Outdoor Weekend Frolics and Hunts

Here are some ideas for a few safe outdoor activities that are just around the corner for kids, teens, and adults. We can still have fun with masks and distance! Thanks for keeping it creative Kirkland. 

ScavHuntEye on the Prize Flyer
Eye on the Prize Scavenger Hunt

Calling all Teens - get off your screens and get downtown! This event is March 5th-7th and your 14-18-year-olds need to register by March 4th. Join the hunt through downtown Kirkland, solve the clues, find the hidden pictures, decode the cipher, and submit your final answer for a chance to win a gift card for coffee, food, and treats from these local merchants and more! Donors include: Ben & Jerry's, Sirena Gelato, Thruline Coffee, The Shake Shack, Coffee and Cone, Just Poke, Zeeks Pizza, Cafe Ladro, and The French Bakery.   Sign up for the Eye on the Prize teen scavenger hunt for a chance to win!  Thank you to Lake Washington High School PTSA for your partnership with this event.  Register for free at kirklandparks.net (course 10993)


Pot of Gold (002)
Pot of Gold Nugget Hunt
(how can you not attend something that uses the word nugget?)

You don’t need the luck of the Irish to participate in this event, just your peepers!  All kids between the ages of 4-8, join in the hunt for gold nuggets starting March 13-16 at McAuliffe Park.   Make sure you are in the main park located on the east side of 106th Ave.  Find a gold nugget, turn it over to see if you won a prize. Snap a photo and send to: [email protected] to claim your prize.  Only one prize per person.  This event is free.  Remember to take your nugget with you!  The contest ends March 16th.  Register to participate now for event #11053 at kirklandparks.net.

Shamrockrun2021Orcasphoto<-Photo cred: Orcas Running

Orcarunning LWPT+Logo+Transparent+Flat+copy KirklandUrban_v_x2_4cp

Orca Running and Lake WA Physical Therapy's Kirkland Shamrock Adventure Run Hosted by Kirkland Urban (say that 3 times fast?!)

Shopping, living and dining center Kirkland Urban is home to the 2021 Kirkland Shamrock Adventure Run on Saturday, March 13 from 10-1:30.  Orca Running and Lake Washington Physical Therapy have partnered to bring back this race in the hopes the community can get outside and have fun while staying socially distant. Runners will visit local Kirkland retailers in the downtown Kirkland/Houghton areas for a family-friendly "choose your own adventure" fun-run and scavenger hunt. 

Runners will start and end at Kirkland Urban’s Urban Plaza Way. They will have one hour to collect as many tickets as possible from local participating retailers around downtown Kirkland, including Dough Zone, Power Hour 360 and Restore Hyper Wellness + Cryotherapy. Runners will return to the finish line to submit their tickets and collect their medal. Tickets will be used for a prize drawing that will take place at a later date. 

Prizes will be gift cards donated by local Kirkland retailers that will be mailed to winners after the race.

Registration is $25 for adults and $15 for kids 12 and under. Participants will receive their bib and a special collectors’ map in the mail before the race. For those with dogs, there is a special doggy registration add-on available for $10.

When participants register, they will sign up for a time slot to start the run. Groups of ten people will start every five minutes from 10 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. to ensure there is no crowding. Registration is limited to 300 participants this year per social distancing guidelines.

Online pre-registration closes the day before the race at 8:00 p.m. For more information and registration, visit https://www.orcarunning.com/kirklandshamrockrun/.

Retailer specials for race participants include:


Deals to Get Your Heart Thumping

Kirkland has plenty of fitness options, so I did a little legwork for you! I checked in with many of the gyms around town to discover incentives that we could extend to Kirkland blog readers as you are making your exercise plans for the new year.  It's obvious we're going to be forced inside for a while, so we may as well find new ways to get energized!  

Here's what those that responded wanted to share with you:

Kutting Edge Fitness

  • Be a part of the Awesome Kutting Edge Fitness Family! Burn fat, build muscle, and have fun working out! We will be the best part of your day!
  • This link is for our Decade Reset Challenge that is 6 weeks of unlimited personal training as well as nutrition guidance.
  • This deal is open to the public but for Kirkland Blog readers we will give them 50% off and give them the challenge for $199 instead of the fragility price of $399
  • Expiration date: The regular challenge start date is 1/13/20 but for Kirkland Blog we will allow them to start the challenge anytime up until 1/31/20. 

