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February 2018

Health & Wellness Inside... Float spa Taming stress Brain healthy habits Core strength training Importance of friendships



Since 1972


Metro • Suburban • Explore

PublicaƟons serving Lucas, OƩawa, Sandusky and Wood CounƟes

Box 169, 1550 Woodville Rd. Millbury, OH 43447

Published by The Press Newspapers, Millbury, OH and The Beacon, Port Clinton, OH

February 2018 Vitality

The benefits of cooking at home. Page 8

Table of contents Floating for health. Page 3

Find your core strength. Page 4

Reach more than 47,000 homes along the shore of Lake Erie The Press Newspapers and The Beacon can tell your story to more than 90,000 people living in Northwest Ohio from East Toledo and Oregon to Port Clinton, from Genoa and Oak Harbor to Catawba. Together, these award-winning weekly newspapers and their websites cover all of Ottawa County and parts of Lucas, Wood, Sandusky and Erie counties. To learn more call The Press at 419-836-2221 or The Beacon at 419-732-2154.




The Since 1972

Metro Suburban Maumee Bay Metro • Suburban • Explore

Box 169, 1550 Woodville Rd. Millbury, OH 43447

The value of friends. Page 9

Tame your stress. Page 10

Brain healthy habits. Page 11

Get rid of belly fat. Page 12

Staying flexible. Page 13

Bolte Insurance.........................................................................................16 Elmwood Assisted Living & Skilled Care.....................................................7 Hospice of Northwest Ohio........................................................................7 Magruder Hospital.......................................................................................5 Maumee Bay Vision.....................................................................................5 Natural Health Center.................................................................................7 Oak Harbor Dental.....................................................................................11 Ottawa County Senior Resources............................................................11 Ottawa County Riverview Healthcare.......................................................13 Otterbein Senior Lifestyle Choices...........................................................13 Wood County Committee on Aging............................................................15


Published by The Press Newspapers General Manager: Mary Perkins Editor: Tammy Walro Photographer: Ken Grosjean Sales Representatives: Julie Selvey, Lesley Willmeth, Leeanne LaForme Sales Assistant: Alyce Fielding Staff Artists: Ken Grosjean, Pat Eaken, Peggy Partin, Katie Siebenaller General Business, Advertising and Editorial Offices P.O. Box 169, 1550 Woodville Rd., Millbury, OH 43447 419-836-2221 Fax 419-836-1319 Visit us at Unless otherwise stated, articles and photos are from Metro Creative Graphics.

February 2018 Vitality 3

REST, rejuvenate at Perrysburg float spa By Tammy Walro Press Features Editor Does the stress of the daily grind, a hectic work or family schedule have you feeling at times like the weight of the world is on your shoulders? Is pain – from a chronic condition or an injury – holding you back and keeping you down? Do you have trouble tuning out and calming your mind? Area residents are floating their way to rejuvenation at True REST Float Spa in Perrysburg. Located in Levis Commons, the spa opened last June and from the very beginning, had an overwhelming response from those seeking the therapeutic benefits and the curious as well, said Jameson Whaley, operations manager and coowner, along with Dr. Timothy Scott. “We thought the float spa would be beneficial to the community,” Whaley, said. “Both of our backgrounds are in healthcare –that’s our core value.” Why float? Floating offers a kind of “reset” button with three levels – salt, weightlessness and meditation. Immersed in a float pad filled with 1,000 pounds of Epsom salts in 180 gallons of skin-temperature water (93.5 degrees), the body floats effortlessly atop the water, creating a relaxing anti-gravity environment – like floating on air. Floating promises the following benefits: Physical – Help athletic performance, speed up and prevent sport injuries, decrease cortisol, ACTH, lactic acid and adrenaline, boost immune function and more. General wellbeing – Calm and peaceful relaxation, improved sleep, reduced fatigue and jet lag, alleviation of stress and energize your entire body. Brain boost – Improve mental clarity and alertness, improve creativity and reduced anxiety. “We have a varied clientele, varying in age range from high school kids who float for athletic recovery, to pregnant women, to elderly who come in for chronic pain relief from things like arthritis or fibromyalgia, etc.” Whaley said. On a recent Tuesday afternoon, the spa is booked, with floaters scheduled for all six pods. Whaley greeted a couple arriving for what was to be their first float. Are you excited?” he asked. “I’m nervous,” the woman said. “What are you nervous about?” Whaley asked. “The unknown,” she said, adding

