Power Poses

Your body posture CAN impact your emotional state.

By Emily Creamer Collins, Master Personal Trainer
Worcester Fitness Personal Training

Have you ever found yourself making an assumption about someone based entirely on what they look like? I’m not talking about summing up a person by the clothes they’re wearing, that’s not what I mean.

What I mean is, have you ever judged someone by how they were carrying themselves?

And before you say, ‘No, I’d NEVER judge someone based on how they look!’ let’s try a little experiment.

Worcester Fitness Power Poses Blog
"...Close your eyes and picture someone walking into the room."

Subject 1

Close your eyes and picture someone walking into the room. Imagine this person hunched forward and frowning, looking down at the floor. They sit down in a chair and cross their ankles while also folding their arms across their chest. Their head down and their eyes looking down at the floor.
 
What kind of reaction are you having to this person? Do you want to talk to them? Do you want to find out more about them?

Worcester Fitness Power Poses Blog Post
"...But this time, they are standing up tall and smiling..."

Subject 2

Now picture that very same person walking into that very same room. But this time, they are standing up tall and smiling – teeth and all – and looking right at you. They sit down in a chair, plant both feet on floor and raise their arms to clasp their hands behind their head, still looking at you with a big smile.
 
What kind of reaction are you having to this person? Do you want to talk to them? Do you want to find out more about them?
 
I would definitely want to get to know the person from the second scenario! I’ll admit it – I would be put off by the body language exhibited by the person in the first scenario.
 
Would you?
 
Body language tells us a lot about people. That’s not news to you, I’m sure. But what may surprise you is that YOUR OWN body language tells YOUR OWN mind how to feel. Your posture literally sets the stage for your emotions.
 
Consider the case of Amy Cuddy.

Worcester Fitness Blog Post on Power Poses
Photograph by Fred Field
Amy Joy Casselberry Cuddy (born July 27, 1972) is an American social psychologist, author and lecturer known for her research on stereotyping and discrimination, emotions, power, nonverbal behavior, and the effects of social stimuli on hormone levels.

What is a Power Pose

This Harvard Business School social psychologist is famous for a TED talk promoting the idea that “a person can, by assuming two simple one-minute poses, embody power and instantly become more powerful.” The so-called “power pose” is characterized by “open, expansive postures.” Cuddy and her collaborators report that such posing can change your mood by changing hormone levels.
 
When you’re in a “closed” position, like the one we described in the first scenario with ankles and arms crossed in front of your body – you’re in a low power pose. Your stress hormone, cortisol, increases and your confidence-building hormone, testosterone, decreases. (Yes, ladies, you have testosterone too). Other lower power poses can include placing a hand over your neck, slumping forward at the table, even standing with feet and arms crossed in front of your body.
 
When you’re in an “open” position, like the one described in the second scenario with both feet squarely on the ground, arms up and open, and a big smile – you’re in a high power pose. Your cortisol is decreasing rapidly and your testosterone is increasing, making you feel more confident. Other high power poses can include sitting with one ankle crossed over the opposite knee, standing with feet wide apart and hands on hips (many people call this the Wonder Woman pose).

Worcester Fitness Power Pose Blog Feature
"Your cortisol is decreasing rapidly and your testosterone is increasing, making you feel more confident."

Non-Verbal Displays

Cuddy describes this theory:
“Posing in high-power nonverbal displays (as opposed to low-power nonverbal displays) would cause neuroendocrine and behavioral changes for both male and female participants: High-power posers experienced elevations in testosterone, decreases in cortisol, and increased feelings of power and tolerance for risk; low-power posers exhibited the opposite pattern.”
 
I describe it to my clients in more simple terms:
 
“It’s hard to feel fired up, confident or excited if you’re slouched down and looking sad. Even if you’re feeling low, stand up tall and hold your head high. If you can do this for two minutes, you will feel much more powerful!” Remember the expression ‘Fake it till you make it’?
 
So next time you have an important meeting or a job interview, a race or even a training session, check in with yourself about your mood. If it could use a boost, find a place to strike a power pose (I’ve even used a bathroom stall!) for two minutes and I guarantee that you’ll feel more confident to kick butt on whatever lies ahead of you.
 
