By: Paul Foreman
Predators size up their prey before attacking. This is true for alligators, wolves, sharks, and it is also true for violently predatory humans. Be aware of your surroundings and who is watching your movements. It is much better to stay out of trouble in the first place than to shoot your way out of a life or death situation.

You need to be totally aware of who and what is around you. This applies whether you are pulling into a parking lot, walking into a store, or eating lunch at your favorite burger joint. In cop circles, we have what we call the “Gun Fighter’s Chair.” This was made famous by the gambler and gun fighter, known as Wild Bill Hickok, who met his demise sitting at a poker table with his back to the door. The killer approached from behind and shot Wild Bill in the back of his head. The former Sheriff of Abilene, Texas turned gambler and vagrant, was buried in Deadwood South Dakota. His twin six shooters were sold to pay for the burial plot. In his earlier days, Wild Bill would have always sat so he could see who was approaching him.

Now, I am not advising my readers to live like Wild Bill. But please do be aware of your surroundings. Walking with your nose in your smart phone could lead to more serious problems than walking into a light pole, or stepping into an open man hole. Just last week, a local bank was robbed. I use that bank all the time. Due to the “gun-free” sign on the window, I always store my firearm in my locked console before dismounting from my truck. I can honestly say that makes me feel naked! Feeling naked, I look around to see if anybody is looking at my 67 year old body. Seriously, I do look around. Is a shady character sitting in his car with the engine running? As I approach the door, is there anything unusual going on inside?

The same procedure with “stop and robs.” I mean, convenience stores. Yes, I have actually backed out and left due to not so pleasant looking characters hanging around the outside of a store. Pay attention to your surroundings, and you will be able to avoid trouble. With proper situational awareness and conflict avoidance skills, you will be able to avoid situations which “less-aware” individuals might walk right into.

WHEN IN DOUBT, GET OUT!
Conflict avoidance means just that: avoiding conflict. If you feel that you might be in physical danger, you need to get out of there. If you feel like someone is following you, walk into the next open business ,or move to the opposite side of the street. If you are driving, make two or three right turns, and then check to see if you are still being followed. Drive to a well lighted area. Drive to a Police Station or Fire Department. If you are convinced that you are being followed, DO NOT DRIVE HOME! Call 911 and report what is going on, give them your location and direction of travel. If you can, give them a description of your vehicle and the vehicle following you. Do not get yourself into a high speed chase. If you see a police car, sound your horn and drive toward them! If you are walking, use the same tactics. If at night, use your flashlight to get the police’s attention. If needed, use it to blind the creep and run. You do carry a good flash light, don’t you? Today’s lights are a hundred times more powerful than just a few years ago, and the prices have come down dramatically. I just got one with 600 lumens from Amazon for less than $15.

If you are a CCW license holder, your gun is not a replacement for good common sense. Your gun is not magical, and your permit to carry doesn’t make you a superhero. Be aware of your surroundings and don’t go anywhere with your gun that you would not go without it.

I don’t carry a gun so I can go into bad places. I carry a gun because sometimes bad things happen to good people. In short, if you have plans to go somewhere, and you think you’re going to need a gun, cancel your plans. Watch out for who is watching you.
By: Paul Foreman

Courtesy BrandPoint Content
(BPT) – World Salt Awareness Week is being celebrated this year from March 12 to 18 and is the perfect opportunity to recognize all the many benefits of salt. Salt, or sodium chloride, is essential for life. In fact, no mineral is more essential to human survival than sodium because it allows nerves to send and receive electrical impulses, helps your muscles stay strong and keeps your cells and brain functioning. However, sodium chloride (salt) is a nutrient that the body cannot produce, and therefore it must be consumed.

The other component of salt, chloride, is also essential to survival and good health. It preserves acid-base balance in the body, aids potassium absorption, improves the ability of the blood to move harmful carbon dioxide from tissues out to the lungs and most importantly, supplies the crucial stomach acids required to break down and digest the foods we eat.

Because the level of salt consumption is so stable, it is an ideal medium to fortify with other essential nutrients such as iodine. Iodized salt was first produced in the U.S. in 1924 and is now used by 75 percent of the world’s population to protect against intellectual disability due to Iodine Deficiency Disorders (IDD). Iodine is an essential element in healthy human life, enabling the function of thyroid glands to produce needed hormones for proper metabolism. When children in the womb don’t get enough iodine from their mother, fetal brain development may be impaired. Iodized salt remains one of the greatest public health success stories.

