We continue to wear masks in the studio, and we are still wiping down equipment and handing you wipes. Masks are not so bad; the following are actual humorous tweets about mask wearing.
- If you forget to brush your teeth, it is not such a calamity
- You actually look younger when most of your face is covered up.
- From now on I’m always going to wear a mask to the grocery store, I prefer a disguise when purchasing obscene amounts of junk food.
- COVID Parenting Tip: Train your children to loudly ask, “Why isn’t that person wearing a mask? Are we going to get sick?” when in public.
THINGS YOU SHOULD NEVER DO BEFORE A WORKOUT (Excerpted from Livestrong.com Oct. 1, 2021)
1. Apply Lotion – Keeping your skin hydrated with a daily application of lotion is great — especially during drier winter months — but not before your workout. Transferring lotion to exercise equipment can make it slippery and unpleasant for others.
2. Drink Alcohol – Drinking alcohol before your workout will just make you less coordinated, more sluggish and less likely to give it your all.
3. Drink Too Much Caffeine – Watch your coffee, tea and pre-workout supplement intake to make sure you’re not overindulging. Although caffeine can be a great pick-me-up pre-workout, it can also dehydrate you, elevate your heart rate and cause dizziness.
4. Eat a Big Meal – Eating too much before a workout can be full of potential pitfalls. This can result in gastrointestinal distress and poor absorption of nutrients, both of which hinder performance.
5. Do Static Stretches – Certain stretches can be a great way to warm up your muscles. But the type of stretches you do really matter. Static stretches (ones you hold for an extended period of time) are great for relaxing your body and aiding in recovery, but that also makes them less-than-ideal for your pre-exercise routine.
6. Spend Lots of Time on the Foam Roller – In general, save the rolling for after your workout. If you have a major problem area — unusually tight IT bands, for instance — that you need to quickly address for mobility’s sake, that’s the only reason to break out the foam roller pre-workout.
7. Eat Foods with Common Allergens – If you do eat a meal or snack before you hit the gym, do your fellow gym-goers a favor and steer clear of foods with common allergens, like peanuts, as this can make the gym a dangerous place for others. Even trace amounts can be enough to cause someone with a severe allergy a considerable reaction.
THINGS YOU SHOULD NEVER DO AFTER A WORKOUT (Excerpted from Livestrong.com)
1. Skip Stretching – If you don’t facilitate muscle recovery with stretching, injuries can occur due to overuse, leading to less optimal workouts and precipitating early fatigue. Your trainer can show you the best stretches to target what you need based on your body.
2. Run Errands in Your Workout Clothes – if your clothes are soaked from sweat, it is best to get out of them ASAP. Hanging around to chat while you’re dripping wet could potentially compromise your immune system. Regulating your core body temperature is critical. You’ll want to give your body the ability to get rid of excess heat, which is hard to do when everything is sticking to your skin.
Also, staying in your workout clothes could put you at risk of skin or fungal infections, particularly if you work out in a communal setting with shared equipment.
3. Eat a Big Meal -Your stomach will thank you for taking it easy after intense exercise. While you certainly will need to give your body nourishment to repair itself, the 30-minute window after your sweat session is not the ideal time for a big meal. Your digestive system takes a back seat during hard sessions and is still on high alert well after the workout is over.
Pack a light snack if you are hungry. Eat something unprocessed, like a piece of fruit, then have a larger meal two or three hours later when your digestive system is back to standard operating procedures.
4. Down Vitamins and Supplements –Some people take some form of supplement to help combat inflammation and even promote recovery, like vitamins C, E and A, CoQ10, NSAIDS (nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs like ibuprofen) or products that specifically tout exercise recovery. However, these supplements may do more harm than good. In large doses, these compounds can interfere with how much of an adaptation your body makes from the training.
7. Sit Around – When you sit or lie down for hours after exercising, your blood pools, making recovery more difficult. The result is more muscle soreness and delayed recovery time. Instead, try to keep your body moving in little ways after you work out, even if that means standing up every 30 minutes at work to take a lap around the office.
8. Sip a Cocktail – Drinking alcohol after hard exercise is one of the worst things you can do for your body. Drinking alcohol after a workout is going to immediately reduce muscle protein synthesis. It slows recovery, reduces the benefits of your workout and makes you feel even worse the next day.
