Comments Off on Healthy Strong Skeleton

Healthy Strong Skeleton

Category : Active Living, Healthy Eating

Do you have a healthy strong skeleton?

If you are a woman, you have a 50/50 chance of suffering a fracture related to osteoporosis according to the National Institutes of Health. As for men, one in eight are expected to fracture a bone due to this disease. Osteoporosis affects women more than men because women have less bone mass and begin to lose bone at a younger age.

Are you at risk for osteoporosis?

Some risks are beyond your control such as being female, post-menopausal & Caucasian. Women can lose 20 percent of their bone density during the 5-7 years following menopause. Beginning at menopause women should have their bone density checked every two years.
Men in their fifties do not experience the rapid loss of bone mass that women do, however, by age 65 or 70, men and women lose bone mass at the same rate. Whether you are a man or woman your lifestyle is very important to your skeleton’s health. You can reduce your risk with appropriate exercise and diet; not to mention smoking cessation.

Exercise for a healthy strong skeleton

The muscles and tendons attached to the bones pull on them stimulating them to produce more bone cells. The best exercises for prevention of osteoporosis are those described as “weight-bearing”: walking, running, aerobic dance and weight training. In fact, “high-impact” exercises such as running and jumping are very beneficial if you are fit enough to do these activities without injuring yourself. Non-impact exercise such as biking and swimming will not help with bone density. Keep in mind that only the bones being stressed will get stronger, so performing an exercise such as running will strengthen the bones in your lower body, however your upper body will still require some attention.


What if you already have been diagnosed with osteoporosis?

Many people are afraid to exercise once they have been diagnosed with osteoporosis because they are concerned that exercise may cause a fracture. However, exercise can be very beneficial even after diagnosis. recommends three kinds of exercise: 1) strength training to improve your posture; 2) low-impact aerobic exercises such as walking, elliptical trainer and step aerobics; and 3) flexibility exercises to improve your posture and balance. Those with osteoporosis should avoid high-impact exercises (such as jumping or running) as well as exercises which require bending forward or twisting at the waist such as touching your toes, using a rowing machine, golf, tennis, bowling and some yoga and Pilates movements. Be sure to get your doctor’s approval before you begin an exercise program.

Eating for a healthy strong skeleton

Caffeine, alcohol, sugar and salt cause more calcium to be lost than absorbed. Also, a diet high in animal protein can contribute to bone loss because animal protein leaches calcium from the bones. A series of studies from the Cornell-China-Oxford Project on Nutrition, Health and Environment, by nutritional biochemist T. Colin Campbell and his colleagues, suggests that increased levels of animal-based proteins, including protein from dairy products, “almost certainly contribute to a significant loss of bone calcium while vegetable-based diets clearly protect against bone loss”.
A conservative interpretation of the report is that you definitely shouldn’t increase animal protein intake to get your calcium. In other words, don’t add several glasses of milk per day to your current diet. Instead, replace low calcium protein sources with high calcium protein sources such as: beans (navy, white, soy & black-eyed peas), fortified breakfast cereals, soy products (tofu, soy-based beverages), calcium-fortified orange juice, and some dark green leafy vegetables (collard greens, turnip greens, bok choy, mustard greens).


Calcium & Vitamin D

Getting enough calcium, whether through diet, supplements, or both, is essential to maintaining bone strength and can prevent osteoporosis-related fractures. Vitamin D plays a major role in calcium absorption and bone health. The National Osteoporosis Foundation (NOF) recommends adults under age 50 need 1,000 mg of calcium daily and 400-800 IU of Vitamin D. For adults age 50 and over 1,200 mg of calcium daily and 800-1000 IU vitamin D are recommended.

Be good to your skeleton and give it the exercise and nutrients it needs to stay healthy and support you throughout your life. I hope you and your skeleton have a fun and safe Halloween! –Karin.

Comments Off on Halloween Candy vs. Burpees

Halloween Candy vs. Burpees

Category : Healthy Eating

It’s the second week of October,

stores are well-stocked with trick-or-treat candy,

but does that mean you need to stock your pantry?!

Be realistic, if you buy Halloween candy now will it actually be around on October 31st when the kids come knocking?

Leave the candy in the store until just a few days before Halloween….

otherwise, stepping on the scale might get a little scary!


Burpee Calculator source:

This might help put things in perspective…you love burpees, right?

Comments Off on Go Take a Hike: Laura Lake

Go Take a Hike: Laura Lake

Category : Active Living

Laura Lake is a great place to go take a hike if you are headed up north.  The 2.5 mile trail which is marked by blue (and sometimes white) diamonds will take you around the lake through a variety pines and maples. can be accessed just about anywhere in either of the campground loops along the southern shore if you are planning to stay and camp. If you are just going for a day trip  you can park at the boat landing and start from there. There is very little elevation gain just watch your step so that you don’t trip on roots.
The dashed line is the hiking trail around Laura Lake. It is marked with blue diamonds.

