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S p r i n g

E d i t i o n

A steady pace

Wickizer's spin class builds heart health with stationary bikes

Inside  Hear from advocates about the Keto diet's benefits, popularity  Some therapies can help millions who suffer from PTSD every year

MUSKOGEE muskogeephoenix.com

 Mindset, discipline can help following through exercise plans  Prevention is best tool for keeping asthma attacks under control.


S p r i n g

E d i t i o n



4 Keto 411

12 Eating more veggies

The popular ketogenic diet emphasizes weight loss through fat-burning.

Just one in 10 adults meet the federal fruit or vegetable recommendations.

6 Cold challenges

14 Spin class

Tips offered to help avoid packing on the pounds due to colder weather conditions.

Instructor discusses benefits of the "very high, intense cardio class."

8 Sticking with it

20 Don't neglect legs

Some suggestions can help overcome challenges of an exercise plan.

A strong lower body can help to prevent injury and manage chronic conditions.

10 Treating PTSD

22 Breathing easier

PTSD impact the daily life, relationships and future of millions every year.

There are some things you can do to help keep asthma attacks under control.

On the Cover Laura Wickizer Photo: By Shane Keeter

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12 A steady pace

Wickizer's spin class builds heart health with stationary bikes

Inside  Hear from advocates about the Keto diet's benefits, popularity  Some therapies can help millions who suffer from PTSD every year

MUSKOGEE muskogeephoenix.com


20 Spring Edition 2021

 Mindset, discipline can help following through exercise plans  Prevention is best tool for keeping asthma attacks under control.

Healthy Living


What is

Keto? Story by Phoenix Content Services


y now, you’ve heard about and maybe even considered trying out a ketogenic diet. What is keto and how effective has it been for other people who have tried it? Before incorporating keto into your lifestyle — or any new diet or workout plan for that matter — be sure to check with your physician. He will be


Spring Edition 2021

able to tell you more about the potential impact on your health, energy levels and body specific to your situation. The keto diet emphasizes weight loss through fat-burning. The goal for anyone participating in a keto diet is to quickly lose weight and ultimately feel fuller with fewer cravings. According to keto experts, by reducing the carbohydrates you consume and instead filling up on fats, you safely enter a state of ketosis, which is when your body breaks down both dietary and stored body fat into substances called ketones. Keto proponents claim that this process can transform your body and improve your energy levels, as well.

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Where Did Keto Start? The keto diet originated from a decades-old therapeutic diet, and has clinical roots in neurologic medicine. It has actually long been used to reduce hardto-control seizures in children. Studies also suggest possible benefits in other brain conditions such as Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s diseases. Workout and dietary professionals have started to recommend keto to their clients as a way to rethink the way they consume food, and many restaurants now offer keto-friendly food and drink options given the diet’s popularity across the world.

Does it Work? Here are some benefits of the keto diet as report-

ed by the Journal of the American Medical Association in 2018: • Many people feel less hungry on the high-fat keto diet and so may naturally reduce their overall calorie intake. • Beyond weight loss, keto shows promise for diabetes management, with improved insulin sensitivity and blood-sugar control for people following a ketogenic diet. On the flipside, the U.S. News Best Diet Rankings ranks keto No. 34 in Best Diets Overall. Thirty-five diets were evaluated with input from a panel of health experts. This discrepancy in opinion across the medical community reaffirms the importance of meeting with your healthcare professionals to make sure keto is a good fit for you.

Healthy Living


Exercising Safely Story by Phoenix Content Services


any of us pack on the pounds over the winter because of a more sedentary season due to poor weather conditions. In fact, the average winter weight gain ranges from five to 10 pounds, according to a recent report by AccuWeather. We avoid going outside as frequently to avoid the colder temperatures, rain, snow and ice. While this is understandable, many exercise experts say that walking, running or working out in cold weather actually offers many health benefits.

