PFTL News April 2020


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 interactions.


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 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 everyday lives?

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 worse.”

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 you’re worrying.

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.

Reach out to others for gut checks – Ivankovich says to consider contacting a therapist if you are struggling. “Many therapists are offering short-term assistance for free,” she says. You can connect with counselors digitally. There are also text-based tools and apps for therapy available, which many are utilizing amid the COVID-19 crisis.

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.


PFTL NEWS March 2020


— But You’re Probably Doing It Wrong  (excerpted from

Proper 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.

Learn 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).

Washing 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.

Don’t 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 palm.

And 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.

The 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.

There’s 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.

Don’t 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 they’re dry.

Look 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.


  • 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

“The 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 time.”


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 come to 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).

PFTL News February 2020

CAN GUT HEALTH IMPACT YOUR PAIN (from WebMD Newsletter Jan. 30, 2020)

You may have noticed that at any given moment your pain levels can fluctuate based on many different variables, including the weather, how much sleep you got the night before, and whether or not you are having a stressful day. But you may not have given much thought to the role that bacteria might be playing in how you feel.

You have hundreds of different types of bacteria living inside the gut that make up what is referred to as the microbiome, and like a fingerprint, each person’s microbiome is a bit unique but swayed by factors like diet, the environment, and lifestyle habits. Research has shown that the composition of the gut bacteria in healthy people often differs from those with certain diseases, including obesity, heart disease, inflammatory bowel disease, diabetes, autoimmune disorders, and even depression.

As we start to learn more about how our microbiome affects our overall health, we are also starting to see evidence that it can also play a role in how much we hurt.

Consider a recent study published by researchers from the University of Rochester that looked at the effects of the microbiome on joint pain and swelling in mice. In comparing the gut bacteria of mice that had been plumped up on an unhealthy diet with mice kept on a healthy diet, they found that the obese mice’s gut bacteria was not only different than that of their slimmer counterparts, it also included inflammation-causing strains. These gut changes coincided with signs of inflammation throughout their bodies, including their joints. The researchers also found that when both sets of mice experienced cartilage damage to their knees, the obese mice with the inflammation-causing gut bacteria experienced a rapid deterioration of their joints compared to the other mice.

In a short amount of time, these unfortunate mice developed advanced osteoarthritis of their knees. When the researchers treated the obese mice with a prebiotic (a food source for growing healthy bacteria in the gut), they were able to prevent the inflammation and arthritic deterioration in their knee joints, without changing their body composition.

This is very interesting research, but despite this and other evidence suggesting that the microbiome can directly impact the amount of inflammation, arthritis, and ultimately the amount of pain that we experience, it is still unclear how to take advantage of this information to treat pain in our everyday lives. Unfortunately, in humans we have not found that simply adding a prebiotic to our diet will make all of the pain and swelling magically disappear. There may be a number of reasons for that, including the wide variation in microbiomes from person to person, and the unique environments that we each live in.


Fiber is the unsung hero of the nutrition world: It helps you lose weight, keeps your digestive system regular and is even linked to preventing serious conditions such as heart disease.

When it comes to soluble vs insoluble fiber, both offer plenty of health benefits.

It’s one of those nutrients that’s so essential to our everyday function, and yet, most of us aren’t meeting our daily requirements, per 2017 research in the American Journal of Lifestyle Medicine.

The Institute of Medicine recommends men get 38 grams of fiber and women get 25 grams per day from two types of fiber — soluble and insoluble fiber — both of which come with their own health perks.

What is soluble fiber? – Soluble fiber is most often touted as an all-star in regulating blood sugar levels for people with diabetes, due to the way the body processes it, registered dietitian and nutritionist, Jim White, RDN, ACSM, says.

Soluble fiber slows down our digestion and the way we absorb foods by linking with water molecules. This creates a gel-like substance that helps reduce blood glucose spikes, thus stabilizing our energy and mood, per the Mayo Clinic. In other words: You can help prevent energy crashes by adding more soluble fiber-rich foods to your eating plan.

