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The Pulse - August 2019 Newsletter

We’re Saying Hello and Goodbye This Month

It is with a heavy heart that I share with you that Chelsea will no longer be a part of the BodyBasics team. Her departure is sudden but mutual. We wish her all the success as she pursues her next chapter of growth. We will be doing our absolute best to find another to carry on in her position as soon as possible. I ask for your patience as we are in transition. If any of you have any questions concerning Chelsea, please feel free to reach out to me. Also, if any of you may know someone you think we should interview, please provide their information to me ~ Chris

Change is inevitable, and the disruption it causes often brings both inconvenience and opportunity.

Robert Scoble

On the flip side of the change coin, I would love to introduce all of you to our newest addition Mike Laube! Mike officially started with us on July 29th and his positive attitude, vast experience as a fitness professional, and ability to connect with others has already left an excellent impression. Stay tuned as we will be putting up his picture and bio soon both in the studio and on our website. We will also be doing a FaceBook Live interview with him this coming Friday, August 9th at 1:40 MST. Tune in to learn all about this guy!

Article – Age On Your Terms: 6 Aging Myths Debunked

As coaches of the young at heart, we have heard countless individuals come into our studio already prepared to tell us what they can’t do because of their age or what limitations they have because of their age. I am here to debunk six common myths. My aim in doing so is to provide a platform for hope. I can’t stand it when someone, unknowingly because of something they heard, limits themselves. So, read on and be uplifted!

Myth #1: To Be Old is To Be Sick: This myth centers around the belief that aging and disease go hand in hand and individuals are destined to wind up in a nursing home or suffering from a catastrophic illness once they get older.

Debunked: First off, although it is true that the incidence of chronic diseases such as coronary heart disease, diabetes, arthritis does increase with advancing age, it is not fair to say that all succumb to this position once a certain stage of life is reached. With an ever growing population of individuals 50 and above, it is easy to see that there are a large number of healthy, robust boomers and beyond who are without any significant chronic diseases or functional limitations.

Don’t let this one be your demise. First and foremost, stay active! Doing so stabilizes blood sugar levels, systolic and diastolic blood pressures, increases your ability to use oxygen, and keeps joints moving thus minimizing them from freezing up. If you already have a chronic disease, don’t be overly concerned. My advice to you is the same with the caveat in place to listen to your body. Some movements, such as running for example, may not be best suited for you if you have a later stage chronic condition such as arthritis. However, notice I did not say stop moving if you have a chronic condition. Quite the contrary! If you have a chronic disease the best thing you can do to maintain your independence and quality of life is to move and move often! 1,2

Myth #2: You Can’t Teach An Old Dog New Tricks: This one has all of us in a tizzy over the latest brain game. I’ve probably heard Luminosity mentioned at least a ½ dozen times in the last month alone. Simply, there are those who have been led to believe that senility and dementia are a natural part of aging and unfortunately also inevitable.

Debunked: Have you heard of brain plasticity? If you haven’t, take some time and look it up. Here are the basics. Your brain remains ever changing to some degree until the day you know longer need it. It is malleable. It will adapt to gain mastery of whatever it is challenged with, so long as the challenges are consistent in nature. If you like learning, this is great news because that means, contrary to past thought on the subject, you can retain your ability to learn throughout your lifespan.

You are largely in control of your ability to stay sharp. Much like myth number one, lifestyle behaviors starting young and carrying forward largely influence your brain’s health. Physical activity levels keep your brain stimulated and charged with oxygen. Dietary choices nourish the brain and provide the materials it needs to repair and replenish dead and dying cells. Excessive (>14 per week) alcohol consumption has been demonstrated to promote dementia. 3 Changing your environments through social events, different pockets of friends, new experiences, and yes, even brain games like Luminosity, also lead to improvement in your level of cognitive decline with age.

Myth #3: The Horse Is Out Of The Barn: This myth is that once you’re older, it’s too late to reduce disease risk, increase your health status, or become fit. Have you ever heard yourself saying that it’s too late for you to get stronger? Maybe you were talking to a friend who can barely walk and they expressed that. Good news! It’s not true!

Debunked: This myth is similar to that of number one in how you would approach it to debunk it. Diet and consistent exercise of at least 150 minutes each week aerobically and 2-3X each week with resistance are the gold standards for reducing disease risk, improving your health as measured by your blood markers (A1C, HDL/LDL ratio, triglyceride levels…) and becoming fit. 4

One of the most common reasons we check out of continuing to travel, exploring the outdoors and other movement based experiences is diminished strength. If you have ever trained with any of our amazing team you know that we emphasize strength development in both your upper body and your lower body. What you may not know is that from the age of 30 to 70 your body, left uninfluenced is programmed to lose 30% or more of your muscle mass!5 That’s some serious strength loss and can be the difference between you being fit to explore or overcome with fear to simply navigate a high step. Be assured though. Contrary to past thinking that muscle could not be developed in our later years, recent science has proven otherwise showing actual improvements in skeletal muscle with participants in their 90s! 6,7 It is really never too late.

Myth #4: But My Genetics! Choose Your Parents Wisely: I cannot tell you how many times I have heard someone tell me that they can’t change “fill in the blank about themselves” because of their family’s genetics. Although certain things like the shape of your nose, how much hair you’ll keep, and what your bone structure will be are a product of your genetics, disease and disease risk do not have to be your fate simply because they “run in the family”. It is true that you can have a stronger likelihood to have a stroke if heart disease is rampant in your family. However, overall evidence is clear that the influence of lifestyle and environment are far more important factors in the determination of your health and functional ability than your family’s genetics.

Myth #5: Older Adults Become Weak and Disinterested in Sex: It is commonly assumed that once we get to a certain age our interest in sex with our partner wanes.

Debunked: Research shows otherwise. Both men and women remain interested well into their 70s and often beyond. No surprise keeping up physical activity plays a key role in this.8

Myth #6: The Elderly Don’t Pull Their Own Weight: This one is a widespread belief that older adults are a burden to society and do not contribute to its continued success.

Debunked: I found this one surprising personally because of the heavy involvement in volunteer work I hear our amazing clients consistently talking about. And I was right to think that way because the 55 and above generations represent the largest volunteer forces in our nation. In fact, they are such contributors that many organizations, Tu Nidito in Tucson for example, depend heavily on their contributions of time and financial support, and physical labor. Also, older adults are commonly recruited to help out with grandkids or ailing family members. Finally, it is becoming increasingly common for individuals past typical retirement age to still be working!

So, there you have it. Six myths concerning aging are now debunked. If I succeeded in getting you to contemplate change of some of your limiting thoughts, I’m thrilled. And if I confirmed why others of you are so full of life, well, that’s awesome too. I would love to hear your comments so please write back. You can do so by clicking on the “Contact Us” item on our menu. Until next time, happy and healthy aging to all of you!

1 – American College of Rheumatology. Recommendations for the medical management of osteoarthritis of the hip and knee: 2000 update. American College of Rheumatology Subcommittee on Osteoarthritis Guidelines. Arthritis Rheum. 43: 1905 – 1915, 2000.
2 – American College of Sports Medicine Position Stand. The recommended quantity and quality of exercise for developing and maintaining cardiorespiratory and muscular fitness and flexibility in healthy adults. Med. Sci. Sports Exerc. 30: 975 – 991, 1998.
3 – Kenneth J. Mukamal, MD, MPH; Lewis H. Kuller, MD, DrPH; Annette L. Fitzpatrick, PhD; W. T. Longstreth, Jr, MD, MPH; Murray A. Mittleman, MD, DrPH; David S. Siscovick, MD, MPH. Prospective study of alcohol consumption and risk of dementia in older adults. JAMA. 289 (11): 1405 – 1413, 2003.
4 – Buchner D., and E. Coleman. Exercise considerations in older adults: intensity, fall prevention, and safety. Phys. Med. Rehabil. Clin. N. Am. 5: 357 – 375, 1994.
5 – Tseng D., B. Marsh, M. Hamilton, and F. Booth. Strength and aerobic training attenuate muscle wasting and improve resistance to the development of disability with aging. J. Gerontol. A. Biol. Sci. Med. Sci. 50 Spec No: 113 – 119, 1995.
6 – US Department of Health and Human Services. Strength training among adults aged >65 years – United States 2001. MMWR 53: 25 – 28, 2004.
7 – Gary R. Hunter, John P. McCarthy, and Marcus M. Bamman. Effects of Resistance Training on Older Adults. Sports Med. 34 (5): 329 – 348, 2004.
8 – Stacy Tessler Lindau, M.D., M.A.P.P., L. Philip Schumm, M.A., Edward O. Laumann, Ph.D., Wendy Levinson, M.D., Colm A. O’Muircheartaigh, Ph.D., and Linda J. Waite, Ph.D. A study of sexuality and health among older adults in the United States. N. Engl. J. Med. 357: 762 – 774, 2007.

