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METHOW VALLEY

Health & Wellness 2020 – 21

A SUPPLEMENT TO THE METHOW VALLEY NEWS

Coping with COVID Staying balanced Staying physically fit Staying healthy FREE


    

safely



       Â? Â? • Family Medicine • OB and Women’s Health • Outpaďż˝ent Lab and Radiology

• Pediatric Well-Child visits • Physical Therapy Center • Wound Care



   

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EDITOR'S NOTE

Methow Valley

Health & Wellness

Staying proactive in a pandemic The coronavirus pandemic has forced most of us to reconsider what it means to be healthy and stay healthy. Personal health has always involved general awareness, information-gathering, consulting with providers, strategizing and followthrough. Now, every health-related consideration is amped up a few notches to account for the threat of COVID-19 and its consequences. In this year’s Methow Valley Health & Wellness magazine, we have chosen to focus on how to monitor and maintain your physical and emotional health as we work our way through a pandemic that will have lasting effects. Since the early onset days of the pandemic, a few precautions have been emphasized repeatedly: Wash your hands. Maintain proper social distancing. Stay home if you don’t feel well. And please, wear a mask where it’s required or appropriate. It’s the only proven long-term strategy that will help us safely get back to our schools, workplaces and other public spaces. You don’t have to go far in the Methow to get the advice and care you need. We have an impressive array of health care provider choices in the valley and nearby. You’ll find many of them as advertisers in Methow Valley which makes the publication a year-round resource. Copies of Health & Wellness 2020-21 will be distributed around the valley and will be available at our office. Be smart, and be well.

2020 – 21

Don Nelson, publisher/editor Ryan Edwards, design Sheila Ward, advertising Tera Evans, office manager

CONTRIBUTORS Ashley Lodato Malcolm Griffes Marcy Stamper Sandra Strieby

A publication of the Methow Valley News P.O. Box 97, Twisp, WA 98856 509.997.7011 • 509.997.3277 fax editor@methowvalleynews.com www.methowvalleynews.com Find us on Facebook

TA B L E O F CO N T E N T S Assess your stress

5

Health in the COVID era

9

It's personal: Self-Care can be a salvation

15

Don't be a fitness failure

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Don Nelson, Publisher/Editor

C over photo by Steve M itchell

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Assess your stress Pay attention to your mental and emotional well-being BY SA NDR A STR IEBY

Uncertainty. Isolation. Disrupted routines. Economic instability. COVID-19 has generated all of those stressors, and for most of us, that ’s causing at least an undercurrent of anxiety. This article will explore the effects of the pandemic on our inner lives – effects that are often hard to see and understand – and offer some coping strategies and resources. COVID-19 effects and responses Uncertainty is the biggest driver of our mental and emotional states during this time, according to Barbara Tennant, a Licensed Mental Health Counselor Associate with Okanogan Behavioral Healthcare (OBHC). “It makes us anxious,” said Tennant. “What we’re seeing in the Methow is anxiety about when things are going to be normal, what normal will look like, and how to negotiate areas of uncertainty.” What does all that anxiety look

like? Methow Valley Elementary School Counselor Tracie Powney speaks to how children may be affected: “There may be more irritability and acting out,” she says. “Children are learning how to control emotions; it is really hard for many of them and our current situation makes it harder.” Warning signs include emotional reactivity – a reaction out of proportion to what you normally see – anger (usually masking fear), difficulty sleeping, and lack of focus or avoidance of tasks. Among adults, responses to the mental and emotional effects of COVID-19 may include increased substance use, mental distress and suicidal thoughts, along with irritability and sleep disturbances, according to Katherine Kirner, a Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner with Family Health Centers in Twisp. Adds Tennant, “We have not seen traumatic stress disorder, but I’m sure there are people who are traumatized by the uncertainty, financial challenges, effects on their families, and lack of social functions.” Coping strategies COVID-19 is likely to be affecting our psyches for a long time. Structure, connection and physical activity are key to coping, says Kirner. Her

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recommendations: • Reach out to a friend or mental health specialist and talk about how you’re feeling. • Establish a daily routine with regular sleep, bathing and meal times. • Get some physical activity every day. • Engage your mind in something that interests you. • Limit the amount of news you consume. Tennant adds that focusing on

