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CONTENTS 04 PHYSICAL HEALTH
Managing diabetes during the holidays
06 M ENTAL HEALTH How to handle grief
08 F IT FIVE
Improve balance, build muscle
TRAINING TIPS 10
Stay in shape for ski season
R AISING AWARENESS
P HYSICAL HEALTH
E YE CARE
Understanding Alzheimer’s Simple ways to support immunity Dealing with damage caused by diabetes
DENTAL CARE 17
Common causes of toothaches
18 FOOD AND NUTRITION Exploring popular diets
Wholesome holiday classics
20 C OMMUNITY CORNER Community events
LETTER FROM THE EDITOR Autumn is the perfect time to reflect and reevaluate our routines. Now that the hustle and bustle of summer is behind us, the short-lived shoulder season offers respite before busy holidays. Of course, Four Corners Healthy Living is all about preparing for what's ahead. The Fall issue, Wholesome Holidays, will help readers put their best foot forward for a festive season. The holidays can be both exciting and stressful. Colder weather comes with cold and f lu season. Learn how to improve the immune system with some simple precautions. Holidays may also take a toll on emotional health. Professionals and peers can provide support to those navigating loss and loneliness.
In November, health and wellness organizations across the United States recognize both Alzheimer's disease and diabetes by through awareness campaigns. These pages include more information about local efforts to fund Alzheimer's research, and how to better manage diabetes during the holidays. Find new strategies to train for the upcoming ski season, or ways improve balance and flexibility with different equipment, such as an exercise ball. Whether hosting a gathering or dining out, the recipes and nutritional advice inside will guide readers toward healthier decisions around the dinner table. May the season be happy, healthy and wholesome!
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MANAGING DIABETES DURING THE HOLIDAYS
anaging diabetes can be difficult year-round, but it can be especially stressful during the holidays. Everyone wants to indulge in the season, yet navigating parties, meals and the abundance of sweets can complicate managing blood sugar. Whether an individual is insulin-dependent or controls the condition with diet, here’s a few helpful tips for managing the hectic holiday season. STAY ON SCHEDULE Maintaining a meal schedule is one of the most
essential factors in blood sugar control. During the holidays, skipping meals to “save” calories or carbs for the upcoming holidays can be tempting. But skipping meals can backfire, making it harder to keep glucose under control and increasing the chances of overeating. Another factor impacting your schedule is that holiday meals are often served at odd times. Make a plan for handling meals that don’t align with your schedule. If you take insulin or medications to lower blood sugar levels, have a snack on hand to eat at your normal meal time to prevent blood sugar drops, and opt for smaller portions during the big meal.
By Connie Byers CONSIDER INCREASING BASAL RATE For insulin-dependent diabetics, remember that if you’re sitting down for hours at a time for large meals, your basal insulin may need to be turned up. Always consult your healthcare professional before making changes to insulin dosage. Still, during the holidays, it may be a good idea to increase basal rate during dinner and throughout the night. LIMIT CARBOHYDRATES If you dream of that slice of pumpkin pie with whipped topping, consider cutting back on other carbs during the main meal. As a diabetic, you can absolutely enjoy tastes of high-sugar or highcarb treats as long as you don’t overdo it. The total amount you consume is more important to controlling your glucose than individual items. For insulin-dependent diabetics, know your carb to insulin ratios. Knowing your daily carb ratios will help you maintain blood sugar control year-round, not just for the holidays. You can find several helpful holiday carb charts here: https://tinyurl.com/carbchart. BE SELECTIVE Traditional holiday foods like mashed potatoes, sweet potatoes, stuffing, dinner rolls, cranberry sauce and pumpkin pie are high in carbohydrates. Remember that you don’t have to eat everything that’s served. Focus on special dishes that are only around at this time of year. Mashed potatoes and dinner rolls might be found on any weeknight menu, so skipping those can help to make room for that cornbread stuffing. LIMIT ALCOHOL CONSUMPTION Alcohol has the potential to impact blood sugar
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as well as interact with prescription medications used to manage disease, so it’s essential to have a plan. Remember to include those carbs and calories in your overall daily total, whether you’re toasting with champagne or drinking eggnog by the fire. For insulin-dependent and Type 1 diabetics, to counteract the glucoselowering effect of the alcohol, bolus at 50% of the carb count for beer while taking nothing extra for wine. Remember that straight spirits —
with no food — will lower blood sugar, so it may be a good idea to have a bedtime snack to help reduce the likelihood of blood sugar levels dropping during the night. GET IN A WORKOUT Take the time to get in a morning workout or walk before you go out during the holiday season. It will improve insulin sensitivity and make it easier to manage blood sugar during the afternoon and night. You will feel better, and your body will love the additional carbs and proteins you’ll enjoy later in the day. You can even turn this into a group activity by inviting family and friends for a morning hike or walk on the river trail before the festivities begin.
Stay Healthy to Do What You Love Medicare Annual Wellness Visit Your health is your most valuable asset, and taking a proactive approach is key to maintaining a healthy and fulfilling life. The Medicare Annual Wellness Visit provides access to the health services to support you in managing your well-being. It’s a free Medicare benefit, there is no out of pocket expense. This yearly visit is a comprehensive health assessment, offering preventive screenings, medication reviews, guidance for managing existing conditions and more. Contact Axis Health System to learn more about scheduling an Annual Wellness Visit. Get the most out of your Medicare benefits for preventive healthcare. Schedule your Annual Wellness Visit at your local Axis clinic. • La Plata Integrated Healthcare - Durango: 970.335.2288 • Cortez Integrated Healthcare: 970.565.7946 • Archuleta Integrated Healthcare: 970.264.2104 • Dove Creek Integrated Healthcare: 970.677.2291
FORGIVE YOURSELF FOR SLIP-UPS
Everyone makes a mistake now and then. It’s important not to judge yourself too harshly and focus instead on getting back on track.
