December 2015
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Welcome to the Ballard Health Club Newsletter. We value your membership at BHC and want to keep you informed of what's going on at the club.

We look forward to staying in touch! 

-The BHC Team

To Gym or Not to Gym

There comes a time in every gym go-er's life where they will be feeling a little under the weather and faced with the ultimate question: will going to the gym leave me feeling better, or worse for the wear? Here are some guidelines that will help you decide whether or not to take the trip.

Take a rest day: While many people believe that "sweating it out" is the way to go when they are feeling under the weather, it may actually do you more harm than good. Any moderate-to-intense workout will awaken a stress response within the body. When we are sick, the stress of a tough workout can be more than our immune systems could normally handle. However, light, non-strenuous activities - such as walking or gentle yoga - may give your immune system a beneficial boost. So when the sniffles strike, save your strenuous gym routine for when you are feeling better.
Hold off on the sauna: Going from extreme hot to cold temperatures will shock your system, and if you are already sick your immune system may not be able to handle the extreme temperature change. Additionally, if you're going to a public sauna with your weakened immune system, your body is more likely to catch germs that other people are carrying around the facility. There are thousands of viruses that are floating around out there, and nothing is worse than getting a different strain of cold while trying to recover from another.
The Golden Rule: When deciding if you should go to the gym or not, always remember to "do unto others as you would have them do unto you." Also,  if you do need to cough or sneeze, keep it to yourself by directing it into your elbow/upper arm area - or on to one of the gym towels provided for you at the front desk - instead of all over the equipment or in someone else's personal bubble. By practicing good gym hygiene you can somewhat limit your exposure to germs, and become a better neighbor to your fellow friends in fitness!

Roxy Turner
BHC Trainer

Class Changes and Cancellations

Class Changes:                                         Class Cancellations:

Pilates Based Mat with Yumiko                       Yoga Pilates with Char
Mondays 8am-9am                                       Tuesdays 8:30-9:30pm
Studio Y                                                     Studio Y

Barre with Lisa
Wednesdays 8am-9am
Studio Y

Barre with Lisa
Fridays 8am-9am
Studio Y

BHC Holiday Hours

Closing Early for
Staff Christmas Party
Saturday 12/19

Christmas Eve
Thursday 12/24

Christmas Day
Friday 12/25
New Year's Eve
Thursday 12/31

New Year's Day
Friday 1/1

BHC Hoops Club

Hoops Club is continuing through December.

Join us at the Crown Hill Community Center at 3:00pm every Saturday.

All levels are welcome!

Add your name to the signup sheet at the front desk to get more information on each week's game.

Member Spotlight:
Alex Hur

How long have you been a member at Ballard Health Club?
3 years.

What is your favorite piece of equipment or exercise to do in the gym?
Barbell, power cleans. 

Why do you work out?
I want to be strong and agile to try out for American Ninja Warrior some day! In the meantime, I am training to do the Spartan Race "Super" next April.

What do you do to work out?
Right now, I am doing a full body circuit designed by Matt Bruner to improve conditioning, grip strength and core strength. I row and bike for cardio. I incorporate yoga into warm up and cool down for recovery.

What in the gym has worked for you in attaining your goals?
Utilizing the trainers has been the best way to make progress in the gym. Stephanie has equipped me with simple tips to eat healthy without sacrificing a wide variety of flavorful food. Matt has helped me work on my weaknesses with a variety of exercises rather than defaulting to lifts that I am good at and like doing.

Why do you choose to work out at BHC? (instead of another gym)
I have worked out at big chain gyms, crossfit boxes, and home gyms. Only BHC offers the combination of knowledgeable staff, clean and well equipped facility, numerous classes, and no high pressure upsales for supplements and personal training. The members are friendly and it's great to see familiar faces pursuing their fitness goals!
Spring to Life
Retreat at Suncadia

Ballard Health Club presents the second annual Women's Spring to Life Yoga and Boot Camp Retreat at Suncadia from April 29 - May 1st, 2016. 

Jump start your fitness routine with a health and wellness tune up in the Cascade Mountains with hosts Ivonne DePauli and Heather Rudin. 

It's a mind/body/spirit infusion of physical exercise and yoga, whole foods nutrition, and meditation for emotional clarity. The intensity of muscular strength building works together with the discipline of therapeutic yoga practice to offer a holistic wellness approach.

Morning Boot Camp workouts start our metabolism burning it's fuel and energy for the day. We breathe in the mountain air with a walk in the woods, alongside deer and birds. An afternoon yoga asana session soothes our entire being to bring us back into balance and equanimity in our senses. The crisp spring air of the mountains calls us to reconnect with nature and recharge with what nourishes our core.  

Pick up a brochure at the front desk for more information. Availability and prices online
New Classes at BHC!