“Soluble fiber also attracts unhealthy fats to lower cholesterol levels — specifically LDL (the harmful type) — and can reduce the risk of heart disease,” White says. “This fiber interferes with the absorption of cholesterol into the blood, which prevents cholesterol from entering the bloodstream which, in return, keeps cholesterol levels lower.”

Do you ever eat a meal way too fast and then deal with heartburn and indigestion as a result? If your plate had more soluble fiber-rich foods on it, you probably wouldn’t experience such symptoms, White says. In fact, participants who were given 12.5 grams of soluble fiber a day were observed to experience less heartburn, per a small June 2018 study in the World Journal of Gastroenterology.

Some foods high in soluble fiber include, per the Mayo Clinic: Apples, Beans, Barley, Carrots, Citrus fruits, Oats, Peas Psyllium

What Is Insoluble Fiber?  While soluble fiber slows down your digestion, insoluble does just the opposite — it speeds up the process in which food moves through the stomach and intestines, according to the U.S. National Library of Medicine.

Because of that, insoluble fiber makes your stool heavier. Though that might not be an appealing visual image, it’s important, since adding weight to our stools helps to regulate our bowel movements.

“Insoluble fibers are not completely digested, which allows these fibers to bulk up stool and collect water for bowel movements,” White says. Simply put, insoluble fiber can help relieve constipation.

Try these foods high in insoluble fiber, per the Mayo Clinic: Cauliflower, Beans, Green Beans, Nuts, Potatoes, Wheat Bran, Whole-wheat flour

How to Get Both Types of Fiber:  If you want to experience some of the benefits of soluble and insoluble fiber — from better bowel movements to better blood sugar control — start small.

“If we increase our fiber intake too quickly, we can experience symptoms of gas, bloating and abdominal discomfort,” Shelby Burns, RD, LDN, says. The average American gets about 16 grams of fiber each day, per the American Journal of Lifestyle Medicine study; so if you add 5 more grams of fiber to your daily meals (for a total of 21 grams per day) for a week, note how you feel before adding more to meet your daily requirements.

Tip: To make this transition smoother (pun intended!), Burns also suggests drinking more water since it will help to keep everything moving and minimize side effects.

PFTL News November 2019

(from WebMD Sept 2019)

You’ve probably heard
to watch the amount of salt you eat, especially if you’re concerned about your
blood pressure. That’s because it makes your body hold on to water, putting
extra stress on your heart and blood vessels. Salt — and worry, and anger —
aren’t the only things that can raise your blood pressure. Although temporary
“spikes” aren’t necessarily a problem, numbers that remain high over
time can cause serious damage.

Added SugarIt may be even more important
than salt in raising your blood pressure, especially in a processed form like
high-fructose corn syrup. People with more added sugars in their diet see a
significant rise in both their upper and lower numbers. Just one 24-ounce soft
drink causes an average 15-point bump in systolic pressure (the top number, or
the pressure during a heartbeat) and 9 in diastolic (the bottom number, or the
pressure between beats).

Loneliness  – This isn’t just about the number of friends you have — it’s about
feeling connected. And being stressed or depressed doesn’t fully explain the
effect. It also gets worse with time: Over 4 years, the upper blood pressure of
the loneliest people in a study went up more than 14 points. The researchers
think an ongoing fear of rejection and disappointment and feeling more alert
about your safety and security may change how your body works.

Sleep ApneaPeople with sleep apnea have
higher odds of getting high blood pressure and other heart problems. When your
breathing is repeatedly interrupted while you’re sleeping, your nervous system
releases chemicals that raise your blood pressure. Plus, you’re getting less
oxygen, which could damage blood vessel walls and make it harder for your body
to regulate your blood pressure down the road.

