TRT - Testosterone Replacement Therapy in Tenafly, FL

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 HRT For Men Tenafly, FL

What is Testosterone?

Testosterone is a crucial hormone for men and plays an important role throughout the male lifespan. Most of a male's testosterone is produced through the testicles. Also called the male sex hormone, testosterone starts playing its part during puberty.

When a male goes through puberty, testosterone helps males develop:

  • Facial Hair
  • Body Hair
  • Deeper Voice
  • Muscle Strength
  • Increased Libido
  • Muscle Density

As boys turn to men and men grow older, testosterone levels deplete naturally. Sometimes, events like injuries and chronic health conditions like diabetes can lower testosterone levels. Unfortunately, when a man loses too much T, it results in hypogonadism. When this happens, the testosterone must be replaced, or the male will suffer from symptoms like muscle loss, low libido, and even depression.

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How Does TRT Work?

TRT is exactly what it sounds like: a treatment option for men that replaces testosterone so that your body regulates hormones properly and restores balance to your life. Also called androgen replacement therapy, TRT alleviates the symptoms that men experience with low T.

Originally lab-synthesized in 1935, testosterone has grown in popularity since it was produced. Today, TRT and other testosterone treatments are among the most popular prescriptions in the U.S.

Without getting too deep into the science, TRT works by giving your body the essential testosterone it needs to function correctly. As the primary androgen for both males and females, testosterone impacts many of the body's natural processes – especially those needed for overall health. For example, men with low T are more prone to serious problems like cardiovascular disease and even type-2 diabetes.

When your body quits making enough testosterone, it causes your health to suffer until a solution is presented. That's where TRT and anti-aging medicine for men can help. TRT helps balance your hormones and replenish your depleted testosterone. With time, your body will begin to heal, and many symptoms like low libido and irritability begin to diminish.

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What Causes Low T?

For men, aging is the biggest contributor to lower testosterone levels, though there are other causes like obesity, drug abuse, testicular injuries, and certain prescribed medications. Sometimes, long-term health conditions like AIDS, cirrhosis of the liver, and kidney disease can lower testosterone levels.

When a man's testosterone levels drop significantly, it alters his body's ratio of estrogen and testosterone. Lower testosterone levels cause more abdominal fat, which in turn results in increased aromatase, which converts even more testosterone into estrogen.

If you're concerned that you might have low T, you're not alone. Millions of men in the U.S. feel the same way. The best way to find out if your testosterone is low is to get your levels tested.

For sustainable testosterone replacement therapy benefits, you must consult with hormone doctors and experts like those you can find at Global Life Rejuvenation. That way, you can find the root cause of your hormone problems, and our team can craft a personalized HRT plan tailored to your needs.

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Low Sex Drive

One of the most common reasons that men choose TRT is because they have lost that "spark" with their partner. It's not easy for a man to hear that they're not performing like they used to. Intimacy is a powerful part of any relationship. When a once-healthy sex life dwindles, it can cause serious relationship issues.

The good news is that low libido doesn't have to be a permanent problem. TRT and anti-aging medicines help revert hormone levels back into their normal range. When this happens, many men have a more enjoyable life full of intimacy and sex drive.

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Inability to Achieve and Maintain an Erection

Weak erections – it's an uncomfortable subject for many men in the U.S. to talk about. It's even worse to experience first-hand. You're in the midst of an intimate moment, and you can't do your part. Despite being perfectly normal, many men put blame and shame upon themselves when they can't achieve an erection. And while the inability to perform sexually can be caused by poor diet, obesity, and chronic health conditions, low testosterone is often a contributing factor.

Fortunately, weak erections are a treatable condition. The best way to regain your confidence and ability in bed is to speak with your doctor. Once any underlying conditions are discovered, options like TRT may be the best course of treatment.

Hair Loss

 Hormone Replacement Tenafly, FL

Loss of Strength and Muscle Mass

Do you find it harder and harder to work out and lift weights in the gym? Are you having problems lifting heavy items that you once had no problem lifting?

Recent studies show that when men are inactive, they lose .5% of muscle strength every year, from ages 25 to 60. After 60, muscle loss doubles every decade. While some muscle loss is common as men age, a significant portion can be tied to low testosterone levels. When a man's T levels drop, so does his muscle mass.

Testosterone is a much-needed component used in gaining and retaining muscle mass. That's why many doctors prescribe TRT Tenafly, FL, for men having problems with strength. One recent study found that men who increased their testosterone levels using TRT gained as much as 2.5 pounds of muscle mass.

Whether your gym performance is lacking, or you can't lift heavy items like you used to, don't blame it all on age. You could be suffering from hypogonadism.

