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Connecticut gyms buzzing again amid changing fitness landscape – CT Insider

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Pauli Mongillo teaches a yoga class Thursday, Oct. 11 at mActivity in New Haven. Mongillo taught to both in-person students and students participating virtually. He recorded the class on a laptop, shown in this photo.
Pauli Mongillo teaches a yoga class Thursday, Oct. 11 at mActivity in New Haven. Mongillo guided both virtual and in-person students through a series of warrior poses.
As students trickle into the room for a yoga class, one hesitantly asks the instructor if he is Pauli.
“I am,” he replies.
“I think we met on Zoom,” she says.
They chat for a few minutes before class begins.
The eight students at mActivity’s Thursday evening yoga class walk past a few people on their laptops in the cafe. The workout space buzzes with activity, and as the class starts, the rattle of a punching bag’s chain and the mechanical whir of exercise machines filter into the group classroom.
The scene is relatively fresh for the New Haven gym. Pauli Mongillo, the instructor, said his class sizes have doubled compared to earlier this year. Owner Burch Valldejuli said membership is starting to pick up after significant drops early in the pandemic.
Valldejuli was not the only one who endured a difficult time during the pandemic.
Gyms in Connecticut faced closures as well as capacity limitations early in the pandemic. A recent report from the Global Health and Fitness Association estimated that nationwide, 22 percent of gyms and studios — roughly 9,100 facilities — had closed permanently because of COVID-19.
As restrictions have lifted, membership has started to tick up, the report says.
“I guess we think the good news in this is that people are returning to exercise and they are choosing clubs as part of that,” said Helen Durkin, the trade association’s executive vice president for public policy.
For some Connecticut residents, that means combining workout habits they picked up the past two years with pre-pandemic patterns. For others, it means a full return to the gym, and those that are offering creative options such as virtual and in-person courses are seeing higher numbers of returning members than others, experts in the field said.
Mongillo’s class last week was available both in-person and virtually. Before the session started, he began recording on a laptop to his left while the in-person students sat on mats in front of him.
“It’s quasi-interactive,” Valldejuli said of virtual courses. “But there’s nothing like going to the gym and seeing your gym buddies, really working with a personal trainer. People are really thrilled to be back, the ones that are coming back are thrilled.”
By the time mActivity reopened in June 2020, the fitness club had lost two-thirds of its membership. Now, the gym is up to about 60 percent of its pre-pandemic membership, Valldejuli said.
Planet Fitness is also seeing gains in membership. The gym company saw “historically unseasonable membership growth,” in the July-August-September quarter, and more members are visiting with increased frequency, a spokesperson said.
Planet Fitness did not respond to a request to provide numbers on its growth.
People came back into team sports more quickly than gyms, said Tom Cove, president and chief executive officer of the Sports and Fitness Industry Association.
“Nobody really knows, but we have some pretty good indications,” Cove said of the bounce-back. “One indication is people have come back into team sports very fast, very effectively. With fitness clubs, we believe it’s going to be slower, but very robust.”
Work from home has changed fitness routines. In the past, people may have selected their gyms based on the proximity to their work, Cove said. Now, many are working from home at least a couple of days per week and it’s less convenient to get to the gym.
But, he added, his group predicts gyms that have made it this far into the pandemic will likely survive.
Michele Smallidge, director of the University of New Haven’s exercise science program, said she’s hopeful after the pandemic that people will combine various types of fitness programs for a more holistic approach to health.
People are also interested in a more personalized approach, so any measures that allow them to adjust workout routines to their schedules or personal preferences tend to be popular, Smallidge added.
“Now I think that people are looking at the holistic approach,” she said. “They’re looking at their personal fitness, they’re looking at their emotional health.”
Outdoor forms of fitness routines grew in popularity during the pandemic. Many of them may stick around, particularly those that required people to buy equipment to participate, Cove said.
Blake Bergeron, who lives in New Haven, has been swimming in pools since he was a kid. When gyms closed during the pandemic, he and some swimming buddies sought a way to continue their favorite form of exercise.
So they started swimming in the Long Island Sound, out of a private beach near one member’s home in Branford. Almost every day, a core group of six or seven people would push the waves in pursuit of completing their morning swim. They’d also encounter wildlife, and more than one got stung by jellyfish, he said.
