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Happy Boo'tiful October

As we write this, the air has just a tint of crisp coolness. The early days of fall when football fans are hosting warm-up tailgate parties in their driveways (it's okay, admit it, we've done it too) and even die-hard summer lovers are kinda-sorta ready for a change in season. It's those early days of fall when excitement is in the air!

The fall also brings about Breast Cancer Awareness Month, in October. First and foremost, our thoughts and support go out to any family, member or friend who is battling or knows someone who is going through this right now. At some point in our lives, most of us will know someone who will be affected in some way or another. Which is why awareness and early detection is crucial.

Remember back in August when Facebook was covered with videos of people taking the ALS ice bucket challenge? How many of us knew about ALS before then? Wouldn't it be wonderful if Breast Cancer Awareness goes viral and gets the same great attention? (Perhaps not with an ice bucket challenge...) But, what we should be asking ourselves is: what can we do to raise awareness? If you are active on social media, we advocate that your pages reflect your personality. Even a serious topic such as Breast Cancer Awareness can, and often, is successfully brought to the forefront (as proven by the ALS challenge) with genuine and humorous messages. What will you do?

Prairie Life would like to welcome Jacob Anderson to our Personal Training staff and Drew Montgomery to our Membership Services staff.

An Endurance Ride (cycling) will be held on October 3rd, 2014. See club postings or ask your cycling instructor for details.

Check Out Our Fitness App—PerFit!

Have a safe and spirited Halloween season, fitness lovers!

Carrie Hoops

Pinktober

It's October, and you know what that means. Yes, it's time to get your tricks and treats ready, but it's also time to spend some time thinking about the girls. And by girls, we mean your breasts.

You undoubtably know October is Breast Cancer Awareness month, but it bears repeating. Why? Because breast cancer is the second most common cancer in women. And because this disease affects so many women, it also affects the men in their lives too—husbands, fathers, sons and brothers. Breast cancer affects us all.

Early Detection is Key
About 1 in 8 women born today in the United States will get breast cancer at some point. According to the American Cancer Society, in 2014:

  • About 232,670 new cases of invasive breast cancer will be diagnosed in women

  • About 62,570 new cases of carcinoma in situ (CIS) will be diagnosed. (CIS is noninvasive and is the earliest form of breast cancer)

  • About 400,000 women will die from breast cancer

The good news is many women can survive breast cancer if it's found and treated early. Regular breast cancer screenings are the best way to detect cancer in its early stages. A mammogram, which is an X-ray image of the breast, can find a cancer lump before it can even be felt.

Women 40 and older should have a mammogram every year, but if you are younger than 40 and have a family history of breast cancer, your health care provider may recommend you begin screenings at a younger age.

Know Your Risk
Anyone can get breast cancer. Basically, if you're a woman, you can get breast cancer (sometimes, if you're a man, too). Although the causes are not fully known, age, gender and lifetime exposure to estrogen do seem to play a role. Some women have many known risk factors yet never develop breast cancer, while others have few known risk factors and do develop breast cancer. The biggest risk factor is simply being a woman (although men do account for about 1% of breast cancers in the United States). According to the Susan G. Komen Foundation, here are some risk factors you should be aware of:

  • The older a woman is, the more likely she is to get breast cancer

  • White women are more likely to get breast cancer than any other racial or ethnic group

  • African American women are more likely to die from breast cancer than white women

  • An inherited mutation in the BRCA1 or BRCA2 breast cancer genes

  • A family history of breast or ovarian cancer

  • Hyperplasia or lobular carcinoma in situ (LCIS)

  • A personal history of breast cancer, including ductal carcinoma in situ (DCIS)

  • High breast density on a mammogram

  • Older age at menopause (55 or older)

  • Never having children or having first child after age 35

  • Exposure to large amounts of radiation at a young age

  • Lack of exercise

  • Being overweight or weight gain as an adult (postmenopausal breast cancer)

  • Current or recent use (for more than 5 years) of menopausal hormone therapy (postmenopausal hormone use) containing estrogen plus progestin

  • Alcohol use

  • Younger age at first period (before age 12)

  • Current or recent use of birth control pills

  • Not breastfeeding

  • Ashkenazi Jewish heritage

Lower your risk
There are steps you can take that may help lower your risk of developing breast cancer. The Mayo Clinic suggests:

  • Limiting alcohol. Limit yourself to no more than one drink a day.

