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PEX Health and Fitness
The October, 2021 Edition of the NLB (Newsletter-Blog)

Why hello, there. Remember me? I can barely recall the last time I sent one of these out. It seems like forever ago...
Name this movie and win a free pat on the back...

I guess you could say that I have had something that resembles "writer's block." That, and we have been pretty busy as of late. But, not to worry, we are getting back on the writing-wagon come October! We hope to start pumping out one NLB per month, and they will be bursting at the seams with health and fitness tips, topics, and tirades.

Today's NLB is a special one, as we have added quite a few new sign-ups after participating in Medfield Day on September 25th. To the new recipients, we thank you all for joining us and hope you enjoy the literary masterpiece that is about to assault your optical nerves.

This edition's Blog Post is brought to you by our very own Alex Badlissi, Owner and Founder of Forged Boxing and Fitness. (He specializes in boxing and fitness. He does not, however, work at a forge -- nor is he a blacksmith.)
So, it is with great pleasure that I welcome you to October's edition of the PEX NLB.

Yours truly,

Mike Campanella
PEX Health and Fitness, Owner & Founder
The Effects of Sleep Quality and Health
By Alex Badlissi
Owner of Forged Boxing and Fitness
Often times when working with a new client, they will have a preconceived notion of what I will ask. They usually bring up their goals, prior injuries, training history, nutrition, workout style preferences, etc.

One area that some people tend to overlook is their sleep. I try my best to emphasize to my clients just how important it is to consistently get a good night's sleep.
According to a number of reliable studies, consistently getting a good night's sleep is directly correlated with better overall health and a higher quality of life. Thirty-five percent of all U.S. adults experience short sleep durations or difficulty sleeping. Short sleep durations are categorized as getting less than 7 hours a night. This number is relevant because studies have shown that individuals who suffer from chronic lack of sleep (less than 7 hours), are more likely to suffer from a variety of symptoms.

Anyone who’s had a bad night of sleep knows what it feels like the next day – lack of energy, memory loss, trouble with thinking and concentrating, etc. These are usually the first things that come to mind. (Unless I've had a bad night's sleep, then nothing comes to mind -- see above.) Usually, these symptoms only last until you get to bed the next night and manage to get adequate sleep. The real issues start to occur when sleep deprivation becomes habitual.

Chronic sleep deprivation can cause much more than just being grumpy and tired during the day. Getting less than 7 hours of sleep increases your risk in these areas:

  • Arthritis 28.8%
  • Depression 22.9%
  • Asthma 16.5%
  • COPD 8.6%
  • Diabetes 11.1%
  • Heart attack 4.8%
  • Coronary heart disease 4.7%
  • Stroke 3.6%
  • Chronic kidney disease 3.3%
  • Cancer 10.2%

Needless to say, missing out on a good night's sleep, consistently, is no joke! In 1942 Gallup, Inc. released results from a poll which found that only 11 percent of Americans were getting six hours or less of sleep per night. By 2013 that number rose to 40 percent. Factors such as increased work demand, nutrition imbalances and the obesity epidemic, as well as social culture, have shifted our society's view on sleep as a priority.

One of the most important aspects to consider when we think of sleep and the relationship it has to health and wellness, is the correlation between obesity and sleep. Clinical studies of sleep restricted adults showed an overall increase in general feelings of hunger and an increase of caloric intake. Further, studies have shown that when you are tired, you are more likely to opt for calorically dense foods. A study from an article published in the International Journal of Obesity in 2008 found that people who had sleeping issues were less likely to lose weight than their peers.

Many health conscious people focus on their mental and physical health, but if quality sleep is missing from that equation, it can and will have a negative impact on quality of life over time. Here are some tips to follow to improve sleep quality and length:

  1. Set up a sleep schedule. If you have trouble doing this on your own, there are numerous mobile apps available, many of them free, to help with creating and abiding by a sleep schedule. Consistency with your sleep and wake schedule can be very helpful.
  2. Turn off your electronics! The longer time between bedtime and your TV, computer, tablet, or phone shut-off for the night, the better quality sleep you will have. Exposure to bright lights such as those from these types of screens should be limited to take place during the daylight hours, as much as possible.
  3. Unable to shut off your screens prior to bedtime? Try blue-light blocking glasses.
  4. If the sunrise or light pollution bother your ability to sleep soundly, try installing blackout curtains.
  5. Try to avoid consuming caffeine late in the day.
  6. Incorporating exercise into your daily routine can promote the tired feeling you may be lacking at bedtime.
  7. Rule out a sleep disorder–if you have tried many of these tips already and are still struggling, it may be time to see a specialist!

