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A patient gets his flu shot the CVS Minute Clinic on King Street in Northampton.

Despite its weak record in stopping the flu this season, doctors still say, Get the shot

Monday, January 26, 2015

While federal health officials say this year’s flu vaccine is less effective than in previous years, local doctors and nurses encourage people to get vaccinated anyway. “The flu shot and good hygiene are still your best frontline at preventing the flu,” said Cooperative Public Health Service Nurse Lisa White at the Franklin Regional Council of Governments. Last week, the federal …

Fatherhood Journey: Family visit deepens son’s appreciation of his dad

Monday, January 26, 2015

Life in our small home is full, so hosting extended family visits is both exciting and challenging. When my father recently decided to visit for six-days and nights, he understandably wanted to maximize time with his grandchildren, so he visited during the stretch between Christmas and New Year’s when school was not in session. As a father of energetic 5- and 8-year-olds, Adam …

John Bayley, half of famed and devoted literary couple, dies at 89

Monday, January 26, 2015

As marriages go, John Bayley and Iris Murdoch’s was one for the ages - doting, dotty and undyingly tolerant. He was the eminent critic and Oxford don, who also was known to stuff his pockets with leftovers. She was the brilliant novelist and skinny-dipping libertine, whose philosophical treatments of love and freedom brought her the Booker Prize and an English title. In their …

How to stay fit in your 60s and beyond

Monday, January 19, 2015

MINNEAPOLIS — Dr. Jamie Peters counsels his patients on fitness for the aging, and Denis Nagan is the model patient. Nagan, 69, has been active in sports or fitness since grade school. Peters is a sports medicine specialist …

‘Four-wheel drive for your feet’: Snowshoeing offers outdoor exercise anyone can enjoy

Monday, January 19, 2015

Several times a week during the winter months, Mary Jo Maffei steps into her snowshoes and heads out the back door of her Shutesbury home and off along a trail that was cut by her son. The red-blazed …

Quinn on Nutrition: Test your knowledge of the benefits of breakfast

Monday, January 19, 2015

From a health standpoint, experts continue to confirm that breakfast is the most important meal of the day. So important that the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics recently dedicated an entire mini-journal to “The Benefits of Breakfast.” Let’s …

Where to snowshoe?

Monday, January 19, 2015

“Put a pair of snowshoes on,” says Northfield Mountain Recreation and Environmental Center manager William Gabriel, “and you can go just about anywhere.” For those looking for more specific locations, however, here are a few popular local spots: DAR State Forest, 78 Cape St., Route 112, Goshen, 268-7098, …

Other outdoor winter fun to keep the heart pumping

Monday, January 19, 2015

As Mark Twain famously noted, New England weather can change in a minute. So can wintertime recreation conditions. Always check ahead before heading to an outdoor area. Cross country skiing For those who like a little more slide …

Weight training, high intensity intervals top fitness trends for 2015

Monday, January 19, 2015

The hottest fitness trends for 2015 are body weight training and high intensity interval training, according to the ninth annual survey of 3,400 health and fitness professionals worldwide by the American College of Sports Medicine. Yoga is the …

Wellness coaching: Providing the little nudge so many need

Monday, January 19, 2015

When Lori Friedman decided to exercise more and improve her diet she had a sense of the kinds of changes she wanted to make in her life. She also knew that figuring out a road map for how …

And then there are ‘fatbikes’ for hitting the trails

Monday, January 19, 2015

There’s a new mode of winter recreation, and it’s coming to a trail near you. “Fat bikes” or “fatbikes” are so-named for their extra wide, extra stable, thickly treaded tires. They are designed for winter trail riding, but …

Squeeze play: How hugs may figure into health

Monday, January 19, 2015

You’ll get no argument from most people — especially on a cold winter’s night — that hugs make you feel warm inside. But can that good feeling protect your health? Over the past decade or so, researchers have …

Contract Bridge: Solution to a predicament

Friday, January 16, 2015

To be a good bridge player, simply relying on past experience in similar situations will not be good enough to carry you through in many cases. You also must be able to adapt to situations where things don’t …