Salt is also essential in hospital IV saline, which is standard therapy and the fastest way to deliver fluids and medications throughout the body. This saline drip doesn’t just keep patients hydrated, it delivers a 0.9 percent solution of salt. Without this saline drip, patients can end up with low levels of sodium in the blood, resulting in a condition known as hyponatremia. This serious condition can lead to seizures, coma, permanent brain damage, respiratory arrest and death, and it is why the shortage of saline in hospitals is of such critical importance.

Salt is also a vital component of hydration. After exercise, it is critical to replace both water and salt lost through perspiration. That is why all athletes make sure they are consuming sufficient salt during and after a workout. Salt rooms are becoming increasingly popular around the globe to aid in the treatment of various pulmonary disorders as well as to promote relaxation and reduce stress. This is because the unique microclimate, containing ultrafine salt particles, helps clear the lungs.

The average American eats about 3,400 mg per day of sodium, according to The National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey, and this may be on the low side of the safe range. A 2014 study, published in the New England Journal of Medicine, tested sodium consumption in more than 100,000 people in 17 countries. The study found that the healthy range for sodium consumption was between 3,000 and 6,000 mg per day.

Seniors can be especially susceptible to the dangers of low-salt diets. In 2013 a task force of 12 professional medical, nursing and nutritional organizations assembled by the Pioneer Network published the “New Dining Practice Standards.” Their report concluded that low-salt diets were contributing to malnutrition and weight loss among a significant percentage of seniors in assisted living facilities. Low-salt diets can also cause seniors to suffer from mild hyponatremia, an electrolyte imbalance in the blood that can lead directly to walking impairment, attention deficits and a much higher frequency of falls.

Salt is the flavor of life, and this year we should all recognize its many benefits while we celebrate World Salt Awareness Week. To learn more visit www.worldsaltawarenessweek.org.
Courtesy Brandpoint Content

By: Lisa Philippart
Narcissus was a very handsome hunter in Greek mythology. Many nymphs fell in love with him, but he showed them only contempt, including Echo, who tried to hug him. Narcissus pushed her away and told her never to disturb him. Nemesis, the goddess of revenge, upon learning what had happened, led Narcissus to a pool, where he saw his reflection in the water. He immediately fell in love with it. When time passed, he realized that it was just his reflection and he fell into despair.

According to the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, 5th ed. (DSM-V), narcissism is a pathological condition in which the individual experiences pervasive patterns of “grandiosity,” a need for admiration, and a lack of empathy. Often, narcissists present with an exaggerated sense of self-importance and are preoccupied with their own fantasies of power or beauty. Narcissists believe that they are “special” and often require excessive admiration. Their lack of empathy leads to a sense of entitlement and a desire to exploit others. In my private practice, I have learned that the narcissists themselves are challenging to engage because they believe that everyone else is the problem! By about 2:1, I meet with those individuals who are living or working with the narcissist. Many books have been written about dealing with narcissists, but I have been able to compress my experiences into five suggestions. So here we go…how to deal with a narcissist:

1. Encourage the narcissist to redirect his/her impulses to do things that benefit other people. Narcissists struggle with empathy, but love to nurture their egos. So, maybe point them toward aligning their need for praise and admiration with positive behaviors that help the community. I’ll bet there are a lot of narcissists who run charities. We all have a little bit of me, me, me tendencies in us. But if we can channel these inclinations into doing something for other people, then maybe this self-absorption can produce some positive results.

2. Ask the narcissist, “What would people think?” My experience has been that narcissists don’t feel guilt, but they do feel shame. Appearances are important to them. While they rarely consider others’ feelings, they might be willing to act on ideas, especially ideas they think they thought up themselves! So, if you can emphasize community, you can use potential disappointment instead of anger, to keep them in line.

3. Know what you want and get paid up front. Don’t expect fairness. It’s okay for you to get whatever it is that you need before they get what they need. To narcissists, everything is quid pro quo. So, keep a record in your mind, and make sure that whatever they dangle in front of you, you get before you give. Dealing with narcissists tends to be unpredictable, so reward behavior, NEVER words. When narcissists do what you want, they get what they want.

