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health

 

All 18 food establishments inspected by Pinal County’s health inspectors Feb. 16-March 15 received excellent scores. That included all nine Maricopa Unified School District campuses.

EXCELLENT [No violations found]
The Box Meat Shop
Butterfield Elementary
Desert Wind Middle School
Leading Edge Academy
Maricopa Elementary
Maricopa High School
Maricopa High School – Culinary Arts
Maricopa Wells Middle School
Pima Butte Elementary
Saddleback Elementary
Santa Cruz Elementary
Santa Rosa Elementary
Starbuck’s Maricopa Station
Walmart
Walmart – Bakery
Walmart – Deli
Water and Ice
Yogurt Jungle

SATISFACTORY [Violations corrected during inspection]
None

NEEDS IMPROVEMENT [Critical items noted during inspection cannot be corrected immediately requiring follow-up inspection]
None

UNACCEPTABLE [Gross, unsanitary conditions necessitating the discontinuation of service]
None


This item appears in the April issue of InMaricopa.

Myles Amsden was in a critical health crisis three years ago. Submitted photo
Myles Amsden today at age 3

The Maricopa family of a 3-year-old girl who nearly died as an infant from a sudden cardiac arrest recently reunited with the surgeon and medical team who saved her life at Cardon Children’s Medical Center.

The family expressed their heartfelt thanks during the emotional reunion Thursday at the hospital, located at 1400 S. Dobson Road. Seeing Myles Amsden giggling and playing was especially meaningful to the medical team who treated her, since they once helped connect her heart to a machine to keep it beating while her body healed.

Maricopan Ralph Amsden, the girl’s father, wrote a popular and deeply moving Twitter thread detailing his daughter’s illness and amazing recovery.

“The doctor had this look of determination that I’ll never forget,” he wrote. “The moment we gave her the go-ahead (for surgery), it was like she was taking the ball, bases loaded with a one-run lead in game seven of the World Series. ‘All right. Let’s go. Let’s do this.’ And she did it. She replaced a two-week-old baby’s heartbeat with a machine by connecting a tube into her carotid artery. There were a dozen improbable things that saved my daughter that night, but this one I was able to put a name to.”

When Myles was only 2 weeks old, she suddenly stopped breathing and was rushed to the Emergency Department at Cardon Children’s, where doctors determined she wouldn’t survive unless she was emergently placed on cardiac bypass to give her body time to recover. Dr. Heidi Cox, a pediatric surgeon, connected the infant’s heart to an “ECMO” machine, which pumped and oxygenated the baby’s heart outside of her body to allow her heart and lungs to rest.

Amsden said Myles was without oxygen for several minutes before being transported to Cardon and could have suffered brain damage, but she’s now in great health and neurologically fine. She spent about three weeks in Cardon Children’s Pediatric Intensive Care Unit, then later required a year of physical therapy.

“We call her a miracle, and she smiles,” Amsden said. “She doesn’t comprehend too much of what she went through, but her family and friends sure do.”

Three years ago, Ralph Amsden with daughter Myles

All 13 restaurants and eateries inspected by Pinal County Environmental Health from Dec. 16 to Jan. 15 received a clean bill of health.

EXCELLENT [No violations found]
Barro’s Pizza
Culver’s of Maricopa
Dickey’s Barbecue Pit
The Duke at Rancho El Dorado
Francisco’s Mexican Food
Gyro Grill
IHOP
Maricopa Head Start
The New HQ
Panda Express
Pizza Hut
Rosati’s Pizza
Tacos ‘n’ More

SATISFACTORY [Violations corrected during inspection]
None

NEEDS IMPROVEMENT [Critical items noted during inspection cannot be corrected immediately requiring follow-up inspection]
None

UNACCEPTABLE [Gross, unsanitary conditions necessitating the discontinuation of service]
None


This item appears in the February issue of InMaricopa.

Amnesty Marshall sits on the lap of her father Dusty while mom Krystal and siblings Noel and Marie look on. Photo by Jim Headley

Four-year-old Amnesty Marshall is much more than a walking miracle.

She is a bright, intelligent, beautiful and fun-filled girl, who just happens to have been born with spina bifida, a birth defect that occurs when the spine and spinal cord don’t form properly.

As a result, she was limited in her movements. She was unable to walk independently until a year ago.

After less than a year of diligent work with physical and occupational therapists at Head To Toe Therapy in Phoenix, Amnesty took her first steps without a walker and began a whole new chapter in her life in March 2018.

Amnesty is the daughter of Krystal and Dusty Marshall of Maricopa. The couple has two other daughters, Noel, almost 3, and Marie, who was just born in December.

Dusty Marshall is a professional Christian hip hop artist, and the family often travels the country with him as he performs.

“We have seen the results in trusting God. Our faith and trust in Christ is something that has been huge,” Dusty said. “Going through the struggles together and being able to lean on Him and one another.”

Dusty said when Amnesty was in the womb, doctors discovered she had a serious heart problem and might not survive.

“It was something they had monitored weekly while she was in the womb. The day she was born, they did a scan of her heart and it was perfectly healthy,” Dusty said. “They were also saying she would never have use of her legs at all.

“To go from that extreme to now, where she is 4 and she’s walking, has been a rollercoaster,” Dusty said.

Amnesty Marshall was first able to walk without a walker at age 3. Photo by Jim Headley

Krystal Marshall said doctors gave them an option to terminate the pregnancy, but they chose not to do that.

“We never would have seen what God could do in her life if we would have succumbed to that fear,” she said. “It looked really grim. It looked like it wasn’t going to go well. Even if it didn’t go well, that really is not our say. Watching her thrive has really been a huge blessing in our lives.”

Krystal said no one really thought Amnesty would ever walk.

“Now she’s in a dance class here locally in Maricopa, and so is Noel. She’s just a regular little girl,” Krystal said.

Dusty said Amnesty had two major surgeries days after being born.

One was to close her spinal cord back into her body because “her spine was sticking out when she was born.”

A few days later, doctors installed a shunt into her brain to release fluid that was built up. She still has the shunt as well as a scar on her back from the surgeries.

“We spent three weeks in the NIC-U and we didn’t even know how to change a diaper,” Krystal said.

With Dusty traveling the nation for his work, Amnesty and Krystal have gone along on the road.

“Amnesty has been to more places than most people will ever go,” Krystal said. “She’s been to 22 states. We have traveled the country, and Amnesty’s story has been shared in all these states. People have chosen life for their babies because of her story. They have been inspired with hope and all of this is from this amazing blessing of having this little girl come into our lives.”

The family will go on an 11-state tour beginning in May.

The Marshalls moved to Maricopa from Las Vegas in late 2016. During the first year they lived in Arizona, Amnesty received in-home care from therapists. After their in-home benefits expired, they began searching for a clinic that could provide therapy services for Amnesty.

“We searched across the Phoenix area, but every clinic we went to had a waitlist of six months to a year,” said Krystal. “We were praying God would lead us to the right place.”

In early 2018, Krystal contacted Head To Toe Therapy and it made an immediate appointment for Amnesty with Melissa Pink, one of the clinic’s therapists.

Head To Toe ensured that Krystal could watch Amnesty’s weekly therapy sessions with Pink.

Krystal said, “Pink wouldn’t fit Amnesty into a box, and she tailored a specific therapy plan to fit Amnesty’s specific needs. She would even let Amnesty play and would target the therapy around Amnesty playing.”

After 12 weeks of continuous and regular therapy sessions, Amnesty took her first steps without the aid of a walker in March 2018.

