PFTL NEWS JULY 2022

FREE WALKING CLINIC HAS BEGUN

Trainer Linda Meyer and I have resurrected the free Walking Clinic.  We meet at the top of the Wallace Bowl in Gillson Park every Friday at 5:30pm.  This is an hour of walking, stairclimbing, calisthenics and balance training, followed by stretching. Participants must be able to walk at a moderate pace.  Faster walkers are also welcome and we usually have two groups, one for moderate walkers, and one for faster walkers.

Participants will be asked to sign a liability waiver if they are not already PFTL clients. Please notify Debora at debora@pftl.net if you plan to participate.

LATE FEES TO BE ADDED

Regretfully, we will have to start adding a late fee to invoices that are not paid on the due dates.  Our business depends on receivables especially since the pandemic.  We have not raised prices for personal training since 2012, even though our operating expenses are increasing dramatically. 

Beginning June 20, we will be adding an automatic 3% late charge to invoices that are not paid within 3 days after the due date.   Most invoices are payable 15 days after clients receive them; so if we have not received payment by the 18th day, the late fee will be added.

Some clients have opted to have the monthly invoice amount charged directly to their credit card. If this is of interest, please contact Jenn Carrasco at carrascojenn8@gmail.com to make this arrangement.

IN-HOME AND VIRTUAL TRAINING COSTS TO INCREASE AUGUST 1

As indicated above, business operating expenses for PFTL have been increasing steadily for the past wo years, and we have not raised prices since 2012 (except for Group Training).  We must now increase the cost of some types of training.  While the majority of clients are coming to the studio, we do not plan to increase the cost of in-person, one-on-one personal training at the studio.  We will, however, be moderately increasing the cost of In-Home, Virtual and Group Training.

Beginning August 1. 2022, In-Home training will be raised to $100/hour for current clients ($105-$110 for new clients).  Virtual Training will be raised to $78 /hour.  Group Training will increase to $150 for each 6-week session ($25 per session).  If you would like to discuss this, please contact me at (847) 722-2115.

RESEARCH: PETS AND WELLNESS (Excerpt from IDEA Fitness Journal Spring 2022)

Numerous studies have shown the positive effects that animals can have on our lives. Yes, improved physical fitness is one benefit!

According to a study in the American Journal of Lifestyle Medicine, walking dogs promotes engagement in and adherence to regular physical activity. Another study noted that, on average, dog walkers spent 22 minutes more per day walking compared with people who didn’t own a dog.

Having a pet is believed to lower blood pressure and cholesterol, according to the CDC (2021). Research also suggests that cat owners are 30% less likely to have a heart attack and nearly 40% less likely to have a stroke.

For people recovering from joint-replacement surgery, Fido could help them depend less on pain pills and potentially heal faster. People who used pet therapy—the guided interaction between a person and a trained animal—while recovering from this type of surgery used less pain medications than those without a pet.

And what about stress? A March 2022 poll released by the American Psychological Association found that 87% of those surveyed said that their “mental health was greatly affected by what has felt like a constant stream of crises without a break over the past 2 years”. This is yet another reason why pet ownership can be more than just rewarding. It’s potentially lifesaving.

Five Ways Pets Improve Mental Health (from American Heart Association 2021)

  1. A reduction in work-related stress. Two out of three employees say work stresses them out, and 40% say their job gets in the way of their health. Studies show that pets in the workplace help reduce stress and improve employee satisfaction.
  2. An increase in productivity. When a dog joins a virtual meeting, group members rank their teammates higher on trust, team cohesion and camaraderie.
  3. Pets help manage anxiety. Pets provide companionship and support, which helps people who are struggling with mental health.
  4. More exercise, better health. Pets provide a reason to get outside, get some fresh air and get active, which is proven to improve mood, sleep and mental health.
  5. Pets provide a sense of togetherness. This special bond helps people feel less alone. When owners see, touch, hear or talk to their companion animals, it brings a sense of goodwill, joy, nurturing and happiness.

WATER WALKING WORKS (Excerpt from IDEA Fitness Journal Spring 2022)

Did you know that science has established that low cardiorespiratory fitness is an independent predictor for cardiovascular disease and all causes of death? The good news is that even a small improvement in aerobic capacity has been shown to decrease mortality from cardiovascular disease. But not all land-based exercises that improve aerobic capacity work for all people! For some older people and those at risk for falls, water-based exercise programs and water walking are a good option. That’s because of the lower gravitational forces and reduced impact on the skeletal system.