As it got colder, they persevered, and kept swimming through the winter months. And Bergeron said he now prefers swimming in the Sound than a pool.
“It’s surprising how much we’re able to acclimate to the cold water, especially if it’s a consistent practice,” Bergeron said.
He said the social aspect is one of the things he enjoys most about the morning swims. On the weekends, the group can get to be upwards of 20 people, he added.
Many exercisers simply enjoy socializing or need the group to push them during their workout, Durkin said.
“They really are sick of doing it by themselves,” she added.
For the yoga-goers, mActivity’s Mongillo said he’s seen that people enjoy the social aspect, although in some instances, they may be able to more fully immerse themselves in the practice if they’re not distracted. He’s seeing fewer online students each week, and teaches at a couple of studios where in-person attendance is up.
“There’s going to be an ebb and flow,” he said. “We’re mindful of that.”
Ginny Monk covers real estate and consumer issues across Connecticut. She’s a native of Arkansas and last worked on the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette investigations team covering housing and child welfare. She has a degree in journalism from the University of Arkansas.

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Sick Day Management for Diabetes: How to Plan Ahead – Healthline

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When you have diabetes, taking care of yourself during an illness has extra importance — even if the condition is as common as the flu or a urinary tract infection.
To avoid complications, it’s a good idea to plan ahead for how you’ll handle sick days, illnesses, and infections.
This article provides some expert guidance on:
When you have diabetes, an illness or infection can deliver a powerful one-two punch to your body. Here’s how.
One reason to plan ahead is because illness or infection can worsen diabetes symptoms.
Your body reacts to them the same way it reacts to stressful events. It produces a surge of hormones, including cortisol. Cortisol is often called the stress hormone.
When your body is flooded with cortisol, your blood sugar can spike for several reasons:
Both of these actions can mean that when your body is dealing with an illness or infection, you may experience a bump in your blood sugar levels.
If you have diabetes, you may have a higher risk of certain kinds of infection or illness.
Research from 2021 shows that people with diabetes are more likely to develop certain kinds of infections, including pneumonia and cystitis (urinary tract infections).
If you do get sick, you may face a higher risk of hospitalization. For example, 2021 research associated diabetes with longer hospital stays, more complications, and a greater risk of death with COVID-19, the disease caused by the novel coronavirus.
That’s why it’s so important to work with your diabetes care team to plan ahead, so you’ll know how to handle an illness, injury, or infection if it happens. Your plan can give you some peace of mind now, and it may protect your health later on.
Advocates at the American Diabetes Association and the National Institute for Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases (NIDDK) recommend that your sick-day plan address the following key questions.
Let’s tackle these questions one at a time.
To prepare yourself for the sick days you’re bound to face sooner or later, talk with your diabetes care team about testing, medications, and warning signs.
When you’re sick, your blood sugar may go up for several reasons:
To keep your blood sugar in your target range, keep eating and drinking as close to your usual routine as possible. That may be easier said than done, especially if you have symptoms like nausea, vomiting, or diarrhea.
If you’re having trouble eating and drinking, aim for:
If your blood sugar is too low, you may need to follow the 15-15 rule. That means you’ll need to consume 15 grams of carbs, then test your blood sugar 15 minutes afterward.
Talk with your healthcare team about whether hard candies or glucose tablets would work if you’re not able to keep down food or drink.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends testing your blood glucose levels every 4 hours whenever you’re feeling unwell.
Keep a notepad nearby so you have an accurate record to share with your doctor. You don’t want to rely on your memory of the readings at a time when your recall could be clouded by lack of sleep or worsening symptoms.
You may also need to test your urine for ketones. Ketones are a sign that your insulin levels are low and your body is using fat for fuel.
Testing for ketones in your urine can tell you if you’re developing a condition called diabetic ketoacidosis. This condition is life threatening, so it’s important to know in advance how to detect these chemicals in your body.
The NIDDK recommends that you test ketones every 4 to 6 hours during an illness.
It’s also important to track your weight, body temperature, and blood pressure. These metrics are important clues that may tell you if:
It’s especially important for people with type 1 diabetes to test their blood glucose more often when they’re sick. Insulin levels can drop sharply as the body fights an illness or infection.
An illness can change how much insulin you need. Talk with your diabetes care team about when and how much to adjust your dosage of insulin and any other medications you take.
