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Health and Wellness After working out, refuel your body. Page 2. Being deskbound is bad for your health. Page 5. Fitness is a choice — so get moving. Page 8. Got a sweet tooth? No problem. Page 11.






Refuel body for maximum benefits, results By CHRISTOPHER CROWN The vast amount of workout advice buzz around the gym and internet can make it difficult to create and follow a consistent fitness plan. As importantly, with an onslaught of tips on lifting form, interval training, reps, sets and more, what to do after the workout often falls to the wayside. Many ignore the importance of nutrition and rest in the quest for more intense workouts and increased distance and strength. However, exercise scientists agree that without proper post-workout recovery, you could truly be wasting your time in the gym. Personal trainer Shannon Clark sheds light on this claim in the article, “8 Ways to Maximize your Post-Workout Recovery” on the Bodybuilding website. Your intense squat workout may have been tough, and you may have worked your abs harder than ever, but you won’t build an ounce of muscle if you do not refuel with proper nutrition and rest, says Clark. You may push your body to its limit, never see the results you expect and even do more damage than good. Here’s how the experts recommend you harness your fitness potential and make your postworkout habits work for you, not against you. Moderate your workout intensity, says BPI Sports co-founder and fitness enthusiast James Grage, who advocates pushing the body to its limits to perform better than the previous workout but not completely destroying it. If you destroy your muscles and are sore for days, you will prevent optimal performance and motivation in subsequent workouts. He says, “If you constantly obliterate your body to complete and utter exhaustion with every workout, this damage accumulates over time and your body will revert its energy to repairing the downstream effects of the damage rather than building new muscle.” To put it simply, work hard, but not too hard. Then, after you’ve given it your all at the gym or on the trail, focus on nutrition. Your body will practically be crying out for rejuvenating fuel to rebuild torn muscles and spent glycogen stores after a workout, says author, so-called lifehacker, and fitness buff Timothy Ferriss in his 2010 best-selling book, “The 4-Hour Body.” Answering this call with focused nutrition will assimilate the effort you have exerted in the gym toward better performance. He suggests ample post-workout protein consumption along with healthy fats, electrolytes — such as bananas for their potassium — and substantial rehydration. The aisles of groceries and spe-

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ents to strive for lifestyle balance -- specifically balancing intense workouts with active hobbies, and getting enough sleep to meet your daily needs. Many athletes and gymgoers become so dedicated to a certain skill, sport or physique improvement, says Clark, that gym time overpowers recreational activities. She recommends a healthy balance of fitness and fun, such as tossing a Frisbee, playing tennis or riding your bike. These opportunities, called active rest, not only help to loosen up tight muscles but also serve as mental replenishment that can put a healthy perspective on hyper-focused goal-based workouts. Jonathon Scott of the University of Hull’s Department of Sport, Health and Exercise Science reported on the importance of sleep in physiology and behavior in the article “Effects of sleep deprivation and exercise on cognitive, motor performance and mood.” According to Scott and his team, insufficient sleep negatively impacted the vigor, mood and reaction time of the study par-

ticipants, and increased the likelihood of accidents. Whether eight hours is the right amount, or some other sleep-wake cycle works better for you, Ferriss claims that the most restful sleep durations fall within 90-minute intervals in order to line up with natural rapid-eye-movement cycles. For example, if you can’t get eight hours one night, shoot for either six or seven and a half -durations divisible by 90 minutes. Even with less total sleep, says Ferriss, waking up at the end of a sleep cycle can be more restful than waking up mid-REM. Just as with exact nutrition components and amount and frequency of exercise, it’s worth experimenting to see whether this is helpful. Likewise, while you’re learning how to optimize both your workout and post-workout regimen, be willing to modify what you’re doing as you go forward to keep your activities and attitude fresh and effective. Whatever you do, the experts agree: Combine restful sleep with invigorating workouts and balanced nutrition to see your fitness results reach new levels.


Refueling your body after a workout is as important as making time to exercise. cialty nutrition stores are lined with dozens of protein powders that promise a quick infusion of rebuilding nutrients. But Consumer Reports Magazine says let the buyer beware. In a 2010 analysis of 15 popular protein powders, the magazine reported that a few of them exceeded the limits of arsenic, cadmium, mercury and lead proposed by the U.S. Pharmacopeial Convention. Either buy natural, high-quality protein supplements or follow Ferriss’ recommendation and eat a wholefoods meal of lean meat, eggs and plant-based protein sources, such as beans and quinoa, after your

workout. Most fitness proponents would say getting in tip-top shape requires a diet of 80 percent clean, 20 percent indulgence. But the percentage of diet and exercise is important, too. Celebrity actor and wellness enthusiast Matt Bomer, best known for his roles in “White Collar” and “Magic Mike,” told Men’s Fitness magazine that he maintains his physique, health and energy levels by focusing 80 percent on diet and only 20 percent on exercise. In addition to effective intensity and focused nutrition, Shannon Clark encourages her cli-

