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The Alaska Club

TAC Board: The Alaska Club Blog

Barbara DuBois

MA Health Ed. & Int'l Journalism; PhD Sports & Health History; Texas Tech Univ. & Wayland Baptist Univ. instructor; Health Ed. Program Manager Maniilaq Assoc.

Recent Posts

Good Health at the Holidays

on Nov 22, 2019 1:45:50 PM By | Barbara DuBois | 0 Comments | Holidays fitness routine Physical activity
The holidays are upon us and for many of us, it seems to wreak havoc with our healthy lifestyles. But, it doesn’t need to be that way. Here are some ways to navigate through the excesses of the holidays without eating and drinking our way into total upheaval:
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School is back. Fall is here. Maintain a healthy mindset with exercise!

on Aug 28, 2019 11:08:05 AM By | Barbara DuBois | 0 Comments |
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Moving for Memories: Preventing Alzheimer's Disease

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Less Screen Time, More Play Time

Just two weeks ago, I attended an education conference in New York City on learning and brain activity in youth and children. The chief concern at this conference was the preponderance of screen time, primarily cell phone usage, teachers witness among their students. While studies have not made a direct correlation to the rise of anxiety and depression seen among children and youth to electronic device habits, bullying and obesity have been positively correlated to cell phone usage by these groups. Consistent with these findings is a greater sense of social alienation found among children and teens who are now logging long hours on their electronic devices and becoming sleep-deprived in the process.
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Checking in on New Year's Resolutions

on Jan 29, 2019 11:33:05 AM By | Barbara DuBois | 0 Comments | Community fitness Gym New Year's Resolution strength training winter
Given up on your resolutions? We may be just a little stymied from our past habits of making unrealistic new year’s resolutions. This is especially true of making new year’s resolutions regarding our health. And the reality of permanent change in health behavior is much different than what we envision it to be. Let’s think about some of these unrealistic expectations which potentially sabotage us, thus preventing us from becoming the kind of health-oriented people we want to be.
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Twelve days could change it all

on Dec 13, 2018 10:59:07 AM By | Barbara DuBois | 0 Comments | 12 Day of Fitness winter weight loss fitness routine
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Go on Autopilot

on Nov 2, 2018 9:33:07 AM By | Barbara DuBois | 0 Comments | swimming fitness fitness routine
For three years now, on an average of six days out of the week, you will find me in the Alaska Club pool sometime between 6:45 AM and 7:00 AM, everyday but Sunday. Some days I’m in the water for 20 minutes, some days for an hour. It is simply the most important thing I do to start my day. That kick-back-post-swim-rejuvenation feeling of well-being is so priceless, there is nothing like it. It’s an internal blast of energy that comes seemingly out of nowhere. Most swimmers experience this. I’m not the only one either who knows this and is consistently there at that seemingly ungodly hour. The regulars know each other by face, if not by name. We all have seen the same swim team members, various coaches, water-aerobic teachers, Richard the mechanic who works all night and me, the autopilot teacher. I say autopilot because I convinced myself about three years ago that I would be a better teacher, friend, colleague, wife and person if I peppered my life up with a pre-work work-out. Hence, I jump start my day with some smooth, gentle activity that energizes me in a seemingly non-arduous manner. Sometimes I swim in a lane with Richard and we discuss my crazy brother in Florida, or we just joke incessantly while swimming. The other morning another swimmer gingerly pointed out that my neck tie was precariously untied and we laughed raucously while discussing our mutually embarrassing water experiences. Many times, I simply am entranced in meditative swimming and zone out my surroundings.
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Exercise as an elixir to disease

on Oct 18, 2018 11:03:04 AM By | Barbara DuBois | 0 Comments | Gym and Health Club Exercises healthy living injury disease
There is amazing news on the home front regarding exercise! It is no news that a sedentary lifestyle puts a person at risk for the “metabolic syndrome.” Metabolic syndrome, according to the Mayo Clinic, is a person who endures, “high blood pressure, high blood sugar, excess body fat around the waist, and abnormal cholesterol levels.” This syndrome dramatically increases a person’s risk for a whole host of diseases that are lifestyle related: heart disease, cancer, stroke, osteoporosis, diabetes, to name a few.  Incredibly, even mental health problems such as depression and Alzheimer’s have now been recognized as more frequently appearing diseases among the inactive.
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A Magical Spring

on May 29, 2018 11:27:46 AM By | Barbara DuBois | 0 Comments | alaska summer hiking spring warm
There’s only one word to fully describe spring in Alaska: magic. It is a magical time of renewal, energy, sun (yes unlimited sunshine), green trees and blue skies and more outdoor time than you can come to terms with. It’s also sort of a progressive experience when you open the door in the morning to let your dog out and suddenly, you realize: there’s no expansive blanket of white snow everywhere. After seeing it for half a year and accepting the reality of white, everywhere, and yet a miracle occurs. Abruptly, Alaska changes its image quicker than a chameleon. The tulips and daffodils poke up through iced over soil, determined to emerge against the odds of bitter icy winds and gray days. I thrill at the emergence of just their little pointed sprouts and carefully monitor their growth.
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Keeping it cool on the trail