“When she started walking it was kind of like falling with feet underneath her,” Krystal said. “When those controlled steps started happening, we were looking at each other thinking, ‘She’s going to walk without a walker.’ There was no doubt, and now she’s doing it.”

Head To Toe founder Dr. Bridget O’Brien went out of her way to get to know the Marshall family and forged a relationship with the entire family. She would make time once a week to get coffee with Krystal and forged a friendship with the Marshall family.

After Amnesty took her first steps, O’Brien partnered with the Spina Bifida Association of Arizona and the Marshall’s to host a special play date at Head To Toe for families and kids with spina bifida. O’Brien covered the costs of the entire party, and nearly 30 people attended.

“Last year’s play date was an immense success, and Head To Toe Therapy is proud to host this family friendly event once again,” said O’Brien.

This year, Head To Toe is hosting the “Phoenix Spina Bifida Play Date” group again, and the families are very excited about it.  The event will take place on March 16 from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m.

“They are happy and joyful kids,” Dusty Marshall said. “Obviously, they have special needs, but they don’t know any different. They are enjoying being children.”

Photo by Jim Headley

by -
There is still time to get a flu shot this season.

A lot of people in Arizona aren’t feeling very well this week.

The Center for Disease Control reports that 1,196 cases of influenza occurred in Arizona in the final week of 2018, bringing the total for the season so far to 3,216. In Pinal County, there are 322 cases

While that is a normal number of flu cases for this time of year, it propels Arizona into the widespread category, along with New Mexico, California, Nebraska, Florida, Georgia, North Carolina, New York, Connecticut and Massachusetts.

Several area hospitals, including Banner Health, have placed restrictions on visitors to prevent the spread of influenza to their patients.

Visitors are restricted if they have a fever, cough or are suffering from vomiting or diarrhea and children younger than 13 are restricted from visiting the hospital, unless:

They are visiting a sibling in the obstetric or pediatric units and do not have a cold or flu symptoms. However, the child may be screened for illness by staff before visiting.

Children 12 years old and younger must have adult supervision at all times in public waiting areas and cafeterias.

Visitors to Banner are asked to wash or sanitize their hands while at the hospital as it is the best way to prevent influenza from spreading.

More than 35,000 cases of lab-confirmed influenza were reported in Arizona last flu season.

Statewide, 1,178 people died from influenza and pneumonia in the 2017-18 flu season, much higher than the 400 to 700 annual average.

Five of the deaths in Arizona were children.

Nationally, over 80,000 people died last flu season, according to the CDC. More than 180 children died and 80 percent of them were not vaccinated.

Last flu season, only 57.9 percent of Americans were vaccinated against the flu, down from 59 percent the year before.

Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans, 2nd edition

Released Nov. 12, U.S. Department of Health released an updated version of its “Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans.” It reflects the extensive amount of new knowledge gained since the first edition, released in 2008. Here are 10 areas of knowledge covered in the guidelines:

  1. Preschool-aged children (ages 3-5 years) should be physically active 3 hours throughout the day to enhance growth and development.
  2. Children and adolescents ages 6 through 17 years should do 1 hour or more of moderate-to-vigorous physical activity daily: Aerobic, muscle-training or bone-strengthening.
  3. Adults should move more and sit less throughout the day. Some physical activity is better than none. Adults who sit less and do any amount of moderate-to-vigorous physical activity gain some health benefits.
  4. Adults should do at least 2.5 to 5 hours a week of moderate-intensity, or 1.25 to 2.5 a week of vigorous-intensity aerobic physical activity, or an equivalent combination of moderate- and vigorous-intensity aerobic activity. Preferably, aerobic activity should be spread throughout the week.
  5. Additional health benefits are gained by engaging in physical activity beyond the equivalent of 300 minutes (5 hours) of moderate-intensity physical activity a week.
  6. Adults should also do muscle-strengthening activities of moderate or greater intensity and that involve all major muscle groups on 2 or more days a week, as these activities provide additional health benefits.
  7. As part of their weekly physical activity, older adults should do multicomponent physical activity that includes balance training as well as aerobic and muscle-strengthening activities.
  8. Older adults should determine their level of effort for physical activity relative to their level of fitness.
  9. Older adults with chronic conditions should understand whether and how their conditions affect their ability to do regular physical activity safely.
  10. When older adults cannot do 150 minutes of moderate-intensity aerobic activity a week because of chronic conditions, they should be as physically active as their abilities and conditions allow.

bit.ly/USHealthGuidelines



This item appears in the December issue of InMaricopa.

Sponsored Content

submitted photo

By Davis Plunkett, Manager of Integrated Behavioral Health and
Maria Villalobos, Community Relations Coordinator Sun Life Family Health Center

Life can be messy and busy. We go through our day, juggling work, errands, children, sports, housework … the list goes on. Too often we go about the day that when we have a moment to reflect we have difficulty remembering what we did. There is such a rush to get things done or be somewhere that we don’t feel as were present in the moment but simply going through the motions. Many of us look for methods of not only being able to enjoy the moments life brings but being able to be present in those moments.

Mindfulness is simply being in the present moment and accepting it without judgment. There are many mental and physical health benefits of mindfulness. Mindfulness can bring improvements in both physical and psychological symptoms as well as positive changes in health, attitudes, and behaviors. Mindfulness improves well-being by making it easier to savor the pleasures in life as they occur, helping you become more engaged in activities, and creates a greater capacity to handle adverse events.

Mindfulness improves physical health as it can help relieve stress, treat heart disease, lower blood pressure, reduce chronic pain, and improve sleep. Mindfulness improves mental health by helping treat depression, substance abuse, eating disorders, conflict, anxiety disorders, and obsessive-compulsive disorder.

Mindfulness meditation builds upon concentration practices that primarily involve concentration. Concentration meditation techniques such as tai chi, yoga, focusing on the sensation of breathing can induce relaxation response which reduces the body’s response to stress.

Here are some tips to get started with mindfulness meditation:

  • Just go with it. Begin by focusing your attention. Just observe your natural state, your thoughts and emotions as they are today. Each day may be different. Each moment may be different. Just observe your thoughts without judgment.
  • Sensory awareness. Notice each of your five senses. What are you hearing? What are you seeing? What sensations can you notice in your body?
  • Mindfulness is a skill. Just with any skill it takes practice. Mindfulness may feel uncomfortable at first. It may not even seem relaxing. That’s okay- just notice those reactions without judgment.
  • Accept exactly where you are. Practice having compassion for yourself and where you are today. The goal is to accept each moment without judgment. If you become distracted, (which is expected!) gently redirect your thoughts to the present moment.

 Aspects of the above information were adapted from www.helpguide.org/harvard/benefitsof- mindfulness.htm#exercises and Seligman, M.E.P., Rashid, T., Parks, A.C., American Psychologist 61(8), Nov 2006, 774-788.


This column appears in the November issue of InMaricopa.

October is full of events benefiting the Relay for Life to help fight cancer. Now in its eighth year, the Maricopa Relay has raised more than $400,000.

According to American Cancer Society numbers, 47 Maricopans have used ACS services so far this year from Relay funding. “We’re hoping to raise awareness within our city, so more patients will call them and take advantage of these beneficial services,” said Relay organizer Trisha Paige.

Paige became involved in Relay after her father died of pancreatic cancer in 2010. She discovered how widespread the impact of cancer is across the country and has been helping with Relay since.

 

Relay for Life Maricopa

Nov. 3, 10 a.m. to 10 p.m.

At least 15 teams will participate in the Disney-themed event at Copper Sky Regional Park. There will be vendors, fundraising activities and DJ’d and live music. The day will include the survivors/caregivers walk and the luminaria ceremony.

