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.

Important Notice to PFTL Clients

With the advent of new Covid cases in the area, we are advising the following:

  1.  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

Debora

PFTL News December 2021

HAPPY HOLIDAYS TO EVERYONE!

This is such a weird time, on so many levels.  Covid, world events, local, regional and state news are all contributing to confusion, anxiety and stretching our coping skills to limits we never thought possible.  But in spite of all this, we are still functioning, still trying to live “normal” lives, still trying to understand others even though we may not agree with them, and still smiling every chance we get.  So, my friends, I truly wish you the best that is possible for this holiday season. 

Keep your spirits up (exercise helps a lot) and be kind to yourself and others.

Cheers to you all.

Debora

THRIVING INSTEAD OF COPING THROUGH STRESS  (from IDEA Fit Tips November 2021)

Many people are focused on “resiliency.” says behavior science consultant and transformational coach Michael Mantell, PhD. He defines this as “the psychological mechanism that keeps people going and allows them to thrive instead of just survive. It helps them to see every setback as a setup for a stronger comeback.” An apt analogy he gives from physical training is that to build a muscle, first we must break down the muscle.

Mantell explains that the building blocks of resilience consist of three components: a) “I have” b) “I am” and c) “I can.”

“I have” means you have support around you such that you have the ability to trust the world and people in it. Successful people are able to let people get close to them without fear of harm. They have mentors they respect, and in whom they have confidence. By trusting others to help, successful people avoid feeling sad, angry and vulnerable in the face of impending failure.

“I am” means you have encouragement in developing the inner strengths of confidence, unconditional self-acceptance and responsibility. Successful people, free of the inner fears of failure, believe themselves to be autonomous, independent and free to make their own decisions, including their mistakes.

“I can” means you have acquired the interpersonal and problem-solving skills to take action. Successful people are free of the psychological blocks that get in the way of developing initiative. They are able to work diligently at a task free of negative thinking.

Be Kind to Yourself – Self-compassion is linked to positivity, happiness and health, none of which are part of the stress equation. “We need ‘me’ time for our happiness to unwind, allow time for self-discovery, reboot our brains, improve our focus and promote our relationships,” Mantell says. “Compassion requires that we notice suffering, in others and in ourselves, with no judgment. Compassionate people understand humanity is filled with imperfection and take no pity. They simply recognize that suffering is a common, shared, human occurrence. Mindfully bring this comforting understanding to yourself without over-identifying with your negative thoughts or feelings.”

An eloquent way of advising us to give ourselves grace. Stop stressing out over that which you cannot control.

FUNCTIONAL TRAINING FOR ACTIVE AGING  (from IDEA Fit tips Dec 2021)

Discover what type of exercise you need to enhance fitness as you grow older.

What’s driving the relevance of functional training? Loss of functional abilities significantly impacts life quality, according to Colin Milner, founder and CEO of the International Council on Active Aging. “Having a chronic health issue, like diabetes or high blood pressure, is manageable, but if you can’t stand up, everything changes.”

So how can you exercise for function? Shirley Archer-Eichenberger, JD, MA, internationally acknowledged integrative health advocate.

What Is Functional Training? – The idea of functional training is [to do] a fitness program that mirrors common daily life activities, like getting out of a chair, making a bed, lifting laundry baskets, going shopping, gardening, etc.,” says Carol Ewing Garber, PhD, past president of the American College of Sports Medicine. “In older adults, as fitness declines . . . many find it increasingly difficult to do usual tasks or to engage in enjoyable activities.”

Progressive Resistance Training – Numerous studies show that progressive resistance training can improve functional capacity in older adults, including aspects of gait, balance and stability. It also benefits cardiovascular function, metabolism and heart disease risks. Increasingly, studies emphasize that muscle power—the ability to produce force rapidly—is more crucial to functional fitness than strength and mass are. Also, researchers have suggested that exercises for the trunk muscles should be done to promote balance, functional performance and fall prevention.