Jameson Whaley, owner/ operations manager at True REST Float Spa in Perrysburg, with one of the spa’s six float pods. (Press photo by Tammy Walro)

Kathy Gregg, of Graytown, (right) and Heather Stolz, of Curtice, enjoy a mother-daughter “spa outing” at True REST Float Spa. (Press photo by Tammy Walro) she was a little claustrophobic. “The pod is 7.5 feet long and 5.5 feet wide and when you’re lying down, it feels much bigger than that,” Whaley told her. “It feels bigger than you think. “I encourage people who are claustrophobic to try and close the lid…many of them can, but if you can’t it’s OK,” he said. “You’re in total control the whole time. Inside the pod, you can opt to have music or silence...various light combinations or total darkness,” he told the couple. “I recommend no lights, no sound so you’re getting no sensory input, but everybody’s different.” Whaley offered the pair water or tea to sip while they watched the short introduction video required for first-timers. Then they got a tour of the facility, including a hair drying/grooming area and the float rooms, which include a rainfall shower. (Showering is required before floating to remove body oils, and is encouraged afterward to remove salt residue). Between each session, every float pod’s water is completely purified four times with a 5-micron filter and both Ozone and UV Light technology to pu-

rify and disinfect the water. Whaley also conducts daily water quality testing. Just after her first float, Kathy Gregg, of Graytown, relaxed in the “Oasis Room,” partaking from the oxygen bar as she waited for her daughter, Heather Stolz, of Curtice to finish her session. While she enjoyed the experience – a birthday gift from Heather – she didn’t float the entire hour...this time. “I got a little warm,” she said. “But I’m going to come back and try it again.” “I thought it was relaxing,” Stolz said, adding she’d probably try floating again. Also in the Oasis Room, Marie Douglass, of Pemberville, enjoyed a cup of tea after her float – which was her second. “It’s relaxing,” she said. “I also came today because it’s a good immunity booster. My husband, my son and I, if we feel something starting to come on, we come in and we feel better. “The first time I came, it was very cold outside, and it felt so nice to feel the warmth,” she said. “Today, it seemed to go by really fast; when the music came on to signal the float is almost done, I thought, ‘Oh darn it.’” “I’ll definitely be back,” she said, adding her husband has a membership. “He was actually supposed to come today, but I hijacked his appointment.” The cost to float is $79 per session, although savvy shoppers can find discounts on Facebook, Groupon, etc. Memberships are also available for single or multiple floats monthly. “Currently, we have 620 members,” Whalen said, adding that a second TrueREST spa is scheduled to open later this year on Monroe Street. TrueREST Float Spa is located at 140 Chappel Dr. Perrysburg. For more details or to make an appointment, call 419-931-9988, visit or the spa’s page on Facebook.


February 2018 Vitality

Three benefits of core strength training In the last decade, chances are strong competitive athletes, weekend warriors and men and women who routinely exercise have heard of workouts touting the benefits of core-strengthening exercises. Those unfamiliar with core training might think it’s just another exercise fad, unaware of the many practical benefits of a strong core. To understand the benefits of core strength training exercise, it first helps to understand what such exercises are and dispel a common misconception about core training. People unfamiliar with core strength training may mistakenly believe it’s merely a way to sculpt toned abdominal muscles. While core training focuses on muscles in the abdomen, it does not do so exclusively. Proper core strength training focuses on the body’s entire core, including the hips, back and chest as well as the abdomen. The following are three significant ways that athletes and nonathletes alike can benefit from core strength training. 1. Improved balance – While working muscles in the hips, abdomen and back, core strength training is training these muscles to function as a more cohesive unit. This can improve balance, which can prove especially beneficial to aging men and women who may feel like they are losing some of their coordina-

Core strength training exercises can pay various dividends that greatly improve adults’ overall health.

