The Power of Pilates

People may wonder why I smile so frequently. I believe it stems from the joy I feel from having discovered the secret to feeling and being truly fit. I had worked out my entire life by lifting weights, doing cardio, running, and attending a variety of classes. Despite my efforts, I never felt entirely fit. I believe this is due to not having achieved true abdominal strength. I discovered this strength after developing my core in Pilates.

In Pilates, most people begin to feel a difference in their bodies within just a few months. A strong core increases your agility, decreases the likelihood of injuries, and improves your performance in most sports and activities.

Since starting Pilates less than a year ago, I have gained two pounds of muscle. My posture has improved, and the pain in my lower back has become non-existent. I feel better—both physically and emotionally. I feel I have discovered the true secret to being physically fit, and I want to share this gift with the world.

In the Pilates studio, we often hear the question, “Who invented this contraption?” The answer is that it evolved from principles of Joseph Pilates, a physicist who was enamoured by the Classical Greek ideal of one being balanced in mind, body, and spirit. Joseph Pilates believed that both mental and physical health are inter-related through Pilates. He began to develop his own exercise system based on this belief.

In the early 1900s, he connected springs to hospital beds to enable bed-ridden patients to exercise against resistance—an innovation that later inspired his equipment designs. An influenza epidemic then struck England in 1918, killing thousands; however, not one of Pilates’s trainees died. He claimed this was evidence to support the effectiveness of his system.

Pilates requires one to exercise maximum concentration. The way in which the exercise is completed is more critical for success than the exercise itself. Those who practice Pilates should focus their attention on performing each move with precision.

Pilates can significantly transform the way your body looks, feels, and performs. It is a safe and sensible exercise system that will support you in looking and feeling your best. It teaches body awareness, good posture, and graceful movement. It also improves flexibility, agility, and may alleviate back pain. The benefit of Pilates is not age, gender, or condition-dependent. Everyone can benefit from the practice.

One hour of Pilates continues to burn calories throughout the day. Resistance training is the essence of Pilates. It is scientifically proven to build lean muscle and rev-up your metabolism to burn calories all day long.

Pilates caters to everyone—beginners and experts alike. The common thread connecting us all who engage with Pilates is how we use our mind and matter to work toward goals, such as improved flexibility, better posture, enhanced muscular strength, stabilization of the spine, rehabilitation, and injury prevention. Pilates helps one, and all, who engage in its practice. So if you are ready for a fun and effective workout that will transform your body, I invite you to call and schedule your first Pilates session or jump into a Pilates Happy Hour. Your body will thank you!

Writer: Monica Flejter, Pilates Instructor

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Dermalogica Your Winter Skin!

Cold, windy winter can sometimes cause the skin to become sensitive and dry. Most people continue to use their non-winter products to weather the storm of winter. I’m here to tell you that you don’t have to. Thanks to some of Dermalogica’s outstanding products, calming the skin of unwanted sensitivity has never been easier.

Dermalogica’s ‘Ultra Calming’ line is designed for sensitive skin including rosacea. One product that has been in a line for a while is ‘Barrier Repair.’ This lightweight waterless moisturizer helps combat dry, sensitive skin as well as shields against environmental and internal stressors. This silicone emollient glides on beautifully and helps restore healthy skin.

Two of Dermalogica’s newest products added to the ultra calming line are ‘Calm Water Gel’ and ‘Barrier Defense Booster.’ When combined, this power duo makes a wonderful pair for sensitive skin.

The oil-based booster relieves dryness and can be used under your everyday moisturizer or mixed in. The wonderful part is that when you apply the ‘Barrier Defense Booster’ under ‘Calm Water Gel,’ the gel locks in the moisture of the booster, giving you a powerful combination to balance sensitive skin and reduce redness along with dryness and irritation.

Dermalogica’s ‘Ultra Calming’ line includes ingredients such as oatmeal and lavender to calm sensitive and irritated skin. If you are experiencing dry winter skin, come into Ambiance and sample our wonderful Ultra Calming line that not only gives moisture but helps to heal and protect the skin. Ask your Dermalogica professional today!

Writer: Emmy Munnis, Ambiance 

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The Art of the Smoothie

Smoothies are just so easy and delicious for breakfast, a snack, lunch or even dinner for that matter. If your schedule is full, a smoothie is the perfect source of complete nutrition in one cup. How convenient is it to get your smoothie right here at the club? There’s a full menu to choose from, not to mention that you can “Create Your Own” power pack of nutrition. From pineapples, mangoes, berries, butternut squash, acai, spinach, kale (we can sneak that in your finicky kid’s smoothie), to almond milk, soy milk, skim, nut butter, the list goes on and on.

20180220_072824Feeling under the weather? Not as flexible as you wish? Do want to battle cravings? Do want to feel less sore after a vigorous workout? Need your skin and hair to shine? Guess, what? We can help with that! Our “add-ins” are an excellent connection to your goals of feeling better, stronger, faster! Remember the Six Million Dollar Man? Yes, just like that!

