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MICHIGAN’S OWN • WELLNESS • FITNESS • NUTRITION • PREVENTION • INTEGRATIVE MEDICINE

July 2011

Healthy solutions. Fit results. A better you. www.healthyandfitmagazine.com

HIP TO CLIP

It’s

and save money while being healthy. 30

SPECIAL REPORT:

TRAVEL BALL

Summer means softball and baseball. Is there such a thing as too much? 16

FOOD ALLERGIES?

Recognizing allergens, symptoms can save lives. 14

GEOCATCHING

Get outside and take part in this fun activity. 25

FREE

IT’S MISS MICHIGAN!

Miss Michigan 2010 Katie LaRoche, 24, shares her secrets on staying healthy, motivated and focused on important issues.


PLAYING SPORTS CAN MAKE YOUR KID FEEL LIKE A SUPER HERO - BUT WHAT ABOUT YOU? When big youth sports events are held in Greater Lansing it’s a classic winwin. The local economy gets a boost and youth sports heroes are made. Do you or someone in your family play a tournament sport that could be a good fit for the area? Need a hand growing your local sports event? The Greater Lansing Sports Authority offers free support to develop athletic tournaments and events in the Capital region. Help us develop a strong sports community and we can keep those event dollars local. Your kid will feel like a hero on the field and you can feel like a hero for your home town. Contact us today to learn more.

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JULY

JULY 2011 VOLUME 7: NO. 4

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Travel softball

Is there ever too much of playing ball in the summer?

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JULY 2011

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PUBLISHER’S PERSPECTIVE 7 FIT FEATURES 9 SUCCESS! 11 COVER PHOTO BY ERICA SPENCER

Pulp non-fiction

Root canals may be the answer to your tooth pain.

It’s healthy to do good

Volunteering can be great therapy

Food allergy awareness

Recognizing allergens, symptoms can protect you.

Improving pitching

‘Pitching forward’ philosophy is designed to help your athlete succeed.

Core strength

Whether you’re playing softball, baseball or golf, you need core strength to succeed.

The mental game

Having a game plan for your next competition could be the difference between winning and losing.

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Keeping score

New app for the iPhone makes it easy for everyone to follow your youth team.

Mind over meal

Tips to help you pass up food cravings.

Geocaching and letterboxing

Two fun ways to trek for treasure and stay active.

Foam rolling

Rolling out sore muscles could benefit anyone.

High-fructose corn syrup

Expert answers to common questions clear up confusion.

Hip to clip

How to save money on healthy products

www.healthyandfitmagazine.com • Healthy & Fit

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WOMEN’S 50+ COUCH TO 5K PROGRAM Team Playmakers Women’s 50+ Training Group is a running and walking team targeting women age 50 and over, although women of all ages are welcome to join. This team is fitness focused, with the goal of completing a 5K at the end of the program.

5K - ULTRA MARATHON TRAINING PROGRAM Team Playmakers is a running and walking team that is designed to support people of all abilities. Whether you’re looking to get off the couch and start walking, or are looking to better your marathon time, there’s a spot waiting for you! Our motto is “Any distance, any pace!”

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PUBLISHER PERSPECTIVE BY TIM KISSMAN

tim@healthyandfitmagazine.com

A TITLE OF

KISSCO PUBLISHING, LLC 312 NORTH St., STE. B • MASON • MI • 48854

I have a nose for testing products Our power was out for five days during the great wind storms of June 2011. Five days! I had the generator going, trying to watch regular TV without satellite. I discovered at that time that it seems like local networks, during the day, run at least six hours of 1/2 hour small claims court shows. Judge Judy, Judge Mathis and the People’s Court are some of the favorites. Riveting TV. Simply riveting. For me two things came out of that experience. The first, I’m glad my satellite TV is back on so I never have to watch those shows again.

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And second, a lot of those courtroom conflicts can be erased with grace and communication. So on that note, I want to make a deal with my readers. This deal, though, like all deals comes with strings attached. I know, I know ... deals with strings are always looked upon with a skeptical eye. If I said that out loud Judge Judy would yell at me to sit down. But trust me on this one: This deal is pure gold and everyone benefits. Here’s the deal: We’ll keep this magazine free, keep expanding our press runs and distribution points (we’re up to more than 600 locations!), we’ll keep growing our national subscriber base (here’s looking at you Utah!) and best of all, keep running all the great Fit Features that we, ourselves, love to read. All you have to do is talk about us. Tell our advertisers that you saw their ad in the magazine, thank them for supporting the publication. Without them, dear reader, we would not be able to keep this a free publication. Tell the gyms who train our fit feature subjects, or the stores that supply the gear, that you read the magazine and that you saw their name. It would mean a great deal to us and make it easier to grow our publication. And while you’re spreading the gospel of the publication, be sure to ask for the magazine in your favorite store. Our drivers work hard to get the publication out in a timely manner to all distribution sites across michigan (see the whole list on healthyandfitmagazine.com) and they would love to add more. Our distribution points make sure to keep the publication in an

easily-accessible place for all our readers. Please thank them for the space they provide. It takes a lot to generate a publication like Healthy & Fit Magazine. It’s a passion for us, and through the years, it’s become a rallying cry for hundreds of area citizens to live a healthier lifestyle. We’ve been here for six years and plan to be around for a long, long time. With your help, we can make that happen. So there’s the deal. Thank you for reading and picking up this issue of the magazine. I hope you enjoy it. I pound my gavel, this column is dismissed. Now get out there and hold up your end of the bargain!

JULY 2011

PUBLISHER AND EDITOR Tim Kissman ADVERTISING Kathy Kissman CONTRIBUTING WRITER Karen Giles-Smith MS, RD Karen is a registered dietitian, freelance writer and health/wellness coach based in Mason, Michigan. For more, visit TheWellnessWriter.com and AtEaseWithEating.com. SUMMER INTERN Autumn Kissman SUBSCRIBE ONLINE www.healthyandfitmagazine.com

For advertising information GREATER LANSING/JACKSON

517.244.1844 Healthy & Fit is a free, trademarked, monthly publication distributed throughout Michigan. It is financially supported by advertisers and is distributed to local neighborhoods and businesses, education centers, libraries, bookstores, fitness centers, health practitioners’ offices, hospitals and other locations. This magazine is published by Kissco Publishing, LLC, Mason, Michigan. Reproduction, of whole or in part, is prohibited without the written permission of the publisher. The opinions expressed by the authors and advertisers of Healthy & Fit are not necessarily those of the publisher. Healthy & Fit, and those in its employ, are in no way responsible for situations arising from the application or participation in anything written, or advertised, in this publication. PLEASE CONSULT A PHYSICIAN BEFORE ATTEMPTING ANY PHYSICAL ACTIVITY OR NUTRITIONAL ADVICE.

www.healthyandfitmagazine.com • Healthy & Fit

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Fit Features J OS E P H B E C K E R

PAT HO LMES PAT

Even though he was working out, competing, and taking home Powerlifting trophies, Joseph Becker, 32, of Lansing, was overweight and felt sluggish. “I decided to lean up,” says Becker. “I started doing more cardio and eating better. I also changed my training habits to more of a bodybuilding routine instead of pushing and pulling maximum weight during every workout.” Becker also includes running in his routine and now competes in 5K races. “Ten years ago, I wasn’t able to do that. I have more energy than ever. In my most recent race, the YMCA 5K Pump & Run, I won first place for my age group.” Becker loves working out, training and eating well. “What keeps me motivated is knowing that I motivate other people around me. At my job, people stop and ask me fitness questions almost every day. My advice is to never be discouraged when it comes to a healthy lifestyle. I know that sometimes it takes longer than expected to achieve your dream physique, but keep going no matter what. Everybody has to put in work. Make it fun!”

We need Fit Features! Have someone in mind who might be a good Fit Feature? We’d like to hear from you. Call us at (517) 244-1844 or e-mail tim@healthyandfitmagazine.com.

JULY 2011

To help support her brother’s efforts to train for his first 5K, Pat Holmes, 68, of Jackson, decided to start a running group. Her brother, George McCord, 63, of Jackson, became interested in running when he learned about a 5K training app. He said, “You mean all you have to do is listen to the Ipod and you can run a 5K?” Once the app was installed, the running group, “Where’s George?” was born. “I thought we’d get four or five people together,” says Holmes. “What a big deal it’s turned into!” The group now includes more than 30 runners. They wear bright green hats during races so they can recognize each other. “Most are brand new to running,” says Holmes. “The group includes a triathlete, former marathon runners, grandparents, parents and grandkids. We use Facebook to keep in touch. We’ve bonded over our shared accomplishments without comparing our individual times.” Several things motivated Holmes to improve her health such as rising blood pressure and cholesterol, and a dislike of paying for and taking prescription medications. “My family and friends are all interested in being healthier,” says Holmes, who has lost about 20 pounds. “I want to be able to enjoy their healthy lifestyles with them.” McCord credits his sister for motivating him. “My sister, bless her heart, wants me to be healthy so I can keep her company in old age.”

