PFTL NEWS January 2017


Qigong – Qigong is an ancient oriental self-healing art that enhances vitality and sense of well-being.  It is easily adapted to any physical limitation or fitness level.  It is considered the ultimate anti-aging exercise, adding years to our life and life to your years

6 Week Session -starts January 19; Thursdays from 3:34pm to 4:30pm.  Taught by Regina Wolgel, OTR/L.  Cost $100 for the 6-week session. Drop-ins $20 per meeting. Call Julie to register, 847-251-6834.


When we think about staying healthy and fit, we sometimes forget that our eyes are an important part of this.  The following is an excerpted article from (D. Chandri OD) with some insights to keeping our eyes healthy.

♦ Touching and rubbing your eyes – Whether you wear contacts or not, you’re asking for trouble by unnecessary poking and rubbing your eyes. Sometimes your eyes itch and you feel you have to rub, but it’s best to keep the lid closed and only touch the outside of the eye. Rubbing too hard can also lead to broken blood vessels and inflammation.

Another reason to keep your hands off? Your eyes are protected by mucous membranes—moist tissue that can easily collect dirt and germs—so they’re a great place for bacteria to grow. If you shake someone’s hand and then you rub your eyes, you’re transmitting those germs and there’s a good chance you can catch whatever cold he’s got.

♦ Annual eye exams – Vision changes aren’t even the most important reason you should still see an eye doc every year. It’s about getting your overall eye health checked out: There are no pain receptors behind the eye, so if you have a broken blood vessel or a tumor back there, you would otherwise not know it until it starts to interfere with your vision, or worse.

♦ Staring at devices all day (and night) – Electronic screens, like those on our computers, tablets, and smartphones, emit blue light, which some eye doctors believe to be as harmful as the sun’s ultraviolet rays. Plus, focusing on anything for hours on end can cause eye strain and headaches. Remember the “20-20-20” rule. Every 20 minutes, look at an object at least 20 feet away, for at least 20 seconds.

♦ Applying eyeliner to your waterline – Even though makeup artists often swear by putting liner on the inside of your lower lashes, it’s actually quite risky. When you put liner inside your eye, you’re mixing it with your tears. If you’re wearing contacts, your lenses then get coated in tiny makeup particles, which can deprive your eyes of oxygen. And even if you’re not wearing contacts, those makeup particles can also be carrying germs that can cause infection.

Liquid liners are especially dangerous since the applicator tip sits in a tube that can harbor bacteria. Soft pencils are safer since they are continuously being worn down and a new “tip” is exposed, but she still recommends applying them outside the eye only.

♦ Sleeping in your makeup – Hitting the sack without washing your face can do more than leave mascara stains on your pillow; it can also clog the glands around your peepers and lead to irritated skin, pimples, and even styes—painful, raised bumps that can appear on or around the eyelids.

False lashes are a no-no too. If you’re sleeping in them and rubbing them, that glue can get into your cornea and lead to major inflammation.

♦ Using expired solution, lenses, or drops – Contact lens solutions all have an expiration date that should be followed. These solutions have cleansers that kill bacteria on your lenses, so you want to make sure all of those ingredients are still doing their job.

The same thing goes for the lenses themselves, which sit in a sterile solution that can break down over time. Artificial tears and prescription eye drops also have expiration dates that you should pay close attention to, as well. And definitely don’t rinse your contact case or store contacts in any liquid that’s not sterile, like tap or distilled water; both have been associated with Acanthamoeba keratitis, a drug-resistant corneal infection.

♦ Overuse of OTC redness-reducing drops – The kinds you buy in the drugstore contain vasoconstrictors, which shrink blood vessels and temporarily make your eyes appear less red. But they also contain preservatives and other chemicals that can make your problem even worse in the long run, and it’s only a matter of time before you experience a rebound effect.

If your eyes are constantly red or irritated, it’s important to see an eye doctor who can get to the root of your problem. He or she can recommend an over-the-counter product (like a moisturizing “artificial tears” drop) or suggest other forms of treatment.



PFTL News December 2016

CLASS INFO:  Free Qigong Intro Class – Thursday, December 8 from 4pm – 4:45pm. Taught by Regina Wolgel.  No charge

Basic Full-Body Tune-Up – 6- weeks, starts Wednesday, December 7, 3pm-4pm. Taught by Linda Meyer. Cost for the 6-weeks is $100.