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Swimming upstream: Farm-raised or wild salmon? By CHARLYN FARGO Looking to boost your omega3s? Both farm-raised and wild salmon are good choices. But which is better? Farmed Atlantic salmon, it turns out, outranks wild Pacific salmon, with 20 percent to 70 percent more omega-3 fat per serving. However, if you want fewer calories and more protein, wild salmon comes out the winner, according to Leslie Beck, a registered dietitian with the Medisys Clinic in Toronto. The American Heart Association recommends eating seafood twice a week for its heart-healthy benefits. The two omega-3 fatty acids in fish, called eicosapentaenoic acid and docosahexaenoic acid, are thought to guard against heart attack, stroke and sudden cardiac death. The benefits of DHA and EPA are also tied to a lower risk of Type 2 diabetes, macular degeneration and Alzheimer’s disease. They also promote healthy eye and brain development in infants. Salmon delivers more omega-3 fatty acids than most types of fatty fish. And farmed Atlantic salmon contains more omega-3 fatty acids than wild-caught salmon, according to the U. S. Department of Agriculture. Farmed salmon is also higher in total fat than wild salmon. Three ounces of Atlantic salmon has 175 calories, 10.5 grams of fat and 1,820 milligrams of DHA plus EPA. The same serving size of sockeye salmon contains 133 calories, 4.7 grams of fat and 730 milligrams of omega-3s. Excessive heat can destroy omega-3s. Baking, broiling, steaming and poaching fish will cause minimal loss of beneficial omega3s. Deep-frying and pan-frying fish at high temperatures can destroy omega-3 fats. The bottom line is whether you choose farm-raised, wild-caught, canned or smoked salmon, it is an excellent source of omega-3 fatty acids. It’s also packed with protein, B vitamins (especially B12), selenium and potassium. Just be careful how you cook it. Q: What role does a glutenfree diet play in reducing cancer risk? A: Gluten is a protein in wheat, rye and barley that poses no risk to most people. For people who have celiac disease, gluten sets off a reaction (in which the body’s immune system attacks its own

ries or dried cranberries 1⁄2 cup toasted pecans, coarsely chopped 2 large eggs 1⁄2 cup low-fat plain yogurt, regular or Greek 3 tablespoons canola oil 3 tablespoons pure maple syrup 1 small apple, peeled and shredded Preheat oven to 375 F. Line 12 (1⁄2 cup) muffin cups with paper liners. Pulse oats in a food processor until ground to the texture of breadcrumbs. Transfer to a mixing bowl and whisk in flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, salt, allspice and nutmeg. Stir in squash, cran-

berries and pecans. Whisk eggs, yogurt, oil and syrup in another mixing bowl. Stir in apple. Add the squash mixture and fold until evenly moistened. Divide the batter among the muffin cups, filling them almost to the top. Bake until the muffins are golden brown and the tops spring back when lightly touched, 20 to 25 minutes Let cool in the pan for 10 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack to cool for at least 5 minutes before servings. Makes 12 muffins. Per muffin: 161 calories, 4 grams of protein, 27 grams of carbohydrate, 5 grams of fat, 32 milligrams cholesterol, 3 grams fiber, 257 sodium.

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The American Heart Association recommends eating seafood twice a week for its heart-healthy benefits. cells) creating damage in the intestines that could increase risk of cancer. In this disease, closely following a gluten-free diet is vital. There may be a spectrum of other, separate gluten-related disorders, called “non-celiac gluten sensitivity” (NCGS) based on emerging research. For these people, symptoms like digestive tract pain, headache or fatigue improve when gluten is removed. So far, researchers don’t consider it related to cancer risk. In either case, people avoiding gluten can eat a well-balanced diet, replacing the three gluten-containing grains with potatoes, whole-grain rice, soy, amaranth, quinoa, buckwheat, beans and starch or flour made from any of these. However, if you do not have celiac disease or NCGS, research shows no cancer protection from avoiding gluten. In fact, whole-grain foods containing gluten can be good sources of fiber and phytochemicals that may be cancer-protective. Information courtesy of the American Institute for Cancer Research. Muffins can be healthy if made with the right ingredients. Here’s a recipe for winter squash muffins with cranberries from EatingWell magazine.

