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)

5 [hidden] Benefits of Rowing

Unless you are among the lucky few, the majority of us dread cardio days.  The thought of going on the treadmill, elliptical, bike, or even stair master becomes such a drag no matter how dedicated you are to fitness. But what about those tucked away rowing machines? Think you won’t get as much of a workout? Think again.

  1. Weight Loss

Rowing burns calories rapidly, making it a suitable addition to your workout regimen if weight loss is your chief priority.  The full body nature of13 rowing makes it a huge calorie burner: in a few minutes a day, you’ll burn more calories on the indoor rower than you would on a machine that doesn’t engage as many muscle groups.  According to a Harvard study done in 2012, rowing vigorously on a stationary rowing machine can burn up to 632 calories per hour if you’re 155 pounds.

2.  Muscle Toning

Rowing uses virtually every major muscle group in your body. Unlike a bike, that only gives resistance in one direction, the activity of rowing works both the front and back major muscles therefore increasing the rate at which you burn calories.

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3. Cardio Benefits

Rowing is an endurance exercise that increases heart function. Keeping the rowing machine tension at a low level allows you to maintain a high rate of speed with minimal resistance. For cardio workouts this enables you to reach and maintain an aerobic state.

  4. Easy on the Joints

Its not rocket science to detect that running, and heavy weight training over time puts tremendous stress on your joints. Rowing on the other hand puts little pressure on the joints, due to seated position.  This low-impact exercise allows your joints to receive some much needed loving. With your joints not having to work as hard you are allowing your muscles to do most of the work which is the goal right?

5.  Great total body warm-up

Rowing machines are located in both the ARC and ARC Express cardio zones. Because of the total body activation of rowing, it’s a great way to warm up prior to your resistance training workout.

Why So Unpopular?

So with all these benefits, why isn’t there a line of people waiting to use rowing machines? The main reason is that most people just don’t know how to use them. Others may shy away from rowers because they provide a challenging workout, and some people just want to slump over a treadmill. Personal trainer Kyle Leong, shows us the proper use of how to use these calorie burning machines.

The 20-minute fat-burner: Try this routine designed to max out your muscles during each interval, while the recovery periods help increase the efficiency of this fat burning exercise routine. Set the rowing machine at a resistance of four. Then perform sets of 10, 15, and 20 power strokes—pulling the handle to your torso as fast and as hard as you can. Separate the power strokes with 60 seconds of easy rowing at about 50 percent of your full effort. Repeat the cycle until you’ve rowed for 20 minutes.

row row row your boat
MBACCLooking to get even more out of your workout? Rowing on water vigorously burns 844 calories per hour if you DCIM101GOPROweigh 155 pounds, according to a study by the Wisconsin Department of Health and Family Services. For an even better workout along with more of an enjoyable experience, ARC members have the opportunity to take rowing classes all semester long (for class credit) at Mission Bay Aquatic Center! GET OUTTA HERE… (Literally!) Access to these classes is major benefit to our members. Take the fitness outdoors while enjoying beautiful sunny San Diego!

Article by: Reyanne Mustafa

http://www.mbaquaticcenter.com/rowing.htm

Simple Ways to ACTUALLY Stick to NY Resolutions

o-NEW-YEARS-RESOLUTIONS-facebookA New Year’s resolution is a tradition in which a person makes a promise to make a change in their life, like going to the gym 4 times a week or cutting out soda from a diet. Both resolutions are centered on either creating or extinguishing a habit which takes practice, dedication, patience, and motivation. Anytime you make a change in life, big or small, it’s easy to fall into the dreaded “cycle of resolution”.

Cycle of resolution

The cycle often goes like this: The start is filled with excitement and ambition, thnew-years-resolution-goal-settinge middle often lacks focus and motivation, and the end includes liberation and pride. Like most new things, a resolution is exciting and exhilarating for the fist few weeks, but soon becomes dull and uneventful bringing “cheat days” or excuses into play. Statistics support the cycle showing that only 46% of people make it past the first month with their resolution and of that, only 8% of those people are fully successful in their New Year’s resolution. Often after the newness of a resolution wears off, the going gets tough and people ditch the resolution and go back to old habits.

