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
AFAA, CAN Fit Pro
PN Certified

Stress & Digestion

Fall has arrived! Though this time of year is often joyous and fun, it can also be the source of tension and stress. As we become overwhelmed with social obligations or work, it may be tempting to wolf down meals quickly or turn to sweets for comfort… only to feel lethargic and less-than-best later. Below is some information about how digestion works and tips to keep you feeling good all holiday season long!

Did you know that digestion starts in the brain? Before you eat, the brain signals for the production of digestive enzymes and juices, but this only really works if the parasympathetic (“rest and digest”) system is activated!
– Before eating anything, stop whatever else you’re doing and focus on your food! Don’t drive, don’t watch TV or look at your phone — simply stop. Take a few deep breaths and relax to allow your body to switch from the active “fight or flight” mode to the necessary “rest and digest.” It helps to smell and think about your food too!

Next digestion moves to the mouth where food is mechanically and chemically broken down. How well are you chewing your food? Are you giving your body time to produce saliva? The goal of digestion is to break down food into particles so small that the nutrients can be absorbed and used by the cells of the body. Our stomachs don’t have teeth, so it?s important to chew well!
– Next time you eat, try setting your utensil (or the food itself) down between bites. Let yourself taste and enjoy each bite! Not only will eating slower encourage more chewing, but this stimulates more saliva production which is important for breaking down food!

The stomach is where we imagine most of digestion happens — and that’s mostly true! Acid in the stomach breaks down proteins, and churning helps to break down the particles so they’re small enough to absorb. Stress can affect acid production and
make it harder to break down food particles. This can lead to discomforts like heartburn and bloating!
– If you’re experiencing discomfort from eating, but you’ve already mastered eating slowly and mindfully, enjoying something bitter before a meal (arugula is wonderful!) or something acidic (like water with lemon juice or a small splash of apple cider vinegar) can help boost stomach acid production and prevent some of those discomforts.

For more information please visit my website and blog at bit.ly/rebelyum or email me at shelby.ntp@gmail.com! I’d love to help you!
Shelby O’Hagan
Nutrition Consultant

Quadrupled Hip Mobility

Our hip joint structure is meant to be mobile, tilting forward and backward, hiking left and right, and rotating in all directions. Sitting more frequently or for longer periods of time during the day can affect the hip’s ability to move optimally. Lack of mobility dramatically affects how your lower body moves and can affect your spinal function. Done on a regular basis, hip mobility exercises can make a huge impact on your hip’s ability function. One of the easiest positions we can perform exercises for hip mobility is a quadrupled position or simply put, on your “hands and knees”. This is the developmental position that we learn to crawl in prior to learning how to walk. Quadrupled position helps you maintain spinal positioning while moving the pelvis, thus adding core strength benefit. Here are some of the exercises you can perform in the quadrupled position to increase the mobility of your hips and pelvis.

Quadrupled starting position:
Start with your hands on floor with fingers pointed forward and wrists aligned under your shoulders in a straight line. Keep your spine in a neutral position with a normal lumbar curve. Your knees should be directly under the hips in a straight line and your feet should be flexed forward.
1. Pelvic anterior/posterior tilts – While maintaining spinal position, tilt your pelvis forward then backward. Increasing the arch to the lower back then flattening the lower back as you “Tuck your Tail”.
2. Pelvic lateral tilts, or “wagging your tail” – While maintaining alignment, shift your pelvis left and right just like a dog would wag its tail.
3. Pelvic circles; both clockwise and counter-clockwise – While maintaining alignment draw a circle with your pelvis like you were doing the “Hula” or a “Hula Hoop”.
4. Rocking forward and backward – Starting in the quadruped position, rock your hips back toward your heels then reverse directions and take your shoulders past your hands.
5. Rocking diagonally left and right – In the starting quadrupled position, rock your hips diagonally back toward your right heel and then reverse back to your left shoulder. Repeat on the opposite side.
6. Rocking circles clockwise and counter-clockwise – Starting in the quadrupled position, take your hips in a rocking circular motion clockwise right to left. Repeat in a counter-clockwise motion.

Try performing one set of 10-20 repetitions in each direction while trying to maintain spinal alignment. Performed on a regular basis a few times a week you should begin to notice a difference in your hip mobility. Great to do first thing in the morning, prior to exercise, or after extended bouts of sitting.

If you have questions regarding alignment or how to perform any of these exercises please see one of our BAC Personal Training Staff.
Mike Locke
Fitness Director

Turkey Burn Class is back!

In an effort to help you burn off those extra calories consumed on Thanksgiving; join us for our special Turkey Burn class to be held on Friday, November 23rd at the Cordata club from 9:00 am – 10:15 am taught by Heather and Susan! They are planning a mixed class including Dance Jam, Strength, Yoga and Pilates. This is always a great class, be sure to come in and enjoy the fun!

Holiday Hours

Thursday, November 22nd (Thanksgiving), we are closed.
Friday, November 23rd, we are open 7:00 am -7:00 pm at the Cordata Club & 7:00 am – 2:00 pm at the Downtown Club.