Not Enough PotassiumYour kidneys need a balance of
sodium and potassium to keep the right amount of fluid in your blood. So even
if you’re eating a low-salt diet, you could still have higher blood pressure if
you’re not also eating enough fruits, veggies, beans, low-fat dairy, or fish.
While you may think of bananas as the go-to source, broccoli, water chestnuts,
spinach, and other leafy greens are better to get potassium if you’re watching
your weight.

PainSudden, or acute, pain ramps up
your nervous system and raises your blood pressure. You can see this effect
when you put one hand in ice water, press on your cheek or fingernail, or get
an electric shock to your finger.

Herbal SupplementsDo you take ginkgo, ginseng,
guarana, ephedra, bitter orange, or St. John’s wort? These and others can raise
your blood pressure or change how medications work, including drugs to control
high blood pressure.

Thyroid ProblemsWhen this gland doesn’t make
enough thyroid hormone, your heart rate slows, and your arteries get less
stretchy. Low hormone levels also might raise your LDL “bad”
cholesterol, another thing that can stiffen arteries. Blood moves through hard
vessels faster, pushing on the walls and raising the pressure. Though not as
common, too much thyroid hormone can make your heart beat harder and faster,
which will also bump up your numbers.

You Have to PeeSystolic pressure went up an
average of about 4 points, and diastolic, 3 points, in a study of middle-aged
women who hadn’t gone to the bathroom for at least 3 hours. Men and women of
different ages saw similar effects. High blood pressure becomes more likely as
you age, so you need to get accurate readings. An empty bladder could be one
way to help do that.

NSAIDsAll nonsteroidal
anti-inflammatory drugs, such as aspirin and ibuprofen, can raise your numbers
— whether you’re healthy or you already have high blood pressure. Though the
average rise is only a few points, there’s a wide range, which means it could
affect some people much more than others.

Your Doctor’s OfficeYou might see a difference if you
compare readings during an appointment to the numbers you get at home. Named
for the traditional garb of medical professionals, the “white coat
effect” is the rise in blood pressure — up to 10 points higher for
systolic (the upper number) and 5 for diastolic (the lower number). DM note –
It is wise to question advice about taking meds based solely on the readings in
the doctor’s office.

DecongestantsIngredients like pseudoephedrine
and phenylephrine can narrow your blood vessels. That means the same amount of
blood has to squeeze through a smaller space, like a crowd pushing through a
hallway. These drugs can also make blood pressure medications less effective.
Your doctor or pharmacist can help you choose over-the-counter products for
sinus problems and colds that are safer if you have high blood pressure.

DehydrationWhen your body’s cells don’t have
enough water, your blood vessels tighten up. This happens because your brain
sends a signal to your pituitary gland to release a chemical that shrinks them.
And your kidneys make less pee, to hang on to the fluid you do have, which also
triggers tiny blood vessels in your heart and brain to squeeze more.

Hormonal Birth
Pills, injections, and other
birth control devices use hormones that narrow blood vessels, so it’s possible
your blood pressure will go up. It’s more likely to be a problem for women who
are older than 35, overweight, or smokers. You may want to keep an eye on your
blood pressure, checking every 6-12 months. A lower dose of estrogen may keep
your numbers closer to normal.

TalkingIt happens whether you’re young
or old and no matter where you are. The higher your resting blood pressure, the
higher the numbers go when you start speaking. And the effect lasts for a few
minutes. It seems the subject and emotional content of what you’re saying
matters more than the fact that you’re moving your mouth.

Antidepressants – Medicines that target brain chemicals like dopamine, norepinephrine, and serotonin — including venlafaxine (Effexor), monoamine oxidase inhibitors (MAOIs), tricyclic antidepressants, and fluoxetine (Prozac, Sarafem) — can change not only your mood but also your blood pressure. Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) might raise it if you’re also taking lithium or other drugs that affect serotonin.

Have a great Thanksgving holiday!

PFTL News January 2019



With so many Americans concerned about the cost of health care, this exercise can positively impact eight out of the 10 most costly health conditions in the U.S. (Heart disease, cancer, COPD, asthma, diabetes, osteoporosis, arthritis and back problems.)

