PFTL News May 2020


Pursuant to the Governor’s orders, we are still closed for training sessions. But weekly cleanings and disinfecting is continuing until opening again. We have always used disinfecting wipes and sprays, and these will be abundant when we re-open as well as gloves and hand sanitizers. 

Several trainers are providing virtual training sessions using Facetime and Zoom. If you are interested in trying out virtual training, please let us know.  Your regular trainer may not be available for this, but another trainer may be able to provide it. 

We may be providing a virtual group exercise class to be viewed from your home.  There will be a minimal charge to register for this class.  More information will be sent soon.  Also, watch for emails from us about exercises you can do at home.

Something New:  If you would like to rent some of our studio equipment, dumbbells, tubing, balls, body bars, steps, balance boards, etc., for exercising at home, please contact us for rental prices.  We will disinfect the equipment before you rent it, and after you return it.  Arrangements will be made for pickup outside the studio. Contact Debora at


We all know that “social-distancing” must be maintained to protect ourselves from contact with possible infected people and items.  But it is almost impossible to do this 100%, especially if we buy groceries and drugstore items, open mail and packages, etc.

So, we must also make sure that our immune systems are healthy. 

So, What Is the Immune System? Put simply: “The immune system is all the parts of the body that help to defend us against infection, whether by bacteria, virus, fungi, mold or parasites,” says Adam Lacy-Hulbert, PhD, who conducts research on immunity at the Benaroya Research Institute.

T Cells and B Cells – The immune system includes white blood cells called lymphocytes, and two types of these lymphocytes — T cells and B cells— play a role when something foreign threatens the body. “The job of T cells is to recognize and kill cells that are infected,” Lacy-Hulbert says. “The job of B cells is to make antibodies that are designed to bind specifically to viruses and bacteria, and to neutralize them to stop them from working.”

Some of these B and T cells become memory cells; they remain dormant until they get the word that something they know how to fight (whether from experience with a vaccine or previous infection) has intruded.  “That immune memory you have can last for a lifetime,” Lacy-Hulbert says, which is important for fighting off infection faster and allowing the body to recover more quickly.

Innate Cells – T cells and B cells are very important, but their laser-like focus can actually be problematic at times. “They don’t know what to attack all the time,” Lacy-Hulbert explains. To balance this out, another part of the immune system — the innate system, which is composed of a different group of cells — acts as a kind of patrol, directing the B and T cells.

“Innate cells try to work out what’s going on, go to lymph nodes, interact with T and B and tell them what the deal is and whether they need to neutralize or kill [what’s triggering the immune system],” Lacy-Hulbert says.  Innate immune cells are messengers; if you get a cut on your skin and that cut gets infected, innate immune cells “send out an alarm” to signal a need for help, Lacy-Hulbert says.

Neutrophils and Monocytes – These innate cells recruit a host of other immune cells, called neutrophils and monocytes, which speed their way to the site of injury and fight whatever they find. Essentially, these are the workhorses of the immune system, Lacy-Hulbert says.

Neutrophils and monocytes are early-wave defenders. They work hard, but without much specific knowledge about the infection, so they can cause damage to host cells, stimulate inflammation and are often responsible for the pus that can form inside a cut.

These cells hold down the fort, so to speak, until those specialized T and B cells arrive to fight the infection in a specific way, if necessary.


1. Exercise Boosts Immune Cell Function

Here’s what happens when you head out for a 30-minute walk: Muscle movement and an increased heart rate prompt immune cells to come out of their holding spots (e.g. lungs, spleen, lymph nodes), says David Nieman, DrPH, FACSM, a biology professor at Appalachian State University in Kannapolis, NC, and an exercise immunology researcher.

Because of that walk, there are more immune cells — natural killer (NK) cells and macrophages, specifically — circulating, primed and ready to seek and destroy pathogens. This effect is short-lived, but it adds up over time to strengthen your body’s defenses, something that Nieman wrote about in May 2019 paper published in the Journal of Sport and Health Science.

Exercising 30 to 60 minutes a day is enough to trigger this immune response, Nieman says. Compared to staying sedentary, “our data show that this amount of exercise decreases sick days up to 50 percent,” he says, citing his research published in April 2011 in the American Journal of Lifestyle Medicine. A May 2017 study from PLOS One came to a similar conclusion that less active people reported more sick days.

2. Heavy Breathing Ultimately Helps You Breathe Better –Cold and flu season is rough, but staying active can make it easier to stay healthy. “Regular exercise has been shown to flush bacteria out of lungs and reduce respiratory infections,” says Purvi Parikh, MD, an expert in infectious disease, allergy and immunology with NYU Langone Health in New York City and the Allergy & Asthma Network.

3. Exercise Helps Reduce the Risk of Chronic Conditions, Too –Moving your body also helps keep stress hormones at bay. (What’s a better way to simmer down after a tough day than a walk outside?) This, in turn, can help protect you from diabetes, which is key, as the disease can leave you more vulnerable to getting sick in the first place, Dr. Parikh says.