Tuesday, November 29

Kids Say/Do The Darndest Things!

Today’s blog introduces you to another one of our wonderful JCC families enrolled in our Early Childhood Education program.
  Michael and Amber Woodside
Proud parents of:
  McElla (19 months)

How long have you been a JCC member?
  A little over a year

Have you had other children in ECE?
  No we haven't, but McElla is the second-generation Woodside to
  have attended the ECE! Michael is an ECE alum.

Please share a brief story with us – a funny moment in ECE or at the
JCC, a heart-warming moment, etc.
  The cutest thing happened just a few weeks ago. McElla is very fond
  of her classmates. One day we saw her classmate Yonatan down the
  hallway with a teacher and I asked her if she wanted to give him a hug.
  She didn’t hesitate to run down the hall to give him a huge hug. (That
  was so heartwarming!)

 What is the funniest thing your child has done?

  (So hard to narrow down :)  McElla's aunt bought her some new clothes
  and she was adamant about trying them on immediately. After putting
  on each new clothing item, she stood in the middle of the living room
  with her hands on her hips to seek our approval for her new wardrobe.

What is the funniest thing your child has said?

  We were in the drive-through and there was a man in front of our car
  taking his time with his order. All of a sudden, coming from the back
  seat, I heard "Go buddy, go."

Who is your child’s favorite movie star/superhero/sports figure/personality?
  Her favorite is Elmo and she will call his name all day long. We’re wondering
  how long that will last!

Tuesday, November 22

My Journey from 200 lbs Back to 150 lbs: November

by Craig Ervin
Back in October I declared a bold goal of losing 50 pounds by June of 2012. As of today, I have lost an amazing - an astonishing - 0 pounds. 
Now, that’s not to say that I haven’t begun working towards my goal. Since the beginning of October, I’ve started getting myself back into a routine. I’m currently working out twice a week at the JCC. My primary focus during those workouts has been cardio. I’m already finding that my stamina has increased, and I should be back to my full cardio workouts before too long. 
With the extra weight, I find that I simply cannot maintain the levels I’m used to. I was tempted at first to cut the workouts short. Instead, I have kept the length of the workouts consistent but have lowered the intensity. So far, so good!
Food, on the other hand, is a different story.
There's never been a buffalo wing I could say "no" to. Or chocolate. Or ice cream. By far the greatest obstacle I face is in my own inability to say "No." A few weeks ago life decided to give me something else to think about before reaching for my next meal. Quite unexpectedly, my mother suffered a heart attack.
Her heart attack was a shock to us all. She never suspected any issue with her heart. Thankfully, she will make a full recovery with minimal damage to her heart. In an instant her entire way of living was challenged. Her challenge has become my catalyst.
Needless to say, with the holidays fast approaching, I’ll be a bit more mindful of my eating selections. Seeing my mother struggle with her heart has renewed the commitment I made to change my lifestyle. In changing my own lifestyle, I hope to help my mother make better choices for her own future.
With my renewed commitment to eating smart, coupled with my workouts, I should be able to speak of my progress with my next post. Until then, everyone have a safe, happy & healthy holiday season.
More About Craig Ervin

Thursday, November 17

The Doctor's Office

by Frank J Klene, PT, DPT, CSCS

Hello, JCC blog followers! My name is Frank Klene, and I am here to give you sound advice and opinions on physical therapy, injury prevention, and orthopedic conditions. This month I want to talk about low back pain, an epidemic in the United States today. 

So what can be done to prevent low back pain or a recurrence of low back pain?  Well, if you read the fitness magazines most might say..."You gotta work on your core" or "A strong core will decrease your back pain." Well this might be true, but you are probably thinking what is your core and how do you make it stronger!?!

The popular terms “ripped” and “washboard abs” are not exactly the type of core strength that will help protect your back. Core strength that protects your back consists of 2 muscles: the transverse abdominis, a stomach muscle, and the multifidus, a back muscle. When these muscles are working the correct way they act like a corset or back brace. They stabilize unwanted motion in your spine, thus decreasing pain and risk of injury.

The best way to engage these muscles is to pull your belly button toward your spine WITHOUT holding your breath. This is the same motion as attempting to put on a tight pair of pants...a cue most of us can relate to. Hold the contraction 6-10 seconds, then release and repeat. Try this simple exercise this week when you are at your desk. 

Once you "find your core" you can turn any regular exercise into a core exercise by simply drawing in your stomach. So before and during any exercise, such as a bicep curl, draw in your abs without holding your breath. This will help stabilize and protect your back and could decrease your pain.

More About Frank J Klene

Tuesday, November 15

A Monumental Outlook

by Kelly Young

I’m definitely goal-oriented when it comes to exercising. I need an event to look forward to. So now that I’ve completed the 3-Day Komen Walk (60 miles in 3 days) and the Indianapolis Monumental (half) Marathon, I can’t help wondering, “What’s next?”

I actually spent some time online last night thinking about it. I clicked around the JCC website to see what classes are offered (until now I’ve only used the cardio machines and the pool). I read several weight-loss success stories. I even Googled “fitness challenges” to see what others are doing.

Since triathlon training for me won’t start until February, and as part of my “Fab at 40” mantra I’ve decided I want to come back from my summer injury stronger, leaner and fabulous! So, I’ve decided that my next goal/challenge will be to focus the next four months on my overall health and wellness: lose a few pounds, eat healthier and move different muscles.

