Warhawk Fitness Bucket List

Pic for Blog- Warhawk Fitness Bucket ListNow that the year is coming to a close, we finally get to say “I took that class,” “I did a semester of_____” (fill in blank). But I couldn’t help but notice that this time of year also brings out “I wish I would have” conversation points. It got me thinking about what we could do that would make us feel good about our accomplishments. We tend to think inside the box when it comes to our workout routines, which is a fault in our fitness productivity. Therefore, as the year comes to a close, I thought a bit about things that we can accomplish before the year ends. Whether you are graduating or going home for the summer, it’s never too late to accomplish something big. Here’s how you can do just that.

  • Group Fitness Class Double Whammy: This does not apply to attending Core Complete class beforehand, but rather a full class followed by another. This can be back to back or it could be spread out throughout the day. I would recommend that you choose wisely as to how you pair the two, preferably stay away from two cardio classes in a row.
  • Morning Group Fitness Class: Hopefully you’ve already gotten the chance to try out one of the morning classes here. If you have, you most likely know firsthand that they set you up for a great day. Not only does it wake you up and make you feel great the whole day, but you also exceed your expectations as to what you can accomplish before 8am. The thought of this might terrify you, but the key to getting yourself there is to let your groggy brain not think about what you are doing or where you are going. Just do it!
  • Take an Aimless Walk: A lot of students tend to stick to only the building that they need to be in for class, and don’t take the initiative to venture off and explore the entire campus. If you have some spare time during the day, just go for a walk. You may be surprised at what a great stress reliever it is to just walk around with no destination.  You can also explore and become more familiar with campus.
  • Get a Massage: I don’t know about many of you but I was surprised to hear that you can get a massage here on campus. Getting a therapeutic massage is a great way to promote healthy body functioning and relive stress and provide general relaxation. With finals around the corner, I think it’s safe to say that you’re going to need one, so give it a try.
  • Go Ask Alice: While looking through the UHCS website, I stumbled upon an interesting and convenient resource called Go Ask Alice. Through this website you can ask any of your health related questions, from advice on nutrition to emotional health, you can have the answer a click away! Of course this is something you do online therefore you don’t need to complete it before the year ends, however it is a useful tool to have on hand especially when you are too busy to see a doctor for a simple question.
  • Swim: Maybe I’m a little biased because I already love to swim, however some people have yet to take advantage of their access to the pool that comes with their gym membership. Even if you don’t know how to swim properly, take a step out of your comfort zone and give it a try. It is a great workout and a fun one at that. Write up a work out on a sheet of paper and stick it on a wet kick board to keep on the end of your lane so you can follow a solid workout.

We are given so many helpful resources to maintain and enhance our health in many aspects. There is so much more we can do with our days here on campus, and doing what hasn’t been done, exceeding expectations, and overachieving, start with creativity. So think outside of the box and change up your routine in ways that will allow you to experience a healthy life on campus in a new way.

“It’s a good day to have a good one.”

-Alena Purpero

AIRobics

Pic for Blog- AIRobics.pngLately I’ve been looking for a new and exciting way to spice up my workouts. The summertime is overwhelming with activities to try, but in the winter it’s a little bit more difficult to find creative workouts. I stumbled across this indoor trampoline park, called Helium, online a few weeks ago and I knew imediately I wanted in. In all honesty, Helium is geared more so for young kids, but it sounded like so much fun I couldn’t resist.

When I entered the park I was handed a pair of grip socks to wear around to prevent as much sliding and slipping as possible. They cost $2, but you get to keep them forever as a souvenir, so that’s pretty cool. Helium has many options of activities to try, such as rock climbing, casual jumping, trampoline dodgeball, and AIRobics. From the title of this blog, I’m guessing you know which one I chose.

