Life Jacket Safety

How to properly fit and use a life jacket

by Brittany McIntosh, Aquatics Director

Did you know that in Whatcom County alone, there are 26 lakes, 21 rivers, and 2 bays? That adds up to quite a few opportunities for swimming, fishing, boating, and hiking. Since we are so active around water this time of year, it’s a good idea to refresh your knowledge on boating safety. Check out our tips below and enjoy all the beauty the Northwest has to offer this July!

Always wear a life jacket

In Washington State, all children under the age of 12 are required by law to wear a life jacket while on board a vessel. However, it’s recommended by the US Coast Guard that everyone on board wear a life jacket – even if you’re a great swimmer! For tips on fitting a life jacket, take a look at our handy infographic.

Know or learn how to swim

Everyone on board should know some basic survival skills. The more comfortable you are in the water, the better your chance of survival should an accident occur. We offer group and private lessons for both adults and children on Tuesdays and Thursdays in the morning, afternoon, and evening. Ask at the front desk for scheduling or visit our website at www.bellinghamathleticclub.com for more details.

Let someone know where you’re going

If you don’t have a Float Plan, let someone who’s staying ashore know where you’re going and when you’ll be back. Write out all relevant location information including phone numbers, a description of the boat and all communication equipment on board, and an accurate location of the destination and home ports.

Assign at least one adult to supervise all children

As we always tell parents in our Angelfish classes, once you teach your child to love the water it acts as a magnet, drawing them close. You won’t be able to keep them away, so make sure they’re supervised in their play!

Carry extra supplies and safety equipment

This could include extra food and water supplies, life jackets, a cell phone, blankets, and a well-stocked first aid kit. Additionally, make sure passengers know where these supplies are located and how to use them.

Avoid alcohol

While we all want to have fun in the sun, boats are not the place for alcohol. It can affect balance, judgment and reaction speed – three things you will definitely need out on the water. More than half of all boating accidents in the US involve alcohol – don’t be a statistic! Leave the party on the shore and stay safe on your vessel.

Be wary of heat exhaustion

Wear lots of sunscreen, and bring extra water bottles. It’s also important to remember that sunscreen does wash off, so always reapply after a dip. Hats and sunglasses are always a big help, especially if you’ve got kids on board.

July Member of the Month

Congratulations to Joy Olney for receiving Member of the Month for July! Joy participates in our water aerobics classes—the members would say she’s Miss Congeniality! Joy is friendly and positive; she is especially kind, helpful and encouraging to our new members in class. Joy has been a member of BAC since 1992.

Joy is originally from the East Coast, she moved to Bellingham in 1986. She has two sons, Richard and Mike who are both in town for the summer. Her boys spent many days growing up at BAC attending summer camps and being involved in Youth Programs. Joy has two standard poodles named Talley and Polly.

Joy is a renowned local artist and has made a name for herself in artistic circles around the world. The apple painting won a prize in the Little Gem Show at Scott Milo’s gallery in Anacortes this month. When Joy is not working on a painting, she is working in her garden.

Thank you for being so loyal to BAC over the years and we love having your positive mindset. You truly are a joy to have at the club!

Weekend Warrior Syndrome

Strategies for reducing the risk of Weekend Warrior injuries:

• Warm-up thoroughly prior to activity participation. A warm-up should include general body warm-up with light jogging and/or calisthenics. Tissue mobilization and release using a massage stick, foam roller or lacrosse ball. Short duration (10-20 sec) stretching exercises encompassing the major muscle groups 2-3 times on each.

• Warm-down after activity participation. Walk or do some light jogging to help flush out your system. Foam rolling, massage stick of the muscles used in the activity. Longer duration stretching (30-60 sec) for major muscles 2-3 times each.

• Recovery using massage, cryotherapy (cold) ice or an ice bath, whirlpool for the heat and jets, and pool for mobility and off-loading joints.

• Listen to your body. Don’t try to block out and push through what your body is trying to tell you. Know when to say when!

• Change up your activities. Repetitive participation can lead to overuse injuries.

• Try to balance activity during the week with activity on the weekend.