See answers on page 8

tion. 2. Uniformity of muscles – Men and women who adhere to more traditional strength training workouts may notice certain muscle groups develop more than others, perhaps naturally or because they are willingly or subconsciously focusing on certain areas more than others. For example, a person who enjoys doing bicep curls might develop especially large biceps but may not focus as much on the muscles in his or her back. That can lead to muscular imbalances. Proper core strength training reduces the likelihood of such imbalances because the exercises focus collectively on a group of muscles, training these muscles to work together and developing them at the same pace. 3. Better posture – According to the online medical resource WebMD, corestrengthening exercises are the best way for men and women to improve their posture. That’s because some of the muscles worked during core training move the torso by flexing, extending or rotating the spine, while other muscles worked stabilize the pelvis and spine in a natural, neutral position. The Premier Sports and Spine Center notes that some of the benefits of good posture include lower injury risk, better alignment that can lower risk for arthritis and improved muscle health.

February 2018 Vitality

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February 2018 Vitality

Healthy reasons to head to your coffee shop One of the most widely consumed substances in the world, caffeine is found in varying amounts in coffee, tea, chocolate, soda, and energy drinks. According to the marketing experts at Brandon Gaille, the United States leads the world in caffeine consumption, taking in around 970 tons every year. The majority of that caffeine is consumed in the form of coffee. Although too much caffeine has been linked to increased anxiety, insomnia and restlessness, those cups of Joe actually may have positive health benefits when enjoyed in moderation. The National Institutes of Health advises that, since coffee beans are loaded with protective compounds, they can help deliver caffeine in healthy ways. When consumed in coffee, caffeine may help prevent certain diseases. Caffeine, which is a mild stimulant by nature, has been linked to lower risks of Alzheimer’s disease. The NIH also says caffeine may lower a person’s risk of developing Parkinson’s disease and other dementias, while also boosting concentration and memory. The biologically active compounds in coffee also can help prevent diseases like stroke and certain cancers. The research study, “Adenosine, Adenosine Receptors and the Actions of Caffeine,” first published in February 1995, states that caffeine blocks an inhib-

Although too much caffeine has been linked to increased anxiety, insomnia and restlessness, those cups of Joe may have positive health benefits when enjoyed in moderation. itory neurotransmitter called adenosine. When this occurs, the amount of other neurotransmitters, such as norepineph-

rine and dopamine, can increase. This can improve the firing of neurons, leading to improvements in mood, memory, energy, and general cognitive function. For individuals looking to shed a little extra weight, caffeine may help there, too. Several studies show that caffeine can boost metabolic rate by three to 11 percent, according to Healthline. Coffee, which boasts the vitamins B2, B5, B3, manganese, and potassium, delivers caffeine and can be part of a nutritious diet and successful weight-management regimen. People prone to headaches and recurrent pain may find caffeine can help them manage those symptoms. Caffeine is one of the main ingredients in some pain relievers. The University of Georgia also has found that a moderate dose of caffeine (roughly that found in two cups of coffee) can reduce post-workout pain by up to 48 percent. What’s more, The Journal of the American Medical Association notes that, when caffeine is combined with other pain relievers, only 40 percent of the other drug was needed to provide the same level of efficacy. Coffee and caffeine provide various health benefits and can be beneficial when consumed in moderation. Anyone who wants to alter their caffeine consumption should do so gradually to see how their body reacts to the changes.

Five ways to use petroleum jelly for skin care The skin is the body’s largest organ, so it’s important to take good care of it. However, doing so doesn’t necessarily mean breaking the bank, say dermatologists from the American Academy of Dermatology. In fact, petroleum jelly, a common, inexpensive product found in most people’s medicine cabinets, can have multiple skin care uses for the entire family. “When it comes to skin care, expensive isn’t always better,” said board-certified dermatologist Rebecca Baxt, MD, FAAD, who maintains a private practice in Paramus, New Jersey and New York. “Petroleum jelly, which can be found in just about anyone’s local drugstore, is great for moisturizing rough, cracked feet, elbows and hands, and protecting kids’ scrapes and bumps.” To save on skin care, Dr. Baxt recommends using petroleum jelly to: • Relieve dry skin, including your lips and eyelids: Dry skin can flake, itch, crack and even bleed. Since ointments are more effective and less irritating than lotions, consider applying petroleum jelly to dry skin, including your

