PAUL'S POINT OF VIEW
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MARRIED AT LAST! LISA AND I SET OFF ON A HONEYMOON ADVENTURE
When we left off in the last newsletter, I was telling you about my H-1B visa approval taking much longer than expected. Well, while I was waiting for it to come through at Rogue Valley Medical Center, I enjoyed getting to know the beautiful Southern Oregon and Northern California area. I ran up Mount McLoughlin and also seem to recall running up Mount Shasta. I tried the latter again just two years ago, and I certainly wasn’t running this time… It was a real slog! Eventually, my visa came through and Lisa and I rented an apartment in Ashland. We enjoyed the town and my job in Medford was an easy commute away. In the winter, I spent many days skiing Mount Ashland and Mount Bachelor. Then, in the summer of 1989, I proposed to Lisa and she accepted! We talked about travel and thought it would be wonderful to plan an extended “honeymoon” trip around the world while we were still young. The first stop would be New Zealand, where an international sports event, the Commonwealth Games, was set to be held in Auckland. But green cards take months to be issued, and the games were about to start. So … we “officially” got married at a lawyer’s office in Ashland, with two friendly Californian ladies as witnesses. We randomly invited them in, since my friend who had promised to be our witness completely forgot to come! Later, we had a wedding celebration in Los Angeles in December 1989. My parents flew out from New Zealand, and we had a wonderful time. Lisa and I both left our jobs a few weeks later with a fistful of airplane tickets that we had purchased from a travel agency. However, my green card had still not arrived. We flew to Auckland via Hawaii and the green card arrived in the mail at my parents’ address in a plain envelope! I don’t think that would happen today. After the Commonwealth Games, we spent a month traveling through New Zealand in a rental car. We went from the northern tip of the North Island across the strait between the two islands visiting relatives, then traveled down the side of the South Island before returning to Auckland.
After saying goodbye to my parents, we flew across the Tasman Sea and began adventuring up and down the eastern Australian coast from Sydney, where my sister lived at the time, down to Melbourne and up to Cairns. We snorkeled over the Great Barrier Reef and explored the Daintree Rainforest. Then we flew from Sydney to Perth, and traveled a short way up the western coast. Around this time, the money (that I had saved from my time
living in New Zealand years previously) ran out. From there on, our trip through Southeast Asia, Nepal, and India would be made on less than $10 a day. Our first stop was Bali. It was actually a shorter distance to get from Perth to Bali than it was from Perth to Sydney! I remember getting off the plane in Bali and being hit by the intense tropical heat. Bali is an exotic mixture — a Hindu island in a predominantly Muslim country. We climbed tall volcanoes, snorkeled over a World War II Liberty ship sunk by the Japanese in beautiful crystal waters, and traveled by boat to the next island over, which was less touristy and therefore cost less money. Stay tuned to hear more about our trip through Southeast Asia and India on just $10 a day!
–Paul Kane, P.T., BSC, CMP
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FINDING THE RIGHT MASSAGE GUN FOR YOU
While surfing the web or visiting your local sporting goods store, you’ve probably noticed the most recent physical fitness trend: massage guns. Massage guns vibrate at a high frequency to help loosen your muscles, increase blood flow, and temporarily ease pain and soreness. While massage guns have been on the market for the last several years, they were mostly for massage therapists and chiropractors to use on their patients. Now, newer models have seen great improvements that make massage guns more accessible to the average consumer. There are many benefits that come with using a massage gun. For people who experience chronic pain, have tension headaches, or suffer from an injury, massage guns can reduce symptoms and even help users feel more relaxed. Massages cause the body to release dopamine, which improves moods, but not everyone can
make it to a massage parlor whenever they need to. That’s what makes this tool a perfect temporary replacement. Since massage guns have exploded in popularity, there are many brands and models to choose from — but there are a few things to consider. Some massage guns are incredibly loud, and that could make massaging your head or neck rather unenjoyable. Also pay attention to the model’s strength and speed levels, since more powerful massage guns can reach deeper into muscle fibers. Other factors to keep in mind are the massage gun’s weight and portability as well as if it’s easy to use (especially if it comes with additional head attachments or works alongside a smartphone app). Massage guns can be expensive, ranging anywhere from $60 to $500. Each model has different features and functions, so make sure you do some research before purchasing one.
The Fitness Boost You Need How Rewards Can Reinforce Healthy Habits
People often talk about why we need to exercise more and eat right. But how do you reward yourself for the new habits you embrace? If you aren't rewarding yourself, then you may find it challenging to stick to your plans.
improper foods are the reward after a run. That’s counterproductive!
Or, what if we decide our reward isn’t worth it to begin with? For example, you might tell yourself, “I don’t really have time for a nice bath tonight, so I’ll just skip my run today.” However, Rubin says that one kind of self-reward is always best: the reward that takes you deeper into your new habit. Reward a new fitness habit right. Finding an exercise you enjoy is one of the most effective ways to reward yourself and continue to build your new fitness habit! If you look forward to working out in a gym environment with gym equipment, then at-home exercises probably won’t feel as satisfying. But
there’s still at-home equipment and sports, such as biking, that you can do to reward yourself, especially if you have a favorite time of day to get outdoors. Other awesome rewards for exercising can include running or yoga socks, a nice water bottle you enjoy using, a new yoga mat, a subscription to a workout program or app, or a fitness tracker. You can also watch fitness videos or documentaries that explain the benefits of your new hobby or habits, which will both educate and encourage you! A fitness habit, after all, is linked to all sorts of long-term health benefits you’ll enjoy for a lifetime.
Don’t be shy to give yourself the boost you need — the right way.
