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Fitness Newsletter | November 2013 |
A Peek Inside the Pumpkin


Nothing says fall quite like pumpkins. They seem to be finding their way into everything this time of year. But have you ever given much thought to the nutritional value of the pumpkin? Last month we talked about all of the goodness packed into the seeds. Here's some more good news. Like most of nature's whole foods, these oddly shaped, orange fruit are packed full of things our body wants and needs. 


For starters, pumpkins contain vitamins A, C, E and B-complex. They contain a generous portion of iron, zinc, magnesium and potassium and also have a high level of antioxidants. All of this comes with a low-calorie price tag, making it a nutrient-dense food choice. This means guilt-free eating as long as you pick the healthier recipes out there. Those pumpkin spice lattes? Not so much.


Need help selecting a pumpkin? Here are a couple of tips. The smaller pumpkins will taste a little sweeter and the texture is smoother and less stringy. Also, try to avoid pumpkins with stems less than an inch long as these tend to decay at a faster rate.

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Please Note

With the holiday season upon us, please remember to check the group fitness schedules to see which classes are impacted by holiday closures. December schedules will be posted soon.
Fitness Tip Video Clip: The Basic Lunge 


The lunge is a simple exercise that works multiple muscle groups, but is all too often done incorrectly. Improper form can easily lead to injury. Check out this month's video tip for the proper form of a basic lunge. Pay attention to the alignment and posture to prevent injury. Lunges are great for strengthening your quads, glutes and even your core. It's also an exercise that can be adapted to any fitness level. For an easier exercise, don't go down quite as far. For a harder exercise, hold a dumbbell in each hand.

5 Tips for Surviving the Big Spread 


BuffetThe buffet spreads are lined up on the calendar. First there's Thanksgiving. Then there's the office Christmas party, followed by the holiday feast with family, and to cap it all off, the New Year's Eve extravaganza. Never ending piles of meats and cheeses, pies and cakes, wine and cocktails will tempt you. Here are 5 quick tips to help prevent this smorgasbord from ruining months of hard work.  


1. Don't Skip Breakfast. Skipping a meal will only make you arrive at your occasion hungrier. A healthy breakfast means less cravings later.


2. Get moving. Try to maintain your workout routine. If you know you have a workout scheduled the next morning, you're less likely to over-indulge. Even if your schedule hits a snag, at least get out for a brisk walk. You'll feel better and stay on track.


3. Avoid grazing. All those little bits that you take as you hover over the spread add up, but don't leave you feeling satisfied. If you feel the urge to snack, go for the veggies!


4. Hit the highlights. There are going to be some favorites you just have to sample. Get those first. You're less likely to over-indulge on the secondary items once you're full.


5. Moderation is key. Don't eat until you are ready to bust at the seams. And if you're going to have a drink or two, avoid mixers. They are full of empty calories that make the drinks go down faster, but don't leave you satisfied. 


And one bonus tip: ENJOY! It is the holidays, so treat yourself.  

What to Wear for Your Outdoor Workout

The seasons are changing and the temperature is dropping, but luckily in Virginia Beach, outdoor fitness is a year-round possibility. It's really not a question of whether you should get out there, so much as what you should wear to keep comfortable.

Here's a good rule of thumb that will keep you warm, but won't have you sweating miserably. Dress as if it were 10 to 15 degrees warmer than the thermometer says. So, if it's 40 degrees outside, dress as if its 50 or 55. The range depends on how intensely you plan to exercise. Your core will warm up quickly, but don't forget about your extremities. Wear gloves and a hat or ear covering if needed, and wear appropriate socks.

Another good idea is to dress in layers. Several thin layers are better than one heavy layer. Be sure that the layer closest to your skin is made from a moisture-wicking material to draw the sweat away from your body.

And remember, everything else about your workout stays the same, even when it's cold. You still need to stretch, cool down, hydrate and have fun!

Provide Feedback on Kempsville Rec Center Replacement


Kempsville Recreation Center opened in 1977 as Virginia Beach's first community recreation center. Though it's the city's oldest recreation center, it remains one of the busiest. 


The center is much loved, but it's over 35 years old and a 2009 facility assessment rated the overall condition of the facility as "poor." Improvements are needed for accessibility and ADA compliance, and the plumbing, mechanical and electrical systems are nearing the end of their lifecycles. The existing pool and associated infrastructure have a remaining lifespan of 10-12 years. 


After evaluating potential cost savings and lifecycle costs associated with retaining the existing pool and other portions of the facility, a consultant and city staff recommended demolishing the structure and constructing an entirely new building. Draft concept plans for the new facility feature an indoor track, double gymnasium, fitness areas, indoor pool with lap lanes and water play components, outdoor sprayground and therapeutic recreation program space. 


We want your input on the draft concept plans. You can provide feedback online through  Virtual Town Hall between December 5 and January 3 or in person by attending one of the scheduled public meetings:


- Thursday, December 12 from 6 - 8 pm at Kempsville Recreation Center, or

- Saturday, December 14 from 1 - 3 pm at Kempsville Recreation Center 


For more information on the Kempsville Recreation Center replacement project, including the draft concept plans and construction timeline, visit 
Please Note Our Upcoming Facility Closures

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


The gym and cardio areas at Kempsville Recreation Center will be closed on Tuesday, November 26 through Saturday, November 30 for refinishing of the gym floor.


All Virginia Beach Recreation Centers, Owl Creek Tennis Center and administrative offices will be closed on Thursday & Friday, November 28 & 29 for Thanksgiving. Staffed parks will be closed on Thursday, November 28 only. 


The pool at Bayside Recreation Center will be closed on Sunday & Monday, December 8 & 9 for installation of ADA railing.


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.