4 Steps to Fitting Wellness into Your Schedule

The semester has started and your calendar is probably filling up quickly! This is an exciting who metime, full of new experiences and opportunities, but don’t forget to make time for a very important person…YOU! It’s very easy to overbook your schedule without leaving time to actually take care of yourself.  By treating your personal well-being like any other activity or commitment, you can make fitting wellness into your schedule part of your daily routine. Follow our step-by-step guide and start making your wellness a priority today!

Using a calendar or planner is extremely helpful in keeping yourself schuduleorganized. You schedule your classes, work, meetings, etc., but we also want you to understand that wellness should be scheduled into your daily routine. Don’t start a new calendar for your wellness activities, rather we want you to identify what works for you and get in the routine of also fitting in wellness. If you don’t currently use anything, check out digital calendars like Google Calendar or smart phone applications. You can set-up alerts and share your schedule with other people.

Step 1: Stick to a Sleep Schedule

The first wellness component you need to add to your calendar is your sleep. Yes, you read that right! We want you to schedule your sleep and commit to it! Scheduling your sleep makes it a priority and reminds you to complete your other tasks before the deadline, your bed time. The National Sleep Foundation recommends that young adults aged 18-24 years old get 7-9 hours per night. Want extra credit? Avoid looking at electronic devices at least an hour before bed to ensure that you are getting better quality sleep.

Step 2: Prioritize Time for Exercise & Follow Through

First, ask yourself what type of exercise do I enjoy? Do you like hiking? Great, explore San Diego! Do you like lifting weights? The Aztec Recreation Center is calling your name! Just make sure you are doing some form of exercise you enjoy, because it’s more likely that you remain active down the road.

You’re probably asking yourself, how much time should I schedule for exercise? The Center for Disease Control (CDC) recommends that adults get at least 150 minutes of moderate-intensity aerobic activity (brisk walking) every week and perform two or more days of muscle-strengthening activities per week (CDC, 2015). As the intensity of the aerobic exercise increases, the recommended weekly time decreases.  You can check out the website to see how exercise intensity is determined. If it doesn’t seem like you have room in your schedule for 30+ minutes at a time, research shows that doing 10 minutes of moderate to vigorous exercise 3 times per day is just as effective (CDC, 2015)! Also, remember to fit in activity whenever you can. Try parking across campus from your class, so you can walk farther to give yourself an energy boost before class. Take the stairs instead of the elevator. Carry a grocery basket instead of pushing a cart. Get coffee with friends and walk instead of sitting at a table. Every little bit counts!

Once you decide on the type and length of exercise, schedule it into your open time slots and pledge to keep that appointment. You reserved this time to improve your health, don’t let yourself down!

Step 3.  Embrace Meal Planning & Prepping

Sometimes eating a balanced diet is easier said than done, but can be more achievable with meal planning and prepping. By setting aside some time each week to plan your meals, go meal prepgrocery shopping and prep your food, you’re setting yourself up for success. We want this to be enjoyable for you, so Health Promotion has some tips to make eating healthy even easier:

  1. Keep it simple. When mapping out your meals for the week, find recipes with very few ingredients. This will save you money and cut down the cooking time.
  2. Shop your kitchen first. Get creative and use what you already have in your fridge and pantry. There’s no point in buying more of what you already have!
  3. Look for deals. Use the local grocery store ads to find discounts on foods and shop the sales! Check out the Sprouts, Windmill Farms, Vons, and Ralphs weekly deals!
  4. Buy frozen, ready to cook ingredients. Fresh produce is great, but we don’t always have time to prep and cook it. Frozen fruits and vegetables are a great option for quick and nutritious meal additions!
  5. Cook more than you need. You are already spending time cooking, so make extra to take for lunch the next day or freeze for another day when you are short on time.

Now look at your calendar and find some time that you would like to devote to meal planning, prepping and grocery shopping. Remember, you don’t have to do it all at once. Find a routine that works for you and makes eating nutritious meals easier and part of your schedule!