4. Pretend to agree or say nothing. Now hear me out. If you want to effectively communicate with narcissists, you have to admire them as much as they do. And usually this isn’t too difficult. All you have to do is listen. There is a term called “narcissistic injury.” This means pointing out to narcissists that they aren’t all they think they are, can be like pulling the pin on a grenade. Alternatives just don’t work…reject them and they will freak; act weak and you’ll become a victim; uncover them and they will hate you forever.

5. Just stay away. Narcissists have the ability to make those around them miserable. So if you have the option, get out! The question becomes, SHOULD I even make the attempt, instead of HOW do I make the attempt? Narcissism is very hard to change, so run the first chance you get. Otherwise, you will be victimized by them, or worse, become one of them. I suggest that in every opportunity, you surround yourself with people who are good to you. I would rather see the spread of goodness than meanness.
By: Lisa Philippart
Licensed Professional Counselor

Courtesy Brandpoint Content
(BPT) – Pet parents know that there’s nothing like the love of furry family members. Keeping your pets healthy is a priority because you want them to live as long as possible. However, health care costs for pets are expensive, and if you are dealing with additional expenses such as prescriptions for chronic conditions, it can become a burden to your budget.

Fortunately, there are several things pet owners can do proactively to keep pets healthy and save money on health care costs.
Invest in preventative care

“An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure” is just as applicable to pets as it is to their human caregivers. One of the most important things a pet parent can do to ensure the ongoing health of any animal is to bring them in for annual checkups whether they are experiencing health issues or not.
During wellness checkups, veterinarians can screen for a variety of health conditions. They provide insight on diseases, age-related concerns, dental health, nutritional considerations and so much more. Plus you’re able to provide your pet with important vaccinations. Regular checkups help vets identify problems sooner rather than later, and this can translate to more affordable health care costs to pet parents in the long run.

Get an Inside Rx Pets prescription card
Costs for managing your pet’s health can be a bear with pet owners spending more than $8 billion on prescription and over-the-counter medications annually. The Inside Rx Pets program offers savings on commonly prescribed medications such as insulin and antibiotics, as well as seizure, glaucoma and anti-inflammatory drugs. The Inside Rx Pets savings card is not insurance; it is a savings card you can use for certain human medications that may be prescribed for your pet. A complete list of the medications with which you can use the Inside Rx Pet card, as well as pricing information and other details, can be found at https://InsideRx.com/Pets.

Benefiting from these discounts is easy for pet parents: If your pet’s veterinarian writes a prescription for an applicable medication, simply download the free discount card from the Inside Rx Pets website and present it with the prescription at one of the 40,000 participating pharmacies located across the U.S. that fill prescriptions for animals. These include national chains such as Kroger Family of Pharmacies, CVS and Walgreens (yes, the same pharmacies you go to for your own medications).

Exercise and focus on nutrition

Obesity is a growing concern for many pets. Poor nutrition paired with limited exercise causes pets to put on additional weight. This weight can put them at higher risk for health concerns like diabetes, osteoarthritis and ligament injuries. These health concerns not only risk the quality of life for Fluffy or Fido, but also can deeply impact your pocketbook.

Pets, just like humans, require exercise and proper nutrition to stay healthy and feel their best. Whether that’s letting your rabbit out of the cage to run or going on a walk with your dog, be sure to make regular exercise a part of your fur family’s routine. If you’re unsure what is appropriate for your pet, call your veterinarian or bring it up at a wellness visit. They’ll be delighted you reached out for more information to keep your pet healthy.
Start an emergency fund

Choosing between a pet and an unexpected health expense is something no one wants to experience. Being prepared can make a big difference when facing difficult decisions, so it’s wise to have savings set aside in case of a rainy day.

Some people are starting pet health savings accounts (HSAs) that are similar to the accounts that people hold for themselves to pay for medical expenses. Whether you choose that path or a traditional savings account, when you have an emergency fund you won’t have to worry about any unexpected expenses, so you can simply focus on getting your pet well again.

Being proactive is important for keeping your pets healthy for many years. From scheduling annual wellness visits to taking advantage of the Inside Rx Pets discount card, there are many easy actions pet parents can take today to reduce costs so furry family members stay well.
Courtesy Brandpoint Content

By: Jerry Barksdale
South Vietnam, 1968. No one had to tell Major Clarence R. Little that Vietnam was a dangerous place. He had survived two thunderous mortar attacks and been shot by a Viet Cong sniper. Would his luck hold? Would he live to see his wife Diane and their two young sons again back in Sunnyvale, California? They never missed watching the nightly news, hoping to see him.