AIRobics. According to Helium’s website, AIRobics is a one hour cardio and strength training class that combines, “calisthenics, core exercises and aerobics.” We started the class with 30 minutes of cardio on the trampolines. This included jumping jacks, frog jumps, starfish jumps, high knees, and many other jumps. Each task was in one-minute intervals, so it kept the class moving at a fast pace.  After 30 minutes of cardio we moved onto strength training and abs. We did many different types of moves such as push-ups, planks, leg lifts, and overhand ball tosses. By the end of the hour, well to be honest after about 10 minutes, I was feeling the burn. Doing things that may seem simple on the ground becomes 10x harder on trampolines. It triggers your muscles to work extra hard while trying to maintain balance.

The website states that AIRobics can benefit you by the following:

  • Improves balance and coordination
  • Burn 60% more calories than running
  • Excellent cardio – low impact, easy on joints
  • Ideal for any fitness level

I also had a chance to talk a little to the regulars who came to the class to see what their opinion was. It turns out long term wise, the class may be able to improve lost flexibiltiy due to an accident or surgery. One man lost almost all his mobility in his shoulder at one point, but after a year of AIRobics he said that there was a huge improvement in his joint movement. The class instructor  got started with AIRobics after she had knee surgery from tearing her acl. To get back in the game and over fear of intense excersize, AIRobics helped her ease into regaining her strength.

It cost $10 per class, or $80 for ten classes. Whether you are looking for a fun, intense workout or muscle strength recovery, AIRobics could be just what you need! I went to the Helium Trampoline Park in New Berlin, but there are many locations!

For more info please check out their website.

Enjoy!

Stay Healthy. Stay Strong.

Mary Marren

A Vegetarian’s Guide to Protein

Pic for Blog- Protein for VegetariansAs a vegetarian for only a year now you’d think that being asked about my diet choice has yet to get repetitive. However, I am now used to being asked about why and how I’m a vegetarian, (sometimes more than once by the same people). When I’m asked why I’m a vegetarian I simply explain how it’s a step in the right direction to make my diet full of natural, plant-based food from the earth (and perhaps avoiding meat hanging at market stands while on a trip to Cambodia was a contributing factor as well). Whatever your reason is for being a vegetarian, you’ve probably been pitched the question, that is: “but…how do you get protein?” I’ve gotten this numerous times (even got put on the spot by my biology professor during a lecture…not an ideal situation). So if you are a vegetarian, thinking about being a vegetarian, or simply want to understand the diet of a vegetarian, here is how we do it:

Quinoa: This is the first answer I spit out when given the ol’ protein question, (except of course when I was called on in the middle of lecture and was too put on the spot to give an sufficient answer.) For those of you who do not know, quinoa (pronounced Keen-wah) is a pseudo grain. The title “pseudo grain” is pretty misleading because technically it is a seed, so it’s also gluten free! This is an important staple to my diet because it’s one of the few plant proteins that have the 9 essential amino acids all by itself, without combining with complementary proteins. One cup of quinoa has 24 grams of protein!

  • Cook yourself a big batch in the beginning of the week and store the rest in a container to reheat throughout the week! Eat it with either veggies stirred in, avocado, eggs, or chick peas! You can also eat it like you would oatmeal, drizzle some honey on top, throw banana slices on top and sprinkle on some cinnamon!

Nuts and seeds: Almonds in particular offer the most protein compared to other tree nuts. As far as seeds go, chia seeds and pumpkin seeds offer a lot of protein as well! You can eat them alone as a snack or add them to your food! Aside from the fact that they are an easy source of protein, they are also good for our heart, support cognitive function and keeps our blood sugar in check.

Eggs: Eggs are still a part of most vegetarians’ diet. The exclusion of eggs falls under the category of Vegan rather than vegetarian. One egg has 6 grams of protein, so if you make yourself a 2 egg omelet with perhaps a side of veggies and quinoa, you’re off to a protein packed start of your day!

Soy beans: Another huge source of protein! One cup of soy beans contains 68 grams of protein, which is over the average person’s daily intake of protein. Soy beans also contain the 9 essential amino acids, so they are sufficient substitute to meat, which is why tofu is used instead of meat!

