Fitness Berks February 2013

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We treat all of you. Chiropractic Care

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3 9 3 3 Pe r k i o m e n Av e n u e , R e a d i n g , PA 1 9 6 0 6 • w w w. s p i n e a n d w e l l n e s s . o r g • ( 6 1 0 ) 7 7 9 - 4 5 8 8


Special guide to healthy living in Berks County!



An interview with Allison Baver:

Setting her sights on Sochi in 2014.

What is Yoga?


The answer is as varied as the students who experience the journey.


Fifty Shades of Gains

Improve your fitness with variety!


Ski Conditioning

in everY issUe

4 Calendar

Fitness Berks

Key components of a ski conditioning program.

Motivational words from the editor Caroline Hill...................................................2 The Gear Girls go... Snow Sport Shopping.................................................................25 Training Short Track Ice Speed Skating..............................................................................9 Pre-season Ski Conditioning..............................................................................26 Staying Fit Yoga Guide................................................................................................15 Yoga Therapy.............................................................................................16 Best of Berks Yoga.....................................................................................17 Get Off the Couch.......................................................................................22 Yoga Party.................................................................................................24 Inline Speed Skating....................................................................................28 Health & Nutrition Good2Eat......................................................................................24 Local Athlete Profile Tyler Carter...............................................................................30

mo tivational words f rom the editor


Publisher Tracy Hoffmann Hoffmann Publishing Group, Inc Editor: Caroline Hill Creative: Dave Hessen

Advertising: Heather Brady Brad Hess Website:

2921 Windmill Rd. Reading, PA 19608 610.685.0914 Editorial Review Board Joe Mariglio, MD Michael Yoder Asst. Track & Cross Country Coach Jennifer Seale Christin Kelley

Happy New Year! Welcome to winter, you either love it or hate it. As children, we wish it would never end. As adults, some of us dread the thought of it. Being an active person I don’t give up on my outdoor activities. I shift my activities as well as my gear to accommodate for the change in climate. I still run in the winter, but depending on conditions, I may have to add more than just a couple extra layers. January is a great time to start anew. Instead of making resolutions, I think about a new year as a second chance to make things better. It could be as simple as getting more organized or setting a goal for something I want to accomplish in the New Year; but I make it an achievable goal and then find a like minded friend to share the journey. Maybe this year could be the year you resolve to eat healthier and work out more, or try some new activity. I started skiing in my twenties and it totally changed my outlook of the cold wintery months. Hopefully some of the tips we’ve gathered may tempt you to give it a try. Ok, so you’re really not a cold weather aficionado, then Berks County has many great fitness clubs to join as well as yoga studios. Some of our local yoga experts have shared their knowledge and advice in starting yoga. It is, after all, a great cross training tool. Pro basketball player Kareen Abdul-Jabbar was once quoted as saying, “There is no way I could have played as long as I did without yoga. My friends and teammates think I made a deal with the devil. But it was

© 2013 Fitness Berks All rights reserved. No portion of this publication may be reproduced; mechanically, electronically, or by any other means, including photo copying without written permission of the publisher.

yoga that made my training complete.” As always, our goal at Fitness Berks is to inspire and motivate everyone to live a healthy lifestyle. May 2013 be your best year yet.

C a ro line Hil l Personal Trainer, ISSA, SCW Black Belt, Tae Kwon Do

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Fitness Events in Berks All events below are open to the public. Some events may require registration, and some may have recommendations or requirements for participant fitness and skill levels. Events are posted under associated organizations. For more information about posted events contact the respective organization.


Thursday, January 3  Seasoned Spokes Ride State Hill –Blue Marsh Lake Upper Lot- Brownsville Road 20-25 miles 10:00 AM

Friday, January 4 – Sunday, January 6  Instructional – Greek Peak, NY Contact – Ellen Schwartz

Thursday, January 10 

Seasoned Spokes Ride Oley – Weis Parking Lot Rte. 72/Friedensburg Rd. 20-25 miles 10:00 AM

Sunday, January 13 

Shiver by the River 5k/10k Winter Race Reading, PA 11:00 AM

Thursday, January 17 

Seasoned Spokes Ride Womelsdorf – Community Park Water St. 20-25 miles 10:00 AM

Sunday, January 20 

10th Annual Ugly Mudder 7 Mile Trail Run Reading, PA 11:00 AM

20-25 miles 10:00 AM

Sunday, January 27  z– Day Trip Contact Diane Nolfe

Wednesday, Jan. 30 – Tuesday, Feb. 5  Quebec City – Winter Carnival Contact – Sue Gottschall

Thursday, January 31 

Seasoned Spokes Ride Shillington – Quarry Fields Lancaster Ave. & Old Wyomissing Rd. 20-25 miles 10:00 AM


Saturday, Feb. 2 – Saturday, Feb. 9  Crested Butte Contact – Dave Coffey

Thursday, February 7 

Seasoned Spokes Ride Myerstown – Dutch-Way Parking Lot Rte. 422 (meeting-lunch afterward) 20-25 miles 10:00 AM

Saturday, February 9  Warm Hearts 5k Nazareth, PA 11:00 AM

Sunday, February 10

 Shiver by the River 5k/10k Winter Race Reading, PA  Ugly Mudder 7M 11:00 AM Trail Run Reading, PA Thursday, February 14 11:00 AM  Seasoned Spokes Ride Thursday, January 24 Bowers – Wm. Delong Park Bowers Road  Seasoned Spokes Ride 20-25 miles Fleetwood – Community Park 10:00 AM Park Road and /Main Street

Saturday, January 26  Chocolate Frosted Buns 5k Robesonia, PA 9:15 AM


Saturday, Feb. 23 – Saturday, Mar. 2  Ski Banff Lake Louise Contact Suzanne Claypoole

Sunday, February 24

Seasoned Spokes Ride Cacoosing Meadows Park Reedy Rd./Evans Hill Rd. 20-25 miles 10:00 AM

Friday, Mar. 15 –

 Chilly Cheeks 7.2M Sunday, Mar. 17 Trail Run Reading, PA  Okemo 11:00 AM Family Trip Contact – Kristen Good

Thursday, February 28 

Seasoned Spokes Ride Robesonia – Park/Playground Railroad Ave/Birch Alley 20-25 miles 10:00 AM


Rotary Run for Youth 10 mile & 4 mile races Quakertown, PA 9:00 AM

Thursday, March 7 

Seasoned Spokes Ride Bowmansville – Bethany Grace Fellowship parking lot Rte. 625/Reading Road 20-25 miles 10:00 AM

Sunday, March 10 

Thursday, March 21 

Seasoned Spokes Ride Ephrata Community Pool Cocalico Street 20-25 miles 10:00 AM

Thursday, Mar. 21 – Sunday, Mar. 24

Saturday, March 2

 Jay Peak Contact Kate Auchenbach

Thursday, March 28 

Seasoned Spokes Ride St. Lawrence – Lausch ES Lot Elm Street and Brown Street 20-25 miles 10:00 AM

Saturday, March 30  Mt Penn Mudfest 15k Trail Run Reading, PA Easter Saturday

Shiver by the River 5k/10k Winter Race Reading, PA 11:00 AM

Thursday, February 21 

Seasoned Spokes Ride Red Bridge Park Tulpehocken Road 20-25 miles 10:00 AM

 Berks County Bicycle Club -  Pagoda Pacers - * All rides are for riders with some experience.  Flying Dutchmen - ** New riders should not participate in races 20+ miles long or at high speeds.

