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Summer Getaways Through AVAC®

Almaden Valley Athletic Club® | Wellness Trips June, 2015

mackinacpicture irelandpicture

Have the itch to travel? Take a trip with us!

AVAC’s® Senior Wellness Program has planned two trips in June, 2015. One is headed to Mackinac Island, Michigan and the other is headed to Ireland. Both tours are well planned and give the you, the traveler, great amenities. We have even arranged shuttle service from Almaden Valley Athletic Club® to the airport. The price for both trips includes airfare. For details including an itinerary, pricing, and information on reserving your spot, please contact Mary Ann Smith at 408.445.4931


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Outrunning Teenage Me, and Other AbsoluteFIT Tales

via – Lydia M, AbsoluteFIT Participant | Almaden Valley Athletic Club

Do you think you could kick your own teenage self’s butt, if you were to go up against her (or him) in a footrace or other physical challenge?

Six months ago, Teenage Me would’ve left 40-Year-Old Me in the dust, and laughed as she disappeared into the distance. But these days, after nearly 5 months of AbsoluteFIT? That girl better watch her back, cause I think 41-Year-Old Me could beat her.

Teenage Me never tried this, never worked like this, never wanted it this much. She had the advantages of youth, sure, but I think I could take her, now.

Teenage Me never tried this, never worked like this, never wanted it this much. She had the advantages of youth, sure, but I think I could take her, now.

I arrived at this epiphany after a couple of pushed-to-the-limit shuttle runs out on the court in Oceana’s Friday morning Tennis Conditioning session. I leaned against the tarp, trying to get my breath back, and realized: Teenage Me never tried this hard at tennis practice, never worked like this, never wanted it this much. She had the advantages of youth, sure, but it would’ve been a tough matchup against me the way I am now.

Here are a few other ways I know this program is working:

  • The size L workout tops are too damn big. As a lady of generous chestal proportions, I like to wear roomier tops so I don’t look like I’m trying to, ah, sell something. But I’ve had to size down, because those old tops are just too baggy and saggy. For me, that is Crazy Town.
  • I do bicep curls and overhead presses with the 12 and 15-lb. weights. For years in my GroupX classes, I’d choose the 5 lb., or maaaaybe the 8 lb., without ever feeling strong enough to go heavier, and now I’m nearly doubling my old limit.
  • I’m like the Energizer Bunny of high knees. I HATE doing high knees, I really do — 40, 50, 60 seconds of running in place but getting your knees up as high as you can. HATE it. But I can do that now, see — and it’s great cardio, so it’s worth the aggro.

Wanna show Teenage You a thing or two? Get into AbsoluteFIT!

being fit is better than being skinny

via – fashionnstyle.com

Ellie Goulding: ‘Being Fit Is Better Than Being Skinny,’ ‘Lights’ Singer Says In New Nike Campaign

Ellie Goulding

(Photo : Youtube/NikeWomen) Ellie Goulding, fitness fanatic, is the face of a new Nike campaign.

Ellie Goulding is the face of a new Nike campaign for women’s activewear labeled “A Melody of Movement.” In a new promotional video, the singer famous for the hits “Lights” and “Beating Heart” can be seen working out and talking about the role of fitness in her life.

“I feel quite proud to be an ambassador for women who realize that being fit is better than being skinny,” Goulding says in the video. Watch it here.

Goulding has been serious about exercise since she was about 18 years old. Before that, she wasn’t the most careful when it came to her health.

“When I was a teenager, I smoke and drank a lot — I was a chubby Goth,” Goulding told the NY Post. “I was also really into music and, to me, music and sport didn’t really go together. You were either into one or the other. But now I devote my time to both, and I’ve figured out how to make the two complement each other.”

At 18, she began running and made it a part of her daily routine. The singer also takes part in boxing, yoga, gymnastics and various forms of cardio, which she’s confessed improves her mood.

Goulding’s passions for exercise and performing have intertwined, since she runs, jumps around and uses lots of energy onstage.

In general, she tries to keep a good outlook on her career and life.

“I always try not to think about the future whenever people ask me where do I want to be in five years,” Goulding added in the Nike video. “I feel like the way that I got here now is by not doing the same, but just having the same attitude and always thinking positively and working the hardest I can work and keep writing and keep reading and constantly keeping myself inspired.”

Check out Goulding’s Nike campaign here.

