Fitness: Discover the AVAC® Difference!

Go Ride A Bike!

via – Jon Cebula, Team AVAC®

bike sf

With summertime in full swing, it’s a great opportunity to take your healthy habits to the great outdoors and bicycling is a great way to be outside and active. Tap into your inner child that longs for the joys of summer and remember the freedom and excitement of a good old-fashion “Ride”.

In my opinion, biking provides a lot of variety in activity. You can take out your road-cycle for some long distance cycling, you can catch of air with some big jumps on your BMX, you can carve the trails on your mountain bike or simply enjoy a little ride around the neighborhood on your cruiser. Whatever your preferred mode of style, your bicycle is a good way to get outside and get some movement.

Biking is a great full body exercise with tremendous cardiovascular benefits. The average bike ride can burn around 200-300 calories in about 30-minutes (at an average speed of 10-11 mph). It is excellent for developing strong legs as well as increased endurance.

Living in California provides us with many unique opportunities to explore the natural wonders of our state. www.traillink.com/trailsearch.aspx?state=CA is a great link to view local and statewide biking trails. Find a local trail to try and go on an adventure and discover your new favorite spot!

With the sunshine weather of summer it’s a perfect time to ditch the hustle of driving your car everywhere and swap out for a cruise on the bike. Take your time and enjoy the ride!

– Jon Cebula, Personal Trainer/AbsoluteFIT Coach
Almaden Valley Athletic Club®

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Lydia’s AbsoluteFIT Journey: Real-World Superhero Powers, the AbsoluteFIT Way!

via – Lydia M, AbsoluteFIT Participant & Resident Blogger | AVAC®

You’ll surprise yourself with your own real-life Feats of Strength.

You’ll surprise yourself with your own real-life Feats of Strength.

AbsoluteFIT for its own sake is great. It’ll make ya feel good and look better.

But I bet some people wonder, “Well, yes, but what would I do with all those awesome ripped muscles and that superior cardio fitness and flexibility in real life?” I’ll tell you what I’ve done with mine lately:

  • Uneven Weighted Deadlift Child-Haul: We went to Chuck E. Cheese (I KNOW). They couldn’t agree on a prize to share when we turned in our tickets, so we got nothing. They both went mental, screaming and thrashing. I had to sling one kid over each shoulder and stagger out of there under the weight of both of them. I bet there’s footage of this on the Internet somewhere.
  • Flashlight Sprint: We were walking to the Fourth of July fireworks display, cutting our timing pretty close, and realized we’d forgotten a flashlight for the walk home. I had to sprint the half-mile back to the house, get the flashlight, and catch up to the family before the show started. Made it with time to spare.
  • Be Your Own Roadie: At the level my band is (and always will be) at, you carry your own gear. A bass is heavy, and an amp is heavier, and the gig is up a flight of stairs. No fair getting one of the men to do it, princess!
  • Hike With a Finnish Woman: “Let’s go hiking,” my Finnish friend says to me. “Sure!” I say, picturing a leisurely stroll amongst the blooming poppies. Two-plus hours and seven extremely hilly single-file ankle-breaker trail miles (at a literally breathtaking pace) later, she says cheerily but in all seriousness, “Next time we’ll go on a more challenging route!”

AbsoluteFIT trains you for real life — try it and see!


On Reaching One Hundred Years

via – Mary Ann Smith | Senior Wellness Director, AVAC®

On July 13, my mother reached her 100th birthday. She can’t believe that she is 100.  Looking back on her life, she lived through some turbulent times. She was only four years old when my grandfather died. My grandmother was widowed with four children. They struggled to live day to day in a small Pennsylvania town.

When mom reached school age, Italian was all they spoke. It made them feel inferior. But they made strides to learn English and made great progress and all graduated with high honors. They were living through the Depression but my grandmother had remarried and they were a happy family that didn’t dwell on financial hardship.

When my mom married, times were still not great financially but family and good friendships were so strong that everyone just had a great time being together.

She and my dad raised my sister and I with love, grace and faith in my grandparent’s home until I was 10. It was then that we moved into a home of our own. Love for family, grace for kindness to others and faith to fall back on in times in need.

A letter given to my mother from a dear family member. She truly touched so many lives.

A letter given to my mother from a dear family member. She truly touched so many lives.

My husband and I went to Pennsylvania to give my mom a party this past July. The House of Representatives gave her a Proclamation and one from the White House and Congress are on their way.  I asked her “What was the happiest day of your life?” and she didn’t hesitate to answer “The day I married your father.” What a testimony to a life well lived. Financially we would have been considered poor. But I look back and say “I had the richest life possible because of her positive attitude.” Thank you for the best mentor anyone could have.

