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Managers Corner

You are great! We are grateful!

It's almost turkey time and what we love most about this time of the year is the chance we get to say how grateful we are for all of our members. It's because of you, and your choice to be part of the Prairie Life Fitness family, that we get to come do what we love to do every day. It might sound like a big old cornucopia full of corniness, but we are truly grateful you choose PLF as your health and fitness club!

By now, you are likely making Thanksgiving plans. Perhaps you have annual traditions or your family travels from house to house each year. Wherever your holiday plans take you, remember to also plan time for yourself too! Schedule time at the gym, just as you normally do, and if you are headed out of town, use the PerFit app to keep yourself on track while your away. Don't let "Turkey Tom" and his delicious pies lead you too far off of your fitness track! Enjoy this time of year, and the festivities that go along with it, without undoing your hard work.

November Pilates Special
Happy Hour Pilates & The Little Black Dress. Meet the girls after work for a class that will get you in shape for those sassy holiday and little black dresses! Class meets twice a week Tuesdays and Thursdays at 5:30 pm. Classes begin on Tuesday, November 4 and run through Tuesday, December 16.

Did we mention Happy Hour Pilates & Little Black Dress is a 1-hour class at half-hour Reformer pricing! Only $13 per class and $156 for 12 classes! Hurry and sign up today—only 5 spots available per class!

For more information, please contact Pilates Instructor Jennifer Westphal at (402) 738-0188 or at

November Tanning Special
$10 off any tanning package for the month of November.

Our thanks now and all year round,

Carrie Hoops

Getting Old & Creaky?

It seems as soon as we hit a "certain" age, we begin to conveniently blame our age for many things that have nothing to do with how many years we've been alive. This "certain" age changes, depending on what ailment is bothering us on any given day. The truth is, many of the aches and pains we blame on age has more to do with how we've cared for our bodies than it does with the number of years we've spent in our bodies. Especially true when it comes to our creaky old bones and joints. Admit it, we all know there are some 30-year-olds reading this that have already said: "I just can't move as quickly as I used to." At some point, we all say something similar to that. We don't mean to-it just slips out before we can stop ourselves from sounding like our parents.

All kidding aside, there are more than 100 kinds of arthritis; the broad term of arthritis means joint inflammation. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), 50 million Americans are afflicted, and 27 million have osteoarthritis, which is by far the most common form of arthritis. Sometimes called degenerative joint disease, osteoarthritis accounts for most of the hip and knee replacement surgeries performed in the United States. As with other types of arthritis, women are at higher risk than men for the condition.

Osteoarthritis affects structures throughout the joint. Healthy cartilage allows bones to glide over one another and absorb energy from the shock of physical movement. The cartilage, the slippery tissue that covers the ends of bones in joints, begins to break down and wear away. This causes bones to rub together, causing inflammation and pain. This causes bones to change shape and lose motion of the joint. Over time, the joint loses its normal shape. Also, bone spurs may grow on the edges of the joint. By the time a person has symptoms from osteoarthritis and it is no longer just a disease of cartilage. Bone has changed, muscles across the joint have often weakened and there is occasionally inflammation in the lining of the joint.

Unlike some other forms of arthritis, osteoarthritis only affects joints, not internal organs. Rheumatoid arthritis-another common form of arthritis-affects other parts of the body besides the joints. It causes inflammation and may make people feel sick, tired and sometimes feverish, among other symptoms.

Some younger people get osteoarthritis from a joint injury, but osteoarthritis most often occurs in people over 40. In fact, at least 80 percent of people over age 55 have X-ray evidence of osteoarthritis in at least one joint, and approximately one-third have symptoms of the disease. Since the number of older Americans is increasing, so is the percentage of people with osteoarthritis. Before age 55, more men are affected (often the result of a sports or work injury), while after age 55, osteoarthritis is more common in women.

Osteoarthritis affects each person differently. In some, it progresses quickly; in others, the symptoms develop over many years. Researchers do not know exactly what causes the disease, but suspect a combination of factors within the body and in the environment. Genetics, weight and stress on the joints from certain occupations, hobbies or activities may affect the disease and how a person reacts to the disease.

Usually, osteoarthritis develops by joints aching after physical work or exercise. Osteoarthritis can occur in any joint but most often occurs at the joints in the hands, hips and knees.

  • Hands: Osteoarthritis of the fingers is the one type of the disease that seems to be predominantly hereditary. More women than men have it, and risk increases after menopause. Small, bony knobs appear on the end joints of the fingers. The base of the thumb joint is also commonly affected by osteoarthritis. Medications, splints or heat treatment can help this kind of osteoarthritis.

  • Knees: The knees are among the body's main weight-bearing joints. They are also among the joints most commonly affected by osteoarthritis. Medications, losing weight, exercise and walking aids can reduce pain and disability. In severe cases, knee replacement surgery may be required. Research studies show that being overweight increases the risk of developing osteoarthritis of the knees and show that injuries to the knee are a major cause of disease.

