What Coffee Can Do For You

You often hear that coffee cannot possibly be good for you. Caffeine becomes addicting, as your body becomes so reliant on a cup to wake itself up in the morning that many of us coffee-heads struggle without it. Well, great news for all of you coffee addicts, it’s good for you! Below you will find 10 benefits to drinking coffee. I will make it a point to add here that I am by no means insisting that the sugary, milky, ohsodelicious lattes are good for you, but a cup of regular coffee, is perfectly fine!

Research done over a 14 year span of 400,000 people has discovered the following:

1) Both men and women of all ethnicities that drink coffee daily are at a lower risk of mortality.

2) Lower your risk of a variety of cancers (lung, prostate, breast, endometrial, pancreatic, stomach and colon cancer. This is due to the antioxidants found in coffee.

3) Lowers risk heart disease and heart attack. A high intake of coffee is increasingly protective against cardiovascular disease. One 15 year study examined over 41,000 women with an intake of at least 3 cups a day showed that it lowered their risk of heart failure.

4) Coffee does NOT raise blood pressure and increases nitric oxide production in the endothelium which improves vascular muscle tone. It can increase short term acute blood pressure, but does lower your blood pressure long term.

5) Coffee intake improves cholesterol health. The antioxidants improve total cholesterol, raising good “HDL” and lowering inflammation related heart disease.

6) Coffee decreases metabolic syndrome risk. This is the combination of obesity, large waist circumference, and insulin resistance which all ultimately increase risk of heart disease.

7) Coffee improves body composition and elevates fat burning! Coffee modulates blood sugar and improves insulin sensitivity.

8) Caffeine increases strength and power performance. Caffeine is assumed to act directly on the muscles instead of the nervous system.

9) It speeds recovery and reduces muscle soreness. It can do this by up to 48%. It can also improve performance for a second workout in the same day. It mobilizes fatty acids to be burned for fuel during exercise.

10) It increases motivation and reaction time!

For more details on each of these benefits, please visit Ten Benefits of Coffee for Health, Performance, and Body Composition. 


Health Benefits From Exercising Outside

Research suggests that exercising outdoors has even more benefits than exercising inside. Many of us are not looking forward to visiting a treadmill or a packed gym each day to get our work out in. As the weather is beginning to turn for the best, here is some information on exactly what exercising outdoors has to offer for you!

The greatest benefit of outdoor exercise versus exercising inside is on our mental health. A study done on 2,000 individuals done in a Scottish Health Survey shows that the walking, running, biking and other outdoor activities increase mental health and lower stress!

It may seem obvious to some that outdoor exercise is better for your mental health, but by exactly how much you benefit more so than exercising inside if increased by 50%! A 2011 study showed that it not only lowers stress but also leads to decreases in tension, confusion, anger and depression in comparison to indoor activities.

Other benefits include, and are not limited to:

  • Greater likelihood to keep going when you’re ready to cut the workout short
  • You have a lower risk of being overweight. Children who spent a lot of time outside had a 27-41% less likely chance to become overweight than children who spent most time indoors.
  • Fresh air increases your energy!
  • Higher Vitamin D levels!

For more details on the information provided, please visit the Huffington Post on Health Benefits!

Is the Skin the Most Nutrition Part of Fruits and Veggies?

Many of us are told that the most nutritious part of fruits and vegetables are found in the skin. A reader asked the Wellness area of the New York Times whether or not this is in fact true.

As research shows, the skin is indeed filled with many plentiful nutrients. However, it is not the prime source of nutrients in most fruits and vegetables. Most of the nutrients found in the skin of tomatoes and bell peppers can be found throughout. Few exceptions exist within red grapes and other fruits where specific nutrients are found only within the skin. This does not mean that other very nutritious elements cannot be found throughout those fruit.

For example, the apple with the skin contains 5 grams of fiber, 13 milligrams of calcium, 239 milligrams of potassium and 10 milligrams of Vit. C. Remove the skin, and the apple still contains 3 grams of fiber, 11 milligrams of calcium, 194 milligrams of potassium and just enough of vitamin C.

All of the benefits of eating vegetables and fruit without the skin are not lost!


applesThe source of this information can be found in the Wellness section of the New York Times.

Zumba and Energy Expenditure!

