Page 1

so

with

INSTAGRAM WINNER

AUDRA THRUSH

MAGAZINE

DOES YOUR

Past

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DETERMINE YOUR

Future?

Sculpting Exercises

YES &NO

Muscles You Want to Show Off

FOR THE

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OF GYM CLOTHES

Presented by

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Solano Hearts United, Nutrition Education Obesity Prevention Program, Matt Garcia Youth Center, Matt Garcia Foundation, Ryan Bates, Rolling Hills Elementary, Public Safety Academy, our ambassadors, and all of our amazing volunteers. SoFit Magazine

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inside this issue

Workout with Nicole Ankney

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12

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Fit for Life SOFIT Body Workout with Nicole Ankney

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#SFCDay: City Challenge Seeks Fittest City in County & Nation Jason Quintos Sports Authority Instagram Winner Be Happy Now!! Recognize Your Progress

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29

Reduce Blood Pressure

Pets and Your WellBeing

30 Yes & No of Gym Clothes

contents nts NICOLE ANKNEY PHOTOS BY KEN WESTERMANN PHOTOGRAPHY

fitbody 12

Strength Train To Reduce Blood Pressure

fitprofile 21

Audra Thrush

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Your Body Works with Owner, Mark Fischer

that holding on to grudges and bitterness results in longterm health problems... ❞ —THE HEALING POWER OF FORGIVENESS, By Myra Nissen

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Mark Fischer’s unorthodox idea of retirement is a 96-hour work week.

SoFitMag

MARK FISCHER PHOTOS BY ARTURO RAMOS PHOTOGRAPHY

❝Scientific evidence suggests


MARK FISCHER PHOTOS BY ARTURO RAMOS PHOTOGRAPHY

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40

fitlife

27

29

Your Health’s Best Friend Pets and Your Well-Being

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The Yes & No of Gym Clothes

Jason Quintos Instagram Winner

Prepare Financially for Marriage

fitmind The Extraordinary Story of an Unlikely Hero And Why Your Past Doesn’t Have to Predict Your Future

fitmoney 40

Planning for Marriage: Financial Tips for Women

43

529 College Savings Plans

AUDRA THRUSH PHOTOS BY KEN WESTERMANN PHOTOGRAPHY

JASON QUINTOS PHOTOS BY RYAN BATES PHOTOGRAPHY

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healthwatch 46

Joint & Muscle Treatment for Injuries

48

The Healing Power of Forgiveness Solutions from Homeopathy

21 ❝For some of us, all we need to empower the decision to take our foot off the brake is the inspiration of a powerful example, proof that it can be done...❞ —THE EXTRAORDINARY STORY OF AN UNLIKELY HERO, By Ken Wert

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Audra Thrush Instagram Winner

46 Joint & Muscle Treatment

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AUDRA THRUSH PHOTOS BY KEN WESTERMANN PHOTOGRAPHY

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What would happen

IF WE ALL RAN?

For the runners, the movers, the joggers and the walkers ... for every mother, father, son and daughter ... for those who don't do this "sort of thing," and for those that do: join thousands and run your town.

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All numbers are based on the statistical analysis conducted by the UNC Kenan Flagler Business school commissioned by Mizuno USA. Numbers are for illustrative and hypothetical purposeswonly. 6 w wActual . s o fnumbers i t m a gand a zresults i n e .would c o mvary. Statistic based on US only. For more information on Mizuno's original campaign go to www.ifeverybodyran.com.

$130 BILLION IN HEALTH CARE

SAVINGS SoFitMag


20% STRONGER

MEMORY

NEARLY 2 BILLION

POUNDS OF TOTAL

WEIGHT

LOSS

29 MILLION

HAPPIER

MARRIAGES

10% INCREASE IN HOUSEHOLD

EARNING

63 MILLION

HAPPIER

POTENTIAL

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DECREASE OF MORE THAN

6 MILLION

METRIC TONS OF

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ANNUAL

DECREASE OF MORETHAN

48 MILLION

CIGARETTES

SMOKED

1.62 BILLION

5 MILLION

MORE BIRTHDAY

FEWER HOSPITAL

VISITS

SoFit Magazine

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CAKES

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All the information you have been asking for… Our Mission to You SoFit Magazine is the total resource for wellness and inspiration to live your best. In each issue we feature the people, and businesses that are making a difference in their communities. SoFit means better living. We bring together tips for emotional well-being, physical fitness, internal health, beauty and nutrition from experts who care. Our desire is not that you be so thin, but that you be so fit. Fitness is for every body, and everybody fits here.

SoFit Inspiration to Live Your Best PUBLISHER OMAGINE MEDIA, LLC MANAGING EDITOR JESSICA ADELE

Advertise with SoFit Magazine ads@sofitmag.com Want to share your inspirational story or be featured as a weight loss success profile? share@sofitmag.com Interested in being a SoFit model? model@sofitmag.com

CONTENT EDITOR JESS LANDER DESIGN DIRECTOR CRYSTAL SCOTT FEATURE PHOTOGRAPHERS KEN WESTERMANN ADVISORY BOARD MICHAEL S. PARKER, SAMANTHA COOPRIDER, TARON JOHNSON, STEPHANIE MUSILLO, DR. KRISTIN MATTINGLY, JIM RILEY CFP™, EA

EDITORIAL CONTRIBUTORS

We want to hear from YOU! opinion@sofitmag.com For all other general questions Mail SoFit Magazine P.O. Box 2548 Vacaville, CA 95696 Phone 707.929.3565 Fax 707.929.3565 Web www.sofitmagazine.com Email info@sofitmag.com

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CHRISTOPHER WALKER, MICHAEL CORNWALL, TARON JOHNSON, SUSAN LUCAS, MYRA NISSEN, KEN WERT, JESS LANDER, MIKE WEISS, KAYLA ROSE, JOHN GOTTMAN AND THEODORE J. SPINARDI

SPECIAL THANKS TO FASHION PHOTOGRAPHER: THE CANDY FACTORY STUDIO BY VINCENT GOTTI MAKE-UP: OZZIE MENDOZA HAIR STYLIST: ALISHER AKHUNZHANOV

SoFit Publications SOFIT MAGAZINE ASSUMES NO RESPONSIBILITY FOR THE CONTENT OF ARTICLES OR ADVERTISEMENTS, IN THAT THE OPINIONS EXPRESSED THEREIN MAY NOT NECESSARILY REFLECT THE OPINIONS OF THE EDITOR, SOFIT MAGAZINE, OR OMAGINE MEDIA. THE APPEARANCE OF THESE ARTICLES AND ADVERTISEMENTS DOES NOT CONSTITUTE AN ENDORSEMENT BY OMAGINE MEDIA OR SOFIT MAGAZINE. OMAGINE MEDIA AND SOFIT MAGAZINE DO NOT ENDORSE ANY FORM OF MEDICAL TREATMENT OR FITNESS PROGRAM, NOR DO WE ENCOURAGE YOU TO UNDERTAKE ANY SUCH TREATMENT OR PROGRAM ON YOUR OWN. WE URGE YOU TO SEE YOUR FAMILY PHYSICIAN BEFORE UNDERTAKING ANY KIND OF MEDICAL TREATMENT OR FITNESS PROGRAM. OMAGINE MEDIA AND SOFIT MAGAZINE ACCEPTS NO RESPONSIBILITY OR LIABILITY, EITHER EXPRESSED OR IMPLIED, FOR ANY PRODUCTS FEATURED, ADVERTISED OR DEMONSTRATED. ALL SUBMISSIONS ARE THE PROPERTY OF SOFIT MAGAZINE AND WE RESERVE THE RIGHT TO EDIT AS WE SEE FIT FOR THE PUBLICATION. SOFIT MAGAZINE ASSUMES NO RESPONSIBILITY FOR ERRORS AND/OR OMISSIONS, ALTHOUGH CARE IS TAKEN TO ENSURE ACCURACY. THIS PUBLICATION AND ALL OF ITS CONTENTS ARE COPYRIGHTED. REPRODUCTION IN WHOLE OR IN PART, WITHOUT WRITTEN PERMISSION FROM THE PUBLISHER, IS PROHIBITED.

