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Managers Corner

Summer's Here!

Break out the sunscreen and enjoy the warm weather! When it comes to skin cancer prevention, we're fortunate to live in a time where research and technology has provided us the knowledge and resources to properly protect our skin. While genetics can play a factor and past exposure may put some at higher risk, we still have the power to protect ourselves! We're hoping to see all of our members enjoying their summer festivities, activities and vacations slathered in sunscreen!

The summer season brings about new class schedules and programs. Nothing makes us happier than seeing families enjoying summer at the club. Prairie Life Fitness is founded on the principle of making fitness fun for families and individual members. A healthy lifestyle is contagious; get fit and watch those around you join in on a new or continued journey of wellness!

Free Pilates Reformer session to anyone new to Reformer. See the front desk or contact Nancy Babe for details.

Outdoor Small Group Training Sampler (free to everyone), Saturday, July 26th, 2014, at 9am-12pm. Come and sample a variety of small group classes such as Tabata, Boot camp, Cross Games, HITT, and much more. Contact Karla Leriger at for more information.

Walking Club - Mondays and Wednesdays at 11:30am to 12:30pm. Contact Bobbie Anania for more information at

Running Club - Tuesdays and Thursdays from 5pm to 6pm. Contact Maggie Hernandez for more information at

Looking forward to another fun summer—let's dive in!

Carrie Hoops

Summer Sun Survival Guide

With the long, hot days of summer come hours of fun in the sun—which can sometimes lead to sunburns. Read on to get the facts about the sun's rays and how excess exposure can affect you, and how you can play it safe to protect yourself from the sun's less-desirable effects.

While some sun exposure is good for maintaining healthy vitamin D levels and is linked to improving mood, it pays to be careful. Melanoma is the fastest-growing cancer in men and second fastest-growing cancer in women, second only to lung cancer. At least one American dies of melanoma every hour in the United States and in 2014 experts predict deaths caused by the disease could approach 10,000. The good news is, there are simple things you can do to minimize your risk, but first, here's a little lesson about the sun's rays.

There are many discussions about UVA and UVB rays, but what does this talk really mean? What are rays? First, UV (ultraviolet) radiation is part of the electromagnetic (light) spectrum that reaches Earth. These rays are not visible to the naked eye. The two rays that generate the most attention where sun safety is concerned are UVA (long-wave rays) and UVB (short-wave rays). It is the excessive amount of both UVA and UVB rays that contribute to premature skin aging, eye damage and skin cancers. Essentially, the excess rays over time damage the skin’s cellular DNA. Let's take a closer look at both types of rays.

UVA Rays:

  • Penetrate skin the deepest

  • Produce a tanned look as the result of injury to the skin's DNA

  • Cause cumulative skin damage

  • Play a major role in skin aging

  • Contribute to the development of skin cancers

  • Primary ray used in tanning booths

  • Penetrate glass

UVB Rays:

  • Penetrate the outer layer of skin (epidermis)

  • Produce sunburns due to damage of epidermis

  • Contribute to skin cancers and photoaging

  • Strongest from April to October, between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m.

  • Do not penetrate glass

So now that you're up-to-date on UVA and UVB rays, familiarize yourself with some things you can do to protect yourself.

One simple, effective way to protect your skin is by wearing sunscreen. The effectiveness of sunscreen is measured by its SPF factor. An SPF factor indicates how long it will take for UVB rays to redden your skin when using the sunscreen, as compared to how long it will take without it. For example, if you use an SPF 15 sunscreen, it will take 15 times longer for the skin to burn than it would without sunscreen. An SPF 15 screens out about 93 percent of the sun's UVB rays; SPF 30 protects against 97 percent and SPF 50 protects against 98 percent of the sun's UVB rays. Newer sunscreens (broad spectrum sunscreens) protect against both UVA and UVB rays, making them good choices for the times spent outdoors for an extended period of time.

So, how do you choose a good sunscreen? While personal preferences generally dictate what you look for in texture or scent, you should look for a combination of these ingredients: stabilized avobenzone, ecamsule (Mexoryl™), oxybenzone, titanium dioxide and zinc oxide. Most ingredients that filter UVA rays are chemical and work by forming a thin protective film that absorbs UVA rays on the skin's surface before it can penetrate. Physical sunscreens (also called sunblock) work by reflecting UVA rays away from the skin. Some physical sunblocks are thick and white and produce a white, chalky look that many people don't prefer (picture a lifeguard at the beach with "white goo" on his nose). However, many newer physical sunblocks go on clear. Two common ingredients found in sunblocks are zinc oxide and titanium dioxide.

To get the most protection from your sunscreen while outdoors, apply 2 tablespoons of sunscreen to your face and body about 30 minutes before heading outside. You'll need to reapply that same amount every two hours while outdoors or immediately after swimming.

UPF Clothing
There is a growing market for sun-protective clothing. Clothing that offers UV protection is said to have an ultraviolet protection factor (UPF). A UPF rating provides not just sunburn protection, but also blocks UVB and UVA radiation. The higher an item’s UPF rating, the more protection it provides.

Sun Safety Tips
The facts may seem daunting, but the good news is you can still enjoy being outdoors this summer. By taking some precautions, you can fully enjoy all your outdoor activities, while still playing it safe.

