Mamatoga Loves Go Kids

gokids13Two is a tricky age for activities. They're old enough to want to run and jump and explore, but there aren't a ton of options out there for actual sports, nor do they have the attention span or energy needed for a long class. The same goes for all toddlers and young kids. They want to try soccer and tennis and all of those great fun sports but a six week stretch of soccer EVERY week sometimes gets boring for those little developing minds. Enter Go Kids, the Capital Region’s only multi-sport and exercise program exclusively designed for kids aged 2-6.  Their fun sports and fitness activities teach preschoolers the fundamentals of 7 different sports in a social, team based, non-competitive environment. Go Kids introduces children to seven different sports: soccer, tennis, basketball, hockey, football, baseball and track and field and runs year round in six eight-week terms. Each term includes four sports taught in two-week blocks. A general routine is followed during each class which allows children to become comfortable, while the rotating sports prevent children from becoming bored.

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Go Kids' classes run for 45 minutes with 4 sports taught during each 8 week term. A routine incorporating gross motor skills, hand-eye/foot-eye coordination and balance activities is practiced during each class.

Go Kids aims to:

  • Introduce preschoolers to a variety of sports to help guide future choices about which sports to participate in
  • Show preschoolers that physical activities are fun
  • Develop gross motor skills, coordination and correct posture
  • Teach the importance of warming-up, stretching, nutrition and hydration
  • Encourage good sportsmanship and teamwork
  • Teach children to take turns, wait in line, listen - all skills to help children prepare for school
  • Expose children to counting, numbers, colors and shapes

I sat down with founder Adam Feldman last week to learn more about this great new program. Adam has been working with young children for over a decade - from 7 years as a camp counselor at the Jewish Community Center, 4 years of volunteering at Bucknell University's daycare, 3 years in the classroom at Bethlehem, PA's Moravian Academy, 3 months volunteering in a rural school in Thailand and 5 years of coaching kids and adults across multiple sports. There is a positivity and energy about Adam that is contagious and right away you think "this guy should be teaching kids". He shared with me what inspired him to start Go Kids:

I decided to start Go Kids to inspire families to live healthy lifestyles.  I believe a healthy lifestyle is built on the foundation of culture/family, exercise/movement and food/eating habits.  My Go Kids multi-sport program for 2-6 year old children is the first piece of the puzzle.  We help develop a lifelong passion for physical activity, increase confidence and prepare children for participation in school and the broader community.  Go Kids will also be offering nutrition related programs in the near future.  And of course all of the core values that drive my 'team first' philosophy will always be integrated into all of my classes:  Honesty, Respect, Perseverance and Problem Solving. 

Today Finn and Lev and I headed to the Saratoga Rec Center for one of their classes, this one with the track and field theme. In the bright, sun filled room the kids were all excited to get started. They began seated in circle time, learning everyone's names, and then got right to the fun. Adam and his Senior Instructor Peggy McKeown got the kids excited and taking part right away and the energy of the class stayed high from the first minute to the last. They ran races, they jumped hurdles, they worked as a team, they helped clean up after themselves, they cheered each other on, and thoroughly enjoyed every minute of it. Little water breaks helped them keep going, and even the parents got into the fun of cheering on the kids. Adam and Peggy kept colors and counting and sportsmanship right there in the mix of the class in a completely natural and easily grasped way for the kids.

As far as what to expect from the class, Adam says "Parents should have high expectations when they join the Go Kids team. We have two teachers at every class that always bring their energy, knowledge and enthusiasm to every class.  As part of our cool down we always review the day's class with the children.  Therefore when parents ask 'what was your favorite part of Go Kids today?', their child should be able to offer a great story.  And finally, they should expect the 2 and 3 year old children to be ready to take a long nap and the 4 to 6 year old children to be ready to eat a large healthy lunch." What parent doesn't want their kiddo to eat a big healthy lunch and take a nice long nap?! (Answer: no one). This was definitely true for my two kids, they left hungry and tired and asking when they could go back to Go Kids. Levy especially benefited from the class. Being the younger sister she's often a tad slower than her big brother, and she loved the positive reinforcement Adam and Peggy gave her, along with the rest of the kids in the class. She really felt like she was part of a team and is eager to return next week.

gokids12To learn more about Go Kids, check out their website right here. Your little one can even take a Free Trial class to see how they like it, to get info on their schedule and locations, click right here. We just loved it, and the feedback I have gotten from parents has all been really positive. Kudos to Adam on starting such a great new program, I think it's going to be a great fit for our community and I can't wait for the Kids to Go again! xoxo

