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Walk to the Moon results and other health tidbits

Staff, wire reports

Back in April, we told you about the Walk to the Moon Challenge that had teams from businesses, local governments and neighborhoods committed to covering a total of 238,857 miles in seven weeks.

So how'd it go?

They not only made it to the moon, but most of the way back, too. Nearly 6,000 people from 76 organizations tallied a total of 375,824 miles in the recently ended challenge.

• That's an average of 64 miles per person.

• Or 9 miles per person per week.

• The reward? What! You want more than health, fun and an awesome accomplishment?

• Okay, then: Local resorts, hotels, restaurants and attractions kicked in $10,000 in prizes.

• Teams that logged the most total miles: Shriners Hospital for Children; Blalock Walters, P.A.; City of Largo; Manatee County government and BayCare Health System.

• Teams that logged the highest average miles per participant: Do the Local Motion, Tampa Bay Partnership, Baldwin Krystyn Sherman Partners, Manatee County Government, Tampa General Hospital.

• And (drum roll), the Walk to the Moon Challenge Lifestyle Change winners — Grand Prize: Carey Miller, Manatee Chamber of Commerce; Runners-up: Nisha Rambaran, Tampa General Hospital and Dawn Morgan, Tampa General Hospital

Find out more about the event and other community health initiatives at


"I've always been outraged by inequality - civil rights, gay rights, gender discrimination. I don't like that women somehow are not important enough to have studies done on them."

Entertainer/activist Barbra Streisand, whose name is now on a women's heart center at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles. She contributed $10 million toward research into women's cardiovascular health.

Another reason to celebrate Father's Day: Dads are 17 percent less likely to die of heart disease than child-free men, according to a study in Human Reproduction. What's going on? Lots of possibilities, says study author Dr. Michael Eisenberg of Stanford University. It might be that fertile men have more testosterone (the subject of our cover story today), which can help your heart. Obesity, a real heart-killer, also is associated with infertility. Plus, people who have strong relationships tend to be healthier. So give your kids a hug!


End Back Pain Forever, by Norman Marcus

Most people experience back pain at some time, according to physician Norman Marcus, who says strengthening and elongating the muscles around the back and core are as important to reducing back pain as surgery or drugs.

This book gives you a chance to try six exercises, including leg raises and crunches, that assess strength and flexibility. If you fail any of these tests, Marcus recommends therapeutic moves designed to address the relevant weakness.

Sometimes the fix is simple. Marcus tells about a pastry chef whose back pain was caused by the repetitive motion of closing an oven door with her foot. She began using her hand, and the pain disappeared.

Charlotte Sutton

Jan Brackett

Nolasco on their daily walk in Trinity

TRIATHLON NEEDS VOLUNTEERS: Want to get close to a triathlon without actually doing all that running, swimming and cycling? Morton Plant Mease Triathlon race organizers need volunteers for the June 24 event, expected to draw about 1,000 competitors to Clearwater Beach. It helps if you're an early riser: The action starts at 6:50 a.m. with a 1/3-mile open water swim in the Gulf of Mexico off Sand Key Park. From there, it's on to a 13-mile bike ride over the Sand Key, Memorial Causeway and Belleair Causeway bridges; and then a 3.1-mile run finishing in Sand Key Park. Volunteers are needed for athlete check-in, body marking, course marshal, water stations and finish line. Call (727) 825-1521 or email to sign up. To compete, go to for online race registration.

Looking forward to a nice, lazy retirement? Think again.

More than half of the centenarians polled by insurance giant UnitedHealthcare report that they exercise almost every day. Nearly 45 percent said walking is their favorite physical activity, but almost as many do strength-training exercises. Eleven percent practice yoga, tai chi or similar mind/body activity; 8 percent ride a bike regularly; 5 percent jog; and 2 percent engage in sports like baseball, basketball, soccer or tennis.

All of this makes them a more active group than folks half their age. They also are more likely to eat more nutritiously balanced meals and get eight hours of sleep or more a night.

Sure, maybe they have more time for healthy practices than busy boomers do. Then again, maybe making health a top priority is what got them to the 100-year mark.

Walk to the Moon results and other health tidbits 06/15/12 [Last modified: Friday, June 15, 2012 4:30am]
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