P E G L A RG O “Being fit makes life much more fulfilling,” says Peg Largo, 52, of DeWitt. “Having your health is one of the most important things in life.” In her 20s, Largo discovered that after long, tiring days at work, aerobic classes made her feel rejuvenated and ready to tackle anything. Then, at 41, she decided to enter a one-mile fun run. Not familiar with the course, she followed the group ahead of her. It wasn’t until the three-mile mark that she realized she was on the 10K course. She finished the race—shocked and proud of herself—and inspired to incorporate running into her fitness routine. Since then, she has run in many 5Ks, 10Ks, triathlons, half marathons and a marathon. In addition to running four days a week, Largo takes a variety of classes at the YMCA including spinning, yoga, women on weights and tabata. In warm weather, she enjoys bike rides and in the winter she likes to cross-country ski and snowshoe. “I’m committed to fitness because after a workout, I feel better mentally and physically; I enjoy the camaraderie of working out and running with friends, and I love to challenge myself. I never played sports when I was young and so never got to experience the thrill of performing well or winning an award. Doing so now is an amazing feeling of accomplishment.” www.healthyandfitmagazine.com • Healthy & Fit

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Success! by Karen Giles-Smith Marie LaLonde

A stressful situation for Marie LaLonde, 53, of Mason, led to emotional eating, significant weight gain and depression. A desire to get her smile back led her in a new direction—along the path to wellness. What inspired you to revamp your health habits? A situation in my life

took away my smile. I became depressed, withdrawn and was a very angry person. I used food as my crutch—my comfort. My weight hit an all time high of 208 pounds. I didn’t like the person I had become. I knew I had to change. I had to do it for myself, not anyone else. I had to put myself back on the top of my priority list. I needed to find my smile again.

Before!

After!

How did you get started? I joined a

group of coworkers attending a Weight Watchers group at work and it was the perfect match! The combination of an amazing instructor, co-workers’ encouragement, exchanging recipes and the accountability worked. At any time of day I could be struggling, but knowing that I worked with this group five days a week and that support was always nearby made a huge difference. The weight started to come off.

Before: 208 lbs. After: 136 lbs. Height: 5’4”

What were the most important things you learned during the process?

I learned to cook healthy recipes, to try new foods, and that every meal does not need to end with a high-fat, high-calorie dessert. I’ve learned to weigh my food, control portions by using smaller plates, and that it’s okay to take my own food to a friend’s house for dinner and to say “no thank you” when offered dessert. I eat what makes me feel good. It’s the same thing that someone with a food allergy would do.

What was the most difficult part of the process? Exercise was something

I just could not get motivated to do. I never understood how anyone could crave exercise. Then I walked my first 5K with a co-worker at the middle school’s Health Day and it felt good! I was beginning to realize that things were changing—like my metabolism. I continued to walk over the summer and by the fall, I had lost 72 pounds and felt great. Before my weight loss, I could hardly keep up with students in the halls, and now they cannot keep up with me! I don’t think of walking as exercise. JULY 2011

What other changes do you see in yourself? I have more energy than I’ve

had in years. Life in general has turned around. I love to smile again. I now know I am worth putting myself first. As a woman and a mom, I have spent most of my life putting everyone else’s needs above my own. I am following a 12-week walking schedule to walk my first ½ marathon. Many co-workers have noticed the amazing metamorphosis from gloomy to proud!

What keeps you on track? Shopping for smaller clothes, cleaning out my closet often and with enthusiasm, sharing new recipes, trying new healthy foods, creating my own granola bars and vowing to never go back to where I was. I have an amazing support group

at work and with family and friends. I work at Mason Middle School and hope I can be a positive influence for students and co-workers.

What advice do you have for others?

Weight loss is a personal journey, a trip of ups and downs—there’s so much to discover. Don’t take a short cut or walk familiar paths, go through the thick of the woods, you won’t regret it! You are the only one who can do it for you. There are so many things in our lives that we have no control over, but what you choose to put into your mouth is 100 percent your choice and responsibility. My weight loss has not been a sprint but rather a marathon to find the better part of me!

Do you know someone who is a Success! story? Send an e-mail

to Tim at tim@healthyandfitmagazine.com. Include your name, phone number and why you think your candidate is a Success! www.healthyandfitmagazine.com • Healthy & Fit

11


Teeth

Pulp non-fiction

Root canals may be the answer to tooth pain. by Dr. Susan Maples

Q.

I was told my sensitive tooth might need a root canal. What determines that need? What can I expect from the procedure? And, is there another alternative?

In order to understand the progression of a dying tooth, let’s start with the anatomy of healthy teeth. Imagine fence posts in the ground with the center of the posts being hollow. Beneath the posts are underground life lines (a nerve and blood vessel) that branch up into each one, giving it moisture and sensory perception. We call these lifelines pulp. There are a host of insults that might cause the pulp to die: trauma or fracture ( from a blow to the tooth), vertical cracks ( from biting trauma), imbalanced biting forces, tooth grinding habits, decay and trauma from a dentist’s drill. It’s true — every time we pick up a drill to help the tooth we temporarily traumatize the pulp. Unlike hard tooth structure, which

A.

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does not heal, pulp usually does heal from insult. When it doesn’t heal, it dies and usually causes a toothache along the way. A cold-sensitive tooth indicates an irritated pulp and is often reversible. If hot foods stimulate a toothache, however, it’s time for a root canal. Likewise, a spontaneous toothache, one that wakes you at night, or that’s relieved by pain meds but recurs when the meds wear off, spells root canal. Occasionally, a tooth dies without pain, resulting in either a calcified (solid) canal or an abscess (infection) at the root tip. Both of these conditions are detectable in an x-ray. The procedure is generally easy for the patient. First the endodontist (root canal specialist) or your dentist will numb the tooth, as if for a filling. Next he/she will drill a small opening, and clean out the canal(s), removing all remnants of the pulp. Canals can be maze-like, with multiple branches in multiple roots. The long-term success of a root canal, which depends on total pulp removal, has

Healthy & Fit • www.healthyandfitmagazine.com

increased through the advances of scope technology (a live camera that guides through the maze). Finally, the canals are filled with a rubber-stopper like material, gutta percha. After “endo,” the tooth (above ground portion) must be restored—often with a “core buildup and a crown.” Without it the tooth becomes more fracture prone, as it is now missing its moisture source. In a tooth that already has a crown, or doesn’t require one, the small opening in the tooth must be filled to create a permanent seal. Is there another alternative? Yes, extraction! Dentists are in the tooth saving business—just so you know where our bias lies. A tooth with a root canal feels just like the rest of your teeth and, if permanently restored, it can serve you for a lifetime. Dr. Susan Maples is a Lansing area native and has practiced dentistry in Holt for 23 years. She can be reached at 517.694.0353.

JULY 2011


Outdoors

It’s healthy to do good

Volunteering can be great therapy. by Mitch Smith. hile running the trails of Burchfield Park in Holt with my wife one weekend, we noticed a bustling group of people interspersed throughout the extensive trail system who were wielding shovels and other implements of labor. On the way back to the parking lot, I noticed a hand-lettered sign declaring the day as “volunteer work day” for the Michigan Mountain Biking Association (MMBA) to maintain and improve the mountain biking trails. It made me think about the various organizations to which I belong and the various volunteer efforts in which I participate: Assisting with river clean-up efforts to make rivers navigable for all, participating in group kayak floats to ensure safe passage for beginners, and coaching youth sports. Watching the MMBA volunteers made me wonder about the benefits volunteering provides—besides the obvious self-serving aspects. So, I did a bit of research online and came across a recent study by the Corporation for National and Community Service, “The Health Benefits of Volunteering: A Review of Recent Research.” This fascinating study shows a strong connection between volunteering and significant health benefits. The authors conclude that people can achieve happier and healthier lives by putting in 100 hours of volunteer service each year. “Volunteering makes the heart grow stronger,” said David Eisner, CEO of the Corporation. “More than 61 million Americans volunteer to improve conditions for people in need and to unselfishly give of themselves. While the motivation is altruistic, it is gratifying to learn that their efforts are returning considerable health benefits.”

