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The Observer paper 05/20/15

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Home arrow COMMUNITY arrow Health & Fitness

Health & Fitness

Dancing stress, pounds away

Annelies De Vriendt leads a Zumba class in her dance studio on the second floor of 1315 Adams Ave. De Vriendt teaches Zumba classes at her studio as well as the Grande Ronde Fitness Center in La Grande. (TRISH YERGES photo)

Zumba dance-fitness parties are gaining popularity in Union County, as their exotic Latino drum beats irresistibly draw participants to the La Grande dance studio of Belgium born instructor Annelies De Vriendt. 

Zumba is a Latin-based dance workout led by an instructor, who guides students through dance steps that strengthen and tone muscles. It’s so fun that most students don’t consider it exercise because of its appealing and soul-stirring music. Whether it’s cumbia, salsa, merengue, mambo, flamenco, chachacha, riggaeton, soca, samba, hip-hop, axe music or tango, Zumba helps dance away the calories. 

Test proves timing is everything

Jill Layton, left, an occupational therapist at St. Alphonsus Rehabilitation Services in Baker City, helps Trinity Harrell, 5, use an interactive metronome. The device helps improve a patient’s timing, fine and gross motor coordination, and in gait training. (LISA BRITTON/WesCom News Service)

How hard can it be to keep a beat?

That’s what I’m thinking as I slip on the headphones. My left hand is strapped with a button I am supposed to hit in time with the beeps I hear.

When I’m ready, Jill Layton starts the interactive metronome.

My task is to hit the button at the exact same time the beep sounds. 


Knowing when it is time to transition from home to a residential care facility requires an honest assessment of one’s circumstances and careful planning.

The term “residential care facility” is an umbrella description for several kinds of senior living arrangements, including retirement housing, assisted living, nursing homes (also called skilled nursing facility, long-term care facility or custodial care), Alzheimer’s special care units (memory loss units), and continuing care retirement communities.

HEALTH CARE HAPPENINGS: NEOAHEC announces release date for Heart In A Box

After a year of research, experimentation and box building, the Northeast Oregon Area Health Education Center is ready to announce the release of Heart In A Box as of May 15. 

Geoff Robinson, the center’s education director, said that he is currently putting the finishing touches on lesson details. 

“I’ve seen the potential of this project from the beginning. The vision for a project like this comes easy,” Robinson said. 

Heart In A Box is the latest installment of a seven-box set that is available for loan to educators all over Oregon at no cost. The boxes are on sale nationwide at a low cost considering the many expensive models and tools each box contains. 

Heart In A Box will be released to the public on May 15 to give in educators the summer and early fall to consider how they can integrate Heart In A Box into their existing curriculum. Watch for more information to come on the center’s website.  

Simple steps to healthier diet

March is, among other things, National Colorectal Cancer Month, National Chronic Fatigue Syndrome Month, National Kidney Month and National Nutrition Month. While all may be important topics, let’s explore nutrition.

Deadline looms for Cover Oregon

ENTERPRISE — Time is running out to sign up for Cover Oregon, the state’s portal for the Affordable Care Act.

Vixen Radford, Wallowa County’s Northeast Oregon Network representative, is trying to get the word out. 

“I’ve left brochures at accountant offices around the county and people still don’t know what open enrollment means,” she said.

Legislature let e-cigarette law go up in smoke

On the one hand, the Legislature did the right thing by not getting too ambitious during its abbreviated session that ran for five weeks in February and early March. Lawmakers fine-tuned the state budget and dealt with other immediate issues, choosing to wait until the six-month session in 2015 to tackle more complicated bills.

Stomach key to overall health

Stomach health may seem kind of boring. The stomach doesn’t do much, you may think. 

HEALTH CARE HAPPENINGS: GRH Auxiliary meeting to focus on annual compliance

GRH Auxiliary meeting to focus on annual compliance

The Grande Ronde Hospital Auxiliary meeting will be held at 9:30 a.m. Monday at the city hall building in Island City. 

Getting to the heart of intelligence

Students with a growth mindset put forth effort to master a skill despite difficulties and setbacks, according to Stanford University psychologist Dr. Carol Dweck, who spoke to educators and school counselors during the Brain Awareness 2014 workshop sponsored by Oregon Health and Sciences University Brain Institute and facilitated by Northeast Oregon Area Health Education Center. (TRISH YERGES/The Observer)

Student success hinges on their mindset, Stanford doctor tells workshop

How well a child performs in school has a lot to do with how that child perceives his or her intelligence.

Is intelligence a fixed trait or can it grow with effort? 

New vaccination law designed to educate parents

Some parents are concerned that multiple vaccines in one injection like measles-mumps-rubella may be too taxing on their young childs immune system if administered all at one time.

To vaccinate or not is a personal choice, and those rights remain intact under the new Oregon law on vaccines that took effect March 1.  

But for parents of kindergarten age children, this law changes the status quo in two major ways.

HEALTH MATTERS: How healthy is your heart?

February is American Heart month so let’s look at that heart of yours. 

HEALTH CARE HAPPENINGS: Elgin Dental Clinic open for business and taking patients

The Elgin Dental Clinic is now open for business.

The clinic, which is operated by Dr. Eli Mayes, hosted an open house Monday at the Elgin Health Clinic at 1400 Division St.

The clinic is fully equipped with two chairs and state-of-the-art equipment to offer full spectrum dentistry services, including extractions, oral surgeries, X-rays, root canals, periodontal surgeries and care, dentures, crown and bridge work, general fillings and sealants for children. 

To make an appointment with either Mayes or the hygenist, call the Elgin Health Clinic at 541-437-6321. 

Feeding the brain

Chef Aaron Reynolds prepares lunch Tuesday for residents at the Wildflower Lodge Assisted Living Community in La Grande. (PHIL BULLOCK/The Observer)

Proper nutrition for the elderly can nourish the brain and even help to ward off dementia 

Lunch is often the largest meal of the day for the elderly, and so it is a great opportunity to introduce foods that nourish the brain and even help a person avoid dementia and Alzheimer’s disease, according to Expressions Director Kaylena Townsend of Wildflower Lodge.

HEALTH CARE HAPPENINGS: GRH physical therapists earn specialty certification

Elizabeth Zastrow and Jeff Whinery, physical therapists in the Rehabilitation Therapy Department at Grande Ronde Hospital, have recently been certified as orthopedic specialists. 

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