5 New Workouts to Try This Fall!

Your membership at the 14th Street Y gives you options. A lot of them. And while all the options may have been appealing when you first joined, sometimes the challenge of trying something new can intimidate us into sticking with what we know. If you’re tired of the treadmill but need new ideas, try one of these.  Or all five!

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  1.  The Stairs:  You have noticed, of course, that our elevator is getting a modernized make-over. Let this be your inspiration to take a ‘stair challenge’, not just when you’re at the Y but everywhere you go! In our vertical city, the opportunity burn some calories (and your glutes) comes up several times a day. Make it your mission that you’ll climb up to any floor 5 flights or lower.

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2.  JackRabbit Running Programs: Our friends at JackRabbit are offering multiple FREE group runs every week, leaving  from great places like Union Square, upper east side, and central park. Check them out at http://www.jackrabbitsports.com

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3.   Aqua Aerobics drop-ins: New this fall at the 14th Street Y, you can drop in for Aqua Boot Camp and Aqua Fitness, 6:00PM Monday and Wednesday nights, (space permitting), for $25 bucks a pop. If you’ve ever wanted to try it but not commit to the whole semester, this is for you!

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4.  Yoga Inversions. The world looks different upside down, and feels different too! Deepen your Yoga practice with this 3 week series on Saturdays at 12:30PM, designed to help reverse the aging process and regulate many of the body’s internal systems. Email Julie at Jgayerkris@14StreetY.org for information. $30 gets you the whole 3 week series!

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5. Thursday Evening POP UPS. Every month, Thursday at 7:30PM brings a new class experience. Try Masala Bhangra in September, Belly Dance and Abs in October, Ashtanga Yoga in November, and Center Ring Box and Tone in December. That’s enough variety to take you into the new year with your resolutions already met.

TOP 5 Indoor Gym Workouts to Try (while it’s still cold)

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So….you woke up this morning cursing the cold and wind, right?  It was a very King Lear moment for most of us as we woke to the world, despite the additional dose of light coming in earlier all the time.

Take heart though.  Spring is on it’s way, and before long you’ll find yourself getting a healthy dose of vitamin D outside while you get in your daily activity level.  While it’s still chilly, head over to the 14th Street Y and try some of our favorite classes!  In no particular order:

1.  7:00PM Monday night:  PUNK ROPE.  The Y is happy to host Tim Haft’s PUNK ROPE in our Basketball gymnasium every week, bringing in the vibe, people and music of the East Village.  The class is a combination of everything that was fun about recess, and everything that is challenging about a solid, sweaty boot camp class.

2.  6:15PM Tuesday night:  NIA.  Love to dance?  NIA is a combination of the grace and power of dance, martial arts and overall body conditioning. Plus, our instructor is Yvonne Pucket, a former Hollywood dancer.  Real Hollywood.  Like, California.  With Elvis!

3. 6:20PM Wednesday night:  ZUMBA.  There’s a reason Zumba is so popular.  In our version, the energetic and popular Adja Diarra leads you through Latin rhythms, easy to follow and fun moves, plus some resistance training to help you tone, sculpt and burn.

4.  6:30PM Thursday night: TABATA.  This is that thing where you alternate periods of short, intense aerobic exercise with less intense recovery periods, for the entire hour. Taught by the amazing Jennifer Hamlin,  You’ll sweat like it’s summer.

5.  11:30AM Friday Morning: Power Sculpt and Ab Blast:  45 minutes of intense power sculpting that works your endurance and strength, followed by a 15 minute classic abs workout.  Taught by Elizabeth Schneider, who’s style makes you feel really good about the fact that you can barely lift your arms to put away your mat.

 

Try these and so many more fitness classes at the Y by becoming a member!  Click here to find out how.

 

–Camille Diamond is the Director of Community Engagement and Communications at the 14th Street Y.  Her arms still hurt from last Friday.

Top FIVE Reasons to join a Gym

Hi, I am Jennifer and I work here at the 14th Street Y as the Membership Sales Coordinator.

