Health Highlight

Your Weekly Wellness Update

Safety Tip

BE ADVISED: A UGA professor was robbed at gunpoint Monday near downtown Athens, this is after several armed robberies around town, concentrated in the downtown area from Thomas Street west to Hawthrone Ave. In the latest incident, the professor was approached by a man concealing his face with a T-shirt and demanded the professor turn over everything in her possession. Then, two men with similarly disguised faces emerged from nearby. The suspects fled with her purse, cell phone, and backpack heading toward Bethel Midtown Village.

Tips to Protect Yourself from Robberies:

  1. Don't walk or jog early in the morning or late at night
  2. Walk with a friend
  3. Carry only the money you need
  4. If you think someone is following you, switch directions or cross the street. If the person continues to follow you, more quickly toward an open store or restaurant or a lighted house. Yell for help if necessary.
  5. Make sure to have your keys as you approach your car or house door.
  6. If someone tries to rob you give up your property immediately. Don't risk your personal safety.
  7. If you are robbed or assaulted, call the police immediately.
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Fitness Focus

Have you lost your full range of motion in a joint? Do you constantly have IT band issues? Try foam rolling! Foam rollers offer many of the same benefits as sports massage or deep-tissue massage at a fraction of the cost! Foam rolling is a form of myofasical release, which is a body-work technique in which you use gentle, sustained pressure on the soft tissues while applying traction to the fascia thereby strengthening and lengthening the fascia. Moreover, by rolling over these areas with a bit of pressure, you break down scar tissue or adhessions between the skin, muscles and bones which ultimately relieve pain caused by the daily pressures we put on our bodies.

Superficial fascia is a soft connective tissue located just below the skin which wraps and connects to the muscles, bones, nerves and blood vessels of the body. Muscle and fascia make up what is called the myofascia system. Overworked muscles, not enough stretching or injuries cause the fascia and underlying muscle tissue to stick together. This is called adhesion and it results in restricted muscle movement. It also causes pain, soreness and reduced flexibility or range of motion.

Myofascial release has also been shown to relieve various muscle and joint pains such as IT band syndrome and shin splints, as-well-as improve flexibility and range of motion. Most foam rollers range from $10 - $30 a piece and with TONS of training videos online, you can save yourself from financial and physical pain by incorporating a simple routine into your daily life. To know about the science of foam rolling, click here!

BE FOREWARNED: The first time you foam roll it might hurt but if you're doing it right, you'll learn how to lean into it to find relief in rolling. To understand the mentality you should have when you foam roll, check out The Correct Way to Foam Roll (WARNING: explicit language).

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Money Matters

Over the age of 18? Own a house or a car? Life insurance? Then you should have a written will or trust to ensure these items are passed to the individuals you would like to receive them. Writing a will gives you the opportunity to help your loved ones avoid unnecessary hassles and will allow you peace of mind to know your money and possessions are being allocated to your loved ones in a way you prefer.

But seriously, why is a will or trust so important? Well........

With a will:

  1. You decide how your estate will be distributed and may dispose of your property as you choose direct all of your estate be distributed to your spouse
  2. You nominate the person whom you want to be guardian of minor children
  3. Property can be distributed to your surviving spouse and then to your children after your surviving spouse dies
  4. You choose the person, bank or trust company to serve as executor of your estate and your executor can be given full powers to sell your property and manage it without requesting permission of the court
  5. Your executor can serve without posting a surety bond (brings 3 parties together in a legally binding contractual agreement) and filing an inventory or periodic reports to a court
  6. You can provide for gifts to charity out of your estate.
  7. You can structure an estate plan to reduce federal estate taxes.

Without a will:

  1. Your estate is distributed to your heirs, who are determined in accordance with the Rules of Inheritance under Georgia state law. Typically, this is your spouse and children, including children under the age of 18.
  2. The choice of the guardian of your estate will be determined by the court.
  3. The property that is distributed to your surviving spouse will be distributed upon his or her death as your surviving spouse decides.
  4. The court chooses an administrator of your estate at the request of your heirs
  5. Your heirs must petition the court for the administrator to be granted powers to sell your property and manage it without requesting permission of the court. Furthermore, without a will your heirs must petition the court to relieve the administrator of posting a surety bond, filing an inventory and/or periodic reports to the court
  6. All of your property is distributed to your heirs and no gifts of charity will be automatically applied.
  7. Without a will, your estate may owe more in taxes than it would with a properly structured estate plan.

Who should write your will? Because the laws governing wills and probate often change, it is best to hire a practicing attorney with experience in drafting wills who can provide you with the best. For more cost-effective wills, check out AARP's advice.

For more FAQs, visit the AARP website,, and NOLO.

Alternatively, you can set up a living trust. The main differences between a will and a trust are that a will only takes effect when you die, must pass through probate court and becomes public record. A trust begins the moment it's created, does not have to pass through court and can remain private. Additionally, with a living trust your assets (home, bank accounts, stocks, etc) can be administered to your benefit during your lifetime and transferred to the beneficiaries when you die. However, a trust is a less applicable option to people without significant assets and/or children or anyone who wants court supervision over the administration of his/her estate. The greater the value of your assets, the greater need for a living trust.

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DIY Spotlight

Plan a road trip! The weather is getting nicer and the days are getting longer. AND, planning a trip, even if you never take it, creates an immediate endorphin boost in your body!
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Connection is a fundamental part of being human. In fact, we seek connection on a biological level as-well-as emotional level. Our nervous system contains mirror neurons, which help us read other people's feelings and actions. They are the neurological underpinnings of empathy and are activated when two people engage in a conversation. These neurons lead you to respond with a similar facial expression to the person you are interacting with at that moment. The facial response is a nonverbal cue to the individual that you empathize with him/her and the response is automatic, showing that the ability to connect and engage with others is wired into our neurology.

Social isolation is actually linked to alterations in human gene transcription in the small white blood cells of the human immune system, narrows your arteries, reduces the amount of oxytocin in your system which increases positive heart function, increases rates of stroke, blood pressure, colds, flu, dementia, cognitive function, and coronary heart disease. However, the effects are completely reversible on your health. Even after people experience trauma, isolation, and rejection studies show that the neurons in these pathways heal and allow them to feel empathy once again.

There are examples EVERYWHERE about people connecting everyday in small and large ways. Below are some I've seen recently. What are your examples of people connecting with one another?

  • Asia Ford lost over 200 pounds and ran her first 10K but was having trouble close to the end. See her determination and an officer's support!

  • An image emerged on 4chan body shaming a man for his dancing. Soon after the image and caption hit the internet, a group was started by several women in Los Angeles to find "the dancing man" and invite him to LA for a special dance party for him and a group of 1,700 women. Since finding the man and posting the situation on Twitter, Pharrell Williams and Moby have agreed to attend the party! Read more here!
  • Last, here is an example of people connecting through technology. (Really, you should watch this one for the HILARIOUS song you can sing when you're having a rough day).
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