Winter Squash Muffins With Cranberries 1⁄2 cup old-fashioned rolled oats 11⁄2 cups white whole-wheat flour 1⁄3 cup sugar 11⁄2 teaspoons baking powder 3⁄4 teaspoon baking soda 1⁄2 teaspoon ground cinnamon 1⁄2 teaspoon salt 1⁄4 teaspoon ground allspice 1⁄4 teaspoon ground nutmeg 11⁄2 cups shredded raw winter squash, such as butternut 1⁄2 cup chopped fresh cranber-

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Juice cleanses can help uncover food allergies By JULIA PRICE Juice cleanses have been all the rage for the last few years, and this trend doesn’t seem to be showing signs of slowing down any time soon. But why do people juice? Is it to lose weight? Is it to promote a healthy lifestyle? Is it just because everyone else is doing it so why not? It might be all of the above. Cleansing has been used for ages to purify one’s body, often inspired by religious practices as a form of detoxification and release. It’s also an easy way to clean out your gut, which will not only help you lose weight, but it will help you to clear your digestive tract and spike those energy levels to an all-time high. Think of it this way: It’s basically a shower for the inside of your body — a shower

that you have been waiting to take for a really, really long time. This can also help you diagnose any food allergies that were perhaps missed by an allergist. Once you have a clean and healthy gut, your body will communicate to you in a much more direct language about the types of food it wants to eat, signaling the best nutritional options to your brain. If you’ve suspected certain food allergies in the past but had no way to prove them, this is a great opportunity to sample different options and see which ones digest easily and which ones your body rejects either through a rash, upset bowel movements or lethargic energy levels. Aside from the allergy detection and weight loss, cleansing is like taking a direct hit of vitamins right to your system. Because fruits and vegetables tend to have

a lot of fiber in them, they can be difficult for the body to break down — particularly for those with more sensitive digestive systems. Cleansing with juice solves that problem because the fruits

and veggies can now dissolve more quickly and more effectively, similar to vitamins. This all sounds like a win-win so far; however, if you’re looking to cleanse for the sole purpose of

losing weight, you may find yourself disappointed by the results. While juices don’t have any added See JUICE CLEANSES on Page 7

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Loosen up: Ways to stay moving at work By SHARON NAYLOR During a typical workday, people spend 5 hours and 41 minutes sitting at their desk, according to the British Psychological Society. Many studies conducted over the past decade report that sitting down for too long contributes to a lengthy list of health risks including obesity, metabolic syndrome including increased blood pressure, high blood sugar, excess belly fat, high cholesterol levels — all of which contribute to increased risk of death from cardiovascular disease, diabetes and many types of cancers. Remaining seated for prolonged stretches of time, like with airline travel, can put you at risk of blood clots as well. And while sitting, your spine is compressed, causing neck and back pain, a leading cause of lost work hours. Clearly, being deskbound is putting you at risk for illness and injury. Let’s also consider that the Institute for Medicine and Public Health has coined a phrase for risks incurred by too much sitting — at work, during commuting and while watching television: “sitting disease.” “I go to the gym and work out an hour a day,” you might think, believing that you’re offsetting any potential cardiovascular problems. Unfortunately, there is no definitive study proving those workouts can reverse health damage from sitting disease. And being sedentary for prolonged periods can lead to snacking more, causing weight gain or slowing down weight-loss efforts. Where you can improve your health is by making small changes throughout the day. ■■ Get a standing desk. The simple act of standing while working can burn more calories. You burn 30 percent more calories while standing than you do sitting. And the muscles used while standing also increase blood flow and nutrients to your muscle tissue. You’ll cut down on your tally of seated hours during your workday, and reduce those harmful

Periodically, at work and at home, do some simple stretches to loosen up your tight muscles and joints. Just 10-15 minutes of stretching a few times a day can improve blood flow, posture, range of motion and stress levels. You’ll get an extra boost of well-being with deep breathing during these stretches. Stretching can help reduce the risk of joint pain and back pain, as well, likely allowing you more productivity at work. To help you remember to stand and stretch, use your computer or phone to set an alert or program your fitness watch to give you a signal. Set it for frequent remind-

ers, and don’t ignore the message. Technology can be your partner in combatting sitting disease. Look also for free stretching videos online, as well as mindfulness apps that lead you through calming meditations and breathing exercises. You might also pop a stretching, meditation or standing yoga DVD into your work computer for a new routine during your lunch hour. When you make the commitment to move more at work, for your health and comfort, you’ll find more ways to avoid sitting in your daily routine. Your new healthy regimen may inspire your co-workers to join you.


