I was about ready to turn 60 years old. Most birthdays never seemed to affect me one way or another. But the idea of 60 did. I was recognizing that my physical life would be going downhill, and I would begin to experience new aches and pains. My future, for the first time, seemed limited. I was becoming easily depressed and wanting to sleep a lot more.
It was about the same time that the business I worked for offered a business discount to join Riverside Health Club. I had been members of health clubs in my 30's and early 40's and would enjoy some activities. So I signed up, and even decided to pay for a personal trainer. I had never had a personal trainer. I feared that the trainer would either work me beyond my limits, get frustrated with me, or laugh at the condition I was in. I often considered trainers to be “drill sergeants.”
But I decided to take a risk and sign up to work with a personal trainer. My initial trainer was Kate Hillmon. Kate was absolutely amazing. She listened intensely to my goals, and began to work a pattern that helped with cardio and muscle tone. I was learning to do planks for over one minute. I was able to do sit-ups and push-ups again. She had me do some running up and down stairs (to warm up), and a lot of other physical activities. I was surprising myself at some of the things I could accomplish. Kate seemed to know the right buttons to push for me. She was an exceptional motivator, and had a very encouraging manner. I began to lose some weight and had a much happier disposition.
Kate encouraged me to join her Pilates Class. I did and found Kate to be a very encouraging instructor. I had not been in any fitness class for years, and found the class enjoyable. In fact, I would hardly miss a class. The Pilates Class helped stretch all my muscles, and I felt very relaxed at the conclusion of each class.
When Kate moved on, I was paired up with Rachel Wright as my new trainer. I had known Rachel when she filled in for Kate several times as my trainer and was very comfortable with her. Rachel was amazing. She, like Kate, pushed the right buttons to motivate me. She helped push my cardio even further as well as gain more strength in my legs and arms. Rachel also taught a Core Class, so I attended that and surprised myself at how well I did.
Both Kate and Rachel were pleasant to work with. Sometimes I would vent about my frustrations of the day (and life itself), and Kate and Rachel were very empathetic. I enjoyed the relationships I had with my trainers.
As the Pilates class was disbanded, I began to attend the Centurgy Class led by Abbey Baeslack. I began to enjoy the balance of Pilates and yoga, and even got more cardio than the Pilates Class. Abbey is incredibly encouraging and supportive, and has a way to help each participant feel comfortable within their skills and limits.
And what are the current results? I have lost 40 pounds. I gained core strength. I feel much happier. I gained more confidence in my physical well-being. The depression is nowhere near as severe. I have a much more hopeful way of looking at life. Now at age 65, I look forward to the next adventures and journeys through my relationship with Riverside Health Club.
Thanksgiving is TOMORROW and many of us are thinking about FOOD! If you’re working on mindfulness around health and fitness this holiday season, you may try to restrict yourself from any and all indulgent foods, OR you may throw your hands up, eat whatever you want, and hope to recover next year.
However, a tried and true approach to healthy holiday eating involves moderation in both directions. Fill up on foods that you know are good for you, then let yourself enjoy modest amounts of the treats you love the very most. Chew slowly, savor, and enjoy your delicious holiday plate, then wait a bit before you decide whether you’re truly hungry for more.
If you’re tasked with making a holiday meal or bringing a dish this year, make something you know you’ll feel good about putting on your own plate. Here are a few recipes we’re excited to use this year:
An alternative to mashed potatoes:
A healthier dessert option:
Chocolate Avocado Truffles
A meatless alternative or addition to your turkey meal:
Pumpkin Quinoa Stuffed Portabella Mushrooms
A Paleo treat:
Paleo Pumpkin Muffins
Skeptical? So were we. We dare you to try these recipes and see if you’re as pleasantly surprised as we were!
Have you tried TRX yet? Do you know the history behind TRX?
The TRX System is an innovative suspension training system developed by U.S. Navy SEAL Randy Hetrick. In 1997, Hetrick was deployed overseas on a counter-piracy mission. He needed a way to stay fit in a remote warehouse with no exercise equipment. He rigged up a device using a jiu-jitsu belt and parachute webbing slung over a door and used it to do exercises such as pull-ups and curls. The system was effective and Hetrick ultimately brought it to the mainstream market.
TRX is one of our favorite ways to improve multiple skills throughout the entire body. It engages your core and improves mobility and stability, increases metabolic results, builds lean muscle, and develops functional strength. If you'd like to see the straps in action, join us for our trainer-led program, Riverside Extreme.
by Kristi Rambo
March Point Run and Walk, Anacortes
Saturday, June 22
Kids ½ Mile Race 8:30am | Half Marathon Run 9:00am | 5K & 10K Run/Walk 9:00am
This year is the 25th anniversary of this run, organized by employees of the Anacortes Refinery. All proceeds from the run go directly to the CHOW program https://unitedwayskagit.org/chow/. Make a day of it and enjoy lunch, live music, kids activities and prize drawings.
Registration & More Information: https://marchpointfunrun.com
The Great Sedro-Woolley Footrace, Sedro-Woolley
Thursday, July 4
5.17 Mile Race | 2 Mile Fun Run/Walk | 9:30am
Celebrate Independence Day by participating in this event sponsored by the Sedro-Woolley Loggerodeo, the Sedro-Woolley Rotary, and Skagit Runners. The race begins and ends over the route of the 4th of July Loggerodeo Parade, which starts at 11am.