He was riding shotgun in a Jeep through “Mine Alley,” a stretch of road heavily mined by Viet Cong. Unknown to Little, they had buried explosives in the road with wires running to a tree line. A VC waited to set it off electrically by touching two wires together when an American vehicle passed over it. Standard policy, when seeing a mine hole, was to go fast and stop short or go slow, then speed up.

The driver spotted a mine hole and slammed on his brakes. The VC touched the wires together, but his timing was off. The blast occurred in front of the Jeep. Little’s luck was holding. “I got hit in the right hand with shrapnel.” No big sweat.

While on patrol, a booby trap with trip wires connected to a hand grenade was discovered. They marked the spot by laying two palm leaves over the trip wire, about a foot off the ground, so that his soldiers could see it. One man didn’t see the leaves and trip wire. A sergeant ran up to Little and yelled, “Mine!” Little turned around and looked at him just as it went off. “His back protected me. He had eleven holes in his back.”

Little, with shrapnel in his left leg, picked up his sergeant and carried him to a chopper. Both were evacuated to a hospital in Saigon.

After his leg was sutured, Little limped over to the officers club and ordered two drinks, drank one and carried the other back to his wounded sergeant. “You’d better down it now,” he said and went outside and sat down.

“I’m mad at you,” a woman’s voice said. He turned and saw his nurse. “Why are you mad at me?”

“You brought one of your men a drink, but didn’t bring one to me.”

The next morning Little awoke in the hospital and saw a medic outside cutting up sand bags and putting them on the grass to make it grow. The combat veteran nearly lost his cool. “I’d been begging for sand bags for months to protect lives and here they were using them to make grass grow in Saigon.” Little had enough of the hospital. He asked his nurse for permission to go purchase a new uniform. “You can’t leave the hospital,” she said. “You have another six days before you heal.” Finally she relented. Little purchased a new uniform, dressed and hightailed it to the airport where a Caribou aircraft was revving up. “Where you guys going?” he asked the Australian crew. “To the Mekong Delta, Yank.”

“Can I hop a ride?”

“Climb aboard Yank.”

Little landed in Vinh Long Province, spent the night in a fancy four story military building and was having chow in the mess hall when his old friend, Col. Rausch walked up. He invited Little up to the fourth floor for a drink. “When I walked in, it was a dance floor with orchestra pit and a bar,” says Little. “Very unwarlike.”

He sat down at the bar and ordered a Coke. “Have you had many of these?” he asked Rausch, referring to the dance. “Oh yeah, this is about the 5th or 6th dance we’ve had, every Friday night about 9 p.m. till midnight!” Little’s alarm bell went off. Pattern! Never, never establish a pattern. He excused himself, went downstairs, grabbed his .45 pistol, shoved it in his back waist band and returned to the bar. Little’s instinct was correct. “Sure as hell at midnight I heard a machine gun.” He ran over to a windowed door that lead to a balcony, looked down and saw the muzzle blast of a machine gun near the front gate. Knowing that a .45 pistol was no match for a machine gun, he ran back inside looking for a rifle; Little went down to the first floor and saw a soldier holding a carbine with a banana clip. “Give it to me!” Then he asked, “Are there any “friendlies” across the street?” The solder was hesitant. “My God man, I’m going to kill them! Do you have any friendlies across the street?”

“No sir! I’m not that drunk,” replied the soldier.

Little hurried back to the fourth floor, jumped over a man lying on the floor, and went to the balcony. He chambered a round and opened fire at the muzzle blast. Machine gun bullets stitched the wall within a foot of where Little stood. He emptied the carbine at the muzzle blast. “I ran back inside and had to jump over this same guy again. He was the colonel in charge of the whole damn thing.” Little ran downstairs looking for ammo. The soldier didn’t have any more, so he returned the carbine, pulled out his .45 pistol and went out the back door and over to the corner of the building. He saw the duty officer standing by the gate pillar. The duty NCO was behind the other one. Little ran over to the duty officer who asked him, “What do we do?” Little asked if a guard was inside the outpost by the gate. “Yessir, I heard him moan.” Little told him to open the gate, that he would draw enemy fire while they rescued the wounded man. “He opened the gate and I ran out and knelt down next to a dead VC and waited for the VC to fire again so I knew where the hell they were.”