Get More Vitamins While many avoid the cold, outdoor winter workouts are a great way to absorb small doses of sunlight. The sunlight can help to improve mood and help with vitamin D intake, according to the American Heart Association.

Stave Off Sickness Winter exercise can also boost immunity during cold and flu season. A few minutes a day can help prevent simple bacterial and viral infections, according to the Centers for Disease Control and


Spring Edition 2021


A Better Exercise Why work out in the winter? For one thing, there is no heat and humidity to deal with in colder weather. Winter’s chill might even make you feel awake and invigorated, according to the AHA. Regardless of exercise, studies have shown that being outside in cold weather can transform stubborn fat from our bellies and thighs into calorie-burning fat.

in the Cold

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How to Exercise Safely The Mayo Clinic provides the following tips for staying safe during your cold-weather exercise. Dress in layers. Dress in layers that you can remove as soon as you start to sweat and then put back on as needed. First, put on a thin layer of synthetic material, such as polypropylene, which draws sweat away from your body. Avoid cotton, which stays wet next to your skin. Next, add a layer of

fleece or wool for insulation. Top this with a waterproof, breathable outer layer. Drink plenty of fluids. Hydration is just as important during cold weather as it is in the heat. Drink water or sports drinks before, during and after your workout, even if you don’t feel thirsty. Wear gloves. Wear a thin pair of glove liners made of a wicking material (such as polypropylene) under a pair of heavier gloves or mittens lined with wool or fleece. Healthy Living


Stick with your exercise plan Story by Phoenix Content Services

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any people have great success starting an exercise plan. It’s sticking with it that becomes difficult. If you’re having trouble following through, you’re not alone. 8

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Here are some statistics from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services: • Less than 5% of adults participate in 30 minutes of physical activity each day. • Only one in three adults receive the recommended amount of physical activity each week. • More than 80% of adults do not meet the guidelines for both aerobic and muscle-strengthening activities. • More than 80% of adolescents do not do enough aerobic physical activity to meet the guide-

lines for youth. Busy schedules or poor overall health can make exercise more challenging. Fortunately, there are many tips and tricks to maintaining a consistent plan.

Making Exercise a Habit

Integrating exercise into your daily routine requires the right mindset and discipline. When setting expectations, it’s important to remember the more ambitious your goal, the more difficult it will be to achieve. A few failed days Common Benefits of not getting enough exercise can lead us into a downward spiral. Everyone already knows there are many great A better approach is to start with easy, achievable reasons to exercise. Consistent, rigorous exercise can exercise goals. Use triggers like notifications on your improve energy, sleep and overall health. It’s also phone or an alarm clock to remind you to get active been proven to stave off stress and anxiety. throughout the day. Before you know it, you’ll have The good news is that regular exercise doesn’t a regular exercise routine that is easy to stick to on a have to be all or nothing. You don’t have to spend hours in a gym or force yourself into painful activi- daily basis. Don’t forget to celebrate your success by rewardties to see the benefits of exercise. The current recommendations for most adults is ing yourself. Pick healthy habits or treats that you enjoy as a reward. Write yourself motivational notes to reach at least 150 minutes of moderate activity or emails to keep you going. Consider involving per week. You’ll reach these goals by exercising for friends in your new exercise routine to help push 30 minutes, five times a week. you forward.

Healthy Living


Dealing with

PTSD Story by Phoenix Content Services


ost-traumatic stress disorder is a real illness faced by millions of Americans. You can get PTSD after living through or seeing a traumatic event, such as war, a


Spring Edition 2021

major storm, sexual assault, physical abuse or a terrible accident. PTSD makes you feel stressed and afraid after the event, and it can impact your daily life, relationships and future.

PTSD by the Numbers Here are some sobering statistics on PTSD from

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the National Center for PTSD. • About 7% to 8% of the population will have PTSD at some point in their lives. • About 8 million adults have PTSD during a given year. This is only a small portion of those who have gone through a trauma. • About 10 of every 100 women develop PTSD sometime in their lives compared with about four of every 100 men.