This exercise will also improve your mood, boost endorphins, reduce fatigue and lower your stress hormones as well.

What’s more, this exercise is absolutely free and you don’t need a lot of time: Only 15-40 minutes a day five days a week will tone and trim your body, vastly improve your health and could even save your life.

Some of you have probably guessed that I’m talking about WALKING!

How Americans Compare to Other Nations – In a study published in October 2010 in the journal “Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise,” researchers used pedometers to track the steps of 1,136 American adults. They found that people living in the U.S. take fewer steps than adults in Australia, Switzerland and Japan.

  • Australians averaged 9,695 steps a day.
  • Swiss averaged 9,650, steps a day.
  • Japanese averaged 7,168 steps a day.
  • Americans averaged just 5,117 steps a day.

According to the CDC, 36 percent of Americans are obese, while a 2010 Reuters article states that “During the past decade Australia, Japan and Switzerland have reported obesity rates of 16 percent, 3 percent and 8 percent, respectively.”

And it’s not just lower obesity rates; it’s longer life expectancy as well. As A 2013 CNN article reported, 2011 data shows that 27 countries (including those daily walkers in Australia, Switzerland and Japan!) have higher life expectancies at birth than the United States.

Here Are 19 of the Proven Health Benefits Walking

  • It increases mood-enhancing neurotransmitters and reduces the stress hormone cortisol, helping you feel less anxious or sad.
  • Can lead to a longer life. Research by the University of Michigan Medical School and the Veterans Administration Ann Arbor Healthcare System says those who exercise regularly in their fifties and sixties are 35 percent less likely to die over the next eight years than their non-walking counterparts.
  • Decreases knee pain and stiffness by keeping joints lubricated.
  • Lowers the risk of fractures. A Brigham and Women’s Hospital, Boston, study of post-menopausal women found that 30 minutes of walking each day reduced their risk of hip fractures by 40 percent.
  • Reduces women’s risk of stroke by 20 percent when they walk 30 minutes a day – by 40 percent when they step up the pace — according to researchers at the Harvard School of Public Health in Boston.
  • Boosts endorphins, lowering stress, fatigue and anger in 10 minutes and lowers blood pressure by five points.
  • Reduces glaucoma risk by reducing the pressure inside the eye, which lowers your chance of developing glaucoma, according to the Arthritis Foundation.
  • May cut Alzheimer’s disease risk by 50 percent over five years, and for women, reduce colon cancer risk by 31 percent.
  • Decreases the odds of catching a cold by 30-50 percent.
  • Tones ab muscles, builds bone mass and reduces risk of osteoporosis and reduces low back pain by 40 percent.
  • 54 percent lower risk of heart attack with two to four hours of fast walking per week.
  • 30-40 percent less risk of coronary heart disease with three hours of brisk walking per week.
  • 54 percent lower death rates for type 2 diabetics who walk three to four hours per week.
  • Helps prevent and manage arthritis.
  • Decreases body weight, BMI, body fat percentage and waist circumference and increases muscle endurance.
  • Increases HDL (“good”) cholesterol.
  • Significantly reduces the risk of developing type 2 diabetes.
  • Increases heart and respiratory fitness in adults with type 2 diabetes.
  • Reduces physical symptoms of anxiety associated with minor stress.
  • Improves sleep quality and is associated with better cognitive performance.
  • Increases the size of the hippocampus and prefrontal cortex, potentially beneficial for memory. (Check out the study on this one.)



PFTL News April 2017

NEW CORE CLASSES –  First class is Free

Senior Trainer, Annette Loquercio,  MS, certified Structural Integration Practitioner, will be offering a new class focusing on Core Basics for beginners and Creative Core for intermediate level clients.  Both 7-week sessions will begin Tuesday, April 11.

Core Basics (beginner level) – 1:30pm to 2:30pm.  This class will include diaphragmatic breathing, self-myofascial release, stretching, and beginning core exercises. This will be a great class for those who don’t exercise regularly or for those returning to exercise after a long absence.

