Stroke of the Day

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5 Ways to Feel More Comfortable at Your Health Club

Imacon Color ScannerBecoming comfortable at your health club is an important if you want to meet your fitness goals and enjoy your experience at the same time. We want you to stay active and have fun while you’re doing it. In order to help you maximize the benefits of your membership, below are 5 tips that will help you feel more comfortable here at Saw Mill Club.

1. Take our Smart Start Orientation

The first step is getting to know each other! Our Smart Start Member Orientation is not only a great opportunity to become familiar with our club, but we’ll also provide you with a personalized physical evaluation so we can structure an exercise plan that is just right for you. We’ll introduce you to the training equipment and fitness programs that directly coordinate with your specific health goals. Afterwards, we’ll connect you to our TechnoGym Smart Key System. Smart Key will adjust machine settings based on your fitness level and monitor your workout times, calories, and heart rate so that you can track your progress over time.

2. Stop by our fitness desk and ask for help

If you’re not sure how to operate a piece of equipment, ask for help! Our fitness staff at Saw Mill Club is trained and certified, and we are always available to assist you. We’ll show you the proper techniques in order to ensure your comfort and safety when using our equipment and facility.

3. Hire a trainer

Our personal trainers at Saw Mill Club have three different levels of certifications: Professional Level, Premium Level, and Master Level. We’ll help you choose the level that is right for you and your personal trainer will evaluate your fitness goals and work with you closely to ensure you stay on track. Whether you’re looking to eliminate body fat, increase muscle mass, or just stay healthy, you don’t have to do it alone!

4. Come with a buddy or join a fitness group

Working out with friends can not only serve as an additional source of motivation, but it can be fun too! Bring a workout buddy with you or check out our Small Group Training, also known as Group Jams. We offer a variety of Group Jams based on Shape, Power, Fun, Move, Balance, and Sport. You’ll benefit from receiving individualized attention in group atmosphere. Some of our larger group classes include Yoga, Spinning, and Pilates.

 5. Become acquainted with each area of the club

Be sure to take advantage of the wide variety of healthy activities at Saw Mill Club. From swimming to tennis to group classes, we offer a number of activities that will help you stay healthy and active. Our Wellness center offers massages, acupuncture, physical therapy, and chiropractic care. Meet the staff in each fitness area and don’t hesitate to ask questions.  By exploring each area of the club, you’ll be able to make new friends, maximize your fitness, and get the most out of your Saw Mill Club membership.

Comfort is the key to meeting fitness goals and enjoying your experience at Saw Mill Club, and our staff is dedicated to helping you enjoy your experience.

4 Ways to Stay Active During Your Workday

workplaceFor most of us, technology has made our jobs easier than ever. Computers, cell phones and other devices allow us to get more done in less time no matter where we are. While our minds are more productive, though, this convenience has turned us into the workplace equivalent of couch potatoes.

It’s easier than you might think to make physical activity a part of your workday. Use these suggestions to get up from your desk and get moving!


1. Turn your lunch hour into a health break. Instead of heading to the nearest fast-food joint for a quick burger and fries, enjoy a brisk walk. It provides plenty of physical and mental benefits and requires no special equipment. Keep a pair of running shoes at your desk, grab your iPod and you’re ready to go. Skip the music if you prefer, but make a pact with yourself to leave thoughts of work behind during this time. Bring a healthy brown-bag lunch to enjoy when you’re done.

2. Exercise while you work. That’s the concept behind the innovative bike and treadmill desks that have been growing in popularity. The apparatus is combined with a flat surface featuring plenty of room to work, allowing you to walk or pedal away without missing a beat. Unlike walking, this option involves an expense. However, with many companies becoming more proactive in funding wellness care for employees, your employer may be willing to make the investment for everyone in your office to benefit.

3. Skip electronic “conversations” in favor of face-to-face meetings. Have you grown so dependent on telephones and computers that you find yourself calling or even emailing a co-worker who’s right down the hall?  Start getting out of your seat and walking over to someone’s desk when you have a question or need to talk. Not only does it keep your muscles from getting stiff, it gives you some human interaction to reduce the feeling of isolation that often occurs when you’re desk-bound.