Fitness Berks

Thursday, March 14

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SUSAN E. B. FRANKOWSKI, ESQ. New address: 200 Spring Ridge Dr., Wyomissing, PA

Offstreet parking • Handicapped accessible

In less than a decade, Reading native Allison Baver has become one of the world's most dominant female short track speedskaters of the 21st century. A 2009 leg injury should have ended her career-instead, she drove harder and took home a 2010 Olympic Bronze medal. Now, the countdown is on for the 2014 Sochi Winter Olympic Games-where the enduring champion has gold in her sights. By Tracy Hoffmann, President, Hoffmann Publishing Group

relay event, Allison underwent a second surgery to remove a plate and eleven screws in order to

alleviate the pain during training.

no running or Continues on page 8

Fitness Berks


performance wherever that may be, hopefully to the top, of course!”

jumping for six months; so if you can’t run or jump for six months you can’t put weight on your back for six months. When you’re an Olympic athlete, six months of lost training turns out to be like two years because it takes that long to rebuild to a competitive level,” stated Allison. Now, she’s working harder than ever to make the most of her chances to win another Olympic medal. “As athletes we all set pretty high and lofty goals. I am thankful for all that I have accomplished so far in my career, and I can’t say that I’d be disappointed in any way if I decided to retire tomorrow,” says Allison. “But my number one goal is to come back stronger from this injury. To me that means being stronger in every component from a fitness standpoint and allowing that to take my 8

Fitness Berks

She’s been making the most of her time preparing for a run at a fourth US Olympic appearance in the 2014 Winter Games to be held in Sochi, Russia, in February 2014. In addition to a strenuous gym workout, her new on-ice routine includes skating short track and long track. There’s a very distinct possibility that she might make a run for a spot on the Olympic long track team, although, as Allison puts it, “the long track and the short track are completely different, including the type of skates. I started skating long track because it was better for my ankle. The angles that are required to skate short track require many turns and more control at high speeds. Skating long track and short track has been mentally and physically exhausting. I have a gift and the talent to do both but I’m not sure how much effort and energy I could put into long track because I am still going through rehab, and there’s only so much time in a day. Time will tell.” For the record, Allison’s long track times have qualified her to compete in the U.S. long track championships in December 2012. It’s intriguing that the three-time Olympian short track speedskater might also be chasing a spot on the long track team. But then, Allison Baver is an intriguing woman. She’s believed to be the first inline speed skating phenom to convert to stardom

Allison is a former national champion, a three-time Olympian (2002, 2006, 2010), and a 2010 Olympic bronze medalist. in the world of short track ice speed skating; earning more medals than any woman short track speed skater in U.S. history. She’s the current, or former U.S. short track speed skating record holder in the 1500-meter, 3000-meter and 1000-meter events. She’s a for World Champion, a three-time Olympic participant (2002, 2006, 2010), and an Olympic bronze medalist (2010), trying to earn a spot to compete in her fourth Olympic games. It places her among the upper echelon of Olympic athletes, and among the greatest athletes to ever to come out of Berks County.

It takes hard work, dedication and commitment to stay at the top for nearly ten years. Think about the exercise, fitness, nutrition and mental discipline it takes to make it to sixteen years, and the toll it takes on your body, mind and spirit. You need to be a warrior, and Allison is just that. Many wrote Allison off after she broke her leg. A normal athlete would have been content with two Olympic team appearances, and may have been finished with the grueling training schedule and the unyielding pain...but not Allison. “When I was lying on the ice not realizing the extend of my injury, I made the commitment that I was going to come back. Everything flashed before me and I thought about the race, the olympic trials, the olympics...I knew something very bad happened and remember in mid flash telling myself, ‘you can do it’...and this carried me.” Allison trains on a rigorous schedule, unlike average athletes. She’s at the track every morning for four hours of training. She takes a lunch break to take care of miscellaneous business where she sticks to a strict food program. After lunch she’s back in the gym for a grueling series of strength and cardio workouts.

sponsors on my clothes, no hot new sneaker...I’m doing it Rocky style,” states Allison. “I’m going to the gym to work and train extremely hard and I’m making gains everyday.”

“ number one goal is to come back stronger from this injury than I was before I broke my leg... and not only compete for team USA in Sochi, but also compete for gold in 2014.” It’s that focus that’s given Allison her passion for excellence. “I’m not satisfied with average. I realized at an early age that excellence requires sacrifice and commitment. I have always loved the thrill that comes with competition and the satisfaction in training, just one

I asked Allison about her approach to making this 2014 Olympic team, and she responded, “the beauty of this time is that I feel like I am recreating myself on the ice and starting from the beginning again. I’m focusing on technique and doing the little things differently.” It’s a very interesting concept with all her accolades. “I have become very humbled in my approach to these Olympics. I’m showing up at the skating rink with no (L-R) Lana Gehring, Alyson Dudek, Allison Baver and Katherine Reutter celebrate winning the bronze medal during the Short Track Speed Skating Ladies 1000m finals in the 2010 Vancouver Winter Olympics.

more lap. I knew that I had the ability to excel and dedicated my life to perfecting my craft,” states Baver. That sacrifice didn’t come easy. It meant many missed chances to spend time with friends and family, a very limited social schedule in junior and senior high schools, a workout schedule that is demanding and timeconsuming, and constant fundraising to support the many trips to regional and national competitions that are required to move to the next levels of qualification for sporting events. Even at this stage of competition, some basic expenses, such as health benefits, are not covered by the Olympics organization, so Olympians and Olympic hopefuls need to rely on family, friends and sponsors to help defray expenses. We discussed the opportunities the Olympic experience has provided Continues on page 10

what are the odds? Just how tough is it to make the Olympics?

and Allison fondly recalled a conversation with her parents in 2010 just after she won the bronze. Her parents remarked, “our daughter started roller skating at a local rink (Skateaway) in Shillington. Allison, you changed our lives. We never thought that sending you out to sell sandwiches to go to that competition in Nebraska (circa 1990s) would give us the opportunity to travel the world and do things we could never imagine.” “Those words really hit home for me,” says Baver. “I would go doorto-door in the neighborhood (West Lawn and the Wilson area) and ask for a donation or to buy a sandwich, candy, etc. In fact, I was the #1 Girl Scout cookie seller every year. I had to beat my own max...the path to being #1 has to start somewhere! I was rarely turned down and every one of those people played a role in my success; they all sacrificed something, whether it be five dollars or some other form of support.” Speed skating has given Allison the opportunity to see and do many things around the globe. There are times for reflecting on the wonderful sights, special moments and the cultural highlights. However, she’s quick to point out, “travel can be tedious in that my training and preparation is taken to another level; from preventing illness to packing correctly, and preparing for workout schedules and itineraries.” This includes adhering to a strict training, 10

Fitness Berks

fitness and diet regimen while in the heat of competition. “The goal is consistency in performance,” says Baver. “I was one of the world’s best for over ten years and much of that was due to (how I approached travel). When I get off the plane my next practice is going to be better and I am going to be more prepared for that competition.” Every event is critical in the Olympic qualification process. Of course, there’s more to life for Allison than speed skating and the Olympics. She knows careers come to an end, so she’s building opportunities for herself, and others. She’s modeling, developing a fashion fitness line, and pursuing other interests by using her talent, connections and her undergraduate and post-graduate degrees from Penn State University and New York Institute of Technology, respectively. Perhaps most ambitious is her Off the Ice Foundation, a non-profit foundation developed to help schools and organizations around the world establish a skating curriculum designed to encourage student goal setting as a pursuit of achieving one’s dreams. Allison has always been a big dreamer, so we can only imagine what lies ahead for Sochi and beyond the ice.

