Category: UCO

Benefits of Stretching

by: Cierra Bennett

There are many elements that are very important to practice when trying to live a healthy and fit lifestyle, but the most important thing is stretching! Stretching has many benefits for everyone, young and old and should be a part of everyone’s daily routine, even if they aren’t planning to exercise. Have you ever wondered why you feel the need to stretch right after you wake up? We subconsciously do it because when we sleep the muscles lose tone and fluid builds up in your back. So, when we stretch it helps to gently massage all the built-up fluid back to where its’ supposed to be and realign all muscles. Stretching all together is the key factor to activating the parasympathetic nervous system which is responsible for the body’s ability to rest, digest, recover and increase blood flow allowing us to return to consciousness and regain control over our muscles. It is especially important to stretch before and after workouts because it gets your body ready for any exercises you may have planned, and after to reduce the probability of delayed onset muscle soreness (DOMS) and increase your level of flexibility. Dynamic stretching should be done before a workout and be specific to the activity of your choice and static stretching after the workout. Why? Because dynamic prepares your muscles, ligaments and tendons for the workout improving one’s performance in any given activity and static helps improve the range of motion (ROM) in joints, in which promotes greater balance, stability and flexibility. Not only does stretching improve one’s flexibility and circulation of blood, but it is also responsible for several other factors like reducing the risk of injuries, improves posture, and plays a hand in reducing and managing stress levels by releasing the tension in muscles caused by physical and emotional stress.

Techo-cising!

by: Fatima Ramirez

Take a moment to think: When was the first time you saw a Dance Dance Revolution Machine? At the mall? At your local arcade? Somewhere in a movie? Maybe you know someone that owned the game, or you had a similar one called the “Power Pad” for your Nintendo Entertainment System. What if I told you that plastic mat or that bulky electronic dance floor will impact the future of technology and fitness?

Flash forward to the future when you heard squeals of excitement as you or a loved one tears open that holiday wrapping paper to reveal a white box labeled “Nintendo Wii”. You can probably say the same thing about the XBOX Kinect or any other gaming system in the present day. Did you noticed that more companies are incorporating movement within their systems? In this article we will go over the Pros and Cons of today’s technology and how it will impact exercise.

EXERGAMING – WHAT IS IT?

So, what is this kind of exercise? The Home Fit Freak (2020) states that “Exergaming is what you get when you cross exercise with video gaming (exergaming is sometimes also called ‘gamercising’). Exergames are video games, usually played on consoles like Nintendo, Xbox and PlayStation, in which the aim is to move your body (exergames are also known as ‘active-play video games’). In fact, you can’t progress or win the game without being physically active.” Basically, when you are working out with any kind of fitness related activity on the screen, you won’t be able to progress much unless you put effort into it.

EXAMPLES OF SYSTEMS + GAMES

  • NINTENDO Wii/Wii U: Wii Fit + Wii Fit Plus Franchise, Zumba Fitness, EA Sports Active, Wii Sports, Just Dance Franchise (All/Some games utilizes Wii Remotes, Nunchucks, and/or Fitness Board)
  • XBOX 360/One: KINECT Games such as Sports and Adventure, Just Dance, UCF Personal Trainer, Fruit Ninja, and Biggest Loser (Utilizes the XBOX Kinect which detects and copies movement)
  • PLAYSTATION 3/4: BOXVR, Move Fitness, Just Dance, American Ninja Warrior, Sprint Vector (A majority of these require a VR set, but also PS3/4 games utilizes Playstation MOVE, the PS2 Model requires an EyeToy which is similar to the Kinect)
  • NINTENDO SWITCH: Ring Fit Adventure, Fitness Boxing, Just Dance, Arms, Mario Tennis, Sports Party, Zumba: Burn it up (Utilizes the detachable controllers on the Switch. For the Ring Fit Adventure, it requires the provided Fitness Ring)

 

A TECHNICAL FUTURE IN EXERCISE

When it comes to fitness games there are some benefits to them. One example is that there is so much variety. Certain games can provide different workouts and have their intensities set up. This can be for just doing tai chi to just be running using the Wii Remote for 30 minutes. Another benefit is that it can help those who lack physical activity or are currently recovering from an injury. According to Home Fit Freak, there are studies showing that older adults who played Wii for an extended period showed improvements in physical functions, motor skills, and cognitive skills. Overall it is a very fun way to do physical activity.

