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

Member Spotlight: Jenna McGuigan

Jenna McGuigan can squat 255 lbs! This fit, buff, young woman is a sophomore at SDSU who works outJenna Squat at the ARC most days of the week. “I didn’t get it [255 lbs.] the first time I tried,” Says McGuigan, “But I got it the next time.” McGuigan is smart, systematic and focused. Reaching 255 took less than two years of training.

Jenna is a fascinating Aztec who believes that strong women are beautiful.  “With lifting weights and getting stronger I realized how empowering and enlightening it can be to feel like you can do anything.”

The structure of McGuigan’s workout involves five one-two hour sequences that she does daily: Chest day, Back day/ Deadlifts, Shoulder-Calves, Leg Day/Squats, and Arm Day. She will take off some days if she is feeling run down.  In the case of skipping days, Jenna starts back where she left off.  Jenna’s dedicated efforts include getting up at 5:30am daily, running two miles, preparing food and everything she needs for the day, and then heading campus and starting with her ARC workout.

Reaching goals in the gym is natural for McGuigan who has a vision for her future in the field of prosthetics because she loves helping people. She studies physics at SDSU, volunteers for Coaching Corps, and is working on a biomechanical research project studying the elderly with Dr. Levy in Kinesiology. She is only a sophomore but says, “I want to get the most I can from being here at SDSU.” McGuigan says that she is motivated by her professors and she feels respected by them because they recognize her drive.

11188425_10204401205933541_8171323466297958984_nMcGuigan’s greatest inspiration has come through hardship. After being infected with Lyme’s disease, McGuigan’s mom became physically handicapped in 2009, creating a sense for Jenna to never take anything for granted. It also was during this time when Jenna learned how to cook, which is a skill that helps her stay on track with her wellness regimen now. McGuigan sees working as a volunteer in coaching corps as inspirational for both herself and the kids she coaches; “Many of the kids are from families going through financial hardship and don’t have opportunities. For them, the time we spend doing sports and fitness is an important memory.” McGuigan was elected next year’s Coaching Corp president and is it any wonder that the SDSU chapter of Coaching Corps is one of the fastest growing chapters in the country?

Jenna says some of her greatest inspirations have come from realizing how good she has it and making sure she takes advantage of that good fortune. From this sense of gratitude, her personal motto is: “The rest is up to you.”

Read Jenna’s Blog: http://believeinthebeast.com/

7 Reasons to Fall in Love with Plyometrics (box jumps) [Plus Plyometric Video]

Cardio AND squats? Why not kill two birds with one stone?

Women-Muscular-Legs

  1. They’ll make your legs insanely strong.

Jumping increases your strength and muscle tone, and builds both upper body and lower body strength like crazy. Box jumps force you to jump high enough that you’re forced to use every single muscle in your legs (as well as your arms) to propel you up.

You’ll be sore after the first few times doing them—but don’t worry, your legs will quickly gain massive strength from there.

 

  1. They’ll prepare you for other sports.

basketball-jumpingPlay basketball or volleyball in your spare time, or just like to be able to jump spontaneously into the air? Box jumps will improve your vertical jump, speed, and endurance, as well as increase your coordination to help you excel in any new sport you try.

If you’ve ever tried them, you’ll know what I mean—you learn to boost your coordination quickly since it’s all too easy when you’re tired to almost miss the box entirely and hit your shins on the front edge.Yeah..Ouch.

 

  1. They blast calories and melt fat.

When you jump, your body burns 800 to 1,000 calories an hour (compare that to 200 to 300 calories burned per hour while walking).

Since high intensity jumping such as box jumps stimulates changes in mitochondria (where fuel is converted into energy), your body will burn fat before carbohydrates— good news for anyone trying to lose weight.

  1. They’ll keep you strong and balanced.

No desire to falBanner for Plyol and break your hip later on in life? Then start doing box jumps today.

Since box jumps aid in balance, they’ll protect you from injury now and into old age. Plus, they’ll keep your bones strong and healthy for life. Caution: If you have weak knees or shin splits box jumps may not be the best exercise for you.

