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Posts From Krista Howell

Fitness First: The 12-minute Solution

Fitness First: The 12-minute Solution

Daunted by the prospect of exercise? Don’t have the time, you say? Consider starting out by exercising just 12 minutes a day and building your endurance over time. In six weeks, you should be able to exercise for 12 minutes

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Fitness First: Boost Winter Fitness at Home

Fitness First: Boost Winter Fitness at Home

The short days and long nights of winter have arrived in the Mother Lode, along with colder temperatures and the promise of welcome rain and snow. The downside? Confronted by the elements, we often put exercise on the back burner

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Fitness First: Take Your Time Bouncing Back

Fitness First: Take Your Time Bouncing Back

Bouncing back from an injury is not as easy as simply resuming your regular workout.

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Fitness First: A Toast to Safe Summer Exercise

Fitness First: A Toast to Safe Summer Exercise

Summer in the Mother Lode is a great time to stay fit and active, but heat can be dangerous.

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Fitness First: Helping a Heart Doctor Recover

Fitness First: Helping a Heart Doctor Recover

“Over Labor Day weekend I started feeling gas pressure above my abdomen. There was no chest pain, arm numbness, elephant-on-the-chest feeling or shortness of breath, which are the more common symptoms.” The speaker should know. He’s Dr. Eugene Margolis, a

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Fitness First: Breathe Easier With These Exercises

Fitness First: Breathe Easier With These Exercises

We don’t give a lot of thought to the ins and outs of breathing. Although breathing is vitally important, we do it most of the time without thinking. Our brain takes over, controlling respiration as we negotiate the physical demands

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Fitness First: Tips for Setting Healthy Goals

Fitness First: Tips for Setting Healthy Goals

Sticking with new health and fitness goals long term can be challenging. Here are some easy tips.

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Fitness First: Can Trackers Help You Stay Motivated?

Fitness First: Can Trackers Help You Stay Motivated?

Motivation is often the ticket to fitness success, and until recently that meant hiring a personal trainer ($50 an hour and up) or recruiting a friend to browbeat, shame or ideally, inspire you into maintaining your exercise regimen. But now

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Fitness First: The Risky Business of Sitting

Fitness First: The Risky Business of Sitting

How dangerous is prolonged sitting? Let’s just say that you’ll want to read this one standing up.

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When to Push Through the Pain

When to Push Through the Pain

How do you know when to continue exercising or when to quit? Read Krista’s top tips.

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Fitness First: The Sour Truth About Sugar

Fitness First: The Sour Truth About Sugar

For the past 30 years, nutritionists have advocated a low-fat diet as the best way to reduce heart disease. Now the focus has shifted to cutting sugar consumption, as more becomes known about its dangers. Americans on average eat about

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Fitness First: Put the Spring Back in Your Step

Fitness First: Put the Spring Back in Your Step

The days are getting longer, which means there’s more time to be outside and, better yet, more time to walk.  To improve overall physical, emotional and spiritual wellness, it’s hard to beat walking – and most of us need it.

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Fitness First: Fall Prevention

Fitness First: Fall Prevention

“When did you stop using a ladder or stepstool?” When I asked the seniors in one of my exercise classes this question, they all laughed. I was surprised by how many are still using ladders and stepstools well into their

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Fitness First: Healthy Dieting

Fitness First: Healthy Dieting

By Krista Howell ‘Let food be thy medicine, and medicine be thy food.’ – Hippocrates Many people start exercising to lose weight. But it’s not always that easy to shed extra pounds. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve

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Fitness First: Strengthening Your Core

The desire to improve the strength and look of our abdominal area isn’t new. Yoga, the first organized exercises for what we call the core area, dates back more than 5,000 years. Move forward several thousand years to World War I, when

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Fitness First: The Best Reason to Exercise

On a normal work day I see between 100 to 150 students and patients. One day I took a quick survey, asking “Why do you exercise?” Every participant replied, “Because I feel better.” This group ranged in age from 17

