New Year,New You

As the year 2014 is wrapping up, we all know what is coming next; you need to pick a New Years resolution for 2015. We all do it and only about 30% of us are actually able to stick to that resolution. The most important thing to realize when deciding what you want to change about yourself in 2015, is make sure that it is realistic and don’t go for the usual “workout more” or “eat healthier”.pic for blog

This year, try thinking of a resolution that will change you for the better. Of course we always think we do, but below are some areas that will truly help make you a better person in 2015.

Mental: Once January 1, 2015, comes around, start treating yourself with respect. There is nothing more important than loving who you are. Speak nicely about yourself. If you are confident in yourself, others will see that and think confidently about you as well. If you speak nicely about yourself, other will also do the same. So in 2015, every day before you go to bed, write down something that you love about yourself. Not only will it probably make you smile, but also for days when you need a little pick-me-up, read what you’ve written. It’s like getting compliments from yourself, how perfect!

Physical: This is where you can “workout every day” although skip the every day part. Make time for yourself at least  3 days a week. The best part about making yourself better physically is that being physically active also increases your mood, mentality, and over-all well being.

Emotional: In 2015, start telling people how you feel. If someone says something that bothers you, tell him or her. If you like someone, why wait? Tell them! Getting your emotions out is very important in order to be 100% yourself. People that hold their feelings up inside of them are known to not be as happy. So once the New Year comes around, be an open book. People might think it is weird at first, but after awhile people will appreciate it, especially if it is good feelings.

Intellectual: Learn something new every day and I don’t mean in class. Find a fun fact every day and share it with people. I actually started doing this in the middle of the summer. Every day I get the National holidays emailed to me (National Holiday Calendar). I absolutely love it because I have a fact to share with people. Maybe that seems weird to you, so how about just watching the news? Learning new information make you a well rounded person. Try it!

So when you finally decide, when you finally pick what you want to change in 2015, write it down and stick to it! There are all different myths about how many days it takes to do something until it becomes a habit. Who really cares though, because once you decide what your New Years resolution is going to be, just do it everyday. From day 1, make it a habit.

“Always remember that it doesn’t matter how slow you go, as long as you keep on going”

~Kenzi Weidman

Finals Week Stress Relief

picTrying to stay sane during finals may be one of the hardest tasks you will need to undergo within your college career. With all of the cramming of everything you’ve learned all semester in all of your classes in such a short amount of time can really take a toll on a person’s normality. One thing you should remember to do during these stressful last weeks is to make sure to make time to work out. There are so many different types of exercising and working out that have been proven time and time again to reduce stress.

Something as simple as breathing exercises can help you relax and become less stressed. Slow, deep, regular breathing is a sign of relaxation within itself. The deep breathing counters the effects of stress by slowing the hearth rate and by lowering blood pressure.

Yoga is also proven to reduce anxiety and manage stress. When we get stressed out, our body creates a hormone called cortisol. We need cortisol in real emergencies, such as breaking a bone and other severe incidents, but when we are creating it due to stress, there is excess cortisol and this is what can lead to ulcers, high blood pressure, bone density loss, and can also completely mess with your immune system. Yoga helps by the deep breathing that it entails. The specific breathing patterns called pranayama, helps get rid of access cortisol and therefore helps out become less stressed. I previously wrote a blog on my experience of yoga and how challenging it really can be. Check it out and leave me a comment of what you think!

Aerobic exercise not only brings benefits to your body, but also your metabolism, hearth, spirits, and stress levels. The mental benefits of aerobic exercise have a neurochemical basis and reduce stress hormones like adrenaline and cortisol. Any time if exercise for at least 30 minutes a day can greatly reduce these negative hormones and you can help you see the benefits.

Weight lifting is the same way as other exercises. The heavy strain that you put on your muscles produces endorphins in a fast period of time. The bigger the muscle group that you are working out and the more muscles at once, the more endorphins you are going to produce during and after the workout. Three great exercises are bench press, squats and leg press.

And remember to make time to relax, drink some tea, hang out with your friends or do something you really enjoy doing. You are going to go absolutely insane if you are studying for weeks straight. Sometimes exactly what you need is a laugh or something to help you get in the correct state of mind to continue your fun-filled studies.