lips and eyelids. The skin on your eyelids is the thinnest skin on the body and can get irritated easily. If your eyelids get dry and flaky, apply a small amount of petroleum jelly for moisture and protection. For the best results, always apply petroleum jelly when your skin is damp. • Help injured skin heal: For minor wounds such as cuts, scrapes and scratches, use petroleum jelly to keep the wound moist. This helps prevent the wound from drying out and forming a scab, as scabs take longer to heal. This will also help prevent a scar from getting too large, deep or itchy. As long as the wound is cleaned daily, it is not necessary to use antibacterial ointments. • Prevent chafing: Chafing is a painful skin irritation that occurs when body parts rub together or rub against clothing. To prevent chafing that can lead to blisters, apply petroleum jelly to problem areas, such as the feet or thighs. • Treat diaper rash: The best way to prevent diaper rash is to keep your baby’s skin as dry and clean as possible. However, if your baby does get a

rash, apply petroleum jelly during each diaper change. With the right care, your baby’s rash should clear in about three to four days. If the rash doesn’t go away, see a board-certified dermatologist. • Rehydrate nails: If you frequently get manicures and pedicures, apply petroleum jelly to your nails and cuticles in between polishes. This will minimize brittleness and help prevent your nails from chipping. For the best results, apply it when your nails are damp. “While petroleum jelly has many benefits, it shouldn’t be used for everything,” said Dr. Baxt. “Avoid putting petroleum jelly on your face if you are acne-prone, as this may cause breakouts in some people. If you have questions about your skin or how to take care of it, see a board-certified dermatologist.” These tips are demonstrated in “5 Ways to Use Petroleum Jelly for Skin Care,” a video posted to the AAD website and YouTube channel. This video is part of the AAD’s “Video of the Month” series, which offers tips people can use to properly care for their skin, hair and nails.

February 2018 Vitality 7

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February 2018


Make cooking at home a part of daily routines Dining out can be a special treat after a busy week, a way to celebrate special occasions or a means to socialize with friends. Dining out every so often can be part of a healthy lifestyle, but individuals who want to exercise the utmost control over their diets may find eating at home makes it easier to do so. According to a Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey, many Americans dine out at least once per week. Restaurants Canada says spending on dining out has grown to around $72 billion a year. But entrées options on restaurant menus may be high in calories and compromise dieters’ efforts to slim down. Research published in the Journal of the American Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics by Tufts University author William Masters found the average dinner entrées is 1,500 calories. Depending on age and gender, health experts say that adults need somewhere between 2,000 and 2,500 calories per day. The Energy Metabolism Laboratory found that 92 percent of meals from large-chain and local restaurants contain more calories than is recommended for the average person. If dining out is compromising diners’ attempts to lose weight or maintain healthy weights, then exploring the following benefits to dining at home might

Dining out every so often can be part of a healthy lifestyle, but individuals who want to exercise the utmost control over their diets may find eating at home makes it easier to do so. be enough to compel them to enjoy more meals prepared in their own kitchens. • Cooking their own foods affords diners control over ingredients, including those that might not promote weight loss.

• Dining together as a family has been linked to benefits like improved conversation, reduced substance abuse in children and reduced obesity in families, according to the University of Washington. Those who are unaccustomed to cooking at home and/or struggling to find time to make their own meals can use these tips to make things go more smoothly. • Plot out a meal plan for the week and purchase ingredients for all recipes during one visit to the store. • Choose meals that can be prepared in advance over the weekend and then heated up during the week. • Incorporate a “leftovers day” into the schedule to prevent wasting food. • Stock up on staples that can be included in many different meals, such as chicken, beans, potatoes, and noodles. • Recognize that frozen or canned vegetables can be just as healthy as fresh items and stored safely for longer periods of time. • Use a blend of convenience items and fresh ingredients for healthy meals. Meals need not be entirely made from scratch. Eating more meals at home, where cooks can control ingredients and portion sizes, can help men and women lose weight and maintain healthy weights.

February 2018 Vitality 9

A healthy group of friends gives a person a go-to network of companions to share the ups and downs of life.