  • Don't smoke. Mounting evidence is showing a connection between smoking and breast cancer. Quitting smoking is just smarter for your overall health.

  • Control your weight. Being overweight or obese, especially after menopause, increases your risk.

  • Be physically active. Hit the gym for strength training and aerobic activity or get outside and walk.

  • Breastfeed. Breastfeeding (when possible) may play a role in breast cancer prevention. And the longer you breast feed, the better.

  • Limit the dose and length of time on hormone replacement therapy (HRT). Combination hormone therapy for more than 3 to 5 years increases the risk of breast cancer. Talk to your health care provider about all your options.

Know the Signs
Despite regular mammograms, some breast cancers go undetected, so you should be vigilant about doing regular self-exams. Although breast self-exams should not be used as a screening tool, it is a good way to get to know your breasts so you can be aware of any changes, (Not sure how to perform a breast self-exam? Talk to your health care provider or visit www.breastcancer.org).

The warning signs of breast cancer can vary from woman to woman. The most common symptoms are a change in the look or feel of the breast, a change in the look or feel of the nipple and nipple discharge. If you notice any of the following, you should see your health care provider:

  • Lump, hard knot or thickening inside the breast or underarm area

  • Swelling, warmth, redness or darkening of the breast

  • Change in the size or shape of the breast

  • Dimpling or puckering of the skin

  • Itchy, scaly sore or rash on the nipple

  • Pulling in of your nipple or other parts of the breast

  • Nipple discharge that starts suddenly

  • New pain in one spot that does not go away

In most cases, these changes are not cancer. For example, breast pain is more commonly felt with benign (noncancerous) breast conditions than with breast cancer. But remember, the only way to know for sure is to see a health care provider.

A Few Words about Lumps

Many women become concerned when they feel lumps in their breasts. Breast tissue naturally has a bumpy texture and is more noticeable for some women than for others. Breast lumpiness is usually not a reason to worry. If the lumpiness can be felt throughout the breast, and both breasts feel similar, it's probably normal breast tissue.

Lumps that feel harder or different from the rest of the breast, or different from your other breast, or a lump that feels like it's changing should be checked out. You should see your health care provider if you:

  • Feel a new or changing lump that doesn't feel the same as the rest of your breast

  • Find a new or changing lump that feels different from your other breast

  • Feel something that is different from what you felt before

Remember, anytime you're unsure, you should see your health care provider.

Breast cancer does not discriminate. You owe it to yourself to know the facts, get regular screenings and do what you can to lower your risks. Do it for yourself. Do it for someone you love. But please...do it.

Exercise Of The Month: Single-Leg Russian Deadlift (RDL)

1. Balance on one leg, keeping shoulders back, chest out and back straight.


2. Holding kettlebell in both hands in front of you, bend forward slowly at the waist, making sure to keep balancing leg slightly bent, with your knee staying behind your toes.


3. Squeeze your butt and slowly return to upright, starting position. This ensures you are using your legs and butt to perform the exercise, and not putting unnecessary strain on your lower back. Perform 10-12 reps, then repeat on the other side. Complete 3 times on each side.


MODIFICATION
For a modified version of this exercise and to practice proper form, hold a lightweight bar (something as simple as a broom handle) behind your back and practice the movements noted above.

The benefits of this exercise include increased strength in your glutes & hamstrings, improved hip stability and balance.

