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How a Simple Walk Can Improve Your Life

Tuesday, April 01, 2014
A month ago I had a wake-up call. An experience that had changed my life dramatically, in a way where I had to physically slow down. I was not able to teach my fitness classes at the intensity that I use to, and if I did, the next day my body had a painful way of telling me that I had overworked myself.
It wasn’t until my third treatment of going to the Chiropractor where it hit me that I needed make a significant change, and lessen my workload. I explained to the Chiropractor my daily schedule and how I was terrified that I would never be able to train at the intensity that I use to, or be able to keep up with my day to day tasks. She expressed her sympathy, but also said “It’s time for you to slow down.” It struck me by surprise, not only because it was coming from her, but she was the fourth person that day who had told me the same thing. So, I took her words of advice, along with everyone else’s and decided to find a way each day, to relax, and enjoy the healing process. Which in my case, as a woman on the go, was a difficult task.
It wasn’t until a few weeks ago, when I really started to enjoy taking fifteen minute walks. I would try to walk at least twice a week, where I would grab a coffee, walk by the river and enjoy the natural beauty that surrounded me. I would take my time walking down by the water, listening to the water swirl around the rocks, listen to the birds happily chirping in the trees, and watch the clouds slowly moving across the sky.  To my surprise, I began walking once a day for a longer duration. Fifteen minutes turned into thirty minutes, which then turned into an hour.
The benefits from these daily walks, turned into an obsession. It had transformed my life in many aspects, from stress to self- awareness. The changes that I have seen within myself, and even others who had experienced the same, motivated me to share with you how to establish a daily walking routine that will improve your life immensely.
Tip One: Build a Daily Walking Habit:
Create a daily walking goal. You do not need to wear fancy athletic gear or drive five to fifteen minutes to the gym to walk on a treadmill. All you need is yourself and a pair of walking shoes.
 Just take a brisk walk to the mailbox, or walk to the market down the road for groceries. In the beginning, it doesn’t matter how far or how fast you walk, what matters is getting outside and moving your body. What is important is simply going for short walks during most days of the week. Once you begin this process, I caution you, you won’t be able to stop, and will want to walk for a longer duration.
Tip Two: Wear a Pedometer:
If you are someone who likes to track your progress and calculate your paces, try using a pedometer. Be creative and find ways to add an extra 100, 500, or 1000 paces to your daily routine. If you have a competitive drive in you, or need some extra motivation find a group or a buddy to walk with you. This will allow you not only to push yourself to walk for a longer duration, but it will also provide you the benefit of socializing, enjoying the outdoors and achieving your goals.
Tip Three: Increase Your Walking Pace and Duration:
Once you begin to find that a fifteen or thirty minute walk is too easy, try increasing your duration and pace. Be creative, seek out different trails around your neighborhood, and maybe even trails with a slight incline that will provide a challenge.
Begin thinking about building up your endurance and duration of your walk. Start by building up to half day walks or even longer on the weekends. Find a good place to walk, such as state parks, national parks, or along the beach, somewhere that will keep you motivated, and interested.
Vary your walks by having two easy days, two fast days, and two days that incorporate hills. If the weather is unpredictable, and you find yourself at the gym, the treadmill is fine too. You can spice up your treadmill workout, varying the elevation and speeds.
These three tips are an excellent resource to use, when you are at the beginning stages of planning your walk routine. And I kid you not, you will see changes with your body, and how you feel about yourself. Your clothes may start to fit better, and build confidence.
After a month to two months of walking, my life had changed. My typical daily stressors stopped impacting my life. I began to appreciate the simpler things in life, such as the sunrise in the morning on the way to work, the stars sparkling in the night sky, or someone simply wishing me a good day at the grocery store. I started to take care of myself, eating healthier, drinking more water, and taking time to focus on my hobbies and goals.
It’s all up to you, and how you want to change for the better and improve your life, your health and your fitness level. Take time for yourself, and find something that you enjoy that will help motivate you and achieve success with your health and or lifestyle goals.
If you or someone you know is looking to improve their life, fitness goals or simply just want education on nutritional and meal planning. Timberhill Athletic Club, has great onsite Health Coaches that will support and motivate you or someone you know to achieve success.
If you are interested Please contact Mike Waters at: timberhill.mike@comcast.net  or call directly at 541-207-4368.
Have a great and successful February!
Emily Jederlinich Total Solutions Health Coach