I basically introduce people to the Y and get them started on membership.  In this role, I am often called upon to be a motivator and an ear for people who have hit a wall in their health and wellness and don’t know how to move forward.  I feel like I have gotten pretty good at motivating, and I think it is because I am, in a way, talking to myself.

I am a normal woman who skips workouts, indulges from time to time, guilts myself for not fitting into a mold and throws a nasty side eye at fashion magazines with unreachable images of beauty.  Most mornings, my alarm goes off, my eyes crack and with a sigh of sadness I dramatically heave myself off of my bed to begin another day.   I make a mental list of everything I have to accomplish that day and working out is always on that list.  And every day, almost immediately, I start scheming ways to get out of it.  Is that a headache?  A cramp?  Wasn’t I supposed to call my best friend and talk her through a crisis?

How do I motivate myself and how do I talk to people about fitness when they come to the Y?  I begin with honesty.  I don’t like to work out.  More precisely, I hate it…for the first 10 to 15 minutes.  Once I have passed that initial hatred and my heart rate really starts going and I realize that it is too late for me to leave, then I feel GLORIOUS!  Like everything in life, the key to success is getting past all the negative stuff we allow to hold us back and move into the “I deserve to feel good and live a good life” phaseBelow are the all the things I tick off in my head when I talk to people about fitness and the very things that form my health and wellness philosophy.

1.  Support from your peers.
Your peers are the people who are around your age and share the same ideas and goals as yourself.  I will broaden that definition when speaking about the support network you get when you join a gym:  You have a building full of people who are working hard to achieve the same goals that you have!  You want to succeed, they want to succeed, you want them to succeed and vice versa!  It is a virtual love fest of the best kind of people feeding off each other’s best energy.  If you stick with exercising and make it a regular part of your life, you actually have an endless supply of support and help as often as you walk through the door!

2.  It’s Social.  But not in that way.
I am just going to say it-sometimes it is nice to get away from your friends and family and the people you work with.  Sometimes it is nice to be surrounded by people who you don’t know very well.  Gym friends are sharing the same goals as you and can be an awesome support system but beyond that, joining your community and being present in your life outside of work and family obligations is good for the soul. Some of the best conversations I have had about books and music have happened in the locker room after an intense workout when I was feeling relaxed and quite pleased with myself for working out hard.  Try putting the incline all the way up on the treadmill and chatting with the woman next to you about Game of Thrones (this usually turns into ten people gathered around a treadmill nerding out in all the right ways).  You don’t have to talk about working out while you are at the gym, you can actually just BE at the gym in a way that you cannot BE at work when you are filling deadlines and answering endless emails.  Trust me, it is magical.

3.  Addressing Stress Relief, Seasonal Depression, Energy Levels, or a combo of all three.
Instead of sitting at home and watching The Bachelor (seriously, don’t watch The Bachelor, it is bad for your brain) and sinking deeper into seasonal depression, GET MOVING.  When you are exercising and burning fat and building muscle, you have all kinds of endorphins running around like crazy in your body telling you how very awesome you are.  And you are awesome, you just didn’t realize it when you were drinking your third glass of wine last night and wondering if you will get four or five hours of sleep before you have to go to work the next morning.  If you work out regularly you WILL sleep better, have more energy during the day, be more motivated to achieve goals and cut WAY down on your stress levels.  I like you better already!

4.  Being the person you are meant to be!  (treat Yo’self!)
Not much to say about this other than the fact that being your best self is the truest of love stories.  Looking good, feeling good and surrounding yourself with people who support you being happy leads to a great life.  And who does not want a great life?  You deserve it and so do the people you love.  Stop looking at working out as something that you have to do and look at it as time spent taking care of yourself.  If you can put it on the same level as getting a pedicure or taking yourself to the movies then you are one step closer to making exercise a regular part of your life.