Standing desks can help prevent “sitting disease.” health risks. ■■ If you can’t get a standing desk, improvise by working at a high table. Employees who have the space in their offices will often bring in a high-top table or bistro table at which they work standing up. ■■ If you work at home, you may be able to set up your work surface above your treadmill and walk slowly and safely during your work hours. ■■ Get up periodically to walk a few laps around the office. Consider organizing a lunchtime walking group with co-workers, too. You may find that the exercise stimulates creative thinking and problem-solving. ■■ In a similar vein, if you have to chat with a co-worker, do so while walking laps around the office rather than meeting at a conference table. ■■ Stand while making phone calls, and, for more movement, pace while talking on the phone



for an extra calorie burn and cardiovascular impact. ■■ Stand while eating lunch. Some restaurants have standing counters where you can take in your meal, so scout out those locations or eat standing up in the break room. ■■ Stand and walk while watching television at home, perhaps using commercials as a signal to get up and move around. Standing and moving are great, but stretching is also important.







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Vaccinations best shot at preventing illness By CHELLE CORDERO From birth to old age, our bodies need to be tended to and cared for. Fortunately, medical science makes it a little bit easier to stay ahead of problems that might arise. Vaccines can help prevent disease and diagnostic tests can catch conditions before they go too far. You have to be proactive, though, and make sure that you have taken all the precautions you can. A vaccine is normally administered by injection, ingestion or inhalation and causes the body to produce protective antibodies to a disease and help provide immunity. In every state in the U.S., vaccines against the following diseases are required to enter kindergarten: diphtheria, tetanus and pertussis; polio; and measles and rubella. Depending on individual states, there are other mandatory childhood vaccinations as well: for varicella (chickenpox), hepatitis B, haemophilus influenza type B, hepatitis A and meningococcal disease. Also, depending on the individual state, there are some medical, religious and philosophical exemptions permitted. Additional recommended vaccinations for children as they mature into adolescence include yearly flu vaccines; the human papilloma-

virus vaccine; the pneumococcal vaccine; and a booster dose of the meningococcal conjugate vaccine (at around age 16). Adults also need to get vaccines, such as yearly flu shots and a Tdap booster. As we age further, our immune systems tend to weaken. Older adults are more prone to infections and illnesses such as pneumonia, so they should receive pneumococcal vaccines. Very often, even when adults get annual flu vaccines, they don’t always get the pneumonia vaccine and thus leave themselves open to dangerous infections. It’s recommended that adults 60 or older get the zoster vaccine to help to prevent shingles, which can be caused by the varicella virus left in their systems from chickenpox. People who have chronic health conditions such as heart disease, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, diabetes, renal disorders, cancers, lung disorders and others should speak to their doctors to find out which vaccines are strongly recommended and, in a few rare cases, not recommended. It’s important for people with such conditions not to compromise their systems by lowering their bodies’ defenses. Both Type 1 and Type 2 diabetics experience abnormalities in immune function, even if their


Vaccinations are not just for children. A Tdap booster and zoster are two vaccines recommended for adults. glycemic control is good. The flu vaccine is highly recommended for all diabetics. Other vaccines for diabetics, if they don’t already

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Sole comfort: Buy best footwear for the job By CHELLE CORDERO Work can be tedious and demanding. When you have to be on your feet all day, shoe comfort is a must. Nurses, first responders, highway road crews, restaurant waitstaff, teachers and mail carriers are just some of the professions that require a whole lot of “foot time.” Footwear is as much a part of your work equipment as any other. When your feet hurt, it isn’t easy to be at your best. Certain jobs require specific shoes or boots — in terms of color, style or special features, such as steel toes — but there is usually some choice, so don’t just choose your footwear based on what a co-worker is wearing. Your feet are unique to you, and though the exterior style might be limited, different manufacturers offer different arch supports, cushioning, materials and construction, so be sure to look around. First responders and construction workers need to keep the dangers they work with in mind when choosing features. Anyone working on urban sidewalks or pavement should look toward high-traction work boots with small tread for a safe grip on the streets. In warm climates, choose a material that is breathable. Choose reinforced toes (steel, composite or aluminum) if there is any possibility of heavy objects falling on your feet. Select footwear with puncture plates and electrical resistance for safety in construction areas. Also, be sure to pick boots that comply with the requirements outlined by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration. Some of the most common shoes in the nursing field are clogs, Crocs and athletic shoes. Although nursing shoes normally feature sturdy construction, they also tend to be made from lightweight materials to reduce the strain of walking around all day. The upper material of the shoe should be easy to clean and resis-

