Monday, November 23, 2015

I Am a Nicole Roberts Groupie! Here's Why...

UVAC is home of the Fancy Pants Revolution, brought to you by Nicole Roberts and her followers
Whenever Nicole teaches a class, I try it out. I met Nicole, a dynamic, inspirational instructor at the Upper Valley Aquatic Center in December 2014 and she has changed my life in a very positive way. At 62 years old, I feel stronger and healthier than ever and I owe this to Nicole. She is the grand motivator who makes class fun with a larger than life personality. She does all of the exercises with you and has a big smile on her face when she pushes you to your limits. She is true superwoman and a great role model with the physical activity she does on a daily basis. I am in awe of what she can do.

I take the Total Body Conditioning Class three times a week and I look forward to it on Monday, Wednesday and Friday. It is so popular that the participants get there 15 minutes before to set up their equipment so they can get a spot in the fitness room. We are getting so much stronger that more heavier weights have been ordered.  Nicole listens to us and adapts her music and routine to our needs. Did I mention Fancy Pants Friday where we wear our colorful pants to class? This started with Nicole making the class more fun and introducing the idea. Most of the people in the class know each other because of arriving early for class. I have made many new friends by attending this class.  It feels like a big family supporting and caring about each other. Nicole started a Core and Stretch class that I attend and really enjoy it. It compliments the Total Body Conditioning Class.

Since I have gotten stronger, I finally accomplished something on my bucket list for years. I ran a 5K with my daughter the end of August and finished it three minutes under my goal! I also can pick up my four grandchildren easily now.

I highly recommend any class that Nicole leads! Yes, I am an admirer, her number one fan and am very thankful to her for she what she has done for me.

Deborah Carney

See a full list of classes at Upper Valley Aquatic Center

Monday, October 19, 2015

November Weight Bet Starting November 2nd

Interested in losing weight and keeping it off?   

With the holidays to come, it is greatly encouraged to keep your nutrition and fitness goals on track.  This upcoming challenge will give you the ultimate incentive to lose realistic weight and win some extra cash for the holidays.   Here are the rules and general information:

·      Starts November 2nd.

·      Bet on yourself to lose weight. Pick any amount: $25, $40, $60, $150

·      You've got 28 days to lose 4% of your body weight to win your money back!

·      PLUS: Split the losing bets with the other winners!

·      Register at the Welcome Desk by November 1

·      Come into the Fitness Center, Monday, November 2nd to get your official weigh-in

Current Weight
4% weight need to Win
Pounds per week

by Katherine MacPherson
UVAC Personal Trainer and Wellness Program Coordinator 

Tuesday, October 6, 2015

The Wellness Factor

I despise the gym.  Oops! Did I say that out loud?  I know that sounds sacrilegious coming from someone who works at a fitness facility, but it’s true.  Maybe it’s because I was brought up to see fitness from a different view than the current trend, maybe it's because it reminds me a little too much of gym class in middle school, maybe I just don’t like to exercise inside…  Most of what we hear about fitness now–a-days is about how to look better, about losing weight, about pushing ourselves beyond our limits.  But I think that one important side of fitness is being forgotten-WELLNESS!

Wellness has to do with having a balance of health in the body, mind and spirit.  Each aspect on its own is important, but bringing them together is what creates a balanced and fulfilling life.  My mom has a unique outlook on wellness that she has passed down to me and one of the first lessons I remember learning was about taking care of myself.  When I was young I was encouraged to take days off from school not only when I was physically sick, but when I was over-stressed.  It’s a lesson that I still carry with me today but honestly, when I was growing up I thought many of her ideas were kind of weird but she was never discouraged by me telling her that! 

Now, however, I tend to agree with her.  Wellness is a forgotten aspect of health in many gyms around the country.  Fitness is so focused on the body and how we feel physically and how we look that I get frustrated with gyms, and forego them all together!  I believe that there is so much more to being a healthy individual! An article that I read recently talks a little bit about how to be an empowered person.  How to Talk to Your Daughter About Her Body by Sarah Koppelkam ( image_b_3678534.html) is an article that discusses ways to talk to your daughter about her body without causing her to feel self-conscious about it.  This passage in particular spoke to me. 

“Encourage your daughter to run because it makes her feel less stressed. Encourage      your daughter to climb mountains because there is nowhere better to explore your spirituality than the peak of the universe. Encourage your daughter to surf, or rock climb, or mountain bike because it scares her and that's a good thing sometimes.

Help your daughter love soccer or rowing or hockey because sports make her a better leader and a more confident woman. Explain that no matter how old you get, you'll never stop needing good teamwork. Never make her play a sport she isn't absolutely in love with.”

