Category: Women’s Health

Women’s Health Week Top 5 Health Concerns – How to Be Proactive


May 15 – 19th 2017

Front Lobby
This is a week to bring awareness to some of the top health issues concerning women’s health. The SAC lobby will have a table display during this week highlighting the most helpful preventative methods to proactively combat specific health concerns. Learn more about how fitness and nutrition is paramount in preventative care!

Learn more about SAC’s Club Nutritionist; Haley Berich R.D. and sign up to make an appointment or contact her:

For more information about preventative fitness or nutrition, please contact: Wellness Director, Kendra Kainz at

For additional resources:

Self Defense Workshop

Jody Garcia, Monday May 15th & Wednesday May 17th at 12 pm 


May is Women’s Health Month and what better way to get a healthy physically and mentally than a self-defense workshop.  Learning self-defense is a great way to exercise in a community, relieve some stress, and give you tools to use if you are ever in a bad situation.

Join our martial arts instructor Jody Garcia for a complementary 40 min self-defense workshop Monday the 15th and Wednesday the 17th.

Yoga Workshop

Yoga Workshop with Fran Gallo. Workshop Name: Strong.

For details, please contact Fran GalloYoga Instructor at

Saturday, January 28th.

3:00pm to 5:00pm.

SAC Members $25. Guests $35.

Yoga postures help us to become centered, flexible, and strong. This workshop will focus on yoga poses that build strength. We will practice the poses that help us gain strength (modifications will be suggested if needed) and reserve the last 15 minutes for deep relaxation (shavasana). All levels!

Intro to Yoga Series

Jamie Carroll: 8-week series from January 14th to March 4th.

Saturdays from 12:30pm to 1:45pm in the Mind/Body Studio. SAC Members Only.

Cost $115. Includes a Hugger Mugger Mat.

Deadline to signup is January 6th with Anna Miller, Group Exercise Director at

This 8-week series is a progressive program to learn the fundamentals of Hatha Yoga and prepare students for continued development in the practice. Jamie will introduce students to Yoga etiquette, the basics of breath, alignment, flow, and safe postures for their own bodies.

Students will learn key poses as well as basic yogic philosophies that help to guide us along our path of learning.

If you have always wanted to try yoga, or if you would like to refresh the foundations of your practice, this is the perfect series for you.


Women’s Health Week Recap

Last week, our Wellness Director, Kendra Kainz, had a question of the day that related to Women’s health. Members were able to drop their guess into a box for prizes. Every question related specifically to women. Here are the questions for you to try to answer. The answers will be listed at the bottom of the page, but how many of them did you get right?

Question #1: Often Called the “The Silent Disease”, it is estimated as many as 8 million women are diagnosed with this disease in the United States.

Question #2: One in four women within the US die of this disease, making it the leading cause of death among women. That’s more than all cancers combined. The older a woman gets, the greater her risk.

Question #3: It’s estimated that 1 in 8 women are diagnosed with this health issue and it’s the 2nd leading cause of death. However, early detection and treatment can increase survival rates

Question #4: This health threat is responsible for almost 8 percent of all female deaths and leading cause of long-term disability in the United States. Almost 55,000 more women have this each year, and about 60 percent that die from this are women.

Question #5: This treatable endocrine disorder affects 20 million people in the US, mainly women.  Left untreated, this disorder can cause several other health issues.



Question #1: Osteoporosis

Question #2: Breast Cancer

Question #3: Heart Disease

Question #4: Stroke

Question #5: Thyroid Disease


Next month, we will be doing a similar activity during Men’s Health Week so stay tuned and keep your out for the table for your chance to win fun prizes.

Inspirational Member of the Month – Denise Kilgore!

Denise Kilgore has gone through a lot of changes in her life; if you saw her 5 months ago you may not actually recognize who she was. Starting before the New Year, Denise decided she needed to make a change, a change which came in the way of becoming a healthier person. She has always struggled with her weight, so much so that she couldn’t find many pictures to submit for this article because she hated being photographed. After hearing about the Club’s Evolve program, Denise decided she wanted to start the program right away. She started by working with Tom Sheriff three times a week, she did spin every day she could get into the club (which, yes it meant she came in before working out with Tom), she decided she would try a meal delivery option where you are delivered all the ingredients, a recipe and you cook your own fresh food.


Even though Denise works long days sitting at a computer, she told herself that she can still make it into the gym every day and cook her own meals. She has stuck with those things and made it a habit. I can tell you that every day around 6 am Denise will be in the club spinning and around 9 am three times a week she is in here doing her weights. As the week progressed we all saw Denise shrink down as her strength shot through the roof. Half way through her journey she even was able to take off her braces and smile at all she was accomplishing.