What are the effects of ptsd? PTSD can cause many serious issues, including: • Flashbacks, or feeling like the event is happening again. • Trouble sleeping or nightmares. • Feeling alone. • Angry outbursts. • Feeling worried, guilty or sad. PTSD can happen to people of all ages. Signs of PTSD may start soon after a frightening event and then continue. They can also start months or even years after a traumatic event, so it’s important to be honest with your physician or mental health provider

if you start feeling signs of PTSD.

Effective treatments to discuss with your physician According to the National Center for PTSD, there are some therapies that have been proven most effective by medical and mental health professionals, including: • Prolonged exposure. Teaches you how to gain control by facing your negative feelings. It involves talking about your trauma with a provider and doing some of the things you have avoided since the trauma. • Cognitive processing therapy. Teaches you to reframe negative thoughts about the trauma. It involves talking with your provider about your negative thoughts and doing short writing assignments. • Eye movement desensitization and reprocessing. Helps you process and make sense of your trauma. It involves calling the trauma to mind while paying attention to a back-and-forth movement or sound (like a finger waving side to side, a light, or a tone).

Healthy Living


Add more vegetables to your diet Story by Phoenix Content Services © adobe stock


f you’re an adult reading this article, odds are you’re not eating enough vegetables.

Just one in 10 adults meet the federal fruit or vegetable recommendations, according to a study published in the Center for Disease Control’s Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report (MMWR). Federal guidelines recommend that adults eat at least one-and-a-half to two cups per day of fruit and two to three cups per day of vegetables as part of a healthy eating pattern. The CDC’s study found that 9% of adults met the intake recommendations for vegetables, ranging from 6% in West Virginia to 12% in Alaska.


Spring Edition 2021

Results showed that consumption was lower among men, young adults, and adults living in poverty. The reason these statistics are so staggering is the easy-to-see positive impacts of a vegetablerich diet. Seven of the top 10 leading causes of death in the United States are from chronic diseases. Eating a diet rich in fruits and vegetables daily can help reduce the risk of many leading causes of illness and death, including heart disease, type 2 diabetes, some cancers and obesity. Here’s how to easily add more vegetables into your regular diet.

Snack Prep One of the easiest ways to make vegetables a go-to snack is to make them more accessible when you get hungry. You can load your refrigerator with vegetables, but leaving the broccoli on the stalk and

the carrots unpeeled will serve as a deterrent to you grabbing it for a quick snack during the middle of the day. Use an hour on the weekend to prep and package a variety of vegetables into plastic sandwich bags or small, covered glass dishes. This will make it easier for you and your family to grab some delicious vegetables instead of chips throughout the week.

Choose the Right Vegetables If you know you don’t like a certain vegetable, avoid coming home with it from the grocery store. Stick with a few favorites. Choosing vegetables of the right colors is also important. The CDC recommends you brighten your plate with vegetables that are red, orange or dark green because they are full of healthy vitamins and minerals. Try acorn squash, cherry tomatoes and sweet potatoes.

Healthy Living


Cardio, strength training keep heart healthy


Story by Cathy Spaulding • Photos by Shane Keeter

pinners in Muskogee Swim and Fitness' Tuesday evening spin class keep their stationary bikes going at a steady pace. 14

Spring Edition 2021

At instructor Laura Wickizer's direction, they speed it up, giving what Wickizer hopes is their all. Wickizer, who has taught the class for more than three years, called spin a "very high, intense cardio class." "We basically do warm-ups and stretch and we do a lot of endurance work, which takes up a majority of the class, then we cool down," she said.

Laura Wickizer, right, guides participants through a spinning session at Muskogee Swim and Fitness Center. Spinning, which involves periods of intense cycling, is one way to get a healthy heart.

Healthy Living


Spinning class participants, from left, Warren Blackburn, Beth Hsieh and William Torres pedal at various levels during the Muskogee Swim and Fitness Center class.