  • Seek shade outdoors, especially between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m.

  • Do not burn

  • Avoid tanning, both outdoors and in tanning booths

  • Wear sun-protective clothing with UPF

  • Wear UV-blocking sunglasses

  • Wear a hat

  • Use sunscreen with an SPF of 15 or higher. If you will be outdoors for a long amount of time, use a broad spectrum, water-resistant sunscreen with an SPF of 30 or higher

  • Keep babies out of the sun

  • Have your skin checked regularly by a dermatologist

These simple tips, incorporated regularly into your outdoor activities, will go a long way toward protecting your skin.

As you soak up all the fun in the sun, remember to play it safe with your skin to stay happy and healthy for many summers to come.

Exercise of the Month: The Pilates Push-Up with Jill Deaver

Start: Place your hands out on the carriage. Be sure to keep your shoulders away from your ears.

Inhale: Keep your pelvis very stable as you push the carriage out to a plank position.

Exhale Pause: Hold in a plank position with your wrists directly under your shoulders, your legs straight, and your body in one long line from your heels to your ears.

It is tempting to either sag in the middle or let the butt be too high. Both positions make things easier on the core, but it's the core that we want to work, so make sure you are in a straight line.

Inhale Down: Bend your elbows straight back along your sides so your arms brush your ribs. (This is different than some push-up styles where the elbows are allowed to splay outward.)

As you slowly lower yourself toward the carriage, keep your shoulder blades settled in your back; they should not pop up or move together. This is an essential part of the exercise as it teaches you to stabilize your shoulders and torso.

Exhale Press Up: Keep your abs lifted and extend your elbows so that you levitate your body, in one long line, up away from the carriage.

Inhale: Pause/hold in plank position.

Exhale: Pike the hips up and pull the carriage back to your starting position. Keep your pelvis lifted, and again, don't let the pelvis rock.

Employee Spotlight: Jill Deaver, Pilates Reformer and Group X Instructor

Growing up in Ansley, NE, living an active lifestyle has always been the norm for me. Participating in a variety of sports throughout high school, including track, volleyball, basketball, and Olympic weightlifting, as well as playing volleyball in college, helped my passion for fitness. Pilates has allowed me to continue challenging myself, has assisted in alleviating migraines and strengthened my yoga practice, and has helped to provide the energy I find crucial as a Mary Kay Independent Sales Director.

I believe being active is a critical inch that teaches one how to aim true to be our personal best, which is truly a life of joy.

You can contact Jill at

Member Spotlight: Toni Olson

Me? Doing the Warrior Dash? That's just crazy...or so I thought. In the past, I've thought about doing it, but that was all it was—just a thought and nothing more. Until one training session last year when my trainer, Brent Pyle, suggested I try it. You see, Brent believed in me more than I did and he knew I could do it. I couldn't let him down so I reluctantly agreed. I signed up and the training began.

In the consent form we had to sign, there was a sentence that said, "This is an extreme test of your physical and mental limits." Mine was more mental as I hate heights and water, plus the mud was nasty. Physically, a big fear of mine was my upper body strength and not being able to pull myself up and over the wall, but I trained hard and had the confidence that Brent would get me ready.

The day of the race, Saturday, June 7th, 2014, I stood at the starting line with my heart in my throat. What did I get myself into? Then we were off and running. It was a very hilly course, but I was used to that running around the Midtown Crossing area. Plus the upper body strength I had gained through my workouts helped calm me down. The course was 3.3 hilly miles with 12 different obstacles thrown in along the way. I climbed up, over, under and through all 12 obstacles, which made me really happy.

Now that it's done, would I do it again? You bet I would! I'm hooked. It's such an amazing feeling knowing what I did!

Special Employee Spotlight: Ross Passmore - Membership Services

My journey into bodybuilding started my junior year of high school when I started feeling a sense of boredom playing high school sports. I wanted to challenge myself both physically and mentally, so I knew I wanted to start training with the hopes of one day competing. It wasn't until June 14th, 2014, that I competed for the first time in the Max Classic held in Norfolk, NE. The competition was tough and the competitors were fierce but I knew I worked hard the past 16 weeks to achieve my ultimate goal of winning. Once I stepped on stage I knew all the strict dieting and workouts were worth it when I displayed my physique to the judges. Win, lose or draw, the sense of accomplishment I held was one of the greatest things I have ever experienced and then to go on and win the 2014 Max Classic was something I will never forget the rest of my life.

Special Employee Spotlight: Alison Wohlfarth - Group Fitness Instructor

A long-held dream of mine from the days of being enamored with American Gladiator, was competing in bodybuilding. It was something I finally set my mind to doing this year. With only 8-weeks of preparation—terrified of being laughed off stage—I was pleasantly surprised at the wonderful camaraderie and support from competitors, judges and promoters alike. I competed in the 2014 NPC Nebraska State Championship and walked away with 1st Place in Novice Figure Class A and 1st Place in Open Figure Class A. I certainly couldn't have done it without the support of some amazing, wonderful people in my life. With a successful first competition under wraps, I am pumped for the October show. And eventually, maybe my big, silly dream of carrying the IFBB Pro Figure Competitor title might not be so crazy. Maybe they will bring back American Gladiator.

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