PFTL NEWS September 2022

NEW SMALL CLASS OFFERING – IMPROVING 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. 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).

WALKING AFTER A MEAL CAN HELP CONTROL BLOOD SUGAR LEVELS (Excerpt from Healthy Living 8/29/22)

Going for a walk after a meal can help reduce blood sugar levels, even if it’s just for a few short minutes, new research shows.

The news comes from a meta-analysis, published earlier this year in  Sports Medicine, in which researchers analyzed seven different studies to examine how light physical activity like standing and walking affects heart health, including insulin, and blood sugar levels, compared to prolonged periods of sitting.

The findings suggest that going for a light walk after a meal—even for as little as two to five minutes—can improve blood sugar levels, as compared to sitting or laying down after lunch or dinner. Simply standing can also help lower blood sugar levels, but not to the same degree as walking.

How Light Walking Can Help Lower Blood Sugar Levels – When you eat a meal—particularly one heavy in carbohydrates—it’s normal for your blood sugar levels, or the amount of glucose in your blood, to sometimes spike temporarily. This is known as a postprandial spike.

This spike in blood sugar typically triggers the release of a hormone called insulin, which allows the glucose to leave your bloodstream and enter your cells, where it’s used for energy.

But the balance between blood sugar levels and insulin is a delicate one—and it can swing out of control quickly. According to the CDC, if the body consistently has very high spikes in blood sugar—and thus, is routinely pumping out more insulin—cells can eventually stop responding to insulin and become insulin resistant. This break in the balance can lead to prediabetes and type 2 diabetes.

The team of researchers from the University of Limerick analyzed seven different studies to examine the effects of sedentary breaks—or interruptions to prolonged sitting—on cardiometabolic health markers, like blood sugar and insulin levels, after eating. Participants were asked to stand or walk for two to five minutes every 20 to 30 minutes over the course of one day.

The researchers found that both standing and walking were found to lower postprandial glucose levels, compared to sitting. But, according to study authors, “light-intensity walking was found to be a superior intervention.” Light walking was also found to improve insulin levels after a meal.

According to study authors, the contractions in skeletal muscles that occur while walking lead to an increase in glucose uptake—meaning that your working muscles use up the extra glucose in your bloodstream, reducing the need for insulin secretion.

If you can do physical activity before that glucose peak, typically 60 to 90 minutes [after eating], that is when you’re going to have the benefit of not having the glucose spike.

LOVE THE AUTUMN SEASON

I think that one of the best seasons in our part of the country is autumn.  The temperature is mildly cooler, leaves change colors to beautiful hues of yellow, red, and rust, parents seem a bit more relaxed when their kids are back at school, and the sunlight is more golden. Take advantage of this wonderful season and get outside to enjoy it.

PFTL News August 2022

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.”

PFTL News April 2022

Masks Still Required

We are still requiring masks for all those who enter the PFTL 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 carefullly.  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.

THE HIDDEN VICTIM OF THE PANDEMIC – Your Hips  (Excerpted from ACE Insights March 2022)

We constantly hear that core strength is fundamental to athletic performance, reducing injury risk and living a healthy life. But what most people don’t realize is that the psoas and iliacus muscles are also considered muscles of the core. Like the other muscles that make up the core, if the muscles that act at your hips are not in good health, you’ll soon know about it.

Back pain, knee pain, shin splints, IT band friction syndrome, plantar fasciitis, and all sorts of other aches and pains often stem from the hips. 

It’s the muscles around your hips that support your torso and pelvis, creating a strong foundation for your limbs to move from. When these muscles (primarily the psoas, iliacus and the gluteus maximus) are not in good shape, you don’t have the strong foundation you need, which means that other parts of the body have to pick up the slack. When these other muscles do too much compensating, overuse or repetitive stress injuries can soon result.

