Fitness: Workout classes to stream on-line

Keep up your fitness routine while at home during the COVID-19 (coronavirus) time with thanks to these local workouts locations. 

Barre Classes, Olympia

Define Barre is offering online virtual Barre Classes. Join  alone or bring a friend.  Sign Up below with FIRST Class FREE through the Online Store.

Yoga and Thi Chi, Tacoma Wa 

Join classes on-line stream classes. Relieve stress, increase flexibility and energy, and make your joints feel better. Try a live online group class or a 1-on-1 private session for $15

Ruby Soul Yoga, Lacey Wa  

Yoga classes offered such great health benefits. Ruby soul slowly re-open under Phase II with limited hours and services beginning June 5. Check out their in-studio & virtual class schedule online.

See Well for Your Lifetime

Protecting your vision and preventing vision loss is an important part of your overall wellness as you age. A common misconception is that vision loss is a normal part of getting older. That’s not entirely accurate. As we age, the risk increases of developing eye diseases and conditions, such as age-related macular degeneration, cataracts, diabetic retinopathy, or glaucoma. With regular eye exams, these diseases and conditions can be caught and treated in their early stages, which reduces the potential for permanent vision loss and blindness.

Retaining good vision starts with preventive care. The American Academy of Ophthalmology recommends that adults get a complete eye examination at age 40 to establish a baseline, if you haven’t already been seeing an eye care professional regularly. If you have diabetes, high blood pressure, or a family history of eye disease, don’t wait to get your eyes checked. Many age-related eye diseases don’t have warning signs or early symptoms, but can be detected during a comprehensive exam when eyes are dilated. Beginning at age 60, experts recommend an exam at least every one to two years.

Healthy lifestyle habits benefit your eyes. Following a healthful routine for your overall wellness is also great for your eyes. Eat a balanced diet that includes foods rich in antioxidants, such as dark, leafy greens and fish high in omega-3 fatty acids. Exercise regularly to improve blood circulation, which increases oxygen levels in the eyes. Maintain a healthy weight to keep diabetes under control. Stop smoking. Use protective eyewear to prevent injuries, especially when working on projects around your home which are the cause of more than 40 percent of eye injuries. When enjoying the outdoors, always wear sunglasses and a wide-brimmed hat to block harmful ultraviolet rays.

Some changes to your vision as you age should be expected, but don’t assume all vision loss is caused by getting older. Take steps to preserve your sight and reduce your risk of age-related eye diseases and conditions so you can see well for your lifetime.

For Additional Information

National Eye Institute –

American Academy of Ophthalmology –

American Optometric Association –


Tumwater Eye Center’s New facility

At the new location of Tumwater Eye Center, Dr. Douglas Jeske and his wife, Karen, have created a distinctive look and customer experience for their patients. This new facility, located at 6510 Capitol Boulevard SE, features state-of-the-art eye care technology and equipment.

With the help of Orca Construction, Quincy Home Interior Design, and Tovani Hart Architecture, the Jeskes turned a 1950’s home office into a classic, yet contemporary eye clinic. On the exterior of the building there are large overhanging eaves, created with sustainable hardwood and composite siding materials, creating a uniquely Northwestern style which adds depth and character to the building. Upon entering, you are greeted by the warm, welcoming open-design entry featuring vaulted ceilings and extensive windows that flood the space with natural light. The optical display cabinets use beautiful LED illumination and textured laminates to enhance the international frame collection. Noted elements of the design feature budding birch cabinetry harvested from sustainable crops, sliding office door enclosures, and natural linens encased in a recyclable resin.

Beyond the beauty of the location, Tumwater Eye Center features extensive use of technology to create a unique patient experience. Dr. Jeske uses premium computerized refracting equipment to create precise vision corrections. The vision concerns of patients are solved using the most current contacts and progressive lens designs and materials, including blue light blocking lenses. Qualified and compassionate staff help patients through state-of-the-art digital and infra-red retinal imaging and dark adaptation testing to allow early diagnosis of eye disease. Computer monitors in each exam room allow patients to observe images of their own eyes as Dr. Jeske offers practical education on eye health. The practice is also on the cutting edge of telemedicine, which allows remote patient examination with the simplicity of FaceTime.

