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 June 2022

FREE WALKING CLINIC STARTS JUNE 17

Trainer Linda Meyer and I will be resurrecting the free Walking Clinic, which has not met for the past two years.  We will meet at the top of the Wallace Bowl in Gillson Park every Friday, starting June 17 at 5:30pm.  This is an hour of walking, stairclimbing, calisthenics and balance training, followed by stretching. Participants must be able to walk at a moderate pace.  Faster walkers are also welcome and we usually have two groups, one for moderate walkers, and one for faster walkers.

Participants will be asked to sign a liability waiver if they are not already PFTL clients. Please notify Debora at debora@pftl.net if you plan to participate.

LATE FEES TO BE ADDED

Regretfully, we will have to start adding a late fee to invoices that are not paid on the due dates.  Our business depends on receivables especially since the pandemic.  We have not raised prices for personal training since 2012, even though our operating expenses are increasing dramatically.  We do not plan to increase the cost of in-person personal training at the studio.  We will, however, be looking at in-home and virtual training for possible increases.

Beginning June 20, we will be adding an automatic 3% late charge to invoices that are not paid within 3 days after the due date.   Most invoices are payable 15 days after clients receive them; so if we have not received payment by the 18th day, the late fee will be added.

Some clients have opted to have the monthly invoice amount charged directly to their credit card. If this is of interest, please contact Jenn Carrasco at carrascojenn8@gmail.com to make this arrangement.

FAQS ABOUT WHAT YOU WOULD LOOK LIKE IF YOU LOST WEIGHT (from Livestrong.com 6/3/22)

1. How Does Weight Loss Change Your Appearance?

You can’t target weight loss to one area of your body, so if you drop pounds, you’re losing weight everywhere, according to the ACE. As a result, you’ll likely notice your entire body slimming down as you shed fat.

However, exactly how much your size changes depends on how much weight you lose. Losing 5 pounds, for instance, may not have as big an effect on your appearance as losing 15 pounds. Similarly, how long it takes to notice weight loss depends on how much fat you shed relative to your initial weight.

And how does weight loss affect your face? Similarly, your face will slim down as the rest of your body loses fat.

2. How Does Weight Loss Affect Your Skin?

If you lose a significant amount of weight (typically 100 pounds or more), you may have excess skin that is too stretched out to fit your new body size, according to the Cleveland Clinic. And this sagging skin may not have the elasticity to shrink, in which case you may require cosmetic procedures or surgeries to tighten or remove excess skin.

You may also notice some skin changes from more moderate weight loss. For instance, stretch marks that developed as you gained weight may become more visible as you shed fat.

Stretch marks typically appear as pink, red, black, blue or purple streaks on your body, per the Mayo Clinic, so if you notice differences in your skin color as your weight changes, this may be the reason why. Fortunately, they’re harmless and may fade with time.

3. Why Doesn’t It Look Like I’ve Lost Weight?

If the number on the scale is dropping but you aren’t losing inches around your waist, there are a few potential explanations.

First, you may be losing visceral fat, the more dangerous type of fat that surrounds your internal organs and ups your risk for heart disease, diabetes and stroke, per the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Because it’s deeper in your core, you may not notice a change in size right away.

Second, you may be losing muscle or water weight instead of fat. This is not ideal, and can happen if you lose weight too quickly, per the U.S. National Library of Medicine. To avoid this issue, stick to the expert-recommended weight-loss pace of 1 to 2 pounds a week.

4. What Does 20 Pounds of Weight Loss Look Like?

Remember, weight loss is relative. For example, 20 pounds of weight lost will look different on someone who’s starting weight was 150 pounds versus 300 pounds.

Instead of getting hung up on the numbers, focus on the wins that don’t relate to your physical appearance.

BONE HEALTH IS VITAL!  (from IDEA Fit Tips May 2022)

Last month was National Osteoporosis Awareness Month. The bad news: You can’t fix your genetic and environmental contributors to bone loss. The good news: Exercising and ensuring adequate levels of calcium and vitamin D intake can help improve bone health.

To strengthen your bones, use these strategies from Maria Luque, PhD, teacher at the College of Health and Human Services at Trident University International and owner of Fitness in Menopause.

Food and Bone Health – Proper diet develops skeletal strength and maintains the bone’s role as a mineral storehouse. Minerals such as calcium and phosphorus, which the body must have to perform every day, are stored in bone. If the body can’t get these minerals from our diet, it takes them from our bones, reducing bone mass and strength (OSG 2004).

Getting that calcium from food is preferred over taking supplements. While eating dairy products is the most efficient way to get enough calcium, you can also get it from other food sources. Consuming calcium on its own, however, is not enough. Proper absorption of calcium also depends on sufficient vitamin D intake.

Exercise and Bone Health – Physical activity can influence both bone and muscle metabolism. Osteogenesis (bone formation) occurs in response to mechanical loading. Inactivity, with its lack of loading, prevents bones from receiving the signal to adapt, which causes bone loss.

Walking – Many studies have shown that walking has only a limited impact on bone. If combined with impact and resistance training, however, walking can help maintain bone mineral density (BMD) in the hip region and in the lumbar and sacral spine In people over 65, increasing daily steps by 25% has been associated with an increase in hip BMD.

Progressive Resistance Training (PRT) – PRT has proven to be the most effective way to increase BMD in women and older adults and to maintain BMD in men. Resistance training also improves muscle mass and strength both of which are crucial to bone formation as well as fall prevention, which becomes a more pronounced risk in older adults.

Emphasize exercises that target posture muscles, such as back and spinal extensors, as well as those that increase strength in functional movements, such as stair climbing or box squats.

High-Impact Exercise – Activities that produce a weighted impact on the skeleton are especially bone producing. The most effective ones induce high-magnitude strains in bone at a high rate.  Brief, high-impact exercises such as hopping, skipping and jumping can increase BMD, muscle strength and power.  Adding unilateral and multiplanar components—such as single-leg hopping or side, front and back hops—can improve balance and proprioception, two key factors in fall prevention.

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