It’s NOT All About the Numbers

BodyFat_ImpedenceThe world of fitness is overloaded with numbers. It seems like everywhere you look, there are people on message boards discussing new workout plans, or supplement companies trying to sell you the secret recipe for success: how many sets to be completed, calories to be burned, reps to be done, exercises necessary, grams of protein required, carbohydrates consumed, workouts planned, pounds lifted, kilos converted, miles ran, and the list goes on and on. Crunching the numbers is a workout on its own!

In reality, there’s only one number you should be concerned with at the gym: Zero. That’s the number of cares you should give about all the different advice you are being bombarded with as you walk through those gym doors. Don’t get me wrong, numbers have their place. You can keep track of personal records and progress. But, it has its pitfalls as well.

Research shows that stationary bikes, treadmills, stair climbers, and ellipticals overestimate calories burned by 7%, 13%, 12%, and 42% respectively (UCSF).  42%! This discrepancy, caused by rudimentary formulas and the machines’ incapability to consider each unique individual, represents a far larger concern in the gym: the over-reliance on numbers to motivate your fitness endeavors.

A classic example is the weight scale. If your fitness goals are defined solely by your weight, you may be approaching your workouts the wrong way. The number on the scale is literally just the numerical reflection of your relationship with gravity. A scale can’t measure muscle, body fat, strength, or your enjoyment, which is ultimately going to play a large part in you consistently returning to the gym.

The workout is your opportunity to do what YOU enjoy. You are in charge of your workout; your workout is not in charge of you! The great thing about fitness is there is an infinite number of ways to get in shape, and Aztec Recreation provides just about all of them: Bowling, Tennis, Surfing, Paddle boarding, Kayaking, Aztec Adventures challenges, dance, martial arts, and so much more. You name it, they have it.

So squat because you want to, run because you want to, or take that windsurfing class at the Mission Bay Aquatic Center because YOU want to. Finally, at the end of the day, smile—because you’ll want to.

Good Luck!

By: Jimmy Shiba, Graduate Health Promotion Intern, MPH CandidateJimmy_Shiba

How are you making your workout more enjoyable? Let us know! #LiveWellAztecs

 

Resources:

https://arc.sdsu.edu/content.php?arc=3 (All the different programs associated with Aztec Recreation)

http://abcnews.go.com/GMA/Weekend/exercise-calorie-counters-work/story?id=9966500#.T1p_TvF8C80  (Article outlining study done by University of California, San Francisco Human Performance Center on cardio equipment accuracy)

http://vtpeakperformance.com/false-reality-calories-burned-cardio-machines/ (Why cardio machines miscalculate calories burned)

http://www.nydailynews.com/life-style/health/enjoying-exercise-leads-enhanced-results-study-article-1.1861561 (Research study showing the impact of workout enjoyment)

http://www.lifehack.org/articles/lifehack/13-tips-to-actually-enjoy-exercising.html (13 simple tips on how to make your workout more enjoyable)

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SDSU Healthy Events in December

Baxter
Meet Baxter. SDSU’s therapy dog.
Aztecs! Your Student Health Services Department has some wonderful options for you this month. Below are the free wellness events to help you with a successful finish this semester. Stop by for a healthy break.

Tues 12/2, 10am–3pm Relaxation Station, Campanile Walkway

Wed 12/3, 5:30pm-7pm        Fueling Your Body for Finals Workshop, Cuicicalli Dining Room

Thurs 12/4, 11am–12pm       Biofeedback for Managing Stress, Library
Thurs 12/4, 12pm-1pm        Study Tips for Finals, Library

Fri 12/5, 1pm-2pm           Biofeedback for Managing Stress, Library

Mon 12/8, 4:30pm-5:30pm     Stress Management Basics, Library

Yoga Study Break
Yoga Study Break
Tues 12/9, 7pm-7:45pm       Yoga Study Break, ENS 200 Dance Studio
Tues 12/9, 8pm–8:45pm       Yoga study Break Session II, ENS 200 Dance Studio

Wed 12/10, 5pm-6pm          Managing the Stress of Finals, Library

Thurs 12/11, 10am-3pm       Pet Therapy with Baxter, Library

Fri 12/12, 10am-3pm        Pet Therapy with Baxter, Library

Mon 12/15, 10am-3pm      Pet Therapy with Baxter, Library

Tues 12/16, 1pm–4pm         Pet Therapy with Baxter, Library

Show us your healthy study break on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram: #LiveWellAztecs. The three best postings from Dec 1 – 15 will win an Aztec Recreation swag bag!Live Well Aztecs Logo

Controlling Over Consumption for the Holidays

Hey Aztecs! Did you know that most people gain 1-2 pounds just from the time between Thanksgiving and New Years? Here are 5 easy tips you can put into action to heHoliday Dietlp you control over consumption while maintaining full satisfaction from all that crazy-good holiday food.