COUNSELING RESOURCES

Okanogan Behavioral Healthcare: http://www.okbhc. org/; (866) 826-6191 or (509) 826-6191

Family Health Centers Twisp Medical Clinic: https://

myfamilyhealth.org/twisp-medical-clinic/; (509) 997-2011 Tracie Powney and Liberty Bell School Counselor Erika Spellman are available to provide support and referrals to counselors. See the link below for their contact information

The Methow Valley School District’s Counseling page lists counselors serving children and adults, and contact information for school counselors: https:// methow.org/parents-students/ counseling-support-services/

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the here and now “can be very helpful in dealing with uncertainty and anxiety. Find what you can be certain of – even something small, like a favorite coffee cup that you use every day.” Both the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) suggest practicing mindfulness – actively paying attention to the present moment – as a COVID coping strategy. “Mindfulness practices, when done

due to COVID-19: Washing-

ton Listens, (833) 681-0211 from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. Monday through Friday, and 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturday and Sunday. Self-help tips are available on http://www.walistens.org

Room One offers resources to support mental wellbeing: http://www.roomone. org/#/mental-health-support/ If you or someone you know needs immediate help, the resources below are free and available 24/7

Okanogan Behavioral Healthcare crisis line: http:// www.okbhc.org/; (866) 826-6191 or (509) 826-6191

Disaster Distress Helpline:

call (800) 985-5990 or text TalkWithUs to 66746

National Suicide Prevention Lifeline: (800) 273- 8255 Crisis Text Line: text HOME to 741741

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Tracie Powney

Barbara Tennant

Oori Silberstein

K atherine K irner

regularly over time, help our body and mind to relax,” says mindfulness and self-compassion teacher Oori Silberstein. Mindfulness “increases our ability to have a larger perspective on whatever is challenging,” he adds. According to mindfulness instructor and mentor Sharon Cohen, with mindfulness training, “we can learn how to calm

down emotional reactions, and work out our best response.” OBHC’s web site includes links to a series of mindfulness practices at www.okbhc.org/ mindfulness-series. Find other mindfulness resources at http:// mindfulmethow.com and www. mindfulnessnorthwesyt.com. With children, start by paying attention. “In the moment, make sure you listen to your child,” says Powney. “Try to help them get to the bottom of what is really upsetting them so they can talk about it. Feelings tend to get bigger when you fight them.” When a child is upset, “Slowing down the breath can help the nervous system calm down, Powney says. “Grounding exercises are helpful as well. One of my favorites is asking someone to describe five things they see, four things they hear, three things they can feel, two things they

can smell, and one thing they can taste. The key part of this is to have them really tune in to their senses.” Like adults, children can benefit from time outside, exercise and connection with family and friends. Play is important, says Powney: “Young children need play to make sense of their world. They will often process difficult feelings through play.”

When is it time to reach out? “If stress is interfering with your functioning, it’s time to seek professional help,” says Kirner. “It’s never too soon to talk about your concerns or stressors. If you have thoughts of death or suicide you should reach out immediately.” Knowing when children need a helping hand can be especially difficult since they may not have developed the awareness and skills to convey their feelings effectively. Powney says that “difficulty sleeping, irritability and emotional reaction beyond what is normal are signs that someone is struggling. It is important to pay attention when a child withdraws or shows little interest in previously enjoyed activities.” Finally, Powney adds, “For some, it is difficult asking for help. I think it is really important right now more than ever to ask for help.”

Relax

with your favorite things. Find us online.

www.Methow Valley News.com 6

Getting help While there’s a lot we can do to help ourselves, none of us can weather the pandemic without support. A first step may be recognizing our need for care. For many in the Methow, says Tennant, addressing the basics of life has taken priority over seeking emotional support. “For those so negatively affected financially, it’s a challenge to focus on mental well-being,” she says.

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Activity and mental health By Greenshoot Media According to the National Institute of Mental Health, seasonal affective disorder (SAD) is a type of depression that comes and goes with the seasons. For most, mental health can be even tougher during the winter months but there are ways you can help build your confidence and beat the blues.