Try it and let me know how it goes!

Pedal to End Cancer Update

By Roland J. Hamelin, Contributing Writer
Worcester Fitness
 
Thanks to the incredible commitment and determination of the entire family at Worcester Fitness Nation, we are completely sold out for the Sunday March 5, 2017 Pedal to End Cancer spin event. Amazing!

We are now in serious "fundraising mode". Our goal is to be the number one producing club in our area.
With your help...we will make this happen!
 

Worcester Fitness Pedal to End Cancer

Cancer is a fierce opponent, but our company is committed to helping the American Cancer Society raise awareness about what we can do, together, to help end this disease.

2017 PTEC Team!

We're full!! 22 Bikes have been reserved!!!!
We're in 3rd Place at $3,435 with 61 donations.
We trail Paxton Sports and Tennis Center by $300, and we are the only two clubs in Central MA participating.
22 bikes at $300 per bike puts us at a guaranteed $6600.
Last year we hit over $11,000.00.
Worcester Fitness has raised $94,000 in the history of Pedal to End Cancer, that's easily in the top 10 nationwide.

Can we put a little push into fundraising and break through $11,000? It won't be easy, but together we can do it.

Libby O'Hara
Kerry Mulchahy
Deb Servideo
Gerry Motiverdi
Rich Gaitani
Louise O'Neill
Mark Huard
Charlie Leblanc, Brian Babine, Peter Lombardo
Kylee Shliapa
Jim Andreoli
Lindsay Demers
Kate Sharry, Molly Eastman Burnham, Jillian Moriarty
Todd McDonald, David Lamontagne
Nick Jackson
Jane Jackson
Laura Cosenza, Elisa Bernier
Leslie Andreoli
Rob Loring
Annette Loring
Cheryl Nathan
Paul King
Marianne Dadokian

Worcester Fitness January Blog

Photo Credit - Kill the Ball Media

Fundraising Tips!

Be personal with your requests.
Tell a story, make sure you ask for the money.
Update your fundraising page to ensure it has a photo of you and your own story.
While the generic posts to social media are quick and easy, they lack that personal touch.
Pick 30 people in your email address book that you have a connection with and send them a request for a donation.
Send Facebook Private Messages to your close friends asking them for $25.00.
Ask everyone you've ever donated to make a donation.
Facebook is filled with boring requests for money, so make you request stand out!

Stairway to Heaven Update

By Roland J. Hamelin, Contributing Writer
Worcester Fitness
 
The results are in for the Winter 2017 Worcester Fitness "Stairway to Heaven" Competition!

Congratulations to EVERYONE who participated..we were absolutely thrilled with the number of people involved for this first in a series of fresh new Worcester Fitness Fitness Challenges!
 

Worcester Fitness Stairway to Heaven

Grand Prize winner Jane Rabbis finished with 3,145 flights climbed!

Final Stats

1. Jane R: 3145

2. Megan B: 2420

3. Nickeisha T: 1739

4. Kelley F: 1068

5. Caitlin B: 927

6. Mike S: 780

7. Jane D: 772

8. Picky L: 595

9. Cheryl M: 515

10. Matt D: 356

11. Stephanie B: 315

12. Cynthia M: 287

13. Colleen M: 215

14. Jean C: 167

15. Cherie S: 100

16. Nick 0: 40

17. Jaime D: 36

Worcester Fitness Stairway to Heaven

Second Place Winner Megan Briggs finished up with 2,240 flights climbed!

Holistic Therapy

By Roland J. Hamelin, Contributing Writer
Worcester Fitness
 
Worcester Fitness is proud to announce the first event in brand new Wellness Series!

Worcester Fitness presents a three-part series of interactive workshops that have been designed to teach healthy active people how to protect and care for their bodies. The Wellness Series will feature three skilled and qualified professionals and always meet in at the fun and encouraging environment at Worcester Fitness.
 