BamaGoldens@msn.com, Trisha.Paige@hotmail.com



Trisha Paige is an employee of InMaricopa.

 

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Aaron Gilbert. Photo by William Lange

By Aaron Gilbert

 

Question: Why do some folks feel plant-based eating doesn’t provide enough protein?
Answer: Most people aren’t familiar with plant-based diets and the research supporting them. Look no farther than athletes who eat plant-based. Eat properly, and you’ll get all the protein you need. We’re also misled to believe that meat, milk, etc. are the best “protein” foods. Indeed, many people do not even know that plants contain any protein at all. Don’t worry, plants have protein.


Q: Joe/Jane Meat-Eater decides to start eating more plant-based. Where will Joe/Jane likely go wrong?
A: Eating too many refined and processed “vegetarian” foods. The real benefit from “plant-based” comes when the diet is centered on whole unrefined/unprocessed fruits, vegetables, intact whole grains and legumes with the addition of a few nuts/seeds.

Q. Some folks are concerned with controlling carb intake and often get scared away from plant-based eating. What do you tell them?
A: Over 90 percent of carbs consumed in America are highly refined, highly processed, and mostly in the form of refined flour and sugar. This is the problem. Avoid these. However, carbs in the form of fresh fruits, vegetables, starchy vegetables, intact whole grains and legumes are the healthiest foods for us and should be the center of any healthy diet.

Q. Some folks want to gain muscle/strength and fuel high levels of performance. What do you suggest they do to get enough nutrient-dense food each day?
A: Try to eat only when hungry, eat only until satisfied and drink lots of water. To lose fat, eat two meals and three snacks per day. To maintain body composition, eat three meals and two snacks per day. To gain muscle, eat five meals per day. Make yours meals using nutrient-dense foods like veggies, fruits, raw nuts and seeds, legumes and then grains (in that order). Eating like this consistently will lead to amazing results.

Dos and don’ts:

If you’re considering moving toward a plant-based diet, or just want some more plant-based choices, here are the experts’ tips:

DO choose your protein sources carefully.
DO aim for about 1 gram of protein per kg of bodyweight; add 30-40 grams each day if you are in a phase of intense training.
DO get enough fat.
DO eat a variety of whole foods, especially lots of vegetables and fruits.
DO stay active.
DO use your body’s hunger cues to guide you. If you want to lose fat, eat a little less than you would normally. If you want to gain mass, eat a little more.
DON’T get your nutrition information from bodybuilding magazines.
DON’T just cut things out without adding healthy alternatives.
DON’T consume too many processed foods, including “healthy” protein powders and processed soy products.

Aaron Gilbert, CSCS, is the owner of Longevity Athletics.

520-261-4661
Aaron@LongevityAthletics.com



This column appears in the October issue of InMaricopa.

by -
Aaron Gilbert. Photo by William Lange

By Aaron Gilbert

Question: Why do some folks feel plant-based eating doesn’t provide enough protein?

Answer: Most people aren’t familiar with plant-based diets and the research supporting them. Look no farther than athletes who eat plant-based. Eat properly, and you’ll get all the protein you need. We’re also misled to believe that meat, milk, etc. are the best “protein” foods. Indeed, many people do not even know that plants contain any protein at all. Don’t worry, plants have protein.

Q: Joe/Jane Meat-Eater decides to start eating more plant-based. Where will Joe/Jane likely go wrong?

A: Eating too many refined and processed “vegetarian” foods. The real benefit from “plant-based” comes when the diet is centered on whole unrefined/unprocessed fruits, vegetables, intact whole grains and legumes with the addition of a few nuts/seeds.

Q. Some folks are concerned with controlling carb intake and often get scared away from plant-based eating. What do you tell them?

A: Over 90 percent of carbs consumed in America are highly refined, highly processed, and mostly in the form of refined flour and sugar. This is the problem. Avoid these. However, carbs in the form of fresh fruits, vegetables, starchy vegetables, intact whole grains and legumes are the healthiest foods for us and should be the center of any healthy diet.

Q. Some folks want to gain muscle/strength and fuel high levels of performance. What do you suggest they do to get enough nutrient-dense food each day?

A: Try to eat only when hungry, eat only until satisfied and drink lots of water. To lose fat, eat two meals and three snacks per day. To maintain body composition, eat three meals and two snacks per day. To gain muscle, eat five meals per day.

Make yours meals using nutrient-dense foods like veggies, fruits, raw nuts and seeds, legumes and then grains (in that order). Eating like this consistently will lead to amazing results.

Dos and don’ts:

If you’re considering moving toward a plant-based diet, or just want some more plant-based choices, here are the experts’ tips:

DO choose your protein sources carefully.
DO aim for about 1 gram of protein per kg of bodyweight; add 30-40 grams each day if you are in a phase of intense training.
DO get enough fat.
DO eat a variety of whole foods, especially lots of vegetables and fruits.
DO stay active.
DO use your body’s hunger cues to guide you. If you want to lose fat, eat a little less than you would normally. If you want to gain mass, eat a little more.
DON’T get your nutrition information from bodybuilding magazines.
DON’T just cut things out without adding healthy alternatives.
DON’T consume too many processed foods, including “healthy” protein powders and processed soy products.

Aaron Gilbert, CSCS, is the owner of Longevity Athletics.
520-261-4661
Aaron@LongevityAthletics.com

Sponsored content


This column appears in the October issue of InMaricopa.

Sponsored Content

Integrated Behavioral Health and a Family Practice Provider collaborate on patient care.

By Dr. Matthew Bertsch, PharmD. and Dr. Chinwe Chukwurah, M.D.
Sun Life Family Health Center

The opioid crisis has had an effect on many people around Arizona, and around the country. Although the problem with opiates is not a new one, it certainly has developed much traction recently. With governors, legislators, our national congressional representatives, our senators and even our president talking about the issue, it has garnered a lot of mainstream attention. Opiates/opioids, often used interchangeably, are not new, and neither is drug abuse. However, the attention on the crisis has made health care challenging, even to Sun Life Family Health Center.

Patient education
It really is not all about the opiates though. Drug abuse, legal and illegal, has run rampant for decades. People who abuse have abused promethazine with codeine for its pleasurable and sedative effect; have abused dextromethorphan for its mild euphoria or extreme hallucinations depending on dose; and have abused other medications meant to treat neuropathic pain for its marijuana-like effects. Drug abuse is not new.

The laws and technology in our state have changed, and there is now an Arizona Controlled Substances Prescription Monitoring Program for the safety of patients. Prescribers are now required to check the prescription monitoring program. Prescribers will also be required to prescribe addictive medications electronically. Continuing education will be required for providers as a part of maintaining their license. Prescription doses will also be limited and new opioid packaging requirements have been implemented.

The scrutiny around opiate prescribing has led to opioid refugees, those who have had to abandon their addictions to prescription opiates and have turned to illegal street drugs. Patients have turned to both methamphetamine and heroin. Because of all of these overdoses, both legal and illegal, access to the life-saving overdose drug naloxone has increased as well.

Sun Life
At Sun Life Family Health Center, we practice pain management responsibly. While our primary care providers have autonomy in pain management, their decisions are guided by policy and proper clinical judgment using guideline-based therapy.

Dr. Chukwurah and Dr. Bertsch consult about Pain Management at Sun Life Family Health Center in Casa Grande.

What makes us unique, however, is our integrated approach to pain management. We have a team of integrated behavioral health specialists who work with our patients, as many times symptoms can be managed at a behavioral level as opposed to prescribing a medication. This is where our Mindful Alternative Pain Program comes into play. MAPP is a series of classes that focus on alternative and natural ways to cope with issues associated with pain.