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The health benefits from volunteering may include: • Increased sense of accomplish- ment and purpose • Lower mortality rates • Reduced risk of suffering depression • Greater physical functionality later in life • Less incidence of heart disease

JULY 2011

A fact sheet developed by UnitedHealthcare titled “Volunteering and Your Health: How Giving Back Benefits Everyone” offers more details about the health benefits of volunteerism: Volunteers agree that volunteering helps them lead healthier lives. They believe they feel better physically, have an improved sense of well-being and a lower stress level. In addition, a smaller proportion of volunteers (31 percent) were identified as obese when compared to non-volunteers (36 percent). Volunteering appears to correspond with higher levels of life satisfaction, including a greater sense of meaning and purpose and higher levels of optimism. Volunteering also has significant meaning when coupled with the workplace. More people would volunteer if employers encouraged it or offered volunteer activities. Most people said they feel better about their employer when their employer encourages volunteer activities. “Civic engagement and volunteering is the new hybrid health club for the 21st century that’s free to join,” said Thomas H. Sander, executive director of the Saguaro Seminar at Harvard University. “This research shows it miraculously improves both your health

and the community’s through the work performed and the social ties built.” A lot of this makes sense to me. After all, how can a person not be healthier and happier when they are participating in something that helps people and the communities we are constantly trying to build and improve? Everything I’ve read indicates that a positive attitude will trigger changes within the body that promote health and healing. Dr. Albert Schweitzer, the famous medical missionary, believed altruistic service to be “the essential element of becoming truly healthy.” So, the next time you’re searching for another way to improve your health, try volunteering. The intangible benefits alone—such as pride, satisfaction and accomplishment—may be important building blocks to creating a healthier and happier you. Make a Difference Day, the nation’s largest day of volunteer service, is held on Saturday, October 22, 2011. Mark your calendar! Mitch Smith enjoys all things outdoors, except mosquitoes, and recently donated his 123rd pint of blood to the American Red Cross. He blogs at http:// referee1.blogspot.com.

www.healthyandfitmagazine.com • Healthy & Fit

13


Health

Food allergy awareness can save lives Recognizing allergens, symptoms can protect you. by Karen Giles-Smith s a registered dietitian who has helped many people manage food allergies, Michele Nikolai, clinical nutrition manager at Sparrow Hospital, says there’s one thing she wishes people knew: The difference between food allergy and food intolerance. “Food allergy involves an immune response and is a very serious situation, but food intolerance typically involves a digestive system response that may be unpleasant but generally not life-threatening,” says Nikolai. “Noticing the symptoms of food allergy and getting diagnosed is important so people know what to stay away from,” she adds. “Food allergy symptoms are often respiratory but can also include itching, hives, eczema, runny nose, chronic sinusitis, frequent ear infections, and gastrointestinal issues.” Nikolai recommends seeking help and diagnosis

A

from a board certified allergist/immunologist. Food allergy occurs when the immune system mistakenly identifies a protein in food as a threat and attacks the protein by releasing chemicals, including histamine. These chemicals cause the symptoms of an allergic reaction. Symptoms may occur when a person eats, touches, or even breathes a tiny amount of the food that they’re allergic to. Most symptoms occur within minutes, but may occur two to four hours later. What may seem to be a mild reaction at first can quickly become dangerous. “Most people we see inpatient with food allergies are children,” says Nikolai. “Often, they’re allergic to a combination of the top eight food allergens. Many children who have food allergies also experience asthma or skin issues. Parents may not recognize the symptoms until the reaction becomes severe.”

Allergic reactions to food can result in hospitalization and even death. According to the The Food Allergy & Anaphylaxis Network ( foodallergy.org), more than 12 million Americans have food allergies and an estimated three million are children. Teens and young adults with peanut or tree nut allergy and asthma seem to be at greater risk for severe or fatal allergic reactions. Experts believe that the incidence of food allergies in children is increasing. Although the cause of the increase is uncertain, more children are becoming severely allergic to certain foods, especially peanuts, tree nuts, milk, eggs, soy, wheat, fish and shellfish. “We see more food allergies in the spring and fall,” says Nikolai. “There’s a condition called Oral Allergy Syndrome where people who are experiencing allergies to pollen or hay fever are more likely to have an allergic reaction to fresh fruits, vegetables, spices and herbs that

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We know firsthand how difficult it can be to find balance in life. That’s why we’re here with you every day, making sure that you, your family and your community have the resources and support needed to learn, grow and thrive.

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JULY 2011


have proteins similar to those in certain pollens. Eating one of these foods can cause tingling and itching in the mouth. For example, if you’re allergic to ragweed and eat honeydew melon, your mouth may start to itch.” There is no cure for food allergies. It’s not known if food allergies can be prevented—the research is inconclusive. However, allergic reactions can be prevented by avoiding the allergy-causing food. Reading ingredient labels on all foods is very important. If a reaction occurs, self-injectable epinephrine is the medicine of choice. Nikolai says that a large part of her job involves educating parents to make sure their children completely avoid the foods they’re allergic to. “Sometimes, parents don’t notice any symptoms when their child eats a small amount of a food allergen, so parents think it’s okay. But, the body needs to be free of exposure to a food allergen in order to build up immunities to it. Most children outgrow food allergy if they stay away from the allergen.”

Karen Giles-Smith, MS, RD, is a registered dietitian, freelance writer and health/wellness coach based in Mason, Michigan. Visit her at TheWellnessWriter.com

Allergens and symptoms 101 Top 8 food allergens:

• Peanuts • Tree nuts(walnuts, pecans, almonds, etc.) • Milk • Eggs • Soy • Wheat • Fish • Shellfish

Other symptoms may include: • Coughing

Most common symptoms:

• Hives • Itchy rash • Swelling • Itching, tingling or swelling of the lips, tongue or mouth • Vomiting • Abdominal cramps • Diarrhea

• Trouble breathing • Wheezing • Drop in blood pressure • Loss of consciousness

Resources: The Food Allergy & Anaphylaxis Network: FoodAllergy.org Kids With Food Allergies: KidsWithFoodAllergies.org

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JULY 2011

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HEALTHY & FIT MAGAZINE • SUMMER TRAVEL SPORTS

HAVE BAT WILL TRAVEL Top coaches talk travel softball, other sports, and what it means for the future of your child by Tim Kissman Healthy & Fit Magazine publisher

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n our household, summer means softball. I’ve come to love the fastpitch game. My first fastpitch game was when I watched my wife, Amy, play catcher at Hillsdale College, where we met after I had graduated from the same school in the 1990s. I played basketball there and would tease her about how easy I thought softball was. No way was it as tough as basketball. She said she’d like to see me try to hit a pitch. I scoffed at the idea. Too easy, I said. I may even have said it wasn’t worth my time. Forward to present day: I’m in my backyard, sitting on my padded bucket, decked out in catcher’s gear and saying a little prayer to myself that I catch the ball every time my oldest daughter, Autumn, 11, hurls a 50+ mph fastball toward my mitt. It’s not that she’s out of control — far from it — it’s just that the ball moves so fast, from such a short distance, that if you blink, you miss it. And those balls hurt when they hit you. And they hit me a lot. Could I hit the ball, back in the day? Nope. Now? Are you kidding? I can hardly catch it. Amy’s laughing as she reads this. I told you so, she says. And Autumn’s just learning. Top college pitchers throw around 70 mph. From 43 feet it takes a faster reaction time to hit the ball than 90 mph+ fastball in baseball. Softball pitchers can make the ball go down, curve, screw, rise and float by the batter. Good luck in hitting that. Yet the kids do. By the time this story hits the newsstands, the Diamond Dawgs (the team that Autumn plays on) will be well into its second travel and league season. The team was created to give Mason girls the chance to play competitive softball during the summer.

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Autumn loves it. I love it. Everyone in my house loves it. For us it’s become a way of life. And we’re not alone. Not by a long shot.

