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The Feel Good Report

The latest in health, fitness and beauty.



The key to getting fit is working hard. But the biggest problem for most of us is that after a few workout rotations, we get better at taking shortcuts and fooling ourselves into thinking we’re working at peak levels. Now a new fitness franchise in Fort Myers is taking the guesswork out of your workout by monitoring your heart rate continually during your session and posting it live on a huge screen for all to see. Talk about motivation.

Orangetheory Fitness, recently opened at 11600 Gladiolus Drive, Suite 317, in Fort Myers, features the scientifically developed three-component Orange 60 Workout, which encompasses treadmill training, indoor rowing and weight training blocks. Bob MacIntyre, who owns the studio with his wife, Barbara, says the workout “is truly life-changing.” Since he joined an Orangetheory studio in Minnesota a year ago, he’s lost 25 pounds. On average, members burn between 600 and 1,000 calories per 60-minute workout.

For more information, check out orangetheoryfitness.com or call 243-0730.

TECH WATCH Track your progress: TomTom’s latest wearable GPS device, the Runner GPS HRM, logs your route, speed, time and estimated calorie burn and compares it against previous times and includes a wireless heart rate monitor. ($220; tomtom.com)



Let’s face it, there are foods that are good for us and foods that aren’t. The good ones are often subject to hype and exaggeration. But moringa, a plant family native to Africa and Asia that varies from herb size to small trees, is gaining serious traction in the super-food category.

A recent analysis of the plants’ leaves found that they contain three and a half times the calcium of milk, four times the vitamin C of oranges, more vitamin A than carrots, more iron than spinach and more potassium than bananas. It also has as much protein as milk or eggs.

Fresh leaves have a lemony, peppery spinach taste, but are hard to come by. However, nutritionists say that the dry powder is just as nutritious and far less expensive. You can find it online.

By the way, oil from the seeds is used in everything from foods to perfume to hair care products. It is even used as a machine lubricant. Now that really might be super.


BY THE NUMBERS 40—The average age of patients diagnosed with skin cancer



A recent study in the Journal of Agriculture and Food Chemistry (we read it so you don’t have to) found that watermelon is one of the only foods naturally rich in L-Citrulline, an amino acid thought to increase blood flow to tissue and help maintain a healthy blood pressure. Researchers found that people who drank slightly less than two cups of watermelon juice an hour before working out suffered less muscle soreness the next day. True, two cups of watermelon juice might sounds like a lot, but its benefits are immense. It also features lycopene, which is thought to reduce the risk of heart disease and cancer. In addition, it features the amino acids citulline and argenine, which also aid in blood flow, lowering cholesterol, maintaining blood pressure and reducing inflammation.

Did we mention that it tastes great and is fat free?


QUOTABLE “For every one person willing to spend $3,000 on health and wellness coaching, I will have 10 people willing to spend $10,000 on plastic surgery.” —Dr. Kriston J. Kent, plastic surgeon and preventative medicine physician, Kent Center For Life, tkclife.com



A new weapon in the treatment of prostate cancer has been fast-tracked by the FDA and is currently available exclusively at Florida Cancer Specialists and Research Institute (FCS) in Fort Myers. The new drug, Xofigo (radium-223 dichloride), is used to treat prostate cancer that is resistant to medical or surgical treatments that lower testosterone and has spread to bones, but not to other parts of the body. A monthly injection targets cancer cells that have spread to bones by binding radium with minerals therein. It delivers radiation that destroys the cancer cells without inflicting as much damage to the surrounding tissues as did previous radiation therapies.

“Xofigo represents a significant advance in the way we treat prostate cancer,” says FCS physician Dr. Joseph Mace, adding, “We can now treat bone metastases effectively and, in some patients, quite rapidly.”

For more information, check out flcancer.com.



Age-related macular degeneration (AMD) is a terrifying reality for one in 10 people. But there is a revolutionary new DNA test called VitaRisk that uses genotype-directed selection of vitamin formulations to detect if you’re at risk for AMD.

“Early detection and care is so important in AMD,” says Dr. Claudio A. Ferreira of Eye Centers of Florida, currently the only practice in Florida offering the test. “This simple cheek swab test will identify inherited genes in patients already diagnosed with AMD that makes them more likely to experience eventual vision loss, as well as which preventative eye vitamin nutrients each patient needs for optimum eye health.”

A tongue-in-cheek approach that is literally a sight for sore eyes. For more information, check out ecof.com.


MYTH BUSTER AARP.com has a recent report on cataracts that debunks many of the myths associated with the condition. Among them, “There’s nothing you can do to slow down the development of cataracts.” It turns out that wearing your sunglasses will do enough to protect your eyes from chronic ultraviolet radiation exposure, which is thought to make cataracts grow faster.



We don’t quote a lot of reports from RealtyTrac in this part of the magazine, but here’s one that actually makes us feel good. The Naples-Marco Island area was ranked 15th nationally among top markets for good health. The ranking included data on lifestyle, chronic disease rates and environmental factors. Naples-Marco Island scored 86 percent out of a possible 100 on lifestyle quality, had just 17 percent of residents listed as smokers and had good air quality on 98 percent of days. (The other 2 percent of days we were test-driving Hummers. Sorry.)

In case you’re interested, Austin-Round Rock, Texas (where Gulfshore Life’s corporate headquarters reside), was No. 1. You’re welcome, America.


TIPS Always choose broad-spectrum sunscreens that protect against both UVA and UVB rays, and avoid sunscreens with oxybenzone and avobenzone (their safety is now questioned by experts).


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