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The Pulse - March 2020 Newsletter

2020 Best of The Northwest

A BIG thank you for voting BodyBasics Best of The Northwest for our 9th year! We are so appreciative to you all who voted us right into the top 3 once again.

Article – 6 Strategies to a Youthful Brain

If you’re like me, you value your health and want to experience your life to its fullest. To do that, we must also consider the health of our brains. In today’s article I want to share with you six keys that you would be wise to implement if you want a fit brain for life. They are adequate sleep, nutrition, both aerobic and resistance exercise, social interaction and learning. Let’s talk about each and how you can optimize them.

  • Adequate Sleep

Optimal sleep for us is 7-9 hours each night. This is because the average sleep cycle, inclusive of the critical final stage of REM sleep, takes about 90 minutes. For our brains to function at the peak of their potential, we need 5-6 REM cycles each night. Without adequate sleep, we lose out on the housekeeping role sleep provides for our brain. With sleep, our brains have toxins removed from them that have built up while we were awake. One example of this is a particular type of cell called microglial cells. These cells are found in our brain and spinal cord and they support our immunity by ridding us of invasive “stuff”. During sleep, microglial cells help remove a toxic protein commonly found in the brains of Alzheimer’s disease patients called beta-amyloid. The cells prune away unnecessary synapses and repair the brain’s neural wiring. However, the same process is activated when the body is deprived of sleep, but instead of only attacking toxins, microglial cells start attacking healthy, functioning tissues. This is one of countless examples of the actions that occur in our brains when we we’re getting adequate sleep.

  • Nutrition

Have you ever heard the phrase, “You are what you eat”? When it comes to our brains and keeping them vibrant and agile our entire lives, what you eat and also what you abstain from both contribute to the health of our brain. Things to eat are fatty fish like salmon, nuts and seeds, any kind of berries, whole grains and all colors of vegetables, especially cruciferous ones like broccoli. Two items to avoid as much as humanly possible are sugar and partially hydrogenated oils. Both of these have been linked to the forming of various diseases impacting both the brain and the rest of us as well.

  • Aerobic Exercise

Aerobic means “with oxygen” and it is this live sustaining element that makes the pursuit of aerobic exercise so vital for the health of our brain. We can literally slow down the aging process by getting out for a walk or some other heart pumping pursuit because aerobic exercise preserves our brain’s gray matter, the stuff that facilitates experiences like muscle control, memory and decision making.

  • Resistance Exercise

Much like its complimentary partner aerobic exercise, resistance exercise is also a way to support a youthful brain for a lifetime because it too can have a positive effect on brain matter. White matter, the part of the brain that resides beneath the gray matter, consists of nerve fibers that are extensions of nerve cells originating in the gray matter. If you imagine your gray matter as a computer, the white matter represents the cables through which the computer is kept on and functioning. As we age, it is common for our brain’s white matter to develop lesions, or holes. This act causes us to have reductions in memory as our brain’s source of connectivity is weakened. Resistance exercise that challenges all major muscles of the body a minimum of two sessions each week has been demonstrated to slow the development of lesions in our white matter.

  • Social Interaction

As a whole, humans are not meant to live in isolation. A rich social network provides sources of support, reduces stress, combats depression and enhances intellectual stimulation. Studies have shown that those with the most social interaction within their community experience the slowest rate of memory decline. Happy marriages or long-term relationships and having a purpose in life have shown significant protective effects against age-related cognitive impairment. Not all interactions have to be with other people either. An interaction with pets has also been demonstrated to slow memory decline as we age.

  • Lifelong Learning

The phrase “use it or lose it” describes perfectly why the pursuit of learning is so necessary for us if we want to keep our brains healthy and vibrant for a lifetime. When you learn something, your brain remembers it. To remember, the brain creates new neuronal synapses that essentially act as “hard-drive storage” to use our computer analogy from before. As the number of synapses increases, the flexibility and computational capacity increases correspondingly. Such learning keeps our brains youthful an malleable for a lifetime.

Client Spotlight – Shirley Blair

  1. What was the reason you decided to go to a trainer?

I was noticing more difficulty with moving around and I was having challenge with being self-motivated to do something about it. I was also experiencing pain from arthritis at an increasing level that was really cramping my style!

2. Did you consider or participate in any other form of treatment for your reason before seeking a trainer? Examples: physical therapist, acupuncturist, medication

No, I did not

3. How did you hear about BodyBasics?

I first heard about BodyBasics from my daughter’s trust attorney. We were looking for a place for her to train and were told that BodyBasics was tops in the city. My daughter, who deals with challenges that come from having multiple sclerosis, has been training at BodyBasics since January of 2009. As I am her means of transportation to get to her workouts 2x each week, I’ve had PLENTY of time to experience the goings on in the studio.

