Pursuant to the
Governor’s orders, we are still closed to the public. But weekly cleanings and
disinfecting will still be done until opening again. Trainers may still use the
facility, but not for training clients. We have always used disinfecting wipes and
sprays, and these will be abundant when we re-open as well.
Trainers will maintain
contact with our clients through emails and calls. We will be providing exercise and other health
information electronically from time to time.
We are working on ways to stay connected using Zoom and other apps for virtual
HOW TO COPE WITH COVID-19
ANXIETY WHEN WE DON’T KNOW WHAT WILL HAPPEN NEXT (excepts from Health.com
Editor’s note: There are many articles written about how
individuals can best understand and cope with the fear and anxiety of this unprecedented
life event. Some of this is good advice,
some not so good. I have selected one that appeared in
Health.com which I thought would be helpful.
The COVID-19 pandemic has filled life with a
lot of unknowns. Will we get sick? Will a family member
or friend end up hospitalized? Will we lose our jobs? Will we need
to cancel our wedding? How long will the virus be at the forefront of our
All these what-ifs piling on top of one
another are a recipe for panic. This is because we can’t control what we don’t
know, Karla Ivankovich, PhD, a clinical counselor says “ The fear of the unknown
becomes terrifying because no matter how many ways we try to perceive an
outcome, we understand there may be so many more scenarios that we couldn’t
even consider,” she explains.
Fight-or-flight response kicks in when we
start to fear, which is a “natural mechanism to protect ourselves,” says
Ivankovich. “But when the circumstances remain unknown, we stay in a heightened
state of awareness, which wreaks havoc on the mind and body. This causes us
immense stress, which leads to panic, turning to anxiety. The unknown steals
the one thing that gives us comfort in scary times, and that’s control.”
Jud Brewer, MD, PhD, a
neuroscientist, says “powerlessness” can lead to a couple of different
responses. A feeling of powerlessness
might tell your brain to kick things into gear and “do something to regain
control,” says Dr. Brewer. “It might not be obvious what to do, but it doesn’t
stop us from trying something. What do you do at a time like this? Just
do something. That gets into the loops of the brain, that doing
something is better than doing nothing. But no, it could in fact make it
Panic is motivated by such thinking, and it’s
exacerbated by social contagion. When everyone is rushing to grocery stores to
buy up all the supplies, and respected newspapers are filled with constant
negative headlines, you panic. And it’s called “blind panic” for a reason, he
says; you’re not really thinking things through. “Toilet paper became the meme,
because it’s ridiculous,” says Dr. Brewer. “It doesn’t make sense. There’s not
a shortage of toilet paper.” Basically, you don’t see clearly at all when
No one is immune from anxiety right now.
Here are some ideas for coping with the
unknown and feeling better about it.
Slow down your thoughts by organizing them – Anxiety speeds up your thoughts, and that can
cause you to make rash decisions or take quick actions.
The key is to force your body and mind into
slowdown. First off, you have to tell yourself to breathe; take deep breaths. Slow
your thoughts down. Maybe the quick way to do that is just to get out a word
document or a notebook. Start writing to-do lists. Nothing controls anxiety
better than putting a checkmark on a to-do list.
This does two things: it compels you to focus
on something concrete and creates a sense of control over something you
actually can control, whether that’s a walk outside or an assignment at work.
We all have uncertainty right now. “Part of
coping with uncertainty is being willing to manage it with lists and processes
and people,” she says, noting it is sort of like chess. You can only plan a few
moves ahead, because a lot can change. We have to be willing to control what we
can, and adapt when we need to.
Stop checking the news so much – Constantly tuning into the 24/7 news cycle
means you never know what you’re going to get and it can become addictive.
Check the news only twice or three times a day, so you’re getting updates that
are similar in scale each time. If the negative headlines are still causing
anxiety, shut off those live updates.
“If you want to get news or accurate
information, the best way to learn what to focus on is to get accurate info,”
he advises. Dr. Brewer suggests the World
Health Organization (WHO) or Center
for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), because “they are not
going to put anything up that isn’t rock solid,” he says, whereas other news
outlets have evolving story updates.
Engage in mindfulness and deep breathing – Ground yourself in the familiar. When you are
anxious, it helps to go to a space you know and love. Maybe you relax in a
comfy chair in front of a window, do some cooking in your kitchen, or snuggle
into a cozy reading nook. A hot bath or shower can also help slow you down. Practice
gratitude; write in your journal. Walk, exercise as much as you can.