4. Replace your desk chair with a physioball. Workplace exercise doesn’t have to be restricted to cardio activities. Sitting on a physioball at your desk strengthens your core muscles and develops your sense of balance. It can also provide relief if you suffer from lower-back pain. While you can use a physioball, you can actually get desk chairs where one is incorporated into the seat portion.

Enjoy the benefits of technology, but don’t become a slave to it. Develop healthier habits using these tips to keep you body fit without sacrificing your productivity.

The Importance of Youth Strength & Conditioning

Youth fit blog pic 1Strength and conditioning are two of the main pillars for overall health and fitness. While some may not consider it for youths, it is an important part of a healthy lifestyle for all ages. The benefits that a youth can receive from strength and conditioning training are immense. Here are a few to consider:
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The Benefits of Learning New Equipment

New Equipment  blog pic 2When you have been doing a particular exercise regimen for a long time it can start to feel like you’re stuck in a rut. You may hit a plateau as far as progress is concerned in weight-loss, toning or building endurance. This is a great time to consider trying something new. Not only will you discover exercises that make a difference in your body, you’ll be ensuring that your health maintenance program will continue for years to come.

Try New Equipment

Some people make the mistake of performing a very regular exercise every time they go to the gym. Be it running, cycling or weightlifting, you may start to feel like you’re not getting anywhere. It’s not like in the first few months of a routine, where you can see progress everywhere on your body and also on the scale. Trying a new piece of equipment changes the game for you. It will work different muscle groups and vary the types of cardio you’re doing. That will help you to have better endurance in all your activities. It will also stimulate your mind to think and plan around the new exercise, which switches up the old routine. What was once boring is now engaging.

Maximize Your Time

When you go to the gym, it’s annoying when the equipment you planned to use is taken. When will it be available? It’s anybody’s guess. If you alternate between, say, the treadmill, recumbent bicycle, elliptical trainer and weights, you have a lot of choices. One of them will be available, even if the club is busy. If you like to use several pieces of equipment each day, plan a routine that is flexible enough to switch it around as necessary. As a result, you spend more of your precious time on your workout, and much less time waiting.

Take a New Approach

This is also a good time to reexamine the way you look at workouts in general. If you have typically gone out to exercise and done the same activity for 45 minutes or an hour, it’s time to think differently. These days, interval training is all the rage. With interval training, you perform several exercises in short bursts, with very brief breaks in-between. For example, you might run sprints for a minute or two, then lift some weights, then pushups and stomach crunches. The advantage of interval training is that you get a very high-powered workout in a much shorter time–usually a half-hour or less. In addition, you get the benefit of working a large variety of muscle groups when you used to only stretch and tone one or two.

Exercise is really important to your health and overall well-being. But if you’re not working to stay creative, your workout may become a chore instead of a delight. In time, you’ll start looking for excuses not to do it. Rethink your approach and try some new things. You’ll be glad you did.

5 Important Exercises for Tennis Players

Tennist blog pic 4Tennis is a unique sport that utilizes a distinct group of muscles not heavily used in other sports. Playing tennis requires agility, focus, speed and intense hand eye coordination. The best exercises to help you prepare for a good game of tennis include endurance training, footwork drills and stretching of the muscles.

5 Important Exercises for Tennis Players


Stretching should be the first exercise any tennis player performs before getting ready for a match. When stretching for a game of tennis the mission is to loosen up and stretch the muscles utilized during the game. Warm up exercises for tennis should start off slow, then gradually increase in intensity thoughout the session.

Stretching is THE most important exercise to complete before playing tennis. Without proper stretching, you are not only unable to perform at your best, you also risk suffering from numerous injuries. If you have time for only one exercise before playing tennis, make sure it is proper stretching.

Endurance Training-

Even though tennis players aren’t running across a football field all game, if you have ever seen an intense tennis match, you know that the players feet are constantly moving. Endurance training is crucial for any tennis player to be able to play their best and keep up with the ball on the court.

Jogging for 30 minutes is a great way to increase lung capacity, endurance, and prepare you for an active tennis match. Other endurance activities to help you practice the quick footwork needed in tennis include agility exercises such as the speed ladder or plyometric training.

