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

Half Full Happiness

Pic for Blog- Half Full HappinessOkay you know the drill: there is a light at the end of the tunnel, positivity is power, the grass is greener, the glass is half full and all that jazz. I’m not here to be a motivational cassette tape in the form of a blog, because you’ve heard all of the clichés. Instead, I want to talk about the inevitable result of a positive mindset, and why we often subconsciously choose negativity.

In the midst of enduring a week of which at the time I could have been certain I was the most stressed person in the world, I received a text that made me sit up and think to myself, “Alena you dingus, it’s not the end of the world. Take a lap”. Even for someone who self-proclaims themselves to have optimism coming out of their ears, I sat there dumbfounded reading the text from one of my good friends in a group chat that simply said, “Guys, I decided I’m going to give up negativity.”

Not only did the concept of giving up negativity arrive via imessage at a perfect time, but it’s so wonderfully simple. Of course it’s easier said than done, but I’ve learned that the first step to minimizing negativity is to take the initiative to verbalize it. This was made clear to me when I wrapped up my appointment at UHCS for an untimely cold by being asked to participate in a small lifestyle questionnaire by the UHCS’s Health Educator. I learned a couple things about what simply verbalizing positive words can do.

  • Changing “I have to” to “I am going to” will make you more prone to fulfill a task, whether it be going to the gym, doing homework, cleaning, etc.
  • Eliminate your negative self-fulfilled prophesies. Above I mentioned using “I am going to” obviously doesn’t apply to negative outcomes. Saying “I am going to fail this exam” gives you a mindset that the fate of your exam is a lost cause and putting any extra effort in is useless.

“I’m not naïve and not negative I’ve come to the realization that people choose to verbalize their stress in order to portray the hard work they are putting in. The truth is, people who are positive are not floating through life. Rather, they are choosing the healthier route, which allows them to accomplish more. Everyone has stress in some shape or form, so don’t predict or compare other people’s work load based on how much they complain. That is just silly. Stop that.

“Don’t be a Negative Nancy” You may have heard this phrase before.  It may have been directed at you, or maybe you’ve even used it yourself. The thing about being a negative Nancy or a pessimistic Patty is that you’re not purposely trying to be the Eeyore amongst all of the Winnie the Poohs. Like I mentioned above, complaining is a natural way for us to make our hard work recognized. However, although venting is completely healthy, comparing your work load to other people’s work load is a parasitic relationship. You’re killing their vibe, man.

Simply setting yourself up for success through words and expressing what you can and will accomplish is an initiative that we naturally pass up. As the end of the semester is right around the corner and final exams are quicly approaching, I encourage you to use the infamous exam week as an experiment. Pitch positive self-fulfilling prophecies to your friends while cramming for an exam, put it on social media, and overall carry that healthy mindset with you and examine the outcome. Lastly, it is important to not only surround ourselves with positive people, but also to be that positive person. So keep your chin up and head high, because the glass can be half full if you want it to be.

“It’s a good day to have a good one.”

-Alena Purpero

Sweat, Baby Sweat

Pic for Blog- Sweat, Baby Sweat

Now that the weather is changing, our bodies begin to embrace the warm weather. Although, some people’s bodies embrace it more than others with a little thing called sweat. Personally, I am a hot box. I am always warm, uncomfortable, and 99% of the time I am sweating. My friends always laugh at me because my closet consists of every style of shirt you could imagine, in one color…. black. I am sure some of you can relate, sweat doesn’t show when you wear black!

Sweating was something that I always use to be embarrassed of. I purposely never use to raise my hand in class, wore tanks in the middle of winter, and even tried some of those deodorants that would help you “not” sweat. I forked over the money and bought a dose and thought it was great, until it was 2am and my armpits were on fire and nothing other than sleeping with cold washcloths in my armpits helped soothe the pain. So instead of continuing to torture myself, I decided to embrace it. Everyone sweats, so I decided to spread the word. Here is information, facts, and reasons why sweating is perfectly normal and nothing to be embarrassed of.

What is a pore? A pore is a small opening on the skin where sweat is released. We have millions of pores all over our body; even in areas we wouldn’t think we would. This is why we sweat in all areas of our body, not just under our arms. Pores can become clogged with dirt if you have poor hygiene, which can cause infections. Looking for another reason to take 2 showers a day? There it is! (What is a Sweat Pore?)

What is the purpose? When our body sweats, it means that it is heating up. By releasing sweat through your pores, the body is cooling down. The reason that some people’s sweat stinks is because it mixes with bacteria in the air.  After awhile, it creates that pungent body odor the kid next to you in the gym has (because you never smell, right?). You also might notice that your cheeks become rosy red whenever you start to perspire. This is because when sweat is moving towards the surface of the skin, blood is able to move closer to the skin, which is where the red appearance comes from (Health Benefits of Perspiration).

So after understanding the science of why it is good to sweat, now do you realize that it is a positive thing? Everyone has different reasons for sweating, whether it is exercise, stress, embarrassment, excitement, etc.