What is NIA? Class participants explain

Tuesday, April 01, 2014

As a long time student and instructor of the Nia Technique, a body/mind fitness class at Timberhill, I can say that it gives me vitality, well-being, fitness, joy, a passion for living, and it keeps me connected to my heart and my highest purpose.  I often feel like a broken record trying to describe what it is to those who have not done it – and, like chocolate, it must be tasted – it can’t be adequately described.  So, I invited some of the Nia regulars to tell you what they get out of class and here are excerpts from some of their comments.  (A heart-felt THANK YOU to all who participated!)  You, too, can experience the joy of moving and being in your body, no previous experience necessary.  Tuesday and Thursday evenings at 7:00pm and Sunday morning at 11:30am.

I love that Nia has the power to make me forget I'm exercising, because it's so fun. Nia is based on a variety of movement traditions, including martial arts, yoga, and modern dance, and I feel that my body and spirit receive a wide range of benefits, from stretching to strengthening to cardio.  Nia is exploration through movement--it never gets boring! ~ K.M.

Nia provides regular practice of awareness of my body in space and is gradually allowing me to move with more freedom and awareness in all of my life. ~ C.S.

Nia class is perfect for my physical level with enjoyment.

When I do Nia I can release tension and feel peace of mind.  ~ M.K.

This class is an excellent combination of aerobics, muscle training, coordination training and stretching.  It also helps me relax mentally. ~ S.N.

After trying a variety of classes over the years, I've found the one that gives me strength training, agility and flexibility work, and cardio benefits like no other.  It's a fun fusion of dance, martial arts, and healing arts with great music!  There's no strain for perfection in a Nia class.  You'll find a variety of dancers of different body sizes and fitness levels smiling as we move through our own personal adaptation of the moves trusting ourselves as we make each hour of exercise our own. ~ L.F.

In one word answers : Joy,  release,  balance.  A low back injury forced me to let go of running,  Zumba,  belly dancing,  and several other activities through which I'd previously found fitness and peace of mind.  When I dance Nia I feel confident that I can choose the right level of intensity to take care of my back, and still experience fitness and cardiovascular wellness. ~ C.F.

I enjoy Nia because it's fun to dance. Out of all the classes I take at Timberhill I think I smile the most in [Nia] class. ~ GA

I’ve enjoyed the flowing movement of the Nia class that prompts you to listen to your body.  The instructor is a role model and very supportive in class.  For those who have said to me, “I can’t do the Nia class because you have to be bare foot and I have flat feet”, I'll say to them, it’s o.k. to wear shoes, I do! ~  P.N.

I would love to share what I get from NIA. I tell people it is my church. The most open hearted, uplifting, emotional, mindful congregation I have experienced. My body feels more flexible and elastic, including my organs. And joyfully, my mind. Setting new patterns and intentions. ~S.S.

I love Nia because it improves my strength, my energy and my flexibility all at once and absolutely painlessly, without any drudgery, without having to memorize drills or movements, and it lifts my spirits. I can come to class feeling tired, depressed and/or stressed, and I leave loosened up and full of joy and energy. ~ C.S.

I love Leela's Nia class because no matter what my mood is at the start, I feel light and happy by the end of class.  Also, it is exercise but feels like fun, not work, the time flies by. ~ S.K.

Nia is a freeing, gratifying experience that is so much soul-soothing fun you hardly realize you're also getting a great workout.  ~ M.W.

Nia gives you physical and emotional strength to help you in your personal journey through life.  I have health issues that have become easier to overcome since I started Nia.  I highly recommend the class to everyone who wants to enjoy creating a healthy workout program for your body and soul. ~ V.B.

I notice when I do Nia I move through the world more gracefully for days afterward, lighter in body and spirit. It's amazing for the body and helps lift the late winter doldrums! ~ G.W.

Nia is the best "full body" workout I've found. It's energizing and aerobic, yet gentle to my old injuries. I really enjoy the variety of music exercise routines. Leela is a fantastic instructor!  ~ M.F.

Nia is like yoga for my mind & spirit; I feel looser, more flexible at work and I feel like dancing around the kitchen at home.  It's cool that it incorporates Martial arts moves and concepts. Nia is powerful and playful- a fun and challenging practice for me. ~ K.M.

