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a•chieve (e chev) vb -

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1. to finish: complete: win: succeed 2. to accomplish: obtain with effort 3. to perform by one’s own efforts kathryn lee publisher / creative director john lee vp / director of sales & marketing

Achieve is a quarterly health, wellness and fitness magazine published by Impressions Group, LLC. The covers, contents and ads in Achieve magazine are copyright protected and may NOT be reproduced without prior consent of the publisher. Our staff has made every effort to insure the accuracy of the publication, however we assume no liability or responsibility for content, errors or omissions in any articles. Achieve welcomes the submission of any information, articles and photos. We will make every effort to include the submitted items, however, we cannot guarantee the inclusion or the return of materials.

On the Cover — Race for the River Kayakalon, 2011, Washington, NC. Photo courtesy of Liane Harsh of Inner Banks Outfitters.

Race Directors, Event Planners Include your event in Achieve’s event calendar! Send dates, times and contact information to:

To advertise in Achieve Magazine call:

table of



12 nutrition:

2 men’s health:

13 nutrition:

a man’s guide to looking and feeling younger

4 women’s health: thyroid disease

5 kids’ health: two decades of research shows spanking produces troubled kids & is linked to aggression in children

6 heart health: heart disease and sleep apnea: what’s the link?

8 planet health:

For more information, contact:

15 corporate wellness:

starting a health promotion program

17 take step 2 18 massage:

relaxation as fitness

fitness 20 outdoor adventure

9 eye health:

the year of chariots

wellness 11 pulling together for pitt county babies march for babies 5.19.12

spring ‘12

patience... the art of intelligent waiting

10 easy food choices you can make to help reduce your environmental footprint

10 booking some downtime:

© 2012

14 emotional wellness:

19 mind + body:

astigmatism & your eyes

Post Office Box 2627, Greenville, NC 27836 252.355.8345 phone / 252.355.4224 fax

get you plate in shape

what’s in a word? green vs. sustainable

252.355.8345 Deadline for the next issue: June 1, 2012

getting help from the professionals

the plank pose

a basic overview of kayaking skills

21 personal training: absolute abs...

22 every step, every person helps to create a world free of multiple sclerosis 23 running:

how to train for your first 5k

24 event calendar (april - july 2012)

Impressions Group, LLC

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health men’s health: a man's guide to looking and feeling younger Article by Beth W. OrensteinMedically reviewed by Pat F. Bass III, MD, MPH

Everyone wants to look and feel younger. Currently, the anti-aging industry in the U.S. is an $80 billion business — and research suggests it’s only going to get bigger. By 2015, it could be as much as $114 billion. This growth, experts say, is due largely to the population of aging baby boomers, but also to an increasing interest from men looking for ways to hold on to their youth. According to recent research by L’Oreal, the number of men visiting hair salons to have their hair dyed grew 50% between 2008 and 2010. Male plastic surgery also increased last year from 2009: Data from the American Society of Plastic Surgeons showed a 2% uptick overall, a 14% increase in facelifts, and a 9% increase in Botox. But you don’t have to go under the knife to slash away the years. Simple steps at home can keep the annoying effects of aging at bay and help you look as young as you feel.

Start With Skin Care The first thing people notice is your skin. According to one recent study published in the Journal of the European Academy of Dermatology and Venereology, men’s attractiveness and youth are judged largely on the tone and evenness of their complexion. Take years off your face with these rules: • Stay out of the sun. “The sun just beats the daylights out of your skin,” says Francis Salerno, MD, of the Center for Healthy Aging in Allentown, Pa. If you are going to be in the sun, wear sunscreen, Dr. Salerno adds. Overexposure to the sun can cause wrinkles and age spots that surely will make you look older. • Moisturize. “Using moisturizer and a gentle cleanser every day will help you look younger,” says Frank Shipman, owner of the TC Salon Spa in Allentown. “Dryness exaggerates signs of aging in the face and the body. Moisturizer will help.” • Drink lots of water. Six to eight cups of water a day will help keep your skin hydrated, giving skin better tone and a more youthful looking appearpage 2

ance. “Maintaining adequate fluid intake is very, very important,” says Salerno, author Basic Prevention: A Guide to Healthy Aging.

Promote Wellness Maintaining your overall health can make you look and feel younger. These lifestyle choices promote wellness: • Sleep well. Most adults need seven to nine hours of sleep every night. “Getting appropriate sleep is very important for how you look,” Salerno says. Not enough sleep can result in bags under your eyes and other health consequences that may make you appear older. One study from the psychiatry department at Penn State College of Medicine found that sleep deprivation affected men’s mental acuity more than women’s. Another study from the University of California, San Diego, found that more men needed naps to reinforce learning. Men also wake up more often and have less slow-wave sleep, which is crucial for memory formation. • Stop smoking. Smoking can make you look old by creating wrinkles and lines around your mouth and eyes, dulling your skin, and staining your teeth. It also can cause a host of health problems that will age you quickly. • Eat healthy. “Eating appropriate amounts of a Mediterranean-type diet — chicken, fish, fruits, and vegetables with a moderate amount of carbs — will keep you healthy as well as looking young and fit,” Salerno says. • Exercise. “Exercise will help you to maintain your tone and your flexibility,” Shipman explains. Aerobic exercises are good for your heart and, Salerno says, “whatever you do for your heart is also good for your brain.” Men who are fit and trim will look younger and feel younger than those who are fat and flabby. “It’s amazing how putting on those extra pounds can age someone greatly,” Shipman adds.

Dress Your Age Age is about appearance. You can take years off your appearance if you follow this simple anti-aging dress code: • Avoid clothing trends. When dressing, go with updated classics. Says Shipman, “If you are middle-aged and go with a trend that is for 18-yearolds, it will not look right.” And don’t dwell on trends from your past. “If you wore the look before, don’t do it again. For example, bell-bottom trousers from the ’60s will make you look dated — or like you never left that era,” Shipman warns. • All that glitters is old. “Less is best when it comes to jewelry as we age,” says Frank J. Buongiorno, a stylist at The London Shop, a men’s specialty shop in Easton, Pa. “We don’t want to get too carried away with rings and ID bracelets, and huge, oversized watches.” Toning down the jewelry as a man gets older is more age appropriate. • “Raze” an eyebrow. As men age, their eyebrows often get long and unruly. “You don’t get character — you look crazy,” Shipman says. “When you get your haircut, have your stylist trim your eyebrows at the same time.” • Keep a regular schedule of haircuts: “As a man grows older, he should keep his hair on the short side rather than in a ponytail.” • Trim unwanted body hair. As men age they tend to get hair in unwanted places, such as the ears and nose. Keep this growth trimmed and you’ll look younger — and if you look younger, you’ll feel younger, Buongiorno says. Also, if your body hair is turning gray, the shorter you keep it, the less noticeable the gray will be, Shipman says. That’s true of beards and chests. • Grow a beard. If you have a sagging neckline, sometimes a close cropped beard can be a great way of concealing it, Shipman says. Following this anti-aging advice can make you look younger and feel younger, no matter what the calendar says. Staying fit and trim also will help prevent illnesses and chronic conditions that can age you prematurely as well. achieve magazine

health women’s health: thyroid disease

0.5 to 5.0 was normal, and that anybody with those levels of TSH wouldn’t be considered to have a malfunctioning thyroid.

Article by Debra-Lynn B. Hook. Medically reviewed by Lindsey Marcellin, MD, MPH

Lisa Clement couldn’t figure out why she was losing weight. Her hair was falling out, and the 27-year-old from Ohio was so tired, she sometimes crawled up the stairs to get to her apartment. It would be three years before an astute primary care physician thought to run a blood test to check out her thyroid hormone levels. Clement’s TSH (thyroid-stimulating hormone) levels were very low, while her other thyroid hormone levels (serum thyroxine, or T4, and triiodothyronine, or T3) were way up. Her doctor diagnosed her with hyperthyroidism, one of a group of thyroid disorders that affect 27 million Americans. “I never suspected I had hyperthyroidism,” says Clement, now 40 and has her condition under control with treatment. “I really didn’t know anything about it.”