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SoFitMag

TM


Welcome Guest Editor,

Brittany Szarek B

Resolution! Why not? Like the earth and nature, the world follows a seasonal pattern. Why not our lives too - makes sense right? I’m all for resolutions that are manageable, timely and specific. But at the beginning of the year, we often make a vow to lose weight, exercise more, spend time with our family, or quit smoking. We start the year off with great intentions, but then quickly find ourselves reverting to old behaviors and habits. It’s not that we don’t want to change, is it? Maybe we need to bite off transformational change in smaller chunks with a seasonal perspective. Consider the weather, consider family plans, and consider your money and time budget. How are you going to start working out more, given your work schedule or vacation schedule? How are you going to actually save more money, given your spending habits and expectations in the next three months? Will you budget for a personal trainer or a monthly massage to accelerate your success? Revisit and revise your plans every fall, winter, spring, and summer, in order to compartmentalize your big vision. You may find that priorities change slightly with the seasons. We all want healthy relationships, a fulfilling career, a spiritual connection, and an active lifestyle – each of which are delicately intertwined. When one or more areas are neglected, our health and well-being suffer. So instead of simply vowing to change once every year, seek instead to embark on a new journey with the seasons in mind. Set out to create the life you’ve always imagined, one that inspires you to overcome obstacles around you, and creates passion and joy within you.

Happy New Fall!

Keep SoFit,

H

ave you ever heard of a Half-Year’s resolution? If you have, then you may have pledged to change your life last June. If not, then introducing a Fall’s

Brittany

Brittany Szarek RD, CSP, LD, CHC Registered Dietitian and Certified Health Coach Owner of Nutritious Living, LLC – A Health and Nutrition Counseling Practice emphasizing a holistic approach to health & wellness.

Contributors

MIKE WEISS, MS, ACSM‐HFS In this issue: Strength Train

925.997.3047 mweiss@altahps.com altahps.com

RYAN BATES PHOTOGRAPHY

MYRA NISSEN, CCH, RSHom(NA)

KEN WESTERMANN PHOTOGRAPHY KAYLA ROSE, Personal Trainer, Model

In this issue: Jason Quintos Instagram Cover Winner

In this issue: The Healing Power of Forgiveness

In this issue: Audra Thrush - Instagram & Nicole Ankney - Fit for Life

Ryan Bates Photography 707.447.6706 www.ryanbatesphotography.com

MyraNissen.Homeopath 707.750.4455 www.myranissen.com

kwestphotography 707.319.8345 www.kenwestermannphotography.com

SoFit Magazine

Inspiration to Live Your Best TM

In this issue: Be Happy Now!!

kaylarosefitness @kkaylarose www.lcnmlifestyle.wix.com/kaylarose

SUSAN LUCAS, CMT In this issue: Joint & Muscle Treatment for Injuries

707.704.7315 shenjingholistic@gmail.com www.shenjingholistic.abmp.com

SoFitMag

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lagoon valley trail run series 2014 LLEY TR A

/ MARATHON 30K TRAIL 10K TRAIL 5K TRAIL 1/2 MILE

12

RU

30 K

-5 K

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sunday September 14

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AL 1 FM N A RA T H O

[KIDS FUN RUN]

LAGOON VALLEY PARK 4600 Pena Adobe Road - Vacaville, CA

8:00am start Event Expo & Refreshments All participants eligible for 3 deep age group prizes:

EVENT WILL BE TIMED & RESULTS WILL BE POSTED ON WEBSITE

REGISTER NOW

f o r m o r e i n f o , v i s i t:

lagoonvalley trailrun.com event participants will be capped

Events benefit High School Cross Country programs in Vacaville

+ +

Registration forms available to print on the event website Custom finisher award for all participants

Presented b by: y: VACAVILLE PRESENTED BY M A G A Z I N E

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SoFitMag


❝I’ve had a lot of

PHOTO BY KEN WESTERMANN PHOTOGRAPHY

—Audra Thrush, WBFF Pro

body

setbacks along the way and I don’t attempt to… make this journey look easy.❞

Strength Train 12 | Fit for Life with Nicole 14 | Q&A with Instagram Star Audra 21 SoFit Magazine

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fit body

Strength Train To Reduce Blood Pressure

By Michael D. Weiss, M.S., ACSM-HFS

With rising levels of physical inactivity and obesity – as of 2010, 68% of U.S. adults are overweight and obese2 – the prevalence of hypertension, as a contributing cause of cardiovascular disease, remains markedly high. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), hypertension is linked to 69% of people who have a first heart attack, 77% of people who have a first stroke, and 74% of people with chronic heart failure. Additionally, the CDC reports that 20% of adults who have high blood pressure are not even aware of it.6

Because of the high lifetime risk of hypertension a relatively new category called “prehypertension” now exists (systolic pressure: 120 - 139 mm Hg and diastolic pressure: 80 - 89 mm Hg).3 This new category represents an attempt to identify and encourage individuals who are at risk for hypertension and have elevated levels of blood pressure, though still below the minimum threshold for hypertension, to adopt measures early on in the disease process that will prevent the progression of the disease including comorbidities such as heart and kidney disease.7

Hypertension or high blood pressure is defined as having systolic pressure ≥ 140 mm Hg and diastolic pressure ≥ 90 mm Hg.3 High blood pressure affects nearly 67 million or 31% of American adults, which is 1 in every 3 adults.6 Juxtaposing this troubling statistic with an evidenced based association relating hypertension to a significant increase in the risk of death from cardiovascular disease, stroke, diabetes, and kidney disease,7 hypertension is indeed a public health concern. In 2008, direct and indirect costs of hypertension in the U.S. were almost $70 billion.7 Therefore, to reduce morbidity and mortality associated with cardiovascular disease greater emphasis should be directed at adopting lifestyle measures that will reduce the incidence of hypertension not only for the individual, but society as a whole.

Fortunately there is another category of risk factors that are modifiable. For a detailed list of measures one can take to reduce the onset or manage the risk for developing hypertension, refer to Box 1. Prominent in that list is the importance of exercise. Hypertension is associated with arterial inflammation, but scientific evidence exists on the positive response both physical activity and exercise has on supporting healthy arterial tissue and thus, reducing the incidence of hypertension.7

HIGH BLOOD PRESSURE RISK FACTORS Risk factors for hypertension are separated into two categories: modifiable and non-modifiable. Under the non-modifiable group risk factors include: age, gender, ethnicity, and family health history. According to the CDC, up until the age of 45, men have approximately a 25% likelihood of developing hypertension compared to 19% with women. Though after the age of 65 women surpass men with a 69% chance of developing hypertension compared to men at 64%.6 In fact, independent of gender, 90% of all U.S. adults (if they live long enough) will develop hypertension.4 Relative to ethnicity non-Hispanic blacks (43%) are higher than both whites (34%) and Latinos (28%).6

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Exercise training has also been effective in lowering blood pressure in individuals with both prehypertension and hypertension.7 Unfortunately, despite the dissemination of material on the value of exercise as an effective mechanism in the control and prevention of hypertension, as well as many chronic diseases, less than half (48%) of all adults meet the 2008 Physical Activity Guidelines.5 UNDERSTANDING HYPERTENSION The mechanisms responsible for the development of hypertension are complex and varied in scope; however, one thing is clear and that is its association with low grade systemic arterial inflammation.7 Impaired or irregular neurohormonal activity can negatively influence the health of endothelial tissue, which is the tissue lining the inside of arteries. Normal endothelial function allows for arteries to appropriate vasodilate in response to neurohormonal factors, fluxuations in blood flow, circulating metabolites,

