Fitness: Discover the AVAC® Difference!

Why is stand up paddle boarding so good for us?

via – Green Water Sports

“It feels like you’re standing on an exercise ball, swimming and cycling at the same time!” Paddle boarding is a great all over body workout. Head to toe, every muscle is engaged in balancing on the board or during the paddle stroke with the bulk of the effort being done by the body’s ‘core’ muscles. As the name suggests, the core muscles are integral to the support and function of your whole body. A strong core is a strong body.

Sailors, kitesurfers, windsurfers and even surfers have joined in the fun due to the complimentary nature of paddle boarding. When the wind is too light or the waves are too small, paddle boarding gets you on the water and having fun. It also keeps your body in shape. Stand up paddling has also become a go-to sport for athletes of all sports to cross train because of several key benefits of SUP:

  • Full body workout from head to toe
  • Balance, strength, endurance, co-ordination, flexibility, and core stability
  • Cardiovascular workout
  • Low impact
  • Outdoors
  • Above all, it’s a fun workout!

The best part? You don’t need to be an athlete to benefit from the amazing workout paddle boarding provides, it is available to everybody of all fitness levels on all bodies of water. Lakes, rivers, right through to the open ocean. With paddle boarding, everyone can get out, enjoy a full body workout and have fun while doing it!


About the author: Julian Kidd

I have been an avid stand up paddle boarder since 2009. I retired from professional kiteboarding to focus on SUP. Green Water Sports grew from this love of all things SUP. As well as being a keen paddle boarder, I’m a hockey fan, football fan, closet petrol head, web tinkerer, husband and father. Follow Julian on Google+.

One Of Our Spin Favorites is Moving On

MarcusAVAC® is sorry to see Marcus Edwardes go!
He’ll be relocating to LA at month end to embark on a new journey.

But, you still have time to catch one of his final Spin classes this week:

  • Friday, 6/26 | 6 am
  • Sunday, 6/28 | 7:30 am

“Thanks again to everyone for all your support and encouragement over the last 2+ years, if you are ever in LA – and want to Spin with me – just drop me a line!… Nothing will ever surpass my experience at AVAC® though – and you can expect me to be somewhat of an emotional wreck, when I teach my final class next Sunday – it’s honestly been one of the most fulfilling things I’ve ever done in my life!”

Marcus started I started his first Sunday Spin class in April 2013 – and now regularly has over 40 people in attendance spinning their hearts out! Since then he has taught over 300 classes at AVAC®.

We wish Marcus the very best in his next chapter of life!

Follow Marcus’ blog at http://www.bikebeat.net/
Check out other Spin/Cycle classes at AVAC®

– Stephanie Doty | Team AVAC®

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Good or Bad? What You Need to Know About Your Fats!

via – Cleveland Clinic | Heart & Vascular Team

The latest on saturated, unsaturated and trans fats

Are You Eating Good Fats or Bad Fats? #infographic


Something You Might Be Wondering

via – Women’s Running | By Jane Dizon

How Treadmill Runs Measure Up To Outdoor Runs

photo via Women’s Running

If you think about it, treadmill running and outdoor running appear to be two similar exercises. On the surface, these two have the same cardio benefits, same body mechanism, same movement. They even use the same muscles! But on a closer comparison, you can set a clearer picture. Gym and Fitness in Australia made an infographic, comparing treadmill running and outdoor running side by side, taking factors like weather, safety, benefits, etc. into consideration. Here’s a breakdown:

Treadmill: Rain or shine, windy or snowy, anytime of the day, you can hop on and run on your treadmill.
Outdoor: The weather is your number one consideration. Although, wind resistance intensifies your run so, why not?

Treadmill: Most treadmills have a one-touch incline feature that allows effective cardio workout at a lower speed and it minimizes the heel-strike impact. Repetitive runs of the same time and pace can strain the same muscles and joints everyday though.
Outdoor: Running outside decreases chances of hip flexor strain but increases your heel-strike impact. Elements like hills, grass or steps shifts the body movement so it creates variation on your run.

Treadmill: You can watch over your kids/family and stay at the comfort of your own home. You can also just zone out.
Outdoor: Dark, rocky or slippery routes can cause accidents. You can’t zone out at all. You need to stay focused because the roads are busy and constantly changing.

Competitive Running
Treadmill: Recommended for warming up and speed enhancement. The “consistency” sets your body to a different expectation when you actually race on the road.
Outdoor: It gives you the actual feel of the race. It prepares your body for similar conditions.

Treadmill: You can wear the same shoes every day.
Outdoor: Most runners wear the same pair of shoes indoor or outdoor. Specialty shoes might be necessary on some circumstances, like rocky roads or icy trails.

