Enlarged Prostate Glands (BPH): What You Need to Know

Enlarged prostate gland is a medical condition related to advanced age in men. And, when symptoms begin to manifest, deciding on ideal medication should be preceded by a comprehensive diagnosis. Swollen Prostate gland is also known as benign prostate or hyperplasia.  

Studies show that BPH manifests mostly in men aged over 50 years and gets worse after 60th birthday. Nearly 90 percent of men aged 85 years and above have enlarged prostate glands, not to mention other health conditions such dry skin and arthritis which require use of collagen supplements.

Read more “Enlarged Prostate Glands (BPH): What You Need to Know”

Queer, Fat-Accepting, and Eating Disordered: We Can Be All Three

I just want to call out to anybody who shares two or more of these identities. I share them all. I went to a treatment center for eating disorders this summer, where I learned a great deal. Finally, I can imagine living a life without the fucked-up behaviors terrorizing me every day, and the thoughts. In this treatment program for rich people and/or people with good insurance, we learned in group therapy, individual therapy, individual nutrition sessions, and therapeutic meals about assertiveness (saying no!), processing, emotional acceptance and awareness, self-compassion, self-soothing, building a support team, all of which would kick the eating disorder into the ditch. I’m so fucking glad that I can live without this now, and it takes a lot of work to keep it up. I could relate to the clients and some of the practitioners at the program because we all knew what it was like to have an eating disorder, and many things that go along with and come from that. But the practitioners and clients assumed that we all related to each other in another way, because we were all as they said women. As someone who was wavering between girl-identifying and boy-identifying, placing myself somewhere in the definitely non-gender binary and imperfectly-labeled queer spectrum, I felt extremely alienated by this assumption, and I became worried about other queer people who have eating disorders but cannot seek help because of gender discrimination.

My eating disorder causes shame and comes from shame. I’m struggling to love my body, and finally realize that’s the only way for me to live. For a long time I’ve seen the horrible effects of hatred for bodies that have been othered by a culture built on this shame and discrimination. I’m working really hard inside to throw this in my own waste basket, I know I can’t do it alone, I know it’s not just for me. The clients at the program that I went to only hid their gender and fat discrimination when there were other-gendered or fat people present, and they didn’t seem to want to or know how to start unlearning this discrimination.While the practitioners recognized these problematic beliefs (problematic for them because they got in the way of recovering from an eating disorder), they had a severe lack of understanding of LGBTQI or fat acceptance. They were not able to educate their clients on two essential identities and ways of being in the world, and this made me feel alone.

It might be easy to lop these identities all under the sign of body positivity, but that’s not what I’m trying to do. I want to recognize specific and intersecting struggles.

Basic Lifts, Part 1: The Squat

So, you may be thinking…”y’all are a barbell gym, but all you talk about is body-positivity!” That, my friends, is about to change. (And by that I mean we’re going to talk more about lifting, not less about body-positivity, duh!) One of our best supporters, Joe Kirsch, is writing detailed descriptions of all the major barbell lifts that we’ll be focusing on at HEALTH CLUB, and we’ll be posting a new lift description each week. 

Joe is a coach at a local barbell gym in Olympia, WA, an ally and collaborator with HEALTH CLUB, and an aspiring physician. He has been lifting barbells for years, and has a gift for focusing on the details of all the lifts, both in technical theory and in physical practice. AND he may lead some lifting seminars for HEALTH CLUB once we’re up and running! Without further ado, take it away JOE!

“The Squatter” by David Squirrely

The largest and most functionally essential muscles for compound movement are the hamstrings, adductors, glutes, and quads. If you’re dancing, jumping, running, climbing mountains, playing tug of war, throwing a frisbee, or whatever else your active heart desires, these are the muscles making it happen; truly, it’s all in the hips!

The barbell squat is the most effective exercise for strengthening your hips and legs, which is why it is no coincidence that it is the most commonly espoused exercise for people across a variety of sports. While many well-intentioned folks may warn that squats are “hard on the knees,” a properly-performed barbell squat actually has great therapeutic value for the knee joint, by balancing the anterior and posterior muscle groups surrounding it. This can also prevent future injury, since anterior muscular dominance is one of the most common causes of ACL injuries.

The most important attributes of a proper barbell squat are relatively simple to identify, but a require a little practice to implement in concert:

  1. Lower back extension: Its common sense that we should take care of our lower back – any injuries in this region can make doing the things we love a painful chore. In learning how to do a proper squat, you also learn to be exceptionally aware of your lower back and whether it is extended and flat (good!), or relaxed and rounded (bad!). Besides being a prerequisite for a safe squat, learning lower back awareness is an asset you’ll carry forward into all your daily activities, helping you avoid easily preventable injuries.
  2. Below parallel, hips back: A great squat results from letting the hips lead the movement; that means extending them far back in an exaggerated sitting motion, until the crease of the hip is below the top of the knee. At the bottom of a perfect squat, all of our large primary movers around the hip are active and working together, and the anterior and posterior forces on the knee are well-balanced. The only other exercise which utilizes as much muscle mass at once is the deadlift, but the squat is unique in its ability to train our hip muscles through a full range of motion.
  3. Knees track over the feet: Its important to consciously remind ourselves to force our knees out over feet; if you were watching a proper squat from directly above, the trainee’s knees should move forward directly in line with their feet as they descend. Beyond insuring proper patellar tracking in the knee, this also insures efficient activation of the external rotators in the hip joint. These external rotators are often relatively weak even among experienced lifters, and in the long term, strengthening these muscles can solve back and knee pain resulting from postural misalignment.
  4. Weight over the middle of the foot: An ideal squat, when observed from the side, should move the barbell in a perfectly vertical path. In order for this to happen, we learn to control the weight by keeping the load over the middle of the foot throughout the movement. Developing this motor awareness and balance takes time and practice, but it helps tie together all the other technical aspects of performing the squat and is the linchpin in consistent technique.

Dan, seriously squatting

By regularly reminding yourself of these important characteristics of a proper barbell squat in your training, you’ll be well on your way to experiencing all the wonderful personal benefits that this cornerstone exercise has to offer.

Doesn’t that get you so psyched to start lifting at HEALTH CLUB once we open?! Plus, in case you haven’t heard, WE HAVE A SPACE! And we’re having a party on Thursday, October 22nd at 7pm to celebrate and fundraise! Stay tuned for party details and “Basic Lifts, Part 2: The Deadlift” next week. In the meantime, check out our Indiegogo campaign. xoxo

At Long Last…We’re Here

My, what a busy year! Just last December, HEALTH CLUB was only an idea, or not even an idea. A cozy, affirming space for us and our friends to work on fitness goals, admire our bods in the mirror, or just hang out seemed like an impossibly far-off goal – we’d never pull ourselves away from our lives for long enough to pull it off.

Now, HEALTH CLUB is a real, physical location where we get to make the rules for ourselves about beauty, fitness, and all the rest of the things dictated by society outside our doors. And as we head into 2016, those doors are opening, thanks in no small part to YOU!

Can’t wait to start building community, making friends, and getting really confident? Make sure you’re signed up for our email list (sign up form is on our homepage) where we’ll be sharing our hours for the first few weeks of soft opening. 

Now for those of you who claimed perks – great news! we’ve ordered / made or otherwise charmed out of thin air all the goodies the campaign promised. Now all that’s left is to send them to you! Stay tuned for more updates because we’ll be letting you know right when we ship things. Is putting together button packs and boxing up water bottles not the sweetest way to celebrate the new year?

We’re so excited about the physical goods – they feel like very tangible evidence that we’re accomplishing something for you and with your support. 

We’ve enlisted local screenprinters (right in our Brooklyn neighborhood actually) Pen and Screen to print the very custom and limited edition posters designed by our friend Hilary Ament, and we’re thrilled with the results!

Did you claim a free or discounted membership? Here’s a secret: you can claim it at any time. We will be sending out an email to you when we soft open with the voucher – your month begins whenever you choose to come activate it. Members get access to classes, seminars, and open gym! 

ALSO stay tuned for news of our grand opening party taking place Valentine’s Day weekend!

Thanks again for your support – HEALTH CLUB is possible because of good people like you. Until next time…

LOVE YOUR BODY!

2016, Body – Positive Style

Let me be real with you for a second: this is my least favorite time of year. Well, at least the second half of my least favorite time of year. We made it through consumer-christmas (I was lucky enough to escape to a hippie, snow-filled hot springs where the closest thing to a christmas celebration was a single reindeer-covered turtleneck), but now we’re heading into “I hate myself and my body and everything I stand for and I MUST CHANGE NOW!” season. New Year’s Resolutions. The worst. 

Yep, this is where I was in the snowy, hot springs wonderland.