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and mechanical pressure.7 During periods of physical stress activation of the nervous system the release of certain hormones (e.g., epinephrine) prepares the body to respond to the increased metabolic demands required for heightened physical activity. This response known as “flight or fight,” is responsible for producing an array of physiological acute responses including increased blood flow, heart rate, and elevated blood pressure. Whether engaging in exercise or scurrying across the street to avoid colliding with a car, this system increases oxygen and other metabolites to our skeletal muscles to enhance our physical output. Rising blood pressure induced by exercise is normal and does not initiate an unhealthy state increasing the risk for hypertension or any of its co-morbidities, assuming the absence of any cardiovascular complications. In fact, research has demonstrated that higher levels of physical activity or increased cardiorespiratory fitness are associated with reduced incidence of hypertension.7 In modern day society, outside of engaging in

Preventing Hypertension:

What Can I Do? SoFitMag


exercise or athletic competition, the activation of our neurohormonal system to prepare our body for emergencies -- ”fleeing or fighting” – rarely occurs. However, much more likely is the same heightened physiological response to perceived emergencies, though without the alterations in physiological function. These perceived emergencies are what we generally call stress. Stress whether actual or perceived heightens the activity of our nervous system and together with hormonal input increases the risk for developing hypertension. Chronic high blood pressure promotes endothelial dysfunction providing a pathway for inflammation and prevents the release of vasodilatory enzymes, especially during exercise that are a normal function of healthy arteries. The presence of inflammatory substances accompanied by high levels of plaque – atherosclerosis – can become instable increasing the risk for heart attacks and stroke.7 Learn more about the benefits of exercise and further recommendations by continuing this article online at www.SoFitMagazine.com.

✓ Accumulate 30 – 60 minutes of aerobic activity 5 - 7 d/wk (≥150 min/wk) at moderate intensity or 20 – 60 minutes of vigorous intensity 3 – 4 d/wk (≥75 min/wk).1

✓ Following a standard strength training protocol engage in resistance training 2 – 3 d/wk utilizing all major muscle groups, performing 2 – 4 sets per muscle group at 8 -12 repetitions per set.1

✓ Maintain a healthy weight (BMI: 18.5 –

?

24.9).

✓ Don’t smoke. ✓ Orient your lifestyle to control stress (e.g., arrive at appointments on time, don’t leave tasks to the last minute, practice yoga, meditate, listen to music, etc.).

✓ Maintain regular sleep schedule accumulating 7 – 8 hr/night.

✓ Manage daily activities to decrease long periods of sedentary activity (i.e., sitting in front of a computer, sitting watching television, etc.).

Michael D. Weiss M.S., ACSM-HFS, is an exercise physiologist and founder of Alta Health and Performance Solutions (Alta HPS) based in Benicia. He is a frequent lecturer, and a corporate fitness consultant who also provides customized training programs to endurance athletes. Call (925)997-3047 or email mweiss@altahps.com for more information.

✓ Reduce consumption of refined grains, cholesterol (<100mg/d), saturated fat (<10% of total daily calories), trans fat (0 g/d), and triglycerides.7

✓ Keep alcohol consumption to no more than two drinks per day for men and no more than one drink per day for women.

✓ Sodium consumption should be ≤ 2300 mg/d (1 tsp of salt); if hypertensive reduce to ≤ 1500 mg/d.4

✓ Consume 4 – 6 oz, 2 – 3 d/wk of cold water fish to obtain omega – 3 fatty

SoFit Magazine

TM Inspiration to Live Your Best TM

acids (tuna, herring, trout, salmon, mackerel, or sardines).7

✓ Include a diet rich in fruits and vegetables (6 – 8 servings/d).

✓ Regularly consume nuts and seeds: 2 oz/d, 4 – 7 d/wk (almonds, pistachios, walnuts, peanuts, and flax seed).7

✓ If you don’t know your blood pressure have it checked especially if you are over the age of 45.

✓ Consult your doctor if just beginning or returning to a fitness program after an extended absence.

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PHOTO BY KEN WESTERMANN PHOTOGRAPHY

fit body

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❝I work-out

because being healthy and fit is very important to me.❞ —Nicole Ankney SoFit Magazine

Inspiration to Live Your Best TM

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fit body

Mom of two, Nicole A. has made being fit her life’s mission, and she has the workout to prove it. Nicole gave SOFIT four basic moves to supplement any fitness routine. And while this is barely her full workout, Nicole’s tremendous work ethic proves one simple truth: Want the look? Do the work.

PHOTOS BY KEN WESTERMANN PHOTOGRAPHY

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SoFitMag


Life

FIT FOR SOFIT Body Workout with Nicole Ankney

By Taron Johnon, Master Trainer

1

Photos by Ken Westermann Photography

Lat-Pulldown

SCULPTED MUSCLES: Latissimus dorsi, mid back 1. Sit down and position the knee pad of the machine to fit your height and select the weight. 2. Grab the bar; position your hands with a close, medium or wide-grip width (shoulder-width defines the mid-grip). 3. Tilt your torso back, creating curvature in your lower back with your chest out for your starting position.

PHOTOS BY KEN WESTERMANN PHOTOGRAPHY

Your Body Works, Fairfield, CA

4. Exhale as you evenly pull the bar down to gently touch your chest. Return to starting position.

Tip “Vary grip width to emphasize different muscle fibers. Caution: Pulldowns behind the neck are not advised.” —Taron Johnson, Master Trainer

Ask a Professional: As always consult a trainer at your facility for advice on proper technique and your particular body mechanics.

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Inspiration to Live Your Best TM

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2

Seated Military Press SCULPTED MUSCLES: Rear deltoid

1. Dumbbells in hand lift your arms up to your shoulders and rotate the palms away from your body. 2. Push the weight straight up over your head, then lower back toward your collarbone. 3. Focus on maintaining a steady breath and a braced abdomen through the movement. 4. Exhale on the way up, inhale on the way down.

Stand Variation “Standing can create a full body movement, generating more power for a stronger and fuller lift.” —Taron Johnson, Master Trainer

Weight selection: consider selecting a dumbbell with which you can do 3 sets of 8-12 reps. If you’re brand new to weight training, select lighter weights at first. You can always add more weight later. Besides, better safe than sorry.

PHOTOS BY KEN WESTERMANN PHOTOGRAPHY

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PHOTOS BY KEN WESTERMANN PHOTOGRAPHY

3

Parallel Squats/Lunge SCULPTED MUSCLES: glutes, quads, hamstrings

1. Stand with feet either hip width or shoulder-width apart. 2. Bend the knees and sit your butt back as if you’re sitting into a chair. 3. Generally your knees should not pass your toes when you bend down. 4. Stand-up out of the lunge by pressing through the heels of your feet to finish the move.

4

Barbell Bent-Over Row MUSCLES SCULPTED: Lower latissimus dorsi

1. Barbell in hand, start with a slight bend in the knees and stand hip-width apart, shoulders back. 2. Bend forward at the hip keeping your back straight and your abdomen braced. 3. Row, by pulling the bar to your upper waist. 4. Return until arms are extended and shoulders are stretched downward.

Lunge Variation “Step one leg back in one long stride for a lunge, then alternate legs.” Why? Lunges are essentially one-legged squats. They allow a greater range of motion which will allow a greater sculpting along the leg and glute.

SoFit Magazine

Inspiration to Live Your Best TM

- Taron Johnson, Master Trainer

For more Fit Tips contact: johnsonfortified@gmail.com

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winner

Presented by

with

Instagram Star

Audra Thrush The Candy Factory Studio by Vincent Gotti Photos: Ken Westermann Photography Make-Up: Ozzie Mendoza Hair Stylist: Alisher Akhunzhanov

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winner

PHOTO BY KEN WESTERMANN PHOTOGRAPHY

After gaining nearly 40 pounds in college, Audra Thrush embarked on a health and fitness journey to get her body back.