The movements, music and directions of Leela during the class, stimulate positive thinking and helps you start feeling more confident, happy and hopeful. Every time I go to classes I feel more positive about myself and others…. Sometimes I am dancing but at the same time I am praying and sending love and strength to my loved ones. I am very grateful and feel very lucky to have met Leela and Nia. It is not just a class - it is a way of living. ~ M.I.S.


Tips on How to Keep Your Health and Fitness New Years Resolution Goals Successful

Saturday, December 28, 2013

Happy 2014 Timberhill members! It is hard to believe that 2014 has arrived. We made it through! I am sure a majority of you, like myself, struggled through the holiday, by overindulging on your favorite baked goods, finding every excuse not to exercise, and basking in the holiday guilt after you put on your favorite pair of jeans that felt tighter than they did last week.

Do not fret. There is time to get yourself back on track, clean that slate and start over. 2014 is a new year, which gives you a chance to develop healthier habits that you can continue to implement into your everyday routine. It will not be easy, but if you make minor changes, and decisions each day, it will help guide you towards healthier lifestyle habits.

I have put together four useful tips, that will help you establish and maintain your New Years healthy lifestyle goals, and will keep you motivated throughout the year.

Tip One: Watch Your Portions.

The simplest way for me to remember how to control my portions is to make sure the majority of my plate is loaded up with veggies. If you do not like veggies plain, the Thin and Healthy cookbook has some amazing vegetable recipes that are low calorie, low fat and are very tasty.

You do not have to completely deny yourself of a bread roll or a slice of your favorite homemade baked good here and there, just make sure that vegetables are the main staple of your meal. When you fill your stomach up on vegetables, you will fill your body with healthy, nutritious foods before you splurge on your favorite piece of pie.

Tip Two: Grab a Workout Buddy.

The holidays can be a great way to reunite with family and friends. It is also a great way to reconnect with family and friends who share the same health and fitness goals that you have. This could be a great time for both you and your workout buddy to exercise together, which will provide support and motivation you need to pursue your goals.

When I say “exercise,” I do not mean that the gym is the only way to get exercise. A walking coffee date, meeting strolls around town, or business meetings that involve hiking a trail can be a great way to stay active and social.

Tip Three: Give Your Water a Boost!

As you know, many holiday parties involve those festive cocktails that are filled with sugar and empty calories, that are sometimes difficult to avoid. However, to get yourself back on track, and avoid gulping down those extra calories, how about giving your water an extra boost. One of the best ways for slimming down, and cutting out sugary drinks is to replenish your water with soda water. If you are someone who enjoys a speciality drink here and there, limit yourself to one. Then, choose a low calorie option for your second beverage. One of my favorite low calorie yet healthy drink is soda water with fresh fruit. This drink amazes me everytime. I can’t help but pour another glass to satisfy my taste buds. If you are someone who doesn’t have time, Thin and Healthy sells awesome fruity drink mixes, that are full of flavor and protein as well. Stop by the front desk and see what flavors Thin and Healthy has to offer.

Tip Four: New Years Resolutionalize Your Fitness Routine.

There are so many types of activities you can do with your friends and family, without going to the gym. Find an activity that you enjoy, and invite your friends or family along. Any kind of activity that will get your body moving and heart rate up, will help burn off those extra holiday calories.

If it snows again,, why not participate in a snow ball fight, cross country ski, sled or ice skate. Did you know, that Ice skating burns at least 420 calories?

These tips are a great way to apply to your daily routine, especially if you are considering a New Year resolution that involves health and fitness. If you, a friend or a loved one is interested more health tips and nutrition planning, contact the Thin and Healthy program at Timberhill Athletic Club timberhill.mike@comcast.net  or call directly at 541-207-4368.

Happy New Year! - Emily Jederlinich (Thin and Healthy Coach)

Gut Health: Prebiotics vs. Probiotics

Saturday, December 28, 2013

Prebiotics v. Probiotics

Stephanie Moore, Oregon State University, Dietetics Student

What are prebiotics?

Prebiotics are indigestible components in food that essentially feed the healthy bacteria in your gut. More commonly known as soluble or fermentable fibers, prebiotics are broken down in the colon by intestinal bacteria to produce energy and nutrients that promote the growth of healthy bacteria. Fermentation of these prebiotics also produces short chain fatty acids that can be reabsorbed into the blood. These short chain fatty acids have numerous health benefits including, reducing cholesterol synthesis in the liver and strengthening immune function.

