by Debora Morris | Jul 1, 2018 | Newsletters
WALKING CLINIC JUNE 18 – September 30
All are Welcome
This will be the fourth 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. Let us know if you want to be put on our email list for the walking clinic, as walkers are notified when the class is cancelled.
BONE BASICS (from IDEAfit.com)
- Calcium, vitamin D, dairy and physical activity are critical to preserving and building bone mass.
- Bone mass peaks in the early 20s.
- BMD = bone mineral density (measured in T-score, a negative number because it quantifies bone loss).
- Osteopenia is the onset of bone loss (T-score -1 to -2.5).
- Osteoporosis is the most serious bone loss (T-score below -2.5).
- Walking has limited effect on bone health. However, if combined with impact and resistance training, walking can help maintain BMD in the hip region and in the lumbar and sacral spine (Karaguzel & Holick 2010). In people over 65, increasing daily steps by 25% has been associated with an increase in hip BMD (McMillan et al. 2017).
- Progressive resistance training helps to maintain and improve BMD.
- High-impact activities (jumping, hopping, skipping) help the most with bone growth.
- Posture and balance training are essential to fall prevention.
- Heavy resistance training is safe and improves bone, function and stature.
- Women over 50 have the highest risk of osteoporosis and fractures.
NOT ALL VITAMIN D IS CREATED EQUAL (excerpted from IDEAfit.com)
We live in a part of the world where getting enough Vitamin D from the sun is almost impossible, yet we need to keep our Vitamin D levels up throughout the year. After all, the sunshine vitamin is not only important for bone health but has also been tied to a lower risk for certain cancers, heart conditions and depression.
That said, where you get your vitamin D matters. Researchers from Australia and the United Kingdom reported in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition (July 2017) that when study volunteers received 600 IU of vitamin D daily via fortified juice or biscuits for 3 months, vitamin D3—the form found in animal foods like fish and eggs, as well as some supplements—was nearly twice as effective at raising blood levels of the nutrient than was vitamin D2, a plant-based form typically used to fortify vegan foods like dairy-free milk and vegetarian-friendly supplements.
A separate study, published in the European Journal of Clinical Nutrition in 2015, discovered that after supplementation stopped, vitamin D levels declined less rapidly when participants had been taking D3 than when D2 was the supplement of choice.
DOES SLEEP HELP YOU LOSE WEIGHT (from ACE Health eTips)
Sleep has the potential to help people lose weight, but not just any sleep will do. It’s important to get an adequate amount of deep sleep every night, as it is the most restorative, providing both mental and physical recovery benefits, which supports the weight-loss journey.
Most research indicates that less than 7 hours of sleep correlates with being heavier, gaining weight, risk of disease, cancer and struggling to lose weight. Other research suggests than 6.5 hours is a sweet spot and anything more increases inflammation, depression and mortality rates (Walker, 2017). Many experts believe that a range of six to eight hours or seven to nine hours is ideal for most people.
The right amount of sleep depends on each individual’s unique physiology. Devote time and attention toward finding what works for you, because it could make or break your weight-loss efforts. “Take away the bedrock of sleep, or weaken it just a little, and careful eating or physical exercise become less than effective,” writes Matthew Walker, Ph.D., author of Why We Sleep.
How Sleep Influences Weight Loss
Sleep is the foundation needed to support exercise and healthy eating habits. When people don’t get enough sleep, it can become more challenging to control behavior and inhibitions. They might be more likely to seek pleasure in foods and replace exercise-related activities with those that offer a “quick fix” reward, such as surfing the Internet or watching television.
Lack of sleep strengthens the desire for rewards, which usually leads to unhealthy eating. More specifically, leptin (which decreases hunger), ghrelin (which increases hunger) and endocannabinoids (which are linked to snack cravings) are hormones that regulate appetite. When sleep volume is low, these hormones stimulate a craving for carbohydrate-rich foods.
Without enough sleep, the body is essentially in a state of duress, which can lead to eating more calories to deal with the “threat” it perceives. Also, the more time spent awake, the more time there is to consume snacks.
