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WILLBOYWONDER's Recent Blog Entries

An Apple a Day Keeps the Doctor Away!!!

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Have you ever noticed how many different types of apples there are? I was in a Whole Foods Market the other day and counted 10 different kinds of apples on display. One of the produce workers in the store told me that there are more than 7,000 varieties of apples in the world. Thatís incredible! He went on to say that most stores typically offer the most popular Ė and the ones that are the most economical to sell and the ones easiest to acquire.

If you like apples the way that I do, you could easily eat an apple a day Ė or several of them a day. But do they really keep the doctor away like that old popular phrase indicated? Of course not; however, apples really are a building block for long-term good health because they are low in calories, high in fiber, and full of antioxidants. In addition, I did some research and discovered that there are several other great benefits apples can offer to your health. Here are a few of them:

Nutrients in apples can help protect the lungs news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/health/610068.s

Nutrients in apples can help to lower the incidence of cardiovascular disease www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/6

Nutrients in apples can help protect against forms of dementia, such as Alzheimerís www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/9

Nutrients in apples (as well as apple cider vinegar) can help treat acid reflux disease www.associatedcontent.com/article/7

Nutrients in apples can help prevent against certain types of cancers www.webmd.com/cancer/news/20041018/

These are just a sampling of the many benefits of eating apples. But apples are also very tasty and versatile and can be used to make many great things. So, what are you waiting for. Go get some apples. They may indeed help to keep the doctor away.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

GRACED24/7 9/26/2009 6:20PM

    Today when I went to the natural foods co-op, I smiled when I saw the many types of apples they had on display!

Thanks for the post Will.


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PAULDODO 9/26/2009 4:14AM

    Apples- I can't remember a time in my life when my parents DIDN'T have fresh fruit on the table- apples were especially abundant as my dad always maintains a tree or six in the garden!

Get the fruit kick, guys!


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TRAVELNISTA 9/22/2009 10:00PM

    I love apples of all kinds and prefer them raw rather than in a pie. In fact, many weekends during the fall and winter I will do an apple detox by eating jut apples all day long for one day, usually a Sunday. I do not believe in a water fast but I will do a mono meal fast meaning just eating one kind of fruit at a meal and choose just to eat apples for each meal and snack all day long.

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LIVINHEALTHY9 9/22/2009 9:37PM

    Besides just being good, it's wonderful to know all the good things they do for you.
Great blog and info as always, Will.

Granny Smith are my favorites. I love the tartness.


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KIALNOR 9/22/2009 8:16PM

    The best tasting fruit sounds so awesome for you!! :-)
thanks for the links!

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36ROCK 9/22/2009 7:40PM

    Really enjoy all of your blog's. Thanks and keep it up!

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JBDIAS 9/22/2009 5:34PM

    Great work. I eat couple a day so now I will keep eating them.

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TEACHINGAGAIN 9/22/2009 4:38PM

    One thing though. The gerd link did not work for me (www.associatedcontent.com/article/

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TEACHINGAGAIN 9/22/2009 4:36PM

    Spark People really ought to hire you to write for them. You always write worthwhile blogs.

There was an article in our newspaper just the other day about apples which also confirms what you wrote - there are 7000 varieties in the world. It also said that China was the leader in growing apples which I didn't know.

Keep up the good writing!


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PETERTAWFIK 9/22/2009 1:02PM

    gr8 i need to add that to my diet then

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National Cholesterol Education Month

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

We're halfway through National Cholesterol Education Month, a time to bring attention to one of the biggest indicators of heart disease. It kills more than half a million people every year. I thought Iíd highlight this topic pointing some important factoidsl for you to think about.

So, what is cholesterol? According to the National Institutes of Health (the Diseases and Conditions Index), cholesterol is a waxy, fat-like substance produced naturally in your body and is also found in some of the foods you eat. Over time, excessive amounts of it can build up on the walls of your arteries preventing adequate amounts of blood from reaching your heart. This can lead to chest pains, a stroke, or even a heart attack. Some people may experience shortness of breath or may be come light headed. Thatís what happened to my grandmother quite often. She would get light headed and dizzy if she over exerted herself too much or if she became excited.

