LifeStyles NEWS

Winter 2021 

Wearing a Facemask While Exercising

Tips to Help You Adapt

By Exercise Specialist Erin McHugh

One ‘new normal’ that 2020 has brought us is wearing face masks everywhere we go, including to the gym. Wearing a mask is one way to slow the spread of infectious diseases, including COVID-19. Yet many people see a mask as uncomfortable and a potential barrier to exercising. Here are some tips to make your experience more manageable and effective while exercising with a mask on.

  1. Ease back into your routine: Wearing a mask can make breathing during exercise harder, especially if you have experienced a decrease in your fitness level. Make sure you slowly ease back into your routine at the right pace and with the right types of activity, so your body can adjust.

  2. Pay attention to your rate of perceived exertion (RPE): Rest assured it is safe to wear a mask while exercising but, before you do, consider decreasing your exertion level. This means reducing the amount of weight when resistance training and lowering your level of intensity during aerobic exercise such as walking on a treadmill and riding on bikes.

  3. Find the right mask: Masks made with moisture-wicking material have been recommended by many coaches and professional athletes to use while working out. Many athletic brands have come out with masks that are getting good reviews, so check online or see a staff member for some recommendations!

  4. Bring extra masks with you: If you find yourself sweating a lot during your workouts, bring an extra mask to the gym with you. When your mask gets wet, its effectiveness decreases and it becomes uncomfortable, so make sure to swap masks when needed. Note: Disposable masks are available at the Front Desk and Fitness Desk if needed.

  5. Take breaks: If you experience difficulty exercising with a mask, stop and take a few calming breaths and rest until you feel ready to resume activity. Should symptoms worsen, stop your activity and see a staff member.

  6. Stick it out: It will take some time to get used to exercising with a mask on. Your body will need a few workouts to acclimate to this change, so don’t give up right away! Stick with it and it will get easier with time.

The exercise specialist team is here to help you get back on track with your exercise program and to help you set and meet your goals. Stop by the Fitness Desk or make an appointment with an exercise specialist team member today!

Fitness Department News

Live Streaming Group Fitness Classes Coming to LifeStyles! 


You will soon be able to connect and train with our group fitness team in real time from anywhere with our live streaming classes! Supplement your workouts at LifeStyles with this virtual option to make exercise a daily part of your health and wellness routine. In the meantime, our online library of videos is available 24/7 featuring your favorite LifeStyles group fitness instructors. Visit and click on LifeStyles at Home to view more than 75 videos focusing on cardio, strength training, yoga, Pilates, meditation, and more!

Recreation News

Pickleball returns to Valley Health LifeStyles in January* 

Mondays & Thursdays

Session 1: 11 a.m. – noon

Session 2: 12:30 – 1:30 p.m.

*Subject to NJ Health regulations

Pickleball Rules

  • Preregistration is required through the MyClub portal.

  • Play is limited to 8 players per session. Members are limited to 1 session per day.

  • To maximize court availability to all members, court time is limited to 1-hour sessions.

  • Players must vacate the court immediately after they have finished playing.

  • DO NOT congregate near court entrances when waiting, and wait until the prior players have fully exited the court before entering the courts.

Basketball Rules

  • The basketball court can be used anytime it is available.

  • Members are required to bring their own basketball.

  • Play is limited to one member or members of the same household per basketball hoop.

  • Small group or pick-up games are not permitted!



Swim Lessons – Come sign up for swim lessons! We offer private one-on-one sessions for ages 13 and up.

FOCUS ON: Valley Health Retail Pharmacy 

By Gerard Tuohy, Pharmacist – Valley Center for Health & Wellness

Getting a flu shot this year is more important than ever, according to the CDC. Not only will the vaccine protect you and the people around you from the flu, it could also help reduce the strain on the healthcare system responding to COVID-19. Flu vaccines cause antibodies to develop in the body approximately 2 weeks after receiving the shot. While it is best to get vaccinated before influenza starts to spread in the community, it is not too late in December or even January to get the shot as well. The biggest myth associated with the vaccine is that it can give you the flu. The shot does not contain a live virus, so it’s impossible to get the flu from the flu shot. Occasionally, people may experience mild and brief side effects from the shot like pain and swelling at injection site, fever, headaches, and muscle pain. The CDC estimates that the flu shot for the 2019– 2020 season prevented 7.5 million flu illnesses, 3.7 million flu medical visits, 105,000 flu hospitalizations, and 6,300 flu deaths. Most commercial insurances cover the flu shot at no cost. Stop by the Valley Health Pharmacy located directly behind the LifeStyles Front Desk to discuss your flu shot options with one of our pharmacists!