What does the research say? Two studies compared the aerobic benefits of land walking and water walking.  The water was chest-deep and warm (about 80 degrees); the land was level, paved or grass.

Results: Thumbs Up for Water Walking! – Maximal aerobic capacity (VO2max) improved equally in both exercise groups—about 4% as compared with the control group. That’s important because your VO2max shows how well your heart and veins push blood to your muscles and the rest of your body. Knowing your VO2max can help you measure fitness and heart health improvements over time.

An improvement of this kind of VO2max is an indication of a meaningful improvement in heart health. As your VO2max increases, you become an overall healthier person. Researchers also saw a significant difference in body composition in the percentage of trunk and upper-body fat.  Both walking groups (land and water) also saw a significant decrease in visceral fat, the fat pattern associated with major diseases (e.g., cardiovascular disease, hyperlipidemia, hypertension, type 2 diabetes and insulin resistance).

Interestingly, the water-walking group showed a significant improvement in lower-limb lean muscle mass. Researchers propose that this may be because water walking may offer a combination of aerobic and resistance exercise.

The bottom line is that water walking is as effective for health as land walking is. It’s a safe option for many older people—and those at risk of falls—to consider.

PFTL News June 2022

FREE WALKING CLINIC STARTS JUNE 17

Trainer Linda Meyer and I will be resurrecting the free Walking Clinic, which has not met for the past two years.  We will meet at the top of the Wallace Bowl in Gillson Park every Friday, starting June 17 at 5:30pm.  This is an hour of walking, stairclimbing, calisthenics and balance training, followed by stretching. Participants must be able to walk at a moderate pace.  Faster walkers are also welcome and we usually have two groups, one for moderate walkers, and one for faster walkers.

Participants will be asked to sign a liability waiver if they are not already PFTL clients. Please notify Debora at debora@pftl.net if you plan to participate.

LATE FEES TO BE ADDED

Regretfully, we will have to start adding a late fee to invoices that are not paid on the due dates.  Our business depends on receivables especially since the pandemic.  We have not raised prices for personal training since 2012, even though our operating expenses are increasing dramatically.  We do not plan to increase the cost of in-person personal training at the studio.  We will, however, be looking at in-home and virtual training for possible increases.

Beginning June 20, we will be adding an automatic 3% late charge to invoices that are not paid within 3 days after the due date.   Most invoices are payable 15 days after clients receive them; so if we have not received payment by the 18th day, the late fee will be added.

Some clients have opted to have the monthly invoice amount charged directly to their credit card. If this is of interest, please contact Jenn Carrasco at carrascojenn8@gmail.com to make this arrangement.

FAQS ABOUT WHAT YOU WOULD LOOK LIKE IF YOU LOST WEIGHT (from Livestrong.com 6/3/22)

1. How Does Weight Loss Change Your Appearance?

You can’t target weight loss to one area of your body, so if you drop pounds, you’re losing weight everywhere, according to the ACE. As a result, you’ll likely notice your entire body slimming down as you shed fat.

However, exactly how much your size changes depends on how much weight you lose. Losing 5 pounds, for instance, may not have as big an effect on your appearance as losing 15 pounds. Similarly, how long it takes to notice weight loss depends on how much fat you shed relative to your initial weight.

And how does weight loss affect your face? Similarly, your face will slim down as the rest of your body loses fat.

2. How Does Weight Loss Affect Your Skin?

If you lose a significant amount of weight (typically 100 pounds or more), you may have excess skin that is too stretched out to fit your new body size, according to the Cleveland Clinic. And this sagging skin may not have the elasticity to shrink, in which case you may require cosmetic procedures or surgeries to tighten or remove excess skin.

You may also notice some skin changes from more moderate weight loss. For instance, stretch marks that developed as you gained weight may become more visible as you shed fat.

Stretch marks typically appear as pink, red, black, blue or purple streaks on your body, per the Mayo Clinic, so if you notice differences in your skin color as your weight changes, this may be the reason why. Fortunately, they’re harmless and may fade with time.

