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Recap: Boomers and Seniors Expo shows seniors healthy living options

The 65+ population is expected to nearly double in both St. Croix and Pierce counties by 2030. As baby boomers approach and enter retirement, they are looking for ways to stay active and healthy. Local and national companies and nonprofits are eager to capture this vital market demographic. Boomers and Seniors Expo brought them together in once place to learn more about products and services available in western Wisconsin.

Becky Durham, event organizer and Seniors Real Estate Specialist with RE/MAX Results, gave a presentation about seniors housing transitions.

“It can be scary for the 55+ population to consider selling a treasured family home,” Durham said. “Boomers and Seniors Expo is a great place to show seniors in Hudson and River Falls that they have a lot of options.”

Several exhibitors offered housing options, from independent living to assisted living to memory care, as well as in-home care that allows for seniors to age in place.

“Traditional nursing homes are a thing of the past.” Durham said. “We now have wonderful senior housing options that offer a dynamic social atmosphere, enjoyable amenities and planned activities. Many senior communities offer easy transitions from independent living to assisted living so you can remain in your home as you age.”

But there’s more to Boomers and Seniors Expo than housing. Travel, financial and estate planning, volunteer opportunities and a variety of health and wellness vendors presented attendees with opportunities to live vibrantly in retirement. Attendees were treated to free massages by Massage Envy in Hudson, free hearing assessments by Avada Hearing Care, and dozens of vendor samples and giveaways. Many visitors played exhibitor BINGO for a chance to win free tickets to The Phipps Center for the Arts and Stillwater Trolley.

The next Boomers and Seniors Expo event will be Saturday, Sept. 7, 2019 in Woodbury, Minn.

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Healthy Living: The RV Lady

She survived a brutal attack and somehow came back to succeed in a male-dominated business.

See how one woman took over the driver’s seat in the R.V. world and her advice for first time buyers. 

It’s today’s Healthy Living.

By the way, Gigi wrote a book about her experiences called “Unstoppable: Surviving is Just the Beginning” available on Amazon.



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Healthy Living: November 13, 2018

BANGOR, Maine (WABI) - This past Saturday at a conference of the American Heart Association in Chicago researchers announced the results of 2 large studies looking at who does and who might not benefit from commonly used supplements to lower cardiovascular risks. First the bad news: Fish oil and Vitamin D taken by healthy people at doses found in many over-the-counter supplements apparently did not show any clear health benefits. However, the good news is that for those at higher risk due to elevated triglycerides the use of prescription medicines can be associated with a lower risk of heart attacks and strokes, albeit at a cost.

More specifically, the first study compared the use of the drug Vascepa with that of a mineral oil placebo for 8,000 pts over a 5 year interval. Their findings as reported by the New England Journal of Medicine and the Associated Press, demonstrated a decreased risk of heart-related deaths and strokes. Analysis of the NNT data (how many pts are ‘needed to treat’) showed that only 21 people would need to take the medicine for five years to see one of these benefits, which is favorable when compared with other NNT statistics for many medical interventions The monthly average cost of $280 for this medication is a concern for many who may not have insurance, however. A five year’s expense for this medication would approach $17,000.

The second study looked at an older drug, marketed as Lovaza or Omacor, and showed less dramatic benefits with fewer heart attacks, but experts were divided on the implications. Because the placebo group was given olive oil instead of mineral oil used in the Vascepa study, the benefit may not have been as obvious. This second study also looked at vitamin D, with participants taking 2000 units versus dummy pills for five years. Unfortunately the vitamin D showed no additional benefit effect on the odds of heart disease or stroke, but there was a very slight decrease in cancer deaths. Because cancer can take years to develop, the study authors advocated for a longer study to define this possible benefit. However other experts, such as Dr. Clifford Rosen formerly of Bangor and now working for Maine Medical Center advised that these Vitamin D effects be interpreted with caution.
So what’s the bottom line for the average informed health care consumer? If you have the defined diagnosis of elevated triglycerides, you would be wise to have the conversation with your personal physician on how to address this. Certainly if you were able to treat this with the standard lower carbohydrate diet that is advised initially for most patients, that would not only be cheaper but probably safer in the long run. However if this preventive intervention were not effective for you, you may be a candidate for this class of medication. For the rest of us, you may want to save the dollars that you were spending on high dose vitamin D or fish oil and put it to better use – like that fishing vacation in the Gulf of Mexico. You would likely gets lots of vitamin D from the sunshine (don’t forget your block!) but with luck you could enjoy some tasty fish dinners and have more than just the beneficial oils!

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Healthy Living House Call: Vascular Health 101

Dr. Alan R. Wladis, a vascular surgeon at Florida Hospital, answered all your questions about vascular health.

For more information visit:






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HEALTHY LIVING: 5 things to know about adaptive indoor kayaking – Meriden Record

WALLINGFORD — Kayaking in open water may not be ideal this time of year, however indoor kayaking is an option for those with disabilities and injuries through an adaptive program at Gaylord Hospital.

  The Record-Journal talked with the instructors, as well as participants, during a recent introductory class. Here are five things to know about the activity.

Health benefits

The benefits associated with adaptive sports are physical and emotional.