TRAVEL BALL Hundreds of travel softball teams exist in Michigan, grouped into ages like 10U, 12U, 14U, 16U and older, and are regulated by associations like the National Softball Association and American Softball Association. There’s a tournament every weekend, somewhere in Michigan and the surrounding states. Some include more competitive teams

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than others. If a coach can field a team, and pay for an entry fee, the team can play in a tournament. Travel teams can be community based, like my beloved Diamond Dawgs, that consist of kids from the same school district looking for more competition than their local recreation league. Or, travel teams can be made with tryouts, cuts, huge fees and travel budgets that take them across the U.S. looking for top talent to play. They can also be everywhere in between. “Travel ball is becoming more popular than ever,” said Carol Hutchins, who is in her 27th season as head coach at the University of Michigan. Hutchins is a

JULY 2011


HEALTHY & FIT MAGAZINE • SUMMER TRAVEL SPORTS member of the National Fastpitch Coaches Association’s Hall of Fame. “This sport has created a million opportunities for young kids.” The level of competition definitely raises the bar for girls to play against top competition, as travel sports tend to do. If you can’t face great pitchers in your area, drive to a tournament and find them. The theory is that when you face the better pitchers, players, and batters early, later in a player’s career your child will be ready. That could mean the difference between losing and winning. “Softball is becoming more popular,” said Jacquie Joseph, who is in her 18th year as head coach at Michigan State University. “We have to continue to nurture the game on a national level and I know that will trickle down to the local level. In the Big Ten you have a huge amount of resources dedicated to our infrastructure in the sport that alone is an indication of the expectations of things to come. I’m excited.”

Autumn decide to stop playing other sports, and focus on softball by taking lessons, training indoors in the off season and attending as many camps as they can find. They don’t have an off season, nor do they play other sports. So do we tell our kids to stop playing basketball and volleyball, sports they love? Should we? “Fundamentally I’m opposed to specialization,” Joseph said. “I’m definitely in favor of playing other sports. Play the best sports you’re suited for, in the summer, earlier rather than later, but play a well-rounded schedule. Play basketball. Play volleyball. It may not

make you a better softball player, but it will make you a better athlete.” Parents forego letting their kids play additional sports for various reasons. Mostly, they want their children to be the best they can be, and if they can, get a college scholarship. According to the coaches I interviewed if that’s the sole reason for specialization, it could mean disaster for your young athlete—and this goes for any sport. “I’m not a proponent of our players just playing AAU basketball,” said Tom Izzo, Michigan State University head basketball coach. Izzo spoke at a medical conference earlier this year. “I’m always a

THE DIAMOND DAWGS

Congratulations Diamond Congratulations Diamo atulations Diamond Dawgs! Dawgs!

Summer 2010 marks the first year of travel Summer 2010 marks the first year for of travel softball the Mason Diamond Dawgs,Summe a 12U softball softball for the Mason Diamond Dawgs, team baseda 12U in Mason. The team thanks its team team based in Mason. The sponsors, team thanks its parents, players and coaches for b sponsor sponsors, parents, players and coaches forof the most exciting, and making this one fun Summer 2010 marks the first year of travel making making this one of the most exciting, and funhave ever had playing softball. seasons the girls softball for the Mason Diamond Dawgs, 12U growseasons seasons the girls have ever had playing softball. For results and to be part of theateam’s For resu team based in Mason. The team thanks its For results and to be part of the growing team’s fan base, check out masondawgs.com. ing fan sponsors, parents, players and coaches for ing fan base, check out masondawgs.com. making this one of the most exciting, and fun seasons the girls have ever had playing softball. For results and to be part of the team’s growing fan base, check Top out row, masondawgs.com. THE DAWGS: from left: Maddie Koenig,

Congratulations Diamond Dawgs! TOO MUCH OF A GOOD THING?

With whatever investment of money and time parents decide to put into a season, there is a gray area that is continually debated: How much is too much? Softball isn’t alone with this question. Parents in other sports, like baseball, soccer and basketball, have to answer this question, too. But, in our family, softball is the question we address all the time. Our goal is to give our daughters Kissman, Lexi Cornwell, Dani Jones. THE DAW THE DAWGS: Top row, from left: Autumn Maddie Koenig, (Sage is 8 and playing in the recreation Autumn K Front row, from left: Jenelle McCoy, Alisha Kuch, Autumn Kissman, Lexi Cornwell, Dani Jones. league this year) a competitive, welFront row McCayla Meade, Ryleigh Clark, Whitney Luks, Front row, from left: Jenelle McCoy, Alisha Kuch, played and safe game. They like to play. The DiamondMeade, Dawgs pose withClark, medalsWhitney after taking second place at the Jayhawk Shay Oswald. Not pictured: Sierra Zanger. McCayla McCayla Ryleigh Luks, They want to play and ask to play when Shay Os Classic Vandercook Lake in early June: Pictured Lynn from left, first row: KatieOswald, Houghton,Ryan Kuch Coaches: McCoy, Beth Shay in Oswald. Not pictured: Sierra Zanger. they can. A limited recreation league THE DAWGS: Top row, from left: Maddie Koenig, Ryleigh Clark, Bailey Slater, Shay Oswald, McCayla Meade. Second row, from left: Coach Beth Coaches and Tim Kissman Coaches: Lynn McCoy, Beth Oswald, Ryan Kuch schedule, and talent pool, doesn’t offer Oswald, Dani Jones, Alisha Kuch, AutumnKissman, Kissman, Lexi Cornwell, Jenelle Dani McCoy,Jones. Coach Lynn Autumn Lexi Cornwell, and Tim and Tim Kissman that opportunity for older kids in our McCoy. Third row, from left: Coaches andleft: Tim Jenelle Kissman. McCoy, Alisha Kuch, Front Ryan row,Kuch from town. DIAMOND SPONSORS: McCayla Meade, Ryleigh Clark, Whitney Luks, This summer we have the potential of DIAMOND SPONSORS: NSORS: Shay Oswald. Not pictured: Sierra Zanger. playing 50 games, if we do well in Coaches: Lynn McCoy, Beth Oswald, Ryan Kuch tournaments. Spread those games out and Tim Kissman over three months, or 12 weeks, and it comes to about four games a week. Not bad. But, consider that some tournaDIAMOND DAWG SPONSORS: SUPPORTERS: CARE, MASON FAMILY DENTISTRY, BOB COOLEY ments will have us play fourLANSING games in URGENT a DAWG SUPPORTERS: LANSING URGENT CARE, MASON FAMILY DENTISTRY, BOB COO ERS: LANSINGday, URGENT CARE, MASON FAMILY DENTISTRY, BOB COOLEY then turn around and play two or three or more games the next day, and David Ambrose, CPA that can be a lot. And, consider as we continue to find better teams, we find kids that do nothing but play softballURGENT throughout the MASON DAWG SUPPORTERS: DavidCOOLEY Golder, DDS, Woolston Chiropractic, Bob Cooley DAWG SUPPORTERS: LANSING CARE, FAMILY DENTISTRY, BOB year. That’s right. Kids as young as

JULY 2011

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HEALTHY & FIT MAGAZINE • SUMMER TRAVEL SPORTS proponent of guys playing multiple sports. Parents are more radical than the kids, in a lot of cases, pushing their kids to keep playing. We need more research on what playing so much at such a young age can do to the kids later in life.” Hutchins agrees. “The parents are so caught up in thinking they can get their kids a scholarship that they go to any travel teams where the coach says he or she can make it happen,” she said. “No one can get their kid a scholarship just by playing on a certain team. The kid has to earn it based on the ability to perform and being a student.” And, unlike the days of playing in the neighborhood sandlot, kids are put into a very structured environment. Which, for some positions, like pitcher and catcher, may be a necessity due to proper mechanics, but should never be mistaken for what the child ultimately wants to do. Lessons, lessons and more lessons can lead to burnout and ultimately a lack of passion. They play because mom and dad want them to, not because they want to. “We do see mental fatigue and burnout,” Joseph said. “These kids play to get a scholarship. It can be an economic thing. Last thing you want is a kid in college who is stuck. They make it and then it’s like ‘now what?’ You’re not going to be successful at this level if that’s the only reason you play.” Izzo added that kids who are artificially motivated may last a while at the elite college level, but will burn out. He continually looks for kids who are self motivated, want to play and play for the love of the game. “One-dimensional athletes will become burned out,” he said.