9. Stop Drinking Water – Lots of people forget how important it is to keep drinking water after the effort is over. Being dehydrated will slow your recovery, reduce muscle protein synthesis and not provide your body with what it needs to help eliminate all of the waste products produced from the muscle damage of your workout.
Our favorite season is here…beautiful autumn. Get out and enjoy!
HOW MANY REPS SHOULD YOU BE DOING? (ACE Healthy Living Jan 2018)
You’ve undoubtedly heard the standard gym myth that training for size or strength requires using heavy weights for just a few reps, while training to improve muscle definition requires using lighter weights for a high number of repetitions. While there is some degree of truth to these claims, it is important to understand that the number of reps you do for each exercise has a significant influence on the results you get from your workout program.
Today, many popular programs encourage participants to do high numbers of reps for ballistic exercises, such as barbell cleans or jumps. Unfortunately, doing too many reps may actually cause injury and limit your ability to train. To make sure you’re maximizing the efficiency of your time in the gym, here are seven things to consider when determining how many repetitions you should do based on your personal fitness goals.
- A repetition is a single, individual action of the muscles responsible for creating movement at a joint or series of joints. Each repetition involves three specific phases of muscle action: lengthening, a momentary pause and shortening.
- Regardless of your specific fitness goals, the number of repetitions you do is not nearly as important as whether those repetitions are performed to a moment of muscular fatigue. Achieving fatigue in a muscle means that it is not capable of performing one more rep and ensures that all of the muscle fibersresponsible for moving that muscle have been engaged. If your goal is to improve definition and you feel capable of performing a few more reps at the end of a given set, you have not fatigued all of the type II fibers that are responsible for creating definition. This means you have wasted your time because you will not be training in the most efficient manner possible for your goal.
- In general, the number of reps you do for an exercise is inversely related to the amount of weight you use. As the amount of weight goes up, the number of repetitions you are able to perform decreases. Therefore, higher-intensity loads can only be performed for a few repetitions, while lower-intensity loads can be moved for a relatively high number of repetitions before fatigue sets in.
- Training for strength requires using heavier loads, which subsequently limits the number of reps that can be performed. A heavier weight will automatically recruit more type II fibers in the involved muscles. Type II fibers rely on anaerobic metabolism, which provides only a limited amount of energy. This is another reason why heavy weights can only be moved for a few reps at a time—the muscle simply runs out of available energy. If your goal is to improve strength, use weights that cause fatigue after no more than six repetitions.
- Training for definition can be achieved by a couple of different rep ranges. The number of reps isn’t as important as the length of time during which the muscle stays under tension. The type II fibers responsible for strength are also responsible for creating the appearance of muscle definition. Definition comes from a muscle maintaining a state of semi-contraction, which is achieved by keeping a muscle under tension for a longer period of time. A higher numbers of reps performed at a slower movement speed can facilitate the tension needed to increase definition. No matter how many reps you decide to use, to achieve definition you must reach a state of momentary fatigue, which means you’re not capable of performing another rep.
- If you are a runner, cyclist, swimmer or other type of endurance athlete, you are probably more interested in using strength training to support the specific training necessary to achieve success in your sport. In this case, your strength-training program should focus on activating the type I muscle fibers that rely on aerobic metabolism, which requires performing as many as 20 or 30 reps. Endurance athletes need to be as aerobically efficient as possible, so performing strength-training exercises with light weights for a high number of reps will help muscles develop the mitochondrial density and aerobic efficiency necessary to support endurance-training efforts. In this case, working until fatigue is not necessary, because you’re not trying to add muscle mass; in fact, you want to avoid working to fatigue. However, your rest intervals should be kept relatively short to ensure that your workout creates the necessary stimulus to engage your aerobic metabolism.
- Power, which is the ability to generate a significant amount of muscle force in the shortest amount of time possible, is a skill that requires specific programming to achieve. Power training can provide a number of important benefits and is completely safe if the appropriate number of reps is used. However, thanks to the popularity of high-intensity workout programs, it is often performed in an unsafe manner. Training for muscular power places tremendous metabolic and mechanical demands on muscle tissue and can rapidly fatigue the nervous system responsible for maintaining proper joint mechanics. When doing technical power-based lifts like the barbell snatch, clean-and-jerk, push press or hang clean, the focus should be on the quality of movement and not the quantity of reps performed. For safe, effective power training, the rep range should focus on the maximum force output for one or two reps and be limited to no more than four or five. The same is true for medicine ball throws or jumps—the emphasis should be on the quality of movement and not the number of repetitions performed. Jumps and throws should focus on technique and be performed for no more than six to eight reps at a time; doing more reps could cause fatigue, which significantly increases the risk of injury. Like endurance training, the goal of power training is NOT to go to fatigue, but to do the assigned number of reps with the best form possible.