Mamatoga Total Fitness Series: Saratoga Cycling Studio

spinOn an otherwise sleepy, slow Sunday morning I found a brilliant dose of energy inside the Saratoga Cycling Studio located downtown at 24 Hamilton Street. A group of excited devotees waited outside the door eagerly as the class inside finished up. Inside the studio the bikes filled up fast for the full class and I chatted with instructor Angela Amedio, who owns the studio with her husband Gerard, who is also an instructor. Angela aptly describes the studio as "a comfortable space that anyone from a triathlete in training to a mom trying to get back into shape can appreciate and enjoy". First, a few tips to know before you go:

  • Beginners are welcome! They offer a specific beginner class once a month but all of their classes are appropriate for all levels of fitness.  Their instructors will guide you through proper bike set-up, form and technique. Even if you can't make a beginner class, if you arrive 10-15 minutes early to your first class their team can help you get set up and ready to ride.
  • What to bring: Saratoga Cycling Studio provides towels and has a cold, filtered water dispenser for your convenience, just bring a bottle to fill up. Their bikes are compatible with special cycling sneakers or with regular sneakers, so no special footwear is required to try it.
  • Wear comfortable workout clothes, sturdy sneakers or SPD compatible clip-in shoes (special shoes just for cycling). There is a changing room and a bathroom in the studio.
  • To sign up, use their easy pay-as-you-go online reservation system where you have the option of taking as many or as few classes as you would like. If you get addicted, you can choose one of their package or unlimited deals to save you more money per class. A single class is $12, package rates and online reservations can be found by clicking right here.
  • Classes at Saratoga Cycling Studio are popular and can get booked up, but you can guarantee your spot in class and reserve up to 1 month in advance with their online reservation system so that you can plan the rest of your day with no worries and no disappointment.

spin8190192_201293418_nIn the class I checked out there was a new mom, a very soon to be new mom and people of all ages and all fitness levels. Angela got on her bike on the little stage in front of the class, started the music and you could just feel the positive energy of the room rise as it kicked off. It was upbeat, vibrant and motivating, and everyone in class was giving it their all. The great part about the class is that indoor cycling is only as hard as you make it. The instructor has a preset workout that she or he will lead the class through, but you are in control of the resistance and pedal speed so you do NOT need to ride outside your comfort zone! Take it at your pace, make the workout your own, and there is no need to feel like you're competing against the other people in class. The vibe was definitely one of helping to motivate each other, not one of competing. The lights got turned down nice and low so everyone could really focus on their own space, the disco ball got going (yes, a disco ball, it's awesome) and the nice hum of the bikes spinning was like a little electric buzz keeping the room going.

I got a chance to chat with some of the students, here's what they had to say about Saratoga Cycling Studio:

"In May of 2011 I started the track of a healthy lifestyle started on a diet called 17 day diet, not really a diet, but a way of eating better.. I lost 18 pounds in 4 weeks.. I soon started thing I needed to introduce some fitness, I started running 2-3 times a week, but didn't feel like I was accomplishing much!  Several years back I did a spinning in a gym and loved it...I didn't want to join and be committed to a gym, so I felt stuck.  When I heard the studio was opening up I was thrilled.  I went to the open house, and new I was going to be hooked! I signed up for a couple classes to see if it was going to be a good fit, the biggest thing I find is the instructor needs to be motivating and uplifting and the music has to be good for a good class!  I took two classes and then found myself signing up for the unlimited package, I now spin probably 4-5 times a week and currently down 30 pounds and maintaining!  I am not on any strict diet, I eat well during the week and pretty much eat whatever on weekends! As for Angela and Gerard and the rest of the Saratoga Cycling Studio they are all great and very motivating!  Angela and Gerard are always accommodating to their clients, the last two weekends both morning classes were booked, with waitlists.  Last Saturday morning Angela taught an unplanned class, and this weekend Jerry taught an unplanned Sunday morning class, for more options for the clients.  With that being said I would recommend Saratoga Cycling Studio to anyone!" -Katie

"As a new mom to baby boy born in October and spin enthusiast I can tell you it's a great workout before, during, and after pregnancy. It's very low impact and its exercise that can be easily adjusted for fitness level and ability. So, while I couldn't go all out when my belly grew I could still work out. I had hyperemesis with my pregnancy (think Kate Middleton Windsor) and when I started to feel better spinning was the first thing I went back to when I had the energy! As for SCS, Angela and Gerard, and all of the instructors are great. They make it fun and bring a lot of love and energy to their classes which makes you forget you're working out. I'd call myself an Angela groupie and have actually followed her to several locations to take her classes. We 're so fortunate to have SCS in town and its a welcoming environment for beginners and experienced riders." -Megan