The dashed line is the hiking trail around Laura Lake

Don’t miss Bog Lake’s  Carnivorous Plants

Be sure to take the short side trip to Bog Lake. The trail isn’t shown on the map, but it’s there…just cross the bike path go and head down the hill to the boardwalk. Stay on the boardwalk or else you will get very wet feet. The trail dead ends at the edge of the lake rather abruptly, so don’t let small children run ahead. This was my favorite part of the hike because we discovered some amazing carnivorous plants!

The boardwalk ends at the lake…it was hard to tell how deep it was, but I’d keep small children away from the edge!

The purple pitcher plant (Sarracenia purpurea) is Wisconsin's largest and showiest carnivorous plant. Its leaves form into pitchers that have a widely winged edge and a flaring hood. The leaves can be a foot long and form a crowded cluster. The flower is large and maroon and is on a stalk that can tower to two feet tall.

The purple pitcher plant (Sarracenia purpurea) is Wisconsin’s largest and showiest carnivorous plant. Its leaves form into pitchers that have a widely winged edge and a flaring hood. The leaves can be a foot long and form a crowded cluster. The flower is large and maroon and is on a stalk that can tower to two feet tall.

Sundews are closely related to the Venus flytrap and belong to the same family. Every bit as showy, Wisconsin's sundews are glistening jeweled rosettes.

Sundews are closely related to the Venus flytrap and belong to the same family. Every bit as showy, Wisconsin’s sundews are glistening jeweled rosettes.

How to get there

From Beecher (on Hwy 141) head west on Hwy. 8 to Armstrong Creek and continue on Hwy. 8 for 1.9 miles to FR 2163. Turn right (north) and drive 4 miles to the campground. From Laona, drive north 14 miles on Hwy. 8 to to FR 2163. Turn left (north) on and drive 4 miles to the campground.

P.S. This is a great place to paddle!

Only electric motors are allowed on Laura Lake, so if you enjoy paddling a canoe, kayak or SUP bring it along!
Canoeing on Laura Lake

Canoeing on Laura Lake

Comments Off on How Skinny is your Kitchen?

How Skinny is your Kitchen?

Category : Healthy Eating

Is your kitchen helping or hurting your weight-loss efforts?

Did you know that the average woman who keeps a box of breakfast cereal visible anywhere in her kitchen weighs about 21 pounds more than her neighbor who doesn’t? How about that having potato chips or crackers  in plain sight causes you to weigh 8 pounds more than your neighbor who puts them out of sight (or better yet don’t keep them in the house!)

Recently I read an article by Brian Wansink, PhD author of “Slim by Design: Mindless Eating Solutions for Everyday Life”. In his book he provides a 100-point checklist to evaluate your kitchen. However in the spirit of “taking baby-steps” and not trying to change everything at once I wanted to start by sharing the 10-point checklist he offers in his article “Food-Related Behavior Change Made Easy”.

How many of the following are true in your home?

  • Salad and vegetables are served first before the entrée and starches are brought to the table.
  • The main dish is pre-plated and served from the stove or counter (not family style).
  • Your dinner plates are 9-10 inches in diameter.
  • You eat sitting at a table with the TV turned off.
  • There are two or fewer cans of soft drinks in your refrigerator at any one time. (Doesn’t matter if it’s diet or regular soda).
  • Your kitchen counters are organized (not messy).
  • Precut fruits and vegetables are now on your middle refrigerator shelf.
  • At least 6 single servings of protein are in your fridge: Hard-boiled eggs, yogurt, string cheese, tofu, etc.
  • Your snacks are kept in one inconveniently located cupboard.
  • The only food on your kitchen counter is a fruit bowl.

How many did you check? If you checked seven or more, congratulations, you’re doing great. If you scored less than seven which ones can you change in the next week?

You eat what you see first, so the ONLY food that should be on your kitchen counter is a fruit bowl!

You eat what you see first, so the ONLY food that should be on your kitchen counter is a fruit bowl!

P.S. Learn more about Dr Wansink’s book “Slim by Design: Mindless Eating Solutions for Everyday Life” at

Comments Off on Go take a Hike: Dundee Mt. Summit Nature Trail

Go take a Hike: Dundee Mt. Summit Nature Trail

Category : Active Living

Welcome to hike #1 in our Hike Wisconsin series!

Dundee Mt. Summit Nature Trail

Although this is only a 1.5 mile loop hike it is challenging due to the elevation change. When you reach the top you will be rewarded with a spectacular view of the Northern Kettle Moraine Forest and Long Lake. There are wildflowers to enjoy and poison ivy to avoid (just stay on the trail).


Great view of the Northern Kettles from the top

Plus a bench if you need to sit down and catch your breath!