Here are a few things I’m going to try to help get me started. I welcome your ideas too.

1. Skip the cardio machines once a week for a fitness class. I’m going to give BodyPump, Piloxing or Total Body a try; maybe I’ll try all three.

2. Keep the cardio but mix it up. On Saturday I ran with someone who does speed work on the treadmill. I’m guilty of just doing the same routine on the treadmill and even when I swim laps. I’m going to challenge myself with some speed work.

3. Keep a food journal and see if that really helps me eat healthier.

4. Limit caffeine and chocolate. I’d like to think I could cut those out completely, but I’m trying to be realistic.

While I know there won’t be a medal for me at the end of this four-month training, I’ll reward myself with a new outfit – maybe even in a smaller size.

Thank you for reading my blog posts: You are helping me be more accountable and more successful. Maybe I’ll even connect with one or two of you who would want to join me on my challenge or offer some good advice along the way.

More About Kelly Young

Tuesday, November 8

What You Never Knew... an Interview with Tracy Cox

by Susan Gabovitch
Have you ever wondered…who is that tall, smiling man who is so friendly and helpful and always at the JCC? Well, if you are a frequent JCC user, you know that I am talking about Tracy Cox. Tracy first joined the JCC with his parents when he was just a boy. Both his folks were diabetic, so, health and wellness were and continue to be a priority for him. Tracy moved away from Indianapolis in 2002. While away from Indianapolis, he served as a youth sports coordinator at the YMCA in Elkhart and as a coach at the YMCA in New Castle.
Upon returning to Indianapolis last year, the first thing Tracy did was re-join the JCC. He has become one of the JCC’s most active and enthusiastic members. One of the things Tracy most enjoys is Cherri Jaffee’s dance class, which he professes is “the best class in the world.” Tracy has also become involved with JCC member Eric Gordon in coaching and training kids interested in basketball through Eric’s E3 Basketball Academy. This Academy brings kids from all over the city to the JCC to work hard on improving their skills.
Tracy was also responsible for bringing Drums Alive to entertain at the JCC last summer. His enthusiasm for this program was contagious. Kids of all ages had a ball making music as Tracy encouraged their involvement.
Tracy says that what makes the JCC so special is that it embraces the entire community and that this is reflected in everyone, from its staff to its members. That sense of family and belonging is what keeps bringing him back, day after day.
When you see Tracy in the hall, be sure to say hello. This is a man who enjoys  giving his time and energy and who loves to see people happy. We are so lucky to have him with us at the JCC.
Until next time…
More About Susan Gabovitch

Tuesday, November 1

Got Picky Eaters?

by Katherine Matutes

Opponents step up to the battle line in preparation for the impending face off. It’s not a war, it’s just dinner time! The feud begins with: “That looks gross! I’m not eating it!” and is usually volleyed with “just try one bite,” which eventually turns into “just have one bite and then you can have some dessert.”

Does this battle happen at your house regularly? You’re not alone. It is a common source of frustration for parents trying to encourage their kids to try healthier foods. Parents often resort to bribing children with the promise of something sweet if only they will try the vegetable (or other food your child refuses), assuming that once they taste the food the child will enjoy it. It does work on occasion, but the net result is the child is inadvertently taught that dessert is the more elusive and desirable item.

The good news is that there are several ways to turn this scenario around. One of the most important steps to encourage a diverse diet is by getting kids involved in the process. Allow children to tag along to the grocery store and select something from the produce section to cook for dinner. Get them involved in the kitchen (even a two year old can rinse broccoli). They will be much more vested in trying something if they’ve had a hand in the preparation. It may not work the first few times, but hang in there and continue offering the food repeatedly. The real trick for parents is to not let refusals become a test of wills because the child will win every time.

You can’t really force a child to eat something–and if you do they usually harbor a permanent dislike of the item. I know one mom who told her toddler to sit at the table until he swallowed the one bite of peas he was holding in his mouth. Thirty minutes later he spit the pea mush out and was sent to bed. The toddler in question is now a 6’2” healthy, nineteen year old–who still hates peas. A better tactic is for parents to model good eating behaviors themselves and follow this rule of thumb: the parents decide what and how much goes on the child’s plate, and the child decides what and how much they eat. Giving the child a sense of control goes a long way towards reducing their resistance. Eventually the child’s curiosity will get the better of him.

You can learn more healthy eating tactics for kids by attending the JCC Spirit & Place Event “Feeding the Community Body: A Day of Wellness” where  Katherine Matutes, PhD. nutrition and wellness expert, will lead a workshop to encourage families with young children to use familiar foods as stepping stones to new and healthier foods. Food will be provided by our friends at Green B.E.A.N. Delivery and a chef from Second Helpings will prepare tastings using seasonal and local foods as main ingredients.

Join us November 6th, Noon-1 pm for the free Nutrition event. The Day of Wellness runs 9 am until 4 pm. Ride your bike, participate in a yoga or dance workshop, try an art therapy project. Four of Indy’s favorite food trucks will be parked on the premises too.

Visit http://www.jccindy.org/Day_of_Wellness.aspx for more information.

More About Katherine Matutes