If you are a vegetarian yourself, I hope you learned something new about plant protein! If you are just curious about how vegetarians get by, I hope you learned that we don’t just live off of grilled cheese sandwiches. Even If you are a carnivore, add some of these proteins to your diet!  They are healthy and accessible!

“It’s a good day to have a good one!”

-Alena Purpero

Fitbit Charge Review

I have been wondering what all of the hype about fitness bands has been, so I recently decided to buy a Fitbit Charge (http://www.fitbit.com/charge) to try it out for myself. The price tag of the Fitbit Charge is a little hefty at $129.99 but I got it on special at Kohl’s for $109.99. I thought writing a review as my blog would be helpful for some of you since I don’t think any of us ever have. So here it goes:

Display 

There are two main ways to display the information received from the Fitbit: on the Fitbit itself and the Fitbit app. Since the Fitbit Charge has an LED screen, it is able to display multiple categories. It is able to display the time and date, steps taken each day, how many miles you have walked, calories burned, and number of floors climbed.  In addition, you are also able to see who is calling your phone on the Fitbit display if you have them synced. You are also able to set an alarm from the Fitbit app to vibrate whenever you have it set.

App  Pic 1 for Blog Pic 2 for Blog

The Fitbit app, which is available for iPhones, Androids and Windows phones, has a much larger selection of statistics. The app has all of the options the Fitbit Charge itself can display, but you are also able to see things like active minutes and how long and well you slept. There are also things that you can enter manually like weight, food consumed, water consumed, and exercises that you completed. You are able to see more detailed statistics from previous days, weeks and months to track your progress. The app is very well designed and I personally have not had any problems with it yet.

Design

I find the design of the Fitbit Charge pretty stylish and comfortable for the most part. I am a person who always wears watches so starting to wear the Fitbit wasn’t much of a change. The only weird thing was wearing it while I sleep so I could get statistics on how well and long I am sleeping. I actually find the the Fitbit to be less noticeable since there was no watch head that restricted any of my wrist motions. There are three different sizes (http://www.fitbit.com/charge) which you are able to find dimensions to on the website. The only thing that is slightly annoying to me is that the Fitbit is sort of a rubbery material that can sometimes get caught on my long sleeve shirts and sort of pull my sleeve when I move my arm too much. Other than that, I never notice that I am even wearing it.

Battery

There is a battery that is rechargeable. I have found that I have to charge the Fitbit about once every 5 days or so. I have been checking it a lot more than I feel I will in the future though since it is new, which drains the battery. It charges in less than an hour so I have been getting in the habit of just charging it while I go take a shower since it cannot be taken into the shower. But I have not had a problem with it dying on me yet.

Add-ons

There are also many other cool add-ons you can get to use with your Fitbit app like a scale which is recorded daily and tells you how well you are making progress. There are also fun, motivational badges you get whenever you break personal records and goals. You can compete against friends to see who is the most active as well, which is a pretty cool feature to help push yourself.

My Opinion

While wearing my Fitbit Charge I honestly find myself walking more and challenging myself to reach my goals every day. I take stairs rather than elevators and have learned things that I never really thought about, such as how lazy I can be some days and how much sleep I don’t get on others. It’s nice to know when someone is calling and whom he or she is without running to get my phone when it isn’t on me or when I don’t want to pull it out of my pocket.

There are only a few things that I do not like about the Fitbit. I do wish that I was able to wear it in the shower, but it is recommended that you do not. It would also be nice if it were solar charged so I wouldn’t have to ever charge it, but charging it isn’t the biggest burden. The last problem is it getting caught on my long sleeve clothing.

Overall, I do really like the Fitbit. It really helps me be more active because I feel more rewarded seeing all of the steps and active minutes I am putting into each day. It helps me feel guiltier when I take elevators and escalators too. If you can spare the $129.99 for a personal trainer on your wrist I would recommend a Fitbit Charge to you!

Let me know if you have a Fitbit, and if so, how you like it!

“Yesterday you said tomorrow.”

– Eric Hess