Testosterone Replacement Therapy Tenafly, FL

Hair Loss

If you're like millions of other men in their late 20s and 30s, dealing with hair loss is a reality you don't want to face. Closely related to testosterone decline and hormone imbalances, hair loss is distressing for many men. This common symptom is often related to a derivative of testosterone called DHT. Excess amounts of DHT cause hair follicles to halt their production, causing follicles to die.

Because hair located at the front and crown is more sensitive to DHT, it grows slower than other follicles and eventually stops growing permanently. Thankfully, TRT and anti-aging treatments for men in Tenafly, FL, is now available to address hair loss for good.

While it's true that you can't change your genes, you can change the effects of low testosterone on your body. Whether you're suffering from thinning hair or hair loss across your entire head, TRT and other hormone therapies can stop hair loss and even reverse the process.

 TRT For Men Tenafly, FL

Gynecomastia

Also called "man boobs," gynecomastia is essentially the enlargement of male breast tissue. This increase in fatty tissue is often caused by hormonal imbalances and an increase in estrogen. For men, estrogen levels are elevated during andropause. Also called male menopause, andropause usually happens because of a lack of testosterone.

If you're a man between the ages of 40 and 55, and you're embarrassed by having large breasts, don't lose hope. TRT is a safe, effective way to eliminate the underlying cause of gynecomastia without invasive surgery. With a custom HRT and fitness program, you can bring your testosterone and estrogen levels back to normal before you know it.

 HRT For Men Tenafly, FL

Decreased Energy

Decreased energy was once considered a normal part of aging. Today, many doctors know better. Advances in technology and our understanding of testosterone show that low T and lack of energy often go hand-in-hand.

If you're struggling to enjoy activities like playing with your kids or hiking in a park due to lack of energy, it could be a sign of low T. Of course, getting tired is perfectly normal for any man. But if you're suffering from continual fatigue, a lack of enjoyment, or a decrease in energy, it might be time to speak with a doctor.

Whether you're having a tough time getting through your day or can't finish activities you used to love, TRT could help.

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Lack of Sleep

A study from 2011 showed that men who lose a week's worth of sleep can experience lowered testosterone levels – as much as 15%, according to experts. Additional research into the topic found almost 15% of workers only get five hours of sleep (or less) per night. These findings suggest that sleep loss negatively impacts T levels and wellbeing.

The bottom line is that men who have trouble sleeping often suffer from lower testosterone levels as a result. If you find yourself exhausted at the end of the day but toss and turn all night long, you might have low T.

TRT and anti-aging medicines can restore your T levels back to normal, which can help you sleep better with proper diet and exercise.

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Depression

You're feeling down about everything, and there's no solid explanation for why you're in such a crummy mood. Your daily life is great and full of success, but you can't help but feel unexcited and unmotivated. If you're experiencing symptoms like these, you may be depressed – and it may stem from low testosterone.

A research study from Munich found that men with depression also commonly had low testosterone levels. This same study also found that depressed men had cortisol levels that were 67% higher than other men. Because higher cortisol levels lead to lower levels of testosterone, the chances of severe depression increase.

Depression is a very real disorder and should always be diagnosed and treated by your doctor. One treatment option gaining in popularity is TRT for depression. Studies show that when TRT is used to restore hormone levels, men enjoy a lighter, more improved mood. That's great news for men who are depressed and have not had success with other treatments like anti-depression medicines, which alter the brain's chemistry.

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Inability to Concentrate

Ask anyone over the age of 50 how their memory is, and they'll tell you it wasn't what it used to be. Memory loss and lack of concentration occur naturally as we age – these aren't always signs of dementia or Alzheimer's.

However, what many men consider a symptom of age may be caused by low testosterone. A 2006 study found that males with low T levels performed poorly on cognitive skill tests. These results suggest that low testosterone may play a part in reducing cognitive ability. If you're having trouble staying on task or remembering what your schedule is for the day, it might not be due to your age. It might be because your testosterone levels are too low. If you're having trouble concentrating or remembering daily tasks, it could be time to talk to your doctor.

Why? The aforementioned study found that participating men experienced improved cognitive skills when using TRT.

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Weight Gain

Even though today's society is more inclusive of large people, few adults enjoy gaining weight as they age. Despite their best efforts, many men just can't shed the extra pounds around their midsections, increasing their risk of heart disease and cancer.

Often, male weight gain is caused by hormone imbalances that slow the metabolism and cause weight to pile on. This phase of life is called andropause and happens when there is a lack of testosterone in the body. Couple that with high cortisol levels, and you've got a recipe for flabby guts and double chins.

Fortunately, TRT treatments and physician-led weight loss programs can correct hormone imbalances and lead to healthy weight loss for men.