Another hormone, cortisol, ideally spikes in the morning, providing energy for the day, and reduces at night, encouraging sleep. When sleep habits are poor and stress is high, cortisol levels remain elevated, which may inhibit weight loss and disrupt sleep. A cycle of stress and sleep disruption results. Stress affects sleep and sleep affects stress, which once again makes it challenging to implement even the most well-designed program for weight loss.
Getting enough sleep and rising at a consistent time every day supports hormones to regulate appetite and food choices. Take small steps toward better sleep and be gentle with yourself. In other words, don’t let stressing about not getting enough sleep add more stress. You don’t need to (and probably cannot) fix your sleep habits overnight. Progress slowly.
ENJOY YOURSELF THIS SUMMER – NOW THAT IT IS FINALLY HERE!
by Debora Morris | Jun 29, 2015 | Newsletters
HOW DID YOU SPEND YOUR LAST 24 HOURS? (From ACE Fit Life June 3, 2015)
What do you do during a typical 24-hour weekday? Take a few moments and divide up those 24 hours and reflect on how you typically spend that time. How many hours did you spend sleeping? How many hours did you spend sitting down (don’t forget the times you sit in the car, while you eat, etc.)? How many hours did you spend moving?
Once you have completed your 24-hour self-reflection activity, think more specifically about your movement time. What type of movement did you do? What was the intensity and intentionality of that movement?
Over the past few decades, Americans have heard over and over that a minimum of 30 minutes of daily exercise is essential to good health. However, the latest research suggests that how much time we spend sitting could be just as important as how much time we spend exercising. In fact, a new term has been coined to describe those who exercise, but spend the majority of their days being sedentary: active couch potatoes.
An active couch potato refers to someone who is inactive for the majority of the day, but regularly makes sure to get in 30 minutes of exercise on most days. An active couch potato is not necessarily lazy, but spend most of his or her time sitting during leisure time, work (and commuting to and from work) and while eating meals. In other words, they’re almost completely physically inactive throughout the day, with the exception of that 30 or minutes of daily exercise. Although 30 minutes of exercise is absolutely beneficial and healthful, the rest of the day is causing tremendous health hazards. In fact, the World Health Organization (WHO) has identified physical inactivity as an independent risk factor for chronic disease development, and it is now the fourth leading cause of death worldwide.
So, exactly how do we differentiate between exercise and being physically active? And is the distinction important? Here are some definitions that should help clear things up:
Physical activity is movement that is carried out by the skeletal muscles that requires energy. In other words, any movement one does is actually physical activity.
Exercise, however, is planned, structured, repetitive and intentional movement intended to improve or maintain physical fitness. Exercise is a subcategory of physical activity.
Research provides significant evidence that ALL physical activity positively contributes to overall health and well-being. As you evaluate your 24-hour activity reflection, consider making a detailed plan that includes both elements: 1. Daily increased physical activity; 2. Structured, planned, intentional exercise to improve physical fitness. Omitting one or the other can have serious and detrimental consequences for your health, fitness and overall well-being. Add BOTH elements to your life to reap the life-changing benefits of physical activity and exercise.
UNEXPECTED STRESSORS THAT ARE WRECKING YOUR HEALTH (excerpted from Greatist.com)
The big causes of stress in life are easy to ID—major life transitions, illnesses and injuries, money issues, a too-busy schedule—the list goes on and on. But they’re not the only things affecting your wellbeing. Even mild stressors have been shown to pose long-term impediments to our health, plus they lower tolerance for more severe stressors like pain.
The following are common, but sneaky, stressors that you may not know are messing with your health: Late Bedtimes; Lying; Over-doing Caffeine, Alcohol, and/or Exercise, Opening your Inbox, Commuting, Eating Processed Foods and Dieting. In this newsletter, two of these will be discussed.. Subsequent newsletters will discuss some of the other stressors.