What are probiotics?

Probiotics are the good bacteria that help promote health by crowding out potentially bad bacteria. Probiotics help enhance immune function, as well as reducing risk for intestinal disorders, such as irritable bowel syndrome. A couple of the most common strains of probiotics found in foods and supplements include Lactobacillus and Bifidobacteria.   

How can I get pre- and probiotics in my diet?

Prebiotics are found in many fibrous foods and produce, such as apples, onions, asparagus, legumes, nuts, oats, and barley. To make sure you are eating enough prebiotics, focus on consuming fruits and vegetables at every meal, include healthy cereal grains, such as oats for breakfast, snack on nuts, and include legumes at lunch and dinner.

Probiotics are best known for being in dairy products such as yogurt and kefir, but can be found in a variety of non-dairy foods as well. Products like tempeh, kimchi, miso, sauerkraut and non-dairy yogurts, such as soy or coconut yogurt, all contain beneficial strains of probiotics.

Pre- and probiotics have a synergistic relationship, meaning they work together to promote health and ward off disease. To enhance this relationship, try to consume them together. For example, make a fruit smoothie and use kefir or yogurt as a base. Add chopped up bananas and nuts to yogurt, or add a side of steamed asparagus to your tempeh.

Do I need to supplement probiotics?

As the health benefits of probiotics are becoming increasingly evident, more and more supplements are popping up on the shelves at local grocery and health food stores. Supplementing may be beneficial for individuals who don’t consume a lot of probiotics in his or her diet, whom have health conditions that require special attention to probiotics in the gut, or for those who have been directed by their doctor or registered dietitian to do so. Not all supplements are created equally so it is important to consult with a physician or registered dietitian about which supplements are best for you. Remember that prebiotics and probiotics work as a team, so consuming them in your diet is more beneficial than consuming them alone in a supplement. If necessary, use a supplement to complement your diet.

Remember that probiotics are your gut’s best friend, so feed them the nutrition they need and they will help take care of you! 

Stephanie is a senior at Oregon State University studying for her B.S. in Dietetics. She is passionate about learning how food can heal the body and wishes to share her knowledge with others. After graduation Stephanie will attend a dietetic internship to become a Registered Dietitian and hopes to work with eating disorder patients or in a wellness center teaching clients to shop and prepare whole foods for themselves and their families.

Are the Holidays Making You Fat?

Sunday, December 01, 2013

The holidays could be someone's favorite time of year or worst enemy. Especially when trying to lose weight. I know for myself at least, it is one of the most difficult times of year for me. Not only with struggling to turn down every sweet treat that comes my way, but also with the stress of budgeting finances, family visiting or traveling to visit family, and should I even bring it up? The dreadful work parties that seem to never end with sweet yummy treats that you cannot pass up!

With the holidays here, it could be very stressful for some. The stress of finances, family, work, travel and other obligations, can cause an impact on one's health. Especially with weight gain. With significant and sudden life changing events, such as the holiday’s, could trigger an overpowering temptation to overindulge in comfort foods.

With a hectic, fast pace lifestyle during the holidays, it can cause you to turn to simple sugars (cakes, candy, chocolate etc), high fat foods and unhealthy snacking, simply because they are the quickest, and easiest way to keep hunger under control. However, healthy snacks and meals, can be just as convenient, and provide fuel for your body with the energy it needs to manage your busy holiday schedule.

With the high stress of the holidays, busy work schedules, such as working overtime and managing your family, can leave you little time to plan what to eat for lunch. When there is little time for meal planning, fast food, take out, the candy jar at work or the vending machine seem to be the most convenient.

When your life becomes busy during the holidays, and obligations take priority, exercise seems to be non-existent. Exercise is put on the, New Years resolution list, than continuing with the workout plan through the holidays. Did you know that a great way to manage your stress, and give your energy a little boost is to exercise?  

Exercise also helps you fight those nasty sweet tooth cravings, and rev your metabolism to burn fat. Which is a great way to control your overindulgence of wonderful treats, holiday dinners and desserts. And, did you know, that a sweat induced work-out can also help relieve that holiday stress?

With more obligations and priorities on your to do list, before the holidays begin, it also means fewer hours available for sleep. Sleep deprivation is detrimental to your health emotionally, physically, and cognitively. Many individuals I have talked to, during the health coaching hours with the Thin and Healthy program, did not realize that sleep deprivation lead to weight gain.