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What is Sermorelin?

Sermorelin is a synthetic hormone peptide, like GHRH, which triggers the release of growth hormones. When used under the care of a qualified physician, Sermorelin can help you lose weight, increase your energy levels, and help you feel much younger.

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Benefits of Sermorelin

Human growth hormone (HGH) therapy has been used for years to treat hormone deficiencies. Unlike HGH, which directly replaces declining human growth hormone levels, Sermorelin addresses the underlying cause of decreased HGH, stimulating the pituitary gland naturally. This approach keeps the mechanisms of growth hormone production active.

Benefits of Sermorelin include:

  • Better Immune Function
  • Improved Physical Performance
  • More Growth Hormone Production
  • Less Body Fat
  • Build More Lean Muscle
  • Better Sleep
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What is Ipamorelin?

Ipamorelin helps to release growth hormones in a person's body by mimicking a peptide called ghrelin. Ghrelin is one of three hormones which work together to regulate the growth hormone levels released by the pituitary gland. Because Ipamorelin stimulates the body to produce growth hormone, your body won't stop its natural growth hormone production, which occurs with synthetic HGH.

Ipamorelin causes growth hormone secretion that resembles natural release patterns rather than being constantly elevated from HGH. Because ipamorelin stimulates the natural production of growth hormone, our patients can use this treatment long-term with fewer health risks.

 Ipamorelin Tenafly, FL

Benefits of Ipamorelin

One of the biggest benefits of Ipamorelin is that it is suitable for both men and women. It provides significant short and long-term benefits in age management therapies, boosting patients' overall health, wellbeing, and outlook on life. When growth hormone is produced by the pituitary gland using Ipamorelin, clients report amazing benefits.

Some of those benefits include:

  • Powerful Anti-Aging Properties
  • More Muscle Mass
  • Less Unsightly Body Fat
  • Deep, Restful Sleep
  • Increased Athletic Performance
  • More Energy
  • Less Recovery Time for Training Sessions and Injuries
  • Enhanced Overall Wellness and Health
  • No Significant Increase in Cortisol

Your New, Youthful Lease on Life Starts Here

Whether you are considering our TRT services, HRT for women, or our growth hormone peptide services, we are here to help. The first step to turning back the hand of time starts by contacting Global Life Rejuvenation.

Our friendly, knowledgeable TRT and HRT experts can help answer your questions and walk you through our procedures. From there, we'll figure out which treatments are right for you. Before you know it, you'll be well on your way to looking and feeling better than you have in years!

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Girls basketball: 2023 Bergen County Tournament brackets, scores, schedule

The Bergen County Women Coaches Association selected its 48th annual tournament on Monday, Jan. 23. The event will return to single-elimination format after a one-year experiment with pool play, although there is another added twist.Of the 24 teams seeded in the championship bracket, the top eight...

The Bergen County Women Coaches Association selected its 48th annual tournament on Monday, Jan. 23. The event will return to single-elimination format after a one-year experiment with pool play, although there is another added twist.

Of the 24 teams seeded in the championship bracket, the top eight receive byes to the Round of 16. The teams seeded 9 through 24 that lose their opening-round game will move to the Bergen Invitational Tournament, where they will host a Round of 16 match-up.

Teams seeded 25 through 40 will play opening-round games in the BIT bracket.

This file will be updated all tournament long with scores and future schedules. All schedules are subject to change.