tant to the spills nurses normally encounter. Keep your arch in mind when choosing your shoe to reduce fatigue and back pain. Over-the-counter shoe inserts and custom-made orthotics can help, too. Common shoe inserts are arch supports, insoles, heel liners and foot cushions. If you have serious foot discomfort, consider visiting a podiatrist for prescription orthotics that are completely customized for your feet and health. Here a few guidelines to following when choosing comfortable shoes: ■■ Look for sturdy construction. Push in at the heel section. If it collapses to the inner sole, it won’t provide enough support. The arch should be sturdy. If you have high arches, a small lift — in pumps and wedges, for example — can offer more arch support. If you’re wearing pumps, the heel should be directly under the center of your heel. ■■ Press on the insole at the ball of the foot to see whether there is any cushioning. If you are able, choose shoes with leather or suede insoles. They are breathable and pliable, help prevent chafing and blistering, and mold to the feet. ■■ The toe area should be wide enough to fit the ball of your foot. Look for rounded toes, false fronts in pointed shoes (the toe area needs to be longer than your foot so toes won’t get squeezed) and enough cushioned area in sandals or open-toed shoes for the widest part of your foot. ■■ The shoe selected should offer good grip, slip resistance and traction, especially when outside or indoors where spills could be commonplace. ■■ First responders should choose footwear that’s waterproof and resistant to blood-borne pathogens. Boots should fit comfortably and provide ankle support. Run your hands inside the boot, feeling for any seams that might chafe. A good choice for urban wildland work is sturdy leather uppers that are 8 to 10

Juice cleanses (Concluded from Page 4 sugar, they’re still high in natural sugar, which can cause frantic mood swings and carb cravings to balance out that spike in sugar for some. It’s also important to take note of the fact that you’ll be taking in less protein, so if you do see pounds starting to fall off, that may actually be muscle mass that you’re losing. If that doesn’t dissuade you, then by all means, juice away! The benefits often outweigh any negatives you may find. Here are some of the more popular cleanses that nutritionists and healthy fanatics rave about: ■■ Good Cleansing. If you’re a beginner cleanser who feels overwhelmed with options, or perhaps you’re a pro but you like the idea of easy access and having the juices already prepared for you ahead of time, then you can check out There are a variety of choices, but the 3-Day Intermediate pack seems like a fantastic option for all body types and is under $100. These organic raw juices can be sent directly to your home. ■■ Dr. Oz. Dr. Oz has an app that provides lots of recipes for cleansing if you’re looking to take the DIY approach. He also has recipes listed on his site, http://www., that explain what each ingredient used is doing to

help your bodily functions. This is a great way to learn why you’re mixing certain elements together as you do so.

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inches high and have lug soles and breathable vapor barrier linings. ■■ Always try the footwear on. Don’t just choose size or width

based on other shoes. Make sure you’re wearing appropriate socks or stockings. Choose a fit that is snug, but not tight, and holds to

your foot to prevent slipping and blisters. Get fitted for shoes at the end of a typical workday to allow for the swelling that occurs.



Fitness is a choice and it’s time to get moving versity of Liverpool recently put together information from 24 different studies about eating while watching television. They concluded that the amount of food they ate went up by as much as 25 percent. Being mindful of what you’re eating is the best way to limit your consumption. You want to get fit? There are so many ways to get moving, from low-impact programs such as wa-

ter aerobics to adrenaline-pumping high jinks such as jumping off the top of Troll Wall in Norway in a wing suit. Start small. Local fitness centers offer low-cost classes that could help you build up the endurance for more vigorous activities. Whatever you do, whoever you are, you are predisposed to certain types of activity. Nurture yours. Get together with a friend

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and hold each other accountable to get to the gym or a yoga class. Hit the beach. Go surfing. You’ll lose pounds, gain control of balance and lose fear. Which avenue of fitness you choose doesn’t matter. The most important thing is to choose to do it. Activate your core, ignite your passions, employ your discipline. Being in the world is a great privilege. So get involved!

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In a world of pills and procedures, lasers and lipo, it’s not hard to believe fitness is something to be bought or a service to be sold. However, it is much easier than that to be fit. For those of us who are able-bodied, it’s the little things that add up. Cut the junk. When you work out, actually work. Push yourself. You’ve invested the time, now invest the energy. When you’re sitting at work, flex your buttocks or flex your calves. You’ll feel good in the chair. Get up once and hour and touch your toes. Move in such a way that you engage your whole body. When you walk, walk with your core. Be on the balls of your feet, ready for action. There is this laziness and inertia in our society. It tells us that you can win without putting effort into anything. How much can I get for the least amount of work? That attitude makes your body and your soul atrophy. It promotes bad posture and neurosis. According to researchers from Carnegie Mellon University, in the past three decades, people’s self-reported stress levels have increased 10 to 30 percent. Why is it, in an age where we have more conveniences than ever before, where we live better than kings did a mere 500 years ago, that we’re stifled in fat, frustration and madness? It seems to me that we as individuals need to make the conscious decision to live fully and presently and then to establish realistic rules to live by. For instance, if I stop my workout re-