4. Did you evaluate other gyms or trainers before deciding on coming to us? If yes, what were other places missing that BodyBasics was able to provide?

I did not see any need to evaluate other gyms or trainers. I knew that I would be well taken care of once I started to train at BodyBasics because of the experience they provide my daughter.

5. Ultimately, why did you choose BodyBasics over other options?

I chose BodyBasics because of what I said above. I knew I would be well taken care of.

6. What goals did you have when you started at BodyBasics?

I wanted to reduce my lower back pain and see if I could get myself moving better.

7. How long have you been training at BodyBasics and what specifically have you achieved over that interval?

I’ve been training at BodyBasics now since September of 2018 when I started participating 1 – 2x each week in their Foundations Semi-Private Training workout. Then, I had a setback that sidelined me for about 2 months in March of 2019. I lifted my daughter’s wheelchair and tweaked my lower back. At Chris’s bidding I did a private session with him that same May and LOVED it! I’ve been doing a private 1x each week and usually a Foundations workout 1x each week also ever since. I’ve almost completely rid myself of lower back pain! I used to get shots in my very arthritic shoulders about 4X a year. I’ve been able to extend my interval between shots to about 2X a year now! I can do a full squat and have no knee pain doing it. I’m moving so much better and I love coming.

8. What current goals are you pursuing with your trainers at BodyBasics?

My goals are to continue to feel good. I love the strength and flexibility I’ve gained and simply want to keep feeling at my best as I age.

Welcome New and Returning Clients!

  • Bette Neigut ~ Found us via Google search!
  • Mary Casady ~ Welcome Back!
  • Miriam Bell ~ Welcome Back!
  • Kris DelMonte ~ referred by her friend and fellow client Rhonda Evans!
  • Doug Haines ~ referred by his wife and fellow client Laura Haines!
  • Toni-Shea Sinclair ~ referred by Kirsten Weible from The Motive Physical Therapy Specialists!

“Shout Outs”

Shout outs are about us voicing victories we witness you all having at BodyBasics. We’ll keep it to our top 5 each month.

  • Bob Funk ~ for his progress on the recumbent bike, going from instant pain with even the start of a revolution to 3 consecutive minutes pain free!
  • Mary Jondrow ~ for her recent share of cross-country skiing 5 miles at 10,000 ft elevation and NOT experiencing windedness or any knee pain!
  • Bea Cotsones ~ for recently celebrating 1 year of consistently participating in her 2x weekly semi-private sessions and realizing, among other benefits, a recent dexa scan that showed a significant improvement in her bone density!
  • Tom Taylor ~ for getting stronger in each workout and gaining flexibility for his weekly golfing! And for helping Mike dust off his golf clubs to hit the driving range!!
  • Shirley Blair ~ for rocking her standing rollouts, bird dogs and most recently her body weight squats!

Recipe – Wild Rice and Edamame Salad

This dish tastes great as a hot side dish or a cold salad.  If serving cold, be sure to leave time for the salad to chill and the flavors to meld.


  • 1/2 cup blanched slivered almonds
  • 2 Tablespoons white sesame seeds
  • 4 cups cooked wild rice ** be sure to cook rice before starting recipe ( I used brown rice)
  • 3 medium scallions, thinly sliced (white and light green parts only)
  • 2 cups shelled cooked edamame, thawed if frozen
  • 2 medium carrots, peeled and diced into small pieces
  • 1/2 cup dried cranberries
  • 3 Tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 Tablespoons toasted sesame oil
  • 1/4 cup rice vinegar, plus more as needed to taste
  • 2 teaspoons honey
  • Kosher salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper


  • Place the almonds in a medium frying pan over medium heat and toast, stirring often, until golden brown (do not let them burn), about 8-10 minutes.  Transfer to a large heatproof bowl.  Add the sesame seeds to the pan and toast, stirring often, until golden brown, about 2-3 minutes.  Transfer to the bowl with almonds.
  • Add the rice, scallions, edamame, carrots, and cranberries to the bowl with almonds and seeds and toss to combine.
  • Whisk the olive oil, sesame oil, rice vinegar, honey and a pinch of salt and pepper in a medium bowl until combined.  Drizzle over the rice mixture and toss to combine.  Taste and season as needed with more salt, pepper and vinegar.  Cover and chill at least one hour if serving cold.

Basic Moves by BodyBasics – Hurdle Step + Straight Arm Pull Down

Team BodyBasics

Chris, Kris, Kristian, Amanda, Dustin, Xavier, Aaron, Mike and Vadim

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