The important thing to note about cholesterol is that sometimes, there are no visible signs that you may have a problem. Just like with blood pressure or with glucose levels, you canít always know unless you get tested. It is another one of those ďsilent killersĒ that is responsible for many deaths. While diet, weight, and physical activity Ė things you can control Ė are the biggest factors impacting cholesterol, it can also be impacted by age and heredity Ė things beyond your control. Even though age and heredity are beyond your control, you can counteract them through lifestyle changes. Even some people who maintain a healthy lifestyle still have a cholesterol problem, indicative of the many cholesterol drugs on the market. Therefore, you need to have it checked to be sure.

If you havenít had your cholesterol checked or if it has been a while, make plans to have it checked soon. It just might save your life.

Disease and Conditions Index, National Institutes of Health, National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute

National Cholesterol Education Month

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

TRAVELNISTA 9/15/2009 10:10PM

    Great information that everyone needs to pay attention to. I am happy to report my Cholesterol level the last time it was checked was 165.

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LIVINHEALTHY9 9/15/2009 8:58PM

Thanks for the great information and reminder to get a cholesterol check.


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PLATINUM755 9/15/2009 7:51PM

    emoticonfor the blog and the links...definitely something everyone should be aware of and pay attention to.

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The Benefit of Sharing Your Goals

Friday, September 11, 2009

Sometimes, our friends and relatives can be an important part of our weight loss journey. Thatís one of the premises of Sparkpeople.com Ė people supporting each other (ďsparkingĒ each other) to achieve their goals. Thatís why you should let everyone know that youíre striving to shed some pounds. Nobody really needs to know how much youíre trying to lose. Whether you need to lose 50 or 10 or 80 or 15 pounds Ė or whatever Ė is really a private matter. But the fact that you need to lose definitely should be shared.

Letís say you and your sister or a good friend are out at the mall and you pass by Cinnabon. The aroma draws you in, and before you know it, you have put down about 800 calories for the regular Classic Cinnabon. If you get the Caramel Pecan Cinnabon, youíre looking at 1000 calories, and thatís just for one. Even the small Cinnabon Bites will rack up 500 calories a piece; however, I donít want to beat up on Cinnabon. You can choose any number of food court restaurants. Most of them will likely make it difficult for you to maintain your diet. Same thing for times when youíre hanging out at home snacking too much, and after youíre done eating, you probably start feeling guilty. This happens all the time. It has happened to me a few times.

Having a buddy who can nudge us (and we can nudge them) when we're about to slip is just an extra layer of security, especially in the early stages of your dieting. Obviously nobody can control what we put into our mouths but us; however, a little encouragement from a buddy could be just the thing to keep from falling off that wagon. So, go ahead and keep sharing your goals. It might be the secret ingredient to your long-term success.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

LIVINHEALTHY9 9/11/2009 10:16PM

    Having support is really beneficial. Whether it comes from friends, family or Spark friends.
I know all the support I received here on Spark People really encouraged me.

Great blog Will!



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TRAVELNISTA 9/11/2009 9:56PM

    I definitely depend on the support system of my family and friends. One of my major obstacles to overcome is that I eat with my eyes or nose, smells get to me to also. In the past all I had to do was see or smell food that I liked and I would eat it whether I was hungry or not.

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    I have shared my journey with anyone who seems interested and wants to know. I definitely feel the support from other in my family (esp. my husband as he has joined me in this journey). Especially helpful in this has been my sister-in-law. We go there quite often, and I've seen her put a little more effort in trying to provide healthier food when we go there. I also feel the support of my Spark People friends, and I really appreciate that too!

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    Oh so true! What a difference a emoticon makes on this journey! I'm so grateful for mine!!
Thanks for the wonderful blog to remind me how thankful I am!
Cathy emoticon

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COOP9002 9/11/2009 1:15PM

    Having someone to walk alongside us on our journey is a huge help. Thanks for sharing your thoughts on this matter so well.

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Getting Your Flu Shot?

Friday, August 28, 2009

With the Swine Flu going around Ė or the H1N1 virus as it is referred to by some Ė as well as the many other strains of the flu that are circulating, people are lining up for their flu shots. This year more than ever, advocates are recommending the shot, especially for people in high risk groups, such as (1) the elderly, (2) children, (3) persons with a chronic medical condition, and (4) people working in the health care field including public safety rescue workers; however, I know of several people who donít fit into these categories who get their shots every year. Is it paranoia or preventive medicine? I have never had one. I have always been in pretty good health, and knowing that there is sometimes a shortage of the influenza vaccine, I figure that plenty of people are more in need of a shot than I am.

