by Debora Morris | Feb 26, 2022 | Newsletters
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.
by Debora Morris | Dec 19, 2021 | Newsletters
With the advent of new Covid cases in the area, we are advising the following:
- All clients should have had or should get booster vaccine shots.
- If you have been travelling, please do not come to the studio for 7-10 days after returning home. Ask your trainer if you can do virtual sessions until this period of time lapses.
- Always wear a mask in the studio, covering both nose and mouth. After drinking water, the mask needs to be put back in place.
- If you feel the least bit sick (coughing, stuffy nose, fever), do not come to the studio. Contact your trainer as soon as possible and you will not be charged for the session.
Thank you for understanding that this is a difficult time for all of us. We want to ensure your safety and that of our trainers.
Feel free to contact me if you have questions. (847) 722 2115
by Debora Morris | Aug 3, 2021 | Newsletters
RETURN TO MASKS IN THE STUDIO
With the advent of increased cases of infection with the Delta variant in Cook County, we have reinstated a mask requirement at the studio. Everyone, even if vaccinated, will be required to wear a mask (unless for medical reasons this is not possible).
This is consistent with the recommendations from the CDC, IDPH and the Cook County Department of Public Health.
I know this is not welcome news for anyone, but the safety of our clients and trainers is our primary concern. Hopefully, this will not be necessary in the long term.
WHAT YOUR WALKING SPEED SAYS ABOUT YOUR HEALTH (excerpt from Livestrong.com 7/20/21)
Your walking speed can tell you more about your health than you might think. Walking is the most popular aerobic physical activity among Americans, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. That’s a good thing because it not only offers its own set of health benefits, but your walking speed can also be an indicator of how healthy you are.
Being able to walk at a quick pace, as opposed to a slower one, indicates that your body is functioning properly, says Naresh Rao, doctor of osteopathic medicine. “If you’re walking faster, you have better core musculature, balance and endurance, which can indicate good cardiovascular health,” says Rao.
“So it’s reasonable to think if you can walk faster, then you’re generally in better shape.” He also says that, as long as all other factors are equal, faster walkers will likely have less body fat, lower BMIs, more muscle and better balance.
Walking can indicate more than just how physically fit you are. Research shows that walking speed might just be a strong predictor of longevity, surgery recovery speed and more.
Your walking speed might predict your life expectancy. Walking speed (also known as gait speed) seems to indicate how long a person will live. “As gait speed declines, risk for mortality increases,” says Christina M. Dieli-Conwright, PhD, an assistant professor of research with University of Southern California’s Keck School of Medicine.
A June 2019 study published in Mayo Clinic Proceedings found that walking pace — defined as slow, steady/average or brisk — was the strongest predictor of how long a person would live, with a slow pace being associated with shorter life expectancies. A female slow-walker could expect to live to be between 72 and 85 years old, whereas a brisk-walking woman could live to 87 or 88. For men, the slow walkers’ life expectancy ranged from 65 to 81, while the fast walkers lived to be 85 to 87.
Your walking speed could be a sign of heart health. A 2018 study published in the British Journal of Sports Medicine also explored the link between walking speed and mortality rate and found average walkers (which the researchers defined as walking at a pace of below 20 minutes per mile) had a 20 percent lower risk of dying over the course of the study compared to slow walkers.
Those who walked faster than 18 minutes per mile had a mortality rate that was four percent lower. Interestingly, these results appeared to be linked to lower heart-related deaths among faster walkers, since walking speeds didn’t seem to affect cancer rates.
A November 2017 study published in European Heart Journal also found slow walkers had more heart-related issues. The researchers found slow walkers were twice as likely to die from heart disease compared to faster walkers.
Faster walking speed could mean fewer hospital visits. A June 2019 study published in Blood assessed nearly 450 patients with blood cancer and found walking speed predicted the survival rates as well as the chances that patients would return to the hospital. Every 0.1 meter per second decrease in walking speed was linked to a higher mortality rate. A slower pace also increased the likelihood the patient would return to the hospital for unplanned visits and emergencies.
