan for leftovers! There’s no need to cook every night! If you know there is one night that is pretty slow in your house, make that the night you cook double. Then the next night you don’t even have to worry about cooking.

Once you’ve mastered meal planning your dinners, you can take it to the next level by planning out your other meals too. While meal planning might sound time consuming, it actually helps save you a lot of time during the week! It can also help save you a lot of money by cutting down on the money spent out at restaurants. Give it a try and I bet you’ll be happy with the results!  

Blog courtesy of Morgan Fink, Trainer, Instructor and Wellness Coach in Warrington.

Have questions about fitness or nutrition?  Feel free to make an appointment with the Wellness Coach at your preferred location.  Stop by or call Doylestown (215-794-3700), New Hope (215-862-2200) or Warrington (215-918-5900).

A Couple Shares Their Love Of Tribe Team Training

Recently, I had the great pleasure of speaking with Sean and Jackie Wise, members of our Warrington location, after some of our staff members mentioned how impressed they were with this dynamic couple. Since research has shown that working out together is not only a great relationship booster but also a terrific way to reinforce healthy habits in one another, I was curious to learn their story. 

Sean and Jackie have been Cornerstone members for about 2 years.  With two little ones (now ages 1 and 3) they were initially drawn to our Warrington location for its high quality childcare.  So, they joined and started working out on their own.  After the birth of her second child last summer, Jackie was feeling frustrated about her inability to lose the “baby weight”.  That’s when she noticed other members leaving a Tribe class.  They were sweaty – and she was intrigued!  Noticing a sign advertising Free Trial Week, she signed up for a free TribeCORE™ class and liked it enough to sign up for a full season.

Participating in Tribe has been life changing.

According to Jackie, “it was great, but challenging.”  In the past, she said it felt hard to stick with her workouts given the demands at home with the kids. But, by signing up for a season of Tribe, she felt it kept her accountable. And better yet, knowing that her kids were being well cared for, she could enjoy these workouts guilt-free.

After taking Tribe for about a year, Jackie convinced her husband Sean to give it a try.  He signed up for season 7 of TribeFIT last November and hasn’t looked back. Since that time, Sean has lost 18lbs and gained muscle mass.  He says that Tribe classes give him “a lot structure, help with adherence and also influence you to be healthy throughout the week because you want to eat better to support your workouts.”  Jackie feels that Sean is a much happier person because his workouts help offset his stressful job.

A results-oriented, professionally supervised program makes all the difference.

Both Jackie and Sean stressed that they enjoy being constantly challenged and that they appreciate the regular re-assessments built into the program so they can measure results.  Both also feel that there is a huge difference between doing a program designed by trained professionals versus trying to figure one out for yourself.  Tribe is results-oriented and, according to Jackie, it really works.  “I love how strong I feel. I never felt myself as strong before.” Finally, both agree that Tribe has been great for them as a couple.  They share their thoughts on their workouts and love having something in common that they can focus on as a couple apart from the kids.

This year, Sean joined with two fellow “Tribers” and competed in his first Triathlon. Even though it was a long term goal, he says he wouldn’t have done it if not for Tribe because the training physically prepared him for a successful event. Since then, both he and Jackie have made good friends with their fellow participants and often do things together like go on group bike rides.

It’s an investment in health and community.

Sean sees Tribe “as an investment.”  Both he and Jackie consider it worthwhile since it’s a systematic approach to exercise under professional supervision. Sean said, “If you go to gym on your own, you might experience some results.  But you won’t experience the progressive and serious results that you get when you do a Tribe workout.”

To people who might be a little intimidated to give Tribe a try, Jackie has a message.  “I walked in 3 months post-partum and in bad shape from both before and after my pregnancy.  I couldn’t tell you the last time I ran.  But my Tribe coaches kept telling me to do what I could and that tomorrow, I would be able to do more.  The other participants were supportive too.  They were beginners at one time as well.  They helped me hang in there. The community aspect is great.”

Season 6 FREE TRIAL WEEK starts 9/16!

Ready to give Tribe a try? We offer CORE, LIFE and FIT classes Monday – Friday at our Warrington location. For class description and program policies, CLICK HERE. To sign up for a free class, CLICK HERE.