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Fitness First: Choosing a Stationary Bike

Fitness First: Choosing a Stationary Bike

I will always remember my first bike, a Schwinn Stingray with a banana seat and suicide handlebars. The only bike cooler in 1969 was Peter Fonda’s chopper in “Easy Rider.” My brother and I rode all over the dirt roads

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Fitness First: Variety is Key

Fitness First: Variety is Key

Many people tell me how great they feel while participating in an exercise program – then, something happens and they get out of the routine. Making exercise part of your daily routine is the easiest way to stick to the

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Fitness First: Keeping, Building Muscle Mass

Fitness First: Keeping, Building Muscle Mass

By Krista Howell Here’s a new word in your health vocabulary: “Sarcopenia.” It means age-related loss of muscle mass that affects everyone starting in our mid-40s. As we age past mid-life, skeletal muscle declines at a rate of one percent

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Fitness First: Middle Age Equals Middle Weight

Fitness First: Middle Age Equals Middle Weight

If you’re over 50, less active than you should be, stressed out and in need of a good night’s sleep, a health crisis may be creeping up – onto your waistline. It’s an unfortunate formula: middle age equals middle weight.

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Fitness First: Arthritis and ‘Pre-Hab’

Fitness First: Arthritis and ‘Pre-Hab’

This may sound crazy to someone suffering from it, but it’s true: Exercise helps ease arthritis-related joint and muscle pain. Now that winter has settled in, you may be experiencing even more discomfort as the barometer drops. This is a

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Fitness First: Fit to Travel?

Thinking of going on a quick one-day bus trip, or perhaps a three-week European vacation? Before booking those tickets, consider your overall fitness level. Will you be able to board the bus, then walk around all day once you arrive

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Fitness First: Nutrition, Exercise Go Hand in Hand

Fitness First: Nutrition, Exercise Go Hand in Hand

“Hara hachi bu” is an Okinawan phrase that means “eat only until 80 percent full.” It’s also a focal point of a book I’ve just read called The Blue Zones: Lessons for Living Longer from the People Who’ve Lived the

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Fitness First: Heart Attack Spurs Lifestyle Shift

Fitness First: Heart Attack Spurs Lifestyle Shift

For the fifth day in a row, Martha Silva woke with a crushing headache. She had tried to ignore the pain, but it was unrelenting. As she entered the emergency room, her chest began to hurt. The 49-year-old Sonora woman

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Fitness First: Staying Active in Winter

Fitness First: Staying Active in Winter

Winter is the season of hibernation and dormancy, which is great for wildlife and yards but not so good for humans. This can be a very challenging time to stay on a regular exercise program. The days are short, holiday

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Fitness First: Choices

I was chatting with a friend recently when the word “choices” cropped up. Personal health choices have a significant link to heart disease and stroke. Most of us know this, but may not always remember it. My friend Marilyn was

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Fitness First: Exercise

The word exercise is derived from the Latin root meaning “to maintain, or to ward off.” To exercise means to practice, put into action, train, improve. Exercise is a natural way of life, but with aging we have to consciously

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Fitness First: Cardiac Rehabilitation

Cardiac Rehabilitation (CR) is a wonderful place to work. Patients who enter our 12-week program get individual help as they recover from major heart ailments and learn how to prevent future problems. Designed specifically for the patient’s medical needs, the

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Fitness First: Motivation

Let’s talk about motivation. What inspires you to get up and move? According to a study I read recently, 85 percent of people over age 65 don’t exercise at all. When I asked an 89-year-old man in my class what

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Fitness First: Benefits of Stretching

Have you dropped something lately and thought twice before bending over to pick it up? If you got down on the floor, are you confident you would be able to get up? We take these types of activities for granted

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Fitness First: It’s Never Too Late

Think you’re too old or out of shape to start exercising? The truth is, it’s never too late. You only need two things to get started: realistic goals and a willing attitude. Before we discuss goals and a can-do approach,

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