NEW WALKING CLINIC STARTS JUNE 17
This will be the fifth 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. Linda Meyer and Leslie Cohen will be assisting with the
clinic again this year.
5 SURPRISING WELLNESS PRACTICES THAT CAN
REALLY HELP YOU GLOW
by Guest Writer, Jennifer McGregor co-creator of Public
Health Library (http://publichealthlibrary.org/) which provides information about
health and wellness topics and creates a forum for sharing reputable health and
They say that beauty comes from within, and
that’s actually a very true statement. You have to keep your body and mind
healthy in order to look and feel your absolute best, but knowing how to take
better care of yourself can be a little confusing. Thankfully, we’ve put
together a list of some uncommon habits that can have a big impact on your
health and wellness.
Protect Your Health and Beauty with Cleaner Air – Above all other elements, you need air to survive, but you need clean
air in order to truly thrive. Contaminated indoor air can impair your ability to breathe, leading to increased problems
with allergies and asthma. The best way to preserve your overall health is to
make sure your air is free from these harmful pollutants. You can use an air purifier, or you can simply change your filters to models with higher MERV ratings. A MERV rating of at least 8, 11 or 13 will trap more particles and
prevent smoke, pollen, dander and dust from impacting your breathing and
Enhance Your Body and Skin with a Healthier Gut – Better air quality can enhance your beauty and health, but wellness
runs even deeper than that. The state of your microbiome may have the most significant impact on how well your body digests
food, how strong your immune system is, and even how balanced your mood is each
day. Getting familiar with the health of your gut and all of the beneficial bacteria that
regulate the processes in your brain and body will help you take more control
of your overall health and happiness. If you have skin issues to address, balancing out your
microbiome can help you there too. When your microbiome
is out of balance, it’s not eliminating toxins as well as it should. Those
toxins can end up causing breakouts or other issues with your skin.
Boost Your Skincare from the Outside – There’s a lot of emphasis on skin in this article, and that’s because
your skin is so important for protecting the rest of your body. Aside from
influencing how you feel about yourself, the presence of healthy skin serves as the first layer of protection against pollutants, toxins
and environmental hazards. It’s the largest organ in your body, so make sure
you are taking steps to really take care of it. Protect your skin while you’re
outside with sunscreen, use mild cleansers when bathing, and choose a good moisturizer to
prevent dry skin.
Manage Your Mental Health with More Self-Care – Caring for your skin is not just about aesthetics. When you treat your
skin and body well, you are reinforcing your commitment to overall self-care.
Self-care isn’t just an option; you need sufficient self-care in order to limit
the effects of stress on your mental health. Chronic high stress levels create reactions in your brain that can
leave you more vulnerable to depression, anxiety, and other physical health
problems. So, start practicing better self-care by taking better care of your
skin and body, but don’t stop your efforts there. Research simple self-care
practices online, and try a few that feel right for
you. You may want to start a new exercise plan or begin morning meditation. You could just need more time to yourself. Know that whatever works
for you, self-care is never a selfish way to spend your time.
Look to Your Healthcare Plan – Good health
doesn’t stop at trying self-care solutions on your own. You should make full
use of the benefits that come with your health plan so you’re getting the most
out of your coverage. For seniors, health insurance is especially important to
help prevent and treat medical conditions. Check your coverage every year to
determine if you need to change it. Depending on your needs, it might be worth
considering an alternative healthcare plan like Medicare Advantage, which in
addition to Original Medicare also covers dental and vision care and gives you
access to nationwide fitness centers. Check with providers like Aetna to find out
more. And if you’re not a senior, you should still carefully review your policy
to know what’s covered and to check for perks like health and weight loss coaching, 24/7 nursing hotlines,
discounts for gym memberships and more.
It turns out that beauty is more than just
skin deep. If you want to be your most radiant and joyful self, you have to pay
more attention to all aspects of your physical and mental health. A balanced
lifestyle will help you look more beautiful and feel better about yourself.
NICE-TO-KNOW FACTS ABOUT THE SHOULDER (from ACSM’s
Health & Fitness Journal: May/June
A CURIOUS DESIGN. The human shoulder is made up of three bones: the clavicle (collarbone), the scapula (shoulder blade), and the humerus (upper arm bone), as well as associated muscles, ligaments, and tendons. Unlike many of the other joints in the body that support movement (e.g., the hip, which has a deep socket), the shoulder has no socket. As such, the ball of the arm bone moves against an essentially flat surface on the shoulder blade.