THE FIT MYTH: STRETCHING BEFORE A WORKOUT IS BENEFICIAL (ACE Healthy Living)
This is a “yes and no” type of statement. Health and fitness professionals advocate for warm-up and cool-down periods for good reasons. First, a warm-up prepares the body to meet the demands of a workout. A warm-up does this by increasing muscle temperature and heart rate, releasing specific hormones, getting you mentally “fired up,” and improving range of motion. However, static stretching should be performed at the end of the workout during the cool-down portion. The most effective type of stretching before a workout is a dynamic series of exercises. This type of stretching involves the whole body, large muscles and multiple joints. The goal is to activate the muscles you will use during the workout. Static stretching, on the other hand, is focused on elongation and relaxation (generally). You don’t want to enter a workout in a relaxed and stretched state—chances are you will reduce force output and your workout won’t have the same quality or effectiveness as if you were to save the static hold for the end.
HAPPY VALENTINES DAY – FEBRUARY 14
NEW WALKING CLINIC STARTS JUNE 5
This will be the third year that PFTL will offer a free walking clinic to our clients and the public. We will meet Mondays and Thursdays, from 5:30-6:30pm, at the Wallace Bowl in Gillson Park, Wilmette. Includes warm-up, stretching, intervals, stair climbing, core strengthening and a great way to get some extra exercise. Contact Julie at 847-251-6834 or Julie@pftl.net for more information.
5 FOODS TO SKIP IF YOU WANT TO STAY SLIM (from ACE Fit Life May 2017)
More than 20,000 new food and drink items hit our grocery store shelves each year and, with so much conflicting information about health and nutrition floating around, it can be challenging to know what you should and should not be putting in your body. Here are five foods with unwarranted health halos that aren’t doing your body any favors, especially if you’re trying to reduce or your maintain your weight.
Fruit Juice – skip the juice. Eat your fruit—don’t drink it. Juice adds calories in a concentrated form without any of the fiber found in real fruit, which is one of the best reasons to eat fruit. When you juice fruitand discard the pulp or don’t include the peel, you’re getting rid half or more of the fiber.
Granola Bars – Granola bars aren’t so good for your waistline. If it looks like a cookie and it tastes like a cookie…it’s a cookie. At its core, granola is just a grain with added sugar and fat. Package it up in bar form and it gets even less healthy. Most commercial granola bars are made with refined grains and contain added sweeteners and fat, and they rarely feature whole grains, fiber or protein, which should be key components of a better-for-you bar. You can find great recipes for homemade granola bars that are full of fiber and flavor.
Flavored Yogurt – flavored yogurts is bad for your waistline. If you can tolerate dairy, there is nothing wrong with plain yogurt. Unfortunately, not all yogurts are created equal, and most are packed with added sugar. Fruited and flavored yogurts are the worst, as they pretend to feature fruit. If they actually did include real fruit, it would also contain fiber, which yogurt products don’t. If you like fruited yogurt, make it yourself by adding real fruit to real yogurt and leave the flavored stuff on the shelf.
Veggie Chips – veggie chips aren’t a healthy food. Veggie chip bags show pretty pictures of real vegetables, but the ingredient list tells a different story. Most vegetable chips are a variety of fried and salted versions of potato starch. While a potato is technically a vegetable, when you fry and salt it, you negate its nutritional value. In other words, veggie chips are glorified potato chips. You want real veggie chips? Cut up vegetables, brush with olive oil, sprinkle with a modest amount of salt and bake them.
Pretzels – pretzels aren’t good for staying slim. Somewhere in the fat-free frenzy of the 1990s, people got the notion that pretzels were a health food. Sure, they have no fat, but neither does white bread. And pretzels are just white bread with a little more crunch and salt. What about whole-grain pretzels, you say? You’d be hard-pressed to find a pretzel in which the first ingredient is actually a whole grain. If you want a satiating snack, choose nuts over pretzels. Nuts contain fat, fiber and protein, and are a much more satiating snack.