Now, beware here comes some important info on why it is important for you to recover in that first 30 min after your workout. No yawning aloud.

Choosing a smoothie for your recovery is an awesome choice for your replenishment. Having it right away after your workout is better than waiting to go home. The two things we need most after physical activity are fluid and carbohydrates (good carbs!). Your body gets very good at knowing if those fuels are going to be replaced quickly. If they are, your body is more likely to let go of all its stores (poo poo bee doo!). By the way, we have an amazing add-in called “get regular” and it helps eliminate all that weekend party hardy guilt, YES!

Did you skip breakfast before your workout? Guess what? Having a smoothie before your workout is an excellent choice too! Don’t worry, you won’t get nauseous or feel too full when you choose a 12 oz smoothie. We have the perfect recipes to get you charged and ready to rock. Java Jolt or Mocha Melt would be my picks for sure. Throw a little “Get Energized” in there and suddenly you’re unstoppable!

Finally, the key to a great smoothie is the blender and the ice. You’re in luck because the café uses BlenTec. This is a sharp shredding sensation (say that 5 times fast)! It beats down our filtered ice giving you an ice cream texture, yum!

PicsArt_02-21-11.47.15So, when you come to work it out at the club, be sure to stop on by and get your smoothie on. It’s the best choice your day… besides waking up!

Writer: Lisa Copenhaver, Cafe

Fighting Fatigue with Hydration

At some point during the day, we experience fatigue, which in most instances triggers us to grab a caffeine boost to get energized. Instead of automatically reaching for the coffee or energy drink, try to drink more water. Typically low glucose levels are what cause daytime fatigue. Water is needed to break down your glucose stores, and when you’re even mildly dehydrated it becomes more of a challenge for your body to do this. More water will lead to better glycogen breakdown (a stored form of glucose), keeping your brain alert and your body fueled.

The importance of hydration cannot be understated especially when an individual is exercising. As your core temperature rises, blood is sent to the extremities and your body sweats to try and keep you cool. If you tend to sweat quite a bit, it’s important to take the necessary steps to avoid dehydration. After your workout, weigh yourself. If you have lost weight (this comes from water) it is important to hydrate to compensate for what was lost. For every pound you lose during your workout, you need to consume 20-24 ounces of water to get back to baseline levels within six hours. So if you lose 3 pounds of water weight, you should drink between 60-72 ounces of fluid over the next couple hours. Water is adequate, but a sport drink will also be beneficial due to electrolyte loss.

Individuals who are new to adhering to a low carb diet may be at an elevated risk of dehydration. Lowered levels of carbohydrates while exercising deplete glycogen stores, which tend to store a substantial amount of water. It’s important to remember from an athletic standpoint, a 2% drop in hydration leads to a 10% drop in performance.

The best way to avoid dehydration is to plan ahead and drink half your weight in ounces of water per day. If you weigh 160 pounds, you should try to drink about 80 ounces of water per day to optimize hydration levels. If you sweat a lot, you’ll need even more. Our bodies are 60% water, so do yourself a favor and stay hydrated!

Writer: By Shawn Gutierrez

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TCC Tennis Time


It is an exciting time in the world of youth tennis. Many organizations that work with youth tennis players including The Claremont Club, the USTA and other international entities have been integrating age and size appropriate equipment, teaching techniques and motivational tools just for kids. As many players know, tennis is a sport that requires a skill set that is not easily attainable in the early stages of learning.

Tennis is a satisfying endeavor for a number of reasons. Tennis players need to use mental, physical and social skills. The mental aspects of tennis have to do with strategy, personal confidence and self-control and the ability to play well under pressure. The physical components of tennis are obvious including speed, agility, balance and hand-eye coordination. Players can easily translate the athletic skills learned in tennis to almost any other sport. Tennis also has the potential to increase anyone’s level of physical fitness. Whether you play on a USTA league team – just for recreation with friends, in tournaments, for your high school or college – tennis affords players opportunities to grow socially. The etiquette and standards of behavior that are expected in tennis are good preparation for many other social situations in life. Learning to be polite to opponents, to respect coaches and officials all while attempting to compete serves any player well. Tennis is a sport of a lifetime and we know that providing young people with good instruction and the appropriate equipment will facilitate their learning efficiently. The USTA recently launched a national youth tennis program called NetGen. NetGen is a systematic approach to tennis instruction and practice that includes learning basic technique, athletic skills needed for tennis, match play and character development in a fun and engaging atmosphere. Our Junior Tennis Program at TCC is designed with many of the same elements as NetGen. We use ROG- which refers to Red, Orange and Green Dot tennis balls. Each kind of tennis ball may aide players as they are learning new skills. Our professional instructors understand the benefits of teaching with a variety of ball styles and are able to discern how to help players grow into their own abilities. Equally important is that players have racquets and courts that are sized appropriately for their age, size, and level of play.