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NAVIGATING GRIEF DURING THE HOLIDAYS
he hol id ay s e a son i s often associated with joy, festivity and togetherness. It’s a time when fa milies a nd friends come together to celebrate and create cherished memories. However, the holiday season can be incredibly challenging and lonely for those who have experienced the loss of a loved one. In a small mountain town, the picturesque surroundings and closeknit communities can exacerbate feelings of grief. Planning ahead is vital to cope with loss during the holidays. “It comes down to preparing ahead of time,” said Judy Austin, a licensed counselor and director of The Grief Center of Southwest Colorado. “They’re going to be on your mind, so do your best to prepare yourself and others in your world.” The Grief Center of Southwest Colorado, established in 2009, provides comprehensive bereavement support to residents, offering services such as individual and group therapy, therapeutic support groups, summer grief camps for children, parenting programs and community resources, in addition to specialized support for survivors of suicide, substancerelated deaths, pre- and neo-natal loss and anticipatory grief. The services provided by the Grief Center are crucial in mountain towns. According to a 2017 article published 6
in Outside, the suicide rate per capita in Durango was three times higher than the national average. Mountain towns are known for their natural beauty, serene landscapes and a strong sense of community. These qualities often draw residents and visitors seeking refuge and tranquility amidst the mountains. However, the isolation that makes mountain towns attractive can also make the holiday season more challenging for grieving people. Close-knit communities can sometimes feel overwhelming, and the pressure to be cheerful can be stifling. Grief is a natural response to loss, and it’s essential to permit yourself to feel sad, angry or even numb during the holiday season. There is no right or wrong way to grieve, and giving yourself permission to mourn is critical to healing. But it’s also vital to permit yourself to be happy.
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“Even though you’re grieving, you’re entitled to joy,” Austin said. “You must also remember that grieving doesn’t have a set time frame. It can be just as hard in three years as in the first year.” Conversely, Austin said the friends or family of a grieving individual must strike a delicate balance between providing care and providing space. “You’ll have very well-meaning loved ones who will reach out,” Austin said. “But they may not understand that you don’t want to be constantly reminded of your loss. So, it’s important to set boundaries.” It’s also important to recognize what holiday traditions may need to change, Austin said. Changing how you celebrate can help you avoid an emotional overload and give you the space to grieve and heal.
By Benjamin Brewer You m ay re c eive nu merou s invitations to holiday gatherings and parties in a close-knit mountain community. While socializing can be beneficial, it’s crucial to recognize when you need some time alone. Only feel obligated to attend some events or gatherings. Politely decline invitations when necessary and prioritize your emotional well-being. Grief can take a toll on physical and emotiona l well-being. It’s essential to prioritize self-care during the holidays. Whether taking long walks on local trails, practicing yoga or indulging in a spa day, set aside time for activities that nourish your soul and provide moments of peace. Dealing with grief during the holidays can be a unique and challenging experience. The closek nit commu nities a nd serene natural surroundings can offer solace and amplify feelings of loss. It’s important to remember that it’s okay to grieve and to seek support from friends and neighbors. It’s also okay to want time alone. While the holidays may never be the same without your loved one, finding moments of peace and connection in a mountain town can help you navigate this difficult journey. “We’re seeing the beginning of the holiday season,” Austin said. “As the seasons change, it’s important to seek out help.”
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FIND BETTER BALANCE WHILE BUILDING MUSCLE
rying new equipment and techniques can engage different sets of muscles. Exercise balls are a simple, but effective piece of workout equipment used to improve posture and stability. By challenging the body to balance against the ball’s instability, exercise balls help individuals target muscle groups, improve balance and reduce back pain. BALL SQUAT Stand in front of a wall, feet facing forward hip-width apart, with the ball between the back and the wa ll. Scoot the feet forward slightly if needed, then begin to squat by bending the knees and moving the body down the ball until thighs are parallel to the f loor. Pause, then press through the heels to return to the starting position and repeat. The squat engages the hips, core, glutes, hamstrings and quads.
By Hunter Harrell
V-PASS Lie on the floor and hold the stability ball overhead with both hands. Lift the arms and legs to place the ball between the calves, in a V-position. Lower the ball to the floor between the legs, and then repeat the movement to return the ball to your hands. This exercise works the core, and when applying pressure to the ball, it engages muscles in the inner arms and thighs.
HAMSTRING CURL Lie on the floor with the back of the calves on top of the exercise ball, legs straight, and back flat on the floor. Squeeze the glutes and raise the hips off the floor, keeping the back and body straight. Drag the heels to roll the ball as close to the butt as possible, or until the knees form a right angle. Pause then slowly straighten the legs and return to the starting position. Feel the stretch in the hamstrings, lower back and glutes while engaging the core muscles.
To increase difficulty, add weight by holding weights in each hand.
With knees placed hip-width apart, kneel in front of the exercise ball. Place the hands on the ball with toes touching the floor for stability. While keeping the back straight and without moving the knees, slowly roll forward until the ball touches the forearms and forms a straight line from head to knees, similar to a kneeling plank. Pause, then roll back to the starting position. This simple move is a building block for core strength.
Begin in a push-up position with the exercise ball near the feet. Place the feet on the ball and adjust the body to keep the back straight and find a balanced, comfortable plank position to begin. Lift the hips into the air while rolling the ball toward yourself, then lower to the starting plank position. This exercise tests balance while working the abdominal muscles.
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STAY IN SHAPE FOR SKI SEASON
s winter approaches, the anticipation of the upcoming ski season fills the hearts of winter sports enthusiasts. Whether you’re a seasoned skier who calls the breathtaking slopes of Purgatory Resort your second home or a novice hitting the mountain for the first time, preparing the body for the challenges of skiing is essential for a safe and enjoyable experience. Are you ready to carve corn confidently? Explore some training tips and specific exercises to get in shape for the ski season. CARDIOVASCULAR ENDURANCE Skiing demands a high level of cardiovascular fitness, as it involves prolonged periods of intense physical activity. Try aerobic exercises such as running, cycling or swimming to prepare. Aim for at least 30 minutes of moderate to high-
By Benjamin Brewer
intensity cardio workouts several times weekly. This will boost stamina, allowing you to enjoy full days on the slopes without exhaustion.
improve flexibility and balance. Aim to stretch your legs, hips and back regularly to improve range of motion and stability while skiing.
Skiing requires a combination of leg, core and upper body strength. Incorporate strength training exercises like squats, lunges and deadlifts to prepare leg muscles. These exercises will help you maintain balance and stability while skiing. Additionally, core workouts like planks and Russian twists will improve your core strength, enabling better slope control.
