RAIN NUTRITION – I recently became aware of a line of nutritional products from Rain Nutrition that I believe actually do what they purport to do.  After researching the ingredients and taking some of the products myself, I feel confident in recommending them to our clients.  Although there are more products offered by Rain Nutrition, I have selected three basic ones which are available at our studio.

Soul: This a combination of anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, essential fatty acids, resveratrol, and other natural ingredients to help boost the immune system and slowdown the aging process.  I currently take this in place of a multi-vitamin.

Storm:  This is a powder that can be mixed in a 12-16 oz. water bottle after exercising.  It contains amino acids that help tissue recover from the stress of exercise, and may reduce the “achiness” that many people experience after strenuous physical activity.

Rush: This is an energy drink that although it has some caffeine, it does not make you jittery and has very little sugar or calories.  I use this when I feel I need some extra energy towards late afternoon,

Over the years many salespeople have contacted me about offering nutritional supplements, vitamins, etc. and I have not been interested in stocking or recommending them; this is the first time I feel the products can be of benefit to our active clients and trainers as well.  You can find out more about these products at www.pftl.myrain.me as well as order them in quantity for the best prices.

STRENGTH TRAINING COUNTERS MUSCLE LOSS AS PEOPLE AGE  (AARP Bulletin, March 2011)

 After you hit 50 or so, especially if you’re a couch potato, you start losing muscle tissue at an accelerated rate of about half a pound a year. But the right kind of exercise can make all the difference, a team of researchers reports in the journal Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise. After analyzing scientific literature on the topic, the researchers concluded strength training can reverse age-related muscle loss.

For the 1,328 adults ages 50 to 90 in the studies, about 20 weeks of resistance training with weights and exercise machines produced an average of nearly 2.5 pounds of lean body mass, primarily muscle. “People can do more than they think they can,” barring underlying heart or bone problems, says Mark D. Peterson, an exercise physiologist with the University of Michigan and the study’s lead author. Peterson adds that the earlier people start strength training, the better. They should gradually increase the intensity and number of workouts to optimize improvement in muscle and strength. “The rewards are tremendous — much better mobility and quality of life as you get older,” he says.

This study adds to a growing body of research on the benefits of strength training for older people, which reduces diabetes and osteoporosis risk, improves brain power and helps prevent falls.

“Losing lean body mass and strength can lead to significant health problems, including disability and loss of independence,” says James E. Graves, dean of the College of Health at the University of Utah, who was not involved in this investigation. “This is very encouraging news because it shows you can do something to help yourself stay strong and agile.” But be cautious, he warns. “It’s best to work with a trainer who can design a safe and appropriate program that works for you.”

Strength training doesn’t just mean lifting weights. Resistance bands and Pilates increase muscle strength as well, Peterson says.

GERMIEST PUBLIC PLACES (from Prevention.com and AARP) Germs at home can be somewhat controlled, but we are all exposed to germs in public places that we may not have thought about. I found the following information helpful, but also a little disturbing.

1. Restaurant Menus – Have you ever seen anyone wash a menu? Probably not. A study in the Journal of Medical Virology reported that cold and flu viruses can survive for 18 hours on hard surfaces. If it’s a popular restaurant, hundreds of people could be handling the menus — and passing their germs on to you. Never let a menu touch your plate or silverware, and be sure to wash your hands after you place your order

2. Lemon Wedges – According to a 2007 study in the Journal of Environmental Health, nearly 70 percent of the lemon wedges perched on the rims of restaurant glasses contain disease-causing microbes. When the researchers ordered drinks at 21 different restaurants, they found 25 different microorganisms lingering on the 76 lemons they secured, including E. coli and other fecal bacteria. Tell your server that you’d prefer your beverage sans fruit.

3. Condiment Dispensers – It’s the rare eatery that regularly cleans its condiment containers. And the reality is that many people don’t wash their hands before eating, says Kelly Reynolds, Ph.D., a germs specialist and public health professor. So while you may be diligent, the guy who poured the ketchup before you may not have been, which means his germs are now on your fingers — and your fries. Squirt hand sanitizer on the outside of the condiment bottle or use a disinfectant wipe before you grab it.

4. Restroom Door Handles – Don’t think you can escape the restroom without touching the door handle? Palm a spare paper towel after you wash up and use it to grasp the handle. Yes, other patrons may think you’re a germ-phobe — but you’ll never see them again, and you’re the one who won’t get sick.

5. Soap Dispensers – About 25 percent of public restroom dispensers are contaminated with fecal bacteria. Soap that harbors bacteria may seem ironic, but that’s exactly what a University of Arizona study found. “Most of these containers are never cleaned, so bacteria grow as the soap scum builds up,” says microbiologist Charles Gerba, Ph.D., who directed the study. “And the bottoms are touched by dirty hands, so there’s a continuous culture feeding millions of bacteria.” Be sure to scrub your hands thoroughly with plenty of hot water for 15 to 20 seconds — and if you happen to have an alcohol-based hand sanitizer, use that, too.

6. Grocery Carts – The handles of almost two-thirds of the shopping carts tested in a 2007 study at the University of Arizona were contaminated with fecal bacteria. In fact, the bacterial counts of the carts exceeded those of the average public restroom. To protect yourself: Swab the handle with a disinfectant wipe before grabbing hold (stores are starting to provide them, so look around for a dispenser). And while you’re wheeling around the supermarket, skip the free food samples, which are nothing more than communal hand-to-germ-to-mouth zones.

7. Airplane Bathrooms – When microbiologist Charles Gerba, Ph.D., tested for microbes in the bathrooms of commercial jets, he found surfaces from faucets to doorknobs to be contaminated with E. coli. It’s not surprising, then, that people often get sick after traveling by plane. Clean your hands thoroughly with a sanitizer and try not to directly touch the surfaces.

8. Doctors’ Offices – A doctor’s office is not the place to be if you’re trying to avoid germs. To limit your exposure: Bring your own books and magazines (and toys, if you have your children or grandchildren with you) and pack your own tissues and hand sanitizers, which should have an alcohol content of at least 60 percent. If possible, in the waiting room, leave at least two chairs between you and the other patients to reduce your chances of picking up their bugs. Germ droplets from coughing and sneezing can travel about 3 feet before falling to the floor