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SoFitMag


Her results inspired her to become a personal trainer and lead her to the world of competitive bikini and fitness modeling. She’s currently training for the 2014 WBFF World Championship in Las Vegas, and designing apparel. Check out Audra’s full shoot and some of her bikini creations online at sofitmagazine.com. SoFit: How did you achieve this transformation?

Audra: When I first began working out I only did aerobic exercise. I was dedicating a lot of time and effort into exercising but I wasn’t seeing any results. After taking a nutrition class and losing close to 25 pounds, I began to understand the importance that nutrition played in weight loss. Unfortunately, I gained the weight back shortly after the class ended. When I finally added resistance along with my cardio and nutrition plan, I began seeing the results I had wanted all along. I decided to become a trainer to help others who struggle with weight loss and competed in my first fitness competition in 2012. It gave me that extra push that I needed to get to the next level with my training and diet.

SoFit: How do you stay motivated and on track of your goals?

PHOTO BY KEN WESTERMANN PHOTOGRAPHY

Audra: My clients really motivate me. Seeing them push hard and get results is so rewarding to me and it makes me push harder with my own workouts and goals. SoFit: How do you inspire others? Audra: I’ve had a lot of setbacks along the way and I don’t attempt to cover them up or make this journey look easy. It’s not easy, but it is worth it. If you refuse to give up you will get to your goals. I celebrate when I get to my goals but then I immediately make new ones.

1 See Audra’s before pics online at www.SoFitMagazine.com 8 Follow Audra on Instagram at @AudraFit

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#SFCDAY:

City Challenge Seeks Fittest City in County & Nation SOFITCITY RUN/WALK IS SATURDAY, SEPTEMBER 27

T

“This county ranks pretty poorly when it comes to diabetes and obesity,” says event manager, O.Johnson. “This is a fun way to change that, by challenging other cities and counties.”

While the group run takes place at the Solano Mall, this year organizers have introduced “#SFC DAY!” to encourage residents to walk or run a mile wherever they are on September 27. Each person who pledges to participate earns a virtual gift bag full of rewards and a point towards making their city the fittest.

But not by speed. Each year Forbes Magazine ranks cities for health and fitness. But organizers say civic engagement and participation is the most important. They have created #SFCDAY as an annual day for residents to change their city rank by participating no matter where they live! www.SFCDAY.com allows residents of any state to run with their city in support of a healthier nation. In time, SFCDAY hopes to create a new national city ranking based solely on the number of people that participate on the day. Take that Forbes!

Additional gifts await runners at the event Saturday morning in Fairfield.

“We love the idea of SFC DAY”, says Alan Kerzin, Executive Director of the Children’s Network. “It

he Children’s Network of Solano County presents this year’s SOFITCITY 5K & 10K, the county-wide run that welcomes every city in the county to not only compete for the largest number of finishers, but also for the distinction of the region’s “fittest city.” The event also features a family-friendly 1 mile walk in an effort to encourage healthy, fun, outdoor activity for our County’s kids and their families.

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SFC encourages everyone to participate regardless of age, income, culture, health or location in the county. It is truly an inclusive event.” “If everybody walked or ran we could build a culture of health toward ending obesity-related diseases,” says Race Director, Todd Rewick. “We could literally make our county the fittest county in the nation.” “I know not everybody enjoys running, like I do,” says runner, Ashley Williams. “But I want my city of Vallejo, and my county to be better.

SoFit Magazine

To register or for more information on this year’s race event, visit

WWW.SOFITCITY.COM Local businesses can contact rewards@ sofitcity.com to offer coupons and gifts to award runners and walkers.

TM Inspiration to Live Your Best TM

I think it’d be fun to challenge all my friends in Napa County, Sacramento and Marin. Let’s show California how strong we can be.”

Funds raised by SOFITCITY benefit the Children’s Network of Solano County and local non-profits like the Matt Garcia Youth Center. Pledge for free online at www.SFCDAY.com to run or walk a mile on September 27!

SoFitMag

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WEALTH MANAGEMENT

Helping you plan for your financial future.

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with

Jason Photos by Ryan Bates

Quintos Instagram Winner

One year ago, Jason Quintos decided it was time for a change. He was at an all-time high 170 pounds, was lacking energy and felt uncomfortable with his body. So, he started going to the gym six days a week, stuck to a healthy diet and saw immediate results. Heâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s now fitter than ever at a rock solid 145 pounds and heâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s just getting warmed up.

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winner SoFit: How did you achieve this transformation? Jay: I started off with my own 30-day challenge, keeping with my six days of gym sessions and planning out my meals, which consisted of six healthy meals a day of protein, veggies and starches. I knew staying dedicated to my healthy eating habits was going to be key to being successful. After making it through the 30 days, I became addicted to the results. I continued to push myself to 60 days and then onto 90 days, where I ended up dropping my weight to 145 pounds and building muscle mass.

SoFit: You have nearly 5,000 Instagram followers at @JayQ707. How do you inspire your fans, and how do they inspire you? Jay: Through all this and the journey I have went through, the most rewarding part of it all is the motivation and inspiration I bring upon other lives. The positive feedback I get from Instagram followers and the stories I hear from people that I have inspired to change their lifestyle is so inspirational to me. I guess you can say I am like a big brother who doesnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t want to fail because I want to be the positive role model they look to for advice or encouragement to do something great in life. I donâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t want to let them down.

made in the kitchen. I hardly work abs.

Follow Jay on Instagram at @JayQ707

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JASON QUINTOS

SoFit: How did you get those abs? Jay: Abs are


fit money life

Your Health’s

BEST FRIEND PETS AND YOUR WELL-BEING

By Wendy VanHatten

D

id you know most households in the United States have at least one pet? Companion pets assist the elderly, those with an illness or disease, or those with a disability. Protection pets provide protection, while others provide pure enjoyment. And still, other pets are not really pets…they are part of the family. Information from trusted medical sources prove pet ownership can be directly related to heart health, social support, and long life. One such study at the State University of New York at Buffalo found pet owners had lower heart rates and lower blood pressure, even while undergoing stressful situations. Therapists prescribe pets for those recovering from strokes, those dealing with depression, or those with anxiety issues. Dogs can be trained to understand a range of commands to know exactly what their owners need. Some dogs have been trained to warn diabetic owners of a dramatic drop in their glucose levels…before that person knows it. Some therapists use pets in their offices, sort of as assistants. People will open up to a pet and tell them their problems. After all, pets don’t really care how long you talk to them or what you talk about. They sit there and listen. Unlike people, pets don’t judge you or what you have just told them. They are there just for you.

Studies show that dog owners are more physically active.

Studies show that dog owners are more physically active. Just two 15-minute walks each day increase your activity level enough to make a difference. Play fetch, go for a run, or chase a ball with your dog and you have dramatically increased your activity level. Most cat owners don’t take their cats for a walk or play fetch, but there are other benefits. Again, research has shown cat owners have fewer strokes, fewer circulation issues, and less stress. Ever watch a cat stretch? Count the number of times a cat stretches in a day, astounding. Take time out for a stretch several times a day. It will do you a world of good. And probably calm you in the meantime. Did you know cats take great interest in what their owners are doing? Working on the computer? Your cat will probably lie down right in front of the screen. Looking at a magazine? You’ll probably find your cat moving it out of your way. Reading a book or using your iPad? Your cat will nudge it out of your hand until you pet him, right? People have interacted with companion animals since the beginning of time. In addition to all the health benefits, pets often provide a feeling of security and happiness to your life.

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YES&NO OF GYM CLOTHES By Jasmine Evans

Y

ou may agonize over what to wear to work or that birthday party or on your next date, but you don’t need to agonize over what to wear to the gym. With a few simple suggestions, you can put together a wardrobe of gym clothes that will keep you safe and let you feel cute and productive as you work up a sweat.

YES: Form-fitting pants or shorts You want your gym bottoms to be “not to loose” but “not too tight.” Baggy clothes can get caught in machines and be a safety hazard. Shorts that are too tight may be uncomfortable and cause you to get in the habit of cutting a workout short. Yoga pants or shorts that fit well around the waist but are looser around the thighs are a great way to go.

