Tag: stroke

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.

March is National Nutrition Month: A Focus on Preventing Diabetes

Did you know that 86 million Americans – 1 in 3 adults have pre-diabetes? Shockingly, 9 out of 10 don’t know they have it. What is it? In general terms, your blood sugar has been tested in a higher than normal range and you haven’t been officially diagnosed with diabetes.

Pre-diabetes increases your risk of developing type 2 diabetes, heart disease, hypertension and stroke. More specifically, 15-30% of those with pre-diabetes will develop type 2 diabetes within 5 years without any lifestyle changes. The good news is that If you’re overweight or obese you can cut your risk in half by a) losing a modest amount of weight (5-7%) and b) maintaining 150 minutes of moderate activity per week (includes brisk walking).

This is a great time to focus on small changes you can make to your diet that can add up to sustainable weight loss. Here are the diet principles that can maximize your weight loss potential while stabilizing your blood sugar.

  • If you work out first thing – have a pre-workout easily digestible carbohydrate. If you don’t have any calories your body will break down muscle for energy (glucose).

o   Examples: yogurt or banana or toast or granola bar

  • Have breakfast consistently to wake up your metabolic rate and prevent muscle loss.

o   Best to add protein: egg, protein powder, milk, yogurt, protein-rich cereal, nuts, peanut butter, a bit of cheese.

  • Eat every 3-4 hours
  • Balance your plate at lunch and dinner: 1/3 protein, 1/3 grain or starchy vegetables, 1/3 vegetable/fruit.
  • Stay hydrated – goal slightly clear urine throughout the day.

If you keep it simple and use healthy eating principles vs. following a strict diet you have truly made a sustainable lifestyle change and can look forward to maintaining your weight loss. If you have any other questions about managing pre-diabetes or diabetes with nutrition principles (or any other nutrition-related topic) – please email Kathryn at kreed@sacdt.com .

Better Movement for a Better Life Feldenkrais Method® changes how you live in your body

By Peggy Protz, Feldenkrais® Method of Somatic Education

Developed by Israeli physicist and judo black belt Moshe Feldenkrais (1904-1984), the Method was first introduced in the United States in the early 1970s. Using principles of physics, biomechanics, experiential learning, and human development, it’s purpose is to awaken the body’s natural ability to move with efficiency, grace, and comfort. The exercises, though incredibly simple, have a profound effect on the way a person experiences their movement and their body. Through these experiences comes a clearer understanding of what a better way of moving actually feels like. This allows positive changes to take place on deeper and more permanent levels. Familiar muscle aches and body pains become less of a problem as the person discovers a way of moving that is more free and less stressing to their whole system. Since this better way of being in one’s body is foundational, it can be applied to virtually any activity; various sports and fitness routines, yard work, sitting at a desk, walking, running, dancing, playing a musical instrument, or any movement required for basic everyday life.


Most anyone who would like to move better will benefit from participating in Feldenkrais. Professional or recreational athletes, anyone who has been injured or suffers from chronic pain, office workers who would like to sit or stand more comfortably, and people with movement challenges such as MS, stroke, or Parkinson’s.


Peggy Protz, Feldenkrais practitioner, will be offering a series of three workshops this fall at the SAC. Peggy has worked with many types of clients, from teenagers to senior citizens, to golfers, cyclists, and kayakers, to people with injuries. “It’s great for people who are struggling with injuries. They may have stopped doing things because of the injury,” she says. “I’ve worked in a lot of fitness environments, and many people simply deal with neck or back pain, and just kind of assume that’s part of working out. But what if they could actually do their fitness routine without having discomfort both during it and afterward?”

In a Feldenkrais class or workshop, Peggy verbally leads students through movements in various positions, coaching everyone to work at their own pace and making modifications when needed. “You get so much more out of your body when you’re in tune with it,” says Peggy.


For more information about the Feldenkrais Method, watch this introductory video on YouTube: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=e_i5QuIqcQo&feature=youtu.be


Importance of Shoulder Roll

Swimming ability at the SAC is at quite a reasonable standard however with a few minor adjustments and basic tips you can improve your technique, endurance and timing drastically.

Today I will focus upon freestyle technique and how with a simple change you can improve not only your technique but also your personal well-being while swimming. One of the main problems when people swim this stroke is their body position and how they swim constantly on their front. This is an extremely static position and can cause excessive stress upon certain parts of your body.

A huge help would be to start or at least try swimming freestyle with a side – front – side rotation, or a body roll. This creates a shoulder roll movement which is extremely important for a variety of reasons:

1)      Less strain= as your shoulders have more movement and are not subject to all the strain from the arm pull, not only will your stroke feel looser but your body will after your swim. This will also help avoid nasty shoulder pain and poor posture.

2)      Larger pulls with less effort = as your body will stretch further automatically, you consequently have a larger reach but haven’t used any extra energy.

3)      Your body is more streamline = a more streamline body position is always desirable in swimming and by swimming on your side for half of the swim will result in not only a quicker swim but also a more efficient swim.

So how can you achieve all of this?

