We are offering two six week Zumba classes starting Tuesday, November 1 and Friday, November 4 at 12:30pm.  Zumba is an energetic, aerobic workout which features Latin-inspired dance-fitness routines blended with red-hot international music. The classes will be taught by trainer/massage therapist Lisa Wolf.  Some of you may remember Lisa as a PFTL trainer from many years ago.

Preview Classes:  Lisa will do two free 30-minute preview classes: Tuesday, October 25 at 12:30pm and Friday, October 28 at 12:30pm; registration is required.  Full session classes will meet for one-hour.

We will be using the dance floor space in the building north of the studio; there is room for up to 15 participants.  The cost will be $108 for 6 weeks, or $20 drop-in.

We are considering offering “Zumba Gold” in the near future which is a de-tuned class for older or less fit participants. Stay tuned.


In a recent survey of 16,000 Glamour magazine readers, 40% of respondents expressed discontent with their bodies. However, the good news is that simply engaging in regular exercise—regardless of body changes—has been linked to improvement in self-assessment.

The study, published in the September 2009 issue of the Journal of Health Psychology (2009; 14 [6], 780–93), was based on body image–related research studies from 57 publications. The study authors combed through the publications to determine whether there was a connection between exercise and improved self-image. As expected, those who exercised were found to be less critical of their bodies.

What was surprising, though, was that actual physical improvements were not necessary for those same subjects to feel better about their appearances. “You would think that if you become more fit you’d experience greater improvements in body image, but that’s not what we found,” stated study author Heather Hausenblas, exercise physiologist at the University of Florida. “It may be that the requirements to receive the psychological benefits of exercise, including those relating to body image, differ substantially from the physical benefits.” This information is significant as it offers yet another positive outcome of regular exercise.

“Body dissatisfaction is a huge problem in our society and is related to all sorts of negative behavior, including yo-yo dieting, smoking, taking steroids and undergoing cosmetic surgery,” added Hausenblas. “This is an important study because it shows that doing virtually any type of exercise, on a regular basis, can help people feel better about their bodies,” stated Kathleen Martin Ginis, kinesiology professor at McMaster University in Ontario. “With such a large segment of the population dissatisfied with their physiques, it’s encouraging to know that even short, frequent bouts of lower-intensity exercise can improve body image.”


Does drinking alcohol help your health or is it better to just say no? For some people the benefits outweigh the risks; for others the risks are far greater than the potential benefits.

So, who exactly is a candidate for safe, moderate drinking, and who is not? To find out, read information below from Victoria Shanta Retelny, RD, LD, president of LivingWell Communications, a Chicago-based nutrition consulting practice, which focuses on the importance of proper diet to overall health and well-being.

Alcohol and Disease -“Prolonged (heavy) consumption [of alcohol] can lead to cellular changes in the liver, heart, brain and muscles and result in cirrhosis, pancreatitis, irregular heartbeats, stroke and malnutrition,” explains Nancy Clark, MS, RD, author of Nancy Clark’s Sports Nutrition Guidebook (Human Kinetics 2003). Clark notes that even moderate drinkers have a higher risk of oral cancer, and women who drink may have a higher risk of breast cancer.

However, moderate drinking can also enhance health status, according to the scientific research. “There is convincing evidence that [consuming] one to two alcoholic drinks per day increases high-density lipoprotein cholesterol [HDL, or the “good” cholesterol] by as much as 15%–20%,” according to Eric Rimm, MD, associate professor of epidemiology and nutrition at the Harvard School of Public Health. This, in turn, reduces narrowing of the arteries caused by plaque (atherosclerosis) and decreases the propensity for blood clotting, a common cause of heart attacks.

Alcohol’s Effect on Mortality -Another finding in the scientific research is that drinking alcohol in a moderate fashion may decrease death rates. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the lowest all-cause mortality rate occurs in people who ingest one to two drinks per day. Plus, the lowest coronary heart disease mortality rate also occurs at an intake of one to two drinks per day. However, there is another, darker side to the issue of drinking and death rates. The same research has shown that morbidity and mortality are highest among those who drink large amounts of alcohol.

Although the amount imbibed plays an important role in mortality rates, drinking patterns hold equal weight. “You can’t save up your drinks and use them all over the weekend,” warns Dawn Jackson Blatner, RD, a national media spokesperson for the American Dietetic Association. In other words, the benefits to mortality come from moderate, incremental alcohol consumption throughout the week, meaning only one to two servings per day, not four or five in one drunken sitting!

How Much Is Too Much? – Over and over, nutrition experts and researchers reiterate the same message: Drink alcohol in moderation. But what exactly is considered moderate intake?

According to the latest U.S. government dietary guidelines, moderate alcohol intake is defined as no more than one drink per day for women and no more than two drinks per day for men—ideally taken with meals.

The following amounts constitute a standard serving (the alcohol content is about the same at 0.6 ounces for each standard serving):

  • 12 ounces of beer
  • 5 ounces of wine
  • 1.5 ounces of 80-proof distilled spirits


The Rotary Club of Wilmette has just begun its annual Book Drive.  It begins October 1 and runs through November 18. Gently-used books are collected from schools, libraries, students and private individuals. These books are distributed to inner-city schools in Chicago that would not otherwise have access to a good library.  These books are primarily for disadvantaged children to take home to read, share with siblings, and make them their own.

PFTL would like to help with this worthwhile effort.  If you have any books that are no longer being used, and are suitable for grades K-8, please bring them to the studio, or contact me (Debora Morris) to pick them up.  Thanks in advance for your assistance.

The Rotary Club is an amazing organization; their members are committed to trying to make the world a better place through improving educational opportunities for all people, eradicating crippling diseases, providing medical and humanitarian assistance where needed, supporting local community efforts like the Chamber of Commerce, Little League, senior centers, emergency responders, etc.