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Kristin McGee performs abdominal exercises for Access Hollywood

Here is a series of five abdominal exercises that Kristin McGee shot for Access Hollywood. They are good for beginners and easy to perform at home.






Photos by Kristin McGee; Post by Thomai Serdari (We welcome guest posts. Email us at



When is a walk through Central Park a substitute for physical training?

Yesterday, New York looked too beautiful for me to stay indoors. I decided to forgo my usual cardio hiking on the treadmill and go for a walk in Central Park. With 60th Street and 5th Avenue as my starting point, up to the Metropolitan Museum of Art, around the Jackie Onassis Reservoir and back down to 60th Street, I logged 4.6 miles in exactly 80 minutes on a moderately fast walking pace (and with a few traffic light interruptions).

While I did not feel like going to the gym, I really wanted to exercise. Have you heard that old adage, “if you stick with your work out schedule and go to the gym for 21 consecutive days, it actually becomes a habit?” This does not mean that one should stick to the exact same routine perpetually. The constant and repetitive exercise could be harmful to your body and a downer on your mood.

            Psychologists claim that it is easier to form a habit when the task is simple and does not require any thought. When the training routine is spelled out for you and the place for training has already been determined, it is easier to begin working out. This is the idea behind our organization. We want to help young people as they are forming their healthy habits in physical training and provide them with the tools to do it. The tools are a training program and a location (the gym).  The idea is that this type of training (in the broader sense of the word) will also teach them about discipline and diligence, two skills that are transferrable to school and other life commitments. Exercise teaches us the discipline necessary to tackle all types of problems. Discipline is what turns a walk through Central Park into a vigorous form of exercise.

Post by Thomai Serdari (We welcome guest posts. Email us at:


One of our directors, Kristin McGee, an experienced yoga and pilates instructor who is also the creator of Bendigirl, a yoga program tailored to girls of 12 to 18 years old, frequently volunteers her time to teach young children. She offers free instruction at several places around New York City, including The Jewish Community Center at the Upper West Side and the YMCA. Both are places open to hosting programs such as ours, namely programs that cater to adolescents and that teach them how to work out and why working out is important physically and emotionally. Kristin is well sought after for her effective method of instruction. I joined one of her classes at Equinox on Prince Street and there was barely an inch of open space left. Equinox members flock to her classes that are conducted in a quiet studio, a place conducive to meditation and self-awareness. Two days later, I was thankful to her for having worked a whole group of muscles that I did not know I own.

In exactly eleven days, on September 22nd, I will be joining her at Paragon Sports, where she will teach a one-hour long free yoga class with the goal to introduce New Yorkers to the benefits of this type of exercise. I will join her as a member of the audience of course because I have only tried yoga twice in my entire life. I am a novice, in fact, a new novice if such a type exists. I am looking forward to talking with other members of the class and learning what motivates them to pick up physical exercise and whether they think they will stick to it.


Post by Thomai Serdari (We welcome guest posts. Email us at:

Dance, Zumba, and Fitness

Jim, a good friend of mine, stopped by my office today to wish me a good start for the new academic year. His class is on Wednesday, mine is on Thursday and we both enjoy meeting each other to chat on any day.  Jim is well into his seventies and while he has always showed interest in all my projects, he is particularly interested in this not-for-profit. I suppose this is the case because Jim is a dedicated dancer, a modern dancer. He meets his group twice a week for an hour and a half, usually in the late morning or early afternoon and trains diligently and consistently. I cannot imagine him, a tall and lanky guy, ever having had any type of weight problems. He had once told me that what motivated him to join the dance class and seek out physical exercise was the loss of flexibility with age, a feeling familiar to many. The question that remains is what motivates him to stick with his exercise regime. After the initial decision was made, a decision on a purely cognitive level, he could have quit. But Jim loves the challenge each class has to offer and he loves the sensation in his legs the day after, a sensation that feels almost like a pat on his back: “You did well Jim! You danced beautifully.” He even admitted to loving “graduating” to groups for advanced dancers, a method the teacher employs to keep everyone on their toes (pun intended) and interested. Zumba fitness dancing anyone?

Post by Thomai Serdari (We welcome guest posts. Email us at:

Does Heidi Klum have the power to motivate you to work out?

It was announced today that New Balance teamed up with Heidi Klum who promised to upgrade the brand's profile by designing an active-wear line of cottons and silks. The super-model, and Project Runway star, is also a busy mother. She claims that even she has to worry about looking chic while comfortable in her active lifestyle. Her line is designed with every body in mind. So here is the question to you: can Heidi Klum motivate you to be physically active and get to the gym on a regular basis? If not Heidi, then what motivates you?

We are seriously looking for answers here at “Gym Memberships for Teens Inc.” Feel free to leave your response as a comment to the blog or write on our Wall on Facebook. We would love to hear from you and we would specifically love to know what motivates people to get to the gym.

Feeling shy? Send a private email to


Looking forward to hearing from you!

Post by Thomai Serdari (We welcome guest posts. Email us at: