It turns out that travel might be just what the doctor ordered. In this episode, Kyle and Derek talk about some of the significant health benefits of packing your bags and hitting the road. We also visit with Huntsman World Senior Games athlete, Juliana Kimball, about sports, life and beating cancer. What a great episode, go check it out Huntsman World Senior Games Active live podcast.

 

Kyle Case:
Hello and welcome to the Huntsman World Senior Games active life. My name is Kyle Case, and I'll be your host on this amazing journey as we attempt to help you get the most out of your life. Joining me in the studio today, filling in for Jeff who is away on a recruiting trip is my good, good friend, Derek Campbell.

Derek Campbell:
Hi Kyle.

Kyle Case:
How are you doing today, Derek?

Derek Campbell:
I'm phenomenal. How about you?

Kyle Case:
I'm doing good. I'm doing good. I'm a little tired, but I'm doing good. You know, I've been on the road a little bit.

Derek Campbell:
Yeah, I'm very well aware of that.

Kyle Case:
You're aware of that. In fact, I just got back yesterday from a trip to China and it was awesome.

Derek Campbell:
You look tired.

Kyle Case:
I feel tired.

Derek Campbell:
[crosstalk 00:00:47] You flew all the way home.

Kyle Case:
I'm definitely in a different time zone. I mean, I'm definitely in a different time zone. I woke up last night at about 3:00 AM and I was awake. And I'm feeling it right now. I'm feeling it right now, but I feel like it was good. It was a good, productive trip. We met with a lot of different government officials and some senior athletes. We're trying to make invitations to come and be a part of the Huntsman World Senior Games and be a part of active aging. And I think that it went really well. And in that spirit today, Derek, I want to talk about some of the health benefits of travel.

Derek Campbell:
Okay. I don't perceive many health benefits from the act of traveling, so I'm curious.

Kyle Case:
It's exciting. There's a lot of good things that are going on with people who are traveling. I got this from Lifestyle online magazine and there was stuff that I thought made sense, but there were some surprising benefits to travel, so I want to share them with you.

Derek Campbell:
All right.

Kyle Case:
Number one, this is one that I didn't think of as a benefit, but it's interesting. Travel exposes you to different environments, which ultimately creates stronger antibodies and it boosts your immune system significantly.

Derek Campbell:
Much needed though.

Kyle Case:
Did you know that? Yeah. Needed, especially if you're traveling-

Derek Campbell:
Introduced to foreign other elements.

Kyle Case:
Absolutely. Absolutely. So, I mean-

Derek Campbell:
It's cool.

Kyle Case:
... we kind of chuckle about that, but it's actually true. Antibodies, of course, we know are the little proteins that protect our immune system from harmful pathogens and research shows that exposure to some dirt every once in a while and some minor illnesses actually keeps your body and your gut stronger. Now, that isn't to say that we shouldn't practice basic hygiene. Of course, we should wash our hands and use a little hand sanitizer here and there, but having new bacteria in our life isn't such a bad thing, and when we travel from place to place, our bodies adapts to the thousands of new bacteria, which in turn makes our immune system stronger. Now, as I said, when I first started thinking about the benefits of travel, this isn't one of the things that I thought of, but it makes sense.

Derek Campbell:
Yeah. Usually, when I travel, I'm excited to go. And just the power of positivity there just lifts your body, lifts your mind.

Kyle Case:
Absolutely. That's another one of the benefits. Travel lowers stress levels, so it actually lowers stress levels a lot. This one probably isn't a big surprise to a lot of people, but it's been scientifically proven that travel will increase your happiness, it'll decrease your depression. A study found that three days after vacation, travelers felt well-rested, less anxious, and in a better mood and these improvements didn't disappear when they returned home.

Kyle Case:
They lasted for weeks afterward, so some real stress reducers in travel and vacation. This is another one and you mentioned this, Derek, you get excited and you feel good about it. Travel improves your brain health in the same way that exercise does, or even sleep does. Travel expands your mind. You meet new people, you adapt to new situations.

Kyle Case:
You become more globally and culturally aware of what's going on in the world. This is all good for your health because new experiences increase cognitive connections between ... excuse me, in your brain and that makes your mind sharp. They've done studies that show that a connection between travel and an increase in creativity happens. There's a deeper sense of cultural awareness like I said, and personal growth. And according to the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, those who travel and study abroad tend to be more open and emotionally stable. So it's good for your brain to get on the road once in a while.

Derek Campbell:
It's got to be similar to meditation. When you're supposed to meditate, we're taught that for health and wellness. Take a break from the routine of your daily life and traveling definitely does that.

Kyle Case:
It does.

Derek Campbell:
It makes you break from life and see new things, feel new things.

Kyle Case:
Absolutely.

Derek Campbell:
That's cool.

Kyle Case:
Expands your horizons and ultimately at the end of the experience, and I think more than the experience, but the lifetime of experiences, it actually improves your brain health.

Kyle Case:
And I think that's worth considering when you're planning your next vacation. A couple of others really quickly. Travel will decrease your risk of heart disease. I thought this was a great one. That's because people who wander away from their homes for a little vacation are generally less stressed as we mentioned, and less anxious, or at least they're willing to take a break from the stressors that are in their lives. Because of this, the long-running Framingham heart study found that men and women who traveled annually were less likely to suffer a heart attack or develop heart disease. So there's another benefit to get on the road, see something out there in the world. And then finally, the last one, this is kind of a wrap up of all the ones that we've talked about, but travel can help you live longer. It's true. It's true. It can.

Derek Campbell:
Yeah. It sounds like I should travel more.

Kyle Case:
Well, maybe they all should. Those who travel tend to have a longer life expectancy, whether you travel locally or globally. All forms of travel enhance our lives and can actually increase the amount of time that we get to spend on this earth. Potentially at least research shows that travel reduces stress, keeps your body healthy inside and out. It boosts your brain health. It keeps your immune system up and running and all of this adds up to the increased chance of living longer and to have more fun doing it.

Derek Campbell:
You know, Kyle, I've got a great place where people could come travel to.

Kyle Case:
Where is that?

Derek Campbell:
I have a great destination.

Kyle Case:
Where is it? Where is it?

Derek Campbell:
Right here in our little home.

Kyle Case:
Of course, we'd love to invite people to travel to St George, Utah and be a part of the Huntsman World Senior Games. There's no question about it. Speaking of which, today's guest is going to join us on the phone from Arizona in order to compete in the game. She has traveled here.

Kyle Case:
Juliana Kimball is a multi-sport athlete who has been active pretty much all of her life. She's participated in track and field speed skating, running and golf, and then she says at age 55 she discovered her true passion, which is cycling. She was the Arizona State Champion in 2012 and 2013, the US Nationals Champion in 2014. And in 2013, she was the overall winner in the cycling events in her age category at the Huntsman World Senior Games winning four gold medals. She grew up in Boston, Massachusetts, but has lived in Arizona for over 50 years. She has also a cancer survivor and is now seven years cancer-free. Juliana, welcome to the show and congratulations on that last one. That's a big one.

Juliana Kimball:
It is. I'm really excited about that because it's something that we fight all the time.

Kyle Case:
Well and-

Juliana Kimball:
Trying to survive cancer.

Kyle Case:
As you've said, once you're a survivor, it's certainly something that's on your mind. You love to hear those, that word remission. You want to make sure that it's nowhere near you again. I know that. And again, congratulations on being cancer free and holy cow, congratulations on all of your accomplishments in the world of cycling, especially coming to the game a little bit later in life. That's amazing.

Juliana Kimball:
Yes. And you know, I've registered for the Huntsman Games for 10 years and two out of the 10 because of illnesses, which we can't avoid, I have enjoyed the Huntsman's game. I mean I was a nervous wreck when I first went there thinking, "Wow, what am I going to be like? What is going to be?" And the camaraderie that we all had, no matter what sport it was, it was an adventure and I wouldn't miss it for the world.

Kyle Case:
Well, that's awesome. We love that you feel that way about it. Now I've got a question for you. I know that you've had a lot of success in the games in cycling, but you've also participated in a variety of sports throughout your life. Have you competed in some of these other sports at the Games as well? For example, have you done track and field at the Huntsman World Senior Games?