• RUN IN THE COLD: Running during the winter can help boost your confidence and help you realize you are much stronger than you think you are. Keeping up with a normal schedule can help you fight off the winter blues.

• BE INSPIRED: Find an inspiring quote or

For the times we’re in

mantra that you can repeat to yourself when days or workouts get difficult. Or, find a song to empower you through the tough days.

• CREATE GOALS: Creating goals can help build morale and confidence in yourself when you are at your low points. Your goals can be something as simple as portioning your food better, losing 5 pounds or doing 10 push-ups every morning.

• DON’T MAKE EXCUSES: Winter and fall depression can get to you at times and even motivate you to make excuses to keep you from working out. Discipline yourself and maintain that discipline.

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Photo by M arcy Stamper Dental hygienist Jeanette O’K eefe does a cleaning at Sawtooth Dental C are . Their COVID protocols include a special vacuum that pulls aerosols out of the air and runs them through a filter .

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M E T H O W VA L L E Y


Health in the COVID era BY M A RC Y STA M PE R

Health care is safe and accessible in the COVID era, with providers implementing cutting-edge protocols and creative approaches to protect staff and patients. But health care providers have also seen an unexpected benefit, as people are paying more attention to their own well-being and adopting healthy behaviors. “I’m seeing many people make sane, healthy lifestyle choices. The onus is on each of us to make healthy choices,” said Sierra Breitbeil, a naturopathic physician based in Winthrop. Breitbeil has observed a variety of benefits from the extended restrictions during the pandemic. Many people have become more physically active, hiking and spending time in nature. With restaurants closed or limited, there’s a greater interest in healthy cooking, she said. “Things open up in a different way,” Breitbeil said. “Everyone was going so fast.” Dentist John O’Keefe of Sawtooth Dental Care in Twisp has also seen surprising pluses. “Some patients have renewed their zeal for flossing and oral hygiene because they were afraid they couldn’t get in to see the dentist,” O’Keefe said “They’re taking it on

themselves. A lot of people have stepped up their game.” People in the Methow have taken advantage of the opportunity to be outdoors and to get exercise, said Julie Wehmeyer, clinical operations managers of Family Health Centers’ Twisp clinic. “Developing and maintaining an exercise regimen, practicing healthy eating, and keeping up on immunizations are all key to staying healthier in general,” she said. People are making good lifestyle choices, with improved nutrition, better sleep, and more time outside – and that means less time in stuffy buildings, Breitbeil said. “COVID has impacted our entire world and redefined what wellness is. It’s important to recognize that wellness is not just keeping us free from disease and the impact of disease. It’s not just physical health, but also dealing with stress and behavioral health,” said Jim Wallace, chief health officer for Family Health Centers. While this time has been undeniably stressful for everyone, the slower pace has had its benefits, Breitbeil said. Many kids seem happier and more relaxed now that they can step off the treadmill of so many scheduled activities. For some, juggling sports, homework and late nights – and then getting up early for school – was creating too much pressure, Breitbeil said.

Know your family health history By Greenshoot Media

ily member with a disease, then more than likely you or your children can possibly have the disease. Having your family health history can help you adjust your life and health habits early so that you can lead the healthiest life you can. The CDC says that healthy living habits can reduce your risk for diseases that run in your family. Screening tests, such as blood sugar testing, mammograms and colorectal cancer screening, help identify early signs of disease.

It is important to know your family health history to keep record of disease and health conditions passed down in your genes. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention shares tips to help you collect your family history.

• COLLECTING THE FACTS:

Collect information from all of the family members that you can about health conditions or diseases that they or past family members have had. You’ll want to include information on major conditions, causes of death, age at diagnosis and ethnic background. Talk to your doctor about all the information you have acquired about your family. Even if you don’t have the whole history, at least you have a starting point for tests to screen.

• PLANNING PREGNANCY:

If you or your par tner are planning pregnancy, knowing both of your family’s health histories would be beneficial. Check with your family to see if there are any histor y of complications in pregnancy such as bir th defects, developmental disabilit y, or newborn screening disorder. Talk to your doctor about your health histor y to find out what tests and treatment options you have before get ting pregnant.