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Pro wrestler: Never too late to make healthy change By RIC DRASIN Obesity is the No. 1 problem with our youth today. It outnumbers alcohol and drugs by far. One key realization is that fitness and health start with our youth at home. We usually raise our kids as we were brought up, with the same sort of meal planning as when we were young. Maybe it wasn’t the healthiest way to go — rich foods, lots of carbs, desserts, etc. But as children we didn’t question it; we just ate what was on the plate. It’s really no different today. But as a former pro wrestler and bodybuilder, I can tell you that changes can always be made for the better. I see young kids out eating nothing but garbage, and most of them are overweight and out of shape. There are not enough good exercise programs in schools. Candy and soda machines are found on campus, and hot lunches most often lack proper nutritional value. Those who bring lunch from home eat whatever is given to them, and if the parents don’t know the right foods, then the children suffer. People say you are what you eat, and never have truer words been spoken. These children eventually bring their eating habits with them into adulthood. Unless they really understand it and take charge, their habits will end up eating them. Once they become seniors everything starts to fall apart. Maybe we can’t go back and start over, but we can certainly start today to at least prevent anything further from going wrong. The key is changing our eating habits and taking on exercise.

Here’s my story: I wasn’t raised in a super-healthy family that believed in exercise. I was raised as a nice Jewish boy who was told to use my brain and not my muscles. But in reality, the two go hand in hand. A healthy mind has to have a healthy body. It’s mind over matter, and if you have no mind, then it doesn’t really matter. But I had the mind to change things in my life. I wanted to be healthy and the best I could be at any age. My mother was a great Jewish cook. Brisket, farfel, latkes, kugle, you name it. All the stuff I liked. I felt like a cement truck when I walked away from the table. It wasn’t a good feeling, but it felt good while I was eating it. Here comes eater’s remorse! These foods are rich and full of fats, which cause high cholesterol and blood pressure and even gout, which my dad had. At 16, while I was growing into a

young man, I took it upon myself to read some bodybuilding magazines and change my life a bit. Looking through diets, I found that a highprotein, low-carb diet seemed to work for most people. I dropped the latkes and carbs and began to shed some body fat. There weren’t many gyms around in the ’60s, but I did stumble into the YMCA. I got a few workouts out of the muscle magazines and began to incorporate them into my routine. Eventually I entered some bodybuilding contests and won the title of Mr. America. Along with bodybuilding I ventured into pro wrestling. All my dieting and training had paid off. I became a world champion and furthered my career. Now, at 66 years old, I am a senior citizen! I’m still training six days a week and even doing ring workouts. Since changing my diet way back when, my eating habits

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gyms around, and all of them have trainers. If you join one, just be sure to let the trainers know of any health problems you may have. And find a friend or spouse to go with you. Go through your refrigerator and cabinets and get rid of the foods that you know are bad for you. Write out a nice high-protein diet, and stick with it. You’ll be amazed at the difference, you’ll see and feel in your body. Not only will you feel better but mentally you will have a better attitude and be able to think much clearer. And if you stay committed, you’ll be able to maintain the results longer. The reward is in the mirror and your mind. Old is just a state of mind, and The Ric don’t play that game. Just remember that, and go for it.

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have been a way of life, and they have carried me through highs and lows. I’ve suffered numerous injuries — some very serious — and I feel that diet and exercise helped me to recover in half the time with little to no pain in most areas. I remember my classmates in high school telling me that I’d quit training and most likely get fat by the time I was 30. Those are the very same people who started working out with me, and at my 45-year school reunion I hardly recognized them through the weight gains and poor health. They all finally admitted that they should have listened to me but lacked the discipline. It’s not too late for most people to make lasting changes to their health, as long as they have the desire and drive to push through a little pain. There are plenty of

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Pick up the sports you enjoyed playing as kid By KRISTEN CASTILLO When you’re a kid, you’re active in so many ways — from skating to soccer to baseball. But the good times don’t have to stop just because you’re getting older. Max Page, founder of a weightlifting app called Lifter, plays softball and pickleball regularly, as well as flag football. His dodgeball team won the league. He’s not letting age get in the way of fitness or fun. Being active in sports is healthy for the body, mind and spirit. “It reminds people of the joy of their childhood, and it’s relatively safe on the older joints,” says board-certified psychiatrist Dr. Dion Metzger, who recommends adults consider kickball, cycling and roller-skating. “The joy remains the same whether it be the competition of kickball, the wind through your ears when skating or the exploring of cycling.” Adults can play sports “with great skill into the autumn of their athletic lives,” says Tim Forbes, author of “It’s Game Time Somewhere.” As part of a blog-to-book project, Forbes attended 100 sporting events involving 50 completely different sports, all in the course of one year. He concluded that the “happiest sports fans in the country aren’t those that are in the stands, but rather those that are on the various fields of play.” Forbes found players loved their sports of choice, without fame or fortune, just for “the experience of testing their skills, having fun and joining a community of kindred sports spirits.” He says most sports are OK for adults, with three exceptions: football, boxing and rugby. Still, in most other sports, “while the level of performance and endurance tends to tail off,


