10 Reasons to Drop the Cigarette

In honor of Kick Butts Day this month (March 18), here are a few reasons as to why you should quit smoking:

  1. Smell
    1. Let’s face it, the smell of smoke on your clothes, breath and hair is not welcoming. Whether you are a smoker or not, the smell is unpleasant. Getting rid of the cigarette gets rid of the smell; plain and simple.
  2. Sense of smell and taste
    1. You probably did not notice, but your sense of smell and taste both suffer if you are a smoker. Smoking dulls these senses, making food taste less intense as it did before you started smoking. When one starts smoking, this effect occurrs gradually. However, if you quit smoking the return of these senses comes back almost immediately.
  3. Premature aging
    1. No one wants to age quicker than they have too. Smoking increases aging in the face. This is due to the blood vessels not getting enough oxygen, thus wrinkles around the face – and especially the mouth – will occur.
  4. Social pressures
    1. Studies have shown that smokers tend to be on the edge of social networks. Many smokers try to cover that they are smoking, or hide in a place to smoke. This is because many people dislike smoking, but more importantly are concerned with the harms of secondhand smoke.
  5. Finding a mate
    1. As stated above, people are more conscious of smoking and the habits that come with it. This leads to people putting on dating sites or stating that they do not want to date a smoker. As you get older, this becomes more and more of an issue as well.
  6. Increased infections
    1. A smoker will have long term health risks, but they also have short term health risks. For example, a smoker is more likely to get the flu or the common cold. This is because the respiratory track gets hit with toxins from a cigarette, which impede its ability to protect the body from bacteria.
  7. Secondhand smoke
    1. You are not only harming your own body, but also the others around you as you smoke a cigarette. About 50,000 deaths occur every year from secondhand smoke.
  8. Physical ability
    1. Smoking affects your ability to perform physical activity. Not only can it be harder to play different sports, but also simple tasks like climbing a set of stairs. No matter what kind of shape you’re in, smoking will affect your ability to perform physical activities. Quitting will help get your body recovered so you can perform these tasks without trouble.
  9. Cost
    1. The average cost of a cigarette pack is $5, but can range all the way up to $10. Each year, smokers spend thousands of dollars on cigarette packs alone. If you were to add the extra health costs and the fact that smokers use more sick days, the cost increases. Just imagine the possibilities of what you could do with all that money saved.
  10. Your health
    1. Probably one of the most important reasons to quit is your health. Smoking puts a toll on your health. Premature death is common among smokers. This can lead to a family member dying before they get to see their kid graduate. Is smoking really more important than that?

Join us this Friday at 11 a.m. at William Penn Senior High School for a press conference on Kick Butts Day 2015. (Kick Butts Day Advisory)

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Despite cold weather, eat your vegetables



By Julie Stefanski, clinical dietitian at WellSpan Health

With temps still dipping into the single digits and the arrival of garden fresh vegetables months away, it’s likely you’re missing out on some servings of fresh fruits and vegetables. Combining too many hours of indoor sedentary activities along with less than healthy food choices often adds extra pounds to many waistlines before Spring finally arrives.

One way to make sure your body is still getting enough vitamins and minerals despite the season, is to include winter vegetables. Packed with minerals and vitamins, there’s lots of inexpensive vegetables to include in your meals. Here are a few of my favorite winter vegetables and recipes.

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What does a runner look like?

While on assignment at a gym last week I was chatting with a personal trainer. During the conversation she said I looked like a runner. Through my ear to ear grin I squeaked, “Really?!? Yeah, I run marathons!” Day = Made. This wasn’t some couch potato, this was a super fit personal trainer telling me I looked like a runner. I’d made it!

I run all the time. So why don't I think I look like a runner?

I run all the time. So why don’t I think I look like a runner?

I’m training for my 7th marathon, I’ve run consistently for the past 4 years, but I still didn’t think of myself as looking like a runner.

I’ve played the conversation over in my head more times than I care to admit since then, mostly because it made me feel awesome. But what does it mean? What does a runner look like? And why, after years of running, does it take someone else telling me that I look like a runner to feel like maybe I could? Continue reading “What does a runner look like?” »

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YWCA allows public to donate physical exercise to fight childhood obesity


Submitted: Maryann Eshelman donating her moves at the YWCA

The YWCA started Technogym’s Let’s Move for a Better World Challenge yesterday and already ranked 14th out of 36 clubs participating for the most moves.

The challenge ends March 22, and the public can come in without membership to donate their moves. It involves challenging fitness facilities and their members to see who can donate the most amount of MOVEs (Technogym’s metric of measuring physical movement via their open apps).

During the challenge, individuals will log in to their mywellness account on Technogym equipment to document their MOVEs. Each participant’s MOVEs will be automatically added to their facility’s grand total.

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Girls on the Run Diary

Submitted: Lora running

Submitted: Lora (in pink) running with her running buddy, Esther Weidemann.

Our guest contributor for the next couple months from Girls on the Run, Lora Nowak, is a 6th grader at Dallastown Intermediate School. She is working toward her goals and will be participating in the Race against Racism 5k in April.

Girls on the Run is a physical activity based positive youth development program for girls in 3rd through 8th grade.