Clinical pharmacy has made a huge impact on the approach to pain management within Sun Life. Clinical pharmacy has teamed up with primary care providers to review dosing of pain medications of the patients we serve. Clinical pharmacists also provide education to patients about opiates, discuss pain goals with patients, check dangerous drug interactions and consult with providers to ensure proper therapy for patients. The goal of this collaboration is that patients learn to manage their pain and reduce their dependency solely on medications.

Sun Life’s community pharmacists assist in the process by providing a thorough review of the prescriptions sent by the providers to one of our six pharmacies. Although this is not different from how other pharmacies should operate, Sun Life pharmacies have the advantage of being in close proximity to the clinical pharmacy team, the behavioral health team and the primary care provider.

Pain management is a complicated subject. We have seen that with this collaborative, interdisciplinary approach, medication use is decreasing, and there is an overall decreased risk for medication-related problems. Patients benefit when health care providers set an example and work together to ensure proper care of our patients who are in need.

Matthew Bertsch, PharmD., is the director of pharmacy and Chinwe Chukwurah, M.D., is the medical director at Sun Life Family Health Center.


This article appears in the October issue of InMaricopa.

 

By Joan Koczor

Older adults need to be extra careful of overheating and heat stroke. As we age, our bodies cannot adjust to high temperatures as well.

Our sense of thirst decreases, which can cause seniors to not realize they are thirsty and face the dangers of dehydration. Common medications, such as those for blood pressure, flush water from the body. Diuretics or low-salt diets could also affect the way your body regulates temperature. Side effects from some medications can cause excessive sweating and diarrhea.

A daily intake of about six 8-ounce glasses of water is about average. Medications you are taking are also a consideration, so talk to your doctor about how much water you should be drinking each day.

A few simple steps can make a difference in how you handle these excessive temperatures.

Schedule a checkup for your home or car air conditioner – make sure both are running properly.

Keep the shades/blinds closed during the hottest part of the day. Eat light, cold meals like salads and chicken.

Drink plenty of cool water throughout the day. A body that is hydrated feels cooler and can regulate temperatures better. Lessen your caffeine intake. Take a cool shower. Put a cold cloth on the back of your neck. Wear loose-fitting clothing. Fans help circulate the air and can make an air-conditioned house feel cooler. Freeze plastic bottles of water, take one with you when you go outside. As the ice melts, you will have a supply of cold water.

Visit a shopping mall, library or coffee shop. Go see a movie.

Drinking enough water every day is one of the smartest, simplest ways to keep the body functioning properly. Be aware of the signs of dehydration – dry mouth/skin, lightheadedness, low blood pressure, rapid heartbeat – and use these tips to keep cool throughout the summer. And don’t forget to take that water bottle wherever you go.

Remember, pets also need to be protected from dehydration and many heat-related illnesses.

Joan Koczor is a senior advocate and member of the Age-Friendly Maricopa Advisory Committee.


This column appears in the September issue of InMaricopa.

Sponsored content

By Aaron Gilbert

Aaron Gilbert. Photo by William Lange

Create systems that make health and fitness faster and easier, such as:

  • Keep fresh, whole foods in plain sight.
  • Reduce or eliminate “treat” foods.
  • Establish a morning or weekend routine to chop veggies and prepare protein+complex carbs in bulk.
  • Sign up for a CSA box or healthy meal delivery.
  • Keep berries and greens in freezer (for quick Super Shakes).
  • Join a gym or personal training studio close to home or work.
  • Keep a packed gym bag in your car or by the front door.
  • Leave weights and resistance bands lying around for quick, convenient workout.
  • Hold gatherings and meetings at parks and gyms.

Put meal prep and movement in your calendar. If we waited until we “felt like it,” a lot of important things would get neglected. Schedule it in, and stick to it.

Review at the end of each week: Did I use my time to support my health and fitness?

Yes
Explore what worked and keep doing that.
Celebrate! You deserve it.
Add 15 more minutes of health food prep and movement next week.

No
What do you do instead?
If it was low-priority stuff, combine those activities with fitness+nutrition. For example: Watch TV while prepping food.
If it was high-priority stuff, does it happen often? That’s OK! Life happens. Return to your goals and keep practicing. Set small weekly health+fitness goals and keep improving your systems. Get coaching to develop better systems and realistic goals.

As you can see, “being healthy and fit” is like an iceberg. Eating well and workout out is only the tip of the iceberg and it’s supported by all the thinking, prioritizing, strategizing and planning underneath.

Aaron Gilbert, CSCS, owns Longevity Athletics and can be reached at 520-261-4661 and Aaron@LongevityAthletics.com.

Only three Maricopa eateries were inspected by the health department of Pinal County June 16-July 15. All three earned excellent ratings.

Excellent [No violations found]
Chipotle Mexican Grill
Dickey’s Barbecue Pit
Firehouse Subs

Satisfactory [Violations corrected during inspection]
None

Needs Improvement [Critical items noted during inspection cannot be corrected immediately requiring follow-up inspection]
None

Unacceptable [Gross, unsanitary conditions necessitating the discontinuation of service]
None


This item appears in the August issue of InMaricopa.

By Joan Koczor 

Initially, your primary care provider will be the first step in diagnosing many health issues. He will recommend screening, help you manage chronic conditions and, if needed, refer you to other types of providers or specialists.

A short list of specialists may include cardiologists, oncologists, allergists, psychologists, podiatrists and orthopedists.

Through all this, your life has changed – you’ve become a patient.

Your days are no longer ordinary. There are examinations, medications, diagnosis and treatment options, doctor appointments, hospital stays, decisions to make, endless paperwork, phone calls to health insurers. Who can you turn to in time of an emergency?

Dealing with any illness can be a very stressful time for patients and their families.

Add to that the health care system has become so confusing – think walking through a maze – that some patients may need someone to help them navigate.

A new trend is enlisting a patient advocate.

An advocate may be a member of your family or a close friend. An effective advocate is someone you trust and will act on your behalf as well as work with other members of your health care team.

Another type of advocate is a professional advocate. Hospitals usually have professionals who play this role called patient representatives or patient advocates. Social workers or nurses may also fill this role.

In choosing a patient advocate, it is important to decide what you want help with and what you can handle without assistance.

Do you need a better understanding of options for hospitals, doctors, diagnostic tests? Assurance your wishes are carried out if there comes a time you might not be able to do that yourself? Would you like your advocate to accompany you to tests, appointments, treatments and procedures? Assist you in wading through the never-ending medical bills? Become your representative to health care providers?

It is important to let your physician and those caring for you know who your advocate is and how much involvement they have in your care. Make sure your doctors and nurses have your advocate’s contact information. And the same for your advocate – provide them with numbers for your health care provider, hospital and pharmacy and anyone you wish contacted in case of an emergency.

Not all advocates charge a fee. Not all who do will charge for their services in exactly the same way. The cost may depend on:

  • your location, or your location in relation to where they are located.
  • the advocate’s experience and education.
  • the amount of time you work together.

Additional factors like necessary travel, acquisition of medical records, or others may cause the price to fluctuate.

PatientAdvocate.org, AdvoConnection.com/advocatelocations/arizona

Joan Koczor is a senior advocate and member of the Age-Friendly Maricopa Advisory Committee.


This column appears in the July issue of InMaricopa Magazine.

by -

Sponsored content

Aaron Gilbert. Photo by William Lange

By Aaron Gilbert

When life’s already busy, here’s how you can make time to eat better and move more often.

Ask yourself why

Understand exactly why you want to eat better and exercise more gives you the motivation to prioritize it over other things.