Dynamic Balance Training – Balance training may improve the safety of certain cardiovascular activities. Researchers note that high-challenge balance training or programs that incorporate exercises that target both muscular and somatosensory balance systems have been most effective for reducing fall risks in older adults.

Flexibility or Functional Mobility Training – The ability of joints to maintain full range of motion is highly relevant to enjoying functional independence in combination with muscular strength for tasks such as getting in and out of a bathtub. Very little research, however, has focused specifically on how to improve flexibility. Preliminary evidence suggests that activities like yoga, Pilates or tai chi—that involve movement through a full range of motion—are effective.

Cardiorespiratory or Functional Aerobic Training – Cardiovascular fitness is important for climbing stairs, going shopping and enjoying recreational activities; it also reduces cardiovascular disease risks and promotes mental well-being. Current research supports the physical activity guidelines of regular moderate- and vigorous-intensity exercise for those who can achieve it and regular light- to moderate-intensity activity for deconditioned persons, for health benefits.

PFTL News November 2021

HOW BAD IS IT TO NEVER DO CARDIO   (from Livestrong.com October 23, 2021)

There are people who absolutely love doing cardio every day… and those who don’t. So if you’re in the no-cardio camp, you might be wondering if your strength workouts are enough to keep your heart healthy and strong.

Current physical activity guidelines for adults recommend that you should get at least 150 minutes of moderate-intensity or 75 minutes of vigorous-intensity aerobic exercise each week. That amounts to about 30 minutes of moderate-intensity exercise or 15 minutes of vigorous-intensity exercise five days per week.

What that looks like exactly depends on the type of exercises you do. For example, some of the best cardio workouts include, walking, running, cycling and HIIT (High Intensity Interval Training).

Why Strength Training Alone Isn’t Enough – There are plenty of benefits to strength training, and it should definitely be included in your workout routine. But avoiding aerobic exercise entirely can negatively affect your body — no matter your goals.

Case in point: An August 2012 study in ​BMC Public Health​ tested the effects of 12 weeks of resistance, aerobic or a combo of both in people with overweight and obesity. The goal was to determine the type of exercise that had the most cardiovascular benefits.

Researchers found that doing a combination of cardio and strength training provided the greatest benefits for weight loss and cardiorespiratory fitness, compared with aerobic or resistance training alone.

Plus, focusing solely on strength training can put you at risk for overuse injuries, especially if you’re working the same muscle groups and joints every day. When you don’t allow your muscles to properly recover, you actually inhibit them from repairing so that they can grow bigger and stronger.

By mixing up your workouts with low-intensity cardio, you can give your muscles a break and build your cardiovascular endurance.

If you only do strength training, it may become more difficult for your heart to pump blood because it thickens your heart’s walls. In the same way, doing only aerobic exercise can make your heart’s walls too thin, so your heart can’t contract properly to pump blood throughout the body.

Ideally, the best way to maintain healthy cardio health is to include both strength training and cardio exercises in your workout routine, Nelson says.

HOW SMARTPHONES ARE HELPING SENIORS MAINTAIN THEIR HEALTH

By Guest Writer: Sharon Wagner of seniorfriendly.info

Smartphones aren’t a young person’s game anymore. According to Pew Research, about half of adults over the age of 65 own a smartphone. Those smartphones can connect the senior community to important resources and tools that can help maintain well-being. Here are a few ways that seniors can put their smartphones to work on improving their health.

Online Assistance For Finding the Right Insurance Plans – Medicare’s Open Enrollment period is October 15th through December 7th each year. While this can still be a complicated process, it was a lot worse before smartphones came along. Just a few years ago, the best option for those wanting to make an informed decision was to talk to insurance specialists to learn about their Medicare options. They might need to travel to their local library, hospital, or another site to get the necessary information, but now it’s at their fingertips. 