Watching the Super Bowl can be good for your health

Have plans for Super Bowl Sunday? Do something good for yourself…Come to AVAC and join us for our Super Bowl Party in the Poolside Cafe’! We’ll have a special Super Bowl menu and Super Bowl Squares game with a prize at every quarter (100% of the proceeds of Super Bowl Squares will be donated to the American Heart Association). AVAC employees are also welcome to join in the fun!
Date: Sunday, February 1 | 3 pm (Game starts at 3:30 pm)
Location: Poolside Cafe’
RSVP: streetteam@avac.us with number of adults/kids

5 Surprising Health Benefits of Being a Sports Fan

Being a sports fan doesn’t mean you’re expected to know all the players and stats of your hometown teams and destined for a beer gut — it’s about coming together in the name of good times as part of a community.

Rooting for the same team creates an immediate sense of family, says Daniel Wann, PhD, a Murray State University professor who has been studying the psychology of sports fans for over 20 years. “If you identify with a local team, you build an instant connection to others around you,” he says.

Beyond the bonding aspects, watching sports can motivate you to pump up your own workouts — and even burn a few extra calories when you jump, cheer, and clap during the highlights of the game. Find out more ways being a sports fan is a winning situation for your health.

Keep reading to learn how being a sports fan benefits your health.

1. It Inspires You to Get Active.

You’ve seen swimmer Dara Torres’s amazing abs. You can’t take your eyes off tennis pro Maria Sharapova’s legs, which go on for days. Watching these lovely ladies (or their male counterparts) do their thing is enough to get you moving. “Whenever I watch a marathon, I’m inspired to run,” says Kathryn Olson, CEO of the Women’s Sports Foundation. “It doesn’t mean you’re going to play the sport at that level — I’ll run three miles, not 26. Watching them at the top of their game motivates you to get to the top of yours.” It’s not just the pros and their fine physiques that inspire us. You’d be surprised how watching a friend compete in a 5K, marathon, or triathlon might encourage you to work out. “You might catch them walking, laughing, having a good time on the course, and think to yourself, if they can do this, maybe I can,” says Wann. “The more you can relate or connect to a sport (through the action or the athlete), the more likely it will influence you to get moving.”

2. Watching Live Sports Is a Workout in Itself.

OK, so watching big, burly dudes toss around the pigskin might not get you to hit the treadmill, but it can help you torch some calories without even trying. The average 150-pound woman burns more than 100 calories per hour attending a live sporting event. And that’s just while sitting! Walking from your car to the stadium, then up eight or more flights of stairs to your seat, is another way to easily torch a few more calories, not to mention leaping from the bench when your team scores a touchdown. Can’t make it to the live event? No problem — catching the game on TV from your living room couch or perched on a stool at the bar can still burn more than 200 calories during a three-hour football game. Stand up while you socialize for the whole game and burn about 150 more calories!

But don’t eat back all of those calories with a large, salty soft pretzel at the stadium (483 calories) or a goopy serving of nachos with cheese (692 calories). Having two beers — such as Guinness Draught (126 calories per 11.2 ounces) or Amstel Light (95 calories per 12 ounces) — is a better option. Moderate amounts of the frothy brew can help boost your HDL (good) cholesterol and reduce your insulin resistance. Just don’t let too much of a good thing, like beer, turn bad — and into belly fat.

Need a nibble at the game? Buy yourself some high-protein peanuts (160 calories per ounce) and skip the sugary Cracker Jack® (420 calories per box).

3. You’ll Live Longer.

Since research says the odds are that two in five of your girlfriends follow football, consider taking turns hosting a small gathering on Sundays or Monday nights during the season. “It’s nice to have a standing weekly meet-up where you feel connected and part of a group,” says Clauselle.

Maintaining a strong social network, especially one with healthy pals, improves your chance of living longer by 50 percent. It doubles your odds of surviving cancer and wards off colds, according to a Brigham Young University study. “Friends may even reduce your risk of cardiovascular disease,” says lead study author Julianne Holt-Lunstad, PhD, a professor of psychology. “Supportive friendships can help you cope with stress, so you’re less likely to suffer its negative physical and emotional effects.” So even if the team you were cheering for loses, at least you’ve got your best buds to cheer you up and help forget about it over laughs.

4. It’s Good For Your Relationships.

Research shows sharing a common interest, like college football, may boost your marital bliss. “The stereotype is that there are many disagreements in relationships over the time spent watching sports, but our evidence says otherwise,” says Lawrence A. Wenner, PhD, a Loyola Marymount University media ethics professor who has studied sports and relationships. “Oftentimes, women view watching sports with their boyfriend or husband as quality time.” It doesn’t matter if he’s the sports fanatic or if she is; as long as they share the interest, they’ve got the edge over couples who are less accommodating and supportive (which can lead to stress and discontent). A supportive, happy marriage is good for your heart health and can help you live longer: happily wedded people who undergo coronary bypass surgery are more than three times as likely to be alive 15 years later as their unmarried counterparts, reports a study published in Health Psychology, an online publication of the American Psychological Association.