The wounded guard was taken for treatment. Little and the duty officer ran down the street between the buildings and saw two mines the VC had set. They sandbagged both so that no one would activate them, then went down to the canal where the VC had come from. They were gone. When they returned to the entrance gate, Little stopped. He sensed danger. “Wait a minute!” That’s when he got scared. The buildings were full of Americans with weapons. “They don’t know us. They liable to shoot us,” he said. The duty officer yelled, “Hold your fire!”

They walked across the street and saw Col. Rausch and several soldiers. Rausch had two drinks in his hands. “I thought you could use one of these,” he said. “I sure can,” replied Little and downed one. The colonel in charge – the one lying on the floor rushed up. “Now, he was combat ready,” says Little. “He said the airfield was under attack and headed off in that direction. “Stop him!” said Little. “The VC have a machine gun set up to cover the road. They‘ll cut him to pieces. “

The colonel reconsidered and, instead, sent another officer and four men in a jeep. Says Little, “I later heard the VC cut them down.”

Little went to bed. The next morning the colonel in charge and his staff came marching into the mess hall where Little was having breakfast. “Now they are combat ready; got on flak jackets, helmets and have weapons,” says Little. “He asked if I was Major Little from Cang Long. Little stood. “Yes sir.”

“Don’t you ever come back. The VC followed you here.”

“Sir, I’m from the hospital in Saigon,” replied Little.

“Don’t ever come back.”

“I sat back down and away he went,” says Little, who soon departed Saigon and returned to Cang Long.

Two weeks later Col. Rausch flew in and dropped off a case of beer. “The colonel has put the duty officer and NCO in for a Silver Star,” he told Little. “He’s not putting you in because he says the VC followed you up there.”

“I killed a lot of VC that night,” replied Little, who knew the VC lived among them and could exact revenge anytime they wanted to. “I’d just as soon go home alive,” said Little. “Forget the Silver Star. Don’t tell anyone I did all those killings.”

The VC moved among the population and American soldiers were always at risk. “Sometimes you could tell who they were by the way they looked at you – hate in their eyes,” says Little. “They would put Agent Orange in water pistols and spray Americans. Once I was sprayed across the mouth when I passed a bunch of people.”

Shortly before departing Vietnam, Little picked up a piece of cheese on Sgt. Custer’s radio operations desk and ate it on the way to the team house. A rat awoke him gnawing on his finger. “It must have smelled the cheese. I had to go to Saigon and get a rabies shot.” Meanwhile, President Johnson visited Saigon. “I was supposed to get an award from him, but my team didn’t know where I was. I didn’t learn about it until after the President left.” Little never inquired about the proposed award. His mind was on more important things – going home.

January, 1969, Major Little boarded a plane at Tan Son Knut Airbase and flew home. Thank God he wasn’t in a body bag, but neither was he whole. He carried scars and shrapnel to prove it. In California, he picked up Diane and his two sons and they drove across country to New York. “We rode on a 4-lane free as a bird. When we got to a toll booth at the New York State line, they had their hand out – gimme.” Little didn’t like that.

Later, Little volunteered for the Green Beret, an elite Army group of select volunteers. This unique band of soldiers is summed up by a verse from S/Sgt. Barry Sadler’s song, “Ballad of the Green Berets”: “One hundred men will test today but only three will wear the Green Beret.” After a tour of duty with the 1st Special Forces in Indonesia and Okinawa, Little was eventually stationed at Redstone in Huntsville.

“When I came to Alabama, they put out their hands, but unlike New York, it was to welcome us.” He retired as a Lt. Col. in January, 1981, and he and Diane have lived in Limestone County on the Tennessee River since then. Both sons are Auburn ROTC graduates and served in the military. Douglas spent 10 years in the Army Corps of Engineers and lives in South Carolina. Jeffery, a rocket scientist who lives in Madison, Alabama, spent 20 years in the Air Force. Colonel and Mrs. Little have 5 grandchildren and 5 great grandchildren. Col. Little, age 85, still has a clear mind, but his body doesn’t respond as quickly as it did when he was an Army skydiver with 150 jumps that earned him a broken leg.