There are plenty of stairs to climb if you’re looking to do some interval training.


Careful…the wood gets slippery when wet!


Long Lake State Recreation Area

N3450 Division Road, Cascade, WI

20160724_120842 (1)

If you go:

You will need a Wisconsin State Park sticker ($28 annual fee/$13 for seniors)

or you can pay the daily fee of $8 ($3 for seniors) in order to drive/park in this state recreation area.

Finding the trail:

Once you make it to Long Lake, you still have to find the trailhead. You can’t rely on the signage to get you there…at least not the signs you can read from the car. You will find it nestled at the far south end of the Upper 900’s campground


This little sign marks the trailhead across from campsite 945

Long Lake Recreation Area Map



Figuring out where to park was the trickiest part, so that’s why I am giving you so many instructions! You cannot park in 900 campground loop except if you are camping there (you could “poach as spot” as my husband likes to say, but that could earn you a parking ticket). There are two places you can park:
  • Visitor parking located adjacent to the entrance for the 800’s campground, then walk on the road to the Upper 900’s campground and follow the signs to reach campsite 945.
  • South Picnic parking/boat launch parking then walk toward the boat launch and follow the trail to the left (heading south) until you reach the Upper 900’s campground loop at which point you can follow the road (turn right) and walk until you find campsite 945.

Comments Off on Why I’m a fan of Pokemon Go

Why I’m a fan of Pokemon Go

Category : Active Living

I recently heard a statistic: According to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), the average American spends 93% of their life indoors.

Kids spend an average of seven hours a day on screen-based entertainment media, according to the American Academy of Pediatrics, so there is little time left to get outside and play. Personally, I’d rather take a walk and skip searching for Pokemon. I walked around our neighborhood and Voyageur Park with my 14 year old and it isn’t exactly rigorous activity, but if “Sitting is the new Smoking” then Pokemon Go! is at least a step in the right direction (pun intended). So they combine screen time with walking around the neighborhood…it’s awesome.


I missed the Pokemon craze back in the day…never traded a card, no idea who Picachu or any of the other Pokemon creatures were until my 14 year old started introducing them to me. If you haven’t played, ask someone who does to show you how it works. (Use their phone of course, why chew up your data?) It’s pretty cool to see those imaginary Pokemon creatures just standing on the sidewalk and there are Poke stops (these are places you can collect the balls you need to play). Most of these stops are associated with a sign or bench, so there are a lot of them at local parks. If you’ve noticed the incredible amount of foot traffic out along the Fox River Trail and on De Pere’s Riverwalk it’s thanks to the fact that every bench and sign out there is a stop!

Searching for Pokemon on De Pere's Riverwalk

Searching for Pokemon on De Pere’s Riverwalk

You can roll your eyes at the Pokemon craze, but if it gets people outside and moving then I am with Pokemon! Go Pokemon Go!

Yours in Health & Fitness, Karin

Comments Off on Avocado Toast

Avocado Toast

Category : Healthy Eating

Who knew mashing avocado on toast was trendy? Certainly not me…I’ve been making avocado toast for years because it’s quick, easy, delicious and nutritious.

I was very surprised to learn from a client (who travels a whole lot more than I do) that avocado toast is “a thing” on both coasts and here in the mid-west we’re missing out!!  I accidentally invented avocado toast (for myself) years ago because it’s a great substitute for some less desirable condiments such as mayo or butter.

Please, don’t worry about how many calories are in an avocado. The health benefits of the avocado far outweigh any concern you may have about the fat content… it’s monounsaturated fat which is “heart healthy” plus a little fat goes a long way toward helping you feel full longer so you will actually consume less calories throughout the day.

What’s so great about avocado?

  • They have more potassium than bananas
  • They are high in monounsaturated oleic acid, a “heart healthy” fatty acid that is believed to be one of the main reasons for the health benefits of olive oil.
  • A 100 gram (3.5 ounce) serving of avocado contains 7 grams of fiber, which is 27% of the recommended daily amount.
  • Numerous studies have shown that eating avocado can improve heart disease risk factors like Total, LDL and HDL cholesterol, as well as blood triglycerides.
  • Avocados are high in antioxidants, including Lutein and Zeaxanthin. These nutrients are very important for eye health and lower the risk of macular degeneration and cataracts.
  • They are rich in vitamins and minerals, such as B-vitamins, vitamin K, potassium, copper, vitamin E and vitamin C.
  • One of my favorite breakfasts...avocado and egg sandwich

    One of my favorite breakfasts…avocado and egg sandwich

Comments Off on Motivation in March

Motivation in March

Category : Exercise

January is a distant memory…what about your New Years Resolutions? If they’ve fallen by the wayside, don’t worry…it happens to the best of us. Do you need to get moving again? Here’s what to do:


Keep track on a chart

It may seem silly, but most grown-ups are just as motivated as grade-schoolers by something as simple as a chart on the wall with stickers or smiley faces. Try this at home: Place a calendar which is dedicated to keeping track of your workouts in a prominent location such as your refrigerator. Everyday you workout draw a smiley face (or give yourself a sticker) on the calendar. Everyday you do not workout draw a big red “X” on the day. That way you have a visual. More than two red X’s in a row and you will know you better get a move on! Any week you have more smiley faces than X’s reward yourself!