We wondered how Allison’s pursuit of a fourth Olympic Games appearance, and the possibility of competing in short and long track compare. “There are about 10,000 athletes in the Summer Olympics. With the world population at about 7 billion, the chances of making it that far are about 1 in 562,400,” says Bill Mallon, past president and co-founder of the International Society of Olympic Historians. There are approximately 2500 athletes who compete in the Winter Olympics so one could assume the chances of making it that far are about 1 in 2,250,000. • A total of eight short track speed skating events (men’s (4) and women’s (4)) will be held at Sochi 2014. • Each National Olympic Committee is allowed to delegate a maximal number of ten men and ten women speed skaters who reached the qualification criteria. • A total of 488 athletes have competed in at least five editions of the Olympic Games (493 if the 1906 Games are counted) between 1896 and 2010 inclusive. • Well over half of six-time Olympians belong to the shooting, equestrian, sailing and fencing disciplines, which are known for allowing athletes more longevity at the elite level. Athletics and cross-country skiing also provide a large number of athletes who have competed at five Olympics. • Only 10 women speedskaters have competed in five or more Olympic games. • At the 2010 Winter Olympics, Haralds Silovs of Latvia became the first athlete in Olympic history to participate in both short track (1500m) and long track (5000m) speed skating, and the first to compete in two different disciplines on the same day.

Shawn works more intently with participants who hunger for a bit more. Currently one of his students, Harrison Sincavage, 18, is training toward earning his re-qualifying time for the Junior National Team Trials and working toward his American Cup B Time.

“My job is to create a practice environment where everyone from new skaters to those at a competitive level can benefit.” Harrison describes his training as “extremely vigorous and very intense” yet pays off at the starting line. A certified trainer writes, reviews and modifies Harrison’s weight lifting routine, which includes 15-week periodization training. A treadmill, stationary bike, outdoor sprints and hill runs are used for interval training to focus on speed. Stretching and core work are done as keys to speed as well. This is all in addition to the time Harrison spends training on the ice and through dry land exercises.

Trainer Tips: short track ice speed skating By Jessica Whitmore


hawn Walb knows what it takes to turn an athlete into a competitor. Shawn coaches weekly club level ice speed skating at Body Zone in Reading as part of East Penn Speed Skating Club (EPSC). Besides training Allison Baver, he has trained skaters who have trained at olympic training centers, participated in World Cups and qualified for Junior National Team Trials.

Shawn encourages those thinking of trying ice speed skating to visit their weekly practices. “We welcome anyone, any age or skating ability who wants to try speed skating.” Information can be found at skating-speed.html.

Harrison Sincavage (45) skating in the 2012 Mid-Atlantic Championships.

“My job is to create a practice environment where everyone from new skaters to those at a competitive level can benefit. My goal is to prepare skaters for what happens on race day; at the club level, every one races at least once or twice a year," explains Shawn. Shawn’s weekly practices start with laps where each racer’s lap length is different yet consistent with race day lengths. The practice then focuses on technical aspects of ice speed skating through drills, such as one-skate skating to develop balance and control. The third part of practice focuses on speed. “We go fast at every practice,” says Shawn. He also encourages the skaters to work on dry land exercises to stimulate speed skating – left steps, right steps, squats – while wearing gym shorts and sneakers instead of skates and gear. Fitness Berks


By Linda Zogas & contributing writer Pam Guido

While the history of yoga spans thousands of years, the answer to this question is as varied as the students who experience the journey.


o doubt that yoga is a familiar word to just about everyone now. The word conjures up images of ancient yogis in the Himalayan Mountains to the latest LuLuLemon advertisement. Ask a group of yogis at the end of a practice what the definition of yoga is and you will probably get as many answers as students in the class. Yoga is my workout. Yoga is my therapy session. Yoga helps me manage stress. Yoga stretches me out. Yoga calms my mind. Statements like these are endless and part of the journey we all experience. No one knows exactly when yoga began. Stone carvings depicting yoga positions have been found in archeological sites dating back over 5,000 years. Text tells us that Yoga is an ancient Indian body of knowledge. Yoga came from the Sanskrit word “yuj” which means to unite or integrate. But, what are we uniting? What are we integrating? The outside to the inside? To each other? To all beings everywhere? Again, statements like these are endless and part of the journey we all experience. If yoga is the practice of calming the fluctuations of the mind...what are we uniting? Are we uniting the Individual Consciousness or Soul with Universal Consciousness or Spirit? Are we unfolding the infinite potentials of the human mind and soul? Yoga is as vast as the Universe itself. Yoga is a system for physical, mental,

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emotional and spiritual health. It is a process that enables us to explore and understand ourselves, and the Universe around us. We cannot piecemeal yoga... it simply will not allow us to. We cannot practice the postures without breath. We cannot breathe without paying perfect attention to ourselves. We cannot pay perfect attention without cultivating concentration and control of the senses. Gandhi said, “you cannot do wrong in one part of your life and expect to do right in all the others.” This is what yoga means to me.

Many of us have dissected the self-help movement into fragments. I was no exception. While not being true to myself, I jumped from one fitness fad and diet fad to the next looking for a way to “take care of myself.” Even when yoga came into my life, I only surfed the shallow waters and was careful not to go to deep. The truth is that a lot of us choose to stay busy and in a fog because we don’t want to see and feel what is really there. Somehow, we unconsciously avoid what we most need. During my breaks from my mat, I became evident of my changes, forwards and backwards. Even today, I find the most important gift I can give myself is to always remain a student. Yoga helped me make peace with all of the conflicts of life; inside and outside. In the Baptiste community we practice that being true to oneself means becoming an “sannyasin,” a spiritual warrior. Even in a room with 30 other yogis, our practice can be a lonely one. No one can do it for us. We remove our own barriers that block us. We peel away the layers that confine us. Yoga is work. I was once told in an Ashtanga class that revered Guru Shri K. Pattabhi Jois said yoga is “99% doing and 1% theory.” The work is in the showing up. The work is rolling out your mat again, especially when you are least willing to glimpse at yourself. Yoga is putting the self-help books away and practicing taking a real look at you. We learn how to make the shift from living in our heads to trusting what is in our hearts. We invest a lot in our identity and image. When we step on our mat and take off our mask we feel awkward, clumsy, and scared. Anything new is awkward. We look for safety in the walls we build around us. Not knowing requires faith. It embodies coming out of your head and fully present in your body. So then, why is some yoga so hard? Yoga was meant to be physically challenging. A physical practice enables us to strengthen and free the body so we may use it for higher purpose. All styles of yoga are ultimately a system of physical, mental, and spiritual awakening that works the whole person on all levels. All of us have felt humbled the first time we stepped into a yoga class. The language is strange and just as we


Ready to evolve your fitness approach? Watch your body transform, your mind become your ally and your most empowered self emerge. Yoga  Pilates  Workshops  Health Coaching/Nutrition  Teacher Training  Massage  Reiki

place our mat down in a “comfortable” spot in the room, along comes a seasoned yogi warming up in postures we cannot even imagine. At last year’s Yoga Journal Conference I purposely chose a class I knew was out my league, but Doug Swenson is one of my favorite teachers. I took a back row spot hoping to go un-noticed only to find the warm-ups were dropping into backbends and everyone was looking at me! It was the best decision I made. Humbled into needing an assist I continued through the practice and experienced new sensations in my body and watched with awe at the practices in the room. Baron Baptiste always talks about walking over the hot coals to get to the other side. Are you ready to walk over the hot coals? Are you ready to find the answer to “How did I get myself into this state?” You will come out the other side stronger, more pain free, more emotionally heightened, and with a deeper sense of yourself. Along that journey you may be uncomfortable, both physically and emotionally. You may need to release old injuries, rid yourself of scar tissue, or deal with some old emotional stuff you kept inside. Whatever is in there, a yoga practice will find it. So, be open to feeling a little discomfort. Be open to not Continues on page 14

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methodology and approach to their practice while offering suggestions on where to start. The next step is to simply try it and see if it resonates with you. You may even consider trying out several different classes and ‘styles’ to discover what options are available. Also keep in mind, that your preferences might change in time as your body changes.

4. I am concerned that yoga will conflict with my religion.

getting it at the first class. Be open to becoming something and someone you didn’t even know was in there. And remember, your yoga teacher is a conduit in that process. We don’t pretend to even know what is in there. With every new student we meet, we learn more.

