DECEMBER 2010


Personal Fitness Training, Ltd.    350 Linden Avenue    Wilmette, Illinois  60091  (847) 251-6834


We have become affiliated with a fitness wholesaler that carries a full line of fitness equipment.  You can now order this equipment through our website, .  If you are looking to purchase equipment for yourself to use at home, or for holiday gifts, visit our website and click on “Fitness Store”.  The prices are competitive and the quality is very good.

You can order directly through the website and pay securely with a credit card, or we can order the items for you (and possibly save on shipping costs for multiple orders).  Almost all the equipment we use at the studio for strength training, balance, Pilates, yoga and stretching can be purchased through the website.

MEDICAL AGEISM – DON’T BE A VICTIM (excerpted from Bottom Line Personal Nov. 15, 2010)

Medical ageism is a subtle type of age discrimination.  Our healthcare system does not always serve the older population with the same care and attention it gives to younger patients. In a recent Duke University survey, nearly 80% of respondents older than 60 had been told at least once by their doctors, that their ailments were due to age; the implication being that there is nothing the doctor can or will do to treat it. 

Under-treatment is one consequence of medical ageism. It is very easy for a doctor to dismiss symptoms due to age – don’t let your doctor tell you that the reason for your health concerns is that “you are just getting older.”  If you hear this said to you or your loved ones, do not accept this.  Instead, present a list of specific symptoms, especially those that affect everyday activities (incontinence, balance issues, muscle weakness, hearing loss, vision problems), and ask about possible causes other than age.

Over-treatment can be just as dangerous a consequence of medical ageism.  Some doctors will order too many tests to protect themselves from possible medical malpractice.  Don’t agree to any test or procedure without asking what the test will show, what the side effects might be and what the consequences are if you do not have the test or procedure.

I personally have seen several clients who have experienced some form of medical ageism. Their doctor had told them there was nothing they can do to get better, yet in most cases their physical health was improved through corrective exercise, balance, strength training and learning proper breathing techniques. At PFTL, we believe that getting older does not mean getting sicker, weaker and giving up on quality of life.


Every woman probably has at least one pair: those stylish (but not so comfortable) shoes that you absolutely adore. The problem is, those shoes may be your literal downfall, because they’re just not good for your feet or your body. Whether they’re skyscraper stilettos, open-backed clogs, pointy-toed pumps, or just ballet flats with no arch support, we have so many shoes and so many ways to destroy our feet.

So what types of shoes are worst for your feet?  You might be surprised at the winner of the Worst Shoe Olympics. According to podiatrist Andrew Shapiro, DPM, a spokesman for the American Podiatric Medical Association, it’s not spike heels or pointy boots. The following list is In order of the worst offenders.

1. Flip-Flops – “They’re meant for the beach and the pool, not for everyday walking. They don’t give you any arch support, and don’t protect the foot at all, so it’s prone to injuries,” says Dr. Shapiro

Even for an occasional stroll, flip-flops might be fine, if you don’t overdo it.  “But a lot of people try to do things flip-flops aren’t designed for: running for a train, or jumping, or playing Frisbee or touch football in the backyard.”  “We see a lot of injuries from improper use of flip-flops, and Crocs as well.”

Among the woes of misworn flip-flops, Shapiro says, are scraped feet, strained ankles, and broken toes from falling right out of the shoe, as well as chronic problems due to lack of support, like tendonitis and plantar fasciitis.

The solution: Unless you’re on the beach, wear real sandals, not flip-flops — the kind with a strap in the back that at least holds your foot inside the shoe.

2.  Spike Heels – It’s pretty obvious that the higher the heel, the more out of alignment your foot is. Feet just aren’t made to be jammed into that position for long periods of time. So how high is too high?

“Anything higher than about two inches causes a problem,” Shapiro says. “The Achilles tendon shortens when the foot is in a high heel, so if you wear them too much, that tendon can become chronically shortened and you have Achilles tendonitis.”

Spike heels also put an abnormal amount of pressure on the ball of the foot. “The fat under the ball of the foot starts to thin out from the pressure, and that’s the one place on your body that you want a nice chunk of fat,” he says. “You can end up with something called metatarsalgia, an acute pain in the ball of the foot that can become chronic, or even stress fractures from all the pressure and hammer toes from the abnormal positioning.”

It’s not just your feet that can pay the price. “If your feet hurt, you’ve lost your foundation. So if you find yourself limping because your feet hurt, everything above the foot will be affected too,” says Anderson. “Your gait will be changed, and because of that, you’ll stress your knees, back, and hips. Everything above the foot has to adjust to what’s going on down below.”

The solution: Wear your highest heels in moderation, only for special events, and slip them off on the way home. You can also relieve some of the pressure on the ball of your foot by wearing an over-the-counter or custom-made gel cushion. “And don’t combine sky-high heels with a pointy toe,” Shapiro warns. “Look for something that’s wide and roomy in the toe box!”

3.  Pointy-Toed Pumps – These beauties can cause some of the same injuries as high heels — even more so when the shoe is both high and pointy.

“In addition to metatarsalgia and hammer toes, pointy-toed shoes can cause neuroma, an inflammation of the nerve between the toes,” Shapiro says. “It’s most common between the third and fourth toes, but could happen between any of them. The pinched and inflamed nerve causes pain and burning, and may need to be treated with injections, physical therapy, or even surgical removal of the neuroma.”

The solution: a wider toe box. There’s really nothing you can do to improve a shoe that squeezes your feet into an unnatural shape, Shapiro says. If you must wear them, as with sky-high heels, make it only on occasion and not every day to the office.

4.  Ballet Flats – You’re not teetering on spiked heels and pressing your foot into tight toes. Your feet are planted firmly on the ground in a shoe that has a lot of give. What’s not to like?

“Ballet flats generally lack support, lack cushioning, and don’t allow the foot to function the way it should,” Shapiro says. “They’re an improvement on the flip-flop in that they protect the foot, but they carry the same risk of tendonitis, plantar fasciitis, and all the other things you see with lack of support. They’re just not meant for everyday wear.”

The solution: You can choose a flat that resembles a ballet flat, but has a real sole and support around the heel counter (the part of the shoe that wraps the heel). But if you can fold it up and stuff it in your purse, that’s a shoe that doesn’t give you much support.

5.  Backless Mules- “I see a lot of problems with backless shoes,” Shapiro says. “The toes start to grab the shoe to get support, and a lot of women wind up with hammertoes because of that. You can also develop calluses or breaks in the skin because the shoe is constantly tapping the heel.

So what does that leave you with? Well-designed, well-fitted athletic shoes are always good, of course, but you’re hardly going to wear those to most offices, a family wedding, or a big date.

For daily office wear, Shapiro recommends either a dressy flat or a pump with no more than a 1-1.5 inch heel. “You’re looking for good support around the heel counter, a good arch support, and a wider toe box,” he says. “Ideally, there’s also a lace or buckle closure to support the foot.”


Enjoy the holidays! Stay happy, safe and healthy.