What’s the Purpose of the Thyroid Gland? Your thyroid gland, located just below your neck in front of your larynx, secretes hormones through your bloodstream to every cell and every organ in your body. This tiny, 2-inch gland regulates your body temperature, keeps your brain thinking clearly, your heart pumping rhythmically, and basically maintains harmony among all organs in your body. When you have thyroid disease, your thyroid gland can either become overactive or underactive. If your thyroid doesn’t secrete enough hormones into your blood, you may suffer from hypothyroidism and a slowing down of bodily functions that could cause more serious complications, like high cholesterol and heart trouble. Initial symptoms of hypothyroidism might include: • Fatigue • Weight gain • Cold intolerance • Dry or brittle hair • Memory problems • Irritability and depression • Higher cholesterol levels • Slower heart rate • Constipation, or sluggish bowel On the flip side, if your thyroid secretes too many hormones, bodily functions will speed up, as it does in hyperthyroidism. Your symptoms could include: • Weight loss • Heat intolerance • Frequent bowel movements • Tremors • Nervousness and irritability • Thyroid gland enlargement • Sleep disturbances • Fatigue

Thyroid Conditions Can Be Difficult to Diagnose While a simple blood test can easily determine how much thyroid hormone you have in your blood, doctors often don’t think to check TSH or other thyroid levels since the symptoms of a thyroid problem can mimic the symptoms of many other conditions. “Patients may have a variety of illnesses that can all cause fatigue and brittle hair,” says Stuart M. Weiss, MD, an endocrinologist and assistant professor at New York University in New York City. “But unless the physician gets the thyroid numbers to match the diagnosis, it’s difficult to blame the thyroid.” What makes matters worse is that doctors don’t always agree on how to read thyroid-related blood test results. Until the last six or seven years, doctors generally agreed that a TSH level of

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Some endocrinologists worried that this broad interpretation of results meant that people with thyroid disorders were going undiagnosed and untreated. This includes a subset of thyroid patients who are said to have “subclinical thyroid disorder,” which generally means they appear to have no, or few, symptoms of hypothyroidism. Their T3 and T4 levels are normal, but their TSH levels are higher than normal. In 2002, the National American Association of Clinical Endocrinologists, wanting to catch a wider net of patients before they went on to develop serious complications from undiagnosed thyroid disease, suggested doctors consider narrowing the definition of normal TSH to between 0.3 and 3.0 for some patients. The medical community continues to debate this. Some endocrinologists worry that a narrow interpretation of normal TSH level (for instance a TSH of less than 4) will result in healthy patients being treated for a disorder they don’t truly have. Others worry that the broader range of normal TSH may result in more people living without a proper diagnosis or treatment for hypothyroidism.

Seeking a Solid Diagnosis While doctors continue to debate what comprises normal thyroid levels, some laboratories will still stamp a particular TSH reading “high,” while another calls the same reading as “normal.” Weiss contends that the best diagnosis is one that takes into account not only the patient’s blood test results, but a full personal history of symptoms and risk factors for hypo or hyperthyroidism. Risk factors for thyroid disease include: • Diabetes or another autoimmune disorder • A history of radiation treatment to the thyroid area • A family history of thyroid disorder • Hormonal changes, such as those that occur in pregnancy or menopause • Gender: Women constitute 80% of all thyroid cases. • Age: The incidence of hypothyroidism increases greatly with age, and is higher in menopausal women than in very young women. • A clinical exam is important to look for physical signs of thyroid problems, such as abnormalities in the appearance of the eyelids, the symptom that first flagged Clement’s doctor to suspect hyperthyroidism. The doctor will palpate, or feel, your thyroid, looking for enlargement or nodules (which can very rarely be a sign of thyroid cancer). • In addition to drawing blood, your doctor may order an ultrasound exam to look for irregularities. It is generally only after the doctor has conducted a full exam that a diagnosis can be made and treatment started. The treatment for hyperthyroidism includes “burning out” the thyroid with a one-time radioactive iodine pill and/or an antithyroid medication, such as Tapazole or PTU . Radioactive treatment can correct the problem when too much thyroid hormone is being made, but this often results in hypothyroidism after. This will require the patient to take synthetic thyroid (thyroxine) pills to supply needed hormones, which is also the treatment for primary hypothyroidism. If you think you might have thyroid dysfunction, ask your doctor to evaluate your symptoms and conduct a blood test. If you’re a woman nearing menopause, seek out an evaluation of your thyroid if you’re experiencing symptoms. If you’re not satisfied with the care you’re receiving from your primary care doctor and suspect a thyroid condition, see an endocrinologist. This type of specialist is trained to understand the nuances of thyroid dysfunction.

achieve magazine

health “It is the case that children who are more aggressive do tend to get hit more, but the punishment does not reduce those children’s aggression; rather, it exacerbates it,” said Ron Ensom, who worked as a social worker at the Children’s Hospital of Eastern Ontario, in Ottawa, Canada, when the paper was written. “When parents of aggressive children are instructed in how to reduce their use of spanking, and they do indeed reduce it, the level of their children’s aggression declines,” Ensom said. “And when children who all have the same level of aggression when the study begins are followed over a period of years, those who are spanked tend to get more aggressive over time, while those who are not spanked tend to get less aggressive.” The authors urged physicians to help parents learn nonviolent, effective approaches to discipline, but one child psychologist in the United States said the paper fell short in providing examples of such approaches.

kids’ health: two decades of research shows spanking produces troubled kids & is linked to aggression in children Article by Madonna Behen, HealthDay Reporter from (updated 2/6/2012)

“They did a nice job of summarizing all of the research, and it’s always good to reinforce the message, especially to newer physicians,” said Mary Alvord, a child clinical psychologist in practice in Rockville and Silver Spring, Md. “I just wish they had taken the next step and given the doctors more tools to show parents what to do, rather than focusing so much on what they shouldn’t do.” “Parents often feel helpless in these situations, and they want their child to get the message that what they did is wrong,” Alvord said. “So I don't get preachy with parents, but I try to explain that there are so many more effective things that parents can do, like timeouts.”

Adding more fuel to the controversial topic of children and spanking, two Canadian child development experts have published a new analysis that warns that physical punishment poses serious risks to a child’s long-term development. In the paper, published online January 6, 2012 in CMAJ, the Canadian Medical Association Journal, the authors analyzed two decades of research and concluded that “virtually without exception, these studies found that physical punishment was associated with higher levels of aggression against parents, siblings, peers and spouses.” While studies show that spanking has declined in the United States since the 1970s, many parents still believe it’s an acceptable form of punishment. A 2010 University of North Carolina study revealed that nearly 80% of preschool children in the United States are spanked. “Our paper is a prompt to medical professionals to apply the compelling findings of research on physical punishment in their guidance of parents,” said co-author Joan Durrant, a child clinical psychologist and professor of family social sciences at the University of Manitoba in Winnipeg. In addition to the substantial evidence that children who are spanked are more aggressive, the authors note that physical punishment is linked to various mental health problems, including anxiety, depression, and drug and alcohol abuse. What’s more, recent neuroimaging studies have shown that physical punishment may alter parts of the brain that are linked to performance on IQ tests and increase vulnerability to drug or alcohol dependence, they write. Many parents are skeptical of published findings on spanking, and question whether the aggressive behavior prompts the spanking, rather than the other way around. But the paper’s co-author says researchers have been able to tease this relationship apart.

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health heart health: heart disease and sleep apnea: what's the link? Article from WebMD Medical Reference, Reviewed By Louise Chang, MD,

Snoring may seem comical, but obstructive sleep apnea is no joke. It can increase your risk of high blood pressure and diabetes — and even make you more dangerous on the road. These seven health problems are linked to obstructive sleep apnea:

High blood pressure. Obstructive sleep apnea can contribute to high blood pressure in people who have it. The frequent nighttime wakings that plague people with sleep apnea cause hormonal systems to go into overdrive, which results in high blood pressure levels at night. Low blood-oxygen levels, caused by the cutoff of oxygen, may also contribute to hypertension in people with sleep apnea. The good news: Some people with high blood pressure who are treated for sleep apnea can cut back on their blood pressure medications.

Heart disease. People with obstructive sleep apnea are more likely to suffer heart attacks and die in the middle of the night. The causes may be low oxygen or the stress of waking up often during sleep. Stroke and atrial fibrillation — a problem with the rhythm of the heartbeat — are also associated with obstructive sleep apnea. The disrupted oxygen flow caused by sleep apnea makes it hard for your brain to regulate the flow of blood in arteries and in the brain.