We believe that giving young players equipment that suits them helps develop good habits that will stay with them through the transitions to regular balls, racquets, and court size.   It is interesting to note that the US is not the only country working on bringing tennis to youth players in this way. In fact, several top-ranked up and coming tour players learned with a similar style of equipment and programming that you will find at TCC today.

Our program includes, but is not limited to, a progression from Future Stars through the Elite team and beyond. Future Stars are our youngest players. Their lessons focus on fun and establishing a basic understanding of the rules and components of the game. Good character traits such as effort and cooperation are also stressed.


Our Rising Stars practice and play mostly with the orange ball and on the junior court. These players are now refining shots, learning tactics and growing in sportsmanship.

Tournament Team players are putting their skills to the test as they compete in more match play and are held to high standards of conduct on the court. TCC’s Elite Team players work on advanced shot making and developing their personal strengths in tennis. These players are expected to exemplify good sportsmanship, hard work and the joy of advanced play for the younger or less skilled players. (Fig. 3, one of the other clinics)

It is indeed an exciting time to be involved in youth tennis! We encourage players of all ages and skill levels (even those who missed the ‘youth’ opportunity to try tennis) to come out to the courts. Our highly qualified and motivated staff members are ready and willing to help current, returning and new players find their way.   As one of the great ambassadors of tennis says, “The tennis ball doesn’t know how old I am. The ball doesn’t know if I’m a man or a woman or if I come from a communist country or not. Sport has always broken down these barriers.” –Martina Navratilova

Writer: Barry Friedman, Tennis Director

New Year, New Outlook

Happy New Year! As we pack up all the holiday decorations and look back at all the accomplishments of 2017, we are excited to see what 2018 will bring to each one of us! As we approach this new year, many of us begin by making resolutions about ‘finally going to the gym’ and ‘losing weight from the extra holiday cookies,’ however, we should turn our new year’s resolutions into new year’s outlooks.

Everyone knows that the holiday season calls for days filled with the “3 Fs”: family, friends, and food. However, the holiday season can also cause stress, anxiety, and tension as we look for perfect Christmas gifts, plan that elegant Kwanzaa dinner, or prepare for all the Hanukkah games and festivities. But, hey – what are the holidays without a little chaos?! Well, there is nothing better to do than leave the stresses of the holiday season behind and start 2018 by focusing on our mental rather than our physical health. Here are some ways to focus on improving your overall mental health.

  • Know when you are stressed or anxious. Everyone responds to stress and anxiety in different ways. However, identifying early signs and symptoms can allow you to find the source of the problem and deal with it quickly and efficiently. Signs and symptoms of stress and anxiety include inability or difficulty falling sleep, overeating, undereating, abnormal pains, feeling fatigued, getting sick more often.
  • Know ways to treat your stress or anxiety. Just like there are no two people who are exactly alike, there is no exact method of treating one’s stress or anxiety. Following are three approaches that can help diminish these unwanted feelings and can lead to a healthier and happier life.
  1. Mind: The mind is a powerful tool that can either be one’s best friend or worst enemy. Therefore, we must reroute our minds to understand our own personal mental health. Understand and accept that you cannot control everything. Ask yourself, are things really as bad as they seem? The answer is usually, probably not. Do your best and celebrate the little victories. Have a positive attitude. Does having a negative attitude solve the problem? Learn what triggers your stress and anxiety. Identify if it is school, family, work, relationships, or something else.
  1. Body: The body is a physical example of what is happening in your body. By managing what you do and what you put in your body can significantly impact how you feel. Here are a few things to consider: Limit caffeine and alcohol because stimulants can increase the stress on the body and cause one to feel more anxious. Eat a well-balanced diet. Sound eating will fuel your body. You will have more energy to accomplish tasks throughout the day. Get plenty of sleep. In times of excessive stress, the body is often compromised in the process; therefore, it is important to increase the amount of rest you get. Get plenty of exercise. Working out and doing something physically active can make you feel better as well as provide a way to relieve stress and increase endorphins.
  2. Action: Taking action is one way that you can relieve your stress and anxiety when they are present. Here are some ways to relieve your stress: Take deep breaths and count to 10. Talk to someone. Get professional help if needed.

Writer: Marisa Quon: Nursing Student, Azusa Pacific University


The Importance of Stretching

How important is it to stretch?

  • Keeps muscles flexible, strong and healthy to maintain a range of motion
  • Without stretching, muscles can shorten and become tight
  • Without stretching the muscles become weak and are unable to extend all the way, which puts you at risk for joint pain, strains, and muscle damage.
  • It takes weeks to months to get flexible, so staying committed to stretching every day is important.
  • Stretching increases blood flow and circulation
  • Better balance and range of motion
  • Decreases stress
  • Improves posture

Tips for a better stretch

  • Warm up first
  • Focus on major muscle groups such as shoulders, neck, calves, thighs, hips and lower back.
  • Hold your stretch for 30 seconds
  • Remember to keep breathing!
  • Stretch evenly on both sides
  • Do not bounce while stretching
  • Stretch for 10 minutes every day

By- Casey Bingaman – Massage Therapist