Championship bracket

Thursday, Jan. 26

(16) Dwight-Englewood 64, (17) Park Ridge 32

(9) Tenafly 45, (24) Paramus 24

(20) Fair Lawn 58, (13) Ramsey 55

(12) Fort Lee 60, (21) Ridgewood 47

(19) Mahwah 24, (14) Glen Rock 22

(11) Immaculate Conception 79, (22) Paramus Catholic 40

(10) Holy Angels 40, (23) Demarest 26

(18) Westwood 41, (15) Cresskill 26

Saturday, Jan. 28 at Old Tappan

North Gym

(5) Northern Highlands 75, (12) Fort Lee 55

(4) Old Tappan 59, (20) Fair Lawn 33

(6) Pascack Valley 63, (11) Immaculate Conception 61

(19) Mahwah 37, (3) Teaneck 34

South Gym

(10) Holy Angels 36, (7) Ramapo 33

(2) Immaculate Heart 59, (18) Westwood 28

(9) Tenafly 75, (8) River Dell 70

(1) Saddle River Day 60, (16) Dwight-Englewood 50

Saturday, Feb. 4 at Demarest

(6) Pascack Valley 41, (19) Mahwah 18

(2) Immaculate Heart 53 (10) Holy Angels 38

(4) Old Tappan 40, (5) Northern Highlands 31

(1) Saddle River Day 77, (9) Tenafly 61

Saturday, Feb. 11 at Fair Lawn

(2) Immaculate Heart 53, (6) Pascack Valley 47

(1) Saddle River Day 65, (4) Old Tappan 40

Wednesday, Feb. 15 at Fair Lawn

(1) Saddle River Day 42, (2) Immaculate Heart 37

Bergen Invitational Tournament

Thursday, Jan. 26

(32) Becton 40, (33) Lyndhurst 39

(25) Saddle Brook 44, (40) North Arlington 26

(28) Hackensack 45, (37) Elmwood Park 41

(29) Waldwick 42, (36) Pascack Hills 30

(30) Dumont 36, (35) Bogota/Hasbrouck Heights 28

(27) Rutherford 51, (38) Bergenfield 20

(26) Ridgefield Park 53, (39) Leonia 38

(31) Emerson 49, (34) New Milford 38

Saturday, Jan. 28

(17) Park Ridge 43, (32) Becton 35

(24) Paramus 43, (25) Saddle Brook 18

(21) Ridgewood 43, (28) Hackensack 23

(13) Ramsey 53, (29) Waldwick 24

(30) Dumont 23, (14) Glen Rock 21

(22) Paramus Catholic 42, (27) Rutherford 26

(26) Ridgefield Park 31, (23) Demarest 28

(15) Cresskill 42, (31) Emerson 28

Saturday, Feb. 4

at Demarest

(22) Paramus Catholic 58, (30) Dumont 45

(24) Paramus 48, (17) Park Ridge 44

(13) Ramsey 52, (21) Ridgewood 36

(15) Cresskill 48, (26) Ridgefield Park 33

Saturday, Feb. 11 at Fair Lawn

(15) Cresskill 52, (22) Paramus Catholic 40

(24) Paramus 46, (13) Ramsey 37

Friday, Feb. 17, at Demarest

(15) Cresskill def. (24) Paramus, 38-33 (2OT)

North Jersey girls basketball players to watch during the 2022-23 season

The 2022-23 girls basketball season gets started on Thursday across the Garden State. Here are the top players to watch this season in North Jersey.Julianna AlmeidaSaddle River Day junior guardThe 5-foot-9 Almeida provides a post presence, as well as some experience for a team that graduated four starters. She averaged 7.0 points and 6.2 rebounds and led the Bergen County champs in blocked shots.Isabella AsencioImmaculate Heart senior guardOne of N...

The 2022-23 girls basketball season gets started on Thursday across the Garden State. Here are the top players to watch this season in North Jersey.

Julianna Almeida

Saddle River Day junior guard

The 5-foot-9 Almeida provides a post presence, as well as some experience for a team that graduated four starters. She averaged 7.0 points and 6.2 rebounds and led the Bergen County champs in blocked shots.

Isabella Asencio

Immaculate Heart senior guard

One of North Jersey’s best distributors, the 5-foot-4 Midland Park resident propelled the Blue Eagles to the North Non-Public A title by averaging 12.7 points and 3.2 assists.

Symiaha Brown-Cobb

Eastside senior guard

Brown-Cobb runs the point for the reigning Passaic County champions. She averaged 11 points and six assists per game in being named to last season’s All-North Jersey second team.

Kylie Cabana

Paramus Catholic junior guard

Midway through her career, Cabana is more than three-quarters of the way to 1,000 points. She led the Paladins in scoring (16.3 average) and rebounding (8.8) a season ago.

Camryn Clark

Paramus senior guard

Clark averaged 15 points per game in powering the Spartans to a Bergen County championship tournament bid and a spot in the North 1, Group 3 playoffs in a 16-win season.

Alyssa Craigwell

Secaucus junior forward

Craigwell averaged 17.1 points, 8.9 rebounds and 3.6 steals to lead her team to last season’s NJIC Liberty Division title, and she added 43 three-pointers for the North 2, Group 1 finalists.

Cayla Menicola

Ramapo junior forward

After leading Mahwah to the Bergen Invitational Tournament title as a sophomore, Menicola has transferred to a Raider squad that will welcome her offensive game (13.8 points per game).

Emma Starr

Northern Highlands senior guard

Starr enters her fourth varsity season off a junior campaign in which she averaged 13.3 points, 3.9 rebounds and 3.5 assists and sank a team-leading 51 three-pointers.

Rylie Theuerkauf

Tenafly senior guard

The Wake Forest commit enters her fourth varsity season needing 204 points to reach 2,000 for her career. Theuerkauf averaged 30.4 points, 7.5 rebounds and 2.9 steals as a junior.

