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 April 2022

Masks Still Required

We are still requiring masks for all those who enter the PFTL studio.  We want to ensure that our studio is a safe place to come and exercise.  We know that exercising with a mask is not fun, but it is a good practice for the time being.  Contagion is increasing in our village and the immediate area, so we are watching the situation carefullly.  We always want clients and trainers to feel that our studio is a safe and healthy environment and will do all we can to maintain that.

THE HIDDEN VICTIM OF THE PANDEMIC – Your Hips  (Excerpted from ACE Insights March 2022)

We constantly hear that core strength is fundamental to athletic performance, reducing injury risk and living a healthy life. But what most people don’t realize is that the psoas and iliacus muscles are also considered muscles of the core. Like the other muscles that make up the core, if the muscles that act at your hips are not in good health, you’ll soon know about it.

Back pain, knee pain, shin splints, IT band friction syndrome, plantar fasciitis, and all sorts of other aches and pains often stem from the hips. 

It’s the muscles around your hips that support your torso and pelvis, creating a strong foundation for your limbs to move from. When these muscles (primarily the psoas, iliacus and the gluteus maximus) are not in good shape, you don’t have the strong foundation you need, which means that other parts of the body have to pick up the slack. When these other muscles do too much compensating, overuse or repetitive stress injuries can soon result.

By strengthening the muscles around your hips, not only can you ease injury risk, but it also improves your athleticism. Building strong glute muscles and strengthening and stretching your hip flexors helps you transfer force through the upper and lower body, so you can move more powerfully.

Ask Bryce Hastings, physiotherapist and Les Mills Head of Research, about the most beneficial stretches and he says, for many, focusing on your hip flexors is hard to beat. “We only have 10-15 degrees of extension available at the hip (where the thigh moves behind the body) and we use all of this mobility every time we take a step. Compare this to the hamstrings, which normally allow 90 degrees of hip flexion, of which we only use around 30 degrees when we walk or run. Therefore, losing 10 degrees of hamstring length is generally O.K., whereas losing 10 degrees of psoas length is a real problem. Any shortening of this muscle shunts movement that should occur at the hip into the lower back during each step, and that’s a disaster.”

If you have tight hips, you have less mobility, which can make even the simplest movements—like walking or pushing a stroller—painful. Tight hips can also lead to a tilted pelvis, which affects both your posture and your head and neck alignment. Poor posture is linked to stress and depression, while neck alignment issues can lead to headaches.

Post-pandemic Hip Health is More Important Than Ever – While we know the perils of too much sitting, for many, pandemic-induced restrictions have meant we’re spending more time than ever at home working and sitting on our bottoms. A recent study identified prolonged sitting as one of the key causes of pain and discomfort caused by limited hip extension. Your hips are contracted whenever you’re sitting, and your hip flexors (the large powerful muscles at the front of the hip) are in a shortened position. In as little as 30 minutes, this tightening of the muscles can become problematic. You experience a loss of elasticity in the muscles, and as you age, this can become more pronounced, and the muscles become less pliable.

Signs You Need to Stretch Your Hips

  • Sitting for any more than four hours a day
  • Lower back or knee pain
  • Any pinching or pain in your hips
  • A feeling of being restricted when you move
  • If you struggle to touch your toes.

NO RISK OF OSTEOARTHRITIS FROM PHYSICAL ACTIVITY (IDEA Fitness Journal, Winter 2022)

For years, people have raised concerns about the risks of physical activity on joints; however, study after study shows that the benefits of exercise outweigh the risks for most people—even for frail, elderly individuals. New research adds to our understanding of the limited risks of physical activity and its connection to osteoarthritis.

Researchers from England’s University of Southampton and University of Oxford conducted a study to evaluate risks of developing knee osteoarthritis from physical activity. They examined data from six global community-based studies that included more than 5,000 participants who they followed for 5–12 years.

Data analysis showed that neither the amount of energy expenditure of physical activity nor weekly hours spent training were associated with increased risk of developing knee OA. This is good news for clients who may be concerned that being active may increase knee arthritis risks.

The research is reported in Arthritis & Rheumatology (2021; doi:10.1002/art.42001).

WHY EXERCISE REDUCES CHRONIC INFLAMMATION (IDEA Fitness Journal, Winter 2022)

Your body produces what it needs to reduce inflammation.

A new study offers insight into why exercise reduces chronic inflammation, as reported in Gut Microbes (2021; 13 [1], e1997559).

University of Nottingham, England, researchers conducted the study using data from a 6-week exercise intervention involving a group of 78 people with arthritis. Roughly half of the participants engaged in a 15-minute daily exercise program for the study period and half did not. After the study period, only those who exercised had reduced pain and increased gut microbes that produced substances that helped with chronic inflammation and increased the body’s endocannabinoids.

