Marianne Hamilton, Miss Senior Universe, loves to work out. Especially in the pool.

The admitted late bloomer, who shunned fitness and working out in her younger years, has earned nearly 50 gold medals in Senior Games throughout the country since embracing physical fitness.

Hamilton, the senior fitness expert on the Andy Griffin Show, recently compiled a list of things those of us in our more advanced years can do on a daily basis to help fight off depression and loneliness.

"A lot of people later in life are alone. Maybe they've lost a spouse or for whatever reason, have to face the world by themselves. Exercise can do so much for those people beyond the obvious of making their bodies healthy. It can really help them fight depression and loneliness. It's a combination of wonderful hormones and then, of course, the whole mental aspect of feeling better about yourself."

Here's Marianne's list:

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1. Start slowly -- If you haven't been exercising or physically fit in the past, you don't want to jump in and try and run 10 miles right away. You just want to start slowly and listen to your body. Don't overdo it right at the start. Walk or run, just get to it. It will lift your mood.

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2. Yoga is a good option -- It's all about being more flexible. There are a lot of people who say they can't do yoga, that it's too hard. It doesn't have to be. Like with any exercise, do what you can do. No one expects you to do the really hard poses right from the start. Just concentrate on trying your best and improving a little at a time.

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3. Get dirty -- Believe it or not, touching soil can boost a brain chemical called serotonin. That's the chemical that helps us sleep, helps us stay calm. Contact with soil and a specific soil bacteria, microbacterium vacci, can trigger the release of serotonin in your brain. I think there's a reason why a lot of gardeners are really happy people.

 

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4. Tennis or pickleball -- You can play by yourself by hitting a ball against a wall, but these are so much more fun when you have a partner or even doubles partners. You don't have to join an expensive club. There are so many options for free. And the social aspect of these sports is a huge bonus as well.

 
5. Exercise at work -- Once an hour, take a few minutes and step away from your desk if you can. Try and find a quiet place and do some stretching if you can. Go up and down those flights of stairs. Just moving can really help to boost your mood.

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6. Swimming -- It's a great full body workout and a lot of people find that water really calms them, which is a great thing if you're dealing with depression. Your body is so much lighter in the water and it kind of feels like you're doing something fun, not just exercising.

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7. Biking -- Using the many, many bike paths in our area will give you a chance to see the incredible beauty of where we live and also give you a chance to get a workout in. And you don't really need anything special to do it. In fact, the Bicycle Collective here in town will let you come in and work off the price of a bicycle. You go put in five or six hours and you can ride out with a new bike. But please don't forget to wear a helmet.

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8. Strength training -- You can use weights or machines or just your own body resistance on the wall. As we get older, strength training becomes more and more important.

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9. Walking your dog -- Studies have shown that dog owners on average get 70 percent more exercise than non-dog owners. The animal needs to be walked to do his business. And Fido can help you reduce your stress. There's nothing like the unconditional love of a dog.

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10. Dancing -- Pole dancing (at home) can be an incredible form of exercise. It requires tremendous upper-body strength. Any dancing is great. When nobody's watching, turn on your favorite music when you're home by yourself, you can dance. Let your body move. Pretty soon you'll feel empowered and you'll feel better about yourself.

 

11. Sprinting -- Incorprate three 20 second sprints, separated by maybe a two-minute break, that's as good as 50 minutes of moderate exercise. You might have to work up to that, but I always incorprate three 20-second sorints when I'm teaching classes. The benefits are amazing.

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12. Basketball -- You jog, sprint, jump throw -- basketball incorporates all sorts of different activities. You can do it indoors or outdoors. and there are lots of places here in town to play. And the social aspect is huge. You'll make so many new friends.

 

13. Softball -- If you're going to really be into the game, you need focus -- focus on what's happening and diverting your mind from negative thoughts. That focus gets you out of that depression and also adds to that connection with other people, being a part of a team. And that also gives you accountability.

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Guilty! Southern Utah Opens Up About Guilty Pleasures

Photo by Tyler Sherrington: https://www.pexels.com/photo/pop-tarts-with-a-blue-background-13978217/
Photo by Tyler Sherrington: https://www.pexels.com/photo/pop-tarts-with-a-blue-background-13978217/
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OK, OK, we're talking about food here, so get your mind out of the gutter.