Many adults who loved jumping rope as kids now enjoy playing double Dutch. there are 50- and 60-somethings competing at everything from ‘A,’ archery, to ‘Y,’ yachting,” he says. For kids and adults, sporting safety is a priority. Metzger advises wearing protective gear no matter which sport you choose. That means skaters wear elbow pads and kneepads, while basketball and tennis players might wear knee braces, if needed. Helmets are a must for cycling. Adult athletes need to stay strong and flexible. “With a dedicated program of stretching and a reasonable level of cardio exercise, there really is no limit to what ‘grown-ups’ can play and play well,” says Forbes. He suggests adult athletes do a full warmup before “playing pretty much anything.” “Muscles need a longer wakeup call when you get older,” Forbes says, “but they’re still there and will show up to perform when asked nicely.”

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Strength training is important, too. “My biggest piece of advice is that you should be lifting weights on the days you are not playing,” says Page. “The older you are, the

more benefit you get from lifting. “This especially helps with bone density. The people who lift on the teams I play on usually have no problem playing harder than the people who I know don’t

go to the gym.” Playing sports can also help your brain. Forbes says reaction sports such as table tennis and badminton “have been proven to enhance brain functioning in older athletes.” Adult athletes participate in sports for a variety of reasons, from fitness to friendship to stress release. If you loved jumping rope as a kid, consider joining a double Dutch team through the National Double Dutch League. Experts say: Just get moving. Join a volleyball team, play softball with your officemates or hit the pool for a game of water polo. “Enjoy every minute of it,” says Dr. Metzger, who advises including family and friends in the sports. “Spread the joy around.” While she cautions adult athletes to be kind to their older bodies, which take longer to heal, she urges them to make the most of the experience. “Don’t ever be ashamed to enjoy a ‘kiddie’ sport,” she says. “It’s exercise and makes you happy. That’s all that matters.”

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Deviously delicious guilt-free dessert recipes By TRICIA VELDMAN For those with a seemingly unquenchable sweet tooth, dessert can be the downfall of an otherwise healthy diet. The good news, though, is that once you find the right ingredients, the options for creating a snack that is both nutritious and tasty are endless. Often deemed nature’s candy, fruit reigns as the go-to healthy dessert. The natural sugars in fruit allow for a permissible sweet treat without sabotaging a healthy diet. Low in calories and rich in flavor, most fruit also contains a substantial amount of vitamins and antioxidants. Fruit ice pops make for a simple, succulent treat during warmer months. Combine pieces of fruit of your choosing with a splash of fruit juice and freeze in Dixie cups for simple popsicles. Another option is banana “ice cream.” Blend frozen pieces of banana in a food processor and serve as is for a healthy frozen treat! Liven it up by adding cocoa nibs, nuts or cinnamon. While often associated with sweets, cinnamon is actually a spice that has a variety of positive effects on the body. Cinnamon’s nutrition profile can be found on the “World’s Healthiest Food” index, which lists the spice as medicinal for its impact on blood sugar, anti-microbial properties, cognitive function and more. The health benefits of cinnamon are so significant, in fact, that it is also sold as a supplement in capsule form. Save the 10 dollars that it retails for, and sprinkle this natural flavor on almost any dessert! For fall and winter months, when frozen treats simply don’t sound appealing, try baking apples. Place sliced apples in a baking pan, top with lemon juice, brown sugar, cinnamon and nutmeg, and bake at 375 degrees for 45 minutes, stirring the ingredients every 15 minutes. While there are countless varieties of fruit-based desserts, rest assured that fruit is not the only option for a guilt-free treat. For a step off the beaten path, try using eggs. Merengues — which some refer to as “kiss cakes” — call for egg whites as the primary ingredient. According to Jessie Szalay, egg whites pack a mean 6 grams of protein and significant amounts of other nutrients, including riboflavin, selenium and potassium. While classic meringues do call for sugar, organic maple syrup can be used as a natural substitute. Vanilla, lemon, orange or peppermint extracts can be added for additional flavor. To make these fluffy treats, beat 3 egg whites with 1⁄4 teaspoon of cream of tartar until they begin to form stiff peaks. Slowly pour in the sugar or syrup as the mixer continues beating the eggs. Continue mixing and add in any extracts. Once the mixture is stiff and glossy, fill a one-quart plastic bag with the meringue. Snip a corner of the bag to create a 3⁄4-inchwide opening and seal tightly. Push the mixture gently through the opening and onto a parchment paper-lined baking sheet, creating 1-inch-diameter cookies. Bake at 200 degrees for about 90 minutes, or until the cookies are dry. Let the meringues cool to room temperature for about 20 minutes and enjoy! Coconut macaroons are another fun option, using only 4 wholesome ingredients. Whisk two large egg whites with 1⁄4 cup of honey and 1⁄4 teaspoon of sea salt. When the whites form stiff peaks, stir in 21⁄2 cups of unsweetened coconut flakes. After letting

