Take Control of Your Own Health and Fitness. The good news: More people over 65 are exercising than ever before.

Embrace the Season and Power of Change

September is a time of change, as temperatures get cooler, days get shorter, and leaves start to fall.

As the famous words – from the Bible and a 1960s hit song – tell us, “To everything turn, turn turn… There is a season… and a time to every purpose under heaven.”

So, what can we learn about our healthy habits during this time of year? It’s a great question for everyone, no matter where you are on the fitness spectrum. And what better time to improve your position on that spectrum than during this month of change?

Change comes in a few ways, as we have all learned by now. Sometimes it comes at us, as part of nature – like autumn or the weather. Sometimes changes are forced on us by other people or by circumstances we can’t control.

But another kind of change flows from inside each of us when we’re ready to improve ourselves.

Too many people dread the idea of making changes or improving themselves.

But what if we learn from our past and remember when we decided to lean into the forces of change, to make the power of nature work FOR us instead of fighting it? Can you remember a time in life when you wanted desperately something different and worked like hell to get it?

Maybe you landed a desired job or a date with your future spouse.

Maybe you got in shape once before or started eating right.

The point is this: You can make positive changes in your life.

You can set a goal to get in better shape.

You can start small and celebrate each little success along the way.

You can find a helpful, supportive community of likeminded people to help you and encourage you.

You can have the life you want, not matter how old you are or how out-of-shape you might be.

This isn’t just us saying so. Science proves the benefits of exercise come quickly at any point in life.

And change begets change. Start working out a few times a week, and you’ll start eating better, too. You’ll start sleeping better… looking better, feeling better, and moving better…

It’s the nature of change, which is also what? CONSTANT.

Even if you avoid change and stay at home on the couch, you’ll still be changing – just not in the direction that leads to freedom and a joyful quality of life.

So, seize the day, seize the season, and come see us now.

We’ll assess where you are and help you set smart goals. We’ll show you what’s fun, safe and effective. And all we ask is that you open your mind and move your body – in the spirit of powerful, positive CHANGE.

You’ve made harder changes before and turned, turned, turned to face a brighter future because of it.

Let’s head into the last third of the year set to make it the best yet.

How to Reduce Your Risk of Skin Cancer

The recent death of “Margaritaville” singer Jimmy Buffett from skin cancer at 76 is a good reason to think about the disease.

Buffett’s website said he had Merkel cell carcinoma for four years. “A rare and aggressive form of skin cancer, Merkel cell is diagnosed only about 2,500 times a year in the United States, and until recent years it had carried a life expectancy of five months,” The New York Times reported.

Most skin cancers are diagnosed in people over 65. Skin cancer is the most commonly diagnosed cancer in the United States, with 1 in 5 getting it by age 70. It is also the most preventable, according to the National Council on Aging.

Skin cancer is usually treated successfully, and early diagnosis helps.

It is also usually preventable. The council says, “It’s never too late to change your habits and reduce your risk of skin cancer. It’s important to protect your skin from UV radiation year-round, including on cloudy and hazy days.”

To reduce risk the CDC says:

  • Avoid sun or stay in shade during hottest hours.
  • Wear clothes that cover arms and legs, and a wide-brimmed hat to shade your face, head, ears and neck.
  • Wear sunglasses, sunscreen and lip balm with a sun protection factor (SPF) of 30 or higher, and both UVA and UVB (broad spectrum) protection.
  • Avoid indoor tanning.
  • Examine your skin once a month and tell your doctor about any changes. Annual skin-care checks with a dermatologist are also commonly suggested.

Healthy Recipe, Watermelon and Feta Tartines

Watermelon and feta have made a popular snack in the Mediterranean for ages. The combo has caught on elsewhere, too, usually in the form of a salad. In his new cookbook, “I Could Nosh: Classic Jewish Recipes Re-vamped for Everyday,” Jake Cohen provides the perfect appetizer for a sunny cocktail gathering or lunch. Ample olive oil in the skillet to cover the bread’s surface gives the toasts just the right crunch and helps prevent the juicy topping from turning them soggy. Serves 4 to 8. – Susan Puckett

Tartines (Toasts)

  • 8 ounces sourdough (or other) sturdy, unsliced bread
  • 6 tablespoons olive oil (more or less, as desired)


  • 12 ounces watermelon, cut into ¼-inch cubes (about 2 cups)
  • 6- to 8- ounces feta cheese, cut into ¼-inch cubes
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
  • 2 tablespoons minced fresh mint
  • 2 scallions, trimmed and thinly sliced
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper



    1. Make the toasts: Cut the bread into thick (3/4-inch) slices. Pour 2 tablespoons of olive oil in a cast-iron or nonstick skillet over medium-high heat.
    2. When hot, add enough bread slices to fill the pan and let them sizzle for a minute or two until golden-brown and crispy. Flip the bread, adding a little more oil if the pan is dry, and cook a minute or two longer until crispy. Remove to a plate and set aside. Cut in half if the pieces are very large.
    3. Make the topping: In a large bowl, toss together the watermelon, feta, olive oil, lime juice, mint, scallions, and salt and pepper to taste.
    4. To assemble: With a slotted spoon, heap the mixture onto the toasts and serve.


Article Credit Jay Croft, creator and owner of Prime Fit Content.

Susan Puckett is a cookbook author and former food editor of The Atlanta Journal-Constitution. Follow her at susanpuckett.com.

Take Control of Your Own Health and Fitness. The good news: More people over 65 are exercising than ever before.

Take Control of Your Own Health and Fitness

Here’s a “good news, bad news” situation.

The good news: More people over 65 are exercising than ever before.

The bad news: The percentage of mature adults who are physically active remains low – so low, in fact, that the US government calls it a “public health concern.”

We couldn’t agree more. We’re doing everything we can to change that here in our community. But we need YOU to make the biggest impact – for yourself and your family.

‘Everyone Has a Role to Play’

 The report from the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) is meant for various professionals (including those of us in fitness), government officials, urban planners, and experts in fields like transportation. It’s relevant for people in any country.

It gives information about how to help older adults (defined as 65 and above) reach the recommended 150 minutes or more of moderate-intensity aerobic physical activity and two days of muscle-strengthening physical activity each week.

“Everyone has a role to play” in encouraging older people to exercise, the report says several times.

And while that’s true, it’s no excuse to look for “somebody else” to step up and do the work for you. No one else can be physically active for you.

Taking responsibility for your own health is essential to enjoying life on your own terms for as long as possible – HOWEVER YOU DEFINE IT.

  • For some people, that means being athletic, exercising for fun, and staying in tip-top shape.
  • For others, it means being able to enjoy travel, playing with the grandkids, and other fruits of retirement
  • Millions more just want to move better, feel better and – yes! – look better. Exercise improves all of that.

It’s up to you.

What Do You Need to Get Moving?

By the year 2030, 1 in 5 people will be at least 65. We are more physically active now than in prior decades, before fitness became a part of the culture for everyday people.

