Fitness Newsletter | March 2014 |
April 2 is National Walking Day
Shoes Get up from your chair or couch, and take a walk in honor of National Walking Day and your health. This national day, organized by the American Heart Association, highlights the importance of regular physical activity. Did you know that physical inactivity doubles the risk of heart disease?

Take 30 minutes out of your day to get up and walk for your health. Show us how you are taking part by sharing photos of you on the move at a rec center or park. Include the hashtag #VBParksRec in your posts and we'll post them in an album on our Facebook page. Be sure to follow us at 
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Les Mills CXWORX™ Launch Delayed Until May


In last month's newsletter, we previewed Les Mills CXWORK™ and told you to be on the lookout for these classes in April. The launch has now been delayed until May to allow for additional classes at multiple sites and to hire more instructors for the classes. Learn more about CXWORX.

4 Tips to Reduce Stress


April is Stress Awareness Month and while it's normal, even beneficial, to feel stressed from time to time, chronic stress can lead to high blood pressure, heart disease, chest pain and irregular heartbeat. How you handle stress can make a huge difference in your health and quality of life (and those around you). Try these simple tips to reduce your stress levels in a healthy way:


1. Laugh - Open up the comics section of your newspaper, watch a funny video, play (harmless) practical jokes on coworkers or family. Laughter can lower the stress hormone cortisol, as well as release endorphins that help you relax.
2. Call a Friend - Sometimes all you need is to vent about whatever is causing your stress, and suddenly it doesn't seem so overwhelming anymore. A supportive ear or conversation to help you get a little distance from your stressors can be a great relief.
3. Get Outside - Taking a walk is great, but even if you only have time for a few minutes of outdoor time, it will remind you that there is life outside your office walls. The fresh air will do wonders for your attitude, and a few minutes of sun helps with your vitamin D intake.
4. Stretch - Doing just a few yoga poses can help you slow down, breathe, and tune into your emotions. Seated postures help you return to a calm state, while more active poses help you feel empowered and energized. Pick up a drop-in group fitness schedule to see when and where we offer yoga classes, but in the meantime, here are a couple poses to get you started:


Legs up the Wall 

This pose helps you de-stress and

renew blood and lymph drainage to the heart area. 




Standing Forward Bend 

In addition to being a great lower-body stretch, 

this pose helps relieve stress, fatigue and mild depression. 

Try it with slightly bent knees.


For the ultimate stress-buster, try laughing with a friend outside while doing yoga!

Have You Ever Tried...?


cherimoya split open In this new monthly feature, we'll highlight the benefits of a new fruit or vegetable to help you expand your knowledge of your local grocery store's produce section.


Introducing cherimoya, described by Mark Twain as, "the most delicious fruit known to man." The ancient Incan fruit that was once reserved for royalty has a unique taste with a combination of tropical flavors. When ripe (slightly soft to the touch, like an avocado), cut it into pieces and chill slightly in the freezer. The result is a sorbet-like texture and sweetness that you'll have a hard time believing is natural! The seeds aren't edible, so make sure to scoop those out prior to eating. Most cherimoyas in the U.S. come from California and grow from January through April, so keep an eye out at your local grocer.

Unleash Your Inner Kickboxer With Turbo KICK®!


Get hooked on the Turbo KICK® high! With cardio kickboxing and body-sculpting dance moves choreographed to the hottest music mixes, you'll burn a ton of calories - and have a blast doing it! This high intensity, fast-paced class is offered at:


Kempsville | Wednesdays from 5:45 - 6:45 pm in the Gym

Williams Farm | Saturdays from 9:15 - 10:15 am in the Group Fitness Room (starting in April)


Instructor, Caitlin Scott says, "Five years ago I had a trainer recommend I try Turbo KICK®. I absolutely fell in love with the format, and it quickly became a part of my weekly workout regimen. It is a great cardio-pumping workout, and the best part is that it's FUN! Fun workouts are always the best workouts - come give it a try - I know you'll end up loving it too!"


As a drop-in group fitness class, Turbo KICK® requires a group fitness punch card or unlimited pass and a membership card. Cards and passes can be purchased at any recreation center.

What Can the 'Mindless Margin' Do For You?


Have you experienced the joy of losing weight, only to experience the disappointment of gaining it back shortly thereafter? About 95 percent of people on diets gain back the weight they've lost. This is largely because most diets require deprivation. And deprivation doesn't work.


The reality of it is, no one goes to bed skinny and wakes up fat. Most people gain (and lose) weight so slowly that they can't figure out why. Enter the 'Mindless Margin'. This is a zone of about 200-300 calories in which we can either slightly overeat or undereat without being aware of the small differences. While on a day-to-day basis, this may appear minimal, over the course of a year it could mean weight gain or loss of about 10 pounds!


Glasses There are plenty of ways to use this margin to your advantage and hardly know the difference. For example, while the two glasses pictured at right hold the same amount of liquid, they're not entirely equal. The brain tends to over focus on the height of objects at the expense of their width, so you're likely to drink more out of a shorter, wider glass. This is great if you're trying to drink more water, but can be problematic if you're trying to drink less soda. Putting sugary drinks in the taller, thinner glass will trick your brain into thinking you're drinking more, while actually sparing you some calories. By using visual illusions like this to your advantage, you could eliminate a couple hundred calories without even noticing!


For more ways to use this mindless margin to your advantage, check out "Mindless Eating" by Brian Wansink at your local library. 

Please Note Our Upcoming Facility Closures

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


The gym at Great Neck Recreation Center will be closed March 24 - April 6 while moveable walls are sanded and repainted.


The gym at Bayside Recreation Center will be closed April 21 - May 4 while moveable walls are sanded and repainted.

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.