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Fitness Newsletter | February 2012 | 
Meal Makeovers: A Family Affair


Family MealWhat we put into our bodies is just as important as our exercise routines. Not only do the foods we consume help maintain a healthy weight, but they also serve as the source of the energy we need to work out regularly and stay active. 

We've all been there before: we've made the decision to eat better. What that usually entails, unfortunately, are radical changes to our diets that are neither appealing nor sustainable long term. Stick to the tried and true: fresh fruits, vegetables, lean proteins (avoid processed foods as much as possible), and portion control. To make these changes stick and have an even bigger impact on your life and your loved ones' lives, turn food into a family affair. 

Our attempts to make changes to our diets individually will most likely fail; however, making systemic changes to our families' nutritional habits will ensure that the changes are sustainable. With everybody in the house on board, the chances for success rise dramatically. And if you have children at home, these changes are even more important. 

According to the American Academy of Pediatrics, a variety of healthy foods provides the nutrients that children need to build strong bodies, grow normally, play and learn. In addition, the eating habits they learn now will stick with them and are more likely to help them ward off obesity later in life.

Healthy eating starts at the grocery store, requires a little bit of planning, and a few meal-time makeovers. Here are a few tips from Bon Secours Virginia Health Systems to help you get started:

  • Take the entire family to the local farmers' market and let everyone pick out a fruit or vegetable
  • Include as many family members as possible in meal preparation, serving, and clean up
  • Instead of candies, cookies and potato chips, reach for carrots, celery, apples, bananas or pretzels
  • Replace sugary drinks and soda with non-fat milk, 100% fruit or vegetable juice
  • To save time, vegetables and salads can be purchased pre-cut and pre-packaged
  • For a healthy, fun breakfast, try a banana dipped in yogurt, rolled in cereal and served frozen
  • Add vegetables to sandwiches, including tomatoes, cucumbers, spinach, lettuce, and bell peppers
  • Replace traditional desserts with non-fat yogurt or fresh fruit
  • Keep healthy snacks in an accessible place where even the tiniest members of your family can reach them
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Got Sore Muscles?

 Sore Muscles

There's nothing like that feeling of achievement after you complete a grueling workout. But, you also know what's in store for the next couple of days - sore muscles!


So, what's the remedy? While there is no single solution, most treatments aim to improve blood flow to the muscles and reduce inflammation. 


Light exercise will get your blood pumping and get you up off the couch. 


Anti-Inflammatory meds improve blood flow and reduce inflammation.


Light massage has also been shown to reduce muscle soreness post-workout.

Get to Know the Fitness Team

Fitness teamOur Fitness Team has been working to be more visible to our members and participants of our classes. To continue this effort, we've created a new Meet the Fitness Team page on our website. On this page, you'll find a brief bio of each of the full-time members of the unit, which includes background information, credentials and personal fitness philosophies. 

We want to get to know you! If you have any fitness related questions, need information on classes or personal training, or would like to comment on anything we are offering, please feel free to contact us directly. Say hello if you see us in the center, and let us know what we can do to help you reach your fitness goals. We have enjoyed meeting and working with so many of you already and we want to learn more names and faces in the weeks and months to come.

New Class: Changing Chronic Disease

Thursday, March 29 | 8-9 pm | Great Neck Recreation Centerprescriptions

Diabetes, heart disease, cancer and arthritis are affecting more people than ever before. Growing older does not mean growing ill. These diseases are preventable and can often be changed through nutrition and lifestyle. Learn the underlying causes of these diseases and how to detoxify your body in this one-hour class. Changing Chronic Disease is offered at Great Neck Recreation Center on Thursday, March 29 at 8 pm. The cost is $35. Registration is required and a membership or day pass is needed.

Meet the Instructor: Sharon Greenspan


SharonDiagnosed with a tumor and arthritis so severe she was told her spine might have to be fused together, Sharon changed her lifestyle to bring about better health. She became board certified as a holistic health practitioner by the American Association of Drugless Practitioners, a Healing Touch Certified Practitioner, and a certified yoga teacher. Through health and lifestyle changes, she reversed her chronic disease and released 55 pounds! Sharon has authored several books and is a national speaker at the Mother Earth News Fair, D.C. Green Festival, North American Vegetarian Society Summerfest, and Raw Spirit Festivals. 

Sharon will teach our Changing Chronic Disease classes in March and April. 
Get Your Kickball Team Ready to Play!

Kickball League Registration Available Through March 15

Photo credit: Gamma Man | Flickr


Bring out your inner kid and join our Adult Kickball League! It's that same game you loved to play in school, and now you can play as an adult! Enjoy the friendly competition of adult kickball during the Spring 2012 season at Princess Anne Athletic Complex (4001 Dam Neck Road).


Co-ed leagues are offered Thursday nights as double headers beginning April 12. Each team must have 10 players (age 18 & up) on the field during play, with 5 males and 5 females. Up to 20 players are allowed on a team. The season runs through May and consists of 12 to 14 games.

Registration continues through March 15; franchise fee is $300 per team. There is no residency requirement. Download a registration form and get your team ready to play!

Please Note Our Upcoming Facility Closures 


The pool at Bow Creek Recreation Center will be closed March 5-15 for valve replacement.


Seatack Recreation Center will be closed March 12-18 for annual maintenance.


Don't forget that your membership is good at all six Virginia Beach Recreation Centers! If your usual center is closed for maintenance, take the opportunity to visit another center. Use this locator to help you find one!

Virginia Beach Parks and Recreation believes all of our diverse citizens have a right to participate in community recreation and we are committed to creating equal access for everyone who may have a challenge or barrier. If your child requires additional support, we can help.  Learn more about our accommodation and inclusion services.
We welcome your comments and questions.  Feel free to email us at
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Virginia Beach Parks & Recreation is accredited by CAPRA,
the certifying agency of the National Recreation and Park Association.