Employee Spotlight: Bobbi Anania, AFI-CPT

Bobbi was born in Omaha and raised in Blair, Nebraska. She was involved in softball and bowling and competed in many National Bowling Tournaments. From 2006 to 2011 she was also a member of the Omaha Roller Girls—skating under the name Scarlett O'Scara—and held positions as the Public Relations Director and Co-Captain of the All-Star Team. After spending 15 years in the corporate world, her love of fitness and promoting a healthy lifestyle were more than three cubicle walls could handle. With the support of her loving husband and family, she obtained her Personal Trainer Certification through The American Fitness Institute and is eager to push and motivate you to a happier and healthier you.

You can contact Bobbi at banania@prairielife.com.

Member Spotlight: Joe Grier

Joe Grier is a longtime member of Prairie Life and this year he went to Israel to realize a lifelong dream of his. In preparation for his trip he took Pilates reformer classes and walked. At 91 his goal was to be strong enough to walk the entire way (walking up to nine miles a day) and to enjoy the sites.

"Realizing a long dream, the pilgrimage to the Holy Land, Israel exceeded my wildest expectations. To be at the holy sites that I have only seen previously in pictures, books, movies and my own imagination was an unforgettable experience. We walked the holy sites throughout Israel, over which beautiful churches have been built. We walked the Roman streets where huge building stones still lay where they fell when the Romans destroyed the Jewish Temple in 76 A.D. Israel is a tightly-knit country, very well-organized, great farmland to the north and desert to the south. Three distinct cultures live side-by-side with great harmony. Our pilgrimage was sponsored by the Focus group (Fellowship of Catholic University Students) led by Jeff Cavins, a well-known biblical scholar, writer, and speaker. At each site he would talk about the relevance and significance of Our Lord's presence to some event in the Old Testament. It was thrilling kneeling and reverencing the star in the cave where Jesus was born. We stood where David slew Goliath, and even collected stones at the site. The most moving thing was my first site of the Sea of Galilee and the hills and mountains surrounding it. My mantra for it all was, I walked with a cane, where my Lord was slain. This is just one line from my poem I have included below for you to enjoy."

REMINISCENCE OF THE HOLY LAND
(FOCUS PILGRIMAGE 5/11-26/2014)

I WALKED WITH CANE
WHERE MY LORD WAS SLAIN
I TROD THE GROUND
WHERE HIS FOOT WAS FOUND
I TOED THE WATERS 'PON WHICH HE WALKED
AND STRODE THE HILLS WHEREON HE TAUGHT

I SCALED THE MOUNTS WHERE HE ONCE DID PRAY
MY HEART BURST WONDERING WHAT DID HE SAY
I FELT THE WARMTH IN THE SUN ON HIGH
HIS BREATH IN EVERY BREEZE GONE BY
I SENSED HIS APPROACH WHEN NOONE WAS NEAR
THE TOUCH OF HIS HAND WITH NOTHING, NOTHING TO FEAR

I FELT THE WALL THAT KNEW HIS GRASP
THAT HELD HIM IN A PAINFUL GASP
WAS THERE SOME WHERE A MOTHER'S CRY
THAT BROUGHT TEARS, TO MY SEARCHING EYE
HE WALKED ALONE TO THAT TREE
A BURSTING HEART TO SET US FREE

AND ME WITH "HANDLER" AS MY GUIDE
WITH GRACIOUS ANGELS AT EVERY SIDE
I TOUCHED THE WOOD BUT ONLY THE GLOSS
TO SHARE WITH HIM THE WEIGHT OF THE CROSS

HE BREACHED THE CHASM 'TWEEN HEAVEN AND EARTH
EVER TO BE WITH US FROM HIS BIRTH
AND SO NOW, HIS FLESH AND BLOOD
GIVES US AN EVER LOVING FLOOD

AND NOW TO ALL, TO ALL EVERYWHERE, EVERY DAY, VER PLACE
A HOLY LAND IN WHICH TO PACE

JOE GRIER
09/01/2014

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