Spinning, Personal Trainers, Nancy Fleming Update: Delaware Health

Go for a Spin

Have you ever worked out so hard you actually glistened? I did. Once, I actually glistened. In 1995, I received a free pass to a trendy gym in Manhattan. I heard about this new fitness craze called spinning and thought I would be brave and give it a try. It was an amazing workout and I am convinced that I am still burning calories from it 17 years later.

Spinning takes the cycling experience indoors by combining simulated hills and terrains with a great mix of music and positive energy. It has become a core offering at gyms across the country. As I watched cyclists ride by my house the other day, I thought it could make an ideal winter workout option.

I consulted Joel Schiller, a 12–year veteran spinning instructor at the Central YMCA of Delaware. I asked him about the benefits of a spinning class versus other classes offered at the gym.

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“No two spinning classes are alike,” says Schiller, who teaches a class at 6 a.m., twice a week. “There’s a wide variety of musical styles and course profiles for instructors to choose. Over the course of the class, you can do two to three hill segments and intervals and each class will feel differently.”

Diversity is not the only benefit. Schiller spoke to the various pros of spinning—especially during the winter season.

  • Safety. During the winter months, daylight and road conditions play a major factor. No need to worry about wind or cold or braving the weather to get home—you finish where you start.
  • Ability. Because it is low-impact, everyone can do it. Just like most forms of cycling, it’s easier on your knees. With spinning, you can manage resistance while putting less stress on your joints.
  • Anonymity. According to Schiller, “If you are self-conscious, you should know that no one is paying attention to anyone else. In other classes, such as step or body combat, everyone is trying to keep up—in a spinning class, no one will know if you’re keeping up or not.”

If you decide to try a spinning class, do yourself a favor and get there a few minutes early. This will give you and the instructor enough time to adjust your seat height, handlebar position and how to manage your resistance.

It may have started off as a trendy gym class, but remember: Anyone can do it. You just have to be willing to glisten.


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Let’s Get Personal

Several years ago, I tried a Pilates DVD at home and I pulled a muscle. I was in so much pain; I needed to go the emergency room. I want you to imagine the look on the nurse’s face at triage when I told her I had a Pilates injury. Fortunately, the power off ibuprofen compelled me and I felt fine within days.

Shortly afterward, I made a vow that I would never try a new workout without supervision again. A while back I wrote a blog entry about the expectations people have when they begin to exercise, either with a personal trainer or on their own. As I have written many a blog about the varied offerings by gyms, I thought I would explore the benefits of working with a home-based personal trainer.

Now before you say “Shari, what a luxury! That’s the same as a personal cook. I’m not Oprah.” Hear me out. Or, read me out. This is an investment with a host of unique returns. I spoke with personal trainer Anthuan Maybank, an Olympic gold medalist and owner of Champion Body Strength Training in Wilmington. We talked about the difference between home-based personal training versus the gym. Here are the top five benefits to this type of relationship:

  • Comfort and convenience. You don’t have to go anywhere. The trainer comes to you and in some cases, brings tools to enhance your workout. If you do want to go somewhere, the trainer will meet you there
  • On-call service. While gym sessions may end after an hour, home-based personal trainers tend to offer more accessibility for emails and calls to ask questions and share information about nutrition and exercise. Anthuan sends his clients emails about the right foods to eat during the winter season to promote weight loss.
  • Customized varied programs. Because the trainer is working with you in your environment, he or she can assess how to keep your programs interesting by running with you in your neighborhood one day, while doing core work with an exercise ball in the basement during the next session.
  • Safety. Consider my Pilates injury. Trainers can watch and correct your form throughout the session. When I hurt myself during that Pilates DVD, I can assure you the woman on the screen was saying “Great! You’re doing a great job!” while I was writhing in agony.
  • Trust. Maybank says a trainer can offer all these benefits and more, but the most important factor is trust. The trainer needs to know he or she is trusted with and the client must trust that the trainer will help them progress to the point where they will be able to safely and independently maintain their active lifestyle.

My training sessions at the gym have ended. Now I just need to get Oprah to find me a personal trainer who will come to my house.


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Another Episode of ‘Nancysomething”

Loyal readers of Get Healthy, Delaware! may recall my first entry about Nancy Fleming—the woman who reminded me of Nancy from the TV show “thirtysomething.” In case you need a refresher, Nancy had launched a full-scale makeover for herself in an effort to unclog her arteries and feel young again. This makeover included weekly personal training sessions, dietary changes and consults with a local surgeon for an eventual aesthetic nip and tuck.

When I last tuned into “Nancysomething,” she had begun to see how the small changes in her food choices were paying off. By cooking more and exercising regularly, she had already lost 25 pounds. These results encouraged Nancy to stay in the game, even through the milestone of sending her son off to college and becoming an empty-nester.

Nancy’s focus has paid off. She has lost 50 pounds overall, but her internal makeover is even more impressive:

  • Her body fat percentage decreased from 39 percent to 22 percent
  • Her cholesterol level went down 100 points
  • Her arterial blockage went down from 49 percent to 34 percent

I asked Nancy how she felt about the changes in her life. She shared her joy in helping others understand what it takes to achieve her goal.

“People ask me how I did it and I tell them it’s about little choices and how they turn into lifestyle behaviors,” she says. “They start to think maybe they can do it for themselves.”

Nancy raises an important point about little changes and how they add up. And if you stick with them, as Nancy did, those changes become engrained. The key is to know which little changes are the ones to make. As someone who writes a health and wellness blog, I can assure you there is a lot of information online about which changes to make and it can be overwhelming.

Nancy turned to her personal trainer Anthuan Maybank, owner of Champion Body Strength Training, for guidance. By focusing her trust on one expert resource, she was able to block out confusing messages on proper exercise and nutrition.

I demanded a preview of the next episode of “Nancysomething.” She is now working with her trainer on toning and a maintenance plan with hopes of cosmetic surgery in 2013. She attributes her positive attitude and joy of feeling youthful again to her success. Between feeling healthier and happier, Nancy sums it up best: “When you feel better about yourself, every day is a good hair day.”


Health Events

Thursday, Nov. 22
PNC Bank Thanksgiving Day Run/Walk for MS
Location  PNC Bank Center, 222 Delaware Ave., Wilmington
Time  Delaware Running Company 10K Run: 9 a.m.
            Nemours/Alfred I. duPont Hospital for Children Kiddie Fun Run: 10 a.m.
            Highmark Blue Cross Blue Shield Delaware 5K Run: 10:30 a.m.
            PNC Bank 5K Non-competitive Walk: 10:35 a.m.
More info. 655-5610 ext. 115, eventded.nationalmssociety.org


Saturday, Dec. 1
2012 AIDS Delaware Youth HIV Forum
Location  Bancroft Elementary School, 700 N. Lombard St., Wilmington
Time  Doors open at 11 a.m. The event begins at noon.
More info.  652-6776


Saturday, Dec. 1
Fortitude for First Descents Marathon & Half Marathon
(A fundraiser for First Descents
—a free outdoor adventure program for young cancer fighters and survivors)
Location  Cape Henlopen State Park, Lewes
Time  7:30 a.m.
More info.  lynne@runtheday.com


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