And that's a wrap! I hope you enjoyed this tidbit on the importance of sleep. And just think, if you're having trouble sleeping tonight, just read this a few times and you'll be counting sheep in no time.
Looking for a little more support with sleep quality and consistency? How about just a fun, effective workout to help you exert some energy during the day? Shoot Alex an email to schedule a session with him.

In the meantime, check out this YouTube video, full of excellent tips and tricks for establishing and following a successful routine for hittin' the hay.
Give this podcast a listen for a step-by-step breakdown of how to fix your sleep routine to ensure you are catching quality z's.

There are also a ton of podcasts made for bedtime. Try searching "sleep quality" in your podcasts app, you'll find a range from sleep-sounds to bedtime stories.

Pro-tip: Turn on a podcast before bed and, even if you don't find it helpful, at the very least it could bore you to sleep.
(You thought I was kidding, didn't you?)

First, a big "well done" to my man Alex on his Blog Post above. Unfortunately for me, I fall into the category of sleep deprived and over-caffeinated, but hey, I am living the American Dream and such...

Side note: "well done's" are usually good, unless it's how you're getting your meat cooked, and then it's bad -- more on that below.

When you are performing an exercise during high intensity intervals, count your reps during each set!

(Ask my good friend Murph Vandervelde about how effective this is.)

Counting reps during timed intervals accomplishes several things:

  • It gets you more engaged in the task at hand.
  • It makes the exercise itself more objective and easier to plan and pace.
  • It allows you to track your performance during the workout.
  • It helps you to track your progression over the course of consecutive workouts.
  • It aids in approximating appropriate intensity for the desired results.

Seems kind of silly, but this tip is actually very effective. It is one example of the difference between "training" and "working out." Training is goal-oriented. Working out is not.

If you're not counting reps during your conditioning sets and intervals, you're just throwing pickles on a window and seeing which one slides down the fastest. (That sentence makes absolutely no sense, but I love the pickle on the window analogy, and I try to use it as much as humanly possible.)

Will eating red meat kill you in a slow and horrible fashion?

Short answer is; "it's complicated." The long answer is; "it is complicated."

For a great summary on the latest research and findings, take a bite out of this article on

Here are the big takeaways on the "Meat Are Bad" studies:

1) These studies do not take into account two very important things: meat quality and preparation methods. In other words, there are huge differences between the meat quality of corn-fed tortured cows at Cowtanamo Bay, a gas station Slim Jim, and a grass-fed, humanely raised cow, from the yoga-farm down the street.

It also matters how the meat is cooked and/or processed. Is your meat charred to the carcinogenic bone and tastes like shoe leather, is it processed and pumped full of preservatives and chemicals, or is it tender and rare, with some light salt and pepper for seasoning?

2) These studies do not factor in other dietary habits, i.e. does the person get adequate fiber intake, adequate fruit & vegetable intake, and adequate exercise? Does the person use nicotine products, do they habitually abuse alcohol, are they eating a high processed carbohydrate diet, are they sleep deprived (thanks Alex), etc.?

As you can imagine, and as Covid has unfortunately highlighted, the average American ain't too healthy. More often than not, someone's "serving of red meat" is a well-done cheeseburger with waffle fries, a Coca Cola, and a side of sit-on-my-ass-all-day. Can you tell me, with a straight face, that it's explicitly the burger patty that's causing the diabetes-cardiovascular-disease-colorectal-cancer-itis, or is it a multitudinous conglomeration of crapola that is contributing to sickly outcomes?

3) These studies do not take into consideration quantity and serving size. Seems kind of important, eh? It's like the difference between having a glass of red wine at dinner a few nights per week, or crushing a 30-rack of Natty Ice during your lunch break.

