NEW!!! Multiple Sclerosis Support at Chapter 126

At Chapter 126 Sports & Fitness, An Oak Hill Center, we promote health and wellness of individuals with disabilities through our sports and fitness programming, but also through personal empowerment.  One of our newest features at Chapter 126 is our member lead monthly Multiple Sclerosis Support & Wellness Group.  Support groups are a great way for individuals with a common problem to discuss and share their experiences, share ideas and provide emotional support for one another.  Through collaboration with the National Multiple Sclerosis Society, CT Chapter, Chapter 126 now hosts a two-hour social support and fitness group free of charge for individuals diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis.

The group meets the first Thursday of each month from 2:00-4:00pm.  During this time members of the group will be able to participate in a 45 minute workout class lead by one of Chapter 126’s in house Exercise Physiologists, followed by a one hour group discussion.  The topic of this month’s discussion will include Tips and Trick for Dealing with MS Brain Fog & Fatigue.  Feel free to come to the entire 2pm– 4pm combination, or just the support group or the wellness class. Whatever works best for you.  We hope to see you there!

If you have any questions, call Lisa at 860.478.9429 or email Lisa.Fine@oakhillct.org (or) Kelly Boscarino at 860.769.7051.

 

Benefits of a Workout Buddy!

Some days working out on your own can get frustrating. Some days you may even lose the motivation to bring yourself to work out. Having someone by your side could help you out! Both individuals would benefit from this fitness partnership. Some of these benefits include the following:

  • Increased motivation:
    • There are going to be days when you don’t really feel like working out. That’s where your buddy comes in! They are there to lift you up and motivate you to crush your workout. Each partner should set goals that they want to achieve. Push each other to reach these goals! There will also be days that you will have to motivate them! It’s about having each other’s backs!
  • Accountability:
    • If you plan to meet your buddy at a certain time, you don’t want to let them down! This level of accountability will keep you in line, as well as your buddy. You won’t let each other miss workouts.
  • Socialization:
    • Having a workout buddy also provides someone to talk to. You could share workout tips, your favorite healthy recipes, or even talk about your days. The bond between you and your workout buddy can grow into a lifelong friendship!
  • Friendly Competition:
    • Everyone has a little competitive edge in them. When working out with a buddy it is healthy to involve a bit of friendly competition. Nobody wants to be the weakest link. Having a competitive mindset will push you to get the most out of your workouts and push you to reach your goals.
  • Fun:
    • Working out alone can be boring. To avoid this boredom, involve a buddy! Sharing laughs and encouraging each other will make the workouts much more enjoyable. The more fun you have, the more you will look forward to the next workout session. Who doesn’t like to have some fun?!

When looking for a workout buddy you want to make sure that you both have compatible schedules. You want to be able to work out together on a regular basis. You also want to make sure that they have a good attitude and will push you to reach your goals. Once you find a buddy, your workouts will become more enjoyable!

Tips for Healthy Eating During the Holidays!

Everyone has experienced the “I shouldn’t be eating this” feeling before. Between all of the Halloween candy, Thanksgiving turkey, and Christmas cookies, it seems like food cannot be escaped during this time of year. The holidays are a time spend with family around the dinner table eating and enjoying. Although the holidays bring about thankfulness and compassion, it also brings poor eating habits. Here are some tips on how to stay healthy during the holidays.

  1. Bring your own healthy food dish to the gathering! Prepare a dish that is healthy and bring it to the party for everyone to share! Some ideas are an appetizer plate of hummus and fresh vegetables, a warm spinach salad, or whole grain stuffing.
  2. Instead of engaging in holiday activities like making a gingerbread house, or decorating Christmas cookies, turn to non-edible activities. Instead, you could make wreaths, ornaments, or a kid favorite: hand traced turkeys.
  3. Be careful with the beverages that you’re consuming! Eggnog is a classic favorite, but can add excess caloric intake. Alcoholic beverages can also induce overeating!
  4. Only eat until you are satisfied. Eating until you feel stuffed makes you feel drowsy and bloated. Eating until satisfied allows you to enjoy your food and doesn’t make you feel lousy afterward.
  5. Lastly, and most importantly, make time to exercise! The holidays are no excuse to skip out on gym time! A moderate increase in exercise time over the holidays can offset the increase in food intake. Adding a 10-15 minute walk into your daily routine is a good idea! The whole family can be involved!