5.  Your Basic, Overall health
There is a ton of science out there about what to eat and how to work out.  I won’t try and sell you any of that.  I am just saying to move.  Walking on a treadmill, stretching on a mat, jumping in the pool and doggy paddling in a circle-these all lead to immediate health benefits.  A long life sounds wonderful but imagine if you could live a long life where you also FELT great?  Doesn’t that sound like something you would want for yourself?

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Jennifer Cutillo is the Membership Coordinator of the 14th Street Y with over 10 years experience in the fitness industry.

Winter is her favorite Season.

Workout Wednesday Marathonspiration!

Today our Guest Blogger is Anne Delcastillo, Director of Development for the 14th Street Y.  Besides being on staff, Anne is a 14th Street Y parent and an avid fitness fan.  Autumn is such a great time to get inspired by Marathon runners!  Read about Anne’s experience running the 38th Annual Marine Corps Marathon last weekend, and inspire yourself to go an extra mile!  

This past Sunday, I ran the 38th Marine Corps Marathon in Washington, DC. It’s the second marathon I’ve ever run; the first was the New York City Marathon, which I ran the year I turned 40.

I am not your average athlete. In fact, I was never an athlete. I was usually the kid that got picked last for things like dodge ball.

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I came to running because I knew I needed to do something to stay fit. My mother is a two-time cancer survivor. Heart disease and diabetes also run in the family; exercise traditionally has not.

I had been doing yoga for years, but needed some form of cardio. I could never get into aerobics workouts, and I found fitness machines intimidating. I did boxing for a while, which I really enjoyed, but the gym schedule didn’t always line up with mine.

I eventually found that running was the one thing I could do on my own time. I hated it at first. But once I got past the first mile, something shifted. I liked the freedom of heading outdoors and finding my zone. (I am not a treadmill runner.) It became meditative: running through the streets of New York City—without headphones—taking in the rhythms of the different neighborhoods in the early morning hours.

The leap from runner to marathoner was prompted by a “bucket list” deal with myself. After watching the NYC Marathon one year, I was determined to run it. My goal was just to finish. And I did in 5:17:20. It was exhilarating–the route through all five boros, the music, the crowds. The whole experience left me wanting more. A couple of friends suggested we run the Marine Corps Marathon together. But when it came time to register, I got in and they didn’t.

I arrived in DC determined to beat my NY time. I wanted to finish in under five hours. And I did, but something got lost along the way. I had been so fixated on time, running about a 10-minute-mile for the first 18 miles, that I hadn’t taken in much of the course. When I hit “the wall” at mile 20. I was forced to slow down. Rather than focusing on time, I could finally take in the crowds and changing the landscape, the clear blue skies overhead, the sound of my breath. I came in at 4:52:55.

In the end, I was reminded that, for me, running really is a metaphor for life. If I have a bad run, it’s usually because I didn’t get enough sleep or didn’t eat well or tried to push through an injury. On a good run, my mind is clear, my heart is open, and the road leads to new discoveries.

This weekend, I’ll be out at the NYC Marathon cheering the last runners in the race. Hope to see you there!

Need more inspiration for your workouts?  Try any of our NEW fitness classes, which can be found here.

Need a Fall Fitness Challenge? Join us!

Need a Fall Fitness Challenge?  Join us!

Jennifer Hamlin, one of our most amazing fitness instructors demonstrates PLANKS, in various levels. Join our October Plank Challenge, picking the highest level plank you can hold for at least 30 seconds, and then slowly working your way down through the levels as your body tires. Add time each day, and see where you land by Halloween!

Member Spotlight: Weighted Workout!

This is Lisa!
This is Lisa!

Sometimes the best workout ideas come from people we meet at the Y!

Lisa’s workout starts with the cardio of her choice
and moves quickly to this strength building workout. She never lets go of the weights, goes from one exercise to the next without stopping, and adds reps each time through (start with one,
end with eight!).

Lisa, a mom of two needs quick, intense workouts for her body and her mind. Try it and let us know what you think!

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