For Additional Information

Visit their new location at 6510 Capitol Blvd SE, Tumwater or online at


Fitness For Mind & Body

Open a window. Stand there for a while. Stretch your muscles. Breathe fresh air. Listen to the birds or the rain.

How do you care for yourself? How do you pay attention to your physical body? To your mental and emotional cues? “Mindful fitness” meshes a fitness routine to keep you healthy and strong throughout your life with mindfulness, a meditative practice that provides a foundation for health, happiness and wellbeing.

“Before beginning any exercise, pause and bring awareness to your physical form. Feel your bones, muscles, organs, tissues and even skin,” shares Adam Brady, yoga teacher and martial artist with the Chopra Center for nearly 20 years. “How does your body feel? Do you have pain or discomfort? Are you low on energy? Only after you’ve taken inventory of how you feel… should you proceed with your warm-up or workout.”

Brady agrees that noticing your environment is important—temperature, lighting, odors and other sensory perceptions may influence your mindfulness practice. Consider closing the door, turning off the TV and choosing music that helps maintain a peaceful focus.

The yoga experts know your mind will wander. Your job is to “come back to the present moment, the breath and the exercise” to create a breathing rhythm that “serves as a bridge between your mind, body and soul,” Brady said.

Natural mindful fitness exercises include martial arts, jumping rope, yoga, tai chi, walking or running.

If a gym isn’t available or quite your speed, Integrated Pilates Tacoma suggests finding a safe staircase inside to do cardiovascular and balance work, remembering also to take rest breaks throughout the day so your nervous system can rebalance itself. Even children can participate in a “body scan,” lying on a comfortable surface, closing their eyes, squeezing every muscle in their bodies as tightly as they can, releasing all their muscles to relax a few minutes, and then think about how their bodies felt during the activity.

Pay attention to your body, muscles, pace, breathing, resistance and tension—indoors and out—for a healthier and more mindful you.

For Additional Information


Mental Health During Social Isolation

The outbreak of COVID-19 has been incredibly stressful for many people, resulting in feelings of increased anxiety and depression for some. Unfortunately, for those with pre-existing mental health conditions, the stress of COVID-19 can be too much to handle, leading to feelings of hopelessness and doubt. 

Pacific Medical Centers recently launched a campaign focused on mental wellness during COVID-19, designed to foster connections during social isolation. PacMed knows that COVID-19 has led to a mental health crisis, both in Washington state and around the world. The team of mental and behavioral health providers at PacMed can teach us how to properly spot mental health concerns and the right questions to ask our family and friends who may be experiencing feelings of loneliness and isolation during COVID-19.

To help share further insights on how COVID-19 has impacted our mental health – and how Pacific Medical Center’s COVID-19 campaign aims to help those currently suffering from mental health illnesses — nurse practitioner Simon Katumu with Pacific Medical Centers’ can help. Katumu answers common questions about social isolation and its impact on mental health during COVID-19, along with the importance of understanding the connection between physical health and mental health. 

  1. Who is most at risk for depression? 

Everyone can be affected by depression during this pandemic but most specifically, people that have had a prior history of mental/emotional conditions can be at a higher risk. This may include prior episodes of depression, anxiety, postpartum depression, etc. Also, people whose lives have been affected significantly by the pandemic such as job losses, losses of loved ones, experience with COVID-19 (such as being severely sick with the virus and being intubated in the ICU), etc. may also be at a higher risk for depression. 

The economic impact of this pandemic has also affected us in one way or another, but some of us have been affected more than others. Also, people who are outgoing and derive energy from being around others may be affected by social distancing and the inability to go out and socialize. Those who consume news continuously, including social media, may find the information emotionally draining and depressing as well. 