If I eat a rare Ribeye steak 2-3 times per week, with a side of vegetables and a sweet potato, odds are incredibly high that I will be fit as a fiddle. If I eat a pepperoni pizza (yes, this is considered "red meat" in some of these studies) on Monday, Thursday, and Saturday, and a Big Mac with an Oreo McFlurry on Tuesday, Wednesday, and Sunday, odds are I will probably die from my heart jumping out of my chest and slapping me across the face with a stick of salami.

So, I suppose you could say my answer would be, in addition to it being complicated, that "context matters". (Duh.)

Fish oil supplementation and the Supplement Wild West

I have been taking supplements, in some form or another, for the past 15-years. One of the supplements I used to take, along with millions of other people, is fish oil. Fish oil, an Omega-3 Fatty Acid high in EPA and DHA, was supposed to be a magical supplement that supported brain health, cardiovascular health, joint health, vascular health, and health-health.

Turns out, almost the exact opposite may be true. In fact, fish oil consumption and supplementation could actually increase the risk of atrial fibrillation, heart attack, and stroke. I figured this out after my second EKG due to irregular heartbeat. (I am 35-years old and in relatively good shape. I should not be experiencing irregular heartbeat and getting EKG's.)

What makes me especially mad about this? Welp, I was wrong. Or, more importantly, the unregulated supplement industry was wrong, and I blindly trusted the "experts," without ever really diving into the ocean of fish oil research. (For a swimmingly succinct article on the potential dangers of fish oil supplementation, check out this article here!)

I just think it's interesting that so many people will pop pills, tabs, and powders, from sources unknown (with unregulated manufacturing processes and unregulated safety mechanisms -- and I am including myself here), without ever really doing substantive research on what we are putting into our bodies. Similarly frustrating is that there is little-to-no accountability levied on the "experts" who are endorsing products that may, or may not, be helpful.
I guess you can let this idea float around in your head the next time you open your bottle of Russian Ginseng Rhodiola Fat Burner 5000, produced and sourced from who knows where...

That is all. Tirade over. (I am all out of fish puns.)

1) Medfield Day!We had the pleasure of spending last Saturday with the Medfield Community as we hosted a booth at Medfield Day. We loved meeting everyone and watching everyone enjoy the beautiful weather. We especially loved making you work for your prizes: 20 Squat Jumps for a T-Shirt! Jokes aside, the PEX Team is super excited to become a part of the Medfield Community and serve them as their new favorite fitness facility.

2) PEX Medfield Opening PEX Medfield is on track to open before the end of 2021. We were originally aiming for an October grand-opening but, some of our material was delayed (as everything seems to be these days) so, we wait. Our monthly newsletter and our social media accounts (Facebook and Instagram, @pexhealthandfitness) will be the place to go to find real-time updates as we zero in on a grand opening date for PEX Medfield!

3) New CoachesPEX in Needham is actively interviewing personal trainers and physical therapists! We are also actively interviewing and building a team for the new PEX Medfield! Are you (or do you know of) a fitness professional in the greater Boston area, looking to advance beyond the typical gym-trainer experience? If so, shoot us a message! We also want to congratulate John Chapple, Mike Shea, Katie Woodilla, and Erika Burton, for officially joining the PEX Team!

4) PEX Ambassador ProgramAt PEX Health and Fitness, we understand the importance of maintaining an immaculate reputation, and we also know the value of word-of-mouth marketing. To express our gratitude to our clients for recommending PEX Health and Fitness to others, all current PEX Health and Fitness clients are eligible to be a part of our Client Ambassador Program!

In the event that a current PEX Health and Fitness client recruits a new client to PEX, the recruiting client is eligible to receive an ambassador’s fee of $100, after the new client’s successful completion of 10 personal training sessions with a coach at PEX Health and Fitness.
In Conclusion
This brings us to the conclusion of our scheduled program. We hope that you enjoyed your stay, and we look forward to having you on our next flight on THE PEX NLB Airlines.

PEX Health and Fitness, Owner & Founder
Michael John Campanella
To send cash and diamonds
1451 Highland Avenue,
Needham, MA 02492