3. Why Doesn’t It Look Like I’ve Lost Weight?

If the number on the scale is dropping but you aren’t losing inches around your waist, there are a few potential explanations.

First, you may be losing visceral fat, the more dangerous type of fat that surrounds your internal organs and ups your risk for heart disease, diabetes and stroke, per the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Because it’s deeper in your core, you may not notice a change in size right away.

Second, you may be losing muscle or water weight instead of fat. This is not ideal, and can happen if you lose weight too quickly, per the U.S. National Library of Medicine. To avoid this issue, stick to the expert-recommended weight-loss pace of 1 to 2 pounds a week.

4. What Does 20 Pounds of Weight Loss Look Like?

Remember, weight loss is relative. For example, 20 pounds of weight lost will look different on someone who’s starting weight was 150 pounds versus 300 pounds.

Instead of getting hung up on the numbers, focus on the wins that don’t relate to your physical appearance.

BONE HEALTH IS VITAL!  (from IDEA Fit Tips May 2022)

Last month was National Osteoporosis Awareness Month. The bad news: You can’t fix your genetic and environmental contributors to bone loss. The good news: Exercising and ensuring adequate levels of calcium and vitamin D intake can help improve bone health.

To strengthen your bones, use these strategies from Maria Luque, PhD, teacher at the College of Health and Human Services at Trident University International and owner of Fitness in Menopause.

Food and Bone Health – Proper diet develops skeletal strength and maintains the bone’s role as a mineral storehouse. Minerals such as calcium and phosphorus, which the body must have to perform every day, are stored in bone. If the body can’t get these minerals from our diet, it takes them from our bones, reducing bone mass and strength (OSG 2004).

Getting that calcium from food is preferred over taking supplements. While eating dairy products is the most efficient way to get enough calcium, you can also get it from other food sources. Consuming calcium on its own, however, is not enough. Proper absorption of calcium also depends on sufficient vitamin D intake.

Exercise and Bone Health – Physical activity can influence both bone and muscle metabolism. Osteogenesis (bone formation) occurs in response to mechanical loading. Inactivity, with its lack of loading, prevents bones from receiving the signal to adapt, which causes bone loss.

Walking – Many studies have shown that walking has only a limited impact on bone. If combined with impact and resistance training, however, walking can help maintain bone mineral density (BMD) in the hip region and in the lumbar and sacral spine In people over 65, increasing daily steps by 25% has been associated with an increase in hip BMD.

Progressive Resistance Training (PRT) – PRT has proven to be the most effective way to increase BMD in women and older adults and to maintain BMD in men. Resistance training also improves muscle mass and strength both of which are crucial to bone formation as well as fall prevention, which becomes a more pronounced risk in older adults.

Emphasize exercises that target posture muscles, such as back and spinal extensors, as well as those that increase strength in functional movements, such as stair climbing or box squats.

High-Impact Exercise – Activities that produce a weighted impact on the skeleton are especially bone producing. The most effective ones induce high-magnitude strains in bone at a high rate.  Brief, high-impact exercises such as hopping, skipping and jumping can increase BMD, muscle strength and power.  Adding unilateral and multiplanar components—such as single-leg hopping or side, front and back hops—can improve balance and proprioception, two key factors in fall prevention.

PFTL News May 2021

PFTL NEWS

What a beautiful spring this is so far.  Every blooming tree and bush are spectacular this year. Hope you have had a chance to get outside and walk through your neighborhoods.  Meanwhile, at the PFTL studio:

Masks and the Vaccine:  we are currently discussing a safe way to allow clients to train at the studio without wearing masks.  This would not happen until probably July when most everyone will have been vaccinated. We may be requesting proof of having been vaccinated before this will be allowed.  In the meantime, masks are still required for entry to the studio.

UNEXPECTED THINGS THAT HAPPEN WHEN YOU ABANDON YOUR WORKOUT ROUTINE (Excerpted from Livestrong.com newsletter April 30, 2021 Author: Linda Melone)

It happens to the best of us: You get injured, find yourself working around the clock or are otherwise forced to put exercise on the back burner for a while.

But a day or two can easily stretch into weeks or even months, and you’re right back to square one. In technical terms, you’ve become “deconditioned.” How quickly your fitness level declines depends on several factors, and some of the things that occur when you stop exercising may surprise you.