Katie Kowalski, therapeutic recreation specialist at Gaylord Hospital and program specialist for Gaylord Hospital Sports Association, said the program gives participants the confidence to participate in sports they embraced before their injury or to try something new despite their disability.

“They’re able to build some physical endurance, work on some fine motor tasks and have that social experience as well with people that might have a similar disability,” she said.

Kayak instructors Judy and Brian Cooper said the adaptive kayak class gives participants the opportunity to look beyond their disability or injury.

“We’ve had several…return to do open water (kayaking) just because they like to get out and have that feeling of freedom,” Cooper said.

Kayaking also builds upper body muscles. For those that have limited mobility below the waist, kayaking is a way for them to fully enjoy a sport.

”Best thing I ever heard is ‘you put everyone in these kayaks and get them on the water, you don’t see the disability,’” Kowalski said.


Adaptive kayaking classes are offered in November, February, April and June.

“The main goal is to allow the participants to figure out if they’re comfortable in a kayak and comfortable in the pool water because if that doesn’t happen then they’re not going to be comfortable in open water,” Cooper said.


After participants complete the program, they are able to try open water kayaking during summer outings through the sports association in collaboration with New Haven Parks and Recreation. Some places kayakers can practice their skills are Lighthouse Point and Wintergreen Lake in New Haven.


According to Kowalski, a lot of participants have not been in a pool since their injury and getting back in the water is a challenge. 

For Cheshire resident Kimberly Molaskey, kayaking is the latest of the adaptive sports she has tried in the last seven years. 

“It’s nice that they have these adaptive sporting events that I can still participate in,” she said. “I’m so thankful now that I can do it.”

Eileen Hasson of Rocky Hill said she was looking forward to getting back in a kayak. She previously was involved in dragon boating and had kayaked on vacation.

“It’s just nice being on the water because it’s very serene and in my case I had a stroke about two and a half years ago,” she said. “There’s something about being on the water that’s calm.”


The adaptive sports program at Gaylord offers 15 different sports throughout the year including skiing, archery, cycling, curling, golf, rugby, rock climbing and others. 

More information can be found by calling 203-284-2772

Other local places, among others, that offer adaptive sports include The Hospital for Special Care’s Paralympic Sport Club and the Meriden YMCA’s adaptive summer camp for children.
Twitter: @KusReporter

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Healthy Living: Battling Addiction With Virtual Reality

The numbers are staggering.

More than 72,000 people died from a drug overdose last year alone.

That’s 200 a day.

One person every eight minutes.

And the vast majority of those overdoses were opioids. 

In the face of an ongoing health crisis, in Healthy Living we take a look at one cutting edge treatment designed to have people face their addiction head-on.

The VR headset will be available within the next six months for clinical use.

From his research on using virtual reality for addiction, Professor Bordnick is now looking to use virtual reality to empower children and adults with autism with job interviewing skills and social interaction.



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Healthy Living: Resetting the Brain

We’ve all felt it: life gets out of control, and we get stuck in a cycle of stress, and all the negative symptoms come with it.

Cereset is helping people ‘reset’ their brain’s balance, using only sound feedback.

In Healthy Living, we learn how it’s quick, non-invasive and patients don’t have to rely on medication. 

The Cereset system, including the home headband, costs about $2,000, depending on your location.

Cereset does not need to be FDA approved because it is a relaxation and wellness system.



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10 Probiotic Drinks You Can Make at Home

You can improve your gut health today without taking any medications or supplements. You only need to sip on probiotic drinks. These drinks contain beneficial bacteria, which researchers say provide numerous benefits to your body and brain.

Poor gut health may be to blame for your recurring skin infections, for example. Instead of using creams to treat the rashes, improve your gut health and your skin will become clearer.

You don’t have to break the bank to enjoy the benefits of probiotic drinks. You can make them at home using the recipes below.

10 Probiotic Drinks You Can Make at Home

1. Almond Milk Kefir

Who needs probiotic supplements when you can make almond milk kefir? It’s quite easy to make, and you can add it smoothies or even drink it by itself every morning.

Also, the recipe doesn’t require lots of ingredients. You only need raw almonds, sea salt, water, probiotic powder and alcohol-free stevia.

2. Lacto-Fermented Lemonade

You will love probiotic drinks after taking this fizzy drink. It’s easy to prep and affordable.

Make sure you use fresh lemons when prepping it. Bottled juices contain additives that can ruin the fermentation process.

3. Kombucha

Kombucha is one of the most popular probiotic drinks. But buying it every other day isn’t exactly budget-friendly.

Well, don’t let the price stop you from enjoying this nutritious drink. You can brew kombucha loaded with probiotics at home. Here’s how to do it.

4. Beet Kvass

You probably know that beets are highly nutritious, but I bet you didn’t know they could improve your gut health. Beets offer lots of probiotics when fermented with whey, salt, water.

Now, don’t skip this recipe because you’re vegan or lactose intolerant. Simply use  an extra tablespoon of salt in place of the whey.

5. Coconut Water Kefir

If you want to improve your digestion and complexion, take this drink regularly. Coconut water has strong antioxidant properties and even prevents kidney stones, according to research.