NO: Loud headphones One of the great things about the gym is that you are surrounded by people who have the same goal as you: to get in a good work out. So when you’re packing your gym bag, keep those other folks in your gym community in mind. Loud headphones can be distracting to the people on the machines around you. It can also be unsafe as you might not be able to hear warnings or alarms going off around you in the event of an emergency.

breast health but also important if you want to maintain modesty at the gym. You can also test tank tops in the fitting room before you buy them. Lean over and watch yourself in the mirror. Do some stretches and twist from side to side. Make sure you’re not revealing anything you don’t want to be revealing.

NO: Sandals or Flip-flops Avoid wearing anything that exposes your toes and feet to harm. Many gyms have rules about footwear so double check your gym’s policy. Sandals and flip-flops are dangerous for most gym activities. The next to naked shoes that have become popular among runners have also been banned from many gyms. The concern is that the weights will fall on an unsuspecting gymgoer’s feet and break a couple toes. So stick with sturdy sneakers that will protect and support you feet whether you’re running or lifting weights. The most important rule of gym wear is to be safe. But at the same time, you want to be comfortable and considerate of other people in the gym. Keep these tips in mind and you’ll be well on your way to a good work out and maybe even making a friend or two. 

WHEN YOU’RE PACKING YOUR GYM BAG, KEEP THOSE OTHER FOLKS IN YOUR GYM COMMUNITY IN MIND.

YES: Shirts with sweat wicking material You know that guy whose shirt is dripping with sweat that is getting all over the machine you’re waiting to use. It’s not great for you, and it’s probably not comfortable for him. You can avoid dripping sweat all over the gym by wearing shirts with sweat-wicking material. They might cost a little more, but a high quality shirt will last you a long time and will help keep you dry and comfortable while you’re on the treadmill or elliptical.

NO: Heavily scented perfume or lotion Just like with the loud headphones, think about the community of people you’re joining at the gym when you choose perfume or lotion to wear. You may want to smell great when you get to the gym and when you leave. But heavily scented perfumes or lotions can cause headaches in other people and might irritate your skin over time as you get sweaty. Instead try a clinical strength sport deodorant and a handful of baby powder. That combination is likely to keep you smelling sweet without distracting your neighbors on the stationary bikes.

YES: Supportive sports bras Try on a sports bra before you buy it. When you’re in the fitting room, do some jumping jacks, jog back and forth, or pretend to jump rope. You should feel strongly supported with any bra you buy. This is important for long-term

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mind

10% of our brains!

Is that all we use?

Not likely. Neuroscientists point to brain scans that show nearly all parts of the brain engaged with even the most basic tasks, like walking or talking. The 10% myth may have come from a misinterpretation of William Jamesâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; 1908 book, The Energies of Men. Besides our brains deserve a lot more credit than 10%!

Be Happy Now! 34 | An Extraordinary Story of an Unlikely Hero 35 SoFit Magazine

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fit mind

Be Happy

Now!!

RECOGNIZE YOUR PROGRESS By Kayla Rose

If

you’ve ever heard the saying “stop and smell the roses,” now is a good a time to stop and recognize the progress you have made! It is always good to strive for more, but if you are never happy or satisfied with what you’ve achieved thus far, you won't enjoy life and everything right under your nose! There is a space in between your work and goals, and it is called Life. Live it to the fullest and don’t miss it. Who wants to live with regret and negative feelings?

Be happy with what you are doing, even if it is something small, as long as it is in a forward progression. I know that everyone wants to be able to say "I did it" rather than "I wish I would have done that," but if you don’t slow down to recognize your progress, you may never tap into the motivation to keep at it. Progress often feels like it happens so slowly and subtle; it is hard to see changes.   When you are putting so much work into something and don't see change, you might get discouraged, lose motivation or consider quitting. Try to remember the beginning of your journey, to the present and find the progress between the two. Yes, many of us have goals that are important and even urgent. But let us not get so consumed with the future, that we make misery out of our present. A horrible process rarely makes for a happy ending. Don’t rush it. Enjoy the

journey now, and recognize satisfaction in the moment! When I take a deep breath and realize the great things life has brought me, and the beauty there is in the present, my days are much more enjoyable. I wish the same for you! Enjoying the process of the struggle can be an antidote to discouragement. And then, once you finally get to your goal, you can bask in the knowledge that you not only trained your body to be happily fit, but you trained your mind to think happily too! Kayla Rose is a fitness model and health activist. Follow Kayla on Instagram @kkaylarose and on www.facebook.com/ kaylarosefitness

Don’t rush it. Enjoy the journey now, and recognize satisfaction in the moment!

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fit mind

The Extraordinary Story of an Unlikely Hero

And Why Your Past Doesn’t Have to Predict Your Future By Ken Wert

“The harder the conflict, the more glorious the triumph.”

T

—Thomas Paine

he past makes a poor crystal ball.

So often, we look down the road of our lives through the prism of the past, projecting that past onto the unknown and unknowable future. But that dirties it, somehow tarnishing its possibilities with the dull haze of former disappointments. Our troubled childhoods, mistakes we’ve made, abuses sustained, unfair

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circumstances, unhappy conditions, limitations—and the insecurities they bred—become the excuses we use for living life with one foot on the gas and one foot on the brake. That, of course, becomes a challenge when we try making something of our lives, doing what moves us, improving our circumstances or ourselves, becoming what we were meant to be or making something spectacular of this precious life we’ve been given. The excuse of past conditions for future surrenders lingers all too frequently just out of sight, waiting to justify yet another application of the brake on life. For some of us, all we need to empower the decision to take our foot off the brake is the inspiration of a powerful example, proof that it can be done, that someone as regular and normal as me with all my limitations, baggage,

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fit mind So can yours. Below, is one such example, perhaps a Roger Bannister moment for you. May it be the motivating inspiration you need to lean more heavily on the gas and less heavily on the brakes as you drive life’s highway to happier places than your past might otherwise suggest.

An Unlikely Hero Childhood As an infant, he was largely abandoned to a nanny. His mother, in fact, rarely saw him. His dad almost never did. At 7 years old, he was sent to a boarding school where he proved to be literally the worst in his class. His parents got reports that declared their son “seems unable to learn anything.” He was punished severely, once being dragged into a room and beaten until bloody for school infractions. He changed schools after his nanny discovered welts on his back from the beatings once he was home on break. He made no friends in school.

Roger Bannister

insecurities and emotional problems has done it before. We need the proverbial 4-minute mile breakthrough. In 1952, Roger Bannister set a new world record for finally breaking the 4 minute mile, with 3 minutes, 59 seconds. While largely overplayed and mythologized, the symbolism it represents is nonetheless a powerful reminder that difficult and never-before accomplished tasks can be accomplished.

His mom rarely visited him and even forgot to send him Christmas presents; His dad also failed to visit him at school—ever—even when he was nearby and his son wrote letters asking him to stop by. His letters were never even answered. Dear dad didn’t even know exactly how old his own son was. Teen Years Later, as a teen, his father wouldn’t let him go to the best school saying his son would just embarrass him, that he was “such a stupid boy.” He just couldn’t accept that kind of public humiliation from that “damned impudent little idiot.” Again, in high school, he did not fair too well. As if to underscore that fact, on parent visitation days, while other kids’ parents came to see their children,

His time was broken just 46 days later.

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fit mind his never did.

more meaningful, happier life?

The class would march out in rank order, from the highest score to the lowest. He was always dead last. His parents were embarrassed, so they stayed home. He felt the sting of it “sharply,” he would later remark.

He might say what he once told a graduating class of high school students:

College

Enough said.

When he proudly wrote his dad telling him he had been accepted into military college, his dad finally wrote back to say, “You are a constant disappointment to me …. Not only are you a complete failure … I see nothing ahead of you but failure… Do not write me anymore; I do not wish to hear anything more from you.”