Sleep should be prioritized right now, even
though you might be far off your regular schedule. At least one hour before
bed, turn all your screens off. Start slowing your day down. Ten minutes before
getting ready for bed, find a dimly lit room and focus on your breathing. Slow
your breaths to the point where you are most comfortable with it, as slowly as
you can get it, and do this for 10 minutes.
After you do that, continue with your
nighttime routine, get into bed and “start slowing your breathing down” once
again. You will fall asleep quicker and stay asleep longer if you start slowing
down well before bed. Deep breaths allow more
oxygen to fill your lungs, and focusing on them can help you let go
of more stressful thoughts.
Although we cannot be open for business, pursuant to the “Stay At Home” order from our governor, we want you to continue to exercise and stay healthy at home. Below are a few exercises that you are familiar with, which most anyone can do in addition to taking walks or jogs outside.
Doing 2 sets of 10 reps for each exercise. 3X/week will go a long way to help to keep you fit, until you can resume training with your trainer.
Just remember for each exercise:
Warm up about 5 minutes or more before doing the exercises
Maintain a neutral spine by engaging deep core muscles
Keep breathing; never hold your breath
Push-up – this is a great exercise for beginners and/or advanced clients. It can be done the easiest way, against a kitchen counter. Progressing to the floor with knees bent; then a full pushup with toes on the floor. This can be made more challenging with legs elevated, with hands close together, or the ultimate…one-handed.
Squat – Every time we sit, we squat; but doing this correctly is important. There is no need to squat more than with thighs parallel to the floor. Knees should not move forward of toes.
Lunge – Done correctly, this is a challenging exercise. You can increase the challenge by walking lunges. Make sure knee does not go forward of ankle.
Single-Leg Balance – This should be practiced every day. More challenge can be added by doing arm movements one side at a time while maintaining single-leg balance. If this is too easy, close your eyes.
We are all looking forward to seeing everyone back as soon as we can start training again. During the time we are closed, we will continue to clean, dust and disinfect the studio weekly.
As you probably know, Gov. Pritzker issued a “stay
at home” order which begins at 5 p.m. on Saturday, March 21 and will
remain in effect through Tuesday, April 7, 2020.
Essential services – such as grocery stores, gas stations
and pharmacies – will remain open, but all non-essential businesses will be
forced to stop operating. Pritzker said residents will still be able to leave
home to buy food, obtain medication, go to a medical office or hospital, and
take walks outside.
So, we have no choice but to close our studio and not allow
any training sessions or open gym to occur. Your trainer has been advised
This is truly a challenging time…economically, physically
Stay safe and healthy. Keep exercising outside whenever possible.
As was indicated in my last newsletter, we at PFTL are serious about protecting your health. With the current coronovirus pandemic, we are being extra cautious at this time. We are taking measures to disinfect all surfaces, disinfecting wipes are provided throughout the studio, hand trainers will limit hands-on training, rubber gloves are provided for your use.
In addition, since no vaccine exists to protect against COVID-19, public health experts recommend the following personal preventive measures:
Wash hands frequently. Wash hands thoroughly and often, either with soap And water for 20 seconds or with a 60% alcohol-based rub, to kill any viruses on your hands. Hand dryers alone are not effective at killing COVID-19. For effective hand-washing practices, check out this video.
Avoid touchingyour face. Avoid touching your eyes, nose or mouth with unwashed hands, as any virus on hands from a touched surface can enter the body through the eyes, nose or mouth, according to current information.
Maintain social distance. Keep a distance of at least 3 feet between you and apparently healthy persons and stay 6 feet away if a person is coughing or sneezing (WHO 2020).
Limit contact. Avoid close contact with people who are sick. If you’re sick with respiratory symptoms like a fever, runny nose and/or cough, STAY HOME. Seek medical advice if your condition worsens with a high fever and/or difficulty breathing.
Cough into an elbow or a tissue. Cover coughs with a tissue or cough into an elbow. Dispose of tissues immediately in a covered bin and wash hands with warm, soapy water. Wash clothing into which you cough. It is unknown how long the virus can live on hard and soft surfaces. According to the WHO, coronaviruses may survive on surfaces for a few hours or up to several days. The best way to ensure that surfaces you touch are germ-free is to clean them with a disinfectant.