Examples:

Q: Why do I want to eat healthier and exercise more?
A: Because I want to fit in smaller pants.

Q: But why do I want to fit in smaller pants?
A: Because when I’m wearing smaller pants, I look better.

Q: But why do I want to look better?
A: Because when I look good, I feel good about myself.

Q: But why do I want to feel good about myself?
A: Because when I feel good about myself, I’m more assertive and confident.

Q: But why do I want to be more assertive and confident?
A: Because when I’m more assertive and confident, I’m in control, my fears won’t stop me, and I can finally go for my dreams.

Identify your top priorities

Think of your time as a jar, which you can fill with a finite number of rocks, pebbles and sand.

Your big rocks represent the stuff that’s most necessary to feel fulfilled in life. They often relate to family, health, and livelihood. Your pebbles add extra fun and satisfaction to life, but aren’t totally necessary. You sand is purely “bonus” activity. It can be enjoyable, but it’s not crucial to your survival or fulfillment

Everyone’s rocks, pebbles and sand will look different. But regardless, if you fill you jar with too much sand first, the rocks and pebbles won’t fit.

Keep a time diary

Your schedule reflects how you’re prioritizing the activities in your life. Track your time in 15-minute increments for a couple weeks to find out if it’s consistent with your goals and values. For example:

7:00-7:15 – Woke up, brushed teeth
7:15-7:30 – Checked Instagram
7:30-7:45 – Still on Instagram

Then analyze it:

Actual
Work 35%
Sleep 20%
Exercise 2%
Time with loved ones 10%
Watching TV 10%
Surfing the Internet 25%
Healthy meal prep 3%

Desired
Work 35%
Sleep 30%
Exercise 5%
Time with loved ones 20%
Watching TV/Internet 2.5%
Time in nature 2.5%
Healthy meal prep 5%

To start to align your schedule with what you want to accomplish, replace low-value activities with high-value ones, little by little.

Aaron Gilbert, CSCS, owns Longevity Athletics and can be reached at 520-261-4661 and Aaron@LongevityAthletics.com.


This column appears in the July issue of InMaricopa Magazine.

Take precautions against excessive heat and what could be record temperatures.

The National Weather Service has issued an excessive heat warning from 10 a.m. Thursday to 9 p.m.

Temperatures are expected to reach 113 Thursday and 114 on Friday.

Impacts include an increased potential for heat related illness. Those working or participating in outdoor activities during the afternoon hours or those without access to adequate air conditioning will be most at risk.

Never leave kids or pets unattended in cars. Drink more water than usual and avoid alcohol, sugar, and caffeine. When outdoors, wear light colored clothing and a wide-brimmed hat to keep your head and body cooler. Take frequent rest breaks in shaded or air-conditioned environments.

Recognize the signs and symptoms of heat illness. Early symptoms include things such as headache, thirst, and muscle cramps. Serious symptoms include weakness, skin that is cool to the touch, fast but weak pulse, nausea, and fainting. Severe symptoms include hot and red dry skin, fast and strong Pulse, sweating that has stopped, and unconsciousness. Untreated heat illness can lead to fatal heat stroke.

Photo by Michelle Chance

 

All 11 food establishments in Maricopa inspected by Pinal County’s health department from May 16 to June 15 received excellent scores.

Excellent [No violations found]
Bashas’
Bashas’ – Deli
Circle K at 21212 N. John Wayne Parkway
Denny’s
Dollar Tree
Gyro Grill
Helen’s at Copper Sky
Helen’s at Pacana Park
McDonalds at 20700 N. John Wayne Parkway
QuikTrip
QuikTrip – kitchen

Satisfactory [ Violations corrected during inspection]
None

Needs Improvement [Critical items noted during inspection cannot be corrected immediately requiring follow-up inspection]
None

Unacceptable [Gross, unsanitary conditions necessitating the discontinuation of service]
None

Joan Koczor

By Joan Koczor

Mesothelioma (me-zoe-thee-lee-O-muh) is a rare type of cancer of the mesothelium caused by exposure to asbestos. The mesothelium is a thin membrane that protects and lubricates different body cavities, such as the chest and abdominal cavities.

Men 60 years and older are often diagnosed several years after exposure. Women have contracted this disease from washing their husbands’ clothes, although the husband – exposed to asbestos – does not contract this disease.

Asbestos is a naturally occurring mineral that resembles a rock in its natural form. The rock will split into fibers, which are resistant to heat, fire and chemicals. Considered a natural product, it was widely used in the United States until the late 1970s. Over 3,000 products containing asbestos were in general use until the late 1980s.

Asbestos materials have been used in every branch of the military until the late 1970s. As a result, 30 percent of veterans have been diagnosed with mesothelioma.

It takes 20 to 50 years to develop and occurs in the lining of the lungs, chest, abdomen and heart.

There are three types of mesothelioma:

  • Pleural: Cancer of the lungs which is the most common because most asbestos fibers are inhaled. Symptoms may include shortness of breath and chest pain.
  • Peritoneal: Cancer of the abdomen. It is caused by ingesting asbestos fibers. Symptoms may include weight loss and nausea.
  • Pericardial: Cancer surrounding the heart. This is the rarest form and is rarely diagnosed while the patient is still alive.

Mesothelioma is often mistaken for less serious conditions. If you have been exposed to asbestos and are experiencing symptoms attributed to this disease, consult your family doctor. They will perform the basic tests and X-rays. Based on the results, your doctor will refer you to a radiologist who will do extensive testing – X-ray, CAT scan, PET scan and CT scan. These tests are used in the diagnosis of this disease.

A surgical biopsy is done and sent to a pathologist for review. A pathologist will review fluid or tissue biopsy samples to determine cell type. If the results of these tests determine further treatment is required, a qualified specialist will be suggested. One who has a wide range of extensive experience with mesothelioma cases.

A pulmonologist specializes in lung disease and evaluates lung function. A gastroenterologist specializes in disease of the digestive system and tissues which occur in the abdominal region. A cardiologist specializes in heart defects and other heart disorders.

Only 20 U.S. doctors specialize in the treatment of this disease.

The Mesothelioma Organization offers a doctor-match program, saving time and expense to those seeking treatment. Patient advocates are also available to answer questions and provide information.

888-385-2024

MesotheliomaGuide.com

 

Joan Koczor is a senior advocate and a member of the Age-Friendly Maricopa Advisory Committee. The Mesothelioma Guide provided information for this article.


This column appears in the June issue of InMaricopa.

by -
Sheriolyn Curry

 

By Rev. Sheriolyn Curry, CSA

There is a renewed interest over the use of comfort care as a planned, managed care option for persons afflicted with chronic illness, are terminally ill or are frail.

Here, the term terminal refers to a progressive disease that is incurable and irreversible; that is, it no longer responds to treatment and death is usually the expected result within a short period of time.

Choosing to receive “comfort care” does not mean you are giving up, you have decided to die or you will receive no medical care. Comfort care might not be as aggressive as other life-prolonging measures, but it is medical care.

With the advances in modern technology, there are very aggressive measures available that can be used to treat many illnesses. However, when faced with a terminal illness, people are choosing quality of life over quantity of days.

Comfort care really is about choices. When one is faced with a decision about long-term care for a chronic illness, the focus often turns to comfort measures for symptom control – managing pain, eliminating nausea or anxiety, etc. It can also include choices as to where and how often one wants to receive care. Many are opting for the comforts of home. Other choose the loving environment of a hospice facility.

Barbara Bush recently brought to light the discussion over comfort care when she publicly announced that as her treatment of choice before her passing in April. When people get to choose how they want to manage their care, they are more empowered in the process. Research suggests that on some level, they ultimately feel better about making the decision. They become partners in their own life’s journey.