If you’re 65 now, chances are you already know that regularly exercise is good for all aspects of your physical, mental and social health.

And with 1 in 8 people in this cohort experiencing AT LEAST ONE chronic health condition, the need for regular exercise is greater now than at any earlier point.

“The benefits of regular physical activity occur throughout life and are essential for healthy aging,” the report says.

Want more?

  • “Physically active older adults live longer on average than inactive older adults.”
  • “Physical activity may allow older adults to live independently longer, be healthier, have better quality of life, and need less medical care.”
  • “As the older adult population is growing, physical activity can also be an important contributing factor in improving population health and reducing health care costs.”

Do you want to avoid or manage obesity, diabetes, high blood pressure, dementia, and more?

Then you need to seize responsibility for your health. That means exercising regularly to have the strength, agility and endurance you need to keep living.

There’s no “bad news” to it.

Study Underscores Importance of Sleep and Exercise

If you’re among the statistically few older adults who exercise regularly, congratulations!

Keep it up.

But remember how important it is to get enough sleep, as well, in order to gain the most health benefits from your physical activity.

That’s the message in a new study from Britain funded by both the UK and US governments. It tracked almost 9,000 adults for more than a decade.

“Our study suggests that getting sufficient sleep may be required for us to get the full cognitive benefits of physical activity,” said Dr. Mikaela Bloomberg at University College London. “It shows how important it is to consider sleep and physical activity together when thinking about cognitive health.”

The study found that people with higher levels of activity who also slept between six and eight hours a night had better cognitive function as they matured.

But researchers also discovered that, after 10 years, the highly active people over 50 who slept on average less than six hours a night lost the advantage that exercise provided. They declined faster and had the same cognitive levels as those who didn’t exercise.

“We were surprised that regular physical activity may not always be sufficient to counter the long-term effects of lack of sleep on cognitive health,” Bloomberg said.

We find that regular exercise generally improves sleep. But if you’re struggling with sleep, be sure to talk to your doctor. And… keep moving! You need both regular rest and regular exercise to age optimally.


Healthy Recipe, Mango-Lime Piri Piri Drumsticks

Piri piri is a tangy-sweet hot pepper sauce with African and Portuguese roots often sold in bottles, and for which there are as many recipes as there are barbecue sauce. Lerato Umah-Shaylor, a Nigerian food writer based in the UK, created her own version that’s as nutrient-rich as it is flavorful for her new cookbook, “Africana,” (Amistad, $37.50). This slight adaptation features drumsticks for a summery, easy-to-serve presentation, but thighs or other chicken pieces would work just as well. Serves 4-6. RECIPE HERE – Susan Puckett

Chicken and marinade:

  •  Juice of 2 limes
  • 2 to 3 pounds chicken drumsticks (or thighs, or a combination)
  • 2 teaspoons fine sea salt
  • 2 garlic cloves, peeled and finely grated

Mango-Lime Piri Piri Sauce:

  •  3 medium mangoes, peeled, stoned, and roughly chopped (about 3 cups)
  • ½ medium yellow onion, peeled and roughly chopped
  • ½ red bell pepper, stemmed, seeded, and chopped
  • 1 scotch bonnet, habanero, or bird’s eye chile, stemmed and seeded (or 2, if you prefer more heat)
  • 2-inch piece of ginger, peeled and roughly chopped
  • 3 garlic cloves, peeled and roughly chopped
  • 1/3 cup vegetable oil (or more, as needed)
  • Juice of 2 limes and zest of 1 lime
  • 2 teaspoons smoked paprika
  • 1 teaspoon ground allspice
  • 1 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
  • Sea salt to taste

For serving:

Chopped fresh cilantro and lime wedges

  1. Marinate the chicken: At least 2 ½ hours before serving, in a large bowl, combine the lime juice, salt, and garlic. Add the chicken and massage into every nook to coat well. Adjust one oven rack in the center of the oven and another rack about 5 inches under the broiler.
  2. Make the Mango-Lime Piri Piri: In the container of a blender or a food processor, combine the mangoes, onion, bell pepper, chile, ginger, garlic, oil, lime juice and zest, paprika, and allspice. Puree to make a smooth sauce, adding a little more oil if too thick. Sprinkle in the thyme and oregano and stir to combine.
  3. Spoon enough of the sauce into the bowl to coat the chicken heavily, reserving the remainder for a side sauce. Cover and refrigerate the chicken or 2 hours or overnight.
  4. In a small saucepan, combine the remaining sauce with the vinegar and cook over medium-low heat for 10 minutes. Season to taste with salt. (Sauce may be stored in a sterilized jar in the refrigerator for up to a month.)
  5. Remove the chicken from the refrigerator about 30 minutes before serving to bring to room temperature. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.
  6. Place the chicken on a sheet pan and roast for 15 minutes, brush with some of the piri piri sauce, and continue roasting for 15 minutes longer.
  7. Remove from the oven, preheat the broiler to high, and broil for about 10 minutes, turning the drumsticks halfway through, so they are nicely charred all over.
  8. Brush with a few more tablespoons of the sauce, scatter cilantro over the top, and serve with remaining sauce and lime wedges.

Article Credit Jay Croft, creator and owner of Prime Fit Content.

Susan Puckett is a cookbook author and former food editor of The Atlanta Journal-Constitution. Follow her at susanpuckett.com.

Invest the Time and Money – You say you don’t have time or money to take care of yourself? How about, “I’m too old” for good measure?

Invest the Time and Money – You DO Have Both!

Here’s the thing about excuses: They’re nonsense.

(There’s another popular term we won’t use here.)

You say you don’t have time or money to take care of yourself? How about, “I’m too old” for good measure?

Those are the most common barriers to fitness that we hear. They are all NONSENSE.

Facts are: You have the time and money – and you are NEVER TOO OLD to benefit from exercise. In fact, by this point in life, you probably have the extra super-power of motivation that younger people simply lack: If you don’t move your body, you will lose the ability to use it. Period.

No. 1: ‘I Don’t Have Time’

To paraphrase a famous saying, People who don’t have time to stay strong will lose more time when they get weak.

Let’s say people get an average of 25,915 days, or about 71 years, to live. Of that, they spend just 0.69 percent (or 180 days) exercising. That’s according to a survey of more than 9,000 people around the world.

The survey also reports that people stare at a screen 41 percent of the time, or 10,625 days.

The World Health Organization and the US government suggest people get at least 2½ hours every week of moderate intensity exercise. A Harvard study says that just 15 minutes a day can add three years to your life. And the Journal of the American Medical Association said that not exercising puts you at greater risk than smoking and diabetes.

Still say you don’t have time?

‘It’s Too Expensive’

Last time we checked, walking around the neighborhood was free. So was working in the garden. So was tossing a frisbee with your grandkids. So were jogging and countless other forms of good exercise.

If you want to join a studio, gym or other fitness center, there are many options for every budget.