Some reservations people have about taking that first step into a yoga class: 1. I am not flexible enough to do yoga. That is a great place to start and all the more reason why a practice would be advantageous. A stiff, tight body will continue to shorten muscles and overstretch opposing muscles to a weakened state, which manifests as pain.

2. I cannot do all of the poses.

Yoga is a work in progress that really starts with an inner attitude. Start with a willing attitude and the doors to greater possibility will open. If we waited until we thought we were ‘good enough’ we would never begin anything in life.

3. I am not sure what ‘style’ to do. There are many ‘styles’ of yoga, but many teachers bring something from all their studies over the years which may include several styles of yoga. Also confusing and misleading are the title of classes as well. The bottom line is-don’t make an assumption about what you think it is. Call the studio to get more information. This will give you a feel for the 14 Fitness Berks

Yoga is a spiritual practice that seeks to better understand the nature of our being. The very fact that we are spiritual beings embodied makes this a very natural desire. All religions have a spiritual practice, but a spiritual practice does not have to be practiced within the structure of an organized religion. Such is the case with yoga. While yoga’s language borrows from the Hindu lexicon, the practices that we know of today have evolved over time and have been influenced by all the prevailing philosophies. The set of practices we call yoga have been integrated into many different religions and can serve to deepen one’s spirituality, regardless of individual spiritual practices. So join a yoga class and let’s take this journey together.

S u n S h i n e

f i t n e S S

S t u d i o


Unwind with live music, Yoga and friends. Friday evenings: Jan 25, Feb 22, March 29 Register online now.

Yoga Parties Parties for all occasions. Choose your playlist, invite your friends. Adult and youth (ages 10 and up) classes. Bring your own cake, snacks, drinks. Call for details.

Sunshine fitness Studio

511 Reading Avenue, West Reading, PA 19611 610-406-5036

Cycling YogA Kettlebell Personal Training indo-Row TRX

Knowing which Yoga style is right for you


ith all the different yoga styles out there, it may be difficult to tell them apart. The good news is, most styles of yoga are ultimately trying to accomplish the same goal - to create a deeper connection between the mind and the body. It’s the approach or methodology that differs. So while some styles offer a gentle, meditative or therapeutic approach, other styles might deliver an intensive, more physical, practice. This guide includes some of the most popular styles of yoga practiced in our community today. Find the one that resonates with you and give it a try! Or be adventurous and try them all!

ASHTANGA Great for those looking for a serious workout! This vigorous style of yoga incorporates the breath with a set series of poses done in a flowing vinyasa style. Meant to generate body heat, which purifies the body, builds strength and flexibility and develops inner focus. BIKRAM (HOT YOGA) Come prepared to sweat in this class! This style yoga is comprised of 26 postures and 2 breathing exercises and is done in a humid 100+ degree room. With a regular practice you can expect to lose weight and reshape the body, detox and feel amazing; while at the same time relax the mind and calm the nerves. KRIPALU Kripalu Yoga is a comprehensive, disciplined approach to self-study that cultivates health, facilitates psychological growth, and transforms one’s sense of self. The primary tools are postures, breath-awareness exercises, and meditation. Compassion for oneself and others lies at the heart of Kripalu Yoga. MANTRA YOGA

Chanting or a singing of a word or phrase in repetition with the intention of calming the busy mind to help prepare the body for meditation. Great way to help ease depression and anxiety. No singing experience necessary.

POWER/ ATHLETIC YOGA A powerful blend of breathing techniques, flowing, vinyasa style movements and focus on core strength and flexibility. This style of yoga will challenge you both physically and mentally while simultaneously reduces tension and stress. Sometimes blended with other athletic activities like spin and pilates. A great cross training class for any workout plan!

Penn state Berks division 3 men's and women's cross country teams (shown at the at the Northeastern Athletic Conference championships) practice yoga twice per week during the season. This builds strength, balance, flexibility, and mental stamina. Both teams placed higher at championships this year than in previous years. Girls placed second overall and boys finished fourth.

RESTORATIVE YOGA Restorative Yoga is a healing treat for the body and mind. With props and expert assists, the holding of postures allows you to remove illness, remove stress and overcome anxiety in your life. You practice learning how to achieve physical, mental and emotional relaxation.


Very new to the yoga scene! Sling Yoga is a new, exciting approach to yoga that incorporates a hammock to support and encourage a deeper experience. Utilizing gravity, students learn to release tension and relax to become more flexibile while simulataneously decompressing the joint

SVAROOPA® YOGA A unique way to practice familiar yoga positions that makes them accessible to all ages and fitness levels. Transform your body and mind by using precision alignment and support to release core tension and stress. The result is renewed strength, stamina, balance and peaceful mind.

VINYASA A style of yoga that focuses on linking the breath with movement. Postures are connected together in a challenging sequence designed to open your body to it’s edge. Movements are smooth and flowing which is why it’s also referred to as Vinyasa Flow or Flow. YIN YOGA A gentle and very safe form of yoga where the focus is on stretching the connective tissues of the body. Great for anyone with injuries or for people looking for a very slow paced class. yodates®

A non-impact mind body approach to cardiovascular conditioning that integrates yoga, dance, and pilates.

OTHER CONSIDERATIONS: SPECIALTY CLASSES: Many studios offer classes that aim to service a special population. Yoga for Seniors, Kids Yoga, Pre/Post Natal, Yoga for Anxiety, Yoga for Cancer etc. Fitness Berks




oin the Berks Karma Yoga Club (BKYC) and participate in acts of selfless service that help people, clubs and organizations right here in Berks County.

Yoga Therapy By Molly Kauffman


ith the amount of stress in today’s society and the length of time people are sitting down versus moving around, it’s no wonder the human body is crying for attention. Yoga Therapy takes in to account both the physical and mental stresses of the body and helps restore the body from a place of disease to a place of ease. This whole body approach makes Yoga Therapy accessible to everyone. Yoga Therapy focuses on health and wellness at all levels of a person; physical, energetic, psycho-emotional, wisdom and bliss body (five koshas). Yoga Therapy is a healing journey that brings balance to the body and mind through the primary intention of yoga as our true nature. And yoga is proving to be effective in the treatment of a variety of health conditions including: chronic pain, anxiety or depression, diabetes, arthritis, asthma and addiction recovery. Yoga Therapy recognizes that the healing journey is different for each individual and selects, adapts and modifies the yoga practice appropriately for the individual or group. Diabetics, for example, might benefit from a regular asana (physical) program to help increase circulation, oxygenate tissues and regulate digestion. Breath awareness, guided imagery and dietary education may also be added. Whereas, those suffering chronic lower back pain may benefit from mantra meditation and relaxation while their physical practice focuses more on lengthening the spine, stabilizing the pelvis and strengthen the lower back. The treatment follows the need. That is the magic of Yoga Therapy – it meets the patient where they are and acts to treat the whole individual not just the symptoms. And no prior yoga experience is necessary. Only the desire to heal. Information provided by Molly Kauffman, Integrative Yoga of Recovery® Therapist and Certified Yoga of Recovery® Teacher; and Fitness/Wellness Specialist and Yoga Therapist at Caron Treatment Centers.

16 Fitness Berks

BKYC founder Carrie Gablehouse says "the mission of the organization is to practice karma yoga or selfless, conscious action in the Berks a community." Since it’s beginning a year ago, BKYC has organized and facilitated numerous outreach projects such as; helping the Humane Society set up for their annual walk, serving breakfast at the womens shelter and building homes through Habitat for Humanity. BKYC also provides free monthly health and wellness lectures at the BWIC safe house, and free Hatha yoga classes to vulnerable and "at risk" populations across the county. January is yoga month, we're very excited to announce our integrated YOga, DAnce, and PilaTES (Yodates(r) Master Class on January 13th. For more information go to: BKYC welcomes everyone. Essentially, if you want to become a ARE a member. Members can contribute in a variety of ways ranging from putting up flyers and helping with event promotion, to serving food, planting flowers or playing games with a group of kids If you are interested in becoming a member, receiving the BKYC newsletter or simply want to hear more about what’s happening at BKYC, please visit us online.