Yesterday you said tomorrow

-Eric Hess

Operation Adopt a Family

picAs this week approaches, it only takes a concluded Thanksgiving dinner and one look at Christmas decorations at the mall while black Friday shopping to get excited for the holidays. As much as we like to let ourselves get caught up in the midst of commercialized excitement, we need to give ourselves a much needed boarderline-cheesey reality check about the true meaning of Christmas. What does this entitle? Well, I could refer you to any hallmark Christmas movie, but instead I’ll give it further explanation here. As we count our blessings and give thanks over thanksgiving dinner, it is important to acknowledge how privileged we really are. Just as we approach Christmas we need to recognize those who do not give in to the commercialized part of the holidays as we do, or focus on what they don’t have but instead focus on what they do, family.

With that cheesy, straight from A Christmas Carol Christmas message being said, I’m going to share with you a way that we can all give our self that good ‘ol “true meaning of Christmas” reminder, and that is to give!

Therefore, in honor of the Warhawk Fitness Pay it Forward Project, we are participating in Operation Adopt a Family 2014. Last year Warhwak Fitness and Aquatics adopted a local Whitewater family for the Christmas Holiday. We donated over two truckloads of goodies to a family. We hope to repeat this success with our adopted family this year! To do so we need your help!

Operation Adopt a Family 2014: This year to partake in Operation Adopt a Family 2014, put some creativity to play! Our designated family for this year will be receiving gifts for children who fall either in young kids to tween to teen age group. Think gender specific gifts or gender neutral fun games or toys for everyone to enjoy! Also, general household items that will help out the whole family are appreciated as well!

Some Ideas:

  • “Pedicure in a Jar” or “Warm and Cozy Mistle Toes”
  • A jar of goodies with pedicure supplies and warm socks, perfect for a girl of any age!
  • A basket of household items, Clorox wipes, laundry detergent, febreeze, silverware, dishware, and other necessities! Maybe throw in a couple fun things like candles or decoration!
  • As far as boy gifts go, you can’t go wrong with Legos, nerf gun, or board games!
  • General gifts: mittens, hats, blankets, pillows, jackets, or anything to keep them cozy this winter!

Get creative and have fun with it, and this time when you go black Friday shopping keep your eyes out for some good gifts and pay it forward! Have a wonderful Thanksgiving!

“It’s a good day to have a good day!”

-Alena Purpero

Looking to make apple pie this year? Here’s a healthy option to try!

apple-pieMary Marren made her first vlog (video blog) which is a step by step video of how to make a healthy apple pie. Check it out below, this is a blog you won’t want to miss!

Are you drinking sports drinks for the right reasons?

picUnless you are exercising intensely for over sixty minutes, sports drinks are nothing that you should be consuming. Exercising for less than sixty minutes doesn’t deplete our carbohydrate or electrolyte storages enough to require supplements such as Gatorade or Powerade. Instead simply drinking water will be plenty good for you.

The amount of calories, sugars, carbs and sodium in sports drinks are very high.

Gatorade:

Calories: 80

Carbs: 21g

Sodium: 160mg

Sugars: 21g

Powerade:

Calories: 100

Carbs: 25g

Sodium: 100mg

Sugars: 20g

People assume that since Gatorade is a “sports drink” that it is healthy for you. In reality putting this amount of unneeded sugars and everything else in your body can be the exact opposite of what you want after a light to medium workout. There has been research done that proves that these sports drinks are as unhealthy as soda!

Calories, sugars and sodium are all three big things that most of us could afford to cut back on as it is and drinking water rather than sports drinks is a very good way to do so. The average American consumes almost double the amount of sodium that is recommended for daily consumption.

There are more watered down forms of Gatorade (G2) and Powerade (Powerade Zero) that are much healthier for you if you need a sports drink, but are looking for a healthier option.

Other healthier options would include:

  • Adding a fresh lemon or lime into you water
  • Natural flavored water
  • Mixing natural juice with water
  • Adding berries, basil or mint to your water
  • Coconut water
  • And a bunch of other healthier recipes here 

Yesterday you said tomorrow

-Eric Hess

Warhawk Fitness and Aquatics Family!

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Coming to college was one of the biggest steps of my life. Moving 2+ hours south from home, not knowing a single person, and then try to find new friends; there is nothing scarier. So what did I do? I attended events, went to class, and even forced myself to talk to the kids on my floor. Nothing really worked; we didn’t really connect. I didn’t really feel like UW-Whitewater was where I fit best, until I was hired as a Fitness Supervisor for Warhawk Fitness & Aquatics. Not only is it a great job but it also allows me to meet so many new friends, two of them being my best friends still to this day. Becoming a Fitness Supervisor was where I started, but I didn’t stop there.