Exercise reduces health-care costs, including medications, and the time lost to illness and injury. Investing in yourself with fitness pays huge dividends, including financially.

Compare it to…

  1. Tall café latte at Starbucks: $2.95, plus tax. Multiplied by how many you have a month.
  2. Cable or Satellite TV. Subscribers paid an average of $107 per month in 2017.
  3. Hair coloring and highlights: About $80-$150.
  4. Smoking and drinking: The average Boomer who still smokes spends about $150 a month on the habit, not counting health care costs, the Labor Department says. Boomers average another $45 a month on alcohol.

Now, we’re not saying you should spend more or less on this or that item – even fitness. The quality of your exercise program is not directly related to the amount of money you spend on it.

That’s why we consider our pricing very seriously to offer you excellence and value every day.

Think of it as an investment in time and money. The best investment you can make.

At any age.

11 Tips to Move More Every Day

It’s easy to move more throughout the day when you know how to spot the opportunities. Every little bit adds up!

Here are some of the simplest ways to do it.

  1. Start the day with a few light stretches.
  2. Always park at the far end of lots so you’ll walk extra steps to your destination. (Skip the drive-thrus.)
  3. Use stairs instead of elevators when possible. (And forget about moving walkways at the airport!)
  4. Invite coworkers on walking meetings.
  5. Use a standing desk and make calls when standing or walking.
  6. Set a timer to remind you to get up and walk every 30 minutes, at work or at home.
  7. Ask friends or dates to do something active together instead of sitting for a meal.
  8. Dance around when cooking or cleaning the house.
  9. Never stay seated for a commercial break. Get up and move!
  10. Go check the mail every day.
  11. Wear a fitness tracker. It will keep movement top of mind.

Steps like these are easy to see when we think a bit creatively. Have fun. And move, move, move – it feels so good.


Healthy Recipe, Pasta with Scallops, Burst Tomatoes, Crispy Garlic, and Herbs

Scallops, often thought of as a luxury product, are now readily accessible in most freezer cases, and a lightning-fast way to boost the protein of a simple pasta meal without the need for cheese. This recipe, inspired by one from the Martha Stewart website, calls for either the thimble-size bay scallops, or the larger sea scallops cut in half. Their mild taste readily melds with the bold flavors of fresh garlic and tomatoes sauteed in heart-healthy olive oil, and whatever herbs you have handy. Serves 4. – Susan Puckett


  • Salt
  • 8 ounces whole-grain pasta
  • 2-3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 4 or 5 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
  • ¼ teaspoon red pepper flakes, or to taste
  • 1 pound bay scallops (or sea scallops, cut in half and tough side muscles removed), patted dry
  • 1 pint grape or cherry tomatoes
  • Freshly ground pepper
  • ¼ cup chopped fresh basil, flat-leaf parsley, mint, or a combination


  1. In a large pot of boiling water seasoned generously with salt, add the pasta and cook until al dente according to package directions. Drain, reserving ¼ cup of the pasta water.
  2. While preparing the pasta, heat the oil over medium-high heat in a large skillet. Add the garlic and red pepper flakes, and sauté just until lightly golden, a minute or less, taking care not to burn. Transfer to a small bowl and set aside.
  3. Add the scallops and sauté just until lightly golden on both sides, about 2 minutes, and transfer to a plate. Add the tomatoes to the skillet and cook, stirring frequently, until the skins begin to split, 2 to 3 minutes. Crush the tomatoes with the back of a spoon and season to taste with salt and pepper.
  4. Remove the pan from the heat. Add the reserved scallops, cooked pasta, reserved pasta water, half the herbs, and butter. Toss to combine and melt the butter. Divide among bowls, garnish with reserved garlic and parsley, and serve.


Article Credit Jay Croft, creator and owner of Prime Fit Content.

Susan Puckett is a cookbook author and former food editor of The Atlanta Journal-Constitution. Follow her at susanpuckett.com.

In recent months, research has been published showing that exercise is the “top theoretical treatment” for Alzheimer’s disease.

Science Shows the Benefits of Exercise on Brain Health

Here’s further proof that exercise is good for us, body and brain alike.

In recent months, research has been published showing that exercise is the “top theoretical treatment” for Alzheimer’s disease, jibing with previous research about how it fights dementia.

Moderate physical activity among mature women helps lower the risk of cognitive impairment and dementia – again supporting the growing body of evidence that says physical exercise is also among our best defenses against losing mental health.

And in February, researchers at the University of South Australia published findings that show exercise is 1.5 times more effective than counseling and top medications in managing depression.

So, just look at these three examples, and ask yourself:

  • Would I rather exercise regularly to prevent Alzheimer’s disease – or do nothing?
  • Would I rather exercise regularly to improve cognitive ability as I mature – or do nothing?
  • Would I rather exercise to relieve depression – or rely on pills?

With Mental Health Awareness month observed every May, it’s a great time to remember all the powerful reasons we must exercise regularly as we continue to mature.

Yes, the physical benefits are important. Exercise keeps us at a healthy weight; manages blood pressure; prevents diabetes; and keeps us strong to function throughout our lifetimes, among many others.

All of that should be enough to get us all moving every day.

But we know it’s not enough for most older adults, who get no regular exercise — even as the US Surgeon General recently declared that loneliness and social isolation are as harmful as smoking cigarettes.

This was made worse by the pandemic. And it’s even more pronounced for people over 50, since many have lost partners, no longer work, and don’t maintain a vibrant social life.

‘Research has showed that loneliness and isolation are linked to sleep problems, inflammation and immune changes in younger adults,” CNN reported. “In older people, they’re tied to symptoms such as pain, insomnia, depression, anxiety and shorter life span. In people of all ages, they may be associated with higher risks of heart disease, stroke, diabetes, addiction, suicidality and self-harm, and dementia.”

It all adds up, and the role of fitness can’t be underestimated in maintaining mental health.

“According to the World Health Organization, one in every eight people worldwide (970 million people) live with a mental disorder,” the researchers wrote in Science Daily.

“Poor mental health costs the world economy approximately $2.5 trillion each year, a cost projected to rise to $6 trillion by 2030. In Australia, an estimated one in five people (aged 16-85) have experienced a mental disorder in the past 12 months.”

We believe in the power of physical exercise to maintain mental health, brain health, mood, and social interaction.

We believe in all of this because we see it improve the lives of our members every day in ways big and small.

Regular exercise is good for us – body, mind and spirit.

You really don’t need any more research to see that. So don’t wait any longer. Come see us today, and let’s get moving!


3 Questions With… How an Artist Stays in Fit Form

Karen Adams, 63, is an art teacher who works hard to stay in good shape. How and why does she do it?

Q: What’s unusual but helpful about your workouts?

A: “I have predictable inconsistencies in my workout schedule. For 4 or 5 weeks, I will work out with my trainer twice weekly, do the elliptical machine 3-4 times a week, and take my dogs on brisk walks 4-5 days a week. But interruptions inevitably happen. I always get back in the groove as soon as possible.”