This isn’t about yoga. It’s about your life.

Baptiste vinyasa flow

Visit our website for details and schedule. Child care and locker room usage is included.


Linda Zogas

THE BEST OF YOGA IN BERKS There are many places to take yoga in our community. Each of these locations offer something unique; and welcome both beginners and advanced practitioners. Visit them online for a complete listing of classes and other available services.

BIKRAM YOGA SHRI Yoga and Wellness Center West Reading Wyomissing Marnie Healey Pam Guido 610-374-2659 610-898-0505 Bikram (HOT) yoga Hatha and Vinyasa flow, to advanced. Teacher training. DOWN DOG YOGA Beginner Specialty classes: Prenatal, Kids, Silver-age, West Reading Restorative, Meditation, Mantra Todd and Camilla Grube 610-373-7181 SUNSHINE FITNESS STUDIO West Reading Vinyasa, Ashtanga, Yin Yoga, Mantra Yoga 610.406.5036 EPIPHANY Life Spa and Multi-leveled Wellness Center Classes, Wyomissing Vinyasa, Power 610-372-1497 Yoga, Cycling and Yoga Core, Vinyasa, Kids Yoga, Family Yoga Heated Yoga, HEALING YOGA STUDIO Yoga parties Douglassville

WYOMISSING Dorian Abel, MS, RYT 500, RMT 610-369-0831 FITNESS AND TRAINING Wyomissing Beginner to advanced. Restorative Yoga, 610-743-4039 Therapeutic Yoga, Yoga Nidra (Yoga Sleep) Ashtanga style HUMAN BREATHING yoga with Morgantown Vinyasa flow Ron Coughenour and Yogalates 610-585-3617 YOGA HOUSE Vinyasa, Therapeutic Yoga Kutztown LINDAS POWER YOGA Brandi Woodard 484-646-9115 Flying Hills and Colonial Fitness Linda Zogas 610-698-0477 YODATES 速 Flow Yoga, Sling Yoga Hot Baptiste Vinyasa Yoga, Hot Breath~N~Balance Yoga, Warm Restorative


West Reading Sarita-Linda Rocco 610-376-2881 Svaroopa速 Yoga Wise Earth Ayurveda速


Shillington, PA Bonnie Showalter 610-777-1303 Kripalu - Yoga therapy for the whole self, multi-level classes, beginners series

Other Yoga Class Locations: Gyms, fitness centers, and colleges are also great places to find yoga classes and are usually open to the public.

Photography by Shawn Rutkowski of Berks County Photography. All rights reserved. Fitness Berks


Fifty Shades of Gains Improve your fitness with variety!

By Pete Coldren & Joseph Mariglio, MD


ariety is the spice of many activities in life, including your training routine (right, Mr. Grey?). Variety within the workout keeps the workout challenging and promotes muscle confusion; muscle confusion will advance gains in muscle growth and strength. The use of chains in conjunction with free weights or floor exercises is a great way to encourage muscle confusion while simultaneously increasing muscle power, strength and size. Increase size? Numerous studies have shown that adding chains to free weights such as the barbell serve to increase muscle strength and power better than typical free weights alone. Besides the visual allure of chains under your command, chains add what is known as Linear Variable Resistance (LVR) to your workout. LVR training refers to progressively increasing the resistance within the range of motion of a particular exercise; in other words, they get heavier the higher you lift them. At the beginning of an exercise most of the chain rests on the floor. As you engage, you lift the chain off the floor link-by-link, increasing the resistance (weight); making the muscle work harder to apply more force. This stimulates more fast-twitch muscle fibers, and ultimately increases muscle growth, power and strength. Chains may also be used for weight added to any floor exercise, such as calf raises and walking lunges. They can be draped over your body, adding weight over the center and freeing up your hands. This may leave you wondering: “is the use of chains some magical tool that will make me stronger and bigger, faster?” 18

Fitness Berks 18

Lunge with chains

© Syx Starr Photography. All rights reserved.

© Syx Starr Photography. All rights reserved.

This may leave you wondering: “is the use of chains some magical tool that will make me stronger and bigger, faster?”

Bench press with chains

For additional information about purchasing chain training equipment, visit:

Chains are simply tools that stimulate the muscle in a different way. The key is variety! “The ordinary raised to the level of extraordinary.” Chains can be used with many exercises, including the bench press, biceps curl, walking lunges and calf raises.

Authors: Pete Coldren, BS Exercise Physiology, Owner PCMAX Fitness Joseph A. Mariglio, MD, FCCP, Physician Partner Berks Schuylkill Respiratory Specialists, LTD Fitness Berks



Prevention & treatment of

Winter Sports Injuries By John P. Stelmach, MD Winter is no longer a time for hibernation from physical and outdoor activity. With the increased awareness of the health benefits of exercising, more and more people are continuing their training and outdoor activities throughout the winter months.


n important consideration in this year-round participation in sports and training is the need for understanding how to remain active and not injure yourself at the same time. Berks County is not Canada, which has reliable cold temperatures that freeze ponds and lakes and give some snow cover. Our winters of late have been fairly mild, giving us a more“North Carolina”winter season. Therefore, there are a lot of activities that we do outside year round that only involve dressing more warmly and understanding the difference between exercising in cold and warm weather. With this in mind, let’s discuss what we are up against when it comes to the winter workout season.

Running and walking Running and walking are two activities that you can do in light of our recent years’ winter weather. In the cold weather environment, you have to keep a few things in mind. Stretching is especially important before and after running. In cold weather, it often takes extra time and attention to get thoroughly stretched due to the decreased temperature in your arms and legs, as well as taking into consideration the bulky clothing 20 Fitness Berks

you may be wearing. Wear breathable clothing, which allows moisture to escape and retain warmth, instead of absorbent fabrics such as cotton. Remembering to drink plenty of fluids in cold weather is essential; because no matter what the temperature, hydration is extremely important in preventing cramping and fatigue.

Skiing and snowboarding Skiing is the quintessential winter sport enjoyed by millions of Americans; but snowboarding has come onto the scene in recent years and now occupies about 25% of the ski slope population. These two activities seem the same, but have some very different risk profiles.

Snowboarding injuries more often consist of wrist injuries from falls. The legs are bound to one piece of equipment so they are somewhat protected. Wrist injuries are most common and can range from sprains to outright fractures. The severity

of the injury depends on how much force is applied to the outstretched hand. Simple wrist sprains should be better in a few days with ice and rest. There are many wrist injuries that seem like sprains but require prompt and appropriate treatment for a good result. The bottom line is if you have had significant fall and your wrist hurts get an X-ray! You don’t want to find out ten years from now that you should have had your wrist treated. The biggest difference between the two is that in conventional skiing the skis are separate and in snowboarding your feet are together, which creates the possibility for different types of injuries. The most common serious injury in skiing is to the knee, which is related to the large lever arm formed by the skis. When one leg is heading one way and the other leg another, something has to give. Hopefully a good set of bindings will release and dissipate the force, but if they don’t, the knee becomes vulnerable. The anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) and the medial collateral ligament (MCL) are often the victims in skiing injuries. The ACL is more vulnerable when the knee is twisted with a forward force to the lower leg at the same time. The MCL is susceptible when one knee is forced directly toward the opposite knee. These two important ligaments are frequently damaged together since most ski falls involve a combination of both forces.