Walking speed has been linked to the health of your brain and body. An October 2019 study published in JAMA Network Open found that “the walking speed of 45-year-olds, particularly their fastest walking speed without running, can be used as a marker of their aging brains and bodies.” Those who walked faster had healthier lungs, teeth and immune systems than slower walkers. Plus, slower walkers showed signs of accelerated aging.
How to Determine Your Walking Speed:
Curious to know if you qualify as a brisk walker or a slow one? To calculate your walking speed, walk naturally down a hallway or sidewalk and count the number of steps you take in 10 seconds. Multiply that number by six. That will tell you your steps per minute.
A 2018 review of 38 studies published in the British Journal of Sports Medicine noted the goal pace for people younger than 60 should be greater than 100 steps per minute, or 2.7 miles per hour. That pace isn’t particularly strenuous; researchers noted this should be an achievable target for healthy adults. Older adults likely will see similar benefits at a slower pace, but there’s no research yet to say exactly what that pace is.
Caveats to the Research: Dieli-Conwright, who has studied exercise’s effect on cancer patients, says it’s not only about how fast you walk or have always walked but if your walking speed changes. “As soon as individuals start to have a decline in gait speed, it’s a strong indicator that they’re losing physical function and they’re losing overall health,” she says. “Even if they’re a fast walker and they experience a decline in gait speed, that’s going to have an effect on their health outcomes.”
Rao also notes that a slow walking speed doesn’t necessarily mean you’re not fit, but it’s a good idea to take your speed as a signal that you need to amp up your exercise routine.
The reverse is also true: Being a fast walker doesn’t mean you’re in perfect health, and a fast walker could still have high blood pressure. “It’s not enough to walk fast,” says Rao. “My fear is that people will say, ‘I walk fast, therefore I don’t need to exercise,’ and that’s not true.
Rather, consider walking speed one indicator of your health — but not the only one. “Just like anything, it’s only one piece of data,” says Rao.
by Debora Morris | Sep 29, 2019 | Newsletters
HOUSEPLANTS THAT ARE
GOOD FOR YOUR HEALTH (from WebMD Sept 2019)
For Allergy Relief – Researchers found that rooms with
plants have less dust and mold than rooms without any foliage. Leaves and other
parts of the plants act as natural filters to catch allergens and other
airborne particles. Common low-light houseplants like Chinese evergreen or the
peace lily can do the job. Violets and other plants with textured leaves might
be even better trappers. Avoid plants with pollen or spores.
Spider Plants for
Moisture – Furnaces and air
conditioners can sap humidity indoors, especially in the winter. That can raise
your chances for catching a cold or the flu, or make your skin itch.
Houseplants add moisture to the air. One study found a collection of spider
plants boosted the relative humidity in a bedroom from 20% to a more
Air Purifiers – Carpets, paint, cleaners, printer
toners and inks, and many other indoor objects give off pollutants called
volatile organic compounds (VOCs). They can build up in the air and irritate
your eyes and skin, worsen your asthma, or make it hard for you to breathe.
Houseplants can soak up VOCs. Some good air-scrubbers are English ivy,
asparagus fern, and dragon tree.
Herbs for Better
Digestion – Mint may help tamp
down bloating, gas, and other problems after you eat. Common varieties you can
grow in containers include peppermint and spearmint (essential in mint juleps).
Basil, another herb for cooking, also can help calm your stomach. Try steeping
the leaves in hot water.
Relaxing Lavender – This fragrant purple plant has
been an important herbal medicine for centuries. You can inhale lavender oil or
massage it on your skin for aromatherapy. You can also boil the leaves for tea.
Some studies suggest it may help calm you and help lower any anxiety. But more
proof is needed.