6. Natural Fizzy Ginger Ale

If you thought you couldn’t enjoy soda without excess fructose, think again. You can make naturally fizzy soda using ginger.

Note that this probiotic drink may contain alcohol when fermented for weeks, so use the short fermentation process to make fizzy ginger ale without alcohol.

7. Pineapple Ginger Tepache

There are many reasons to love this fermented drink other than the sweet taste of pineapples. The main ingredients (pineapples, ginger, Manuka honey) are loaded with enzymes, probiotics, and vitamins.

This drink only takes 72 hours to ferment, which is a short period compared to most probiotic drinks.

8. Jun Tea

Legend has it that Jun tea is brewed by monks and spiritual warrior nomads in the Himalayas. That’s why to some, Jun tea is not just a probiotic drink, it’s a spiritual elixir.

While you may not be interested in the spiritual part of it, you definitely want to drink this tea, which is made with green tea and honey. It actually ferments faster than its cousin kombucha.

9. Water Kefir

If you have kefir grains, you can make this drink in about 10 minutes since you only need water, sugar, and glass jars. It only needs to ferment for two to four days, total, so it’s a relatively quick probiotic drink to make.

10. Kanji

This Indian drink is made by fermenting vegetables. To make it you need beets, carrots, mustard powder, water, cayenne, salt and black pepper.

Have you tried any of these probiotic drinks? Which ones are your favorites?

Images via Getty

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6 Myths About Sugar that Will Blow Your Mind

I doubt there is anyone who doesn’t know that high sugar intake is detrimental to our health. After all, the Internet is filled with studies, documentaries and testimonials about sugar’s the ill effects.

However, in the midst of this ocean of information (and misinformation) about sugar, there are myths about sugar that many have come to believe. Luckily, most of these myths don’t have any ill effects on your health. But they’ll definitely blow your mind and change your perception about sugar.

6 Myths About Sugar that Will Blow Your Mind

Myth 1: You need to go on a sugar-free diet to stay healthy.

Since sugar has been linked to diabetes, obesity, cancer and other serious health conditions, many try to completely cut it out of their diet.

That is not necessary. Small amounts of sugar can give you energy without ruining your health.

The FDA recommends limiting sugar intake to less than 10 percent of your total daily caloric intake, which is about 12.5 teaspoons a day. Note that this includes sugar from all sources, even healthy ones such as fruits.

Myth 2: Some types of sugars are better than others.

Are you confused whether to use white or brown sugar or honey? The truth is, all these types of sugar are high in calories, and your body breaks them all down into glucose.

Using natural sugars in place of table sugar won’t help, if your goal is to lose weight or regulate blood sugar levels. However, natural sugars such as honey and molasses do contain beneficial nutrients.

Myth 3: All sugary foods are sweet.

If you don’t eat candy or any other sweet foods, you may assume that you’re on a sugar-free diet. The truth is non-sweet foods such as soups, sauces and low-fat foods, can actually contain high amounts of hidden sugar.

It’s important to read labels if you’re trying to cut back on sugar to make sure you’re not unknowingly consuming excess sugar.

Myth 4: Sugar-free foods are healthier.

Don’t be too quick to grab sugar-free foods. These foods may contain high amounts of sodium, fats and artificial sweeteners. You’re better off consuming unprocessed foods, since they don’t contain hidden ingredients.

Myth 5:  You need to avoid fruit.

We’ve been told to eat more fruit ever since we were kids. However, the demonization of sugar has made some question whether the sugar in fruit harms our health. The truth is, fruits have more sugar than other whole foods, but they also contain fiber and vitamins and offer chewing resistance.

In fact, most people feel full after eating one large apple, which only contains 13 grams of fructose. This is not the same as drinking a bottle of coke, which has 30 grams of fructose and no nutritional value.

The benefits of fruits outweigh the effects of the fructose it contains. Research shows that eating fruit every day can lower the risk of heart disease by seven percent.

Myth 6: Sugar makes kids hyperactive.

Ask any parent, and they will tell you that sugar makes kids hyperactive. But research shows that’s not true. Different studies have proven that sugar does not affect behavior in children.

In this study, mothers rated their children as hyperactive when they were told they had ingested sugar, while in truth they hadn’t.  Another study found that parents didn’t think their kids were hyperactive if they didn’t know they ate sugar.

Which of these sugar myths did you find most surprising? Are there other myths about sugar that youd add to this list? Tell us in the comments.

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Healthy Living for your Brain and Body

Healthy Living for your Brain and Body: Tips from the latest research Kendra Lund, Program Manager of the Alzheimer’s Association will present 4 areas of lifestyle habits associated with healthy aging, Wednesday, November 29, 10:30 a.m. at Bethany On The Lake Chapel, 1020 Lark Street. These habits may also help to keep our brains healthy as we age and possibly delay the onset of cognitive decline. This workshop covers four areas of lifestyle habits that are associated with healthy aging: · Cognitive activity · Physical health and exercise · Diet and nutrition · Social engagement This program is free and open to the public as part of Bethany On The Lake’s Senior Lifestyle Academy. For questions call 320-763-2192.

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