Friends and social connections are important The importance of friends cannot be overstated. Maintaining a healthy group of friends can help relieve stress by enabling a person to have a go-to network of close companions with whom to share the ups and downs of life. The Mayo Clinic says that friends can increase one’s sense of belonging and purpose; help one cope with trauma; encourage change, including avoiding unhealthy lifestyle habits; and help one improve his or her self-confidence and self-worth. The medical group also says that people with strong social support systems have a reduced risk of depression, high blood pressure and unhealthy weights. While friends are important, some people find that making new friends, particularly in adulthood, can be challenging. That’s because making friends may not be too great a priority compared to caring for families or tending to work responsibilities. Those resolving to broaden their social circles can explore these tips for making new friends. • Start at school. School is often the first place children make friends, but school also can be a great place for adults to meet new people. By attending school functions, you will be thrust

While friends are important, some people find that making new friends, particularly in adulthood, can be challenging.

into a circle of people like you. Parents who get to know their children’s friends’ parents may find that they have more in common than just their children. • Join groups. Kids find it easy to make friends due to consistency. They see the same kids each day at school and through sports teams and clubs. Adults can replicate this consistency by joining groups that spark their interests, finding like-minded people who meet week after week. • Go on a blind “date.” Have a friend set you up with a mutual friend and see

if there is a connection there. You may be able to make new friends simply from an introduction. • Take the lead. Pursue a new friendship by taking some initiative. Invite someone out for coffee or over to your home for a glass of wine. Follow up afterward to say you had a good time. • Be positive. Be conscious of what you are adding to a potential friendship. Start off the relationship adding value and joy to the other person’s life, and he or she may be more inclined to do the same. Over time, you can have conversations about rough patches in your lives but wait until the friendship is firmly established to get so serious. There is no magic number of friends a person should have, but individuals should value quality over quantity. Making friends may seem complicated, but it is actually easier than adults may think when they put themselves out there and shows a willingness to build relationships. The importance of friends cannot be overstated. Maintaining a healthy group of friends can help relieve stress by enabling a person to have a go-to network of close companions with whom to share the ups and downs of life.


February 2018


Tame stress and improve your health Stress can affect people of any age. While small amounts of stress may stimulate adrenaline responses and help people power through difficult projects or solve problems, chronic stress can impact the mind and body in harmful ways. WebMD defines stress as any change in the environment that requires the body to react and adjust in response. The body may react to stress physically, emotionally and/or mentally. Positive stress, called eustress, can take the form of getting a new job with greater responsibilities. However, it’s the bad stress, distress, that can cause tension and other negative consequences. Money, health and relationships are some of the common contributors to stress in the United States. Seventyseven percent of Americans regularly experience physical symptoms caused by stress, and 73 percent experience psychological symptoms from stress. Statistics Canada indicated that, in 2014, the most recent year for which data is available, 23 percent of Canadians ages 15 and older (6.7 million people) reported that most days were “quite a bit” or “extremely” stressful. Stress can have many implications. When the body is stressed, muscles tense up and chronic stress can cause the muscles in the body to stay taut and tense for long periods of time, says the American Psychological Association. This may lead to tension headaches and musculoskeletal disorders. The Mayo Clinic advises that stress can cause fatigue, changes in sex drive, stomach upset, and difficulty sleeping. Stress also affects mood, potentially resulting in lack of motivation or focus, anxiety, sadness, and/or angry outbursts. Healthline links chronic stress to behaviors such as overeating, not eating enough, alcohol or drug abuse, and social withdrawal. Reducing stress is a priority for many people. Although it is not an easy undertaking, slowly removing stressors from one’s life and taking steps toward changing one’s responses to stressful situations can help. There are many stressmanagement strategies, and not every one is right for all individuals. However, the following techniques may be helpful. • Exercise: Regular physical activity can help reduce stress. • Meditation: Mindful meditation, deep breathing, yoga, and tai chi are ways to focus the brain away from stressful situations. • Socialization: Talking and spending time with friends or family can relieve stress. • Hobbies: Crafts, hobbies and other engaging activities can direct attention

It is important to reduce stress, as chronic stress can wear down the body and lead to illness.