Wrist fracture treatment has also advanced over the past few years. Fractures usually require a cast for six weeks, but if surgery is required, new techniques allow better results with less casting time. These treatments involve small plates designed specifically for the wrist bones. The plates fit the bones snugly allowing early motion and are often done as an outpatient procedure. Hopefully none of the injuries above will apply to your winter sports season. If you do suffer an injury, make sure to get it checked out promptly. Be safe and have fun this winter!

There is a big difference between the ACL and the MCL in the treatment for these two ligaments when they are injured. The MCL is a wider, flatter ligament with a fairly good blood supply. The MCL often has no tension on it when one is resting or not moving the leg. With the above factors, the isolated MCL injury is treated with bracing, time, and no surgery, which usually results in no long-term damage. The ACL is a much different structure as it is cylindrical, under constant tension, and has a very poor blood supply. These characteristics do not lend to nonsurgical treatment. Unfortunately the ACL often requires surgery and a prolonged recovery time of up to a year to regain full function. Nonoperative treatment can be considered if the patient is willing to modify their activity and utilize a brace. The good news is that ACL reconstruction has advanced by leaps and bounds over the past decade with most patients experiencing a nearly full return to activity. Fitness Berks


Get Off the Couch: Dog Walking at Animal Rescue League By Michael Yoder


ave you ever thought about owning a dog? Do you want a dog but can’t have one where you live? Here is an opportunity that gets you one-on-one time with a dog and lets you interact with different breeds of dogs.

a waiver and presenting photo identification. The staff will provide leashes, and let you select the dog you want to walk. The ARL’s property At the Animal Rescue League of Berks provides a great County, located on Kennel Drive in exercise opportunity Cumru Township, you can volunteer for both the dog and its walker, having your time to walk the dogs that are about 10 acres of land with trails, and currently available for adoption. 2 large fenced-in exercise areas. These dogs spend much of their days What a perfect way to get a daily walk in relatively confined spaces, so the in for both humans and dogs alike, opportunity to interact and socialize while providing a great service to the with people, and get exercise, helps community! Also check with any other them cope until they are adopted. local shelters for similar opportunities The process for walking dogs is to volunteer and help our four-legged simple and requires only signing friends. As always, donations of food,

22 Fitness Berks

litter, treats, bleach, towels, office supplies, etc., are welcomed and needed! The ARL is open Monday and Friday 11am-5pm, Tuesday and Thursday 11am-8pm, and Saturday 11am3pm. Children 14 and under must be accompanied by an adult. For questions, directions, or additional information, please call 610.373.8830 or visit the ARL online at


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The Yoga Party: The alternative to your traditional yoga practice By Christin Kelley


pending time on your mat doesn’t have to mean sitting in serious silence. There’s lots of untraditional ways to make yoga a part of your lifestyle – like the Yoga Party! Dreamed up by yogi Kelly S. Essig, yoga teacher at Sunshine Fitness Studio, the yoga party is for kids of all ages and promises to create a memorable practice you will take with you after you roll up your mat.

Debunking conventional myths Kelly has been practicing yoga on and off for five years, got inspired to take a Level 1 training, and now is well on her way to her 200 hour Registered Yoga Teacher (RYT). Immediately after starting to teach classes two years ago, Kelly became acutely aware of the stigmas people have about Yoga. She discovered misconceptions, “from the thought that it was too easy or too hard, that they wouldn’t get a good work out like other classes, to thinking because they were not flexible enough to take Yoga,” Kelly explains. So she set out to debunk the myths and change some lives, one practice at a time. She tries to set her students at ease and let them know that, “Yoga is a practice, not a perfect, there are more reasons to try than not to.” She adds, “slowly a lot of these misconceptions have been dispelled through classes, but I still wanted to reach out and intrigue others to give Yoga a try.” The Yoga Party was born.

The Party Always thinking out of the box, Kelly started providing group yoga classes to themed music – The Beatles, classic rock night, and then Yoga LIVE! with two 24 Fitness Berks

classical guitarists, as a way to bring the untraditional yoga student into the studio, plus mix up practice for the already loyal practitioners. They were a hit! According to Kelly, “we do traditional Vinyasa style Yoga during the class, the fun, non-threatening atmosphere brought people into the class who may not have taken Yoga before. From here I developed the concept of doing Yoga Parties for various occasions.” Yoga parties are for everyone, from “Girls Night Out,” bridal shower, birthday parties for adults or appropriate age children, there’s a party practice to fit any occasion. Kelly explains, “you invite the guests, you can bring in food, get private use of the studio for two hours, which includes a one hour instructor led class set to a theme of your choice.”

The results? So why did she do it? “After developing such a love for Yoga and seeing the changes it has made not only to my body, but in my life, I wanted to share it with everyone,” Kelly tells us. “I liked the idea of taking this approach to introducing Yoga to people who may not have thought of taking a class before. And if this causes some to come back, to want to further a practice of their own, then I have accomplished what I set out to do!” We think you’ve done it Kelly!

Sunshine Fitness Studio / 511 Reading Ave, West Reading / 610.406.5036 /

The Gear Girls go:

Snow Sport Shopping By Christin Kelley and Caroline Hill Planning to ski or snowboard this winter? Then get geared up for a spectacular season. The Gear Girls share the latest trends and advances in equipment and products.

SKIS The buzz word right now is “Rocker.” Rocker simply makes skiing in powder much easier and allows the skier to experience powder at an earlier skill level. For the expert, Head has developed a ski using Formula 1 racing technology called KERS. It stands for Kinetic Energy Recovery System. When turning, the ski bends and creates kinetic energy which is stored in a microchip in the tail of the ski. When coming out of the turn the energy is released from the tail. Lindsey Vonn, Ted Liggety and Bode Miller began using this technology before the last Olympics.

BOOTS See an expert boot fitter who will be able to connect you with the boot that best matches the shape of your foot with how and where you ski. Avoid the boot fitter that tries on every boot in the store and asks ”how does that feel?” They are putting the store’s interest first and not the customer’s. Boot fitting is an art not a science. Not ready to buy new boots? Old boots are not that old but hurt your feet in different places? There are many cures to get another season out of the boots. Another option is replacing the insole that comes with the boots with a more supportive foot bed. This aligns your joints into a more efficient stance; causing less fatigue.

KNEE BINDINGS People who have had an ACL injury and are not ready to give up skiing yet, should look into the “knee” binding, which was developed to release in a special way to protect the ACL. The developer states that since its inception four years ago there should have been 12 reported ACL injuries compared with other injuries on the market. To Date, they have received 0 reported ACL injuries. Along the way there will be ACL injuries, but their “knee binding” significantly reduce the possibility.

GLOVES Some are waterproof and have liners for additional warmth. Others attach to your wrist so you can take your gloves off to adjust your goggles without worrying about dropping your glove.

SOCKS We recommend a thin merino wool sock. Merino wool is not itchy, non allergenic. A thin sock better wicks perspiration away from the feet and keeps the feet warmer.

GOGGLES AND SUNGLASSES It’s important to protect your eyes on the slopes or snowy conditions. Eye protection can help prevent snow blindness and damage to the eyes. Sunglasses should not only protect the eyes from the front but also from the sides. Put the sunglasses on and look into a mirror. Observe how the lenses match to the cheekbone. If there's too much space, try another style.Also look for a 100% UVA and UVB protection to protect the retina. Some have interchangeable lenses and a lifetime warranty on the lenses. Goggles should be tried on with your helmet to determine the size and compatibility. Some goggles have interchangeable lenses for the varying conditions; from bright sun to overcast flat light and night skiing. Some of the hottest goggles have a double lens to help prevent the goggles from fogging and a photo chromic lens which will change with the changing light conditions, thus eliminating the need to change lenses.

Visit Pro Snow Sports and Buckman's Ski Shop and Snowboard Shop for all your ski and snowboarding needs.

