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Ten tips to help prevent falls

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Falls are the leading cause of injury among seniors, and most hospital admissions for injuries are due to falls. Falls can often be avoided simply by taking a few steps to adapt to the changes that come with age—changes in vision, hearing, balance, and bone density. Following some fall prevention tips can help you stay safely in your home for years to come.

1. Install more lighting in the darkest areas of your home so you can see well despite failing eyesight.

2. If necessary, move your furniture so you can circulate more easily in the different rooms.

3. Reorganize the contents of your kitchen cabinets and closets so as to make frequently used items more easily accessible.

4. Purchase a stepladder with a safety rail for reaching high objects.

5. Exercise more to maintain balance and build muscle strength.

6. Make sure that the bottom of your shower stall and bath have non-slip surfaces; use a non-slip bath mat on the bathroom floor to avoid slipping when coming out of the shower.

7. If necessary, install grab bars in the shower, bath, and near the toilet. Never use a towel rack for support.

8. Use a cane or walker, if you feel the need for one, in order to avoid tiring yourself unnecessarily.

9. Wear good comfortable shoes with flat heels, as they are more stable.

10. During the winter wear ice grips, also known as ice cleats, to avoid slipping.

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How to follow the pegan diet

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The pegan diet purports to focus on improving health by reducing inflammation and stabilizing blood sugar. Created by American physician Dr. Mark Hyman, it combines certain key principles from veganism and the paleolithic diet. Here’s a look at what the pegan diet entails.

Recommended food
Unlike veganism, this hybrid diet doesn’t prohibit eating meat. However, the pegan diet encourages eating grass-fed, pasture-raised sources of animal protein, and making meat a side dish rather than the main course. Fish and eggs are also permitted.

As for fruits and vegetables, they should make up three-quarters of your diet. However, low-sugar fruits and non-starchy vegetables are preferable. Gluten-free whole grains and sources of healthy fats, such as nuts and seeds, are allowed in limited quantities.

Restricted food
While the pegan diet is arguably less restrictive than a vegan or paleo diet, certain foods are strongly discouraged. These include:

• Gluten
• Sugar
• Processed foods
• Refined oils
• Food additives
• Dairy products

The diet also discourages eating most grains and legumes.

Pros and cons
On the plus side, the pegan diet focuses on consuming an abundance of healthy, nutrient-rich fruits, vegetables, and fats. Eating these foods can help foster good heart health, prevent disease and reduce inflammation.

The downside is that the diet restricts a number of healthy foods, which can potentially result in nutritional deficiencies. It can also be an expensive and time-consuming diet to maintain.

Always keep in mind that before you make a significant change to your diet, you should consult with your doctor, a nutritionist, or a dietitian.

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5 activities to boost your endurance

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Some workouts get your heart pumping faster than others. If you’re looking for a way to improve your cardiovascular endurance, here are five activities to try.

1. Boxing. Fast footwork and dynamic punching combinations keep you on your toes, improving both your muscular and cardiovascular endurance. Boxing is also a great way to relieve stress and boost your confidence. If you prefer, you can opt for classes that focus on solo boxing drills rather than sparring.

2. Cross-country skiing. This sport provides a full-body, aerobic workout that can be sustained for hours. The smooth gliding motion is easy on your joints and improves your balance. Plus, you can enjoy winter landscapes as you ski along trails blanketed in snow.

3. Swimming. The sustained effort required to swim laps increases your heart rate and lung capacity but places limited stress on your joints. This makes swimming a low-impact workout that’s suitable for people of all ages. It also engages various muscle groups, especially if you learn different strokes.

4. Running. This activity is a simple way to boost your cardiovascular endurance, and it can be done almost anywhere. Keep in mind that speed isn’t key. Instead, start slow and focus on running longer distances to see improvements in your stamina.

5. Zumba. This fitness program combines Latin-inspired dance moves, muscle-toning exercises, and lively music to get your heart pumping and your hips swaying. Zumba is both a fun workout and a healthy way to burn calories and lose weight.

If you want to boost your endurance by participating in these activities, consider signing up for a class or joining a club in your area.

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5 reasons to increase your flexibility

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Flexibility plays a key role in your overall fitness. In fact, stretching your muscles and joints on a regular basis can make a variety of everyday activities easier. Here are the five main benefits of increasing your flexibility.

1. It improves your posture and balance

2. It increases your range of motion

3. It reduces your risk of getting injured

4. It helps your muscles work more effectively

5. It reduces aches, pains, and muscle tension

Furthermore, stretching after your exercise facilitates muscle recovery and repair. It also prevents lactic acid from building up and causing muscle soreness.