There are opinions that associate choosing comfort care with giving up, and it is not, not at all. Comfort care still looks forward, it just no longer seeks a cure or a reversal of the condition. Done well, comfort care is a planned care option in which the patient, family members and care team discuss and agree on the course of action. It can be spiritually honoring for the care recipient, and provide peace of mind for the family. And there is no right or wrong way to feel about considering comfort care as your choice.

I pray this column brings peace to your soul. If you need us, call us at 480-659-9201. We are Comfort Keepers.

Sheriolyn Curry, CSA, is the owner of Comfort Keepers of Maricopa.


This column appears in the June issue of InMaricopa.

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Aaron Gilbert. Photo by William Lange

By Aaron Gilbert

When we work out intensely, we damage tissues at the microlevel, and we use fuel.

This is what ultimately makes us stronger, leaner, fitter and more muscular, but in the short term it requires repair.

Repair and rebuilding occurs through the breakdown of old, damaged proteins (aka protein breakdown) and the construction of new ones (aka protein synthesis) — a process known collectively as protein turnover.

Muscle protein synthesis is increased slightly (or unchanged) after resistance workouts, while protein breakdown increases dramatically. We’re doing a lot more breaking-down than building-up.

The relationship between these two parameters (rate of muscle protein synthesis and muscle protein breakdown) represents the metabolic basis for muscle growth.

What to eat

Post-workout nutrition requires two things:

  1. Protein to aid in protein synthesis
  2. Carbohydrates to help replace muscle glycogen (and to enhance the role of insulin in transporting nutrients into cells)

You could certainly eat a whole food meal that meets these requirements after exercise. However, whole food meals aren’t always practical.

Some people aren’t hungry immediately after exercise. Whole food digests slowly, and we want nutrients to be available quickly. A whole-food meal that requires refrigeration might be less practical.

On the other hand, consuming a liquid form of nutrition that contains rapidly digesting carbohydrates (e.g. maltodextrin, dextrose, glucose) and proteins (e.g. protein hydrolysates or isolates)

  • might accelerate recovery by utilizing insulin for nutrient transport into cells;
  • can result in rapid digestion and absorption; and
  • is often better tolerated during and after workouts.

Data indicate that it may only take about 20 grams of protein after a workout to maximally stimulate muscle protein synthesis.

Once your workout is complete, have a whole food meal within an hour or two.

If priority No. 1 is to lose body fat, use only BCAAs as a workout drink, and five to 15 grams per hour of training. (If you weigh 200-plus pounds consume closer to 15 grams; less than 200 pounds, closer to five grams). If you’re leaner but still want to lose fat, choose a smaller dose (like 1/2 dose) of the protein plus carb combination, or opt for BCAAs.

 

Aaron Gilbert, CSCS, owns Longevity Athletics.
520-261-4661
Aaron@LongevityAthletics.com


This column appears in the June issue of InMaricopa.

 

Two of 16 restaurants inspected by the Pinal County Health Department between April 16 and May 15 were cited for cold-holding infractions.

The inspector observed at Aliberto’s Mexican Food a walk-in refrigerator holding food between 43 and 46 degrees F. Safety requires food in refrigerators to be held at 41 degrees F or lower. Repairs were made to the refrigerator during inspection.

Cilantro’s Mexican Cocina also had a faulty refrigerator. The inspector recorded an ambient temperature of 54 degrees F. Some items were moved temporarily to an ice bath while the restaurant awaited a replacement refrigerator.

EXCELLENT [No violations found]


Barro’s Pizza
Brooklyn Boy’s Italian Restaurant & Pizza
CVS Pharmacy
Denny’s
The Duke at Rancho El Dorado
Fry’s Marketplace
Fry’s Marketplace – Deli
Fry’s Marketplace – Sushi
Li’s Garden
Panda Express
Raceway Bar & Grill
Rob’s Convenience
True Grit Tavern
Walmart – Deli

SATISFACTORY [Violations corrected during inspection]


Aliberto’s
Cilantro’s Mexican Cocina

NEEDS IMPROVEMENT [Critical items noted during inspection cannot be corrected immediately requiring follow-up inspection]


None

UNACCEPTABLE [Gross, unsanitary conditions necessitating the discontinuation of service]


None


This item appears in the June issue of InMaricopa.

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By Aaron Gilbert

Aaron Gilbert. Photo by William Lange

Pretty much everybody has heard their body is over 60 percent water. Thus, if you weigh 150 pounds then 90 pounds of you is liquid. A lot of that body water is in your cells or attached to molecules like proteins and carbohydrates.

Water does six main things in our bodies – transporting, dissolving, cleaning, reacting, padding and regulating temperature.

Research question: Water is important stuff, but can it help us lose weight?

North American Association for the Study of Obesity detailed its findings in “Water consumption increases weight loss during a hypocaloric diet intervention in middle-aged and older adults.”*

In this study, researchers recruited men and women ages 55 to 75 who were overweight or obese, with exclusions for certain health ailments. Before the study started, everybody had to come into the lab twice – once to eat as much food as they wanted, and once to drink 500 milliliters of water and then eat as much as they wanted.

Researchers wanted to see whether people would eat less if they drank water before a meal. Twelve weeks later, at the end of the study, the participants did the water-drinking test again.

Everybody was on the same diet, but half the participants had the secret pre-meal supplement – 500 milliliters water. Before each of their three meals, the water group drank 500 milliliters of water before eating. There was no other difference between groups for the 12 weeks of the study.

Over the three months, the water group dropped 4.4 percent body fat and 5.4 kg total fat while the non-water group only dropped 1.1 percent body fat and 3.3 kg of total fat.

Bottom line – Drinking two cups of water before a meal will keep you hydrated, fuller and may even boost your metabolism for an hour. Before you go off to your favorite vitamin shop to try the latest weight-loss supplement, try drinking two cups (500 mL) before you sit down for a meal.

Oh, and make sure you’re near a toilet.

Aaron Gilbert, CSCS, owns Longevity Athletics.

520-261-4661

Aaron@LongevityAthletics.com

*[Dennis EA, Dengo AL, Comber DL, Flack KD, Savla J, Davy KP, Davy BM. Obesity (Silver Spring). 2010 Feb;18(2):300-7.


This column appears in the May issue of InMaricopa.

SPONSORED CONTENT

By Andrew H. Jones

Is it a cold or allergies? This is a question that plagues many people this time of year. On one hand you’ve been sneezing and sniffling, swallowing over-the-counter meds every few hours. On the other hand, it’s been going on for two and a half weeks now and it seems there is no end in sight. Let’s take a closer look at some of the similarities and differences to better understand what may be ailing you.

Similarities of Allergies & Colds:
 Sneezing
 Runny nose
 Congestion and stuffy nose
 Coughing
 Sore throat

Differences of Allergies & Colds:
 Itchy eyes is a less common symptom of a cold
 Severe colds can cause fevers and body aches and are not usually signs of allergies
 Sore throat in allergies is most often caused by postnasal drip
 Allergies can cause rashes

“People with allergies are sometimes more prone to catching colds. Recovery from a cold is usually quick – in fact, the average duration of a cold is 7 to 10 days. If symptoms last more than a week or two, the cold may have progressed into a secondary bacterial infection such as bronchitis or sinusitis. Allergies are more difficult to predict and can be a little tricky, they can be seasonal, or come and go daily and reoccur often” (Dr. Ted Crawford, DO, Medical Director, Sun Life Family Health Center, 2017).
As the season begins to warm, the plants begin to pollinate, spreading the ‘joy’ in the air to all of us who are susceptible to seasonal allergies. However, we are still in the middle of cold and flu season. So the sniffles may very well be one last ride on the Rhinovirus bandwagon.