Has anyone told you to “warm up” before you exercise or play sports? It seems simple enough, doesn’t it? What’s easy to do is also easy not to do, and the biggest mistake people make is skipping this important component of exercise. Here’s what you need to know to warm up properly (and why it’s so important) so you can be more effective with your physical activities.

WHY Most people sit for long periods of time or lie in bed before they exercise. Warming up helps you shift gears both mentally and physically. When You Warm Up…

  • The brain shifts its attention to physical activity mode.
  • Joints move through their full ranges of motion.
  • Your heart rate increases gradually instead of abruptly.
  • Blood circulates through your system.
  • The muscles practice movements to come.
  • The likelihood of injury decreases.

HOW When it comes to exercise, there are three main activities that all require different types of warm up:

  • Resistance training
  • Sports
  • Cardiovascular exercise

It’s not that there’s a right way and a wrong way to warm up, but there are better and more effective methods you can apply. Your time is valuable, so why not get the maximum benefit? To be most effective, warm-up movements should change based on the activity you’re about to do.   Warm up for one to three minutes before activity and perform each warm-up move five to 10 times. Choose from the ideas below and pay attention to the common mistakes mentioned.

RESISTANCE TRAINING– Common mistake: static stretching. This means holding a stretch for 20 to 30 seconds and sometimes forcing a limb into a position. Save static stretching for after your workout because it signals your muscles to relax instead of activate.

Instead: Use dynamic stretches. This means moving your joints with no resistance through their full ranges of motion rather than holding a position steady (static). You use your muscles to move. Arm circles and ankle rolls are examples of dynamic stretches.

Upper Body – Do shoulder rolls, arm circles and torso rotations. Or simply go through the motion you’re about to do without the resistance (weight). Reach forward before push-ups and pull back to open your chest before rows. Don’t force it. Make your muscles do the movement. Your body has a chance to sort out the kinks and signal problems or pain before you add resistance and challenge.

Middle Body (Abs) –Inhale and exhale deeply and completely three to four times to exercise your diaphragm and activate your transverse abdominis. Kegels, which are performed by squeezing the muscles you use to stop the flow of urine, are also a good preparation for abdominal exercise.

Lower Body – Do ankle rolls and hip circles to warm up the lower body. As with upper body, go through the motion you’re about to do before adding resistance. If it’s a lunge, swing your leg up, knee to chest and then extend back behind you a few times. Be slow and controlled.

SPORTS – Common mistake: ballistic stretching. This means using a bouncing movement such as hopping or jumping jacks to warm up. It can be a good secondary warm-up, but is abrupt to your body as the first move. Ballistic stretching is better done after dynamic stretches.

Instead: Mimic the movements of the sport. For rotational sports such as softball, tennis and golf, rotate the torso without weight to warm up. For basketball, you can do hopping after you warm up with movements such as ankle rolls, high knee marches and lunges.

Think about the movements and demands of the sport you play and mimic them before you begin. Once you start playing the sport, the mind gets focused on performance and puts movement on autopilot. Focusing on the movements and muscles before you play gives your joints a preview of what is to come and creates motor patterns or muscle memory that is useful for your brain.

CARDIOVASCULAR EXERCISE – Common Mistake: Not warming up and jumping right into the activity. Most people view cardio itself as a warm-up. Before you start throwing your body weight around, repeat the same process discussed above: Use dynamic stretching to signal the system of what is to come.

Before you bike ride, run, swim, use the elliptical, etc., it’s best to start slow and ease into the activity. Bring your heart rate up steadily instead of abruptly. Depending on the activity, warm up your ankles, shoulders, wrists and spine with simple movements.

Free Introductory Qigong Class – December 8

We are offering a free Qigong class on Thursday, December 8 at 4pm, as an introduction to this amazing form of movement. Qigong is an ancient Chinese health care system that integrates physical postures, breathing techniques and focused intention. The class will be taught by Regina Wolgel. Space is limited, so call soon to register 847-251-6834.

If there is enough interest, we will offer this class for a 6-week session next year.