Medicare.gov has all the information seniors need. Plus, the website can connect seniors with Medicare experts in their area who can answer their questions. Now seniors can get the help they need without leaving the comfort of home, which is a boon to those with mobility concerns. Once seniors choose the plan they want, they can enroll right on their smartphone.

Access to Health-Tracking Apps –   one of the best ways for seniors to maintain their health is through health-tracking apps on their smartphones. Many of these apps are free and can provide insight into a senior’s health. Apps can count steps, track heart rate (which is great when you’re working out, either on your own or with a trainer) and even help them maintain a healthy diet.

Some seniors may need to upgrade their smartphones to put these apps to work. Thankfully, there are plenty of plans out there that make smartphones affordable. Look for providers who offer credit towards the purchase of a new phone or break the cost down into affordable monthly payments.

If you are in the market for a new phone, consider the Samsung Galaxy S10. It’s ultra-speedy and has ample memory to keep your apps going strong, and the generous, clear cinematic display makes it easy to check in on your workout’s progress. Apple fans might like the iPhone XS Max. It also has a big screen for easy viewing (make sure you pick up a screen protector to keep it safe!) and plenty of battery life so health tracking apps don’t drain the battery too quickly.

Tech to the Rescue – More seniors are choosing to age in place, living in their homes as opposed to moving into a senior living community. While there are many benefits to this choice, it often means that they are spending more time alone. As seniors can be at a higher risk of falls and in-home accidents, having a smartphone on hand could help them get access to emergency services a lot faster. Smartphones make it easier for seniors to call for emergency services without needing to get to a landline phone.

More than that, though, smartphones offer apps and technology to help seniors in an emergency. There are apps that can detect when a senior falls and ring an emergency contact. There are also panic button apps that seniors can press when they need help, replacing the old expensive monitoring services. Some of these apps may have monthly service charges attached, but for peace of mind for seniors and their caregivers, they can be priceless.

Another option is to add some smart tech to the wardrobe or home. These can often be synced with phones so loved ones can be notified if trouble arises. From virtual assistants that help seniors remember medications to watches that call for help if a senior falls, tech is helping older adults stay happy, healthy, and independent.

Technology can help seniors in a wide variety of ways, especially where phones are concerned. Most of these tools are free or affordable, and they boost independence while helping with health. In a nutshell, a smartphone can be a great tool for today’s seniors!

______________________________________________

Have a good Thanksgiving and be kind to your relatives and friends.

PFTL News November 2019

SURPRISING THINGS
THAT CAN RAISE YOUR BLOOD PRESSURE
(from WebMD Sept 2019)

You’ve probably heard
to watch the amount of salt you eat, especially if you’re concerned about your
blood pressure. That’s because it makes your body hold on to water, putting
extra stress on your heart and blood vessels. Salt — and worry, and anger —
aren’t the only things that can raise your blood pressure. Although temporary
“spikes” aren’t necessarily a problem, numbers that remain high over
time can cause serious damage.

Added SugarIt may be even more important
than salt in raising your blood pressure, especially in a processed form like
high-fructose corn syrup. People with more added sugars in their diet see a
significant rise in both their upper and lower numbers. Just one 24-ounce soft
drink causes an average 15-point bump in systolic pressure (the top number, or
the pressure during a heartbeat) and 9 in diastolic (the bottom number, or the
pressure between beats).

Loneliness  – This isn’t just about the number of friends you have — it’s about
feeling connected. And being stressed or depressed doesn’t fully explain the
effect. It also gets worse with time: Over 4 years, the upper blood pressure of
the loneliest people in a study went up more than 14 points. The researchers
think an ongoing fear of rejection and disappointment and feeling more alert
about your safety and security may change how your body works.

Sleep ApneaPeople with sleep apnea have
higher odds of getting high blood pressure and other heart problems. When your
breathing is repeatedly interrupted while you’re sleeping, your nervous system
releases chemicals that raise your blood pressure. Plus, you’re getting less
oxygen, which could damage blood vessel walls and make it harder for your body
to regulate your blood pressure down the road.

