HEALTH

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Essex Egg and Scavenger Hunt.

Hosted by Essex Junction Recreation & Parks on March 28 from 10-11 a.m. at

Maple Street Park in Essex Junction. Free. 878-1375

Open House Weekend.

March 28-29, statewide. Watch as maple syrup is being made. Activities vary by sugarhouse; each has its own, unique character. www.vermontvacation.com/maple

Read to Zyla.

Zyla is a trained therapy dog who loves books. Sign up for a 15-minute time slot to read your favorite books to her. For ages 4-10. April 2 at

Essex Free Library from 3-4 p.m. Free. 879-0313

Community Soup and Bread Dinner.

Eat in with family and friends or pick up and take home. April 2 from 4:30-7 p.m. at

Covenant Community Church in Essex Junction.

Contact Pastor Peter Norland: 879-4313

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The benefits of weightlifting for women

Dumb-bells-55Many women steer clear of the free-weight areas inside their gyms, opting instead for treadmills and other cardio machines. Some women may not know how to use weights correctly, while others simply don’t want to add any bulk to their frames.

But research shows that women who adhere to moderate strength-training programs two to three times per week can benefit in a variety of ways.

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Burn more calories

Many people exercise to burn calories and shed fat, and weight training is an efficient way for women to do just that. Resistance training is a great way to burn calories, as after a heavy weight-training session, the body continues to use oxygen, which increases a person’s basal metabolic rate. In addition, as you increase lean muscle mass, your body burns even more calories as its muscles contract and it works to repair and build new muscle.

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Reverse metabolic decline

Lifting weights can help reverse the natural slowing down of metabolism that begins in middle age. Keeping your body working out and your metabolism elevated for as long as possible can help keep you in top shape.

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Build stronger bones

Lifting weights does more than just build muscle. Weightlifting also builds bone density. After menopause, women may lose up to 20 percent of their bone mass, and the United States Surgeon General estimates that, by 2020, half of all Americans could have weak bones due to bone loss. Women can look to weightlifting to help increase bone density and reduce their risk of fracture and osteoporosis.

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Reduce risk for heart disease

Cardiovascular disease claims the lives of 5.6 million women worldwide each year. Women are more likely to get heart disease than cancer. A study in The Journal of Strength and Conditioning found that women who lift weights are less likely to develop heart disease risk factors, such as large waist circumference, high triglycerides, hypertension, and elevated glucose levels. The American Heart Association lists weight training as a healthy form of exercise for those at risk for heart disease.

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Combat back pain

Weight training can help strengthen the core muscles of the abdomen and back, which may help alleviate lower back pain. It’s important to use proper form when lifting weights to avoid exacerbating existing back pain or developing new injuries.

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Boost mood and combat depression

Lifting weights is not just good for the body, it’s also good for the mind. Women who strength train regularly can improve their feelings of well-being and may be able to reduce episodes of depression. A study from researchers at Harvard University found that 10 weeks of strength training was effective at reducing symptoms of clinical depression.

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Relieve stress

Any form of exercise can help to relieve stress, but according to the 2009 study “Psychological Aspects of Resistance Training,” those who regularly strength train tend to manage stress better and experience fewer adverse reactions to stressful situations than those who do not exercise.

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Increase energy levels

Lifting weights can boost mind power and provide a long-term energy boost. Working out in the morning can be an especially effective way to maintain high energy levels throughout the day.

— MetroCreative

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When should I call an ambulance?

We are often called to medical emergencies where patients say, “I’m not sure if this is a real emergency” or, “I didn’t want to bother you” or, “I didn’t want to tie up the ambulance in case someone else really needed it.” I hope to shed light on when to think about dialing 911 and asking for emergency medical services.

Cases where someone collapses suddenly or has some other possibly life-threatening onset of symptoms are usually intuitively obvious. Injuries such as car crashes or falls where someone is bleeding or not able to move without causing more pain are also fairly clear.

Symptoms that could indicate a heart attack or stroke are ones where patients sometimes wait longer to call than is wise. We treat chest discomfort unrelieved within 10 minutes by rest as a heart attack until proven otherwise. A heart attack can also present as chest pain radiating to the arm, jaw or into the back. Women frequently present with symptoms somewhat different than men. A common presentation in women is a sudden onset of feeling very tired. A patient with a new onset of facial droop on one side, weakness on one side, or difficulty speaking is a stroke until proven otherwise. Both of these problems require very fast assessment and care to improve a person’s outcome.

A person with difficulty breathing is another clear indication to call 911. There are many reasons a person may be in respiratory distress. We can do a lot in the field to make these individuals more comfortable and improve their breathing.

Any other time you find yourself wondering if you should call 911, the answer is usually yes. We are often called for situations where the patient or their family simply don’t know how to judge whether a case is serious or not. It is never a problem for us to have a crew respond and help assess the need to go to the hospital or seek care in some other way. We have crews available 24 hours per day. If our ambulances are unavailable for any reason, we also have a system of mutual aid where a squad in an adjacent community will respond.

The bottom line is: If you’re concerned enough to consider calling 911, it’s wise to make the call.

Dan Manz is the Executive Director of Essex Rescue. Reach Dan at dmanz@essexrescue.org.