Plyometric exercises, like box jumps and jump squats, can help you develop explosive strength and agility. These are especially useful for navigating steep and challenging terrains on the slopes. Plyometric training will enable you to react quickly to changing conditions, such as uneven terrain and sudden obstacles.
FLEXIBILITY AND BALANCE
Consider adding ski-specific exercises to a training routine to simulate skiing movements and target the specific muscle groups used during skiing. Wall sits and ski squats can help you build the leg endurance needed for long descents, while lateral leg raises mimic the side-to-side movements of skiing.
Flexibility is crucial for skiing, as it allows for fluid movement and reduces the risk of injury. Stretching exercises such as yoga or pilates can help
ENDURANCE WORKOUTS Engaging in high-repetition, low-weight workouts can help improve muscular endurance, which is vital for maintaining proper skiing posture and control. Incorporate exercises like step-ups and bodyweight squats into your routine to prepare the legs for extended periods of skiing. AGILITY AND COORDINATION Skiing requires quick and precise movements. To improve agility and coordination, practice agility drills, ladder drills and cone exercises. These activities sharpen your reflexes and help you quickly navigate narrow ski trails or crowded slopes. REST AND RECOVERY While training is essential, rest and recovery are equally important. Ensure you get enough sleep to allow muscles to repair and grow stronger. Active recovery techniques, like foam rolling and stretching, 10
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can help reduce muscle soreness and keep you feeling refreshed. MENTAL PREPARATION Skiing is not just a physical sport; it’s also a mental one. Brush up on safety skills, and mentally prepare for the challenges you could encounter. Cultivate a positive mindset, boosting confidence on the slopes. NUTRITION AND HYDRATION Proper nutrition and hydration are vital to maintaining energy levels and overall health during the ski season. Consume a balanced diet of carbohydrates, proteins and
healthy fats to fuel your workouts. Stay hydrated throughout the day, especially at higher altitudes. Preparing for the ski season involves a well-rounded training regimen encompassing cardiovascular fitness, strength, flexibility and ski-specific exercises. By following these tips and incorporating the recommended practices into your fitness routine, you’ l l be bet ter equ ipped to confidently tackle the slopes and enjoy a safe and thrilling skiing experience. Remember to listen to your body, stay consistent and, most importantly, have fun as you prepare for an exciting ski season ahead.
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lzheimer’s disease affects millions of people worldwide. In the United States alone, over 6 million individuals grapple with the challenges of the neurodegenerative disorder which slowly steals memories, cognitive abilities, independence and ultimately, lives. Alzheimer’s disease is the sixth leading cause of death in the U.S. It is also the only cause of death in the top ten that has no prevention, no treatment and no cure. As a result, Alzheimer’s is heavily underdiagnosed, with roughly 45% of sufferers never receiving an official diagnosis. Alzheimer’s, the most common disease under the umbrella of dementia, is often viewed as a “bad word.” There’s a stigma attached to it. People, including doctors and medical professionals, don’t know what to say or do for those diagnosed with degenerative memory. Alzheimer’s is an extremely common disease, yet most know little about it. Exploring the importance of Alzheimer’s awareness, debunking common misconceptions, and examining the impact it has on individuals, fa milies a nd communities is t he key to understanding this devastating disease. Resources: Call the 24-hour hotline (800) 272-3900 with any and all questions about Alzheimer’s. From how to handle a real-time situation with a loved one with Alzheimer’s to general questions about the disease, this number is one worth committing to memory. Visit http://alz.org for tons of information about Alzheimer’s. Find books and learning materials, support groups, tips on how to communicate with those with Alzheimer’s and more.
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By Mackenzie Mancuso
WHAT IS ALZHEIMER’S DISEASE?
Alzheimer’s disease, characterized by memory loss, behavior changes and cognitive decline, is primarily caused by a buildup of abnormal protein deposits in the brain. While age remains the most significant risk factor, genetics, lifestyle and environmental factors also play pivotal roles in its development. Alzheimer’s disease is most likely to affect women, though this is often attributed to the fact that women statistically live longer than men, and age is the most significant risk factor in the development of Alzheimer’s. Despite this, recent research shows that Alzheimer’s disease might begin showing itself in the human brain in patients as young as mid-to-late 20s. However, it is unlikely Alzheimer’s symptoms will start manifesting until later in life. The disease itself progresses through several stages, starting with mild memor y lapses and confusion, eventually leading to severe dementia, where individuals lose the ability to perform everyday tasks or recognize loved ones. Alzheimer’s not only affects those diagnosed but also takes a toll on caregivers. It is often said that Alzheimer’s disease is hard on the entire family– least so on the person with the diagnosis. THE NEED FOR AWARENESS: BREAKING THE STIGMA
Awareness is our most powerful tool in the fight against Alzheimer’s. Eliminating misconceptions and understanding the risk factors is the first step toward early diagnosis and treatment. Common myths, such as Alzheimer’s being an inevitable part of aging, can be detrimental to those who delay seeking help due to such misconceptions. Raising awareness helps reduce the stigma
associated with Alzheimer’s. The fear of judgment or isolation can prevent individuals from seeking the support and resources they so desperately need. Promoting understanding, empathy and awareness encourages open conversations about Alzheimer’s, which in turn opens the doors to more research and hopefully, prevention and cures. ALZHEIMER’S AWARENESS IN DURANGO
Spreading Alzheimer’s awareness is important in any community, but for rural areas such as Durango, that information becomes especially pertinent. The Alzheimer’s Association, Colorado Chapter, organized the Alzheimer’s Awareness Walk in Durango in September. With over 100 participants, the event raised over $19,000, and will continue to accept donations through Dec. 31. More local information and support can be found at the Durango Dementia Coalition. The DDC’s mission is to make resources, information, and care more accessible to those struggling with
dementia in the Durango and Four Corners region. Their website offers resources such as lists of assisted living facilities, helpful books and texts on dementia, other educational materials, legal assistance and much more. Durango Dementia Coalition enco urages visitors to join its support groups. Sharing knowledge, stories and empathy can go a long way in spreading Alzheimer’s awareness in our community. Even without a group like the Durango Dementia Coalition, small communities often have valuable resources for patients and their families. Support groups and specialized care facilities offer assistance tailored to the unique needs of each individual. Families should explore these resources to ensure their loved ones receive the best care and support possible. RESEARCH AND PROGRESS
Though there is still no cure for Alzheimer’s, there have been significant strides made in Alzheimer’s research in recent years. This has hugely contributed to the spread of awareness of the disease. Promising developments in early diagnosis techniques and potential treatments, including two new drugs
for the early stages of dementia, offer a much-needed glimmer of hope. In the past, medications have been administered to those with dementia to treat specific symptoms of the disease. However, Abuhelm and Leqembi, two drugs approved by the FDA as of this year, are the first to treat the actual biology of Alzheimer’s disease. Unfortunately, these drugs are only effective in the early stages of dementia and are not a cure. Memory degradation for those suffering from Alzheimer’s is still inevitable. Though Abuhelm and Leqembi are not a cure, they do provide patients and families more time to prepare for what’s to come. SUPPORT MATTERS
Alzheimer’s awareness, education and discussion are the beacon of hope surrounding this devastating disease. Regardless of whether you are affected by the disease or not, learning, supporting, and advocating for those impacted by Alzheimer’s is the best way to push for a cure. Knowledge is power, and the more we all learn about Alzheimer’s, the closer we get to understanding this complicated disease.
