BOOK REPORTS: Spreading the pickleball gospel

“Play Pickleball” is an insider’s guide to the fast-growing sport that’s attracting players of all ages.

The author, Sydney Steinaker, plays it competitively (she’s planning to turn pro) and teaches it around the U.S., sharing the mantra of pickleballers everywhere that the game is easy to learn and play, low-impact, inclusive, inexpensive, and fun. She details what players need to know–rules, strategies and techniques on the court, equipment, terminology, and etiquette.

Besides her book (published by Rock Point), Steinaker spreads the gospel in videos at TikTok and Instagram and in a podcast.

Seattle-King County Public Health officials have issued a warning about possible exposure for the public to measles.

The agency is investigating a confirmed measles case in an adult who recently traveled internationally. Since traveling, the individual was at multiple locations in Bellevue, Seattle, and Woodinville while infectious, before being diagnosed with measles. Anyone who was at the locations during the time span when the individual was there June 27 through July 2nd may have been exposed to measles, which is a highly contagious infection.

The locations were Vasa Park Resort in Bellevue, PRO Club Bellevue, Café Turko in Seattle, and Zoomcare in Woodinville.

 Measles is a potentially severe disease that causes fever, rash, cough, runny nose, and red, watery eyes. If one person has it, most people nearby will become infected if they aren’t immunized, officials said. It mainly spreads through the air after a person coughs or sneezes. 

 Measles is preventable with the measles, mumps and rubella (MMR) vaccine. According to the national Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, two doses of the MMR vaccine are about 97 percent effective. 

More information about measles and measles vaccination, including where to get vaccinated, is at www.kingcounty.gov/measles 

This fair goes way back

TIME & AGAIN

The King County Fair, which continues this summer as the oldest fair in the U.S. west of the Mississippi River, started in 1863—114 years before then-County Executive John Spellman and some 4H participants posed for this photo at the 1977 fair. The fact Abraham Lincoln was president in the event’s first years is just one of its historic ties. On the grounds of Enumclaw Expo Center, where the fair is now staged annually, the buildings came from the Seattle World’s Fair (where Elvis Presley walked through them). In 1972, the County Council discussed but decided against moving the fair to the Kingdome. But parts of the legendary stadium—seats and a ticket booth–wound up at the current fairgrounds after the stadium was demolished. This year’s fair will have a four-day run July 11-14.

Time & Again is a Senior Scene feature that highlights local history.

Put your back against the wall for better health

(Pictured: A wall sit–back against a wall, knees bent for at least 30 seconds–does wonders for blood pressure, according to cardiovascular experts.

Want to lower your blood pressure with the help of exercise? It doesn’t require running on a treadmill or pumping iron. Instead, static isometric exercises like wall sits (also known as wall squats) and planks — which engage muscles without movement — are best, according to analysis published in the British Journal of Sports Medicine that includes aerobic activity, weight training and high-intensity interval training.

Of the exercises that were analyzed, the wall sit was the most effective, the study found.

Doctors recommend heart-healthy activities like walking, running and cycling as their top choices for patients with hypertension. But isometric exercises are almost twice as effective at lowering blood pressure compared with just doing cardio, said Jamie O’Driscoll, a researcher in cardiovascular physiology at Christ Canterbury Church University.   

To perform a static isometric exercise, you hold your body in one position until your muscles tire. Examples include wall sits, planks and side planks, glute bridges and heel raises.

Isometric exercises are a great option for older adults because they are low-impact and don’t require any special equipment, said Meredith Dobrosielski, an exercise physiologist at Johns Hopkins University.

“It’s an easily accessible form of exercise that you can do pretty much anywhere,” Dobrosielski said. “You don’t need to go to a gym or spend a lot of time doing it. You just need your body.”

Ready to try a wall sit yourself? Start with these steps:

  1. Stand with your back against a wall, feet hip-width apart, and place your feet one or two steps away from the wall. Keep your arms at your sides.
  2. Keeping your back flat against the wall, bend your knees until you hit an angle that you can hold for at least 30 seconds. (Your thighs don’t have to be at 90 degrees).
  3. Hold the position by pressing your back against the wall.
  4. Relax the pose by standing. Repeat for a total of four wall sits, with short breaks in between.

More static exercises to try.

  • Glute bridge.Strengthens the glutes, hips, hamstrings and core. Lie on your back with your arms at your sides, knees bent, and feet planted on the ground. Push your heels into the ground and tuck your tailbone. Then squeeze your glutes, raise your hips toward the ceiling and hold.
  • Wall plank. Works the shoulders, arms and core. Place your hands on a wall at shoulder height. Then take a step back, tucking in your glutes as your body weight shifts into your arms. Focus on your core muscles by thinking of pulling your belly button into your spine. For a greater challenge, place your elbows and forearms on the wall.
  • Heel raise. Strengthens calf muscles, improves ankle stability and boosts overall lower body strength. Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart, keeping a chair or wall in front of you for balance. Raise your heels off the ground and hold.

Source: AARP