Lately, I have been wondering whether I ought to get a shot. The few times over the years when I got the flu, my bodyís immune system kicked into gear and I was back to normal without much wear and tear. One time when my doctor told me I had the flu virus, I didnít feel any more sick than when I had a run-of-the mill cold.

I guess like anything else that can impact the body, the flu affects people differently. Do you ever get a flu shot? I think Iíll pass again this year. Until my body really needs it, Iíll let someone get my shot who may have a greater need for it. There'll probably be another shortage again this year.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

BAREADER 9/4/2009 1:55PM

    Same experience here, the one time I got it I got very sick I was down for the entire week of Thankgiving hoiday! Not sure if what I had was the flu but I sure was sick and it took months for my appetite to come back.

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LIVNFITNHAPPY 8/30/2009 2:56AM

    I have never gotten a flu shot and do not intend to get one this year. My
immune system has done a great job thus far and I do not have any health issues that would put me in the high risk category. I am also a minimalist when it comes to drugs.

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_VALEO_ 8/30/2009 1:17AM

    I avoid vaccines as possible, and we won't get this one, not going to give my money to get Tamiflu, (even if here it is fully reimbursed thanks to our health care system). It is too suspicious for many reasons, to my eyes.
Rumsfeld has made a killing out of bird flu... and when I say killing it is not only in a metaphorical way.

Comment edited on: 8/30/2009 1:19:19 AM

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DEEANN8 8/30/2009 12:04AM

    I never get the flu shot. I am a minimalist when it comes to drugs. I prefer not to let drugs do for my body what my body can do for itself. It might be different if I were already immunocompromised with some disease process.


Comment edited on: 8/30/2009 12:05:27 AM

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GRACED24/7 8/29/2009 9:54PM

    I recall getting very sick as a freshmen in high school 1976. I missed 3 days of school, my body ached all over and I had a very high tempature. I believe had the swine flu of the 70's. I have not been sick with the flu again and I haven't ever had the flu shot. I don't plan on having a flu shot this year or ever!

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JUSTYNA7 8/29/2009 9:32PM

    I used to think the same as you. I used to pick up hitch hikers too. Then one day my husband told me "NO! You may never pick up a hitch hiker again!" "Why? I said, "It's my life and I have always had good experiences and I like helping people" "Because" he said, "It's not just your life any more. That's selfish. You have me and three beautiful girls to think about. We NEED you to be safe." That has made me think ever since. OK, so I can get the flu and my history is I don't get very sick. But what if I pass it on to someone else who is not as healthy as I am? Someone I love or even someone I shake hands with at church? I don't tend to get many symptoms so that makes me more likely to go to work or go out and be around other people. So, does the flu shot help PREVENT you get it? Or just make the symptoms less?

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1LBDOWN 8/29/2009 12:01PM

  Oh yes, I'll be getting it. I've had recent abdominal surgery and the idea of throwing up sounds about as appealing as a tonguectomy. No, thank you.

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ASH72461 8/29/2009 7:04AM

  since i work in nursing ,i get a flu shot every year
because i never know what i might be exsposed to
and so far i have not missed a day of work due to the flu in over 3 years
so it must be helping

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LIVINHEALTHY9 8/28/2009 9:06PM

    I have never gotten a flu shot.
I remember when I was younger, my Mom got one and she got really sick afterward.
So, that has kind of scared me away from getting it.
I do know since I joined Spark and am eating healthier and exercising, I haven't gotten the flu.
My body seems to be better at fighting off colds and the flu.

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TRAVELNISTA 8/28/2009 7:18PM

    I no longer get a flu shot. When I have in the past I always got the flu. The years I did not get the shot I never got the flu. Go figure.

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MARYANNE4403 8/28/2009 4:38PM

    me and the children have gotten the flu shot faithfully for i can't tell you how many years, my husband NEVER gets it, every year shortly after we get it, we all get as sick as dog's, this year we will pass, NONE of us will be getting the flu shot and i'm a nurse

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    I started getting them years ago when I was actively working in the health care industry. Now, I continue to get them. An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.

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CHARGER25 8/28/2009 1:05PM

    I never used to get a flu shot but over the last 5 years I began getting one. I can't say for sure that it has helped other than the fact that I have not had the flu in the years that I get the shot. Part of this could be that I am just lucky.