  1. What specifically can readers do to avoid depression? 

Try as much as possible to maintain your usual routine, which includes waking up at the same time every morning, exercising safely and regularly, eating healthy, getting enough sleep every night, limiting your consumption of the news / making sure your news sources are reliable and trying to stay in touch with friends and loved ones virtually, via FaceTime, Zoom, Skype, etc. 

  1. When should someone seek help?

If you notice that your emotions and feelings are affecting your ability to function and/or your relationships, then it may be time to seek professional help. Some people may notice that they are more irritable, impatient, not sleeping well, constantly worrying or being anxious about getting the virus, their financial wellbeing, 

We all get concerned by what goes on around us and have thoughts and discussions about our jobs, families, the economy, and that’s perfectly fine, but there’s a level of nervousness, worry and uncertainty that is not healthy. When this happens, it is wise to seek medical help.

  1. Why is it important to seek help?

Sometimes we go through life thinking that we are alone and no one else understands what we may be going through. We may think that we are the only ones who feel the way we do and maybe even think that something is wrong with us, but there’s help. Many of the issues that we face are also experienced by so many around us and there is professional help available. 

  1. Anything else we should know about depression during this time?

The brain just like all our other body organs can be sick. Just like there is no shame in seeking help for our hearts, livers and lungs, there is no shame in seeking help for our brains as well. It is perfectly fine and there is help available.

Simon Katumu is a nurse practitioner at Pacific Medical Centers at its Puyallup clinic. He received his degree from Southern Illinois University. Katumu has received his certification from the American Nurses Credentialing Center. His medical interests include health promotion and disease prevention. In his free time, he enjoys traveling, playing basketball, running and watching movies. 

Maintaining eye health during telecommuting

During this time of increased computer work and digital communication, it is important to be mindful of eye strain and give yourself regular breaks. This is why Pacific Medical Centers, recommends the 20-20-20 rule. Specifically, for every 20 minutes you look at a screen, look away for 20 seconds at something that is 20 feet away.

Dr. Kernie at Pacific Medical Center also recommends the following preventative steps to minimize eye strain, especially during this time of working from home. Trying incorporating the following tips:

  • If you have prescription eyewear, ensure that you’re wearing them
  • If you get dry eyes, remember to drink water, and use artificial tears for additional moisture (not red-eye or allergy drops, as those are for different uses)
  • Try to avoid glare from windows or indoor lights
  • Adjust your computer screen so the top of it is level with your eyes
  • Choose a comfortable and supportive chair
  • Don’t forget to blink – not blinking enough can cause red, irritated, dry eyes

Those who do most of their work on computers are most at-risk of eye strain due to the visually demanding nature of digital screens. Additionally, those who are farsighted,  have astigmatism or who have problems using their eyes together have a greater risk of eye strain and may require prescription glasses or eye exercises to help manage their eye strain. 

It’s also  important to drink plenty of water and eat a nutritious diet which includes foods that are good for the eyes. These can include green leafy vegetables (spinach, swiss chard or kale), oily fish, eggs, legumes, nuts, and beans. Green leafy vegetables all have high amounts of Lutein and Zeaxanthin which appear to prevent or slow down macular degeneration and cataract formation.

Foods rich in omega-3 oils such as salmon, oysters, and ground flax seeds, are good for the retina and for the meibomian glands in the eyelids (the oil glands near the eyelashes next to the eyeball that produces part of the tears). 

Providing Care for Possible COVID-19 Patients

TRA Medical Imaging and Diagnostic Imaging Northwest are serving as a triage center for imaging during this major national crisis.

TRA Medical Imaging and Diagnostic Imaging Northwest are shifting gears to care for patients under evaluation for possible COVID-19. Starting immediately sites will only be seeing symptomatic patients (experiencing fever or respiratory symptoms such as cough and shortness of breath) for urgent X-ray and CT exams at the TRA Lakewood location.