Mackenzie Ward

Old Tappan senior guard

Ward garnered a spot on the All-North Jersey second team as a junior, averaging 11.1 points and 5.5 rebounds for the top team in the Big North National Division.

Others to watch:

Ron’Shanae Austin, Eastside senior

Jordan Carmosino, Lakeland senior

Tori Criscuolo, Pascack Valley senior

Lily Crowder, River Dell senior

Montana Nicks, Dwight-Englewood senior

Na’Tori Postell, Passaic Charter senior

Julia Schutz, Immaculate Heart senior

Demi Simpson, Teaneck junior

Victoria Sterinsky, Emerson senior

Shannon Tighe, Wayne Hills senior

Pickleballers, on a roll, court new members

The sport, played with paddles and balls on a badminton-sized court, is catching on across North Jersey.Three mornings a week you can peek at a peck of pickleball players at Overpeck County Park in Leonia. Among the regulars are Norman Levy of Fort Lee and Iris Borman of Cliffside Park, coordinators of the Bergen County Parks Pickleballer Club. They started playing pickleball there in June and by this month had signed up more than 50 members.“We didn’t advertise it,” Borman says. “People were walking b...

The sport, played with paddles and balls on a badminton-sized court, is catching on across North Jersey.

Three mornings a week you can peek at a peck of pickleball players at Overpeck County Park in Leonia. Among the regulars are Norman Levy of Fort Lee and Iris Borman of Cliffside Park, coordinators of the Bergen County Parks Pickleballer Club. They started playing pickleball there in June and by this month had signed up more than 50 members.

“We didn’t advertise it,” Borman says. “People were walking by, jogging by, bicycling by. They saw us playing and said, 'Ooh! What’s this?’”

Despite its funny-sounding name, pickleball is a serious, fast-paced sport played with paddles and balls on a badminton-sized court, about half the size of a tennis court. It’s a lot like tennis — you can play singles or doubles — but the smaller court space makes it easier on the body. (If you’ve played tennis, the hardest things about learning pickleball may be scaling down your game and remembering to serve underhand, rather than overhand.)

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The game is addictive. (When club members aren’t playing outdoors at Overpeck Park on Mondays, Wednesdays and Thursdays, they’re playing indoors on Tuesdays, Fridays and Saturdays at the Tenafly Racquet Club.) And, it’s relatively safe. Levy, a longtime tennis player, has been playing pickleball this summer with a brace on his knee. He’s 75, he says, and has never completely recovered from a torn meniscus.

“The operation didn’t work,” Levy notes, “and it made playing tennis too difficult for me. I couldn’t pivot properly. As you get older, you don’t heal like you used to. But I have no problem playing this.”

Neither does Borman, who plays pickleball a couple of times a week. “Tennis, racquetball and paddle ball were always my sports of choice,” she says. “I still play paddle ball. But, tennis? I can’t anymore. Too much running.”

Pickleball is particularly popular in Florida, California, Utah and Michigan, where, earlier this month, 75-year-old Alice Tyms, a onetime tennis champion who played six times at Wimbledon, was named that state’s pickleball champ. As Tyms said in an interview with a local TV station, “When you get to be a little old lady, you can sit at home and watch TV … or you can get out, play pickleball and have fun with everybody else.”

The number of North Jerseyans embracing the sport appears to be growing exponentially. North Haledon recently started its own pickleball league. And, earlier this month, a dedicated pickleball court opened at the Teaneck Swim Club.

Another group plays Tuesdays and Thursdays, from 9 a.m. to noon, at the West Milford Recreation Center. And members of Steve Lavorgna’s pickleball program in Wayne play outdoors at Packanack Park and indoors at the Wayne YMCA.

“I first saw the game on a trip to Utah about 10 years ago,” Lavorgna recalls. “At the time, the only club I knew of here in New Jersey was at the YMCA in Union. I eventually started playing it at the Packanack Tennis Club with some of my racquetball buddies. We went every Saturday, but it faded away because no one else was playing. That changed about two two years ago, though, as more and more people started to hear about it. Today, its the fastest growing sport in the country.”

'A quick learning curve'

Although the game is a favorite of seniors, it also appeals to teens, millennials and anyone else who wants to get a workout but isn’t quite up to the demands of racquetball or tennis.

“Kids love it, but it’s a great transition for senior tennis players who are dealing with knee problems and rotator cuff problems,” says George Cheeah of Ridgewood, who started the New Jersey Pickleball Association in 2015.