A shadow box on Little’s wall filled with medals and ribbons tells the story of a brave American who did his duty and did it well. He holds 3 Purple Hearts, Bronze Star for valor, Parachutist Badge, Combat Infantry Badge, National Defense Services Medal with Oak Leaf Cluster, Meritorious Service Medal, Army Commendation Medal, Vietnam Service Medal, Vietnam Campaign Medal and, the Vietnam Cross of Gallantry with Silver Star and Palm awarded for valor and heroic conduct while fighting the enemy. He is a Mason and a Shriner.

Having been challenged by bullets, booby traps, land mines, and mortar attacks in the past, this old warrior has taken up a new challenge – learning to play the organ. “That’s my passion now,” Little said and nodded toward an organ across the room. “Would you like to hear Guy Lombardo?” he asked me, and struck up “Auld Lang Syne.” Good job. “Here is my favorite,” he said, and played “Your Cheating Heart.”
By: Jerry Barksdale

By: Wanda Campbell
Athens State University’s Center for Lifelong Learning is pleased to announce our 3rd Annual Women’s Leadership Symposium on Wednesday, April 11, 2018, beginning at 9:00 a.m. at the Dynetics Solutions Complex in Huntsville. The theme for this year’s symposium is “Honoring Women Who Serve.”

Your $85 registration fee will include your admission to the event and access to an amazing panel of speakers, as well as networking breaks, lunch, and interactive discussions. This event is an opportunity for purposeful communication and strategic leadership development. You can register online at www.athens.edu/CLL or call the Center for Lifelong Learning at 256-233-8260.

Our keynote speaker is Dr. Carolyn McKinstry (author and survivor of the Sixteenth Street Baptist Church Bombing of 1963). McKinstry is an “Ambassador of Reconciliation” and her passion is community service. She served as Second Vice President and Program Committee Chair for the Birmingham Civil Rights Institute for six years. She has served as the only female Chair of the Board of Trustees for Sixteenth Street Baptist Church, past President of the Hospice Foundation of Jefferson County, and past Vice President and Director of Programs for The Academy of Fine Arts, Inc., Leadership Birmingham and Leadership Alabama and other organizations too numerous to name.

In addition to Dr. McKinstry, this year’s panel also includes Cathy Dickens, Lisa Wiliams, Jackie Warner, Rebekah Davis, and LTC Jenna T. Guerrero.

Ms. Cathy Dickens is Senior VP of Business Management at COLSA Corporation. She serves as the Board Chair for the Athens State University Board of Trustees and is also an advisor to the National Contract Management Association local chapter and a member of the AUSA Civilian Advisory Committee. She is a member of AUSA, NCMA and the Army Aviation Association of America.

Lisa Williams has been named to Top 10 Women Entrepreneurs of America. Williams is active on many boards and councils, including the boards of the Tennessee Valley Corridor representing the 5th Congressional District, The Committee 100, Still Serving Veterans, the Huntsville Arts Council and is a board member of SCORE-Counselors to America’s Small Businesses. Ms. Williams was appointed by the Governor to serve on the Alabama Space Science Exhibit Commission. She is very active in mentoring and counsels many small businesses in the state of Alabama.

Jackie Warner is co-owner of “The Bridge” Community Outreach Center. Her areas of expertise are career coaching, performance consultation, curriculum design of workforce and organizational development courses, project management, and community outreach development.

Preserving and sharing the stories that knit together a community is the passion that motivates Rebekah Davis to serve and to lead. Since 2010, Davis, an Athens, Alabama native, has been preserving and providing access to the historic record of her hometown and county as the Archivist at the Limestone County Archives, and serving with community projects that forward that mission.

Lieutenant Colonel Jenna T. Guerrero is currently serving as a member of the active duty military and is a veteran of Operation Iraqi Freedom. Her awards and decorations include two Bronze Star Medals, two Meritorious Service Medals, three Army Commendation Medals, and one Army Achievement Medal.

We would love for you and the members of your team to join us on Wednesday, April 11, at the Dynetics Solutions Complex on Explorer Boulevard in Huntsville. Should you be interested in sponsoring a session or purchasing a table for your employees, please contact Kim Bell, Director of the Center for Lifelong Learning, at 256-233-8261. As a reminder, you may also register at www.athens.edu/CLL. We look forward to seeing you at what promises to be a wonderful networking opportunity!
By: Wanda Campbell
Center for Lifelong Learning – 121 South Marion Street, Athens, AL 35611 – 256-233-8262

By: Roy Williams
We all know how important it is to exercise; so, I am not going to waste your time trying to convince you that you should be in the gym, walking, or even swimming. You know the benefits have been proven repeatedly, but knowing the facts will not force you to take the time or give the effort that is necessary.