THE PHYSICAL GAME And that’s just the mental part of the game. More and more doctors and physical therapists are seeing injured athletes suffering from over-use. Aaron Holly, a physical therapist and clinical director at Orthopedic Rehab Specialists in Holt, said that he sees quite a few young athletes who injure themselves during sports. Young children are especially susceptible to injuries due their developing musculoskeletal system, he said. “Repeating the same activity without some rest, or an off season, can make the student susceptible to repetitive strain injuries,” he said. “I see a lot of Achilles and patellar tendonitis, rotator cuff strains in

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“NO ONE CAN GET THEIR KID A SCHOLARSHIP JUST BY PLAYING ON A CERTAIN TEAM. THE KID HAS TO EARN IT.” ‘throwing’ athletes and ankle sprains. I also see many young gymnasts with hip and lower back injuries.” It’s these injuries, due to overuse, or poor mechanics, that stick with a young

Holly said that rest and understanding what repetitive workouts can do to a child’s body is important for parents when making their decisions about how much travel ball to play. “We need to encourage coaches to take proper time to warm up and cool down prior to activity,” he said. “We need to educate children to listen to their bodies and to communicate with their parents and coaches if they are having any persistent pain. Observe your children closely and if they seem to be favoring an injury encourage them to get some adequate rest until symptoms subside.  “If game or practice time is being missed due to injury, see your doctor to inquire about a referral to a physical therapist that can evaluate your injury and help to promote a faster and safer return to sport.”

TRAVEL SOFTBALL athlete as they mature. Without rest or proper medical care, they can be a problem later in life as an athlete and as an adult. “Lately I’ve had more kids with back injuries than I’ve ever seen,” Hutchins said. “I think it’s because they are playing the sport nine to 10 months out of the year. Some of the best athletes ever in Michigan have been playing in other sports. We could go on and on about having our kids play other sports. I highly encourage it. I don’t think anyone should have to play softball all spring, summer, fall and winter. That’s not good for the kid or the sport.” “I’m seeing seeing injuries due to overuse at an alarming rate,” Joseph added. “The overuse has to do with the principles of the body. Kids don’t rest or take any kind of time off. If they don’t have perfect mechanics perfect, they’ll develop injuries.” Playing different sports, something we advocate with our kids, takes the strain off joints and muscles that are used over and over again. “We are definitely living in a time when athletes need or choose to specialize in a particular sport.” Holly said. “Injuries can still occur when competing in a variety of sports and activities but at least an athlete is using their body and loading their joints and muscles differently. “This may decrease their chance of acquiring a repetitive strain injury.”

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FOR LOVE OF THE GAME Sage is geared up. Catcher’s equipment protects just about every inch of her wiry frame. She catches the balls I lob to her, working on her catcher’s stance. A big smile is on her face. Like all parents I want the kids to dream big, find something that they’re passionate about and go after it. I pledged, like my parents, to make sure they have every opportunity that I can give them. I know there’s a fine line. You have to practice to become good. To become better you have to find games to play. To be the best, you have to play the best all while keeping up grades, being safe, resting and allowing a kid to be a kid. And, if they’re talented, they’ll achieve those dreams. “I tell kids to watch some of the great college teams in the state,” Hutchins said. “I tell them to work hard toward a dream. I want to see a competitive spirit and passion. That has to come from within. Parents need to allow their kids to find their passion and not to define it for them.” Sage finishes playing catch rather quickly on most days. I ask her if she wants to keep playing, even though she’s peeling off her gear and putting her glove away. No she says. I ask her why. She then heads inside after telling me

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HEALTHY & FIT MAGAZINE • SUMMER TRAVEL SPORTS

Improving performance on the baseball mound with new ‘pitching forward’ practice by Andy Swaithes Senior Pitching Instructor, Extra Innings

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itching Forward is a philosophy and instructional practice I have developed for improving the performance and injury resistance of baseball pitchers at all ages and competitive levels. Most pitching prospects want to improve their pitch velocity and range of effective pitches. In most cases, achieving these goals certainly is essential to seeing improvement and preparing for competition. However, many students seeking my instruction start with a belief that improving their mechanics alone will prove the key to better performance. Yes, it is impossible to become an effective pitcher without learning and practicing proper mechanics. The Pitching Forward method includes a commitment to this area of

instruction, while equally emphasizing two other critical factors in success: development of proper and customized workload/recovery cycles, and development of essential arm and body strength/endurance. My work with athletes, therefore, starts and continues with a broader set of goals which together seek to achieve healthy, pain-free throwing, increasing and sustaining velocity, and finding every pitcher’s niche of effectiveness in pitch variety and delivery. In my work with our squad of college pitchers, a top off-season and in-season priority is to prepare and condition our athletes to enter every competition with strong and durable arms, hence avoiding what is commonly referred to as a “dead arm”.A dead arm is simply a plateau representing where the arm, body and

mental readiness of the pitcher peaks given the conditioning and training work invested. To break through this plateau and increase overall effectiveness and arm health, the hard work of my Pitching Forward approach is invested in evaluating each athlete and working with them to build a customized strength and workload/recovery program, along with a commitment to helping the developing pitcher learn and practice the proper mechanics and pitching style to find their top performance capabilities. Andy Swaithes is the pitching coach at Albion College and a Senior Pitching Instructor at Extra Innings – Jackson. Andy can be reached at Extra Innings at (517) 764-1000.

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JULY JULY 2011 2011

WCF

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HEALTHY & FIT MAGAZINE • SUMMER TRAVEL SPORTS

Core strength can prevent injuries, aid performance by Justin Grinnell Owner, State of Fitness

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ower and muscle elasticity may be the most important focal points for summer athletes that engage in softball, baseball, and golf. In particular, the core musculature must not only be strong, but ready for very dynamic and multi-planar movements. Muscles like the internal and external oblique’s, rectus abdominus, and gluteus maximus require much more than the traditional crunches. Diagonal patterns and rotational movements must be included to properly prepare your body for power movements to accelerate and decelerate the body. If you are thinking that you don’t need to improve your muscle elasticity and power because you don’t engage in softball or golf, you are very wrong. As we age we lose our ability to generate power. Output diminishes two and a half times faster than we lose strength! If you want to keep moving strong and reduce the risk of injury, you need to develop a powerful core! Please check with your doctor or other health and fitness professional before you engage in an exercise program.

Tall Kneeling Medball Side Toss My favorite way to increase power and muscle elasticity are medicine ball (medball) throws. They are fun, and can be done by anyone of any fitness level. Start by finding a stable wall, and preferably a Dynamax ball or a minimal to nonbouncing medicine ball for safety and efficiency. Start on two knees (tall kneeling) to force your core to do most of the work instead of the legs. Staying nice and tall, rotate from the waist up and toss the medicine ball as hard as you can at the wall. Stay about 12-16 inches away

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from the wall so that you can immediately throw the ball back at the wall. Two sets of 15 reps per side.

Standing Medicine Ball Slams This exercise is probably one of my client’s favorites! Simply take a medicine ball and raise it above your head as high as you can and throw it at the ground as hard as you can, and repeat as fast as possible. This one is sure to produce a strong and powerful anterior core. Two sets of 15 reps.

Dynamic Cable Lift About 70 percent of our core muscles, also known as our Serape muscles, move in a diagonal or rotational manner. The Dynamic Cable Lift will ensure that all of those muscle fibers will be worked. This technique does take a good amount of practice, so you may want to start on two knees, and start with a medicine ball or small

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dumbbell just to get the movement down. Starting in a semi squat position, stand about two to three feet away from the cable stack. Make sure the pulley starts at the lowest position possible. Keep your eyes and head focused in the direction of your hand movements the whole time. Keep the rope attachment close to the body and explode to the top in a diagonal pattern. Controlled, but as fast as possible is best. Two sets of 8 reps each side.

Standing Cable Rotations Tall posture and turning the hip and foot on the opposite side that you rotate is key. You will explode as you rotate, but then pause at the ½ rotation point, and then return to the start position slowly. Do not rush this movement, and take your time on the technique. Two sets of 10 reps per side.

Justin Grinnell B.S., CSCS is is the co-owner of State of Fitness in East Lansing. He’s also a regular contributor to Healthy & Fit Magazine and has several columnns and vidoes on the Healthy & Fit Magazine Web site at healthyandfitmagazine.com. You can reach him at 517.708.8828 or mystateoffitness.com.