Ken Wert is a husband, father of two, a religious guy, a high school teacher, a student of happiness, and a pretty decent dude. He is also founder of M2BH, MeantToBeHappy.com. Follow Ken for insights on fulfillment, happiness and inspiration to live your best.

“Never give up. Never, ever, ever give up.”

“Never give up. Never, ever, ever give up.”

The same year the son graduated from military college, his dad died in lingering pain and agony after being brought home in a strait- jacket, perhaps reflecting the emotional straight jacket he had helped secure around his son’s psyche for so many relentless years.

R

So who is this failure of a son? Who was it that went nowhere and did nothing? Who was it that was hampered by a loveless childhood with a detached mother and verbally and emotionally abusive father who never understood or cared for his own son? Who Was this Hapless Son from an Unhappy Family? He was an artist, winning several awards under a pseudonym. He was a very successful author of several books (one winning him the Nobel Prize) making him a wealthy man. He was the lone voice who saw war coming in the appeasement policies Nevel Chamberlain brokered with Germany. He was made Prime Minister of England twice and presided over a successful war against the spread of Nazism. His name was Sir Winston Churchill. Lessons If this man from that background can rise above the pain of his past and do great things, forging a life that truly matters, what are you waiting for? You are endowed with all that’s needed to lift your own life from the past, making something wonderful out of the spare parts. Caveat: No one’s life is exactly like anyone else’s. So we can’t assume any direct correlation between his and ours. Still, to see someone who rose from such childhood obscurity with so many emotional obstacles in the way, to such heights of success is inspiring nonetheless. So what advice might Churchill offer a person living below their potential, someone trapped in the pain of their childhood, someone who yearns for a

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fit profile

With Owner, Mark Fischer By Jess Lander Photos by Arturo Ramos

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His goal is to give back to the community through health and fitness—the same two things that have, in his words, kept him alive.

m

ark Fischer’s unorthodox idea of retirement is a 96-hour work week. More than doubling the weekly hours he put in pre-retirement, he now spends 4:30 AM to 9 PM, Monday through Friday, at his Fairfield community fitness center Your Body Works. But he’s not complaining. “It’s what I’m dedicated to,” said Fischer. “I know the name of every member who walks in our door and we have over 300 members. I know how they like to work out and how they don’t like to work out.” With his home just two miles from his gym, Fischer is the epitome of a local small business owner. His goal is to give back to the community through health and fitness—the same two things that have, in his words, kept him alive.

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Diagnosed with Type-1 diabetes more than 40 years ago at the age of 15, Fischer has found that diet and especially exercise, have enabled him to monitor the disease. “I’m an extremely brittle person with diabetes, which means my blood sugar can go very high or very low, very fast. Exercises is my leveler,” said Fischer, who considers himself an “extreme monitor” testing his blood sugar about 10 times a day. He also works out five-six days a week. Coincidentally, Fischer said that over the past three-five years, Solano County has had the highest incidence of diabetes out of any county in the state. So in addition to classic cardio machines and weights, massage, a robust Group Exercise schedule and even CrossFit classes, My Body Works offers its members diabetes

Inspiration to Live Your Best TM

counseling and mentoring from Fischer, who has been deeply involved with the American Diabetes Association (ADA) for more than a decade, including chairing the Napa Tour de Cure for the nine previous years. Some people use their retirement to travel or play golf. Fifty-seven-year-old Fischer is using it to help others live longer, including himself.

Visit Your Body Works: CrossFit & Family Fitness Center Address: 424 Executive Ct N, Fairfield, CA 94534 Phone: (707) 863-9620 Services include: CrossFit, Yoga, Childcare, Nutritional counseling, Group/Personal Training www.YourBodyWorksFairfield.com SoFitMag

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fit money

Planning for Marriage:

Financial Tips for Women

By Theodore J. Spinardi

Planning for a marriage should involve more than just picking out invitations and deciding whether you should serve chicken or fish at the reception. More importantly, you’ll want to take a look at how marriage will impact your financial situation. And while there are a number of issues you’ll need to think about, careful planning can increase the likelihood that you’ll have financial success as you enter this important new chapter in your life.

Consider a Prenuptial Agreement If either you or your future spouse has, or may inherit substantial assets, or if either of you has children from previous marriages, you may want to consider a prenuptial agreement. A prenuptial agreement is a binding contract between future spouses that defines the rights, duties, and obligations of the parties during marriage and in the event of legal separation, annulment, divorce, or death. A prenuptial agreement typically addresses the following areas: •

Assets and liabilities--What assets will each of you bring into the marriage? What liabilities do each of you have (e.g., credit card/

mortgage debt)? Contributions of each partner--Will there be particular consideration given for special contributions that either of you make (e.g., one spouse limiting his or her career)? Divorce--If you and your future spouse divorce, will there be alimony or a lump-sum payment? How will you divide assets purchased from joint funds? Estate planning--Who gets what at the death of either spouse

Discuss Your Financial History Marriage is the union of two separate individuals ... and their finances. While talking about money can be a stressful topic for many couples, you’ll want to sit down and discuss your financial history and your future spouse’s financial history before you merge your money. Start out by taking stock of each of your respective financial situations. You should each make a list of your individual assets (e.g., investments, real estate) and any liabilities (e.g., student loans, credit card debt) you may have.

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This is also the time to address items such as how much each of you earns and if either of you has additional sources of income (e.g., interest, dividends).

Agree on a System for Budgeting/ Maintaining Bank Accounts Right now, you are probably accustomed to managing your finances in a way that is comfortable for you and you alone. Once you are married, you and your spouse will have to agree on a system for budgeting your money and paying your bills together as a couple.

Susan Lucas, Certified MYK Practitioner, 707-704-7315 Myra Nissen, CCH,RSHom(NA), 707-750-4455 Michael Cornwall, P.hD. MFT, 707-853-6808

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Either of you can agree to be in charge of managing the budget, or you can take turns keeping records and paying the bills. If both of you are going to be involved in the budgeting process, make sure that you develop a record-keeping system that both of you understand and agree upon. In addition, you’ll want to keep your records in a joint filing system so that both of you can easily locate important documents. Once you agree on a budgeting system, you’ll be able to establish a budget. Begin by listing all of your income and expenses over a certain

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fit money time period (for example, monthly). Sources of income can include things such as salaries and wages, interest, and dividends. Expenses can be divided into two categories: fixed (e.g., housing, utilities, food) and discretionary (e.g., entertainment, vacations). Be sure to include occasional expenses (e.g., car maintenance) as well. To help you and your future spouse stay on track with your budget: • • •

Try to make budgeting part of your daily routine Build occasional rewards into your budget (e.g., going to the movies) Examine your budget regularly and adjust/make changes as needed

This might also be a good time to decide whether you and your future spouse will combine your bank accounts or keep them separate. While maintaining a joint account does have its advantages (e.g., easier record keeping and lower maintenance fees), it is sometimes more difficult to keep track of the flow of money when two individuals have access to a single account.

to www.annualcreditreport.com for more information). For the most part, you are not responsible for your future spouse’s past credit problems, but they can prevent you from getting credit together as a couple after you are married. Even if you’ve always had spotless credit, you may be turned down for credit cards or loans that you apply for together if your future spouse has a bad track record with creditors. As a result, if you find that either one of you does have credit issues, you might want to consider keeping your credit separate until you or your future spouse’s credit record improves.

Consider Integrating Employee and Retirement Benefits If you and your future spouse have separate health insurance coverage, you’ll

If you do decide to combine your accounts, each spouse should be responsible for updating the checkbook ledger when he/ she writes a check or withdraws funds. If you decide to keep separate accounts, consider opening a joint checking account to pay for household expenses.

