Author: Jacilyn Olson – Page 2

Let Physical Activity Benefit YOU

By Chasady Minnifield

Physical activity can be beneficial in so many ways. Even if you feel like you are considered a couch potato. There are many exercises that you can do while watching the television or just sitting in a chair. For example, chair stands, bicep curls, tricep dips, etc.

Some common exercises that you can do at home on commercials:

  1. Planks
  2. Sit-ups
  3. Squats

sit-upsquat2

Or if you just wanted to go for a brisk walk around the neighborhood or park to clear your mind or head. Physical activity can reduce the risk of stress, depression, and anxiety. As college students, professors, or employees we all go through some type of stress every once in a while. Have you ever decided to work out around the times that you are feeling stressed? How did you feel afterwards? Did your body feel so relieved? There are many ways that physical activity can help relax the mind and body. Physical activity is known for improving mental health and mood. So whenever you’re feeling stressed about that upcoming exam, do some type of exercise that you enjoy. Find something relaxing to do like doing some simple workouts at home to help relax your mind, body, and soul. You just have to find something that you like and enjoy.

Benefits of Cardio

By: Chasady Minnifield

Our bodies are made to move. With that being said, there are several ways to get your heart pumping by cardio. Whether it’s by walking, running, riding a bike, swimming, rowing, or doing aerobic workouts. These are all different types of workouts that are used to raise your heart rate. Cardio is beneficial in so many ways. Some of the benefits are weight loss, increased bone density, reduce stress, reduce the risk of heart disease, reduce depression and anxiety, increases confidence, and improves sleep.

The American College of Sports Medicine recommends that cardio should be done at least 5 days a week for 30 minutes for moderate intensity or 3 days a week for 20 minutes for vigorous intensity.

There are many machines that are located in the Wellness Center that can help you see the benefits of cardio workouts. Whether it’s the treadmill, elliptical, or bike. But what if you don’t like using the machines? You could sprint or walk around our awesome track located on the second floor in the Wellness Center. Find a cardio workout that you like and stick to it. Plan the days of the week that you would like to incorporate your cardio workouts into your schedule.

Motivation Starts by YOU Making a Move

By: Chasady Minnifield

There’s always something stopping us from wanting to workout at least 2-3 times a week. Whether it’s trying to find the time in our schedule or going to get a Big Mac from McDonald’s instead. There are several ways to help motivate YOU to work out every week. For example, find something that YOU like. Whether it be the new yoga class added to the group exercise schedule or being able to fit into that new swimsuit you just bought for spring break. There are several machines in the Wellness Center that can work each body part. Find a machine that YOU like and enjoy. Whether it’s the new machine that will help you lose weight or help YOU reach YOUR ideal weight. It all starts with consistency. Once YOU find something that YOU like YOU will be committed. Do not worry about what other people think about you at the gym because most of the time they are too focused on their own goals. Focus on the outcomes as if YOU have already reached your goal. But in order to reach your goals YOU have to plan. Plan a day in your schedule that you have the freest time to attend the gym and stick to it. Plan at least two days out of the week that YOU plan on working out and then you will most likely stay committed. In order to stick to something, there has to be a variety of things that YOU like. Don’t go to that new yoga class because your friend wants you to go. Go because YOU want to go. Physical activity is only enjoyable when YOU feel good or enjoy it, not your friend. So let’s start this semester off right by adding in YOUR schedule the day and time that you are going to attend the gym every week. Reward yourself once you realize that those pants that you have been waiting to get into starts to feel a little loose. Working out can change the way YOU look and feel. Find a routine or schedule that will help motivate YOU to continue to work out each week.

The Benefits of the Correct Warm up

Many people love to workout because it helps them stay fit, makes them feel better, and keeps them healthy. Some individuals do not like to warm up. So today, we must talk about the importance of warming up correctly.

Warming up and stretching can be beneficial in so many ways. For example, it increases body temperature, it reduces the potential for muscle injury, and it increases blood flow to exercising muscles. It also helps the heart and blood vessels adjust to the body’s increased demands and it prepares muscles for
impending workload. Warming up may also reduce the likelihood of excessive muscle soreness.

That being said, there is a correct way to warm-up. While the popular trend has been static stretching, stretching in place each muscle for seconds is beneficial as well; Dynamic stretching has actually been proven to be better for the athlete. Dynamic stretching is a series of movements performed in a smooth, controlled manner that can take the body to the limits of its range of motion. Dynamic warm up has led to improved performance as it allows progression of speed and agility work because the body is better prepared and better able to sustain increased loads. It can also improve forces through the connective tissue and joints with proper blood flow, circulation, and mental preparedness. While static stretching impairs performance, it does not prevent injury and it does not correctly warm up the muscles.

butt-kicks

Some good examples of dynamic stretches that you can do before any workout are front to back leg swings, side-to-side leg swings, butt kicks, and high knees. It is important to do each stretch no longer than 2 seconds and complete movements that mimic the activities you are about to perform as closely as possible. Do the dynamic movements for about 40 feet turn around and return completing the next movement. This will help activate those muscle groups you are about to engage for exercise.

Nervous About Working Out ? No Problem!