Denise has lost over 45 lbs and decreasing her body fat by over 15%. She has lost so much size that she has had to throw out all of her old jeans and shirts and is swimming in her workout clothes. Denise has dropped life changing inches from these main areas: Chest -3”, Waist –4.7”, Hip –6.3” and Thigh –5.1”.  All together Denise lost almost two feet of circumference from her body, she has regained a body weight she hasn’t had since her twenties and has exponentially increased her strength and stamina.


Denise finished second place in our Lose It! weight loss competition and should feel so proud. What I think is amazing about her is that before the competition was over she had already made up her mind that she would be continuing to train with Tom three times a week (she still has her goal of bench pressing a plate on each side of the barbell) because she sees the value in what she has earned and doesn’t want to slow down. The second thing that is amazing about what Denise did is that she didn’t look for a special diet, or try the newest fad in exercise or weight loss; she made up her mind to eat fresh foods, committed herself to getting in her cardio and weights every week and continued on with her life.


It has been a true pleasure to see her transformation unfold before my eyes; all of us at the SAC are excited to see just how far she pushes herself toward her goals.

Denise before
Denise before
Denise after

For more information on weight loss programs or to nominate a Member of the Month, contact SAC’s Fitness Director, at Jacob Galloway.

Good Health and Good Relationships Susan Raab-Cohen, PhD Psychologist & SACDT Member

Most of us at Seattle Athletic Club are swimming, running or lifting because we want to increase our odds of living today and tomorrow with strength, vigor and flexibility.

It could be, though, that we are overlooking one of the most important variables contributing to good health: the quality of our primary relationships. A good relationship is the single best recipe for good health and the most powerful antidote to aging.

Research shows:

Men gain health benefits simply by getting married. Their health status improves, negative physical symptoms decrease, and positive behaviors increase.

For each year of marriage, a woman’s risk of dying prematurely decreases.

Consistent emotional support lowers blood pressure and bolsters the immune system. It appears to reduce the death rate from cancer as well as the incidence of heart disease and infectious disease.

A secure connection significantly lessens susceptibility to anxiety and depression and makes us more resilient against stress and trauma.

Close connection is the strongest predictor of happiness, much more than making masses of money or winning the lottery.

A successful, long term relationship may do as much for your longevity, mood and physical resilience as the hours you spend working out. However, a lack of attention to your relationship may have the same negative consequences as inactivity:

Men who are divorced experience health risks equal to smoking a pack of cigarettes a day.

Women‘s health appears to be more susceptible to marital discord than men’s health. For women, poor relationship quality is associated with an increased risk of premature mortality and an increased risk of heart disease.

Obviously not everyone wants to be in a relationship, nor is it easy to find the right person even if you want to do so. Many people persist in relationships while feeling lonely, angry or hopeless. They have done whatever they can to improve their relationship but their efforts have been unsuccessful. Resignation seems the only possible outcome.

However, we now know more about strengthening the underlying bonds of marriage for straight, gay or transgender couples than we ever have. We understand that the attachment bond that defines the parent/child bond also defines the underlying bond of adult commitment. We see the power of that bond to build resilience in adults. We know what happens when the bond is broken—and we now know much more about how to repair it.

John Gottman, PhD, here at the University of Washington, did pioneering work describing what happens in the interactions of marriage. While Gottman studied thousands of hours of couples trying to get along, Sue Johnson, PhD, watched thousands of hours of couples in marital therapy and figured out what works. She developed Emotionally Focused Therapy, a theory and practice of couples therapy that has an extensive research record demonstrating its effectiveness. She also wrote a book: Hold Me Tight, which gives consumers a theory and outline for improving their relationships.

Sue Johnson also developed a consumer workshop based on her book:
Hold Me Tight: Seven Conversations for Connection®. This workshop is also evidence-based. It is now being offered all around the world.

My colleague, Dorsey Green, PhD, and I will be offering this seminar here in the Pike Place Market March 7-8 and May 30-31.

Rob Lauren has seen a direct connection between the mission of the Seattle Athletic Club and a focus on relationship health as related to physical health. We are appreciative to him for his willingness to partner with us this spring. SACDT members may attend Hold Me Tight: Seven Conversations for Connection at a discounted rate. This program is nonjudgmental (neither of you will feel blamed) and intimate (10-15 couples with significant time spent talking 1:1 in a structured way).

Interested?  You can learn more about the workshop as well as see comments from past participants on our website:

Still curious? Click on this four minute video—What Is a Healthy Marriage?

Lastly, the video below explains a very powerful research study that describes how love and trust change our neurochemistry and resilience to pain:

Soothing the Threatened Brain:

**Research references available upon request

February welcomes Valentine’s Day and Heart Awareness Month.

Heart disease is a major problem. According to the CDC every year, about 715,000 Americans have a heart attack. About 600,000 people die from heart disease in the United States each year—that’s 1 out of every 4 deaths. Heart disease is the leading cause of death for both men and women.

