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franklin county times

Vacations promote healthy heart

By Staff
If you hope to get in a short vacation before the end of summer, there's still time. And if you're like me, the idea of an inexpensive getaway is most appealing. To avoid driving long distances (and incurring all that expense for gas), I've decided to spend a long weekend camping out at a national park.
Besides, a short time away is easier to justify when even Harvard University says that vacations are good for us, and that those of us who get away are less likely to develop heart disease.
Do you have a senior park pass? These are lifetime passes to national parks for U.S. citizens age 62 and over. The only place to get a pass is at a park. Some of the benefits include free admission for you and a few others in your car, and a 50 percent discount for you only on expanded amenities such as camping and swimming.
The old Golden Age Passports for park admittance have been discontinued, and the replacement is called America the Beautiful — National Parks and Federal Recreational Lands Pass. Cost is $10 each. Have a photo ID handy when you buy one.
As I was preparing for my short vacation, a handy booklet caught my eye at the Harvard Health Publications Web site: "10-Minute Consult — Healthy Travel." It's full of helpful tips on preparing to travel, but the most important concern being prepared with all medications you take and others that might be needed, such as laxatives and antacids.
The same Web site carries low-cost special reports that can be purchased on a wide range of topics such as high blood pressure, Alzheimer's disease, home safety, osteoporosis and nutrition. Check www.health.harvard.edu and click on Special Reports for the whole list of topics. Or call 1-888-386-7220 for customer service.
Matilda Charles regrets that she cannot personally answer reader questions, but will incorporate them into her column whenever possible. Write to her in care of King Features Weekly Service, P.O. Box 536475, Orlando, FL 32853-6475, or send e-mail to columnreply@gmail.com.