• WHY IT’S IMPORTANT:

Most families have history of at least one chronic disease such as cancer, heart disease or diabetes. If you have a fam-

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There’s no doubt kids are struggling without social, athletic and cultural activities, which are a vital part of overall health and wellbeing. And those with a stressful home life face serious issues because safe, healthy alternatives are less available, Breitbeil said. “But we’re just making the best of it – there’s a good aspect to having to slow down,” she said. “The emotional pitch of anxiety has decreased.” “We need to be more aware and cognizant of mental health,” Wehmeyer said. “It’s been such a stressful six months.” “There’s a degree of resilience that comes out in stressful times. I’m really impressed by how people have adapted,” Wallace said. “Opportunities arise from stress and chaos.”

Photo by M arcy Stamper N aturopathic physician Sierra Breitbeil (left) employs creative solutions to keep everyone safe from COVID, such as meeting with patients on the back porch or holding walking consultations . CENTR AL WA SHINGTON

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Protocols In addition to comprehensive screenings of patients before they arrive at a clinic and thorough sanitizing regimens, providers and patients are being innovative about meeting patients’ needs. Physicians and dentists are doing phone screenings for COVID symptoms and exposures, which make visits more efficient and eliminate time in the waiting room. Family Health Centers has an outdoor screening area where providers can determine appropriate followup, Wehmeyer said. The Methow Valley Wellness Center, where Breitbeil and other providers see patients,

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high risk of flu complications. People with chronic health

With fall and winter fast approaching, there are steps and

conditions such as asthma,

precautions you and your fam-

heart disease, chronic lung dis-

ily will need to take to fight the

ease and neurodevelopmental

flu. Here is some advice from

conditions are the most high

the Centers for Disease Control

risk of flu complications.

• GET VACCINATED: According to the CDC, the best step you can take to prevent influenza and its potentially serious complications is

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By Greenshoot Media

CIN

Fending off the flu

adults 65 years and older, as changes in the immune system due to increasing age create more problems. People 65 years and older bear the greatest burden of severe flu disease.

getting a yearly flu vaccine. It

• PREVENTATIVE

is true the flu vaccines vary in

ACTIONS:

how well they work, most hav-

Other than the flu shot,

ing about a 65% success rate.

there are preventative ac-

Still, flu vaccines prevent

tions that you can take to

millions of illnesses, tens of

reduce the spread of flu and

thousands of hospitaliza-

stop the spread of germs. The

tions and thousands of deaths

CDC avoids close contact with

every season. Vaccinations

people who are sick. If you are

can also help to protect others

sick, limit contact with others

around you, more importantly

as much as possible to keep

those who are vulnerable and

from infecting them.

have compromised immune

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Cover coughs and sneezes

systems such as babies, young

with a tissue and throw away

children and older people.

the tissue after you use it. Wash your hands often with

• HIGH-RISK

soap and water. If you are un-

CATEGORIES:

able to wash your hands, use an

The CDC says children

alcohol-based hand rub. Avoid

younger than 5, especially

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has a special air-filtration system. But Breitbeil has also used other approaches to make sure patients feel safe. She’s been holding consultations on her back porch when possible, and has increased her use of phone visits. Some patients opt for walk-in appointments. Because dental offices had to close for a couple of months in the spring for everything but emergencies, some patients – particularly those who require frequent cleanings – had additional needs when regular appointments resumed, O’Keefe said. Some patients may have initially been reluctant to return to the dentist, but once people understood the additional screenings and sanitizing equipment, most were reassured. O’Keefe is using state-ofthe-art devices like a high-powered vacuum that pulls aerosols out of the air and runs them through a HEPA filter. Another device sterilizes all surfaces.

Staff wear double layers of personal-protective equipment. Inevitably, fear of COVID has exacerbated existing issues of access to dental care, O’Keefe said. Many people have no

financial fear, and there’s physical and emotional fear,” he said. Providers and patients have welcomed the increased acceptance of telehealth for many types of appointments. One helpful outcome of the

“COVID has impacted our entire world and redefined what wellness is. It’s important to recognize that wellness is not just keeping us free from disease and the impact of disease. It’s not just physical health, but also dealing with stress and behavioral health,” Jim Wallace, Family Health Centers dental insurance, and many are simply afraid of the dentist. “People put things off until it’s physically intolerable. There’s

pandemic is that doctors can now get paid for these visits, which help people get access to care and to specialists without traveling long distances.