F45 Training

  • World's Best 45 Minute HIIT Workout for All Levels.
  • 10 classes for $10 (thats $1 per class). Link for purchase here.
  • For new clients only. Especially for Kirkland Blog Readers; but everyone is welcome
  • Expiration date: 14 day expiration from day of purchase.

Power Hour 360

  •  We are a 1 hour fast paced personal group training session that implements cardio & strength endurance training!
  •  We  are doing a Founder’s Special for unlimited classes $139 with a free pair of boxing gloves & a heart rate monitor
  • Expiration date: Only for the first 50 people to sign up!


  • 30 minute, full body workout with certified trainers that changes daily and has NO CLASS TIMES...workout on your schedule!
  • Go to here to sign up for a free 10-day pass AND $299 in savings if you become a member
  • This is a special offer for Kirkland Blog readers!
  • Expiration date - 1/31/2020

X Gym

  • Safe, time-saving workouts, requiring only 21 minutes, twice a week, offering 1:1 personal training and small group training.
  • Kirkland Blog Readers get 10% off monthly membership of personal training or group training. 
  • Expiration: Join by 2/29/2020 to get this offer.

LA Fitness

  • LA Fitness offers a wide range of amenities including state of the art equipment, group fitness classes, swimming pool and spa, personal training, kids club babysitting racquetball and basketball at most locations and a highly trained staff, we provide fun and effective workout options to family members of all ages and interests.
  • FREE 1 week guest pass
  • Expiration date – Offer expires 3/1/2020

Bassline Fitness

  • High Energy, fast paced Interval and Resitance Training for all fitness levels
  • First Time Visitors: 2 Weeks Free call us at 425-739-4444 or email [email protected] or just come on in.
  • New Membership special: $99 first month $159 following months (3 month minimum commitment) Book online or come on in.
  • January Referral Raffle: For each referral you will receive $5 Bassline Cash and be entered to win a 30 day membership
  • No set expiration date at this time except the referral raffle.

Columbia Athletic Clubs

  • Kirkland’s largest full service athletic club w/programming for the whole family
  • Enrollment fees discounted 50% or more through January 31st  
  • 5 day Trial Passes available too

Happy Hour by Marisa

  • All levels are welcome to fun, unique high energy classes 7 days a week!
  • 10 Classes for $50 +tax. 30 days to use the classes. New clients only
  • Expiration Date: Jan 31

Shoutouts to Fitness Together Kirkland and Kirkland CrossFit for responding to say hello even though they don't have any special offers at this time.  And thanks to my workout partner, AJ, for being an impromptu fitness model (photo above). 

Cheers to a strong and healthy 2020, Kirkland!

More Openings at Kirkland Urban

IMG_7436 IMG_7432 IMG_7428

Power Hour 360- 400 Urban Plaza-You know I love trying out all of the (many) new gyms in Kirkland.  I rally my usual workout crew and we all hit it hard and then debrief afterwards.  Check out the big guns on Christin and Megan, it's no wonder I feel inadequate.  This franchise is out of Las Vegas and Kirkland is the first WA location and they plan to keep expanding with their strength and endurance training.  They got excited about Kirkland because this demographic is young and activity oriented (good job, people! Please call me young).  Cardio is always half of the class, which kicked my butt the first half when we toggled back and forth from treadmill to rower, varying our focus and intensity.  Just when I caught my breath, as indicated on the screen, it seemed we were racing off to our stations where we had our own punching bag/gloves, instructional screen and peripherals (weights, med balls, etc). Our instructor, Andy, moved along with us and demonstrated and used cues as to indicate what was coming next.  I'm old and bad at following directions and so the lady and timer (90 seconds per round) on the screen were very helpful (similar to Orange Theory if that's your jam).  This boxing class moved us through about 4-5 cycles of punches followed by a body weight exercise such as mountain climbers or push ups. Everything feels clean and new, because it is! We all liked that we had to do cardio before the workout because we wouldn't normally push ourselves that hard on the cardio.  AJ wasn't sure if he could do that kind of workout everyday, but I think he was just trying to keep his heart rate score above ours- he's a bit competitive.  We all got our butt kicked and left feeling accomplished.

