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Fitness and Health



Sara Jane Clouse: Setting a Record Pace at 95

Sara Jane Clouse: Setting a Record Pace at 95

She’s a Marine Corps veteran who served in World War II and later earned a teaching credential and pilot’s license. Three years ago, Sara Jane Clouse embarked on a new adventure: swimming.

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Gold Rush Medical Practices, Part 2: Doctors and Treatments of Every Description

Gold Rush Medical Practices, Part 2: Doctors and Treatments of Every Description

Those lured to California’s gold fields in the mid-1850s faced en route a host of hazards. Once the travelers arrived, harsh conditions, violence and disease took a further toll in a place where medical care was primitive and sometimes subject to creative license.

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Eco-Friendly ELF Enchants

Eco-Friendly ELF Enchants

Rollin Winslow’s ride looks like the result of a cross-breeding experiment involving a bike, a tricycle, a vintage VW Beetle and maybe a golf cart.

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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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Caregivers’ Corner: Put a Stop to ‘Brain Chatter’

Caregivers’ Corner: Put a Stop to ‘Brain Chatter’

What do you do when your brain just won’t shut up?

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College ‘Fitness Family’ Celebrates Health

College ‘Fitness Family’ Celebrates Health

Can joining a class help you get and stay fit? Older adults in a popular college program say it does all that and so much more.

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Finding Hope After Stroke

Finding Hope After Stroke

The brain is amazing, and the strength and resilience of the human psyche are equally amazing.
— Anne Burleigh Jacobs, Highs, Lows, and Plateaus: A Path to Recovery from Stroke

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Organ and Tissue Donation by the Numbers

Organ and Tissue Donation by the Numbers

Think you’re too old to be an organ donor? Think again. There’s no age limit. The key factor is the health of the organs or tissues involved.

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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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A Place Where the Disabled Can Play, Too

A Place Where the Disabled Can Play, Too

One mom’s idea to create a universally accessible playground is now a community effort mirroring a national trend. It’s also a study in perseverance.

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Single-Handedly: A Stroke Survivor’s Blog

Single-Handedly: A Stroke Survivor’s Blog

A lightning bolt to my health changed everything.

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Caregivers’ Corner: Strategies for Coping With Hearing Loss

Caregivers’ Corner: Strategies for Coping With Hearing Loss

By the time we turn 70, two-thirds of us will have some measure of hearing loss. For many it happens much earlier.

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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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Could it Be Dementia? 10 Quick Questions

Could it Be Dementia? 10 Quick Questions

This story appeared in FAN’s Spring 2016 issue along with Dr. James Galvin’s “Quick Dementia Rating System (QDRS)”. It may begin with puzzling changes in behavior: odd lapses in memory, too many forgotten words, skipped showers, difficulty writing checks or

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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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Regional Birding Hotspots

Regional Birding Hotspots

This list was included in our Spring 2016 story, “Birders of a Feather.”  Tuolumne County Groveland Community Services District Wastewater Treatment Plant Yosemite National Park (Tuolumne Meadows, Hodgdon Meadow, Hetch Hetchy Reservoir, Poopenaut Valley, White Wolf Campground) Cherry Lake Road Pinecrest

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Call-A-Day Program Seeks Call Recipients

Call-A-Day Program Seeks Call Recipients

Do you know a woman who might benefit from a daily phone call from a caring volunteer? “We have plenty of volunteers, but right now we have only six women who receive calls,” says Twain Harte resident Virginia Wiest of

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Caregivers’ Corner: The Challenge for Weary Caregivers

Caregivers’ Corner: The Challenge for Weary Caregivers

Making your own health a priority while caring for a loved one.

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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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Allen Shrode: Fitness Among Friends

Allen Shrode: Fitness Among Friends

Allen Shrode helps fellow seniors stay in shape. His students may not be doing crunches or running races, but like their 91-year-old instructor, they know the value of sharing time with friends.

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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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Preventing Medication Mishaps

Preventing Medication Mishaps

Most of us will eventually take prescription medication for one or more health problems. The good news? You can dramatically improve the odds that those drugs will help you instead of hurt or kill you.

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Caregivers’ Corner: Take Time to Care for the Caregiver

Caregivers’ Corner: Take Time to Care for the Caregiver

Finding ways to get even small amounts of much-needed exercise will lift your mood, support your health and help you feel better about yourself.

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Aging Forward: Coping with the Grief and Guilt of Dementia

Aging Forward: Coping with the Grief and Guilt of Dementia

A loved one’s diagnosis of dementia often leaves family members with intense feelings of disbelief, fear, dread, uncertainty and guilt.

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A Wild and Scenic Love Story

A Wild and Scenic Love Story

At 76, Don Potter and Marilyn McEwen are the oldest paddlers ever to complete the 740-mile Northern Forest Canoe Trail. But their love story runs much deeper – back to a chance meeting in childhood, fishing poles in hand.

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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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Depression and Suicide Prevention Resources

Depression and Suicide Prevention Resources

Click here for a substantial list of resources to help those coping with depression.

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Carl DePolo: Heartfelt Quest for a Personal Best

Carl DePolo: Heartfelt Quest for a Personal Best

A heart attack at age 40 threatened Carl DePolo’s future. What he did to survive and ultimately thrive is a remarkable lesson in perseverance.

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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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Richard Matranga: Living with Parkinson’s

Richard Matranga: Living with Parkinson’s

His decade with an unyielding disease shows the need for more research … and humor.

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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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Caregivers’ Corner: Dealing with Difficult Behaviors

Caregivers’ Corner: Dealing with Difficult Behaviors

Whether your loved one has dementia or is just having a hard and grumpy day, a few simple coping tools can help make life a little less stressful.

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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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Eight Great Dog Walks

Eight Great Dog Walks

Want to explore new territory? It’s more fun with your best friend. Break out the leash, treats and water and enjoy these charming foothill trails and byways together.

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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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For All Ages, Fishing is Fun and Easy to Learn

For All Ages, Fishing is Fun and Easy to Learn

Fishing is easy to learn, relatively inexpensive, and young and old alike can enjoy it together. “We see a lot of dads taking their kids out, and we even have a mother who takes her son out,” says Scott Smallfield

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Finding Your Fit: Lorinda Forrest

Finding Your Fit: Lorinda Forrest

This entrepreneur and mother of three found her fit as her 60th birthday loomed.

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Aging Forward: Beat Winter Blues by Staying Connected

Aging Forward: Beat Winter Blues by Staying Connected

Patrick Arbore, a leading expert on aging, offers help for coping with the winter blues.

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Fitness First: Stay Fit to Keep Driving Safely

Fitness First: Stay Fit to Keep Driving Safely

Our rural foothill communities are great places to live – for safe drivers, that is. Driving helps you stay independent. But illness, injury and age-related changes can reduce muscle strength, endurance, flexibility and joint stability – all vital to your

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Fitness First: Slowing the Aging Process

Fitness First: Slowing the Aging Process

How many “miles” we get out of life – and the quality of those miles – can be compared to the life of our car tires. The average tire gets 35,000 miles, and the American life expectancy is now 78

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Giving the Gift of Experience

Does he have too many ties to count and too few places to wear them? Does she have more earrings than she either wears or wants? Are there more tools, gizmos and gadgets around the house than you’ll ever use?

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Lessons from the Garden

Lessons from the Garden

Gardening affords us so many simple joys – seasonal beauty in the backyard, the freshest food for the family table, sharing time together, and getting our hands dirty in the sun-soaked soil. There is a drama here as well: a cycle of birth and death, setbacks and triumphs. In the stories that follow, three area residents share what they’ve learned from a collective century of growing in the foothills.

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Great State Park Getaways in the Foothills

Great State Park Getaways in the Foothills

Want an affordable, memorable outing with grandkids, family or friends? The region’s four state parks are great places to play, learn and share time together.

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Finding Your Fit: Karla Wright

Finding Your Fit: Karla Wright

Sonora resident Karla Wright, 56, is a mother, grandmother and businesswoman who owns and operates a Columbia residential care home for the elderly. Fitness Transformation: Lost 67 pounds, going from a size 16 to size 4, in 24 months, working

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Take Steps Against the High Risk of Falling

Take Steps Against the High Risk of Falling

It may seem contradictory that as you age the best way to prevent falls is by being active. But that’s the consensus among experts on a topic that is affecting a growing portion of the population as baby boomers age.

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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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Tai Chi: The Art of Breathing and Balance

Tai Chi: The Art of Breathing and Balance

Foothill seniors are building agility, strength and balance through an ancient Chinese practice that incorporates slow movement, breathing and meditation. The centuries-old practice of tai chi has become popular with millions of Americans in recent years, especially boomers and seniors

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In Derby Bouts and Brush Strokes, Artist Strikes a Beautiful Balance

In Derby Bouts and Brush Strokes, Artist Strikes a Beautiful Balance

Finding balance in life, whether in work, health, finances or relationships, can be challenging. As we get older, accidents, illness, loss or other curve balls life throws can make it that much tougher. Here is a group of stories about people who have lost or found balance, starting with artist and roller derby competitor Diana Boyd, 55. Fitness experts, fall victims and seniors embracing new forms of exercise also share their experiences and ideas. We hope their stories will inspire your own quest.

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Woman of Iron: Triathlete Karen Painter

Woman of Iron: Triathlete Karen Painter

Retiree Karen Painter’s remarkable achievements might even make the couch potatoes among us sit up and take notice. That’s her goal: to inspire others to get moving.

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A Chat with the Doctor: Incontinence

A Chat with the Doctor: Incontinence

By Dr. Eric Freedman Suzanne’s mother, Jane, is 84 and was recently placed in a care home because of progressive dementia. She was referred to me for incontinence. “So how long has your mom had problems with bladder control?” I

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