I recently asked through social media some of the food people in Southern Utah secretly love that they'd just as soon everyone not know about. As per their requests, the names have been changed to protect the over-indulgent.

But as a show of good faith, I will go first.

  • Pop Tarts -- Frozen, room temperature, toasted, whatever, I love 'em. They have no real nutritional value, won't fill you up and are probably made from cardboard or concrete. Doesn't matter, I eat them up when I can -- my wife is very anti-Pop Tart -- Andy in St. George
  • Dipping pizza in ranch dressing -- I try not to do it in public, but when we order pizza at home, out comes the ranch. The creaminess, combined with the savory pepperoni and sauce ... so good. -- Jamie in Washington City
  • Dipping french fries in a Wendy's Frosty -- I don't think there's anything wrong with this, but I've had people sneer at me when I do it. OK, maybe ice cream and potatoes don't go together, I don't know. -- Melanie in Santa Clara
  • Peanuts in my Dr. Pepper -- I call it my morning protein shake. And by the time you finish the Dr. Pepper, the peanuts are all dissolved. It tastes kind of like a Snickers bar. -- Celeste in Cedar City
  • Peanut butter and apple slices on bread -- It's just basically a PB & J with the apples acting as the J. -- Candy in St. George
  • Melted cheese on my apple pie -- I get funny looks when I eat this, but you should try it. It is absolutely the bomb! -- Mark in St. George
  • Sweet potato fries dipped in maple syrup or cinnamon/sugar -- It's like Thanksgiving yams, only with fries. So good. -- Gena in Hurricane
  • Milk with Coke -- It's like a milkshake or a Coke Float, only so much easier and quicker. Make sure the milk is really cold -- Michelle in Mesquite
  • Bacon with ice cream -- I love bacon so much, and it can go with anything. I'll put it on grilled cheese, peanut butter sandwich and even vanilla ice cream. Hey, don't knock it until you've tried it. -- Terry in Washington City
  • Raw spinach in place of lettuce on everything -- I guess this isn't that weird, but I love raw spinach and if anything I eat calls for lettuce (burgers, salad, sandwiches, tacos) I'll put spinach instead. -- KG in St. George

As they say, to each his own. Or as my Dad always says -- woolen underwear (to itch his own).

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S. Utah: How To Not Get Scammed While Shopping Online

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We talked about Cyber Monday and keeping scammers and thieves at bay this year as we do our online shipping today on the Andy Griffin Show.

Here are some of the tips we came up with:

  1.  Only use sites that you're familiar with -- Amazon, BestBuy, Fanatics, Lowes, etc. If you're not familiar with the site, do a little research. Type the website's name and then scam in the search bar to see if they have many complaints.
  2. James Mackay from MetaBlog.com says: "Before entering any information into a website, you should always check that the site is safe and secure. The first step is to hover your mouse over the URL and check the validity of the web address. You should look for a padlock symbol in the address bar and check that the URL begins with a ‘https://’ or ‘shttp://’. The ‘S’ indicates the web address has been encrypted and secured with an SSL certificate. Without HTTPS, any data passed on the site is insecure and could be intercepted by criminal third parties.
  3. Don't use a debit card for online shopping. If a criminal steals your debit card details, they can clear out your personal account and it can be more difficult to reclaim the money. But credit card companies monitor for theft all the time.
  4. If it seems too good to be true, it probably is. If someone is offering a deal that is way below what all others are offering it for, well, Mom was right, it's usually too good to be true.
  5. Be wary of gift cards. They are the currency of choice for scammers, who will often sell gift cards with little or no value left on them.
  6. If they want too much information, that's a red flag. From Webroot.com: "Expect to provide some method of payment, shipping address, telephone number, and email address, but if the merchant requests other information, walk away. You never want to give them your bank account information, social security information, or driver’s license number."
  7. Don't reuse passwords. Never use the same password from one of your "regular" websites. Scammers will try to log on as you and you're basically giving them permission.
  8. Make sure to see the transaction all the way through. A lot of shopping sites will add exorbitant shipping fees right at the very end.
  9. Read the fine print. It's a pain, but know what sort of contract you're entering into.
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Food Drive For Those 'Hungry For A Change'

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Many college athletes in our community spend their time practicing their craft or doing homework. When you're on a partial scholarship, that means no time to work and make money to buy food.

