Want to Live Longer?

blog1 (1) By: Xylia Lydgate

With a busy lifestyle, it’s easy to fall prey to a sedentary lifestyle. While there are countless factors that contribute to the increased risk of health-related issues, one factor that is often overlooked is cardiorespiratory fitness. This is something I notice in myself when I go weeks or even months with minimal physical activity.

I’ve observed that when I try to get back into an exercise regime after a long absence, I will have a more difficult time catching my breath, my muscles will feel more fatigued, I will feel less mentally motivated—and I’m only 21 years old! Although I’d like to blame this on my full school and work schedule, I know it is inexcusable to not exercise.

One of my favorite videos on the benefits of exercise is called “23 ½ hours: What is the best thing we can do for our health?” by Dr. Mike Evans. He presents a unique case backed with scientific research of how just 30 minutes of physical activity a day can significantly reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease, stroke, diabetes, high blood pressure and increase longevity. In fact, he shares several studies indicating “low fitness” to be the strongest predictor of death.

While this all sounds like common sense, we may find it awkward to fit in as little as 30 minutes of activity each day. Although level of intensity and length of time contribute to additional benefits, your 30 minutes of activity doesn’t need to be anything strenuous to reap significant health benefits. Exercise can also be done in three sessions of 10 minutes for equal benefit. At Campus Rec, we offer over twenty different 30-minute workout ideas including weights, agility, TRX, cardio, rock climbing and swimming. These can be accessed online or in-person throughout each floor of the gym.

In a society where there is a strong presence of advertisements for over-the-counter medications and where literature on health is often funded and influenced by large drug companies, it is easy to see why many Americans turn to medicine as a quick remedy for all their health issues. However, research shows that exercise is one of the best medicines. As Dr. Evans put it, do your best to limit your sitting and sleeping to just 23 ½ hours a day.

Today is the day to commit to an active lifestyle.

Fitness for Haters

blog1 (1) By: Xylia Lydgate

As the Marketing and Outreach student coordinator for Campus Rec, part of my job is encouraging students to use our facilities and programs. When talking with students at the Rec Center’s information table, I encounter many fitness haters. Oftentimes I notice it is because they have misconceptions about the programs we offer and how easy they are to join.

I’ll often highlight certain features we have such as an indoor track, an Olympic lifting platform, a swimming pool, etc. While I think these are valuable resources, I’ll encounter students who are quick to say, “I don’t like running,” “I don’t lift weights,” or “I don’t know how to swim.” In my mind, all I’m hearing is “I don’t” or “I can’t.” It blows my mind how some people can be so bitter towards recreational fitness. So how do I respond to this?

In these cases, I’ll stop myself and ask students probing questions such as, “What do you like to do for fun recreationally?” “Is there anything you’ve been wanting try?” “What aspect of fitness do you find most challenging?” I notice it’s these types of questions where they pause and take a moment to reflect on what it is that they actually enjoy doing to stay active. In most cases, they’ll be open to some of our special programs such as Rock Climbing 101, SwimX, Dance-A-Thon, and many more.

Right now, I am encouraging everyone who wants to explore activities through the Rec Center to browse through our Schedule & Events page on the Campus Rec website, or view the current Fall 2016 Program Schedule.

Campus Rec is for everyone; all shapes, all sizes, all abilities. If you think you hate fitness, then you’ve come to the right place. We only have one body, so why not take care of it now?

Working Out With the Boys

blog1 (1)  By: Xylia Lydgate

Stepping foot into a weight room for the first time is often intimidating, but imagine being one of several women in a weight room predominantly occupied by men.

You see racks of daunting weights in every size, machines with strange handles and nooks; then of course, you glance over and see a large heavy-lifter grunting with every breath, sweat dripping and veins pulsing through his neck. You think to yourself, are there even instructions anywhere?  Then you realize you probably should’ve come up with a game plan.

As a freshman, I avoided the Campus Rec weight room altogether. In fact, it took me an entire term before I built the courage to step foot onto the second floor of the gym. My first time walking into the weight room, I scanned the area and realized I had no idea what to do. Any machine that I couldn’t figure out from afar, I didn’t touch. The only exercise I knew how to do with free weights was bicep curls, which I didn’t dare attempt since the free weight space was crowded by big college guys. It wasn’t until a friend introduced me to the weight room that I began to feel more comfortable using weights. I started to follow fitness videos on Instagram and became inspired to make weight training a critical part of my workout routine.

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Although there are still more men, I’ve been noticing more and more women in the weight room. In fact, the Rec Center offers a free program called Women on Weights that is designed to introduce women to a variety of weight training equipment, proper form and technique, and more.

I don’t mind being outnumbered by “the guys” anymore. In fact, there’s something empowering about being a woman in the weight room and performing the same exercises as men.

While the “fight or flight” response may naturally kick in during intimidating situations, continue on to do what you set out to do. Embrace it. Challenge yourself to do the unexpected. