May 2016
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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


May 1st marks Ballard Health Club's 18th Anniversary!
Please stop by to enjoy some refreshments on us in our lobby, and a huge 'THANK YOU' to all our members over the years.
Cycling Tips For Spring Riding

Spring is here and I don't know about you, but I'm excited to get back onto the saddle! Biking can be a great way to commute, get some exercise built into your day and beat the traffic. Of course, as with any activity there are a few risks involved and safety issues to be aware of.
Here are 10 tips to ensure you'll have efficient and safe rides:
  1. First thing's first, tune up your bike. If you haven't ridden in awhile, check your tire pressure, clean and oil your chains, and check your gear shifts. Also check the batteries in your lights. If you are unfamiliar how to do these things, stop by a bike shop. Tune-ups are usually affordable and while you're there ask if they will do a complimentary bike fitting.
  2. Make sure you've had a balanced meal two hours before your ride and at least 8 oz. of water an hour before. Have your water bottle(s) ready to go and if riding on a hot day, pop in an electrolyte tablet to keep you hydrated (it will also help you pee less = less stops).
  3. To avoid muscle soreness and fatigue, check your posture. Are you hunching your shoulders or have death grips on the handle bars? Relax the shoulders back and down, loosen your grip, have slight bends in the elbows and engage your core.
  4. Sit back in the saddle and use your hamstrings to pull the pedals. This will help alleviate low back pain and from becoming saddle sore. Switching hand positions from time to time will also make things more comfortable. Also, periodically shaking out your hands will encourage blood flow.
  5. Keep your elbows in line with your body instead of being splayed out. This will help make you more aerodynamic without using extra energy.
  6. Cross railroad tracks, cracks in the road/cement, etc. as perpendicular as possible. This will help prevent you from slipping, crashing or getting stuck. Smooth out some of the shock by slightly standing with bent knees and letting the bike "float" up and down beneath you.
  7. When riding in heavy stop-and-go traffic, ride well into the lane so that cars will avoid trying to squeeze by you. When you hug the curb you are less visible to drivers and also risk being struck by doors of parked cars that suddenly open.
  8. Obey traffic laws. Use your hand signals, wear a helmet, use reflectors and be courteous. For example, if you rush by a stopped car at a stop sign and the car is turning right, you risk getting hit. Drivers don't expect anything to pass them on their right when they are making a right turn.
  9. Put your left foot down when you come to a stop. This will prevent greasy (but cool looking!) chain mark "tattoos" on your calf.
  10. After your ride, recover by foam rolling and/or stretching, have a balanced meal, and rehydrate. Recovery is important for improving cycling on your next ride and will also help you feel refreshed.

Stephanie Gray
BHC Trainer

Class Changes and Additions

Les Mills BodyPump
with Tina
Mondays 7:45-8:45pm  
Change from Insanity

Les Mills BodyPump
with Roxy
Tuesdays 5:00-6:00pm
Time change from 5:15-6:15pm

Les Mills BodyPump
with Kuanny
Wednesdays 6:15-7:15pm
Change from Rebel Yoga

Les Mills BodyPump
with Kuanny
Thursdays 7:30-8:30pm
Change from P90X

Hip Hop
with Tricia
Sundays 10:00-11:00am
Change from African Dance

Kung Fu
Thursdays 8:15-9:15pm

Saturdays 11:00am-12:00pm


Full 24-Hour, 7 Day a Week Club Access Starting June 1st!
Purchase RFID key fob at the front desk (starting May 9th) to utilize this member benefit.
More details in "From the Owner" below.

Introducing: Outdoor Boot Camps at BHC!
Starting May 1st BHC heads outdoors!


Beginning May 1st, BHC is partnering with Fresh Air Boot Camp - an outdoor, year-round boot camp class which is run by one of our own personal trainers, Ivonne DePauli. We are excited to be able to offer our members an outdoor exercise experience close by at Golden Gardens and Green Lake parks! Fresh Air Boot Camp classes are full body cardio and strength training workouts that incorporate elements found at the parks such as stairs, benches, logs, sand and trails. Mixing workouts with nature can be an exhilarating way to enjoy the beauty of the northwest!

Fresh Air Boot Camp Schedule and Location:

Golden Gardens Mon & Wed at 9:00 - 10:00 a.m. and Saturday at 8:00-9:00 a.m. Green Lake Tue, Thr & Fri at 6:00 -7:00 am.

BHC / Fresh Air Boot Camp Memberships will be available as of May 1st.  Email for more information or pick up an information sheet at the front desk.
Upgrading to PLUS Membership

As you are aware by now, BHC requires a PLUS membership to attend any of the 80+ classes BHC offers weekly (other than Silver Sneakers and Chair Yoga).