Drill -Kick Change

With your body you are going to roll side to side with each stroke

Start off on your side with your lower arm raised above your head, head resting on this arm and your upper arm down by your side (arms in a 6 o clock position)

You will then kick 12 times and then complete your arm pull by doing a normal stroke lifting the upper arm up and over. This is where you will roll to the other side now facing the opposite side of the pool, arms now switched along with the body

Repeat the 12 kicks and complete 40 yds (2 lengths or 1 lap) of this changing each 12 kicks

Now reduce the kicks to 10 kicks for 40yds, then 8 kicks for 40 yds, 6 kicks for 40yds and finally 4 kicks for 40yds. This is a 200 yd swim (10 lengths or 5 laps)

When you get down to 4 kicks the stroke will almost be at full stroke again however you will have a constant body roll with that stroke.

It’s relatively simple to practice this drill however it is hard to incorporate new techniques into your everyday stroke so thinking about this stroke while swimming is also very important.

Full stroke

You want to be switching the body with each stroke, giving you an extended reach, shoulder roll and a more streamlined body position,  however you need to keep you head still looking downwards while the body is rotating, until you need a breath.

Thanks for reading and hope this helps your techniques. I am often round the pool or in the pool so if you have any questions about this or anything else to do with swimming don’t hesitate to ask.

How Much Kick is Enough?

I want you all to take a moment to think about your freestyle stroke. Are you overpowering with your arms? Are you using mostly your kick for the power? Or are you somewhere in between?


What I see a lot of is swimmers either not using their kick at all or predominantly using their kick to get them across the pool. Both are incorrect. The proper kicking percentage is normally between 15-20% of your totally stroke energy. This percentage is based off of a medium to longer distance race or swim (e.g.: Triathlon). When looking at a sprinter, the kick percentage would be well over 20% of your total energy.


When using too little of a kick, you’re going to expend all of the energy you have within your arms and core, therefore making it so you get tired and slow down quicker. When you are using too much of a kick, the exact opposite is going to happen, leading to loss of energy in the legs.


Next time you practice your freestyle stroke, think about the 15-20% kick percentage. Notice if you are either using too little or too much of your kick for your stroke. If you would like your stroke to be analyzed further please contact Amber Gruger at agruger@sacdt.com or any of the other swim instructors.


Swimming Stronger

What is your favorite stroke? Do you always swim the same stroke? Do you swim freestyle aka crawl stroke for miles at a time? Do you think about building stamina?


For the most part when people swim they are swimming crawl stroke. People have said, “I can swim 3 miles and I am not winded”. Isn’t swimming one of those things that you can build to be better, stronger and faster? The answer is YES! Sometimes all it takes is to have a swim instructor look over your technique to provide pointers. The improvement may only be a slight, but can make a world of difference.


Do you want to be faster? Change your swim training up!  Instead of swimming for 30 minutes continues, incorporate, some sprints or slight speed changes. Or break up the swim to include rest periods, allowing you to focus on technique and/or pacing.


Another way to boost your speed and strength is to find a masters swim program (known as swim conditioning at the Seattle Athletic Club) with a coach and other swimmers to push you and switch things up! It’s amazing what a little competitive edge will do to help your swimming. And always…keep it FUN!


Just How Important is Exercise for Western Society?

Recently I reviewed the National Center for Health Statistics data on the major causes of death in Western society. It was not surprising to find 4 of the top 7 were indications of chronic lifestyle-related conditions; heart disease, cancer, stroke, diabetes among the top 7 listed.  It is interesting to note, only 100 years ago, the leading causes of death were primarily infectious diseases such as pneumonia, tuberculosis, diarrhea, liver disease. As improvements in medicine and health care advanced, the incidence of the diseases reduced, only to be replaced by the choice of unhealthy lifestyles.

I bring this up because the majority of the unhealthy lifestyle related causes are preventable. According to The Healthy People 2010 review, physical activity or exercise, nutrition and stress management are considered the priority to optimal health and wellness and primary changes for longevity.  Data collected in the Healthy People review suggest that modest changes in physical activity  patterns and nutrition can prevent more than 400, 000 death annually! Modest changes in physical activity and increases in exercise are a small price to pay for illness prevention and premature causes of death.  Keep yourself healthy and well by continuing to incorporate exercise as part of your lifestyle.


For tips or more information on how to make changes to your exercise routine, please feel free to contact Kendra Kainz.

SAC Elite Golf Weekly Golf Tip: Putting with Confidence

If your putts are coming up short, or nearly miss the hole, you may need to build some confidence in your stroke.

A drill that helps you build confidence in your putting stroke can be easily arranged on a practice green. Simply place a club horizontally in front of the hole (at the back/leading edge of the cup) so you have to cross over the shaft when attempting to make a putt. Once the club is set in this position, move away from the hole and square up to the shaft of the club. Take a few strokes to attempt to make a putt with the ball hopping over the shaft. It should take you a few strokes to find the right amount of force to put into your stroke. Once find this “sweet spot”, take away the club in front of the hole and see how your new stroke feels compared to your old stroke. You should see that you have a more confident putting stroke that places the ball a little further in to the hole.

Demonstrated at Kayak Point Golf Course