1. Cardiovascular Fitness Starts to Decline After One Week – Aerobic fitness is defined as the ability of your body to transport and use oxygen from your blood in your muscles. The measurement of this, also known as VO2 max, decreases after just one week of inactivity.

2. Side Effects Are Less If You’re a Seasoned Exerciser – If you’re new to fitness and recently started working out (less than six months), you’ll lose fitness faster than someone who’s been exercising a year or longer.

3. Flexibility Loss Occurs Quickly – You lose the benefits of flexibility quickly if you take any substantial time off from stretching, says Michele Olson, PhD.  “After a bout of flexibility exercise, the muscles and tendons begin to retract to their typical resting length — particularly if you sit during your commute regularly and/or sit at a desk at your job.”

Olson notes that you’ll notice a loss of flexibility in as few as three days, with even more pronounced changes occurring at the two-week mark. “Stretching should be done at least three times a week — if not daily,” she says.

4. Strength Starts to Diminish After Two Weeks – When you quit strength training, changes in your muscles begin to occur within days, says Olson. “Muscle, when not receiving its regular challenge, will start to lose protein, which is absorbed into your circulation and excreted via urination. Small but meaningful loss in muscle protein (the building block of the contractile units for each muscle fiber) can begin to occur in 72 hours.”

Noticeable changes when attempting to lift your usual amount of weight show up in two to three weeks, says Olson. And as with cardiovascular fitness, long-term exercisers will see a slower muscle loss than those new to exercise, says Dr. Thomas.

5. You Lose Power Faster Than You Lose Strength – Power, defined as strength times distance over a period of time (e.g., how quickly you can hoist a weight or dash across the street to make the light), fades faster than strength, says Weis. “Strength losses first occur due to a change in the nerve’s impulses to muscle fibers, shortly followed by actual muscle wasting.”

During muscle wasting, protein breaks down at a faster rate and protein synthesis (building) drops. The time it takes for you to return to your original fitness level depends on the reason you stopped exercising in the first place — whether due to illness or simply lack of time.

6. Fitness Levels Decline Faster When You’re Sick – Someone who’s healthy and takes a break from exercise loses muscle mass and cardiovascular fitness more slowly than a person who stops exercising due to an illness or injury. The latter will lose fitness levels twice as fast, says Dr. Thomas.

The stress of an illness or injury takes a greater toll on the body than simply taking a break when you’re healthy. Whether you’re an athlete or recreational exerciser, if you’ve taken a few weeks off from your routine, your level of deconditioning will be pretty low, says Weis. “If you are recovering from a fracture, surgery or have been on bed rest, it can take up to and longer than 12 to 24 months to fully recover.”

7. Maintenance Is Easier Than You Think – If you’re planning to take time off from your workout routine, keep in mind that staying in shape isn’t an all-or-nothing proposition. In fact, you can maintain your fitness levels in a surprisingly small amount of time, says Dr. Thomas.

“In order to maintain both aerobic and strength levels, you need just 20 minutes of high-intensity interval training (HIIT) twice a week.” However, Dr. Thomas adds the caveat that the work effort must be truly high-intensity — between 80 and 90 percent of your maximum heart rate.

8. Aging Affects Fitness Loss – You lose strength and overall fitness twice as quickly as you age, says Dr. Thomas. “It’s largely due to hormone levels. As we age, we have lower levels of human growth hormone (HGH), which makes it harder to recover.”

We also lose our ability to handle stress and recover from the resulting stress hormones, such as cortisol. As we get older, this same mechanism results in greater fatigue after a workout. Older athletes take longer to recover from workouts in general, according to several studies, including a February 2008 article published in the Journal of Aging and Physical Activity.

9. It Takes Three Weeks to Gain Back One Week Off – After a period of lying around, your nervous system loses its ability to fire up as it did before you took time off, says Irv Rubenstein, PhD, exercise physiologist. That’s due to the fact that you lose the neural stimuli that enables you to lift heavy objects with the same amount of effort.