Spring Edition 2021

The endurance part does take work. The regular training is broken up with 20- to 40-second sprints in which classmates pedal to 90 to 100 percent of their effort rate, Wickizer said, adding that even she feels exhausted after the 45-minute class. Spinning, a high-intensity stationary bicycling class, is one of many activities geared to getting people's heart rate going and keeping it up. The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Office on Women's Health says heart disease

is the most prevalent cause of death among American women; stroke is the third most prevalent. The Office on Women's Health advises getting at least 30 minutes of activity five times a week (two and a half hours a week) to keep your heart healthy. Brian Ousley, owner of Strictly Fitness, recommends resistance (strength) training as well as cardio exercises such as running, cycling, brisk walking or swimming. "The heart is essentially a muscle," Ousley said. Healthy Living


Instructor Laura Wickizer stands to get her pedals moving fast during the spinning class she leads at Muskogee Swim and Fitness Center.

You should know The American Heart Association website offers the following chart for determining a target heart rate. Age.................. Target HR zone (50-85%).............Average maximum heart rate(100%) 20 years.......... 100-170 bpm..................................200 bpm 30 years........... 95-162 bpm...................................190 bpm 35 years........... 93-157 bpm...................................185 bpm 40 years........... 90-153 bpm...................................180 bpm 45 years........... 88-149 bpm...................................175 bpm 50 years........... 85-145 bpm...................................170 bpm 55 years........... 83-140 bpm...................................165 bpm 60 years........... 80-136 bpm...................................160 bpm 65 years........... 78-132 bpm...................................155 bpm 70 years........... 75-128 bpm...................................150 bpm bpm = Beats per minute.


Spring Edition 2021

"As we exercise, depending on what shape we're in, the heart works hard to pumps oxygen-rich blood through the body." He advised steadily increasing the intensity of your cardio exercises. People who cannot get outside or to a gym can jump rope or do calisthenics and jumping jacks at home. He said that In resistance training, "we push blood and oxygen as we work our muscles." Wickizer said the work in her class is geared to increasing the heart rate, which varies with age. "We play around with our resistance knob, which adds resistance to your bike," she said. "You can work toward increasing that with each class." People at various levels take the class, Wickizer said. She said a person's "effort rate" is basically what that person is willing to put in. "That might be different for everybody, so your heart rate or speed might be different," she said. Despite its intensity, spinning is considered "low impact" on joints and bones, she said. "It's very similar to swimming in that aspect, versus running on the treadmill," Wickizer said, adding that she could tell her athletic ability has improved over the years she has taken the class. Exercise is not limited to exercises. The American Heart Association says physical activity can be anything that moves your body and burns calories. The American Heart Association website says that when activity is done with moderate intensity "your heart will beat faster and you'll breathe harder than normal, but you'll still be able to talk." Vigorous activities, such as lap swimming or running, push the body further, the website says. Knowing one's heart rate can help people keep track of their activities, the American Heart Association said.

GREENER DAYS AHEAD Great golf happens on great courses. And courses don’t get better than the ones on Alabama’s Robert Trent Jones Golf Trail. With 11 locations, 26 courses and more than 400 championship holes, the toughest challenge may be deciding which one to play first. Our golf courses and staff are ready to welcome you back to the legendary RTJ Golf Trail. Summer and fall golf packages available. We are open and will be here waiting for you. Visit rtjgolf.com.

Healthy Living


Take your legs to new levels Story by Phoenix Content Services


o one likes leg day at the gym. For many reasons, however, you should be focusing on working your leg muscles while you’re working out. A strong lower body can help to prevent injury and manage chronic conditions such as arthritis and

20 Spring Edition 2021

diabetes. Stronger legs can make your cardio workouts easier to complete, as well. Toned leg muscles keep your body balanced, so don’t forget to consistently work on your glutes, quads and hamstrings. Once you appreciate that your legs contain your largest and most important muscles, you can start incorporating fun-to-do exercises that will result in big-time benefits to your overall health. Here are some of the greatest benefits of leg workouts, according to a recent report by Healthline. • Build muscle. • Tone and sculpt legs.

