PFTL News July 2018

WALKING CLINIC JUNE 18 – September 30

All are Welcome

This will be the fourth 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.

BONE BASICS (from IDEAfit.com)

  • Calcium, vitamin D, dairy and physical activity are critical to preserving and building bone mass.
  • Bone mass peaks in the early 20s.
  • BMD = bone mineral density (measured in T-score, a negative number because it quantifies bone loss).
  • Osteopenia is the onset of bone loss (T-score -1 to -2.5).
  • Osteoporosis is the most serious bone loss (T-score below -2.5).
  • Walking has limited effect on bone health. However, if combined with impact and resistance training, walking can help maintain BMD in the hip region and in the lumbar and sacral spine (Karaguzel & Holick 2010). In people over 65, increasing daily steps by 25% has been associated with an increase in hip BMD (McMillan et al. 2017).
  • Progressive resistance training helps to maintain and improve BMD.
  • High-impact activities (jumping, hopping, skipping) help the most with bone growth.
  • Posture and balance training are essential to fall prevention.
  • Heavy resistance training is safe and improves bone, function and stature.
  • Women over 50 have the highest risk of osteoporosis and fractures.

NOT ALL VITAMIN D IS CREATED EQUAL (excerpted from IDEAfit.com)

We live in a part of the world where getting enough Vitamin D from the sun is almost impossible, yet we need to keep our Vitamin D levels up throughout the year.  After all, the sunshine vitamin is not only important for bone health but has also been tied to a lower risk for certain cancers, heart conditions and depression.

That said, where you get your vitamin D matters. Researchers from Australia and the United Kingdom reported in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition (July 2017) that when study volunteers received 600 IU of vitamin D daily via fortified juice or biscuits for 3 months, vitamin D3—the form found in animal foods like fish and eggs, as well as some supplements—was nearly twice as effective at raising blood levels of the nutrient than was vitamin D2, a plant-based form typically used to fortify vegan foods like dairy-free milk and vegetarian-friendly supplements.

A separate study, published in the European Journal of Clinical Nutrition in 2015, discovered that after supplementation stopped, vitamin D levels declined less rapidly when participants had been taking D3 than when D2 was the supplement of choice.

DOES SLEEP HELP YOU LOSE WEIGHT (from ACE Health eTips)

Sleep has the potential to help people lose weight, but not just any sleep will do. It’s important to get an adequate amount of deep sleep every night, as it is the most restorative, providing both mental and physical recovery benefits, which supports the weight-loss journey.

Most research indicates that less than 7 hours of sleep correlates with being heavier, gaining weight, risk of disease, cancer and struggling to lose weight. Other research suggests than 6.5 hours is a sweet spot and anything more increases inflammation, depression and mortality rates (Walker, 2017). Many experts believe that a range of six to eight hours or seven to nine hours is ideal for most people.

The right amount of sleep depends on each individual’s unique physiology. Devote time and attention toward finding what works for you, because it could make or break your weight-loss efforts. “Take away the bedrock of sleep, or weaken it just a little, and careful eating or physical exercise become less than effective,” writes Matthew Walker, Ph.D., author of Why We Sleep.

How Sleep Influences Weight Loss

Sleep is the foundation needed to support exercise and healthy eating habits. When people don’t get enough sleep, it can become more challenging to control behavior and inhibitions. They might be more likely to seek pleasure in foods and replace exercise-related activities with those that offer a “quick fix” reward, such as surfing the Internet or watching television.

Lack of sleep strengthens the desire for rewards, which usually leads to unhealthy eating. More specifically, leptin (which decreases hunger), ghrelin (which increases hunger) and endocannabinoids (which are linked to snack cravings) are hormones that regulate appetite. When sleep volume is low, these hormones stimulate a craving for carbohydrate-rich foods.

Without enough sleep, the body is essentially in a state of duress, which can lead to eating more calories to deal with the “threat” it perceives. Also, the more time spent awake, the more time there is to consume snacks.

Another hormone, cortisol, ideally spikes in the morning, providing energy for the day, and reduces at night, encouraging sleep. When sleep habits are poor and stress is high, cortisol levels remain elevated, which may inhibit weight loss and disrupt sleep. A cycle of stress and sleep disruption results. Stress affects sleep and sleep affects stress, which once again makes it challenging to implement even the most well-designed program for weight loss.

Getting enough sleep and rising at a consistent time every day supports hormones to regulate appetite and food choices. Take small steps toward better sleep and be gentle with yourself. In other words, don’t let stressing about not getting enough sleep add more stress. You don’t need to (and probably cannot) fix your sleep habits overnight. Progress slowly.

 

ENJOY YOURSELF THIS SUMMER – NOW THAT IT IS FINALLY HERE!

PFTL NEWS March 2015

WHAT TO EAT BEFORE BEDTIME (excerpted from Greatist , February 2015)

Health professionals may debate the benefits of dairy or the best time to exercise but there’s one thing they all agree on: Sleep is really freaking important. Getting a good night’s sleep is tied to a slew of health benefits, like clarity of thoughts, quicker reflexes, and an improved mood. So, not getting enough shut-eye can have some real consequences, like an out-of-whack appetite (leading to weight gain), growth issues, even a slumping immune system.

And believe it or not, what you eat before bed (and when you eat it) can have a serious impact on your sleep quality. Below are some recommendations for sleep superstars.

Tryptophan is magic. This amino acid is found in all types of food including turkey, eggs, milk and some cheeses. Research shows that foods with tryptophan produces serotonin, which helps promote sleep. Eating foods like turkey, soy beans, and pumpkin seeds, which contain decent amounts of tryptophan could help you fall and stay asleep. This recommendation arises from past research, which has shown that a tryptophan deficiency leads to a serotonin deficiency, and serotonin is one of the hormones that influences our circadian rhythm and sleep patterns. Adding some whole grains with turkey, egg or low-fat dairy may be the perfect combination for a pre-sleep snack. The carbohydrate-containing foods help the tryptophan-rich foods get absorbed by the brain.

Consider cherries. These guys are one of the few natural sources o melatonin, a hormone your body produces that’s often recommended as a sleep aid. One study found that a tart cherry juice-blend helped older adults struggling with insomnia.

Munch on magnesium. Foods high in magnesium, like dark leafy greens and avocado may be just what you need to ease into dreamland. In one study of older adults with insomnia, magnesium had a positive effect on the quality of their sleep, like the length of time they slept and their ease in waking up (among other factors).

EXERCISE BENEFITS MENTAL HEALTH (from IDEA Fitness Journal January 2015)

Scientific understanding of mental health disorders is increasing—and exercise is emerging as a potent healing tool. Science Says: Exercise Benefits Mental Health

Experts offer multiple reasons why exercise positively impacts mental health; most agree it’s likely a combination of indirect and direct factors. Better circulation and reduced inflammation, boosts in psychological outlook, exposure to positive environmental factors, and perceptual and behavioral shifts are all “side effects” of exercise that enhance mental health.

According to research studies, exercise may improve mental health in the following ways:

By enhancing physiological health. “Physical activity benefits overall brain health by reducing peripheral risk factors for poor mental health—such as inflammation, diabetes, hypertension and cardiovascular disease—and by increasing blood flow and associated delivery of nutrients and energy,” says Angela Clow, PhD, professor in the department of psychology at the University of Westminster.

By raising tolerance for emotional stress. Since exercise is stressful, regular exercise increases a person’s resilience toward other forms of physical and emotional stress. Having more physical and emotional strength—from consistent fitness training—seems to help people adapt better when tough situations occur.

By boosting self-efficacy. People who master a new skill such as exercise improve self-efficacy, which subsequently leads to higher self-esteem. High self-efficacy predicts well-being, while low self-esteem is associated with mental illness.

By fostering social contact. Social interactions improve mood. Exercise frequently occurs together with others or with friend and family encouragement. This support boosts mood.

By diverting negative thinking. People with depression or anxiety often get stuck in negative thought cycles. Exercise, especially when mindful, may be a diversion from self-rumination, focusing thoughts away from negative inner concerns toward engagement with the present and with pleasurable experiences.