Aloe for First Aid – Gel from this plant is a popular
home remedy. It can treat sunburns and other minor burns. It can soothe your
psoriasis and other skin conditions. Juice from the aloe plant can even help
you poop if you’re constipated.
Restful Sleep – Plants take in carbon dioxide and
give off oxygen. It’s how they turn sunlight into food, a process called
photosynthesis. Some, like gerbera daisies, keep giving off oxygen even after
the sun goes down. Put a few cheerful pots in your bedroom and the extra oxygen
may help you sleep more soundly.
Stress Relief – Feeling the weight of daily
pressures? Try and add a heart-leaf philodendron or a snake plant to your
décor. It may help you relax. Several studies have measured people’s levels of
blood pressure, heart rate, and the stress hormone cortisol while they handled
a tough task or were under mental stress. Being around plants has a calming
effect on people.
Sharper Focus – Plants may help raise your test
scores, make it easier to concentrate on your tasks, and strengthen your
memory. Students in classrooms with three potted plants performed better on
math, spelling, reading, and science tests than kids in classrooms without any
greens. Bring home a golden pothos or a bamboo palm and you just might clear
that to-do list.
Faster Healing – Taking a bouquet of flowers or
potted foliage to a loved one in the hospital can be more than just a
thoughtful gesture. It may actually help them recover more quickly. Researchers
found that people who had surgery got better faster if they had plants in their
room or even a view of the nature from their window. They also tolerated pain
better and needed fewer medications when surrounded by greenery. Try an orchid
or a peace lily.
DISCOUNT AVAILABLE FOR
ROADRUNNER SPORTS – WILMETTE
We now have referral
cards from Roadrunner Sports, which is located in Eden’s Plaza, Wilmette; these
are good for a 10% discount on footwear.
Roadrunner Sports is known for having the world’s most accurate 3D Foot
Scanner which analyzes your feet for the perfect fit and shoe. They also
have active wear, sports bra, accessories for nutrition, safety and injury
prevention. Ask Julie Cohen for a Referral Card.
For many years, we
have referred clients who seek nutritional and diet advice to Susan Stein. Susan
is a highly qualified registered, licensed dietitian. She understands that
everyone is different and no one meal plan will work for everyone.
Susan has been a Registered Dietitian for over twenty years. She provides
individualized nutrition counseling in accordance to the guidelines established
by the American Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics.
She works with clients
who are dealing with a variety of health issues and with individuals who
are seeking a healthier, more fit lifestyle. Ms. Stein is a member of the
American Dietetic Association and is certified in both Adult and Childhood/Adolescent
Weight Management. She is the coauthor of a children’s book titled Color Me
Fit: Nutrition and Fitness for Kids.
Susan will arrange to
see our clients on-site at the PFTL studio.
She is offering a package to include a 90-minute evaluation and goal
setting session, followed by two 60 minute counselling sessions. The usual fee is $305, but she is discounting the
package by 10% to $275, for PFTL referrals.
Let Julie or Debora
know if you would like to be referred to Susan Stein.
ROTARY BOOK DRIVE
Every year the Rotary
Club of Wilmette collects books for distribution to inner-city, charter schools
in Chicago. The Book Drive runs from October 1 to November 16. There is a collection box by the front entrance
of the studio for gently used books that are suitable for K-12 students.
by sjp | May 1, 2019 | Newsletters
EXERCISES TO HELP ACHIEVE AN INSTANT POSTURAL ADJUSTMENT
(From IDEA Fitness, April 2019)
Did you know that good posture helps minimize stress on tendons, joints and ligaments? Plus, better posture can have a significant impact on your quality of life.
Good posture may improve your job prospects, verbal communication, self-confidence and mood and enhance how others see you. Ryan Halvorson, chief content officer for Fit Scribe Media and a TriggerPoint®master trainer, explains exercises that can help you improve posture.
5 Key Exercises – These easy-to-implement, equipment-free exercises can help you achieve an instant postural adjustment. The moves can be done seated, but standing yields the best results.