COMPASSIONATE COMMUNICATION You cannot control memory loss, but you can control how you react to it. The biggest tip for handling those with Alzheimer’s and other dementia-related illnesses is to enter their reality. Practicing compassionate, understanding communication will significantly heighten the quality of life for the person with dementia.
DO give short, one-sentence explanations to questions or concerns. DO allow plenty of time for the individual to comprehend what you’re saying. DO repeat instructions or sentences in the exact same way. DO eliminate “but” from your conversations to avoid confusion. DO avoid insistence. If you have a suggestion that is not accepted, try again later. DO accept the blame when something is wrong, regardless of the cause. DO join the person in their current reality. DO leave the room, if needed, to avoid confrontations. DO respond to their feelings rather than their words. DO cheerful, reassuring, and patient. Go with the flow! DO practice forgiveness. DON’T try and reason with irrationality. Instead, go with it. DON’T argue. DON’T create confrontations. DON’T remind them that they are forgetful. DON’T question recent memories. DON’T take it personally!
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SIMPLE WAYS TO SUPPORT IMMUNITY
atching a cold or getting the f lu can happen any time of year, but the height of cold and flu season requires extra precaution. Flu activity often increases in the fall and peaks between December and January, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Staying completely healthy throughout the cold and flu season can’t be guaranteed, but, along with following guidance from your health care provider, dietary and lifestyle changes can help optimize your immune system and well-being.
By Family Features EXERCISE REGULARLY
Getting your blood pumping with a little exercise can help improve immune response and reduce inflammation, according to a scientific review from the “Journal of Sport and Health Science.” Look toward aerobic activities such as moderate-intensity walking, jogging and cycling to increase heart rate and encourage circulation of immune cells. PR AC T I C E G O O D HYGIENE
Eating a healthy diet is essential for optimizing your immune system. Many experts recommend consuming whole foods and plant foods like fruits, vegetables, nuts, seeds and legumes as well as whole grains. These foods contain beneficial plant compounds linked to health benefits in humans. An easy way to incorporate more healthy foods into a diet is through smoothies that contain additional nutritious ingredients that support immune health like spinach and Greek yogurt. STAY HYDRATED
Drinking enough water is important for staying hydrated, which helps the immune system by keeping the body’s defenses functioning properly. In addition to water, you can increase hydration by eating foods with high water content like grapes, which contain about 82% water. 14
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Protect yourself and others at the same time by taking preventive measures, like practicing good hygiene, to avoid spreading germs. At the most basic level, limit c o n t a c t with others who are sick, cover your nose a nd mouth with a tissue wh i le c ou g h i n g or sneezing and regularly wash your hands using soap and water, especially after touching shared surfaces. MANAGE STRESS
Chronic stress can have a negative impact on several aspects of your physical health and wellness, including limiting your body’s ability to fight off infection. Lower stress by practicing deep breathing or meditation, and developing good habits like eating right, exercising and getting quality sleep. Talking with someone you trust, whether it’s a friend, family member or mental health professional, can help relieve stress as well.
No one wants to miss beloved celebrations this year, especially due to illness. Adopt these strategies to ensure a happy and healthy holiday season for all family and friends.
In-Home Care Services
• Personal Care • Companionship and Housekeeping • Dementia and Alzheimer’s care • Respite care • Safety solutions • Nursing Services
970-515-7055 Home + Life + Care SCHEDULE YOUR
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P E R S O N A L I Z E D C O N S U L TAT I O N A P P O I N T M E N T If you’re missing out on life’s simple joys due to hearing difﬁculties, know that you’re not alone. Many older adults, including a third of people over 65 globally, experience disabling hearing loss, often leading to social isolation. The good news: Most hearing loss is treatable. Research reveals that hearing aid users enjoy better relationships, increased self-conﬁdence, enhanced social engagement, and a nearly 50% reduced risk of dementia.
Hear & Now
Cortez • 892 Cottonwood St, Ste 2 | Monticello • 380 W 100 N | Blanding • 802 S 200 W Durango • 1165 S Camino Del Rio | Farmington • 2355 E 30th St
Hearing Center Advanced Hearing Care
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DEALING WITH DAMAGE CAUSED BY DIABETES�
iabetes increases a person’s risk of eye problems, including diabetic retinopathy, diabetic macular edema, cataracts and glaucoma. These severe conditions can lead to poor eyesight and permanent vision loss. But there are things that you can do to prevent diabetic eye disease, control its progression, and manage the damage.
powerful UV rays can irritate and potentially further damage the eyes. Even on cloudy days, wear sunglasses that block at least 99% of UV-A and UV-B rays. FOLLOW THE DOCTOR’S DIRECTIONS Always comply with treatment plans, and take prescribed medications on schedule. If you have questions about your treatment plan, schedule an appointment to get the answers you need. Staying on track with your treatments and medications will not only protect your overall health but your eyes and vision as well.
