This will be the fifth year that PFTL will offer a free walking clinic to our clients and the public.  We will meet Mondays and Thursdays, from 5:30-6:30pm, at the Wallace Bowl in Gillson Park, Wilmette.  Includes warm-up, stretching, intervals, stair climbing, core strengthening and a great way to get some extra exercise.  Contact Julie at 847-251-6834 or for more information.  Let us know if you want to be put on our email list for the walking clinic, as walkers are notified when the class is cancelled. Linda Meyer and Leslie Cohen will be assisting with the clinic again this year.


(Written by Guest Writer,  Jennifer McGregor co-creator of Public Health Library ( which provides information about health and wellness topics and creates a forum for sharing reputable health and medical information.)

They say that beauty comes from within, and that’s actually a very true statement. You have to keep your body and mind healthy in order to look and feel your absolute best, but knowing how to take better care of yourself can be a little confusing. Thankfully, we’ve put together a list of some uncommon habits that can have a big impact on your health and wellness.

Protect Your Health and Beauty with Cleaner Air – Above all other elements, you need air to survive, but you need clean air in order to truly thrive. Contaminated indoor air can impair your ability to breathe, leading to increased problems with allergies and asthma. The best way to preserve your overall health is to make sure your air is free from these harmful pollutants. You can use an air purifier, or you can simply change your filters to models with higher MERV ratings. A MERV rating of at least 8, 11 or 13 will trap more particles and prevent smoke, pollen, dander and dust from impacting your breathing and health.

Enhance Your Body and Skin with a Healthier Gut – Better air quality can enhance your beauty and health, but wellness runs even deeper than that. The state of your microbiome may have the most significant impact on how well your body digests food, how strong your immune system is, and even how balanced your mood is each day. Getting familiar with the health of your gut and all of the beneficial bacteria that regulate the processes in your brain and body will help you take more control of your overall health and happiness. If you have skin issues to address, balancing out your microbiome can help you there too. When your microbiome is out of balance, it’s not eliminating toxins as well as it should. Those toxins can end up causing breakouts or other issues with your skin.

Boost Your Skincare from the Outside – There’s a lot of emphasis on skin in this article, and that’s because your skin is so important for protecting the rest of your body. Aside from influencing how you feel about yourself, the presence of healthy skin serves as the first layer of protection against pollutants, toxins and environmental hazards. It’s the largest organ in your body, so make sure you are taking steps to really take care of it. Protect your skin while you’re outside with sunscreen, use mild cleansers when bathing, and choose a good moisturizer to prevent dry skin.

Manage Your Mental Health with More Self-Care – Caring for your skin is not just about aesthetics. When you treat your skin and body well, you are reinforcing your commitment to overall self-care. Self-care isn’t just an option; you need sufficient self-care in order to limit the effects of stress on your mental health. Chronic high stress levels create reactions in your brain that can leave you more vulnerable to depression, anxiety, and other physical health problems. So, start practicing better self-care by taking better care of your skin and body, but don’t stop your efforts there. Research simple self-care practices online, and try a few that feel right for you. You may want to start a new exercise plan or begin morning meditation. You could just need more time to yourself. Know that whatever works for you, self-care is never a selfish way to spend your time.

Look to Your Healthcare Plan – Good health doesn’t stop at trying self-care solutions on your own. You should make full use of the benefits that come with your health plan so you’re getting the most out of your coverage. For seniors, health insurance is especially important to help prevent and treat medical conditions. Check your coverage every year to determine if you need to change it. Depending on your needs, it might be worth considering an alternative healthcare plan like Medicare Advantage, which in addition to Original Medicare also covers dental and vision care and gives you access to nationwide fitness centers. Check with providers like Aetna to find out more. And if you’re not a senior, you should still carefully review your policy to know what’s covered and to check for perks like health and weight loss coaching, 24/7 nursing hotlines, discounts for gym memberships and more. 

It turns out that beauty is more than just skin deep. If you want to be your most radiant and joyful self, you have to pay more attention to all aspects of your physical and mental health. A balanced lifestyle will help you look more beautiful and feel better about yourself.

SOME NICE-TO-KNOW FACTS ABOUT THE SHOULDER  (from ACSM’s Health & Fitness Journal: May/June 2019)

A CURIOUS DESIGN. The human shoulder is made up of three bones: the clavicle (collarbone), the scapula (shoulder blade), and the humerus (upper arm bone), as well as associated muscles, ligaments, and tendons. Unlike many of the other joints in the body that support movement (e.g., the hip, which has a deep socket), the shoulder has no socket. As such, the ball of the arm bone moves against an essentially flat surface on the shoulder blade.

A BARE CONNECTION. The entire shoulder joint barely has any bony connection to the rest of the skeleton. In fact, the only bony connection is where the shoulder connects to the collarbone via the acromioclavicular joint, which is at the tip of the shoulder, and the sternoclavicular joint, which is at the base of the neck. In essence, the shoulder girdle is designed for very free movement of the arm and shoulder.

EVEN MORE IMPORTANT. The shoulder is more dependent on muscles than any other joint in the body. Given the relative lack of a bony connection between the shoulder and the rest of the body, the lack of a bony socket, and the numerous directions in which the shoulder can move, the eight muscles that control the stability and movement of the shoulder and the arm play a critical role in the process.

A BETTER OPTION. A number of people erroneously believe that they need surgery to fix their shoulder pain/injury. As a rule, they don’t. Rather, they should engage in a plan of action of conservative treatment, including rest, ice, anti-inflammatory drugs, and a gradual return to activity, as well as a well-designed program of stretching and strengthening exercises, which can improve function and decrease pain in the affected area.