Preemptive Strike


Category: Beauty Articles


What’s that saying—an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure? Benjamin Franklin’s oft quoted maxim has been wholeheartedly embraced by local experts who offer a wide range of strategies to keep you at the peak of health.

Nip obesity in the bud
With Americans bearing the weight of their love for fast and convenient food, the battle lines to fight obesity are being drawn—and one of the latest weapons is BodyWorks, a 10-week class for moms (and other caregivers) of girls ages 9 to 13, an age group in which eating and exercise habits are formed and carry into adulthood (a similar program is in the works for boys). Developed by the U.S. Department of Health and offered at Overlake Hospital, BodyWorks (Wednesdays, April 8–June 10; free; encourages mothers to model healthy eating and exercise habits by setting reasonable, specific and measurable goals. That can be as simple as serving two vegetables with dinner or walking 10,000 steps per day. Attendees are coached on healthy eating through interactive group lessons on topics such as meal planning, serving sizes and grocery shopping tips; they’re sent home with tool kits stocked with a recipe book, pedometer, weekly menu planner, DVD on healthy cooking strategies, and food and fitness journals to record meals and exercise. Says instructor Joanne Montzingo, “girls and moms doing it together is a really winning combination.”

Reduce your cancer risk
Cancer prevention tips are as abundant these days as fad diets, and whether they’re found on food labels (pomegranate juice, anyone?) or in media headlines, they all promise results. You can cut through the hype and find out what really works for you at the Cancer Prevention Clinic offered by the Seattle Cancer Care Alliance and the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center, where an all-star team of professionals helps you assess and lower your personal risk for cancer (held at Seattle Cancer Care Alliance; from $600). Risk assessment includes a look at your family history and lifestyle, plus a physical exam. It’s followed by a series of one-on-one interviews with a physician, dietician and physical therapist for further assessment, which may include screenings for common cancers such as breast, cervical and prostate cancers, and counseling for smoking cessation, fitness and nutrition. The result is an individually tailored program of proven risk-reduction strategies, with ongoing support from clinic professionals to motivate behavior change. It’s preventive medicine at its best.

Invest in a healthy heart
A year may seem like a long time, but this kind of investment with The CardioVascular Wellness team at Swedish Medical Center will bank lasting changes for your heart health—whether you’ve had a cardiac event or just want to prevent one. The personal and comprehensive program, available without a doctor’s referral, begins by determining risk factors via a questionnaire and then moves on to develop specific goals (lose weight, lower cholesterol) with the help of a team that includes nurses and exercise physiologists, all under the direction of a physician. The benefit of a year, says medical program director Dr. Sarah Speck, is that patients can implement changes over time—making modifications, if necessary—with support from their Health Coach, a personal lifestyle coach who is a certified health professional through Wellcoaches. This nationally recognized approach to wellness encourages coaches to help patients measure progress toward the goals that are most important to them. And though habits are hard to change, Swedish makes it easy by facilitating patients’ brief, twice-monthly follow-up meetings in person, via phone or e-mail. Cost for the program is from $5