July 27, 2011

The Fit Family

Keeping Your Clan On The Health & Wellness Track

By Kelly Farrell

In late summer when the kids are still off from school and
daily schedules have run amok, it’s easy to cast exercise by the wayside in
favor of lazy beach days or cool indoor afternoons. But don’t let health and
wellness melt away under summer’s hot sun. To help you and the kids stay on
track (and in shape!), we’ve gathered some fun ideas on how to keep families
active straight through Labor Day.

For Moms (With The Kids)

If little ones are in tow, look into a local branch of
Stroller Strides—a program that specializes in working out with your baby.
According to Stroller Strides National Fitness Director Farel Hruska, the
hour-long workout uses the baby carriage, environment and resistance tubing to
create a comprehensive mama workout. Not to mention the added social aspect.
“So many [new moms] feel like the gym world–if they went before–doesn’t fit in
her life very well anymore,” says Hruska. “Stroller Strides is an
extraordinarily welcoming and supportive environment. It is built for every
level of fitness to feel challenged and supported.”

For more information, visit strollerstrides.com.

For Moms (Without The Kids)

Going solo? Give yourself a break Wednesday evenings
(through September 21) with Yoga on the Hudson. Bring your own mat for these
hour-long Hatha yoga classes beginning at 6:30pm. The sun setting over the
river hits the perfect end-of-day note in a workout that can alleviate the
stresses that come with motherhood.

For more information, visit nycgovparks.org.

For Dads

Golf in the city is easier to find than you might have
imagined. So next time you hit the green, say “no” to that convenient
time-saver known as the golf cart. Although it makes the distance between holes
so painless, you’re not doing yourself any favors health-wise. According to
golflink.com, the average man will burn 1,442 calories in a round of golf if he
nixes the cart and carries his clubs instead. Enlist the services of a caddie
and you will still burn about 1,226. But riding in a cart dips total calories
burned down to 882. If golf isn’t your thing, then consider joining an
organized sport through NYC Social Sports Club. The organization offers co-ed
sports leagues in everything from flag football to water polo.

For more information on golf in the city, visit golfinnyc.com.

For The Kids

With the recent success of the U.S. women’s soccer team, kicking
the black-and-white ball is once again the sport of summer. “Kids associate the
summer months with fun and having a good time!” says Soc Roc soccer clinic
Founder James Christie. “If we can get kids to be very active and exercising
all summer, they will associate exercising with fun.” With so many great
programs like Soc Roc, Super Soccer Stars, Carlos Oliviera Soccer Academy,
Soccer by Coach Fher and Kick & Play, you might want to consider enrolling
your child in an activity that is fun and exciting and also offers a good
workout without too much competition or stress.

For more information, visit jcsocroc.com.

For The Whole Family (With Young Children)

Plan a weekly family outing to one of the city’s 54 public
pools and organize competitive races for your water babies. Or head out to the
park for some carefree games of tag, Red Light Green Light or Wiffle Ball. You’ll
have so much fun reliving your own childhood and watching your tot create his
own memories that you won’t even realize an afternoon of fitness has flown by.

For more information, visit nycgovparks.org.

For The Whole Family (With Older Kids)

It’s easy to think of Manhattan as a concrete jungle, but
there are plenty of ways to exercise and enjoy the island’s natural beauty,
especially in summertime. Carolyn Brown, a nutritionist with Foodtrainers,
suggests a family bike trip along the Hudson or free kayaking. At the Downtown
, take out kayaks on your own for 20-minute intervals, or enroll in
introductory classes on Wednesday evenings. Kids under 16? They’ll need to go
on a boat with an adult. Older rowers are free to take out their own.

For more information, visit foodtrainers.net and


Five Tips For Finding A Fitness Trainer…Fast!

As parents, we usually find ourselves doing things for
others, mainly our children. But when selecting a personal trainer, it’s
important to put yourself first. Here are some quick tips from Glenn Dickstein,
Founder of NeighborhoodTrainers, on what to keep in mind when considering a
fitness trainer.

1. Looking and feeling great are the ultimate goals most
want to achieve through exercise. Following those, you’ll find that setting a
good example for kids is another reason to get in shape. Whatever the reason, a
certified personal trainer can help you jumpstart the process. 

2. If you’re preparing to invest time and money in personal
training, make sure you’re ready to commit, admit, and submit. You have to be
willing to listen to and follow the directions of another person, which is
sometimes the hardest part of training. Remember, you are hiring a professional
who knows what is best for you.

3. Employing the services of a personal trainer produces
benefits from the gym floor to the playroom floor. At the gym, your personal
trainer will work with you to create a customized workout plan that will help
you exercise more efficiently. Your newfound strength and energy will trickle
down to other aspects of your life. Family time may become more active and interactive. 

4. If you are a stay-at-home parent, currently homebound
with a newborn, or if time is at a premium, a fitness professional will come
right to your home. A lot of exercises can be performed in your own living

5. When planning your family budget, consider setting aside
some of the “recreational” funds for a fitness stint. For the same price as
your child’s semester of gymnastics, you can schedule some sessions with a
trainer. Aim to have her create a customized workout plan that she can teach
you to perform on your own. 

For more information, visit neighborhoodtrainer.com.

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