Numerous studies show that sleep deprivation increases one’s craving for simple sugars, when the body is struggling for an energy boost. Lack of sleep also increases ghrelin hormone, which is secreted by the stomach and stimulates appetite. Another hormone Leptin decreases. This hormone is released by fat cells, which suppress the appetite and is also dependent on sleep duration. With the increase in ghrelin and decrease in leptin hormone, it  can cause you to snack and overeat.

Sleep is not only good for the brain, but it is also good for the body. Especially if you are looking to lose weight, or manage your portions during the holidays.

The holiday’s are not easy, especially with food control, stress and sleep deprivation. With the right information, support and motivation, it will help control those nasty temptation to overindulge. If you, a friend or a loved one, is looking for support, motivation and meal planning, Thin and Healthy can provide excellent support and guidance to help get back on track.

Emily Jederlinich a coach for the TAC  Thin and Healthy weight loss program.  If you have any questions about this program you may e mail  timberhill.mike@comcast.net  or call directly at 541-207-4368

Emptying the Tank . . . Eh?

Sunday, December 01, 2013

In fifth grade, I was in love with Adam Jensen. I had a thing for red heads back then. Adam didn’t share my affections but, luckily, I had a chance to change his mind during a brutal game of PE dodgeball. Adam Jensen was tagged out and sent to jail. All I had to do was race across the gym, grab him by the hand, and run him to safety. Surely then I would also win his heart. Unfortunately, I miscalculated my abilities. You see Adam Jensen was the fastest, most athletic kid in the entire school. I, on the other hand, was portly and morbidly uncoordinated. Adam Jensen ran himself to safety while my sweaty palm slid through his fingers. I tripped over my own shoelaces, hitting the gym floor with a thud. My pride was crushed, and my arm was broken.  The only affection I ever got from Adam Jensen was when he signed my cast “stay cool.”

Unfortunately, this was not an isolated incident for me. I was THAT kid growing up. I was the kid who tried out for the Nutcracker and didn’t make the cut because I was too big for the costumes. I was the kid who split her pants straight up the rear while participating in a contest to see who could jump the farthest out of the swing. I was the kid who picked daisy on the soccer field, and then tore cartilage in my knee the one time I actually tried to go for the ball. I was THAT kid; the kid who hid in the tires at recess to avoid the taunts and the teasing of my peers.  The cruelty of being the fat kid growing up followed me into adolescence and beyond. Ironically, I still hide when I see people I went to school with and they still call me “Big O.”

Philip Hallie spent most of his career in philosophy examining cruelty both in institution and circumstance. In his early writings he declared that, when it came to cruelty, kindness was the best medicine. Upon further examination, Hallie recanted those words. Kindness, he believed, was not a cure for cruelty at all but its greatest perpetuator. A slave, he wrote, could experience kindness from his master while still subject to the cruelty of his chains. Desperate to find an ethical solution to cruelty, Hallie turned to the mountains of France where he discovered the story of La Chambon .  A small village, La Chambon was responsible for saving the lives of thousands of Jewish refugees during World War II. Those refugees later testified to the hospitality of the Chambonese;  a selfless people who took them in, gave them more than they themselves possessed, and restored their hope in humanity. Hospitality, Hallie decided, was in fact the remedy he sought. It was hospitality that overcame cruelty.

I started working at Timberhill Athletic Club eight years ago. At that point I had a degree in Theology and a certification to teach Water Aerobics and Swim Lessons. I came looking for a job and found a community; a community that offered me the kind of hospitality that restores hope. It was members who taught me to trail run, stuck with me when I could scarcely keep a beat, and endured my love for Vanilla Ice. In the past eight years I have run ultra-marathons, won duathlons, and Zumba’d (though poorly). TAC has brought me out of hiding and taught me that, with the right community, anything is possible.

At times the cruelest institution is life itself which brings with it death and disease, broken relationships and destitute situations. I have seen Timberhill members lose loved ones, fight cancer, and endure all the hardships of life. So too, I have seen this sweaty community surround those who are suffering. With cards and caring, Timberhill members have held one another up time and time again. On my darkest days, when the studio door would shut, I would find myself surrounded by an incredible group of human beings that always lifted my spirits and brought me hope. What I experienced here went far beyond kindness.

