Category: UCO

3 Ways to Add Physical Activity Into Your Everyday Life

80% of American adults are not getting the recommended amount of exercise (The State of Obesity, 2018). According to the American College of Sports Medicine, you should get at least 150 minutes of exercise a week (ACSM 2014, p.147) There are many ways of achieving this without spending money on a gym membership.

There are many different benefits of staying physically active throughout your life. For example: it improves cognitive functioning, increases energy, decreases stress, and improves cardiovascular health. A lot of Americans today spend over half of their day sitting down. Being sedentary can actually increase your risk of diabetes, heart disease, and premature death. If sitting down really causes all of these problems, then why is it so prominent in our daily lives?

Most people believe that being physically active means you have to go to the gym and do an extremely hard workout while sweating profusely. This is actually not true at all. Being physically active means that you have found time in your busy schedule to do an activity that isn’t sitting down or lying down. You don’t even have to sweat. To add physical activity into your life, start by laying out your schedule, and finding small increments of time to add different activities. Here are three simple ways to add physical activity into your everyday life:

1. Coffee Walks

Going on a coffee walk is a great way to get in your exercise while doing something you already had planned. If you are meeting a friend for coffee, you can ask them to get their coffee to go and take it with you on a walk. This is an easy way to stay active while still getting tasks done. Sitting down at a coffee shop is something that most college aged students do weekly.

 

2. Walk While You Study

Studying is something that is inevitable as a college student. According to Louis Bherer, Kirk I. Erickson, and Teresa Liu-Ambrose, by doing any form of physical activity it can increase your cognitive functioning and help you focus more on different tasks (Effects of Physical Activity and Exercise, 2013). It is easy to go to the library or sit at home and study, but what if you took your study materials on a walk with you. It is easy to look over flash cards while you take a walk, or have a friend come with you and quiz you. This will not only add physical activity into your life, but it can also help improve your cognitive functioning, which can help you with whatever it is you are studying for.

3. Park farther away

This is one of the easiest ways to add physical activity into your day. For UCO students it is already incorporated in our day, because parking isn’t exactly ideal. However, if you are going other places like the grocery store or to get food, try parking at the farthest spot you can find. This only adds a few extra minutes onto your trip, but can end up benefitting you a lot more. The task does not have to be long or strenuous. Adding little things like this to your day may not seem like much, but over time it will improve your overall quality of life.

References:

ACSM. (2014). Guidelines for Exercise Testing and Prescription.

Louis Bherer, Kirk I. Erickson, and Teresa Liu-Ambrose, “A Review of the Effects of Physical Activity and Exercise on Cognitive and Brain Functions,” Journal of Aging Research, vol. 2013, Article ID 657508, 8 pages, 2013. https://doi.org/10.1155/2013/657508

The State of Obesity. (2018). Physical Inactivity in the United States. Retrieved from The State of Obesity: https://stateofobesity.org/physical-inactivity

Benefits of working out with a group.

According to Blackstone et al. (2017) exercise in a group setting can increase enjoyment of physical activity and be a great motivator. Working towards a common goal can help us with reaching our individual goals and hold us accountable. We tend to work harder in a group setting and feel better afterwards. There are several ways to finding a group that you might enjoy staying active with.

Find friends with common goals.

Chances are very high that people enjoy the same activities you do. That does not always mean having to go to the gym together. If you have a friend who enjoys hiking or walking and if that is something you are interested in, make a commitment to each other to take regular trips.

Sign up for a group exercise class.

Group exercise classes are not only a great way to find guidance but they are also a great way to socialize. The combination of being motivated by others and making new friends is great. Working out by yourself can be beneficial for reaching your personal goals but research also shows that group exercise can significantly decrease stress levels and the production of cortisol (Yorks et. al, 2017). The UCO Wellness Center offers a variety of classes you can join anytime.

Find a workout partner.

If you enjoy going to the gym, do not shy away from finding someone who shares your interest. Finding a workout partner can hold you accountable to making your workouts a routine and can increase the overall enjoyment.