The term “heart disease” refers to several types of heart conditions. The most common type in the United States is coronary heart disease (also called coronary artery disease), which occurs when a substance called plaque builds up in the arteries that supply blood to the heart. Coronary heart disease can cause heart attack, angina, heart failure, and arrhythmias.

Plan for Prevention

Some health conditions and lifestyle factors can put people at a higher risk for developing heart disease. You can help prevent heart disease by making healthy choices and managing any medical conditions you may have.

  • Eat a healthy diet. Choosing healthful meal and snack options can help you avoid heart disease and its complications. Be sure to eat plenty of fresh fruits and vegetables—adults should have at least 5 servings each day. Eating foods low in saturated fat, trans fat, and cholesterol and high in fiber can help prevent high cholesterol. Limiting salt or sodium in your diet also can lower your blood pressure. For more information on healthy diet and nutrition, visit CDC’s Nutrition and Physical Activity Program Web site and
  • Maintain a healthy weight. Being overweight or obese can increase your risk for heart disease. To determine whether your weight is in a healthy range, you can calculate a number called the body mass index (BMI) or you may also use waist and hip measurements to measure a person’s body fat. If you know your weight and height, you can calculate your BMI at CDC’s Assessing Your Weight Web site.
  • Exercise regularly. Physical activity can help you maintain a healthy weight and lower cholesterol and blood pressure. The Surgeon General recommends that adults should engage in moderate-intensity exercise for at least 30 minutes on most days of the week. For more information, contact any of our fitness staff.
  • Monitor your blood pressure. High blood pressure often has no symptoms, so be sure to have it checked on a regular basis. You can check your blood pressure at home, at a pharmacy, or at a doctor’s office and even here at the Seattle Athletic Club.
  • Don’t smoke. Cigarette smoking greatly increases your risk for heart disease. If you don’t smoke, don’t start. If you do smoke, quit as soon as possible. Your doctor can suggest ways to help you quit.
  • Limit alcohol use. Avoid drinking too much alcohol, which can increase your blood pressure. Men should stick to no more than two drinks per day, and women to no more than one.
  • Have your cholesterol checked. Your health care provider should test your cholesterol levels at least once every 5 years. Talk with your doctor about this simple blood test.
  • Manage your diabetes. If you have diabetes, monitor your blood sugar levels closely, and talk with your doctor about treatment options.

Take your medicine. If you’re taking medication to treat high blood pressure, high cholesterol, or diabetes, follow your doctor’s instructions carefully. Always ask questions if you don’t understand something. If you want to get off you medications or lower them naturally start an exercise regime here at the Seattle Athletic Club and see the dependence on pharmaceuticals disappear.

Get Fit and Slim Fast: LIFT SOME WEIGHT!

I often hear from female clients and female members that they don’t like to lift weights, especially heavy weights because they don’t want to bulk up. I know I’ve written about this topic at least twice before. Maybe the third times the charm.

The illusion of bulking up is just that. If you really were bulking up from lifting weights quite a few stars would have to align to result in such things.
• One, you would have to be lifting HEAVY twice a day.
• Two, you would have to be eating nothing but boiled chicken and broccoli.
• Three, you would have to be pushing yourself to the ends of your strength during every workout.
• Four, you would have to workout hard 5-7 days a week consistently.
It’s incredibly hard to put on large amounts of muscle mass and for the average gym-goer takes a long time to add any real size in muscle. Women especially have a much harder time putting on size, we do not have the testosterone, the same fat deposits (women have much more affinity to hold fat in the arms and hips than males do), and women have smaller muscle size in general. So any noticeable size in muscle is super hard to accomplish. You can get stronger and you may see your muscles more (generally that’s just a result of losing body fat and less about having huge muscles), but lifting enough to have serious guns will probably never happen.

What will happen if you push yourself and lift heavy weights? You will get stronger. Who doesn’t want to be stronger? The stronger you are the easier lifting your grandchild is. The stronger you are the easier it is to start the lawn mower. The stronger you are the easier it is to climb that hill. Strength means you can do more for yourself, you can be confident in your physical feats (will I or won’t I throw out my back lifting the dog into the car?).

What will happen if you lift heavy weights? You will lose body fat. You will increase your muscle fibers (fibers, teeny tiny fibers), which means that your muscles will burn more calories every day to function. Adding extra fibers means that your whole body will need to utilize more calories every day to sit, to walk, and especially to exercise. How sweet is that?! Without doing any long cardio or scaling way back in calorie intake you can lose body fat just by increasing your squat weight and doing fewer reps. Sounds good to me!

What will happen if you lift weights? You will increase your bone density. You will feel a bigger sense of accomplishment (When was the last time you got off the exercise bike after your regular 45 minutes while reading the paper and said, Man I can’t believe I just did that, I’m awesome!). You will have better body composition, that strapless dress will look so much better with stronger arms, I swear! You will move better and with more confidence.