Hours are Mon-Fri 5am-7:30pm and Sat/Sun 6am-3pm. Parking is validated.  You can find Power Hour's list of classes on their website here. There are lots of membership options: the first 50 members score the Founder's special which is $139/mo plus free monitor and gloves.  Otherwise, it's $159/mo. Or you can pay $99 for 8 classes per month.  Membership is always month to month so you don't have to fret about over-committing yourself.  Best part- your first TWO classes are FREE! Pop in, tell Courtney, Don, Chanel and Andy you are friends with me. ;-)

IMG_7444   IMG_7445   IMG_7445
Mosaic Salon + Spa- have opened their 6th location at Kirkland Urban (and 2nd one in Kirkland!). All 24 studios are fully occupied- mostly hair stylists, but you will also find lashes, microblading, botox and even a plastic surgeon is on site.  Mosaic's concept allows independent vendors/stylists to have their own space while all under the same roof.  Two more will be opening soon in Seattle. 

Mud Bay-
425 Urban Plaza-I haven't been in here yet, but it looks bright and open and ready for you and your pet ( I just have kids, no pets, I'd have a mental breakdown if there was one more thing to keep track of/feed). Coupons are filling my mailbox that you can save $8 on any purchase of $25 or more so swing by to introduce your little furry friends.  They've had healthy food, treats, toys, litter and supplies since 1988 so they must know what's going on.  It looks like there are some upcoming events for pet photos and Santa shots here.

Orange Theory Splats Down in Kirkland

OTF (1) OTF (5) <--the 'splat' logo represents the image of fat cells when they burn

On February 28th, Orange Theory Fitness (OTF) officially turned on their signature orange glow at 217 Park Lane (corner spot across across from library parking deck). Lucky for me, I can almost stay in shape just by visiting all of the new gyms opening in Kirkland.  So I grabbed my usual ass-kickin' workout crew and ventured on an OTF field trip so we could give you our collective thoughts.  Thanks to Megan, Christin, Brett and AJ for being up for the task.

OTF (4)  <--don't let this freak you out   

OTF (4) <--these rowers are super smooth. like butta  OTF2 <--CLOWNSHOW alert.  FYI, if you laugh a lot you forget how tough it is


Orange Theory definitely has a super clean/new feel.  You can park on the street or library deck. Inside there are showers and lockers, and about 10 classes per day. Once checked in, we were given heart monitors to strap around our chest, whose results will appear on a screen in front of the class (photo). It tells you your heart rate, calories burned, avg heart rate % and splat points accumulated (afterburn).  Don't stress this part, with 20 or so people in class, nobody is paying attention to your performance on the screen, my old eyes were struggling just to find my own during the entire hour class.  There is one large studio space that illuminates a warm orange and has a long row of treadmills, rowers and weight stations which are each numbered and assigned to a person. Our instructor, Sarah,  did a lot of explaining and demonstrating since each station has a set of directions you need to follow- such as 4 different exercises (with a screen to remind you of them)or adding incline to your treadmill on particular increments.   You spend enough time at each station to be able to push yourself without getting bored. Christin said it was a great workout that pushed her out of her comfort zone.  Megan really liked having specific goals on the treadmill,  but wished she had more time to warm up/stretch in the beginning and end. The music felt like it was trying pretty hard to please a broad audience but nevertheless did its job of keeping the energy level elevated.  AJ said, "I felt very motivated to keep pushing harder.  I always wanted to be in the red."  That guy burned over 900 calories (mine was 500ish for comparison).

The other cool thing, OTF sends you an email summary of your performance right after your workout, which also tracks your cumulative performance if you're a regular.  Things like how many minutes you spent in each zone, calories burned, average heart rate, etc.  It feels like a little present to remind you of your accomplishment. And visual proof of your progress. Speaking of which, between mid-May and July they will be running a 'transformation challenge' where the member that loses the greatest % of body weight will win $500!  Memberships are monthly (no contract) and you can use any of their 1200 international locations by booking online, in the app or in person.  Rates vary from $69-169/mo depending on how often you'd like to go.

Overall, I think this is a great motivating format for a lot of people and I've heard from a few friends that they are loving it so far.  Feel free to comment if you've given it a try and want to share your experience!