Member Testimonial: Susan Bruce 

LifeStyles “…truly has changed my life…” I learned to do some basics in swimming years ago, but was never able to do freestyle or any strokes with coordinated breathing. I believed that I would never accomplish this skill. Well, that all changed a year ago when I took classes with Lifeguard Julia-Rose Duardo at Valley Health LifeStyles. Her expertise, patience, and encouragement allowed me to believe I could do it even though I felt awkward and couldn’t synchronize my breathing properly. I managed to do 1/3 of a lap, which seemed huge at the time. With much practice, I can now swim 34 laps in freestyle and feel such exhilaration in the water. This truly has changed my life and I am so grateful to Julia for making this possible.

Lara Vajas, MS, MBA, Manager, Medical Fitness and Group Exercise

Congratulations to Lara on being named the Medical Fitness Association (MFA) Northeast Region “Rising Star Award” recipient for 2020! 

The Regional Rising Star Award program recognizes outstanding individual achievement and significant leadership within the medical fitness community. Lara joined Valley in 2010 as the Sports Institute’s Lead Exercise Physiologist for Valley’s medical fitness programs. She has been instrumental in the planning and opening of LifeStyles in 2018. Lara is credited with developing and implementing special populations programming for Parkinson’s, bariatric surgery, and cardiac rehabilitation patients. She also worked with Valley physicians to develop specialized exercise programs for pediatric weight management, fibromyalgia, and osteoarthritis. Most recently, Lara coordinated the making of the “LifeStyles at Home” fitness video library featuring more than 75 exercise instruction videos designed to enhance the membership experience and provide the entire Valley Health community with a safe exercise option during the 2020 COVID-19 pandemic.

Member Services

Attention all members: If you had your membership placed onto an extended freeze due to COVID-19, please provide any updates regarding the status of your membership as we progress into the winter. As a reminder, monthly dues are charged on the first of each month. If you have any questions regarding the status of your agreement or the billing related to your membership, please reach out to Evan Pagliei, Membership Service Coordinator at 201-316-8436 or

Please take note of LifeStyles Holiday Hours:

December 24: Christmas Eve — 5:30 a.m. – 3 p.m.

December 25: Christmas Day — Closed

December 31: New Year’s Eve — 5:30 a.m. – 3 p.m.

January 1: New Year’s Day — 8 a.m. – 1 p.m.

New Member Welcome

Tuesday, January 12, February 9, or March 9 at 6 p.m. 


All new members are invited to join one of our virtual welcome meetings to the Valley Center for Health and Well-ness via Zoom. Everything you need to know about making the most of your LifeStyles membership will be presented by our expert staff, plus, Q&A with representatives from the clinical services located in the Wellness Center.

JOIN ZOOM MEETING using this link: /j/2516912019

Valley Center for Health and Wellness Resource Listing


LifeStyles Fitness Center

Aquatics/Swim Lessons: 201-316-8435

Main Directory: 201-389-0839 Front Desk/Fitness Desk

Member Account Services Office: 201-316-8436; (fax) 201-316-8457

Membership Sales: Lisa Channel – 201-316-8440

Sports Institute: 201-447-8133 Prehabilitation/AfterCare Fitness

Outpatient Rehabilitation (Physical Therapy/ Aquatic Therapy)

Main Directory: 201-447-8134; (fax) 201-316-8442

Diagnostic Imaging

Main Directory: 201-316-8452; (fax) 201-316-8453

Community Health

Main Directory: 201-291-6467

PrimeTime Program: 1-877-283-2276


Main Directory: 201-316-8444; (fax) 201-316-8445

Valley Medical Group

Main Directory: 201-389-0075; (fax) 201-962-9730

Integrative Medicine: Dr. Jodi Katz – 201-389-0087