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Type 2 diabetes. Sleep apnea is very common among people with type 2 diabetes — up to 80% of diabetics have some obstructive sleep apnea. Obesity is a common risk factor for both disorders. Although studies haven’t shown a clear link between sleep apnea alone and type 2 diabetes, sleep deprivation can cause insulin resistance, a precursor to diabetes.

Weight gain. Adding weight raises your risk of sleep apnea, and up to twothirds of people with sleep apnea are severely overweight. Obstructive sleep apnea can often be cured by losing enough weight, but that can be tough to do. Being overweight causes fatty deposits in the neck that block breathing at night. In turn, sleep apnea impairs the body’s endocrine systems, causing the release of the hormone ghrelin, which makes you crave carbohydrates and sweets. Also, people with sleep apnea who are tired and sleepy all the time may have lower metabolisms, which can also contribute to weight gain. Getting treatment for sleep apnea can make you feel better, with more energy for exercise and other activities.

Adult asthma. Although the link to obstructive sleep apnea isn’t proven, people who are treated for sleep apnea may find they have fewer asthma attacks.

GERD. There’s no proof that sleep apnea causes acid reflux, but many people with sleep apnea complain of acid reflux, and treating it seems to improve apnea symptoms, say sleep physicians. Car accidents. Daytime grogginess can put people with sleep apnea at in-

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health creased risk of falling asleep behind the wheel. People with sleep apnea are up to five times more likely than normal sleepers to have traffic accidents.

Treating Sleep Apnea The increased risk for health problems linked to sleep apnea can be scary, but effective treatment for sleep apnea is available. Among the most common devices for sleep apnea are continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) machines, mouth appliances, and specially designed pillows. The goal of all sleep apnea treatment devices is to increase airflow to your lungs. Airflow is blocked when the muscles around the tongue and throat relax to cause a blockage that air can’t get through. For mild apnea, a mouth device or other gadget may be enough. For more severe cases, the CPAP machine is usually recommended.

Mouth Devices for Sleep Apnea Sleep apnea mouth devices come in custom made and over-the-counter types, all meant to be worn during sleep. These oral appliances are fitted by a dentist: • Mandibular advancement device (MAD). These look like a mouth guard used in sports. The devices snap over the upper and lower dental arches. Hinges make it possible for the lower jaw to be eased forward. This stabilizes the tongue and soft palate to keep the airway open. • Tongue retaining device. This is sort of like a splint that holds the tongue in place to keep the airway open. It is not prescribed as often as the MAD. People often need more time to get used to these devices and don’t find them to be as comfortable.

An over-the-counter “boil and bite” device is widely available online. You heat it in hot water, then bite into it to customize the fit. The aim is to move the lower jaw forward and improve airflow, so you have fewer episodes of interrupted breathing. But these may not work as well as custom-made devices. Before buying an oral device, talk to your doctor about which is best for you.

Position Pillows for Sleep Apnea Pillows to help relieve sleep apnea, designed to be used with the CPAP machine or without, are sold online. According to the American Sleep Apnea Assoc., sleeping on your back with your back elevated from the waist up may help keep your airway from collapsing and reduce apnea events. Use foam wedges, not soft pillows, according to the ASAA. Sleep apnea pillows designed to be used without CPAP position your neck so the airway is more likely to remain open. Pillows to be used with the CPAP are meant to make it more comfortable.

CPAP (Continuous Positive Airway Pressure) CPAP machines use a mask that fits over your nose or nose and mouth. The mask is held in place with straps and blows air at a pressure determined by your doctor. The pressure keeps the airway open during sleep. Over the years, these devices have become smaller, lighter, and quieter. There are common treatable side effects, such as nasal congestion, dry mouth, and skin irritation. There are several models sold so it’s easier to find a good comfortable fit. CPAP is highly effective, according to the National Sleep Foundation. The key to success, as doctors emphasize, is to use the machine nightly.


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spring ‘12

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health planet health: what’s in a word? green vs. sustainable

lifestyle. Or, maybe sustainability is finding answers to those questions that will guild us towards a new eco-enlightenment. I don’t have the ultimate answer, but I sure hope we figure it out for our future generations.

Article by Ronnie Citron-Fink is a writer, editor and educator. She has written hundreds of articles about sustainable living, the environment, design, and family life for websites, books and magazines. Ronnie is the creator of Econesting, and the managing editor of Moms Clean Air Force. Ronnie was named one of the Top Ten Living Green Experts by Yahoo. Article from

As we continue to move towards making collective, ethical choices about the condition of our planet that we want to leave our children, should we be taking these two words to heart? What does green and sustainable mean to you? Are they mutually exclusive?

Do words matter? If you answered yes, then what do these terms mean? What does green mean? What does sustainable mean? Well, your guess is as good as mine. No, really…we are all exposed to so many green labels (products, homes, cars, technology, etc.) that it’s no surprise that we each come to the party with different variations on the theme. We could debate until the cows come home whether or not the overuse of these two words still hold any value. Or, even how far we need to go to get there. I would like to believe green and sustainable do have value. It seems even more important, as the grim realizations of our dependency on oil in the Gulf has become a painful indication that we need to get our act together and change our ways for the survival of our planet. It seems like the right time to revisit theses two concepts. That’s why I’m getting out my magnifying glass and taking a closer look at the process of living a green or more sustainable life. On a surface level, Green means environmentally-friendly. Which is to say that whatever the origin of the product, home, clothing company, etc. is, it places less of a burden on our declining natural resources of land, air and water. Green also encompasses less waste. How much less? Well, that seems be on a spectrum that can become the basis for wonderful new ways to live. But, it can also open us up to the ugly, gray world of greenwashing. Sustainability carries both a broader and narrower meaning. On the broader sense, it references how we are all inter-connected and how we work together towards our collective future. All of our economic, political and social gains in this area thus far, have come from a heightened awareness of what is sustainable for the future. On a narrow level, sustainability is far more encompassing than green. It addresses the individual environmental choices, and the process of discovery that include the health and wellbeing of our selves as individuals, and our planet. Knowing this, we must be aware that our decisions towards what will make us sustainable right now just may determine how our children, our grandchildren, and beyond will live. We learn very simple new ways of addressing and discovering new ways to become greener (or more sustainable) on an individual level everyday. In fact, last night I was preparing whole wheat pasta for dinner and thought, “Couldn’t I cook the pasta with less water, saving energy and water?” Not being the most accomplished cook, I generally follow rock star cooks. What would Mario Butali, and all those others wonderful Italian cooks think? Butali says for every pound of pasta, we need to boil six quarts of water. I checked around online and found a New York Times article that outlined experiments that addressed the question of cooking pasta with less water. Here’s what it found: “Americans cook something like a billion pounds of pasta a year, so those minutes could add up…rough figuring indicates an energy savings at the stovetop of several trillion BTUs. At the power plant, that would mean saving 250,000 to 500,000 barrels of oil, or $10 million to $20 million at current prices.” Those are significant numbers. And, the pasta was just as tasty with less water. We discover zillions of stories like this each day. Is there a lesson in the pasta story? Maybe becoming sustainable is the part of the process of living a green

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10 easy food choices you can make to help reduce your environmental footprint Article by John Chappell, Eat. Drink. Better from

A website recently delineated a simple list of 10 ways that you can reduce your environmental footprint through changes in your food choices. The list is fairly straightforward and involves changes that any person in any country can make to reduce their carbon footprint. Substantive facts for each item are also laid out and explained along with a brief description of how the change can affect the environment in a positive manner. Make these easy changes to food choices and you can reduce your environmental footprint: • Eat less beef, pork, and lamb. • Eat out at restaurants less often. • Eat fewer dairy products. • Drink fewer soft drinks. • Eat seasonal and local fruits and vegetables. • Eat fewer packaged snacks and junk food. • Upgrade to an energy efficient refrigerator. • Eat wild fish that are not endangered. • Drink less bottled water. • Walk to your local farmers market or grocery store. The great thing about this is that none of these actions are difficult, expensive, or time intensive to perform. In fact each of these activities, by themselves or collectively will probably make you healthier, better fed, and even a bit happier. If you think about how you can reduce your carbon footprint and make yourself and your household more environmentally friendly, it’s going to be small changes like the ones listed. Not everyone has the desire or means to move off the grid and live in a self sufficient cabin in the wilderness, but small changes add up, and small changes are sustainable and can be built upon. This is also by no means an exhaustive list, there are many other changes you can make to your food lifestyle and consumption habits to reduce your environmental impact, but these are definitely 10 ways to start and get the most bang for your buck.