By strengthening the muscles around your hips, not only can you ease injury risk, but it also improves your athleticism. Building strong glute muscles and strengthening and stretching your hip flexors helps you transfer force through the upper and lower body, so you can move more powerfully.

Ask Bryce Hastings, physiotherapist and Les Mills Head of Research, about the most beneficial stretches and he says, for many, focusing on your hip flexors is hard to beat. “We only have 10-15 degrees of extension available at the hip (where the thigh moves behind the body) and we use all of this mobility every time we take a step. Compare this to the hamstrings, which normally allow 90 degrees of hip flexion, of which we only use around 30 degrees when we walk or run. Therefore, losing 10 degrees of hamstring length is generally O.K., whereas losing 10 degrees of psoas length is a real problem. Any shortening of this muscle shunts movement that should occur at the hip into the lower back during each step, and that’s a disaster.”

If you have tight hips, you have less mobility, which can make even the simplest movements—like walking or pushing a stroller—painful. Tight hips can also lead to a tilted pelvis, which affects both your posture and your head and neck alignment. Poor posture is linked to stress and depression, while neck alignment issues can lead to headaches.

Post-pandemic Hip Health is More Important Than Ever – While we know the perils of too much sitting, for many, pandemic-induced restrictions have meant we’re spending more time than ever at home working and sitting on our bottoms. A recent study identified prolonged sitting as one of the key causes of pain and discomfort caused by limited hip extension. Your hips are contracted whenever you’re sitting, and your hip flexors (the large powerful muscles at the front of the hip) are in a shortened position. In as little as 30 minutes, this tightening of the muscles can become problematic. You experience a loss of elasticity in the muscles, and as you age, this can become more pronounced, and the muscles become less pliable.

Signs You Need to Stretch Your Hips

  • Sitting for any more than four hours a day
  • Lower back or knee pain
  • Any pinching or pain in your hips
  • A feeling of being restricted when you move
  • If you struggle to touch your toes.

NO RISK OF OSTEOARTHRITIS FROM PHYSICAL ACTIVITY (IDEA Fitness Journal, Winter 2022)

For years, people have raised concerns about the risks of physical activity on joints; however, study after study shows that the benefits of exercise outweigh the risks for most people—even for frail, elderly individuals. New research adds to our understanding of the limited risks of physical activity and its connection to osteoarthritis.

Researchers from England’s University of Southampton and University of Oxford conducted a study to evaluate risks of developing knee osteoarthritis from physical activity. They examined data from six global community-based studies that included more than 5,000 participants who they followed for 5–12 years.

Data analysis showed that neither the amount of energy expenditure of physical activity nor weekly hours spent training were associated with increased risk of developing knee OA. This is good news for clients who may be concerned that being active may increase knee arthritis risks.

The research is reported in Arthritis & Rheumatology (2021; doi:10.1002/art.42001).

WHY EXERCISE REDUCES CHRONIC INFLAMMATION (IDEA Fitness Journal, Winter 2022)

Your body produces what it needs to reduce inflammation.

A new study offers insight into why exercise reduces chronic inflammation, as reported in Gut Microbes (2021; 13 [1], e1997559).

University of Nottingham, England, researchers conducted the study using data from a 6-week exercise intervention involving a group of 78 people with arthritis. Roughly half of the participants engaged in a 15-minute daily exercise program for the study period and half did not. After the study period, only those who exercised had reduced pain and increased gut microbes that produced substances that helped with chronic inflammation and increased the body’s endocannabinoids.

“Our study clearly shows that exercise increases the body’s own cannabis-type substances, which can have a positive impact on many conditions,” said lead study author Amrita Vijay, PhD, research fellow in the School of Medicine. “As interest in cannabidiol oil and other supplements increases, it is important to know that simple lifestyle interventions like exercise can modulate endocannabinoids.”

Mask Update for PFTL

Many businesses are making masks optional as of Monday, February 28. We, however, will still be requiring masks for the time being. If contagion levels remain low even after optional masking is practiced in the area, then we will make masks optional.