Hungry for Change? Let’s turn compassion into action Thursday, Nov. 29 as Utah Tech is launching a food drive to support the Utah Tech Food Pantry and make a difference in the lives of those facing food insecurity.

Why donate? Many students in our community are struggling with hunger, and your contribution can make a world of difference. A small act of kindness, like donating non-perishable food items, can help ensure that no one goes to bed hungry.

How can you help? Donate non-perishable items: Cans, pasta, rice, and other non-perishables are welcome. Drop off anytime between the hours of 7 a.m. and 6 p.m. -- Stop by before work, on your lunch or after.

Come out and meet Utah Tech athletes and other members of the community.

Spread the Word: Share this PSA on your social media platforms and encourage your friends, classmates, and colleagues to join the cause.

Let’s create a movement!

Event Details:

  • Duration: Nov 29th 7 a.m-6 p.m.
  • Drop-off Locations: Utah Tech University. 300 S and University (Holland Plaza)
  • Stay for the Annual Trailblazer Christmas Tree Lighting

Together, We Can Make a Difference! Let’s harness the power of our Trailblazer community to show that we care.

Your support can turn this food drive into a beacon of hope for those in need.

Use the Hashtag #FillThePantry

Share your involvement on social media using #FillThePantry, and let’s inspire others to join us in this collective effort!

Contact Nikki Hope of Findlay Hyundai 435.212.4713 for more information.

Event sponsors include  Findlay Auto, J Dog Junk Removal, Washington Area Chamber of Commerce and Utah Tech University.

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Dangerous 'Super Pigs' Could Be On Their Way To Utah

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There's a new breed of pigs in the world -- dubbed "Super Pigs" -- and experts say it's only a matter of time before they find their way to Utah.

If you Google "super pig," dozens of entries come up in the search, plus questions like "How fast can a super pig run?" and "How dangerous is a super pig?"

The new breed, descended from feral razorbacks or boars mating with domesticated pigs, can grow up to 400 pounds and run up to 30 miles per hour (!), about 10 MPH faster than YOU can run.

From the website a-z-animals.com: "Super pigs are hybrid species resulting from mating or breeding between wild and domestic pigs. In Canada, wild pigs from Europe were introduced in the 1980s. Super pigs resulted when farmers began to breed the already existent population of feral Canadian pigs with those from Europe of recent introduction. Farmers decided to breed the two groups in this way because they believed that super pigs would provide more meat and be easier targets to shoot."

They were wrong on both accounts. "Another fact about super pigs is that they are highly intelligent. Super pigs can recognize when they are being hunted or threatened, allowing them to change their course of action to survive. For instance, if a super pig realized it was being hunted, it might become nocturnal or hide in brush, forests, or dense wetlands to evade capture or death."

According to CBS News, "Ryan Brook, a professor at the University of Saskatchewan and one of Canada's leading authorities on the problem, calls feral swine, "the most invasive animal on the planet" and "an ecological train wreck."

While these animals rarely attack humans, what they do attack is ecosystems.

Imagine Utah's mountain populated not with deer, elk or rabbits, but feral pigs that eat everything they can as fast as they can.

From CBS News again: "Pigs are not native to North America. While they've roamed parts of the continent for centuries, Canada's problem dates back only to the 1980s when it encouraged farmers to raise wild boar, Brook said. It turned out that the pigs were very good at surviving Canadian winters. Smart, adaptable and furry, they eat anything, including crops and wildlife. They tear up land when they root for bugs and crops. They can spread devastating diseases to hog farms like African swine fever. And they reproduce quickly. A sow can have six piglets in a litter and raise two litters in a year."

So what are the odds they'll be in Utah anytime soon?

Well, witnesses have already spotted the super pigs within a few miles of the US-Canadian border, while others say they're already in some northern states, like Montana.

Utah and Montana are only about 400 miles apart in some places.

As they reproduce and continue to search for compatible climate and land, these super pigs will keep migrating south. It's only a matter of time, really, before super pigs are here.

