Exercise Offers Health Benefits at Any Age

Most of us have heard the adage that it’s never too late to start exercising and reap the benefits of better health. Is that a myth or a fact? Two recently published investigational studies evaluated more than 315,000 Americans and 15,000 Britons. The studies confirmed the conclusion of past research: Adopting an exercise routine at any age improves your overall health and well-being.

In the American study, researchers were surprised by one of their findings. Participants who increased their physical activity in their 40s, 50s and into their early 60s enjoyed health benefits and a reduced risk of an early death as much as those who had maintained an exercise regimen throughout adulthood.

The British study found similar benefits for people into their late 70s. The researchers also concluded that substantial longevity benefits were gained by becoming more physically active regardless of past inactivity or health conditions, such as high blood pressure, elevated cholesterol or obesity.

Ready to get started exercising? The Cleveland Clinic recommends these steps:

See your doctor.

Get a physical exam to assess your current fitness level. Make sure you’re healthy enough to start picking up the pace.

Track your progress.

Use a pedometer or activity tracker to count your steps. Time your workouts with a stopwatch. Keep a journal to show how far you’ve come as you progress.

Start slow.

Begin all workouts with a warm-up and stretching.

Find the right fit.

Figure out what activities you enjoy. Create a balanced routine to include aerobics, strength training and balance exercises.

Self-assess.

Evaluate whether your workouts are too little or too much. Take note of your fatigue level and your ability to lift and to walk distances.

Hydrate and eat a balanced diet.

Drink plenty of water every day. Plan meals and snacks that are high in fiber and well-balanced with “good” calories to fuel your body.

JULIE LEYDELMEYER

Cutting Edge: Art Quilts of Washington

quiltsQuilters quilt and painters paint, but there is a world of di-mension behind the work of fabric artists. As the newest exhibit at the Washington State History Museum—Cutting Edge: Art Quilts of Washington—shows, quilting is an artistic medium in and of itself.

“Traditionally, quilts were hand-sewn from scraps of fabric to meet a practical need—they kept families warm during the winter months,” said Lynette Miller, head of collections for the Washington State Historical Society and curator of the quilt exhibit. “Over time, they have evolved from simply being functional into something decorative and creative, and finally into a means of artistic expression no different from painting or sculpting.”

Cutting Edge: Art Quilts of Washington is a collaborative effort between the Washington State Historical Society, which also has a number of historic quilts from its collection on display, and the Contemporary Quilt Art Association, a diverse group of artists, teach-ers, writers and collectors from throughout Washington. The juried exhibit features the work of association members, who view quilts as an exciting medium of expression and a viable contemporary art form.

“Today’s quilt artists may still use sewing machines, but they are just as likely to use more contemporary technology such as computers and printers or less traditional techniques such as painting, hand-dyeing and bleaching,” said Colleen Wise, president of the Contemporary Quilt Art Association. “They may embellish their work with beads, metal or found objects. They are using quilt-making as a means of expression rather than comfort. Quilt-making has evolved into a true art form with a distinctive American history.”

Cutting Edge: Art Quilts of Washington through Aug. 21 at the history museum, 1911 Pacific Ave., Tacoma.

LEAH GROUT

For additional information: washingtonhistory.org

Terra’s Kitchen, a FRESH take on meals

Balsamic Grilled Strip Steaks with Roasted Spring VeggiesTerra’s Kitchen was founded by a team of foodies, wellness professionals, nutritionists and farmers working together to solve a question that we often ask ourselves: How do we find time to eat good food and live healthier lives while raising a family and pursuing a career?

came up with an appetizing answer: a meal service, delivering the freshest of seasonal ingredients to your doorstep. The ingredients arrive prepped and skillet-ready for the recipes to be cooked. Terra’s Kitchen hand-picks reliable food sources across North America to ensure that your delivery always holds high-quality ingredients for delicious dishes.

As the publisher at ShowCase Magazine and a foodie myself, I decided I had to try this new service. The Terra’s Kitchen eco-friendly vessel arrived at our door on schedule. With multi level trays and a cooling device to keep meat and produce cool, the vessel looked like a “space age” delivery box. As we unloaded the ingredients into our refrigerator, we found ourselves marveling at the luscious ingredients and anticipating the meals to come.

Besides the prepped and chopped produce, the delivery vessel came with easy-to-follow recipe cards with pictures of each step. The cards provided very helpful cooking tips and close-up photos, plus wine or beer pairings, for a true culinary experience. It was all so easy that our 14-year-old budding foodie delighted in preparing a meal with us.

The tasty meals we prepared were a snap to put together and came with all the dressings and seasonings needed. Our favorite was the grilled New York strip steak with tomatoes, eggplant and basil chimichurri. In the end, we were impressed with the freshness and thought placed into the accompaniments to each meal.

Looking for a fresh take on delivered dinner? Consider it yourself: terraskitchen.com