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health eye health: astigmatism & your eyes Article provided by Dr. Tim Klugh / Eye Care Center, 1100 West 15th Street, Washington, NC / 252.975.8040 or 1.800.738.8040. For more information contact Dr. Klugh or visit

and prescribe eyeglasses and contact lenses. Ophthalmologists provide these services as well as treatment of disease through medication and surgery.

How Is Astigmatism Treated? Almost all degrees of astigmatism can be corrected with properly prescribed eyeglasses or contact lenses. For a person with only a slight degree of astigmatism, corrective lenses may not be needed at all, as long as other conditions such as nearsightedness or farsightedness are not present. If the astigmatism is moderate to high, however, corrective lenses are probably needed. Corrective lenses (eyeglasses or contact lenses). For astigmatism, special contact lenses called toric lenses are prescribed. Toric lenses have greater light bending power in one direction than the other. After performing various tests, your eye doctor will determine the ideal prescription for your astigmatism. Refractive surgery. Another method for correcting astigmatism is by changing the shape of the cornea through refractive or laser eye surgery. While there is more than one type of refractive surgery, specific treatments are recommended on an individual basis.

What Is Astigmatism? A simple astigmatism is a common eye condition that’s easily corrected by eyeglasses, contact lenses, or surgery.

Refractive surgeries require healthy eyes that are free from retinal problems, corneal scars, and any eye disease. As technology progresses, it is becoming more and more important that you explore all options and possibilities before deciding which refractive surgery and treatment is right for you.

Astigmatism occurs in an eye which is not completely round. This is one type of refractive error. Astigmatism occurs in nearly everybody to some degree. For vision problems due to astigmatism, glasses, contact lenses, and even vision correction procedures are all possible treatment options. A person’s eye is naturally shaped like a sphere. Under normal circumstances, when light enters the eye, it refracts evenly, creating a clear view of the object. However, the eye of a person with astigmatism is shaped more like a football or the back of a spoon. For this person, when light enters the eye it’s refracted more in one direction than the other, allowing only part of the object to be in focus at one time. Objects at any distance can appear blurry and wavy.

What Causes Astigmatism? Astigmatism is a natural and commonly occuring cause of blurred vision. The exact cause in not known.

What Are the Symptoms of Astigmatism? People with undetected astigmatism often have blurred vision which can be associated with fatigue, eyestrain, and blurred vision. While these symptoms may not necessarily be the result of astigmatism, you should schedule an eye exam if you are experiencing one or more symptoms.

How Is Astigmatism Diagnosed? Your optometrist or ophthalmologist can diagnose astigmatism with a thorough eye exam. Astigmatism may occur with other refractive errors such as myopia (nearsightedness) and hyperopia (farsightedness). Unfortunately, astigmatism often goes undetected in school-age children. Because astigmatism may increase slowly, you should visit your optometrist or ophthalmologist whenever you notice significant changes in your vision. Optometrists are trained specifically to examine the general health of the eyes

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health booking some downtime: the year of chariots Reviewed by Tony Parker (t for Achieve Magazine.

Like a good trail run, often one has to deviate from the well-worn path to discover a hidden gem. So it goes with this incarnation of Booking Some Down Time. Like many runners, I grabbed my February issue of Runner’s World from the post box, hustled in from the cold, and began reading. I came across an article by John McLaughlin about the 1981 movie Chariots of Fire. If you were around and aware at the time, the one thing you’ll remember is the Academy Award-winning musical score by Vangelis, an unlikely cross over hit. McLaughlin’s article captured the heart of the making of this movie. He deftly weaves several side stories into a cohesive tale detailing the making of a remarkable film about a seemingly benign subject and filling it with heart and soul. As a student of history and an adult onset athlete, this tale of the 1924 Olympic Games, the characters associated with it, as well as how the movie came to be really intrigued me. I had to watch the movie to see if the film matched the passion described in the article. Within a week a thin envelope came through the mails with my copy of the movie. Couldn’t wait! After dinner I popped the movie into the DVD and sat back, ready to be bathed in the glory of sport and achievement. The music came on to accompany the brilliant scene of the men running along the beach and the story began. It soon became apparent that this movie is not a movie about men involved in sport, nor is it a movie chiefly concerning the 1924 Olympic Games. I watched and learned.

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The early 1920’s was a time of dynamic change. World War I was still a fresh memory, the automobile was rapidly revolutionizing the world, and systems of communication made the world less small. What was not changed during this era was humanity’s indomitable spirit, and yet, even as the world emerged from extreme brutality, the still lingered the specter of prejudice and misunderstanding. What this movie reveals through a well written script, brilliantly filmed historical backdrops, and acting so fine and quiet, is a spirit for and joy of life. We have Harold Abrahams, a headstrong young Jewish man who still felt the whispers of discrimination, his chief competitor and soon to be teammate Eric Liddell, who followed his heart and refused to run on the Sabbath. These two alone are worthy of carrying this movie, but to our luck, they are supported by a host of men and women who chase their own dreams and cross their own personal devils. Notably Abrahams’ coach, Sam Mussabini, a man who seemed to be persona non grata in the track and field world because he was a professional coach in a world of amateurism, who in the end took Abrahams to gold. Would I recommend this movie? You bet. I’d highly suggest you read John McLaughlin’s article prior to viewing it. By doing so, you’ll come to appreciate the backstory of this movie. Both the making of and the spirit of the film are astonishing, and the understanding of both enhances the appreciation of the movie. Once you watch this movie, you’ll want to drive to Nags Head, lace up your shoes, hear that infectious music, and run along the beach. Promise.

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wellness pulling together for pitt county babies — march for babies 5.19.12 Imagine having a baby that weighs only a pound and a half; weighing less than that of a bottle of water and measuring smaller than a 12 inch ruler. You don’t know if your child will survive, and you don’t know why this has happened. Instead of a beautiful bassinet at home, your baby lies in an isolette in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit month after month with wires and monitors surrounding his or her tiny little body. Imagine having visiting hours to see your baby and being told when you can hold your very own child. For one out of eight families in the U.S., this is their reality. March of Dimes is working towards a day when all babies are born healthy. North Carolina has one of the highest rates of preterm birth in the country, ranking 41st. Each year more than 26,000 babies are born too soon, too small or too sick in our state — the equivalent of over 1,046 kindergarten classrooms. Won’t you join us in supporting March of Dimes? March for Babies, the nation’s premier walking event, is held in 900 communities across the U.S. Over 7 million people get involved each year. Pitt County’s March for Babies will be held on Saturday, May 19, 2012 at the

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Town Commons in uptown Greenville. The event provides food, fun and entertainment for the entire family as we celebrate our efforts to give every baby a healthy start. Registration will start at 9:00 am and the walk will begin at 10:00 am. To pre-register for the walk, please call David Cribb at (252) 916-9915 or register online via our website: March of Dimes is the leading organization for pregnancy and baby health. With chapters nationwide, March of Dimes works to improve the health of babies by preventing birth defects, premature birth and infant mortality. For resources and more, visit or

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wellness nutrition: getting help from the professionals Article By: Kathryn Kolasa PhD, RD, LDN, Professor Emeritus, Brody School of Medicine, Dept. of Family Medicine, East Carolina University.

“I know what to eat, I just don’t do it.” “I can lose weight by myself when I make up my mind.” I often hear these comments from folks who want to achieve a healthy life-style but just can’t get over their ambivalence. Who says you have to go it alone? Learn about and use the health benefits and wellness programs your worksite offers. Faced with rising costs from chronic conditions brought on by poor diet, lack of physical activity, stress, tobacco use and other lifestyle choices, many companies are now providing reimbursement for 4 to 6 nutrition appointments in a year with a registered dietitian. Many offer this benefit without co-pay. Do you really know what and how to eat to achieve and maintain a healthy weight? In my experience many people think that eating healthy is expensive and is more restrictive than it has to be. My patients think there are some foods they should never eat because they are “unhealthy,” but they really are ok to eat some of the time. And, there are foods patients think are healthy for them but really don’t have the magic advertised. This is especially true for some of the exotic and very expensive juices.