– Mary Ann Smith

Lydia’s AbsoluteFIT Journey: Summer Stumbling Blocks

via – Lydia M., | AVAC’s Resident AbsoluteFIT Blogger

Summer, with the kids out of school, plus travel, house guests, a wedding, a weird muscle-pull injury … it all adds up to a fair amount of AbsoluteFIT schedule irregularity, and I’m OK with that, because too much rigidity will sour the whole deal — both my workouts, and the fun of summer.


I know I’m not the only person whose life gets tumbled around in the summer, right?

For example: This week, my daughter has her AVAC Swim School® intensive lessons (which is a lesson every day for a week). The time — 10:30 — was the only one available thanks to our late sign-up, and it’s messing up my AbsoluteFIT sessions. So: Yesterday, we went on a great hike with some friends. Today, I ran on the treadmill for a half hour, then got her from the AVAC childcare and sent her to the pool. Tomorrow, I’m … not sure yet. Heh.

The weird muscle pull in my back, I had to just wait out. For the houseguests, I had to skip one workout (the day of their arrival) to get the place ready — we hadn’t seen them in six years, and I wanted everything nice for them. Before the wedding, I doubled up on workouts — gotta look good in the pics!

So, like most people who have lives, I’m going to have to just be flexible, and do what I can — and that’s enough!

—Lydia M. 

Rise and Shine!

via – Christine Cung | Team AVAC®

Although I’ve always been a morning person, I have the hardest time waking up and finding the will to get out of bed. After giving up coffee, I’ve taken to stretching in the mornings to wake up and get myself ready for the day ahead. I set my alarm clock just 10 minutes earlier and I sit on my bed and go through 5-6 of yoga stretches or poses. I find that stretching gives me time to relax and think before a long day ahead and gets my body ready for my morning workouts. Even mornings where I’ve been half-asleep going into it, by the time the 10 minutes are up I’m awake enough to not be able to fall back asleep. Challenge yourself to skip a coffee one morning and give this new routine a try!


Easy No-Bake Bars

via – Stephanie Doty | Team AVAC®

I always try to find ways to take short-cuts when it comes to cooking. Raising three active children over these past 17 years made finding ways to save time a necessity! But I’ve come to learn that taking the easy way out on meal planning and shopping can really take a toll on my family’s health and diet — especially when it comes to choosing healthy snacks.

While strolling down the grocery store isle it’s ridiculously easy to reach for the pre-packaged crackers, individual snack-packs, boxed granola bars, etc. But once I started skimming the ingredient labels on these handy snacks I couldn’t believe what I was reading. I’ve actually come to feel guilty relying on many of these products for my family over the years. The amount of hidden sugar and unnatural ingredients in many snacks is obscene! Take Quaker Chewy Granola Bars for example. These bars are made by Quaker Oats (a subsidiary of PepsiCo) and include 8 separate instances of added sugars in one form or another. Not to mention the long list of other unnatural ingredients and trans-fats appearing on the label. Quaker touts “With 8g of whole grains, and no high fructose corn syrup, it’s a tasty option for your active family.” Just because a product is implied to be healthy, doesn’t mean it really IS healthy!

A friend suggested I try taking a hand at making my own snack bars. After some research and creativity I came up with this almond butter version. My 11 year old son LOVES them, and my picky husband even gave them a thumbs up 🙂

oat bars 7.22.15

No-Bake Almond Butter Oatmeal Bars

  • 1/2 cup light honey
  • 1 cup almond butter (fresh ground – you can grind your own at Whole Foods or in a food processor at home)
  • 3 cups oats
  • 1/2 cup shaved coconut
  • 1/2 cup semi sweet choc chips (optional)

Makes 10-12 bars (depending on your desired width)

Microwave honey and almond butter until just soft enough to easily stir. Fold in oats & coconut. Once the mixture has slightly cooled, add in the chocolate chips.

Spread the mixture into a 9×9″ pan – press down firmly in pan to compress the ingredients (using wax paper while pressing on top of mixture can help with this step.)

Place the pan in fridge allowing mixture to set.
Once set, slice into individual bars. Enjoy!

Optional healthy additions:
vanilla extract
pureed apricots (reduce the amount of honey)
dried fruits
chopped nuts
seeds (chia, sunflower, pumpkin)

– Stephanie Doty, Team AVAC®