For a monthly renewing member, a PLUS membership is $10 more a month than a regular membership and a PLUS Yearly membership is $100 more than a regular yearly membership.

If you were a monthly renewing member before March 1st, you have been grandfathered in to a PLUS status for classes until September.  If you have a yearly membership established before March 1st, your membership is PLUS for the remainder of that year's membership. 

As a monthly renewing member, you may let us know now that you want to have your membership automatically upgraded to a PLUS membership in September. To do this, download the BHC Membership Upgrade form by clicking HERE or pick up a form at the Club. Once you have filled out the form, please drop it off at the front desk at BHC or scan and email to

Member Spotlight:
Brenda Savage

How long have you been a member at Ballard Health Club?
I have been a member since 1998.

What is your favorite piece of equipment or exercise to do in the gym?
I always do some core work, use the free weights and elliptical machines.

Why do you work out?
Some of the many reasons I work out are to stay fit (mentally and physically), to keep up with my kids, and for injury prevention.

What do you do to work out?
Free weights, core/stability work, yoga, cardio machines, cycling, swimming, running/walking...

What in the gym has worked for you in attaining your goals?
The staff and the gym hours. I used to go to the gym after work which was, conveniently, right on the way home! Then I started going to the gym at 5:30 am when my kids were babies so I could make sure I got my workout done for the day. I have continued with that routine and will be happy to have the option to go earlier, if I can get myself out of bed!   

Why do you choose to work out at BHC? (instead of another gym)
I chose BHC (way back when...) because of the size, location and vibe. I wasn't interested in a "meat-market" gym. I was interested in a place that had great classes, a good selection of machines/weights and of course, great staff and members :0)

BHC Members to World Championships
Ballard Health Club members Pavel Babushka (Member Spotlight in the April newsletter) and Keelan Schule competed in a powerlifting competition in Portland this month and qualified to compete at Worlds! Congrats to Pavel and Keelan and thanks for representing BHC!
Friendly Fridays
Every Friday after 6pm is FRIENDLY FRIDAYS! Bring a friend to workout at Ballard Health Club - just ask them to bring picture ID! Friend must be accompanied by a member and we will waive the drop-in fee. 
BHC Hoops Club
Hoops Club is still meeting every Saturday at 3pm with trainer Matt Bruner.

Add your name to the sign up sheet at the front desk for more information on each week's game.
Join Us for Syttende Mai!

Ballard Health Club will again be participating in the Ballard Parade, Syttende Mai, on Tuesday, May 17th. We would LOVE for you to join us!

The Syttende Mai Parade is a family event that drew a crowd of 20,000 last year. Syttende Mai is a celebration, steeped in Ballard's heritage, to remember Norway's Constitution Day. Help us make this event just as memorable as last year!
Volunteer Opportunities:
  • Dancers: We will be dancing to Michael Jackson's 'I Want You Back'. Rehearsals will be on Tuesdays and Saturdays during Tricia's Zumba classes.
  • Flag Wavers: Wave flags while walking and waving to the crowd.
  • Photographers: We want to get some good photos, especially at the end of the parade.
Shirts will be provided to all volunteers. If you participated last year, we encourage you to wear the same shirt!

The parade starts at 6pm and volunteers will need to check in at 4pm. Children are welcome to walk along with us. All participants will have to sign waivers from the parade organization.

Please join us, the more the merrier! You may sign up at the front desk to receive more information as we get closer to the parade date.

Happy 18th BHC!

May 1st marks Ballard Health Club's 18th anniversary, a pretty impressive milestone for any business.  More impressive than the 18 years, is the number of people that have been with us since the very beginning.  While, I may be the only "original" left on staff - yes, I even outlasted the owners - there are many more, including instructors and so so many members.  

We actually have dozens and dozens of members that have been here since our first year.  If your member number is below #3700, you definitely joined before our first anniversary. Many haven't just 'kept' their memberships, they still come in frequently.  Some of the more regular folks include May's Spotlight Member, Brenda Savage who has checked in nearly 100 times so far this year!  Others include both Ken C. and Carolyn R. with nearly 100, as well as Mitsie F., Rob G. and Pam M. with more than 70 each! Probably our most notable 'original' members are Pat and Kellene Gilbrough, who loved the club so much they decided to take over as owners.  There are even more who initially joined when we first opened but may have had a lapse before returning - and they almost always return.  

What about the original "team"?  Let me start by mentioning our very own M.J. Daniels.  Not only is she an amazing - and popular - yoga instructor, many remember when she was a star trainer and the only one that pre-dates me.  Also, our very first yoga instructors Tracy Hodgeman and Heather Rudin have stayed with us despite their high demand across the city, and beyond! Then, there's Lowen. While he's retired from club ownership, he is still around the club regularly, as a member.