Not Enough PotassiumYour kidneys need a balance of
sodium and potassium to keep the right amount of fluid in your blood. So even
if you’re eating a low-salt diet, you could still have higher blood pressure if
you’re not also eating enough fruits, veggies, beans, low-fat dairy, or fish.
While you may think of bananas as the go-to source, broccoli, water chestnuts,
spinach, and other leafy greens are better to get potassium if you’re watching
your weight.

PainSudden, or acute, pain ramps up
your nervous system and raises your blood pressure. You can see this effect
when you put one hand in ice water, press on your cheek or fingernail, or get
an electric shock to your finger.

Herbal SupplementsDo you take ginkgo, ginseng,
guarana, ephedra, bitter orange, or St. John’s wort? These and others can raise
your blood pressure or change how medications work, including drugs to control
high blood pressure.

Thyroid ProblemsWhen this gland doesn’t make
enough thyroid hormone, your heart rate slows, and your arteries get less
stretchy. Low hormone levels also might raise your LDL “bad”
cholesterol, another thing that can stiffen arteries. Blood moves through hard
vessels faster, pushing on the walls and raising the pressure. Though not as
common, too much thyroid hormone can make your heart beat harder and faster,
which will also bump up your numbers.

You Have to PeeSystolic pressure went up an
average of about 4 points, and diastolic, 3 points, in a study of middle-aged
women who hadn’t gone to the bathroom for at least 3 hours. Men and women of
different ages saw similar effects. High blood pressure becomes more likely as
you age, so you need to get accurate readings. An empty bladder could be one
way to help do that.

NSAIDsAll nonsteroidal
anti-inflammatory drugs, such as aspirin and ibuprofen, can raise your numbers
— whether you’re healthy or you already have high blood pressure. Though the
average rise is only a few points, there’s a wide range, which means it could
affect some people much more than others.

Your Doctor’s OfficeYou might see a difference if you
compare readings during an appointment to the numbers you get at home. Named
for the traditional garb of medical professionals, the “white coat
effect” is the rise in blood pressure — up to 10 points higher for
systolic (the upper number) and 5 for diastolic (the lower number). DM note –
It is wise to question advice about taking meds based solely on the readings in
the doctor’s office.

DecongestantsIngredients like pseudoephedrine
and phenylephrine can narrow your blood vessels. That means the same amount of
blood has to squeeze through a smaller space, like a crowd pushing through a
hallway. These drugs can also make blood pressure medications less effective.
Your doctor or pharmacist can help you choose over-the-counter products for
sinus problems and colds that are safer if you have high blood pressure.

DehydrationWhen your body’s cells don’t have
enough water, your blood vessels tighten up. This happens because your brain
sends a signal to your pituitary gland to release a chemical that shrinks them.
And your kidneys make less pee, to hang on to the fluid you do have, which also
triggers tiny blood vessels in your heart and brain to squeeze more.

Hormonal Birth
Control
Pills, injections, and other
birth control devices use hormones that narrow blood vessels, so it’s possible
your blood pressure will go up. It’s more likely to be a problem for women who
are older than 35, overweight, or smokers. You may want to keep an eye on your
blood pressure, checking every 6-12 months. A lower dose of estrogen may keep
your numbers closer to normal.

TalkingIt happens whether you’re young
or old and no matter where you are. The higher your resting blood pressure, the
higher the numbers go when you start speaking. And the effect lasts for a few
minutes. It seems the subject and emotional content of what you’re saying
matters more than the fact that you’re moving your mouth.

Antidepressants – Medicines that target brain chemicals like dopamine, norepinephrine, and serotonin — including venlafaxine (Effexor), monoamine oxidase inhibitors (MAOIs), tricyclic antidepressants, and fluoxetine (Prozac, Sarafem) — can change not only your mood but also your blood pressure. Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) might raise it if you’re also taking lithium or other drugs that affect serotonin.

Have a great Thanksgving holiday!