Help Warrington Personal Trainer Alyssa Virginio Support Unite for HER.

Alyssa competing at a Spartan event.

Two years ago I began my journey of becoming a Cancer Exercise Specialist. Since then, I have had the privilege to work every day with some of the most inspiring people. They have taught me that life doesn’t have to be perfect to be wonderful. My clients never back down from a challenge. They continue to push themselves though any adversity life throws at them.

My clients inspire me.

Working with the Cancerfit program at Cornerstone Clubs in Warrington has allowed me to become a huge part of my clients’ recovery process. Staying physically active has helped them to grow, both physically and mentally. My clients now live life stronger than before and feel that they have regained control of their health and happiness. I have been participating in Spartan Races since 2015, and I believe the races embody the same drive as the clients that I work with. Spartans believe in changing your frame of reference and transforming your life. Spartan’s laugh in the face of failure and continue forward. They welcome challenges and embrace discomfort, and so do the clients I work with. They inspire me to take on my own challenges.

Alyssa at an event (left) & a recent group of CancerFit graduates (right).

Unite for HER serves women with breast and ovarian cancers.

Therefore, as a provider for Unite For HER through the Cancerfit program, I am motivated to compete in my next Spartan Race as a fundraiser for this amazing organization. The mission of Unite for HER is to bridge the gap between the medical and wellness communities by funding and delivering complementary therapies that support the physical and emotional needs of those with breast or ovarian cancer during treatment and beyond. They educate women and the community about the role played by healthy lifestyle choices in the prevention of disease and the promotion of wellness.

Please help me support this worthy cause.

I’m am using my next Spartan event to raise money for Unite For HER.  Your contribution will make an impact, whether you donate 1 cent or $100, every penny counts. Donations can be made HERE.

Alternately, you  can donate in person at the Warrington location of Cornerstone Clubs. Thank you for your support and donation in the fight back against cancer.

“Be active. Be curious. Be human. We are unbreakable. We are strong. We are Spartan.”

Race Information: Citizens Bank Park, Philadelphia, PA; Saturday, September 21st 2019

 

Why Diets Don’t Work

 

I don’t know about you, but summer is here and I have not achieved my summer bod goals “yet”.

Despite countless hours spent here at Cornerstone!   I am working out like crazy, taking classes, training hard with my girl, Lisa, eating healthy, and limiting alcohol (ah hem).  Like so many others,  I start stressing…  Holy cow, I have to wear a swimsuit, in public, in X amount of time!!!  In full panic mode, I start researching… what can I do in the next couple of weeks?   Then I regroup, because deep down I know that fad diets, yo-yo dieting, and  so called “miracle” pills DO NOT WORK – at least not in the long term!

In fact, research shows that 95% of the population will regain the weight they lost after choosing these diet methods, while two thirds of those people actually gain more than they originally had intended to lose.   And if you’re like me, at some point you feel like you have tried them all!!  Atkins.  South Beach. The Zone.   I’ll try one of these thinking it will give me a jump start, maybe help me lose these last stubborn 10 pounds.  This time, maybe this one will REALLY work!! 

To be honest, they all have been proven to yield some weight loss BUT they can be harmful  and are most likely not providing my body with the essential nutrients I need.  Moreover, they often lead to weight cycling (lose weight, gain weight, repeat) which is more harmful to our bodies than actually being at a heavier weight.  Most of us are more likely to return to an unhealthy eating pattern as a result because we did not learn how to eat healthy while following these diet plans. 

Recently, we are hearing more and more about the Paleo diet which is focused on eating  lean meat, fruit, vegetables and nuts, but will the lack of grains and dairy have a negative impact? Where will my body get necessary calcium?  The Ketogenic diet,  which encourages high fat consumption to put our body into ketosis thus mobilizing fat for energy, is also currently very popular.  Can our bodies sustain eating like this long term?  How will these diets affect our hearts, our kidneys, (our wallets, too!)?  Deep down, I know I have to consider plain old cutting back.  But remember, overly restrictive diets can take all the pleasure out of eating!  Food is to nourish our bodies and that is something we all tend to forget.  Food is not the enemy.  I need to remember to enjoy what tastes good to me and not deprive myself –  the goal is to think about portion control and moderation.   I know I need to keep in mind that skipping meals or starving myself is never a good idea!! 

