Birthday at Mt. Everest Base Camp

Each of us chooses to celebrate our birthdays in different ways. Of course, certain birthdays are considered milestone birthdays, sweet 16, nifty 50, and so on. With the coming of each of these milestones, some of us may choose to do something extraordinary. Something that may be on our bucket list.

For two BAC members, they decided to celebrate their 70th birthdays with an extraordinary adventure, going halfway around the world to Nepal and trekking to Mt. Everest base camp (17,600 ft)! Lynn and Jean Dayton made the commitment of going to Mt. Everest this past spring for the adventure of a lifetime!

The preparation for this adventure began last year. Lynn and Jean have been members at BAC on and off for over 30 years. The past five years they both have been participating in group classes as well as doing a little strength training but they both knew that they were going to have to do a bit more in preparation for their Mt. Everest adventure. To assist them in their training they enlisted the help of BAC Director of Fitness, Mike Locke, and with his guidance underwent a regiment of strength training and interval training on the treadmill. They also utilized their neighborhood trails and did day hikes with packs on Chuckanut. To assist them with testing their cold weather gear for Everest, Lynn and Jean visited Bellingham Cold Storage and their refrigeration units which are kept at a chilly -24 degrees F! Brrrh!!

Lynn and Jean’s Everest base camp adventure began on April 19th with their flight into Kathmandu, Nepal (4000 ft). After two days of rest, they took a helicopter flight from Kathmandu to the village of Lukla (9300 ft). From there they hiked to the village of Monjo for their first night’s stay.

One of the keys to such a trek is acclimatizing to the altitude—climb high, sleep low! For 3 days Lynn and Jean did acclimatizing hikes in Namche Bazaar (11,200 ft). Namche Bazaar gave them their first real view of Everest. This type of trip is quite a production, 6 yaks carried the team’s gear under the direction of 6 Sherpas and the owners of the trekking company. Lynn and Jean came away with an appreciation for the Sherpa people, who they describe as a friendly, helpful and fun-loving people although the children are a bit camera shy.

With the 6 Sherpas, 2 owners, 6 yaks, and 13 clients, the group made their way across suspension bridges spanning the many tributaries to the Dudh Kosi. It was during this trek to Tengbouche (12,800 ft) that they saw some of the most majestic views of the Khumbu regions peaks (Everest, Lhotse, Nuptse, and Ama Dablam). On May 2nd, Lynn and Jean successfully reached their destination, Everest Base Camp (17,600 ft) where they spent one night in their tent.

Lynn said, ”Visiting Nepal, the Himalayas, and Mt. Everest was never on my ‘Bucket List’. It hit me though, as I stood viewing the region and mountains that had been such an influence to me, that they were the inspiration to my 50+ years of mountain climbing. I started climbing just 4 years after Jim Whittaker became the first American (and 10th person) to summit Mt. Everest. So I had a teary moment or two just thinking about that. I never dreamed that I would be there especially at 70 years of age!”

“Reflecting on the trip“, said Jean, “Nepal was beautiful and the Himalayas were breathtaking. The people were very friendly and welcoming. Our trekking company made things easy for us. The Sherpas and guides took very good care of all of us. Everything was ‘Top Notch’ considering where we were and what we were there to accomplish.”

“When Lynn first came to me with this dream of his, I thought he had ‘LOST HIS MIND’”, said Jean. “Lynn and I are active but not nearly as active in our backpacking/alpine treks as we were pre-retirement. Retirement and traveling have changed our activities somewhat. We do more trail hikes and not always with packs. Both Lynn and I still get to the club, but for me, exercising in the water is much easier on my back. Mike helped us build a strong core, incorporating body weight and resistance exercises which got us prepared!! Thanks, Mike, for helping us achieve Everest Base Camp (cold and beautiful).”

What’s next? Jean says she is still thinking about it, however, she thinks it is her turn to pick and she will carefully consider her options!

Congratulations to both Lynn and Jean! We are glad BAC could help in your success!!

Swim Lessons

The summer has been absolutely idyllic, I hope you are all outdoors taking advantage of the weather! The next round of lessons is 3 weeks long, with no breaks or missed days, so if your kids could use a quick mid-summer touch up on their skills, check out our lesson schedule!