by Chris Litten

Client Spotlight – Mike Cummins

Client Spotlight Questions

What was the reason you decided to go to a trainer?

I needed to strengthen my left leg and reduce my hip and back pain after my second total hip replacement in the late 1990’s.

Did you consider or participate in any other form of treatment for your reason before seeking a trainer? Examples: physical therapist, acupuncturist, medication

I was taking pain medication and had received physical therapy for several months.

How did you hear about BodyBasics?

I’m not sure. This was around 20 years ago. However, I think my pain management doctor Sheldon Gingerich recommended BodyBasics.

Did you evaluate other gyms or trainers before deciding on coming to us? If yes, what were other places missing that BodyBasics was able to provide?


Ultimately, why did you choose BodyBasics over other options?

 I did not consider any other options, especially after my initial sessions with Chris Litten.

What goals did you have when you started at BodyBasics?

My goal was to improve my mobility and strength in my left hip and with BodyBasics’ help to develop an exercise program.

How long have you been training at BodyBasics and what specifically have you achieved over that interval?

I have been coming to BodyBasics off and on for approximately 20 years. In that time, I have had a third revision of my left hip and a right total knee replacement, cervical spinal fusion, and 3 major lumbar spine surgeries. My training at BodyBasics has helped me to prepare for each of these surgeries and to recover as much function as possible after each surgery. If I had not been going to BodyBasics I might be in a wheelchair now. PT was helpful immediately after each surgery but the number of visits has been limited by insurance coverage.

What current goals are you pursuing with your trainers at BodyBasics?

My recent surgery was an extensive spinal fusion for scoliosis, increasing pain in my back and weakness in my right leg. I also have severe degenerative osteoarthritis in both shoulders and bilateral rotator cuff damage. Since my last surgery I have reduced leg pain but I am working to increase my core strength and the mobility of both legs.. I am also working to regain some function in my shoulders. My ultimate goal is to be able to walk with only 1 cane, be able to climb several flights of stairs without a break and to walk 1 mile without stopping.

Welcome New and Returning Clients

The greatest compliment we can receive is a referral from one of our clients or allied health network!

  • Meg Messmer ~ referred by Dr. Martinez at TMC One!
  • Sherry Botos ~ referred by Dr. Jonathan Tait from Rejuv Medical Southwest!
  • Debra Popelas ~ found us online!
  • Mary Lou Damiano ~ found us online!
  • Carmen Young ~ Word of Mouth!
  • Noelle Rohen ~ found us online!
  • Mike Cole ~ Welcome Back!
  • Tabitha Danloe ~ referred by our wonderful client, Amy Maharry!
  • Nichole Sellers ~ found us online!
  • Marilyn Browning ~ referred by Dr. Katie Rose at Nature Medica Naturopathic Clinic & Detox Spa

“Shout Outs”

Shout outs are about us voicing victories we witness you all having at BodyBasics. We’ll keep it to our top 5 each month.

