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Susquehanna Life

In the Winter 2015 Issue

Nov 20, 2015 06:26AM ● By Erica Shames
A Fit Event’s 2015
Lewisburg Half Marathon

Nothing compares to the feelings of happiness and wellbeing that surge through your body as a result of exercising. Physical activity stimulates various brain chemicals that leave you feeling happier and more relaxed. When you exercise regularly, you’ll feel better about your appearance, which can boost your confidence and improve your self-esteem. Truly a natural high.

My favorite ways to stay active are bicycling, hiking, golf and spinning classes. I also jog. I’m not the fastest runner, nor am I the most agile.  But jogging is one of the best ways to burn calories. Lots of them.

Sometimes I can’t wait to get started exercising. Then there are days when just getting out the door for a jog is a struggle—especially in winter. But I keep at it. Here’s why.  

Obesity, it turns out, is more than an aesthetic issue. It’s predicted to outpace smoking as the leading cause of cancer within the next decade.* Close to 30 percent of the global population is overweight or obese, and one in five deaths is now associated with obesity.

Obesity figures into mortality risk because of its link to many chronic and serious conditions, including Type 2 diabetes, hypertension, nonalcoholic fatty liver disease, dementia and cancer.

According to a 2013 report from the U.S. Center for Disease Control and Prevention, of the 800,000 cardiovascular disease deaths occurring in the U.S. each year, a quarter of them—or 200,000—could be prevented through simple lifestyle changes.

Those lifestyle changes include cutting down on sugar—to as little as 15 to 25 grams a day—exercising regularly, eating less and paying attention to environmental and dietary toxins, including BPA (bisphenol-A), a chemical used in polycarbonate plastic, food cans and paper receipts).

Here’s the secret: sticking to an exercise regime is not easy—for anyone. It requires discipline and commitment. But you can do it! This winter, I challenge you to begin (or keep at) exercising at least four days a week. Your activity can be something as simple as taking a walk or riding a stationary bicycle—anything that elevates your heart rate.  How much depends on your age. (Check with your doctor before starting an exercise program.)  

Don’t let the cold weather dampen your enthusiasm. I took up cross-country skiing to force me outdoors in the cold, and I plan to try snowshoeing for the first time this winter. We have tremendous resources for outdoor recreation, including Crystal Lake Ski Center, profiled on page __. Joe Rebar leads Sierra Club hikes all winter at R.B. Winter State Park, in Mifflinburg. Other options can be found inside this issue and at And if you need encouragement, enlist an exercise buddy—a friend, co-worker or family member—and motivate each other.

As we begin a new year, it’s a good time to turn over a new leaf and make a commitment to an exercise routine. It could mean the different between health (life) and disease (death). I urge you to get started and share your success stories and photos with me! I’ll be with you, every step of the way.

Best wishes for a happy and healthy holiday season,


New Life for a Nonprofit - Nov 20 2015 0615AM

New Life for a Nonprofit

As an AmeriCorps member charged with the task of helping to revitalize a nonprofit, Sue Stackhouse reached out to the community to gather invaluable input to revitalize Crystal Lake Ski C... Read More » 


By the Book - Winter 2015 - Nov 20 2015 0608AM

By the Book - Winter 2015

Curl up under a warm blanket this winter with one of these local reads. Read More » 


Restaurants With Attention-grabbing Appeal - Nov 20 2015 0601AM

Restaurants With Attention-grabbing Appeal

Readers choose restaurants in our Dining Guide, as appears in the winter 2015 issue. Read More » 


The Great War - Nov 20 2015 0554AM

The Great War

President Wilson declared war on Germany in 1917. Volunteer companies formed across the nation. Huntingdon County, Pa, formed volunteer company F of the 28th Division, and many young men ... Read More » 


Letters to the Editor - Winter 2015

Readers share their thoughts on previous issues.


8 Truly Unique Ways to Celebrate the Holidays - Nov 19 2015 0920AM

8 Truly Unique Ways to Celebrate the Holidays

Explore the creativity and joy that abounds in these celebrations of the season. Read More » 


Life Around the River - Winter 2015 - Nov 18 2015 0657AM

Life Around the River

A native of Middleburg, Pa., and graduate of Susquehanna University, Dale Orris has played the trumpet for 54 years, positively contributing to the area’s musical heritage. This and more ... Read More » 


Reading  Northern engineer Christopher Bost moves 113 in Minersville

Nostalgic Journeys - The Pride of Minersville

The 1913 Reading Company railroad station on East Sunbury Street in Minersville still stands and its roof still collects cinders from the world’s only active anthracite-burning steam loco... Read More » 


Cooking at Home Uncle Irvings French Toast - Nov 16 2015 1217PM

Cooking at Home: Uncle Irving's French Toast

Uncle Irving’s French toast is coated with crushed corn flakes. Read More » 


Winter Illumination - Faith - Nov 16 2015 1213PM

Winter Illumination - Faith

Faith is a light in the darkness, Surrounded, yet not consumed. A poem by Adrian Walt. Read More » 


Helping Far From Home - Nov 16 2015 1207PM

Helping Far From Home

At this time of year, it’s critical to remember the less fortunate and implement ways to help. Until he witnessed it, Dr. Alex Nesbitt didn’t know just how desperate for medical care are ... Read More » 


The Allure of Tiny Houses - Nov 16 2015 1152AM

The Allure of Tiny Houses

The tiny house movement has been around for decades but the up-swell happened around 2008 when the economy took a dive. Read More » 


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