"We started with about 40 players,” Cheeah says. “Today, we have 350 members, about 65 to 70 percent of them women. We play now at seven sites. We have two outdoor sites — the Brookside Racquet & Swim Club in Allendale and the Saddle River Valley Swim and Tennis Club in Monsey [N.Y.]. We also play at the Fair Lawn Racquet Club, Tenafly Racquet Club, Quest Tennis in Mahwah, Waldwick Covered Courts and the West Rock Indoor Sports & Entertainment Complex in Nanuet.”

Cheeah, who was born in Singapore, began playing tennis when he was 16. “I had to give it up when I was 21 because I was busy at the time with work and family,” he says. “I started back up when I was 50 and I’ve been playing for the last 20 years or so. Tennis is like riding a bike, it all comes back to you. I did notice, though, that I couldn’t move as fast at 50 as I did when I was 16. But I was still playing six or seven times a week when I retired 15 years ago.”

When he first heard about pickleball in 2015, Cheeah looked up videos of the game on YouTube. Intrigued, Cheeah bought some pickleball racquets and a net, and persuaded some of his tennis friends to join in the fun.

Cheeah predicts that the sport will draw about 8 million players in the next two years or so, many of them former tennis players who want to remain active. But the sport appeals to non-tennis players, too, he adds, “because the game has a quick learning curve. You can start pretty quickly. You don’t need to play for two or three years before you can have fun on the courts.”

Ah, yes. Courts.

At the moment, there are no pickleball courts at Overpeck Park, and that is a concern for Levy, Borman and the members of their club, as well as the many tennis players who don’t appreciate arriving at the park and seeing their courts overrun with pickleballers.

“We’ve been talking with the parks department about putting in permanent pickleball courts, separate from the tennis courts,” Levy says. “We’ve made our case to them and they seem positive, but we won’t know about this for a while.”

In the meantime, members bring their own nets to the park along with the plastic lines used to define the pickleball court space.

“At Overpeck, we bring about 24 of these plastic lines to delineate the playing area,” Levy notes. “We don’t take down the tennis nets. They separate the two pickleball courts. And we’ve confined our play to three days a week from 8 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. Some of the tennis players have been fine with this,. A few others have been nasty. Hopefully we will get our own courts eventually.”

It’s something that parks departments around the country are also contemplating, as the demand for court space grows. But is pickleball here to stay or is it just a fad?

“It’s not a fad,” Cheeah insists. “We now have a very good, well-established governing body in the the USA Pickleball Association. Last year I attended the second U.S. Open of Pickleball in Naples, Florida. There were about 800 people competing and other tournaments are being planned all around the country. We’re not going away.”

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Virtual pews fill up as coronavirus forces religious services online in New Jersey

On Friday, Rabbi Jordan Millstein wrapped himself in a prayer shawl and, together with a cantor, stepped up to a podium to lead his synagogue's services.But when he looked up from his prayer book and gazed out to the sanctuary of Temple Sinai of Bergen County in Tenafly, it was eerily empty.It felt strange, he acknowledged later, to deliver a sermon in a vacant temple, accompanied only by a camera. But even with the congregation absent, the virtual gathering may have been more important than ever...

On Friday, Rabbi Jordan Millstein wrapped himself in a prayer shawl and, together with a cantor, stepped up to a podium to lead his synagogue's services.

But when he looked up from his prayer book and gazed out to the sanctuary of Temple Sinai of Bergen County in Tenafly, it was eerily empty.

It felt strange, he acknowledged later, to deliver a sermon in a vacant temple, accompanied only by a camera. But even with the congregation absent, the virtual gathering may have been more important than ever.

Amid the coronavirus crisis, clergy in North Jersey are urging followers not to let calls for social separation lead to a spiritual distancing as well. Many congregations are finding new ways to practice religion without threatening anyone's health, such as streaming prayer services in lieu of live worship.

"Our building is closed but we are not closed," Millstein said in an interview.

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The rabbi's sermon recalled the ancient Israelites in the desert who grew fearful after Moses went up Mount Sinai and failed to immediately return.

"Facing an unprecedented, scary situation, they panicked," he said. "They forget the rules they were given and built the Golden Calf." The creation off that idol, similar to ones worshiped in Egypt, is considered one of the Israelites' worst sins.

In the face of today's frightening epidemic, he urged, "Let's not panic. Let's follow the rules we have been given by the CDC, local authorities and others. And we will find a way out of this desert together."

Across North Jersey, religious leaders have taken steps to protect congregants' health by discouraging physical contact, encouraging hand washing, and eliminating the wafer and wine at Christian Masses. For Jews, the typically joyous holiday of Purim was more somber this month, as many synagogues canceled parties and carnivals.

The ulitmate steps have come in the last week, as churches, synagogues and mosques canceled virtually all in-person services. Cardinal Joseph W. Tobin took the "painful" step this week of canceling Catholic Masses indefinitely in the Newark Archdiocese. Clergy across faiths have limited funerals, weddings and other rituals to small crowds.