WHY GOOD POSTURE MATTERS (excerpted from IDEA Fitness Journal 2017)
Posture—or structural alignment—is a key element in any exerciser’s program. Our personal trainers constantly remind clients to maintain good alignment in order to minimize stress on tendons, joints and ligaments while exercising. And clients do a good job of perfecting form under scrutiny—but as soon as their training sessions end, posture sometimes falls apart.
Most of us know and try to do other healthy behaviors—like getting enough sleep, eating vegetables and drinking water—we also need to think about our in everyday situations.
Why is this important? – Most people do not realize that good posture/alignment can improve their jobs, verbal communication, self‐confidence, mood or even bedroom relations.
Here are several ways posture can have a huge impact on quality of life.
Mood Booster or Buster – Just looking at somebody’s alignment gives a clue on how the person is feeling. For example, someone whose head is drooped could be feeling sad or depressed. In effect, mood dictates the alignment. But researchers have shown the reverse is true as well: Alignment can dictate mood. A slouched posture has been shown to induce higher stress, feelings of helplessness, and the impression of depression on those viewing the slouched posture. Good posture promotes a feeling of being in control.
Energy Drain – Researchers from San Francisco State University and Kaohsiung Medical University in Taiwan hypothesized that structural alignment could cause feelings of energy depletion. They found that students who were asked to walk in a slouched position reported a drop in energy levels, and a subsequent increase in energy when asked to skip upright.
Success Builder – Several years ago, Harvard Business School social psychologist Amy Cuddy, PhD, gave a TED Talk in which she popularized the concept of the “power pose.” Her presentation encourages people to hold a “posture of confidence” for 1–2 minutes before an important social interaction—even when they lack confidence. Cuddy says such a pose can influence testosterone and cortisone levels and may enhance a person’s success potential. She believes a powerful pose elicits perceptions of success and strength, while a meek one has the opposite effect. Practicing a power pose before a job interview, for example, boosts a person’s odds of getting hired, according to her research.
Breath Booster – Posture has a big impact on breathing capacity, and it’s easy to prove it. Try this, maintain an upright position and then inhale as fully as possible. Then, go into a hunched‐over position and inhale again. It will become obvious that poor alignment limits oxygen intake.
Confidence Builder – We’ve already discussed how a strong, confident posture can affect how others see us, but can it alter how we see ourselves? Researchers from Ohio State University and the Autonomous University of Madrid believe it can. To test their theory, they asked 71 students to write down their best and worst attributes while in a slumped or an upright position. The students then completed other tests requiring postural changes and self‐evaluations. For example, participants rated themselves on their work experience and qualifications in a job‐seeker scenario. Almost always, the slouched subjects rated themselves lower and expressed less confidence than the upright ones.
Words of Wisdom: Food is the most abused anxiety drug. Exercise is the most underutilized antidepressant.
NEW CLASSES STARTING IN JUNE – Contact Julie Cohen to register for any of these classes. Email Julie@pftl.net or call 847-251-6834.
Basic Full-Body Tune-Up” – 60-minutes – 6-weeks – Starts Wednesday, June 15 from 4pm-5pm. Taught by personal trainer, Linda Meyer, CPT, this group class (min. 4; max. 5 participants) focuses on flexibility, stability, strength, balance and endurance. It is designed as a full body workout with the aim of helping each person improve their overall fitness level.
Beginner level of fitness: this is a perfect class for motivated individuals who currently lack the strength, balance and flexibility they once had, and want to regain these qualities. The cost for this 6-week class is $100 per participant.
Functional Strength and Cardio – 60 minutes- 6 weeks- Starts Thursday, June 16 at 3pm (may meet on Tuesdays as an alternative). This class uses various forms of equipment, with intervals of cardiovascular exercise. A core segment would include balance and Pilates exercises. It also includes some game-like activities, e.g. obstacle courses and partner activities to achieve a fun whole body work-out. Taught by Ellen Flaxman, MS, CPT, this class is designed to be fun as well as an effective way to improve fitness. This is an intermediate level class. Cost is $100 for the 6-week course. We will need a minimum of 4 participants; max 5. The cost for this 6-week class is $100 per participant.