Allergies range from mild to seasonal allergies with more severe symptoms; which can cause life-threatening reactions. People can have an array of symptoms and allergic reactions to any number of things, including various airborne pollens, foods, medications, and allergy shots. Whether you have a mild or severe allergy, you should know the proper response to a reaction, address accordingly, and minimize your discomfort.

Keeping track of the local daily pollen percentages in your area can be very helpful and might make you Ah-Ah-Ah-choose to stay inside, wear a preventative mask, or limit your outdoor activities. Here is a helpful website that can help keep you informed of your local air pollen content. https://www.pollen.com

Scheduling an appointment with your Sun Life Family Health Center provider is the first step to treating your cold or allergies. He or she will be able to diagnose your symptoms and refer you to a local (specialist) allergist. The allergist can then test you to find out what triggered your allergic reaction and can prescribe medication or give you allergy shots to help manage your symptoms.

Tip of the Month – Cut down on dust in your home.
Concentrate on cleaning your bedroom where you sleep. Wash all of your bedding regularly. Wipe dust off dressers, night-stands, appliances, ceiling fans, and wear a dust mask while doing so. Clean your house regularly with a vacuum.
#OneSmallChange

References
Dr. Ted Crawford, DO, Medical Director – Sun Life Family Health Center
https://www.pollen.com/

Good Donuts

One Maricopa eatery among those inspected by Pinal County’s health department from March 15 to April 15 did not receive an excellent score.

Good Donuts was requested to fix or replace a refrigerator that was not keeping items at the required 41 degrees F or lower. Several items, such as milk, eggs and cheese, were measured at 49F. The inspector also noted washed but not sanitized blender containers and a bucket for wiping cloths on a work table. The establishment was given an “N” rating, a step below satisfactory. Its previous two inspections had earned satisfactory and excellent marks.

Excellent [No violations found]
99 Cents Only Store
Butterfield Elementary
Central Arizona College – Culinary
Circle K, 18141 N. John Wayne Parkway
Desert Wind Middle School
Dickey’s Barbecue Pit
Domino’s Pizza
Francisco’s Mexican Food
Gyro Grill
Helen’s Kitchen
Jack in the Box
Jersey Mike’s Subs
Maricopa Head Start
Maricopa High School
Maricopa Wells Middle School
Papa John’s Pizza
Pima Butte Elementary
Pizza Hut
Plaza Bonita
Province Community Association Clubhouse
Santa Cruz Elementary
Santa Rosa Elementary
Sonic Drive-In
Subway
Sunrise Cafe
Taco Bell
Water and Ice

Satisfactory [Violations corrected during inspection]
None

Needs Improvement [Critical items noted during inspection cannot be corrected immediately requiring follow-up inspection]
Good Donuts

Unacceptable [Gross, unsanitary conditions necessitating the discontinuation of service]
None


This item appears in the May issue of InMaricopa.

 

The impending walk-out of local educators is expected to close all of Maricopa Unified School District’s nine schools Thursday and could also affect area charter schools.

Known agencies providing walk-out childcare:

Children’s Learning Adventure, 20600 N. John Wayne Parkway

520-214-5737

Registration fee will be waived, and all new families will receive their first day free.

Copper Sky, 44345 Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd.

520-635-1511

Free childcare provided by Maricopa Springs Family Church and other local churches at Copper Sky from 8 a.m. – 4:30 p.m. There are 500 spots available; seeking 70 childcare volunteers. Morning snack, lunch and afternoon snack provided.

Click here to register.

Rockstar Cheer, 12501 N. Murphy Road

856-624-3375

rockstararizona@gmail.com

Located at Rockstar Cheer gym from 7 a.m.–5 p.m. $25 per day, per child. Includes pizza lunch. Snacks and drinks for sale or bring your own. Ages: Kindergarten through eighth grade. 50 spots available.

Food Disbursement:

With help from Our Children Matter and Maricopa Pantry, food boxes will be dispersed at a #RedForEd teacher-led event at Copper Sky Wednesday at 5 p.m. to parents of affected students.


MOBILE USERS GET NEWS FIRST. Download InMaricopa for Apple and Android devices.

By Aaron Gilbert

Aaron Gilbert. Photo by William Lange

Training the core is where most people run into trouble, because they try to train the core like a beast — with heavy weights, or a full range of motion. However, the key to core training for a healthy back is muscle endurance (not strength) and stability (not mobility).

In most day-to-day activities and the sports we play the core’s job is to stop movement.

For example: You open a door — your core stops your spine from twisting as you pull the door open with your arm. You kick a football — your core stops you from keeling forward.

Pause for a moment and think about what that means.

You want your core to be stable and resist movement. So why are we stretching, over-bending, and turning ourselves into pretzels?

Try these four exercises for a healthy and resilient back – modified curl-up, stir the pot, side bridge and bird dog.

The modified curl-up is different from a regular curl-up because one leg is bent while the other is straight; the hands are under the lower back and only lift the head and neck.

Stir the pot is a plank-type exercise done on a stability ball with the added challenge of stirring the pot (moving your arms as if you’re trying to stir a large pot). If that is too hard, you can just do a plank on the ball or even on the floor.

Side bridge is a side plank from the elbows.

Bird dog starts on all fours, like a dog. You lift the opposite arm and leg, focusing on stiffening the core. To make this harder instead of just lifting your arm and leg straight up and down, make squares at the top of the movement.

Keys to the exercises are to keep the tightening part of the exercise to 10 seconds and add reps to progress in the exercises, and to maintain form – once you can’t keep your spine tight, stop.

Stretching for a healthy back? While lower-back stretching is a no-no, certain stretches to keep the hips mobile are important.

Hamstrings: The key to hamstring stretching is to bend only at the hip and not the back. A good hamstring stretch that supports the lower back is to lie on your back and lift one leg up, keep the knee slightly bent and use a belt around your foot to pull the your lower leg toward your chest. Don’t worry, you don’t have to be Gumby. If you can get your leg perpendicular to the floor, you’re doing well.

Hip flexors (front of hip): Lunging with your hands over your head stretches the hip flexors (muscles in front of the hip), but remember to keep your back straight and torso upright, the front shin perpendicular to the floor, the rear knee pointed down and focus on stretching the front of your hip (squeezing the glute of the rear leg will help).

Aaron Gilbert, CSCS, owns Longevity Athletics.

 

520-261-4661
Aaron@LongevityAthletics.com


This column appears in the April issue of InMaricopa.

SPONSORED CONTENT

By Andrew H. Jones
Community Relations Coordinator
Sun Life Family Health Center

A community comes alive when the residents share their love for their neighbors and friends enough to help improve it. Helping your community helps to build stronger bonds within which can make life better for your family, friends, co—workers and neighbors whom you share your life with. The more love you pour in, the better it will become.

Implementing positive small lifestyle changes are one of the most effective ways to improve your overall health and well—being. Even the smallest positive changes can help form healthy habits. We, the employees at Sun Life Family Health Center, want to offer a few suggested small tips and changes to help you on your journey toward a healthier you. We call them #OneSmallChange. Creating a healthy lifestyle doesn’t have to be some extravagantly outrageous New Year’s resolution that makes or breaks you. Adding in just #OneSmallChange incrementally will add up and make a Big difference.