Being a Fitness Supervisor is a very exciting and rewarding position. The shifts are small enough that they work around your academic schedule and the daily cleaning duties are simple enough that you can still enjoy time meeting and greeting the patrons that come into the facilities. One of my favorite parts about being a Fitness Supervisor is that I am able to see other individuals take their health into their own hands.

After a semester of being a Fitness Supervisor, I got hired to be a part of the Public Relations team. We write blogs such as this, that allow each of our members to show their interests and passions by writing about different health or wellness related topics. We also tweet/post/pin to our Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest, and Instagram accounts with different ways to stay healthy on campus, recipes, inspirational quotes, Warhawk Fitness & Aquatics updates, and other healthy campus events. Don’t follow us? START NOW!

The next step in my journey is in the spring of 2014 I was hired as a Group Fitness Instructor. There is nothing more rewarding than being able to use your personal passion to help influence others. Another way that we help others is each month we have a “Pay-It-Forward” program where we donate certain items, cash contributions, or volunteer time to an organization that we choose needs assistance the most. There is nothing more rewarding than helping others, which is one of the top priorities for the Warhawk Fitness & Aquatics family!

Being a part of Warhawk Fitness & Aquatics doesn’t just add another job to your resume, it adds a whole different group of people to those that you refer to as “family”.  All of these positions are great on-campus jobs and also an easy way to meet so many new people. Here is what other co-workers think about being a part of the family:

“Being a freshman on campus was incredibly overwhelming for me, but working at University Fitness gave me a chance to get familiar with some amazing, hard-working individuals like myself and make friends! Not only that, but Warhawk Fitness also works with many charity organizations and gives me opportunities to make a difference right here in my Whitewater community! “ –Ensley Gossett

“I love the new friends I met in the fitness family and meeting the people that attend my classes.  It is always nice to go around campus and be a familiar face for everyone that comes to the Williams Center!” –Drew Lederman

“As a future physical education teacher, I appreciate the opportunity to the gain experience related to the upkeep of a fitness facility. I am also thankful to work with such a supporting and energetic staff led by managers who truly care for the well-being of their employees.” –Connor Driscoll

If this doesn’t prove why you should apply to work for Warhawk Fitness & Aquatics, I don’t know what will!

Are you hard working, dedicated, reliable, energetic, and fun to be around? THEN APPLY NOW!

“Always remember that it doesn’t matter how slow you go, as long as you keep on going”

~Kenzi Weidman

 

Mental and Physical Health, through the eyes of Africa

This past summer I was given the opportunity of a lifetime when I was able to travel to West Africa for two weeks. I traveled the country of Burkina Faso meeting people, helping people, visiting orphanages, and making memories. Through those events, Africa became one of the most impactful trips of my life.

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In Burkina Faso, they like to take life slow. Sending a single email can take up to six hours. Being an American, I wasn’t used to this style of life and constantly found myself tapping my foot and checking my phone impatiently…but after a few days, I finally started to open my mind and realized they may be onto something. Life isn’t supposed to be rushed. Over in Africa they aren’t worried about sending 50 emails, or checking their phone every minute, or hurrying through the workday. The people of Burkina take their day as it comes along. If something doesn’t work out, they go with the flow and accept it instead of letting it ruin their whole day. I learned to truly admire this way of life. When I think of the term “wellness” I think of living a low stress life. I personally can’t think of a better lifestyle to lead to your personal wellness than the lifestyle in Burkina Faso. Take life slow, live stress free, and be happy because the sun is shinning. Although those goals are not always easy, anytime I become overwhelmed I think back to Burkina.

Fitness is something else that has a different definition in Burkina. The people don’t obsess about going to the gym or lifting weights like we often do hear in the states. As a matter of fact, the whole time I was there I never saw a single gym. They get their exercise from carrying goods on their heads all day, or walking the streets selling fabrics. I would see women walk up and downs streets all day carrying bananas on their heads and babies on their backs.  Without even intentionally realizing it, these women “workout” more in one day than a lot of Americans do in one week!

Overall, the people that I met abroad were very hardworking. Sometimes it’s easy to get lazy living in the states. Everything is pre-made and ready to go for you, but over in Africa they make everything from scratch. I bought a pair of shoes from a man after I watched him cut the leather, sew the leather to the sole, and fabricate the whole shoe. Same goes for the hand carven drum I purchased; wood was craved, hide was stretched, robes were tided together. It truly is amazing to see a scarf being made string by string. The point is, the people taught me to not be lazy. Do not live an easy pre-made way of life, but strive for high quality. High quality fitness, high quality wellness, and overall a high quality life.

 

Stay Healthy, Stay Strong.