This passage captures the essence of wellness for me.  Wellness is less about fitness and more about quality of life!  Activities including meditation and yoga are just as valuable as running and weight training since they include benefits such as lowering blood sugar, increasing attention span, helping with insomnia, improving energy levels, protection from injury and much more!  We have an activity here at the Upper Valley Aquatic Center that I think is a great alternative to the traditional work out!  The DeepWater Volleyball class is a wonderful social event for many of the participants of the class!  They get to see friends and play a fun game while swimming and stretching.  I feel like it’s the best of all worlds!

Wellness is about finding the right balance between health in the body, mind and spirit for you, and it’s different for everyone.  It includes fitness, intellectual stimulation, social interaction, introspection, the whole shebang!  All that is needed to create a happy life!

By Alyssa Bingham
Upper Valley Aquatic Center:
Welcome Desk Attendant
Marketing Intern

Monday, August 17, 2015

The Classroom of Youth Sports

The Classroom of Youth Sports

 STA JV boys soccer @ Portsmouth 9-5-14

by Charlie Umland, UVAC Marketing Intern

  Youth sports are a great activity for kids, not just for physical fitness, but also for mental growth. It is important to keep in mind that the benefits of youth sports are the learning opportunities on the path to adulthood, rather than the opportunities of on-field success. As a high school soccer coach, and a life-long athlete, I have been around sports for a long time, and seen all sides of the game. I’ve seen how parents can affect sports for kids, and what sports can teach kids.

     Personally, much of what I have learned on my way to becoming a young adult has come through sports. If handled properly, youth sports can be a fantastic way for kids to develop and learn. Values such as dedication, commitment, teamwork, and respect, are just a few examples of what kids can take away from sports. Another important aspect of sports is failing. Failure is a great learning experience, and sports are one of the few areas of life where failure is prominent. Whether it is an individual disappointment, like striking out, or it is a group failure like a loss, it is important to have these moments. Sports teaches children that things don't always go their way, and these moments can encourage one to improve and avoid future failure and disappointment. I had a hockey coach who would praise us for falling over while we were practicing skating, because it showed we were pushing our limits and trying to improve.

    Parents should have a positive impact on their child’s experiences in sports. As one example of many, I remember telling my parents that I wanted to quit a hockey season a few weeks after it started. They told me that I had made a commitment, and had to stick it out. I never ended up regretting playing a sport season in my life, and I learned the value of standing by a commitment. When you can adopt the mindset that you need to go through with something unpleasant in life, it becomes more enjoyable as you work towards making the most out of a bad situation. In other words, “faking it ‘til you make it.”

    Parents can also have negative impacts on youth sports for their children, and for teams. I have learned what type of parent I don’t want to become through seeing the actions of some parents on the sidelines of games. When I hear parents screaming at officials, or constantly shouting their child’s name during sporting contests, or even yelling “shoot!” regardless of the situation, it makes me realize that we can get too carried away with winning and losing in youth sports. Observing these types of behaviors is a reality check for me as a coach, and a human. It can get to the point where we take the fun out of the game and turn it into something it’s not. That’s not to say that parents are the only ones that can get too carried away and competitive, it happens more frequently with players. Whether it’s playing dirty, or treating the referee or their coach with disrespect, bad behavior is a common part of the game.
    In a coaching class I took at the University of New Hampshire a few years ago, Rainer Martens, the author of our textbook- Successful Coaching, made a case for parents not going to every one of their children’s sporting events, especially at a younger age to make their kids know that sports are not the most important thing in the lives of either the parents, or the kids. While I don’t think that this necessarily has to be a step taken to teach this to kids, I think it brings up a good point that maybe parents do give the wrong impression to their children without trying to. I remember a teammate on a Little League team who got stressed out and thought he couldn’t hit when his dad was there, so his dad would watch from afar. I don’t know whether this was because the father put pressure on his son to perform, or it was a perception that his son had, but either way, that doesn’t sound like a positive situation for a 5th grader in Little League. 

    I am all for winning, and I am a very competitive person when it comes to sports, but as a JV boys soccer coach, I have found that sometimes I get more upset with a loss than the players do. Wins and losses shouldn’t matter in youth sports, but progress, and learning on and off the field should. Kids will remember games that they lost, just like they remember games that they won, but the emotion felt about the game is gone not long after the final whistle, win or lose. After my first season, the team had a mediocre record. Despite this, I heard from parents only positive things about their son’s reaction to the season, and their improvement as players. To me, that was the most rewarding thing at the end of it all, hearing feedback about happy players who felt that they had improved.

Monday, June 22, 2015

Gyrokinesis! Your body will thank you


You may not know what that word means, but when you start taking Gyrokinesis classes your body will thank you.

For more than ten years I’ve had serious back problems, my pain was sufficiently substantial that I sought the advice of four different spine surgeons all of whom suggested that a spinal fusion might help.  These consultations did not increase my confidence that, for me, a spinal fusion would make me feel better and reduce my pain.