MANAGE DIABETES The best way to prevent diabetic eye disease from worsening is to manage your condition. Prolonged high blood sugar levels can lead to both temporary and permanent changes in your vision because excess glucose damages the delicate blood vessels of the eyes. Together with your doctor, monitor your diabetes with regular A1C tests. Your hemoglobin A1C indicates your average blood sugar levels to let you know if you have been managing your blood sugar levels and keeping them within range.
TAKE NOTE OF VISION CHANGES Any vision change can signify the development or progression of diabetic eye disease and diabetic retinopathy and should be taken very seriously. Prompt reactions to vision changes can lead to early detection and treatment, which may preserve your vision and prevent permanent loss of sight.
CONTROL BLOOD PRESSURE High blood pressure increases the risk of diabetic eye disease and diabetic retinopathy, as well as damage to the eyes from diabetes. Controlling blood pressure helps your eyes, as well as your overall health. Remember that stress can also increase blood pressure. Utilize meditation and exercise to reduce stress levels and ensure that your mind and body are healthier overall. Regular exercise is a health trifecta that lowers your blood sugar, blood pressure and stress levels. EAT WELL
Eating well is good for your eyes and overall health. It will also help other risk factors, such as blood sugar levels, blood pressure, cholesterol 16
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By Connie Byers
SEE AN EYE DOCTOR REGULARLY and triglycerides. If you want healthy eyes, eat healthy. A diet filled with dark leafy greens such as kale and spinach can help manage diabetic eye da mage because these lea f y powerhouses are loaded with the nutrients lutein and zeaxanthin. These antioxidants help protect the cells in your retina. When combined with vitamin E, they may also help you avoid cataracts. Broccoli, peas, corn and eggs are also good sources of these antioxidants. WEAR SHADES If you’re trying to manage damage caused by diabetic eye disease, keep in mind that the sun’s
Diabetic eye disease and diabetic retinopathy may develop and progress undetected, with no symptoms or warnings. A dilated eye exam at least once a year helps your eye doctor get a better look inside the eyes, and detect signs of changes before they start to affect your vision. If you have diabetic eye disease, be sure you have a complete yearly eye exam. It is important to note that these ways to manage the damage caused by diabetic eye disease should be looked at in combination. One alone will not prevent or control the progression of diabetic eye disease or diabetic retinopathy, but together, they can help you retain your vision longer.
COM MON CAUSES OF TOOTH ACHES
o matter how smoothly past visits have gone, many individuals still want to avoid a trip to their dentist’s office. But should a toothache arise, only a dentist can get to the root of the issue. Toothaches run the gamut from mild to throbbing to unbearably painful. Toothaches may be temporary, but many persist for some time. Here’s a look at nine reasons for toothaches. ORTHODONTIC APPLIANCES A common cause of discomfort, orthodontic devices can cause toothaches. The pain is most noticeable immediately after an adjustment, but it may ease as the mouth grows accustomed to the wires or pressure. TOOTH SENSITIVITY Despite being hard, teeth actually are porous. Certain conditions may cause the enamel on the outside of teeth to wear away. Exposure of the inner layer of the tooth, called dentin, to the air or foods and beverages may result in pain. SINUS CONGESTION Sometimes teeth aren’t to blame for mouth pain. Pain that persists in the upper teeth only on both sides of the face may occur due to sinusitis. It often is preceded by nasal congestion. TMJ Temporomandibular disorders can cause tooth
By Metro Creative Connection pain. TMJ may result from injury or trauma to the jaw. Tooth grinding, also known as bruxism, can cause tooth pain. IMPACTED WISDOM TEETH Wisdom teeth are a dental milestone that takes place between the ages of 17 and 21. Wisdom teeth actually are third molars, and are given the name because they come in at a mature age, according to the American Dental Association. If there isn’t enough space for them, wisdom teeth can cause crowding and pain. When molars do not fully erupt, the result is impacted wisdom teeth, which can be very painful. DAMAGED FILLINGS
OR DENTAL SEALANTS When fillings or sealants come out, vulnerable parts of the teeth become exposed. This can result in pain. TOOTH DAMAGE Dental caries, or cavities, can cause toothache, as can tooth abscesses and tooth fractures. GUM DISEASE
Gum disease may start with mild inflammation and then become more severe if it is left untreated. The inflammation also may affect the ligament that attaches teeth to the socket in the jaw. This ligament has many nerve fibers. When inflamed, the nerves can get fired up and cause pain.
A kernel of popcorn wedged between teeth or a sharp piece of pizza crust that gets lodged behind a molar can cause pain if not addressed. Toothaches occur for a variety of reasons, so visiting a dentist to identify the cause can lead to effective relief.
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FOOD & NUTRITION
EXPLORING POPULAR DIETS
he pursuit of a vibra nt, hea lthy lifestyle is a goal for many residents of the Four Corners. Choosing the right diet is a pivotal aspect of well-being. Navigating the culinary landscape can be as thrilling as conquering a mountain summit in a world overflowing with dietary options. Embark on a journey through six intriguing dietary paths. Each path comes with its own benefits and potential to enhance your lifestyle. KETO The ketogenic (keto) diet is a low-carb, highfat diet that forces the body to enter a state of ketosis, which burns fat for energy instead of carbohydrates. It has gained popularity for its potential to help with weight loss and energy levels. This diet encourages the consumption of foods like meat, fish, avocados and non-starchy vegetables, while restricting sugar and grains. Keto's appeal extends beyond its potential weight loss benefits. The high-fat content of the keto diet can provide a sustained energy source, making it an attractive option for those looking to fuel their adventures in the region’s picturesque landscapes.