Yet thanks in large part to technology, religious life persists. Synagogues are offering Torah and Talmud classes through a dial-in conference line or Zoom's online platform. Several have held communal recitations of Psalms via conference call.

Cardinal Tobin will be live-streaming Sunday Mass at 12 p.m. via the church website, the archdiocese said.

At St. Elizabeth of Hungary in Wyckoff, which normally draws some 3,000 worshipers to weekend Mass, families gathered around their dining room tables last weekend to listen to livestreamed prayers, said the Rev. Stephen Fichter. He's since been bombarded with fan email and grateful phone calls, he said.

"They found it comforting because it's their church that they were watching," Fichter said. "People said it brought them peace."

Until now, St. Elizabeth's livestream technology has been used primarily for funerals or weddings. But after this successful venture, Fichter said he would consider doing it more often for those who are unable to make it to church. "Even parishioners who live in Florida for the winter were able to see it and others sent it to friends whose churches don't have that technology," he said.

"For devout Catholics, receiving Jesus every week is the high point of their spiritual lives. This was the next best thing," he said.

No doubt, worship has had to adapt for a virtual world.

Mike Kabash, music director at Lincroft Presbyterian Church in Middletown, has had to become a music producer in service to his parish. He's been recording individual choir members and mixing the recordings to create a cohesive whole.

First Reformed Church in New Brunswick, under the guidance of music director Benjamin Berman, streamed its weekly lunchtime recital on March 18, with a handbell concert that recognized the importance of live music as a form of outreach.

"We're using a balance of pre-recorded music and live elements," Kabash said, "so that we can get a little more intimate with our worship than just having a livestream."

Since Imam Moutaz Charaf of the El-Zahra Islamic Center in Midland Park cancelled all services this month, he's remained connected to worshipers by phone, email and WhatsApp. "It looks like this situation may last a long time so we need to have a connection with people and make sure that we can communicate with each other," he said.

Followers have contacted him to ask about prayers, family issues and spiritual healing. "There's a lot of anxiety now," he said, adding that he urges worshipers to try to stay connected spirituality. "I assure them that we are all in this together and we need to be strong and have faith."

Many of the congregants have been praying and sharing ideas through the mosque's WhatsApp group, he said. Online prayers and lectures are on the way.

"There's a need now for spiritual healing and for listening," Charaf said. "We need to hear each other's voices and know we are not alone. People are locked in their homes and their virtual world has become their entire world."

The Rev. Joseph D'Amico of the Church of St. Anastasia in Teaneck drew over 1,000 hits on his livestream Mass.

"People absolutely loved it," he said. "What I learned is that people want to pray with their own church, albeit virtually. It means so much to them to hear a sermon by their own priest, and the Mass was bilingual, Spanish and English, as it always is, so everyone feels included."

Last Sunday, Theresa Wallace dressed up as she normally does for church. But instead of driving to St. Andrew in Westwood, she secluded herself in a quiet room of her home so she could pray without interruption.

She clicked on a link to the service and was delighted with the results. "I was able to view the entire Mass without any pauses and I participated by reciting the prayers and responding just as we do in church," she said.

"It is sad that we are unable to participate with our fellow parishioners," she said. "but until it is safe, I have no issues using this method."

Here are some houses of worship offering virtual services:

Archdiocese of Newark

Cardinal Joseph Tobin will livestream Sunday Mass at 12 pm

Islamic Center of Passaic County, Paterson and Clifton

Daily, 12:45-1:30 pm

Hawthorne Gospel Church, Hawthorne

Sunday, 10 am

First Presbyterian Church, Ridgewood

Sunday, 10 am

Cavalry Chapel Morris Hills

Sunday, 9:15 and 11 a.m., Wednesday, 7 p.m.

Temple B'nai Or, Morristown

Friday, 7:15 p.m. and Saturday, 10:30 a.m.

Community Baptist Church, Englewood

Sunday worship at 8 a.m. and 11 a.m.

B'nai Tikvah of North & South Brunswick

Service times: 7:30 p.m., Sunday; 9 a.m., Thursday; 8 p.m., Friday; 9:30 a.m. Saturday.

Temple Sinai of Bergen County, Tenafly

Friday, 7:30 p.m.

Temple Emanu-El, Closter

Friday, 7 p.m.; daily services at 6:50 p.m. and 8 p.m.

Congregation Beth Sholom, Teaneck

Daily services at 8 a.m. and 8 p.m.