  1. Protein and Fiber – Put those on your plate first
    1. Foods high in protein and fiber are the most satiable. Making them a priority in your food choices can help you eat less overall and prevent overeating.  Foods high in protein and fiber are more micronutrient dense, have fewer calories, and add volume to your meal, while still tasting great!  They will also keep you full longer, helping you cut down on post-meal snacks.
  2. Smaller Portions at a time – Eat less while keeping food volume the same
    1. You will eat less if you have less on your plate, while feeling just as satisfied. Tricking your mind into thinking you have just as much food on your plate by keeping the volume of food the same, but adding in foods that are less calorically dense (fruits, vegetables, etc.) on each plate will allow you to actually eat less without losing fullness.
  3. Out of Sight, Out of Mind – Reduce temptations to snack unnecessarily
    1. If food is easy to eat, it is easy to overeat. Avoid having food within arms reach or in your vision on a regular basis, and cover up your food to avoid temptations to snack unnecessarily.  The more effort involved in eating, the less likely you are to overeat.
  4. Continue Staying Active – Keep your exercise regimen consistent throughout the holiday season
    1. Exercising releases hormones that will help you stay in control, calm, and confident. Not to mention, it burns calories, increases metabolism, and strengthens your mind and body.  Whether you are at the gym, at the park, or in the privacy of your own room, there are plenty of exercise options you have regardless of equipment, time, and fitness level.  During the holidays, try incorporating your friends and family into fun group exercises like a pre-meal flag football game, a post-meal walk, or a YouTube workout session.
  5. Set Realistic expectations – Don’t give up
    1. Let’s face it, it may be impossible to completely avoid overeating throughout the holidays.  Setting too high of an expectation for any goal is a recipe for disaster, and in this case will result in succumbing to cravings.  Enjoy the food and company while always keeping a positive mindset.  If you find yourself overindulging, don’t give up and let it define your eating habits.  Remember, life is understood in the past but must be lived in the present, so learn from your mistakes and move on.

Good Luck!

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How are you working on keeping your holiday meals in check for the holidays? Let us know! #LiveWellAztecs

By: Jimmy Shiba, Graduate Health Promotion Intern,  MPH Candidate

Resources:

http://evidencemag.com/holiday-feast

The DO’s and DON’TS of “Bulking Season”

 How to Gain.. The RIGHT Way

Looking to gain muscle mass? If you think eating anything and everything in sight will help you to bulk up, you may want to think again.

Now that summer has come to an end and tank tops and shorts are replaced by baggy pants and sweat shirts.  The next few months can mean only one thing…Ahh it’s bulking time.

  • The Bulk: A period of time when the primary goal is building muscle, gaining weight, increasing strength, or all of the above. Calorie intake is increased so a caloric surplus is present.
  • The Cut: A period of time when the primary goal is losing fat, losing weight, getting leaner, or all of the above. Calorie intake is decreased and/or calorie expenditure is increased so that a caloric deficit is present.

Every off-season, many individuals fall short of their goals. Why? You might ask. Below are some of the most common mistakes people make during the off-season that hinder their gains. If you can avoid as many of these mistake as possible, you will be on your way to a productive off-season.

1) Not Eating Enough

In order to add muscle to your body you need to make sure that you have an adequate surplus of energy. This means simply getting enough calories daily so that your body can recover from workouts and rebuild the stressed muscle fibers little by little.

Without the energy and the fuel, via a surplus of healthy food, you cannot make the improvements you need. Make sure that you are eating enough calories to enable you to make those improvements. Though you might put on a little (note I said a little) body fat, the body fat will come off once you diet down for cutting season.