Q: What does working out regularly do for you in daily life?

A: “I am a professional artist. I draw, paint, sculpt and teach drawing class. My work is physically demanding: moving around easels, bags of clay, large props. The older I get, the more adamant I am about maintaining strength and flexibility. I know a lot about the body, but I’ve learned so much about specific muscles from my trainer.”

Q: What’s a story about your fitness surprising someone?

A: “I can’t help it — I’m as vain as they come. There is no doubt in my mind that a lifetime of being involved in physical fitness has contributed to my youthful appearance. I’m pleased when someone is surprised at my age. And my favorite anecdote came from my son’s 25-year-old girlfriend when she was following me up the stairs, said, ‘My gosh, Karen, you have a really nice bottom!’”


Healthy Recipe, Vegan Cacao Chile Smoothie

We all know cocoa for the chocolate-y goodness it brings to brownies and other treats. Cacao products — which include unsweetened cocoa powder, nibs, and dark chocolate — are rich in iron and other nutrients. Those labeled “cacao” and sometimes “vegan chocolate” are made from the raw bean and are minimally processed. To reap its maximum antioxidant power, cacao is best consumed uncooked, as in this rich-tasting smoothie adapted from “Trejo’s Cantina” by Danny Trejo (Potter, $28). Blended with potassium-rich bananas, nut milk, peanut butter, and dates, it’s low in sugar and fat and high in protein. A big pinch of ancho chile powder adds a hint of smoky spice. — Susan Puckett


  • 12 ounces (1 ½ cups) unsweetened vanilla almond milk
  • 1 banana, peeled, broken into chunks, and frozen
  • 1 pitted date, roughly chopped
  • 1 tablespoon peanut butter or other nut butter
  • 1 tablespoon unsweetened cacao (or unsweetened cocoa) powder
  • ½ teaspoon ancho chili powder
  • 4 ice cubes


  1. In a blender, combine the milk, banana, date, peanut butter, cacao powder, chili powder, and ice cubes. Blend until smooth and frothy.
  2. Pour into a tall glass and serve immediately.


Article Credit Jay Croft, creator and owner of Prime Fit Content.

Susan Puckett is a cookbook author and former food editor of The Atlanta Journal-Constitution. Follow her at susanpuckett.com.

Falling is a major fear about growing older – and it’s a leading cause of injury and death among mature adults.

Exercise to Prevent Falls, and 4 Other Tips to Stay Upright

Falling is a major fear about growing older – and it’s a leading cause of injury and death among mature adults. It’s also a common problem for people who don’t yet consider themselves “old” in the traditional sense.

But it is not inevitable. Here are the top five ways to prevent falling, according to fitness, health and aging experts.

No. 1: Exercise

The US Preventive Services Task Force couldn’t be clearer: Exercise is the best defense against falling. Merely staying active helps, but exercising more than three hours a week lowers fall risk by 39 percent.

Movement includes anything you do consistently, even walking or cleaning house. But you also need to add resistance training, which includes weightlifting and resistance bands. The goal isn’t to get big muscles. It’s to keep you strong enough to prevent falling.

We all lose muscle later in life. Having less strength makes it hard to catch yourself when you trip (which everyone does, regardless of age). And muscle protects bones, so without it, we are vulnerable to breaks.

  • Strengthen your legs. Even if you’re only in your 50s or 60s.
  • Practice balancing – again, regardless of age. It’s never too early.
  • Exercise helps prevent and treat Type 2 diabetes, which can cause nerve loss and damage in the feet – which makes it hard to stay upright.
  • Every time you exercise, you’re improving your body’s ability to move blood to extremities. And you’re helping your brain’s ability to process where you are in relation to other objects as you move.
  • Our back, hip, and abdominal muscles are collectively called the core. We need it strong for all kinds of reasons. Balance is at the top of them. Core strength allows us to move well at the hip, knee and ankle.

No. 2: Mind the Prescriptions

Did you know your risk of falling increases if you take four or more prescription medications? So, talk to your doctor and make sure she knows everything you’re taking and why. Don’t assume she’s aware and closely monitoring the list. That’s your responsibility.

No. 3: Fall-proof Your Home

Sixty percent of falls occur at home, the National Institute on Aging says. Remove clutter. Clear walkways of loose throw rugs and electrical cords. Install nightlights. Add support rails in the tub or shower.

No. 4: Wear the Right Shoes

Don’t use flip-flops, even on vacation. Wear high heels only indoors, if at all. Get some good walking and exercise footwear.

No. 5: Eat Well

Protein, calcium and vitamin D are good ideas – but are not miracle cures or preventions. Use alcohol in moderation if at all.

Exercise to Prevent Falls

Don’t let concern about falling prevent you from enjoying life as much as you can. And don’t put it off as just a worry “for those really old folks.”

Strength and balance are essential throughout life.

We’re here to guide you to a healthy lifestyle that includes safe, effective exercising. Stand tall and walk right in to see us. We’ve got your back.


It’s Cheaper to be Healthy Than It Is to be Sick

If you think it’s expensive to eat right and exercise regularly, just consider the cost of being cheap with your health.

For example, some people drink so many sodas that eliminating them could save almost $1,000 a year.

That’s from health coach Kathryn Eyring, who presented “It’s Cheaper to be Healthy Than It Is to be Sick” at the Functional Aging Summit, an annual event for fitness professionals who serve people over 50.

We hear similar complaints about fitness all the time. People tell us they can’t afford to exercise. We’re not even sure what that means, since exercise doesn’t actually cost anything, and there are options for everyone.

But… we also notice a lot of those folks spending $5 a day on a Starbucks drink, hundreds of dollars eating out and drinking, and who knows how much on Netflix and all the other subscription TV services that no one thinks twice about these days.

Unhealthy habits lead to untold financial costs – doctor visits, sick days, missed opportunities, prescription medications, new clothes, etc.

But a healthy diet and regular exercise pay off their investment countless times over. Kathryn points out that muscle mass lowers sugar levels; that exercise reduces costs of cardiovascular disease, heart disease, and obesity; and it improves bone health and balance.

So, please think about what’s at the root of the “I can’t afford it” excuse before you pour your next soda while sitting in front of the tube.

We think you’re worth it.

No. We know it.