Holistic Therapy Techniques

​Thursday February 16th
6pm - 8pm
Members-Free!
Non-Members - $5
featuring Jen Caron  
Holistic Therapy Techniques​ 

Caring For Your Body with Holistic Medicine

Jennifer Caron is a Licensed Acupuncturist and founder of Body Therapeutics, an integrated holistic medical center in Worcester. She is also a proud member of the Worcester Fitness Running Team!

She earned her Masters Degree in Acupuncture from the New England School of Acupuncture (now part of MCPHS), and is licensed by the Massachusetts Board of Registration in Medicine.

 

Eight Years Experience

Jen has spent the last eight years running her holistic practice and furthering her acupuncture education in areas of pain management and women's health. Jen is also a 3rd degree black belt in Aikido, and spent many years teaching meditation and martial arts to children and adults at Zenshinkan Dojo before opening up her practice. She is also the smitten mother of two boys, ages six and four.
 

Worcester Fitness Wellness Series

Holistic medicine refers to therapies that treat the whole person with a conservative, natural approach.

Workshop Summary

Workshop Summary: Holistic medicine refers to therapies that treat the whole person with a conservative, natural approach. The team at Body Therapeutics consists of acupuncturists, chiropractors, and massage therapists, and we also often collaborate with nutritionists, reflexologists, psychotherapists, personal trainers and others.

In this workshop we'll discuss in detail how some of these therapies can help your body achieve more optimal well-being, and you'll have an opportunity to experience acupuncture and group meditation first-hand. We'll also talk about how the integration of these holistic therapies can help you achieve greater results than doing just one in isolation.

 

Power-Up for the Patriots!

By Roland J. Hamelin, Contributing Writer
Worcester Fitness
 
Announcing the Worcester Fitness SuperBowl Sunday Fitness Extravaganza! Get powered up for the big game by joining us for our SuperBowl and Patriots Themed Classes Sunday morning!

9am Spin* with Andy, 9am Hiit it Hard Bootcamp with Lisa, 10am SuperBowl Sunday Yoga​ with Jeanine. Guests are invited to join us for only$5 for the Hiit and Yoga Class with all money being donated to Why Me/Sherry's House! *NO guests for Spin please.
#fitnessforeveryoneinpatriotsnation #weareallpatriots #worcesterma
 

Worcester Fitness Team

By Roland J. Hamelin, Contributing Writer
Worcester Fitness
 
Worcester Fitness Nation joins forces with the American Cancer Society along with thousands of phenomenal health clubs all over the United States to fight cancer. Join us on Sunday March 5th by reserving a bike, pedaling hard and raising money for a cure!
 

Worcester Fitness Pedal to End Cancer

Cancer is a fierce opponent, but our company is committed to helping the American Cancer Society raise awareness about what we can do, together, to help end this disease.

Why We Support the American Cancer Society

Worcester Fitness' participation supports the American Cancer Society, the leader in the fight to end cancer. The donations our team raises will enable investment in groundbreaking cancer research and free information and services for people facing cancer. For more than a century, the American Cancer Society has led the way in the fight to end cancer – and we are excited to be part of their team.

Worcester Fitness Pedal to End Cancer 2017

Please join us in the fight - and help us save more lives!

Shoulder-to-Shoulder

We stand shoulder-to-shoulder with the American Cancer Society in the fight against cancer.

Cancer is a fierce opponent, but our company is committed to helping the American Cancer Society raise awareness about what we can do, together, to help end this disease. Our mission is clear - keep fighting for the day when no one hears the words “you have cancer.”

Please join us in the fight and help us save more lives!

Is more exercise the answer?

By Steve Dozois, Licensed Massage Therapist
Worcester Fitness Massage
 
This time of year a lot of us have renewed dedication to health and fitness goals.  We make our way to the gym or do our own workout routines more frequently and try to eat a little better.  For others, this is almost a "rest" time as their training season is getting ready to start.
 

Worcester Fitness January Blog
This time of year a lot of us have renewed dedication to health and fitness goals.
Photo Credit - Kill the Ball Media

Consequences of Activity

What happens to your body when you increase your physical activity or try a new fitness routine?  If you're doing it right, you will be sore for a day or two, because you are increasing the load on your muscles and activating other muscle groups that aren't used to the work.    So, then what?  If you have goals of really improving your fitness and performance, you can't afford to rest.  There is also research to suggest that the best thing for sore muscles is more exercise! 