I guess the take home message is this:   create  a healthy eating plan for YOU!!  This plan will become your lifelong program for everyday good health.   A good rule of thumb in the weight- lose game is to  eat healthy and exercise more! 

~ Kristen Fredericks, Wellness Coach, Cornerstone Doylestown

*As a member of Cornerstone, you are entitled to a COMPLIMENTARY Wellness visit!!  This includes our new InBody body composition analysis, a functional assessment and a comprehensive individualized Wellness plan for your journey in health here at Cornerstone.  Schedule your appointment by stopping by or calling member services at any location.

 

Kristen and her husband Josh showing how it’s done!

They Call Her “Lightning”

Editor’s note:  It’s been about 6 months since we started the Parkinson’s Program at Cornerstone Clubs.  At this point, we can safely say that’s it’s been a resounding success.  We are thrilled to be able to provide this very important fitness service to an under-served population and felt it was time to start sharing some success stories. So, please read on and enjoy “Lightning’s”  story.

 

“They call me Lightning and I have just celebrated 6 months with RSB (Rock Steady Boxing)!!! I am really proud of this accomplishment, because when I first started, I didn’t think I would attend the 2nd class.  When I first heard that Cornerstone was starting up the RSB program, I was elated!!  My doctor had suggested that I enroll in an RSB program because studies have shown that it is very beneficial for Parkinson’s patients. So very merrily I went to my first class. I had met the instructors previously whom I immediately connected with because their commitment and resolve to RSB was quite evident.”

Lightning’s story begins on a bright October day. As wide-eyed, uncertain boxers began to fill the room, a sense of curiosity started to grow. With speed bags on the wall, heavy bags on the floor and focus mitts placed on the chair, this boxing idea was becoming more real. Just as real as when their Doctors said “You have Parkinson’s Disease.”

Everyone in the room chose a seat in a circle and waited quietly.  The class started with introductions. First up – the coaches, “I’m Bart and I’m a Boxer. I’m Kristin and I’m a Boxer.” One by one, each participant introduced themselves following the lead of their coaches, not really believing their own words just yet.

“1 – 2 – 3 -4! Jab! Cross! Hook! Hook!” Footwork was taught, punches were thrown, and when the final bell rang after 12 rounds of work, a feeling of major accomplishment filled the air. “BRING IT IN!” the coaches exclaimed.  With hands joined together, a cheesy chant ending with “ROCK STEADY” sealed the deal. We had done it. The first workout was in the books.  As for  “Lightning”, she thought it would be her last.

“I found the first class to be very intense, more so than I anticipated and I went home and spent the rest of the day on the couch because I was literally exhausted!  (I did very little exercise prior to this program, hence the exhaustion!!) My enthusiasm was completely deflated and I sadly went to my next class with the intent of quitting.  Kristin and Bart had previously asked for feedback on how we felt after the first class and I told them how I felt.”

Lightning walked in and handed over her gloves. As coaches, we couldn’t let her quit. Not yet. See, we knew that Lightening was a fighter. We just needed a little more time to prove to her that she was a Boxer. After some conversation, she agreed to give it one more shot. And boy did she ever! “ Jab! Jab! Cross!”  Lightening bobbed, weaved, and danced her way through the second class. At the end of the session, each boxer chose their fight name – “Jabbin’ Joe,” “The Stallion,” “The Hurricane.”  Our fierce fighter, who almost walked away, chose “Lightning” because her punches became electric and her smile could light up the night’s sky (her coaches came up with the second part!).

“They convinced me to give it a chance.  I did and here I am today!!!  I cannot express enough my gratitude for their support, for their commitment, their dedication and encouragement.  I have never felt better or stronger and have become totally committed to my RSB and PWR workouts.  Last, but not least, I have met wonderful folks at these classes and that is an extra bonus!!!”

~Kristin McCoach, Parkinson’s Program Co-Director and Rock Steady Boxing Coach (contact Kristin)

For more information about the Parkinson’s Program at Cornerstone, click here.

 

 

Amy’s story proves that your 40’s can be a great decade!