"As a soon to be first time mom, spinning has been my primary form of exercise throughout my entire pregnancy.  I usually attend class twice a week, my due date is 2 1/2 weeks away, and I'm still at it. I'm hoping that it will definitely help with labor and getting back to normal afterward.  I have been fortunate enough that I haven't gained too much with this pregnancy, and I think the spinning has definitely helped.  I do use a heart rate monitor, and listen to my body when in a class. After my daughter is born, and when it is time to jump back into it, I want to continue as much as I can. SCS is great!  The facility, the instructors, as well as the online sign up system are great motivators to get to class." -Chrisspin725704_1081082016_o

Stay tuned for many more posts in my Mamatoga Total Fitness Series, an exclusive look at all the different classes our area has to offer. Spinning, yoga, Pilates, Zumba, aerial yoga, dance, ballet, personal trainers, core, boot camps, stroller aerobics, Bikram, Barkan, barre, gyms, fitness studios, mommy & me classes and much more! Know before you go with Mamatoga! Want your class to be featured in the series? Email Jenny at jenny@mamatoga.com today!

Mamatoga Fit Tip with Jeannine Trimboli: What the Heck is a Foam Roller? Let’s Learn the Exercises: Part I

Last week we talked about the benefits of foam rolling and why it can be a beneficial part of anyone’s workout program. This week we are going to learn how to perform some of the actual exercises. Keep in mind that the movements look simple enough but you may experience a slightly awkward phase when first trying to perform these movement patterns. As with any new skill, have some patience when starting out. A sense of humor can help too. Know that some of these movements may feel downright painful when you first try them. I know the two that were the most uncomfortable for me, in the beginning, were the IT Band Roll and the Back.

What feels the least pleasant is more than likely the place where you need to administer the most attention.  The good news is that if you foam roll on a regular basis, these areas will start to open up and feel less uncomfortable and that is a good sign that you are giving yourself some well needed TLC.

This week we focus on three areas of the body, the IT band, the back, and the glutes. Over the next couple weeks we will cover every possible muscle group from head to toe, so bookmark this page.

Just click on the highlighted links above the photos to view my how-to videos!

IT Band Foam Roll

Glute Roll

Back Roll

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XB5fk4ms9VE&feature=BFa&list=UUfv3IxeuP3xlSSCKlr7oYWw

Next week we will learn three more foam rolling exercises for the hamstrings, quadriceps, and calf muscles. See you then!

For more from Jeannine head over to Real Fit Life right here!

Mamatoga Fit Tip with Jeannine Trimboli: So…What IS a Foam Roller?

Over the past year, I have gradually implemented a new practice into my own fitness program and the fitness programs of my clients. I have to admit that I avoided this practice for a while. I think I avoided it for the same reason we all avoid new things. It takes time to learn something new. We get set into certain habits and even though we may think about trying that particular new thing, it can take us a while to actually do it. Then when we finally get around to it, we think (or at least I do), “Wow, that wasn’t bad at all. Why did I wait so long?”

I found this with foam rolling. And now that I have made foam rolling a regular part of my fitness routine, and the fitness routines of many of my clients, I can’t imagine a program without it. So I thought it would be very unfair of me if I didn’t also share this great new discovery with all of you!

“What is a foam roller?” It is an 18-inch-long roll of tightly packed foam that is about 5 inches in diameter. You can find them in just about any major department or sporting goods store, usually in the section that carries the yoga and pilates items. They are fairly inexpensive too. They were also on my list of “J-trim’s 6 Must Have Fitness Items for Your Home” which I shared on Mamatoga not too long ago. You can read the entire list here.

“What do you do with a foam roller?” (Wow, you guys are asking me some really great questions today!)

Think of a foam roller as your very own personal, at your beck and call, 24/7, masseuse. You can roll yourself out on your foam roller to help release any tight muscle spasms that develop throughout the day. Even if you don’t exercises, I highly recommend a foam roller for everyone. When you roll out your tight muscles on a foam roller (say, your low back for instance) the compression causes the nerves to relax and also loosen the muscle. Foam rolling also helps to promote better circulation as it gets the blood flowing.

Now, I know I am making this sound all warm and fuzzy but I also have to be very honest. The first time I demonstrated some of the foam rolling exercises to a group of my fitness participants, they got quite a laugh. The faces I was making in response to the unpleasantness I was experiencing while rolling out my tight muscles on my foam roller was more than entertaining.

That is my roundabout way of letting you know, foam rolling can slightly hurt in the beginning. The tighter a muscle is when you roll it out, the more intense the sensation. However, that is a sign that the muscle group that’s sending you these unpleasant signals, really needs some release.

