Runners to Share Experience, Tips While Training for LVHN Via Half-Marathon

Alyssa Young Matt Burns

Alyssa Young and Matt Burns will blog weekly about their training for the LVHN Via Half-Marathon.

Race weekend arrives in less than five months. Thousands of novices and experts alike are preparing for the Lehigh Valley Health Network (LVHN) Via Marathon events Sept. 6 and 7. There are opportunities for everyone, including the kids race, walk, 5K, relay, half-marathon and full marathon.

Training for a race is a great way to commit to a fitness plan that reaps many health benefits beyond a more competitive performance on your way to the finish line. Whether you’re a first-time registrant or a veteran marathoner, everyone faces challenges and celebrates new victories during the process.

Leading up to the 2013 LVHN Via Marathon, Matt Burns, the health network’s media relations coordinator, used the Lehigh Valley Health News blog to share his experience training for the 26.2-mile marathon. This year, Burns is running the half-marathon, a feat he’s accomplished before. Meanwhile, LVHN senior web producer Alyssa Young is getting ready to run a 13.1-mile race for the first time. Matt and Alyssa will take turns using this space each week from now through race day to describe their preparation, share tips, ask questions and encourage your input. Follow along as they get ready for the 2014 LVHN Via Half-Marathon, and don’t forget to chime in with your own comments on their posts.

Today, learn a bit about their background and their plan. Alyssa will write again next week, and then check back the first week of May to hear more from Matt. Read More »

AARP Caregiving Forum Coming to LVHN on April 29

It’s estimated that more than 34 million Americans provide care to an adult living with a disability or an illness, such as Alzheimer’s disease. If you are one of the many caring for a family member or close friend, you are invited to a free AARP informational event for caregivers on Tuesday, April 29, at Lehigh Valley Hospital-Cedar Crest in the Kasych Family Pavillion, Medical Imaging of Lehigh Valley conference rooms 6, 7 and 8. Register for this free event.

The AARP Caregiving Forum will feature panel presentations by Amy Goyer, well-known author and speaker from AARP who also is a caregiver; Robert Barraco, MD, chief of geriatric trauma at Lehigh Valley Health Network (LVHN); Lorraine Spikol, MD, head of neuroscience research at LVHN, and Bethlehem Township resident Pat Hartigan, who will share her personal caregiving story.

Doors open at 5 p.m.; the program begins at 5:30 p.m. Light refreshments will be served.

In addition to the panel discussion, the forum also will include exhibitors offering information for caregivers: Read More »

Elementary Students to Create Art at Fourth Community Canvas Event

Kylie Heiser Bianca Carrion at Community Canvas

Kylie Heiser, left, won the audience vote, and Bianca Carrion won the Facebook vote after the third Community Canvas event March 31. They are students at Slatington Elementary School.

Aspiring artists from Donegan Elementary School of Bethlehem, among other local elementary schools, will get to showcase their talents on Saturday, April 26, at the fourth Community Canvas event, scheduled for 1-3 p.m. at the Allentown YM/YWCA.

Community Canvas is presented by Children’s Hospital at Lehigh Valley Hospital in conjunction with Radio Disney Philadelphia and Lehigh Valley Art Spark. At the event, 10 artists are given a lunchbox full of supplies and 45 minutes to create a piece of artwork based on a particular healthy theme.

The mission behind Community Canvas is to promote healthy eating habits and all-around wellness for all Lehigh Valley children. The artwork is then voted on by the audience in attendance and also gets posted to Facebook for voting. The artists with the most votes go to the grand finale. Everyone who participates gets a prize. Read More »

Hospital Gyms Like LVHN Fitness Offer Staff Expertise, Retain Members

It appears gyms with hospital affiliations are growing in popularity around the region, which is news that could be perfectly timed for Lehigh Valley Health Network (LVHN).

In July, an LVHN Fitness facility will be opening at the new PPL Center complex in downtown Allentown. But unlike LVHN’s three existing gyms – LVHN Fitness-Cedar Crest, LVHN Fitness-Muhlenberg and LVHN Fitness-Mack – the new facility will be completely open to public membership.

Currently, LVHN Fitness facilities are open to network employees and their families, as well as patients being treated for a medical condition by a physician. Members of the public must have taken part in one of LVHN’s clinical or wellness programs in order to join. Such participation will not be required at the facility in LVHN-One City Center.

Several other area hospitals and health networks in Pennsylvania and New Jersey have gyms that are open to the public, according to an article that published today in The Express-Times and on According to the article, membership retention is better at the hospital-affiliated gyms than at commercial gyms because of staff expertise.

Read the report.

Craving Sugar? Grab Some Fresh Fruit

Satisfy your sweet tooth with fruitWe all have a sweet tooth. Yet if you’re like most Americans, the problem is that you yield to your sweet tooth far too often. The American Heart Association (AHA) says Americans take in an average of 22 teaspoons of refined sugar a day. That translates into 355 calories per day, far more than the AHA-recommended daily 9 teaspoons for men and 6 teaspoons for women. And too much sugar can raise your risk for obesity, type 2 diabetes, heart disease, tooth decay and even depression. Read More »