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• Strengthen core muscles. • Burn calories and promote weight loss. • Improve overall fitness. • Reduce joint pain. • Strengthen bones. • Engage major muscle groups. • Alleviate lower back pain. • Boost cognitive function. • Create an aligned, balanced and symmetrical body. • Improve mobility, stability and range of motion. • Manage stress. • Improve posture. Read on for a couple of the most effective leg exercises, and remember to always practice safety in the weight room or at home.

Squats One of the best leg exercises you can do is the squat. When performing a squat, try to squat straight up and down to focus the most on using your quadriceps to get maximum results. You can do squats with a barbell, dumbbells or just your body weight. Start at a lower weight until you have the form down, and then move up to get more results. Once you master the squat, try jumping squats.

Stand with your feet shoulder width apart and lower into a squat position until your thighs are parallel to the floor. Then, jump up as high as you can and try to land softly to avoid injury. Repeat this for at least 12 reps and do at least three sets, taking a 30-second break between sets.

Leg Press The leg press is highly effective in working your quads, glutes and hamstrings. Make it a staple of your weekly workout to see big results in your lower body. Find the press machine at your local gym and start by setting the weight low. Sit down and press your feet squarely on the footplate, making sure your lower back stays pressed against the bench pad. Release the safety and bend your knees to lower the platform. In a steady motion, push the platform back up to the top without locking your knees. Repeat for 12 reps and three sets, taking breaks if needed. Always remember to exercise caution when you are working out. Without proper form, you can risk injury and may not be getting the most out of your workouts. Seek out a local personal trainer who can help you put together a structured, safe workout plan. Healthy Living


How to control asthma Story by Phoenix Content Services


nless you have Asthma by the numbers First, let’s understand the broad impact of personally sufasthma on Americans. Here are some common fered from asth- asthma-related statistics from the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America: ma, you may According to the Centers for Disease Connot understand trol• and Prevention (CDC), 1 in 13 people have its severe impact on people. Asthma is a disease that affects your lungs and is one of the most common long-term diseases of children. Adults can also have asthma, which causes wheezing, breathlessness, chest tightness and coughing. Dealing with asthma can be a struggle, but there are some things you can do to keep your attacks under control.


Spring Edition 2021

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asthma. • More than 25 million Americans have asthma. This is 7.7% of adults and 8.4% of children. Asthma has been increasing since the early 1980s in all age, sex and racial groups. • Asthma is more common in adult women than adult men. • African-Americans in the U.S. die from asthma at a higher rate than people of other races or ethnicities. • More than 11.4 million people with asthma, including more than 3 million children, report having had one or more asthma episodes or attacks. • Asthma is the leading chronic disease in children. • Asthma is more common in children than adults. • Asthma is more common in boys than girls. • Currently, there are about 6.2 million children under the age of 18 with asthma.

What is an asthma attack? An asthma attack may include a sudden onset of coughing, chest tightness, wheezing and difficulties breathing. During an asthma attack, your airways become inflamed, narrow and swell, and produce extra mucus, which makes it difficult to breathe.

How to control your asthma Prevention is the best tool for keeping your asthma at bay. By knowing the warning signs of an asthma attack, you can greatly improve your chances of managing an attack. Some things to remember: • Always take your medicine exactly as your doctor tells you, even if you feel fine. • Stay away from things that can trigger an attack to control your asthma. • Limit exposure to smoke. • Visit your doctor if your medicine isn’t working or appears to become less effective. • Get a flu shot every year to prevent illness that can worsen asthma. Healthy Living


BRIGHTER DAYS AHEAD When the storm clears, we will gather again. To hugs, to play, to laughter. Alabama’s Robert Trent Jones Golf Trail and Resort Collection hotels and spas will be here to welcome you. Stay safe. rtjgolf.com

24 Spring Edition 2021

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