So, what is it about Ballard Health Club that has kept us around so long? Simple. It's the people, the community, the spirit of BHC.  Back in late 1997 Sonya Senstra (then Clausen) and her father Lowen envisioned a health club that was different than any other, special.  They wanted to create a place where people felt comfortable, safe, encouraged, supported and part of the family.  In 1998 that vision was made a reality and 18 years later it is still flourishing. It is this vision that has drawn in amazing people and keeps them coming back.

Jade Dahle
BHC Personal Trainer
Zoom In On Health: Hypertension

This month in our new "Zoom In On Health" series we'll be talking about hypertension - commonly known as "high blood pressure", which is defined as consistently elevated arterial blood pressure of >140/90 mm Hg. Hypertension is commonly caused by an unhealthy lifestyle, such a diet high in fat (particularly saturated fat), smoking, and carrying excess weight. The health risks of having hypertension include increased risk of stroke, cardiovascular disease, chronic heart failure, and kidney failure.
For those looking to lower their blood pressure through exercise, there's good news! Research has shown that regular exercise can have a modest impact on lowering elevated blood pressure - by an average of 10 mm for both systolic and diastolic readings. Continue reading for some safe guidelines for how to exercise with high blood pressure.
It is important to breathe normally during exercise to avoid potentially elevating one's blood pressure, so it is best to participate in low-to-moderate intensity aerobic exercise. Avoid high-intensity and/or high-volume resistance training if you find yourself holding your breath during the exercise itself. Also, make sure to avoid over-gripping (or squeezing the equipment too tightly) as this can dramatically increase blood pressure as well.
Note that body position can also have a dramatic effect on blood pressure response. Lying on your front or back (especially when the head is lower than the heart) can often increase blood pressure. Therefore, standing or sitting exercises are recommended over floor exercises. When rising from a lying or seated position, make sure to do so gradually to avoid dizziness. Ideally exercise programs should be performed in a circuit, alternating between upper and lower body exercises to improve circulation throughout the body.
Need help knowing where to start? Try booking a complimentary Fitness Training appointment with one of BHC's amazing trainers and have them put together a personalized routine to suit your needs.

Roxy Turner
BHC Personal Trainer 
Club Improvements - New Breezeway Door

A glass door is planned to be installed at the stop of the breezeway on 22nd that leads to our main entrance. The door is being built to give our members working out overnight more security. Heads up to all our members that there will be light construction going on while the door structure is being installed.

This new "security" door will be open when the front desk is open and closed during our overnight hours. Members working out after hours will be given an access code with which to enter.
Plyometric Workout from Matt A

Want to add a little spring to your step?  The answer lies in Plyometric Training.  

Plyometric exercises are those in which you generate the most amount of power in the least amount of time.  Numerous scientific studies show that training with plyometrics will increase your speed, power, balance and coordination. Beyond that, plyometric workouts also target your fast twitch muscle fibers to improve your explosive strength and acceleration, making you faster. Many professional athletes whose sports involve jumping and running incorporate plyometric training up to six weeks before their season or event starts. Even golfers utilize plyometric training to hit the ball farther.

Before starting a plyometric routine, you need to have a good foundation of base fitness, as some of the exercises can be strenuous on the body.  Because of this strain, routines heavy in plyometric training should not be done for longer than six weeks consecutively.  In order to keep the focus on the fast twitch fibers mentioned earlier, be sure to keep the reps low.  If you do too many reps, those fast twitch fibers stop firing and the slow twitch / endurance fibers kick in.

Here are some plyometric exercises that will help your sports performance.  I recommend doing 5 sets of 5 repetitions.  As always, ask a trainer if you have any questions, or sign up for a training session.
  • Box Jumps
  • Skaters
  • Cross-over push ups on a ball
  • Jumping Pull Ups