“When you return to lifting, you may be able to lift the same weights, but you will be working above your normal capacity, which could put tissue at risk. It will take a greater effort to do what you used to do and will require more rest between sets and days in order to recover. “

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(Editor’s Note:  It’s not too late to get back into a fitness routine…let the trainers at PFTL help you.  We can train you virtually, outdoors, at the studio or at your home.)

PFTL NEWS March 2021

WEBINAR – WHY YOU SHOULD BE HIKING

WEDNESDAY, MARCH 10 AT 7:30PM

PFTL is pleased to offer a 60-minute webinar where you will hear from Mountaineer Martin Pazzani who discovered that walking up hills – hiking – might just be the Fountain of Youth and the pathway to a much longer, happier and healthier life.

Trainers Debora Morris and Susan Thomson will follow his presentation with tips on how to prepare for extended walks/hikes and how to overcome the most common reasons for not hiking.

There is no charge for this webinar. Registration is required.  Click to register below.

https://us02web.zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_eY5SaJILTiCl3X_ExIakQg

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We are offering TWO FREE VIRTUAL SESSIONS FOR FORMER IN-HOME OR STUDIO CLIENTS. Contact Debora at (847) 722 -2115, if you are interested.

PROMOTIONAL OFFER FOR NEW CLIENTS

  • 2-hour Comprehensive Fitness Assessment at no cost ($80 value).
  • 20% discount on first two IN-HOME OR STUDIO  training sessions (Regular $90 studio, $100 in-home)

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OUCH! WHAT CAUSES MUSCLES TO CRAMP (Excerpts from article by Rogelio Realzola, M.S. and Len Kravitz, Ph.D.)

Muscles cramps are abrupt, harsh, involuntary muscle contractions that can cause mild-to-severe agony and immobility (Minetto et al.,2013). Minetto and colleagues add that muscle cramps usually self-extinguish within seconds to minutes but may be accompanied with a knotting of the affected muscle. They occur in healthy people during exercise, sleep, pregnancy or after vigorous physical exertion. There is no gender difference with skeletal muscle cramps. However, they appear to occur more frequently with endurance athletes and in the elderly (Giuriato et al., 2018). According to Giuriato, the occurrence rate of muscle cramping is 50-60% in a healthy population. During endurance exercise, muscle cramps are correlated with long duration workouts, as well as harder workout intensities. While they are widely discussed by fitness pros, until recently, little has been known about the actual physiology of cramps.

Types of Muscle Cramps – Muscle cramps are multifactorial that Giuriato and colleagues (2018) have categorized into three groups: (1) nocturnal cramps, which occur during sleep without any clear causal mechanism; (2) pathological cramps, which are a consequence of having diabetes, nerve dysfunctions, or metabolic disorders in the body; (3) exercise-associated muscle cramps (EAMC), the muscle cramps that occur while exercising or post-exercise.

What are the Risk Factors Associated with Muscle Cramps? – With marathon runners, Schwellnus et al. (1997) summarize research that shows certain risk factors are more associated with the occurrence of a muscle cramp. These risks include a longer history of running (i.e., running years), older chronological age of the individual, higher body mass index, shorter daily stretching time, irregular stretching habits and a positive family history of cramping. With marathon runners, Schwellnus summarize that the two most important observations from the research are that EAMC are associated with longer running conditions (which lead to muscle fatigue), and poor stretching habits.

Early Theories of the Causes of EAMC – These include electrolyte imbalance, dehydration, and increase in body temperature due to hot, humid environments.  Studies have shown that there is no direct correlation between these causes and exercise-associated muscle cramps.

Current Theory on the Cause of Muscle Cramps – The newest concept of muscle cramps is a neuromuscular theory (Giuriato et al., 2018). Currently, this theory has evolved to have two different origins: a central (i.e., spinal column) and a peripheral (i.e., neuromuscular junction) origin.

Cautions to Protect Against Cramps from Occurring – It is clear that intense, extremely long duration workouts (for the level of fitness of the exerciser) leads to more skeletal muscle cramps. As well, lack of training and/or training in a hot, humid environment predisposes a person to muscle fatigue and possible muscle cramping. Research also shows there is a greater incidence of muscle cramps with the elderly, a phenomenon which needs more research, but important for fitness pros to be aware. Although the research shows that poor or inadequate stretching may predispose a person to muscle cramps, we do not have an evidence-based recommendation for what type of stretches and how much stretching should be done to reduce cramps.

