To Your Health Columns by Brian Cole

To honor my friend, John B. Hightower

For more than 10 years John Hightower has been a client and an appreciated friend. Let me tell you about this remarkable man. A graduate of Yale University, Class of 1955, John was a captain in the United States Marine Corps. He is the former executive director of the New… Read more »

Forget weight loss. Focus on pleasure.

It’s resolution time. I have to talk about this. The goal is not weight loss. Weight includes muscles, organs, bones, water… The goal is to lose body fat – and to keep it off. Excess body fat is the #1 cause of health care costs in America. So, if you’re… Read more »

What is “Aging Well”?

Someone said it’s gracefully adapting to reality. That’s nice, but so much of what we call “aging” is about the unnecessary reduction of physical activity. And I don’t want adapting to be an excuse for self-limiting behavior. So I’m positing: Being able to continue enjoying the activities that please us.… Read more »


Approximately 20 years ago when I chose to turn my lifelong hobby into a career, I listed two mission statements as my guides: To help as many people as I could to live healthier lives and to help as many people as I could to make this work their career. Because this is the… Read more »

Believe it or not, it’s an opportunity

A couple of years ago I wrote a column—“Getting a Little Personal”—about activity and exercise being a proven path for dealing with the changes that living a full life gives us. I’ve had so many positive responses to that column—a lady making a career change, a friend going through divorce,… Read more »

But, what’s the goal?

We have a combination of muscle groups popularly (but not very specifically) referred to as our “core.” For the purpose of this column, I’m going to define that as everything except arms, legs and head. This time of year with more skin (and body fat) about to be on display,… Read more »

Oh, my achin’ back! – Part 2

Before reading this, I suggest you read Part 1 if you haven’t already. Because the low back (lumbar) is involved in just about every movement of the human body, it is very susceptible to injury and/or dysfunction. And it’s very troublesome when it’s not functioning without pain. I’m going to… Read more »

Oh, my achin’ back!

I know that’s not a very upbeat headline to kick off 2012, but if you or anyone you care about is dealing with it, finding a path to some relief will assure them of a much happier new year! Just about every movement of the human body involves that central… Read more »

Science says…

… to prove something, we must meet three standards. It must be measurable, reproducible and predictable. Well, hundreds of scientific research studies for more than 10 years have all come to the same conclusion: There is no benefit to stretching before physical activity. Whether it’s running, golf, football, strength training… Read more »

I’ve been accused…

…of suggesting that a more active life (daily walks, strength training, increased joint range of motion, etc.) is a cure for everything. So, before I jump into this article, I will clearly state: “A MORE ACTIVE LIFESTYLE IS NOT A CURE FOR EVERYTHING.” I just haven’t found the exception yet. For… Read more »

You can do this!

I often hear from those of you who read my column regularly. Thank You. Your comments are always appreciated. I have to remember, though, some folks are reading for the first time and there is general beneficial information I have to continue to share. My point is: I know, for… Read more »

What is being fit and how long will it take?

FIT. A simple practical definition: Being able to do all the enjoyable activities we want to and doing them with more energy. Also, we don’t want to be sore and tired for the next few days. How long will it take? Common sense says the insomniac infomercials for the new ab… Read more »

It’s a short, short life…

Well, how was 2010? Probably some disappointments but some new positive changes, too. Because we have some control over our intentions and attitudes, let’s focus 2011 on the potential positives. That’s the nice thing about a new year—it is a fresh start. If you’ve been busy with all the holidays,… Read more »

Getting a Little Personal…

There are only so many ways to say: “Eat Better and Exercise More.” But I try, in these columns, to entertain through different paths which admittedly lead to that same message. Hopefully these different paths inspire different folks. I enjoy the writing and really appreciate the responses to me and… Read more »

No, they don’t.

I’ve not been able just to ignore it and let it go. A few months ago, in a respectable publication, a full page advertisement read: “The 33 bones in your back support your entire weight.” No, they don’t. And this statement was written by folks who know better. I’m not… Read more »

Health care costs – from alternative to conventional medicine to…

During the recent national health care discussion, one question was whether to cover alternative/complementary/preventive/integrative/etc. approaches. Why not cover comparatively inexpensive ways to possibly avoid major expenses later? For the same reason our auto insurance doesn’t cover oil changes and tire rotation. Because it would just cost more for them to… Read more »

Solo-tasking and habit change

“Everything in life should be made as simple as possible—but not simpler.”– A. Einstein Subtle sense of humor from this brilliant fellow but a good message. While our culture seems to value multi-tasking, we actually benefit by simply focusing on what we’re doing or who we’re with or the present… Read more »

Exercise (the most important factor) simplified

Last column I spent way too much time on “eating smart.” I mean just about everyone who cares knows what they should and shouldn’t eat/drink. And they also know that if they’re gaining weight, they’re probably eating/drinking too much. But I wanted to clarify. Clean slate, fresh start, Happy New… Read more »

It’s January 2010!

In December I said if you walk every day and stop eating/drinking what you already know is bad for you, I’d provide more details in January. Eating smarter simplified• What you eat and drink is about long-term health.• How much you eat is about getting rid of fat.• Please reread… Read more »

It’s simple, not easy

I’m going to briefly revisit a previous column because its basic theme applies to this month’s topic. In addressing the discussion of a national health care policy, I stated that the problem was not insurance, lack of insurance, coverage of insurance, whether the insurance is privately obtained or publicly tax… Read more »