Family Fun at BAC

As Fall descends into Winter, come in with your family and have some fun; Racquetball, Basketball and some group exercise classes (check with your instructor as to suitability for kids) are available to our BAC families. Our pool is available for family swim MWF 3:30-5: 00 PM and 7:00-8: 30 pm and Weekends 3:00-5: 00 pm and 6:00-8: 30 pm, Fridays we have a preschool swim from 10:30-11: 30 am. Don’t forget Swim Lessons on Tuesdays and Thursdays. All of these are great ways to stay active and healthy as a family throughout the winter season.

Fall Classic Racquetball Tournament

Sign up Now for the Fall Classic!
Dates: November 16-18
Cost: $50 first division/$10 second division/ $30 Juniors
Signup Deadline: Sunday, November 11th

If you are interested in playing in the Infusion Solutions Fall Classic Racquetball tournament, please make sure to register by Sunday, November 11th. Sign up online or fill out an entry form at the Cordata Location and drop it off at the front desk! We want to thank Don and Rowena Birnel of Infusion Solutions for sponsoring this event! We are looking forward to filling the club with holiday vibes, good racquetball, and great company! Not a racquetball player? If you plan on using the club during tournament weekends, please remember that there will be a few extra people around- with so much activity in the Racquetball hallway it can get a bit crowded! It might not be a bad idea to give the downtown club a shot for a weightlifting or cardio workout. Of course, the racquetball community always welcomes new players and spectators, so feel free to join in on the fun if you find yourself at the Cordata Location. As always, if you have any questions about racquetball, feel free to contact Jessie Scott at racquetball@bellinghamathleticclub.com or give us a call at (360) 676-1800

BAC Food Drive

Members and Non-members who bring in a bag of nonperishable food items to donate to our food drive will receive a one-week guest pass. Our food drive will end on November 21 so don’t delay in giving to other families in our community. Thank you to everyone who has joined us so far! 

Pool Policies

We have had a lot of pool usage lately and hope to clear up any questions you might have about exercising in the BAC pool. Children under 16 can use the pool during Family Swim times only (state requires us to have a lifeguard on the deck). Swim lessons are for all ages and run on Tuesdays and Thursdays. We have a variety of water aerobics classes throughout the week, including the reinstated Aqua Zumba. The pool is open to adults for swim and exercise starting at 5:30 am Monday-Friday and 7:00 am on Saturday and Sundays. Consult the pool schedule for lane availability throughout the day. Members may reserve a lane online if they’ve activated their Online Services account, or give us a call at (360) 676-1800. The reserved lane is the farthest lane from the door and locker rooms. See the diagram posted in the pool area for a variety of scenarios using the pool in the most efficient way. Please remember the pool is a shared space and be respectful of other swimmers and water exercisers. We have had some swimmers comment to water walkers and exercisers to the effect that they shouldn’t be using the reserved lane. All members pay dues and have the right to use the reserved lane and pool lengthwise. Please understand that all of our members are here to relax and get a workout, so be respectful of each other. If you have a problem with a fellow member, kindly talk to one of the management staff and let us handle it, that way you can avoid any uncomfortable feelings coming to the club. We welcome your suggestions!

Fall into Safety

The beautiful colors of October have passed into the windy month of November. Here are some winter safety recommendations for you and your family living in homes and apartments.

Everyday Life

Are you an evening or morning walker? Wear something reflective or carry a flashlight. This goes for bike riders, skateboarders and strollers. My husband and I wear headlamps because we have a dog and need to see where he’s left his packages. Stay on sidewalks whenever possible.

Morning drivers – clear your windows (all of them) before pulling out into traffic. I know it can take a few more minutes but it will also save you from accidents. Buy a window scraper to make it easy. However, if you find yourself in a pinch, using the edge of an old debit/credit card can be an effective way to scrape frost off of your windshield.

Keep the front entry of your home clear. Rain, leaves and the dark can make entries hazardous. Be sure potential obstacles are removed or easily seen. While you’re at it, check the outdoor lights to make sure they’re working and powerful enough to be useful.

Consider a landline. November is infamous for power outages and you don’t want to be caught without a phone in case of emergencies. Generally, landlines work even if the power is out. Contact your service provider to confirm that this is true for you. Extra battery packs for your cell phones are good to have on hand. External battery packs can charge a phone up to 2 – 4 times, depending on the battery and your particular phone.

Visiting Family and Friends for the Holidays

The holidays are a busy time for everyone, especially the event hosts. Keep your home safe for all ages with these tips:
Look for tripping hazards. Here’s what to look for:

  • Newspapers, books and toys might be left at the end of a favorite couch and can be dangerous.
  • Small rugs in kitchens, bathrooms and bedrooms are opportunities for slipping and falling. Remove them if possible. If not, use grip tape which can be found at any hardware store.
  • Make sure there is plenty of light in hallways and bathrooms. Plug-in night lights are easy solutions.
  • Provide a stool at the sink and toilet for little ones so they don’t have to reach too far.

Daylight savings time is my reminder to prepare our home for winter. Use these to improve the safety of your home. Remember, safety is no accident.

Susie Landsem
Aging in Place by Design
Susie is a consultant for Aging in Place. Contact her if you have questions about adding safety and comfort solutions to your home.