Registration & More Information: https://www.sedrowoolleyfootrace.com
Art Dash Run, Anacortes
Saturday, August 3
Half Marathon | 10K | 5K | 8AM
Run along the Anacortes waterfront, starting at City Hall and ending on the Port Dock. After your run, check out the Arts at the Port fine art show, Waterfront Pub & music on the Port Stage. The Art Dash is put on by the Anacortes Arts Festival and the City of Anacortes Parks & Recreation, with proceeds going to public art projects.
Registration & More Information: https://anacortesartsfestival.com/art-in-anacortes/art-dash-run/
Once Around Lake Cavanaugh, Mt. Vernon
Saturday, August 3
7.8 Miles | Walk 9:00am | Bike 9:30am | Run 10:00am
Another option for August 3rd, this race starts and finishes at the Lake Cavanaugh Fire Station. The event is dedicated to Bob Sittner, former fire chief, who lost his life fighting a fire on South Shore Drive. All proceeds from this race are to benefit the development of the Lake Cavanaugh Volunteer Fire Department.
Registration & More Information: http://www.lakecavanaugh.info/wp-content/uploads/2019/01/2019-registration-form-Fun-Run.pdf
Skagit Flats Marathon and Half Marathon, Burlington
Sunday, September 8
Full & Half Marathons 8:00am | 5 Mile 8:15am
The 42nd Annual Skagit Flats Marathon is a qualifying race for the Boston Marathon. Registration is limited, so sign up soon!
Registration & More Information: http://skagitflats.skagitrunners.org
NON-FOOD REWARDS FOR YOU AND YOUR FAMILY
By Kristi Rambo
We’ve probably all experienced the use of food as a reward. Food can play a positive role in connecting with our community, culture and in creating memories. Food is meant to be enjoyed and we are big fans of celebrating with it (even buttery/sugary ones from time to time). However, while cultivating a healthy relationship with food, we have to watch out for relying on it (especially sugary treats) for every little reward.
While it might seem sensible to use “special food” to celebrate special occasions, research shows this can negatively impact our relationship with food. Indulging in unhealthy foods and giving them to kids as rewards sends mixed messages and can lead to overeating, emotional eating and eating without being hungry. So, what should we do instead?
HERE ARE SOME NON-FOOD TREAT IDEAS FOR YOU AND YOUR KIDS:
Trip to a favorite place like the beach, park, pool, bowling alley or movies
New craft supplies
Listening to favorite music
Time with a friend or family member
Playing a favorite game
Playing a sport
Movie night at home
Family Swim, at Riverside Health Club, Mount Vernon
Summit Trampoline Park, Bellingham
Clear Lake Beach, Mt. Vernon
Skagit Wildlife Area, Puget Sound and Islands
Farmers Market, Mt. Vernon
Children’s Museum, Burlington
Reptile Zoo, Munroe
Fort Casey State Park, Coupeville
Historical Museum, La Conner
To celebrate this Earth Day, we wanted to let you know how you, as members of Riverside Health Club, are participating in green living!
Here are few examples of where we have set up green systems so that you can participate in taking care of the earth just by choosing
Riverside Health Club as your home gym!
Sorry, no quick fixes here. We know that good health takes commitment and consistency. We ALSO know that there’s room for imperfection and steady growth as you work on fitness. Skip the fads and start with these tried and true, faithful components to a healthy lifestyle.
Get healthier by doing nothing
Don’t sabotage your fitness with sleep deprivation! Lack of sleep lowers your motivation and your metabolism (National Sleep Foundation). Meals are also less satisfying when you’re behind on sleep, which can increase your caloric intake, according to the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition. Good sleep also positively affects your immune system, aging and brain functioning (ACE Fitness). Get your schedule, bedroom and media consumption in check and don’t skimp on rest!
Hydration makes life easier
Grab your water bottle, fill it up, drink it, repeat. This really is a diet hack because simply drinking 17 ounces of water can increase your metabolism up to 30% for 1.5 hours! (Humboldt-University) Water can help you stay motivated, feel more energized, and even make exercise feel easier (NCBI). Your muscles are about 80% water, so it makes sense that they need hydration to function! Dehydration can impair your mood and concentration, cause headaches and increase feelings of anxiety and fatigue (Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital, 2). You don’t need to go crazy and lug around a gallon of water everywhere you go, but do make it a habit to drink water before and with meals, before and during exercise and periodically throughout your day.
Eat your fruits & veggies
To maintain good nutrition intake and a healthy weight long term, you’ll need to establish positive habits around food. We love and teach the Mayo Clinic Diet, which recommends filling up on fruits and vegetables and including moderate amounts of whole grains and lean proteins. Remember, a healthy diet improves your quality of life and can reduce your risk of diabetes, heart disease, high blood pressure and more!
Just move more
Increase the length and condition of your life simply by being more active. Exercise as a habit can improve your sleep, reduce your stress, keep your weight in check, boost your mood, and help you think more clearly. Ideally, shoot for 150 minutes of moderate or 75 minutes of vigorous aerobic activity each week and try strength training all major muscle groups twice a week (Mayo Clinic). Burning 700-1,000 calories exercising each week can help prevent numerous conditions, including depression and several types of cancer (Harvard Medical School). Any amount of exercise is beneficial! Just replacing half an hour of sitting with basic activity can reduce your risk of death from cardiovascular disease by 24%! (Medical News Today)
By Kristi Rambo