Muscle is Your Body’s Best Doctor


Research leaves no doubt and the scientific proof is so overwhelming, it’s shocking that building muscle is not prescribed as THE frontline defense against disease.


Unfortunately, taking control of your health and fitness is significantly underpublicized in our hectic, media-frenzied world. In short, fatty muscles are killing you.


After you reach the age of about 16 to 20, your body naturally stops growing new muscle. That’s when the power of youth stops working in your favor.


Every second of every day, most of our 100 trillion cells in our body are busy creating new cells to replace old ones that are damaged or dying.

If you don’t do something to keep your muscles activated and strong, fat begins to invade the sedentary muscles, boring itself deeper and deeper into your muscle tissue — marbleizing the muscle much like a fatty cut of steak.

The wasting of muscle tissue damages the metabolic processes that take place and weakens your body’s natural immunity in direct correlation to the amount of muscle you lose. Over many years, the ravishing effects on the body threatens the health and independence of millions of Americans.


If that were not enough, things can get even worse for the female population. The average woman loses 0.5 pounds of muscle each year and gains 1.5 pounds of fat. By the time she turns 50, nearly half of her body weight is fat.


Hope and Help


Many world-renowned, peer-reviewed medical journals and scientists have established that an improper fat-to-muscle ratio — too much fat in your muscles or intramuscular fat — leaves us vulnerable to a host of nightmarish health problems.


According to a new report from the National Center for Biotechnology, lack of strength and muscle tone causes sarcopenia — a wasting of muscle tissue — leading to weakness, disability, increased hospitalization, immobility and loss of independence.

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Spring Clean Your Health & Fitness Routine

Whatever the bad habit you want to replace, you’ll find that reviewing its habit loop will make the process a lot easier. Try one habit at a time; when a bad habit has been totally replaced with a better one, move to the next on your list. ...
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An NEO Winter: A Bird in the Hand, Snowshoes, and Ice – Lots of Ice

Cleveland Metroparks has plenty of parks to explore in winter, but our region's county parks have a lot going on, too. Start your tour in Geauga County, which has a full slate of outdoor (and free) activities this winter. ...
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Brain Game (Go Ahead, It’s Not that Hard)



What do these words have in common?  

Example: Snow, popsicles, wax melt


  1. Cards, porch, ship a deck
  2. Checks, baseball, emails bounce
  3. Clothes, paper, towels fold
  4. Safes, codes, walnuts crack
  5. Toy, car, door knob rattle
  6. Butterfly, flavor, situation delicate
  7. Meeting, mind, book open and close
  8. Superman, time, squirrel fly
  9. Nose, paint, faucet drip
  10. Maine, Georgia, Oregon border an ocean


Challenge your brain with a variety of activities.  

Start with a four- or five- letter word and spell it forward then backward. For example, clock would be kcolc.
When that becomes easier for you, try doing longer words. Another idea is to pair the letters of the alphabet from A to Z  with a corresponding number.
Start with A1, B2, etc. If that is too easy, try it in reverse: A26, B25, etc.


This puzzle and memory tip is provided by Kathryn Kilpatrick, a speech-language pathologist. She is available for Memory Fitness and Keep Your Brain Sharp programs and private consultations. Visit for more brain game resources.

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What’s Your Fitness Motivation?

Brace yourself. Nearly 50 percent of people who begin an exercise program drop out within the first six months, according to Rod K. Dishman, Ph.D., director of the Exercise Psychology Laboratory in the Department of Kinesiology at the University of Georgia.

The question is, “Why?” What is it about sticking with a fitness routine that causes so many people abandon it?

Most people don’t want health and fitness badly enough. It is a simple fact of human psychology that if we want something badly enough, we’ll do everything we can to get it.

Your challenge is to find out what motivates you to get serious about fitness and stick with it.

