PT 360 - February 2020

Getting you back to the life you want to live.


F ebruary 2020

In Touch

L ove is the drug ... It’s that time again—hearts and chocolates everywhere. I’m certainly not complaining about the chocolate. My daughter’s school does a Valentine’s Day-related dance every year, and, in typical fashion for my daughter, dress shopping, hair style planning, and overall“event planning”started some months ago. She is so excited to participate in this annual tradition and is now curious about the symbolism for the event, not being“in love” and all. (My kiddo is a little too deep for her own good.) It startedme thinking about the holiday, and, inmy typical fashion, what is the true“non-hallmark”holiday about? For me, and certainly independent of Valentine’s Day, I know love is lots of things. I am loved whenmy loved ones try to do the things that make me feel loved. I know they love me, but feeling it unequivocally by some action? That definitely hits my love language. What’s evenmore interesting tome is that there is even a recent study for that. There are some universal truths to what makes someone feel loved. One of my personal“love” favorites is when someone shows compassion towards another in difficult times, how that makes one feel extra loved. Inmy personal and professional life, I like to think l live there. There is not enough compassion in the world —more is definitely better. People feel loved in a big range of settings, outside of romantic relationships, in everyday interactions, and in experiences with friends, family, and even pets. Studies have even shown that simply making eye contact with dogs makes you feel loved. That eye contact increased the owners’ level of oxytocin, the“love hormone.”Oxytocin promotes bonding and connection. When someone is told that they are loved, well, of course that hits the mark. Also, when a child snuggles up to you, that makes you feel loved


Shelly Coffman

A nd O ptimize G ym T ime W ith T hese T ips

According to The New York Times, muscle mass starts diminishing during your 30s and keeps diminishing over time, even if you stay active. Given that greater muscle mass can help prevent chronic diseases and improve your overall health, it’s no surprise that the federal government recommends incorporating two sessions of strength training into your weekly exercise regimen. The benefits of strength training are broadly accepted and understood, but what scientists don’t agree on is how to weight train. Traditional weightlifting wisdom tells you that the best way to get stronger is to lift the heaviest weight you can 8–10 times in a row to optimize gains in both strength and muscle size. But researchers at Ontario’s McMaster University challenge that wisdom. Their study (which focused on men) found that gains in both strength and muscle size were the same, regardless of if the men did 20–25 reps with lighter weights or 8–12 reps with heavier weights. The number of reps compensated for the heftiness of the weights and vice versa, and the total amount lifted and subsequent muscle fatigue is what drove muscle growth.

with a big hit of oxytocin. Anyone who has had a friend call them after a bad day or exchanged an“I love you”with a close friend or family member can tell you these small gestures are meaningful and powerful. My family is on the slow but steady path to dog ownership. I have been looking at rescue sites endlessly. (I’mnot sure why, because I don’t have the required fence yet.) My daughter falls in love with each and every one she lays her eyes on. I’ve asked her what are the qualities she wants in a dog. She has identified only three things: kind, loving, and small enough to cuddle with her andmove around our tiny house. I think she has identified some of these universal truths about love— that there aren’t a lot of extra requirements. I often describe my daughter as all soft parts. She lives with her emotions right at the surface and unprotected. I amhoping in fact that the love of a dog will let her stay a little soft around the edges and be an external protector of her soft parts. My wish for you is that you live a little closer to your emotional edge, so you can be seen, and loved, more freely. –-Shelly Coffman

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