It’s important to keep taking insulin, especially long-acting insulin, on the schedule your doctor recommends. It’s also important to continue taking long-acting insulin even if you’re not eating.
Some over-the-counter (OTC) medications — especially those that treat cough, cold, and flu symptoms — contain sugar. Other types of medication can affect the way your diabetes medications work.
Your diabetes care team may be able to give you a list of medications to avoid when you’re feeling unwell with a common condition.
It’s a good idea to stock up on easy-to-prepare foods, sick-day drinks, medications, and diabetes care supplies so you have these items on hand for those days when you’re not feeling well. Here are some items to include in your sick-day kit:
Keep a ready supply of:
Your sick-day kit should also contain:
Make sure your kit is stocked with:
If you’re experiencing any of the following symptoms, contact your doctor or someone on your diabetes care team right away:
Diabetic ketoacidosis is a medical emergency: It can lead to coma or death. Get medical help immediately if you’re experiencing symptoms such as:
If your employer or insurer offers telehealth services, consider downloading the app or keeping contact information in your phone to make it easier to get advice if you’re not feeling well.
Diabetes can damage your immune system, according to 2020 research. For that reason, it’s important to take good care of your health year-round, not just during cold and flu season.
You can do this by:
The CDC recommends that people with diabetes get flu vaccines every year. It’s especially important for children, who may have more severe flu symptoms for a longer period of time than kids who don’t have diabetes.
Diabetes can make an ordinary illness more challenging — and feeling unwell can make it harder to manage your diabetes.
If you have diabetes, talk with your healthcare team to plan how you’ll respond to an illness or infection. Together, you can decide in advance how to manage your blood sugar when you’re feeling sick.
You can also stock up on food, beverages, testing supplies, and medication you might need.
A good sick-day plan includes information on which medications are safe to take, which to avoid, how best to test your blood sugar, and what steps to follow to keep diabetes or another health condition from sidelining you for longer than necessary.
Last medically reviewed on January 21, 2022









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Newcastle single mum of three dies suddenly after eating snack with peanuts – Daily Mail

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By Aidan Wondracz For Daily Mail Australia
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A single mother-of-three who was allergic to peanuts died suddenly after unknowingly eating a snack containing the allergen.
Hanna Scigala, 31, suffered a fatal anaphylactic attack after eating the snack at her home in Newcastle, on the NSW coast, on January 4.
Her condition spiralled quickly and she went into cardiac arrest, suffered brain swelling and was declared brain dead before passing away on January 7. 
She leaves behind a 12-year-old, nine-year-old and three-year-old boy who will now be looked after by their grandparents. 
A single mother-of-three who was allergic to peanuts died suddenly after unknowingly eating a snack containing the allergen
Hanna Scigala, 31, suffered a fatal anaphylactic attack after eating the snack at her home in Newcastle, on the NSW coast, on January 4
Her death has come as a complete shock to the family who say the single mother was always careful with the foods she ate.
Ms Scigala had been with her three children at home when she started to feel peckish and she reached for a snack. She had no idea it contained traces of peanuts.
The single mother immediately recognised the signs of an allergic reaction and rushed down the stairs and into the garage for the Epipen she kept in her car.
She administered the dose of adrenaline before calling an ambulance while her horrified nine-year-old son phoned family to come and help.
A neighbour managed to perform CPR until paramedics arrived and wheeled her into an ambulance.
Ms Scigala went into cardiac arrest on the way to hospital but paramedics were successfully able to treat her. 
But her condition continued to deteriorate the following day with the single mother suffering from brain swelling before she was declared brain dead on January 6.
Her devastated sister Stephanie as ‘inspiring’ and ‘very fun to be around’.
She leaves behind a 12-year-old, nine-year-old and three-year-old who will now be looked after by their grandparents
‘As a mum, I think her favorite thing to do was to introduce the kids to new things so they could develop new interests,’ she said.
‘Whatever she could think of or saw that she thought they might like she’d get them involved. She’d put them before anyone else.’
Stephanie has launched a GoFundMe to raise money for her children. The campaign was set up to raise $7,000, but has already drawn in $29,792 in donations. 
‘With their grandfather retired and grandmother working only part time, this go fund me has been made in hopes to help them be able to financially provide for their grandchildren,’ Stephanie wrote.