IT’S ALL FUN AND GAMES…UNTIL YOU SEE THE CONS

While playing games while working out may seem beneficial, there are some cons that go along with it. For example, on most of the games, studies found Wii Sports to be more light intensity rather than moderate. A study performed by O’Donovan and Hussey (2019) showed that the Wii Sport Franchise was mainly light since most of the actions are utilizing the arms by just swinging them. However, Wii Boxing is shown to show moderate intensity. This is mainly because you are thrusting your arms at a greater intensity. Unfortunately, some of the games tend to focus on light intensities. Another con to this is that it does require you to purchase that device and game in order to see the actual benefits. Depending on the stores and systems, those can range from $90-$500 and with the games $10-$60. It could be very inconvenient if you don’t have any of those unless you can borrow one from a friend. The final con will be that it can be sedentary when you make it so. From personal experience, I have been guilty of doing some exercises while sitting down or playing tennis without getting active. It’s mainly because we tend to find “alternatives” to how we play these types of activities. However, we can still become active on them if we put effort

 

 

 

Bootcamp Vibes Only

By: Landry Willis

Want to complete a high intensity workout but have only a short amount of time? A bootcamp class is the answer you have been searching for! Bootcamps are a great full body workout and often only take up thirty minutes to an hour to complete. They typically consist of a wide range of exercise styles, such as aerobic, strength training, and many more. Bootcamps are also very social because you can work out with a group of people that may have similar fitness goals that you have. You can also go with or take friends and family with you as well. This can be very beneficial in the sense that a social surrounding can create a more competitive and encouraging atmosphere. Bootcamp styled workouts can be done almost anywhere since many require little to no equipment. To create more of a challenge, equipment and weights can be added to add more to the level of difficulty. This style of high-intensity workout has been proven to burn more calories than a basic moderate level exercise. In Oklahoma, there are many gyms that offer fitness bootcamps. Some examples of Oklahoma gyms that have bootcamp classes are One Healthy Bod Fitness, True Grit Fitness, Fit camp 180, Athlete Inc., and many more.

Bootcamp Classes Pros & Cons

Pros:

·         Improves endurance

·         Tones Muscles

·         Burns Calories

·         Can boost self esteem

·         Little equipment required

·         Builds strength

·         Shorter class time

Cons:

·         Hard on the body

·         Can be crowded

·         Has to pay for classes

Keywords: Bootcamp – Fitness – Health – Intense – Strength

References

Mayo Clinic. (2019, February 15). Boot Camp Workout: Is It Right for You? https://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-lifestyle/fitness/in-depth/boot-camp-workout/art-20046363

 

 

 

 

 

 

Eddie Van Halen (RIP) Said It Best, JUMP!

by: Elliott Holden

Jumping Rope is proven to be one of the best exercises that can be incorporated into a cardiorespiratory fitness program design. There are many benefits of jumping rope, behind the scenes of a good cardio workout. For example, by using the motor patterns involved in jumping rope, especially when coordinating new moves in a routine, our overall cognitive function is increased due to the stimulation for our brains to think. Jumping rope also increases elasticity and resiliency of lower leg muscles, which results in a reduced chance of suffering injury in the lower limbs!

Of course, there is also the cardiorespiratory fitness side of jumping rope that we all, “know” of. However, what if I told you that fifteen minutes of accumulated rope jumping can burn anywhere from 200-300 calories, and on average you can achieve a burn rate of 1,300 calories per hour. This type of intensity and caloric expenditure, in some cases is more than continuous cardio exercises such as running or bike riding, and also has enormous benefits to the cardiovascular system. According to the ACSM, skipping rope is highly recommended for aerobic conditioning. In order to increase your heart and lung health you must do it three to five times per week for 12 to 20 minutes at a time. Jumping Rope is a very portable skill and can be completed almost anywhere, all you need is a rope! I enjoy jumping rope because of the benefits it has on my heart and I can tell my breathing patterns and coordination are also improved through jumping rope. While it may be more difficult for an older population or a population with some aerobic limitations; I would encourage everyone, who is able and ready to begin a jump rope regimen so that they too can begin to experience the countless benefits that come from jumping rope. We can also be honest and admit that we all want to be able to jump rope like Rocky in his iconic training scene from Rocky IV!