Juliana Kimball:
No, I have not. None of them that I have done in the past have I done at the senior games. My passion is cycling and it's the thing that keeps me healthy. It motivates me and it keeps my brain clear and I feel healthier when I'm cycling. When I get off the bike, it's just like I got a clear mind. Athletes who are runners or are triathletes, they say the same thing. The adrenaline rush you get, that's the adrenaline I have when I cycle. It's just a rush.

Kyle Case:
That is awesome. All those hormones and chemicals to make such an important contribution to our overall wellness, our overall health, and our overall wellbeing. Dopamine, adrenaline, all those things that just make life fun and worth living. I want to back up just a little bit and talk maybe just for a second about some of these sports that you have participated in earlier on in your life. Specifically, I'm interested in speed skating. Tell me a little bit about speed skating. That's kind of a unique sport. There's not a lot of people that I know, at least they do that one.

Juliana Kimball:
It is. When I was about 14, 15 years old, I started speed skating and living in Boston, there was nothing else to do. And I became very good at it. And I was competing with the lady called [Jeanne Ashworth, 00:00:10:41] who was a stick of dynamite and we were competing to go to the Olympics and she just outskated me. And it was a sport that we would freeze the football fields and we were able to skate and people would put cones out and I saw that on one of the Olympics and I said, "I want to do that."

Kyle Case:
I want to do that.

Juliana Kimball:
And I, and I did and I started it and then I realized I did not have what it took to compete nationally or at the Olympics on it. And so I just said, okay, I have moved on to something else.

Kyle Case:
Well, it sounds like you didn't reach that the pinnacle of the Olympics, but it sounds like you had some real success at it. And you at least were in the ballpark of toying with the idea of trying to qualify for world level competitions.

Juliana Kimball:
Correct.

Kyle Case:
That's great. That's great. So how many years did you do that? How many years did you speed skate?

Juliana Kimball:
I speed skated until I was about 18 years old.

Kyle Case:
Okay. So roughly your high school years, it sounds like.

Juliana Kimball:
Mm-hmm (affirmative). Yes.

Kyle Case:
And is that also, I'm curious, is that also when you competed in track and field?

Juliana Kimball:
Yes. Uh-huh (affirmative). I used to throw the javelin [inaudible 00:00:12:06].

Kyle Case:
This is fascinating to me. I would have assumed you were a sprinter or a runner of some sort in track and field. So you threw the implements in track and field.

Juliana Kimball:
Correct. There was something I loved about, I don't know why I love to see the javelin fly, but every time I threw it, it ended up on the wrong end.

Kyle Case:
[inaudible 00:12:30]

Juliana Kimball:
I didn't have the technique to have the javelin land well, but the [inaudible 00:12:39] I was successful in it and it was a lot of fun. It was a lot of fun. And my coach was, he really wanted me to do other activities like running and stuff and I said, "Nah, that doesn't appeal."

Kyle Case:
Yeah.

Juliana Kimball:
And later on in my life, I did start to run 10ks. I started with a 5k, then a 10k, then a half marathon and a marathon, and I got injured and from the injury that led me into cycling. And then that's when I found my true passion

Kyle Case:
And that's where it took off. I was going to say, you're there in kind of the Marathon Mecca, the marathon center of the universe in Boston. Did you run the Boston marathon or were you in Arizona at that time?

Juliana Kimball:
I was in Arizona, but I could not qualify for it. You have to qualify for ... four hours to qualify for the Boston Marathon. And I didn't qualify for it and I could not qualify. I didn't have that kind of stamina, but I never gave up.

Kyle Case:
Well, in my book, anybody who can finish a marathon, which I have not done personally, but just admire someone who can find their way through all those miles is certainly a winner in my book, so that's fantastic. You also have played golf, it sounds like enjoyed that sport as well. I want you to tell me just a little bit about how you got into cycling. I feel like that's, you've mentioned a couple of times that that's really your passion. How'd you get into it and how did you find that passion and figure out that that's what you want to do?

Juliana Kimball:
Well, I was running the New York marathon and I had only two miles to go and I hit a pothole and I tore ligaments and my ankle. And when I came back to Phoenix, my orthopedic guy, he said, "Julie, why don't you take up cycling? You know, it'll be a little easier on your body." And I said, "Cycling, I won't get the adrenaline rush from cycling." I said, "The adrenaline that you get when you're running and the people cheering you on along the way, that's the rush you get."