However, there is a fine line to walk.

Worcester Fitness Massage Therapy Injury Prevention
The danger of not recovering properly is that at some point, your form will begin to breakdown.
Photo Credit-Big Stock

Form is the thing!

The danger of not recovering properly is that at some point, your form will begin to breakdown.  That could be your running, swimming, cycling, squat, or any other movement form.  When your form falls apart, that's when injuries can occur.  When your form is off your body starts recruiting other muscles to do the motion, and when pushed too hard those muscles may cave with the added and unusual work load, creating pain.
 

Worcester Fitness Massage Therapist Steve Dozois
Visit a qualified massage therapist who understands your activities and goals.
Photo Credit- Kill the Ball Media

Take Care!

So, how do you keep pushing yourself without getting injured?  You need to take care of your muscles, tendons, and joints.  Think of it like brushing your teeth.  To have proper teeth and mouth health, it is recommended to brush your teeth 2-3 times per day and visit your dentist every six months.  There are many ways to maintain your muscles and connective tissue.  Some of the most effective are various stretching activities, foam rolling, or self myofacial release, and of course visiting a qualified massage therapist who understands your activities and goals.
 

Just Ask

Want to learn more about how to maintain your muscles at home or at the gym?  Ask one of our personal trainers or massage therapists, and we'll show you some great, efficient techniques!
 

Let us help you put a bustle in your hedgerow.

By Roland J. Hamelin, Contributing Writer
Worcester Fitness
 
The lyrics might be confusing (if not downright meaningless) but Worcester Fitness want's you to be thinking "Stairway to Heaven" for the next couple of weeks, and hit our three StairMills like a rockstar!
 
Here's how it works.

WORCESTER FITNESS LED ZEPP
"It's just a spring clean for the May Queen." Right on.

StepMill Contest

When: Sunday 1/15 through Saturday 1/28. The Stairway to Heaven contest uses the three big stair mills only. The top three members climbing the most flights of stairs in the thirteen day period will win a prize.

There is a binder at the Welcome Desk where members log in their flights at the end of each workout. Worcester Fitness will post results every other day so you can see where you stand in the contest.

Members should take a photo of the display screen and post to Social Media with the HashTag #WorcesterFitness and #StairwayToHeaven. This should be done at least four times in the thirteen days, or every day if possible!

Worcester-Fitness-Stairway-to-Heaven
This album cover would have been MUCH cooler this way.

Why Are We Doing This?

It's fun and competitive.
It exposes existing and new members to one of our best cardio machines.
It creates an opportunity for staff/member engagement.
Trainers and Instructors should challenge their people to enter the contest.
It creates an opportunity for us all to use Social Media to help promote Worcester Fitness by Checking In and using Hashtags.
 
The prizes will showcase our cool sweatshirt, massage and personal training services and our smoothies.
 

How Focusing on Self-Love Can Help You Reach Your Health and Wellness Goals

By Dana Harrison, MS
Worcester Fitness
 
It’s the first week of January and health and wellness goals are in full throttle. While most people are interested in resolutions related to food and fitness, let’s shed light on what’s really important in succeeding with these goals—love. Without love, there’s not much; no health, wellness, drive, or positivity.
 
I truly believe that love trumps all; hate, anger, depression; love wins.

Worcester Fitness Where is the Love
Without love, there’s not much; no health, wellness, drive, or positivity.

Don't Wait

Let's not wait for a horrific or disturbing event to serve as a reminder to spread that love. Love more; hate less. Get ahead of it.
 
It doesn't have to be big [but it can be]. And don't just do it for others and the fact that you have faith in humanity. Do it for yourself. Love yourself. Self-love and love for others is what keeps us going. So why not take advantage of that and apply it to your New Year’s resolutions.

Worcester Fitness Where is the Love
Self-love and love for others is what keeps us going.