References

McCall Pete McCall, P. (2017, April 27). 7 Benefits of Jumping Rope. Retrieved October 18, 2020, from https://www.acefitness.org/education-and-resources/lifestyle/blog/6395/7-benefits-of-jumping-rope/

Hogan, M. (2017, November 14). 9 Benefits of Jumping Rope You Probably Don’t Know. Retrieved November 10, 2020, from https://www.lifehack.org/articles/lifestyle/benefits-jumping-rope-you-probably-dont-know.html

American College of Sports Medicine, Riebe, D., Ehrman, J. K., Liguori, G., & Magal, M. (2018). ACSM’s guidelines for exercise testing and prescription (Tenth edition.). Philadelphia: Wolters Kluwer.

H.I.I.T. The Gym

by: Malia Kaaiohelo

Do you find yourself not having enough time to work out? Does the goal of losing weight and getting in shape feel unattainable? Are you looking for some intense workout other than running or weightlifting? What if I told you there was a type of training that you can do in a 30-minute window that offers you benefits like decreased risk of CVD, Blood Pressure, and increased aerobic capacity? This can all be acquired through High Intensity Interval Training or HIIT for short.

THE GOAL OF H.I.I.T.

HIIT aims to have the client reach 80-95% of his or her maximum heart rate in short bouts of high intensity exercises followed by a limited amount of rest. The workout to rest ratio can usually be seen at 20:40 seconds (Falcone et. Al, 2015) or for every second you work at a high intensity, take two seconds of rest. This means that you spend more time resting than working out! However, the shorter the rest period, the shorter amount of time the whole workout takes. Some people can finish a workout in almost 10 minutes if they really push through the exercises. Do you still not feel convinced? Well let’s take some time to look at the many benefits one can receive through HIIT.

 BENEFITS

HIIT is still going to be a challenge, but the workout can be worth it when you are aware of how it is benefitting your body. Here are some things that can improve while you are sweating through a HIIT workout:

  • Improved blood pressure
  • Decreased abdominal and subcutaneous fat
  • Enhanced weight loss
  • Increased skeletal muscle fat oxidation
  • Improved aerobic and anaerobic fitness (VO2 max)
  • Increased exercise adherence
  • Decreased risk of cardiovascular disease (Falcone et. Al, 2015)

Now I know what you may be thinking. “Can’t I receive all of these benefits with any type of physical activity?”. Let’s look at the benefits specifically known to HIIT compared to completing 30 minutes of other modes of exercise (Roy):

  • HIIT burns 20-30% more calories than other forms of exercise
  • Metabolic rate is much higher for several hours after the workout is done
  • The body shifts to burning more fat rather than carbs
  • HIIT can be beneficial for those who are at risk for type 2 diabetes and improve blood sugar for those who have type 2 diabetes

HOW TO GET STARTED

It is recommended that you get a health screening done before you attempt any high intensity interval training while being at risk from conditions such as diabetes, obesity, old age, etc. After that, the next step is simple. Find a mode of exercise you are comfortable performing. It could be cycling, sprinting, swimming, rowing, boxing, jump roping, or any other kind of similar activity.

Begin with a 5-10 minute warm up, then take the activity you’ve chosen and provide a workout/rest period ratio. For example, if you’re jump roping you could jump for 30 seconds and rest 30 seconds, jump 20 seconds and rest 40 seconds, or jump 40 seconds and rest 20 seconds. After you’ve chosen your ratio, you could repeat that for however minutes you choose. Just make sure in the seconds you choose to workout you’re going as hard as you can. You could even switch up workouts, so you aren’t completing the same activity the whole workout. That’s the exciting part. You can make the workout entirely your own! You can add weights, equipment, bands, etc. Who said you couldn’t enjoy getting in shape?

 EXAMPLES OF HIIT WORKOUTS

  • Cycle as hard as you can for 30 seconds, rest for 30 seconds (Repeat for 10 minutes)
  • 3 rounds (40 second work, 20 second rest): push-ups, squats, butt kicks, side lunges
  • 10 med ball slams, 5 box jumps, 50 jump ropes, 30 second plank (See how many rounds you can get through in a 15-minute period. Rest as much as needed;(Creveling, 2017)

CONCLUSION

High Intensity Interval Training has been up and coming the past few years, so it is fairly new information for those who have only tried traditional modes of exercise. However, the newfound benefits are very exciting and very applicable to all categories of people. As long as you know you’re pushing yourself, you’re going to feel better and start to look better. With just two sessions a week, you can stimulate physiologic adaptations that will leave you healthier than before. What are you waiting for? HIIT the gym!