At TRA Medical Imaging and Diagnostic Imaging Northwest, providing safe, high quality care is our #1 priority as we navigate the challenges of flattening the curve of COVID-19. By creating a dedicated imaging center for symptomatic patients needing urgent X-ray and CT exams, we intend to serve as a relief valve for hospital emergency departments that are likely to be overwhelmed. We also recognize that reducing exposure for non-COVID patients (including our vulnerable populations) at our remaining TRA and DINW imaging centers is critical to reducing the spread of infection.

TRA has allocated their freestanding imaging center in Lakewood to serve as the first dedicated imaging location for symptomatic patients. Additionally, TRA will be extending billing due dates to help ease patient stress financially during this uncertain time.

“We recognize that this will be a defining moment for our health care system and our region. Getting through this will require commitment, collaboration and all the resources we can bring to bear as a medical community,” states Douglas Seiler, M.D. TRA’s Physician President. “TRA stands with our partners MultiCare Health System and CHI-Franciscan Health as we face this unprecedented challenge together.”

Exercise Offers Health Benefits at Any Age

Most of us have heard the adage that it’s never too late to start exercising and reap the benefits of better health. Is that a myth or a fact? Two recently published investigational studies evaluated more than 315,000 Americans and 15,000 Britons. The studies confirmed the conclusion of past research: Adopting an exercise routine at any age improves your overall health and well-being.

In the American study, researchers were surprised by one of their findings. Participants who increased their physical activity in their 40s, 50s and into their early 60s enjoyed health benefits and a reduced risk of an early death as much as those who had maintained an exercise regimen throughout adulthood.

The British study found similar benefits for people into their late 70s. The researchers also concluded that substantial longevity benefits were gained by becoming more physically active regardless of past inactivity or health conditions, such as high blood pressure, elevated cholesterol or obesity.

Ready to get started exercising? The Cleveland Clinic recommends these steps:

See your doctor.

Get a physical exam to assess your current fitness level. Make sure you’re healthy enough to start picking up the pace.

Track your progress.

Use a pedometer or activity tracker to count your steps. Time your workouts with a stopwatch. Keep a journal to show how far you’ve come as you progress.

Start slow.

Begin all workouts with a warm-up and stretching.

Find the right fit.

Figure out what activities you enjoy. Create a balanced routine to include aerobics, strength training and balance exercises.


Evaluate whether your workouts are too little or too much. Take note of your fatigue level and your ability to lift and to walk distances.

Hydrate and eat a balanced diet.

Drink plenty of water every day. Plan meals and snacks that are high in fiber and well-balanced with “good” calories to fuel your body.


Spend Time in Nature to Reduce Stress

Spending time in nature can help relieve stress and anxiety, improve your mood, and boost feelings of happiness and wellbeing. Whatever you call it – forest bathing, ecotherapy, mindfulness in nature, green time or the wilderness cure — humans evolved in the great outdoors, and your brain benefits from a journey back to nature.

Get Out

Have you been feeling down lately, especially with Covid 19 concerns? A little sluggish, stressed out, or maybe wondering, “What’s life all about?” 

Here’s another question: How much time have you spent in nature lately?
The answer to these two questions might be more closely related than you’d think.
The modern way we live has changed radically from life in the savanna, but our brains have mostly stayed the same. We still have a deep connection with nature, and research shows that if we don’t nourish that bond despite our technological advancements, we may suffer in many ways.

Feel Better

If you’re able to, get back to nature to energize your mind and body.

Depressed: If you’re feeling blue, try going outside to green, natural spaces. A stroll in the woods has been shown to help combat depression, and even just the view of the forest from a hospital room helps patients who are feeling down. Head for the hills if you need a boost to your mood.

Stressed: Nature presents scenes that gently capture your attention instead of suddenly snatching it, calming your nerves instead of frazzling them.