Although the holidays are full of foods that seems so delicious, there are healthier alternatives. Take the time to enjoy the holidays, spend time with family and friends, incorporate healthy dishes to your menus, and don’t forget to keep exercising! Your mind and body will appreciate it!

 

For some great healthy holiday recipes go to http://www.foodnetwork.com and search “healthy holiday recipes.

For fun holiday craft ideas visit http://www.goodhousekeeping.com and search “holiday crafts”

Fall into Fitness at Chapter 126!

Chapter 126 sports and fitness is a place where we like to put our members first.  Whether it is special events, continued fundraising or different challenges, we want to keep our members motivated and engaged in their own personal progress.  That’s right you guessed and its back!!! Fall fitness challenge.

This year we’re putting a new spin on things.  Literally.

This years’ fall fitness challenge features a PRIZE WHEEL featuring PRIZES of course!!!  It’s very simple process. Members just have to come into the facility as usual and do their workouts.  The difference is the more you participate and interact with us, you will receive points.  PLUS every week there will be bonus opportunities to earn extra points!

1 Point

3 Points 5 Points

Checking in to Chapter 126

Attend a group exercise class

Special workout in fitness center

Complete a workout

Attend a drop-in sports program

Attend Personal training/Alter G session

Like us on Facebook Follow our Instagram page

Check in to Chapter 126 on Facebook

This is where it gets interesting: once you reach 25 points, you can exchange those points for a spin on the prize wheel.  Every 25 points you earn you get a spin.  The more spins you get, the more chances you have to win! The prize wheel will contain many prizes including but not limited to discounted membership, training sessions, fitness items like shaker bottles, exercise clothing AND MORE!!!!!

This contest will start November 1st and end on December 20th giving all members plenty of opportunities to accumulate points and earn prizes.  Each week there will also be special chances to earn extra bonus points by attempting different challenges our trainers set for them.  This an excellent opportunity for members to try new exercises that they might not have tried before and connect with other members, too!

If you are interested in signing up for this contest or have any questions please email Stephanie.gesualdi@oakhillct.org

REMEMBER, all you have to do is exercise, interact and SPIN THAT WHEEL!

 

Paralympic Games at Chapter 126!!!

paralymopic games

Take the Spare Change Challenge With Chapter 126!!!

spare change 1

Wednesday Warm Up!

Here at Chapter 126 Sports & Fitness the training never stops!!! We want our members to get the most out of their workouts in and outside of the gym.  Check out this week’s Wednesday Warm Up with Fitness Trainers Curt & Adam!

 

Check back soon for more workout tips!

2016 Summer Safety Tips

With summer in full swing, most of us want to get out and enjoy the warm weather among friends and family.  With the days longer and the nights warmer, beaches will be packed, barbecues will be lit and everyone will be looking to have some summer fun.  That being said, here are some tips to keep your summer not only fun, but safe for all to enjoy.

Know when it’s time to come out of the sun! Heat stroke is a common problem for individuals who work outside or for anyone planning a long day in the heat.  Be sure to drink plenty of water or drinks with electrolytes such as Gatorade to replace lost fluids.  It is also important to know the warning signs!  If you start experiencing muscle cramping and light sweating turns to profuse sweating, it is time to cool off.  Other early signs of heat stroke include headache, confusion, dizziness, rapid pulse and red skin.  If you experience any of these signs allow the body to cool down.