My husband and I joined Cornerstone in 2003. For several years,  I took spinning classes twice a week, yoga twice a week and then did some general weight training and cardio. When I turned 40, I decided I wanted to step things up. I wanted to start a new decade feeling stronger. I always struggled in aerobic and step classes, so I knew taking a class that required coordination was not for me. I was scared to go in the Training Room because I didn’t think I had the strength or stamina to try classes. At the time, Cornerstone offered a Boot Camp. For several years, that is where I was at 6:00 am, three mornings a week. Boot Camp helped me realize that I like working out with other people. I liked the group effort, and I was motivated and inspired by what I saw other people doing. I also appreciated being able to complain and laugh with other people, knowing I wasn’t alone (I was surprised to learn that one day a week, Boot Camp was held in the Training Room!).

A few years in to Boot Camp, a friend suggested I try team training with Lisa Andersen. I tried it one morning. Eight years later, I can still remember how sore I was after that first workout! But I also remember I wanted to go back.  I was so impressed with the workout Lisa prepared. I was amazed that even though she was training a group of people, Lisa was able to focus on each of us. Although we each had a different skill set or level of strength and fitness, we motivated, encouraged and pushed each other. In spite of training a group of people at the same time, Lisa had, and continues to have, a remarkable way to make it unique to each individual. When a shoulder injury impacted what I could do (no more pull ups), Lisa was quick to not only find other exercises, but along with physical therapy, to help my shoulder heal and gain strength during the process.

 As my time doing the team training with Lisa continued, I felt myself getting stronger and doing things I didn’t think (or know) I could do – things like push-ups and pull-ups. When I look back on some of our old workouts (I have many of them written down), I can see the progression I have made in how much weight I use and how my endurance has improved. When my life as a parent and a hospice social worker became more stressful, I started team training with Lisa twice a week. I recognized that for me, the benefit of team training with Lisa wasn’t just physical, but emotional too. Her workouts helped to keep me grounded, feel strong and empowered to face challenges. After I start my day working out with Lisa, I feel that I can tackle what the day has in store in for me. An added benefit of Lisa’s workouts is that they are “portable.” When I travel, I take the work out I have written down and repeat it while I am away. Even if I do not have access to a gym, I can always do some element of a Lisa workout.

I mentioned that I stepped up my workouts when I turned 40. As I approached 50 a short while ago, I was ready for another change but wasn’t sure what that was going to be. By chance, a conversation with Lisa generated that change. Full disclosure, I say by chance, but Lisa might disagree. She has long been an advocate for healthy eating and fueling the body properly. I have always heard her words but never paid too much attention or made any changes. Apparently, I was paying attention in one particular conversation. I mentioned to Lisa that in my late 20’s, I was diagnosed with Hashimoto’s disease (an autoimmune disease in which the immune system attacks the thyroid). While my thyroid levels have always been managed, for years I suffered from other debilitating effects like exhaustion, pain and constant stomach distress. Lisa mentioned the negative impact things like gluten and diary could have on my body given the Hashimoto’s. She mentioned a book about Hashimoto’s disease, and how nutrition (among other things) can help manage symptoms. I purchased the book the next day and three days later started making changes that have resulted in me feeling better than I have in over 20 years. As I navigated a new way of eating and taking care of my body, Lisa was an amazing support. Now that I am in my “midlife,” I am sure her certification in Midlife Fitness for women will be an extra benefit/help for me as well. 

To this day, I continue with my twice a week team training and often do a third day of Lisa’s workout on my own or with some friends. Twice a week, I take a spin class with Lenny Vicciardo – his knowledge about how to get the most out of a spin bike, his energy and his music make it a great class.  And much to my surprise, Boot Camp taught me that I can do a Trainers Choice workout. I have a love/hate relationship with Vicki Tenaglia’s fun, energetic and intense Trainers Choice classes. The friendships I have made at Cornerstone (many of them through my team training with Lisa) and my regular workouts at Cornerstone help me to live my life more fully outside of the gym. I am thankful for the difference it has made in my life.

Interested in learning more about Personal Trainers like Lisa Andersen or about Training Studio classes in Doylestown? CONTACT US!

 

Create a Strong Core with Tribe!