“Our study clearly shows that exercise increases the body’s own cannabis-type substances, which can have a positive impact on many conditions,” said lead study author Amrita Vijay, PhD, research fellow in the School of Medicine. “As interest in cannabidiol oil and other supplements increases, it is important to know that simple lifestyle interventions like exercise can modulate endocannabinoids.”

Mask Update for PFTL

Many businesses are making masks optional as of Monday, February 28. We, however, will still be requiring masks for the time being. If contagion levels remain low even after optional masking is practiced in the area, then we will make masks optional.

New strains of Covid are ever-present, and in the past, infection numbers have risen in areas where masks were not required. Hopefully, this will not be the case this time.

Please be patient in order to be safe. Thank you in advance for your cooperation.

Hopefully yours,

Debora

PFTL News February 2022

PFTL Update

Masks Still Required

We are still requiring masks and vaccination verification for all those who enter the studio.  We want to ensure that our studio is a safe place to come and exercise.  We know that exercising with a mask is not fun, but it is a good practice for the time being.  Contagion is decreasing in our village and the immediate area, but we will always be more conservative than some other businesses.  We truly want clients and trainers to feel that our studio is a safe and healthy environment and will do all we can to maintain that.

IMPROVING JOINT MOBILITY     (Excerpt from Livestrong.com July 2020)

Stretching and strength training are good for your muscles and cardio is good for your heart, but what about your joints? Unlike muscles, joints have no direct blood supply, so they rely on movement to keep them functioning properly.

“If there’s no motion in the joint it will degenerate — that’s a law,” says Robert Bates, DC, a chiropractor and preventive care specialist in Manhattan Beach, California. Joints rely on synovial fluid to “wash” away waste products that build up and compromise the integrity of the joint, he says.

Why Is Joint Mobility Important?

daily joint-mobility routine can keep your joints healthy and prevent stiffness and muscle imbalances. It can also restore lost range of motion, making exercise more enjoyable, enhancing your athletic performance and protecting you from common aches and pains.

A single faulty joint affects the body as a whole, as the individual parts of the human body are meant to work synergistically, not independently. As long as there’s not permanent damage in the joint, you can regain lost ranges of motion through preventive care, Bates says.

Additionally, joints that are able to move through their full range of motion allow connecting muscles to completely contract and expand, which gives muscles more strength and power and prevents injury.

Here are some examples of exercises you can do daily to maintain joint mobility in shoulders, hips and ankles.  If you are not clear oh how to do these, ask your trainer to show you.

Backstroke for shoulders

  1. Standing with your arms straight and elbows locked (but not hyperextended), lift one arm straight out in front of you and slowly circle it backward. Avoid rotating the torso as you do so.
  2. Keep your hips squared forward and biceps close to your ear at the top of the movement without allowing your shoulders to shrug.
  3. Repeat on the other side and keep alternating in a fluid motion for 10 to 20 reps per side.

The ball-and-socket joint of the shoulder is one of the most mobile joints in the human body, but due to improper posture, motion can deteriorate over time.

“Ergonomics is not enough. You must get the movement in the joints,” says Bates, who recommends practicing proper posture in the workplace and taking breaks to get your joints moving as well as keeping them hydrated.

Pelvic circles for Hip Joints

  1. Stand with your feet hip-width apart, hands on your hips.
  2. Keep your feet planted and core engaged as you move your hips in a circular motion.
  3. Repeat 5 to 10 times in each direction.

“Every time you land, something has to absorb the shock,” Nelson says. “The muscles, tendons and ligaments aren’t designed to do it all.” A stiff spine and tight hips means the impact is going to be translated to the muscles, tendons and ligaments.

“Over time, it leads to sprains, strains, knee and low-back pain,” she says. So keep your lumbar spinal discs and hip sockets lubricated with pelvic circles.

Ankle Rolls

  1. Stand or sit and lift one heel off the ground.
  2. Flex your foot, brining your toes toward your shin.
  3. Circle the ankle around and point your toes for full extension at the bottom of the movement before circling around to the starting position.
  4. Repeat for 5 to 10 reps in each direction on both legs.

Mobilizing your ankles may be just what you need in order to let go of nagging running injuries and finally ditch that knee brace for good.

“The epidemic of plantar fasciitis and fallen arches is a result of the foot bones destabilizing in order to compensate for the ankle being incapable of absorbing and retranslating force,” Sonnon says.

Ankle rolls restore movement to the joint and, as a result, re-stabilize knee alignment and helps prevent arches from falling, resolving pain from plantar fasciitis, he says.

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