Since arriving back home from the internet-free hills, my cyber life has been filled with: “This year, I will…[insert unachievable, superficial, yucko goal here].” And as much as I hate to admit it, I get caught up in it. I want to hear about what diets other people are trying, what weight-loss goals they have, and where they hope to be by this time next year. The little (or actually pretty hefty) part of my brain that likes to beat myself up for no good reason latches on to these resolutions and starts a diatribe of self-hate. “Maybe you should do that too! If you want to be beautiful and loved and successful, obviously you have to change ______ and _______ and _______ and _______ and everything else about yourself!” I start making up little resolutions in my head, and think through how to put on the face of loving myself really hard, while actually sinking into this grimey pit of self-loathing. 

Ugh it’s so depressing. So here’s what I’m thinking. INUNDATE THE INTERNET WITH NEW YEAR’S BODY-POSITIVITY!!! For real, you guys. It’s not like setting goals to make change in your life is inherently a bad thing, but it does seem like our society has wrenched the resolution into yet another way of encouraging consumerism, further marginalizing those who are already marginalized, and generally giving us more reason to focus on achieving “perfection” in these little individual bodies instead of focusing on making change in the fucked up system we live in. 

Let’s take it back! I’m going to make some goals that focus on self-care, body-loving, and community-empowerment, and I invite you all to do the same. And to share that loving shine all over. 

In 2016, I will do my best to:

  • Be really goofy when I feel like it, because it feels good and fuck what other people think. 
  • Give myself permission to feel the things I’m feeling and ask for the things I want and need from myself and others. 
  • Move my body when and how I want to. 
  • Compliment folks on things other than appearance. 
  • Stand up for and in solidarity with people who need it in ways that they ask for.
  • Give myself some grace and lots of pats on the back for being pretty great even if I can’t follow through with every last thing I set out to do. 

And I will FOR SURE open this juicy, body-positive space called HEALTH CLUB to share with my community! YES!

Love Your Body

Health club is different from other gyms. Here’s what we believe:

facts:

  • bodies are inherently diverse in shape, size, and everything else
  • every single person’s body deserves to be celebrated and nourished
  • all of our identities impact the way we experience physical activity & weight stigma
  • community & relationships are central to healing from weight discrimination

lifting weights can help people:

  • stay positive, sleep better, and respond more adaptively to stress
  • improve balance & coordination by strengthening muscles, bones, and joints
  • lower the risk of cardiovascular and metabolic problems

HEALTH CLUB’s philosophy is strongly grounded in the Health At Every Size® approach from the ASDAH:

The Association for Size Diversity and Health (ASDAH) affirms a holistic definition of health, which cannot be characterized as simply the absence of physical or mental illness, limitation, or disease. Rather, health exists on a continuum that varies with time and circumstance for each individual. Health should be conceived as a resource or capacity available to all regardless of health condition or ability level, and not as an outcome or objective of living. Pursuing health is neither a moral imperative nor an individual obligation, and health status should never be used to judge, oppress, or determine the value of an individual.  

The framing for a Health At Every Size (HAES®) approach comes out of discussions among healthcare workers, consumers, and activists who reject both the use of weight, size, or BMI as proxies for health, and the myth that weight is a choice. The HAES model is an approach to both policy and individual decision-making. It addresses broad forces that support health, such as safe and affordable access. It also helps people find sustainable practices that support individual and community well-being. The HAES approach honors the healing power of social connections, evolves in response to the experiences and needs of a diverse community, and grounds itself in a social justice framework.

The Health At Every Size® Principles are:

  1. Weight Inclusivity: Accept and respect the inherent diversity of body shapes and sizes and reject the idealizing or pathologizing of specific weights.
  2. Health Enhancement: Support health policies that improve and equalize access to information and services, and personal practices that improve human well-being, including attention to individual physical, economic, social, spiritual, emotional, and other needs.
  3. Respectful Care: Acknowledge our biases, and work to end weight discrimination, weight stigma, and weight bias. Provide information and services from an understanding that socio-economic status, race, gender, sexual orientation, age, and other identities impact weight stigma, and support environments that address these inequities.
  4. Eating for Well-being: Promote flexible, individualized eating based on hunger, satiety, nutritional needs, and pleasure, rather than any externally regulated eating plan focused on weight control. 
  5. Life-Enhancing Movement: Support physical activities that allow people of all sizes, abilities, and interests to engage in enjoyable movement, to the degree that they choose.