There is an estimated 12 million people in 125 countries (110,000 different locations) participating in the exciting Latin-inspired dance fitness classes! Some of you may be wondering: does Zumba actually offer a solid workout?

The American Council on Exercise (ACE) decided to perform a study to measure participant energy expenditure during a typical Zumba class. The participants were 19 girls all aged 19 with plenty of Zumba experience. After using a treadmill test to measure heart rate and oxygen consumption, the participants wore a radiotelemetric heart rate monitor during the 39 minute class. The average calories burned among the participants was roughly 369 calories. Based on the accepted fitness industry guidelines on the amount an individual should exercise a day, each participant fell under the appropriate guidelines.

Based on the American College of Sports Medicine’s guidelines on expending at least 300 calories per workout for weight loss and weight maintenance, Zumba sessions fit the criteria!

Zumba on, everyone! zumba-_cris_0041

Dirty Dozen and Clean Fifteen (Lists of Veggies and Fruit)

Of the 45 most popular fruits and vegetables, the Environmental Working Group’s Shoppers Guide to Pesticides in Produce released the total pesticide loads on these products. Below you will find a list of the new Dirty Dozen and the Clean Fifteen. 

Dirty Dozen: (Plus two)

Apples, Celery, Sweet Bell Peppers, Peaches, Strawberries, Nectarines, Grapes, Spinach, Lettuce, Cucumbers, Blueberries, Potatoes, Green beans, Collard Greens

Clean Fifteen:

Onions, Sweet corn, pineapples, Avocado, Cabbage, Sweet Peas, Asparagus, Mangos, Eggplant, Kiwi, Cantaloupe, Sweet Potatoes, Grapefruit, Watermelon, Mushrooms



Food Revolution: Organic and Sustainable

Farmers_Market__July__2010_027Tips before grocery shopping and preparing a delicious and healthy meal:

Many of you might be asking yourselves: What exactly are the benefits of seasonal produce and organics?

Rosalind Gray Davis explains in an article in October 2012 issue of Fitness Journal the many benefits of organics and seasonal produce.

Given the opportunity to choose, roughly 58% of Americans choose to purchase organic foods over conventionally produced foods. Many advocates for organic agriculture believe that buying organic is a long term investment for your personal health. You are preventing your body and the Earth from being exposed to pesticides, hormones, and other toxic synthetic chemicals.

Nonprofit research center, The Organic Center, reports that organic foods contain 25% more of 11 key nutrients compared to conventionally grown produce.

12 REASONS TO BUY ORGANIC:  (takes from the Fitness Journal) 

1) Keep chemicals out of your body and the environment.

2) Eliminate the main source of dietary pesticide exposure to children.

3) Protects farm workers, nearby homes, wildlife, schools, and businesses from pesticides.

4) Provides your family with nutritious produce.

5) Protect our oceans.

6) Reduce containment to our water supply.

7) Limit global warming.

8) Assurance that you are not eating genetically modified foods.

9) Avoid artificial growth hormones in meat and dairy and antibiotics.

10) Support local farmers and food producers who invest the extra care to organically produce food.

11) Promotes healthy soils!

12) Preserves biodiversity!

“Changing what you buy can change the world,” Davis says.

Quick Tips to Getting Started

home280% of success is showing up! For many of us, getting ourselves up and out of the door is the most difficult part of becoming more active. Here are a few tips to setting yourself up for a successful beginning to a more active and healthy you.

1) Find a friend or personal trainer to plan to meet with.  Set a time and a date to meet somewhere. Having something set in stone makes you both feel obliged to go and also makes the activity even more enjoyable! (check out or PT and Small Group Training Program in the AWC, its free!)

2) Create a post-workout routine. This means that you should have something planned post-workout that you look forward to doing afterwards. This could be 10 minutes in a steam room to relax or even sitting down with a cup of coffee at your favorite coffee place to chill out and unwind.

3) Have a motivational photo or quote placed somewhere that you will be able to look at it for motivation. Whatever goal you are trying to achieve, have it placed somewhere as a reminder when you motivation is running low.

4) Try something NEW. Sign up for a class you’ve never taken, step onto a new machine at the gym, try working out at a different time of day, or even go for a hike on a new trail!

5) Remember: you never regret being active.

