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  • One, Two, or Three Miles?

    Even experienced exercisers sometimes find it difficult to know how much to do. For the beginner this uncertainty represents a significant stumbling block. Fortunately well-established guidelines and protocols exist to provide assistance to all exercisers, regardless of your skill level. In general,

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  • Heavy Lifting

    All of us who’ve experienced a back injury of one sort or another have been told at some point to “avoid heavy lifting.” That type of advice appears to be a no-brainer or at least redundant, as no one whose back is hurting is going to try to pick up an air conditioner or even a 100-foot reel of

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  • Mission Possible

    Everyone knows what he or she "should" do to obtain good health. But the mere knowledge of what we should be doing is never enough. If we've not been in good shape for some time, if we can't remember the last time we did any meaningful exercise on a consistent basis, and if we've added more pounds over

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  • Hazy Shade of Winter

    Simon and Garfunkel [and later, The Bangles] had it right. Winter light is hazy - it's more diffuse. The sun is lower in the sky and the sun's rays reach the Earth at an angle, losing much of their power. And of course, there's less sunlight during each 24-hour day of winter than during the rest of the

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  • Going for the Gold

    It seems that at least once a month, some sort of senior fitness competition is featured on the sports page of local and national newspapers. The Senior Olympics was the forerunner of these types of events, and the designation quickly morphed into the National Senior Games. Soon localities and municipalities

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  • Pull Weeds, Not Your Back!

    As springtime approaches, weather warms up and leaves turn green, many people will spend more time outside planting bulbs, mowing the lawn and pulling weeds. Gardening can provide a great workout, but with all the bending, twisting, reaching and pulling, your body may not be ready for exercise of the

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  • Entropy, the Gym, and You

    Let’s say you’ve been taking some time off from the gym. Maybe you reached the end of your 12-week training cycle and you’re taking a week off. It’s possible that one week turns into two or even three or four weeks. Life happens, you need to attend to some pressing matters, and going to the gym

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  • Repairing an Injured Rotator Cuff

    As we get older, rotator cuff injuries become more common, a result of the natural aging process. A similar mechanism operates in the discs separating the vertebras in your lower back. These cartilaginous structures lose water over time, becoming less flexible and more brittle as the decades roll by.

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  • Shoulder Pain - Heart Attack or Rotator Cuff Injury?

    The great TV classic ER helps teach armchair physicians to become amateur diagnosticians. He's in shock! She's got kidney stones! Rule-out pheochromocytoma! But sometimes a little knowledge can be a dangerous thing. You've learned somewhere - on the network news, in the Science section of The New

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  • Shouldering the Load

    As with much in life that we take for granted, we are not usually concerned with the mechanisms of how our bodies work and how they do what they do. Such knowledge is not required for use of these magnificent machines that have been freely given to us. But just as a wise consumer will care for her or

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  • Strong Bones and Core Strengthening - Good Tips for a Healthy Lower Back

    Strong bones are important for all of us, not only for the aging baby boomers about whom we're hearing so much lately. And, "strong bones" are much more than a marketing ploy cooked-up by the dairy industry and pharmaceutical companies. Bones are incredibly dynamic, constantly reshaping themselves

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  • Ten Tips for Smart Stretching

    1. Why stretch? Stretching lengthens muscles and improves flexibility. Also, stretching the big leg muscles - the hamstrings, calves, and quads - simultaneously loosens and lengthens the muscles of your lower back. So, when you stretch, you're helping your back! 2. When to stretch? Recent exercise physiology

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  • Tennis, Anyone?

    Repetitive stress injuries are typically very difficult to treat successfully. These injuries are the result of actions done repeatedly, frequently, and consistently over time. They've taken a long time to build up and, therefore, the healing process also requires a fair amount of time. Shin splints,

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  • The Common Core

    Core strength is critical for everyday activities such as placing heavy grocery bags into the trunk of your automobile, carrying a gallon jug of milk from the refrigerator to the dining room table, and even walking to the mailbox. When your core strength is diminished, even bending over to pick up a

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  • The Top Shelf

    Many adults begin to develop shoulder pain, even though they may not have sustained a specific injury. It's important to pay attention to such shoulder issues, as a healthy shoulder joint is the key to full function of the upper extremities. We all know at least one person whose ability to perform normal

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  • Viscoelasticity: The Hidden Ingredient

    Most of us have experienced a painful bout of low back pain brought on by a seemingly innocuous movement such as bending over to pick up a pencil or a dropped set of keys. These painful episodes may last a couple of days or be more severe and last more than a week. We're left wondering, "What exactly

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