hour. Form the batter into 1-inch balls. An optional step here is to roll the balls into unsweetened shredded coconut. Refrigerate or freeze to cool and enjoy! These decadent cookie dough bites are high in protein and contain zero grams of added sugar. Experiment with different types of nut butter, such as almond, cashew or sunflower! Another option is a simplified version of the classic oatmeal cookie -- with only two ingredients. Beat 2 cups of oats in a blend-


Satisfying your sweet tooth doesn’t have to be unhealthy venture. the batter chill in the fridge for 30 minutes, scoop by two tablespoons and place on a baking sheet. Bake at 350 degrees for 10 to 11 minutes, or until the macaroons are golden brown in color. (Recipe courtesy of paleo-coconut-macaroons.)

For something a bit more rich, try raw vegan “cookie dough.” Blend 1 cup of natural peanut butter, 2⁄3 cups raisins, a heaping pinch of the esteemed cinnamon and 2 teaspoons of cocoa powder in a food processor. Let the mixture chill in the fridge for one

er or food processor until the mixture becomes coarse. Mix together with 2 mashed ripe bananas. Add 2 teaspoons of vanilla extract, cinnamon, cocoa powder, chopped nuts, raisins or dried cranberries! Drop large tablespoons on a cookie sheet and bake at 350 degrees for approximately 10 minutes. There are plenty of healthy, hearty ways to enjoy dessert without spoiling your diet. Try variations of the above recipes, or create your own using basic, natural ingredients.

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Walking beats running for overall health By KRISTEN CASTILLO

Hate running? Don’t sweat it! Walking is an effective way to get and stay physically and mentally healthy. Studies show that walking helps manage and fend off conditions ranging from high blood pressure and high cholesterol to diabetes. It can improve circulation and help you sleep. Plus it slows mental decline and can boost your mood. It also produces less strain than running. “Running can be very hard on your joints,” says healthy lifestyle coach, blogger and podcaster Mandie Mutchie, an advocate of walking for physical and mental health. “Walking is much lowerimpact, so it does not cause the same pounding on your joints,” she says, noting that walking keeps your heart rate between 55 and 75 percent of your max, which is your fat-burning zone. Mutchie recommends walking three to five hours a week, as well as “one sort of sprint workout,” such as rowing or biking, every seven to 10 days. She also suggests strength training three to five times per week. Healthy habit Build walking into your daily routine. New York City lawyer Todd A. Spodek walks to and from court, meetings and offices around the city. He wears a Google Fit to track his walking. The steps add up fast. “I have had a number of days in which I walked over 10 miles,” he says, explaining that walking helps him clear his head and think through issues. An added bonus? “I also tend to make the majority of my calls while I am walking.” Len Saunders runs three days a week but says walking is more relaxing. “I love walking as I get older, as it is much easier on the joints and muscles,” says the author of “Keeping Kids Fit.” “Set a goal of 10,000 steps each day.” Saunders uses a pedometer to track his steps, but many smartphones have built-in apps to measure steps. Mind and body Walking is a great workout, but often it’s so much more than that. “Walking has helped me cope, manage and heal,” says Rick Lauber, author of “The Successful Caregiver’s Guide.” A former co-caregiver for his aging parents (who had Parkinson’s disease, leukemia and Alzheimer’s disease), Lauber credits walking with helping him deal with the emotional, mental, physical and financial stress of the situation. “Without a cure for those conditions, all I could do was helplessly watch while helping Mom and Dad remain comfortable and safe,” he says. “I needed an outlet to deal with these mounting frustrations and turned to walk2704 North Newton Street (Hwy 231 N) Jasper 634-7733

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Walking wisdom Before you hit the pavement, the sidewalk, the trail or the track, make sure you’re ready for serious walking. ■■ Lace up. “Make sure you have great shoes that feel good and are appropriate for your foot shape and gait pattern,” says Mutchie, explaining, “Minimalist or toe shoes are closest to natural for your feet.” ■■ Start small. Get off to a steady start. Over time, you’ll build distance, pace and time. “Even if you’re starting out and can only go a short distance, just try to go a little further each time you go,” says Mutchie. ■■ Stay safe. Walk in safe, welllit areas that you know well. Make sure friends or family members know where you’re going, too. Be careful not to wear headphones that block out the sound of oncoming traffic. You need to be alert about nearby vehicles, people and changes to your environment.

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