Keep in mind that stretching shouldn’t be painful. Though it’s normal to feel a pulling sensation, a sharp or stabbing pain means you’ve over-extended your muscles or joints, which can result in injury.

Activities to try
Stretching is just one of many ways to improve your flexibility. You can also try yoga, tai chi, water aerobics, Pilates, ballet, and more. Consider signing up for a beginners’ class in your area.

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One cause of health problems can be mistaken for aging

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One condition, not uncommon in women, can be misdiagnosed as a typical problem in aging.

An underactive thyroid gland (hypothyroidism) can be responsible for a number of conditions throughout the body. But, often patients just experience one of the many possible symptoms. To make matters worse, the symptoms resemble problems typical of normal aging.

Joint and muscle pain is a classic symptom, according to Harvard Health. Large muscle groups, like those in the legs, can begin to ache. Sometimes it is the only symptom of hypothyroidism in an older person.

If you suddenly start forgetting the names of your grandkids and maybe your memory seems shorter, it could be hypothyroidism, especially if it has gone undiagnosed for some time.

Another common symptom is depression. Like muscle pain, depression can be the only noticeable symptom of hypothyroidism. In severe, untreated cases, adults can even experience hallucinations.

Constipation may be dismissed as a routine problem, but it often accompanies low thyroid.

Unexplained high cholesterol can pop up in tests and be a sign that the thyroid should be checked.

Finally, low thyroid levels can even make your heart work poorly with weaker contractions and a slower heart rate.

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Make daikon part of your diet

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Daikon is a sweet, mildly spicy root vegetable that resembles a plump white carrot. Also known as white or Japanese radish, daikon is popular in many types of Asian cuisine and a great addition to your winter meals.

Benefits
This crunchy cruciferous vegetable is an excellent source of vitamin C, folate, and antioxidants. In addition to being low in calories, some studies indicate that eating daikon:

• Helps protect against certain cancers and chronic conditions like heart disease

• Slows cognitive decline by helping to protect cells against oxidative damage
• Increases satiety and promotes a healthy body weight

How to eat it
Daikon can be served raw or cooked. Often, it’s thinly sliced for pickling or to be used as a garnish. However, it also makes a tasty addition to a variety of hot and cold dishes and can even be used in baked goods. This winter, try daikon pan-fried or roasted. Additionally, the greens can be used in salads, soups, and stir-fries.

How to store it
Keep daikon in a perforated plastic bag or wrapped in a damp towel in the fridge. It should last for several weeks. Store the greens separately.

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What are the health risks of vaping?

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Electronic cigarettes are devices designed to heat a nicotine-based liquid into a vapor, which can then be inhaled. Here’s a look at the known health risks associated with vaping.

Exposure to nicotine
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, vaping is a less harmful option than smoking if you already smoke. However, since most e-cigarette liquids contain nicotine, they pose a number of health risks. Among other things, vaping can:

· Lead to addiction

· Affect memory and concentration
· Cause behavioral problems
· Alter brain development

It should be noted that adolescents are particularly susceptible to the dangerous effects of nicotine. This is why it’s illegal to sell or give vaping products to anyone under the age of 21.

Exposure to other chemicals
The main liquids found in vaping products are vegetable glycerin, propylene glycol, and chemicals used for flavor such as diacetyl. When these substances are heated in a vaping device, they create a carcinogen called formaldehyde. Other toxins that can be found in e-cigarette vapor include nickel, tin, and aluminum.

Heart and lung disease
Inhaling the harmful chemicals found in e-cigarettes increases the risk of cardiovascular and lung disease. Health experts are also currently investigating the rise of a severe and potentially fatal lung disease referred to as vaping-associated pulmonary injury (VAPI).

While the potential long-term effects of vaping are still unknown, there’s no doubt that the use of e-cigarettes is hazardous. The best way to avoid the health risks associated with vaping is to not start or to ask a health-care professional for advice on how to quit.

The hazard of batteries
Vaping devices can be dangerous if they’re not properly used or stored. The lithium-ion batteries in electronic cigarettes can overheat, catch fire, or explode in your pocket if they come into contact with metal objects like loose coins or keys.