What I am going to do is tell you about a revolutionary way to get the benefits of a one-hour aerobic workout in under 15 minutes a day. What you should know is that almost anyone can become leaner, stronger, and more flexible without extreme sweating, sore muscles, or buying a gym membership.

According to the Mayo Clinic, the benefits of this discovery are remarkable. The list of benefits includes fat loss, improved balance, coordination, circulation, muscle toning, bone strengthening, and stamina. It strengthens muscle, ligaments, tendons, and improves stamina so well that many sports organizations, including 23 pro football teams, now use them as part of their training programs.

This program is so easy and can be done in as little as 15 minutes a day, three days a week. It has proven to melt away twice as much belly fat as a one-hour aerobic workout.

Belly fat may be more dangerous than you think. Fat around your abdomen is linked to metabolic syndrome and may increase insulin resistance, not to mention the likelihood of high blood pressure, cholesterol, and heart disease.

Whole Body Vibration
What I’m talking about is a power plate you stand on called the Whole Body Vibration Machine. You may ask, how can I receive so many benefits in such a short time? It’s because each vibration causes your body to perform reflexive muscle actions, hundreds of times each second, and these actions engage about 95 percent of your muscle fibers at once. Even when you are lifting weights you are only engaging about 20 percent of your muscles.

The result is an incredible improvement in strength, balance, and flexibility without the stress of long, drawn out exercise programs. Those wishing to lose belly fat tell us that it works and that it makes it easy to keep the fat off. People with circulatory issues, such as neuropathy, are getting amazing results. It is also proven to improve bone mineral density faster than almost any other form of exercise, and all you do is stand on it.

It is ideal for those who don’t have time to spend in the gym, those who are not physically able to exercise, or are too weak. No special clothing or extended training is necessary.

Whole Body Vibration is ideal for our aging population. In one study, researchers recruited 710 women aged 60 or older. Half of the women used the vibration technology for just 20 minutes a day, five days a week for 18 months. The other half did not.

The women who used vibration technology reported 35% fewer falls and 52% fewer fractures, thanks to its bone building characteristics. One year later the researchers then tested 50 of the women who used the vibration technology.

One full year after stopping the vibration technology, showed that the women’s muscle performance remained significantly better than the control group. It may very well prove to be a wonderful antiaging advantage. In other words, it can improve bone mineral density, improve circulation, and help your body move and look years younger than it really is.

Whole Body Vibration has been shown to improve circulation, which shows in the skin and joint tissue. The vibrations stimulate your body to increase its production of rejuvenating and anti-aging hormones including testosterone and growth hormone.

Whole Body Vibration also decreases the stress hormone cortisol, which is why so many explain that they feel better for hours after doing it. Another part of that is the vibrations also boost brain hormones and neurotransmitter production, which can lead to better mood, attitude, memory, and an overall sense of well-being.

If you would like to regain the toned muscles, trim waistline, sturdy bones, feelings of well-being, and flexible joints you enjoyed years ago, and if you would like to instantly improve your flexibility and range of motion, then maybe the Whole Body Vibration machine is right for you.

To Learn More
If you would like to learn more, you may call Roy at 256-233-0073 or go by Herbs & More in Athens, Alabama, to try it. Your first session is always free.
By: Roy Williams

By: Janet Hunt
It is a sad state of affairs in our country that it costs less to eat junk food than a healthy meal. Processed food consumption is a vicious cycle; as we eat more and more of these items, their production costs decrease, making them cheaper and more readily available.

However, rising healthcare costs, along with our growing rates of preventable diseases, show the true price of eating junk food and processed foods rather than a healthy diet. While you may think it costs more up front to eat whole foods, the long-term savings on medical care that you and our country would see make the initial spending well worth it.

Health care in the United States is the most expensive of any country in the world. We spend 15.9 percent of our gross domestic product (GDP) on it. According to 2012 statistics, approximately 75 percent of the 2.2 trillion dollars we spend on health care goes towards the treatment of chronic conditions, such as heart disease, diabetes and cancers, that are often preventable by diet and lifestyle changes..

