Month: August 2015

Special Occasions: 5 Tips to Stay on Track

1)     Enjoy the food and festivities.

This seems a given but we often berate ourselves while we could be celebrating! The more we enjoy life and create the experiences we want, the more energy we’ll have to focus on nourishing ourselves. In terms of food, pick those indulgences you really love and fore go the things that bring the calories without much enjoyment. If you have to drink or eat your way out of an event you really don’t want to go to – re-assess if it’s really worth it.


2)     Hydrate well and watch the booze.

The more we drink the more our inhibitions go down. And if we lose our mindfulness and inhibitions we’ll likely not remember all the good tips you’re about to read. Give yourself a 1-2 drink maximum and hydrate in between to prevent dehydration.


3)     Workout a bit more.

Exercise is the number one way to maintain your weight. As you mindfully enjoy special occasion foods push yourself the next workout to go an extra 15-30 minutes. Look for opportunities to walk more and take the stairs when you can. It all adds up to burning off those extra calories.


4)     Keep up on fruits and veggies.


With plenty of fiber – you’ll have less room for other things. It’s always better to focus on what you want more of than simply avoiding things you “shouldn’t” eat. Shoot to fill half your plate(s) with fruit and vegetables.


5)     Sleep at least 7 hours the night before.


If we get enough sleep we won’t be as tempted to indulge in the simple carbohydrates –sweets and bready things that are so abundant. If you’re too tired you’ll crave these things. Make your sleep a priority and you’ll be more equipped to healthful food choices.


For more information, please contact our Nutritionist, Kathryn Reed, MS, at

August Employee of the Month: Jake Pedersen

I have had the pleasure of working with Jake for 7 years now. Jake was the first person I met on my first day of work. On that first day Jake treated me like he does all of our members and employees; he showed me the ins and outs of the club, he made me laugh, he asked me about my past and current life, he invested his time and energy into really getting to know who I was and how he could make me have an amazing experience at the club.




Jake is one of the special people who is always happy and tries to make everyone else happy, whether he knows you or not. Just try and have a conversation with him without laughing, I know I have never been able to. He has this way of listening and interacting with all of his clients that make them feel amazing, all while giving them a workout that challenges them physically and mentally.


One story that sticks out about Jake’s dedication to his client was when one client suffered from a very bad back injury. Jake took it upon himself to join his client at his PT visits, to hear about what the injury was and how the PT exercises were to be performed. Jake kept an open dialog with the PFT, client and himself to ensure the best possible outcome and recovery for that client. Jake is never afraid to put in extra time for the benefit of a member or client.


All of us at the SAC wanted to send a thank you to Jake for all of his dedication to the club, for always bringing joy and fun to others around him and for truly caring about the health and wellness of everyone he interacts with.

Why Don’t We Listen To Our Bodies?

I recently went through a very extensive ankle surgery to take out some bone chips, grind down some bone spurs and fix some ligaments. After 11 years of using a progressively worsening foot I opted for the surgery and the 8 week recovery because without it I would be in constant pain and not able to function during my normal day. Through this process I realized that like me, many people may not recognize what a chronic injury is and are just living with it.


Jacobs_LegExRayMy injury occurred while playing college football; after my first ankle sprain came many, to the point where I had a permanent ½ golf ball sized swollen bump on my ankle. After college I was still active and worked out and that ankle progressively worsened until I was limping and couldn’t walk. So with the advice of my boss I went to an ankle specialist to see what was going on. After my doc assessed my ankle and looked at the x-rays, which showed a few bone spurs and bone chips, we decided to try a cortisone shot. Fast forward 3 years later, 2 cortisone shots later and I am still limping and in pain daily. I go into my ankle doctor to find that the bone spurs and chips in my ankle had doubled or tripled in size; leaving my ankle no room to function. So the next step was surgery to fix the ankle.