So, use the skills and knowledge of a dietitian to help you figure out the best way for you and your family to eat. You’re likely to save time and money, too. Every day I talk with patients who think they need expensive and sometimes exotic foods, beverages and dietary supplements to eat healthy. Adults and children can benefit from Medical Nutrition Therapy, especially those who are interested in preventing or already have conditions like type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure and heart disease. Women who are pregnant or breastfeeding can benefit from the latest scientifically based recommendations to benefit themselves and their babies. People with all types of conditions including congestive heart failure, kidney disease, lung disease or GI problems such as irritable bowel or cancer; or even arthritis, fibromyalgia, migraines, fructose intolerance, gluten intolerance and food allergies can get help person-alized plans not just tear-off diet sheets. A dietitian is an important member of the team of professionals helping individuals with anorexia nervosa, bulimia or other eating disorders. I recommend that you use all the visits you are allowed. The dietitian can’t help you design the perfect way to eat in just an hour. The follow-up visits can be used to fine-tune the plan. Dietitians can help those adults and children trying to achieve and maintain a healthy weight prioritize the small changes they take to lead to long term success. Typically the visits with the dietitian include an assessment of your medical and nutrition history and questions about your lifestyle. If your doctor hasn’t given you one, a specific nutrition diagnosis and prescription will be made. The dietitian will identify nutrition resources and information tailored to your needs.Together you can brainstorm how to address your barriers to healthy eating like busy schedules, limited food budget, and lack of support or motivation. In this confusing food environment it takes practice to figure out a tasty, affordable and healthy way that fits your lifestyle. The food supply is always changing and science continues to teach us even better ways to take good care of ourselves. The dietitian is likely to ask you to monitor your intake. You can do this with pencil and paper or access a monitoring program on the web or on your Smart Phone. It does take some investment of time on your part. However, once you have you made the investment of time you might only track your intake if you get off course. I can promise you that if you “eat right” you will have more energy and feel better. After some time you may reduce your high blood pressure or high cholesterol and even save money on medications. And importantly the dietitian can assist you in reaching your goals for weight and health. We recommend you contact your insurance company to verify your coverage. You might also enjoy health coaching to meet your personal needs. Many companies offer personal health assessments. For example, the North Carolina State Health Plan has a program called North Carolina Health Smart that provides tools and strategies for members to understand their personal needs. Some employers offer health coaching. Health coaching can be done in person, by phone or by interaction on the web. You get personalized information about lifestyle issues that your doctor usually doesn’t have time to provide. Most doctors are delighted when you receive scientifically based advice about diet and exercise from another health care professional. So don’t just search the web for answers to your questions, access the professional help your benefit plans provide.

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wellness nutrition: get your plate in shape Article by Colleen S. Bucher, RD LDN, Vidant Wellness Center

If your New Year’s resolution to eat healthy and manage your weight has started to go by the way side, help is available. March was designated National Nutrition Month by the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics (formerly the American Dietetic Association). Their month long campaign rose awareness of healthy foods and encouraged balancinge the food groups in appropriate serving sizes. Since the inception of National Nutrition Week in 1973, the Academy’s mission has been to promote optimal nutrition and well being by its 70,000 nutrition professionals which include registered dietitians and dietetic technicians.

• Vary your protein choices. 20–30% of our dietary intake should be protein. By eating a variety of protein foods, you can reduce your intake of saturated fats. A healthy diet should include seafood, nuts and beans, as well as lean meats, poultry and eggs. Keep lean meat and poultry portions to 3 ounces per serving. That is equivalent to 1/2 chicken breast or the size of the palm of your hand. Always remove the skin and visible fat from poultry, beef and pork and never fry meats. Bake, broil or grill meats to reduce calories. Try stewing lean cuts of meat in tomato sauce or marinate to tenderize. Limit meat to one meal a day, and use nuts, beans or soy products the rest of the day. • Cut back on sodium and empty calories from solid fats and added sugars. Sugary beverages can add hundreds of unwanted calories. Read the label on beverages for calorie and sugar content. Choose water more often for a refreshing, hydrating beverage. Limit even 100% fruit juice to 4 oz. a day and avoid fruit-flavored drinks. Sports drinks, often high in sodium and sugar, should only be used after workouts to replenish lost electrolytes. • Limit your intake of salty foods. Most Americans take in 2 or 3 times the sodium needed. A healthy diet would provide 2000 mg or less of sodium per day. Read labels to check how much sodium you’re getting. Add spices or herbs to season food instead of salt. One teaspoon of table salt provides 2,400 mg of sodium. • Choose high fat, high sodium foods such as sausage, hot dogs, pizza and full fat cheeses less often. Restrict heavy desserts to only occasionally. A bowl of fresh fruit, low fat ice cream or pudding can be a satisfying treat after a meal. Instead of reaching for that candy bar for a midday snack, keep a mixture of nuts, cereal pieces and dried fruit handy for protein, fiber and sweetness. • Switch from solid fats like stick margarine or butter to oils and light, tub margarines as much as possible to reduce heart clogging saturated and trans fats. • Enjoy your food but eat less. Limiting portion sizes can save calories while still enjoying your favorite foods. There are no bad foods, just bad portions. A simple tip‚ use a smaller plate, bowl and glass. Measure your dishes to see how many ounces that glass really holds and how many cups of food fit into your bowl. This may prevent constant measuring at each meal.

This year’s theme, “Get Your Plate in Shape” reflected these key messages: • Make half your plate fruits and vegetables. Eating a variety of dark green, red and orange vegetables and fruits every day puts you well on your way to obtaining numerous vitamins, minerals and fiber. Choose whole fresh fruit over canned or juices. Steam vegetables to retain their nutrient value or cut fresh fruit and eat. When making food choices always consider your vegetables or fruit as your main dish and the meat and starch as the side. • Choose whole grains whenever possible. If white bread and instant sweetened oatmeal or cereals are a daily choice, experiment with whole grain breads, wild rice, oats or barley. This will increase fiber intake to aid heart and colon health. Read the label ingredients and look for “whole grain”. Foods higher in fiber help fill you up and reduce the amount of food eaten and calories taken in. • Switch to fat-free or low-fat milk and dairy products. The calcium and protein content of the lighter products will be the same while reducing the unhealthy saturated fats and calories per serving. One cup of fat free milk has 90 calories as compared to 120 calories in regular milk. If you’re lactose intolerant, lactose-free milk is available, an excellent source of calcium and protein as well.

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• Eat your meals slowly and truly taste what you’re eating. Relax and make meal time pleasurable. Eating fast equals eating more. Cook at home more often. It is not only more economical, but you can control the amount of fat and sodium in your diet. Keep a daily food diary to stay aware of what and how much you’re really eating. There are many websites or apps available to make this task easy. Check out • Be physically active your way. If you are sedentary now, start out slow. It’s just as beneficial to do short 10 – 15 minutes bouts of exercise two or three times a day, as it is to doing a 30 – 45 minute exercise once a day. Every bit adds up and your health benefits increase the more active you are. Try to obtain 150 minutes a week of exercise. It can all start with a simple walk around the block. It gets your heart pumping and can reduce stress. One final tip to get on your way to a healthier, happier you: seek out one of those 70,000 dietitians in your area for help. They are the leading expert in nutrition and can help you “Get You and Your Plate in Shape”.

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wellness emotional wellness: patience... the art of intelligent waiting

attention to detail; a major breakthrough with a withdrawn child because of unwavering parental love, understanding and patience.

Article by: Sara, from the Institute of HeartMath,

Impatience is not an emotion that befalls only an unfortunate few. There is a lot of impatience in some people, but there is a little impatience in all people. Institute of HeartMath Founder Doc Childre characterizes patience as “the art of intelligent waiting” — waiting with purpose, positive intention and a sincere belief that waiting is an important element in the unfolding of all things. “Patience is the practice of maintaining a state of inner ease and resilience when you are tempted to be impatient,” Doc says, “especially when the mind wants to force results, rather than remain in flow. Impatience is an invitation to frustration, shallow discernment, and faulty choices. With a little heartfocused intention and practice, we can effect a makeover by replacing impatience with patience — the secret sauce in the recipe for flow. When our hearts truly commit to becoming patient, then our minds will cooperate, surrender their resistance and take purposeful steps to manifest it.”