 A couple of quick clarifications for those who may be new or out of the loop on lessons:

Hot Tub Tips:

  • Try to save hot tub time as a treat for after lessons! When students hop in the hot tub before class, the water in the pool can be difficult to adjust to, and waiting for after lessons give them something to look forward to!
  • Please do not bring toys into the hot tub. Save those for class!
  • It is unsafe for students to spend more than 5 minutes in the hot tub, or to swim with their face underwater in the hot tub. Kids do not have fully developed temperature regulation systems, so they can overheat easily.
  • When your student is using the hot tub, please stand close enough to see them. We do not have a lifeguard assigned to the hot tub, so while all of our instructors are lifeguard certified, keeping an eye on the hot tub is up to the parents. This is why students can use the hot tub during lessons, so let’s preserve this perk!

While it is important for your student to learn to adapt to having water in their eyes, feel free to bring goggles with you for lessons! It can be helpful to have a tool to keep water out of their eyes during lessons.

Please do not allow your student to swim in the pool before their lesson starts. It’s not safe for students to swim without a lifeguard on duty, and we want to keep everyone safe.

We do not provide bath towels for non-members who come in for lessons, so please remember to bring a towel with you if you’re not a member of the gym.

Sometimes swimming lessons can be scary! This can lead to distraction when Mom or Dad is in the room. With younger students, we may ask parents to wait in the lobby to allow their child to concentrate on the lesson. Please know that this will help your student become comfortable in a class environment, and help them to focus on the skills they are learning, plus they will be so excited to tell you about their lesson! We will work individually with families to provide the best learning experience possible for your student.

Next Lessons are July 23 – August 8 (43 weeks/6 Lessons)

Call (360) 676-1800 to sign up!

Press here for current Swim Lessons Schedule details and pricing.

Press here to go to the Aquatic Page.

Drink Your Water!

…the benefits of staying hydrated

by Jeri Winterburn, Group Exercise Director

I hear it so often — “I know I just don’t drink enough water!”

The average adult body is made up of about 60% water, so it makes sense that drinking fluids is a crucial element to the proper functioning of many different systems. Besides maintaining the health of the heart, brain, and muscles, fluids help transport nutrients to the cells while also flushing bacteria. However, it is relatively easy to become dehydrated throughout the day and various activities. Dehydration can occur by not drinking enough water, through excessive sweating, diarrhea, vomiting or exercise. When this happens, it is common to feel faint, have a headache, experience crampy muscles or to feel tired.

Fortunately, restoring water balance in the body not only relieves these uncomfortable symptoms but has many additional benefits as well. Almost everyone is familiar with the “8 by 8” rule, which is to drink eight 8-ounce glasses of fluid a day. 8 x 8 is just easy to remember, as The Institute of Medicine recommends that women consume about 2 liters daily, and men to consume about 3 liters. Adjust accordingly per activity level and for any factors causing more rapid dehydration.

Drinking enough water and staying properly hydrated can:

1. Flush toxins & prevent illness

While the kidneys naturally filter waste from the body, they require adequate water intake to function properly, according to WebMD. When the body is dehydrated, the elimination of wastes is diminished. Conversely, when the body is hydrated, healthier functioning and transportation of nutrients are restored. Some medical experts believe proper hydration can help prevent joint diseases like rheumatoid arthritis since water reduces inflammation and promotes cartilage health. Proper water consumption can also protect against kidney stones, constipation and urinary tract infections, according to the Nutrition Reviews journal.

2. Promote weight loss

According to several studies published in the peer-reviewed medical journal Obesity, dieters who increased water consumption lost more weight than groups who did not. This may be due to the fact that thirst is often disguised as hunger.

3. Improve skin complexion

Skin cells, like all cells, are made up of water. Therefore, if the skin is not receiving adequate hydration, it will appear dry, tight and flaky, and fine wrinkles will be more pronounced, according to The American Academy of Dermatology. Whether or not it’s true, many celebrities claim that water is the secret to their glowing, radiant skin.