LATE BEDTIMES – Crawling into bed after midnight may bump your stress levels. The later students put off going to sleep in one study, the more likely they were to suffer from negative thoughts, ruminative worries, and overall low moods than those who achieved lights out on the earlier side. And regardless of how many hours they sleep, adults and teens who identify as night owls report feeling more tension, pessimism, and depressive symptoms than their early-bird peers. Since anxiety and a brain that won’t shut off interfere with relaxation and sleep, researchers still aren’t certain whether later bedtimes are the primary cause of these negative emotions or whether they simply reflect a more stressed out, unhappy personality structure.
According to the National Sleep Foundation, the best bet is to start winding down a full two hours before you plan on falling asleep (ideally at a time that allows for at least eight hours of ZZZs.) So turn off the Netflix, shut down the smartphone, and stem Facebook stalking ASAP after dinner, and feel free to hop in a warm bath or shower to facilitate the relaxation response.
And lest you find yourself stressing about not being able to fall asleep once you actually get around to it? Try and, well, take the pressure off. Falling asleep is a spontaneous thing. You can’t force yourself to do it. The minute you start telling yourself, “Oh no; it’s 2 a.m. and I can’t sleep!” you’re done for. Being willing to not sleep is actually what relaxes your body. It’s the willingness to lay in a dark room with your eyes closed and allow yourself to just be there that’ll do the trick.”
LYING – From little white fibs to massive deceptions, lying can interfere with our mental and physical health and may even contribute to gastric distress. But holistic psychotherapist and relationship expert Victoria Lorient-Faibish, M.Ed., doesn’t counsel wholesale confession as an antidote to the stress caused by dishonesty. “Many people with a history of lying struggle with fantasies of confession,” she says. “But they often fail to realize that coming clean might make things worse.” Rather than blurting out everything to everyone all at once, Lorient-Faibish recommends first coming clean to a therapist who can help you assess who else to tell your deep-seeded truths to—and how.
by Debora Morris | Dec 29, 2013 | Newsletters
WISE UP ABOUT SLEEP LOSS (excerpt from WebMD)
You know lack of sleep can make you grumpy and foggy. You may not know what it can do to your sex life, memory, health, looks, and even ability to lose weight. Here are 10 surprising — and serious — effects of sleep loss.
1. Sleepiness Causes Accidents: Sleep deprivation was a factor in some of the biggest disasters in recent history: the 1979 nuclear accident at Three Mile Island, the massive Exxon Valdez oil spill, the 1986 nuclear meltdown at Chernobyl, and others. But sleep loss is also a big public safety hazard every day on the road. Drowsiness can slow reaction time as much as driving drunk. The problem is greatest among people under 25 years old. Studies show that sleep loss and poor-quality sleep also lead to accidents on the job.
2. Sleep Loss Dumbs You Down: Sleep plays a critical role in thinking and learning. Lack of sleep hurts these cognitive processes in many ways. First, it impairs attention, alertness, concentration, reasoning, and problem solving. This makes it more difficult to learn efficiently. Second, if you don’t get enough sleep, you won’t be able to remember what you learned and experienced during the day.
3. Sleep Deprivation Can Lead to Serious Health Problems: Sleep disorders and chronic sleep loss can put you at risk for: Heart disease, Heart attack, Heart failure, Irregular heartbeat, High blood pressure, Stroke, Diabetes. According to some estimates, 90% of people with insomnia — a sleep disorder characterized by trouble falling and staying asleep — also have another health condition.
4. Lack of Sleep Kills Sex Drive: Sleep specialists say that sleep-deprived men and women report lower libidos and less interest in sex. Depleted energy, sleepiness, and increased tension may be largely to blame. For men with sleep apnea, a respiratory problem that interrupts sleep, there may be another factor in the sexual slump.
5. Sleepiness Is Depressing: Over time, lack of sleep and sleep disorders can contribute to the symptoms of depression. In a recent poll, people who were diagnosed with depression or anxiety were more likely to sleep less than six hours at night. Insomnia, has the strongest link to depression.