Meet Brian Porter

Brian PorterBrian Porter, a lifetime resident of Bellingham, has been with BAC since February of 1993. He is currently in charge of Operations. He has really done it all…from coaching basketball at the Boys and Girls Club to triathlons, Ski to Sea, and marathons. He also owns a screen printing business and is responsible for printing most of BAC’s uniforms and pro shop items as well as the towels. He is married to Regis. He has two kids, Amy and Andrew, and two stepkids. He also likes hiking, biking, S.C.U.B.A. diving, fishing, and most other outdoor activities.

The Bells are Back!

As one of the sponsors of the Bells, we are welcoming them to work out at BAC! They will be part of our community through the summer, and our annual “BAC Night with the Bells” is coming up in July. Keep an eye out for tickets to games in the coming weeks, and feel free to head down to Joe Martin Field and cheer them on!

Are you getting enough sleep?

We are increasingly aware of how good sleep affects our well being. It’s not just the hours spent in bed, it’s also the quality of sleep that is critical for good health. Here are some of the benefits of consistent good nights rest:

  • Helps maintain a healthy weight
  • Reduces stress
  • Improves memory
  • Lowers risk for serious health issues
  • Reduces inflammation

There are several things to do that will help you get a good night’s sleep.

Get ready for bed.

  • Finish eating 2 hours before you go to sleep.
  • Exercise daily (at least 3 hours before bed).
  • Turn off the screens, including phones, tablets, computers, and the t.v.
  • Go to sleep close to the same time every night.
  • Make a rest ritual before bed. Try reading, stretching or taking a leisurely stroll to relax from the day’s stress.

Create a sanctuary.
Your bedroom’s environment can have a big impact on the quality of your sleep. Design your surroundings for peace and calm.

  • Make sure you have a good bed. If your mattress is over 8 years old, you might want to consider getting a new one. They lose their integrity over time.
  • Color your room calm. Muted shades of blues, grays, and greens create a restful tone. If you love color, use accents like colorful pillows and throws that can be removed at bedtime.
  • Keep it dark. Light can make it hard to fall asleep, or stay asleep. Look for culprits like digital clocks, cable boxes, computers, and phones. Put them away or cover them up to prevent getting disturbed by them. Dark out shades are great for keeping all of the natural, neighbors and street lights out of your bedroom at night.
  • Keep it quiet. Noises can interrupt your rest. Try closing the windows to keep outside noise belongs. There are lots of options for white noise machines that provide soothing sound and block out annoying sounds.
  • Cool rooms are the best for a good night’s sleep. 67° to 70° is optimal.

Bedroom safety is important.
With the lights turned off, it’s easy to bump into dressers and chairs or trip over rugs and clutter. Keeping a tidy room is a good start to safety and adds to the peaceful zone you’ve created in your sanctuary.

  • Stacked books, baskets or anything else left on the floor should be picked up and stored away.
  • Make sure there are clear paths to doors, the closet, and bathroom.
  • Remove small rugs in the bedroom, bathroom, and halls.
  • dd sensor lights low on the walls and halls, 18” high or so, to light your way to the bathroom.
  • Organize cords and keep them out of walking paths. When possible, it’s best to tack cords down along the base of walls so they are out of the way.

Getting enough quality sleep is important to good health. Improving your nightly rituals, and creating a calm and safe atmosphere in the bedroom will help you get the rest you need. Wake up bright and re-charged to enjoy your day.

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.

Wondering where to begin with Group Exercise?

by Jeri Winterburn, Group Ex Director

Have you been wanting to try a Group Fitness class but don’t know where to begin? You’re in luck. All of the class descriptions have been updated this past month, to help you understand what you can expect from each individual class. If you have further questions, don’t hesitate to drop me an email at groupex@bellinghamathleticclub.com.

Our Summer schedule will begin on Monday, June 10th. Because a lot of members take their exercise outside – we typically cut back on a few of our classes during this season. We will be adding them back to our Fall schedule – which begins at the end of September.

If you have a friend you would like to invite to try one of your favorite classes with you – contact Carly, in member services to get you a class trial pass. We love seeing new faces in the studios.