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Fitness Newsletter | April 2013 | 
Summer Catalog Online This Saturday!  


Our Summer Programs & Activities Catalog will be available online this Saturday at 9 am. Registration for summer programs begins at the same time, both online via EZreg and in person at all Virginia Beach Recreation Centers.

New Group Fitness Classes   


FuzeCraze™ is a fantastic workout, full of variety, that takes the best of several international dance styles and rhythms and fuses them together. This blend gives you a head-to-toe aerobic training and muscle toning workout. Love Zumba®? You'll love FuzeCraze™! Have a blast while working out at Bayside Recreation Center on Thursdays at 5 pm starting in May. View Bayside's group fitness schedule.
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Piloxing® blends the power, speed and agility of boxing with the sculpting and flexibility of standing Pilates for a calorie burning, muscle toning, core-centric interval workout, guaranteed to whip you into shape! This class incorporates barefoot training as the preferred option, but is not mandatory. Piloxing® was added to Bayside's schedule last month and will be offered at Williams Farm as well beginning on May 21st. Join us for a FREE demo class at Williams Farm on May 21st at 4:20 pm. View Williams Farm's group fitness schedule.
Be Flexible; Your Body Will Thank You! 



When it comes to physical fitness, most people spend time on cardio conditioning and strength training exercises, but flexibility often gets overlooked. In a properly balanced workout regimen, flexibility should receive the same amount of focus as cardio and strength. Why? Flexibility lessens muscle tension, increases range of motion, promotes good posture and aids in injury prevention. A flexible person is also less likely to lose joint mobility as they get older and have less soreness after strenuous activities.


A good place to start on improving your flexibility is through stretching. Many people don't include stretching because they simply don't have the knowledge of how and when to stretch properly. One basic rule of thumb is that to safely and effectively increase flexibility, the muscles need to be warmed up properly. In our January newsletter, we talked about dynamic stretching before a workout. Rather than traditional static stretching, which can decrease power and lead to injury during a workout, it's important to get blood flowing to lubricate joints and create elasticity in your muscles. Depending on what type of sport or exercise you plan to engage in, be sure to replicate the motions of these activities in your warm-up. 


For post-workout stretching, your muscles are warm, so static stretching is fine. Be sure to stretch the muscles that you worked out and hold stretches for a minimum of 20 to 30 seconds. Another option would be to check out a class like Cardio Stretch Fit on Tuesday mornings at Great Neck Recreation Center. This type of class will take you through a wide range of movements and stretches. View Great Neck's group fitness schedule.


For more information, feel free talk to one of our Fitness Team members. Also, check out this month's Fitness Tip video in the article below, where we demonstrate a couple of effective stretches for a common trouble spot: the low back. Remember, flexibility matters!

Fitness Tip Video Clip: Lower Back Stretches


Play Fitness Video!Our personal trainers and fitness instructors have turned the cameras on themselves to bring you a video clip featuring a popular fitness topic. This month, Diane and Will from Great Neck Recreation Center demonstrate a few variations of lower back stretches. If you have a sedentary job, this one is definitely for you! Watch now!


We'll have a new clip each month, so if you have an idea or exercise that you would like to see demonstrated, email us at

Make Smarter Breakfast Choices


OmeletIn last month's newsletter, we looked at the reasons why starting your day with a good meal is so important. But what does a good breakfast look like? What smart decisions can we make to give us the energy we need without packing on extra calories?

Here are two simple tips to keep in mind. First, balance is important. A balanced breakfast should contain a combination of carbs, protein and healthy fats. Carbs may seem like a great way to get the energy you need, but the lean proteins and healthy fats will help maintain those energy levels and leave you feeling satisfied longer.

Second, avoid "empty" calories. These are the calories that add up quickly, but provide little nutritional value. You might have to check some food labels for this one, but if maintaining or losing weight is important, the reading will certainly pay off.

Here are a few examples that put these tips into practice:

1. The traditional bagel and cream cheese is a staple for many, but the simple carbs and high calorie content don't translate into the type of nutrition we need. A piece of whole wheat toast or English muffin topped with peanut or almond butter would have less calories and more healthy fats.

2. Cereal is another staple, but read the label carefully. Choose a low-calorie option with high fiber content and low amounts of sugar. Oatmeal may be a better option. Added fruit would make this meal even healthier. Berries would go great with either and their nutritional value per calorie is abundant.

3. Juice and jelly are found in most kitchens because they taste great and look healthy, but be cautious. If you drink juice, it should be 100% juice. No matter how healthy the front of the label looks, read the ingredients on the back. Also, know the proper serving size. Liquid calories count the same as solid foods. When it comes to jelly, same rules apply. Almost all popular brand name jellies contain processed sugar, fructose being the leading culprit. There are all-natural options available if you look for them. Healthier options may cost a little more, but being mindful of the serving size will help to offset the cost.

4. Eggs get a bad rap. Eggs are a great source of lean protein, so you don't want to swear them off completely. Limiting yourself to one yolk a day or sticking to just egg whites will offset any risk to cholesterol levels. Eggs are also very versatile. Add spinach or broccoli for healthy balance, or for something a different, serve over quinoa with diced tomatoes.

Take these tips and suggestions with you to the grocery store and be sure to check out next month's newsletter when we get a little more specific about reading food labels.

Please Note Our Upcoming Facility Closures 


Bow Creek Recreation Center is closed for a long-term modernization project.


The pool at Princess Anne Recreation Center will be closed Wednesday, May 8 until noon on Thursday, May 9 while the electronic controllers are upgraded.


All Virginia Beach Recreation Centers, Owl Creek Tennis Center and admin offices will be closed on Monday, May 27 for Memorial Day. Parks will be open on Memorial Day.


Don't forget that your membership is good at all 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.