Healthy Recipe, Salt and Vinegar Roasted Potatoes

It’s easy to scarf down a bagful of salt and vinegar potato chips in a sitting. This recipe, adapted from one in The New York Times, captures that irresistible taste in a side dish that’s all-natural, filling, nutrient-rich, and a great source of energy. Soft, flaky sea salt adds subtle crunch and bursts of clean, bright flavor. With the balance of vinegar, only a sprinkle should do the trick. Serves 4-6. — Susan Puckett


  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar or wine vinegar, plus more if desired
  • ½ teaspoon kosher salt
  • ½ teaspoon black pepper
  • 2 pounds Yukon gold or red-skinned potatoes, scrubbed and cut into 1-1-inch chunks
  • Minced chives or green onion tops, for serving (optional)
  • Flaky sea salt, for serving


  1. Preheat the oven to 425 degrees. In a small bowl, whisk together the oil, 1 tablespoon of the vinegar, salt, and pepper.
  2. Place the potatoes on a sheet pan, drizzle with the oil and vinegar mixture, toss well and spread out in a single layer, cut-side down.
  3. Place in the preheated oven and roast for 15 minutes; toss and roast for 15 to 20 minutes more, or until the potatoes are tender enough to be easily pierced with a fork.
  4. Drizzle the remaining vinegar over the cooked potatoes, toss, sprinkle with chives or green onions, if using, and season to taste with flaky sea salt. Add an extra shot of vinegar if you like. Serve while hot.


Article Credit Jay Croft, creator and owner of Prime Fit Content.

Susan Puckett is a cookbook author and former food editor of The Atlanta Journal-Constitution. Follow her at susanpuckett.com.

Health & Fitness Items for Your 2023 Travels

Have you ever found yourself in a situation like this?

You go on vacation or a business trip, and there’s so much to do in so little time that your exercise routine falls through the cracks.

Between the sightseeing and the visiting and maybe the client meetings, you just “don’t have time” to exercise. Then you return home and find it difficult to get back on track.

Well, it’s a common problem. And, luckily, there’s a simple solution: Keep up your exercise while traveling! It’s easier than it sounds, and you’ll be glad you did – while you’re away and after you’re back home.

Now, we’re not talking about 100% maintenance. That might not be a priority for you, and it’s OK to dial it back sometimes, like when we’re on vacation or focusing intensely on business for a short, defined time period. (Remember, the aim is long-term consistency, not slavish devotion.)

But you need to move that body every day. If you’re on a hiking tour, then you’ve probably got it covered. But if you’re visiting family in another state, it might take a little effort.

Here’s how to make it easier without letting it dominate your trip.

Don’t Leave Home Without Them

  1. Versatile workout clothes. Gym shorts that double as swimming trunks. Yoga pants you can wear on tours. Workout shoes that also work for long days walking.
  2. Resistance bands, TRX equipment, or a jump rope. These are lightweight, easy to pack, and versatile for in-room workouts if your hotel doesn’t have a decent fitness center or there isn’t one nearby.
  3. A yoga mat for more in-room options.
  4. A fitness tracker. It’s fun – and amazing – to see how many steps you get while on vacation! It’ll also keep your movement “top of mind” for those days when you’re not already walking a lot.
  5. Massage devices like small foam rollers or portable massagers.
  6. Swim goggles. Especially if you’re with kids, you might be getting wet!
  7. Sunscreen, visor, bug dope, lip balm, hand sanitizer. Don’t let common frustrations like sunburn and mosquito bites keep you from enjoying your activities inside a gym and out of it.
  8. Sleep mask and ear plugs. Different settings can bring different distractions from important rest.
  9. Reusable water bottle that you can carry while sightseeing and while working out.
  10. Your favorite healthy snacks. They might not be available where you’re going, and you don’t want to have to rely on vending machines.
  11. Prescription medications and preferred over-the-counters so you stay on track.
  12. First aid kit. Nothing major, but a basic set to keep you from running around a strange town looking for a drugstore in a minor emergency.
  13. A journal. Record your physical activity, even if it’s just on your smart phone’s note-taking app. It might be hard to remember everything when you get home, and you don’t want to sell yourself short!

Are you in shape for travel? If not, then that’s just one more reason to come see us. We’ll help you get the strength, endurance, flexibility and balance we all need when enjoying time away from home.


New Book Highlights Exercise for Long ‘Healthspan’

What’s the most important thing you can do for long-term health and quality of life?



Stress management?

Nope, although those are all important. It’s exercise, hands down. That’s one of the many powerful points in a new book, “Outlive: The Science & Art of Longevity,” by Peter Attia, MD, with Bill Gifford.

“Exercise is by far the most potent longevity ‘drug,’” says Attia, 50, a former surgeon who focuses on extending “healthspan,” or the length of time when we enjoy our lives as we age without becoming frail, weak or pain ridden.

“Exercise not only delays actual death but also prevents both cognitive and physical decline better than any other intervention,” Attia says. “It is the single most potent tool we have in the health-span-enhancing toolkit — and that includes nutrition, sleep and meds.”

The book is no exercise “how to” manual. Instead, Attia dives deep into the science of living longer and better, and what he calls “Medicine 3.0,” which looks more at prevention of disease than mere treatment of symptoms.

Among the fascinating morsels, Attia says most of us die because of one of the “four horsemen” or primary causes of slow death: heart disease or stroke; metabolic disfunction; neurogenerative disease; and cancer.

Staying fit – and STRONG – help us ward those off. Strong, fit people enjoy independence and living without disease or pain for longer periods of time, period.

Come see us to learn how to apply this philosophy to your own life and health.


Healthy Recipe, Greek Lemon Chicken Soup

This fresh take on chicken soup, adapted from one in the third volume of Joanna Gaines’ “Magnolia Table” cookbook series (Morrow, $40), is a riff on the Greek classic, avgolemono. A few egg yolks add body, nutrients, and a velvety texture — no heavy cream required! Along with lemon juice and orzo pasta, this version has aromatics and a garnish of herbs and feta. It’s easy to make, so long as you temper the yolks first with hot broth as directed. Serves 6-8. RECIPE HERE – Susan Puckett


  • ¾ cup orzo (rice-shaped pasta)
  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
  • 1 cup chopped white or yellow onion
  • ½ cup chopped carrots
  • ½ cup chopped celery
  • 6 cups chicken stock or broth
  • ¼ cup fresh lemon juice
  • 3 large egg yolks
  • 2 cups cooked, shredded chicken breast (or leftover rotisserie chicken)
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • ½ cup crumbled feta
  • ¼ cup minced fresh parsley
  • Lemon wedges for garnish, optional


  1. In a medium pot, cook the orzo in boiling, salted water according to package directions. Drain and set aside.
  2. In a large soup pot, melt the butter over medium heat. Add the onion, carrots, and celery and cook, stirring occasionally, until tender, about 7 minutes.
  3. Add the chicken stock and lemon juice, bring to a boil over medium-high heat, then reduce heat to medium low and simmer uncovered for 30 minutes.
  4. In a medium bowl, whisk the egg yolks until creamy and light in color. While whisking constantly, slowly ladle 2 cups of broth, about half a cup at a time, into the broth. (Take care not to pour the broth in too quickly or the eggs will curdle.)
  5. Add the yolk mixture, chicken, and cooked orzo to the pot. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Cook and stir over medium-low heat until heated through, about 5 minutes.
  6. Ladle into soup bowls and top each portion with crumbled feta, parsley, and a lemon wedge, if desired.
  7. Store leftovers in an airtight container for up to 5 days. Orzo will continue to absorb broth, so you may need to add a little more broth while reheating.