Lifting heavy weights is as much (sometimes way more) cardio as it is strength. It takes a ton of energy to perform heavy lower body exercises and thus increases your heart rate substantially. Lifting heavy is comparable to sprinting up a hill. That sounds like a great way to kill two birds with one stone!

I hope more women get in the weight room and really work hard with the weights. I am a total believer in pushing yourself and lifting “real weights”. The women that take my lifting classes all look AMAZING. In case you haven’t noticed, I’m not churning out huge, beefy, bulging biceped women. Strong means fit. Strong means lean. Strong means healthy. Strong is beautiful. Let’s get strong!

For more information on how to start a strength training program please contact Adriana Brown

Yoga & Strength Training, My Two Loves

I would like to take a moment to talk about my two loves, yoga and strength training. Yoga and strength training go together like peanut butter and jelly, like bacon and eggs, like the sun and moon. You get it, they complement each other perfectly!

I love lifting heavy; I can’t get enough of it. It’s incredibly empowering as a woman to feel strong, to be able to squat more than your body weight and to be able to bust out a few pull ups and dips. I love the high of a weight lifting session and I know that some of you reading this are nodding your head in agreement. Most athletes are no stranger to the constant aches, stiffness and limited range of motion associated with living an active life. Over time being active puts a great deal of stress onto your body. Eventually shortening muscle fibers and connective tissue creating tightness and adding stress to joints and reducing joint range of motion. Taking time to mobilize and stretch can greatly reduce the aches and stiffness that comes along with being active. How many of you practice yoga? If you are reading this and thinking I’m not flexible enough for yoga hogwash. That’s exactly why you should go to yoga!

As a yoga instructor and fitness coach I know firsthand how valuable a solid yoga practice can be for your mind and body. If you happen to be a gym junkie who loves beating your quads and glutes into submission, this article is for you.

Body Awareness
Flowing through poses in yoga while barefoot and without mirrors requires a great deal of control and focus. This control forces you to use and develop the oftentimes weak stabilizing muscles in the feet, legs and trunk. Because of the focus and control needed in yoga, you develop a profound sense of proprioception –a sense of position and self within movement. Proprioception helps tremendously when executing compound lifts like deadlifts and push-ups. The focus you develop during yoga will help you be more present and focused during your lifts.

Range of Motion
No matter how many times you tell yourself you need to stretch more, getting in a few more reps before rushing out the gym door sounds much more appealing doesn’t it? Thoughts and ideas of stretching and mobilizing go out the window when you are able to snag an open squat rack before someone else does.
Any great foundation of strength training starts with having good mobility and flexibility. There are many types of yoga, some focus more of flexibility than others. To increase range of motion try finding a yoga style like Yin Yoga that help increase the length of muscles fibers and connective tissue.

Controlling the Ego
Most active people are keenly aware of competition. We compete with our previous lifts, times and sometimes each other. While competition has its time and place and it’s great to be inspired, ultimately none of it matters, we are just fanning the fires of our ego.  Knowing your limit and pushing past it is a delicate balance. Yoga is a constant reminder that it doesn’t matter what you wear, what the pose looks like, or how quick you are, it’s about uniting your body, mind and breath. Yoga teaches you to listen to your body, to know when you are pushing too hard and when to back off. Yoga teaches you to develop contentment with where you are, because that’s exactly where you need to be. This is a unique and helpful tool to have when lifting weights, this will keep you centered, mindful and help prevent injury. It also helps you accept your progressions and to avoid comparing yourself to the person next to you.

Bodyweight Strength Training
Lifting heavy and pumping iron is great but there is something very humbling about bodyweight training. Yoga puts your body into positions you wouldn’t normally get into at the gym. Being able to control your breath, stabilize your core and balance your entire body on your hands like in handstand or crow takes a great deal of control that you cannot achieve with equipment. The skill and strength transfer from the yoga mat to the gym room is unlike any other. Putting your body through precarious movements and holds using just your body only builds a greater understanding of the movements performed in the gym. Yoga also moves through basic movements like pushups, lunging and planks. Being able to master your own body weight is a great skill to have.

Rest and Recovery
Hitting the yoga mat on a rest day can be a great low impact way to keep the body moving on your rest days. Yoga can also help your body detox on rest days. Yoga is designed to compress, lengthen, wring out, push and pull various parts of your body, this sends a signal to your brain to turn on the “detox” mode in your body. In addition to detoxifying your body, a great benefit of yoga is a detox of your mind. Yoga and meditation can help you control your stress levels and feel more relaxed between gym sessions.

As an active person, if you can find a way to incorporate a regular yoga practice you can prevent loss of range of motion, become a calmer happier person in all aspects of your life including the weight room.