...chronic stress can cause the muscles in the body to stay taut and tense for long periods of time.

away from stress. • Talk therapy: Seeing a therapist may help some people work through stress and discover additional techniques to change how they respond to stress. • Situation changes: Changing jobs, residence or a condition that removes a source of stress may be handy. Many people suffer from stress, which can be very harmful if not dealt with healthily and readily.

February 2018 Vitality 11

Brain-healthy habits to embrace Cognitive decline is a condition that is often associated with aging, but even middle-aged people can experience memory loss or cognition issues. The Alzheimer’s Association says that more than five million Americans are living with Alzheimer’s disease and other dementias. By 2050, that number could rise to as high as 16 million people. Although there is no definitive way to prevent dementia, living a long, vibrant life may be possible by encouraging some healthy habits for the brain. It is never too late or too early to begin health and lifestyle changes. Exercise Becoming more active can improve brain volume, reduce risk for dementia and improve thinking and memory skills. The journal Neurology found that older people who vigorously exercise performed better on cognitive tests than others of the same age, placing them at the equivalent of 10 years younger. Increased blood flow that occurs with physical activity may help generate new neurons in the hippocampus, an area of the brain involved with learning and memory. The Harvard Medical School says aerobic exercise may help improve brain tissue by improving blood flow and reducing the chances of injury to the brain from cholesterol buildup in blood vessels. Quit smoking The Alzheimer’s Association indicates that evidence shows smoking increases the risk of cognitive decline. Smoking can impair blood flow to the brain and cause small strokes that may damage blood vessels. Eat healthy foods Foods that are good for the heart and blood vessels also are good for the brain. These include fresh fruits and vegetables, whole grains, fish-based proteins, unsaturated fats, and foods containing

Seniors can include healthy lifestyle habits, such as exercise and balanced eating, to reduce the risk of dementia and other neurological issues. omega-3 fatty acids. Neurologists state that, while research on diet and cognitive function is limited, diets, such as Mediterranean and MediterraneanDASH (Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension), may contribute to a lower risk of cognitive issues. Consume caffeine Caffeine may help boost memory performance and brain health. A Journal of Nutrition study found people ages 70 and older who consumed more caffeine scored better on tests of mental function than those who consumed less caffeine. Caffeine may help improve attention span, cognitive function and feelings of well-being. Information from Psychology Today also indicates caffeine may help in the storage of dopamine, which can reduce feelings of depression and anxiety. In addition, compounds in cocoa and coffee beans may improve vascular health and help repair cellular damage

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due to high antioxidant levels. Work the brain Engaging in mentally stimulating activities can create new brain connections and more backup circuits, states Dr. Joel Salinas, a neurologist at Harvardaffiliated Massachusetts General Hospital. Working the brain through puzzles, reading and participating in social situations can stimulate the release of brainderived neurotrophic factor (BDNF), a molecule essential for repairing brain cells and creating connections between them. A good way to combine these lifestyle factors is to take an exercise class with friends, mixing the social, stimulation and exercise recommendations together. Cognitive decline can come with aging, but through healthy habits, people can reduce their risk of memory loss and dementia.

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February 2018


Belly fat is no mere cosmetic concern Men with belly fat may see their growing stomachs as a chiefly cosmetic concern that affects their appearance but not their overall health. But researchers are learning a lot about belly fat, including just how dangerous it can be. According to a recent study published in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology, increasing stomach fat is associated with worsening heart disease risk factors, including high blood pressure. Research into fat and its connection to heart disease is ongoing, but evidence suggests that fat in the abdominal cavity is particularly dangerous. Why is belly fat so dangerous? Belly fat does not include just subcutaneous fat, or the layer of padding just below the skin. One of the biggest threats posed by belly fat is that it also includes visceral fat that surrounds the internal organs. Harvard Medical School notes that visceral fat lies deep inside the abdominal cavity, padding the space between a person’s abdominal organs. This type of fat has been linked to metabolic disturbances and increased risk for cardiovascular disease and type 2 diabetes. What contributes to belly fat? The term “beer belly” might suggest that only men who drink excessive amounts of beer are at risk of developing unhealthy amounts of belly fat. While drinking too much beer is unhealthy and will result in more belly fat, beer is not the only culprit. The Mayo Clinic notes that aging can play a role in the development of belly fat. Men, especially those who are not physically active, naturally lose muscle as their bodies age. That loss of muscle mass decreases the rate at which the body uses calories, which can make it more difficult to maintain healthy weights and prevent belly fat from developing. That’s one reason why the Office of Disease Prevention and Health Promotion advises men in their 50s to consume roughly 200 fewer calories per day than they did when they were in their 30s. A poor diet also can contribute to belly fat. When choosing protein sources, men should forgo red meat, which can be high in saturated fat, in favor of fish and low-fat dairy products. Harvard Medical School notes that other healthful sources of protein include chicken, turkey, nuts, beans, and whole grains. But even the healthiest diets won’t do much to reduce or prevent belly fat if men also don’t control their portion sizes. When dining out, men can share plates or decide in advance to eat half their meals and take the rest home.