By Jessi Walker

This is the week! The fourth week of school where the exercise prescription students meet the clients they will teach, where professors start giving actual tests, and where students start to realize ihop everyday was not a good idea. So the wellness is where everyone will be .

The wellness center is usually very busy… That being said I believe everyone is nervous on some level to workout. The exercise prescription students are nervous to meet their clients; they want to say and do everything perfect. While the faculty members are probably a little worried because they want to do well on all of their fitness tests. The other students working out in the wellness are also either stressed out about an upcoming test or new to the wellness and are not used to being surrounded by their peers as they work out.

Just remember working out is a way to help with anxiety, it boosts your mood and can make you feel much better. So don’t worry when you get nervous about having to go to the wellness. Some ways to help with the nerves would be to find a workout partner! They will help keep you accountable and you will relax knowing you are headed to workout with a friend. Another great way to help calm the nerves would be to make a gym plan. Know what exercises you want to do when you get there, that way when you arrive you are not only confident but ready to get busy. The more focused you become on your workout plan the less time you have to think about your nerves. Trust me everyone has their minds on what is going on in their life that day, so just do your best and enjoy working out. It really is for your benefit!

Benefits of HIIT Training

By Ryan Brooks

High-intensity interval training or “HIIT”, is the training technique of using short intense anaerobic exercise bursts with less intense breaks in-between. HIIT has many different benefits for individuals who decide to try it. Below are some of the benefits you could see while starting a HIIT program.

  1. Time Efficient – HIIT is deal for persons with a busy work schedule. As little as 15 minutes is needed to see the same benefits as an hour on a treadmill. (1)
  1. Increased Calorie Expenditure – HIIT burns more calories during a workout than continuous training does. Also, HIIT burns calories even after you are done with your workout, burning more calories when your body is returning to homeostasis. (2) 
  1. No Equipment – With HIIT, no equipment is necessary. Running, jumping, high knees, quick feet, or any plyometric exercise is sufficient. HIIT is costless and can be done anywhere. (1) 
  1. Boosts Endurance – HIIT has been found to increase endurance with as little as 60 second bursts. This improved endurance can lead to better performance in other exercises. (2) 
  1. Heart Health – HIIT is very good for your heart. HIIT can increase flexibility and elasticity of arteries and veins. HIIT is also safe and more tolerable for people with coronary artery disease than a moderate level workout. (2) 
  1. Increased VO2Max – HIIT increases VO2Max. In a recent study with persons with type 2 diabetes, HIIT increased their VO2Max while a continuous exercise program did (2)

(1) http://www.shape.com/fitness/workouts/8-benefits-high-intensity-interval-training-hiit

(2) http://www.mensfitness.com/training/8-amazing-benefits-interval-training-backed-  science/slide/3

 

Why Stretch?

By Faith Stewart

We all have that moment, first thing in the morning when the alarm goes off, that we stretch with every ounce of our being, and for some of us that may be the only stretching we do all day. You may wonder if stretching is really that important. You know that if you have a hard workout and don’t stretch afterwards, you may be a little sorer the next day, but there’s much more to it than that.

Stretching throughout the day, even outside of your workout routine has many added benefits. The more obvious benefits include improving aerobic and muscular conditioning performance, reducing risk of injury, and maintaining mobility. But one big benefit that is often overlooked is: flexibility in the hamstrings, quadriceps, and trunk can significantly reduce the risk of experiencing acute and chronic low back pain.

For those of us that spend most of our time sitting, whether in class or at a desk for work, we know that low back pain can sneak up on us, and when it does, it can severely impact our ability to go about our regular day. When the muscles in the hamstrings and quadriceps are tight, the back muscles have to work harder to support the body. Doing basic stretches during the day can help prevent this and can give your day a boost!Seated-Toe-Touch-Stretch

The easiest stretch that can be done to keep the hamstrings from getting too tight is a toe touch. This can be done sitting on the ground, or standing, which makes it perfect for work. In either position, reach towards your toes, keeping your neck and back in a neutral position until you feel SLIGHT tension in the hamstrings. Hold this for 20-60 seconds, rest for 20 seconds and repeat a few times. This stretch will release some tension in the hamstrings, increase range of motion in the hips, and flex the spine.

Remember, stretching should never be painful, if it hurts, ease out of the stretch.

http://www.humankinetics.com/excerpts/excerpts/the-importance-and-purpose-of-flexibility

Exercise Workout for the Office

By Ryan Brooks

We all know your work schedule can get pretty hectic sometimes. Some days everything goes as planned and you leave work on time. Other days however, things don’t go as planned and you end up staying late. When it is on a day you plan to workout, this can be a problem. Below is a list of exercises you can do during the day to make sure you still get a workout in, even if you are stuck at the office all day.

  1. Push-UpsOffice
  2. Back Extension
  3. Lateral Arm Raises
  4. Bicep Curls
  5. Chair Dips
  6. Air Squats
  7. Frontward Lunges
  8. Calf Raises
  9. Crunches

Most of the exercises above can be done with no weights at all. Depending on the person, you may need to have added weight. For the added weight, any office supplies will work. Books, staplers, et cetera are good go-to’s. The number of sets and repetitions is dependent on the person also. Specialize these numbers to fit you personally. Most importantly, remember to be safe!