Matt Anderson
BHC Trainer

Nutritional 'Did You Know'?
Did you know that you can be healthily cooking with a variety of oils?
A lot of my clients ask "which is the best oil to cook with?" Well, there isn't a "best" oil. Most of us believe olive oil is ideal. It's an oil that has been used for centuries with proven health benefits. In recent years, coconut oil has become the "Kim K." of oils. You see it everywhere from cooking blogs to beauty products and even gargling "how-to's" for health benefits (called oil pulling). Choosing the right oil really depends on health needs, cooking methods and the flavor you want to achieve.
In terms of health, understand that oils are essentially fats. The healthiest fats tend to be plant derived, but quality animal fats can be healthy too. Examples of quality animal fats are fats from cold water fish (ex. salmon, mackerel), organic grass fed or pasture raised livestock and their food products (eggs, dairy, beef etc.), and wild game. Healthy fats help us recover faster, they nourish our fatty tissues (brain, eyes, cell membranes), help us absorb fat soluble vitamins, revive muscle building and sex hormones, and can actually help us burn fat. When we try to cook healthfully, plant derived oils are more commonly used. However, you may start to understand that it might be okay to use butter, or say lard (gasp!), if it comes from a quality source.
Although plant oils are often good for us, how they are processed can alter their healthy characteristics. Processing methods include how the oils are pressed/extracted and to what degree they are refined (filtered). You can learn more about this by following the link provided below. How oils are processed is also important depending on the type of cooking you will be doing. It can change how heat stable an oil is and can increase or decrease its smoke point.  Letting  your oils smoke is not ideal  because that means it's burning which creates free radicals in your food.
Processing, more specifically refining, oils generally creates a milder flavor. Some oils, such as Canola oil, are naturally mild in flavor and can work well with many types of cuisines. Other oils have more pronounced flavors such as sesame or olive oil. Sesame oil has a distinct nutty flavor which is prevalent in Korean cuisine whereas olive oil tastes more refreshing and "green," better suited for Mediterranean fare. Switching the two oils would completely change the flavors in those foods. You can see how oil flavor matters.
In conclusion, when choosing cooking oils ask yourself if the oil comes from a quality source, how is it processed, is it heat stable enough for the type of cooking you are doing, and what does it taste like?
Happy cooking!

A list oils and their ideal usage

Stephanie Gray
BHC Nutritional Coach

BHC Parking

With all of the BHC parking areas, it can be confusing to know when each one is open and available for use for BHC members working out at the club or going to a class. To help with this, we have prepared a printable BHC Parking Map at

Dance With Us at BHC!
Come dance with us! Dance is a great form of exercise because it provides you with both aerobic and anaerobic movements. Our bodies need a combination of both types of exercise in order to be at their healthiest. In dance, aerobic exercise can be achieved by stepping, stomping, swaying or twirling. Anaerobic exercises include holding primal positions such as a squat or lunge, lifting someone else or your own body, and balancing. There are endless possibilities when it comes to getting a complete workout through dance.

Dance is a great way to exercise not only physically but it is also a creative outlet that recruits both the left and right sides of the brain. It also increases your flexibility, stretching your body in new ways you've not tried before. And then there is the music. Music inspires us. There are sparks of joy that come with moving your body to a rhythmic beat. We have dance classes throughout the week: Check out Tricia's new HIP HOP class on Sundays at 10am, or Sangeeta's Bollywood class on Thursdays at 615pm. If you want to Zumba you can do that too on Saturday and Tuesday. And if you have a penchant for performance, join us for Syttende Mai on May 17th and dance with us in the Ballard Parade. Sign up is at the front desk. See you in class!

Karen Gamble
BHC Class Director

From the Owner

As you probably know by now, we have been taking steps toward providing 24 hour access to the Club by launching new layers of access in "phases". This transition has been going so well that we are now able to proceed to our final phase and ultimate goal. With that said, I am happy to announce: Starting June 1st, 2016 - BHC will be available for members 24 hours a day 7 days a week.

During the overnight hours the front desk will be closed, requiring members to check in without staff assistance. To allow this, we will be introducing the use of a special RFID Key Tag. This RFID key tag will be scanned in the same box currently being used for our Phase 2 early morning check-ins. If you haven't already seen it, it is mid-way up the breezeway next to the door with the green light above it - our after hours door. These key tags will be unique to each member. By swiping your unique RFID tag and entering the last 4 digits of your phone number (as a PIN), your account will be electronically verified and the door release triggered.

The new RFID Key Tags will be available at the front desk starting Monday, May 9th. There will be a one-time charge of $10 for the key tag. Only members with monthly renewing or yearly memberships will be allowed after hours key tag entrance. Those with a Month Pass, Week Pass or drop-ins will not be eligible.

For the comfort and security of our members using the club after hours, there will be additional rules associated with RFID use and access. These rules will include such things as: single-person entry only (no piggyback access to anyone), use of the club for exercise only (no "hanging out") and having a photo ID with verifiable street address stored on file, as well as other guidelines designed to increase safety. Members will not be alone after hours as our overnight crew will be present keeping an eye on things while cleaning and maintaining the facility.

Until June 1st, we are still in Phase 2 of extended access including:
Early morning access through our after hours entry with check-in starting at 4am on weekdays and 6am on weekends.
Late night usage by checking-in during front desk hours as late as 11pm on weekdays and 8pm on weekends. Once checked in, you can work out as long as needed.

I also want to take this opportunity to thank my staff for all of their help in supporting our transition to 24 hour access. They are the ones that really make things happen at BHC!


Pat Gilbrough
Owner and General Manager
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