Even in my final days, Timberhill continues to exceed my expectations.  Just last week Wendy took me to the gym and taught me how to play Pickleball. Eight years ago I would have been too embarrassed to even try.  But in the company of an incredible village, bravery is an everyday occurrence.  I find it funny that people seem to think I have given something to Timberhill Athletic Club. I have only embraced the hospitality that was already here. I take with me all that you have imparted; laughter, inspiration, and perspiration. I will always be grateful for the magic that lies in these walls; the only place where Burpees are considered hospitality.

Thank you. Though I have been your instructor, you all have been my teachers.

Missing you already,


10 Tips for a Healthier Thanksgiving

Thursday, November 21, 2013

10 Tips for a Healthier Thanksgiving

Stephanie Moore, Oregon State University, Dietetics Student

What do you think of when you hear “Thanksgiving?” Maybe you think of spending time with friends and family, celebrating what you are thankful for, and of course pumpkin pie! Thanksgiving can also be a time where we find ourselves overindulging in foods that lead us to the inevitable after-dinner food coma. If you still want to enjoy your favorite Thanksgiving dishes without the guilt, consider the following tips and try implementing them into your Thanksgiving traditions this year!

1. Don’t starve yourself until dinner time. It may seem like a good idea to hold off on consuming any calories until dinner, but this may cause you to go overboard on the turkey and stuffing once dinner comes around. Instead, start your day off with some complex carbs such as oatmeal, and some protein to help keep you satiated.

My favorite breakfast for fall is warm pumpkin oatmeal! Cook ½ cup of steel-cut or old fashioned oats in 1 cup of water. Add in pumpkin pie spice, 1/3 cup pumpkin puree and 2 Tb. ground flax seed. You can even sprinkle some pumpkin seeds in. It’s filling and absolutely delicious!

2. Avoid snacking on appetizers all day, but feel free to eat as many vegetables as you’d like! Substitute yogurt based dips for other fatty versions, such as sour cream and ranch.

Yogurt chip and vegetable dip:

*1 container of greek or regular plain yogurt

*Any herbs and spices you’d like! Garlic, chives, parsley and pepper taste great together!

3. Keep your portions in check! With so many options on the dinner table, it’s hard not to indulge in all of it. You can still enjoy your favorite foods by keeping each serving size down to ½ cup, or a small handful. If you absolutely can’t live without heaping amounts of mashed potatoes, size down the other sides to 1/3 cup portions. 3 oz. of meat, or the size of a small deck of cards, is a good portion size for turkey.  

4. Skip going back for seconds. This will give your body time to signal to your brain that it is full and will save some room for dessert!

5. Make healthier choices by substituting healthier options. Use chicken or vegetable broth in place of oil and salt, choose light turkey meat over dark, and make homemade cranberry sauce without all the added sugar and high-fructose corn syrup. Also, serve whole wheat dinner rolls and add more veggies and less bread to the stuffing. Simple changes like these will cut the calories without cutting the flavor!

6. Drink naturally flavored water instead of alcohol or juice. Eating calories is much more satisfying than drinking them, but you don’t have to drink just plain ole’ water. Spice up a pitcher of water by adding sliced oranges and pomegranate seeds! Frozen fruit also makes a great addition and will help keep the water cool while sitting out.

7. Get moving! Preparing dinner on Thanksgiving can become an all-day event, but chopping up the veggies and making pie the night before will leave time for you to get outside and be active. Go for a walk with the whole family before and after dinner, play football, or enter the entire family in a Turkeython 5k! Staying active will help keep you energized for all of the day’s activities, as well as burn off a few extra calories before indulging in dinner and dessert.

8. Eat pumpkin pie! Of all the pies typically offered on Thanksgiving, pumpkin pie is usually the healthiest and lowest in calories. Pumpkins are rich in Vitamin A and typically have much less sugar than other Thanksgiving dessert options.

9. If Thanksgiving is the one day out of the year that you look forward to overindulging, and making these healthy changes aren’t something you want to do, then go ahead and enjoy your favorite foods! Just make sure to eat slowly, savor every last bite, and start fresh the next day with healthier and more balanced meals.

10. Most importantly, prepare and eat the food with love and thanks. Love for the friends and family around your dinner table, and thanks for the food and the many hands who helped prepare it. Thanksgiving can be a wonderful time to enjoy traditional foods in new and healthy ways, so show your body love and gratitude for all that it does for you by  eating what you love, and also what is healthy.