Anxious: You probably know that exercise is good for your state of mind. But did you know that working out in nature helps to reduce anxiety, among other benefits, even more than going to an indoor gym? Consider hitting some trails to get the best mental bang for your buck.

Self-Involved: If you dwell on your problems and just can’t stop, a walk through a meadow might put the brakes on the thought train circling through your head. Research shows that a 90-minute walk in nature lowers activity in the part of the brain linked to negative rumination.

Fatigued: Are you constantly multitasking at work as you switch between customers and phone calls, or click from spreadsheets to presentations? Even at home, you might face a combination of kids, chores and devices vying for your attention. Your prefrontal cortex can only take so much distraction before it needs a recharge. Luckily, time in nature has been shown to restore mental abilities like short term memory and processing 3D images based on drawings.

Uninspired: Changing the scenery is a great way to get the creative juices flowing, and nature offers stimuli that you won’t find while staring at a screen. In one example, spending four days in nature improved problem-solving skills by 50%. If you haven’t found a way to tackle that next big project at work, or an obstacle that’s impeding your personal goals, try noodling on it in the great outdoors.7

Antisocial: Time in nature can help with your personal relationships, too. Natural beauty results in more prosocial behaviors, like generosity and empathy.

Disconnected: One of the most basic human needs is to feel that you belong and you’re part of a larger tribe. But studies show that this concept goes beyond human relationships alone. Time in nature results in a sense of belonging to the wider world that is vital for mental health.9

Angsty: At times, you might feel lost, and begin to wonder what life is all about. A dose of awe might remind you just how wondrous the world is. Nature provides trees that were hundreds of years old before you were even born, towering mountains that touch the clouds and a sky full of uncountable stars. When it comes to awe-inspiring awesomeness, nature leaves our jaws dropping and spines tingling, and rekindles the realization that we’re a tiny part of an incredible universe. What’s more powerful than that?

Consider seeing a mental health professional if your symptoms are serious, but if you’re feeling a tinge of any of the blues listed above, try something like:

  • Add a daily walk on a local hiking trail to your regimen.
  • Go on a bike ride around your neighborhood.

Content provided by the American Heart Association News

Tacoma Lutheran Redevelopment Project

Serving Pierce County for over 80 years, Tacoma Lutheran Retirement Community is a not-for-profit Life Plan Community in North Tacoma. With the planned addition of three buildings filled with condos and apartments, the community is forging ahead on its challenge to continually evolve and modernize. The redevelopment’s goal is to meet the ever-changing needs of current residents, but also to ensure it is relevant for generations to come.

Pre-sale of the upscale condos and fully equipped apartments will begin in April of this year with an anticipated construction start date in fall of 2021. The two-year construction process will see the addition of new buildings, two condo buildings with 20 and 21 units respectively, and one three-story apartment building with 50 units. The upscale finishes on the condos will be complemented by the state-of-the art common areas and amenities already existing on the campus. The apartments will feature full modern kitchens and complete laundry facilities in each unit. Monthly apartment fees will include a meal plan in the community dining facility as well as access to all amenities and programs offered throughout the Life Plan Community.

As Pierce County’s largest Life Plan Community, Tacoma Lutheran Retirement Community has the facilities to take residents through the various stages of their life. With Independent Living, Assisted Living, Skilled Nursing and Memory Care, the campus features services and amenities offered to enhance one’s lifestyle. There is a wellness and aquatic centers and an art center with ceramics, wood and textile projects. Plus, there are a wide variety of life enriching activities and programs available off campus like an excursion to the Seattle Symphony or visiting the Shakespeare Festival in Ashland, Oregon.

The community currently features 183 apartments and Six-Plex cottages that open into courtyards, 38 assisted living units, 14 memory apartments and 159 skilled nursing beds. The addition of 90+ upscale condos and apartments in the coming years will enhance the campus for years to come.

For Additional Information

Tacoma Lutheran Retirement Community