New strains of Covid are ever-present, and in the past, infection numbers have risen in areas where masks were not required. Hopefully, this will not be the case this time.

Please be patient in order to be safe. Thank you in advance for your cooperation.

Hopefully yours,

Debora

PFTL News February 2022

PFTL Update

Masks Still Required

We are still requiring masks and vaccination verification 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 decreasing in our village and the immediate area, but we will always be more conservative than some other businesses.  We truly want clients and trainers to feel that our studio is a safe and healthy environment and will do all we can to maintain that.

IMPROVING JOINT MOBILITY     (Excerpt from Livestrong.com July 2020)

Stretching and strength training are good for your muscles and cardio is good for your heart, but what about your joints? Unlike muscles, joints have no direct blood supply, so they rely on movement to keep them functioning properly.

“If there’s no motion in the joint it will degenerate — that’s a law,” says Robert Bates, DC, a chiropractor and preventive care specialist in Manhattan Beach, California. Joints rely on synovial fluid to “wash” away waste products that build up and compromise the integrity of the joint, he says.

Why Is Joint Mobility Important?

daily joint-mobility routine can keep your joints healthy and prevent stiffness and muscle imbalances. It can also restore lost range of motion, making exercise more enjoyable, enhancing your athletic performance and protecting you from common aches and pains.

A single faulty joint affects the body as a whole, as the individual parts of the human body are meant to work synergistically, not independently. As long as there’s not permanent damage in the joint, you can regain lost ranges of motion through preventive care, Bates says.

Additionally, joints that are able to move through their full range of motion allow connecting muscles to completely contract and expand, which gives muscles more strength and power and prevents injury.

Here are some examples of exercises you can do daily to maintain joint mobility in shoulders, hips and ankles.  If you are not clear oh how to do these, ask your trainer to show you.

Backstroke for shoulders

  1. Standing with your arms straight and elbows locked (but not hyperextended), lift one arm straight out in front of you and slowly circle it backward. Avoid rotating the torso as you do so.
  2. Keep your hips squared forward and biceps close to your ear at the top of the movement without allowing your shoulders to shrug.
  3. Repeat on the other side and keep alternating in a fluid motion for 10 to 20 reps per side.

The ball-and-socket joint of the shoulder is one of the most mobile joints in the human body, but due to improper posture, motion can deteriorate over time.

“Ergonomics is not enough. You must get the movement in the joints,” says Bates, who recommends practicing proper posture in the workplace and taking breaks to get your joints moving as well as keeping them hydrated.

Pelvic circles for Hip Joints

  1. Stand with your feet hip-width apart, hands on your hips.
  2. Keep your feet planted and core engaged as you move your hips in a circular motion.
  3. Repeat 5 to 10 times in each direction.

“Every time you land, something has to absorb the shock,” Nelson says. “The muscles, tendons and ligaments aren’t designed to do it all.” A stiff spine and tight hips means the impact is going to be translated to the muscles, tendons and ligaments.

“Over time, it leads to sprains, strains, knee and low-back pain,” she says. So keep your lumbar spinal discs and hip sockets lubricated with pelvic circles.

Ankle Rolls

  1. Stand or sit and lift one heel off the ground.
  2. Flex your foot, brining your toes toward your shin.
  3. Circle the ankle around and point your toes for full extension at the bottom of the movement before circling around to the starting position.
  4. Repeat for 5 to 10 reps in each direction on both legs.

Mobilizing your ankles may be just what you need in order to let go of nagging running injuries and finally ditch that knee brace for good.

“The epidemic of plantar fasciitis and fallen arches is a result of the foot bones destabilizing in order to compensate for the ankle being incapable of absorbing and retranslating force,” Sonnon says.

Ankle rolls restore movement to the joint and, as a result, re-stabilize knee alignment and helps prevent arches from falling, resolving pain from plantar fasciitis, he says.