Stephanie is a senior at Oregon State University studying for her B.S. in Dietetics. She is passionate about learning how food can heal the body and wishes to share her knowledge with others. After graduation Stephanie will attend a dietetic internship to become a Registered Dietitian and hopes to work with eating disorder patients or in a wellness center teaching clients to shop and prepare whole foods for themselves and their families.

An Adventure in Fitness: The Nia Techinque

Sunday, September 29, 2013

by Leela Devi

The Nia Technique fuses moves from a variety of different fitness styles into a unique workout that takes you on an adventure through your body.  Participants often report feeling like they had a workout that felt more like play than work, they felt like they just had a massage, or that they had a mini-vacation.  Each Nia class is designed to move you through seven distinct cycles, which ends up feeling like taking a little trip.  Bringing your sense of adventure, fun, or silliness helps with enjoyment of this class (but if you are in a bad mood, Nia is a great cure-all)!  The seven cycles of a Nia class, Focus & Intention, Stepping In, Warm-up, Get Moving, Cool-down, Floor Play, and Stepping Out, are discussed below.

Focus and Intention.  Nia class begins with an invitation to direct your attention; each class has a different theme.  One class may focus on how you move your feet and legs, with the intention of developing greater stability, strength, and flexibility in your lower extremities.  Another class might focus on the sense of relaxation and ease you achieve while moving when you apply a principle from Alexander Technique, such as “moving from the top.” 

Stepping In.  Together, we consciously step into the space, leaving our daily lives and any distracting thoughts behind, giving ourselves the gift of presence, in this moment.

Warm up.  The Nia warm-up is slower and has more of a sense of flow than most fitness classes.  You slow down to connect with your body, check in with your joints, muscles, ligaments, and tendons.  Where do you feel pain?  What feels really good to move right now?  Where does your body say “more, please” and where does it say “back off ?”  Use this information throughout the class to individually tailor your movements to fit where your body is right now.  If you are accustomed to a fast-fast step class, the flow and body awareness of the Nia warm-up may seem different to you.

Get Moving.  In this phase you increase the physical intensity of the class: faster, higher, lower, whole body conditioning, energizing the moves to reach a peak.  This includes short periods of slowing down and energizing up for cardiovascular and respiratory conditioning (all cleverly disguised by changes in the music).  Moves can be done in different levels of intensity depending on your fitness.  If you are new to working out, or recovering from an injury, please feel free to decrease the intensity or even slow the movement down.  Increase the intensity only when your body says it wants more.  (No shoulding on yourself, or trying to keep up because you think you should.  There is no sense of competition or judgment in a Nia class.)  Because Nia is designed for bare feet, the steps are gentle, even at the fastest pace, in other words – no pounding.  However, if you feel you need to use shoes or have a physical condition requiring shoes, feel free to use shoes.

Cool Down.  When you enter the cool down, you will notice the movement begins to slow down to help you calm, harmonize, and re-center.

Floor Play is fitness on the floor, playing with gravity, the floor, and your own body weight to cultivate greater strength and flexibility while your muscles are still warm and pliable.  Floor play may include yoga, or gently flowing through your stretching and strengthening moves to achieve deep relaxation.

Step Out.  Together we step out of our class, consciously acknowledging the benefits we have received from our dance.  We move into our day with a greater sense of connection with ourselves and others, and with the intention to extend loving kindness (which has been shown to increase levels of happiness in practitioners).

So, if you are up for a new fitness adventure, consider trying the Nia classes:  Tuesday and Thursday at 6:45pm or Sunday morning at 11:30am.  It’s all about finding more joy in your workout.

GOALS - you will find support at TAC

Saturday, August 31, 2013

As the summer months begin to wind down you may find yourself in one of two situations- either having reached your summer health and fitness goal, or perhaps still struggling to even begin. It isn't uncommon for people to make new goals during times of change, like the onset of summer, a new job or a new year. Change is a wonderful opportunity to foster healthy motivation and when it comes to health and fitness, motivation is absolutely key. However, what’s arguably more important in health and fitness is consistency. While the motivation for that swimsuit body may spark a fire in you in June, what’s keeping you going as September rolls around? Or what if you are in the other situation and never even started your goal? In either case, where is the motivation now? The point is not that change and goals aren’t beneficial, rather, where will your goals take you long term? So while that beach body seems a tempting goal at the beginning of summer, a fall wardrobe of sweaters and long pants may extinguish those aspirations. And if you never started…well, what’s the point now?