Theme-based Yoga Classes – Two new classes- Sundays at 10am and Tuesdays at 3pm. 60 minutes each – 6 week session- Starts Sunday June 12 at 10am and Tuesday, June 14 at 3pm. Taught by Jenny Klein, who incorporates Ashtanga style with other types of yoga into a hatha or basic practice. Each class is based on a different mind-body theme, where the poses match the theme. Classes are suitable for the beginner, the intermediate and even the more advanced student who wants a back-to-basics practice. Jenny guides alignment and breath, but with the understanding that every person has to respect what his or her body can do on the mat on any given day. We will need a minimum of 4 participants; max 5. The cost for this 6-week class is $100 per participant.
Free Walking Clinic -Learn how to get the most benefit out of walking as exercise, while walking in beautiful Gillson Park, Wilmette. Mondays and Thursdays starting June 13 through September 29; 5:30pm-6:30pm. Debora Morris, Julie Cohen, Linda Meyer and Leslie Cohen will be leading and/or assisting. Each meeting Includes warm-up, stretching, inclines, steps, balance and coordination. All fitness levels welcome. We meet at Wallace Bowl in Gillson Park.
SURPRISING EFFECT OF DRINKING TOO MUCH CAFFEINE – FATIGUE
If you think drinking a lot of coffee all day long will give you more energy, think again.
Caffeine works by stimulating the central nervous system. Specifically, the chemical gooses the adrenal glands into releasing hormones — namely cortisol and adrenaline — that tell the body to go faster. The short-term result can be increased focus and better hand-eye coordination. But overdo caffeine on a regular basis and, eventually, the central nervous system runs out of gas. If you don’t restore yourself with sleep, proper nutrients and relaxation, you’ll quickly get into a cycle of short-term energy bursts followed by increased fatigue.
Besides fatigue, heavy coffee drinkers may also experience jitters, agitation, insomnia, heartbeat irregularities, frequent urination.
What can you do: It is advised to limit your daily dose of caffeine to less than 300 milligrams (mg). As a reference, a 12-ounce cup of Starbucks brewed coffee packs 260 mg of caffeine, while a 12-ounce Americano (two shots of the coffee chain’s espresso added to hot water) contains 150 mg. A 12-ounce cup of black tea, on the other hand, contains roughly 100 mg and green tea only 50 mg.
What’s a healthy amount for you? Most people know what amount their system can handle. You may also want to support your adrenal glands with B vitamins (especially B5/pantothenic acid), vitamin C and licorice. Also, fuel up on healthy, whole foods that boost and maintain your energy.
TIPS FOR BIKE SAFETY (from State Farm newsletter May 2016)
Biking riding (instead of car riding) can save money, fight pollution and help you stay in shape. The bike rider, however, should be aware of the following to stay safe on the road.
Give a Good Once-over – Before you set off, make sure the brakes and gears work properly and that the tires are inflated correctly. Over inflation can cause blow-outs.
Know the Rules of the Road-Your bike is considered a vehicle, so laws that apply to motorists also apply to you. If you’re biking on the road, you should:
- Obey all traffic lights, road markings and stop signs.
- Ride with traffic, and use the right lane or bike lane.
- Use hand signals to indicate turns and lane changes.
Wear a Helmet – A properly fitted helmet is a must-have. Helmets can reduce the risk of brain injury or other head trauma if you’re involved in a crash. But remember: Helmets are designed to withstand only one crash. Replace yours after any crash, and never wear a helmet with cracks, missing pieces or other damage
NEW CLASS – PILATES MAT – 60-minute – 6-weeks ; starts Tuesday, October 20 at 1pm
Former ballet dancer, Ellen Krafft, will be teaching this new class. She has been teaching Pilates since 1996; Ellen blends traditional Pilates with ballet training to create a movement class which addresses alignment, core strengthening, balance and flexibility. Cost for the 6-week class is $120. Contact Julie to register for this class; 847-251-6834.
NEW CLASS — BASIC FULL-BODY TUNE-UP – 60-minute – 6-weeks – Starts Wednesday, October 21 at 3PM.
Taught by personal trainer, Linda Meyer, CPT, this group class (max. 5 participants) This class will focus on flexibility, stability, strength, balance and endurance. It is designed as a full body workout with the aim of helping each person achieve his/her fitness goals. Beginner level of fitness: this is a perfect class for motivated individuals who currently lack the strength, balance and flexibility they once had, and want to regain these qualities. Call to register 847-251-6834.
