The LubDub is a weekly podcast and interactive video show where we talk to experts about running and walking and learn from program champions who provide motivation and inspiration as we embark on this 12-week journey as a community united in becoming our best, healthiest selves.
The Oregon Brewery Running Series hosts family-friendly, 5K fun running and walking events that start and end at some of Oregon’s best breweries. If you’re looking for an un-timed 5K in Portland or around the state, click the link below and join us!
In This Episode
This week, Dr. Ted Foster, a cardiologist with Providence Heart Institute based out of Newberg is going to be stopping by to say hello. He is the program champion for the Willamette Valley heart to start, who kicked off their first season in 2019.
And later, Dr. Katharine Sluys, a clinical psychologist with Providence Medical Group, will be sharing some invaluable information about emotional wellbeing, including tips and tools for training without the in-person group support we’re all used to. She will also incorporate mindfulness and self-acceptance into the conversation.
What is Emotional Wellbeing?
This can be a difficult topic, but it’s extremely important. If we’re not paying attention to what our mind is focused on, it’s hard to achieve our running and walking goals. Dr. Sluys says,
“Mental health is the health of your thoughts, your feelings and your behaviors… It also takes into consideration your social health; how are you doing with all your relationships with people.”
And the reason this is important is that:
“…when you’re mentally healthy, you feel good. You maybe have some flexibility in those thoughts and emotions, so that even if you’re not feeling great in that moment, you’re okay with it. When we’re not feeling great, that really impacts how we’re behaving. When you’re not feeling great sometimes, maybe we’re feeling a little bit less motivated… If we don’t eat as healthy or do those things that we know are important for us to be healthy, [we can’t be healthy overall]. So it’s all very interrelated!”
In short, Dr. Sluys says that paying attention to our emotional health is just as important as paying attention to our physical health for overall wellbeing. You can’t have one without the other.
But this is hard, and we certainly didn’t conquer this big mountain during this short interview. A few other things we discussed that may be helpful, were:
- Diaphragmatic breathing to help reduce stress and anxiety.
- The importance of connecting with others in meaningful ways.
- Types of motivation despite physical distancing.
- Focusing on your personal values to drive motivation.
- Signs that you may need to pay more attention to your mental health.
- Focusing on what brings your joy.
And more! Listen or watch the full episode to get all the details.
About Dr. Katharine Sluys, PsD
Each week, we are joined by an expert who sheds some light on one aspect of the running and walking journey. These are people at the top of their fields in a variety of things. Dr. Sluys (pronounced Slies) is a clinical psychologist with a background in health psychology
She told us:
“…I work as part of people’s medical teams. So when they come into their primary care doctor and they’re not feeling great emotionally, or if they’re struggling to cope with a physical condition or find motivation to be healthier, they come to see me to work on those small achievable goals.”
In her practice, Dr. Sluys emphasizes self-acceptance and realistic goal-setting. “As patients learn to love themselves and find their potential, they often realize they want to make changes—and change is hard,” she says. “So when they reach this point, I help people find their footing. It’s always easier when you have someone cheering you on and helping you make a clear, achievable plan, without judgment and with full acceptance.”
Dr. Sluys is an Ohio native and she spent her youth, in Southern California. When she’s not helping her patients, Dr. Sluys is a hiker, a runner, a standup paddle boarder, and lover of all things outdoors.
Dr. Ted Foster is a father to two young boys. He and I joked that our kids may bust in at any moment and wreak a little havoc on the interview. Thankfully the didn’t!
Dr. Foster is cardiologist with Providence Heart Institute based out of Newberg. He serves as the lead program champion for the Willamette Valley (i.e. the Newberg, Sherwood corridor). They kicked off their first season in 2019 and can’t wait until this group can come together again!
He originally got involved with Heart to Start because it was such a unique way to interact with patients. “It was a fascinating different aspect to interacting with patients on a level that I was just not used to doing.”
He offered us some helpful advice that, at first, didn’t sound like advice. As a former athlete (he nearly went pro in baseball), athletics always came easy to him. But as he got older, he became more and more sedentary. That wasn’t going to cut it as he realized he was having a hard time keeping up with his kids. He told us that he hates running, but went on to say:
“…but by the time I get home… it’s amazing how much better I feel. It’s hard to convey to people….[Running & Walking] may make you grumpy and unhappy to do it, but the benefit you get afterwards, that feeling that whatever it is is it’s just unbelievable.”
About Providence Heart to Start
We’re excited to be partnering with our friends from the Providence Heart to Start program to offer you a FREE 12-week running/walking training program! Rather than focusing on pace or ability, Heart to Start encourages taking several small steps (i.e. weekly training) and working toward a remarkable finish (i.e. goal event) where we celebrate each other as a community.
Unlike our previous monthly challenges, this challenge starts Monday, November 16, and ends on Friday, February 5. Set a challenging 12-week mileage goal and work really hard to reach it by the end!