FAMILY

HEALTH CENTERS

Recommendations Health care providers have a range of recommendations to enhance overall well-being. Breitbeil stresses the vital links between physical and mental health. People should give themselves credit for accomplishments. Ask yourself, “What did I do right today?” It could be a good night ’s sleep, no coffee, or the salad you had for lunch, she said. And take stock of what you really feel good about. Acknowledge yourself for all your striving and accomplishments. Self-care is more important than ever, Breitbeil said. “Finding one good mini-series every winter – or a really good novel – is an awesome way to be healthy,” Breitbeil said. “Staying with the characters and looking forward to something is always really good for your health. It fuels my well-being – it’s a source of joy, it’s not just hedonistic.” Make sure you keep up with

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M E T H O W VA L L E Y


basic health care – well-child, well-woman, and well-man visits, Wehmeyer said. Don’ t avoid annual physicals and screenings like mammograms and colonoscopies. “Stay as healthy as possible,” she said. Flu shots are especially important this year. It typically takes about two weeks to develop immunity. In the Methow Valley, the peak f lu season is generally in January and February, Wehmeyer said. By preventing illness and hospitalizations caused by the f lu, we can save health

care resources for COVID-19 responses in the community, according to Okanogan County Public Health. And, because symptoms of COVID-19 and the f lu are similar, when people are vaccinated against the f lu, it helps medical providers determine who has the f lu and who has COVID-19 or another respiratory illness, Public Health said. Staying active – particularly outdoors – is essential. “Take advantage of the fresh air, bundle up, and go for a walk,” Wehmeyer said.

North Glover Healing Center Welcomes Dr. Kellie Moore, ND Naturopathic medicine now available in Twisp. Treat and prevent chronic disease through a personalized approach that addresses the root causes of symptoms through lifestyle medicine. Conditions treated include cardiometabolic health, hormonal imbalances, immune issues, digestive dysfunction and more. Visits may be held in-person or remotely by telemedicine. Visit our website www.preshhealth.com to learn more and schedule.

Why sleep matters By Greenshoot Media When it comes to your immune health, sleep can play an important role in how your immune system per forms. Getting too much sleep doesn’t seem like it will prevent you from getting sick, but too little sleep has shown to negatively affect a person’s immune system. Making sure you get good quality sleep during the winter months can help give you a better fighting chance against the cold or flu.

• CYTOKINE PRODUCTION AND SLEEP: The Sleepfoundation.org says that, without sufficient sleep, your body makes fewer cytokines, a type of protein that targets infection and inflammation, effectively creating an immune response. Cytokines are produced and released during sleep; if you aren’t sleeping you’re losing out. The Sleep Foundation recommends getting at least seven to eight hours of sleep to avoid getting sick and staying healthy.

• TAKE A NAP: The Sleep Foundation says taking two naps that are no longer than 30 minutes each – one in the morning and one in the afternoon – has been shown to help decrease stress and offset the negative effects that sleep deprivation has on the immune system. If you are unable to sleep for a half-hour during the workday, sleep for 20 minutes during your lunch break and another right before you eat dinner.

• WHAT MAKES YOU SLEEP: If you find yourself having a hard time falling asleep, there are some tricks and things you can do to help you fall asleep. Lowering the temperature in your bedroom can help. Your body temperature changes and cools when you lie down. Another way to help you fall asleep is by making your room completely dark and turning on some relaxing music. Research has shown that darkness boosts the production of melatonin, the hormone essential for sleep.

