Get fit for fall and back-to-school season

Family cycling
Megan V. Winslow/Town Crier
The local climate provides an extended season for families to get outdoors for activities like bike riding.

It’s hard to believe summer is nearly over. The days will soon be getting shorter, the weather will eventually be getting cooler and the kids will be heading back to school.

According to the American Council on Exercise, changing seasons can impact our health, sleep, mood and general behavior. While it may be tough to say goodbye to the carefree days of summer, there are ways to embrace the new season with our physical, mental and emotional health intact. The key is to focus on fitness, nutrition, sleep and mindset.

Protecting yourself against skin cancer, without sunscreen

Courtesy of Dr. Patricia Wong
Sun-protective clothing, like a sunsleeve to safeguard hands and arms from signs of aging, is recommended for those who prefer not to wear sunscreen.

Although cumulative sun exposure increases your risk for skin cancer and causes accelerated-aging changes in the skin, only approximately 17 pecent of people apply sunscreen before going outside. And the majority of those 17 percent apply an insufficient amount and achieve only 25-40 percent of the sun protection factor promised on the label.

Studies show that the farther away the body part is from the face, the less likely sunscreen is applied. The American Academy of Dermatology recommends applying sunscreen on all sun-exposed skin. Only 50 percent of people who apply sunscreen put it on their arms, and only 3 percent on their legs.

CA state medical board launches license alert app

The Medical Board of California launched the first mobile application aimed at updating health-care consumers on physicians and the status of their licenses so that patients can make informed decisions about their care.

Medical Board representatives announced July 26 that they were “taking one step forward” in their “Check Up on Your Doctor’s License” campaign, which launched in 2016. The campaign is designed to educate those who are being medically treated on the statewide agency and the coalition of physicians, surgeons and other professionals licensed through it.

Flock of friendships: Geese Revolution flies toward a healthier future

Courtesy of Angela Alvarado
The fitness group Geese Revolution conquers the Los Altos Hills Pathways Walk/Run in May. Several of those who participated had never competed in a race before, let alone in a trail race, said founder Angela Alvarado, front.


Physical fitness can be a solitary pursuit, but there’s fun and fellowship in flying in a flock.

That’s why area native Angela Alvarado launched the Los Altos-based Geese Revolution in January, a fitness group designed for individuals and families who want to spend as little money as possible while they expend their energy partaking in a fitness regimen. Her enterprise’s name is a nod to the concept that geese fly in formation, with each one taking its respective wind. When one falls out of line, the rest notice the loss.

Wellness communities offer motivation to stay healthy

Courtesy of Reena Vokoun
Several benefits can come from working out in groups, such as social connection, inspiration, leadership and impact, according to Los Altos Passion Fit owner Reena Vokoun, center.


When we’re not feeling motivated to exercise, we often come up with a laundry list of reasons why we can’t do it. Perhaps we’re tired, hungry, have work to do or are sore from a previous workout.

There’s hope, however. According to a 2011 research study in the journal Psychology of Sport and Exercise, fitness habits are often influenced by others who are close to us. Our own perceptions of the type of social support we might be receiving also can be pivotal.

Loneliness is common and curable



People need people. That’s not a platitude, it’s a scientific fact.

Without regular interaction with other people, the resulting loneliness poses a threat to our physical health. Statistically, feeling lonely is equivalent to smoking 15 cigarettes a day. And then there is the fact that loneliness plays a major role in suicides.

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