Fitness Fitness Berks Berks 25 25

Pre-season Ski Conditioning By Stephen Pradon New ski equipment – CHECK; season lift tickets – CHECK; ski trips booked – CHECK. You are now ready to carve down the slopes like Lindsey Vonn and Bode Miller. But are you sure you are ready?


sk yourself this, “am I physically ready to hit the slopes?” Remember, improving your skiing ability, staying injury free and enjoying every minute possible on the slopes begins with your physical condition. By participating in a pre-season ski conditioning program you will take your skiing ability to the next level. You’re now probably asking yourself, “what’s the best way to prepare for ski season?” and “how do I know if the conditioning program in my favorite ski magazine covers everything I need to take my skiing to the next level? A preseason ski conditioning program should contain the following components: cardiovascular, strength, balance and agility, and plyometric training and flexibility.

Cardiovascular First begin by building up your cardiovascular system which will give you an aerobic base. This can be accomplished with cardio-based exercises of 30-60 minutes, 3-5 times per week, for 4-12 weeks. These workouts should be done at a pace where you work up a sweat, but are still able to carry on a conversation. Running, hiking, rowing, bicycling, inline skating, swimming, stair-climbing and using elliptical machines will help you build an aerobic base. This type of training will help you recover faster, increase your lactic-acid threshold, and decrease the fatigue factor during skiing. Now that you’ve established an aerobic base it’s now time to add an anaerobic training program to your workout schedule. Anaerobic means “without oxygen.” Anaerobic training is often done by performing intervals of max or near- max exercise (90100%) for 10 seconds to 120 seconds. For example: performing an exercise for 30-60 seconds at max ability, rest for 10-30 seconds, then repeating again, again, and again. Completing 1-3 anaerobic training sessions per week for one to two months, while decreasing your endurance workouts 2-3 times per week is sure to have you on the slopes from 1st chair up of the day to the last chair up of the day. 26

Fitness Berks

Strength Strength training is an absolute must component and should be performed 2-3 times per week when starting your aerobic base with cardiovascular conditioning. Good muscle strength helps with joint stabilization through various ski conditions, such as: deep powder, machine groomed, bumps, and all-tooinfamous Northeast ice trails. You should incorporate a variety of exercises into your routine, for example: weighted squats, leg press, squat press, weighted lunges, machine leg-extensions, machine legcurls, machine adduction and abduction (inner and outer thighs), and calf raises. But do not forget to keep your body balanced by incorporating

training is essential for advanced skiers because it simulates onslope training, explosiveness, and overall reaction time. Some exercises associated with plyometric training are box, scissor, and squat jumps, as well as many bounding exercises.

Flexibility The final component in your program should include the improvement and maintenance of flexibility. Major muscle groups to be targeted are the glutes, hamstrings, quads, hipflexors, calves, and the lower back. Stretching exercises should be performed after warming up and after you have finished your workout. upper-body strength training into your routine for the following muscle groups: chest, back, and shoulders. If you do not belong to a gym or are too busy, many of the above exercises can be performed at home with your bodyweight, a fitness ball, medicine ball, dumbbells, thera-band or resistance bands. Skiers all know they need strong legs, but did you know maintaining a strong core (mid-section of the body) will help take you to the next level? The core of the body is like the foundation of a building; the stronger the foundation the stronger the overall structure is, therefore the stronger your core is the stronger you will be. The abdominals, obliques, and lower back muscles help maintain and coordinate your upper and lower body.

Balance & agility training Another component in your ski program should consist of balance and agility training. Exercises include: single leg squats on and off the BOSU, balance board squats, fitness-ball kneeling, reaching/cone touches, ski machines, functionaltraining exercises, and agility ladder exercises. To increase the difficulty of these exercises decrease your contact points with the ground, slow down the exercise count, or try closing your eyes. If you’re closing your eyes, keep open space around you.

You now know the fundamentals of a basic pre-season ski conditioning program; therefore what do you do now? If it’s been a while since you’ve stepped into a gym or have exercised at all, begin by building an aerobic base and a strength training program. These two components alone, done for 4 to 12 weeks will greatly improve your physical condition and how you feel when you’re on and off the slopes. If you are a regular at the gym (and not for social reasons) start your strength training program and then phase in the other components. As important as a pre-season program is, it’s just as an important to maintain your conditioning level throughout the ski season with a proper in-season conditioning program. Therefore, make sure you continue training once you’ve started back on the slopes. Down Under Sports & Fitness offers a pre-season skiconditioning program every year; October through December. The club is owned by Stephen Pradon and his fiancée Samantha Donovan. For more information contact Down Under at 610.376.0909 or

Plyometric training Another important component is plyometric training (jumping and bounding). This should be combined with your anaerobic, balance and agility training. Plyometrics should not be performed until you have a completed a basic strength training program for at least 3-6 weeks. Plyometric training is designed to increase your explosive power, reaction time, muscle control, and overall coordination of fast movements. This type of

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He knows that skating will give many of these kids opportunities beyond Berks County including traveling, competing, and training in places not only at home but across the country, world and at U.S. Olympic Training Centers. In fact, Olympic dreams start here explains Foster, who has coached Olympic short track ice skater Allison Baver. Foster has also coached Keith and Kevin Carroll. Keith, 22, is currently in Utah training to qualify for the short track ice speed skating Olympic team. Kevin, 19, recently competed in Italy as part of the 2012 Inline Jr. World Team.

Inline Speed Skating Where Olympic Dreams Begin By Jessica Whitmore


eff Foster was introduced to skating at a school party in 1965 at the former CC Skate Ranch in Douglassville, and he has been skating ever since. He has won National and World Team titles and has set records in the sport of inline speed skating. His drive to give back to the community, however, is one of the reasons you can now find him coaching at Skateaway, an indoor skating rink in Shillington six days a week when he isn’t working for Xerox Corporation as a contractor for Exelon and the Limerick Generating Station. You will also find him skating and coaching at Rodale Park in Trexlertown, at a track at Honey Brook Elementary School in Honey Brook, or working with skaters from rinks in Pottstown, Bethlehem and Rhode Island. All of his coaching is through the SOS Speed Club, which is based in Shillington. It is the largest indoor/outdoor inline skating club in the Northeast and is part of the Eastern Seaboard Race Series and the former Skateaway Speed Club. “Every time I think of retiring or slowing down, some kid comes up and says I want to learn to skate,” Foster shares as he highlights that the skaters range from age of 7 to 60. 28 Fitness Berks

Family involvement, at SOS Speed Club, is evident beyond the Carroll brothers. Foster’s wife Tamela and daughter Jazzmyn, 12, skate and compete. His son, Justin, has competed and is currently a roller skating referee. Lisa Brown’s three children, Katrina, 7, Aiden, 11 and Daniel, 14, are also involved in the skating club and compete locally as well as across the country. “My kids also play soccer. They play and practice at three fields at three different times. With skating, they all skate together at the one rink at the same time,” shares Brown. Skating together is exactly what happens at practices even though the skaters are in different divisions.

(Left to right) Keith Carroll, Joey Mantia and Will Bowen “We practice as a team, not as individuals. We make the team fast,” explains Foster. Practice lasts about an hour-and-a-half indoors and about an hour outdoors and includes warm up laps, skating drills, and a lot of skating. Practice also includes cross-training of planks, medicine balls and strength building. Slide boards, made of Formica and wood, are used off the rink to simulate skating movements. Spin bikes are also used for speed drills.

Practices are also adapted based on individual skater’s needs. Some skate up to five times a week. Keith Carroll has skated seven days a week up to five or six hours a day. John Soldrich, 46, skates one or two days a week. The rest of his weekly training takes the form of cross-training through biking two times a week and weight lifting. His training has been adapted because of the demand the sport puts on his body since he skates after two hip replacements. “I’m looking at [skating with two hip replacements] as ‘not enough.’ The competitiveness in me wants more. I race to stay in shape, and I’m one of the few skaters on SOS that has not won a National medal. That competitiveness to get a medal drives me to keep going,” explains Soldrich.