Life unfolds in spite of our impatience. The misfortune of it is that because of our impatience we don’t fully appreciate the joy and beauty of watching it unfold. And then there’s all the stress and discontentment along the way. Especially today, with the rapid pace of modern life, lowering the level of impatience could help reduce a lot of the world’s stress. It is fortunate then that many of life’s experiences teach us that patience is possible. The impatience of youth, for instance, at last becomes patient because adulthood finally arrives. The impatience of the artist becomes patient because art is created. Driving in traffic becomes patient because the destination is finally reached. Impatience, however, can have great costs. How much has impatience in people’s lives led to things that could have been but never were: a true friend lost because five minutes of conversation could not be spared; poor marks in school because of a lack of attention to instructors and instructions; immeasurable and uncountable opportunities gone by the wayside because judgment, anger and anxiety prevented people from ever knowing they existed. In contrast, how much is there in our lives that our patience has benefited us? Our true loves, cherished friends, close confidantes and other rewarding relationships nurtured through mutual listening, empathy and unconditional acceptance; a finished project at work whose success is owed to perseverance and

‘The Art of Intelligent Waiting’

Although we may not always acknowledge when we have slipped into impatience, this emotion is not an involuntary one. There’s no reason we can’t opt to be patient in situations throughout our busy days. For example: • Encountering an acquaintance when you’re on your way somewhere. • Driving in stop-and-go traffic. • Waiting on that seemingly endless spinning wheel on the computer. • Listening to someone tell a long story about themselves. • Fidgeting or clock-watching near the end of the work or school day. Think of a time you grew impatient in any of the situations above. Did you tell yourself, “I don’t want to be here,” or “I don’t have time for this.” How much effort would it have taken if you had told yourself, “I have a choice. I don’t have to be impatient. I can make peace with this situation.”

Developing Patience 1. If you are feeling impatient, acknowledge your feelings as soon as you sense that you are out of sync – experiencing feelings such as impatience, frustration, anxiety, being judgmental or mental gridlock. 2. Take a short time-out to do heart-focused breathing: breathe a little slower than usual, and imagine you are breathing through your heart or chest area. 3. As you do heart-focused breathing, imagine with each breath that you are drawing in feelings of patience and inner ease. 4. Anchor these feelings of patience and inner peace in your heart. Do this throughout your daily tasks, interactions and challenges. Remember, the presence of sincere patience means the absence of byproducts of impatience: negative emotions like anger, disappointment, frustration and blame among others. Rather than draining yourself and creating negative energy, increase your energy and resilience. Sincere patience means approaching situations with a positive attitude, care, understanding and genuine allowance. The long lines at the store, traffic jams and slow computers won’t instantly disappear as you practice Inner Ease. However, the state of inner ease helps us attune our mental and emotional nature to the most reasonable and effective way for responding to each situation that life brings us. Sign up for the free Institute of HeartMath newsletter at www.heartmath. com/free-services/sign-up-for-free-services.html. You will also receive access to free downloads to PDFs, MP4 and audio programs, and scientific research.

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wellness corporate wellness: starting a health promotion program Article by John Bates is a leading wellness industry consultant and prolific writer.

Health Risk Assessment vs. Health Risk Appraisal A Health Risk Assessment is the name for the process of collecting information from individuals, used by employers to identify risk factors related to employee health. It’s also a way of presenting feedback in order to connect people with at least one health promotion program initiative that will mediate health, maintain wellness, and/or avert illness. A Health Risk Appraisal is the screening tool used to collect and record the data from individuals. The Health Risk Assessment is the full course of action including the orientation, screening, interpretation and counseling. The terms are often used synonymously.

How is are these tools useful to health promotion programs? Health promotion programs are the solution of choice for many companies whose finances are drowning between exorbitant health care costs and decreased employee productivity. In order to target areas where improvements in corporate wellness can be made and from which corporate objectives can be established, the employee population should be assessed and data collected. Appraisals are the logical starting block for implementing any kind of health promotion program. The questions addressed in the Appraisal should be derived from a set of corporate objectives based on financial and health care needs. This will streamline the data to be exposed.

How do they relate to health promotion program objectives? If the initial health promotion program objective is short-term financial gain, the target area might be to investigate the prevalence of chronic diseases and the dollar value of subsequent claims for medical expenses made on a consistent basis. The Appraisal data might show accidents and injuries occur as a trend in a predictable area of the workplace, during a specific time of the year or due to similar operations. A discovery of this sort of data may uncover a convenient, quick, inexpensive remedy. If the program is to address long-term financial savings, broad-based questions can determine health risk trends and provide data on unhealthy conditions that build over a long period of time. Different components can be incorporated. A variety of versions are available, some more suitable than others depending on program objectives. Appraisal questions need to address the needs dedicated to the employer’s program.

Are there legal guidelines? Health Risk Appraisals are subject to HIPAA guidelines and restrictions. Health promotion program data collected from personal information is bound by confidentiality and the employee needs to be informed that their right to privacy will be respected. The employer should decide how and by whom the Appraisal will be conducted and keep in mind that using a consistent person to deliver the feedback will increase validity of data collected when the Appraisal is repeated. Using the same person to provide and assist with program data will help to establish a wellness learning curve with individual employees. This sort of personal contact may compel a higher rate of employee engagement and provide a comfortable forum for choosing health promotion program incentives.

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Local farmers’ markets include: • Pitt County Farmers’ Market (4560 County Home Road, Greenville, NC) on Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Saturdays 8am-1pm and Fridays – 8am-3pm open date TBA. • Grifton Farmers’ Market (Town Commons in Grifton, NC) on Saturdays from 8am-1pm spring open date TBA. • Farmville Farmers’ Market (3730 North Main Street, Farmville, NC) on Saturdays from 7am-1pm spring open date TBA. • Uptown Umbrella Market (Five Points area in Uptown Greenville, NC) on Wednesday’s 5pm-8pm beginning in May.

Community Gardens Take Step Two is a community-based campaign that empowers you with tools and resources to make your community healthier. Take Step Two is about stepping outside your routine…going above and beyond the norm…for a long-term impact on the health of you, your family, and your community. The campaign has four main themes. When implemented, these themes form the basis for vibrant, healthy, livable communities. The themes include: • Built Environments – “Your built environment consists of the human-made surroundings where we live, learn, work and play. It’s our sidewalks and play grounds, parks and roads. Take Step Two shows us how to make these places and our future built environment healthier and safer for everyone in the community.” • Children’s Health – “As a parent, you do everything you can to keep your children healthy and active. But what happens when the kids are away from home? Take Step Two to make your school or daycare even healthier places for your children to spend their day.” • Healthy, Local Food – “Just because food is grown locally doesn’t mean it’s easy to find. Take Step Two and learn how mobile markets, CSA programs and partnerships with corner stores and local grocers can bring local food to everyone in the community.”

Community gardens are shared spaces where small or large groups of people can grow fruits and vegetables. Visit to learn more about community gardens near you or for information about starting your own community garden. An example of a local community garden is: • “Making Pitt Fit Community Garden” (

CSAs Community Supported Agriculture programs (CSAs) give members the opportunity to buy “shares” of local produce. Members get fresh, locally-grown produce on a schedule (often weekly) that can be picked up or sometimes delivered. Examples of local CSAs include: • Locavore Market ( • Spring Run Market (

So, are you ready to Take Step Two? Check out the campaign website at

• Worksite Wellness – “The hours between 9:00 and 5:00 aren’t always the healthiest. Unless you decide to Take Step Two. Find out how it can be easy to be healthy when you work in a place that encourages wellness.” Through these four themes, Take Step Two builds on the day-to-day activities that you already do. Campaign messages zero in on specific opportunities for you Take Step Two. But, with so many opportunities, picking a “Step Two” can seem a little daunting. Which theme should you start with? Spring is a great time to take advantage of the “Healthy, Local Food” theme. Here are several ways to “Take Step Two” by seeking out “Healthy, Local Food” in Pitt County.