  1. They make you look like a hardcore!

While you may never be able to jump as high as this guy, being able to jump high and repeatedly is pretty darn cool.Female athlete is performing box jumps at gym

I’d put it right up there with pull ups and the beloved burpees as one of the most hardcore exercises ever.

  1. They can be done equipment-free.

Simply find a h2011-07-17-stepups_pooja_mottligh enough bench, or some stairs, or a table if you’re that good—and get jumping.

Depending on your level, most women should start with a 14″ or 18″ box, and guys should start with a 20″ or 24″ box.

  1. They’re fun (really)!

Once you get over the fear of actually attempting them, box jumps are one of the more fun exercises to actually do.

Why? Because jumping reminds us of being kids, and playful activities keep you young.

And finally, how to actually do box jumps:

Article by: Reyanne Mustafa

Video by: Jared Kleber, Kyle Leong, Liana Tsirklin

Yoga & Pilates Choices!

Aztec Recreation offers both Yoga and Pilates in two formats: Group Fitness, which is included in Aztec Recreation membership and ENS Credit Classes. Read more to learn the difference and how to join in this Spring.

yoga wordpress banner

What’s the difference between a Group Fitness class and an ENS credit class?
Why would I want to pay 90$ for a class I can take for free?

These are common questions students may ask as both Yoga Inversions (focusing on the up-side down poses of headstand and shoulder stand) and Pilates are now offered in the ARC as ENS credit pilates ens bannerclasses for the first time in Spring 2015. If you just want to drop-in on occasion, check the Group Fitness schedule to find our weekly Yoga and Pilates classes. Group Fitness classes are a member benefit and are structured for all levels. Students with no previous experience in Yoga or Pilates attend. For members to participate, arrive prior to the class start time. For classes after 4pm on weekdays, you can get a number at the Group Fitness Studio door 15 minutes prior to the class start time.

If, on the other hand, you want to progress in your Yoga or Pilates skills, Aztec Recreation now offers Yoga Inversions and Pilates for credit. These are the benefits:

A GUARANTEED SPOT
If you are registered for an ENS Credit Class your spot is secured and you don’t need to arrive 15 minutes early.

PROGRESS
Taking a class for credit allows the class to progress. With the same people attending the class each week, the instructor doesn’t have to start over or cover the same material each class. It’s more than a workout where you build on the form and skills. By the end of the course you will be covering material far beyond what any group fitness class could achieve.

MOTIVATE
Secondly, if you are anything like me, that Monday morning yoga session sounds great until it actually comes down to getting out of my warm bed and walking to the gym. Taking the class for a grade is a total butt kicker to get you there, ready to go!

IMPROVE
So, you always wanted to do a headstand? That’s exactly one of the poses that Yoga Inversions aims to teach you. Always seeking new abdominal and core exercises? Pilates is the perfect class for you.

OPTIONS
Don’t want to take the class for a grade? Great, both Yoga Inversions and Pilates will also be offered non-credit. That way you can still reap all of the benefits of the progress and learning. To take the courses for non-credit you pay the $90 lab fee at the ARC front desk. And paying that lab fee acts just as good as a grade to get you up and ready to work out.

To join an ENS Credit Class during the add/drop time, check its status on WebPortal for seat availability. Then, contacy the instructor to see if you can get an add code. You will pay the lab fee either online or in person at the ARC. Remember, in order to take these classes, which are held inside the ARC, you must have a current ARC membership.

Article by: Jessica Lewis

Synrgy 360 Video

The Synergy 360 is the standout piece of equipment at the ARC Express. Whether you are trying toSynrgy 360 Video Screenshot add some variety to your workout or create a fun circuit the Synergy 360 has a diverse set of multipurpose attachments which will revive your routine.

 

I highlighted a few of my favorite attachments on the Synergy 360 in this video, but I would also like to point out that there are many more stations in which you could use. For example, there are alternating monkey bars in the center of the station, rock climber grips for pull-ups, and adjustable cables.

The Synergy 360 is a great way to add resistance training to your circuit, and with its many attachments its great for friends of all fitness levels to workout together. Be creative and challenge your workout!

 

Written by: Anthony Sawh