2) Not Eating Enough Healthy Clean Foods

Above we talked about taking in enough calories so you can put on good size in the off season.

There is a lot of misguided information out on the internet on how to binge to gain muscle. Often there will be claims that eating this amount of protein or X amount of calories will lead to bigger muscles. We are here to clear all that confusion up.goddvs.bad food

You might say ‘fast food and junk food are calorie dense so why not have them once or twice a day so I can bump up my overall calories?”  or “Because junk food is so calorie dense, I’ll have enough energy to make my reps and build more muscle, right?”
While you want to have excess calories while bulking, the majority of those calories should be from clean healthy foods: lean cuts of meat, complex carbohydrates and healthy fats. Although not as calorie dense, these healthy foods are energy dense. Clean energy is what is going to give you that extra push to do that extra rep. When you are trying to gain weight you do need additional calories, but diet riddled with junk food will result in little muscle gain and plenty of fat storage.

How many times have you heard people say how sluggish they feel after eating fast food?
This is mostly because junk food has nutritionally zero benefits; yes, you are getting your calories but no nutrients to fuel the body leaving you sluggish. Because junk food has the wrong kind of sugars it’s common to find yourself getting a “sugar high” followed by an immediate crash. The crash is due to the energy running out whereas clean healthy foods keep your energy going for a longer lasting effect. So think twice the next time you take a bite out of that 4×4 at In’n’out! Clean it up and you will beef it up!

3) No Cardio

This is a huge mcardioooistake that 99% of the time men fall victim to the no cardio approach in the off season. They justify it by saying “I don’t want to lose any gainz”. Well, we are here to tell you that three 30 minute cardio sessions a week will do wonders for your bulking phase. By incorporating a cardio routine into your workout program, your appetite will go through the roof, which will make it a lot easier to eat more clean healthy food.

“Staying aerobically fit is an important component of gaining weight. A strong and fit heart will help you to recover between sets more efficiently thus improving your overall work capacity (in other words: allowing you to do more sets in same the same amount of time).” Brian Tabor, personal trainer at ARC.
A big part of building more muscle means progressively doing more work (set/reps) in your training. If you want to put on that size then start doing some cardio.

 

4) Not Enough Rest/ Recovery Timesleep-better

Many novice trainers don’t realize that you do all your growing outside the gym. Even some experienced lifters find it hard to stay away from the gym to get enough rest. They do everything else right: eat clean, workout out hard, but forget to give their bodies enough rest and recovery time between workouts so gains are negligible. Being sure to get plenty of food is one thing, but it’s important to get enough rest and sleep as well. You break down the muscle tissue in the gym, given that you fuel your body with nutritious food.

Article by: Reyanne Mustafa

For more information, visit these sites:

http://www.eatright.org/Public/content.aspx?id=11633
http://www.acefitness.org/fitfacts/pdfs/fitfacts/itemid_173.pdf
http://www.cdc.gov/nutrition/everyone/basics/water.html
http://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-living/fitness/in-depth/exercise/art-20045506
http://www.muscleandstrength.com/articles/10-most-common-bulking-mistakes.html

 

 

The Eight Dimensions of Wellness Model

If you are staying active and eating healthy, you are on the right track to being the best version of you. But fitness and nutrition are only part of the puzzle when it comes to living a healthy and balanced lifestyle. This Eight Dimensions of Wellness Model is a resource to help you take a holistic approach to your health. When you think of yourself holistically, you realize that these dimensions are interconnected and that your well-being involves a balance among these dimensions:

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Physical: Caring for your body in order to stay healthy now and in the future; eating well and being active.

Social: Maintaining healthy relationships; enjoying being with others; developing strong friendships and intimate relationships; caring about others and letting others care about you.

Emotional: Managing your emotions in a constructive way; understanding and respecting your own feelings, values and attitudes; appreciating the feelings of others.

Occupational: Developing a sense of your strengths, skills, values and interests for your career; maintaining a balanced life between work, family, play and taking care of yourself.

Multicultural: Being aware of your own cultural background and becoming knowledgeable about, respectful of, and sensitive to the culture of others.

Environmental: Awareness of how your behavior impacts the earth, as well as how the physical world impacts you; demonstrating a commitment to a healthy planet.

