Health for a Family

Meet Amal*. A member of Rainier Health & Fitness since April 2010, she, her husband and seven children are dedicated to practicing healthy lifestyles. Every family member exercises regularly and Amal herself walks to the gym from their Beacon Hill home to hit the treadmill or participate in a yoga class. 

Lots of Amal’s friends ask her, “Why do you go to the gym? You’re already skinny?” Amal replies that exercising is about staying healthy and feeling well, not just being skinny. Her mom died in 2008 and had high blood pressure and high cholesterol, so she wants to prevent suffering from the same preventable conditions. Plus, if she doesn’t work out, her muscles get tight and she has migraines. The migraines are actually what drove her to join the gym in the first place; Amal’s doctor said should go to gym, a stress-free environment, for her migraines. Now they only resume after not coming for a week or two. “Coming here is good for my heart and brain,” Amal says. 

In addition to regular exercise, Amal’s family has also made healthy changes to their diet thanks to the influence of their vegetarian daughter. Amal used to drink lots of coffee, but now has reduced her consumption to one cup per day. Coming from Somalia where many dishes are prepared with oil, Amal has steered away from this ingredient and has quit frying food. Instead, she serves the family only brown rice, oatmeal and whole grain bread, spaghetti and cereal. She also checks the labels of food and looks at calories before purchasing. As a result, no one in her family is overweight.

After relocating to the new building, RHF prices rose slightly for adult members. Amal and her husband questioned whether or not to continue their membership. They decided to stay, however, because it’s good for their health and their children under 18 now get membership for free. Ranging in age from 9 to 22, most of their children are included in their membership so their overall cost has actually been reduced. 

“Health is number one.” Amal says, “It’s worth $30 per month.” She tells everybody to come here and has met lots of new friends while working out.  

* pseudonym, name changed to protect privacy