Bonus: if his team wins, it could up your chances of getting lucky that night — testosterone, the libido-enhancing hormone, will be surging through his body, and it’s likely he’ll want to keep those good feelings going in the bedroom.

5. It Will Make You Smarter.

For better, not worse, watching sports might improve your communication and help you stay organized. According to a 2008 study from the University of Chicago, scientists discovered that watching a game is a workout for your brain. In the study, a dozen pro- and college-level hockey players, eight hockey fans, and nine people who had never seen or played the sport were asked to listen to a broadcast of a hockey game while a machine recorded their brain function. Afterward, they were each given a test to analyze their comprehension. Results show that athletes and sports fans not only understood the game much better than their counterparts but also experienced brain activity in motor areas associated with planning, controlling, and performing. This suggests that spectator sports can help you absorb and digest information as well as get you geared up to take action.

via – prevention.com

Doctors say: eat more avocado!

via – I Quit Sugar

Who Doesn’t Like an Excuse to Eat More Avocado?!!!


The Journal of the American Heart Association last week published the results of a year-long study, and the news is reason to celebrate! Just as we’ve long suspected, a diet that includes an abundance of these creamy green treats is now proven to help stave off bad cholesterol.

What’s the gist of their results?

Plainly: Individuals who ate a moderate-fat diet along with an avocado every day had lower bad cholesterol than those on a similar diet who didn’t eat one. In fact, even individuals eating a higher fat diet rated better in the cholesterol stakes than those who ditched the avo. Actually, this is not that surprising to us as there’s no evidence to show fat leads to bad cholesterol readings or heart disease. 

OK and the upshot? Well this research just goes to show how good fats in avocados can help improve bad cholesterol levels in everyone, but especially those who are overweight and obese. The author of the study, doctor and registered dietitian Kris-Etherton said, “We need to focus on getting people to eat a heart-healthy diet that includes avocados and other nutrient-rich food sources of better fats.”

Well said brother!

Here are three recipes we love to make that include avocados. The first recipe features avo front and centre, while the third is a sneaky treat with all the goodness mixed in. The second is a classic with a twist that we just had to include. Try them for yourself and do your health some good in the process!

Pea Pancakes with Avocado and Poached Eggs


Strawberry and Avocado Toasties


Avocado and Chocolate Mousse


– See more at: I Quit Sugar

Bring it On 2015!

via – Sheena Dinga, Site Manager | AVAC Swim School

sheena 1.22.15

Yes it is the beginning of the year. The time when we get to start over and make new friends, try new things and make new goals. However it is easy to make new goals, but to actually follow through with them is another story. Everyone tells you that the best way to make it happen is to write them down and blast it everywhere so you can be accountable for them. So that is exactly what I am going to do.

Last year I had a lot of firsts that I never even thought would happen. I ran a marathon, climbed Mt. Shasta, went spelunking, and turned 30…Ok I guess I knew that was happening. I feel it was a big year and this one should be bigger.

My First Goal: Do a Triathalon!!!!! This is something I have been pondering over for a couple years and I think it is finally time to stop pondering and start doing! I have been looking up different ways of training for all 3 events involved and it is pretty intense. Like nothing I have ever done. Things I have read say that you need at least 12 weeks of training for a sprint triathalon. I think I will go for a super sprint first…TriAVAC here I come!!!!! and then another super sprint, and finally a real one. Again I’m still looking for some good ones so if any of you know who I am feel free to drop some my way!

My Second Goal: Actually race a Half Marathon!! I have done Half Marathons before but I have always felt like I was dragging my feet. This time I am going to train my butt off so I can attempt to make it in under 2 hours. That is pretty much a 9 minute mile……eek! Ok I can do this…

My Third Goal: Ok this one is a little cheesy, but you know you all want it as well….get in shape for summer!!! Yes I want to have at least one year that I can say I worked my butt off and I can be proud of it while I walk in a bikini. I guess that means I am going to be doing a lot of ABSOLUTE FIT in the next couple months. Bring it on I am ready.

I realize this is a lot of fitness goals, but I think it’s doable. What do you think? This is going to be one exciting year. I challenge you to jump on the wagon and make your own list! What is 2015 going to bring you?

Sheena Dinga
Site Manager, AVAC Swim School