6. Lack of Sleep Ages Your Skin: Most people have experienced sallow skin and puffy eyes after a few nights of missed sleep. But chronic sleep loss can lead to lackluster skin, fine lines, and dark circles under the eyes. When you don’t get enough sleep, your body releases more of the stress hormone cortisol. In excess amounts, cortisol can break down skin collagen, the protein that keeps skin smooth and elastic.
7. Sleepiness Makes You Forgetful: Trying to keep your memory sharp? Try getting plenty of sleep. Researchers determined that brain events called “sharp wave ripples” are responsible for consolidating memory. Sharp wave ripples occur mostly during the deepest levels of sleep.
8. Losing Sleep Can Make You Gain Weight: Lack of sleep seems to be related to an increase in hunger and appetite, and possibly to obesity. According to a 2004 study, people who sleep less than six hours a day were almost 30 percent more likely to become obese than those who slept seven to nine hours.
Recent research has focused on the link between sleep and the peptides that regulate appetite. Shortened sleep time is associated with decreases in leptin, which signals satiety to the brain.
9. Lack of Sleep May Increase Risk of Death: In a British study which looked at how sleep patterns affected the mortality of a large number of people over two decades. The results showed that those who had cut their sleep from seven to five hours or fewer a night, nearly doubled their risk of death from all causes. In particular, lack of sleep doubled the risk of death from cardiovascular disease.
10. Sleep Loss Impairs Judgment, Especially About Sleep: Sleep-deprived people seem to be especially prone to poor judgment when it comes to assessing what lack of sleep is doing to them. In our increasingly fast-paced world, functioning on less sleep has become a kind of badge of honor. But sleep specialists say if you think you’re doing fine on less sleep, you’re probably wrong.
Studies show that over time, people who are getting six hours of sleep, instead of seven or eight, begin to feel that they’ve adapted to that sleep deprivation — they’ve gotten used to it. But if you look at how they actually do on tests of mental alertness and performance, they continue to go downhill. So there’s a point in sleep deprivation when we lose touch with how impaired we are.”
PFTL NOW TAKES CREDIT CARDS
Several clients have requested to pay their bills by credit card, so starting this year clients will be able to make payments by Visa or Mastercard. There will be a 2.5% “convenience fee” for using this option. Julie can take your card number in person, swipe your card, or you can write it on your invoice and mail it back, or phone the number in to Julie. We hope this will satisfy those clients who prefer this method of payment.
EXERCISE AS EFFECTIVE AS DRUGS (from IDEAfit.com)
A study of more than 300 trials has found that physical activity was better than medication in helping patients recovering from strokes – and just as good as drugs in protecting against diabetes and in stopping heart disease worsening. The research, published in the British Medical Journal, analyzed data about studies on 340,000 patients diagnosed with one of four diseases: heart disease, chronic heart failure, stroke or diabetes.
Researchers said the findings suggested that regular exercise could be “quite potent” in improving survival chances, but said that until more studies are done, patients should not stop taking their tablets without taking medical advice.
The landmark research compared the mortality rates of those who were prescribed medication for common serious health conditions, with those who were instead enrolled on exercise programs. The research found that while medication worked best for those who had suffered heart failure, in all the other groups of patients, exercise was at least as effective as the drugs which are normally prescribed.
People with heart disease who exercised but did not use commonly prescribed medications, including statins, and drugs given to reduce blood clots had the same risk of dying as patients taking the medication. Similarly, people with borderline diabetes who exercised had the same survival chances as those taking the most commonly prescribed drugs.
One conclusion is that exercise should be considered as a viable alternative to, or alongside, drug therapy. Only the patients who were recovering from heart failure fared best when prescribed drugs. Researchers stressed that they were not suggesting that anyone should stop taking medications they had been prescribed, but suggested patients should think “long and hard” about their lifestyles, and talk to their doctors about incorporating more exercise into their daily routines.
NEW CLASSES IN 2014
We plan to offer more small group classes (maximum of 4 participants) in the near future. The classes may include core conditioning, posture improvement, high intensity interval training, cardio/resistance workouts, and others. Several trainers are working on program design for the classes. We will announce them soon.
HAPPY NEW YEAR EVERYONE!