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
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.
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.
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.
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 Sugar –It 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 Apnea – People 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 Potassium – Your 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
Pain – Sudden, 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 Supplements – Do 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 Problems – When 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 Pee –Systolic 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.
NSAIDs – All 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 Office – You 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.
Decongestants – Ingredients 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.
Dehydration – When 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.
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.
Talking – It 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!
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.