Mary Marren

Don’t Regret What You Ate, Tailgate!

pic for blogIt’s that time of year that a lot of us college students look forward to, homecoming! From all of the activities during homecoming week, to actual game day this is a time where college students get to celebrate their school pride, hang out with friends, and of course cheer on the home team! It’s overall a day of fun, and what kicks off a homecoming game better than a good tailgate party? Since it is a day of festivities and fun, you may want to put aside a healthy conscious for the sake of occasion. Save that mind set for the holidays and make this day a tasty but healthy one! I know what you’re thinking, you’re not about to show up to a tailgate party with a zip lock bag of baby carrots and apple slices. But fear not! These fun and festive tailgate foods will make you wonder why you ever stuck to the generic and boring hot dog.

If you’re grilling out: Then you have a variety of options! Kebabs, burgers, or even marinated veggies on the grill.

Kebabs: All you really need are skewer sticks, and a combination of your favorite veggies and you can add a lean protein like chicken or shrimp or you can even make a fruit one! Kebabs are an easy thing to eat when you’re at a tailgate because no fork or plate is needed!

Burgers: If you’re hesitant to stray away from your beloved hamburger, consider these healthier alternatives when grilling out. Being a vegetarian I always love having creative, healthy, and unique alternatives to meat. At family picnics I’m the one usually eating either portabella mushroom burgers, a black bean veggie burger, or an eggplant burger! Check out different veggie burger recipes here! As for you meat eaters, grilled chicken, a salmon patty, or turkey burger are also leaner alternatives!

Grilled veggies: If I haven’t already made it clear grilled veggies are one of my favorite things to eat on the grill. Some people might think that it is boring, when in fact there is so much you can make. Such as a grilled blooming onion, marinated eggplant , stuffed grilled artichokes, sweet potato fries! Just be careful of what oils and sauces you add and limit any cheese added!

If you’re bringing the appetizers:

Chip dip: Stray away from dips that are cheese or cream based because it’s easy to get carried away and eat too much of what is a very dense, and fattening dip. So instead of taco dip that you can get at the store, try a black bean dip! Also, what I personally feel is the solution to everything, you can have hummus! There tons and tons of homemade hummus recipes with different types of ingredients that you can add. The great thing about both of these chip dips is that they are made of beans so they will have more protein and nutritional content then any cheese dip or taco dip would!

Finger food: A few bite sized choices for a healthy appetizer are guacamole deviled eggs, and zucchini pizza bites! Both are a fun and nutritious twist on appetizers we’ve had before like deviled eggs and pizza bites. Pre-make these before you head on over to the tailgate and wow everyone with your unique snack creation. An appetizer for events like a football game tend to be fried, or full of cheese, which is the worst thing you can do when you haven’t eaten anything yet! So start off your meal with real food, and you’ll be full and satisfied by the end of your meal instead of craving more!

Tailgating is one of the best parts about going to a football game! So don’t ruin the experience for yourself by indulging in high fat food. You can’t cheer on your team when you’re bloated and in a food coma so eat clean, but never boring! These ideas and recipes are in my opinion exciting and different than most tailgate foods so have fun with it! Go team!

“It’s a good day to have a good day!”

-Alena Purpero ♡

What are you Really Dipping in to?

pic for blogWe all know that French fries, pretzels, carrots, sandwiches, etc. all taste better dipped and lathered in your favorite sauce. Ketchup, mayo, honey mustard, ranch: they all are so delicious but have you ever thought that maybe those small additions to your meals are causing a set-back? Condiments are packed with lots of fat, sugar, and calories. It’s time to swap the bad and find new ways to still enjoy your favorite foods!

Let’s start with KETCHUP. One of the most popular American condiments but don’t let the “tomato” part fool you. Studies have found that about one-fourth of a bottle of ketchup is pure sugar. So not only do the French fries pack on the pounds, but adding a simple side of ketchup racks up those calories even more. Something to try in place of delicious ketchup is tomato hot-sauce, tomato vinaigrette, or even a big slice of tomato on your favorite sandwich! If you are desperate for something that resembles ketchup a little more, try this homemade, healthier option… Homemade Ketchup

Next up, MAYONNAISE. One of the worst condiments you could possible consume. Just one tablespoon of mayo has around 90 calories and 10 grams of fat. That 10 grams of fat is about 15% of your daily intake of fat. Is that really worth it for just ONE tablespoon. Even the “light” versions are just as bad. Sure they say “less fat” but where that fat is reduced, extra sugar is added. So really, you are just swapping bad for worse. Try making your own mayo using Greek yogurt, lemon juice, and your favorite spices. Like this recipe…. Greek Yogurt Mayo

