Club News & Events

DYNAMIC STABILITY – The Practice of Mind and Body Coordination

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By: John Woodend

Balance is the stability of the body.  Centering is the stability of mind. Together, being balanced and centered creates mind and body coordination.  While having mind and body coordination, one can move with stability, which happens to be the underlying goal of every sport, action, or endeavor that requires movement. Seems simple enough. However, the methods of how to get there are vast and it seems all teachers have different explanations on how to get to the same place. Aikido is no different. It is just one more method of trying to attain and practice dynamic stability.

There are four principles for mind and body coordination: Keep One Point, Relax Completely, Keep Weight Underside, Extend Ki.  The good news is if you learn one principle you will be doing them all. The bad news is if you are breaking any of the principles you can’t have mind and body coordination.

Keeping one Point – Simply put, this is centering your body.  Your center of gravity is in your lower stomach, three to four inches below your navel.  If you want to see a perfect example of “One Point” look at a baby that just learned how to stand and walk.  Awkward for sure, but perfect natural balancing.

Relax Completely – Just like it sounds.  Not holding tension in your muscles or in your mind.

Keep Weigh Underside – This principle connects you to the ground.  It is the practice of feeling gravity and utilizing gravity for your advantage.

Extend Ki – Ki is the thing/energy/force that has no translatable word in the English language. It is the thing that makes a live person alive.  Extending Ki is the practice of feeling beyond your skin, having a large presence and avoiding collapsing in on oneself.

There is a lot more instruction and details that goes into each of these principles. However, when practicing and understanding each of the four principles the others fall into place. You can feel it in your gut when you have mind and body coordination. Things just fall into place. Whether your movement is related to a sport or carrying bags of groceries, mind and body coordination will make you more effective, perform tasks easier and more importantly it keeps you safer from injuries.

Club News & Events

AHC Spinners

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By: Katy Reid, Cycle Instructor

Can you believe it’s been five months since our last in-person cycle class? Are you getting 3-5 or more cardio workouts each week? Are your cardio workouts challenging you? The benefits of consistent weekly aerobic and anaerobic workouts for body and mind are enormous. Exciting relatively-new research shows that high-intensity interval training even has the potential to reverse the aging process. Active members have access to two carefully designed cycle workouts each week: a HIGH INTENSITY INTERVAL (HIIT) CHALLENGE  and a THRESHOLD LEVEL ENDURANCE WORKOUT. To receive these workouts, contact Heather at   hwilliamsahc@gmail.com.

  • HIGH INTENSITY INTERVAL (HIIT) CHALLENGE

This workout will burn lots calories and give that endorphin-high good feeling. Each week  the interval is a different length. Resistance is lighter, and cadence (RPM) is higher. There’s an incentive to win prizes every week, depending on how many intervals you can complete.

  • THRESHOLD LEVEL ENDURANCE WORKOUT

This workout will challenge you to hold a consistent pace for 60-90 minutes. You will be guided through each step of the workout through the amazing INTELLIGENT CYCLING software so that you know the resistance intensity and cadence. The workout synchronizes to a fun Spotify playlist with great music.  Note that you always have the option to use the Spotify playlist without the APP controls if you prefer doing your own thing.

If you were a part of our WINTER CYCLE training, you know that we were working on endurance with longer and harder workouts. Endurance training can increase energy,  boost confidence,  give a sense of well-being,  and build mental toughness/resilience. It can also be meditative and a way for to clear our minds and rejuvenate.  It’s just the thing to help us through this pandemic! Don’t have a bike at home? You can easily adapt these workouts to use on any cardio machine at home or in the fitness center.It  will not be a workout. It  will be a fun way for me to present a short tutorial and answer questions about the Intelligent App. Most importantly, it will be a chance for us to visit.  It will be great to see you. You are welcome even if you’re not interested in using the APP for workouts.