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King Cartoons

Front Royal
27°
Clear
6:41am6:07pm EST
Feels like: 27°F
Wind: 0mph ENE
Humidity: 75%
Pressure: 30.05"Hg
UV index: 0
ThuFriSat
48/25°F
43/28°F
43/27°F

Upcoming Events

Mar
3
Wed
9:00 am Community Blood Drive @ Front Royal Fire and Rescue Department
Community Blood Drive @ Front Royal Fire and Rescue Department
Mar 3 @ 9:00 am – 2:00 pm
Community Blood Drive @ Front Royal Fire and Rescue Department
The Front Royal Police Department is sponsoring a blood drive on Wednesday, and all eligible donors are encouraged to log onto redcrossblood.org to schedule a donation of the GIFT OF LIFE! Jeff Farmer and the[...]
9:00 am Free Tax Preparation @ Good Shepherd Lutheran Church
Free Tax Preparation @ Good Shepherd Lutheran Church
Mar 3 @ 9:00 am – 12:00 pm
Free Tax Preparation @ Good Shepherd Lutheran Church
Free tax preparation will be available again this year through the AARP Tax Aide at Good Shepherd Lutheran Church in Front Royal, Monday and Wednesday mornings beginning Feb. 15th. To make an appointment, please call[...]
Mar
9
Tue
6:30 pm Dance Fitness Class @ Warren County Community Center
Dance Fitness Class @ Warren County Community Center
Mar 9 @ 6:30 pm – 7:30 pm
Dance Fitness Class @ Warren County Community Center
This class is for all fitness levels and anyone who is looking to have fun dancing to a variety of music styles from hip hop to swing to salsa, all while EXERCISING! This class will[...]
Mar
13
Sat
10:00 am HSWC Polar Plunge @ Culpeper Lake at the 4-H Center
HSWC Polar Plunge @ Culpeper Lake at the 4-H Center
Mar 13 @ 10:00 am – 1:00 pm
HSWC Polar Plunge @ Culpeper Lake at the 4-H Center
The Humane Society of Warren County “Polar Plunge” delayed from February 20 due to “too-polar” weather here in northwestern Virginia has been rescheduled to Saturday, March 13 – Don’t worry, it will still be a[...]
Mar
16
Tue
6:30 pm Dance Fitness Class @ Warren County Community Center
Dance Fitness Class @ Warren County Community Center
Mar 16 @ 6:30 pm – 7:30 pm
Dance Fitness Class @ Warren County Community Center
This class is for all fitness levels and anyone who is looking to have fun dancing to a variety of music styles from hip hop to swing to salsa, all while EXERCISING! This class will[...]
Mar
23
Tue
6:30 pm Dance Fitness Class @ Warren County Community Center
Dance Fitness Class @ Warren County Community Center
Mar 23 @ 6:30 pm – 7:30 pm
Dance Fitness Class @ Warren County Community Center
This class is for all fitness levels and anyone who is looking to have fun dancing to a variety of music styles from hip hop to swing to salsa, all while EXERCISING! This class will[...]
Mar
28
Sun
2:00 pm Pictures with the Easter Bunny @ Warren County Community Center
Pictures with the Easter Bunny @ Warren County Community Center
Mar 28 @ 2:00 pm – 4:00 pm
Pictures with the Easter Bunny @ Warren County Community Center
Come join the staff of Warren County Parks and Recreation and get your picture taken with the Easter Bunny! Pictures will be taken and printed on site; upon departure you will be given an Easter[...]
Mar
30
Tue
6:30 pm Dance Fitness Class @ Warren County Community Center
Dance Fitness Class @ Warren County Community Center
Mar 30 @ 6:30 pm – 7:30 pm
Dance Fitness Class @ Warren County Community Center
This class is for all fitness levels and anyone who is looking to have fun dancing to a variety of music styles from hip hop to swing to salsa, all while EXERCISING! This class will[...]
Apr
3
Sat
12:00 pm Egg-stravaganza! @ Sky Meadows State Park
Egg-stravaganza! @ Sky Meadows State Park
Apr 3 @ 12:00 pm – 4:00 pm
Egg-stravaganza! @ Sky Meadows State Park
Eggs are popping up all over Sky Meadows State Park. Visit our egg-laying free-range chickens by taking our Chicken Walk. Go on an egg-citing Geocache adventure. Kids, use your scavenger hunting skills using clues from[...]
Apr
17
Sat
all-day Shenandoah Epic @ Caroline Furnace
Shenandoah Epic @ Caroline Furnace
Apr 17 all-day
Shenandoah Epic @ Caroline Furnace
This tried and true Epic 24-hour AR will test your biking, paddling, trekking, and navigation skills as you explore two state parks (one of them brand new!) and national forest lands. Join soloists and teams[...]