How to Start Running Without Feeling Defeated

Many people want to start jogging as they know that it provides the best exercise, burns the most calories, and works up the greatest sweat.. the problem is, where to start!

Before I was a member of the cross country team, I too had to start somewhere.

I began five years ago just as the average non-athlete would. I laced up my old gym shoes and I went on my way. I struggled to run a 12 minute mile and couldn’t manage more than 18-22 minutes before throwing in the towel. Frankly, running was the worst thing ever.

With the weekly push from my friends, I kept at it. I started running three times a week for as long as I could. The trick is to start off really (and I mean REALLY) slow! You should feel like you are walking quickly. Don’t be ashamed of the slow shuffle, it will pay off. You want to avoid feeling defeated.

The best run is the one where you start off at a “too-easy” pace and are able to run for a longer period of time because of it. Starting off slow will avoid sudden fatigue and leave you feeling confident that you can return to it again in a few days.

Everyone has to start somewhere. After 6 months of three times a week running 12 minute miles for about a half hour, I worked by way up to 12 miles at once! The pace was down to 10:30 per mile pace and I could do every single mile of it!

Never be ashamed of your current fitness. The work will pay off!

I also suggest making a fun playlist that you could put on repeat. Lock into YOUR pace, no one elses, and do what makes you feel good.

Running is a great form of exercise and will get you headed to being the most fit you in the shortest amount of time. Again, start SLOW and avoid feeling defeated.
Oh, and have fun!

Nichole Wischoff



Mind, Body, Spirit Workshop Series

Mind, Body, Spirit Workshop Series

The AWC is offering a series of classes and workshops that teach you about stress relief techniques, healthy eating, mental and physical health, and a variety of different workouts to try. 

November 1: 6:30-7:30pm                                   November 13: 4:00-5:00pm

Intro to Yoga – Rm. 101                                     Advanced Yoga – Rm. 101

Beginners class, focused                                       Explore what your body can do, 

on the foundations of Yoga.                                 for mind, body, and spirit.


November 3: 1:00-2:00pm                                 November 13: 5:00-6:00pm

Sun Salutations – Room 101                             Staying Healthy Over the Holidays - Rm. 101

Learn the intricacies of each individual              Eating Strategies, workouts, gift,

pose.                                                                       stress relief ideas.


 November 4: 3:30-4:30pm                                    November 14 & 28: 8:30-9:30pm   

 Alignment 101 – Room 101                                   Burn at the Barre – Dance Studio

 Proper technique to minimize negative,                Tips and Trick on how Ballerinas

 and maximize function.                                             are in such good shape. 


November 6: 5:00-6:00pm                                        November 20: 5:00-6:00pm

Latin Fiesta – Dance Studio                                     Intro to Tang  Soo Do – Rm. 101

Designed to make you work while you                      Traditional martial arts classroom,    

 are learning Latin dance.                                            while learning basics.                                                  


November 11: 3:30-5:00pm                                        November 29: 8:00-9:00pm

Partner Yoga; Intro to Flight – Rm. 101                    Restorative Yoga – Rm. 101

 Explore the benefits of Partner                                 Relaxation, detoxification,

 Yoga while building trust.                                          and mindful Yoga. 


Every Sunday in November: 7:00-8:00pm

 Meditation – Rm. 101                               

Guided relaxation meditations.





Get Outside

Get Outside

This is a great time of year to get outside and get active.  New Paltz has some of the most beautiful fall foliage; so take advantage of your surroundings and change up your routine.

A great location to start with, is the Wallkill Rail Trail.  For those of you that don’t know what that is, it’s a 12.2-mile trail that starts in Rosendale, runs through New Paltz, and ends in Gardiner.  From the trail you can see everything from streams, waterfalls, trees, flowers, wildlife, and views of the mountains.  It’s really a spectacular place to have right under your nose.  You can walk, run, hike, bike, or jog.

There are also some health benefits to outdoor workouts.  One benefit is that you will be working different muscles.  You will be working muscles for inclines, declines, or uneven ground and balance.  The fresh air and quite atmosphere can serve as a stress reliever for your everyday life.  Also, being exposed to vitamin D (the sun) is a mood improver and very important to feeling healthy and positive.  These are just a few reasons why you should get outside, and get healthy today!


For more information about the Wallkill Rail Trail visit: