Live Well | fitness

MONDAY, NOV. 9, 2015

TUESDAY, MAY 19, 2015

Brain gain

Exercise tones the legs, builds bigger biceps and strengthens the heart. But of all the body parts that benefit from a good workout, the brain may be the big winner. Physical fitness directly affects our mind and plays a crucial role in the way the brain develops and functions. Moreover, exercise is linked to brain changes throughout all stages of life, beginning in infancy and lasting through old age.

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TUESDAY, MAY 5, 2015

More or less, exercising lessens risks

DEAR DOCTOR K: You often recommend exercising for 30 minutes a day, most days of the week. That target intimidates me. Is it worth it for me to exercise less, say 15 minutes, three days a week? Or is there no benefit unless I commit to the full 150 minutes per week? DEAR READER: I’m glad you asked that question, because there are a lot of people who are daunted by the thought of exercising that much – and therefore don’t do it at all. It is true that I do advise 150 minutes of moderate-intensity activity each week. But two recent studies, while not changing my view that 150 minutes is best, show that less than this still brings benefits.

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TUESDAY, JAN. 27, 2015

Jill Ciccarello leads a class at Cancer Care Northwest.

Healing body, mind, spirit 

Jill Ciccarello’s sister died of cancer. Lorrie Stonehocker’s husband is still battling cancer that has caused him to lose organs, including part of his stomach, as the chemo is shutting down his kidneys. Yet these cancer nightmares have inspired both Spokane women to help other cancer patients through yoga – the ancient practice that encompasses the physical, mental and spiritual.

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TUESDAY, DEC. 2, 2014

Beyond tracking

The future is here, and it’s sweaty and integrative. The treadmills at Eastern Washington University’s fitness center are outfitted with touch-screen modules that lets gym users track their workouts – duration, calories burned – using software that connects to an app they can download on their smartphones.

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MONDAY, AUG. 18, 2014

Woman’s road to health inspires others

Irene Gonzales did her milestone 50th birthday so big she landed on NBC’s “Today” show Aug. 8 to share her infectious enthusiasm with the entire country. Like many baby boomers looking to do something extraordinary to mark the big 5-0, Gonzales, the principal at Spokane’s Franklin Elementary, decided to run a marathon on her actual birthday. But unlike most, she was joined by 50 friends she rounded up by starting a fitness Facebook page called Fit Fifty.

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Summer Games participants, from left, Terry Perry, Jessica Kenlein, Linnea Carlson, and Laurie Feola play a game of island ball – similar to dodgeball – last week at upper Manito Park. (photos by COLIN MULVANY)

Summer Games gives adults a chance to play like children

Before explaining the rules of noodle tag last week on a grassy play field at upper Manito Park, fitness trainer Nicole Kuhn led a group of women through stretches and a principle behind Summer Games, her recess-for-grownups series: Players of noodle tag, or island ball or trash can kickball or any other playground game in their future, should play at their own pace. Can’t run another step? Slow down. Some parts of the field too aggressive? Hang out in another part.

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MONDAY, JULY 7, 2014

Personal trainer Stacy Benoscek watches her son, Mavrick, try a pull-up at Oz Fitness in Spokane Valley on June 4. Benoscek, 50, specializes in training older clients to keep them healthy. She also helped her son, who is autistic, participate in a pageant to raise awareness of autism disorders. (Jesse Tinsley)

Personal trainer keeps aging clients healthy 

Marge Holston moved to Spokane Valley from Southern California and somehow left a lot of her activity behind. That’s when she decided to join a gym, hire a trainer and start working out. “I knew I needed to get motivated right away,” Holston said between repetitions on a weight machine pinpointing shoulder muscles. “At 79, I can do everything I need to do. I’m proud of it, man.”

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MONDAY, JUNE 16, 2014

Pool workout keeps body in motion

Sure, an icy dip in the pool is a welcome relief on a hot summer day, but your local watering hole is also the perfect site for your next workout. Situate yourself in the shallow end of a pool where you can stand comfortably with both feet on the ground and the water comes up to between your belly button and chest. Then do the following routine as an interval-style workout, completing each move for 40 seconds, followed by 20 seconds of rest. Repeat the sequence three times.

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Livestrong at YMCA helps cancer patients move toward fitness 

It was like many beginning yoga classes in most ways. Students gathered in a studio at the downtown YMCA raised and stretched their limbs in wobbly formation, their instructor at the front talking them through poses. It was unlike many yoga classes in a few ways. One student’s oxygen machine purred at regular intervals; cancer had cost him part of a lung. In the center of the room, the waning sunlight lit another student’s face and her colorful hat, her hair sparse after treatment for lymphoma.

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House Call: Weight-loss medications offer hope 

Last month we had good news about obesity rates in the United States – a significant decline among children 2 to 5 years old. Because children who are overweight or obese are more likely to struggle with weight as adults and are at a higher risk of developing conditions like diabetes, stroke and cancer, this is good news. But what about adults who are overweight? Whether it has been an issue since childhood or high school, controlling weight is a difficult and serious health concern.

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TUESDAY, JAN. 21, 2014

Vanessa Branstetter powers up a 35-pound kettle bell at CrossFit Spokane. (Dan Pelle)

CrossFit provides high-intensity, varied workout 

When Vanessa Branstetter, 38, started CrossFit last year she couldn’t perform one pull-up. Not only has she conquered that challenge, she’s doing a host of everyday and athletic activities with greater ease, thanks to the workout regimen. An ER doctor and mother of two, Branstetter said she’d exercised her whole life, from high school sports, kayaking and backpacking to aerobics, yoga and triathlons. But after developing repetitive use injuries from running, including Achilles tendonitis and back pain, she tried CrossFit.

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TUESDAY, JAN. 14, 2014

TUESDAY, JAN. 7, 2014

More conservative workouts may help avoid injuries

Those fitness resolutions will do you no good if they lead you to visit the likes of Hooman Melamed. As an orthopedic spine surgeon, Melamed sees the downside of efforts to get strong and fit. Exercising the wrong way can put a person out of commission for a long time, he says.

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