4. Increase energy levels

After vigorous exercise and perspiration, it is especially important to rehydrate to replace lost fluids as well as to reduce soreness. According to the Journal of Athletic Training and Nutrition, studies have found that staying hydrated before, during and after exercise can not only reduce fatigue but also improve endurance. For those who feel too tired to work out, research published in the journal Psychotherapy and Psychosomatics found that regular, low-intensity exercise reduced fatigue by as much as 65% and increased energy by 20%. Combined with proper hydration, energy levels can significantly rise with even just a little effort.

5. Lower the risk of heart attacks

Heart disease is the leading cause of death in men and women, according to the NIH. When the arteries become narrowed and blocked with cholesterol and plaque, the risk for a heart attack increases. A study in the American Journal of Epidemiology found that drinking more water has been linked to a decreased risk of coronary heart disease.

6. Boost cognitive functioning

Instead of reaching for a sugary snack in the late afternoon to get a little mental boost to finish up a task, try having a glass of water instead. A new study published in the journal Frontiers in Human Neuroscience found that drinking water may enhance brainpower. Study participants performed better and faster on a series of cognitive tasks after drinking water versus those subjects who did not.

7. Improve mood

Dehydration is known to cause headaches, which might explain why it’s common to get cranky when one strikes. Research supports this theory, as a study in the Journal of Nutrition found that even mild dehydration had a negative effect on mood. Therefore, a glass of water might work double duty in helping prevent headaches as well as promote a sense of refreshment that naturally enhances mood, as well.

Now we know “why” we need to make proper hydration a part of our daily lives – here is the one habit that has helped me the most:

Every morning when I get up – I get out a large glass (always the same one) – and fill it with water and a few ice cubes. Giving myself about 30 minutes to finish it, I immediately fill it again – if I am at work, it’s my favorite water bottle – when the last drop is gone – I fill it again. If you aren’t one to guzzle water – keep sipping away at it and be sure it stays on your counter, desk or in your sight the entire day. I swear that over time, it will become an easy habit. When your bottle is empty – fill it up again.

Summer heat, exercise, and sweating will take a toll on how you feel. This is an easy way to stay hydrated, and feeling your best through the next few, hot months. Give it a try!

Friday Night Out

Enjoy a relaxing evening out knowing that your children will be safe, happy, and having a blast! Our night consists of games, fun crafts, swimming, popcorn, juice, and a movie.

WHEN: July 19 (Super Hero theme!)

TIME: 5:30pm-9:30pm

Ages 4-11 Member: $20; Child of Member: $25; Non-Member: $30
Ages 6m-3 Member: $25; Child of Member: $30; Non-Member: $35

Contact the Cordata Front Desk for more information or to reserve a spot!

New Flooring

Summer can be a good time for home renovations and a great time to replace old flooring, as doors can be kept open to keep dust and odors down to a minimum.

Kitchens and bathrooms are the high traffic areas in our homes. Replacing the flooring can make a room look fresh and contemporary. Here are some helpful considerations to keep in mind when shopping for new flooring. Overall, your new floors should be easy to clean, durable, comfortable to stand on and fit your price point. Slip resistance is an important component to keep in mind, particularly in these rooms where spills and overflows can happen.

Wood floors are good-looking and can be cleaned with a broom, vacuum or light mopping. They are soft and can be scratched or dented. Generally, refinishing wood floors requires a professional. When dry, wood offers good slip resistance and is not recommended for bathrooms. Depending on the variety, wood will be the most expensive choice for flooring.

Porcelain tile floors are easily cleaned with a broom and mop and have a hard protective surface that makes them impervious to water and stain resistant. They are durable, won’t scuff or scratch, and can be texturized for slip resistance. Tile comes in many colors, patterns and easily worked into any decor. On the flip side, tile floors can be cold to walk on, and noisy if walking in heels or hard soled shoes. There are tile products made specifically with slip-resistant materials. Smaller tiles, 2” x 2” are recommended for showers and bathrooms. Tile is in the mid-range price point of flooring materials.