This year I am getting two flu shots one for the H1N1 and one for all others....sounds like overkill but that is what my doctor has recommended.

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CJHAEN 8/28/2009 10:47AM

    I am a health care worker, so I get the flu shot annually. In my case, I think that makes sense. For me not to get the shot could be irresponsible, since I could pass it on to countless chronically ill patients. I agree for those people not in high risk categories, though, it is not only unnecessary, but could prevent people in higher risk categories from getting access to the shot if there is a shortage of vaccines. Were I not a health care worker, I probably would not get the vaccine.

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Easy Exercise at Work

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

I was thinking last night about how hard it can be to do more physical activity when you work in an office environment. That can make it hard to get any exercise. If youíre like me and sit behind a desk all day, the only exercise you may get is walking down the hall to the bathroom. Thatís not good, especially if you have as a goal to get in at least 10,000 steps. So, here are five easy things that I use to help get me more mobile in the workplace.

First, if you have to go down the hall to another office or to another floor, donít take the quickest route. Take the longest route, and if possible take the stairs rather than the elevator. That is great to get the blood flowing and your heart rate up.

Second, get an exercise stress ball to keep at your desk. They can vary in their dimensions, however, most are about the size of a plum. Squeezing them can help relieve stress. They can also be good to relieve symptoms of carpal tunnel. The flexibility of your hands as well as improved grip is also a benefit of a stress ball. They are relatively inexpensive. The one I bought cost $4.99, but I have seen them for as much as $6 or as little as $2, depending on where you get it and any sales or discounts stores may offer.

Third, try marching in place. If you have a letter, e-mail, or report to read, simulate a forward march from your chair. Simply lift your legs, one after the other, at your own pace. This movement will help strengthen your calf muscles and tighten your abs.

Fourth, stand up and stretch. Extend your arms straight up in the air, as if youíre trying to grab the ceiling. Stop for 15-20 seconds then reach down, with your knees only slightly bent, stretch your arms down toward the floor. Stretching is good to help increase your flexibility and balance.

Fifth and last,raise your heels resting all of your weight on your toes and hold for 5 seconds before going back down again. Do this several times for a 1-2 minute period. This can help stimulate the muscles in your legs and ankles. If necessary, use your desk, wall, or file cabinet to help you maintain your balance; however you should strive to do this without any help.

These are simply things you can do not only at work, but also at home. With a little creativity, you can devise many of your own exercises. Every little movement burns some measure of calories. The more you do, the more calories you burn.

Letís Get Physical!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

MARYANNE4403 8/28/2009 7:56AM

    GREAT suggestions

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JUSTYNA7 8/27/2009 10:30AM

    I think some of these would be good driving too

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MOTHER-NATURE 8/27/2009 7:48AM

    These are great suggestions .. I don't work in an office, but I can sure do them at home ... thanks so much for the tips



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DEEANN8 8/26/2009 10:14PM

    emoticon emoticon

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LIVINHEALTHY9 8/26/2009 9:43PM

    Great suggestions as always, Will
For years, I had a desk job, now I have a job that requires me to be pretty active. I do get quite a few steps daily because of that.
But, good info to know if I ever go back to working from a desk.


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EILAROSE1 8/26/2009 10:50AM

    NIce blog,
Will definetly try some of your suggestions
Thank You, everything helps

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PLATINUM755 8/26/2009 10:44AM

    Great blog...just a few that I also do...cheek squeeze which you do while sitting or standing at the copy machine; leg extensions; as long as you're stretching the arms upwards, reach back, clasp you hand and squeeze the shoulder blades together; good tension relievers for me is the head roll, head tilts (side to side, front and back), shoulder shrugs and upper torso twist from side to side)...and you're absolutely right, be creative! emoticon

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JCHOATEX2 8/26/2009 10:27AM

    Will, excellent ideas and I'm going to incorporate the ones I'm not currently doing. I hate being behind a desk all day, because I AM so sedentary. Thanks for the tips. emoticon

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    What a great blog for us desk dwellers! Thank you so much!
Cathy emoticon

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SWOODHOUSE 8/26/2009 10:20AM

    Thank you so much for the helpful advice. That's is my biggest problem is sitting all day now I make myself get up and walk or stand every hour for atleast ten minutes.

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