WORK CITED

Creveling, Mallory. “Design Your Own HIIT Workout with This Perfect Formula.” Dailyburn, 2017, dailyburn.com/life/wp-content/uploads/2017/04/HIIT-Formula-Infographic-1.jpg.

Falcone, P. H., Tai, C. Y., Carson, L. R., Joy, J. M., Mosman, M. M., McCann, T. R., Crona, K. P., Kim, M. P., & Moon, J. R. (2015). Caloric expenditure of aerobic, resistance, or combined high-intensity interval training using a hydraulic resistance system in healthy men. Journal of strength and conditioning research29(3), 779–785. https://doi.org/10.1519/JSC.0000000000000661

 Roy, Brad A. “High-Intensity Interval Training: Efficient, Effective,… : ACSM’s Health & Fitness Journal.” LWW, journals.lww.com/acsm-healthfitness/Fulltext/2013/05000/High_Intensity_Interval_Training___Efficient,.3.aspx.

 

It’s Cycle-O-Clock Somewhere

Want to do an exercise that can customize to your fitness level? Have you ever tried an indoor cycling class or wanted to? Indoor cycling is a great way to get active and stay in shape.

Indoor cycling can help burn fat and strengthen muscle while being in the comfort of the inside away from the elements. Indoor cycling is a low impact stationary exercise that increases your heart rate. Low impact exercises can lower stress on your joints which can aid in injury recovery. Cycling is a great way for anyone to get active no matter what their current fitness level may be. These indoor bikes allow individuals to add or reduce the amount of resistance they want to pedal against, which can increase or decrease the level of difficulty they want to work at. While on an indoor bike, standing out of the seat or sitting in the seat while pedaling can also increase difficulty. These bikes have handlebars to hold onto for balance, brake knobs to allow the rider to completely stop the spin if necessary, and two bike pedals with straps to tighten your feet. These bikes also have multiple adjustment levers to help make sure the bike fits you and is comfortable for you as you cycle. Indoor cycling classes are held at local gyms, studios, or cycling businesses. A popular indoor cycling chain is called Cyclebar. Indoor cycling classes are often around forty-five-minutes long and play upbeat songs to pedal along with. While taking a forty-five-minute cycle class, the average person burns anywhere around four hundred to six hundred calories.

Indoor vs. Outdoor Cycling Pros & Cons

Indoor Cycling Outdoor Cycling
Pros:

·         Improves cardiovascular health

·         Tones muscles

·         Burns calories

·         Easy on joints

·         Classes are fun & can boost mood/motivation

·         Not exposed to the elements (can be all year round)

·         Very minimal chance of injury

 

Pros:

·         Improves Cardiovascular Health

·         Tones Muscles

·         Burns Calories

·         Easy on joints

·         Can boost mood/self esteem

Cons:

·         Has to pay for classes

·         Scenery/terrain never changes

 

Cons:

·         Has to plan around weather

·         Greater safety risks

·         Bike trails can be far or hard to locate

·         Has to pay for own bike

Keywords: Indoor – Cycling – Fitness – Health – Cardio

References

Cyclebar – Rock Your Ride. The Experience. https://www.cyclebar.com/the-experience

Harvard Health Publishing- Harvard Medical School. (2018, January). Give spinning a whirl. https://www.health.harvard.edu/staying-healthy/give-spinning-a-whirl

ISSA. Training Tips: Indoor vs. Outdoor Cycling – Is One Better? https://www.issaonline.com/blog/ index.cfm/2020/indoor-vs-outdoor-cycling-is-one-better

Sampson, J. (2018, April 29). University of Notre Dame – RecSports. Fun Facts About Cycling from One of Our Staff Members. https://recsports.nd.edu/news/fun-facts-about-cycling-from-one-of-our-staff-members/

YOGA-T This!

By: Fatima Ramirez

Do you enjoy having a great stretch when you wake up? How about before you play sports or after you had a long day? Or even before and/or after a workout? Stretching is exceptionally good for the body and can help with flexibility of the muscles. But have you thought about doing stretches for exercise? How about Yoga?

WHAT IS YOGA?

Yoga is defined as a kind of activity that focuses on the mind, body, and will in order to relax and focus on the mind. According to the Osteopathic website, “the purpose of yoga is to build strength, awareness, and harmony in both your mind and body (American Osteopathic Association).” This can mean that if you are feeling stressed or you would like a nice stretch after a long day, yoga is the good way to go.

