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Brought to you by Mike Nielsen of Snap Fitness - FITNESS INSIDER -

SNAP FITNESS - Mike NielsenAs the inspirational saying goes, “Live less out of habit and more out of intent.”

While it’s true that starting a fitness routine can be difficult, I offer the following tips to get you in the gym door and on the road to good health.

Assessment — New SNAP Fitness clients receive a free jump-start session, including consultation with a trainer. The assessment determines the client’s baseline, helps us guide their first steps, and is an opportunity to discuss adding personal training.

Cardio — The national recommendation for exercise for all ages and fitness levels is to get to the gym at least three days per week, and to do a minimum of 30 minutes of cardio per visit. Working out with a friend will make it more fun, help you feel more accountable, help you stay at the gym for more months and achieve a higher level of success.

Strength training is key to replacing fat with muscle, becoming leaner, stronger and improving balance. Do two to three sessions of strength training per week.

Nutritional guidelines — Instead of eating three large meals per day, eat five to six small meals. This will fuel your energy throughout the day and avoid post-meal sluggishness. Also drink 96 ounces of water daily.

Online help — SNAP has a complete online nutritional program and training center. Free with membership, it provides a personalized workout plan, sample menus and a complete library of instruction videos.

Snap Fitness

Milwaukie: 4200 SE King Rd.



Oregon City: 19703 S. Hwy. 213, Ste. 170



Brought to you by Mike Nielsen - Snap Fitness - Fitness INSIDER

Mike Nielsen, Snap FitnessStrength training is an essential part of an exercise program, even for someone who hasn’t been active in a while.

Lifting weights, using weight machines and doing core work increases muscle mass and bone density.

As we age, our muscles deteriorate (called sarcopenia) and bone density decreases.

Research shows that seniors are more susceptible to bone breakage that younger adults. As people age, their metabolism slows down. We are seeing more and more seniors joining gyms.

If we take the average adult between the ages of 40 and 50 and do basic strength-training three to four times per week for 90 days, the outcome can be life-changing.

Here’s a myth-buster: Muscle does NOT weigh more than fat! A pound is a pound. 

Muscle is, however, more dense than body fat and takes up less area than fat. If you were to start an exercise program complete with strength training, you would increase your lean body mass and decrease body fat.

The body takes up less space and metabolism speeds up, resulting in a higher BMR (base metabolic rate, the amount of daily caloric intake needed to maintain LBM and weight.) This reverses sarcopenia and increases bone density.   

Not everyone walks into a gym and knows exactly what to do. Snap gives new members an opportunity to meet with a Certified Personal Trainer, who assesses their body and their goals. 

Let’s get started.

Snap Fitness

Milwaukie: 4200 SE King Rd.



Oregon City: 19703 S. Hwy. 213, Ste. 170



Brought to you by John Sciarra, Bernard's Garage - AUTO MAINTENANCE INSIDER

John Sciarra, Bernard's GarageRegular maintenance on your car is, quite simply, a good investment.

For example, when you bring your car in for a timing belt — typically needed at 90,000 to 100,000 miles— it costs in the range of $400 to $500. But if it breaks, it might be $1,800 to $2,000.

At our shop, when we do it, we do it right. With the timing belt, we also replace the timing belt tensioner, idler pulleys, camshaft seals, water pump and coolant.

Mileage interval maintenance, which is only done by shops, should be done at 30,000, 60,000 and 90,000 miles.

The ideal scenario is to get the car into the shop about three times per year for inspections, which will find things like rodent damage, which is more common than you might think. It’s mainly squirrels in this area.

An inspection will also uncover leaking coolant or oil, as well as plugged-up air filters. Once a year, you should get a brake inspection.

We do complete automotive repair, including pre-purchase inspections for $150. That’s a comprehensive inspection, which can detect unforeseen problems and save you from buying a compromised vehicle.

Our average cost for an oil change is $38; $58 for a brake inspection.

It’s a small investment. We do it properly and can save you a lot of trouble and expense down the road.

Bernard’s Garage

2036 SE Washington St., Milwaukie



Mike Nielsen - Snap Fitness - Fitness INSIDER

SNAP FITNESS - Mike Nielsen“We are a friendly, success-oriented fitness center,” says Mike Nielsen, vice president and co-owner of Snap Fitness locations in Oregon City, Milwaukie and Canby. “We’re like the ‘Cheers’ of the gym world, where everybody knows your name.”

Nielsen has been a certified fitness coach for 13 years and has been with Snap for eight years. He says being a fitness coach is all about helping individuals achieve the best version of themselves.

“It’s not just something that’s done at the gym, but it’s a lifestyle change,” he said of Snap. “We focus on not only the physical but also the mental and emotional aspects of everyday life, to make sure we are able to achieve long-term success.”

He says Snap gyms have a family feel and a personal touch.

The gyms are open 24 hours a day, seven days a week, with monitored access for safety. Snap has more than 1,500 locations nationwide.

The fitness centers offer cardio, personal training, weight-loss programs, a health center, strength training and Olympic lifting. An online web page for members offers nutrition counseling and an online training center.

“Our members are our greatest assets,” Nielsen added. “We do all we can to make sure they have not only the best facility and equipment, but a wonderful experience.”

Snap Fitness


Milwaukie: 4200 SE King Rd.


Oregon City: 19703 S. Hwy. 213, Ste. 170


Canby: 1109 SW 1st Ave.


Brought to you by John Sciarra - Bernard's Garage - AUTOMOTIVE INSIDER -

BERNARD'S GARAGE - John SciarraAfter nearly 100 years of providing excellent full-service automotive repair and maintenance, Bernard’s Garage is a classic Milwaukie institution trusted by generations of customers.