References

Blackstone, Sarah R.; Reeves, Dayana; Lizzo, Robin; Graber, Kim C., (2017).  A Qualitative Inquiry of Motivations to Participate in Group Exercise Among Women  American Journal of Health Studies, Vol. 32 Issue 2, p78

Dayna M. Yorks, Christopher A. Frothingham, Mark D. Schuenke. Effects of Group Fitness Classes on Stress and Quality of Life of Medical Students. The Journal of the American Osteopathic Association, 2017; 117 (11): e17 DOI: 10.7556/jaoa.2017.140

 

4 Tips to Help You Get Up and Out the Door and to the Gym in the Mornings

by: Madison Webb, Joshua Holliday, Roxana Gonzales, Alex Buelow, Britney Baker, Victoria Lilly, & Elyse Sicher

Tip #1 Be Prepared

Preparation is the key to successfully making it out of the door and to an early workout. The night before go ahead and lay out all of the stuff that you will be taking with you to the gym. Make sure to pack a gym bag with anything that you might need to have the next morning like resistance bands and a little foam roller. Also layout your workout clothes near your bed. This prevents you from having to spend time trying to find clothes in the morning.

Tip #2 Get Enough Rest

If you are someone that needs a full 8 hours of sleep then try going to bed at an earlier time, if waking up is hard for you. There are people out there who can run on 4-6 hours of sleep and there are others who need 8 plus hours a night. Know which category you fall in because if you aren’t getting enough rest waking up early will be difficult. It becomes easy to just hit snooze and not make it to your workout, so take these tips into consideration.

Tip #3 Put Your Alarm on the Other Side of the Room

In order to get up and physically get out of bed, put your phone or alarm clock on the other side of the room. This will make physically get out of bed to turn the alarm off. If you keep your alarm next to your bed or even within arms reach it becomes much easier to hit snooze. By setting the alarm across the room from you it makes it harder to just snooze it or turn it off.

Tip #4 Treat Yourself

One thing that motivates many people is a treat. If you are able to keep up with the routine of waking up early consistently for a week treat yourself to a new pair of workout pants or maybe even a trip to the movies. Keeping motivation high will help you to accomplish all of your goals.

 

 

Can exercise help you perform better at school and work?

By: Danyelle Dyer

Everyone knows that exercise can help improve your physical fitness and performance but did you know that exercise can also improve your mental performance at work and in the classroom. Exercise can do much more for your body then make you look good. It can also make you feel good.

 

Being active can help improve:

·       Attention

·       Sleep

·       Energy Levels

·       Mood

·       Stress Levels

 

All of these benefits with help you perform better in the work place and classroom. There have been studies done that have found a correlation between physical activity and GPA. They have shown that staying active for 150 minutes per week can not only improve your performance in school and work but also lower your risk of sedentary related diseases.

 

So, next time you feel as though you can’t focus or the stress of school and work is to overwhelming try getting on the treadmill or running around your neighborhood.

 Resource: 

 Whitehead, M., Leath, C., Davis, C., & Drake, S. (2011). Physical Activity, Academic Performance, and Health Status in College Females: 2193. Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise, 43(Suppl 1), 578.

 

Tart Cherry Juice: Fad or For Real

 In today’s society, stress is an everyday occurrence that people deal with in a variety of ways, healthy or unhealthy. Chronic or long-term stress can cause many problems psychologically and physically. Having healthy ways to deal with stress is an important tool for any individual. One way to help relieve stress is to be more active in your lifestyle by exercising regularly and moving more often. While there are several different strategies and mechanisms for dealing with the effects of stress, one new method is drinking tart cherry juice. Here is a little bit of information about how tart cherry juices can affect your body.

Tart Cherry Juice

Stress is necessary to grow but too much can leave you feeling drained, so many people look for productive ways to reduce stress. Tart cherry juice may be one of those ways. Research shows tart cherry juice may be beneficial to a long list of ailments, as well as boost exercise performance due to its anti-inflammatory properties, Antioxidants, and Melatonin. Tart cherry juice has been found to be helpful with gout and muscle soreness and can help with increases muscular strength. Berries which deep rich colors are full of antioxidants and help with recovery after exercise. Tart cherries are also rich Melatonin which helps to regulate sleep and mood. Tart cherry juice has been found to reduce uric acid and inflammation throughout the body. You can never have too many methods for reducing stress and tart cherry juice may be one of those methods.