Spiritual: Finding purpose, value and meaning in your life with or without organized religion.

Intellectual: Growing intellectually, maintaining a curiosity about all there is to learn; valuing life-long learning and responding positively to intellectual challenges.

 

#LIVEWELLAZTECS

The Live Well Aztecs initiative is a partnership of campus resources with the goal of providing programs, services and outreach efforts that educate, support and inspire SDSU students to lead healthy, balanced lives.

SDSU students will benefit from:

  • Centralized coordination of outreach efforts.
  • Enhanced integration of programs and services focused on supporting individual well-being.
  • Fostering a campus culture that supports healthy, balanced lifestyles.
  • Utilizing the Live Well Aztecs brand to enhance awareness and impact of programs, services and outreach efforts at SDSU.

Article by: Tyler Aguilar, Recreation and Wellness Commissioner

 

You Are What You Drink

 Liquid Calories Can Pile on the Pounds

 

With the summer heat not too far behind us, it seems like reaching for your favorite ice cold beverage is the best way to cool off. With bright neon colors, promising sport performance enhancing taglines, and hipster-looking logos, make sure you think twice before taking another sip out of decorated sugary drinks.

 

Sweet-n-Low (R), Equal (R), Splenda (R)
Artificial sweeteners are food additives that are non-caloric or non-nutritive, meaning they have almost no calories and no nutritional value.

Recent studies have shown that when it comes to gaining weight, it may not be “you are what you eat” so much as “you are what you drink.” Sodas, sugary iced teas, and sports drinks may be piling on the pounds.

 

Beverages can be especially tricky in causing weight gain. When you drink sugary beverages, you do not feel as full as if you had eaten the same calories from food. Additionally, studies show that people consuming sugary beverages don’t compensate for the high calorie content in these beverages by eating less food let alone consider damaging health effects of sugar.

 

If you were to drink just one can of a sugar-sweetened soft drink every day (approximately 150 calories/day), and not cut back on calories elsewhere, you could gain up to 5 pounds in a year. Result: extra calories equal eventual weight gain.

you are hwat you drink photo

If you can’t give up your soda or sweet tea, you may wish to switch to the diet version. Although these are not the best choices to drink regularly due to the amount of artificial sweeteners in them they are a start to ease oneself off of the regular version. Here are some simple switches to help keep the pounds from piling on:

 

 

 

Gatorade:

  • Regular Gatorade: 80 calories and 21 grams of sugar per 12-ounce serving
  • Switch to G2 by Gatorade: 30 calories and 7 grams of sugar per 12-ounce serving

 

vitaminwater:

  • Regular vitaminwater: 120 calories and 29-32 grams of sugar per 20-ounce bottle
  • Switch to vitaminwater Zero: 0 calories and less than 1 ounce of sugar per 20-ounce bottle

 

Arizona Iced Tea:

  • Regular Kiwi-Strawberry flavored Arizona Iced Tea: 110 calories and 25g of sugar per 8-ounce serving
  • Switch to Diet Lemon flavor: 0 calories and 0 grams of sugar per 8-ounce serving

 

Starbucks Bottled Iced Coffee Drinks:

  • Starbucks Bottled Caramel Frappuccino Coffee Drink: 200 calories and 32 grams of sugar in a 9.5 ounce serving.
  • Switch to Starbucks Low Calorie Coffee + Milk: 50 calories and 3 grams of sugar in an 11-ounce serving.

 

By: Bailey Madnick, CHES, Graduate Student Assistant for Health Promotion

 

To find out more visit:

 

Harvard School of Public Health- Sugary Beverages

http://www.hsph.harvard.edu/nutritionsource/healthy-drinks/sugary-drinks/

 

California Department of Public Health- Sugar Sweetened Beverages

http://www.cdph.ca.gov/programs/cpns/documents/sugarsweetenedbeverageresearchbrief.pdf

 

Gatorade Nutrition Information:

http://www.gatorade.com/products/all-products

 

Vitaminwater Nutrition Information:

http://vitaminwater.com/products/

 

Arizona Iced Tea Nutrition Information:

http://www.drinkarizona.com/index_national.html#carousel_diet

 

Starbucks Nutrition Information:

http://www.starbucks.com/menu/catalog/product?drink=bottled-drinks#view_control=product