Here are some other great facts about sweating:

  • Sweating helps cleanse the body of toxins.
  • Yellow underarm stains are caused when proteins and fatty acids leave the body in your apocrine glands, which makes thick and milkier sweat.
  • Men sweat 40% more than women (except me!)
  • Cows sweat from their noses.
  • Hippos have red sweat.
  • During intense exercise in the heat, athletes have the ability to sweat off 2-6% of their body weight (it’s called water weight).
  • One of the most important: You don’t need to sweat in order to lose weight! (Raising your heart rate helps you lose weight and sometimes people just don’t ever sweat when they raise their heart rate!)

Sweat is a great thing, and if we all start to embrace it and not be embarrassed, life will be MUCH easier. So the next time you see someone with large dark circles under their armpits, don’t laugh at them. Walk over to that individual and give them a HUGE high-five because sweating is normal and I feel bad for those that don’t have water fountain underarm pores like me! (Maybe not)

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

~Kenzi Weidman

Sources: What is a Sweat Pore?, Health Benefits of Perspiration, Cool Facts on Sweat, Sweats Facts

From Jessica to Daisy (Dukes of Hazzard Workout)

Pic for Blog- Dukes of Hazzard

The phrase ‘hard work pays off’ has to be one of the most spot on phrases when it comes to the fitness world. Working hard, eating right and getting enough sleep every day does the body wonders. Go ahead and listen to all of the success stories around the world, but the one that can truly put the phrase into perspective is Jessica Simpson in The Dukes of Hazzard. Now we may not all have the motivation of your body being shown on 50-ft Cinema movie screens around the world, but it is a prime example of how with the correct mindset, anything is possible.

Jessica Simpson spent weeks and weeks in the gym working hard and eating right for the role. “When I found out I got the role, I went straight to the gym,” says Jessica. Jessica also had the luxury of a personal trainer working with her every single day. She went on a workout regimen from her trainer, Mike Alexander, which consisted of squats, running, and other weight-resistance exercises to overall lean Jessica out and tone her up. She worked out for nearly two hours every single day to get in the best shape of her adult life.

She strayed away from carb-loaded foods like bread and her favorite sweet, banana pudding. Her trainer called the diet she went on a ‘don’t eat crap diet’ which pretty much was a lower carb, higher protein diet consisting of a lot of grilled chicken, fish and fresh, green vegetables. When Jessica cheated in her diet she found herself immediately resenting that she did and made herself work twice as hard the next day in the gym and added new exercises, extra sets, or extra running. “I watched my diet and was in the gym to walk proud,” she says. “My body is definitely an accomplishment.”

The trainer she had practically lived with her during the close to three months she trained for her part in the movie. He ate with her during ever meal she ate, told her what was okay to order, and told her what to stay away from. He also released the exercises on a website I found, including why he had her do each exercise.

Getting Simpson into Daisy Duke shape “was never about fat loss,” says her trainer Michael Alexander. “She never once stepped on a scale. It was about taking on a different shape.” Simpson would start her 2-hour sessions with a 5-minute jogging warm-up, then weight-resistance exercises and 30 minutes “booking it” on the treadmill, says Alexander. He describes key moves for her legs, rear and upper body:

• BODY-WEIGHT SQUATS: Stand with hands clasped in front of you. Do 25 reps for 2 or 3 sets. These will firm your glutes, hamstrings and quads.

• FORWARD LUNGES: Step forward and back, alternating feet, to tone your quads and glutes. Do 8 to 10 reps for 2 to 3 sets.

• REVERSE LUNGES: For a glutes and hamstrings workout, step back off a short box or step 14 times on each leg. Repeat 2 or 3 times.

• TRAVELING LUNGES: Walk across a room doing lunges with a straight back leg. (You should be leaning forward slightly so your head is in line with your back leg.) This works out every muscle from your waist down.

• PRONE-KNEELING LEG EXTENSION: Get on your hands and knees and have your spine straight, hands below the shoulders and knees below the hips. Bring one leg up, creating a straight line from head to toe (do not point toe). Alternate legs for 10 reps for 3 sets for a firm behind.

• BICEP CURLS FROM A LUNGE POSITION: Stand in a lunge position so that your back leg is on the ball of your foot. Holding dumbbells in each hand, do 18 bicep curls for 3 sets. This position also works out your abs.

• LATERAL RAISE FROM A LUNGE POSITION: Immediately after the bicep curls, switch legs in the lunge position and raise your arms straight out to either side while holding dumbbells. Do 18 reps for 3 sets. This tones your deltoids.

When people see movies like The Dukes of Hazzard, they see movie stars like Jessica Simpson and see how perfect she looks on and off screen during this time. It was literally her job to look as good as she possibly could for the time that she was recorded. She put in hours on top of hours with a personal trainer/nutritionist following her every move to make sure she was going to be able to look the way she wanted, and would punish herself for ever mistake she would make with eating or drinking. Once the movie was over, she took a break from working out too because of how hard she worked herself! Remember this when you try and compare yourself to someone like her or any movie star you see. You can always put in the work, but you just have to remember what they went through as well. Let them be your motivation and remember…

Yesterday you said tomorrow

-Eric Hess