The Neurochemistry of Exercise – Some of the most interesting research on exercise involves neurobiology—how physical activity directly affects brain chemistry and how it may even alter the brain’s structure and function.

Physical activity can cause changes in the neurochemicals that affect mood. Antidepressant and antianxiety medications target these neurochemicals to normalize levels. Research shows that aerobic exercise can also increase their levels. Simon Young, PhD, former editor in chief of the Journal of Psychiatry & Neuroscience, noted, “The effect of exercise on serotonin suggests that the exercise itself, not the rewards that stem from exercise, may be important.”

FOOD FOR THOUGHT (from IDEA Fitness Journal, January 2015)

Hear this! A recent study from Brigham and Women’s Hospital shows that consumption of two or more servings of fish per week is associated with a lower risk of hearing loss in women. Published online, September 10, in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition(doi: 10.3945/ ajcn.114.091819), this prospective study examined over time the independent associations between consumption of total and specific types of fish, long-chain omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFA), and self-reported hearing loss in women.

Although a decline in hearing is often considered an inevitable aspect of aging, the identification of several potentially modifiable risk factors has provided new insight into possibilities for prevention or delay of acquired hearing loss. Data came from the Nurses’ Health Study II, a prospective cohort study. In the study, 65,215 women were followed from 1991 to 2009. After 1,038,093 person-years of follow-up, 11,606 cases of incident hearing loss were reported. In comparison with women who rarely consumed fish, women who consumed two or more servings of fish per week had a 20% lower risk of hearing loss. When specific fish types were examined individually, higher consumption was inversely associated with risk for each type. Consumption of any type of fish (tuna, dark fish, light fish, or shellfish) tended to be associated with lower risk. These findings suggest that diet may be important in the prevention of acquired hearing loss.

PFTL NEWS JANUARY 2014

WISE UP ABOUT SLEEP LOSS (excerpt from WebMD)

You know lack of sleep can make you grumpy and foggy. You may not know what it can do to your sex life, memory, health, looks, and even ability to lose weight. Here are 10 surprising — and serious — effects of sleep loss.

1. Sleepiness Causes Accidents:   Sleep deprivation was a factor in some of the biggest disasters in recent history: the 1979 nuclear accident at Three Mile Island, the massive Exxon Valdez oil spill, the 1986 nuclear meltdown at Chernobyl, and others.  But sleep loss is also a big public safety hazard every day on the road. Drowsiness can slow reaction time as much as driving drunk.  The problem is greatest among people under 25 years old. Studies show that sleep loss and poor-quality sleep also lead to accidents on the job.

2. Sleep Loss Dumbs You Down:  Sleep plays a critical role in thinking and learning. Lack of sleep hurts these cognitive processes in many ways. First, it impairs attention, alertness, concentration, reasoning, and problem solving. This makes it more difficult to learn efficiently.  Second, if you don’t get enough sleep, you won’t be able to remember what you learned and experienced during the day.

3. Sleep Deprivation Can Lead to Serious Health Problems:  Sleep disorders and chronic sleep loss can put you at risk for:  Heart disease, Heart attack, Heart failure, Irregular heartbeat, High blood pressure, Stroke, Diabetes.  According to some estimates, 90% of people with insomnia — a sleep disorder characterized by trouble falling and staying asleep — also have another health condition.

4. Lack of Sleep Kills Sex Drive:  Sleep specialists say that sleep-deprived men and women report lower libidos and less interest in sex. Depleted energy, sleepiness, and increased tension may be largely to blame. For men with sleep apnea, a respiratory problem that interrupts sleep, there may be another factor in the sexual slump.

5. Sleepiness Is Depressing:  Over time, lack of sleep and sleep disorders can contribute to the symptoms of depression. In a recent poll, people who were diagnosed with depression or anxiety were more likely to sleep less than six hours at night. Insomnia, has the strongest link to depression.