Can rewards be dangerous? In some cases, yes. Gretchen Rubin, author of “Better Than Before,” recently told Medium that rewarding our good habits can be “dangerous.” You might feel the same way. After we get the reward we wanted, it might feel easier to give up the habit or make it more difficult to meet our goals. After all, we might give up on running if we don’t meet our weight loss goals because
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What Are Cravings? How Do I Stop Them? How Playing the Long Game Helps Overcome Cravings
Cravings — they can feel like a comforting friend or a gut- punching enemy, depending on what you’re craving. An estimated 90% of people experience cravings, and, believe it or not, not all cravings are bad. Leaning into our healthy cravings can help establish a healthy diet. Don’t worry, we’re thinking the same thing: “If that’s the case, why do we crave sugary snacks and fatty foods the most?!” It’s complicated, but understanding your brain is a great place to start. What are cravings, really? Decades of research have proven that cravings start in our brain, not our body. This might be shocking for some, since it was commonly believed for a long time that if you were craving a steak, you were probably low in iron.
That means when we’re unhappy, stressed, or needing a pick- me-up, we might start craving foods that comfort us, such as ice cream. How do I stop craving unhealthy things? One thing is for sure: Restrictive diets don’t always work. It’s hard to “rewire” the brain by completely rejecting how it currently operates. Instead, you might want to consider accepting your cravings, but make slow and deliberate changes to how you satisfy those cravings. For example, if you’re craving potato chips, why not try kale chips or another crunchy but healthier alternative that you already enjoy? If you’re craving soda, why not crush some fresh fruit into sparkling water instead? Make it a treat, make it special, but make it healthier. Eating more filling, nutrient-dense food and getting more sleep are also great ways to fight cravings. It leaves little time or room for binging on bad foods. However, a six-month 2018 study in the National Institutes of Health has shown that flexibility in your diet can make a difference for making real, meaningful changes to your lifestyle long term. By overcoming shame and accepting your cravings, you won’t fear making a single mistake as much. It’s all about playing the long game.
However, the brain connection makes way more sense. Think about it: Does your body love
circulating excess sugar that can lead to health complications, or does your brain enjoy sugar more? After all, sugar releases the feel-good neurotransmitter
dopamine, which our brains love. A chocolate milkshake or lemon bar helps us feel good by literally triggering our brain’s pleasure centers.
ONE-PAN BAKED SALMON AND VEGGIES Inspired by BBCGoodFood.com
On March 25th, our beloved Teddy passed away peacefully
after a brief battle with cancer. He belonged to
• 1 lb spring potatoes, halved • 2 tbsp olive oil (divided) • 8 asparagus spears, trimmed and halved
• 2 handfuls cherry tomatoes • 1 tbsp balsamic vinegar
• 2 5-oz salmon fillets • 1 handful fresh basil
office manager Laura and was
Summit’s official greeter. Though in recent years his days were mostly spent napping under her desk, he was always happy to make a new friend. He was also in charge of “supervising” lunch time, and lending a paw if needed. Such a sweet and gentle spirit, Teddy was loved by all who knew him. He will be dearly missed and never forgotten. ♥
1. Preheat the oven to 400 F. 2. In an oven-proof dish, combine the potatoes and 1 tbsp olive oil. Roast for 20 minutes. 3. Remove the dish from the oven and add the asparagus. Toss, and bake for 15 more minutes. 4. Remove the dish from the oven and add the cherry tomatoes. Toss. Drizzle with balsamic, then nestle the salmon fillets into the vegetables. Drizzle with the remaining oil, and bake for 10–15 minutes. 5. Remove the dish from the oven, garnish with basil leaves, and serve!
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1. Paul’s Unconventional Wedding Story 2. Choosing the Perfect Massage Gun How Do I Reward My Fitness Habits? 3. Cravings — And How to Stop Them One-Pan Baked Salmon and Veggies 4. Stretching Preserves Flexibility INSIDE THIS ISSUE
STRETCHING PRESERVES YOUR FLEXIBILITY FOR LIFE A NOT-SO-SECRET FOR YOUR LONGEVITY
Engineers and doctors can agree on one thing: Lubrication is often necessary for joints to function and move properly, including human joints. Every day, your joints create fluid that allows your arms, legs, neck, and back to move properly. But did you know that by stretching and using your full range of motion once a day, you can help those joint fluids preserve your flexibility and balance? Many people are worried about their independence later in life, and an improper sense of balance can be a big part of that. Stretching keeps muscles flexible, strong, and healthy, but the “flexible” part is more important than most people think. Without flexibility, our muscles shorten and become tight — and even with the fluids that our joints create, without regularly stretching, we’ll still be unable to use our full range of motion.
By the time you need your muscles for activity, they’re weak and unable to extend fully. This puts you at risk for joint pain, strains, and muscle damage. Can stretching extend my life? Not only does stretching improve your independence, but it might also help you live longer. Studies show that stretching is linked to improved circulation, and better blood flow can lead to improved heart health and cardiovascular function. Considering that heart disease is the leading cause of death among adults in the U.S., that’s a huge bonus! The benefits of stretching are best enjoyed without injury, however, and that’s why it’s important to warm yourself up before stretching. Although it used to be thought that stretching is the first step before exercise, it’s now becoming more commonly understood that light
activity is better for preventing injuries from overstretching. Physical therapist David Nolan of Massachusetts General Hospital told Harvard Health, “All it takes to warm up the muscles before stretching is 5–10 minutes of light activity, such as a quick walk. You can also stretch after an aerobic or weight-training workout.” If you’re worried about joint pain, it’s smart to stretch as well as build stronger muscles to carry your body weight more effectively — especially around your spine, hips, and knees, which do most of the heavy lifting. Proper stretching and joint
care can take years of effort, but as research shows, it pays off over many decades.
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