When I went in for surgery they gave me a pre-surgery Qualify of Life questionnaire and to my astonishment I failed it. Every single question they asked I marked to the far end of dissatisfaction and pain…yet even with all the doctor visits and cortisone shots, in my head my ankle wasn’t that bad. I made excuse after excuse to why it was ok to live with this chronic injury and not address it when in reality it was affecting every aspect of my life.





Inspirational Member of the Month: Dustin Gilbert

Dustin Gilbert has been a member of the SAC and the TNM team for several years now. He started the sport doing Ironman events (1.2 mile swim/112 mile bike/26.2 mile run). After a few years of racing, including the Kona Ironman World Championships twice, he decided to take it one step further and do the Ultraman in Penticton, landing himself a 3rd place finish after the 3 day event, which consisted of the following:

  • Day 1- 6.2 mile swim and 93 mile bike
  • Day 2-171 mile bike
  • Day 3- 52.4 mile run (double marathon)

Dustin’s favorite part was the swim, which he exited the water in a time of 2:51.35 and in second place.  “The water was super clear, perfect temperature and glassy the whole way”.

His typical training week looked similar to this:

  • Monday – 45 min run
  • Tues. – Swim at SAC and weights
  • Wed – 2 hour bike and 1 hour run
  • Thurs. –  Swim at SAC and weights then a 30 min run
  • Fri. – 4 hour bike
  • Sat. – 2 hour run and long swim at the SAC or in the lake.
  • Sun – Off

The most challenging part of the 3 day event for Dustin was eating, (we all have that problem right?!)   “It was really hard to eat enough, before and after, especially on day two when you were left feeling really awful after two hard days of racing” stated Dustin.

Post-race Dustin had no trouble eating his favorite pizza!  He is excited to tackle this event next year and improve on his overall time and place.  For those looking to do an Ultraman some day, Dustin suggests “Like most things-if you really want to do it- YOU CAN!”.

Congratulations Swimmers!

On July 10th-11th, the Aqua Dynamics Swim Team participated in the 2nd Annual Mark Prothero Long Course meet in Federal Way, WA.  The results were incredible!  The Aqua Dynamics had ZERO disqualifications, 9 Gold Time swims and another 5 Personal Best times.  Below are the results:

Max Hanley

Personal Best in the 50 Free, 50 Back (dropped a second) and 100 Free

Mia Hanley

GOLD TIME QUALIFIER in her 50 Free, 50 Fly AND 100 Free

Caroline Klewin

GOLD TIME QUALIFIER in her 50 Breast, dropped 4 seconds in her 50 Fly

Alex Novosselov

GOLD TIME QUALIFIER in the 50 Free, 50 Breast AND 100 Free, Personal best in every event

Amre Watkins

GOLD TIME QUALIFIER in the 50 Free and 100 Free, Personal Best in the 50 Fly

Great job athletes!

Barre Class 101: Getting Started

1)     Who can take a Barre Class? Anyone! Male or female. Everyone is welcome in a Barre Class.


2)     What will a Barre Class do for me? The Barre Class is ballet inspired, but it is not a ballet class. The goal is to target the muscle groups without putting undo stress on the joints. Every instructor will have their own style, but in general, classes will increase core strength and flexibility integrating the fat burning format of interval training, the muscle technique of isometrics, the elongating principles of dance conditioning, and the science of physical therapy to create a revolutionary new workout that quickly and safely reshapes your entire body.


3)     What do I wear? Capri length or long pants, work out tank or form fitted top and socks. Longer pants will help keep your muscles warm and will allow for proper coverage for certain moves. Shorts are not recommended. A form fitted top will allow the instructor to see your form to better help with your technique and alignment. Socks with grip are preferred and we will be selling them at the Sports Desk. However, socks with grip are not required. Regular socks or bare feet are ok.


4)     What should I expect from the Barre Class itself? Think small, medium and some large movement, small muscle groups, light weights, light resistance and big results! Barre Classes are inspired by Ballet, Pilates and Yoga. Some movements focus on small range with as little as 1 inch in range. Therefore, control and proper execution will give you the best results for long, lean muscles as intended by the movement. Shaking in a Barre Class is expected.