Strength Training-

Basic strength training is great before playing tennis but be sure to not overexert yourself during training to the point that you are too tired to play. Great options for strength training include exercises with a medicine ball, chin-ups (to strengthen the back muscles), and squats to strengthen your legs.

For tennis, having a strong upper back and shoulders is important, too, yet these muscles are rarely worked as much as they should be. One of the best exercises for the muscles in the upper back is chin-ups. Resistance bands can also be used to strengthen muscles and prepare them for playing tennis.

Hitting Practice-

It is always a good idea to do some practice hitting before a tennis match. After stretching and warming up your muscles, you are now ready for some light hitting. Throughout the warm up session, you can progress to hitting the ball harder. This is another area where you don’t want to overexert yourself in an effort to save up energy for the match. Hitting practice is important to improve hand eye coordination, as well as strength in tennis players.

Cool Down-

After any warm up session, it is important to cool down your muscles and your body in preparation for the game. You should be finished with your warm up exercises for tennis around 10-15 minutes before your actual match. This is the proper time to begin cooling down and preparing for the game. Refueling by drinking a sports drink or water and eating some form of protein is a good idea to help your body recover from the warm up and prepare for the game. This is when you should tape or wrap up any injuries that may interfere with your ability to play your best.

3 Ways to Know a Personal Trainer is Right For You

PT blog pic 2Staying physically active is a necessary element to a healthy lifestyle. As our world becomes more sedentary, the opportunities to gain physical movement and burn calories are exponentially rising. With fun and supportive classes that move your body, or small group training, you can make your exercise entertaining! There are also independent movers; those who frequent the gym and know exactly what equipment they need to get a great workout. No matter who you are and what you prefer, there are a multitude of ways to get your physical movement in and enjoy every second of it.

Why a personal trainer?

There is another source of exercise: enthusiastic, educated individuals who dedicate their time to providing clients with personalized attention. Did you know between 2001 and 2011, there was a 41% increase in personal trainers? We love what they can give us! By working with a personal trainer, we learn about proper rules to effective exercise and balancing a healthy life. We are investing in meeting our goals.

Personal training as a “last resort.”

With dozens of different workout routines available to us, how do you know that a personal trainer is right for you? Many people do not approach a personal trainer until they have attempted every other option they find valuable. Once their experiences fail to give them any success, a personal trainer feels like their last resort. In reality, a personal trainer could be the perfect touch to building a healthy lifestyle. By acquiring all the tools and knowledge from your personal trainer, you can confidently continue to pursue your activity and balance your life.

Here are the 3 sure fire ways to decide if a personal trainer is the perfect match for your healthy lifestyle and exercise routine:

3. You look to a workout buddy for routine, accountability, or entertainment.
We all have our friends who work out regularly, and we love it when we can work out together. By holding each other accountable for being available, it solidifies a consistent routine. Naturally, our exercise stays consistent when we group up to do so.
A personal trainer would be perfect for you because they are your biggest supporter, and schedule time in their day to work out with you and give you coaching to improve your progress. It’s also more entertaining to work out alongside someone else.

2. You lose motivation quickly or have trouble staying focused.
Do you push full steam ahead when working out, and then feel drained and exhausted for a week afterwards? Do you feel overwhelmed by the idea of being consistently active? There is a lot to learn about exercising, and feeling sore isn’t just in your muscles. It could be a real headache, too! You’re not alone; over 73% of people give up before reaching their fitness goals.
A personal trainer acts like a guidebook for physical activity. There are no expectations or surprises with a personal trainer. They also break your goal into many small goals to diminish any pressure you may feel about training.

1. You are learning how to exercise effectively or are new to the gym.
A personal trainer is a perfect choice if you are newly introduced to the gym atmosphere. Personal trainers know their gyms inside and out, and by investing in their guidance you can easily integrate into your gym without any confusion or frustration.
Personal trainers are certified to assist you in sound nutrition advice as well as walking you through proper techniques when exercising. You can start your new journey enthusiastically with your personal trainer by your side.