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HEALTHY & FIT MAGAZINE • SUMMER TRAVEL SPORTS

Mental game is more important than ever by Mike Bess Director of Baseball Operations

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veryone should have a game plan for competition. When you consistently get nervous in front of a crowd, or get psyched out after making an error or mistake, a contingency plan rooted in sports psychology can help you get back on track and forget the problem. Everyone should have a plan in place that includes the following: • Pre-game preparation • Dealing with errors and mistakes during competition • Avoiding competitive stress Pre-game preparation should be a routine that helps get you focused and calms you before the game. It could involve listening to music or meditating. For some, it involves warm-up drills and/or visualization. Be aware that your individual routine must blend smoothly

with the team’s pre-game preparations. Identify what gets you prepared, focused and confident. Create a routine that prepares you for the game. Errors are going to occur during competition, but the players who have a plan in place to get back on track are more likely to bounce back and succeed. Determine what motivates you after a mistake is made. With that knowledge, devise a strategy for dealing mentally with errors that happen during the game. Perhaps you can take a few seconds to say silent positive affirmations to yourself such as, “I am a good player,” or “I can do this” or maybe you could visualize making the next play perfectly. Whatever works for you is the correct contingency plan. Avoid competitive stress by taking steps to eliminate the unknown. Ask

coaches what you should expect during every game. Work to channel your nerves into power. Nerves are a natural part of competition. It is the players who learn to control those butterflies that come out as winners. Take a deep breath. Focus on one thing at a time. Think about mechanical fundamentals and not who is there, what the fans or the opponents are saying. BELIEVE IN YOURSELF. With a plan in place, competitive stress becomes an asset, not a liability.

Mike Bess is the Director of Baseball Operations at Court One Athletic Clubs (517) 908.3245

Baseball camps are in full swing in July Baseball camps July 5-7 and July 11-13 will have individual and group instruction on hitting, fielding, pitching and base running. Campers can cool down in the swimming pool to end the camp each day. Free T-shirt. Cost: pre-registered is $90 and walk up is $100.

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Memberships: Youth Membership (18 and under) $19 • Collegiate $39• Family membership $99 Between both clubs we have: • 2 full work out facilities Child care (both locations)• free group fitness classes • personal training • Massage • Saunas and Jacuzzi• 12 indoor tennis courts • 6 outdoor tennis courts • 4 indoor batting cages • 3 pools (1 indoor)• 4 indoor basketball courts • 12 outdoor basketball hoops

JULY JULY 2011 2011

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HEALTHY & FIT MAGAZINE • SUMMER TRAVEL SPORTS

KEEPING SCORE New app makes it easier than ever to follow your sports team this summer by Tim Kissman Healthy & Fit Magazine publisher

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eeping the scorebook for a softball or baseball team is never an easy job. Doing the scoring quickly, making sure runs count, outs are recorded correctly and above all else, that the score is correct. Luckily, that has become a lot easier with Gamechanger (gamechanger,io). Gamechanger is an app for the iPhone or iPad that allows scorekeepers an easier way to score, keep stats and best of all, share live updates with anyone who follows the team. The Diamond Dawgs have been using the app all season. We’ve loved it. I loved it so much that I spoke with Gamechanger CEO Ted Sullivan about his product. If you want to become a fan of the Diamond Dawgs and follow the team, check out masondawgs.com and click on the Gamechanger link. It’s free! How long have you had this app available for teams? The company was founded in 2009. We launched the product to the public in January of 2010.  How many teams do you currently have using it? There are over 10,500 teams actively using it as of this week.  What’s the inspiration behind creating this app? I’ve spent much of my life involved in youth and high school sports. I was a college player at Duke University and then played in the Cleveland Indians Minor League system. During my off seasons my brother and I started a sports camp business in Washington DC called Headfirst (www.playheadfirst.com). Then

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I was working for a mobile app firm in NYC while also coaching Little League. All of these experiences were influences. I realized that there was a huge opportunity for mobile apps and web technology in the amateur sports market. 

youth coach in the East Cobb Baseball program outside of Atlanta: 

We’ve designed the scorekeeping interface to be very intuitive. During the game, a scorekeeper records all the action on the app’s touch-screen: tapping simple menus for balls, strikes and hits, and dragging and dropping defensive players and base runners. Over 140 stats are calculated behind the scenes by our database and then streamed to the web. 

“We had our first game on Wednesday night and I could not attend as I had to go and help my mother in Washington DC who just had knee surgery.  We planned to use Game Changer system, however in the fever pitch of getting the season kicked off we had not identified a person to handle keeping the score of the games using your system. At the last minute I called a Dad who had an iPad which he downloaded the free app.I spoke to one of the players just before the first pitch to get them logged in.  With zero training and literally the first time the player scoring the game used your system, everything worked great.   I was able to follow every pitch online.”

What kind of feedback have you heard regarding the simplicity of the program?    We’ve received great feedback and are proud of our reviews in the App Store. We also get emails every day raving about the product.   Has the feedback from fans following teams been positive?   Yes. It’s exciting to hear great feedback from fans. I received this email from a

One of the things I really like about it is that I can use it as a tool for my team to see how their stats change based on performance, especially with the pitchers. Are you hearing that from coaches/parents?   Yes. I was a pitcher and I’m a believer that coaches and players can learn a lot from data. We don’t only calculate strikeouts and ERA. We also compute dozens of other pitching stats like first pitch strike percentage, lead off walks, that we consider to be developmental stats. 

Are the formulas used for keeping stats pretty straightforward? Meaning, are they accurate based on the scorekeepers input?

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On the cover K AT I E L A R O C H E As Miss Michigan 2010, Katie LaRoche was on a mission. The 24-year-old from Bay City wanted to bring human trafficking to the forefront. “I came to the organization with the objective of shedding light on global issues of human injustice, specifically human trafficking,” she said. “This title and organization have brought forth the opportunity to speak and perform at regional, national and international conventions as well as reach out to hundreds of thousands of individuals by way of radio, television, and social media.  For this I am incredibly grateful.” Of course, winning a pageant is no easy task. There is a tremendous amount of work behind the scenes. To stay focused on fit, LaRoche focused on staying in shape. “I practice yoga, dance and run,” she said. “In a typical day I will practice yoga for a couple of hours.” She is a vegetarian and does her best to eat healthy, but admits she has a weakness for chocolate. “It was definitely harder to stay in shape after I won,” she said. “My schedule was very busy.” Now that her reign as Miss Michigan has expired, she said she continues to advocate on behalf of her cause. “I plan to continue my role as the president of the non-profit organization One World One Future, an anti trafficking organization,” she said. “My next educational step is to attain a PhD in international development.” Her advice for others? “Have a deep understanding of why you are pursuing your goal and if that reasoning sits well with your moral character then reach for it with confidence and humility,” she said.

We know relationships make your world a better place. With our passionate local health team and deep connections to extensive health resources, Hayes Green Beach Memorial Hospital provides one essential relationship you can always count on. Our trusted relationships, along with strong capabilities and high-caliber physicians, bring us together in health. hgbhealth.com JULY 2011

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Health

Mind over meal

Tips to help you pass up food cravings.

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ou’re sitting at your desk, diligently working the afternoon away…when all of a sudden it hits: You’re totally consumed by the intense need to eat a candy bar right now. You can see the soft brown chocolate as clearly as if it were already in your hand. Your mouth begins to water as you anticipate the rich, sweet taste, perfectly balanced by a few salty peanuts. You need that candy bar so badly it practically hurts, and you know there’s no way you’ll get anything done until your longing for chocolate has been sated. Yes, you’ve been blindsided by a craving…and if you’re not careful, intense desires like this one can sabotage your best efforts at maintaining a healthy, balanced diet. “Whether you’re on an official quest to lose weight or just want to be healthy, it’s crucial that you control what you

allow yourself to eat rather than letting what you want to eat control you,” says Dr. Joyce Nash, author of the new book Lose Weight, Live Healthy: A Complete Guide to Designing Your Own Weight Loss Program “The good news is that there are specific steps you can take to change the way you react when your brain tells you to eat something, now.” If you’re ready to do battle against the visions of chocolate bars and salty chips that dance in your head, read on for some of Dr. Nash’s advice on how to create a winning strategy:

Catch your craving early. Think of a

craving like a weed: If you’re going to eradicate that unwanted plant life from your yard, it’s best to spray the weed killer early on before your entire lawn is infested.

Remove yourself from temptation’s path. While this is one of those “no,

duh!” pieces of advice, it’s amazing how many people persist in not following it.

Distract your taste buds. Most of us

have been guilty of exclaiming, “Wow! Look over there!” and then pointing in the opposite direction of something we don’t want a friend or family member to see.

Substitute, substitute, substitute.

Try to choose an activity that will physically remove you from temptation, take up much of your conscious thoughts, or both.

Become a (personal) environmentalist. You might not be able to control the fact that you see a picture of a big, juicy cheeseburger on a billboard each day during your commute, but you can control what you see in your own home.