Are you getting bored doing the same old workouts day after day? Then it might be time to try something new and exciting! Tribe Team Training is a great way to get in a fun and challenging workout in a motivating group environment. Tribe is a small group training program that meets twice a week for 6 weeks. Tribe coaches will be there with you every step of the way to keep you safe, push you when necessary, and help guide you through the workout. And with the option between Tribe FIT, CORE, and LIFE, there is a Tribe for everybody!

Tribe FIT is a high intensity conditioning workout that focuses on both strength and endurance. It’s perfect for anybody looking for a full body workout that tests their limits. If you’re looking for something just as challenging but low impact, then Tribe LIFE is the right choice for you! LIFE workouts are full body functional workouts that will help you build strength and improve your cardiovascular fitness at the same time. Both FIT and LIFE are offered at various times throughout the week, so simply call the Warrington Cornerstone Club to find a time that works for you!

However if you’re looking for a workout that is more tailored towards challenging your core, then Tribe CORE is perfect for you! CORE workouts are designed to help improve strength, stability, and power throughout your entire center (targeting mostly the shoulders, abdominals, back and glutes). If you’re tired of doing hundreds of sit-ups just to work your core, then you’ll love the variety that a Tribe CORE workout entails. Each workout strengthens the entire body, but they have an extra emphasis on core stability and strength. You’ll be amazed at how much stronger you can be in just 6 weeks!

If you’re ready to give Tribe a try, then sign up for a free class during Free Trial week which starts March 4th. We offer each class at a variety of different days and times, so there’s guaranteed to be one that fits your schedule. And for the upcoming season of Tribe (starting the week of March 11th), we have two brand new Tribe CORE classes! Join Coach Morgan on Mondays and Wednesdays at 9:30am or join Coach Alyssa on Mondays and Wednesdays at 6:30pm to get in a great CORE workout! Check out the full season schedule on our website.  To sign up for a free class, fill out our form to directly contact Head Coach Sean Rimmer or give us a call at 215-918-5900!

Get to know Carol Hunt, Doylestown Massage Therapist

I’ve been meaning to set up an interview with Doylestown Massage Therapist Carol Hunt (license # msg000415) for some time. She’s an interesting and kind person and a font of information when it comes to bodywork. Given that February includes the Valentine holiday and is now considered a month to focus on love – both towards others as well as towards ourselves – it seemed the perfect time to speak with Carol who’s love of her work makes her not only an outstanding massage therapist, but also a valued member of the Cornerstone team.

How long have you been working at Cornerstone and what brought you here?

I started working at Cornerstone in September 1996, so it’s been a little over 22 years. A friend of mine used to drive by the Doylestown club, which was the first Cornerstone location. He told me that the parking lot was always full and suggested that I stop in and speak to someone. So, I did. Apparently, there was a massage therapist who had broken her ankle and no one was sure if she was coming back. After a couple interviews, I was hired. There were times when I was the only massage therapist on staff. Now, I’m fortunate to work with two other highly experienced massage therapists, Cathy Calabria-Kane and Rachel Zhang. Between the three of us, we have about 65 years of experience!

Why did you decide to become a massage therapist?

I originally went to massage school in the 80’s, but it wasn’t the right time in my life and I wasn’t ready to do anything with it. So, I went again in ’95 and by that time, I was ready to practice. As for why I chose this line of work, I can’t really articulate it. I just felt it was a calling, a calling that was strong enough that I paid for school twice!

How has massage therapy changed over the years that you have been practicing?

It’s much more in the public eye and awareness. Thankfully, the old-fashioned perception of “massage parlors” has dropped away and massage therapy has become properly integrated into the healthcare and wellness industry. There’s also been a lot more research in the last 10-15 years proving the efficacy of massage. We’ve learned that massage can benefit lots of different populations. Massage therapy has also become more professional with state licensure requirements along with other rules and regulations.

What is the most challenging part of your job?

Staying relevant. I have a lot of long-term clients. I don’t want people getting bored with their massage. It’s important to me that I keep my massages fresh and focused on the needs of my clients. Since I love what I do, this is not hard.

How would you explain the importance of regular massage to overall health and wellness?