Step 4. Schedule Some Me-Time

I 3 me timeYes, prioritizing yourself is just as important as getting an A on that exam. Don’t forget to take care of your emotional, spiritual and social wellness. This will look different for everyone. If you need some “me time” on campus, the Center for Well-Being is a great place to relax, meditate, read and even sit in a massage chair! Based on your schedule, you may have more time some weeks than others, but always try to squeeze in some time to unwind.

Remember to be patient with yourself as you begin integrating wellness into your schedule. Make small goals that help you develop healthy habits and make them part of your normal routine. Before you know it, making wellness part of your schedule will become second nature and you’ll be surprised at how easy it is and how much better you’ll feel!

By: Shantille Thompson, MPH, CHES

Sources:

http://sleepfoundation.org/how-sleep-works/how-much-sleep-do-we-really-need/page/0/1

http://www.brighamandwomens.org/about_bwh/publicaffairs/news/pressreleases/PressRelease.aspx?sub=0&PageID=1962

http://www.cdc.gov/physicalactivity/basics/adults/index.htm

http://www.cdc.gov/physicalactivity/basics/adults/index.htm

 

Debunking Stretching Myths with Matt Dawson.

Fact or Fiction?

If you already include stretching in your regular fitness routine, congratulations—you’re ahead of the curve. But for the 90% of us, who seem to overlook this crucial aspect of fitness, it is time to rethink how important stretching truly is.screen-shot-2014-07-28-at-10-34-44-am1

Recently celebrating his 12 year anniversary here in Aztec Recreation, personal trainer Matt Dawson has endless knowledge when it comes to the value of flexibility training to avoid and recover from injury.

 “I feel so blessed to do something for 12 years and love it just as much.”

Along with training, Matt’s passion for organic gardening, yoga, and wellbeing truly illustrates his belief that without your health, you don’t have wealth. Matt’s philosophy is that health comes from the inside out. Unfortunately, Matt is not accepting new clients at this time so we decided to sit down and pick his brain to set straight stretching truths and myths.

 1. Stretching before your workout is crucial.

False.
Matt: “In my experience, my clients have performed much better stretching after a 25-minute or longer cardio session. Think of your muscles as silly putty. When it’s cold, it will just tear apart verses when it’s had contact with heat it is the most elastic. Same goes for your muscles.”

Be sure to warm up!!

Continue reading

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

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.)

 

 

ENS Feature- Martial Arts and Self-Defense

Martial Arts and Self-Defense SpotlightMA 1

 One of San Diego State’s hidden gems is the martial arts classes offered each semester. With 6 different varieties you are bound to find one that fits your style. Get an Exercise and Nutritional Science unit that works with your schedule; multiple sections of these classes are offered each semester, keeping the class sizes low and interactive. This month the spotlight shines on Woman’s Self-Defense, sorry boys.

With all tMA 3he Crime Alerts that have been going on lately, we highly recommend that students take advantage of these classes.

This semester-long course may start off with a pillow fight but you will soon leave knowing the fundamentals of woman’s safety with your head held high. You leave class with a greater knowledge of self-defense moves. The 50-minute class keeps you moving and grooving with a variety of group and partner exercises the entire time. Did we forget to mention it’s a great work out that will sure kick your butt! (No pun intended)

Don’t have time for another class?
With a group of 10 or more, you are eligible to host a private self-defense class at the location of your choice on campus. In other words, we can bring the class to you! This is great for clubs, sports teams, and Greek organizations. This two and a half hour session will provide you with the skills you need to protect yourself while also being fun, physical, and great for team-building! Come and learn practical skills that could save a life. Contact us today for special group rates!

 

All About the Instructor John Ramos:

Sensei Ramos, otherwise known as John, started out his lifelong martial arts journey in Maui Hawaii. His love for the sport all started when his father taught him a form of Jiu Jitsu known has Danzan-ryu. This led him to his collegiate wrestling career. He not only studied all the different forms of martial arts, he currently holds a fourth degree black belt in Jiu Jistsu and third degree in Judo. It is safe to say, you are in good hands.

HOW TO REGISTER:
In order to register, similar to any other class, log into your web portal, click on Exercise and Nutritional Sciences you will see the list of sections under ENS 138.

 

Article by: Jessica Lewis

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