  • Bob Smith ~ for trusting the process. His lower back, once a constant nag, has now been pain free for almost two months and he’s been able to return to one of his joys, bowling
  • Jon Schladweiler ~ for his consistency and dedication and improving his push-up because of it. As well as his good spirits and constant humor that’s keeps us all smiling.
  • Diana DeHaven ~ for her continued trust in her trainers, most recently concerning her knee and suggestions for her to consider
  • Barbara Bailey ~ for being so tough! Despite a disorder that leaves her dizzy and fatigued every day, she has not let her condition stop her from sticking to her twice weekly sessions, in which she’s “kicking butt” coach Kristian shares
  • Linda Sheehan ~ for her recent graduation to weighted barbell hip thrusts!

Recipe – Cashew Butter

Mixing things up this month, sharing a DIY recipe for cashew butter. I am a big fan of buying nut butter already made, but this is still my favorite way to have cashew butter. Cashews have a sweetness all their own and this recipe is great added to toast, drizzled over oatmeal or had with a spoon, no fuss.

  • 1 ½ cup raw unsalted cashews
  • 1 tablespoon coconut oil 
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt (pinch)
  • ¼ teaspoon ground cinnamon (optional)
  1. Add the cashews to food processor or high speed blender, with coconut oil.
  2. Blend until the mixture starts to form into butter.
  3. It will be “clumpy” at first, so you will need to scrape down the sides a time or two, but be patient – the butter is coming.
  4. It will take about 8-10 minutes to reach the consistency you want.
  5. Once you have a “butter” consistency, it will sound like you are whipping a liquid instead of grinding nuts. Then add your salt and cinnamon and blend just to combine. Taste to add more salt if needed.
  6. Pour into a glass container, seal and store in the fridge for up to 3 weeks, in the cupboard unrefrigerated for 1-2 weeks.

NOTE: * I buy mine roasted and unsalted but plain raw cashews work fine too.

Recipe By:  Ashley Munro, RD, CDE

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Ashley is a Tucson native, and the owner of Ashley Munro Nutrition, LLC, were she offers virtual nutrition counseling and meal planning support.  She is a trained chef, and certified Intuitive Eating counselor.  Through delicious cooked meals and recipes, Ashley shares her passion for food freedom, cooking, and family on her blog.  Outside of work, Ashley enjoys running and ice cream dates with her 4 year old.

Basic Moves by BodyBasics ~ Tips for Successful, and Safe, Self-Massage

Listen in to this “blast from the past” video for some tips of the trade that will make your next self-massage experience even better!

Community Events

Walk With a Doc at 8:00 A.M. at Children’s Memorial Park

Join yours truly, Chris Litten, as well as our community partners, Dr. Seth Peterson, owner of The Motive Physical Therapy Specialists, and Amber Stazenski, Owner of Pusch It Personal Training, September 7th at 8:00 a.m. for a mix of learning and moving! We’ll start right at 8:00 with me sharing 5 simple nutrition hacks I’ve been practicing for over 20 years to keep my weight within 5 pounds of when I graduated high school! After that, we’ll all set off together for an invigorating walk along the Rillito River starting at the backstop of Children’s Memorial Park. Dogs and friends or neighbors are DEFINITELY welcome! Dr. Peterson, Chris and Amber are all rallying to increase your fitness and the fitness of our community. For map of location please call us and we will be happy to get all information to you. You can also like our Facebook page. Search “BodyBasics Personal Training” and click on the Move Better, Feel Better, Live Better logo. We provide great content daily.

Health & Beauty Event at the Westward Look Wyndham Grand Resort & Spa August 31st from 3 – 7 p.m.

Come and join us to enjoy complimentary Wine and Hors d’oeuvres while learning about some of the amazing businesses in our area, like yours truly who will have a table there, that want to support your Health & Beauty. Tickets for this event are on sale at BodyBasics for $10 dollars per ticket. All money raised is also supporting International Animal Rescue’s pursuits to save animals from suffering around the world. Inquire at the front desk before your next session or call us to buy your tickets.

Team BodyBasics

Chris, Kris, Kristian, Amanda, Dustin, Xavier, Aaron and NEW to the team Mike

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