Article Credit Jay Croft, creator and owner of Prime Fit Content.

Susan Puckett is a cookbook author and former food editor of The Atlanta Journal-Constitution. Follow her at susanpuckett.com.

Build the Mindset for Fitness Success

One of the great things about getting older is this: By now, you’ve learned how important it is to have the right mindset in building a new habit or working toward a goal.

Right? You’ve done this countless times throughout life, whether at work, with your family, or pursuing hobbies. You know that:

  • If you have the wrong idea, you’re starting on the wrong foot. 
  •  If you listen to the naysayers, you’ll never get anywhere. 
  •  If you focus on impossible dreams, you won’t achieve your perfectly attainable desires.

So, here is our list of five common mistakes people over 50 make about fitness. Join us today and let’s break free together!

Looking Back (Waaaaaay Back)

Men in their 50s and 60s will tell us on their first visit, “When I was in college, I could bench press a truck while running the 4-minute mile. On a hangover. So, yeah, let’s get me back to that.”


It doesn’t matter what you think you did decades ago, good or bad. Life didn’t end at 25, did it? We figure out your abilities TODAY and how they relate to your desires for TOMORROW.


“Why Is This Taking So Long?”

We all want the “quick fix” to our problems, don’t we? It’s only natural.

But let’s not get frustrated too soon. Success takes time.

Here’s a simple example: You didn’t gain 40 pounds in two weeks, so it’s going to take more than two weeks to lose it.


Too Much Focus on Weight

Our culture puts too much emphasis on weight. Here with us, you’ll learn to focus more about mobility, strength, agility and stamina.

And yes, you’ll start looking better in no time, which might (or might not) be accompanied by a lower number on the scale.

But it’s just one little piece of the puzzle.


“It’s Too Late for Me”

Stereotypes and myths somehow persist that health is for young people only, or something we can’t correct or improve.

Nothing could be further from the truth. As we age, it’s even more important to take care of ourselves so we can enjoy independence and a higher quality of life.

We don’t try to make you young again because there’s simply no need for that. (Also, it’s, you know, impossible!) It’s never too late to start exercising and see improvements.


“I Don’t Care About Muscles”

If you come in here with the mindset that you just want to walk on the treadmills for a few minutes, then you’re missing out on the most powerful tool we have to help you live the life you want to live.

And that’s resistance training. Or strength training. Or weightlifting, if you like.

We all need muscle as we go through life. Muscle keeps us upright. It lets us stand up from the toilet. It lets us put away the groceries, travel, and beat the neighbors at pickleball. You simply can’t do anything without muscle, and we’ll make sure you have as much as you need.

We’ll go over all this and more with you before you start – and at any time after you’ve joined us. We’ll get your mindset right, and we’re here to keep it right long after you’ve joined.

Let’s do this!



Regular Exercise Can Help with Problem Drinking

Alcohol abuse can sneak up on us later in life, experts say. Many people lose their partners, job-associated identity, and a sense of purpose that had guided them for decades, and some can develop or worsen a drinking problem.

The pandemic, and the isolation it brought, led millions of older adults to drink more, surveys found.

Now, with the annual Alcohol Awareness Month in April, it’s a good time to point out signs of possible trouble for people later in life. And to share the good news about the positive role regular exercise can play in overcoming a drinking problem.

We don’t metabolize alcohol and drugs as quickly as when we were younger, doctors say. So, what we could “handle” earlier in life can become a problem later.

Exercise can be a helpful part of recovery, along with 12-step programs, counseling, and medical and family support. Potential problem signs include: drinking quickly; hiding consumption; getting hurt while drinking; and a decline in self-care.

“Many patients with various substance use disorders have found that exercise helps to distract them from cravings,” Dr. Claire Twark wrote for the Harvard Medical School. “Workouts add structure to the day. They help with forming positive social connections and help treat depression and anxiety in combination with other therapies.”

> If you have a concern, contact your doctor, counselor or Alcoholics Anonymous, phone (800) 839-1686.


Healthy Recipe, Seared Pork Chops with Grapes and Thyme

Those jumbo bags of seedless grapes sold in supermarket produce sections are handy to have around in the crisper for healthy snacking. But there are other ways you can maximize that fruitful bounty. Grapes pair exceptionally well with pork, as demonstrated in the recipe here, adapted from one on the health.delicious.com website. To stretch that protein, allow the chops to rest while you make the sauce, then thinly slice the meat against the grain. Chances are, you’ll have plenty for another meal. Serves 2-4. RECIPE HERE – Susan Puckett



  • 2 thick (bone-in) pork chops, about ¾ pound each
  • Salt and pepper
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 large shallot (or 1 small yellow onion), minced
  • 1 large garlic clove, minced
  • 2 teaspoons minced fresh thyme leaves (or 12 teaspoon dried)
  • 1 cup low-sodium chicken broth
  • 1 tablespoon butter (optional)
  • 1 ½ cups seedless red or green grapes


  1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Pat the pork chops dry with paper towels and season on both sides with salt and pepper.
  2. In a large cast iron or other heavy-bottomed skillet, heat the olive oil over high heat. Add the pork chops and cook 3 to 4 minutes per side, or until well-browned.
  3. Transfer to the oven and roast 5-8 minutes, just until cooked through (145 degrees on a meat thermometer).
  4. Remove from the skillet from the oven and transfer the chops to a plate to rest. Pour out all but 1 tablespoon of fat from the pan and set it back on the burner.
  5. Add the shallot (or onion) and garlic; cook and stir until softened, 3 to 4 minutes. Stir in the thyme and cook 1 minute longer. Add the broth, bring to a rapid simmer, and cook until reduced by about a third, or until thickened to a gravy consistency.
  6. Stir in the butter, if using, add the grapes, and cook 2 to 3 minutes, or until heated through.
  7. If desired, thinly slice the pork from the bone across the grain and arrange slices on each of 2 to 4 plates, reserving any leftovers for another meal. Alternately, place a whole chop on each of 2 plates.
  8. Spoon the grapes and sauce over the pork and serve.

Article Credit Jay Croft, creator and owner of Prime Fit Content.
Susan Puckett is a cookbook author and former food editor of The Atlanta Journal-Constitution. Follow her at 

Myth Busters: Strength Training Won’t Make You ‘Bulky’

Too many myths cloud the topics of aging and fitness. They keep people from living a healthy lifestyle, and most come from younger people and society at large.

But there’s one super-persistent myth that people over 50 perpetuate themselves. To be more precise, women over 50 use this falsehood too often to avoid the most important type of exercise they need: strength training.

“I don’t want to lift weights because I don’t want to get all big and bulky.”


Have you ever heard or said something like that? It’s astonishing how this one refuses to vanish. So, let’s take another shot at it here, for those of you out there being held back from your optimal life by a lie.