Map Out Your Financial Future Together An important part of financial planning as a couple is to map out your financial future together. Where do you see yourself next year? What about five years from now? Do you want to buy a home together? If you decide to start a family, would one of you stay at home while the other focuses more on his or her career? Together you should make a list of short-term financial goals (e.g., paying off wedding debt, saving for graduate school) and long-term financial goals (e.g., retirement). Once you have decided on your financial goals, you can prioritize them by determining which ones are most important to each of you. After you’ve identified which goals are a priority, you can set your sights on working to achieve them together. At The LWP Group - Legacy Wealth Planning we are happy to work with young couples that are just starting out. While you may not be ready for our services today, a meeting with us may help you in developing a long-term roadmap to financial success as a couple.

Resolve Any Outstanding Credit/Debt Issues Since having good credit is an important part of any sound financial plan, you’ll want to identify any potential credit/debt problems either you or your future spouse may have and try to resolve them now rather than later. You should each order copies of your credit reports and review them together. You are entitled to a free copy of your credit report from each of the three major credit reporting agencies once every 12 months (go

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fit money want to do a cost/benefit analysis of each plan to see if you should continue to keep your health coverage separate. If your future spouseâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s health plan has a higher deductible and/or co-payment or fewer benefits than those offered by your plan, he or she may want to join your health plan instead. Youâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ll also want to compare the premium for one family plan against the cost of two single plans.

In addition, if both you and your future spouse participate in an employersponsored retirement plan, you should be aware of each planâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s characteristics. Plans may differ as to matching contributions, investment options, and loan provisions. Review each plan together carefully and determine which plan provides the better benefits. If you can afford to, you should each participate to the maximum in your own plan.

Assess Your Insurance Coverage Needs While you might not have felt the need for life and disability insurance when you were single, once you are married you may find that you and your future spouse are financially dependent on each other. If you donâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t have life or disability insurance, you will want to have policies in place in order to make sure that your future spouseâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s financial needs will be taken care of if you should die prematurely or become disabled. If you already have life and disability insurance, you should reevaluate the adequacy of your existing coverage and be sure to update any beneficiary designations as well.

If you and your future spouse obtain joint credit, both of you will become responsible for 100% of the debt.

You should also take a look at your auto insurance coverage. Check your policy limits and consider pooling your auto insurance policies with one company (your insurance company may give you a discount if you insure more than one car with them). As for renters/homeowners insurance, youâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ll want to make sure your personal property and possessions are adequately covered. Theodore J. Spinardi is a Registered Principal with LPL Financial. Securities and advisory services are offered through LPL Financial, a Registered Investment Advisor. Member FINRA/SIPC.

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fit money

529 COLLEGE SAVINGS PLANS 529 college savings plans are tax-advantaged college savings vehicles and one of the most popular ways to save for college today. Much like the way 401(k) plans revolutionized the world of retirement savings a few decades ago, 529 college savings plans have revolutionized the world of college savings. As of June 2013, assets in 529 college savings plans totaled $205.7 billion (Source: College Board’s 2013 Trends in Student Aid Report).

TAX ADVANTAGES AND MORE 529 college savings plans offer a unique combination of features that no other college savings vehicle can match: ❱

Federal tax advantages: Contributions to your account grow tax deferred and earnings are tax free if the money is used to pay the beneficiary’s qualified education expenses. (The earnings portion of any withdrawal not used for college expenses is taxed at the recipient’s rate and subject to a 10% penalty.)

State tax advantages: Many states offer income tax incentives for state residents, such as a tax deduction for contributions or a tax exemption for qualified withdrawals.

High contribution limits: Most plans let you contribute over $300,000 over the life of the plan.

Unlimited participation: Anyone can open a 529 college savings plan account, regardless of income level.

Professional money management: College savings plans are offered by states, but they are managed by designated financial companies who are responsible for managing the plan’s underlying investment portfolios.

Flexibility: Under federal rules, you are entitled to change the beneficiary of your account to a qualified family member at any time as well as rollover the money in your 529 plan account to a different 529 plan once per year without income tax or penalty implications.

Wide use of funds: Money in a 529 college savings plan can be used at any college in the United States or abroad that’s accredited by the Department of Education and, depending on the individual plan, for graduate school.

Accelerated gifting: 529 plans offer an excellent estate planning advantage in the form of accelerated gifting. This can be a favorable way for grandparents to contribute to their grandchildren’s education. Specifically, individuals can make a lump-sum gift to a 529 plan of up

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A BRIEF HISTORY 529 plans were first authorized by Congress in1996. Known officially as “qualified tuition programs,” 529 plans are so named because they are governed by section 529 of the Internal Revenue Code. SoFitMag

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fit money to $70,000 ($140,000 for married couples) and avoid gift tax, provided the gift is treated as having been made in equal installments over a five-year period and no other gifts are made to that beneficiary during the five years.

CHOOSING A COLLEGE SAVINGS PLAN Although 529 college savings plans are a creature of federal law, their implementation is left to the states. Currently, there are over 50 different college savings plans available because many states offer more than one plan. You can join any state’s 529 college savings plan, but this variety may create confusion when it comes time to select a plan. To make the process easier, it helps to consider a few key features: • Your state’s tax benefits: A majority of states offer some type of income tax break for 529 college savings plan participants, such as a deduction for contributions or tax-free earnings on qualified withdrawals. However, some states limit their tax deduction to contributions made to the in-state 529 plan only. So make sure to find out the exact scope of the tax breaks, if any, your state offers. ❱

Investment options: 529 plans vary in the investment options they offer. Ideally, you’ll want to find a plan with a wide variety of investment options that range from conservative to more growthoriented to match your risk tolerance. To take the guesswork out of picking investments appropriate for your child’s age, most plans offer aged-based portfolios that automatically adjust to more conservative holdings as your child approaches college age. (Remember, though, that any investment involves risk, and past performance is no guarantee of how an investment will perform in the future.)

Fees and expenses: Fees and expenses can vary widely among plans, and high fees can take a bigger bite out of your savings. Typical fees include annual maintenance fees, administration and management fees (usually called the “expense ratio”), and underlying fund expenses.

Reputation of financial institution: Make sure that the financial institution managing the plan is reputable and that you can reach customer service with any questions.

With so many plans available, it may be helpful to consult an experienced financial professional who can help you select a plan and pick your plan investments, giving you peace of mind. In fact, some 529 college savings plans are advisor-sold only, meaning that you’re required to go through a designated financial advisor to open an account. Always carefully read the 529 plan issuer’s official materials before investing.

ACCOUNT MECHANICS Once you’ve selected a plan, opening an account is easy. You’ll need to fill out an application, where you’ll name a beneficiary and select one or more of the plan’s investment portfolios to which your contributions will be allocated. Also, you’ll typically be required to make an initial minimum contribution, which must be made in cash or a cash equivalent.

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Thereafter, most plans will allow you to contribute as often as you like. This gives you the flexibility to tailor the frequency of your contributions to your own needs and budget, as well as to systematically invest your contributions. You’ll also be able to change the beneficiary of your account to a qualified family member (e.g., siblings, stepsiblings, parents, nieces, nephews, aunts, uncles, first cousins) with no income tax or penalty implications. Most plans will also allow you to change your investment portfolios (either for your future or current contributions) if you’re unhappy with their investment performance.

529 PREPAID TUITION PLANS—A DISTANT COUSIN There are actually two types of 529 plans--college savings plans and prepaid tuition plans. As of June 2013, assets in 529 prepaid tuition plans totaled $22.6 billion (Source: College Board’s 2013 Trends in Student Aid Report). The tax advantages of college savings plans and prepaid tuition plans are the same, but the account features are very different. A prepaid tuition plan lets you prepay tuition at participating colleges at today’s prices for use by the beneficiary in the future. The following chart describes the main differences:

College Savings Plans

Prepaid Tuition Plans

Offered by states

Offered by states and private colleges

You can join any state's plan

State-run plans require you to be a state resident

Contributions are invested in your individual account in the investment portfolios you have selected

Contributions are pooled with the contributions of others and invested exclusively by the plan

Returns are not guaranteed; your account may gain or lose value, depending on how the underlying investments perform

Generally a certain rate of return is guaranteed

Funds can be used at any accredited college in the U.S. or abroad

Funds can only be used at participating colleges, typically state universities

Note: Investors should consider the investment objectives, risks, charges, and expenses associated with 529 plans before investing. More information about specific 529 plans is available in each issuer’s official statement, which should be read carefully before investing. Also, before investing, consider whether your state offers a 529 plan that provides residents with favorable state tax benefits. Theodore J. Spinardi is a Registered Principal with LPL Financial. Securities and advisory services are offered through LPL Financial, a Registered Investment Advisor. Member FINRA/SIPC.