Farmers’ Markets Farmers’ Markets are great sources for fresh, local produce. Don’t be afraid to ask your farmer questions. Farmers’ markets are great places to get advice on cooking unusual foods and even traditional favorites. spring ‘12

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wellness massage: relaxation as fitness Article by Rosalie Jacobi Hutchens, BFA, LMBT, NC License #5792 Touch Matters Therapeutic Massage & Bodywork 710-D Cromwell Drive, Greenville, NC • Phone (252) 717-0012 Email

As a massage therapist and structural integrationist, my training and inclination often takes me into the deepest layers of a client’s myofascia. Many clients are drawn to what they call “deep tissue” work. But, here’s a happy secret: regularly experiencing the relaxation response that occurs in a relaxation-oriented massage can be deeply satisfying as well. True fascial health can mean keeping the fascia juicy so that the deep tissue layers can allow free and easy myofascial movement. But, it can also mean that the superficial layers of tissue are honored and given their due. A relaxation-oriented massage can indeed induce a feeling of profound connection from head to toe. Rather than engaging individual muscle groups, the therapist is focused on evoking a state of maximum relaxation of the body/mind. Until a client achieves this state of complete relaxation, he or she may not even realize how overwhelming the stressors of the world have become.

Stress – No Escape As long as one is breathing, one cannot avoid stress! Stress hormones, such as adrenaline and cortisol, function to provoke the “fight or flight” arousal reaction to very real threats, like the crazy driver who cuts you off. The heart beats faster, the mind races, shoulders tighten as the muscles respond in an effort to allow you to jam on the brakes to avoid disaster. This is a normal and desirable response. But, on the other hand, response to stress can become a dysfunctional and permanent state of constant tension in both the mind and in the muscles. In our fast-paced, constantly changing culture, stress-creating mechanisms may become chronically turned on — we don’t unwind, we even respond to perceived threats (an insult; another’s criticism), as if they were real. Then it becomes time to break the vicious cycle.

Regular Unwinding Give yourself permission to unwind — get out of the body/mind’s way so that is can be replenished. Our bodies and minds crave the relaxation response that provides a deep state of restoration, renewal, and restored equilibrium. The key is consistently giving ourselves permission to take regular time out for self-renewal. The reward is easier breathing, a renewed commitment to our daily activities, and a mind free from constant background chatter.

So what is it that makes a relaxation massage work so well? First of all, there is no judgment from the therapist. She knows that not everyone relaxes in the same way. Some clients stay quite alert with eyes open. Some may have a sense of hyper-alertness for a long time and even for many sessions. Letting go into that lovely healing state where the body seems to breathe itself is hard for some. Sometimes simply holding or cradling an area of the body can allow letting go into a state of relaxation. An example is holding the base of the client’s skull for a few quiet minutes. Repetition of strokes is also key. The body becomes accustomed to what it can expect next. As Aldous Huxley, in The Art of Seeing, said, “…in all activities of life, from the trivial to the important, the secret of efficiency lies in the ability to combine two seemingly incompatible states – a state of maximum activity and a state of maximum relaxation.” Consider investing in regular relaxation massage as a tool for stress management, so that maximum activity and maximum relaxation can co-exist.

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fitness mind + body: the plank pose Article by Gwen Lawrence for Photo from

Plank pose helps build wrist and shoulder strength. Plank pose is a very basic pose used both in the yoga world and in the sports world. Although this pose looks to be an insignificant transition move, it is critical to assess your body. This pose, like several in yoga, tends to go untaught, and teachers assume students are versed in the nuances of the pose. This is a mistake. Plank pose is a great teaching tool for the student.

How to Plank Pose The best way to get to this pose is to start in downward facing dog. From there, press forward so your shoulders are over your wrist joint. Make sure

wrists are directly under the shoulders at a 90 degree angle. The body should be in one line from the top of your head to your heels. Do not dip or raise your hips. This is the same positioning as a push up. You need to push back through your heels and forward through a neutral neck out through the top of the head. At the same time, press firmly down through your whole hand, and do not let your chest sink. While here, make sure you have a hand that is totally engaged into the floor. Make sure hands are flat and fingers spread, with even spacing between each finger. Don't press so firmly in this pose that you end up with a hyperextended elbow. Then gently slide your shoulder blades down your back so your shoulders are away from your ears and your neck is elongated. Your head should be a natural extension of the spine. If you have slight pressure in the lower back, pelvic tilt until the feeling dissipates. Legs should be strong, straight and engaged. Your heels should point straight up to the sky, and your feet should be square.

Benefits of Plank Pose Performed properly and consistently, the most noticeable benefits of plank pose include: Strong arms, wrists, spine, quads, abdominals and toned core. For the lay person or yogi, plank pose elongates the body and lengthens the neck. It helps the determination of a neutral body position. Building back strength counteracts the wear and weakening the back undergoes on a daily basis. Developing a strong back and abs at the same time is great for spinal support and better posture.

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fitness outdoor adventure: a basic overview of kayaking skills Learning basic kayaking techniques is the first step toward many rewarding adventures for those who love the great outdoors. There is no match to the tranquility felt through the methodical paddling associated with gliding across the water. You feel as one with your surroundings as your world becomes alive with natural movement and sound. Kayaking is the perfect activity to share with like-minded friends or family members and can be enjoyed by all age groups. Standard safety guidelines recommend going out in groups of three or more paddlers. So spend an enjoyable group play-day to learn what kayaking is all about.

Learning Safety Precautions and Basic Techniques to Kayak Plan your first kayaking experiences to be in a location where there is calm water, such as a nearby lake. Your location choice should have kayak rentals available to familiarize yourself with various equipment requirements and options. Purchasing a kayak will be your largest investment in kayaking so it is advisable to first learn the basics and then determine which type of kayak will best suit your needs. It is always recommended to take a beginner course of basic instructions to kayak . This will familiarize you with the basic skills and safety guidelines that you will need to know.

Safety should always take precedence during any paddling activity. You should learn the important safety points before you go out on the water. These rules and precautions were designed to keep you safe. If you have experienced paddlers in your group who are willing to give instruction and advice, you are in the perfect position to get started learning safety precautions and kayaking basic technique

Things that you should learn first to kayak. We will assume that you are able to swim and feel comfortable in the water. You need to be relaxed and aware of your surrounding while kayaking. The first thing that you should do upon rental facility arrival, is to select the kayak that is best suited for you and find a PFD (personal flotation device aka life jacket) that is in good repair and fits you properly. Your paddle length selection should also be based on your height and should feel comfortable as you paddle.

The first basic technique to learn is how to launch and properly sit in your kayak. Before you begin the launch process, you should always do a series of arm stretching exercises to prepare your arms for repetitive use. The more upper body strength that you have, the easier it is to kayak. You can go longer distances and feel less tired. On the other hand, kayaking will strengthen your upper body and is a great form of exercise. When you have the ability to properly get off-shore, you can then focus on how to correctly hold your paddle and get started on kayak lake basic paddle techniques. You will need to have the ability to paddle your kayak straightahead, stop, reverse direction, and move your kayak quickly toward either side with ease. This will require some fun trial-and-error practices to get the control that you are striving to achieve. Proper paddling techniques should be practiced until your control over the movements of your kayak are second-nature. The more control that you have over your kayak, the more confident that you will feel while on the water. Learning the correct basic kayaking techniques is your first-step toward safe and enjoyable paddling adventure. What are you waiting for?

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fitness personal training: absolute abs… Article By: Missy Fulmer Jacobson, MA Coordinator of Exercise Programming ViQuest Wellness Center / 252.847.7899

What’s the one thing EVERYONE wants for the spring? Abs of “steel,” a “6pack,” “washboard” abs, etc… just ask anyone, and the statement is overwhelmingly the same... “I want nice abs!” It is best to work the abdominal muscles at the end of an aerobic or strength training workout. Training the abdominals at the beginning of a workout increases your risk of fatiguing the muscles prematurely and making it difficult to maintain proper technique and possibly increasing your chance of injury. When training the abdominals, sequence the exercises from the most difficult to the least difficult. This usually means beginning with exercises that target the lower abdomen first, then the obliques and finishing with an upper abdominal focus. If using added weight to load the abdominals, begin with exercises that use added weight and work toward finishing with body weight only exercises. At right, I have listed a few sample workouts you can try……. enjoy!