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Hey Southern Utah, Do You Know These Text Abbreviations?

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Just for fun, I passed out a test at the radio station the other day.

On the "test" were 20 text abbreviations and about a dozen or so people filled out their best guesses as to what the abbreviations meant.

The youngest person taking the test was in his early 20s, while a few of us are in our 50s. Most of the test-takers were under the age of 40.

Amazingly, no one got all the text abbreviations right.

I got 16 of the 20 and a couple of our younger staffers got 18, but were stumped by a couple of the harder ones. Now it's your turn. How well do you know your text abbreviations? (correct answers at the bottom)

  1. OMG -- Wrong answer: Old Man's Gas (turbo expulsion helps him stand up?)
  2. GOAT -- Wrong answer: Get Out And Try (good sentiment, but no)
  3. TYSM -- Wrong answer: To You, Sir, Monkeybread (Sounds delicious, but huh-uh)
  4. NVM -- Wrong answer: No Value Mail (is that like junk mail or spam?)
  5. FTW -- Wrong answer: Flippin' Timex Watch (Issues with your timepiece?)
  6. IMHO -- Wrong answer: A couple of test-takers related it to IHOP pancakes (Melo said "I'm a ho?")
  7. FWIW -- Wrong answer: For What I Want (Soooo close)
  8. TLDR -- Wrong answer: Toddler? (I actually got this one right, but only because I encountered it the day before and asked my teenage daughter what it meant)
  9. YOLO -- Wrong answer: You loser! (That's not very nice)
  10. LMK -- Wrong answer: Something to do with Martin Luther King (yeah, no)
  11. TFW -- Wrong answer: Too few words (nice try, but not close Melo)
  12. IRL -- Wrong answer: Something to do with internet address? (Melo said I rarely lie, but she also called herself a ho earlier soooo ...)
  13. ILY -- Wrong answer: I'll Let You Know (Where'd the 'K' go?)
  14. BTW -- Wrong answer: Actually, everyone got this one right (even "old guy" Dan)
  15. NBD -- Wrong answer: Melo (who rarely lies) said NoBody Died
  16. FOMO -- Wrong answer: Everyone got this one, although sadly it's a real psychological disorder
  17. LOL -- Wrong answer: No, grandma, it's not Lots Of Love
  18. HMU -- Wrong answer: This stumped everyone, although Melo ventured a guess, "Hold My Umbrella" (I didn't say it was a good guess)
  19. SMH -- Wrong answer: So Much Hate (Maybe another psychological disorder?)
  20. ICYMI -- Wrong answer: I'll see You in a MInute (Not even close)

Correct answers

  1. OMG -- Oh My Gosh (surprise!)
  2. GOAT -- Greatest Of All Time (MJ or LeBron?)
  3. TYSM -- Thank You So Much (I'm really grateful, but also lazy)
  4. NVM -- Nevermind (fuggetaboutit!)
  5. FTW -- For The Win (Usually uttered alongside a really good burn)
  6. IMHO -- In My Humble Opinion (Also, IMNSHO or In My Not So Humble Opinion)
  7. FWIW -- For What It's Worth (usually a lowkey way of correcting someone)
  8. TLDR -- Too Long, Didn't Read (ever gotten one of those reallllly long texts?)
  9. YOLO -- You Only Live Once (often texted right before making a really bad decision)
  10. LMK -- Let Me Know (supposed to mean we expect an answer, usually gets ignored)
  11. TFW -- That Feeling When ... (usually accompanying a cool picture, i.e. -- TFW I made brisket and everyone loved it)
  12. IRL -- In real Life (not in the cyber world that many of us live in)
  13. ILY -- I Love You (awwwwww)
  14. BTW -- By The Way (Usually a reminder, i.e. -- BTW tomorrow's our anniversary)
  15. NBD -- No Big Deal (although often it really was a big deal)
  16. FOMO -- Fear Of Missing Out (why we do stupid stuff sometimes
  17. LOL -- Laugh Out Loud (now that's funny)
  18. HMU -- Hit Me Up (or contact me later)
  19. SMH -- Shaking My Head (usually at an incredible display of stupidity)
  20. ICYMI -- In Case You Missed It (often sent as a reminder)
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