Club News & Events

MASKS

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By: John Kecman, Fitness & Personal Training Director

 

No one’s favorite new essential accessory how to help with your new mandatory accent piece

 

Unfortunately, the new normal when leaving the house has become wallet, phone, keys, and now mask. In my personal opinion, I don’t have a problem wearing one in public places, and usually forget I’m wearing one until I’m driving home. “Take five months off from the gym, and then I want you to try going back to the gym, getting back in shape, but I want you to wear an air restricting mask the whole time.”- said by no doctor, or physiologist under normal circumstances. Sadly these are not normal times and these are not normal circumstances, masks are here to stay. That being said there are ways to make things better or worse for yourself. I spent my first couple weeks in the gym wearing cloth masks. The first 30-minutes weren’t so bad. The following 30-minutes felt as if I was water boarding myself. Moving effortlessly, carrying on a conversation, and breathing while you feel as if you are underwater are skills that should be left to fish in Disney movies.

No matter how anyone feels about masks, they are here to stay and part of the new normal. The human body is amazingly adaptive, trust me, it will get easier. Unless you are in one of the designated spaces, like an outdoor tennis court, these are the conditions we need to operate under. If wearing a mask, and wearing it properly, is not something you are willing to do, then you are a liability to the Aspen Hill Club community. Accepting that I couldn’t run wearing a mask, I found a few ways to help mitigate the problems I described above.

The first thing you can do is make sure to keep your mask dry. Once you’ve sweat through your mask your work output and efficiency drop exponentially, so you might as well go home then. Make sure you bring a spare mask that you can switch to. The difference in working out in a dry cloth mask and a wet one is like night and day. Under Armour has made quick drying mask for this reason. Masks that are more rigid also help keep you from taking a breath in and eating your mask unintentionally. The Under Armour mask supposedly has this feature as well, but there are others out there already that help. The last helpful tip I can give while I wait for my Under Armour mask to get delivered, is to wear a paper mask, and bring a spare that you can switch to once it inevitably get wet. I’ve found it far easier to breath in a temporary mask even after wearing the same one long enough to soak it.  That’s what I have from my experience, but if anyone else has tips, tricks, or information that might help others in the gym, please feel free to send me an email and we can share the knowledge.

 

Club News & Events

Basketball & Ping Pong Reservations

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We are open for basketball by reservation only. We will permit only 1 person on ½ of the court to practice and shoot hoops per hour. Call 301-598-5200 ext. 0 and we will make a reservation for you or you can make a reservation via the Member Self Service Link located on the home page of the website. Wearing a mask is necessary at all times when inside the Club or on Club property. You will be provided a disinfectant spray bottle and rag towel upon entry to disinfect anything that you touch. We ask that you bring your own basketball, water, and towel if needed. The fitness team will monitor the basketball court to ensure your safety along with all others.

The ping pong table has been placed on the basketball court and it will be available during the same hours that fitness is open. No more than 2 players at a time. You must bring your own paddle, ping pong ball, water and towel if needed. No spectators and one hour play per visit. Wearing a mask is necessary at all times when inside the Club or on Club property.

Club News & Events

KI BREATHING

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By: John Woodend, Reception Desk Director

 

“Consider the ebb and flow of the tide.  When waves come to strike the shore, they crest and fall, creating a sound.  Your breath should follow the same pattern. . .”  – Morihei Ueshiba

 

In Aikido, there is a breathing exercise called Ki Breathing. The purpose of the exercise is to calm yourself and breath full breaths, utilizing one’s full lung capacity. The results of ki breathing is better blood flow and a heightened spatial awareness. In addition, people often find physical problems that they were not aware of before, such as a tense or knotted muscle.

The way you practice ki breathing is not as complex as other breathing exersics although it does take some practice to get used to it.  Sitting or kneeling, with your back straight and slightly leaning forward from your hips, you take a small “secret” inhale, because the first breath is an exhale. Breathe out slowly through your mouth making an “AHHHH” sound from the back of your throat. Your breath should originate from your lower stomach (below the belly button) and as you breath out, your stomach should move inward.  Once you feel that you have breathed all the air out of your lungs lean forward, from the hips, about six inches and you will find that you have just a little more breath in you. Hold your breath for two seconds then inhale very slowly through the tips of your nostrils.  The inhale breath should be filling up your stomach allowing you to rise again to a straight posture. Keep slowly inhaling until you have reached your full lung capacity and hold the breath for two seconds before beginning your next exhale. To start with inhales can last 15 seconds and exhales 20 seconds.