Since the opening of our new upstairs Studio Y on November 1st, our class schedule has nearly DOUBLED! We now have more than 80 classes per week, including some brand new classes and more times for popular ones. Be sure to check out our entire schedule online or at the front desk. In the meantime, here are some highlights:

> With the addition of Ballet bars in Studio Y, we now have Barre classes offered 7 times/wk!

> We've also added a new way for you to get your groove on in the Afro-Beat Dance Fitness class on Sundays at 10 AM

> For those who like a little butt-kick we've boosted our Boot Camp classes to 8 times/wk. That's not to mention our many other higher-intensity, conditioning style classes like Insanity, Max-Fit, Cardio-Mix...and more!

> Let's not forget our 30+ Yoga and Pilates classes including everything from Power Vinyasa, Flow Yoga, Yoga Tune Up, Restoratives...and more! 

You can find the full schedules for Studios X and Y on our website or you can pick them up at the front desk. Enjoy!

Women's Shower Remodel

The Women's shower remodel project will begin at noon on Friday, December 18th and continue through the following week and a half of Christmas. Completion is slated to be Wednesday, December 30th. The current Women's locker room will be closed during that time.


We will be establishing a temporary Women's locker room where the Women's restroom is located behind the breezeway entrance stairs in the front lobby area. This is where the temporary Men's locker room was in November.

We are looking forward to starting the new year with completely new men's and women's shower facilities! 
The Art of the Warm Up and Cool Down

Warming up and cooling down are vital but all too often overlooked and misunderstood parts of any workout. The purpose of warming up is not only to prepare the muscles for the workout ahead by stimulating blood flow to the muscle tissue, but to prepare the mind as well. Beyond these benefits, the warm up is an opportunity to transition from the stress of the world outside and focus on the simple pleasure of exercise.

A common myth is that traditional static stretching before a workout is an effective method of warming up and preventing injury. Stretching temporarily increases range of motion, but it is not effective at warming up muscles. Instead of static stretching, a more effective method to prepare the body for an intense workout is to move the muscles and joints in motions that mimic what will be done in the workout. While walking on a treadmill may seem like a good way of doing this, I prefer to warm up on elliptical machines, particular our Adaptive Motion Trainers and/or rowing machines because they work both the upper and lower body. Warming up for 10-15 minutes at an intensity where you can comfortably maintain a conversation can be used as a general rule.

Stretching is, however, a very effective way of cooling down by helping flush the muscle tissue and combat tightness that can result from a strenuous workout. It also helps preserve and maintain the balance between opposing muscle groups which is essential to preventing injuries and maintaining good posture. A good stretching routine should include all the major muscle groups with a focus on the muscles that were used during the workout. It does not have to be complex to be effective. Here is a simple stretching circuit that can be done quickly after a workout or even at home. Perform these 2-3 times, holding them for 20-30 seconds, stretching until slight discomfort (but not pain!).

p Flexor and Quad Stretch- Hold a railing or a solid object for support, while keeping the back straight and not bending at the hips. Bring the right foot back towards your glute so that the knee is behind the hip. Hold it there. Switch sides and repeat.

Chest and Front Shoulder Stretch- Squeeze the shoulder blades together and bring both arms, behind the back keeping the elbows straight and try to touch the palms of your hands together. Keep the back straight and chest high.

Seated Glute Stretch- While sitting in a firm chair, place right ankle across the lower thigh of the left leg. Lean forward until you feel it in the glute. For an added stretch push down gently on the left knee. Switch sides and repeat.

Triceps Stretch- Raise one arm straight overhead so that elbow is directly above the shoulder. Allow the elbow to bend so that the hand is touching the middle of your upper back. With the other arm, grab the elbow and gently pull across the body until the stretch is felt. Switch sides and repeat.

Hamstring Stretch- While lying on your back with both knees bent, wrap a resistance band or yoga strap around the middle of your right foot, holding an end in each hand. Gently raise the leg toward the ceiling, keeping it as straight as possible without locking out the knee and making sure the lower back remains touching the ground. Switch legs and repeat.

Greg Guinasso
BHC Trainer


Nutritional 'Did You Know'?

Did you know...

Unless you're eating 1-2 servings of fruits and vegetables with every meal, there's a good chance you may be deficient in a vitamin and/or mineral. Age, genetics, stress levels, hormones, and overall health status also play a part in your nutrient status. Vitamin and mineral deficiencies are important to address because your body needs these "tools" to carry on all of the activities that occur in your system. If the body doesn't have all the tools it needs, compensations are made and things start to break down. Over time, symptoms of health problems may arise.

