PFTL News October 2022
IMPROVING BALANCE AND FALL PREVENTION – New Class Begins October 21
Our first Balance Class was well- received by the participants. Improvements were evident after the first three classes. The new 6-week Session will begin on October 21 at 2pm (min. 4 and max 5 participants). The cost is $150 for the 6-weeks. The focus will again be on improving balance, coordination, core control and agility. All these areas are important for fall prevention. For NEW clients, we will perform a modified fitness assessment ($30), and all participants will be tested for balance prior to the first class. If there are more than 5 participants, but at least 8 we will consider adding an additional class. The class will be taught alternately by Debora Morris, Linda Meyer and Keri Werner. Call Debora for more information and to register (847-722-2115).
WHAT STRESS CAN DO TO YOUR BODY (Excerpt from Health-Healthy Living)
Stress is what happens when you’re introduced to a challenge or demand in life—it results in physical or emotional tension, according to the US National Library of Medicine’s MedlinePlus resource.
It’s a normal feeling that has evolved over a millennium to protect you from danger. Also known as the flight-or-fight response, it gets the body ready for action. So, if you’re in danger, the brain’s hypothalamus sends triggers—both chemical and along the nerves—to the adrenals, which are glands that sit on top of each kidney like a hat perched on a head.
The adrenals then churn out hormones, such as cortisol, which raise blood pressure and blood sugar (among other things). This is dandy if you need to outrun a hungry lion, less so if the perceived threat is a looming layoff.
Despite the fact that it happens to everyone, stress can still be harmful to health if occurs over a long period of time. Here are some ways stress can affect your health.
Increased cravings – Studies have linked cortisol, a hormone released during times of stress, to cravings for sugar, fat, or both, according to Harvard Health Publishing.
Hard-to-lose belly fat – “You can clearly correlate stress to weight gain,” Philip Hagen, MD, an assistant professor of medicine at the Mayo Clinic, tells Health.
Part of that link is due to poor eating during stress, but the stress hormone cortisol may also increase the amount of fat tissue your body hangs onto and enlarge the size of fat cells. Higher levels of cortisol have been linked to more deep-abdominal fat—yes, belly fat.
Heart problems – The exact relationship between stress and heart attack is still unclear, but evidence is mounting that there is one. One study of 200,000 employees in Europe found that people who have stressful jobs and little decision-making power at work are 23% more likely to have a first heart attack than people with less job-related stress.
Insomnia – Stress can cause hyperarousal, a biological state in which people just don’t feel sleepy. And insomnia itself—a sleep disorder in which a person has persistent problems falling and staying asleep—is commonly derived from stress.
Headaches – “Fight or flight” chemicals like adrenaline (epinephrine) and cortisol can cause vascular changes that leave you with a tension headache or migraine, either during the stress or in the “let-down” period afterwards. Tension headaches, per MedlinePlus, are the most common type of headache. They typically feel like a “band is squeezing the head,” and occur in the head, scalp, or neck area.
While it’s tough to limit stress in our hectic lives, some experts recommend trying meditation, among other solutions.
Hair loss – There are a few key ways that stress may affect your hair and lead to hair loss, according to the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center: Telogen effluvium and trichotillomania. Telogen effluvium is a common cause of temporary hair loss, per UPMC. That’s because enough stress can push your hair follicles into a prolonged resting phase, meaning they won’t produce new hair strands as quickly or as often as usual in periods of high stress.
High blood sugar – Stress is known to raise blood sugar, and if you already have type 2 diabetes you may find that your blood sugar is higher when you are under stress.
Stomach troubles – Heartburn, stomach cramping, and diarrhea can all be caused by or worsened by stress. In particular, irritable bowel syndrome, or IBS, which is characterized by pain and bouts of constipation and diarrhea is thought to be fueled in part by stress.
High blood pressure – A stressful situation can raise your blood pressure temporarily by constricting your blood vessels and speeding up your heart rate, but these effects disappear when the stress has passed.
It’s not yet clear whether chronic stress can cause more permanent changes in your blood pressure, but techniques like mindfulness and meditation may help, according to Dr. Hagen. In addition, there are many natural ways to reduce blood pressure, including diet and exercise.
Back pain – Stress can set off an acute attack of back pain as well as contribute to ongoing chronic pain, probably for the simple reason that the “fight or flight” response involves tensing your muscles so that you’re ready to spring into action. One recent study in Europe found that people who are prone to anxiety and negative thinking are more likely to develop back pain, while a U.S. study tied anger and mental distress to ongoing back pain.
Premature aging – Traumatic events and chronic stress can both shorten telomeres, the protective caps on the ends of cell chromosomes, causing your cells to age faster, according to Harvard Health Publishing. The good news? Exercising vigorously three times a week may be enough to counteract the effect.