Creative Core (intermediate level) – 2:30pm to 3:30pm.  This class will focus on challenging core exercises to include resistance, balance, and some plyometric modalities.  This is not a beginner class.

The first introductory class meetings are free, and we can accommodate up to 7 people.  The subsequent 6-week sessions will be $100, and limited to a maximum of 5 participants.




Taught by Annette Loquercio and Helane Hurwith

We are offering a special class the day before Mother’s Day, on Saturday, May 13, for Moms  and others to workout with a partner.  Participants (age 15 and older) will be shown exercises that are fun and challenging, and specifically designed for two people to do together, This could be an interesting way to spend time with mom (or a friend) and get a good workout in the process.  Two times are offered:  12noon and 2pm.  No set cost – pay whatever you want. Limited to 8 participants.  Call to register 847-251-6834 or email



Gut microbiota has been a hot topic recently, and for good reason, as it is a key indicator of health. Gut microbiota contains trillions of micro-organisms, including at least 1,000 species of known bacteria, with more than 3 million genes. There are many benefits to having a healthy gut, including but not limited to:

  • protection against metabolic disorders
  • production of some vitamins (B and K); and
  • immune system support.

Researchers have discovered a link between exercise and the bacterial composition of the gut. Initial evidence suggests that exercise can alter the bacterial composition of the digestive system.  Diversity may be the key. The study found that athletes showed greater diversity in gut microbiota than control subjects. The athletes (rugby players) also had higher proportions of most types of micro-organisms. One particular bacterium, called  Akkermansiaceae, found in greater amounts in the rugby players, has been linked to lower risk of obesity and of systemic inflammation. Diet is still important, but could exercise be a legitimate ally in digestive health?

Researcher, Charlie Hoolihan, says that gut microbiota profiles, like DNA markers for exercise and nutrition, “represent a fascinating potential for individualization of diet, fitness routines and even medical prescriptions.” However, he suggests fitness professionals take the results in stride, saying the research points out something we already know: Exercise is beneficial to your digestive process. “Now we have some hints about exercise’s possible stimulus,” he says. “These are just hints. My guess is that gut microbiota may be as complex as DNA and that attempts to make conclusions from the research for mainstream individualization may be a bit preliminary.”



Studio clients will probably notice something new by the front desk.  We have installed a security camera so we can monitor who comes to the studio after hours.  We want to ensure that only known clients are using the facility. Although no problem has been reported to date, we thought it would be prudent to be able to monitor entry.



Lisa Wolf is offering a Zumba class every Tuesday from 9:15am to 10:15am at the Music Theater Works (formerly Light Opera Works) rehearsal room which is right behind our studio at 516 4th Street.  Contact Lisa at or 847-542-4788 for class schedule and information. Join the Fun!


Shelf-life of Olive Oil  A delicious and sometimes pricey cornerstone to healthy Mediterranean-style diets, olive oil is delicate stuff and can only be fully enjoyed when stored properly.

  1. Check the harvest date printed on the label when you purchase your oil. Some producers even cite an expiration date. Typically, olive oil is good for about 18 months from harvest (depending on how it’s been stored). After a year on your shelf unopened (3 months opened), olive oil—basically a fresh fruit juice—will go rancid.
  1. Keep it in a dark, cool cupboard. Light and heat can hasten the breakdown of the oil and taint the flavor. Storing it on the countertop near the stove or in the cabinet above the range may be convenient, but it can corrupt the health of the oil.

Debora’s Note:  The extra virgin olive oil at Old Town Oil on Central St. in Evanston is superb. Pricey, but worth it. Try the Tuscan Herb for vegetables, eggs and salad.

Spring is coming!  Get ready to walk and bike.  Learn a new sport – tennis, golf, inline skating, sailing, paddleboarding, kayaking.  Find a way to be more active and enjoy the season change.