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Brittany Szarekâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s education and training has endowed her with extensive knowledge in holistic nutrition, health coaching, and the importance of preventive care. Drawing on her education and experience as a Registered Dietitian and holistic Health Coach, Brittany works closely with clients helping them make dietary and lifestyle changes that produce real and lasting results.

Brittany Szarek,

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(319) I-BE-WELL brittany@nutritiouslivingtoday.com

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Joint & Muscle Treatment for Injuries By Susan Lucas

AsÂ

a massage therapist, I am concerned with two main types of tissue damage: muscle and joint injuries. A muscle injury occurs when there is a sudden change in movement.  A common muscle injury is Whiplash or Cervical AccelerationDeceleration (CAD).  This is when the tissue of the neck experiences a sudden change in movement and usually involves the head being jerked forward and back very quickly.  We are most familiar with this type of injury from an automobile accident, but it could also occur while skiing or snowboarding.    Torticollis or Wry Neck is when muscle tissue becomes chronically shortened and usually develops from untreated accidents or injuries. A joint injury is a physical problem that

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arises from sports participation and over use or failure of the muscles to limit range of motion during movement. Two common joint injuries are sprains and strains.  A sprain is the result of a traumatic injury to a muscle or tendon, and a strain is an injury to a ligament.  Repeated injury to joints, such as sprains and strains, can result in traumatic arthritis, which requires ongoing exercise and stretching to maintain range of motion. Within the first 24 hours of your injury, you should see a doctor to make sure there is no other serious damage that will require further treatment.  For the first 24-72 hours ice should be used for 20 minutes every 2 hours to keep both swelling and pain down.  After 72 hours, you can start to use moist heat every 2 hours for 20-30 minutes to

increase circulation to the injury. If you are still experiencing swelling, you should take an anti-inflammatory and continue to use ice to reduce inflammation and to help control pain. After the first 72 hours of an injury, seek massage and other types of bodywork to help relieve muscle tension and tightness to stimulate circulation to speed healing of the injury. Depending on the seriousness of your injury and pain levels, you may seek a treatment that is more generalized for stress reduction and relaxation or a therapeutic treatment that focuses on reducing pain and increasing range of motion at the injury site. A more relaxing massage will increase circulation to the injured area to speed the healing process. This type of massage will also

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address muscles that may be working harder due to the injury, to relieve tension and pain, and give your body an over-all feeling of wellbeing. Once the injury has had a little more time to heal, you may choose to try a more specific treatment to address limited range of motion and on-going pain. If you are looking for a treatment that is more specific to the injury, then I would recommend the MYK (MyoKinesthetic) System. By taking a look at your posture and taking into account the area of injury, pain and tension you are experiencing we will develop a protocol specific to your needs. Generally, I find that people who do choose to use a combination of massage and the MYK System heal quicker and have less long-term effects from the injury. Regardless of whether you choose massage for relaxation or therapeutic results, there are many benefits to receiving bodywork. Check with your doctor to make sure that massage is not contraindicated for any prescription medicines or health conditions. Massage not only increases circulation, which speeds healing and boosts the immune system, but also increases mental clarity, improves sleep, increases range of motion and helps with muscle tone.

Immediately after an injury, or as soon as possible, it is very important to employ the R.I.C.E. method of first aid.

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1. Rest to reduce any further stress and strain to the body and mind 2. Ice to reduce swelling and bleeding  3. Compression, by wrapping the injury, to keep swelling down and give extra support to the injured tissues  4. Elevation to slow the flow of blood to the area and keep swelling down  Susan Lucas, has been a Nationally Certified Massage Therapist since 2006, has a Florida Massage License, California Massage Certification and specialized training in The MyoKinesthetic (MYK) System, Pre- and Perinatal Massage, Thai Massage and Reflexology. To schedule an appointment for postural assessment and a treatment call or email your request: 707-704-7315, shenjingholistic@ gmail.com, www.shenjingholistic.abmp.com.

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The Healing Power of Forgiveness SOLUTIONS FROM HOMEOPATHY

By Myra Nissen, CCH, RSHom(NA) Almost everyone has been hurt by the actions or words of another. The wounds can leave lasting feelings of anger, bitterness, and even vengeance. Negative feelings can crowd out positive feelings, and one may feel swallowed up by bitterness. Scientific evidence suggests that holding on to grudges and bitterness results in long-term health problems such as depression, anxiety, difficulty concentrating, sleep problems, high blood pressure, and digestion issues. Forgiveness promotes the opposite effect.

But forgiving a person doesn’t mean excusing their actions. Forgiveness is a decision to let go of resentment and thoughts of revenge. It doesn't minimize or justify the wrong. Letting go of grudges and bitterness makes way for compassion, kindness, and peace that helps one go on with life.

depleted because of an overwhelming sense of disappointment and loss. Symptoms include feelings of indifference and mental collapse in the form of disorganization and forgetfulness. Thuja occidentalis is a remedy made from the bark of a unique cedar tree. Thuja is usually indicated when there is extreme guilt.

We know though that releasing past hurts is easier said than done. One doesn’t often realize that they are coming from a place of resentment or a sense of injustice, especially when the hurt is expressed as a physical symptom like asthma or a migraine.

In my practice, many clients have worked hard to help themselves heal past trauma. At first they are convinced that they are not burdened by past hurts; unaware that the physical problems they’re recognizing are in fact related to an emotionally locked past.

Letting go of grudges and bitterness makes way for compassion, kindness, and peace that helps one go on with life. Homeopathy is one such system that helps heal both sides of this equation. Homeopathy, a system of integrative healthcare using natural remedies, can unlock trapped emotion. Here are examples of how a few remedies: Adamas, or white diamond, goes a long way to help restore a sense of self, identity, or purpose for persons that have hit a crossroad or just don’t realize how much they are valued. Ammonium muriaticum can help women who have suffered from painful relationships, those that may feel resentful or embittered from a divorce or those that now prefer to be alone without a partner. Phosphoricum acidum (phosphoric acid) can help people who are emotionally or physically

But when given the correct remedy they may surprisingly revisit past events either by memory, emotions, or dreams. It is as if the remedy has helped unlock and set free that last little bit hidden deep inside. Once this happens it is amazing how quickly their physical health problems resolve. It’s important to remember that homeopathic healing is a walk back to health, not a run. The time for healing to begin to show can take three to six months. A loose rule of thumb is one month for every year they have had the ailment. Healing is deep and profound and often further reaching than the specific complaint of the client. However, considering the quality of health restored, it is a relatively short time compared to the time it has taken the illness or symptom to develop. Homeopathic remedies are safe and are made in FDA approved pharmacies. It is ok to try out one or two that most match your symptoms as there are thousands of homeopathic remedies to choose from, but when working with emotional trauma it is best to work with a certified homeopath.

Myra Nissen, CCH, RSHom(NA) is a classical homeopath, metabolic balance coach, and hair mineral testing. She has office in Benicia and Walnut Creek. Please contact Myra’s office to schedule your free 20-minute wellness assessment when you mention this article. www.myranissen.com. Sources: Nov. 21, 2009, Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research. 2003, Chappell, Peter; Emotional Healing with Homeopathy. North Atlantic Books, Berkeley, CA

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