All massage is therapeutic with each treatment targeted towards creating total relaxation and restoration in an individual. Massage can release restrictions and ease muscle pain and tension, increase range of motion by promoting joint flexibility and induce relaxation, increase circulation and contribute towards deeper sleep.
Most people don’t stretch enojgh, so massage will help lengthen muscle fibers and can improve circulation through the body resulting in the movement of nutrients into and out of the cells. Tight muscles have less elasticity. So, cells have waste and toxic products. Relaxing muscles and improving fluid circulation moves nutrients into the cells and waste products out. Also, massage can help align new scar tissue and have it become pliable with the muscle fiber. There is also the importance of the power of touch. Massage therapy provides connection to another person in a non-judgmental and caring way. Massage is also like a vacation from stress which is the root of so much disease.

What do you like most about your job?

All of it. It feeds my soul. I love the one-on-one connection, I love seeing improvements in people, and I love “being the best part of their day”- even if it’s the fastest hour of a person’s day.

What’s one thing that most people don’t know about massage therapy?

That they are in charge. Too many people say, “I had a massage and it hurt”, but they don’t speak up. People are afraid to ask for what they want. I always thank people when they make it clear what they want. It makes it easier for me to do my job and complete my mission which is to satisfy my clients by giving them what they need. It’s about you. It’s not about the massage I want to give you.

What type of massage do you specialize in?

Oncology massage, Swedish/Deep Swedish, Hot stone and Pre and post natal. I’m also a Reiki Master. Sometimes, people will ask me what kind of massage I’m giving. After 2o + years of experience, I have the confidence to incorporate my many years of continuing education and often combine elements from different modalities so I can tailor a massage to fit a person’s specific needs. Sometimes there’s no simple answer – it’s often a mix of things based on experience.

Carol has helped many people over the years, both members and Cornerstone staff. Here’s what Kim Starkey, Doylestown Personal Trainer, had to say:

“Carol has helped out our whole family reduce pain and stress with her deep Swedish massages. I buy gift cards regularly for my mother, husband and sons. So much more effective than going to a doctor and getting medicine that causes other side effects.”

If you have any questions or would like to sign up for weekly emails announcing upcoming appointment openings, contact Carol at CHunt@cornerstoneclubs.com.

If you’d like to make an appointment with Carol, she’s available in Doylestown at the following days and times:

Mondays, 3:00 – 8:00pm
Tuesdays, Thursdays and Fridays, 10:00am – 3:30pm
First Saturday of the month, 10:00 – 3:00pm

Member Gina Caputo Shares Her Inspirational Story

We are so grateful to long-time member Gina Caputo for courageously sharing her inspirational story.  She exemplifies everything that we here at Cornerstone solidly believe – and that is that health and wellness is a journey (not a destination) which is most successful when it takes place in a supportive community environment.  Please read on to enjoy Gina’s story.

I have been a member of the Cornerstone Clubs for 20 years and had the pleasure of seeing many changes over the years including the new clubs and classes at Warrington and New Hope.  During those 20 years, my exercise choices have evolved from machines to classes and personal and group trainings.  The Cornerstone Clubs are run very professionally, but project a personal and friendly feeling to the members. 

In April of 2016, I was diagnosed with early stage breast cancer.  During that time, my doctors continued to stress that exercise, nutrition and rest are key healthy habits to embrace.  Luckily for me, I was more than half way there which made the prep and surgery recovery much quicker.  After having double mastectomies in May, I was back at the gym within 6 weeks and able to do light workouts and cardio.  My range of motion was excellent due to being diligent all those years working out and keeping fit.  A few months later I was cleared to continue with my full work outs which mainly consisted of Barre, Zumba, Zumba toning (which I’ve done since Cornerstone introduced those classes), light weights and machines. Both Zumba and Barre have been an integral part of my life and journey with excellent instructors.

I wanted to focus on strengthening, toning and rebuilding my muscle. I spoke with Personal Trainer Tracey Kling (who was the trainer assigned to me when I first joined 20 years ago!). She suggested many options and classes, one of them being Flexline which I started in 2017.  

A few months later,  I started doing  personal training with Tracey to continue to tone, maintain my weight and restore muscle.  In addition to Zumba and Barre I have included Flexline and personal and team training every week.  I was determined to keep up, feel good and impress my doctors with results.