Evidence suggests that fat in the abdominal cavity is particularly dangerous. When eating at home, men should not feel obligated to fill or empty their plates. Feeling full or uncomfortable after eating is indicative of overeating. Avoid that feeling and cut down on belly fat by eating healthy portions of healthy foods. How is belly size determined? Men concerned about belly fat can measure their bellies and discuss belly size with their physicians. The Mayo Clinic offers the following guidelines to measure belly size: • Stand and place a tape measure around your bare stomach, just above

your hip bone. • Pull the tape measure until it fits snugly around you, but doesn’t push into your skin. Make sure the tape measure is level all the way around. • Relax, exhale and measure your waist. Do not suck in your stomach. A waist measurement greater than 40 inches indicates an unhealthy amount of belly fat that can increase a man’s risk for heart disease. Belly fat might mistakenly be viewed as a cosmetic concern, but the consequences of excess belly fat affect far more than a man’s appearance.

February 2018 Vitality 13

How to stay flexible as you age Men and women may begin to feel less flexible as they get older. According to the University of Maryland Medical Center, that loss of flexibility is because muscles lose both strength and elasticity as the body ages. A lack of flexibility can make men and women more vulnerable to certain types of injuries, including muscle strains and tears. While people might not be able to maintain the flexibility they enjoyed in their twenties, there are ways for them to combat age-related loss of flexibility. • Stretch frequently. Stretching is a great way to combat age-related loss of flexibility. Stretch major muscle groups, such as hamstrings and shoulder muscles, several times per week. When practicing static stretching, the goal is to gradually elongate the muscle being stretched before holding the elongated position, and ultimately allowing the muscle to return to resting position. As flexibility improves, elongated stretches can be held for 30 seconds. Avoid stretching muscles that are sore or injured, and discontinue a stretch if you feel pain or discomfort. • Include yoga in your exercise regimen. Practitioners of yoga typically

Swimming can help aging men and women improve their flexibility. love how this unique discipline that exercises the body while relaxing the mind improves their flexibility. Many

yoga poses are designed to improve the strength and flexibility of muscles, and some physicians may even recommend yoga to aging patients. Yoga DVDs or streaming sessions can be great, but beginners may want to visit yoga studios or sign up for classes at their gyms so instructors can personally ensure they are doing each pose correctly. As their flexibility improves, men and women can try more difficult poses and classes if they so desire. • Get in the pool. Swimming is another activity that can help aging men and women improve their flexibility. Strength-training exercises are an important component of a well-balanced exercise regimen, but such workouts tend to focus on one or two muscle groups at a time. That means other muscle groups may be inactive and tighten up as a result. Swimming works the entire body, which helps all muscle groups stay loose and flexible. One or two swimming sessions per week can contribute to great gains in overall flexibility, especially for men and women who remember to stretch when they get out of the pool. Flexibility may decrease as men and women age, but there are various ways to combat the natural loss of flexibility.

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Adults looking for a fitness facility should consider a host of factors to ensure they find one that best suits their needs.