Take Home Messages and Muscle Cramp Reflections – From a health perspective, the results of this new research show that we no longer have the evidence to state that a cramp is due to electrolyte imbalances or water depletion in muscle. Further, recommending particular supplements in the hopes that it impedes cramps also appears not to be rooted in any current literature. Performing too intense and/or long-duration workouts when not properly prepared to do is, should be avoided. Proper stretching exercises, particularly of the limbs is also essentiaL

PFTL News February 2021

PFTL UPDATE  &  NEW OFFERS

The clients who  have returned to the studio have reported that they feel very safe in the space. We will continue to monitor all people who enter the studio, require masks and wipe down all surfaces constantly.

Several clients have opted for virtual training.  This can be done easily using Zoom or Facetime.  If you want to get back into a fitness routine, this is a good way to do this while in your own home. Let us know if you would like to train virtually (no mask required)..

We are offering TWO FREE VIRTUAL SESSIONS FOR FORMER IN-HOME OR STUDIO CLIENTS. Contact Debora at (847) 722 -2115, if you are interested.

We are aware that several clients would like to return, but do not feel comfortable wearing masks while exercising.  I hope we can relax this requirement sometime in the future, however, it is too early to do that yet. 

PROMOTIONAL OFFER FOR NEW CLIENTS

  1. 2-hour Comprehensive Fitness Assessment at no cost (an $80 value).
  2. 20% discount on first two IN-HOME OR STUDIO  training sessions (Regular $90 studio, $100 in-home)

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TRAIN YOUR FEET

TRAIN YOUR FEET  ( from IDEA Fitness Journal, January 2021)

Making your feet more functional can help the rest of your body.

Do you know how critical healthy feet are to a successful training program? Your feet and ankles make up your body’s foundation and act as “shock absorbers” when your body interacts with a surface (Price 2006). The feet transmit weight from our body to the ground, allow us to balance in static posture, and propel our body forward, back and laterally in dynamic activities (Lillis 2019).

To improve feet function and help prevent dysfunction in other body parts, perform these foot exercises from Eileen Byrnes, a Connecticut-based registered yoga instructor (RYT 200), fitness instructor, barefoot enthusiast, certified reflexologist and creator of Solely Wellness.

Why Exercise Your Feet?   While feet are our base for all movement, it isn’t common practice for many exercisers to consider foot function. Nick St. Louis, an Ottawa-based physiotherapist and founder of The Foot Collective, says this needs to change.

“A house will collapse if built on a weak foundation. Many of the problems you see upstream are very much related to the foot,” he says, adding that hip, knee and ankle discomfort or pain often starts in foot dysfunction. Being barefoot allows you to increase balance, engage muscles, improve mobility, transfer stability from one side to the other and offer efficient force transfer to the ground (Shaffer 2020).

Foot Exercises – You can perform foot exercises alone, as part of a warmup or in the stretch section of a workout. Inactive foot muscles may fatigue quickly, but daily exercise will build strength and endurance.

Toe spreading:

  • Stand on a stable surface.
  • Extend and simultaneously move your toes away from each other.
  • Create as much space be–tween the toes as possible.
  • Repeat several times, each foot.

Marble pickup:

  • Put a pile of marbles on the floor.
  • Pick up each marble with your toes, creating a second pile.
  • Repeat several times, each foot.

Toe yoga:

  • Extend the big toe while toes 2–5 stay on the floor.
  • Alternate, lifting and lowering toes 2–5 and then the big toe.
  • Do each foot separately and then both feet together.

Beginning and end: 

  • Extend all your toes.
  • Alternate pressing the big toe and fifth toe to the floor, keeping the ankle centered.
  • Extend all toes and simultaneously press the big toe and fifth toe to the floor, keeping the middle toes lifted.
  • Repeat, each foot.

Band work: 

  • Fasten a resistance band to a secure point, placing the other end of the band on the top or dorsal side of the foot, below your toes.
  • Dorsiflex the foot (raise it up toward the shin) and then relax.
  • Repeat several times, each foot.

Foot stretch: 

  • Kneel and tuck all toes under the buttocks.
  • Press the toe pads into the floor. Place a blanket or cushion under the knees if you feel discomfort.