Want a salad…with some RANCH? Ranch is popular on salads, but the newest favorites are breadsticks, chicken wings, pizza, and I won’t lie, one of my favorites is French fries. Did you know that just 2 oz. of ranch dressing is equal to 10% of your daily calorie intake on a 2,000 calorie diet? Now be honest with yourself, do you only really eat a 2 oz. serving? Exactly! The easiest thing to remember is just staying away from creamy dressings. Vinaigrettes or mustard is one of the easiest swaps you can make. If you still are dying for that creamy Ranch flavor though, try this delicious homemade version! It really is a smarter and MORE delicious swap….. Homemade Ranch

Last but not least, BARBECUE. This is my absolute favorite. As Americans, we put it on everything and it comes it a million different flavors and varieties that you really can’t get sick of it. Do you know what dipping your chicken into barbecue is similar to? Dipping your chicken into liquid sugar! It is loaded with the same amount of sugar as ketchup, but ALSO has high carbohydrate content. Add that to your lean chicken and you might as well just eat it deep fried! Instead of your Sweet Baby Rays sauce or Masterpiece BBQ, try mixing some soy sauce with a little stevia for that sweet yet tangy kick! You can also try one of these homemade recipes that have fewer calories, but double the flavor….. Paleo BBQ Sauces

I am not encouraging you to cut out condiments all together! Just try to think a little more about what else ketchup, mayo, ranch, barbecue, etc. adds to your favorite foods other than just flavor!

“Always remember that it doesn’t matter how slow you go, as long as you keep on going”

~Kenzi Weidman

Drinking Responsibly for your Waistline

blog picWhen I hear ‘drinking responsibly’ I think of being safe while drinking. Things like limiting your drinks, never getting behind the wheel after you’ve consumed alcohol, and staying with a group of friends while you drink. Although all these are incredibly important and I absolutely believe them, this is not what I’m talking about when I say drinking responsibly in this article.

I recently turned 21 and it has been quite the experience. I have been at the bars trying all sorts of drinks, probably a little more than I should be. Something that I really didn’t think of until a few months ago was the calorie consumption that I had been taking in and how unhealthy I was being while trying all of these new drinks. Drinking responsibly not only has to do with being safe in the ways that we usually think, but also with how healthy we are being while consuming alcohol, which I feel is almost completely looked over in most cases.

Lets go over some nutritional facts of some common drinks, which aren’t the greatest of choices:

A light beer has roughly 100 calories with 3g carbs and 3% alcohol (12 fl oz.)

A regular beer has closer to 150 calories with 13g carbs and 5% alcohol (12 fl oz.)

Vodka & Red Bull 180 calories 14g carbs 13g sugars (5 fl oz.)

 

Here are some slightly better choices:

Gin and Tonic 100 calories 6g carbs 10% alcohol (4 fl oz.)

Champagne 80 calories 1.5 carbs 12-18 % alcohol (4 fl oz.)

Sour-Apple Martini 160 calories 0g carb 25% alcohol (3 fl oz.)

Vodka and Soda 100 calories 0g carbs 10% alcohol (8 fl oz.)

Bloody Mary 125 calories 6g carbs 10% alcohol (10 fl oz.) (Not to mention all of the vitamins and minerals in these drinks.)

Now obviously this doesn’t go over all of the nutritional facts of these drinks, but it covers the areas where people are concerned when it comes to drinking. A drink of beer is different from a sip of a lot of other drinks, not only because of the calorie difference, but also the size of the drink and the low alcohol content it contains. If you are trying to drink alcohol and be healthy about it, drinking beer isn’t going to be your best option. You can be taking in an entire meal with the calories and carbs you get from a night of beers. If you really love beer try and stick to lighter beers, but if you are trying to be a healthier drinker my advice would be to stick to one of the other options, since you can have one vodka soda and equal to two heavy beers for the fraction of calories and carbs.

While drinking mixers there is also almost always a healthier option. Vodka soda could be vodka soda water or just plain vodka water with a lime if you can stand it. A huge bloody mary with burgers and cheese in it may taste wonderful, but it isn’t the healthiest option and can be with healthy vegies instead and still taste great. You really can be creative when it comes to drinking healthy and responsibly.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying that drinking is healthy by any means, but if you really want to go out and have a drink with your friend, I would try and stick to one of the healthier options I have listed. Also anything is fine in moderation, just remember to be smart about it and PLEASE drink responsibly!

-Yesterday you said tomorrow

Eric Hess