‘These funds will also go towards funeral arrangements and any other memorial type of function.’
Published by Associated Newspapers Ltd
Part of the Daily Mail, The Mail on Sunday & Metro Media Group

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NJCU Mourns the Passing of Former Board Chairman John J. Moore `56, Board of Trustees Chair Emeritus and Athletics Hall of Famer – Life at NJCU

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The Spring 2022 has begun! From January 18 through January 30, all instruction and instruction-related activities will be conducted through distance-learning platforms. The university will remain open with essential services. Learn about current Spring 2022 guidelines for students, faculty, staff, and visitors and get more COVID-19 data on our dashboard.
JERSEY CITY, N.J. | New Jersey City University (NJCU) is mourning the passing of John J. Moore, L.L.M., `56, the former Chair of the Board of Trustees Chair and current Trustee Emeritus and NJCU Athletics Hall of Famer. One of the most influential alumni and leaders in NJCU’s history since arriving on campus in 1952, Mr. Moore died at his home in Teaneck, N.J. on January 14, 2022 — 10 days shy of his 89th birthday.
A teacher, lawyer, and prominent educational advocate, Moore, 88, was appointed to the Board of Trustees of then-Jersey City State College in 1982, was named the Chairman of the Board in 1989, and served for a total of two decades in the pivotal leadership role — longer than any other person in its history — and 27 total years on the Board of Trustees, before stepping down in 2009.
Dr. Sue Henderson, President of New Jersey City University said “John Moore is one of the most distinguished alumni and influential leaders in the history of this university. His deep love for his alma mater was evident in his words and his actions and his vision and foresight for what NJCU could and should be will have a long-lasting imprint. John lived the university’s mission through and through. While he will be missed, John has impacted generations of Gothic Knights through his work and earned the respect and admiration of many. Our thoughts and prayers go out to his wife Carmela, his children and grandchildren and extended family and all who knew and loved him.”
Dr. Carlos Hernandez, NJCU’s 11th President from 1993-2012, fondly remembered his friend and colleague. “John has a unique place in the university’s history and in New Jersey higher education in general. His commitment and love for the students we serve, for public higher education and his steadfast loyalty were the hallmarks of his incredibly wonderful and beneficial leadership of the Board of Trustees of the University. I credit John with my presidency. He convinced me to apply when my predecessor, Bill Maxwell retired. John was always there to support the institution and my vision for its future, and he always had the respect of his fellow board members because of his internal drive to do what was best for the University”
During his tenure, Moore oversaw the expansion and formal transition of the college to New Jersey City University in 1998. He also served as a founding member of the New Jersey Governing Board of State Colleges from 1985-1990 — the precursor of the New Jersey Association of State Colleges and Universities (NJASCU) — the Board’s inaugural Chairman in 1985, and a member of the Board of Higher of Education for the State of New Jersey from 1985-1987, where he worked to secure childcare funding on behalf of single mothers returning to school. 
Joseph F. Scott, the current Chair of the NJCU Board of Trustees, said “On behalf of the board, we are eternally grateful for his service to the university. While most of us currently on the Board did not have the benefit of serving alongside John while he was Chair, his devotion and loyalty to NJCU, its mission to provide life-changing social mobility for its students, and his desire for the university to thrive for generations to come, was clear to all who knew him and will certainly live on.”
On November 11 1989, Moore was inducted into the Jersey City State College Athletic Hall of Fame, now known as the Lawrence R. Schiner Athletics Hall of Fame, for his collegiate basketball career at the institution and for his later work as a leading contributor. He was instrumental in promoting support for the renovation of the Tidelands Athletic complex — now known as the Thomas M. Gerrity Athletic Complex — and other athletic projects. He was the board’s leading supporter of increased resources and improved facilities for the athletic program and a strong advocate of the importance of athletics in the life of the college.
On December 7, 2004, upon the recommendation of the University Senate, Moore received the ultimate honor when the university board voted to rename the Athletic and Fitness Center in his honor, officially dedicating the John J. Moore Athletics and Fitness Center on March 22, 2005. Commonly known as ‘The JMAC’, the facility, which opened in 1994, is the focal point for the NJCU athletic department and home court to Moore’s beloved Gothic Knights, including the basketball, volleyball and now wrestling programs. Moore was also a long-time member of the Green and Gold Club, NJCU’s previous athletics booster organization.