Saint Elizabeth of Hungary, Wyckoff

Mount Freedom Jewish Center

Daily morning service at 7:30 a.m. and evening 9 p.m.; Monday and Thursday Torah classes at 10:10 a.m.; Hebrew School, 4:30 p.m. Tuesdays; Shabbat services at 6 p.m. Friday.

Church of the Redeemer, Morristown

Nightly check-in at 5:30 p.m. by conference call, Sunday service at 10:30 a.m.

Congregation Ahavath Torah, Englewood

Daily Torah class

Bethlehem Lutheran Church, Ridgewood

Wendesdays, 7:30 pm; Sundays at 9 am

Staff writer Kelly-Jane Cotter contributed to this report.

Deena Yellin covers religion for NorthJersey.com. For unlimited access to her work covering how the spiritual intersects with our daily lives, please subscribe or activate your digital account today.

Thara Natalie Prashad-Jhooti: Demarest resident, owner of Fire Shaper, mother of two

“It’s always good for a woman to spread her wings,” says Thara Natalie.And she did just that. Before settling down and becoming a mother, Natalie traveled the world following her passions of acting, modeling and making music. During her travels she met her husband, Jay Sean, who has topped charts with his own music. (You might know his 2009 hit single, "Down.")Career coach Tanisha Russell:...

“It’s always good for a woman to spread her wings,” says Thara Natalie.

And she did just that. Before settling down and becoming a mother, Natalie traveled the world following her passions of acting, modeling and making music. During her travels she met her husband, Jay Sean, who has topped charts with his own music. (You might know his 2009 hit single, "Down.")

Career coach Tanisha Russell: Being a mom is all trial and error

Along with her husband, Natalie owns the Fire Shaper yoga studio in Tenafly. 201 Magazine spoke with Natalie to discuss what it’s like running a business while trying to be the best mom she can for her five-year-old daughter, Ayva, and seven-month-old son, Aaryan.

A River Vale native and mother of two, Thara Natalie, 37, lived in New York City and in California, but made her way back to Bergen County to raise her family and manage her business. She lives in Demarest.

What's been the toughest thing about balancing a family and career so far?

I’m very lucky I own my own business. You get a little bit of control of where and when you work. Just because I’m not in studio doesn’t mean I not working. I’m always available. So, I tell my daughter, “Yes, Mommy is home, but Mommy still has to work.”

What was the most surprising thing you discovered about being a mom?

One of the things before you have a child is that you see children behave a certain way and you think it’s a learned behavior — that their parents taught them to act that way. But then you learn they’re born with a distinct personality and traits that you have no control over. Like Ayva: She’s clear on what she wants. That wasn’t taught, that’s just how she is.

Most rewarding thing about being a mom?

It’s the love that they give and the love that you share that opens your heart in a different way. Ayva can look up to me and say, “Mommy, you’re the sweetest mommy.” And with Aaryan, it’s the joy on his face when I walk through the door, it’s unbelievable.

What is something that having a child has taught you?

That every mom does it differently, and that’s okay. Everyone has to do what works in her house. For me personally, it’s still important to have my own time and time with my husband. I’ve been taking Aaryan to the gym with me since he was 8 weeks old. Some people might have opinions on that. I felt that was important for me. I didn’t want to lose myself. If I’m healthy, I’m better for my children.

What’s your single biggest concern when it comes to raising your children?

My largest concern is social media. As they get older, we wonder how we will manage that. When someone takes a picture of Ayva or all of us, she asks to see the photo. She’s 5 years old and already looks at pictures of herself, and then will decide to take it again. She’s already learning how to judge herself. It scares me. We think about how we are going to keep their self-images strong and not affected by social media and likes and followers.

Favorite place to go with the kids?

We love traveling. We went on a recent vacation to Miami, and not being on a schedule is heavenly with the kids. We are regimented and there is always something to do every day. Breaking out of the schedule is so nice. We also love our local, day excursions! Last year we took Ayva to Lupardi’s nursery to enjoy their fun fall activities! She loved everything from the tractor ride to the bouncy slide to feeding the farm animals. Then in the winter we did the special setup for winter wonderland. I really appreciate these activities with our little ones because it’s an opportunity for us all to be free and play together outside of our normal routines and you get to create the most wonderful memories. Seeing Ayva ice skate was the sweetest and funniest! I’m looking forward to fun trips this summer!

Favorite place to eat with the family?

We love going to the River Palm [Terrace,] going out for pizza and going out for ice cream.

Favorite family tradition that you've passed down to your children?

Gratitude is a very big part of our lives. At night time, we'll ask Ayva, “What is one thing today that you’re grateful for?” That practice came to my husband and I later in life. So, it’s important to do that at a young age and pass that down.

Favorite Mother's Day gift so far?

(Laughing) All I really want is a day to sleep.

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