If either of these situations sound familiar here is what I suggest instead: make smaller, more long-term goals. Maybe it will be as simple as making it to the gym three times per week or packing a lunch at least four days per week. Perhaps your goals will be more specific, such as a cardio workout three times per week with weightlifting twice per week or incorporating vegetables into at least lunch or dinner every day. These goals allow for flexibility, so maybe you will actually begin your goal, while also supporting progression; so that once your goals are reached they can expand or change.

Timberhill has a fantastic community to help support your goals; we are an organization passionate about health and fitness. Our healthiest members are often the ones we see on a regular basis. That doesn't have to mean every day, but it is consistency and habit that support an overall healthy lifestyle. Timberhill offers a variety of opportunities to support your goals including group fitness, personal training, our new weight-loss program ‘Thin-and-Healthy’, a playroom for kids, massage and spa services and a supportive staff that is always happy to talk about health and fitness. So this fall make your goals reach beyond the season and come see us more often!

Kate Geller, RN, Nutritionist, Service Desk Staff

Kate has her BS in Nutrition from Oregon State University and recently completed her dietetic internship towards becoming a Registered Dietitian.

The Best Core Exercises

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Core workouts should target more than just the ab muscles

By , About.com Guide

The best core exercises may surprise you. It's not enough to just do ab crunches and sit ups. To build a strong core you need to exercise a variety of muscles from your hips to your shoulders. Most people think of the core as a nice six-pack, or strong, toned abs, but the truth is that the abdominal muscles are a very small part of the core. The abs have very limited and specific action, and what experts refer to as the "core" actually consists of many different muscles that stabilize the spine and pelvis, and run the entire length of the torso. When these muscles contract, they stabilize the spine, pelvis and shoulder girdle and create a solid base of support. When this happens, we are able to generate powerful movements of the extremities.

The core muscles also make it possible to stand upright and move on two feet. These muscles help control movements, transfer energy, shift body weight and move in any direction. A strong core distributes the stresses of weight-bearing and protects the back. Core conditioning exercise programs need to target all these muscle groups to be effective.

What Are the Core Muscles?

Different experts include different muscles in this list, but in general the muscles of the core run the length of the trunk and torso. The following list includes the most commonly identified core muscles as well as the lesser known groups.

Benefits of Good Core Strength

  • A Strong Core Reduces Back Pain
    Abdominals get all the credit for protecting the back and being the foundation of strength, but they are only a small part of what makes up the core. In fact, it is weak and unbalanced core muscles that are linked to low back pain. Weak core muscles result in a loss of the appropriate lumbar curve and a swayback posture. Stronger, balanced core muscles help maintain appropriate posture and reduce strain on the spine.
  • A Strong Core Improves Athletic Performance
    Because the muscles of the trunk and torso stabilize the spine from the pelvis to the neck and shoulder, they allow the transfer of power to the arms and legs. All powerful movements originate from the center of the body out, and never from the limbs alone. Before any powerful, rapid muscle contractions can occur in the extremities, the spine must be solid and stable and the more stable the core, the most powerful the extremities can contract.
  • A Strong Core Improves Postural Imbalances
    Training the muscles of the core helps correct postural imbalances that can lead to injuries. The biggest benefit of core training is to develop functional fitness; the type of fitness that is essential to daily living and regular activities.

Exercises that Build Core Strength

Core strengthening exercises are most effective when the torso works as a solid unit and both front and back muscles contract at the same time, multi joint movements are performed and stabilization of the spine is monitored. Abdominal bracing is a basic technique used during core exercise training. To correctly brace, you should attempt to pull your navel back in toward your spine. This action primarily recruits transverse abdominus. You should be able to breathe evenly while bracing and no hold your breath.

There are many exercises that will strengthen the core. A large number of core strengthening exercises can be done at home with no equipment while some require the use of equipment and gadgets.

What Are the Best Core Exercises?

Core exercises are most effective when they engage many muscles throughout the torso that cross several joints and work together to coordinate stability. Core muscles need to work as a unit, contract at the same time, across joints in order to stabilize the spine. Some of the best core exercises are simple bodyweight exercises, including the following.

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