BENEFITS

While yoga may be too relaxing or just not as much intense, there are several benefits for the exercise itself. One of the first things is that it has a significant amount of increases in flexibility, muscle strength, and tone. Since you are improving your flexibility, you are reducing your risk of gaining injuries and improve your athletic performance.

Did you know that yoga is also beneficial to your mental health? According to Psychology Today, yoga is great for decreasing signs of depression, anxiety, hyperactivity, and attention deficit. It can also decrease the symptoms for schizophrenia (Khoshaba, 2013). Yoga also tends to put people in a good mood and have a positive mindset.

COMMON EASY YOGA MOVES

  • Cobra Pose
  • Child’s Pose
  • Downward Facing Dog
  • High Lunge
  • Butterfly
  • Bridge Pose

HOW CAN I GET STARTED?

To start out, Yoga can be done anywhere. It can be outdoors like a local park or indoors like your house or a gym. It’s recommended that you pick a location that is very tranquil and alone. That way you won’t get distracted and focus on the workout itself.

The second necessity is a yoga mat. The benefit of having one is making sure you have cushion while you’re doing the poses and you are less at risk to slip during the poses. If you do not have a yoga mat, use a blanket or towel instead. You can do it without a mat as well, just make sure its on a comfortable sturdy surface.

Finally, you can start your yoga workout (see the list above for some basic yoga moves for your first time). I would suggest sitting down and making a list of moves first. Or if you would like, you can look for some routines on the internet and follow it from there! Don’t worry about making mistakes, it’s all about having fun!

CONCLUSION

When it comes to yoga, it’s all about everyone’s perspective. But overall, it’s a great time to have some relaxation after a long day. Yoga can be perform for all ages and their benefits  can also contribute to them. Some schools and work are starting to incorporate this exercise in their environment in order to relieve tension after a long day.  So stand up, grab a mat, and begin to do a easy yoga stretch! And remember, Yoga-t This!

RESOURCES

Benefits of Yoga. American Osteopathic Association, Retrieved September 27, 2020, from https://osteopathic.org/what-is-osteopathic-medicine/benefits-of-yoga/

Khoshaba, D. (2013, May 23). Take a Stand for Yoga Today. Retrieved September 28, 2020, from https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/get-hardy/201305/take-stand-yoga-today

 

KEY WORDS: Yoga, Stretch, Mental Health, Relax, Benefit

Watch(a) Waiting For?

By: Torie Shanbour

Are you one of the millions of people who have trouble maintaining weight? Or maybe even losing those extra pounds gained during quarantine?

 

 

Tracking

Apple Watch Fitbit Charge HR Moto 360 Jawbone up 3
Price $349 $149 $299 $179
Step Counting  

 

 

Distance Tracking  

 

 

 

Calorie Burn

Tracking

 

 

 

 

HR Tracking  

 

 

 

Sleep Tracking    

   

How it shows A screen A screen A screen Vibrates when you hit goal

The world that we live in has many temptations to the eye which makes it harder for us to lose that unwanted weight. Obesity in America has increased over the past six years significantly by more than two percent, ranking at 27.7% of Americans being obese. However, many smart devices that have been introduced have shown that monitoring your eating habits and exercise per day, can lead to a smarter beneficial life. Self-monitoring your weight has become easier over the years with smart watches being invented and provided to the general public. It has also been shown to inform the public that activity trackers have been designed to adapt to the user’s heterogenous natures and target to improve health outcomes. The opportunities that come with smart technology has been known to help with preventative care and to nudge individuals into the “healthy state” of life. Many of your smart watches will come with an activity app already installed and ready to go. Other applications that you can add to your smart watch, for example are Myfitnesspal or Lose It. These application help with the diet side of fitness and also have many diet plans for you to go by. Reaching to my conclusion about smart watches, you probably already know there are many smart devices to choose from out there. From reading and doing research on the matter you should pick the one that best suits your personality, price range, and accessibility.

 

Keywords: Health – Tracker – Tech – Weight – Watch

 

Reference:

Pourzanjani, A., Quisel, T., & Foschini, L. (2016). Adherent Use of Digital Health                                    Trackers Is Associated with Weight Loss. PLoS                                                                                One, 11(4)http://dx.doi.org.vortex3.uco.edu/10.1371/journal.pone.0152504