Aqua Aerobics

Come experience all the benefits the water can provide in this guided 45-minute music filled balance, cardiovascular, and muscle strength building class. Low impact so it’s easy on the joints but provides resistance to the working muscle for an overall body benefit. Because it’s water, you can work as hard or as easy as you are able so it is appropriate for people of all physical abilities and levels. Check Pool Schedule for days/times.

Meet Cathy

Cathy began working in the health and fitness industry as a lifeguard in college. After graduation from the University of Washington, Cathy was instrumental in developing a complete Aquatic program for the new Bellevue Athletic Club facility. The next ten years at the “other” BAC provided her with great experience in facility management and taught her the importance of superior customer service. Moving to Bellingham in 1990 with husband, Stu, and children, Shannon, Todd, and John, found Cathy without a pool! While teaching CPR and First Aid throughout Whatcom County, she was introduced to Bellingham Athletic Club and was hired in 1991 as Aquatics Director. Cathy’s strong communication skills and attention to detail led to her being hired as BAC’s Operations Manager in 1993. She purchased BAC from the Trillium Corporation in 1997. Cathy has served as president and board member of FitLife, an organization of Northwest Quality Clubs.  She is an upcoming President of the Rotary Club of Bellingham and has served on numerous philanthropic boards throughout the Northwest. “The Athletic Club business has changed greatly over the past 45 years, it used to be a ‘look in the mirror’ business, more about vanity than health. But today it is clearly a Health business. I am passionate about spreading the word about how instrumental staying fit is in the process of Aging actively, happily and successfully. I truly believe the major health problems associated with aging are more related to atrophy than the actual physical process of getting older. Staying active and fit can make the difference between being stuck in a recliner or continuing to do the things you love into retirement and beyond.”

Junior Racquetball Camp

Junior Racquetball Camp will take place August 5-9. The camp is taught by Professional Instructor, Wanda Collins. This year we’ll have special guests: BAC Junior players who have represented the State at Junior Nationals. The camp consists of: Racquetball basics including strokes, serves, off the back wall shots, game strategy, foot drills, speed and agility exercises, camp shirts and mini tournament on Friday.

Beginners/Intermediate Camp
Ages 7-11
9:00 am – 12:00 pm
Monday – Thursday

Intermediate & Advances Camp
Ages 11-16
1:00 pm – 4:00 pm
Monday – Thursday

$125 for members
$140 for non-members
$10 off for siblings
Registration deadline is July 25th

Contact Wanda Collins ( for more information.

Reap the Performance Benefits of the 4-Scientific Properties of Water!

There are a variety of exercise modalities that can have a pronounced impact on your level of physical activity. Using a Water environment is one such modality due to its’ scientific properties. The specific properties that lend themselves to increased performance are:

• Buoyancy (body’s ability to float in water)

• Hydrostatic Pressure (pressure of water on the body)

• Viscosity (density of the water)

• Thermodynamics (temperature of the water)

How do these properties enhance physical activity performance?

• Upward lift of the water on the body or “buoyancy” reduces the effect of gravity on your body. Being submerged in chest-deep water decreases the effect of gravity by 60% whereas being submerged in neck-deep water reduces the effects by 90%. So what’s the benefit? Buoyancy means less impact on your joints which is especially important if you have joint issues or just would like to recover from gravity-based training.

• The pressure of the water, “Hydrostatic Pressure”, is exerted on all the surfaces on the body. This multi-directional pressure compresses the chest making breathing more difficult but with training, the muscular mechanisms of breathing do improve. Water pressure “massages” the body assisting with circulation so the heart does not have to work as hard to pump blood throughout the working body. The Lymphatic system also benefits from the “massaging” pressure assisting the bodies “garbage carriers”!

• Waters density or “Viscosity is approximately 800 times denser than air! Why is that a benefit? Because of its’ density, any movement in the water provides resistance in a multitude of directions. Increasing the speed of movement and/or the surface area of the movement can exponentially increase the resistance to the movement!

• Water transfers heat, “Thermodynamics”, away from the body 25 times faster than air! This affects the heart rate and oxygen consumption rate during activity. Cooler temperatures, 64.4-77 F degrees Fahrenheit, result in lower heart rates than do warmer temperatures, 86-95.9 F degrees Fahrenheit. For that reason, it is advisable to use Ratings of Perceived Effort (either 1-10 scale or 6-25 scale) instead of Heart Rate.

The contribution of these scientific properties of water allow us an exercise medium we can safely use to improve our Aerobic Endurance, Muscle Strength, Muscle Mobility and Flexibility, allow for graded progressive exercise as well as lessen the daily impact of gravity, giving the body some needed recovery!

Make a splash in your physical activity by giving Water Fitness a try!!

Normal Aging

The aging process happens during an individual’s lifespan. The changes aging individuals experience are not necessarily harmful. With age, hair thins and turns gray. Skin thins, becomes less elastic, and sags. There is a slowing down of functions which goes forward throughout adulthood – loss of function of bodily organs. In the gastrointestinal system, for example, production of digestive
enzymes diminishes, reducing the body’s ability to break down and absorb the nutrition from food.

Scientists theorize that aging likely results from a combination of many factors. Genes, lifestyle, and disease can all affect the rate of aging. Studies have indicated that people age at different rates and in different ways.

Normal aging brings about the following changes:

  • Eyesight – loss of peripheral vision and decreased ability to judge depth.
    Decreased clarity of colors (for example, pastels and blues).
  • Hearing – loss of hearing acuity, especially sounds at the higher end of the spectrum. Also, decreasing ability to distinguish sounds when there is background noise.
  • Taste – decreased taste buds and saliva.
  • Touch and Smell – decreased sensitivity to touch and ability to smell.
  • Arteries – stiffen with age. Additionally, fatty deposits build up in your blood vessels over time, eventually causing arteriosclerosis (hardening of the arteries).
  • Bladder – increased frequency in urination.
  • Body Fat – increases until middle age, stabilizes until later in life, then decreases. Distribution of fat shifts – moving from just beneath the skin to surround deeper organs.
  • Bones – somewhere around age 35, bones lose minerals faster than they are replaced.
  • Brain – loses some of the structures that connect nerve cells, and the function of the cells themselves is diminished. “Senior moments” increase.
  • Heart – is a muscle that thickens with age. Maximum pumping rate and the body’s ability to extract oxygen from the blood both diminish with age.
  • Kidneys – shrink and become less efficient.
  • Lungs – somewhere around age 20, lung tissue begins to lose its elasticity, and rib cage muscles shrink progressively. Maximum
    breathing capacity diminishes with each decade of life.
  • Metabolism – medicines and alcohol are not processed as quickly. Prescription medication requires adjustment. Reflexes are also
    slowed while driving, therefore an individual might want to lengthen the distance between him and the car in front and drive more cautiously.
  • Muscles – muscle mass decline, especially with lack of exercise.
  • Skin – nails grow more slowly. Skin is more dry and wrinkled. It also heals more slowly.
  • Sexual Health – Women go through menopause, vaginal lubrication decreases and sexual tissues atrophy. In men, sperm production decreases and the prostate enlarges. Hormone levels decrease.