“There was no one who cared more about the university than John,” recalled Rafael Perez, Esq., former Chair of the NJCU Board of Trustees [2009-2021], who succeeded Moore in the role after originally joining the Board under Moore’s leadership in 1999. “He was the consummate NJCU supporter and fan and truly personified the good things about the university. John was a caring individual and a warm and funny man who cared about individuals from all walks of life. He was just a wonderful man.”
“He was always very independent and felt the university should act independently too,” Perez added. “Even though he served on other boards that promoted higher education throughout the state, he embraced the idea that the university and Board of Trustees needed to be independent. That legacy has carried on.”
Hernandez noted “John came to the institution as one of the first male students, along with Bill Maxwell, admitted through the GI Bill. He grew up knowing the institution and its importance to our local community and its very special mission. John truly lived that mission. It was his personal journey and life’s work. Even as an attorney, the mission of serving underrepresented individuals was always at the center of what he did. He carried that mission extremely well when he was first appointed as a member of the board of the Development Fund of the College and then certainly in his tenure as chair of the Board of Trustees. He never let the mission down. He adored it and championed it, and when the chips were down in Trenton with any act that might negatively impact the institution, he was one of the first to fight for his alma mater.”
Born on January 24, 1933 in Jersey City, Moore was the oldest of seven children. Known throughout his life for an extraordinary work ethic, he joined the workforce at age seven. He later attended Memorial High School in West New York, N.J. and continued to support his family, at various points leaving school to work double shifts at the embroidery factories.
He applied to then-Jersey City State Teachers College and was accepted on a scholarship, an experience that would change his life forever and light the torch for an eight-decade love for the institution. A standout men’s basketball point guard under Coach Dr. John Reckzeh from 1952-56, he was one of its earliest stars and led the program as a two-year captain, before graduating in 1956 with a Bachelor of Arts in Education.
Shawn Tucker, Associate Vice President and Director of Athletics, said “When I arrived at NJCU in 2018, I quickly learned about the decades-long impact Mr. Moore had on his alma mater, and his passion for NJCU athletics, especially our basketball programs, for which he once starred. While we will mourn his passing, we will continue to celebrate his life as one of the greatest Gothic Knights who ever lived. NJCU will continue to make him proud, and his legacy will live on in the building that bears his name.”
Larry Schiner, who served as athletic director for much of Moore’s tenure, added: “John Moore was a gentleman of the highest order and a devoted alumni and supporter of all aspects of the University. I certainly will miss his friendship.”
Upon graduation he was drafted by the United States Army and following service in Germany, was honorably discharged in 1958. He returned to the U.S. and attended the New York Law School at night while working days as an elementary school teacher, graduating from law school in 1961. That same year, he was admitted to the New York State Bar and joined the Continental Insurance Company. In 1970, he received a master’s degree from New York University’s School of Law.
He joined the New York firm of Barry, McTiernan and Moore as a senior partner in 1971. Along with his longtime partner and close friend Roger McTiernan, he oversaw a two-decade expansion of the firm. He served as a member of the Defense Association of New York, Editor of the Defendant, a Vice President of the Defense Research Institute, and the President of the Catholic Insurance Guild.  He retired as partner from Barry, McTiernan and Moore in 1985, but remained affiliated with the firm for years after.
Civically in his long-time hometown of Teaneck, N.J., Moore was appointed the first chairman of the Civilian Complaint Review Board in 1990 — the first of its kind in the state.
Moore was quoted in his later years as saying “I find myself to have been blessed with good fortune in my career, and more significantly, with my family. I thank them for being what they are and for being a part of my life…I am grateful for what has happened, what I have, and who I am.”
Moore is survived by his wife of nearly 65 years and high school sweetheart Carmela, daughter Christine, son John and his wife Laura, and grandchildren Anthony and Giovanna.
A private funeral mass was held this week for the immediate family and a memorial service for colleagues and friends will be organized in the Spring.
www.NJCU.edu
Additional photos of Mr. Moore are available in this photo gallery. A full obituary is published on Legacy.com.
Contact:
Ira Thor
, Senior Director of University Communications and Media Relations | ithor@njcu.edu | 201-200-3301
2039 Kennedy Blvd
Jersey City, NJ 07305

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