The professional  personal training I receive from Tracey has been gratifying and the results are amazing.  Needless to say,  the Cornerstone Clubs have become my “home away from home”.  Don’t give up, learn all that you can and embrace yourself. 

10 Reasons Why You Should Try Ballroom Dancing

Ballroom dancing is a wonderful way for people from all walks of life to get in shape while also releasing their creative juices. This goes past merely benefiting your body; dance can also benefit your state of mind and social connections. Dancing is a great social activity, and it has been proving that socializing regularly can have vast health benefits on self-esteem, stress, and even your BMI.

Uplifting and Fun
Not many activities are as joyful as artistic dance moves. Concentrating on moving your body to the beat of the music instantaneously puts you in a positive head space. After you get the moves down, it’s pure fun and laughs.

Muscle Toning
Ballroom dancing contributes to muscle toning by forcing dancers to resist their partner’s body strength. Fast turns, spinning and two-stepping all contribute to muscle building.

Bones and Joints
Since dancing is a weight-resisting activity, it can help protect bone density and prevent osteoporosis. It can also help speed up knee recovery after surgery since it’s a lower impact exercise than jogging or biking. If you have weak knees or are gradually introducing your body to exercise, ballroom dancing is a great low-impact activity that can promote a fit lifestyle while also decreasing your chances of exercise-related injury.

Flexibility
Flexibility is a major benefit of ballroom dancing. Ballroom dancing itself contains plenty of stretching and bending. Therefore the more you dance, the more flexible you will become.

Brain Food
In a 2016 study published in Frontiers in Aging Neuroscience, it was concluded that ballroom dancing, as well as other forms of social dancing, can help prevent the onset of dementia in elderly patients. It was revealed that “dance improved one of the cognitive domains (spatial memory),” which is vital for learning dance (Dafna Merom, et al., 2016).

Burns Fat
Dancing is a low-impact aerobic activity that can boost your metabolism. In just thirty minutes of dancing, you can burn anywhere between 200-400 calories. That’s roughly the same amount burned by running or cycling.

Creative Outlet
Ballroom dancing is an amazing creative outlet! Not only does it allow you to move your hips at ease to the beat of the music, it also allows you to release your emotions and thoughts through artistic movements.

Conditioning
Engaging in just about any cardiovascular or aerobic activity can help improve your heart health, lower obesity and type 2 diabetes risk, and also promote lung capacity.

Endurance
Dancing an effective way to improve general endurance. As the dance sessions get longer and longer, your muscles will be working harder and for a longer period of time. In turn, you will find yourself being able to go on with little to no fatigue.

Social Connectivity

Joining a ballroom dance class will expose you to a sea of new people who may potentially share common interests with you. Instead of spending your evenings glued to your television screen, you can engage in uplifting conversations and strengthen your social connections by trying this partnered activity. It’s been proven that being more social can help improve self-esteem, lower stress levels, increase sense of purpose, and promote a positive outlook on life.

More about Ballroom Dancing at Cornerstone . . .

Our Ballroom Dance classes are taught by the fabulous instructors of Dancers Extraordinaire which was established in 1995. Classes were opened to the general public in the ballroom, Latin, and swing styles of dance. Their classes and experienced staff have expanded to include most forms of dance and exercise for all ages and experience levels.  In 2006, Dancers Extraordinaire had the opportunity to join the Cornerstone Clubs to provide instruction for their members as well as the general public. In addition to teaching classes at Cornerstone, every third Friday (check web site for specific dates: www.dancingdancing.com) there is a dance practice/party for the students to practice what they have learned in class.  With wedding season soon upon us, please keep in mind that Dancers Extraordinaire also provides private dancing lessons to individuals and couples.  For more information, contact Jeff Falabala.

Our studio’s philosophy…
Although imitation is a primary learning method, we encourage our dancers to create as well as absorb. Often the simplest activities have the greatest learning possibilities. Many of the exercises act as introductions and preparations for more complex dance movements. Our students are encouraged to use their imaginations during class. Our mission is to ensure that our students have an enjoyable experience.

Check out the next session of DANCE AT CORNERSTONE which starts in early January, 2019.

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