Why It’s So Important

Strength training is also known as weightlifting and it includes using free weights, machines, body weight, resistance bands and yoga.

It not the same thing as bodybuilding in the Arnold Schwarzenegger fashion.

All humans need muscle just to perform basic tasks like standing up, but we lose it if we don’t use it. In fact, common age-related muscle loss (known as sarcopenia) is why we so often see older people struggle to stand up from the couch.

“Sarcopenia is one of the most important causes of functional decline and loss of independence in older adults,” said Dr. Jeremy Walston said in the National Institutes of Health.

Losing muscle contributes to falls and fractures, and it reduces our strength and mobility for all kinds of tasks. Less muscle can mean more body aches and pains, poorer posture, and more trouble.

Sarcopenia is not inevitable. We fight it with strength training so that we can do all kinds of physical activities.

About That Myth

Strength training with us is easy, empowering and safe at any age.

Here’s what’s NOT easy: Accidentally getting “big and bulky” like bodybuilders.

It takes intense concentration and effort – in the gym AND in the kitchen – to get big muscles like that. It also takes testosterone. So, there’s no way a healthy dose of strength training will make you “big” OR “bulky,” let alone both.

That’s a little like saying that you won’t drive a car because you don’t want to be a champion racer.

If you exercise regularly with resistance, you will have more muscle mass to feel, move and look better. Resistance training burns fat, improves balance, eases arthritis pain, builds bones, and helps us sleep better.

And if you want to avoid falls, it’s essential.

Two Women Who Love It

Here are two women who started after 60 and wear by it. We know countless more.

“Without even trying, I lost 25 pounds. I felt better than I ever had in my life,” says Margaret.

“I look like any other little, old lady,” says Barb, a retired physical therapist. “There is a wheelchair waiting for every one of us. And the point is to stay the hell out of it.”

Come see us now to put this deadly myth – and others – to rest once and for all.


Benefits of Exercise Have No Age Limit, Study Finds

A massive study made headlines by concluding that not exercising is worse for your health than smoking and diabetes.

But many readers over 50 will be glad to know that the study also has a huge age-related finding: The spectacular benefits of exercise have no age limit.

“Whether you’re in your 40s or your 80s, you will benefit in the same way,” said the study’s senior author, Dr. Wael Jaber, a cardiologist at the Cleveland Clinic.

Sedentary people are almost four times as likely to die early as those who exercise regularly, says the study. It looked at 122,000 people who were tested on treadmills over 13 years.

“There actually is no ceiling for the benefit of exercise,” he said. “”There’s no age limit that doesn’t benefit from being physically fit.”

So, if you’re already exercising regularly, then keep it up.

But sadly, most Americans of all ages don’t get enough exercise. One bit of good news: People over age 70 are the fastest-growing segment of the population to use personal trainers, according to the Personal Training Development Center.

We believe what this study and the trend show – that exercise is right for everyone, regardless of age. Come see us, and let us show you how comfortable, safe and fun it is to stay healthy and live longer.


Healthy Recipe, Bison and Wild Rice Lettuce Wraps

Ground bison is leaner and more nutrient-dense than beef yet offers a similar flavor. In this gently tweaked recipe from “Smithsonian American Table: The Foods, People, and Innovations That Feed Us” (Harvest, $40), chef Nico Albert, a citizen of the Cherokee Nation, combines it with mineral-rich wild rice to tuck into lettuce leaves. Tangy red-hued sumac spice, which is high in disease-fighting antioxidants, is well worth seeking out for its unique taste and other benefits, but if you can’t find it, grated lemon zest and juice will suffice. Adapt it for vegans by replacing the bison with more mushrooms. Serves 4-6. – Susan Puckett


  • 1 tablespoon olive or vegetable oil
  • 1 pound ground bison
  • 8 ounces portobello or other sturdy wild mushrooms
  • ¼ cup dried cranberries
  • 2 teaspoons kosher salt, or to taste
  • 1 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 2 teaspoons ground sumac (or grated zest and juice of 1 lemon)
  • 2 cups cooked wild rice (or wild rice blend)
  • ½ cup small-diced jicama
  • ½ cup small-diced celery
  • ½ cup chopped fresh herbs (parsley, mint, cilantro, or combination)
  • ½ cup chopped scallions
  • Little gem or romaine lettuce leaves


  1. In a large skillet, heat the oil over high heat. Add the bison and sauté, breaking the meat into crumbles with a wooden spoon, until the meat is cooked through and some browned bits stick to the pan.
  2. Add the mushrooms, cranberries, salt, pepper, and sumac (or lemon juice and grated rind). Continue to cook, stirring frequently.
  3. When the mushrooms have softened, add 1 cup of water and stir, scraping the bottom or the pan to loosen up the flavorful browned bits. Cook until almost all the moisture has evaporated.
  4. Add the wild rice, jicama, and celery and stir to combine. When the mixture is heated through, remove the pan from the heat and stir in the herbs and scallions.
  5. To serve, spoon the mixture into the lettuce leaves and eat taco-style.

Article Credit Jay Croft, creator and owner of Prime Fit Content.
Susan Puckett is a cookbook author and former food editor of The Atlanta Journal-Constitution. Follow her at susanpuckett.com.

The Research on Exercise and Cancer proves that exercise is good for our health at any age, experts say it also helps prevent cancer.

How the Gym Helped ‘Get My Act Together’ After Cancer

Todd Allen and his wife took a European trip seven years ago.

He felt terrible by the time they got home.

Blood tests revealed cancer. Stage 4. Bone marrow.

Todd went through 18 months of chemotherapy and had knee surgery and hip surgery.

Never much for exercise, Todd then made a decision: “After the recovery, I said I gotta get my act together.”

“I’ve been a gym rat ever since,” says Todd, now 65. Now, with a healthy prognosis, he wakes up early each morning to lift weights, run stairs, and do other physical activity. “I look better now than I ever have in my life.”

The Research on Exercise and Cancer

Research proves that exercise is good for our health at any age. Experts say it also helps prevent cancer and lower its risk of recurring. And regular exercise benefits cancer survivors the same way it helps the general population – by reducing obesity and blood pressure, lowering risk of heart attack, stroke, and diabetes, and more.

Strength training is particularly important to help maintain muscle and bone density. People generally lose muscle mass with age, and cancer exacerbates the decline.

The National Cancer Institute shares powerful data about how exercise can reduce the risk of certain cancers:

⦁ Breast cancer by 20 to 80 percent
⦁ Endometrial cancer by 20 to 40 percent
⦁ Colon cancer by 30 to 40 percent

The Clinical Oncology Society of Australia issued formal guidelines that recommend exercise as a part of treatment for all cancer patients. It said:

⦁ Exercise should be a part of standard care for cancer patients to fight the disease and side effects of treatment.
⦁ Treatment teams should promote physical activity, so patients meet exercise guidelines.
⦁ Patients should be referred to an exercise physiologist or physical therapist.