WHY IT IS SO HARD TO STAY ACTIVE
“If it weren’t for the fact that the TV set and the refrigerator are so far apart, some of us wouldn’t get any exercise at all.”
– Joey Adams
“Whenever I feel like exercise, I lie down until the feeling passes. “
– Robert M. Hutchins
You know you should exercise, since it’s good for you. So why is it so hard to stay active? Turns out, the reasons might not be what you think. Here’s a look at what may be preventing you from sticking with an exercise routine — and suggestions on how to keep at it.
- You’re Working Out for Weight Loss – This is a surprisingly bad motivator when it comes to getting you to lace up those sneakers. In one study, some women who exercised to lose weight, exercised less, while other women, who exercised to feel better and curb stress, worked out more.
The fix: You should remind yourself often of all the ways exercise makes you feel good, like having more energy and getting better rest, that have nothing to do with weight loss.
- You’re Overdoing It – There’s no doubt that exercise can be a big life change, but at the beginning the change shouldn’t be drastic. Pain and exhaustion are de-motivators.
The fix: Ease into an exercise routine and start slowly.
- You Feel Bad About Your Body – Maybe you’re self-conscious about your stomach or you don’t like the way you look in yoga pants. Or maybe, exercise conjures up unpleasant memories of school gym classes.
The fix: Working out in the privacy of your own home is an option. Find a workout that’s right for you on a DVD, YouTube channel, and/or hire a personal trainer to get your started.
- You Chose the Wrong Workout – If you hate the type of exercise you are doing (walking on treadmills, lifting weights, etc), rethink about what you enjoy doing. Chances are physical activity was fun at some point in your life: ask yourself why you enjoyed it.
The fix: If you’re stumped, think of trying something you’ve always wanted to do, but never had the chance to do, or something you enjoyed in the past. Biking, roller skating, dancing, yoga are activities that you may have enjoyed doing, but somewhere along the line just forgot.
- You’re in Pain – A bad back, sore knee, or arthritis can make getting fit a challenge. But if you’ve got a chronic condition, you probably need exercise even more.
The fix: Ask your doctor for a prescription for physical therapy. It can help so much, and it’s often covered by insurance. The physical therapist will teach you safe ways to get fitter and stronger.
SUGAR-SWEETENED BEVERAGES LINKED TO GOUT AS WELL AS OBESITY, DIABETES, AND HEART DISEASE (excerpted from Medscape Medical news Oct. 2015)
Sugar-sweetened beverages are currently the largest source of added sugar in the diet — accounting for about 50%. The World Health Organization and 2015 US Department of Agriculture Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee recommend limiting intake of all added sugars to no more that 10% of total energy intake (equivalent to about 12 tsps of sugar). One 12-oz serving of soda alone contains about 10 to 12 tsps of sugar!
The new study provides an analysis of data for potential replacements of sugared beverages: water is best, and unsweetened coffee or tea are acceptable, while fruit juices and artificially sweetened beverages are less ideal, but still better than sugar-sweetened drinks.
Fructose, naturally occurring in whole foods such as fruit and vegetables is generally not a problem. Such fructose is absorbed more slowly due to the fiber content of whole fruits and vegetables, whereas fructose in beverages is absorbed rapidly.
The most important information is that sugar-sweetened beverages are linked to weight gain, diabetes, heart disease, and gout, and that to reduce risk of these conditions and to promote health and overall well-being, they should be replaced with healthier options.
Beverages containing added sugar contribute to weight gain because they do not promote satiety, leading to increased food intake. And because of their high amounts of rapidly absorbable sugar, they induce rapid spikes in blood glucose and insulin levels.
Fructose in these beverages — from any sugar or high-fructose corn syrup — also promotes the accumulation of visceral fat, elevates LDLs (bad cholesterol), and accumulates fat deposits under the skin. Fructose also increases production of uric acid, which has been linked to gout and insulin resistance.
ROTARY CLUB OF WILMETTE BIG BOOK DRIVE
The Rotary Club of Wilmette has its annual Book Drive from October 1-November 16. If you have any books to donate, in good condition, suitable for children from pre-school to high school, please bring them to the studio. We have a box for collecting the books. The books will be distributed to children in inner-city schools in Chicago.