The American Diabetes Association estimates that costs related to diabetes alone set the U.S. budget back over 174 billion dollars per year, while obesity treatment expenses total 147 billion dollars per year. Even though we spend so much on healthcare, heart disease is the leading cause of death, and two-thirds of our children and adults are overweight or obese.

Too much of our diet today involves processed and refined foods, and we’re paying the price in our high obesity and chronic disease levels, as well as in rising healthcare costs. When foods are processed, chemicals are used, important nutrients are removed, and sweeteners are added. This tricks your body’s ability to regulate how much we eat and makes us want to eat more.

The simple and obvious fix to this crisis is clear: we must all make an effort to avoid processed foods, and instead choose natural ingredients for healthy, unprocessed meals. You might begin by planning a small garden. If you do not have a yard, you can do some container planting. In a couple of months, shop at local farmers’ markets.

For more information on healthy lifestyles, contact Janet at 256-614-3530 or jhunt9155@gmail.com.
By: Janet Hunt
Janet Hunt is a Certified Personal Trainer and can be reached at 256-614-3530 to schedule an appointment.

By: Rosemary Dewar
Although innocence is defined as a state of lacking assigned guilt, there is a social aspect of innocence that can include a level of naivety and witlessness. It is accompanied by a deficiency of knowledge and experience. No one comes out of the womb knowing all things and evaluating them properly. Wisdom comes from knowing which information to throw out, and which information to integrate in order to effectively calculate a solution. Foolishness is just the opposite. Try doing the worthless thing enough times expecting a different outcome will drive oneself insane. One of two things will manifest. Either the community will dub the foolish person “the village idiot,” or the community will follow the fool to the point that there is a village full of useful idiots. Culture can either recognize that it is vulnerable to immature perspectives, or it can promote weak innocence.

Children are innocent and less formidable simply because they do not know enough. The reason for preserving innocence in children is to gradually develop the resistance to what will hurt them. Sometimes we don’t have control over what trauma is introduced into a child’s life; however, how the culture demonstrates the way to resolve that trauma will determine if the child will become willfully ignorant or wisely constructive. If culture organizes children to become adults that are easy to manipulate, that will leave the community susceptible to being able to be taken advantage of.

When someone takes away another’s ability to defend themselves, it is a violation of autonomy. How culture reaches solace amidst conflict can determine how moral it is.

The Judeo-Christian perspective asserts that an effective and moral way to confront and neutralize hostile engagement is to have intimidating strength, to know your strength, and be ready to restrain it for as long as possible. It states that you ought to be “wise as a serpent, and innocent as a dove.” A serpent is an ominous creature. It is partially instrumental in man’s exile from Paradise. Nevertheless, if your intent is to become that wise serpent, for the sake of all that is ethical and honorable, do not bite. You must hold your ground until you have to defend yourself. The text also states that “the meek will inherit the earth.” The word meek is usually defined as something blindly obedient. In fact, it literally means that those who are trained to conquer resist taking by violent force.

That is the easiest way to gauge the validity of those who claim to be moral arbiters. If someone has all the power to dominate you, and doesn’t, they have not violated you, and have in fact proven that they occupy the moral high ground.

Author Earnest Hemingway said, “All things truly wicked start from innocence.”

The child has to grow up. It is simply impossible to be innocent and adequately knowledgeable simultaneously within the human condition.

“No more; where ignorance is bliss, ‘Tis folly to be wise,” says English poet Thomas Gray in his piece “Ode on a Distant Prospect of Eton College.” It expresses the woes of the boy becoming a man by coming to the knowledge of suffering. Earlier in the piece he says, “These shall the fury Passions tear/ The vultures of the mind/ Disdainful Anger, pallid Fear/ And Shame that skulks behind/ Or pining Love shall waste their youth/ Or Jealousy with rankling tooth/” Passion must be something we can be strong enough to say “no” to.

Maintaining the state of willful ignorance is similar to watching worms and termites eat away at rotting wood. Observing entropic decay is like experiencing a living hell.

A childlike perspective may open our eyes to novelty, but it cannot achieve a purely ethical answer to wildly differing opinions. In a constitutional republic, the tongue can be sharper than the weapon used to defend it. You must learn when to hold it, and determine whether it is valuable enough to protect.
By: Rosemary Dewar