Practicing for five minutes you will be surprised at how good mindful breathing will make you feel. We have a lot more breath in your lungs than we generally think we do. Do not practice Ki breathing while wearing your face mask. However, if you feel like you have a hard time breathing while wearing your face mask, for non-medical reasons, practicing ki breathing could help you feel more comfortable and confident with your breathing.

Club News & Events

Fitness Center Testimonials

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Julie Copty

“I’ve been back to the AHC fitness center several times since it reopened and want to say how impressed I am with the cleanliness of the facility and the safety procedures that are in place. Everyone must wear a mask and social distancing signs are everywhere. When members arrive they are handed a spray bottle and rag and must spray and dry any equipment or surfaces they touch, both before and after use. Equipment has been moved and/or reconfigured for distance and safety. Staff are always around to monitor the area to make sure guidelines are being followed. They are definitely staying on top of the safety, health and wellness of members!  I would definitely recommend coming back to the club for others.

I’m especially happy to start training again with John Kecman to try and regain strength lost during the shutdown. If you’re looking for a trainer or even some motivation to get back into a routine, I highly recommend John.”


John Sheniloff

“Considering the current situation, the club has been operating in a very safe and professional manner, while maintaining an excellent level of hospitality.”


Jane Conlin

“It’s a wonderful experience to be back at the gym. I feel completely confident that all measures are taken to secure the members’ safety. Safety is a priority. Masks are required at all times and staff and members practice social distancing.

 

Staff provides members with towels and sanitizer to clean the equipment before and after use. The staff makes sure that members follow all guidelines to ensure our safety. Equipment is clearly marked  so members know what is available for use.

 

John Kecman, the Personal Training Director, is extremely helpful with keeping all the equipment clean and safe. John is an experienced trainer and listens to your needs and concerns – I absolutely recommend him.”


Katy Reid

I had my first visit back to the club last week, and it is so great to be back. It’s been a second home for me for almost three decades, and I realized how much I have missed the Aspen Hill family. The team sincerely seemed happy to see me, and I truly felt welcome. The environment is extremely safe. I won’t even eat at any outdoor restaurant, and, in general, I am much more careful than most people. I had no concern at all for catching Covid-19 at the Club. Everything is super clean, and I had no trouble wearing my mask as I did fairly hard cardio. 

Honestly, I’ve been working out a lot here at home over the pandemic, an average of 2-3 hours per day. I’ve even been making YOUTUBE SPIN classes from home on a weekly basis for members. It still hasn’t been the same these 5 months without the club as the foundation for my workouts and friendships. I highly recommend getting back into the club routine. It’s also nice for mental health to see friends and work-out in the club environment after this crazy 2020.


Dan Kecman

I have been a member at the Aspen Hill Club for over 35 years. When the club announced it was reopening the fitness center, I was concerned about how safe it would be. As many other members, contracting Coronavirus was a concern, especially since I am over 70 years old with some underlying health issues. However, based on the protocol identified in the reopening email, I decided to give the club a chance.

I made my reservation for the opening afternoon session and pleasantly surprised how safe I felt when I arrived. Instructions for wearing a mask on the entire campus are displayed from the parking lot and throughout the club. Plexiglass shields the front desk personnel and every member is given a bottle of their own sanitizing spray and cleaning rag upon entrance. The entrance and exit to and from the fitness center are clearly labeled. The fitness center was immaculate as club has done a great job cleaning every part of it. The equipment is strategically located to encourage physical distancing and fitness staff is very courteous to remind members to adhere to physical distancing and to wear their masks. I did my workout, felt very safe and look forward to being at the club daily as we persevere through the pandemic. My message to you is come on down to the club, I look forward to seeing you there.

 

Club News & Events

Welcome Back! How to Wear Masks When Working Out in the Fitness Center

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By: Heather Williams, Group Exercise Director

 

Now that our Fitness Center has reopened here are a few tips for working out in a mask.

If you have asthma or underlying respiratory issues please consult with your physician prior to resuming  your exercise regimen.

Choose a mask made of synthetic breathable materials made of two cloth layers or less. The lack of layers will keep your face from becoming overheated. The synthetic fabric will prohibit the mask from becoming drenched in perspiration and becoming less effective for the spread of infection.