A BARE CONNECTION. The entire shoulder joint barely has any bony connection to the rest of the skeleton. In fact, the only bony connection is where the shoulder connects to the collarbone via the acromioclavicular joint, which is at the tip of the shoulder, and the sternoclavicular joint, which is at the base of the neck. In essence, the shoulder girdle is designed for very free movement of the arm and shoulder.
EVEN MORE IMPORTANT. The shoulder is more dependent on muscles than any other joint in the body. Given the relative lack of a bony connection between the shoulder and the rest of the body, the lack of a bony socket, and the numerous directions in which the shoulder can move, the eight muscles that control the stability and movement of the shoulder and the arm play a critical role in the process.
A BETTER OPTION. A number of people erroneously believe that they need surgery to fix their shoulder pain/injury. As a rule, they don’t. Rather, they should engage in a plan of action of conservative treatment, including rest, ice, anti-inflammatory drugs, and a gradual return to activity, as well as a well-designed program of stretching and strengthening exercises, which can improve function and decrease pain in the affected area.
You were sent an email in error that included some testimonials that appear on our new website. When you have a chance, do look at our new website at https://pftl.net . I think you will like it.
If you have any suggestions for our website, please let me know.
4 WAYS TO MAINTAIN BALANCE WHEN THINGS GET HECTIC (ACE Healthy Living Feb 2019)
It seems as though the pace of life continues to gain speed. Constant events, deadlines, goals and to-do lists fill the calendar. This pace of life can become stressful. Unfortunately, stress is one of the primary causes of disease, unhappiness and anxiety. When you are really busy, it’s likely you don’t have time for a shower, much less a massage or a vacation. So, how do you make time for de-stressing? Let’s get right to the point, because time is of the essence. Try any of the following actions to improve your ability to reduce stress, maintain balance and enhance resiliency. Each idea can be implemented daily with little time commitment.
- Change the way you think – Shift your focus to abundance rather than lack. Focus on what you have rather than what you don’t. This simple mindset shift evokes gratitude and a sense of peace. We inherently fear failure and rejection. We worry about trying to control every outcome in our lives. We compare ourselves to other people, and we believe that we are always behind. As easy as it is to compare ourselves to others, it really is something to avoid. Each person has his or her own challenges, feelings of lack and bouts of unhappiness. We all have our own story, each is unique and different. It’s O.K. to be content with where you are right now and be grateful for what you have in the present.
Action: Start a gratitude journal – For one week, each night before bed, write down three things for which you feel grateful, proud, happy or content. Note how these things came into your life. At the end of the week, assess how you feel. It’s likely a mood shift may have occurred, and you feel less stressed.
- Take a break – In the midst of an overwhelming schedule, a selfish break can feel irresponsible. However, a short five- to 10-minute break will clear the mind, help with fatigue and provide a much-needed pause during a busy day. If possible, go for a short walk outdoors. Nature provides grounding energy, and movement improves blood flow and produces mood-enhancing hormones. Better yet, pair regular breaks with a daily bout of exercise. Maintaining a consistent exercise program, even when life is hectic, will enhance your physical and emotional abilities to deal with stress.
Action: Walk in the present – In the next hour, take a five-minute break for a walk. Notice your surroundings and pay attention to how your body feels. Take inventory of how you feel prior to the walk and again after the walk.
- Be a superhero – Physical activity, smiling, power postures and deep breathing are quick fixes for stress-related physical symptoms. Our bodies display stress in external ways—headaches, gastrointestinal issues, sleeplessness, general aches and pains can often be attributed to stress. Even if you don’t experience severe symptoms, it’s likely you have experienced fatigue, general tightness around the neck and shoulders, and a slouchy, tired posture. You can trick your body into feeling fewer physical symptoms of stress by changing your physical posture. Stand up straight, align the spine and smile. This power posture is an instant boost.
Action: Pose like a superhero – During moments of stress or general tiredness, stand up and place your hands on your hips. Pretend you are a superhero and puff up your chest. Take five deep breaths. Fill your lungs and belly to capacity. Next, smile for 10 seconds. The simple act of smiling sends a positive signal to the brain and allows the body to relax a bit. This power posture can be helpful before presentations and difficult conversations, and for those times when you just feel overwhelmed.