F45 Fieldtrip with my Workout Crew

F45GroupShot <--Ro w/my crew of lady buttkickers

There are lots of new gyms popping up just in time for us to make our New Year's fitness resolutions.  Plenty of choices, and you know I love trying them out.  Luckily, it's not an ice cream shop appearing on every corner or I'd be in some serious trouble.  F45 is Kirkland's newest workout facility in  Howard Mandeville Gallery's old space at 120 Park Lane.  They opened three weeks ago and are super enthusiastic to be here, especially since this location had the highest number of membership pre-sales in the entire company.  Globally (1200 studios/38 countries).  Way to go Kirkland. 

Kirkland F45 owner, Rohit (Ro for short) Chopra, was kind enough to extend an invitation to me and my morning workout partners. I think it's notable that I had 3 women and 3 men friends confirmed and that ALL of the boys chickened out that morning. Just sayin'. It happened to be 'strength day.'   So shout-out to my ladies Christin, Megan and Mari for flexin' their girl power (photo).   F45 represents functional training and they get you in/out of there in 45 minutes. Saturdays they have a DJ (boom!) and class is an hour. There are 2 trainers per class and Sonia and Catrina brought their positive vibes and helpful tips to our class.  Here's how it went...

F45 <--it is not mandatory for your sneakers to match your medicine ball

Everyone rolls into the big room that has stations already set up for us.  We form a long line at the front of the class so we can all see while the trainers quickly demonstrate what happens at each station.  Classes can have up to 27 people (3 pods of 9 stations) but ours had about 14 , so we had 3 pods of 6 stations each.  As Sonia was starting to show us the stations (photo), I was getting a bit worried that my little pea brain was not going to remember all of these.  Thank goodness for technology.  There are screens at the front of the room that have a short video clip of the movements for each station. Then trainers split us all up into our 3 groups or 'pods' and we started the circuit workout.  Workouts are programmatic, similar to Orange Theory or Crossfit, where the workout has been pre-written, in this case by a team of PhD Functional Trainers, given a name and is the same workout given to all of their locations everywhere that day.   We did the 'Angry Birds' workout, while others have names like 'Foxtrot' or 'Wingman.'

F45Megan <--this is possibly the most beautiful back I have ever seen. Sadly it is not mine, but a girl can dream.

Once we started we'd go from numbered station to station within our pod.  Trainers walked around to help orient us to the flow and correct our posture on various movements.  We went around each pod 3 times, with the time shortening a little each round. Then we'd move on to the next pod with our group.  Each station had a few weight/resistance options that you could self-select based on your preference.  I went light to make sure I could focus on where the heck I was going (a little confusing at first) and to increase my chances of doing the movement properly.  There is no time to stare out the window onto Park Lane for some people-watching.  The video animation on the screens is super helpful, which is also where the timer is running and of course it is all set to music as well.  

F45Ro<-- Ro,the owner. What a good sport, he did the class with us!

This was super fun- there's good energy with a room full of people.  The trainers were enthusiastic and the workout kept you focused on what you were doing because you were constantly moving.  The first time is definitely a bit confusing ( where do I go next? what am i doing here?) but I'm sure with 2-3 classes under your belt the format would become second nature. My crew of ladies agreed and also appreciated the hands-on trainers and ability to modify exercises as needed.  I think I could burn off a good handful of Christmas cookies if I kept going.  Ro is going to be opening (10) F45's- Capitol Hill, Kirkland, and downtown Woodinville will be next. His background is engineering- he used to work for Disney-but he wanted to do something in fitness where he could help people gain mobility, agility and strength while excelling at customer service. 

There are typically 10 classes a day running from 5am until 7:30pm.  There are no membership contracts, it's a weekly membership that ranges from $45/week for 2x/wk and $69/wk for unlimited classes. There are incentives for longer commitments and you can always freeze your policy.  They also do 8 wk challenges that include a results-focused meal app- you can download this for free. Parking is on the street or library or pay lot.  There are showers and towels on site, but no childcare.   Your first class is always FREE- just register here. Sounds like there may be some holiday specials coming out soon too. Call 425-749-4216 if you prefer chatting with a human.