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Healthy & Fit • www.healthyandfitmagazine.com

JULY 2011


Health

Geocaching and letterboxing

Two fun ways to trek for treasure and stay active. by Karen Giles-Smith

I and children.

f your usual bike, hike or walk in the park has become boring and staid, geocaching or letterboxing will lend a sense of adventure—for both adults

Geocaching Geocaching is often referred to as high-tech hide-and-seek since it involves the use of a Global Positioning System (GPS) receiver or cell phone with GPS capability to search for waterproof containers, called geocaches or caches. Participants visit Web sites such as geocaching.com for free access the caches’ information and coordinates. The caches typically contain a logbook, low-cost trinkets for trading, and possibly an item called a “travel bug” that participants can move from cache to cache and track its whereabouts online. Phil Woodard heard about geocaching from a fellow Mason resident, Gary Perrine. “It’s easy, fun and free,” says Woodard. “Borrow a GPS, go online, and have a day of fun, anywhere you want to go. I also like that it’s an outdoor activity and enjoy the mystery and unusualness of it. It isn’t as simple as going to the spot and finding the cache—the coordinates get you within about 10 feet of the cache, then you need to search for it using your intelligence and intuition. The containers can be very small, and some are magnetic, so they can be hidden in unusual places such as on a metal fence post.” The appeal is the same for Perrine, who often bikes to various caches located in a cluster. “It gets you out, stomping around in the woods. I like the challenge of finding things, and it’s gotten me to a lot of interesting places that I wouldn’t have seen otherwise,” he says. “On a trip to Washington, I learned of a cache in Montana at a place called Ringing Rocks. About 15 miles off the highway down a two-track road was a group of boulders the size of small cars. When you tap on the boulders with a hammer, they ring. You can even play a tune on them.” Perrine doesn’t do much trinket trading, but says the trinkets—such as coins from foreign countries and JULY 2011

LETTERING: This is a photo of Michelle Lanz’s letterboxing journal and stamp.

Think you know the spot? Example of clues to a letterbox location in Okemos, MI (letterboxing. org): This is a place where children hang out between the months of September and June. The street you must go down to get there could be inspired by the ten dollar bill. Then turn down a street that kind of sounds like a “sea cow”… camping items such as compasses and small flashlights—keep younger kids happy when they join in. He’s more interested in discovering unique travel bugs such as a small cast iron model of Lindberg’s Spirit of America and a tiny John Deere tractor toy. For beginners, Perrine recommends visiting geocaching.com and local geocaching events. “Talk with the geocachers. They know the tricks. Go with them and you’ll soon catch on to the tricky caches.”

Letterboxing Letterboxing is an outdoor activity that combines exploration, navigation and arts and crafts. Small, weatherproof boxes called letterboxes are hidden from casual view in publically-accessible locations. Letterboxes contain a logbook, a unique rubber stamp, and often an ink

pad. Letterboxers hide the boxes and post information about the general location as well as clues to the specific locations on Web sites such as letterboxing.org. Letterboxing participants access the information online ( for free), download the clues, gather supplies, and travel to the general location—usually by car and then on foot. Necessary supplies include a notebook or journal, rubber stamp, ink pad, and pen. Participants can purchase a rubber stamp or make their own. A compass is recommended since some clues are directional, and a cell phone is a good idea for safety’s sake. The participant follows the clues and once the letterbox is discovered, uses the stamp in the letterbox to mark their personal notebook or journal, and uses their personal stamp to mark the letterbox’s logbook. Five years ago, Michelle Lanzi read an article about letterboxing in a family magazine. Inspired, she logged onto letterboxing.org, printed off clues to a location in Brighton, her hometown, and took one of her daughters, then five years old, on their first letterboxing adventure. “I was pleasantly surprised that there are so many letterboxes in Michigan, and in Brighton, specifically,” says Lanzi. “We chose a rubber stamp from our collection at home, followed the clues, and found the letterbox. It had a cute little bird stamp inside. I thought: Wow, it really works! We were hooked.” Lanzi and her daughters love letterboxing for a variety of reasons. The girls enjoy the adventure and Lanzi values the quality time with her family, being in nature, and the creativity of some of the clues and the handcrafted stamps. “I really appreciate it when clues and the stamp have a theme, like the Dante’s Inferno theme for a letterbox in Hell, Michigan,” she says. “After we found the box, we went to Screams for ice cream. It’s a really good way to get both girls outdoors. Before we knew it, we had hiked a mile. We bring a camera along—we’ve seen beautiful things in nature.” The tradition of letterboxing started in 1854 in Dartmoor, England. Currently, there are about 20,000 letterboxes Continued on page 29

www.healthyandfitmagazine.com • Healthy & Fit

25


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JULY 2011


Health

Foam rolling

Rolling out sore muscles could benefit anyone. by Pat Hagen

L

ike people, they come in all colors, shapes and sizes. What am I talking about you ask. Foam rollers, of course. Clients in my gym are usually not familiar with them, and ask what they are for and how to use them. Great questions. Let the education begin. Although this tool is pretty versatile and can be used for improving strength, balance and flexibility this article focuses on flexibility. I ask my clients to consider the polyethylene cylinders as a free, self-administered massage with many of the same benefits! Sounds good already doesn’t it? Just like the original massage, it may be gentle or cause some discomfort. When you roll over a spot that talks back to you, it’s an indication that you’ve found muscle or fascia (connective tissue) that needs to be released. Pause and hold on that spot for 10 – 15 seconds. You should begin to feel the tension ease. Restricted connective tissue and shortened muscle fibers can decrease flexibility, limit range of motion, inhibit muscle strength and increase the risk of injury. A rule of thumb is that “a tight muscle is a weak muscle,” so regular use of a foam roller will be another tool in your fitness toolbox. Strength and endurance are essential components of physical fitness, but don’t forget to stretch and mobilize. The following “rolling” exercises address muscles that are normally tight in physically active individuals. The last move not only provides a good stretch, but also allows you to relax in a restful position. While on the roller, roll over soft tissue only, inhale deeply, and learn to enjoy this healing, self-treatment. You’ll soon realize that you’ve made a wise and inexpensive investment in yourself. Pat is a Certified Personal Trainer and the owner of Bodies In Motion Personal Training in Okemos. If you would like additional direction on Foam Rolling, call 517.381.8348. JULY 2011

Glutes

Sit on the foam roller with knees bent. Place your right ankle over left knee and right hand on the floor for support. Lean onto right hip. Roll forward and backward from your lower to upper glute. Repeat on left side.

Iliotibial Band Lie on right side with foam roller just above knee, right forearm on

floor for support and hip raised. Bend left knee and cross foot over right leg. Roll up and down from knee to hip. Repeat on left side.

Quadriceps Lie face down with foam roller under top of thighs and forearms on floor for support. Roll back and forth from top of thigh to top of knees.

Chest Stretch/Restorative Spine Lie with your spine in

line with foam roller. Bend knees placing feet flat on floor. Extend arms out to sides with palms facing up. Relax into foam roller allowing pectoral muscles to stretch.

www.healthyandfitmagazine.com • Healthy & Fit

27


Diet

High-fructose corn syrup

Expert answers to common questions clear up confusion. by Karen Giles-Smith igh-fructose corn syrup (HFCS) is a sweetener used in food products such as some types of yogurt, baked goods, canned and packaged food, candy, jams, condiments and beverages. Although the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and most health and nutrition experts believe HFCS is safe, many food processing companies have reformulated their products to reduce or eliminate HFCS in response to consumer demand. David S. Ludwig, MD, PhD, associate professor of pediatrics, Harvard Medical School said, “There’s not a shred of evidence that these products are different biologically. The decision to switch from HFCS to cane sugar is 100 percent marketing and zero percent science.”

H

What is HFCS? HFCS is made of 100 percent corn syrup from corn starch. It does not contain artificial or synthetic ingredients. HFCS is a mixture of two simple sugars, glucose and fructose. There are different forms of HFCS, depending on the content of glucose and fructose. The form of HFCS most often added to foods and beverages is HFCS-55 which is about half glucose and half fructose, similar to the composition of table sugar (sucrose). HFCS and table sugar contain the same amount of calories: 16 calories per teaspoon. To help dispel the misperception that HFCS is higher in fructose than other nutritive sweeteners such as table sugar and honey, the Corn Refiners Association petitioned the FDA in September 2010 to allow manufacturers to use “corn sugar” as an alternate name for HFCS. “The term ‘corn sugar’ succinctly and accurately describes what this natural ingredient is and where it comes from – corn,” said Audrae Erickson, president of the Corn Refiners Association.