 

 

Alright alright, so now the stuff that you have been waiting to see, what can be done to help maintain a New Year’s Resolution?!

Advice ranges from managing expectations to remaining focused to staying motivated. Although there is no “perfect” way to achieve a New Year’s resolution, staying motivated is something each person has control over. Below is a list of ideas for Aztecs to stay motivated and #LiveWell in 2015!

The ARC offers far more than ellipticals and treadmills. Wres arc sdsu pichile both are great options for exercise, variety and creativity are important in maintaining motivation. An Aztec Recreation membership provides Aztecs with;

  • Over 19 intramurals
  • 45+ group classes offered each week
  • Climbing wall, Racquetball and tennis courts, Aquaplex
  • 9 different recreation classes

 

 

Consistent reminders to why the resolution was originally created will help one’s mind to fully absorb it. These reminders can be small and simple, yet have a powerful impact on motivation. Reminders to try;

  • Post it notes
  • Reminder on a cell phone
  • Create a vision board
  • Make a pact with a friend

Breaking up the resolution into small acts of will instead of months of self-control can help spark motivation. Short- term goals are easier to keep and give reason for mini celebrations throughout the journey. Mini goal celebrations to try;

  • Tweet about it
  • Watch a favorite show or movie
  • Start a success journal
  • Track progress in a calendar
  • Use technology

Technology provides many different ways to stay motivated throughout a New Year’s resolution. There are many apps, devices, and phones available to help motivate us to achieve our resolutions through tracking, reminders, or updates. Technology to try;

The Health Promotion office provides Aztecs with resources to develop and maintain health and wellness. Classes, events, and initiatives centered upon the health of the SDSU community help Aztecs to stay motivated about their overall well-being. Initiatives to try;

  • Attend a GYN session
  • Schedule one-on-one nutrition education
  • Book a health education presentation for your student group

Want to know more?

Like SDSU Health Promotion @ http://www.facebook.com/SDSUHealthPromotion

Starting soon, a new initiative to provide daily tips about well- being will begin on the SDSU Health Promotion Facebook. Each day focuses on a different health topic and may provide motivation to continue on those 2015 New Year’s resolutions. Be part of the 8% who experience the liberation and pride of succeeding in a New Year’s resolution! #LiveWellAztecs!

Monday- Motor through Mondays

Tuesday- Try it Tuesday

Wednesday- Who Knew Wednesday

Friday- TGIF (Totally Getting into Fitness)

Saturday- Sexy Saturday

Check out our new website: http://go.sdsu.edu/student_affairs/healthpromotion/

Samantha Greeney, MPH Candidate
Graduate Health Promotion Intern

Resources:

http://www.thehumansolutionblog.com

http://www.statisticbrain.com/new-years-resolution-statistics/

Reach Your Goals With Group Fitness

Group fitness classes are included in the Aztec Recreation membership and are a great way to help you with your 2015 fitness goals! We offer cardio, strength, mind/body, and dance formats so you can enjoy a huge variety of classes that make exercise fun. Beginners are welcome; previous experience is not required! If it’s your first class, feel free to introduce yourself to the instructor prior to class. That way he/she will be better able to cater to your experience and fitness level. Check out the current schedule.

Looking to achieve internal balance and reduce tension and stress? This class uses breath-synchronized movement to create internal heat that purifies muscles and organs by expelling unwanted toxins from the body in the form of sweat. Dynamic, flowing posture sequences will build strength and flexibility. You will learn to set an intention for your personal yoga practice and take the necessary steps toward reaching that goal.

Heard of the at-home Insanity® program? Now it’s in your group fitness studio! This class utilizes the concept of max interval training, where longer high intensity cardio intervals are interspersed with short rest periods so that you can get the most out of your workout. All levels are welcome in this body weight workout that can increase your cardiovascular endurance, as well as muscular strength. Just one question: are you ready to dig deep?

Article by: Liana Tsirklin

Importance of Mobility for Strength Training

Mobility is both beneficial to all aspects of fitness and is easy to improve and maintain.  It is your ability to control your limbs throughout their full range of motion, and can sometimes be confused for stretching.  Although stretching and flexibility are both aspects of mobility, mobility has a direct functional effect on movement.  By working on mobility, not only will you be able to avoid injury but you will be able to execute exercises with more power and efficiency. Watch the video below to see how different mobility exercises can help you get into a more optimal squat position.

