PFTL NEWS – Nothing New – Masks Still Required

We are still requiring masks for all those who enter the studio.  We want to ensure that our studio is a safe place to come and exercise.  We know that exercising with a mask is not fun, but it is a good practice for the time being.  Contagion is increasing in our village and the immediate area, so we are watching the situation carefully.  We always want clients and trainers to feel that our studio is a safe and healthy environment and will do all we can to maintain that.


Stretching requires temporary lengthening of your muscle fibers. It is best to partake in flexibility training after a light warmup; this allows increased blood flow to the muscles which in turn increases mobility. Take a minute to imagine your muscles as a rubber band – a cold and brittle rubber band will snap, whereas a rubber band that is warm and flexible will stretch and return to its original shape. You should always warm up before you stretch in order to avoid injury.

Stretch Physiology – Muscles have a unique characteristic known as elasticity that allows for the ability to lengthen and contract. The physical makeup of your muscles is what allows for length changes without injury. The largest unit of your muscle is known as a fascicle. Fascicles are made up of a large number of smaller components known as myofibrils, according to “Skeletal Muscle Circulation.” Each myofibril is composed of bands called sarcomeres. Sarcomeres are further made up of overlapping thick and thin fibers known as myofilaments. During the stretching phase of your muscle there is a decrease in the amount of overlap experienced at the myofilament level – this allows your muscle fibers to lengthen. Conversely, increased overlap of the myofilaments creates a muscular contraction.

Warm Up – Referring back the rubber band analogy, warming up your muscles is of utmost importance in regards to avoiding injury. You should engage in a light cardiovascular warm-up of approximately five to 10 minutes of moderate walking, light jogging or cycling prior to stretching. This allows for increased blood flow to the active area. Heat is a byproduct of the work generated by your muscles. When your muscles are warm they are more elastic.

Static Stretching – Static Stretching is​ holding your body in the same position for a set time to elongate the muscle. Static stretching​ is best after exercise or in its own flexibility-focused session, While the verdict is still out about whether static stretching before exercise decreases performance, some research suggests it does. An October 2018 report in ​Muscle, Ligaments and Tendons Journal​ found that static stretching may limit strength, maximum force, running velocity, balance or sprint performance in athletes.

Dynamic Stretching – Dynamic stretching is an active stretch involving a series of controlled swings, kicks and rolls. These motions occur around the joint and work to increase range of motion. Dynamic stretching mimics more functional motions and can improve a joint’s flexibility in multiple directions. Because dynamic stretching requires movement of your muscles, blood flow to the active area is increased keeping that muscle group warm and elastic. You should stretch only to the point of gentle discomfort, stretching to the point of pain could cause injury. Examples of dynamic stretching include arm circles, arm swings, leg kicks and hip rolls.

Participation Recommendation – Flexibility tends to decrease with age. A significant decrease in flexibility could diminish your ability to bend over to tie your shoes, stand upright or maintain your balance. To maintain or improve your flexibility you should engage in flexibility training a minimum of two to three days per week, always after a brief warm up or at the conclusion of your fitness routine. Each stretch, static or dynamic should be performed two to four times for a period up to 60 seconds per stretch.

Editor’s Note: You will also get benefit from holding a static stretch for 15-30sec, hold for 60 only if it feels good.  


Beyond burning calories, researchers at Brown University in Providence, Rhode Island, have identified another way that working up a sweat could improve health: Exercise can put the brakes on hedonic eating.

Hedonic eating is the tendency to consume foods for psychological pleasure and in the absence of physical hunger or the actual need for calories. In a market saturated with hyperpalatable foods, this is thought to be a big reason why people overeat.

In a paper in Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise, the authors reported that women classified as “stress eaters” took part in fewer overeating episodes, were less likely to give in to food temptations and ate in response to internal cues when they took part in a 3-month moderate- intensity exercise program (200 minutes each week). This is compared with their peers who were randomly assigned to a no-exercise control group. The simple act of physical activity may make people more mindful of their unhealthy eating patterns.


Smartphone scrollers, beware: Stuffing in food while doing something perceptually demanding makes it more difficult to notice when you feel full, potentially leading to overeating. As reported in Appetite, 120 adults consumed either a low- or high-satiety drink (75 calories vs. 272 kcal with a thicker texture) while simultaneously completing a task that was either low or high in perceptual demand. Participants who received the high-satiety drink and were assigned the task with low perceptual load felt more satiated and ate 45% less of a snack offered to them afterward.

On the flipside, participants whose senses were taken up by a highly engaging task were less able to tell when they felt full and ate more of the snacks offered to them.

The researchers concluded that a person’s ability to notice when the body feels full depends on how much available attention remains in the brain. When our attention is placed on a video game, an engrossing thriller or a social media feed, our brains have less capacity to register fullness. The takeaway? Keep your attention on what’s on your plate, not what’s on a screen, to keep daily calorie intake in check.


It turns out working crimini, shiitake and other mushrooms into your soups, pasta dishes and meat sauces more often may help you feel better physically and emotionally. The conclusion of a study in the Journal of Affective Disorders—using data on diet and mental health from 24,699 adults—was that mushroom consumption is associated with lower odds of depression, even after considering major risk factors for the condition, sociodemographics, self-reported diseases, medications and other dietary factors.

The researchers from Penn State College of Medicine believe that the high amounts of an amino acid called ergothioneine present in a variety of mushroom types could lower oxidative stress and tissue damage in the brain, which may reduce symptoms of depression. What this research could not determine is the effectiveness of certain types of mushrooms for depression or boosting mood and how much someone needs to eat to experience a benefit.