Should you choose to wear a gaiter as your face covering. Make sure it properly fits and keeps your nose covered throughout the workout session. Please note that gaiters will provide better air flow but you may be exchanging breath ability for protection from infection.

Whichever you chose, plan to carry several mask for your workout session. A wet mask makes breathing more difficult and is less effective in preventing the spread of infection.

Pace yourself through your workout and listen to your body. Studies from the American Council on Exercise have demonstrated exercising at one’s regular pace has rendered the exerciser to experience dizziness and overheating, Allow yourself proper time to adjust to the change in the workout.

Stay hydrated, Make sure you are properly hydrated before your workout (during and after). We welcome you back to our Fitness Center and we hope to provide a great experience as we all navigate through our “new normal”.

Club News & Events

IT’S GOOD TO SEE YOU FITNESS MEMBERS

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By: John Woodend, Reception Desk Director

 

First, let me say from all the Front Desk staff, it is good to see all of the members that have come into the Fitness Center to work out. I know it has been some long, isolated months for all of us and it is refreshing to hear your voices say hello and see half of your faces again.

 

Second, I want to extend an earnest thank you to all the members who have come back to work out and play tennis. Thank you for adhering to the rules set in place to keep everyone safe. Thank you for putting your masks on from the moment you leave your car. Thank you for keeping your masks on over your mouth and nose while you work out. I know it isn’t pleasant, but collectively, it is much appreciated that we all are being diligent—and we have been. It puts everyone’s mind at ease and keeps everyone safe. Finally thank you to those who have been using the Fitness Center, for again following our safety protocols and using the disinfectant sprays bottles we are providing. Disinfecting and wiping down the equipment before and after you use it, is vital to keeping all of use safe. I and the Club appreciates it and your fellow members appreciates it as well.

 

For those of you who have not come back in to work out, yet, we are all looking forward to seeing you again. If you are on the fence about how comfortable you are coming back, that is understandable. Just know we are all doing everything that we can to keep everyone safe. I would invite you to come into the Club just to check out what we have arranged for everyone’s sanitation and safety. Thank you everyone.  Stay safe and healthy.

Club News & Events

POLITENESS, PATIENCE & CONSIDERATION

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By: John Woodend, Reception Desk Director

 

The Front Desk Staff and I are looking forward to seeing all of you back at the Club healthy and ready to continue working out and playing tennis. However, we all still need to abide by the rules that are put in place to keep everyone safe.

 

While some people feel that reopening gyms has taken too long, others feel like they are still uncomfortable coming to the Club,  And that is fine! We all have the right to feel the way we feel and to hold differing opinions about our current situation. However, when coming to the club I would like to request that we all remember to be mindful of other members and employees of the Club.

 

Politeness — Please do not engage in conversations that may make others feel uncomfortable or triggered. Politics is always a hot button topic. Those around you may not appreciate hearing your take on the politics we are experiencing. Best to remember that we are ALL here to get exercise and DE-STRESS.

 

Patience — Coming and going to the Club is going to have a different pace for a while. This isn’t anyone’s fault — it is just the reality of the situation we are in. Remember to practice patience. I know members and staff will greatly appreciate it.

 

Consideration —  Be considerate of members and staff. Let the Front Desk Staff know if there has been a change of the players on your court. If someone is distancing themselves far away from others, consider that the individual may be more nervous being back at the Club than the next person. Be considerate and give that individual more space. It won’t hurt and it will make that individual feel more comfortable.

 

We are very much still in a stressful time. Let’s make all of our experiences at the Club as positive as we can, together.

 

Club News & Events

Checking In!

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By: Elliott Datlow, Tennis Director

 

We are so excited to offer outdoor play to our Aspen Hill Club members. You’ve read about our procedure for checking-in while keeping socially distanced. But what does it look like? Check out this check in guide so you know what to expect when checking into the Club!

 

  1. Enter the club by way of parking in the back lot and entering up the stairs of the deck.
  2. Observe the OPEN DOOR and sign indicating required 6 ft. social distancing!
  3. Check out the several floor markers indicating where to stand and wait. Our staff are wearing masks while checking you in!
  4. Follow the sign, exiting the side entrance.
  5. Out the door and down the ramp to your tennis court you go!
  6. Have fun!