- Practice mindfulness – When life is overwhelming, your mind naturally spins with multiple thoughts. Focusing your thoughts on the past can create feelings of regret and depression, and focusing on the future can foster feelings of anxiety. The only place we can be without worry is truly in the present. That means letting go of expectations of anything except what happens right now. Most of us have future deadlines, goals and ambitions. Being mindful in the moment does not mean that we let go of those things. It simply means we turn our attention to the task at hand, and really place our focus and energy with it. For some, mindfulness is being fully immersed in work. Taking the time to eat slowly, taste and enjoy food is a form of mindfulness. Paying attention to how your body feels during movement is mindfulness. Mindfulness might also take the shape of paying attention to the breath, something that occurs all day long without you giving it a second thought. Whatever form mindfulness takes for you, the point is that it can be done anytime, anywhere, and it provides immediate results. In as little as 60 seconds, your body and mind can become calm, and a sense of balance can be restored.
Action: Breathe – Assume a comfortable position with a tall posture, standing or seated. Set a timer for one to three minutes. Close your eyes and pay attention to your breath. Follow the inhale, follow the exhale. Try to inhale for the same duration as you exhale. Notice how you feel before this exercise and after.
It takes conscious effort and commitment to maintain a healthy and balanced lifestyle. These four ideas are quick and efficient ways to navigate stress and maintain balance when life gets hectic.
WAYS TO PREVENT FALLING (From Washington Post, Lean and Fit, Feb 27, 2019)
The author of this article had taken a fall and was apprehensive about falling again. She was 53 years of age. She consulted several people about how to prevent falls, and here are excerpts from that article regarding the advice she received.
- Practice the following:
Level 1. Balance on one foot. Start by doing it near a doorway or chair so there is something to grab for support.
Level 2. Use your non-dominant hand to stir a pot.
Level 3. Use your non-dominant hand to stir a pot while standing on one foot.
- If you are going to fall, the best way to do it is to bend a knee and roll at an angle over one shoulder to protect your hip and your noggin.
- Tuck your head, use your strength to direct your fall, and roll so that you take most of the impact on your backside, the upper back and/or gluts being the most resistant parts of your body.
- Wear “minimal” shoes with thin, flexible soles for both sports and everyday living. The information we get from the bottoms of our feet (the technical term is plantar neurosensory input) helps us maintain balance. This input, coupled with muscle strength and agility, is essential for generating a “good correctional movement” should we fall.
Debora’s Note: I recently took a fall while walking fast on a dark street. I tripped on uneven pavement and when I realized that I was not going to be able to regain balance, the one thing I told myself as I was falling, was, “Don’t hit your head on the sidewalk”. I did hit my nose and head, but I was able to keep from hitting hard by bracing myself with my arms. Despite a lot of facial bruising, I was unharmed. But I learned that walking in the dark requires one to pay extra attention to the surface you are walking on.
Dear PFTL Client (past and present),
As you probably know, I am an active member of the Rotary Club of Wilmette. Our Club will be having an annual gala fundraiser on Thursday, March 7, 2019 at the Valley Lo Club, in Glenview, from 5:30pm-9:30pm. See the attachment.
Several PFTL clients have come to this event in the past, and said they were glad they had attended. This will be an exciting night of good food, entertainment and a chance to win a weekend and show in Las Vegas. Additionally, proceeds will benefit local charities that Rotary supports, as well as international humanitarian efforts.
Among the many activities will be a dinner (salmon, filet mignon or vegetarian), live entertainment by interpretive artists from Las Vegas, of Dean Martin and Barbra Streisand, a silent and live auction, and a Vacation/Cash raffle,
Prepaid tickets are $100 per person ($125 at the door). Each event ticket comes with a complimentary $35 raffle ticket.
Additional raffle tickets are $35 each, or 2 for $45, or 5 for $100.
Let me know if you are interested in coming. You can purchase event tickets, and/or donate online through a link on our website, www.wilmetterotary.org . If you want to save the service fee, just write me a check, and give me the name of everyone who is coming with you.
SOMETHING IS BETTER THAN NOTHING (From ACE Healthy Living Jan 16, 2019)
A key barrier to being physically active is an all-or-nothing mindset. Unless there is time for a full workout, why bother to start it at all? What is the point of eating carrots for dinner if I ate two cupcakes at work today? It’s Friday and I didn’t get one workout in this week—why bother doing one now? I have forgotten to drink water all day—well, I might as well have another soda. This type of thinking subconsciously drives disengagement in positive behaviors.