PALEO The Paleo diet, known as the “caveman” diet, focuses on consuming foods our ancestors would have eaten during the Paleolithic era. This includes lean meats, fish, fruits, vegetables, nuts and seeds. 18
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By Benjamin Brewer
The Paleo diet is appreciated for its alignment with locally-sourced, organic produce and sustainable, ethically-raised meats. The Paleo diet is naturally a popular choice in a community that values sustainable living and a connection to nature. Many Four Corners residents prefer to support local farmers and ranchers, and this diet allows them to do just that while emphasizing whole, unprocessed foods. MEDITERRANEAN The eating habits of people in Mediterranean countries inspired the Mediterranean diet. It emphasizes whole grains, fruits, vegetables, lean proteins and healthy fats, like olive oil. Regional markets and community-supported agriculture programs provide residents with abundant fresh, seasonal produce. This makes it easier to embrace the diet's emphasis on colorful fruits and vegetables, which are delicious and rich in essential nutrients. INTERMITTENT FASTING Intermittent fasting is not a specific diet; instead it is a routine that alternates between periods of fasting and eating. It can be tailored to individual preferences, such as the 16/8 method (fasting for 16 hours and eating during an 8-hour window). Those that try intermittent fasting often find it is a flexible approach to dieting. Intermittent Fasting allows individuals to fuel their adventures while optimizing their metabolism. The 16/8 method, for instance, might involve skipping breakfast and having a hearty lunch and dinner, giving individuals the energy they need for recreation. VEGETARIAN/VEGAN Vegetarian and vegan diets are plant-based, with vegans abstaining from all animal products and vegetarians, sometimes including dairy and eggs. It
is a popular choice not only for the health benefits, but also for ethical reasons. Many restaurants in the area offer delicious plant-based options. As more people embrace vegetarian and vegan diets, the benefits extends beyond the dinner table. Choosing a plant-based diet typically requires fewer natural resources and produces fewer greenhouse gas emissions than diets heavy on animal products, reducing an individual's carbon footprint. WHOLE30 The Whole30 diet is a 30-day reset that eliminates potentially inflammatory foods like sugar, dairy, grains and legumes. This cleanse is designed to help identify food sensitivities and promote healthier eating habits. Individuals seeking a short-term commitment to clean eating find the Whole30 diet to be a valuable option. The Whole30 diet offers a structured and results-driven approach. Whether it’s preparing for a challenging outdoor adventure or simply wanting to feel better, the Whole30 can provide the reset many might be seeking. Diet reflects a commitment to healthy living. Whether implementing one of these diets or another nutritonal plan, the best one will suit your personal health goals, lifestyle and values. Always consult with a healthcare professional or nutritionist before making any significant dietary changes.
WHOLESOME HOLIDAY RECIPES MAIN COURSE
Martha Stewart’s roasted turkey 1 turkey, thawed, rinsed and dried ½ cup chopped parsley 1 tablespoon fresh rosemary, chopped 1 tablespoon fresh sage, chopped 1 ½ teaspoons fresh thyme, chopped 8 garlic cloves, chopped 5 tablespoons olive oil Salt and pepper to taste 2 lemons, poked with fork 1 quart of apple cider
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees with the rack in the bottom. Take a prepared turkey placed on its back and bend the wings forward and underneath the neck cavity of the bird. In a small bowl, combine parsley, rosemary, sage, thyme, garlic, 4 tablespoons of olive oil, salt and pepper. Loosen the turkey skin and rub herb mixture underneath. Season the cavity and fill with lemons and rosemary sprigs, then tie legs together. Pour cider in the bottom of the pan, then place a roasting rack on top. Add the turkey to the rack, breast-side up. Rub with remaining tablespoon of olive oil. Cover the turkey loosely with foil and roast for 1 hour. Uncover and continue roasting an additional 2 ½ to 3 hours, basting frequently with pan juices until turkey is fully cooked through (170 degrees). Cover loosely with foil and let rest 30 minutes before carving. DESSERT
Pumpkin pie 9-inch frozen pie crust ¾ cup Splenda (or sugar substitute) Pinch of salt 1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice 1 teaspoon cinnamon 2 eggs
Apple stuffing 1 baguette, sliced 1-inch cubes 2 tablespoons unsalted butter 1 cup medium yellow onion, diced 1 cup celery, diced 1 granny smith apple, diced 1 tablespoon parsley ¾ teaspoon rosemary 1 teaspoon salt ¼ teaspoon black pepper ½ cup chicken stock ¼ cup toasted almonds, optional Preheat the oven to 300 degrees. Bake bread cubes in the oven for 7 minutes. In a large pan, melt the butter and add the onion, celery, apples, parsley, rosemary, salt and pepper. Saute for 10 minutes, until mixture is soft. Combine with bread cubes and add chicken stock and almonds, if desired. Bake in the oven for 30-45 minutes at 350 degrees. Or secure stuffing into the cavity of the turkey with cooking twine and cook for about 2 ½ to hours at 350 degrees.
1 ½ pounds greens - turnip, mustard, collard or kale 6 strips of turkey bacon, cut into ½-inch strips 1 medium onion, cut in half and sliced ¼ cup cider vinegar ½ teaspoon salt 1 ½ cups boiling water Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Wash the greens and cut into strips ¾-inch wide. Over medium high heat, sauté the bacon with the onion for about 5 minutes. Add the greens, vinegar, salt and boiling water. Mix well, cover and bake for 30 minutes, or until the greens are tender.
Roasted sweet potatoes
4 sweet potatoes ¼ cup extra virgin olive oil ¼ cup honey 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon Salt and pepper to taste Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Peel potatoes, and cut into bitesized cubes, about 1-inch. Spread sweet potatoes on a roasting tray and drizzle with olive oil and honey. Sprinkle with cinnamon, salt and pepper, then toss until coated. Roast in the oven for 25-30 minutes, or until tender.