5)     How often should I take a Barre Class? As with any program, the general rule of thumb is 2-3 times per week. Consistency is the key!

Abhyanga: The good old practice of self-massage.

The body of one who uses oil massage regularly does not become affected much even if subjected to accidental injuries, or strenuous work. By using oil massage daily, a person is endowed with pleasant touch, trimmed body parts and becomes strong, charming and least affected by old age.’

Charaka Samhita Vol. 1, 88-89

Abhyanga is the Ayurvedic (East Indian Medicine) practice of oil massage. The word for oil in Sanskrit is, Sneha. Sneha can also be translated as, Love. In effect, this practice of oiling one’s body has many therapeutic applications from; the tissues of the body, to the tissues of the heart. Abhyanaga can induce a deep feeling of warmth and stability.

The benefits of abhyanga are many. Ayurvedic medicine teaches that we have 7”dhatus” or tissue layers in the body. As you move deeper into the body, each layer is more saturated with the juice of life. It is taught that to reach the deepest layer, it should be massage for roughly five minutes. Thinking about the whole body and all of its many wonderful layers, 15 minutes would be a great place to start.

Here is what you need for a good session of Self Abyhanga (massage).

  • An oil good for your body. You can start simple with a food grade oil that you have at home; olive, almond, coconut or sesame. If you would like to get more specific you can research the doshas and find which oils are good for you. It is common in Ayurveda to use medicinal oils, oils that are good for your specific constitution or dosha. In Ayurveda there are 3 constitutions (doshas); vata, pita & kapha. There are wonderful tridoshic blends that are good for all types. The club carries one made by my friend, Sarada. It is chalked full of herbs and therapeutic grade essential oils.
  • Warm ¼ to 1/2 cup oil just above body temperature. An easy way to do this is by placing the oil in a vessel that you can put in a mug or bowl of hot water.
  • Find a warm, quite place to sit where you can easily clean up oil if need be.
  • Imagine the oil is infused with sneha, love.
  • Massage the oil into your entire body! Beginning at the limbs and working your way towards the middle section of your body, ending at your abdomen & low back area.
  • Massage the abdomen and chest in broad, circular motions. On the belly area, always massage the large intestine in clockwise circles to move in line with the natural digestive motion. Move up on the right and down on the left.
  • Don’t forget to get the ears! Pay close attention to the lobes and don’t be shy, place a little on your finger tips and work around the opening of the ear canal.
  • The scalp is also a good place to focus, this can be done with or without oil.
  • Hands and feet love it too!
  • After you feel complete, sit quietly and enjoy for as much time as you can spare. Even a minute or two is beneficial.
  • Enjoy a warm shower or bath there after! Ta-da! All abhyanga-ed up!


The benefits are too many to list. Just taking the time to self-care on a regular basis is such a meaningful gift to give one’s self. One of the other wonderful things about abhyanga is that is can be shared with the family. Babies and children benefit greatly from loving, warm touch and partners often appreciate it too!

Group Exercise Class Etiquette

The Seattle Athletic Clubs boasts over 50 group exercise classes a week! Have you tried one yet? As an instructor, I have a short list of suggestions that will make your and the instructor’s experience richer and safer.

  1. Introduce yourself to the instructor before class begins.
  2. Instructors will notice your presence in class, even if you sneak in and go straight to the back row! So, introduce yourself and inform him/her of any injuries you’re dealing with so he/she can be aware of your condition.
  3. Show up on time (means 5 minutes early to set up your equipment). Instructors build their class around a warm-up and a cool-down, and if you miss the warm up you may hurt yourself.
  4. Ask questions!       After class, approach the instructor to ask any questions about an exercise or concept you didn’t understand.       Instructors love to talk shop.
  5. And finally, give feedback! Whether a compliment or a suggestion, an instructor will want to know what you thought. Let his/her manager know what you thought as well because feedback (positive or negative) can only sharpen our awareness and hone our skills to make us better instructors.

We hope to see you in class!