Water safety is key in the summer.  Never leave children unattended in the water, make sure whoever is supervising the water can swim and know when it is time to come out of the water.  If you see a child who has been swimming all day and their lips turn blue and they begin to shiver, they need to come out of the water and allow their body to warm up before returning to swim.

Be sure to protect your skin in the summer whether it is with sun screen, light clothing or bug repellent.  This year especially, mosquito and mosquito borne illnesses are something to be worried about.  Be sure to use bug repellent with DEET and cover your skin with light colored clothing while in the woods to prevent tick bites.  When in the woods or outdoors, keep an eye out for nests and hives of stinging insects. Know the signs of an allergic reaction and seek medical attention immediately if necessary.

When it comes to sunscreen, make it part of your daily routine.  After your morning shower apply a minimum of SPF 15 and let it soak in fully and remember to reapply after swimming or a few hours in the sun.  Avoid the sun at the strongest hours of the day when possible (12-3) and wear hats and other articles of clothing to protect yourself from the sun’s harmful rays.

Food safety is another important part of summer fun.  Make sure that all items that contain dairy, meat or poultry are kept cold, stored properly and are kept in the shade at outdoor barbecues.   When grilling, ALWAYS dispose of propane tanks properly.  NEVER throw a propane tank into a fire.

For more information on tips on summer safety check out these links:

Summer Safety Tips

More Summer Safety

 

The Spoon Theory

Every day I get the privilege to come to work in an environment so dynamic that no day is ever truly the same.  Today I had the privilege to work with a new member.  During our initial consultation we got to talking about her drive home after a long day and a workout.  At first I thought I could relate.  Any drive after a long day and especially after a hard workout takes effort.  But she insisted that I didn’t understand.  As the conversation continued, she expressed that each day with the diagnosis of Multiple Sclerosis is different.  Levels of fatigue fluctuate daily, which means every single task depletes her “energy reserve”.  This can make simple daily activities like taking a shower or washing the dishes after a meal a task that requires so much foresight it can be mentally exhausting.

As we continued on she suggested that I went home and read a piece called The Spoon Theory which is written by a woman with Lupus.  The author artistically frames how living with a disability forces the individual to choose how they “use their spoons”.  I think this is something that needs to be shared because personally, I always thought I at least partially understood what living with a disability could be like.  Everyone has their barriers, some more than others.  But the Spoon Theory is an explanation that brings a level of understanding to something that is profoundly complex.   I highly suggest you read The Spoon Theory and please share your thoughts & comments below!

Kind Words from our Members

This is something that just had to be shared!  The staff at Chapter 126 can’t stop smiling! Check out this awesome email one of our hard working members just sent us!  It is emails like this that remind us of why we do what we do.  It is one thing to be a part of someone’s life, but to really make a difference is a gift.

“Good Afternoon!
Chapter 126, Sports and Fitness!! I think angels sent down this wonderful place! All of you are nothing short of kind, helpful and absolutely accommodating to me! I always have a great time at Chapter 126. Exercising is just plain fun! I’m never patronized at. I’m treated very well and am very comfortable.  
I would highly recommend Chapter 126 to all my friends. It doesn’t matter if they crave exercise or sports. Anybody who’d come to Chapter 126 would be pampered. Since March 27, 2015, I have benefited from some really neat activities.HOORAY FOR CHAPTER 126!!! Finally! There is a place where I am no longer considered ‘Handicapped.'” -Pam

“Chapter 126 is the best. I feel physically and mentally fit after each and every class. The staff makes everyone feel special , very professional and at the same time personal. I am very proud of these young people and happy to be a member of this fitness center. I have made new friends which make it fun to work out and socialize with. Thanks so much for Chapter 126 for making me healthier and happy”.” -Nancy

We want to make a difference in your life, too!  As New England’s first adaptive sports and fitness facility, there is something for EVERYbody!  Check out our website or stop by our facility for a tour today!