Foster also monitors training diaries and reviews annual goals of the skaters. He makes sure they don’t overextend training prior to races. Nutrition is another key area for Foster where he works with the skaters and parents to emphasize the importance of balanced meals and protein so the skaters can perform at a high level.

Foster welcomes anyone, regardless of age or experience, who is interested in skating to come out and watch a practice to see if skating might be for them. “All you need to speed skate is a helmet and skates,” says Foster.

Those interested can contact Foster directly through SOS Speed at, 610-972-9311 or

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Cooking with tradition: a macrobiotic point of view By Sheryl Manzella

thy self?” Then choose to take responsibility for our own health by making cooking a priority and committing to the forgotten routine of sitting down to 3 simple well balanced meals a day... breakfast, lunch and dinner?

Miso Soup with hearty winter vegetable

The art of Macrobiotic cooking has everything to do with tradition, common sense, intuition and gratitude. But it also includes quality, quantity, choices, combinations, variety and presentation of food; as well as cooking techniques and styles, menu planning and of course sharing with others. Today, almost everyone feels the effects of our fast paced culture. The idea of standing in the kitchen for long periods of time preparing a meal, then cleaning up may not seem appealing. There are plenty of reasons and excuses not to cook. So, we often make choices that don't support our health and well being. These choices, such as eating in restaurants, eating already prepared food, eating on the go, or even eating too simply may all contribute to the imbalances we experience physically and emotionally. But what if we were to awaken to the saying “physician heal

30 Fitness Berks

The best way to create a balanced meal that not only tastes delicious but also nourishes your body, mind and soul is to start by entering the kitchen with a more mindful approach. Begin by making your workspace a sacred space. Start and finish with a clean and tidy kitchen. Working in an uncluttered and pleasing environment will not only make the cooking experience more enjoyable, but it will help calm your body and clear your mind... leaving space for creativity to flourish. Before you start to cook, take a moment, sit down, take a relaxing breath, tap into you intuition and remind yourself of whom you are cooking for. Then set your intent for what you want to create. Keep a cooking journal handy to document your menu planning, and visualize how the meal will look on the plate; take into consideration colors, tastes, textures, shapes and sizes. Before you begin cooking, think about the timing and sequence of each dish, gather all the ingredients and set aside the cooking equipment you will be using. Being well organized and having a plan will not only free your mind, but it will keep your energy present, steady and strong, and you will be able to work easily and more efficiently. Soon, cooking will become less of a chore and more of a meditation in motion. The results will be rewarding and you, your family and friends will reap the benefits of a well-balanced meal prepared at home with natural, organic ingredients and a willing spirit. The daily standard Macrobiotic fare includes 40-60% cereal grains, 1 to 2 bowls of soup, 20 to 30% vegetables, 5 to 10% beans, bean products and sea vegetables. (Grains including whole, cracked, whole grain pasta, noodles, or unyeasted sourdough bread and vegetables are eaten at every meal.) In addition to these main foods, condiments, seasonings, nuts, seeds, fruits, desserts, white meat fish and beverages are used creatively to enhance each meal and meet the needs of everyone who comes to the table.

Initially these dietary recommendations may seem limited, but in reality there is a long list of foods that are recommended for regular and occasional use; and only a short list to be used sparingly or avoided as often as possible. The joy of cooking takes on a whole new meaning when you By Jilland Gallen understand the basic philosophy of Macrobiotics the reasons behind the recommendations suggested. In the practice and study of Macrobiotics, as in any system of self-discipline, the path to success is through commitment and consistency.

Miso soup with hearty winter vegetables • 3 cups water • 3 inch strip wakame seaweed • ½ cup sliced carrots • ½ cup sliced cabbage and/or kale • 1 scallion sliced fine • 1 1/2 - 2 T. barley or rice miso

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Cut a 3-inch strip of wakame into small pieces using a scissor or soak briefly, then slice with a knife. Bring water to a boil, add wakame and carrots simmer 5 minutes, than add cabbage or kale and cook another 5 min or until vegetables are tender.Use a small amount of the soup broth to dissolve miso and than add it back into soup, simmer briefly.Turn off the heat. Garnish with scallions. Do not boil the miso, boiling will destroy the enzymes. Miso soup should not taste too salty or too bland. Remember recipes are just guidelines. Try letting your intuition guide you as you cook using the principles of Macrobiotics. Miso is a savory, fermented paste made from soybeans and/or grains and sea salt. It’s been used for centuries in China and Japan as a healing food, and is a good source of protein and B vitamins. Miso that has not been pasteurized contains friendly bacterial enzymes, which can rebuild intestinal flora that gets destroyed by eating a diet high in meat, sugar, chemicals and antibiotics.

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Local Athlete Profile By Jennifer Seale

Tyler Carter

Age: 18 Occupation: Alpine Skier Hometown: Topton, PA


yler Carter has been hooked on alpine skiing since his first lesson at the age of 8. By 13, he was skiing competitively at nationals in Utah where he conquered the same alpine slope the Salt Lake City Olympic athletes faced in 2002. Even more impressive is that he accomplished this feat with a prosthetic leg. Born without a fibula bone, Tyler had his right lower leg amputated at the age of one. “I’ve really never known anything different,” he says. “If anything, being an amputee has made me push harder.” Despite his disability, Tyler has won and placed at multiple races in the junior alpine ski category, often against able-bodied competitors, and has won in the open category against some of the best athletes in the world. And now his hard work on the slopes is paying off. Tyler, now 18, is pursuing his dream to be on the 2014 U. S. Paralympics Team in alpine skiing in Sochi, Russia. “It would be a huge honor to ski for Team U.S.A.,” says Tyler, “but I have to qualify first.” Tyler is hopeful that he will make the cut and says very enthusiastically, “I’m ready for it!” He will train on and off with the Adaptive Sports Foundation in New York, and the National Sports Center for the Disabled in Colorado throughout the winter and will compete in over 12 races through the 2012 -2013 season. To make the team, Tyler must earn a certain score. The score is determined by how well he does in the races throughout the year. For Tyler to make the team, he must receive a 130 or lower. The range begins at 999. The better you do, the lower the score. He is very close to achieving his goal. “I just keep thinking, Sochi 14. Skiing is always on my mind. I just keep focused on doing a little better each time.” In the off season, Tyler trains in his basement on equipment meant to enhance ski performance and he has found a great supportive community at Corp Fitness in Wyomissing.

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Tyler skiing in Winter Par k, Colorado.

“Chris Kaag at Corp Fitness took me under his wing a few years ago and really helped me see where I needed to focus to be at the top of my game. He’s been a great inspiration to me.” Outside of skiing, when he’s not at work, Tyler enjoys skateboarding, tennis, TV, music and the occasional video game. He also volunteers his summers at the Amputee Camp in Ohio and is a counselor at the Learn to Ski Camp at Camelback Mountain in the Poconos, the same place he first learned to ski. “I feel it’s very important to give back, especially to groups that were so supportive to me.” Having a prosthetic hasn’t been without some ups and downs. “I can do pretty much anything with my prosthetic but they do break.” Once a competitive tennis player at Brandywine Heights High School, Tyler recalls one tough match. “I was ahead when suddenly the foot of the prosthetic broke. I finished the match but it was a disappointing loss.” Tyler has been humbled by his disability. “I take nothing for granted. I feel so lucky for all I have and am so grateful to have such a supportive family and community of friends.“ To anyone who is facing any sort of disability or challenge, consider Tyler’s advice: “Keep pushing even when you don’t think it’s possible...because really, anything is possible. Just keep seeing the dream become a reality and one day it will be.” Follow Tyler’s road to the Paralympics on his website at:

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