IMPROVING BALANCE AND FALL PREVENTION – New Class Begins October 21
Our first Balance Class was well- received by the participants. Improvements were evident after the first three classes. The new 6-week Session will begin on October 21 at 2pm (min. 4 and max 5 participants). The cost is $150 for the 6-weeks. The focus will again be on improving balance, coordination, core control and agility. All these areas are important for fall prevention. For NEW clients, we will perform a modified fitness assessment ($30), and all participants will be tested for balance prior to the first class. If there are more than 5 participants, but at least 8 we will consider adding an additional class. The class will be taught alternately by Debora Morris, Linda Meyer and Keri Werner. Call Debora for more information and to register (847-722-2115).
WHAT STRESS CAN DO TO YOUR BODY (Excerpt from Health-Healthy Living)
Stress is what happens when you’re introduced to a challenge or demand in life—it results in physical or emotional tension, according to the US National Library of Medicine’s MedlinePlus resource.
It’s a normal feeling that has evolved over a millennium to protect you from danger. Also known as the flight-or-fight response, it gets the body ready for action. So, if you’re in danger, the brain’s hypothalamus sends triggers—both chemical and along the nerves—to the adrenals, which are glands that sit on top of each kidney like a hat perched on a head.
The adrenals then churn out hormones, such as cortisol, which raise blood pressure and blood sugar (among other things). This is dandy if you need to outrun a hungry lion, less so if the perceived threat is a looming layoff.
Despite the fact that it happens to everyone, stress can still be harmful to health if occurs over a long period of time. Here are some ways stress can affect your health.
Increased cravings – Studies have linked cortisol, a hormone released during times of stress, to cravings for sugar, fat, or both, according to Harvard Health Publishing.
Hard-to-lose belly fat – “You can clearly correlate stress to weight gain,” Philip Hagen, MD, an assistant professor of medicine at the Mayo Clinic, tells Health.
Part of that link is due to poor eating during stress, but the stress hormone cortisol may also increase the amount of fat tissue your body hangs onto and enlarge the size of fat cells. Higher levels of cortisol have been linked to more deep-abdominal fat—yes, belly fat.
Heart problems – The exact relationship between stress and heart attack is still unclear, but evidence is mounting that there is one. One study of 200,000 employees in Europe found that people who have stressful jobs and little decision-making power at work are 23% more likely to have a first heart attack than people with less job-related stress.
Insomnia – Stress can cause hyperarousal, a biological state in which people just don’t feel sleepy. And insomnia itself—a sleep disorder in which a person has persistent problems falling and staying asleep—is commonly derived from stress.
Headaches – “Fight or flight” chemicals like adrenaline (epinephrine) and cortisol can cause vascular changes that leave you with a tension headache or migraine, either during the stress or in the “let-down” period afterwards. Tension headaches, per MedlinePlus, are the most common type of headache. They typically feel like a “band is squeezing the head,” and occur in the head, scalp, or neck area.
While it’s tough to limit stress in our hectic lives, some experts recommend trying meditation, among other solutions.
Hair loss – There are a few key ways that stress may affect your hair and lead to hair loss, according to the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center: Telogen effluvium and trichotillomania. Telogen effluvium is a common cause of temporary hair loss, per UPMC. That’s because enough stress can push your hair follicles into a prolonged resting phase, meaning they won’t produce new hair strands as quickly or as often as usual in periods of high stress.
High blood sugar – Stress is known to raise blood sugar, and if you already have type 2 diabetes you may find that your blood sugar is higher when you are under stress.
Stomach troubles – Heartburn, stomach cramping, and diarrhea can all be caused by or worsened by stress. In particular, irritable bowel syndrome, or IBS, which is characterized by pain and bouts of constipation and diarrhea is thought to be fueled in part by stress.
High blood pressure – A stressful situation can raise your blood pressure temporarily by constricting your blood vessels and speeding up your heart rate, but these effects disappear when the stress has passed.
It’s not yet clear whether chronic stress can cause more permanent changes in your blood pressure, but techniques like mindfulness and meditation may help, according to Dr. Hagen. In addition, there are many natural ways to reduce blood pressure, including diet and exercise.
Back pain – Stress can set off an acute attack of back pain as well as contribute to ongoing chronic pain, probably for the simple reason that the “fight or flight” response involves tensing your muscles so that you’re ready to spring into action. One recent study in Europe found that people who are prone to anxiety and negative thinking are more likely to develop back pain, while a U.S. study tied anger and mental distress to ongoing back pain.
Premature aging – Traumatic events and chronic stress can both shorten telomeres, the protective caps on the ends of cell chromosomes, causing your cells to age faster, according to Harvard Health Publishing. The good news? Exercising vigorously three times a week may be enough to counteract the effect.
FREE WALKING CLINIC CANCELLED
We have cancelled the walking clinic due to lack of participants. We believe that Friday may not have been a good choice for the 5:30pm clinic; unfortunately, that was the only open time we had. We may begin again when a different weekday becomes available.
IN-HOME AND VIRTUAL TRAINING COSTS TO INCREASE AUGUST 1
As announced last month, business operating expenses for PFTL have been increasing steadily for the past wo years, and (except for group training) we have not raised prices since 2012. We must now increase the cost of some types of training. While the majority of clients are coming to the studio, we do not plan at this time to increase the cost of in-person, one-on-one personal training at the studio. We will, however, be moderately increasing the cost of In-Home, Virtual and Group Training.
Beginning August 1. 2022, In-Home training will be raised to $100/hour for current clients ($105-$110 for new clients). Virtual Training will be raised to $78 /hour. Group Training will increase to $150 for each 6-week session ($25 per session). If you would like to discuss this, please contact Debora at (847) 722-2115.
