Author Archive for BAC Staff

Opening up your mid-back

Today’s lifestyle of computers, smartphones, driving, and television promotes poor posture, forward tilt to the head, forward rounding of the shoulders, and rounding of the upper back. Being in this posture can affect the ability of the thoracic spine to move, which can lead to a malady of compensations down the road. Neck, shoulder, and lower back are just a few of the aches and pains that can come from an immobile thoracic spine.

The side-lying torso rotation stretch is a great exercise to open up the thoracic spine while protecting the lower back. To perform the stretch you need a foam roller and some sort of pillow or head support. Begin by lying on one side, make sure your shoulders are stacked on top of each other and are aligned with your head and hips. Place your top leg on top of the foam roller with your thigh flexed to 90 degrees. Your bottom knee should be flexed to 90 degrees and your bottom thigh should be in line with the rest of your body. Extend your top arm up into the air and you are ready to begin.

Take a deep breath through your nose and then exhale through your mouth, while you gently rotate your head and look over your shoulder. While turning your head your arm begins to reach back toward the floor. Remember your head begins the motion, not your arm. As you rotate, make sure your top leg stays in contact with the foam roller. This protects the lumbar spine. Continue to exhale through the entire stretch and go to the tension, not through it. The movement should take you approximately 4 seconds back into the stretch, hold for 2 seconds and then 3 seconds back to the start. Repeat for 4-6 repetitions. With each rotation, you should feel like you get a little deeper into the stretch. Repeat on the opposite side.

Try adding it to your flexibility routine and see how much difference it makes. It is an exercise we can
do every day!

Mike Locke
Fitness Directo

Winter Racquetball League

We will be starting Winter League on Wednesday, January 16th! There is a sign-up sheet at the front desk at Cordata! Sign up by Saturday the 12th! That way I can have the schedule ready by the 13th.  

New Year’s Resolution?

As we welcome in the New Year (which came way too fast!) I thought we should address the issue of New Year’s resolutions, making them and successfully keeping them.

The first part to any successful resolution is to set an appropriate and achievable goal. Setting goals can be a little tricky. Reach too far and you are doomed before you start, not far enough, and there’s not enough challenge to keep you interested. This is a great time to enlist the help of an expert! As a BAC member, you have the opportunity to meet each year with one of our fitness professionals to reset your fitness program. Just stop by the Front Desk and sign up for a complimentary yearly consultation.

The second key to successfully achieving a goal is to tell someone “out-loud” about it and enlist their help in keeping you on track. This public “airing” of your goal, really determines whether this resolution fades quietly away or becomes a reality this year. Find a friend who shares your goal, come participate in any number of our “small group training classes;” you’ll have more fun, and be able to make the behavioral changes necessary! Whether it’s semi-private lessons for racquetball or swimming, or small group personal training; all offer the benefit of connecting with others who share your goals.

Most importantly, after you have set your goals; spend some quality time designing an action plan to achieve them. What do you need to put in place to help you be successful? Is it time, energy, sleep, work schedule, putting in place appropriate foods, removing inappropriate food etc? Set out a timetable, breaking the larger goals into attainable parts, develop a reasonable exercise schedule, then commit to it. Be accountable to that group or trainer for these achievements. Be sure to review weekly, monthly, or quarterly your progress toward your end goals.

If a new level of fitness is part of your New Year?s resolution, let us help you! Hiring a personal trainer is a great way to build in accountability, so maybe now is the time to invest in one of our expert personal coaches. We also have a program called Activtrax which is a terrific and affordable option. You meet with a trainer; go over your goals, and do a baseline fitness test. After the assessment, you receive your workout. Record each workout as indicated, turn it in, and a new routine is available every time you come into the club. The cycles in the routines really test and stretch your abilities. The best part is, you really see and feel results. This program is included with your Platinum membership and is available as an add-on to any Gold membership as well. Give us a call to set up either Activtrax or any of our personal or group fitness training programs.


Happy New Year! I hope everyone had a wonderful holiday season and end of 2018! To start off the new year, we’re discussing diets. I’m sure many of us have made the resolution (whether this year or in previous) to get into shape and/or clean up the way we eat. With all the gimmicks and information online, it can be really challenging to know where to start and be tempting to try to “jump start” our movement towards better health with a cleanse or restrictive diet. Here are some important things to consider when making changes to your eating habits!

1. Are all of the macronutrients balanced? We’ve evolved to require protein, fat, and carbohydrate for various roles in our bodies — elimination or severe restriction of any one will have negative effects in the long-term if not the short-term as well! Review newsletters from summer 2018 for more information about the macros!

2. Are you getting sufficient calories? There are several ways to calculate your body’s individual caloric needs; however you can safely assume that if you’re around ~1300 or lower, you’re not eating enough! Especially if you’re active! There are benefits to fasting, however that should be guided by a professional and not done on a whim.