How to find the right fitness facility Joining a gym can be a great way to get healthy. Monthly gym membership fees may provide the motivation sedentary men and women need to get off the couch and pursue their fitness goals, and the right gym can foster a love of exercise that lasts a lifetime. Finding the right fitness facility is not necessarily as simple as signing up at the one nearest your home or office. Finding a facility that best suits you and your goals may require consideration of a host of factors. Personal goals Fitness facilities are not all one and the same. Before shopping around for a facility, men and women should make a list of their fitness goals and what they’re looking for in a gym. Aspiring bodybuilders may want a facility with an array of free weights and strength training machines, while men and women whose ultimate goal is to lose weight may prefer facilities geared more toward cardiovascular training. The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services recommends adults participate in both strength and cardiovascular training, so facilities should provide both options. But some gyms may focus more heavily on strength training, while others may offer an extensive selection of cardiovascular equipment. Choose the facility that

Many gyms host classes like yoga, Zumba and Pilates. Each of these are effective alternatives to more traditional workouts.

best aligns with your workout. Amenities Amenities are another important factor to consider when choosing a fitness facility. Facilities that offer a host of amenities like steam rooms, hot tubs and saunas might provide more motivation to visit the gym for adults accustomed to inactive lifestyles. In addition, such amenities might aid in adults’ recoveries. Workout alternatives Men and women who have never

been very enthusiastic about traditional workouts may want to look for facilities that offer more options than weightlifting and cardiovascular training. Many gyms host classes like yoga, Zumba and Pilates. Each of these are effective alternatives to more traditional workouts. When shopping around, look for facilities that offer classes for people of various skill levels, as exercises such as yoga can be very difficult for novices. Swimming is another effective alternative to traditional workouts, and many facilities have their own pools. Adults are more likely to exercise if they enjoy their workouts, so people who love to swim may want to limit their searches to facilities with swimming pools. Hours of operation Hours of operation is another important factor that should not be overlooked. Working adults, especially those with families, may have very small windows of free time in which to exercise. Even if the most pristine and inviting facility won’t do men and women much good if it’s not open when they’re available to workout. Before shopping for a facility, men and women should write out a weekly schedule, making note of when they’ll be working out and making sure to find a facility that accommodates that schedule.

February 2018 Vitality 15

Hearing aids employ technology that can cancel out steady state noise and amplify speech coming from specific directions.

Why can we hear noise better than we hear speech?

The Wood County Committee on Aging, Inc. 305 North Main Street, Bowling Green, OH (419) 353-5661 or (800) 367-4935 & 3HUU\VEXUJ‡1RUWK%DOWLPRUH‡1RUWKHDVW‡:RRG &RXQW\‡5RVVIRUG3HPEHUYLOOH‡:D\QH Lunch served Monday-Friday at noon Home-delivered meals Fun and engaging programs Social services and health screenings Volunteer opportunities

nology that can cancel out steady state noise and amplify speech coming from specific directions (usually in front of the listener). They also amplify certain frequencies for improved speech clarity. Remote microphones increase the speech above the noise for improved hearing in noise. These features of hearing aids help the brain to block out unnecessary noise so that it can attend to speech. Rebecca Krukemyer is an audiologist at Portage Valley Hearing, LLC, 133 E. Front St., Pemberville. Contact Dr. Krukemyer at or call the office at 419287-2201. February 2018

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Why can I hear noise much better than I hear speech? This is a common complaint when people go to a busy restaurant with lots of ambient noise. Perhaps they go with a group of people to a crowded restaurant. As the noise in the restaurant escalates, it becomes increasingly more difficult to follow the conversation at the table. At the same time, noises such as speech babble and dishes are easy to detect. Detecting the presence of sound is an easy task for the human brain. It requires very little processing or concentration. During a hearing test, even those with dementia provide reliable re-

sults by pushing the button when a tone is heard. Repeating a list of words is a much more difficult task for the human brain, as it requires the listener to concentrate and accurately interpret what is being said. Even in a quiet room, this requires active listening. The ability to repeat the words accurately are affected by the speaker’s rate of speech, articulation, and the pitch of his or her voice. Listener concentration and fatigue also affect the results. When people say that they can’t hear in a restaurant, what they are usually saying is that they cannot decipher speech in the presence of so much background noise. Do hearing aids help? Absolutely. Hearing aids employ tech-


By Rebecca Krukemyer, Au.D

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Vitality February 2018  

Vitality February 2018

Vitality February 2018  

Vitality February 2018