This week’s lesson was on gratitude.  The girls learned about being grateful for things in their lives,  why it was important to be grateful and how it could positively impact their lives.  One of the two days,  each girl had a paper with the letters – G R A T I T U D E—on it.  As they ran a lap, they added one thing they were grateful for beginning with each letter.  i.e. G – grandparents,  R – rainbows, etc.  On the second day of GOTR this week, the girls re-looked at their gratitude items, further processing what gratitude was.

“Over the past week I’ve been having some really meaningful lessons at Girls on the Run. One lesson was about gratitude. As we were talking about what we were thankful for, because that’s what gratitude is really about, I looked back on all that I said, and thought, wow! I’m really lucky. You should always be grateful! When my class started running, I thought to myself, just keep your pace, I did! I also had fun doing it. So, just remember, always be grateful for what you have, and do your best!;-) –Lora”

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Variable Training in the Pool

As hard as we try to think spring, it’s still frigid outside. This makes February a great time to up your (indoor) swim game.
John Nelson with York YMCA Aquatics says practicing variable training in the pools can help increase your strength helping you become a better swimmer. Doing these workouts will also keep you honest in the pool. It’s easy to get passive and slow if you’re just swimming lap after lap. Throw in some variable training to shake things up and make the most of your pool workout.

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Market Basket of the Month


Lincoln Charter School students visit Penn Farmer’s Market to learn more about fresh produce. Photo credit: Seth Nenstiel

Market Basket of the Month is an educational program that was developed to create healthy habits for students. Each month, a different produce item is featured.  Educational resources developed by WellSpan Health Community Health and Wellness educators are supplied to schools, preschools and community agencies, and employer groups via email files.  Schools and organizations use the resources to educate youth and their families about the nutritional value of eating fruits and vegetables. Many school programs incorporate the featured produce item into the school menu, increasing youth familiarity and preference of nutrient rich foods.  Monthly resources include a featured produce fact sheet, recipes, serving tips, kid’s activity page, and a family newsletter.  Buy Fresh Buy Local farmers’ markets and workplaces also support this effort by posting signs with facts and serving tips for the featured produce.

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Girls on the Run Diary

Submitted: Lora Nowak, 6th grader at Dallastown Intermediate School

Submitted: Lora, 6th grader at Dallastown Intermediate School

We will be having a guest contributor for the next couple months from Girls on the Run, Lora Nowak, who is a 6th grader at Dallastown Intermediate School. She is working toward her goals and will be participating in the Race against Racism 5k in April. She’ll be checking in with us every week reflecting on how she is doing and how training is coming.

Girls on the Run is a physical activity based positive youth development program for girls in 3rd through 8th grade. The program teaches life skills through interactive lessons and running games with girls being physically and emotionally prepared to complete a celebratory 5k running event at the end. This season, the event is YWCA York’s Race Against Racism on Saturday, April 25th.

“I’m Lora. I’ve been doing Girls on the Run and this is my 6th session now and have enjoyed every single session. Girls on the Run didn’t just teach me how to become a better runner but how to become more confident. Without Girls on the Run, I wouldn’t be the person I am today.I first joined Girls on the run in 4th grade when a friend recommend it to me and I’ve been doing it ever since. If you ever decide to join or even coach, I’m sure you will enjoy it! -Lora”

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Do you need protein bars in your healthy diet?



By Julie Stefanski, clinical dietitian at WellSpan Health

No one can deny the popularity of protein or energy bars.  Whether they’re in the vitamin aisle, cereal section, or by the cash register, trying to decide on a protein bar can make anyone’s head spin.  As with a lot of food items though, just because a nutritional product exists, doesn’t mean it actually improves a person’s diet or health.
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Meatout Mondays: Barbecue meatless loaf

IMG_20150217_240205108When I went on a couponing spree a few months back, I purchased quite a few bags of BOCA Burger ground crumbles and Beyond Meat beyond beef crumbles.

At the moment the freezer is quite bare —  except these bags of meatless crumbles. And my food budget for the month is depleted.

So, I did a quick search online and I found an insanely easy meatless loaf recipe that is high in protein and not-so-crazy high in calories. In the middle of this stupidly cold winter, I am craving hearty meals, and this loaf fills that craving without killing my diet. And bonus points — It’s vegetarian! See, Mom, vegetarians and vegans do get enough protein!

I used this recipe as a template but subbed a few ingredients. The BOCA website offers many more recipes, so check it out!

Barbecue meatless loaf


  • 1 package (12 oz.) frozen BOCA ground crumbles
  • 1/2 cup plain dry panko crumbs
  • 1 tablespoon onion powder
  • 1 teaspoon celery salt
  • 1/2 cup cholesterol-free egg product (Egg Beaters)
  • 1/2 cup vegetarian barbecue sauce, plus more for topping
  • Cooking spray


  1. Microwave crumbles in medium microwaveable bowl or plate for 2 minutes.
  2. Add all remaining ingredients to a bowl (if not using in microwave) and mix lightly. Let stand for 5 minutes.
  3. Spray a loaf pan with olive oil PAM or similar product.
  4. Spread meatless loaf into loaf pan; top with more barbecue sauce.
  5. Bake in oven at 400 degrees F for 25 to 30 minutes.
  6. Let settle for 5 to 10 minutes, and then serve.

Have a recipe to share? Email bfehlinger@ydr.com.

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