Let Katalyst Fitness do the Workout for You

Katalyst Fitness
opened in downtown Kirkland (127 Lake St, next to Via Lago) on October 12th and I have been lucky enough to try it a few times.  This is unlike any other workout you have experienced.  It is a personalized experience using Electrical Muscle Stimulation (EMS) which gives you a full body workout that engages over 90% of your muscle fibers in only 20 minutes.  Yeah, really.  It kinda feels like you're cheating!

IMG_1414 <--it's a tough job letting cute boys dress me

So here's the low-down on how this works.  When you walk in, you're greeted by a trainer that will have you fill out some forms and then hand you a 'base layer' to change into.  You have to be COMPLETELY naked under the base layer. So if that freaks you out stop reading now and go back to your sweaty hour-long workouts.  If you can live with the idea that this suit needs to be the only thing between you and electrical impulses keeping your muscles contracted without you doing any work- keep reading.  Anyone can do this workout since there is no external load (unless you have a pacemaker).  And, this technology is also FDA approved for 18+ yr olds.  

Katalystmachine <-Fadi is practicing cranking up the dials to make me twitch

After the base layer is on (nice changing area/shower/lockers btw) your trainer sprays down your Katalyst suite with warm water for conductivity. The Katalyst suit looks like a jump suit (photo) for zip lining or rock climbing and your trainer will ever so kindly vice strap you into this corset-like contraption and drop the wireless jet pack battery in the sleeved pocked in your back, so you are wirelessly connected to the machine that will be delivering your EMS.  Shoes/no shoes= your choice.  

Katalystpunch      Katalystfocus  <-Friends don't let friends workout alone

Your trainer will start to activate each muscle group with an electrical impulse one by one until they are all buzzing in harmony while you grip a rolled up washcloth in each of your clenched hands. Then you spend the next 20 minutes going through a series of movements that your trainer demonstrates for you. You need to remember to breathe (duh, right? not so easy actually) as the impulses cycle through about 4 seconds on/4 seconds off. Even doing punches into the air seems difficult while your muscles are already contracted (photo).  Occasionally my arm would involuntarily jerk upwards- ok, yes I almost punched myself in the face, but it takes focus to control your movements under these circumstances.  It's also difficult to concentrate and follow the instructions the first time because your mind/body is so busy wondering what the heck is going on.  After my 2nd and 3rd visit I knew what to expect and my brain was better able to manage the full body buzz .  The trainers also knew what to expect out of me and therefore the movements get more challenging and the dial that controlled my current seemed to be twisting up incrementally. I like this workout b/c I also get to laugh at myself a lot. 

This whole shabang only takes 20 minutes. But leave some more time for your first visit to get suited up and oriented. The best part is that you throw their clothes into their dirty laundry bin and walk away feeling unscathed.   You are supposed to wait 72 hours before your next Katalyst workout. After the first time I was sore a few days later, but subsequent visits have allowed me to walk freely without groaning out loud which was fabulous. This workout has lots of applications- from complimenting existing workouts, returning from an injury, athletes wanting to push past their max, just starting your fitness program or even anyone that is tight on time.  No cardio piece to this one, so for some you that may be a relief. Katalyst also uses the InBody scale that gives you your body composition analysis - how much of your weight is bones/body fat/water/etc- and it gets broken down by each appendage so you can track your progress. In case you were wondering my right arm weighs 6.04 lbs

Pricing is in packages ($25-35/session)-but have no fear, your first two are FREE! Just go here to  book your session and enter INTROKIRK3 at checkout before 12/31/19. Let me know how it goes! ~j

**In other fitness-related news- those of you that were enjoying IceHouse Cryotherapy for recovery, they have moved on to other projects and closed their doors on Nov 3rd. Boo.