  • Hips: Osteoarthritis in the hip can cause pain, stiffness and severe disability. People most often feel the pain in their groin, front of thighs or knees. Hip replacement is sometimes necessary if the pain is severe and not helped by other treatments.

Can Arthritis Be Prevented?
Unfortunately, there isn't any clear evidence that arthritis can be prevented, but there are powerful arguments. This includes being "kind to our joints," which can lessen the aches and pains that come with "getting older." Staying active and keeping your joints limber and flexible will pay dividends throughout your lifetime. Investing in you, through fitness and health, is a wise choice at any age!

Exercise of the Month: Teaser Prep

Whether you practice Mat work, Reformer or a little of both...this is a great way to prepare and attain full Teaser! Teaser prep can be done with a balance or by rolling. Modifications can be made and props may be used. We will be focusing on Teaser Prep Rolling with the use of 2 lb. Toning Balls.

Starting Position:

Seated near the front, edge of long box facing foot bar, weight back of sit bones. Lumbar spine in slight flexion, thoracic spine lengthened. Legs in tabletop. Arms long, reaching forward as high as possible up to eye level, 2 lb. toning balls resting in the palms of hands facing up. Scapulae stabilized.

Inhale. Maintain legs as still as possible, keep arms reaching forward to maintain balance and initiate by rolling ASIS away from front of femurs and flex lumbar spine toward the box as far as abdominals can be maintained flat. Allow thoracic spine to flex in response to lumbar spine.

Exhale. Initiate with abdominals and return torso to starting position, maintaining slight flexion in lumbar spine.

Repeat 3 more times.

Employee Spotlight: Jennifer Westphal

Jennifer Westphal is a Master Dance Educator and Choreographer. She began practicing Pilates Mat with Linda Farrell while studying dance and completing her summer internship at the World Famous Broadway Dance Center in New York City.

Upon returning home to the Midwest Jennifer continued her Pilates Training and began attending Reformer classes weekly.

After years of attending Reformer classes as a student Jennifer decided to transition into teaching. Jennifer has trained in all levels of Reformer and received her education through STOTT.

Jennifer enjoys working with clients of all levels. Her teaching style does reflect her love and years of dance training. "Technique and form are important. We work to identify and make small adjustments that make a world of difference to the quality and execution of the exercises. Nothing is more rewarding to an instructor than those little light bulb moments our students experience when they find the correct placement and connection to the exercise!"

To contact Jennifer you can email her at

Member Spotlight: Alison Wohlfarth-Burns

Alison recently competed in the NPC Central USA Championships here in Omaha, and took home, not only 1st place in both Open and Novice Figure Divisions, but the Overall Winner for all Figure classes. To say she has found her passion would be an understatement. The fact that everything she does overlaps - from teaching cycling, yoga, and reformer, to teaching TRX and dance classes and lifting really heavy weights; competing in bodybuilding is the perfect platform - one can really utilize all modalities and see how things can complement one another.

There are three really cool things about competing, according to Alison: 1) the fantastic new people she has met. There are some amazing, inspiring, downright-tough chicks right here at Prairie Life Midtown, and Alison is proud to call them friends. 2) There is nothing more empowering than picking up some heavy weight and throwing it around like it's nothing. This sport helps inspire confidence in the shyest of individuals. And 3) With her husband as her best workout partner/trainer, the whole process is even better. It's not work, it's a lifestyle. If you ask their 3-year-old daughter to pose, she will strike an awesome lat spread for you. Now that's a fit family.

Upcoming Events

Prairie Life at Midtown Crossing's 5 Year Anniversary!
Join us November 17th from 4pm to 7pm for food, special prizes, giveaways, and much more. Additional drawings all week!

Turkey Trot: November 27th, 2014 at 9AM
This is the fourth annual Joslyn Castle Turkey Trot 5K Walk/Run that starts at Turner Park in Midtown Crossing on Thanksgiving morning. Join us on November 27th to burn some calories before the big Thanksgiving meal! FREE GARAGE PARKING AT MIDTOWN CROSSING.

$25 through midnight 11/1/14
$30 from 11/2/14 through 6pm 11/25/14
$35 at packet pick-up and race site
Packet pick-up is November 26th from 9am-4pm at the Joslyn Castle, 3902 Davenport Street or at Race Site on November 27th from 7:30am-8:45am

Personal Training: Group Kettle Bell Class w/ Brent
Wednesday's - 5:30am-6:15am starting at $12.50/session for 12 sessions! 12 weeks, 1 sessions a week program. Learn fundamentals, routines, and sequences. New a different workout compared to normal weight routines. Contact Brent Pyle at or call 402-916-5000.

5:00 AM - 9:00 PM
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5:00 AM - 9:00 PM
5:00 AM - 9:00 PM
5:00 AM - 9:00 PM
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10:00 AM - 4:00 PM

31st & Farnam Street
Omaha, NE 68131
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Call: 402-916-5000
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