The American College of Sports Medicine just released their annual "American Fitness Index," ranking the health and community fitness levels of the 50 largest metropolitan areas in the United States, as defined by the U.S. Office of Management and Budget. And Cincinnati is ranked 13, beating out more stereotypically health-conscious cities such as San Diego, LA and Miami. (Who needs a beach and when you have so many hills?)
The index was calculated by compiling data on each city's preventative health behaviors, levels of chronic disease, health care access and community resources/policies that support physical activity based on publicly available info from studies and federal reports, including the Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System survey by the U.S. Center for Disease Control and Prevention.
According to the ACSM, "Communities with the highest AFI scores are considered to have strong community fitness, a concept analogous to individuals having strong personal fitness."
And now for the rankings:
With the unemployment rate at near-record highs, about 70 percent of Cincinnati Public School students either receive free or reduced-cost lunches, indicating the dire need of local families. To help ensure as many children as possible have enough food to eat when not at school, Cincinnati Public Radio has partnered with two organizations to make donations go farther.
Every pledge made Friday to WVXU (91.7 FM) or WGUC (90.9 FM) will feed four Cincinnati children through Childhood Food Solutions and Green B.E.A.N. Delivery.
With Greater Cincinnati’s worst storm of the season fast approaching and much of the nation already covered in snow, PETA is offering tips about how to keep animals safe in cold weather — along with a little help from Country singer Loretta Lynn.
Although they are naturally equipped with fur coats, dogs and other animals still can suffer from frostbite and exposure, and they can become dehydrated when water sources freeze.
Over the past several months, Senate leaders have been contemplating imposing an obesity tax on non-diet sugary drinks in an effort to help pay for a renovation of the country’s health care system and lower consumption of a product presumed to be a crucial contributor to obesity in the U.S. Congressional estimates state that a tax of 3 cents per 12-ounce drink could potentially raise up to $50 billion over 10 years.
After the first half year the mother of the slain child went to visit his killer. He had been living on the streets before the killing, and she was the only visitor (in jail) he’d had. For a time they talked, and when she left she gave him some money for cigarettes. Then she started step-by-step to visit him more regularly, bringing food and small gifts. Near the end of his three-year sentence, she asked him what he would be doing when he got out. He was confused and very uncertain, so she offered to help set him up with a job at a friend’s company. Then she inquired about where he would live, and since he had no family to return to, she offered him temporary use of the spare room in her home. For eight months he lived there, ate her food, and worked at the job. Then one evening she called him into the living room to talk. She sat down opposite him and waited.
Then she started, “Do you remember in the courtroom when I said I was going to kill you?”
“I sure do,” he replied. “I’ll never forget that moment.”
“Well, I did it,” she went on. “I did not want the boy who could kill my son for no reason to remain alive on this earth. I wanted him to die. That’s why I started to visit you and bring you things. That’s why I got you the job and let you live here in my house. That’s how I set about changing you. And that old boy, he’s gone. So now I want to ask you, since my son is gone, and that killer is gone, if you’ll stay here. I’ve got room and I’d like to adopt you if you let me.”
And she became the mother he never had.
Honestly, for a man like me, in a place like this, a story like that is more precious than any amount of money or any amount of praise.
Lately I’ve been asked how long I can relate to such badly broken people in this particular way, and the truth is that I don’t know. However long it is, I think, will be determined less by the number of healed lives I see, and more by my ability to sense the depth of the compassion and forgiveness that is trying to heal them. Today, with that good story in my heart, it feels like I may last a while longer than it felt like before I heard it. I hope the same is true of you.
BART CAMPOLO is a veteran urban minister and activist who speaks and writes about grace, faith, loving relationships and social justice. He's leader of The Walnut Hills Fellowship.
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There have been a lot of days when I’ve wanted to just throw in the towel on all of it and just stay in bed all day, reading books and wallowing in some sense of self-pity. Each time, though, I’ve made myself get up, eat a decent breakfast, take a shower, and at least make some sort of an attempt at productivity, whether it be writing a handful of entries on a good day or simply just answering a couple of emails on a bad one. Some days, I would stop very early and take a nap so that I would have energy in the evening to spend with my children.
What’s kept me going - and will keep me going for the foreseeable future - is hope. I truly believe that at some point in the near future, things will return to some degree of normalcy in my life and health, and that will be a great moment for me, for my wife, for my kids, and for everyone else in my life.
I look for signs that today is better than the day before it. Many days, I can find those signs, and they keep me optimistic, even if I still don’t feel normal. As I write this, for example, I can reflect that today my energy level has been pretty consistent all day, and that’s been a pretty rare thing as of late.
I keep the positive things in my life front and center at all times. My office has a bunch of pictures of my wife and my children adorning the walls and the desktop. Whenever I need some inspiration, I look at those pictures - and I remember the great things I have to work for and live for.
I remind myself of the positive potential of the future. I think ahead to the things I want to enjoy in the future. I look forward to Christmas, for example, and to the spring and summer beyond that. Thinking of a warm summer day gets me actually excited and really keeps me positive.
I take care of the fundamentals by eating a very healthy diet. I’ve been focusing very hard on eating healthy foods over the past month, carefully selecting a diet that will keep my energy levels up, not put a lot of junk into my body, and provide all my nutritional needs.
What these tactics have in common is that they’re the same tactics I’ve been using to fix my personal finances. I look for ways to motivate myself, keep careful track of my progress, set goals, and focus on the fundamentals.
Whenever you see something that seems difficult in front of you, stick to the basics. Look for ways to motivate yourself and think positively about the obstacle. Keep track of your progress, so that you can clearly see that you are moving forward even if the path seems very difficult. Set goals and milestones along the way so that success can be reached on a regular basis. Focus on the fundamentals along the way - the little things that you know how to do well and the things that can “grease the skids” for the more difficult pieces.
The building blocks of success are universal. One just needs to apply them effectively in the situation they find themselves in.
TRENT HAMM blogs about personal finance at www.thesimpledollar.com. If you have a question that you would like answered, ask in the commments on his blog.
Researchers from University College London say that there's no clear link between antioxidants and slowing the aging process and that the 50-year-old theory that aging is a result of cell damage caused by free radicals is wrong.
From the BBC:
Dr Gems said: "The fact is that we don't understand much about the fundamental mechanisms of ageing - the free radical theory has filled a knowledge vacuum for over 50 years now, but it doesn't stand up to the evidence. "It is clear that if superoxide is involved, it plays only a small part in the story - oxidative damage is clearly not a universal, major driver of the ageing process."
He said a healthy, balanced diet was important for reducing the risk of many "old age" diseases, such as cancer, diabetes and osteoporosis, but there was no clear evidence that eating antioxidants could slow or prevent ageing, and even less evidence to support the claims made by antioxidant pills and creams.
I think this is something we could see coming for some time. There's no Fountain of Youth or miracle cure for aging and death. Even if geneticists arrive at DNA-based solution, it's not going to be perfect and it won't keep you young forever. A healthy lifestyle, moderate diet and happy disposition may be a harder road, but it's also the only road that leads anywhere.
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