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It’s personal: Self-care can be a salvation BY A SH L E Y L ODAT O

Self-care is always important, but it becomes even more critical in times of stress and uncertainty, like during a global pandemic or wildfire season. Although they do not address symptoms of viral infections like COVID-19, special treatments like massage, reflexology and other self-care services contribute to our overall physical health, mental well-being and emotional resilience. Lucinda Tear, of Lucinda’s Botanical Salves & Potions, practices a combination of reflexology and energy medicine. “Both focus on helping the body, and its physiological and energetic systems come back into balance when they have become unbalanced, as they inevitably do when we push ourselves or are push beyond our comfort limits,” says Tear. “When we are in balance, we can be our full selves and deal with situations as they arise. The alternation of being pushed beyond our comfort limits and coming back into balance builds our strength and resilience and expands our comfort limits.” During COVID-19, while our emotional comfort and psyche are being taxed by uncertainty and fear, our skin is being stressed by wearing masks for long periods of time; weeks of wildfire smoke stress our skin as well. “Facials and massage are a great way to help with those issues,” says Heidi Sullivan, owner of Nectar Skin Bar & Boutique. Nectar, Sullivan says, is “doing our best to provide a safe environment for our clients and our therapists in the spa, but we do provide at-home solutions for those not ready to

come see us in person.” Esthetician Kelsi Potvin, who owns Twispa with her business partner, massage therapist Beau Bourn, says that “self-care is a necessity, essential for well-being.” Potvin and Bourn believe that it is necessary for people to “connect with being and disconnect from doing” for periods of time, to “nurture the body, mind and soul.” Twispa offers such a refuge. “We are both passionate about creating a space for people to be able to clock out and be nurtured and cared for— these times, and any times,” Potvin says. “We provide the opportunity and give people permission to do that—to step away for a while. We see Twispa as a sanctuary.”

H E A LT H & W E L L N E S S 2 0 2 0 – 2 1

Search for serenity With fewer clients in spas and salons at any given time, establishments like Twispa really are a bit of a sanctuary – little pockets of serenity. Those providing services like reflexology, manicures and facials in the Methow Valley are following the governor’s mandates, such as wearing masks, sanitizing between clients and limiting capacity in their treatment rooms. The environments are hushed and soothing, allowing clients to unwind in tranquility. Although treatments like massages and manicures are often seen as frivolous or self-indulgent, they have emotional and physical benefits. Massage is relaxing as

well as therapeutic; manicures and pedicures – which nearly always include an element of massage – help increase blood flow to the hands and feet, increase joint mobility, and help maintain good nail health. Facials provide stress relief and promotes collagen production and exfoliation of dead skin cells, resulting in healthier skin. We can choose to view treatments like reflexology and skin care as extravagances, or we can consider them investments in our overall health and well-being. Tear believes that these treatments enables us to be “our full selves,” which, she says, “feels good and allows us the spaciousness to be kinder to others and become a force for good in the world.”

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Photo courtesy of Motive Yoga


Don’t be a fitness failure Finding alternative ways to work out BY M A LCOL M GR IFFE S

Staying fit can be a challenge when you can’t visit your favorite gym or yoga studio, but local fitness facilities are adapting to coronavirus-related restrictions – and so can you. Motive Yoga in Winthrop has been producing free online yoga classes since the onset of the pandemic to help users stay centered and connected to their practice while at home. For owner Bree Dillon, the goal of the videos is to be able to meet people on their yoga mats, wherever they are. Practicing yoga at home is easily doable. You don’t need much, or any, specialty equipment. “The bar for entry is low,” said Dillon. “You don’t even need a mat, really, you just need the ground that you’re on.” And, yoga can be adapted to any ability, as it is just as much about taking time to stretch and breath as it is about feeling the burn. “Yoga can be highly physical and dynamic, but it’s also simply taking a couple of deep breathes and laying back on the floor to unwind,” said Dillon. “And right now in particular, these are tools we can use to stay healthy, mentally and physically.” Motive Yoga is now making available free online videos every week. “For us it was a way of staying connected to our community,” said Dillon, whose community has actually grown during the pandemic as more members have been logging on to access her online videos. “When we busted down the walls of being a placed based business, all of a sudden our student base grew,” said Dillon. “One of my students is a mom,