Juliana Kimball:
He said, "Just get a bike because you're not going to be able to run anymore because you're going to tear it and you're going to tear it and then it's going to be over." I said, "Okay." Get on a bike and started to ride and thought, "Okay, this is a piece of cake." "Well, have you ever gone up on South mountain or go up like in any of your hills there?" And I thought to myself, "This is a challenge. Okay, let me try this sport." Well, my first bike was $1,500 and the bike that I have now is as much as my home when I bought my first home.

Kyle Case:
I was going to say cycling can get to be a little bit expensive. It sounds like you have just embraced that and you're comfortable with it and you're just moving forward. I think that's fantastic. You're listening-

Juliana Kimball:
Yeah, I went to the senior games here in Arizona. I was 55 I went to the senior games and I thought this is a piece of cake. Well, when I saw the competition that wasn't a piece of cake. And I set out goals. I have goals that each day that I have to accomplish. And my first goal was I'm going to win. I'm going to do this. And that's what kept me going.

Kyle Case:
That's a good goal.

Juliana Kimball:
And then somebody invited me to the Huntsman game and I said, "The Huntsman's?" And I said, "I've never heard of it." And when I got there I said, "I will never stop going." It was just phenomenal. And the people you meet. We all have our adversities, all of us. And if you stay in the now and don't worry about when you start, just start. And that's the important thing. Just do it. I have a poem that I always say to myself is when things go wrong as they sometimes will when the road you're trudging seems all uphill when cares are pressing you down a bit. Rest if you must, but don't you ever quit.

Kyle Case:
I love that. I've heard that before and such wise counsel, right?

Juliana Kimball:
Yup. It is.

Kyle Case:
You're listening to the Huntsman World Senior Games Active Life and we are visiting with Juliana Kimball and athlete at the Huntsman World Senior Games. In fact, she's been an athlete really her whole life long. Most recently she's adapted cycling as her go-to sport, her sport of choice. You mentioned Juliana, that you've competed at the Games for about 10 years, is that right?

Juliana Kimball:
Correct.

Kyle Case:
So during those 10 years, there's got to be a memory that stands out. Tell us one of the memories that you have of the Huntsman World Senior Games.

Juliana Kimball:
The memory I have is the year I came back from cancer and it was in 2012 when I got cancer and 2013 when I was competing and all of my friends who knew that and some of the athletes, other athletes in pickleball and [inaudible 00:18:04] were at the top of the hill at Snow Canyon cheering me on and I still get emotional about it.

Kyle Case:
Yeah, well, just having been at the top of the hill of Snow Canyon personally, I mean we consider Snow Canyon right in our backyard. We live in Santa Clara, and we go there all the time, literally every week. What an incredibly beautiful setting to have a group of friends cheering you on after really an amazingly difficult time, right? I mean, you're coming back from cancer. It's your first time back. You've got friends there at the top of these beautiful red sandstone vistas saying, "Come on Juliana, you can do this." I can't imagine why you wouldn't get emotional about that. What a great memory.

Juliana Kimball:
It is the memory that sticks in my head every time I enter into the Huntsman games. The camaraderie, the friendships and the people who care about each other and that's what makes the Huntsman games a great place to go.

Kyle Case:
I totally agree. We talk a lot about the competition in the event and of course, that's important. I mean that's why we come together is to compete. Athletes come to the games for that competition and the competition is great, motivating all the good things. we love that. But most people come back to the games for what you're describing Juliana. They come back because of the friendships. They come back because of the camaraderie. They come back because of just that overall feeling and sentiment of being together and cheering each other on and being there for each other. We hear that all the time from athletes at the games. "I came to the competition. I come back for the friendship." And it sounds like that's been one of the things that have stood out for you as well.

Juliana Kimball:
Exactly.

Kyle Case:
So you've been coming for 10 years. You've obviously made a lot of friends. You've obviously also had a lot of success on the field of competition. At the Huntsman World Senior Games, we offer so much more than just the competition aspect of it. Are there other things besides competition outside of the field of competition that stands out to you as an athlete? As a participant of the Huntsman World Senior Games.