Although it doesn’t work with everything, the idea of “something is better than nothing” nicely applies to healthy behaviors. In other words, it is better to do something good—however small or seemingly insignificant—for your health and well-being than nothing at all.
Not convinced? Consider, for example, that a five-minute exercise interval performed once an hour may improve glucose and insulin levels in obese individuals better than one single longer session (Holmstrup et al., 2014).
Another study found that people who rode 10 minutes on a stationary bike had a sharper cognitive response to specific tests compared to individuals who read a magazine for the same amount of time (Samani and Heath, 2018). And immune function may be significantly enhanced with a 20-minute bout of exercise (Dimitrov, Huelton and Hong., 2017). As you can see from this small sample, the research confirming that something (in this case, a small amount of exercise) is better than nothing is encouraging.
Specifically, some movement is better than none. Standing is better than sitting. Walking or moving around is better than standing still. The same is true for other health behaviors that often feel challenging for some people. For example, drinking some water each day is better than drinking none. Eating some fruits and vegetables is better than eating none. Getting some sleep is better than getting none.
Here are some practical ideas for adding small doses of physical activity and movement into your daily life:
- Walk around your house while you are brushing your teeth.
- Every time the phone rings, go for a walk or do some wall-sits.
- Stand up once every 30 minutes and breathe deeply for 2 minutes while doing standing squats.
- Dance your way through household chores (it’s way more fun!).
- Convert your work station into a standing/active station.
- Make family time an active time.
- Anytime you have to wait for something, do squats or calf raises.
- Every time you have to use the restroom, do five push-ups (after might be best!).
- Perform standing lunges while fueling up your car.
- Go for a brisk 10-minute walk after dinner.
Adopting a few small healthy habits has the potential to progress into more healthy patterns over time and gives you the opportunity to experience what reaching your goal might feel like. Doing something rather than nothing also provides a sense of accomplishment, which initiates positive self-talk and self-empowerment.
YOU NEVER AGE OUT OF HAPPINESS AND HEALTH (from Guest Writer, Jason Lewis. Jason is passionate about helping seniors stay healthy and injury-free. He created StrongWell to share his tips on senior fitness. His website is strongwell.org )
Happy, healthy seniors have one thing in common: they never give up on life. And thanks to modern medicine and advanced technology, seniors are aging healthier than ever.
Pay attention to your gut – You already know that you shouldn’t ignore your “gut” feelings. But new research suggests that your intestines have a bigger role in your health than previously thought. Researchers have found that the healthiest seniors are those with a diverse microbiota. Eating fermented foods, taking a probiotic supplement, and abstaining from antibiotics unless absolutely necessary, are all ways to improve gut health and the population of good bacteria in your gut’s microbiome.
Up your energy levels – There are several ways to improve your energy levels, such as getting enough sleep and eating foods that are high in protein, fiber, complex carbohydrates, and vitamins. If you find that lifestyle changes aren’t enough, talk to your doctor about adding an energy supplement to your daily routine. Don’t just grab the first bottle off the shelf, however. Take the time to evaluate your actual needs and the options available.
Exercise for 30 minutes each day – According to Genesis Health + Fitness, 30 minutes is all it takes to change your life. Half an hour of exercise each day can help you lose weight, reduce stress, and lower your chances of developing cardiovascular disease, diabetes, and metabolic syndrome. Plus, exercising can help keep your memory sharp.
Avoid brittle bones – Osteoporosis is a condition that leaves you with bones that can break without warning, and you may have to limit physical activities. The Mayo Clinic explains, however, that physical activity is one way to keep your bones healthy. Getting enough calcium is also important. If you’re not a milk drinker, make a point to eat calcium-fortified foods, dark green leafy vegetables, and salmon.
Thwart loneliness – Senior loneliness is an epidemic that, according to the Washington Post, is just as harmful as being a lifelong smoker. While it’s perfectly normal to feel lonely sometimes, don’t be afraid to drag yourself out of the house to attend church, visit the senior center, or volunteer reading to children at your local elementary school.
Don’t let age get in the way of your well-being. By implementing small changes, such as keeping tabs on your gut health and social activities, you’ll make your health a priority all year long.