Focus on Love

As you make some positive changes to your lifestyles try taking the time to reflect on how you treat yourself and others. To focus on love’s importance in the health and wellness puzzle, try the following challenges:
 
1) Spread some love and kindness, even small, this week to those you know and others you don't. Your actions and words are contagious; spread love and it keeps spreading.
2) Find one thing about yourself that you want to love but aren't there yet-- this one might be tough to come to terms with, but in order to love and grow, tap into that vulnerability.
 
How do you work on improving this?
 

It all starts with loving yourself and others.

It all starts with loving yourself and others.

Move FORWARD

Once you’ve reflected, move forward and apply this idea of love to your health and wellness goals by falling in love with the process of changing for the better. It all starts with loving yourself and others. Loving your body allows for appreciation of what it can do now and what it will be able to do in the future. Loving your mind raises the bar higher. Applying this can only set you up for success when aiming towards creating health and wellness goals that are sustainable and fit into your lifestyle.
 
Applying this can only set you up for success when aiming towards creating health and wellness goals that are sustainable and fit into your lifestyle.

Take a Minute to Prepare for your Workout

By Emily Creamer Collins
Master Trainer
Worcester Fitness
 
Remember to “get set” before you “GO!”
 
A few weeks ago I did a 5K race. At the start line, I had my usual pre-race jitters and was doing my usual pre-race routine to calm those jitters: jumping up and down, rotating my feet, taking the obligatory selfie. As the start time approached, the announcer on the loudspeaker called out “Ready…?” Everyone around me yelled and cheered. Then he called out “GO!” And everyone around me took off.
 
I was still standing standing there, wondering what happened to “Set?”

Worcester Fitness Get Set Before Your Workout
Everyone around me yelled and cheered. Then he called out “GO!” And everyone around me took off. I was still standing standing there, wondering what happened to “Set?”

Set!

The phrase “Ready, set, go” is synonymous with “On you mark, get set, go!” It’s a phrase that describes a process.
 
On your mark, get set, go! is used to begin a competition. It was originally used in England in the 1800s to begin running races.
 
The word mark referred to the place on the running course where the runner would start, whether a line or a set of starting blocks. Get set is a sort of warning that the signal to start running is about to occur, though today when a runner “gets set” he usually raises his hind quarters and tenses his legs in preparation to run.
 
The word go, of course, means that it is time to start running.
 
See how getting set is the equivalent of getting prepared?

Worcester Fitness Get Set Before your Workout
"...I’ve observed that very few people take time to get set in their workouts."

Be Prepared

Over the past year or so, I’ve observed that very few people take time to get set in their workouts. They get ready and then they go without getting prepared. Why is that?
 
To explore this question, let’s look at similar phrases/processes. For example, there’s “Lights, camera, action” and there’s “Ready, aim, fire.” I want to focus on the importance of the middle step. A filmmaker would never complete a movie if she skipped camera. Similarly, a marksman would never hit the target if he skipped aim. So why, as athletes, do we expect to be successful in reaching our goals if we skip getting set?
 
So what do I mean by getting set for a workout? First, warm-up. Second, focus on your form.
 

Worcester Fitness Prepare for your workout

"Before your workout, take your warm-up seriously!"

Serious Warm-Up!

Before your workout, take your warm-up seriously! It will prepare you for the best training session possible and it will help to keep your body healthier. A good warm-up works on range-of-motion, activation of muscles, and movement preparation. It can be done in only 10-minutes and should include exercises such as:
 
Foam rolling
Hip-flexor stretches
Floor bridges
Child’s pose with rotation
Wall slides
Squats
Lunges: forward, back, side-to-side
 
During your workout, focus on your form! It will take just a second and will help get the most benefit from your exercise while reducing the risk of injury.
 
Here are some examples of check-points that people tend to skip:
 
Are your hands in the correct position for a push-up?
Are your elbows and hips in the correct position for a plank?
Are your shoulder blades in the correct position for a kettlebell swing?
Are your knees tracking correctly in your lunges?
Are your heels down in your squats?
Are you breathing?
Are you focusing on your movement or are you thinking about something else?

As we head into the New Year, let’s all make an effort to “get set” before we “GO!”