Treadmill: Mostly targets your quads because you don’t have to push forward when your foundation is moving by itself.
Outdoor: Stimulates your hamstrings as well as your quads because you have to push forward and propel to move.

Treadmill: You can monitor your heart rate, calories burned, distance and other fitness metrics in a quick glance. You don’t have to miss out on your favorite TV shows.
Outdoor: Fresh air and beautiful sceneries await you. A great way to get away from your busy life and from your gadgets. It’s just you, nature, and maybe a few friends.

Extra umph!
Treadmill: The convenience of having your bottle holder anytime on hot days. Treadmills do cost a lot of money. Knowing that helps in motivating yourself to exercise so your money gets its worth. Since the treadmill is all about convenience, it gives you NO excuse at all to skip a session.
Outdoor: Exposing your skin to the sunlight is the most natural way to get vitamin D, which helps absorbs calcium and phosphorus (just remember sun protection!). Running outside saves you money from actually buying a treadmill and the extra electricity cost it’ll yield. Why should you buy something you can do for free?

Did you know…? AVAC® offers Gait/Stride Analysis to help you take your treadmill and/or outdoor runs to the next level! Contact a Certified Personal Trainer for more information: 408.445.4926.

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Everybody’s Doing It – But Are They Doing It Right?

via – Greatist.com

How to Do the Perfect Plank

Planking (no, not that bizarre craze) is a simple but effective bodyweight exercise. Holding the body (light as a feather) stiff as a board develops strength primarily in the core—the muscles that connect the upper and lower body—as well as the shoulders, arms, and glutes.

This static exercise—meaning the body stays in one position for the entirety of the move—requires no equipment and can be performed just about anywhere (well, use your judgment). Find out how to perfect your plank and fix some of the most common planking mistakes with this guide.

Standard Plank

2. Ground the toes into the floor and squeeze the glutes to stabilize the body. Your legs should be working in the move too; careful not to lock or hyperextend your knees.

3. Neutralize the neck and spine by looking at a spot on the floor about a foot beyond the hands. Your head should be in line with your back.

4. Hold the position for 20 seconds. As you get more comfortable with the move, hold your plank for as long as possible without compromising form or breath.

Forearm Plank

Knee Plank

Side Plank

Single-Leg Plank

Medicine-Ball Plank

How to Fix the 5 Most Common Planking Mistakes

The Mistake: Collapsing the lower back.
The Fix: Instead of compromising the lower back by dipping the bum, engage the core by imagining your belly button pulling in toward the spine. This will help keep the torso flat, and in turn, the spine safe. If you want to get super technical, have a friend gently place a broomstick or yardstick on your back—the top of the stick should make contact with the head, and the bottom of the stick should rest between the buttocks. The stick should also make contact right between the shoulder blades for proper alignment.

The Mistake: Reaching the butt to the sky.
The Fix: Planks aren’t supposed to look like a downward dog. To really get the core working the way it should in the plank position, keep your back flat enough so your abs feel engaged from top (right below the sternum) to bottom (directly below the belt). Just don’t dip the tush too far toward the ground.

The Mistake: Letting the Head Drop
The Fix: While the focus may be on keeping the hips, butt, and back in the proper position, form isn’t only about the core and the lower body in this move. It’s important to think of the head and neck as an extension of your back. Keep your eyes on the floor, letting them rest about a foot in front of the hands, which will help keep the neck in a neutral position.

The Mistake: Forgetting to breathe.
The Fix: It’s human nature to hold your breath when in a strenuous position for a period of time. But denying yourself oxygen can bring on dizziness or nausea, which are unpleasant at best and dangerous at worst.

The Mistake: Focusing too much on the stopwatch.
The Fix: Quality trumps the quanity of seconds ticking away when it comes to the plank. When your form begins to suffer, it’s time to call it quits. If the back begins to bow or the shoulders start to sink in, take a break.

Contact an AVAC® Personal Trainer if you would like some great tips on planking and other ways to developer a stronger, leaner body!

Senior Wellness Social

via – Mary Ann Smith | Team AVAC®

On Friday, June 12, members gathered at the home of Jill Gossner to share some dessert and social time together. Jill’s home is in a lovely cul-de-sac so her back yard has interesting surprises. In one corner is a softly lit gazebo.IMG_20150612_205623960

Some of the members gathered there with stories of different cultures. In another place on the lawn, we heard stories of trips that we have taken and places we have been. Under the pergola were stories of how being in the service helped to shape lives.IMG_20150612_205525654

The desserts were on a table in the dining room and Jill prepared coffee and tea served in the kitchen. Her English heritage allows us to see how regal being together can be.  If you have an opportunity, join us for an evening of relaxation and fellowship.IMG_20150612_184729856

-Mary Ann Smith, Senior Wellness Director at AVAC®