Around that time, my wife suggested I try UVAC.  I am not a swimmer, but began to run with a flotation belt in the lap pool. You may have seen me there.  For several years I came to the pool daily sometimes in the morning, sometimes after work. After a while Garrett gave me workouts in the gym. Though I felt better, I still was not as pain free as I wanted to be.

One day last fall as I was leaving the pool, I saw what turned out to be Monica Ha’s Gyrokinesis class taking place in the glass-enclosed room next to the Welcome Desk.  Eight or ten people on small stools were twisting and turning in ways that I was sure I could not do. Physical therapists told me I should not bend my spine in some of the directions these people were turning.

In spite of that advice, I spoke with Monica and decided to try Gyrokinesis. Gyrokinesis, I found out, uses principles found in swimming, dance, yoga, Tai Chi, and gymnastics and the classes emphasize continuous, flowing movements with corresponding breath patterns.

I decided to give it a try. In the beginning I simply did my best to copy whatever movements Monica made.  I found that with Monica’s direction I could make the movements without pain. Over time, I began to develop greater core strength and flexibility. During classes Monica worked with me, and others, explaining and showing me how to arch my back and curl my back.

Soon I noticed that my back was not bothering me whenever I turned over in bed at night. Before starting Gyrokinesis, I could walk for no more than ten minutes before my pain forced me to sit down.  Now, I can take our dog for long walks. I feel stronger, stand straighter, and sleep better.  Friends and family members who haven’t seen me for a while comment that I seem to have grown taller.  I have not felt this good in over ten years.  I’m thrilled.


Monday’s and Tuesday’s at 5:00PM 

I encourage you to try it.   Your body will thank you!

by Carl Yirka

UVAC Member and Gyrokinesis enthusiast

Monday, June 8, 2015

UVAC Goes Solar with Norwich Technologies!


June 2, 2015

Upper Valley Aquatic Center  (UVAC) and Norwich Technologies announced plans to build a 500 kilowatt (AC) solar electricity project in Hartford, Vermont for the benefit of UVAC and its members.

This significant project brings substantial economic development in the Town of Hartford, providing additional jobs and local economic benefits from the rapidly growing solar energy industry.

Feeding into Green Mountain Power Corporation’s electricity distribution network, this Project is projected to save UVAC a significant amount on their annual electricity bill over the 20 year contract period. “This is a terrific way for UVAC to save money on its electricity budget, while adding renewable electricity to the grid” said Richard Synnott, Executive Director of UVAC.

Norwich Technologies has become a leading developer of solar projects in the Upper Valley, with over 2 Megawatts of new capacity currently under development. “We are very excited to be associated with this project”, said Joel Stettenheim, Co-Founder and President of Norwich Technologies. He added that “this array will preserve local farmland for the next generation while providing clean energy for the current one.”

Questions regarding the project can be sent to Norwich Technologies at or by phone at (802) 281-3213 or Upper Valley Aquatic Center UVACSWIM.ORG, or by phone 802-296-2850 ex 103.

Possible Questions and Answers on UVAC Solar Project

1.              Q:  How is the System being funded?
A:   The UVAC Project will be owned by a private party because UVAC, as a non-profit entity, cannot take advantage of the available tax credits. Once those benefits have been realized over the first six years of the Contract, UVAC will have an option to purchase the Project for its remaining life, which would allow us to save even more money.

2.              Q:  How are the Renewable Energy Credits being handled?
A:   Initially, the RECs will be shared equally between UVAC and the developer, Norwich Technologies. The RECs are expected to be sold initially as part of the financing for the project. As a community resource funded primarily by member dues and user fees, we have a duty to our constituents to manage our resources as efficiently as possible. Without selling the RECs, UVAC would not realize all of the savings it can achieve from the Project. At any time, however, UVAC can elect to take all of the RECs from the Project, and always has the right to sell them or retire them. 

3.              Q:  Who will you sell the RECs to?
A:  Most commonly, the RECs are sold to a broker on the public market. However, they can be purchased by anyone. If anyone would like to approach us to buy our RECs with the specific intention of then retiring them, we would be happy to facilitate that.

4.              Q:  Where will the project be built?
A:   Since we cannot generate this much electricity on our land at UVAC,  we will be leasing land just down the road on Route 5 for most of the array. We have consulted with the neighboring landowners and are in the process of public consultation for the project generally. A small array will be on UVAC property to display the technology to our members and guests and as a reminder that we are committed to green technology.

5.              Q:  What is the environmental benefit of the array?
A:   The estimated clean solar electricity generated by the array is 13.9 gigawatt hours (13,890,000 kWh) over the first 20 years.  The estimated avoided C02 emissions over the 20 years is 12.7 million pounds.  This is equivalent to the burning of 1,650 tons of coal, 8,920 barrels of oil or 429,000 gallons of gasoline.