 

 

 

Reference List

Kuehl, K. S., Chestnutt, J., Elliot, D. L., & Lilley, C. (2009). Efficacy of tart cherry juice in

reducing muscle pain after strenuous exercise. Medicine & Science in Sports &

Exercise, 41, 99-100. doi:10.1249/01.mss.0000353585.49608.7b

Pigeon, W. R., Carr, M., Gorman, C., & Perlis, M. L. (2010). Effects of a tart cherry juice

beverage on the sleep of older adults with insomnia: A pilot study. Journal of Medicinal Food, 13(3), 579-583. doi:10.1089/jmf.2009.0096

Volpe, S. L. (2014). Tart cherry juice and inflammatory response. ACSMs Health & Fitness

Journal,18(1), 32-33. doi:10.1249/fit.0000000000000009

Vitale, K. (2016). Tart cherry juice concentrate in men’s US Olympic volleyball. Medicine &

Science in Sports & Exercise, 48, 246. doi:10.1249/01.mss.0000485738.98837.52

Benefits of Drinking Water

November 8, 2018
By: Katie Miller

Benefits of Drinking Water

Do you struggle with your water intake? Do you know the potential benefits that water can do for your body? Below are just a handful of reasons why you should up your water game!

  • Increased Brain Power
  • Increased Energy
  • Flush out Toxins
  • Prevents Headaches
  • Improves Heart Health
  • Better Mood
  • Increased Digestion
  • Maximize Physical Performance

All of these positive outcomes of drinking water could be the difference in having bad day and having a great day. An improved mood and increased energy? Bring on the work week!

Now you might be wondering how can I increase my water intake? There are numerous apps that are easily accessible right on your phone that will help you track how much water you drink a day and can send notifications to remind you to drink up!

  • ihydrayte-IOS
  • WaterMinder-IOS and Android
  • iDrayted water-IOS
  • Waterlogged-IOS and Android (free!)

References

Benefits of Drinking Water. (2018, February 2). Retrieved November 7, 2018, from/https://www.mindbodygreen.com/0-4287/10-Reasons-Why-You-Should-Drink-More-Water.html

 

4 Ways to Boost Fitness Motivation

11/13/18   By: Ashli Gissandaner

Start with small goals

 You can still reach larger goals by getting to them in smaller increments. You do not have to limit yourself in order to do so. For example: instead of trying to lose 15 pounds at once, start small with only trying to lose 5 pounds every so often to get to 15.

Reward Yourself

 Creating an incentive can help accomplish your goals. Those new pair of shoes you may want are only an exercise session away! Plus, this is motivating and rewards add a level of fun to exercise.

Prepare

Save yourself some time and gather your gym clothes the night before. You can also take your things to work with you in a gym bag, in this way you do not have to travel back home after work.

Change how you speak about exercise

 Think positively and say “I can do this” or “I will reach my goals.” This can boost motivation in a way that when you exercise, positive thoughts can boost intensity.

References

Yeung, A. J. (2018, November 1). 7 Ways to Boost Your Fitness Motivation. Retrieved from myfitnesspal: https://blog.myfitnesspal.com/7-ways-to-boost-your-fitness-motivation/

An ancient remedy to modern complaints

What is Cryotherapy?

Cryotherapy is the use of cold instruments such as ice or water as a way to treat injury or inflammation. According to the Dermatology Journal, cryotherapy dates back to the times of the ancient Egyptians and has evolved over the years to what we know it as today.  Even certain cultures in Europe still participate in cold-plunging each year when the waters temperature drops below freezing.  Cryotherapy consists of applying ice directly to the affected area or immersing the affected area or even the whole body into cold water. Now there are also whole body cryotherapy machines that are used to immerse your body in cold temperatures as seen on the right.

Why Should We Use Cryotherapy?

Cryotherapy has been around for many years and has been proven to be effective for treating injuries and reducing inflammation. Some studies suggest cryotherapy may reduce inflammation and pain by decreasing blood flow to the area.  Frontiers in Physiology reported pain, soreness, stress, and post exercise recovery all improved after the use of cryotherapy. While there are some benefits to whole body cryotherapy that does not necessarily mean that it is for everybody and people should carefully consider the benefits and the risks. Some risks that have been reported from whole body cryotherapy consists of local irritation, reduced circulation, triggered allergy symptoms and the worsening of conditions such as high blood pressure and heart/lung disease (Schmerling, 2018).

References

Lombardi, G., Zeimann, E., & Banfi, G. (2017). Whole-Body cryotherapy in athletes: From therapy to stimulation. An updated review of the literature. Frontiers in Physiology.

Nathaniel Bouganim, A. F. (2005). History of Cryotherapy. Retrieved from Dermatolagy Online Journal: https://escholarship.org/uc/item/4f62h9vt

Schmerling, R. H. (2018, April 18). Cryotherapy: Can it stop your pain cold? Retrieved from Harvard Health Blog: https://www.health.harvard.edu/blog/can-cryotherapy-stop-your-pain-cold-or-is-just-a-lot-of-hot-air-2018041813612