Pectoral Massage – Tight chest muscles can make it difficult to pull your shoulders back and down. One way to overcome this is to increase tissue mobility through self-massage.
Begin by rolling the shoulders back and down. Make a fist with the right hand and gently press the knuckles into the left pectoral muscle next to the sternum. Place the palm of the left hand on top of the fist for added pressure. Slowly drive the knuckles across the muscle toward the shoulder joint. Lift the hand, returning it to the starting position, and repeat.
Shoulder External Rotations – Internal rotation is a common problem. External rotation can help. Roll the shoulders back and down. Tuck the pelvis slightly to maintain a neutral lower-back position throughout the exercise. Slowly twist the wrists until the thumbs point away from the body. Hold for a few seconds and release; repeat.
Chin Tuck – This exercise stretches the muscles of the neck, allowing the skull to return to a more neutral, balanced position while the spine is lengthened. Stand with your hips and shoulders against a wall. Heels can be an inch or two away from the wall.
Lifting through the crown of the head, gently bring the chin down toward the throat while pressing the back of the head against the wall for a few seconds. Rest and repeat. Place a pillow behind the head if the pressure is uncomfortable.
Kneeling Hip Flexor Stretch – Start in a kneeling lunge position (one knee on the floor and the other leg bent 90 degrees in front of you with foot flat). Lift from the crown of the head to elongate the spine. From here, drive the hip of the kneeling leg in a gentle thrusting pattern to achieve the stretch. Hold for a few seconds, then release and repeat. Perform the exercise several times for both hips. Place a pillow under the knee for added cushion.
Hip Hinge With Fly – This exercise improves your ability to extend your upper back. Place feet hip-width apart, and hinge at the hips while simultaneously angling the upper body forward. Aim to slightly arch the lower back by lifting the tailbone. Retract and depress the shoulder blades.
Start with the arms extended and palms clasped together directly in front of the chest. Then slowly swing the arms out to the sides of the body at about shoulder height with a slight external shoulder rotation, and pause when you feel contraction in the upper posterior muscles and a stretch in the pectorals. Release and repeat.
EXERCISE SUSTAINS MENTAL ACTIVITY (Excerpted from PsychCentral August 2018
From a review of studies on exercise and its effect on brain functioning, researchers confirm that physical exercise slows the effects of aging and helps people maintain cognitive abilities well into older age
Fitness training – an increased level of exercise – may improve some mental processes even more than moderate activity, say the authors of the review. Findings from the review of 40 years of research does offer evidence that physical exercise can have a positive influence on cognitive and brain functions in older animal and human subjects. Different methodologies were examined to comprehensively study what effects exercise can have.
The researchers first examined the epidemiological literature of diseases to determine whether exercise and physical activity can at certain points in a person’s lifetime improve cognitive ability and decrease the likelihood of age-related neurological diseases, like Alzheimer’s. Based on a review of the epidemiological literature, the authors found a significant relationship between physical activity and later cognitive function and decreased occurrence of dementia. And the benefits may last several decades.
In a few of the studies that examined men and women over 65 years old, the findings showed that those who exercised for at least 15-30 minutes at a time three times a week were less likely to develop Alzheimer’s Disease, even if they were genetically predisposed to the disease. By examining the human intervention studies, a relationship was also found between fitness training and improved cognition, more efficient brain function and retained brain volume in older people
Other studies confirmed the evidence that fitness does have positive effects on brain function in older adults. A study of older adults who were randomly assigned to either a walking group or a stretching and toning control group for six months found that those in the walking group were better able to ignore distracting information in a distractibility task than those in the control group. Aerobically trained older adults showed increased neural activities in certain parts of the brain that involved attention and reduced activity in other parts of the brain that are sensitive to behavioral conflict.
More research is needed to know exactly how much and what types of exercise produce the most rapid and significant effects on thinking and the brain; how long exercise effects last following the end of training; or how much exercise is needed to get continued benefits.