NEW SMALL CLASS OFFERING – BALANCE AND FALL PREVENTION
Beginning Friday, September 9 at 2pm, we will be offering a new small group class (min. 4 and max 5 participants). It will run for 6-weeks and cost $150 for the 6-weeks. The focus will be on improving balance, coordination, core control and agility. All these areas are important for fall prevention. For NEW clients, we will perform a modified fitness assessment ($30), and all participants will be tested for balance prior to the first class. If there are more than 5 participants, but at least 8 we will consider adding an additional class. First-come, first-served…call Debora for more information and to register (847-722-2115).
TIPS TO HELP YOU WAKE UP WITH MORE ENERGY (Excerpt from Lifestrong.com 07/06/22)
If you’re one of those people who always feels sluggish when you get up in the morning, you’re not alone — 86 percent of Americans reported feeling the same way in a May 2015 poll.
This news will come as a welcome wakeup call, though: A January 2020 study published in PLOS One revealed a ridiculously easy way to feel refreshed and ready to tackle the day from the moment you open your eyes. All you need to do is…wait for it…swap your noisy alarm signal for a tune you can hum or sing along to. In addition to waking up to music you can groove to, try these simple, research-based ideas that will put instant pep in your step.
1. Stick to a Sleep Schedule – Do you go to bed and get up at the same time every day. If the hours when you’re catching zzzs are inconsistent, then your circadian rhythm — an internal clock regulating patterns of sleepiness and alertness — will be out of whack, which can trigger brain fog.
“Our body chemistry is programmed to work in cycles,” Michael Twery, PhD, director of the National Center on Sleep Disorders Research, tells LIVESTRONG.com. “When the timing of these cycles is off, it’s like an engine that doesn’t run well, and you will struggle to wake up.”
2. Skip the Snooze Button – The average smartphone has a preset snooze time of nine to 10 minutes, which is long enough for you to begin drifting off to dreamland again. But right when your body prepares to enter another sleep stage, you’re jolted awake again, confusing your brain and leaving you in a semi-lucid state.
3. Just Breathe – As soon as you wake, sit up in bed and inhale and exhale deeply for about two minutes, taking long, slow, big breaths of air to infuse your cells with oxygen.
“Your respiratory system slows while you sleep,” says sleep specialist Michael Breus, PhD. “Getting lungfuls of oxygen kickstarts it again.” In turn, your increased circulation will lift your energy levels, he says.
4. Grab Your Water Bottle – Here’s why you feel parched in the morning: “Sleep is dehydrative,” Breus says. “On average, people lose a liter of water during the night, depending on the humidity level in your bedroom and your breathing patterns — like if you sleep with your mouth open or closed.”
Since water transports oxygen to your muscles and brain, dehydration can lead to physical and mental grogginess. To replenish your cells and perk up, guzzle at least 16 ounces of H2O.
5. Let the Sunshine In – Bright light is a powerful energy booster because it puts the brakes on melatonin, the “sleepiness hormone” that your brain churns out in order to start sleep. Since darkness triggers melatonin’s release, you can counteract its snooze-inducing effects by opening your shades. “When sunlight hits the melanopsin cells in your eyes, it turns off the melatonin faucet in your brain,” Breus says.
6. Get Your Blood Pumping – An October 2013 review published in Fatigue found that exercise instantly increases alertness and decreases fatigue. Whether you hit the gym, take your fur baby for a brisk walk around the block or simply drop and do 10 push-ups, you’ll flood your body and brain with energy-enhancing oxygen, Breus says.
7. Chill Out – Wrap up your morning shower with a blast of chilly water. During the last minute, make the water temperature progressively colder every 10 seconds.
“Cold forces blood to shunt from your extremities to your trunk, which sends a danger signal to your brain — as if you were outside in the snow,” Breus says. “As survival mode kicks in, you become more alert.” Aim for a temp that’s uncomfortable without feeling like torture.
8. Score a Caffeine Boost – It’s a no-brainer, but sipping coffee or tea will energize you. “Caffeine slows the accumulation of chemicals that promote sleepiness,” Twery explains. According to a December 2016 review published in Neuroscience & Behavioral Reviews, consuming between a half to three cups of a caffeinated beverage will help shake off mental and physical fatigue.
9. Curate a Morning Playlist – The right kind of music can give you a lift, so rock out to fun songs while you’re getting ready for the day. A small May 2012 study published in Experimental Psychology revealed that people who listened to Vivaldi’s uplifting “Spring” concerto experienced greater levels of alertness and improved cognitive capacity. Another November 2004 study in Sleep and Biological Rhythms found that participants felt more awake post-nap when they tuned into their favorite high-energy tracks.
STRENGTH TRAINING FOR WEIGHT-LOSS (from IDEA Fit tips July 2022)
For those interested in weight loss and management, here’s more evidence to support the value of strength training. According to a research review published in Obesity Reviews (2021), strength training is effective for improving body composition, reducing body fat, increasing lean body mass and helping individuals with overweight or obesity with weight loss.
The most effective weight loss strategy? Strength training combined with reduced calorie intake. The combination of resistance training and aerobic training also produced significant weight loss results for participants. “[W]e can use resistance training and achieve meaningful effects with a diet based on caloric reduction. We can reduce body fat percentage, whole-body fat mass, body weight and [body mass index],” said lead study author and researcher Pedro Lopez. The study also showed resistance training was effective in avoiding losing muscle mass when lowering the number of calories being consumed.”