SERVINGS 10 1 teaspoon vanilla extract 15-ounce can of pumpkin 12-ounce can nonfat evaporated milk 1 ¼ cups lite Cool Whip topping (optional)
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Combine the sugar substitute, salt, pumpkin pie spice and cinnamon in the small mixing bowl. Set aside. Beat together the eggs and vanilla in a large mixing bowl, then add pumpkin and mix well. Add dry ingredients and mix until well combined. Gradually add in evaporated milk and mix to blend. Place the pie shell on a cookie sheet and fill shell with pumpkin mixture. Bake for 30-35 minutes, or until the filling is set. Cool completely, then cut and serve with topping. FA L L 20 23
COMMUNITY EVENTS NOV. 5 Veteran Benefit Breakfast, 9-11 a.m. VFW Post 4031, 1550 Main Ave., Durango. Donations of $9 for adults, $8 for veterans, and $6 for children 12 and under. Proceeds benefit local veterans. NOV. 7 Coffee Connections: Leading Yourself First in a Chaotic World, 8 a.m. The Smiley Building, 1309 East Third Ave., Suite 205. DHM Design hosts a learning series that explores a variety of topics presented by chamber members. www.web.durangobusiness.org/events NOV. 8 Daybreak Rotary Club of Durango, 7 a.m. La Plata County Fairgrounds Pine Room, 2500 Main Ave., Durango. Learn how to make a difference in the community through Rotary. email@example.com NOV. 9 Human Resources Workshop: Leverage Culture to Recruit and Retain Top Talent, 11:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m., Center for Innovation, 835 Main Ave., Suite 225, Durango. www.web.durangobusiness.org Warhol and Wine Thanksgiving Celebration, 6-8 p.m. Durango Arts Center, 802 East Second Ave., Durango. A fun-filled adult class where guests can create a painting using tricks and techniques taught by Mike Scieszka. Tickets cost $45 per person. www.durangoarts.org/events NOV. 10 BID Coffee and Conversation Meeting, 8:30 a.m. TBK Bank, 259 West Ninth St., Durango. www.downtowndurango.org/meetings NOV. 11 Adaptive Sports Association Returning Volunteer Orientation, 10-11 a.m.. Adaptive Sports Association, 463 Turner Drive #105, Durango. No RSVP required. Meet the team, ask questions and fill out volunteer paperwork. Adaptive Sports Association New Volunteer Orientation, 11 a.m.-noon. Adaptive Sports Association, 463 Turner Drive #105, Durango. No RSVP required. Meet the team, ask questions and fill out volunteer paperwork.
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NOV. 14 Adaptive Sports Association Returning Volunteer Orientation, 1-2 p.m. and 5-6 p.m. Adaptive Sports Association, 463 Turner Drive #105, Durango. No RSVP required. Meet the team, ask questions and fill out volunteer paperwork. Adaptive Sports Association New Volunteer Orientation, 2-3 p.m. and 6-7 p.m. Adaptive Sports Association, 463 Turner Drive #105, Durango. No RSVP required. Meet the team, ask questions and fill out volunteer paperwork. NOV. 15 Daybreak Rotary Club of Durango, 7 a.m. La Plata County Fairgrounds Pine Room, 2500 Main Ave., Durango. Learn how to make a difference in the community through Rotary. firstname.lastname@example.org Adaptive Sports Association Returning Volunteer Orientation, 10-11 a.m. and 5-6 p.m. Adaptive Sports Association, 463 Turner Drive #105, Durango. No RSVP required. Meet the team, ask questions and fill out volunteer paperwork. Adaptive Sports Association New Volunteer Orientation, 11 a.m.-noon and 6-7 p.m. Adaptive Sports Association, 463 Turner Drive #105, Durango. No RSVP required. Meet the team, ask questions and fill out volunteer paperwork.
NOV. 16 Durango Chamber Business After Hours, 5-7 p.m. Durango Harley-Davidson, 750 S. Camino del Rio, Durango. Networking event hosted by Durango Chamber of Commerce. Pre-register for $10 and $15 at the door. www.web.durangobusiness.org/events Durango Green Drinks, 5-7 p.m. 11th Street Station, 1101 Main Ave., Durango. www.sustainableswcolorado.com NOV. 18 Harvest Market, 9 a.m.-1 p.m. TBK Bank Parking Lot, 259 West Ninth St., Durango. Locally-grown fresh veggies, meats, cheeses and more for a harvest celebration. NOV. 19 Veteran Benefit Breakfast, 9-11 a.m. VFW Post 4031, 1550 Main Ave., Durango. Donations of $9 for adults, $8 for veterans, and $6 for children 12 and under. Proceeds benefit local veterans. NOV. 23 Community Thanksgiving Drive-Thru, 9 a.m. Manna, 1100 Avenida del Sol, Durango. Manna is hosting a to-go style community dinner to celebrate Thanksgiving. Call (970) 385-5095 to volunteer. www.mannasoupkitchen.org
NOV. 29 Daybreak Rotary Club of Durango, 7 a.m. La Plata County Fairgrounds Pine Room, 2500 Main Ave., Durango. Learn how to make a difference in the community through Rotary. email@example.com DEC. 2 Homebuyer Education Class, 8:30 a.m.-4:30 p.m. Fort Lewis College, 1000 Rim Drive, Durango. Workbook fee is $15. Learn what it takes to be a homeowner to gain access to local down payment assistance. www.homesfund.org/attend-a-class DEC. 3 Veteran Benefit Breakfast, 9-11 a.m. VFW Post 4031, 1550 Main Ave., Durango. Donations of $9 for adults, $8 for veterans, and $6 for children 12 and under. Proceeds benefit local veterans. DEC. 9 Holiday Farmer’s Market, 9 a.m.-2 p.m., La Plata County Fairgrounds, 2500 Main Ave., Durango. Pick up fresh ingredients for traditional holiday meals, as well as gifts and goods. DEC. 13 Green Business Roundtable, noon. Powerhouse Science Center, 1295 Camino del Rio, Durango. A networking luncheon to inspire space to innovate. www. sanjuancitizens.org/events/green-business-roundtable DEC. 14 Durango Chamber Business After Hours. 5-7 p.m. TBK Bank, 259 West Ninth St., Durango. Networking event hosted by Durango Chamber of Commerce. Pre-register for $10 or $15 at the door. www.web.durangobusiness.org/events
Happy Hour Yoga, 5:30 p.m. Ska Brewing, 225 Girard St., Durango. $10 for class taught by Brady Wilson, followed by a pint. Karate, 6 p.m. VFW Post 4031, 1550 Main Ave., Durango. Chess Club, 6:30-9 p.m. Guild House Games, 835 Main Ave., Durango. Play chess every Monday evening in the Main Mall on Main Avenue with Guild House Games. Free. TUESDAYS Zumba Gold, 9:30-10:15 a.m. La Plata Senior Center, 2700 Main Ave., Durango. Class is $5 or $20 for a five-class punch pass. Bayfield Farmers Market, 3:30-7 p.m. 1328 County Road 501, Bayfield. WEDNESDAYS TOPS (Take Off Pounds Sensibly), 8:30-10 a.m. La Plata County Senior Center. First meeting is free. Membership is $49 per year. www.tops.org Gentle Hatha Yoga, 9-10 a.m. Florida Grange, 656 Highway 172 South, Durango, near Elmore’s Corner. Chair-assisted yoga classes for people ages 50 and up. Drop-in cost is $9 per class or $65 for 10-punch pass. Contact Jill Tierney at (970) 317-4690 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Dolores Farmers Market, 4-7 p.m. Flanders Park, Fourth and Railroad, Dolores. Karate, 6 p.m. VFW Post 4031, 1550 Main Ave., Durango.