Juliana Kimball:
The way the games are put on. The show that they have at the beginning parading the athletes in.

Kyle Case:
The opening ceremony is what you're talking about.

Juliana Kimball:
Aha. The opening ceremonies, the way that it's all put together, it's something that when you go there, you're excited to do, you're excited to go to the event, to the opening ceremonies because it makes you feel important that the people who are putting it on art are really ... they have us in mind and it just is a wonderful feeling. I look forward to it every time.

Kyle Case:
Well, that's awesome. We feel strongly about our opening ceremonies. We love it as well. It feels like there's just magic in the air that night. There's so much excitement and the athletes are the ones who bring it. There's no question about it, but there's just excitement in the air and just an overall good feeling of the founding principles of the Games.

Kyle Case:
We feel like those ceremonies really exemplify the peace, health, and friendship that we're all striving for. And so it makes me feel good to hear that you've enjoyed that and have appreciated that as part of your overall experience. We've got about a minute and a half left. You've kind of alluded to this in what you said earlier, but is there any advice that you might share with somebody who's contemplating either participating in the games themselves or just getting off the couch and doing something active? What would you share with somebody who's considering that as a lifestyle change?

Juliana Kimball:
Just take the first step. That's all it takes. Don't worry about what other people think, just do it. It only takes one foot in front of the other to get you motivated. Yeah, you can think about it and say, "Oh yeah, but," all of these other things come in your mind. "Well, I don't have time for this. Well, I'll wait until this time or this." Just get it in your mind. Set a small goal, a small goal.

Juliana Kimball:
I'm going to walk for 10 minutes. I'm going to ride for five minutes or 10 minutes. Just do it, and each day add a little bit more to it so that you get that feeling, "I think I can do this." It doesn't take a rocket scientist to say, just put on your shoes and do it. It's not hard. Just get out there, enjoy the fresh year, enjoy the outdoors, and before you know it, you're going to be ... 10 minutes has already turned into an hour and it's just the first step to take. Write small goals. Talk to yourself in a positive way that, "Yeah, I can do this. I can't make excuses." Remember this, you own the day, not anyone else. You own that day, so take everything you can from that day and do it for yourself.

Kyle Case:
I love it. I love it. Juliana, what incredible advice. It sounds like not only can you share that, but it sounds like you live that and again, congratulations on all the success that you've had and can't wait to see you again in October here at the Huntsman World Senior Games.

Juliana Kimball:
Looking forward to it.

Kyle Case:
Awesome. Awesome. Well, Derek, it's June.

Derek Campbell:
Yes, it is, Kyle.

Kyle Case:
Do you know what that means?

Derek Campbell:
Well, we're halfway through the year almost.

Kyle Case:
I know. We're halfway through the year. We're halfway through our registration season. It's time to register for the Huntsman World Senior Games.

Derek Campbell:
Can you believe we already have that many athletes? Over 6,000 athletes registered.

Kyle Case:
I know. I ran a report just this morning and it's 6,100 in change, which is amazing. That is great for this time of year.

Derek Campbell:
It's clicking.

Kyle Case:
If you're interested in being a part of the Huntsman World Senior Games and we hope that you're interested in being a part of the event, get registered, get it on your calendar, use that motivation to help you really live the active life.

Kyle Case:
It's very easy to register. All you have to do is visit seniorgames.net and click on the register tab. Once again, that is seniorgames.net. Click on the register tab. The process is simple, it's fast, it's secure, and before you know it, you'll be ready to become one of our more than 11,000 athletes who will compete in the Huntsman World Senior Games this year. The dates of the Games are October 7th through the 19th of 2019 and again, put that on your calendar and be a part of the event this year.

Kyle Case:
Remember to tune in live next to and every Thursday at 5:30 PM mountain time on AM 1450 or FM 93.1 for the Huntsman World Senior Games Active Life. You can also subscribe to our podcast that is found pretty much anywhere that podcasts are found. Our inspirational quote comes from the great Chinese philosopher, Confucius, Derek. He said, "Wherever you go, go with all your heart." Until next Thursday. Stay active.