DANIELLE JENNINGS, WHNP-BC — Women’s Health Nurse Practitioner
#OneSmallChange:
Touch it Once
After reading an article about the habits of tidy people I have adopted the “ touch it once” strategy. Rather than putting stuff on a chair or leaving things where they might have to be moved again. I put things where they belong the first time I pick it up. Dishes don’t go in the sink, they go straight into the dishwasher. Shoes are taken off where they belong. Trying to get my kids to adopt this has been more of a struggle.

 

PAULINE MILLER — RN Team Lead
#OneSmallChange:
Work Hard — Play Hard
Make sure to reward yourself for your hard work, drink lots of water and get enough rest!

 

BERONICA M. — Medical Assistant
#OneSmallChange:
One Prayer
One prayer a day will make a huge difference.

 

SONIA O. — Front Desk
Registration Clerk
#OneSmallChange: Do a Small Act of Kindness for Others
Pick a few small acts of kindness and do one a day for a stranger, or pick something small to make a loved one feel loved. It will have a big impact on others and get you out of the narrow self—centered perspective that most of us get stuck in.

 

MAISEY B. — Front Desk Registration Clerk
#OneSmallChange:
Less focus
on electronics
Limit time usage of all electronics including tablets, gaming systems, cell phones and television for everyone in the household. There is so much focus on social media and gaming in todays world that we tend to forget about that good quality family time.

 

ELIZABETH A. — Site Manager
#OneSmallChange:
Be The
Change You Wish To See
Eye contact and a smile goes a long way for many having a bad day.

 

DANA RODRIGUEZ, CPNP, PhD — Pediatric Nurse Practitioner
#OneSmallChange:
Cut Down
on Sugar Intake
Look at the sugar in the food and drinks you consume. Start by reading food labels. Pay special attention to the sugar and carbohydrates. Start by eliminating sugary beverages like juice and soda.

 

BERNADETTE F. — Licensed Practical Nurse
#OneSmallChange:
Encourage Positivity
Encourage physical activity for all of the family, there is a website called MGR: MesaGilbertRocks. Basically it is like geocaching but instead you look for painted rocks which you can take home for your garden, house or wherever you wish to decorate or you can re-hide them for someone else to find. Libraries, Parks, trails are great places to look/hide. Get creative! Let your children paint the rocks.
Encourage hydration especially among the homeless, place 1—2 bottles of water and a protein bar in a Ziploc bag and hand out to those in need. You can include a happy thought!

 

BRITTANY K. — Registered Medical Assistant
#OneSmallChange:
Enjoy Life
Build a healthier and more enjoyable life by taking a walk to relax and enjoying what’s around you. Bring your kids or pets with you to make it more fun.

 

LUCY V. — Clinical Laboratory Assistant I
#OneSmallChange:
Good Mood
To Start Your Day
Make your alarm clock tone your favorite song, so it can help you to get up easier in the morning while bettering your mood to start your day. The best way to start a conversation with a person you don’t know is to start with giving them a complement. Not only will that break the ice but it also makes them more confident and you even more like-able.

 

SHAYLA S. — Medical Assistant
#OneSmallChange:
Time With Family Well Spent
Turn off all media 3 hours before bed and spend 1on1 time with family.

 

NICHELLE T. — Front Desk Registration Clerk
#OneSmallChange:
Live—Love Well
Treat people the way you want to be treated. Live every day like it could be your last.

by -
Joan Koczor

By Joan Koczor

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, diabetes is estimated to affect 25.8 million Americans. In the United States, about one in four people over age 60 has diabetes.

Diabetes is a chronic condition in which the body does not properly process food for use as energy. It is the seventh-leading cause of death in the United States.

Diabetes doesn’t allow your body to make enough insulin or isn’t able to use its own insulin as well as it should, resulting in a buildup of sugar in your blood. Serious health complications can include heart disease, blindness, kidney failure and lower-extremity amputations.

There are two types of diabetes: Type 1, which requires insulin as medication, may start as early as childhood; Type 2 is sometimes called adult-onset diabetes. The most common Type 2 may be hereditary. It is more common in people who are overweight.

The ABC method is used for managing diabetes and any complications: A for the A1C test, B for blood pressure and C for cholesterol. Controlling blood glucose, blood pressure and cholesterol can aid in reducing the risk of long-term complications.

A1C test measures your average blood glucose for the past 2-3 months. Normal A1C levels are less than 5.7 percent. Levels for diabetes is 6.5 percent or higher. Prediabetes levels are 5.7 to 6.4 percent.

Pain or numbness in the hands and feet, extreme fatigue and blurry vision are just a few of the warning signs you might be at risk for diabetes. Check with your doctor if you are experiencing any of these symptoms. Early detection and treatment can decrease the risk of complications.

Living with a chronic condition, such as diabetes, can leave you feeling tired or depressed. Some days will be harder to get through than others.

Take care of your emotional health. Diet, exercise and taking time to relax are very important and contribute to your overall health. Have regular checkups. Do simple things that you enjoy. Go to a movie. Take a mini road trip. Read a book.

And more importantly, keep informed. Make a list of questions and take them with you to your next doctor appointment.

Diabetes.org, for American Diabetes Association 2018 Standards of Care

ChooseMyPlate.gov, for USDA information on the five food groups and how to adjust portions to insure healthy eating

ndep.nih.gov, National Diabetes Education Program to improve treatment and outcome

Ref: American Diabetes Association

Joan Koczor is a senior advocate and member of the Age-Friendly Maricopa Advisory Committee.


This column appears in the March issue of InMaricopa.

By Aaron Gilbert

Aaron Gilbert. Photo by William Lange

It’s one of the most common patterns we see among incoming Longevity Athletics clients: Folks who want to get (or stay) fit will exercise diligently for months, only to “fall off the wagon” for the entire year and battle with getting back into it to achieve resolutions. That’s why we came up with this short, simple and effective workout you can do anywhere.

1. Move through each exercise in sequence. 2. Do 10 reps of each exercise. 3. Minimal to no rest between exercises. 4. Rest 1-2 minutes at the end of the circuit. 5. Repeat for a total of 2-4 circuits.

BEAR CRAWL

Starting on all fours, push down with toes to bring knees off floor. Keeping pelvis centered, “crawl” with right arm and left leg moving forward together, and vice versa. 10 seconds = 1 rep

PUSH-UP

Start in “plank” position, hands directly under shoulders and fingers forward. Maintaining a straight line from head to heel, keep elbows in as you bend them to lower your body as far as you can without shoulders popping forward. Squeeze shoulder blades together and down toward glutes as you lower, then allow them to spread fully apart at the top. Keep abs tight, tailbone tucked under and shoulders down away from ears.

SQUAT

Stand with feet shoulder-width apart, arms extended in front of you or behind your head. With abs engaged, ribs pulled down and tailbone tucked under, push hips back and lower as far as you can, keeping feet straight and knees aligned with little toe. Drive weight into heels and midfoot to return to start.

SINGLE-ARM DUMBBELL ROW

Keeping ribs down, abs tight, tailbone tucked, and weight through forward heel, pull dumbbell up toward lower ribs while locking your shoulder blade inward and down.

MAKE IT EASY

Can’t do one or more of the exercises in the circuit? Skip them. If possible, focus on the lower body, which requires greater muscle engagement and energy burn.

No dumbbell? Use whatever you can find to add weight to the moves.

Aaron Gilbert, CSCS, owns Longevity Athletics.
520-261-4661
Aaron@LongevityAthletics.com


This column appears in the March issue of InMaricopa.

No Excuses Workout

Aaron Gilbert of Longevity Athletics explains the No Excuses Workout to help keep your healthy-living resolutions. Learn more in the March issue of InMaricopa.

Posted by InMaricopa on Thursday, March 1, 2018