Category Archives: Health

Mental Health in the Food Industry

by Jake Uitti

Restaurant life is hard. In such a hectic atmosphere, tempers can flare and palliatives can seem necessary. Chefs working over equally hot burners to create any number of dishes in a given night can feel the pressure to succeed moment to moment. But often this same surge for success can require an equally fervent release. And it’s this culinary roller coaster that can be increasingly addictive and potentially dangerous, says longtime Seattle chef Karen Nelson.

Continue reading Mental Health in the Food Industry

Op-Ed: “The Best Start” We Can Provide Our Children

by Dr. Ben Danielson 

In a clinic that serves a broadly diverse group of kids, a high proportion from low income backgrounds, I’ve learned a fair amount about the factors that influence health. Unfortunately, today’s healthcare system is off target. It is more prepared to treat illnesses once they’ve gotten really bad than it is prepared to catch illnesses in their earliest forms; let alone prevent illness. The bulk of our healthcare  resources are directed far ‘downstream’ from the primary sources of health. As a result, our healthcare system basically spends more than any other country and has some of the worst health outcomes in the developed world. Continue reading Op-Ed: “The Best Start” We Can Provide Our Children

Booty Camp: Worth the Soreness

by Robin Boland

Campers do planks during their morning regimen. Photo courtesy of Southside Booty Camp.
Campers do planks during their morning regimen. Photo courtesy of Southside Booty Camp.

Working out with friends sounds ideal, doesn’t it? You’re much less likely to flake out; the companionship is both encouraging and distracting, making the time fly by. I tested this hypothesis by trying out the 7:30 a.m. session of the Southside Booty Camp in Seward Park. By the time we were ready to begin about 20 women (it’s a women only congregation) had gathered in the misty morning, greeting each other, asking about recent travel and each other’s health. Continue reading Booty Camp: Worth the Soreness

Rainier Beach’s “Favorite Gym” Celebrates 10 Years in the Rainier Valley

by Emily Williamson

Birthday Wishes from Rainier Health and Fitness members celebrating the gym's 10 year anniversary. Photo Credit: Emily Williamson.
Birthday Wishes from Rainier Health and Fitness members celebrating the gym being open for 10 years. Photo Credit: Emily Williamson.

“RHF! The best present to Rainier Valley!! Happy Birthday!” wrote one grateful member on the Rainier Health & Fitness’ marker board designated for birthday wishes. Continue reading Rainier Beach’s “Favorite Gym” Celebrates 10 Years in the Rainier Valley

10 Tips to Keeping Your New Year’s Resolution to Get in Shape

by Emily Wiliamson

Like most gyms, January marks the busiest month of the year for Rainier Health & Fitness. We’re saddened, however, to see many members slack off after a few weeks. Rather than getting fit through extreme diets or intense weight loss plans, we encourage people to develop lifestyle changes that they keep year-round. Continue reading 10 Tips to Keeping Your New Year’s Resolution to Get in Shape

The Glory of “Group Training”

by Emily Williamson

Rainier Health & Fitness member Nancy Shore was hesitant to try Group Training due to back pain, but within a year of working out three times weekly, she experienced both a stronger back and more energy. Recapping the transformation, Nancy wrote:

“I remember telling Patrick that I thought Group Training would be a bad idea due to back pain. Patrick told me that the Group Training would help my back and even promised me I’d gain the strength and form needed to pick up my son. I gave it a try and realized that Group Training would help me move beyond doing just cardio on the elliptical. The trainers are amazing at working with you and modifying the exercises as needed. My son is now five and over 50 pounds and I can still give him uppies. The Group Training classes have been amazing—my back is definitely better and the trainers and other gym members in the class always motivate me. I am definitely stronger than I’ve ever been and find that starting my day off with Group Training energizes me and helps me focus throughout my workday.”

Members like Nancy are exactly who the trainers have designed Group Training to impact. As a program of a non-profit in the Rainier Valley, Rainier Health & Fitness has attracted many residents who never before stepped inside a gym. Consequently, the staff found that a number of these newcomers are intimidated by weights and large equipment so stick to treadmills and ellipticals rather than pushing themselves to a total body workout.

To expand members’ fitness routines at a reasonable cost, the trainers implemented a program called Group Training. These workouts enable participants to vary their exercise routine, receive a total body workout and get guidance from a certified trainer…plus get to know a few of their neighbors in the process! Most importantly, the program encompasses three of RHF’s core values:

  1. Motivating members to take control of their preventative health
  2. Cultivating community
  3. Making high-quality fitness affordable and accessible.

Group Training is the type of service people would otherwise only get through Personal Training or CrossFit. And although RHF offers both Personal Training and CrossFit at rates greatly reduced from their competitors, many members still cannot afford these services. Group Training fills the gap. Compared to most gyms where a single session with a trainer costs upwards of $40/hour, Group Training gives members unlimited access to workouts guided by a certified trainer for just $30 per month (that breaks down to approximately $3/session for members who come at least 10 times in the month. Training is offered six days a week nearly every hour so if utilized more, the cost decreases even further).

Capping classes at a maximum of 6 people, trainers are able to offer more personalized feedback in Group Training than in larger CrossFit classes. Meanwhile, workouts offer varying routines so no two days are exactly alike. Sometimes members do circuits and other times a set number of reps. Unlike CrossFit, however, Group Training does not involve heavy lifting but follows the NASM Optimum Performance Training™ (OPT™) Model focusing primarily on functional movements.

“We meet you where you are at based on your physical exercise capabilities and work on improving your capacity to perform functional and physical work,” says RHF trainer Patrick Otieno “For example, tasks requiring you to lift loads or move furniture without experiencing back pain.”

Although each session varies, Group Training breakdowns to essentially 5 phases:

  1. Warm up on a treadmill, rower, bike, elliptical or other cardio of choice (5-10 minutes)
  2. Stretch with a trainer (5 minutes)
  3. Core and corrective training (15-20 minutes)
  4. Circuit or muscle specific workout (20-25 minutes)
  5. Cool down (5 minutes)

One of the best aspects of Group Training is that it makes fitness fun. “Group training is fun and holds them accountable to coming to the gym,” said trainer Mike Nienaber. “There’s always variety, whether the instructor differs or the workout.”

Group Training isn’t for everyone. But for people who are new to fitness, who want to vary their workout without getting injured or who desire to connect to the local community, this program is perfect.  As Nancy said, “I also think the group training classes are very supportive and a lot of fun. I believe a strong sense of community forms through participating in these classes.”

Emily  Williamson is RHF’s marketing coordinator. Her own experience of suffering a back injury and recovering through exercises prescribed by a chiropractor who doubles as a cross-fit instructor gave her a passion for helping others experience life fully through fitness.