THURSDAYS Cardio Strength Interval Class, 9-10 a.m. Virtual class presented by Live Better Personal Training. Cost is $10 for drop-in and $70 for a 10-card punch pass. Call (970) 4033268 or email email@example.com for more information. Mancos Farmers Market, 4-6:30 p.m. Boyle Park, 150 Grand Ave., Mancos. Square Dancing, 5:30 p.m. VFW Post 4031, 1550 Main Ave., Durango. Fencing, 6 p.m. VFW Post 4031,1550 Main Ave., Durango. SATURDAYS Cortez Farmers Market, 7:30-11:30 a.m. Montezuma County Courthouse parking lot, 20 S. Elm St., Cortez. Durango Farmers Market, 8 a.m. TBK Bank Parking Lot, 259 W. Ninth St., Durango. Bayfield Farmers Market, 8 a.m.-noon. 1328 County Road 501, Bayfield. Breen Community Farmers Market, 8 a.m. 25300 Highway 140, Hesperus. Homegrown and homemade items. Contact firstname.lastname@example.org for more information. Vendor space available. Japanese Bokkendo and Jodo, 9-11 a.m. DSBK Dojo, 121 W. 32nd St. Unit D, Durango. Develop greater strength, balance and coordination through a fun-filled training experience. Contact Jenny Mason for more information. www.durangoaikido.com
ONGOING MONDAYS Cardio Strength Interval Class, 9-10 a.m. Virtual class presented by Live Better Personal Training. Cost is $10 for drop-in and $70 for a 10-class punch pass. Call (970) 403-3268 or email email@example.com for more information. Yoga, 10-11 a.m. The Hive, 1150 Main Ave., Durango. Free event for hospitality employees or $5 for drop-ins. FA L L 20 23
RECONNECT, RELAX THIS HOLIDAY SEASON
inding meaningful ways to spend quality time with your family, or taking a break for your own wellness can be difficult during the holidays. Fortunately, there is a tranquil place where families can strengthen their bonds and individuals can find community and improve their health. Discover the true essence of the holidays at Durango Hot Springs Resort and Spa—a time for family togetherness, healing and connecting. MEANINGFUL CONNECTIONS Gathering the family for a rejuvenating soak is a gift like no other. There’s something for everyone with 19 family-friendly mineral soaking pools, 13 adult-only pools, 10 ADA-accessible soaking pools, two cold plunges and private event spaces. Gather in the soothing waters to share stories, laughter and a sense of community. These moments become treasured memories and serve as a reminder of the importance of being together during the holiday season. The warm and inviting mineral pools at Durango Hot Springs are a hub of connection with like-minded individuals. As people soak and unwind, they will likely encounter fellow wellness seekers. Conversations flow naturally and strangers often become friends, united by shared appreciation of nature and our local community. SELF-CARE Durango Hot Springs is a place for family and community bonding, and a place for individual reflection and self-care. Many people struggle with seasonal mood disorder during the winter, which is triggered by a lack of sunlight and colder temperatures, resulting in low energy, irritability, and sadness. Some of nature’s best remedies can be found in the resort’s outdoor geothermal pools. Along with fresh air and sunshine, the water is naturally infused with 32 minerals such as magnesium, potassium, lithium, sulfate, and calcium, which have been shown to improve mood, reduce stress, and promote relaxation. The resort has added a second cold plunge pool in the last year, giving guests new ways to lift their spirits. Cold plunges involve briefly immersing the body in cold water. This centuries-old practice is gaining popularity due to
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By Durango Hot Springs health benefits such as improved circulation, reduced muscle inflammation, enhanced recovery, improved mood and alertness and increased metabolism. The cold plunges also allow guests to experience contrast hydrotherapy – alternating between hot and cold water – which provides the health benefits of both mineral soaking and cold plunging. Contrast hydrotherapy helps boost the immune system, aids in muscle recovery, promotes lymphatic drainage, provides pain relief, and a range of other health benefits. ELEVATED EXPERIENCES For guests seeking a more individualized and private experience, the resort features five Japanesestyle cedar ofuro tubs designed for the soaking enjoyment of a single guest or couples. Or let our caring team of professionals at the onsite spa create a wellness experience tailored to your needs and desires. Both are great gifts for those seeking wellness and peace in nature’s embrace. Take a break from the hustle and bustle to find solace in the waters of Durango Hot Springs Resort and Spa as you prepare to celebrate the holidays. Discover the true essence of the holidays here—a time for family bonding, self-care, and connecting with others.
HOW TO COLD PLUNGE • If you are new to cold plunging, start with short durations allowing your body to adapt gradually • For therapeutic purposes, immersions of 2 to 5 minutes are common • Gradually increase the duration of your cold plunge sessions • Listen to your body, if you feel intense discomfort or numbness, exit the cold water • If you have medical concerns, first consult with a healthcare professional CONTRAST HYDROTHERAPY • Start with a hot water phase, staying in the hot water for 3-5 minutes • Follow the hot phase with a cold water phase, stay in the cold water for 1-2 minutes • Repeat the cycle 2-3 times, ending with the cold phase • Always start and end with the hot water phase
Embrace Your Soul Over 40 Natural Hot Springs Features World’s Only Oxygen Infused Geothermal Water Full-Service Day Spa New Private Access Day Club Private Ofuro Soaking Tubs Open Year Round Reservations Required www.dhsresort.com 970-247-0111
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