BEST WAY TO AVOID GETTING SICK IS TO WASH YOUR HANDS
You’re Probably Doing It Wrong (excerpted
hand-washing is an art, and you may be making some common mistakes that are
putting you at higher risk of getting sick. From sudsing to drying, there is a
science-backed, best way to cleanse.
how to wash your hands properly — the next time you’re face-to-face with the
bathroom sink, avoid these five common mistakes.
1. You Skip the Soap – For most people, this seems like a no-brainer. But skipping the soap is a common mistake, says Philip Tierno, PhD, clinical professor of microbiology and pathology at NYU Langone Health. If you’re passing up the suds, you may want to re-think your choice. Washing your hands with soap and water is the best way to get rid of germs, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
with water alone will reduce bacteria to 23 percent, according to a January
2011 study in the International Journal of Environmental Research and Public
Health. But using soap will reduce the total bacteria to about 8 percent,
researchers found. So, skipping this extra step does make a difference.
2. You Don’t Scrub Long Enough – Most people also fail to spend enough time at the sink, Tierno says. Technically, you should lather your hands for at least 20 seconds, according to the CDC. For reference, that’s about the time it takes to sing the “Happy Birthday” song twice through.
3. You Don’t Lather Your Entire Hand — Nails Included. When you wash your hands, surface area matters. And although you mostly use your fingers to grab objects or type on your computer, it’s important to also get the soap on the backs of your hands and between your fingers, according to the CDC.
forget to thoroughly clean under your fingernails, too, where a lot of germs
can be lurking, Tierno says. The best way to do so is by scraping your soapy
don’t stop at the bottom of your palm. You’ll want to wash about an inch up
toward your wrist to make sure you’re eliminating as much bacteria as possible.
4. You Re-Contaminate Right After Washing – Most public bathrooms have automatic sinks these days. But if the sink you’re using shuts manually, don’t turn it off immediately after washing, Tierno says. By touching the sink with your freshly washed hand, you expose your skin to the same germs present before you washed them.
same goes for the paper towel dispenser. If the dispenser isn’t automatic,
you’ll want to dispense the paper towel prior to washing. Then, after you dry,
turn off the water and open the bathroom door handle using the paper towel, not
your squeaky clean hand.
5. You Rely Too Much on Hand Sanitizer – Hand sanitizer is convenient, and an alcohol-based sanitizer is a decent on-the-go alternative to hand-washing. But it isn’t a replacement for washing your hands, according to the CDC. Hand sanitizers don’t get rid of all types of germs and may not be as effective if your hands are visibly dirty or greasy.
a proper sanitizing protocol, too. Apply at least a quarter-sized dollop of
sanitizer and rub it on your hands for at least 20 seconds, Tierno recommends.
As with hand-washing, make sure to get the product between your fingers, under
your nails and up your wrist.
rub any of the excess sanitizer off onto your clothes if it doesn’t dissolve
right away. Either keep going up your arm or just keep rubbing your hands until
for a hand sanitizer that’s at least 60 percent alcohol (this will be listed as
the active ingredient on the back of the bottle, typically in the form of
“ethyl alcohol”). Brands that typically include this amount are
Germ-X and Purell.
WASH YOUR HANDS
After using the bathroom
Before and after preparing food
Before you eat
Before and after you come in contact with someone who is sick
Before and after diaper changes
Before and after treating a cut or wound
After coughing, sneezing or blowing your nose
After touching an animal, animal feed or animal waste
After touching garbage
After touching shared surfaces, such as in the gym or on a train
whole idea is to cut down on the number of [germs] you introduce from your
hands to your mouth, eyes or nose, which are the conduits of entry into your
body,” Tierno says. “That’s how you get sick 80 percent of the
WE ARE TAKING YOUR
More than ever
before, we are trying to keep you healthy.
We have sent clients home in the past when we think they might be
contagious (couging, sneezing, hoarseness, sore throat, etc).
With the heightened
attention to new viruses, we will be even more diligent. Please do not cometo the studio if
you are feeling ill. Also, if you
have travelled to a location where the Coronavirus is active, do not come into
the studio for at least 2 weeks after you arrive home.
We will continue to provide
hand sanitizers at the studio, and we will also make rubber gloves available to
you upon request (but even with gloves, you must remember to never touch your
nose, eyes, mouth).