According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, Americans consume almost the same amounts of HFCS and sugar. In 2007, about 40 pounds of HFCS and 44 pounds of sugar were consumed on average per person.

tific journal Critical Reviews in Food Science and Nutrition concluded that HFCS is not uniquely fattening and does not contribute to overweight or obesity any differently than other foods that contain calories. The American Medical Association states, “Because the composition of HFCS and sucrose are so similar, particularly on absorption by the body, it appears unlikely that HFCS contributes more to obesity or other conditions than sucrose.” And Michael Jacobson, executive director of the Center for Science in the Public Interest quipped, “The evilness of high-fructose corn syrup has become an urban myth.”

What is the effect of HFCS on the body?

What do the experts say about added sugar?

Research shows that HFCS, sugar and honey are digested and metabolized similarly. Studies comparing HFCS and sucrose have found no significant differences on human metabolic responses, appetite, feelings of fullness or short-term energy intakes. Some claim that HFCS is linked to obesity, however, a recent expert review of the research published in the scien-

Consuming too much of any type of sugar can be a health concern, mostly due to the excess empty calories and displacement of more nutritious foods in the diet. The 2010 Dietary Guidelines recommends that Americans focus on nutrient-rich foods and not overdo added sugars. In fact, it’s a good idea for most Americans to cut back on all types of added sugars. How? Go easy on high-sugar foods such as candy, regular soft drinks, fruit

used to enhance fruit and spice flavors, extend product freshness, aid in fermentation, increase product stability/ shelf life, and enhance cooked flavors and surface browning in baked goods.

How much HFCS do people eat?

Why is HFCS used in food? HFCS is used as a sweetener. It’s also 28

Healthy & Fit • www.healthyandfitmagazine.com

drinks, and baked goods such as cookies, cake and pastries. Joy Bauer, registered dietitian and The Today Show’s nutrition and health expert said, “Rather than ban it [high-fructose corn syrup] from your diet, you’re better off cutting back on sugar from all sources. That includes honey, maple syrup, brown sugar, agave syrup, and fruit-juice concentrate, which are found in many so-called healthy treats.” JULY 2011


Geocaching (cont. from page 24) hidden in North America. “When my husband and I took a trip to San Francisco, we found cleverly hidden letterboxes in Chinatown,” says Lanzi. “We had walked by a certain location several times and never knew there was a box hidden underneath the overhang. Now, I’m in on a little secret—I find that very appealing.” Karen Giles-Smith, MS, RD, is a registered dietitian, freelance writer and health/wellness coach based in Mason, Michigan. Visit her at TheWellnessWriter.com and AtEaseWithEating.com.

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JULY 2011

Education & Fitness Classes www.healthyandfitmagazine.com • Healthy & Fit

Independent Classes *Wing Chun *Wrestling Takedowns *Yoga *Modern Arnis *Personal Training *Fitness Classes *Self-Defense

Martial Arts and Fitness for Everyone

29


Diet

Hip to clip

How to save money on healthy products. by Lisa Marie Metzler he economy stinks and the recent hikes at the pumps are leaving a lot of us wondering how we can cut spending in other areas to make it to the next paycheck. I’ve recently discovered how to save nice little chunks of change by couponing. Seriously, coupons are making a comeback! It’s actually hip to clip and redeem again. Segments on talk shows and TLC’s Extreme Couponing have started a whole new trend for saving money. Granted, a lot of coupons are for junk food but there are great deals and coupons for organic foods and eco-friendly cleaning products too. You don’t have to go “extreme” but a little effort can score you some savings. Sharpen your scissors, boot up your computer and turn on the printer. It’s time to save some cash!

T

Show me the coupons! The Sunday paper is a good place to start. In my community we also receive two free weekly papers. They usually have the same coupon inserts as the Sunday paper so I often get double the coupons right there. “Like” a company on Facebook or “Follow” a company on Twitter to get coupons or special deals. Meijer has a couple of ways to get savings. One is a Catalina or Cat. This is a coupon that is printed out with your receipt. It can be an actual a coupon or a specific dollar amount off your next purchase. Mperks is another way to save without clipping. Sign up at Meijer.com. Browse the coupons available and click the deals you want. When you checkout, you’ll see the Mperks icon on the keypad. Just enter your mobile number and get the savings. You must have a text-enabled phone to participate. Another bonus for Mperks members are special deals via text messages. I often get a text message for a percentage off my purchase and free items like a dozen eggs or free carton of milk! Keep your computer booted up and head over to coupons.com for more printable coupons. This will 30

require a quick free download to print. Coupons change at the beginning of each month so print what you want before the month is over. Insider Tip: Some coupons take up more space on the sheet than others. I use both sides of the paper or flip to the opposite side and insert the paper again to print out another coupon. The amount of coupons you can print for each item will vary.

Sign up and receive One of the best ways to get insider deals is to simply register for coupons or newsletters from your favorite products (see my list below) or have someone else find the deals for you - like the girls at Savingaddiction.com. This is one of my favorite places to find the top weekly deals. The newsletters are chock full of the best deals and tips so you don’t waste precious time. Insider Tip: Create an email account just for couponing so you’re regular email doesn’t get inundated with potential junk mail. Here’s my list that includes healthy, natural or organic products to get you started. Some websites offer instant coupons while others require registration before printing.

Healthy & Fit • www.healthyandfitmagazine.com

• Organicvalley.com • Horizondairy.com • Stonyfileld.com BONUS: Earn points from purchases to buy cool products from partners like Bare Naked, Green Toys, Nature’s Path and more. • Avnf.com, AppleValley Natural Foods Click on “events” to find coupons • Wholefoodsmarket.com • Cascadianfarm.com • Dreamfieldsfoods.com • Simplyorganicfoods.com • Kashi.com • Silksoymilk.com • Mambosprouts.com • Naturemade.com BONUS: Earn Wellness Rewards for fitness DVD’s, yoga mats, shopping totes and more. • Sundownnaturals.com • Seventhgeneration.com • Greenworkscleaners.com • Scottbrand.com • Ecover.com • Barbarasbakery.com • Foodsforliving.com Click for monthly specials • Target.com Download free iinstallation of Coupon Activator required. • Walgreens.com Uses the same printing application as coupons. com.

Read the fine print Each retailer has their own coupon policy. Some stores like Meijer and Walgreen’s will accept a manufacturer’s coupon with a store coupon/Mperks coupon. This is great when a product goes on sale because you can use both and really score a deal! Always take note of the expiration date and specifics like size, variety, etc. Some stores may even double your coupons up to fifty cents or more. If you’re lucky and get a few coupons for a particular item you like, you can use one coupon for each item you buy and stock up. Ease into couponing by trying it with one store first. Make your list according to the layout of the store and paperclip coupons in that order for quick reference. Once you see the savings on your receipt, you’ll be hooked! JULY 2011


Event

Before 8/8/11

On/After 8/8/11

8 K Run

$20 includes breakfast

$25 includes breakfast

5 K Walk

$20 includes breakfast

$25 includes breakfast

800 meter run (12 and under) 80 meter dash (8 and under)

$12 includes breakfast

$15 includes breakfast

Family (up to 5 in same household)

$65 includes breakfast for each participant

$70 includes breakfast for each participant

For family registration please indicate quantity in each box T-Shirt Size Adult

S

Youth

S

M M

L

XL

2X

L

I would like tech shirts for $5 extra per person Please make checks payable to St. James Church

Name __________________________________________________________________ Phone _____________________ Email ______________________________________________________________________________________________ Address ________________________________________________________________________ Age on race day _____ City _______________________________________________ State _________________________ Zip _____________ For family registration please list event for person above _______________________________________________________ Additional names for family registration Name Event Age on race day _________________________________________ ________ _________________________________________ ________ _________________________________________ ________ _________________________________________ ________

I would like more information about volunteering

becoming a sponsor

I am enclosing an additional donation of $ _______

Waiver: By submitting this entry form, I hereby, for myself, my heirs and my executors, waive all rights and claims for damages I may have against St. James Church and all sponsors and race management organizations for injuries suffered by me in this event. I attest that I have trained sufficiently to participate in this event and I am physically fit. For family registrations each member will need to fill out a waiver at packet pickup:

_______________________________________________

__________ _______________________________________

Participant’s signature

Date Mail to:

Camino of St. James

c/o St. James Church

Parent’s signature (if under 18) 1010 S. Lansing St.

Mason, MI 48854


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This is the July 2011 issue of Healthy & Fit Magazine