on Mar 22, 2018 1:45:33 PM By | Barbara DuBois | 0 Comments | Hydration ski cross country skiing hypothermia warm
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We are the champions, my friend

on Feb 26, 2018 3:34:52 PM By | Barbara DuBois | 0 Comments | Olympics US Ski Team
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A Survey of Weight Loss Diets

on Jan 24, 2018 11:20:37 AM By | Barbara DuBois | 1 Comment | Nutrition food Clean eating cooking weight loss diet
Losing weight is high on almost everyone’s list of New Year’s resolutions in this country. According to Angela Haupt, assistant managing editor of health at U.S. News & World Report, weight loss experts ranked the top 10 diets based on the following criteria:
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Winter is Coming!

on Oct 12, 2017 3:08:41 PM By | Barbara DuBois | 0 Comments | Gym and Health Club Exercises fitness winter
The trees are shedding their gold and the snow is gradually creeping down the mountains. Alaskans are observing animals everywhere kicking into high gear as they ready themselves for a long winter and for the last autumnal rites of mating. People are posting on social media sites of bears foraging in neighborhoods, on heavily frequented trails and simply ambling down roads. Moose are precariously grazing on the Northern Lights Boulevard median, besides the Glenn and Minnesota Boulevard and literally everywhere besides someplace safe. My maternal instinct wants me to urge them away, but with my luck, I’d unwittingly influence them to run into traffic. The Parks Service continues to knock out the valiant efforts of the beavers’ damming projects at University Lake, only to see the dams rebuilt in a few days. All the critters know it’s coming. They’re getting ready.
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The Bear Facts on Healthy Living

on May 9, 2017 1:46:16 PM By | Barbara DuBois | 0 Comments | summer hiking healthy living
Like all Alaskans who spend any time outdoors, I have had my bear encounters…many of them right here in the Anchorage woods. One time I was walking in North Bicentennial Park (Bear Central Park) with my friend Rosie and engaging in some mindless chit chat, when Rosie abruptly interrupted me with a low-toned, ominously simple warning, “Barb, a bear.”
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Irish You’d Eat More Greens

on Mar 9, 2017 11:02:24 AM By | Barbara DuBois | 0 Comments | Nutrition
There’s more to March than the traditional Irish dish: potatoes, boiled cabbage and corned beef. While it’s a delicious meal, the nutrition from this fatty, starchy food doesn’t possess the necessary nutrients to give you energy for any upcoming Irish jigs.   So what should we be putting into our body? The answer is vegetables filled with fiber, vitamins and other nutrients. Here are just a few of the examples of good-for-you veggies: Kale-This leafy green is not just for health fanatics. It’s low-calorie, high in fiber and possesses zero fat. Not only is it easy on the digestive track, but also the vitamins, folate and magnesium make it nutrient packed. And for those lacking in iron, kale is an excellent source. Spinach-For the cholesterol conscious, spinach is your best friend. It’s low in fat and can reduce cholesterol. It’s rich in antioxidants, containing 250 mg of calcium per cup, and is one of the best sources of potassium (it puts the banana to shame). We should also mention it’s only 27 calories for a whole cup! Broccoli-Your parents were just looking out for you when they nagged you to “eat your broccoli.” Broccoli is considered one of the most nutritious vegetables, and reduces cholesterol and inflammation. It’s rich in vitamin K and calcium, making it great for your bones as well. And as a good carb, high in fiber and low in sugar, a cup of broccoli is the perfect side for the health conscious. Brussels Sprouts-Brussels sprouts are a great solution if your digestive system needs a little boost. These little guys also pack a lot of protein - and you don’t have to eat too many to feel full and meet your vitamin C and vitamin K needs for the day. All it takes is one serving. 
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Good Friends are Good for your Health

on Feb 27, 2017 3:52:54 PM By | Barbara DuBois | 3 Comments | health friendship mental health
These days we hear a good deal about Mindfulness, a new form of health awareness. We are not only to live on a high level of the wellness continuum or practice holistic health; now, we are to be mindful of all the detailed and comprehensive factors that contribute to our health. On that note, I’d like to raise a little awareness level myself of one of the most critical and oftentimes discounted features of good health: friendship. There is an abundance of psychological literature, one of my best friends assures me, who also happens to be a psychologist, supporting the healthful benefits of friendship. For years I used to remind her that we really don’t all need hours and hours with a psychologist when a good friend and a good cup of coffee will do the trick. I just happen to have all three: friend, psychologist and coffee in one fell swoop. (Of course, if a good psychologist is what one needs, by all means, seek one out!)
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Get Started with Twelve Days of Fitness!