Unlock your motivation

Bryan Reece was told by his doctors that he was minutes away from a heart attack. So Bryan decided to fight back. Even though he had not been in a gym in 30 years, he turned his life around and eventually became a finisher in the Arizona Ironman competition. You can read his story in the book, “You Are an Ironman: How Six Weekend Warriors Chased Their Dream of Finishing the World’s Toughest Triathlon,” by Jacques Steinberg.

You do not have to be part of that 50 percent of people who quit. You can stay committed and finish strong. It is all about finding what motivates you personally.

Here are some possible motivators:

  1. Do it for your health. Consistent exercise and healthy eating are the two very best things you can do for your health. You will develop a strong, healthy heart, reduce your chances of many cancers, prevent diabetes, keep a sharp mind and resist dementia, and avoid many of the common ailments that come with aging. It is possible to age without decay, and the key to this is exercise and eating well.
  2. Do it to look better.
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Take Your Coat Off and Enjoy the Winter Indoors

I’m suspicious of any activity that requires a signature on a liability waiver.

I’ve gone years, in fact, finding plenty of things to do that don’t require a waiver. I’m rethinking that. Northeast Ohio has had an indoor recreation boom recently, and the activities look like a lot of fun.

Trampolines, rope courses, climbing walls, indoor cycling. All are great winter-busting activities and don’t require layers of clothing and boots better than the ones I already own.

Here are a few places to try, either with some friends, alone (if you’re self-conscious) or with a grandkid or two.

Play: CLE is an indoor adventure park in Avon with the added bonus of serving both food and alcohol. It’s got a zip line, a rope course and a climbing wall.

Sky Zone in Boston Heights offers an indoor trampoline park with ladders, climbing walls and other activities.

Zip City in Streetsboro has an indoor zip line, a trampoline park, a ropes course, a Ninja course and two Ninja laser mazes.

Ray’s Mountain Bike Park in Cleveland is open October through April. Don’t have a mountain bike? Rent one there. The course is user-friendly for folks of all skill levels.

The Golf Dome in Chagrin Falls has an indoor driving range, mini golf and batting cages.

Get Air Cleveland in Middleburg Heights is just what it sounds like: a trampoline park with foam pits, trampoline walls and other indoor adventures.

Marie Elium fell off a mini-trampoline in middle school and hasn’t been on one since.





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Snowshoe for Free, Feed Birds in Geauga Parks This Winter

Sure, it's cold. And snowy. And by 7 p.m. you're ready for an evening of Netflix. But don't squander our limited daylight hours this winter. Head over to Geauga County's parks for outside fun and earn those binge-watching hours. ...
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Exercise with a Purpose


Strength Training

I’ve been at this game called “exercise” my entire adult life, and it is my ever-growing certainty that no matter the issue, no matter the benefit sought, no matter the disease to be addressed or the problem to be surmounted, strength training seems to be the answer.

Want to look better in your clothes (or out of them)? Want to address diabetes, hypertension, obesity and other diseases?

Are you about to enter into chemotherapy? Are you suffering from depression? In almost all of these situations, strength training is the most effective measure you can take on the road to good health. Numerous studies in recent years have proven this.

Get Started

When it comes to strength training, I have definite opinions on the best and most efficient way to perform it, but those opinions are not as strong as my belief that you should perform strength training in almost any form. Muscle has evolved over billions of years and is the most adaptive and plastic tissue in our body. As such, strength training can be incredibly simple, precisely because muscle is so complex.

There are many different ways to train, and skeletal muscle will adapt to them all. My only concern is when improper training techniques pose an injury risk. As training expert Arthur Jones once said, “It won’t matter if you have 20-inch arms if you injure your back.”

In the past 10 years, scientific literature has exploded with studies that uncover benefits to strength training that we never imagined. Much of this is linked to myokines, the hormone-like substances released by exercising muscle that benefit other body tissues.

Like my lifelong focus, most of this literature centers on the why of strength training. As the why becomes more accepted and obvious, the focus will begin to shift to the how.

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