Fitness Newsletter | October 2013 |
Roast Your Own Pumpkin Seeds


Happy Halloween! If you happen to be carving pumpkins today, don't chuck the seeds! Roasted pumpkin seeds are not only a tasty treat, they're also a good source of protein, as well as iron, zinc, magnesium, phosphorus, copper, and potassium. The seeds are easy to prepare and you can get creative with your flavor varieties! 


To get started, just scoop the seeds into a bowl and separate them from as much of the pumpkin pulp as possible. Rinse the seeds in cold water then pat them down with a clean towel. 


Preheat your oven to 375°F and then select your seasoning. You'll want to first toss the seeds in olive oil, and then add additional flavors. For spicy seeds, try salt, pepper and cayenne pepper or chili powder. For a sweeter variety, you could use cinnamon, sugar and nutmeg. 


Place the seasoned seeds in a single layer on a baking sheet and roast until they're golden brown, stirring occasionally, for about 15-20 minutes. Remove the seeds from the oven, allow them to cool slightly, and then enjoy!

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Ladies, join us on Saturday from 10-4 at the Virginia Beach Convention Center for the Ultimate Show for Women! Fitness Team members will be providing free demos of Zumba®, RIP and Tabata plus free body fat testing. Also, you can enter to win great prizes! Get all the details here
Fitness Tip Video Clip: Push-Up Power! 


Fall is a great time to exercise outside. The days are generally comfortable and the chill of the early morning or evening air is invigorating. For this month's video clip, we stay at Mount Trashmore Park and highlight another fitness station along the jogging path. This one targets the upper body and core with its adjustable push-up and plank structure. Check out the video to see how you can adapt this station for beginner, intermediate and advanced fitness levels.

A Successful Duo: Pam and Katie's Story 


We love hearing your success stories! Meet Pam and Katie Fox. This mother/daughter team has become a fixture in our rec centers and in our fitness classes. Pam is a regular in water fitness classes at Great Neck and enjoys the Total Body Tone and Zumba® classes as well. Katie enjoys a variety of classes and recently found a new love: kettlebells. Along with our fitness classes, they also started WeightWatchers® as a team in June.


Katie admits getting back into her "cute clothes" was one of her biggest motivators for getting started. Along with support and encouragement from her mom, she is down 38 pounds since June! As you can tell from the before and after pictures, the results are evident and both report feeling better.


When asked if she had advice for others, Katie recommends putting a photo of yourself at your heaviest on your fridge or use it for the wallpaper on your phone. This is a great way to keep your food choices in check. She also credits her mom for holding her accountable and believes everyone would benefit from having a dedicated workout partner.


Congratulations, Pam and Katie and keep up the great work! If you'd like to share your success story, please email us at

Get Ready to H.I.I.T It Hard!

High intensity interval training, or H.I.I.T, has been gaining popularity over the past couple of years with so many gym goers seeing and feeling the benefits. There will always be a place for workouts at a moderate, consistent intensity level, but for those looking to take their training to the next level, the benefits of H.I.I.T should not be ignored.   


Professors Izumi Tabata, Martin Gibala and Jamie Timmons are three leading researchers in exercise science. In two unrelated studies, Dr. Tabata and Dr. Gibala both found that participants working out in an intense interval style experienced aerobic benefits similar to those that exercised at a more steady state. However, the interval athletes actually worked out less frequently than the steady state group, suggesting that H.I.I.T is a more efficient way to train aerobically.


Dr. Timmons studies focused more on the metabolic benefits of intense intervals. His research concluded that interval workouts have a greater effect on your post-exercise metabolic rate, meaning you are burning more calories after your workout is finished.


With these benefits in mind, we've added H.I.I.T It Hard! to the group fitness schedule at Princess Anne. This new interval class is held Saturdays at 9:30 am and will feature tons of variety, promising that no two classes will be the same. Look for other interval training classes like Turbo Tabata & Core, Tabata X, and Kick'n Tabata at Williams Farm and Bayside Rec Centers. 

Need a Little Inspiration? 
by Robert Arbogast, Fitness Specialist


Photo credit: Howard N2GOT | Flickr

The New York City Marathon will be run on the first Sunday in November. Runners will travel from all over the globe; tens of thousands of spectators will line the streets or watch on television. As the race concludes, running enthusiasts will marvel at finishing times. When I scroll through the results, I will be looking for one name: Tatyana McFadden. 


Tatyana is expected to finish with one of the fastest times of the day; however, she will not be on foot. She is the top female long-distance, push rim wheelchair racer in the country. This year she became the first person to win three major marathons in the same year with victories in London, Boston and Chicago. With a win in New York, she will complete the unheard of grand slam of distance racing, four major marathon first-place finishes in a calendar year. 


Greatness is easy to root for, especially when someone overcomes terrific adversity to achieve it. Tatyana was born in St. Petersburg, Russia with an underdeveloped spinal cord resulting in paralyses from the waist down and a hole in her spine, a condition known as spina bifida. She spent the first six years of her life in poverty-stricken orphanages without access to a wheelchair, so she learned how to move by using her arms as legs.


At the age of six, Tatyana was adopted by an American family and as they say, the rest is history. Her tenacity and athletic ability has earned her awards in multiple sports. We can easily draw inspiration from her story, her courage and her achievements. And if you're looking for an athlete to follow on November 3rd, I suggest Tatyana McFadden.

Please Note Our Upcoming Facility Closures

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


All Virginia Beach Recreation Centers, Owl Creek Tennis Center and administrative offices will be closed on Monday, November 11 for Veteran's Day. They will also be closed on Thursday & Friday, November 28 & 29 for Thanksgiving. Staffed parks will be closed on Thursday, November 28 only. 


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 you or 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.