RUMOR ALERT- there may be a bridal shop moving in just north of Katalyst on Lake S.  Unconfirmed. But you know how I like to stick my nose in and chat with workers. :-)


More Gyms Downtown- Here Comes Katalyst Fitness

Kirklanders must really like working out because yet another gym, named Katalyst Fitness, is getting ready to open this month right in the heart of downtown at 127 Lake St (next to Via Lago). F45 on Park Lane isn't quite open yet. Katalyst promises a "full body workout engaging over 90% of your muscles in efficient 20 minutes sessions under the guidance of a trainer." Take a look on their website and you might think you'll be suiting up to jump out of a plane. Yelpers do the best job of explaining their experience at the Bellevue and Seattle/U-Village locations. It sounds like first you do some goal-setting.  Then, you don't have to lift any heavy loads, you put on their base-layer and Katalyst suit that delivers bio-electrical impulses to your muscle fibers while going through instructor-led movements.  I'm definitely curious!?  It will take me longer to walk here (where will people park?) than it will to workout.  But you know I'll try it.  Stay tuned. 425-896-7989, [email protected] Hours: M-F: 6-9, Sat/Sun 6-3. ~j

Punching & Swinging

9Round Fitness is getting ready to open at 314 Central Way (near T-Mobile and Emerald City Smoothie) on June 10th.  This organization was founded by world-champion kickboxers and has over 700 international locations.   There are no classtimes  (then you can't be late! yay!), so you can drop in whenever it is convenient for you to run through a 30 minute 9 station full body workout circuit.  Start on whatever station you like and get ready to burn 500-550 calories.  There's abs and core/strength training that includes cardio, weights, bag work and core.  3 minutes on followed by 30 seconds of recovery and the workout is different every day.  I think you can find some serious stress relief on those punching bags? 

IMG_6891  <-- say hi to Tammie
There's free parking in the garage and hours are M/W 8-8, Tues/Thurs 6:30-8, Fri 806 and Sat 8-12.  Owner Tammie Freeman (photo) thinks you should be able to try it out for free before you commit. And I agree. So get yourself in there and register to try it out while she holds charter member pricing for you at $99/mo (plus $25 reg fee) which never increases.  After that you are looking at $129-159/mo depending on what options you choose.  [email protected] 

COPS   Kirklandpolice   SpecialOlympicsWA

In other eventful news, when you prefer swinging to punching, you can head out to Inglewood Golf Club on Monday June 4th to support two great causes.  Tell the boss you'll be sick that day. The Kirkland Police Dept has been putting on this event for almost 20 years and all of the proceeds go to the Special Olympics of WA and Concerns of Police Survivors (COPS).  Watch out because Captain Ursino is emcee'ing the event which means it is a guaranteed good time. He even convinced me to play on his team, which brings an altogether new level of sporting entertainment to the golfing community. It's an 11am shotgun start and a scramble (thank goodness).   Entry fee is $175 and includes green fee/golf cart, valet bag drop, range balls, box lunch, catered buffet dinner, goodie bad and auction/raffle prizes.  Register here to come out and play with us! Or if you can't make it, you can still  sponsor ([email protected] )  or donate ([email protected] ).  UPDATE- this tournament is now FULL but you can still sponsor or donate raffle prizes (or come laugh at me that's always free, I"ll buy you a beer)

Can You Feel It?

IMG_5512  <butt-kickers

Happy 2018.  Are you dieting? ARGH. Starting a new fitness routine?  Or torturing yourself by cutting out wine for a bit like I am?  9 days in and I'm still alive, yet perhaps a bit grumpy.

On a happier more endorphin-filled note.....I'm a girl that's been comfortable in the free weight room of a gym since (cough, cough) the late 80's.  I think it started when my high school softball team used to workout on the clunky nautilus set, crackled old benches and rusty dumbells in the training room. I was hooked.  Through living in different cities and visiting many gyms it's just always a place that I'm comfortable, despite the fact that I was often the only woman in there.  I like the variety it offers and the creativity I can add to a workout and call it my own.  And truthfully, if I try to follow along in a fitness class I'm always five seconds behind looking like a complete buffoon in the back of the room.  Over the years, ladies have shared with me their fears of the free weight room and I've tried to offer encouragement.  Usually either they didn't know what to do with the equipment, felt like everyone was looking at them or the number of sweaty men in the room just made them uncomfortable.  