who on Mother’s Day invited her three children to take yoga with her, and they all tuned in from different parts of the country to live stream the practice,” said Dillon. “A moment like that reminds us that while this is a virtual connection it is also a real connection.” Dillon’s first videos were simply recorded on Zoom with her laptop propped up on a kitchen pot. Since then she’s been working on improved production value. She is now producing a subscriptionbased channel which will premier in mid-November. “This is the plan we arrived at, and it is morphing all the time. We’re just doing our best to listen to what students need and respond as best we can,” said Dillon. “Our goal is to provide something that is reliable and feels familiar. And is supportive of our students well-being.” Remote training Cascade Endurance, based in Mazama, has also been making its training plans more remotely accessible. Alison Naney, who founded and co-owns the training company with her husband, Sam, has been producing free online training videos as well as crafting at-home workout plans. Cascade Endurance started out low-key, with Alison planning runs and workouts with friends after work. It grew from there into a full-time training program offering clinics on endurance running, backcountry ski prep, weight-training programs, and organized runs. When COVID precautions were imposed, in-person coaching sessions halted as did the summer running calendar. “It felt like you couldn’t do anything,” said Naney, who had to cancel clinics and races that had been schedule throughout the summer.

H E A LT H & W E L L N E S S 2 0 2 0 – 2 1

“It became a question of figuring out how to engage with the community,” said Naney, who switched to creating athome workouts that were accessible online. “Before COVID hit I had some online coaching, but it was all individual,” said Naney. “Personally, I like working out with other people. So this online format is selfishly a way to have that community aspect.” Cascade Endurance has now developed a variety of virtual versions of its clinics, and has even held a virtual running race in the Methow. They’re also offering a library that includes a couple of

dozen workouts that can be done at home, accessible through Cascade Endurance’s website. Most of the online exercises use body-weight training, meaning you don’ t have to have a collection of weights at home. If you’re looking for a bit more of a challenge, Naney recommend filling up a bicycle water bottle, which weighs a little over a pound when full. Paired with the right exercise, such as doing squats while holding a full water bottle overhead, a small amount of weight can go a long way. Another great way to add weight to a variety of exercises is to fill a backpack with books and wear it while working out. Alternately, if you have kids at home, Naney suggests getting them to hop on your

Making the home workout work By Greenshoot Media You don’t need a lot of space to work out from home – clear a coffee table in your living room and place a mat on the floor. Start your home gym simple with a yoga mat, a couple of small dumbbells and a step stool.

• STATIONARY BIKE: Cardio workouts such as stationary bikes are a good home workout for both beginners and experienced gym heads. Stationary bikes can help your body in a variety of ways such as improving memory and brain functioning, lower blood pressure and help you get better sleep. Stationary bikes can aid in weight loss and are an excellent workout for burning calories and body fat.

• DUMBBELL WEIGHTS: If you are looking to get a little

more from your workout than to just burn calories, then investing in dumbbells would be a good option. Dumbbells can be stored easily and basically anywhere if you have enough space to fit them under a bed or in your closet. You can work out various muscle groups in your body. If you are new to working out, start with lightweight dumbbells and work your way up with more weight as you progress and become stronger.

• RESISTANCE BANDS: Resistance bands are an excellent option if you live in a small or studio apartment and don’t have space to store dumbbells or a stationary bike. Resistance bands can be used to workout multiple muscle groups. They are used primarily for leg workouts but can be used to work out your arms and even your chest. 17


Photo courtesy of C ascade E ndurance

back while you hold a plank position. Depending on their age it can be quite a challenge. Naney has been working on pull-ups while having her toddler piggy-back. Working out at home is, in a large part, a creative endeavor. For Naney, it ’s also been “a good opportunity in that it ’s really helping me kind of reframe what a summer season could be. It ’s given me a chance to take things easier, and to explore the area we have around us here in the Methow.” It’s still possible to do onsite workouts at places like Winthrop Physical Therapy & Fitness, which re-opened its gym in August and has been adapting under coronavirus protocols. Hand washing, temperature taking and masks are mandatory after entering the building. Locker rooms remain closed. The facility is now offering indoor yoga classes, and reserved workout areas both inside and outside the building.

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Methow Valley Health & Wellness 2020/2021  

Annual health publication for the Methow Valley region featuring healthcare resources and stories about regional health issues.

Methow Valley Health & Wellness 2020/2021  

Annual health publication for the Methow Valley region featuring healthcare resources and stories about regional health issues.