 

 

As the school year begins, the gym gets packed with students from a wide range of fitness levels.  From beginners to thoroughbred fitness gurus, students are eager to put the amazing facility at the ARC to good use.  But, before you go charging in to grab a bench or claim a pair of dumbbells, let’s take the time out to prepare the most important piece of equipment in the gym: you. Your body is the most complex machine found in any gym facility.  With over 200 bones and over 650 different muscles, it is important to recognize the endless possibilities of movement patterns and leverages it can accomplish.

Making sure your body has the sufficient mobility for weightlifting should be an essential part of your workout routine.  It allows you to get into optimal positions and execute movements in ways where you are testing the strength of your muscles and not the integrity of your joints.  It also prevents injury by giving you the awareness of any weaknesses you may have in your muscle groups so you will not compensate by overworking and straining other dominant muscle groups during exercises.

Lack of mobility often manifests itself in large compound movements.  The squat is a great example.  Lifters will often times lack mobility at the bottom of the squat in their ankles and hips, which forces their toes and knees forward and outward to create space for their hips to drop down, while at the same time, shifting weight onto the toes.  This starts an avalanche of problems as your body attempts to compensate for the lack of strength created by the poorly leveraged squat position. As the knees come forward, all the weight shifts onto the quads, eliminating the entire posterior chain from the movement (the posterior chain consists of all the muscles on the backside of your body including the glutes, hamstrings, calves, and back).  The body will compensate for the lack of strength with the knees, hips, and lower back, putting them under tremendous strain and often leading to injuries in the future.

You can improve your mobility in countless ways.  Essentially every muscle in your body can be worked on and improved for better performance.  Several high quality foam rollers and bands are available for checkout at the front desk and the PVC pipe is available for use in the Fitness Room.  The ARC also offers various Yoga and Pilates classes throughout the day to all members which can help you strengthen your mind muscle connection and your core while improving flexibility and mobility.   So before you go crazy with the weights, take a moment to make sure your body is primed, supple, and ready for action

Article by: Jimmy Shiba, Graduate Health Promotion Intern,  MPH Candidate

Are you working on your mobility? Let us know how #LiveWellAztecs

More mobility resources:

(A more in depth description of joint mobility and joint stability as the foundation of any workout program)

(Joint mobility as it relates directly to the squat. Video and article by multiple powerlifting world record holder Bryce Lewis)

(The difference between mobility and flexibility.)

 

 

New to the Gym or a Regular- A FREE Fitness Orientation is for ALL

Fitness_Orientation

Having a goal is one thing, staying motivated is another. When you don’t know where to start or how far you’ve come, that goal can seem farfetched to achieve.

Our fitness interns are here to help!!
Part of your ARC membership includes a chance to schedule a FREE Fitness Assessment with any of our 5 interns.

      A fitness orientation is a scheduled 60 min. appointment with a fitness intern that gives you the opportunity to tour the facility, and learn about exercise machines, free weights and other resistance training equipment. When signing up, you will fill out information about your individual fitness needs, so that your session will be designed specifically for you. Fitness Orientations are FREE to students and members of the ARC.

      If you are unfamiliar with the some of the equipment or feel uncomfortable with the ARC or ARC Express, the fitness interns are available. This in return will make you feel more comfortable on the floor and be able to use the machines safely while getting an effective workout.

     Along with getting familiar with fitness equipment, during your fitness orientation will get you familiar with your body. Our trained interns can take your blood pressure, give you body composition metrics, measure your cardiovascular fitness, and your muscular fitness. Although the interns are NOT personal trainers and can NOT give workout plans, if requested or interested, they can refer you to a personal trainer and set an appointment with a FREE nutrition counseling session.

 

Take advantage of this opportunity and schedule your appointment today!

http://arc.sdsu.edu/Orientation/index.php

To schedule your free orientation email groupfitness@mail.sdsu.edu

OR call 619-594-0204

Article by: Reyanne Mustafa