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Sample Ab Workout #1: Reverse Crunches Decline Board Twisting Sit-ups Cable Crunches Floor Crunches

1-3 sets 1-3 sets 1-3 sets 1-3 sets

15 repetitions 15 repetitions 15 repetitions 15 repetitions

Sample Ab Workout #2: Hanging Leg Raise with a Dumb-bell Reverse Crunches on a Decline Board Reverse Crunches on the Floor

1-3 sets 15 repetitions 1-3 sets 15 repetitions 1-3 sets 15 repetitions

Sample Ab Workout #3: Cable Crunches on the Ball 1-3 sets 15 repetitions Crunches on ball no added Weight 1-3 sets 15 repetitions Plank on the Floor — Try to hold for 10 complete breathes – focusing on contracting the transverse abdominals on every exhalation

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fitness every step, every person helps to create a world free of multiple sclerosis As a child, Ethan Manning was encouraged by his parents to accept donations instead of birthday gifts to raise money for multiple sclerosis, the disabling disease had by his father, Tod Manning. This time it was Ethan’s idea. When Ethan was planning his 10th birthday party, which included having 16 friends over to play soccer and eat cake, Ethan decided to raise money in lieu of gifts for Walk MS, a community event that raises money for programs, services, and research funded by the National Multiple Sclerosis Society. “He had to remind his mother on several occasions to include a reminder in the invite telling his guests not to give him cool gifts for his birthday, but rather make a donation to the MS Society,” says Tod Manning. “He asked his mother if the money he raised would cure his dad of MS, to which she replied it would go a long way towards helping.” Tod is excited to announce that Ethan raised over $200 from his birthday party donations and is continuing to raise more. Says Tod, “I don’t know about you, but I would have had a hard time turning down gifts when I was that age. I think you will agree that Ethan is a special person…” Every step. Every person. Every second and dollar raised. They all add up to an experience unlike any other: Walk MS. This is our time to unite and stand strong. Together we will change lives. Please join us for the Greenville Walk MS on April 22 at Town Commons.

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Multiple sclerosis, an unpredictable, often disabling disease of the central nervous system, interrupts the flow of information within the brain, and between the brain and body. The progress, severity and specific symptoms of MS in any one person cannot yet be predicted but advances in research and treatment are moving us closer to a world free of MS. MS affects more than 400,000 people in the U.S. and 2.5 million worldwide. The 500 anticipated participants at the Greenville Walk MS hope to raise $48,000 of the total goal of over $1.2MM. Of all the funds raised, 60% will go toward programs, services and advocacy for the 13,500 people living with MS in our area and 40% supports national research to find the cause and cure. In addition to the one and three-mile walk routes, the event features entertainment, vendors, kids’ activities, food and drink. Learn more at

achieve magazine

fitness Find Your Style, Love Your Style — In many ways, running is like shop-

running: how to train for your first 5K Article by Coach Jenny Hadfield for

Pace Yourself — Learning to pace is perhaps the most challenging aspect of running. The best way to learn how to pace is to practice. Mark a loop in your running area with your car or bike. Then predict what your time will be and head out the door and run or walk it. Keep track of the total time it takes to finish and see how close you are to your predicted time. If you are within one minute, go out and celebrate; however, if you are one minute or more off, it’s time to keep practicing and fine-tuning your skills. Another fun way to learn to pace is to mark off half-mile or mile increments on this same path or head to a track and practice learning how each pace feels. If you feel like getting into running toys, there are a number of cool speeddistance monitors on the market that will give you your speed and distance instantaneously while you run. A speed distance monitor is a watch that shows you speed, distance, time and even calories on the run. It’s a great way to learn your pace and the ultimate running toy.

Build a Strong Foundation — Include total-body strength-training exercises 2-3 times per week for 1-3 sets to build strength in your musculature, tendons and joints. Developing strength supports your body as you run. It’ll also improve efficiency and form while decreasing risk of developing an overuse injury. Mix up your routine; run one day and strength train or cross-train the next. Variety works more muscle groups and keeps workouts fresh and motivating. Alternating days lets your body adapt and recover.

A Multi-Disciplinary Approach to

ping for jeans. There is no one running style that fits everyone. You may run faster than a friend or she may cruise by you. Avoid comparing yourself to your buddy because there will forever be faster and slower runners. Some progress and adapt faster while others take longer. Speed is relative. It’s a good measure of your success. Most likely, someone is looking at you and wishing they could be running. Focus on running and where your footsteps are taking you. Like jeans, we all have a pair that fits our style.

Food is Fuel — You are what you eat. Your workouts are fueled by the food you eat. Keep a log of what you consume daily. It will give you a perspective of what goes into your system. If you’re having trouble dropping weight or not feeling strong while running, it could have something to do with your fuel. Eat smaller, more frequent meals well balanced with fruits, veggies, lean protein and even fats. Skipping meals is the quickest way to gain weight and decrease performance. Think of your car. If you run out of fuel, car doesn’t move. If you put dirty fuel in the tank, the car won’t run efficiently. Summary — Keep track, stay motivated and have fun. Track your progress along the way. Keep track of your running time, mileage, mood, shoe mileage and more. Every workout is a piece of the puzzle and will guide you figure out your running recipe. Train with a buddy and make a commitment to meet them regularly. Run with a group or train with a team for charity. The more fun it is, the more you will want to do it again. Schedule a session with a buddy, take a new route and try something new.


Pain is complex and affects people in different ways. Each individual pain experience is unique. At Eastern Carolina Pain Consultants, we believe everyone deserves a life free from the suffering of chronic pain. Our multi-disciplinary team of board certified medical professionals is trained to treat and manage pain. We’re one of eastern NC’s most advanced pain management practices with a history of superior care. If you are suffering from chronic pain, our multi-disciplinary medical team can help.

We treat all types of pain including: spinal, neuropathic, arthropathy, complex regional, myofascial, post-traumatic, and cancer.

Lynn Johnson, MD Raymond Minard, MD Melany Furimsky, DO Christopher Grubb, MD Juan B. Firnhaber, MD Margaret Dudley, RN, MSN, ANP-BC

spring ‘12

Administrative Office: 2430 Emerald Place, Suite 201, Greenville Clinical Office: 2010-B West Arlington Boulevard, Greenville, NC 27834 For information or patient appointments, please call 252.561.8218.

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fitness april-july 2012 Runs, Walks, Races, Events, etc. Apr 7

Run Like a Kid 10K/5K, Morehead City, Info:

Apr 7

Run United 5K, Greenville, Info:

Apr 14 Pirate Alumni 5K Road Race, Greenville, Info: Apr 21 Greater Goldsboro 10K/5K/1M, Goldsboro, Info: Apr 22 Nicholas Sparks Celebrity 5K/New Bern, Info: Apr 22 Fiesta Biathlon, Greenville, Info: Apr 22 Walk MS, Greenville Town Commons, Info: Apr 28 Run/Walk 5K & Fun Run for Autism, Greenville, Info: Apr 28 Ocracoke Island 5K/Fun Run, Ocracoke, Info: Apr 28 5K for Samaritan's Feet, Hertford, Info: Apr 28 Race for the River Kayakalon, Washington, Info: Apr 28 Edenton Kiwanis Club 5K Run/Walk, Edenton, Info: May 5 Down East Walk to Defeat ALS (Lou Gehrig's disease) Info:; select "North Carolina," and then select "Down East,� or call 1-877-568-4347 x232 May 5 Run the Yellow Brick Road, New Bern, Info: May 5 Carry your Cross 5K & Fun Run/Walk, Greenville, Info: May 5 Live Healthy Greenville 5k Run/Walk, Greenville, Info: May 12 Fun Run for Charities 10K & 5K, Rocky Mt., Info: May 12 Greenville Rec Run, Winterville, Info: May 12 Wellness Works 5K, Washington, Info: May 12 Remembrance 5K, Pine Level, Info: May 19 PCC Bulldog Run, Winterville, Info: Register at: May 19 March of Dimes March for Babies, Greenville, Info: or David Cribb at 252-916-9915 May 26 Aurora Fossil 5K, Aurora, Info: Jun 2 Wilderness Challenge Triathlon, Erwin, Info: Jun 2 5K Whirli-Run, Wilson, Info: Jun 9 Lake Kristi Triathlon, Grimesland, Info: Jun 30 Flat Out 5K & 1 Mile, Greenville, Info: Jul 21 Historic Beaufort Road Race, Beaufort, Info:

_______________________________________ Visit these sites for more information:,,,, and To submit to the calendar of events, email:

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achieve magazine

Achieve Magazine Spring 2012  
Achieve Magazine Spring 2012  

Achieve is a Health, Wellness and Fitness Magazine distributed in the Greenville and eastern NC area.