Enter 2018.  I looked up from my workout on Monday and who do I see in the free weight room?  SIX women.  Two men.  YESSSSSSSS!  All in their own zone working their butts off.    The symbolism in that moment forced me to round everyone up for a photo. Maybe it was Oprah's speech the night before?  Who knows.  So I punched one of the guys and made him take the pic of the rest of us.  I love these chicks and I don't even know them ( they did approve the photo).  I'm excited to see more examples like this one in 2018, as the free weight room phenomenon foreshadows the representation of women in the workplace, politics and leadership roles everywhere.  Let's get 'em ladies! ~j

Embrace the Cold at Icehouse Cryotherapy

 IMG_4991  <--you are not crazy. This is not a padded room. Leave your straight-jacket at home

Have you ever wanted to try cryotherapy? Hint, hint (freebie alert in this post...)

I decided to give cryotherapy a try at Icehouse Cryotherapy, mainly because I was just dying to know what all the buzz is about.  It's been hiding from me for about a year now, but now I know what I've been missing.  Many professional athletes such as Kobe Bryant and LeBron James swear by it, not to mention numerous celebrities (perhaps you saw it on "Real Housewives?" don't admit if you did).  Your entire body goes into a cryo-chamber that subjects you to chilling temperatures nearing -220 degrees F for up to 3 minutes. Sounds kind of insane at first.  But the concept has been around since since the 1600's, and then a Japanese researcher introduced whole body cryotherapy in the 1970's.  It's touted to help with things like reducing muscle pain and injury recovery time, inhibiting inflammation, improving joint function and the immune system, increasing blood circulation and energy, while also improving collagen production and accelerating metabolism.   The intent is to trick your brain (which is easy to do w/MY brain) into thinking that your body is in a dangerously cold environment.  In response, your brain tries to protect your body by dropping its core temperature and stimulating regulatory functions.  The skin exposure triggers the release of anti-inflammatory molecules, endorphins, increased oxygen in the blood and the release of toxins.  Learn more about the benefits here.

IMG_5009                IMG_5007                    IMG_5013

Back to my chilly story....so, I grabbed my bestie and made us an appointment at Icehouse Cryotherapy in Totem Lake. Easy peasy, you can do it right on their website.  The location is a little bit hidden, but worth it, tucked away in the corner space that adjoins to the Eastside Tennis Center.  A super patient and kind cryo tech explained all of the do's and don'ts, mainly that you can't wear any metal (wear a sports bra, ladies) and you can let her know if you want to exit at any time.  You keep your undergarments on and they provide a robe, socks, gloves, hat and slippers.  The max time is 3 minutes in the chamber filled with liquid nitrogen, but apparently some don't make it that long.  Challenge accepted! Once in the chamber you toss your robe out and start to freeze your willies off as you watch the temperature continue to drop.  Try to relax!  I tensed up bracing myself for the cold but it's not that bad.  It's a dry cold (the polar plunge is way worse!) and for the first 2 minutes it's fab and then you start to wonder if your butt cheeks might be on the floor, cause you can't feel them anymore.  You can dance and turn in little circles. Or at least that's what I do. Three minutes- bam! done!  My skin temp was 82.5 to start and when I got out it was 43.5.  Don't worry, my heart is not so icy.  I was super glad to get back in my cozy clothes and felt totally invigorated.  Like I wanted to kick some ass (Jersey girl, I know) but I settled for conquering my day with gusto. Little pains and aches from the week's workouts were undetectable and I slept solid that night.  My mind was still telling me I'm chilly on the inside for the next few hours, but the next day felt like a normal day in the life of Janis. And we all know how exciting that is. I would definitely try this again, especially  if I was training for something or had a chronic pain from an injury. 

Some of our local professional athletes reap the benefits of the visiting the cryosauna twice a day because it's great for speeding up recovery and alleviating muscle soreness.  But for the average part-time athletes and weekend warriors like you and me, 2-3 times a week can really optimize the cumulative effects of your raised metabolic rate from the first session.    I think this would be awesome for runners.

What does this cost, you ask? First timers get to freeze for $40, and there are other packages to explore once you are hooked.  Today is your lucky day my frigid friends,  because Icehouse wants to give a FREE session to a Kirkland blog reader! Tell us why you'd like to try Cryotherapy and I'll randomly select a winner by Friday. As much as I love receiving your emails (ie, don't hit reply if you subscribe), please post your response in the 'comments' section on the blog to be considered.  Good luck!

Hours are Mon-Fri 9-1 and 3-7. Sat/Sun is 10-2. [email protected] , FB page 425-440-1970