on Dec 6, 2016 4:54:16 PM By | Barbara DuBois | 0 Comments | fitness 12 Day of Fitness
It was one year ago almost to the day that I noticed this December Alaska Club promotional on the marquee: “Twelve Days of Fitness for $25” and at first blush I thought, “What’s the point of that?” I drove by the club everyday thinking about this and finally, I decided to convince my couch-potato husband, John, to take advantage of it. Now really, why on earth would anybody want merely twelve days of fitness? That’s it. Twelve days. There is a logic to just twelve days for $25. It’s the no-risk option. I mean, for a non-athlete such as my husband who needed to shed a few pounds, if he didn’t like it, well, it’s only twelve days and it’s only $25. No major gamble there if a person doesn’t like it, right? I think John was nervous that the Alaska Club would be filled with glamorous looking athletic types with natural six-packs who appear as if they have nothing better to do with their time than do two hundred crunches a day and figure out the latest smoothie recipe. Or maybe there would be the type of crowd that enjoyed suffering with grueling exercises.
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How to Cure The Winter Blues

on Nov 18, 2016 4:04:47 PM By | Barbara DuBois | 0 Comments | mind-body
Since the bitter cold is upon us, not to mention shorter days and longer, darker hours, I am finding the need to do more, much more, to keep my body pliable, my aerobic capacity up and every bit as important, my spirits high. As a baby boomer, I find myself in the ranks of a generation struggling with the long term consequences of some poor health habits and simply the progressive traits of aging: stiffness, poor posture, hours of sitting before a computer on a daily basis as well as the drying of joints, bones and the stiffening of muscles. Even though I have always been fairly athletic and proudly consider myself an active adult with decent self-care habits, I find I still need professional help to assist with some health matters that I cannot accomplish on my own. The Alaska Club has provided a plethora of ways I can resolve these problematic and reoccurring health issues.
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You "Otter" Be Swimming!

on Oct 21, 2016 1:28:04 PM By | Barbara DuBois | 0 Comments | swimming fitness
This fall my husband and I had one of our weekend getaways to Seward. We enjoyed strolling down to the harbor and sauntered about on the docks. We happened upon a young couple from Israel watching no less than seven different otters cavorting about in a semi-enclosed section of the harbor. Two otters were rafting up, one politely holding on to his nap buddy’s foot. Two more were simply tussling and somersaulting about in playful pairing. Another set were snatching shell fish off the docks’ peers not even a yard from our feet, loudly munching the shells like a kid eating Captain Crunch cereal with his mouth open. Each succession of crunching was followed by a quick spin to rinse off the shell debris. But the one otter that fascinated me the most was the one that liked to run interference. He’d glide in and try to disrupt the rafters, inject himself on the two players’ games and seemed mildly interested in the foodies. He just wanted some involvement. Anything and everything was good.
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12 Days of Fitness at The Alaska Club

on Dec 14, 2015 5:30:00 PM By | Barbara DuBois | 3 Comments | 12 Day of Fitness
Lately, we have been hearing a good deal about the Twelve Days of Christmas, but what about the new special called, 12 Days of Fitness at The Alaska Club? You may ask what the point is of that. I can only tell you from personal experience, that twelve days has made a big difference in our household.
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Insanity at The Alaska Club – Energy Breeds Energy

on Oct 9, 2015 11:00:00 AM By | Barbara DuBois | 0 Comments | Gym and Health Club Exercises
The hardest part of my work week isn’t going to work. It’s getting up when it’s cold, dark and the bed is incredibly warm, soft and snuggly and I just yearn for one more hour of peaceful slumber. I always factor in at least one hit on the snooze button. So as you can guess, I particularly relish sleeping in on Saturdays. It’s one of the few luxuries in life that doesn’t actually cost me anything.
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Spa Experiences from Germany

on Aug 11, 2015 5:00:00 PM By | Barbara DuBois | 0 Comments | Gym and Health Club Exercises spa
This summer I had the good fortune of travelling to Germany, the country of my cultural heritage. My mother was born in Belgard, Germany, and when she was a teenager, my grandparents decided her frail health required an environment conducive to rigorous outdoor activities. And so, my grandfather took a new position at the Post Office in Kolberg, a train journey one hour away from Belgard and situated on the Baltic Sea.
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Techniques for Managing Back Pain

on Jun 9, 2015 9:00:00 AM By | Barbara DuBois | 0 Comments | Gym and Health Club Exercises Yoga
In the fall of 2013, I was really starting to have some pretty persistent and growing back problems. Now if you suffer something like this, my very first recommendation to you is to get checked out by your doctor.
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Staycation

on May 13, 2015 2:30:00 PM By | Barbara DuBois | 0 Comments |
A little while ago I actually had a week off of work. I was not very motivated to take some expensive trip somewhere to rejuvenate even though I was feeling out-of-sorts and run down. It occurred to me that I could take a vacation right here, as everything I needed, I had here at the Alaska Club.
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Frequent Sauna Use Contributes to Good Heart Health

on Apr 20, 2015 10:30:00 AM By | Barbara DuBois | 0 Comments | Gym and Health Club Exercises
The other day I noted to my surprise that an article in the Alaska Dispatch News indicated that sauna users reduce their risks of dying from heart disease, heart attacks and in general, improve their life expectancy. I was surprised because I thought people would be at a greater risk of heart failure just by virtue of exposure to a sauna's heat. Au contraire! Naturally, I was immediately curious as to how  and what other outside factors might play a role as this was  a study conducted in Finland.
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