Schedule four workouts per week.

Take a few minutes each weekend to look ahead to the coming week and figure out which four days and times you will exercise. Scheduling four may seem like a lot, but consider the fact that “something will come up” on one of those days and you will have to cancel. In that case, at least you will get three workouts in. Consider that fourth workout as a “bonus” workout. If you complete it reward yourself!


Find an exercise buddy.

Exercising with a friend is more fun. It also makes it harder to cancel your workout because you have someone to answer to. You may even want to wager a friendly bet: Anytime you or your friend skips a planned workout the one who cancels has to put $5 into the jar. At the end of the month the person with the best track record gets all the money in the jar.


Register for an event.

Starting in April the calendar is literally exploding with opportunities to participate in everything from a 5K walk/run to an Ironman Triathlon. Pick an event which will be challenging, but not ridiculously so. Check out Having an event out there on the horizon you know you will have to stick to your workout in order to be ready in time. Many event websites post a workout schedule which you can follow; if not, a personal trainer can help you organize your workouts so you will be prepared for your event.


Try something new.

Perhaps you are tired of the same old, same old. Try a new activity, get some new workout clothes or shoes, buy some new music or a new exercise DVD. A small monetary investment may be all you need to get yourself moving again. Wouldn’t you feel guilty if you let those new shoes just sit there collecting dust?


Remember, Spring is just around the corner and you want to be in great shape by then! Pick one of these ideas and give it a whirl. Let me know which one you try and how it is working for you I would love to hear from you!


Karin Jennings is a certified personal trainer and co-owner of XO Fitness, LLC in De Pere.

Comments Off on February’s Fitness & Food Challenge

February’s Fitness & Food Challenge

Category : Upcoming Events

February’s Fitness & Food Challenge

Designed to help you make heart healthy lifestyle changes







Complete the Fitness & Food Tracking Sheet



Hand in Fitness & Food Tracking Sheet at the front desk


What do you need to do?


Register no later than January 31st!

Pick up your Fitness & Food packet at the front desk

Cost: $10

Includes cardio membership, Fitness & Food Log, chance to win great prizes!


Fitness Challenge

4 week challenge…turn in fitness log weekly for prizes!

(You can exercise with us or on your own.)

Complete 30 minutes of moderate exercise 5 days per week




Complete 25 minutes of vigorous aerobic exercise 3 days per week




Complete at least 2 days per week of strength training


Food Challenge

Eat 4-5 meals/snacks each day including breakfast for 4 weeks

and complete the weekly challenges listed below!

Turn in Food Log weekly for prizes!

Week 1

Drink a glass of water with every meal/snack

Week 2

Eat a Vegetable or Fruit at each meal/snack

Week 3

Eat a Protein at every meal/snack

Week 4

Avoid fast food & processed foods

Challenge begins February 1st

Register no later than January 31st


Comments Off on Protein Quality and Quantity

Protein Quality and Quantity

Category : Healthy Eating

I’ve been a big advocate of protein over the years and have written plenty of articles about the benefits of protein and how to get more protein into your diet. There’s always more to learn though, so I wanted to share what I recently read in this month’s IDEA Fitness Journal called “Tapping the Power of Protein” by Christopher R. Mohr, PhD, RD. This article emphasizes eating high quality protein at least three times per day.

Here’s what I learned:

Be sure to eat protein throughout the day, but particularly at breakfast.

Americans tend to eat most of their protein later in the day, however we should really be eating in for breakfast. According to Stewart Phillips, PhD and professor at McMaster University, “It’s a good idea to aim for around 20 g of protein if you’re younger or 30-40 g if you’re older.” Also, in a 12-week study conducted by Heather Leidy, PhD, an assistant professor at the University of Missouri it was discovered that a high protein breakfast (35 g of protein) reduced daily hunger and  led to voluntary reductions of about 400 calories in daily food intake.

Also, not all protein is created equal…

I learned about an amino acid called leucine. When this amino acid is present muscle protein synthesis will occur. So which foods that are high in leucine? IDEA fitness journal’s article mentions the following: cottage cheese, chicken breast, ground beef, wild salmon, whole egg. I searched online for more options because I felt that list was very limited for vegetarians. Here are some good choices: soybeans, pumpkin seeds, peanuts, and white beans. The goal is to eat 2.2-3 g of protein with each meal.