Deficiencies can easily be determined by a blood test administered by your doctor. Once a deficiency has been identified, a vitamin and/or mineral supplement can be taken to help bring your levels back up. Although supplements can make positive changes in your nutrient status, they shouldn't replace actual foods. Incorporating vitamin and mineral rich foods in your diet, such as fruits and vegetables from an array of colors, will always be the best choice. Fruits and vegetables are also full of fiber, which helps with gut health and phytonutrients, which cannot be manmade.

When choosing a vitamin and/or mineral supplement remember, you get what you pay for. Bargain brands are typically low quality so they're more likely to pass through you than get absorbed. Ask your health care provider about brands they see good results with. You can also check sites like, and read online reviews. Look for quality, potency, absorbability, and minimal to no fillers or added colors. Once you start taking a vitamin and/or mineral supplement, it's a good idea to follow up with your doctor to recheck your status. Water-soluble vitamins can pass through if they are consumed in excess in most healthy individuals. However, fat-soluble vitamins and minerals can accumulate. Accumulation of vitamins and minerals can lead to toxicity, which you don't want. In conclusion, addressing any deficiencies you may have is an easy first step to any nutrition program and will make a huge impact on your health.

Stephanie Gray
BHC Nutritional Coach

INSANITY Instructor Training 

BHC's instructor Jeff Onorato will be leading an Insanity Live Workshop at Ballard Health Club on December 13th from 1-8pm.

Have you ever wanted to be an Insanity instructor? Or just wanted to learn more about the style? Or even just how to program your own workout? This is the workshop for you!

Register online at

Focus On: Bootcamp!

It's eating season everyone, and you know what that means: hit the gym. We have over 80 classes now. With all the pumpkin pie that's going around I'm suggesting you visit Studio X. Among our 80+ classes are several Boot Camp classes with new instructors like Jana, Roxy and Linda.

Here's a little info on Boot Camp:

What is a boot camp workout?

Boot camp workouts can vary but typically include a mix of strength training and high intensity intervals. One boot camp workout might stress cardio drills while another stresses strength training using weights. Some mix the two.
In most classes, you can expect to do body weighted exercises, such as squats, pushups, lunges and crunches, as well as drills and sprints. In general, a boot camp workout is a combination of intense activity alternated with intervals of lighter activity.

What are the benefits of a boot camp workout?

The goal of boot camp is to provide a whole-body workout that builds strength and endurance.

Is boot camp for everybody?
Boot camp exercises can be challenging to those who aren't already in shape. If you have a foundation of strength and aerobic training, you're probably ready. However if  you are older than age 45, are pregnant, haven't exercised for some time or have health problems, it's a good idea to check with your doctor before starting a boot camp class - or any new exercise program.

It's also important to let your instructor know if you have difficulty with a particular exercise. Our instructors are aware of proper form and technique and can modify exercises for you.
I hope this helps and I hope to see you in class, Happy Holidays.

Karen Gamble
BHC Class Director

From the Owner

Eight days and about 300 labor hours.  That's what it took to completely remodel the Men's showers from demolition to reopening this Monday morning (Nov 30th). These hours do not include all the planning and research time leading up to the job which spanned many months. The shower remodel was quite an endeavor but we had a good contractor and team that understood the importance of getting the job done on time.

We do plan other improvements to the men's locker room. The good news is that the rest may be accomplished without closing it completely as was needed for the shower remodel.

Those improvements include:
  • Shower towel hooks and baskets. We will be attaching shower hooks just outside each shower stall and not across the hallway as before. We also plan on putting soap baskets attached to the divider walls inside the shower stalls.
  • Locker room expansion. We will be working with our contractor to do this one step at a time, so that we may avoid any disruption to our members. Half of the dressing area will be expanded about 4 feet into the hallway that currently leads to the women's locker room. A new hallway to the women's locker room will be built using part of the elevator lobby. 
  • Painting the walls, cleaning up the ceiling and new carpet.  Once the expansion has been completed, the carpet will be replaced. The hanging ceiling and the walls will be refreshed with a cleaning and/or painting.
  • New lighting. We have been experimenting with LED lighting and will probably be replacing the lights in the dressing room with this new type of lighting. The lighting in the shower area has already been replaced with new LED can lights.
  • Replacing the wood in the sauna and upgrading the flooring. We have plans in the works for this project. However,with all the recent sauna interruptions - we want to postpone this project a while longer.
The improvements to the women's locker room will begin with their own shower remodel later this month.  Once that's started, we will solidify the plans for the rest of those enhancements.

It's been a bit overwhelming with all the projects we are trying to get accomplished, but the positive feedback from our members as each project gets completed - really shows us how much the effort is worth it.


Pat Gilbrough
Owner and General Manager 

PS. I want to thank our designer - Calista Munnell of Calista Interiors - for her careful research and decisions on colors and type for the tile, grout and stall dividers. Calista was also the interior designer for the Grand Fir Lodge where many members have attended BHC retreats.

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