“If we could turn the benefits of exercise into a pill it would be demanded by patients, prescribed by every cancer specialist and subsidized by government,” said Dr. Prue Cormie, author of the organization’s report. “It would be seen as a major breakthrough in cancer treatment.”

A healthy lifestyle should include exercise – which also helps limit other factors like obesity and blood pressure, before and after cancer.

After treatment, exercise helps restore self-esteem and a sense of control, which cancer strips from patients, says Andrea Leonard, founder of the Cancer Exercise Training Institute. “Teaching them to regain control empowers them, increases esteem and confidence, and takes them from victim to survivor.”

‘Let’s Get Some Life While We’re Here’

For Todd Allen, working out at the gym brings him the variety, social interaction, and mental health benefits he craves.

“I love the comradery,” he says. “You have to show up or you get razzed. That’s key for consistency.”

With his health now solid and his outlook bright, Todd is committed to enjoying every day.

“Let’s get some life while we’re here,” he says. “I’m going to hold onto this thing for as long as I can.”

The Research on Exercise and Cancer proves that exercise is good for our health at any age, experts say it also helps prevent cancer.

Trouble Sleeping? Exercise Could Be the Solution

Millions of people don’t get enough sleep every night, even if they know how important it is to their physical and mental health.

And as we age, some people have extra trouble getting the right amount of rest (which varies for each individual, of course).

But here’s one thing everyone should know: Exercise will help you get more and better sleep. Whether it’s walking, running, weightlifting, yoga… Studies are clear that regular, moderately intense exercise improves sleep length and quality.

“Sleep quality and quantity are two important aspects of reducing stress, improving mood and providing lots of energy,” the Functional Aging Institute says. “Lack of sleep and stress go hand in hand.”

The National Sleep Foundation adds, “Not only will getting your zzzs help you perform on a test, learn a new skill or help you stay on task, but it may also be a critical factor in your health, weight and energy level.”

After 65, sleep issues can increase accidents, falls, cognitive decline, depression and more.

Here are a few tips for restful nights.
⦁ Don’t exercise too close to bedtime, since it can stimulate your brain and raise your body temperature, changes that can keep you up.
⦁ Maintain bedtime routines and schedules.
⦁ Get some sunlight every day.
⦁ Keep your bedroom cool, dark and free of electronics.
⦁ Avoid caffeine after noon and too much alcohol close to bedtime.
⦁ Don’t drink much of anything as bedtime approaches; it could make you need to get out of bed.
⦁ Talk to your doctor about chronic issues. You could have sleep apnea or another serious but treatable disorder.

The Research on Exercise and Cancer proves that exercise is good for our health at any age, experts say it also helps prevent cancer.

Healthy Recipe, Double-Roasted Spaghetti Squash

Spaghetti squash is so named because of how its flesh forms long, tender strands when shredded with a fork after cooking. Its mild taste pairs easily with myriad ingredients. Plus, it’s low in carbs, gluten-free, and high in vitamin A and other essential nutrients. No wonder this pale-yellow, oblong-shaped squash is having a moment with fitness fans.

This recipe, adapted from “Listen to Your Vegetables: Italian-Inspired Recipes for Every Season” (Harvest, $45), offers a handy trick for boosting its deliciousness several notches. After the cut halves steam in the oven, the cooked strands are then spread out on a baking sheet and returned to the oven, allowing the flavors to concentrate and caramelize as the moisture evaporates. Mixed with cheese and herbs and heaped back in its shell, then run under the broiler until bubbly, it becomes your favorite spaghetti sauce’s new best friend. Sorry, pasta! Serves 4. RECIPE HERE. – Susan Puckett

⦁ 2 small spaghetti squash (2 to 2 ½ pounds each)
⦁ Kosher salt and freshly cracked black pepper
⦁ 1 tablespoon olive oil, plus more for coating the foil
⦁ 1 cup plus 2 tablespoons freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano
⦁ 2 tablespoons fresh thyme leaves or chopped oregano leaves, plus more for garnish
⦁ 4 ounces burrata or fresh mozzarella, torn into small pieces
⦁ Quick Marinara Sauce (recipe follows) or your favorite pasta sauce, optional

⦁ Preheat the oven to 425 degrees. Set the squash on a cutting board and nestle it in a folded kitchen towel to hold it in place while you cut it. With a heavy, sharp chef’s knife or serrated knife, carefully cut the squash in half lengthwise, rocking the knife gently back and forth after you cut through the skin. (If you’re struggling, you can zap it in the microwave for 3-5 minutes to soften it a bit before cutting.)
⦁ With a spoon, scoop out the seeds and discard.
⦁ Line a baking sheet with foil and brush it lightly with oil. Season the squash halves well with salt and pepper and drizzle with the tablespoon of olive oil.
⦁ Set the squash halves cut side down on the baking sheet. Roast in the pre-heated oven for 30 minutes, or until the squash skins are tender to the touch.
⦁ Remove the pan from the oven, leaving the oven on. Let the cooked squash rest for about 10 minutes, allowing it to steam as it slowly cools, then flip. With a fork, gently pull and shred the squash from the skins, forming spaghetti-like strands. Spread the strands on the oiled baking sheet. Set aside two of the squash skins for later.
⦁ Return the baking sheet with the shredded squash to the oven and roast for 20 to 30 minutes, or until caramelized (but not burned) in places and dried out a bit.
⦁ Place the double-roasted squash in a bowl and toss with 1 cup of the parmesan, the thyme or oregano, and plenty of cracked black pepper. Divide the mixture between the two reserved squash skins and top with the burrata and remaining parmesan. (Squash may be kept at room temperature for a couple of hours before broiling.)
⦁ Just before serving, make sure a rack is set about 4 inches the heat source and turn the broiler to high. Place the squash under the broiler for 5 to 6 minutes, or until golden and bubbling and the skins of the squash are slightly charred.
⦁ Remove from the oven, garnish with more herbs, cut in half, and serve with pasta sauce if desired.

Quick Marinara Sauce
Makes 2 cups
⦁ 2 tablespoons olive oil
⦁ 3 cloves garlic (or more or less), minced
⦁ Pinch of red pepper flakes
⦁ ½ cup finely chopped parsley (leaves and stems)
⦁ 1 (28-ounce) can crushed tomatoes
⦁ 1 bay leaf
⦁ 1 tablespoon chopped fresh oregano (or 1 teaspoon dried)
⦁ Kosher salt and black pepper to taste

⦁ In a large skillet, heat the oil over medium heat. Add the garlic and the red pepper flakes, if using, and sauté for a minute, or just until the garlic begins to turn golden. Stir in the parsley and sauté another minute.
⦁ Add the tomatoes, bay leaf, and oregano and lower the heat to a simmer, stirring occasionally, until slightly thickened, 15 or 20 minutes. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

Article Credit Jay Croft, creator and owner of Prime Fit Content.
Susan Puckett is an Atlanta-based food writer and cookbook author.


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