Founded in 1925, old timers and area residents still remember Joe Bernard Sr., who would design and build custom car parts when his customers’ vehicles needed it. Joe Bernard Jr., a former Milwaukie mayor, helped modernize Bernard’s and continued his father’s tradition of excellent customer service.

The current owner, Jim Bernard, another Milwaukie mayor and current Clackamas County commissioner, has computerized Bernard’s—turning his father’s mechanics into today’s technicians.

Besides providing free pickup and delivery, Bernard’s offers DEQ repair and adjustments, check-engine light diagnosis, manufacturer-scheduled maintenance, brakes, steering and suspension repair, timing belt tune-ups, radiator and water pump work, as well as engine, transmission and air conditioning service.

“We are straight shooters and will let you know what the problem is and what the cost is upfront,” Operations Manager John Sciarra says.

Sciarra, an 18 year veteran of Bernard’s, has attained numerous specialty vehicle class certifications. With 26 years in the industry overall, Sciarra is our INSIDER for automotive excellence.

Bernard’s Garage is a 17-year-long supporter of the Milwaukie Farmers Market, a Milwaukie First Friday participant and frequently donates to the Annie Ross House, Milwaukie Senior Center and other local schools and events.

A member of the Clackamas County Chamber of Commerce since 1955, Bernard’s has been named Business of the Year twice since 2000, and has received the BRAG award from the county for practicing responsible recycling and waste management.

Bernard's Garage 

2036 SE Washington St, Milwaukie, OR.

(503) 659-7722


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County will consider AMR ambulance contract

by: PHOTO COURTESY: AMR - American Medical Response personnel bring 10 ambulances to the scene of the Dec. 11 Clackamas Town Center shooting within 30 minutes.American Medical Response executives expressed relief after Clackamas County commissioners voted 3-2 on Tuesday to look at their bid for continuing local ambulance services.

County Chairman John Ludlow and Commissioner Jim Bernard both voted against a motion by Commissioner Paul Savas, which Commissioner Martha Schrader seconded, to continue with the process using the one bid that was received on time. After reviewing the bid, commissioners could still vote to reject AMR’s proposal and restart another bidding process.

Although details remain shrouded in mystery, AMR’s main Portland-area competitor, Metro West Ambulance, is rumored to have missed the deadline, while Rural/Metro Ambulance didn’t follow through on a pledge to bid: Rural/Metro steps into contract fight, Feb. 6. Metro West did not respond to calls for comment on Tuesday, and county commissioners have agreed to a “blackout” on talking about the issues until this month’s staff analysis of AMR’s bid.

Bernard voted against the process on April 30 despite his admission at a Jan. 22 work session that elected officials had gone too far in trying to replace AMR. After meeting with Bernard on AMR issues, Clackamas Fire District No. 1 has since backed off of its stance that the contract should go to bid. But rather than opting for automatic annual contract extensions, county officials spent more than $50,000 to hire consultant Polaris Group to construct a proposal process for new ambulance contracts, as previously reported in County digs into ambulance contract, Jan. 30.

After attending this week’s county work session, AMR General Manager Randy Lauer expressed surprise at Bernard and Ludlow’s “no” votes. AMR netted about $12.5 million last year, but only 1.2 percent of that was profit in Clackamas County after paying an annual $365,000 franchise fee, and another $640,000 payment goes to fire departments and the system-enhancement fund.

“They had laid out a fairly complex process for bidders to follow, and we thought we had followed it exactly,” Lauer said. “If they had decided to change directions, they would have had a big political mess on their hands and a lot of explaining to do. So, the county made the right decision.”

Lauer noted that AMR’s bid proposes to continue its current programs and “really strives to build a foundation to keep AMR in step with health care reform” efforts that are moving fast in Oregon. Meanwhile, since its current contract doesn’t run out until May 1, 2014, the company is training employees for a busy wilderness and river-rescue season from Memorial Day through Labor Day. AMR provides a lifeguard-safety program at High Rocks, the popular Clackamas River swimming hole between Gladstone and Oregon City.

AMR’s “Reach and Treat” team also responds to falls and other Mt. Hood National Forest incidents. A climber who fell over the crest of Hogsback on Mt. Hood on Wednesday, May 1, was identified as Robert Finke, 52, of Gladstone. Reportedly in stable condition, Finke was accompanied by a member of Portland Mountain Rescue who happened to be climbing in the same area, joined by a member of Timberline's Ski Patrol and members of AMR.

Because remote areas of Clackamas County “rely on AMR’s excellent service, response time and experience,” Jon Tullis, spokesman for the Timberline hotel and ski resort, added his name last week to the many regional leaders writing letters to the county encouraging commissioners not to waste any more time and money through the contract bidding process. He wrote that AMR acquired “essential skills and knowledge” to tackle challenging alpine conditions and difficult emergency scenarios.

“This knowledge and practical experience would be very difficult to replace,” he wrote. “We strongly believe that AMR’s experience and services, including search-and-rescue skills, is invaluable not only to those in need of those services, but to the overall reputation for world-class travel and outdoor recreation here in Clackamas County’s Mount Hood Territory.”

Emergency medical response plays an important role the county’s tourism industry, Tullis said, because visitors need to know that if something should go wrong, there is a specialized team already in place that can be called upon. AMR’s “RAT Team” out of Government Camp are “at the ready to react quickly and efficiently in situations where time literally can mean life or death,” Tullis wrote in describing AMR’s long history in Clackamas County.

“While we appreciate the commissioners’ fiduciary responsibility, we caution them from making a decision for emergency medical services based solely on money, and we see no compelling reason to change a system that has proven itself to work well,” he wrote. “The commissioners should honor AMR’s track record and renew their contract.”