3. Are you making a lifestyle change or crash dieting? Unsustainable methods yield unsustainable results. Be realistic about the changes you’re making so that you can be successful in the long run!

If you’re not alone (and trust me that you’re never alone!) in your intention to get healthier, there are many group options for learning about nutrition and developing healthier food habits. A quick search online will take you to all sorts of challenges like Whole 30 or 21-Day Sugar Detox. If you’d prefer something more in-depth, you can reach out to me to organize a Restart® class. Restart® combines a sugar detox with the benefits of a nutrition class in a support-group setting. We meet for an hour once a week for five consecutive weeks to discuss a different nutrition topic as well as share recipes, struggles, and victories as we go through a sugar detox together. The groups are super fun and participants agree that the information is life-changing! Woohoo!

If you’d like to learn more about nutrition and how to get yours in order, please visit my website
at or email me at I’m also on instagram @rebelyumnutrition!

Shelby O’Hagan
Nutrition Consultant

Happy Holidays

Wishing you a day of rest…but just one!!!

New Year-New You Class

Please join us on New Year’s Day – for a fun and festive way to ring in the new year! This class is from 9:00 – 10:15 a.m. in the Cordata gym on January 1st. It will include Zumba, Dance jam, Strength and Stretching, plenty of laughs and sweat! See you there! Note: This is the only class offered on New Year Day so no excuses!

Food Drive Thank you!

All of us at the Bellingham Athletic Club want to thank you for lending a hand and making our Food Drive a fun fall event. Last year as a group we donated 629 pounds of food, this year we donated 949 pounds of food. It proves we have amazing members! Thank you to all of you who lent a hand to help others in need.

Healthy Holiday Tips

As we head into the holidays we are often tempted into overindulgence and mindless eating. Here are a few tips to stay on track:

1) Don’t show up hungry! Skipping meals won’t save you calories and if you sit down and are ‘starving’ you will just eat more.

2) Eat small portions of your favorite ‘indulgences’. Use a tablespoon to serve yourself a small portion and skip the food you don’t absolutely love.

3) If you are not in charge of the meal bring a healthy side dish. This will ensure you have something healthy to eat!

4) Return to your routine. If you overindulge in one meal don’t sabotage the entire weekend. Get back into the gym or take a walk and drink your water. The faster you get back on track the less chance you’ll have of gaining weight.

Have a fun and healthy holiday season!

Tina Schumacher
PN Certified

Swim Lessons Update

Sign-ups are open for the New Year! In 2019, our goal will be to expand our program – in particular, we are looking for more participants in the mornings. To support this goal, we will run a promotion for all morning sign-ups: BOGO! Sign up one student and the second student will be half off! So if you have morning availability and a friend who would like to get their student into lessons, take a look at the schedule and give us a call at (360) 676-1800 or stop by the Cordata Location to sign up now for January.

January 8th – 31st (4 weeks/8 Lessons)
February 5th – 28th (4 weeks/8 Lessons)
March 5th – 28th (4 weeks/8 Lessons)
April 9th – May 2nd (4 weeks/8 Lessons)
May 7 – 30th (4 weeks/8 Lessons)

Days: Tuesdays & Thursdays
Times: 10am–12pm, 3:30pm–5:00pm, & 6:00pm-8:00pm

We offer adult groups lessons from 7:30 pm-8:00 pm on Tuesdays and Thursdays, as well as private
lessons to meet your personal fitness goals.

Call (360) 676-1800 to sign up!

Press here for current Swim Lessons details and pricing.

Press here to go to the Aquatic Page.

½ Kneel Wall Upper Spine Mobility

Our mid-thoracic spine (mid-back) is a very mobile joint. It allows us to rotate our shoulders, twisting left and right. The ½ Knee Wall Upper Spine Mobility exercise is great for helping us maintain the motion in this area of the spine.

To perform the exercise, place a pad next to a wall to protect your knee on the ground. Kneel down on the pad in a ½ kneel position parallel to the wall. One knee should be up at 90 degrees and the other knee down at 90 degrees on the pad. The raised knee should be the one away from the wall.

Take a yoga block, turn it lengthwise, and place it against the wall and your hip. You should be close enough to the wall to trap the block between your hip and the wall. This forces your hips to be still during the exercise.

Place the palm of your hand (arm nearest the wall) against the wall parallel to the ground. The thumb should be pointing down. Image the numbers on a clock 9-10-11-12-1-2-3. To begin the motion, take a breath and then exhale as you rotate your head to look over the shoulder nearest the wall. Move your palm and arm around the numbers on the clock. Your palm should not lose contact with the wall and your arm should remain straight. Only go as far as your range of motion will allow. Do not force the motion. Return back to the starting position and repeat 10-12 times then switch to the opposite

This exercise is especially good for those of you who play golf, racquetball, pickleball, and other rotation type sports and activities.

If you have questions on how to perform this exercise properly please speak to one of our personal training staff.

Mike Locke
Fitness Director