Think of your muscles as a lump of dough. When the dough is cold and lumpy, it isn’t very pliable. But as you take the rolling pin over it, applying pressure, and rolling back and forth, the dough becomes soft and malleable. Your muscles respond in much the same way. So, while it may not feel pleasant initially, your body will feel so much freer and relaxed after you foam roll.

I go through a series of foam rolling exercises before my workouts. I find this helps to increase my range of motion and I have seen great improvements in my movement patterns because of it. Some people prefer to foam roll at the end of their workouts. You can also foam roll at home before bed, while you are watching television, or first thing in the morning. If you work a job where you sit a lot, maybe take one to work with you and use it on your lunch break. I guarantee you will be the constant conversation topic at the office, and everyone will want to play with your foam roller!

Next week on Mamatoga, I am going to show you some foam rolling exercises. I am going to show you how to roll our every major muscle group in your body. In the meantime, if you would like to buy a foam roller so that you are prepared to start, go buy one!

For more from Jeannine, check out her blog Real [Fit] Life right here!

J-trim’s At Home Workout. Let’s Lift Some Heavy Things, People! Part II

In segment two of this series I posted Workout A. Today I am going to give you Workout B. You can perform these workouts 2 -3 times a week, on nonconsecutive days. If you use these workouts three times a week, you will perform workouts A twice and B once, then the following week you would perform B twice and A once. So the order for week one would be A, B, A. The order for week two would be B, A, B, and so on. If you perform these workouts only twice a week you can use this program for 6 weeks. If you perform these workouts three times a week, it will only take you four weeks to complete.

Week 1 should be your “get acquainted” week. Depending on where you are at, you may need to perform some of these exercises with lighter weight or just body weight. Form is always important but I cannot stress enough, the importance of pushing yourself to lift heavier than you think you can. Since I suspect that the majority of people reading this are women, and since I have trained a LOT of women, I know your tendencies. Women tend to hold back when it comes to pushing with heavier weights.

Week 1, it is okay to have “a couple reps left in the tank” but each week you should be pushing for a new personal best for at least one or two exercises in each workout.

Logging your workouts, including the day, all exercises, how much weight you lifted, and how many reps you completed for each set, helps to give you a measurable view of where you are at and where you are headed next. Don’t just leave it to memory. Seeing your current accomplishments on paper is one more way to stay focused and motivated. It also keeps you serious about your program. Make any notes that may be helpful as well. Don’t be afraid to challenge yourself and don’t be afraid to make some noise or funny faces either.

I once had a male trainer tell me to “not make faces” while working hard. Umm, excuse me??? I LOVE when I see my female clients use what I refer to as their “grr” face. That is when I know they are finally digging in and really challenging themselves!

So here we go. This is Workout B.

To start out, you need to perform a warm up. You can use the warm up I gave you in another Mamatoga blog post, “J-trim’s Quick and Challenging Strength Workout”. Click on the link to watch my warm up exercise and how –to videos.

Note: Some of these exercises are performed outdoors in the videos. You can just as easily perform all of these indoors. Use a stair, chair, stool, coffee table, whatever you have available. Remember, always use a “can do” attitude. Ask yourself “What CAN I do?” No negative talk!

Now here are the exercises.

Week 2, Workout B

REST 75 seconds between all exercises. I recommend you use a stopwatch.

Set 1

1a. Plank hold with alternating arm lifts – 12 lifts (6, each arm)

1b. Single arm chest press (on partial bench) – 12 presses, (6 each arm)

Repeat 1a. and 1b. for a second set for the same number of reps and in the same order.

Set 2

2a. One arm, one leg dumbbell row – 12 rows (6 each arm)

2b. Bulgarian split squat – 12 reps (6 each leg)

(Once you can do these without weight, add dumbbells to your hands, arms at your sides. Front thigh goes parallel to the ground. To modify further, use a lower step or bench for your back foot)

Repeat 2a. and 2b. for a second set for the same number of reps and in the same order.

Set 3

3a. Dumbbell curl to press with split stance – 12 reps (6 each leg, switch legs halfway through each set)

3b. Dumbbell pullover extension – 12 reps

Repeat 3a. and 3b. for a second set for the same number of reps and in the same order.

Remember, log your workouts and keep track of your progress. If you are still lifting the same amount of weight on week 4 or 5 as you were lifting week 1, you are probably not pushing yourself the way you should be.

If you have any questions, get in touch with me at info@realfitlife.com.

Now get out there!

For more from Jeannine visit her blog Real Fit Life right here!