People like to use small rugs and runners on tile and wood to make them more comfortable to stand on. Unfortunately, both of these can be tripping hazards and not recommended in these areas.

Vinyl floors are easy to clean, durable and the most water resistant flooring choice. Vinyl flooring can be damaged by sharp objects, but there are repair systems that work well. It’s economical and there are slip-resistant options available. The drawback to vinyl is that it is made of synthetic material and can not be recycled. A similar product, linoleum, is made from natural materials which makes it a more sustainable product. It is, however, more expensive and less water-resistant than vinyl.

These are the most popular choices of flooring, but this is not a comprehensive list. I recommend consulting with a flooring expert to determine what will work best for you. If your priority is traction and safety, I recommend non-slip vinyl flooring. There are many choices at every price point that will be easy to clean, long-lasting and lovely to look at.

Susie Landsem
Aging in Place by Design
Susie is a consultant for Aging in Place. Contact her if you have questions about adding safety and comfort solutions to your home.

Tips to surviving those summer gatherings

Is summer in the Pacific Northwest GLORIOUS or what?? As we bounce from BBQ to BBQ and enjoy these long, sunny days, it can begin to feel a bit overwhelming to ‘get back on track’ when we know there are so many more opportunities to socialize in the near future. We’ve touched on tips to survive holidays and gatherings before, but they certainly bear repeating!

Drop the RESTRICTION mindset and remember that you’re making CHOICES to reach your goals! Studies on willpower have shown that when people go into diets or settings with the mindset that they’re not allowed to have something, it becomes the focus of their attention and depletes their willpower. What’s more is that when willpower diminishes, blood sugar decreases, and you actually become hungry… especially for that little something which you’ve been denying yourself! Here are some tips to sustain your blood sugar and willpower:

– Load up on fat, protein, fiber, and greens! Eat veggies first or before you get to the gathering so you’re not as hungry.

– Find a high protein/fat snack to munch on if you’re feeling overwhelmed by all the goodies you’re trying to avoid. Even a handful of nuts before you sip beer or munch on chips will help keep your blood sugar stable.

Stay physically active, but don’t go overboard! As a member of Bellingham Athletic Club, you have access to wonderful facilities! If you find yourself tight on time or unable to get to the gym, a simple walk will do, too. Plus you’ll get the added bonus of some Vitamin D! If you did eat or drink more than you would have liked to, don’t destroy yourself in the gym the next day. Put that extra energy to use the best you can, and simply move on.

Avoid any sort of crash diet or restriction after overindulging. We know that unsustainable methods yield unsustainable results…that’s the yo-yo effect! The day after a fun and food-filled get-together, focus on hydration and high-quality food like leafy greens and protein! These are healthy habits for your everyday life as well.

Shelby O’Hagan, Nutritional Therapy Practitioner (NTP)
Rebel Yum Nutrition

July Employee of the Month

It is with so much gratitude, that we announce our BAC Employee of the month for July—the one and only, Mike Locke.

It’s hard to put into words, let alone, a few short paragraphs, how much Mike means to BAC, it’s employees and members. We have all benefited from his intellect, passion, and diverse training background in his 34½ years as the Fitness Director here at BAC.

Mike has had quite the year! From his son’s engagement to quite a drastic health scare, and most recently a very beautiful wedding, uniting his son Sean and BAC Personal trainer Alexa. Those of us that have worked so closely with Mike over the years were able to share, pray for, and encourage him as he dealt with the incredible journey that he was forced to take after suffering a heart attack—a risk condition that ran in his family. We quickly found out how much he means to ALL of us, what a loyal father and husband he is—and thankfully, what a true fighter he continues to be. Making several lifestyle changes, and working on his own health has been a priority.

He is now back to full-time work and we couldn’t be more grateful. Mike has poured his energy into keeping all of us current on the latest trends, exercises, equipment, and classes that continuously change, and he is passionate about not only leading us but teaching us as well.

Mike and his wife Melissa met at BAC and will celebrate their 27th wedding anniversary in August. Together they have 2 children, Sean and Brianne. On Father’s Day, his family gifted him with a Golden Retriever puppy—to add to their 4-legged family, which includes 2 horses as well.