6. Lack of Sleep Ages Your Skin:  Most people have experienced sallow skin and puffy eyes after a few nights of missed sleep. But chronic sleep loss can lead to lackluster skin, fine lines, and dark circles under the eyes.  When you don’t get enough sleep, your body releases more of the stress hormone cortisol. In excess amounts, cortisol can break down skin collagen, the protein that keeps skin smooth and elastic.

7. Sleepiness Makes You Forgetful:  Trying to keep your memory sharp? Try getting plenty of sleep. Researchers determined that brain events called “sharp wave ripples” are responsible for consolidating memory.  Sharp wave ripples occur mostly during the deepest levels of sleep.

8. Losing Sleep Can Make You Gain Weight:   Lack of sleep seems to be related to an increase in hunger and appetite, and possibly to obesity. According to a 2004 study, people who sleep less than six hours a day were almost 30 percent more likely to become obese than those who slept seven to nine hours.

Recent research has focused on the link between sleep and the peptides that regulate appetite.  Shortened sleep time is associated with decreases in leptin, which signals satiety to the brain.

9. Lack of Sleep May Increase Risk of Death:  In a British study which  looked at how sleep patterns affected the mortality of a large number of people over two decades. The results showed that those who had cut their sleep from seven to five hours or fewer a night, nearly doubled their risk of death from all causes. In particular, lack of sleep doubled the risk of death from cardiovascular disease.

10. Sleep Loss Impairs Judgment, Especially About Sleep:  Sleep-deprived people seem to be especially prone to poor judgment when it comes to assessing what lack of sleep is doing to them. In our increasingly fast-paced world, functioning on less sleep has become a kind of badge of honor. But sleep specialists say if you think you’re doing fine on less sleep, you’re probably wrong.

Studies show that over time, people who are getting six hours of sleep, instead of seven or eight, begin to feel that they’ve adapted to that sleep deprivation — they’ve gotten used to it. But if you look at how they actually do on tests of mental alertness and performance, they continue to go downhill. So there’s a point in sleep deprivation when we lose touch with how impaired we are.”

PFTL NOW TAKES CREDIT CARDS   

Several clients have requested to pay their bills by credit card, so starting this year clients will be able to make payments by Visa or Mastercard.  There will be a 2.5% “convenience fee” for using this option.  Julie can take your card number in person, swipe your card, or you can write it on your invoice and mail it back, or phone the number in to Julie.  We hope this will satisfy those clients who prefer this method of payment.

EXERCISE AS EFFECTIVE AS DRUGS (from IDEAfit.com)

A study of more than 300 trials has found that physical activity was better than medication in helping patients recovering from strokes – and just as good as drugs in protecting against diabetes and in stopping heart disease worsening.  The research, published in the British Medical Journal, analyzed data about studies on 340,000 patients diagnosed with one of four diseases: heart disease, chronic heart failure, stroke or diabetes.

Researchers said the findings suggested that regular exercise could be “quite potent” in improving survival chances, but said that until more studies are done, patients should not stop taking their tablets without taking medical advice.

The landmark research compared the mortality rates of those who were prescribed medication for common serious health conditions, with those who were instead enrolled on exercise programs. The research found that while medication worked best for those who had suffered heart failure, in all the other groups of patients, exercise was at least as effective as the drugs which are normally prescribed.

People with heart disease who exercised but did not use commonly prescribed medications, including statins, and drugs given to reduce blood clots had the same risk of dying as patients taking the medication. Similarly, people with borderline diabetes who exercised had the same survival chances as those taking the most commonly prescribed drugs.

One conclusion is that exercise should be considered as a viable alternative to, or alongside, drug therapy. Only the patients who were recovering from heart failure fared best when prescribed drugs. Researchers stressed that they were not suggesting that anyone should stop taking medications they had been prescribed, but suggested patients should think “long and hard” about their lifestyles, and talk to their doctors about incorporating more exercise into their daily routines.

NEW CLASSES IN 2014

We plan to offer more small group classes (maximum of 4 participants) in the near future.  The classes may include core conditioning, posture improvement, high intensity interval training, cardio/resistance workouts, and others.  Several trainers are working on program design for the classes.  We will announce them soon.

HAPPY NEW YEAR EVERYONE!