Tag: men

Self Defense Workshop

Complimentary 40 min Self Defense workshops.

Monday, October 3rd & Wednesday, October 5th | 12:00pm

October is domestic violence awareness month.  Domestic violence impacts women, men, and children of every age, background, and belief. Nearly 1 in 4 women and 1 in 7 men in the United States have suffered severe physical violence by an intimate partner.

Learn how to defend yourself all while empowering yourself with our martial arts instructor Jody Garcia; offering a complimentary 40 min self defense workshop Monday, October 3rd and Wednesday, October 5th.

For more information or to sign up, please contact our Martial Arts Director, Jody Garcia at jgarcia@sacdt.com.

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: www.holdmetightseminars.com.

Still curious? Click on this four minute video—What Is a Healthy Marriage? http://www.holdmetightseminars.com/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: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2J6B00d-8lw

**Research references available upon request

Body Weight: What’s a Healthy Range?

If you’re trying to assess your body weight in terms of health, it’s not entirely straightforward. Let’s take a look at some of the more common and lesser known ways to assess a healthy body weight and what some of the limitations are in doing so.

BMI – body mass index can be calculated easily online with your height and weight. A BMI calculator will give a number that fits on the scale range and will classify you as underweight, normal weight, overweight, obese and morbidly obese. This number is supposed to predict your risk of chronic disease. Another option is to calculate your “ideal weight” using what’s called the Hamwi equation (below):

Men: First 5 feet = 106 pounds. For every inch over 5 ft. multiply by 6. Example: 6’2” male = 106 + (12 x 6) = 178 pounds. If larger frame size add 10%; if smaller frame size subtract 10%.


Women: First 5 feet = 100 pounds. For every inch over 5 ft. multiply by 5. Example 5’4” female = 100 + (4 x 5) = 120 pounds. If larger frame size add 10%; if smaller frame size subtract 10%.


What BMI and the Hamwi equation don’t take into account is body composition. Many people whose weight appears healthy but have more muscle mass can often show up as overweight or obese because muscle weighs more than fat. Then you have examples of people who are “skinny fat” – their weight is considered healthy but their body fat is too high. What we know is those with higher than normal body fat percentages (particularly visceral fat in the mid-section) tend to have higher risks for diabetes, some cancers and chronic conditions.


So if we know that body composition – how much fat and muscle we have – is the best predictor for health then why don’t we get rid of scale weight altogether? The main reason is we don’t have a viable way for us at home or in our doctor’s office to easily measure it. You need someone that has good technique with calipers or other measuring devices that can be very expensive. Expensive devices, one being the bod pod, are not thrown off by our level of hydration so they are the most reliable.


Until we have a reliable and easy way to measure body composition ourselves I advise clients to rely on their fitness and health professional with the use of calipers. According to the National Institutes of Health and the World Health Organization a healthy body fat for women is anywhere from 21-36% dependent on age and for men anywhere from 8-25% dependent on age. I suggest having a baseline measurement and then have it re-done in 3 months by the same health professional. Strength training and adequate protein will help you gain muscle; cardio and calorie-reduction will help you lose fat.


If you have any questions about losing body fat through nutritional changes you are welcome to contact our Nutritionist, Kathryn Reed, at kreed@sacdt.com.

Get Your Abs In The Kitchen!

I heard this line recently from an interview with a young woman who went from an obese teen, lost over 80 pounds, and is now getting ready to compete in the Ms. Texas competition. Love it! I also loved hearing her trainer chime in that weight loss is about 80% what goes in your mouth. I’ve always been conservative and said 70% of weight loss is diet but I believe for some it is higher. Sometimes I just need to hear it again to remind myself how important it is to focus on your diet if you’re trying to lose body fat. Here is my best description of why that is. A pound of fat is roughly 3500 extra calories you’ve stored that your body didn’t need in the past. (People who eat an extra 100 calories a day above what they need will gain 10 pounds in a year). If the average person works out 3x per week for 60 minutes they will likely burn about 1500 calories for the week. If diet stays the same you’re looking at about 1/3 of a pound drop. Dropping a pound in 3 weeks for most people is discouraging.

Best bet if you want to lose 1lb a week is to find an exercise you enjoy that you’ll continue with in the long-term AND start tracking what you’re eating. Just the act of tracking or writing down things will help you reduce the mindless eating and decide if the calories you’re eating are really worth it. Most women will be in a 1lb weight loss at about 1500-1800 calories a day and most men around 2000 calories a day.

Keep in mind that varying your calories from day to day can help you prevent a weight-loss plateau. If you find yourself hungrier on workout days, eat more. If exercise makes you hungrier the day after, eat more that day. Learn to use special occasions to your advantage by eating less the next day. It’s all about the average of calories at week’s end.

Another key point is that you need to eat breakfast. Something is better than nothing – a banana, yogurt, protein bar. If your metabolism doesn’t wake up it’s going to be hard to lose weight.

If you need some extra support, aka “accountability”, you’re welcome to contact me at kreed@sacdt.com. Often, a half hour session plus an additional follow-up is all you may need to get going in the right direction toward sustainable weight loss.

Guess what? Pilates is hard! But these guys keep coming back for more.

Rick started taking weekly private Pilates sessions because he was concerned about his posture and core strength. He periodically had back problems which he believes are primarily iliopsoas strains and quadratus lumborum tightness. He knows that core strength is critical to preventing such problems. In addition he has a family history of osteoarthritis and he feared that his poor posture and inflexibility set him up for similar problems. He had heard that Pilates was helpful for core strength, improving flexibility and posture and since he had a free hour class from the summer rewards program, he thought he would give it a try.

“I think Pilates has helped a great deal, though obviously it’s still a work in progress. My back problems have melted away, I can reach my toes on most days and I think I’m internalizing Danielle’s voice in my head to, “Scoop and open up your chest,” so that I’m much more mindful of my posture.”

There are a lot of things Rick enjoys about Pilates, including three major points;

  1. He feels like he is making progress
  2. His instructor Danielle is always pushing him further “in a pleasant way”
  3. He has fun! He now has added a mat class to his weekly regime. Rick says, “The Pilates studio seems always to be filled with laughter as we joke and lament our way through class. I look forward to it every week!”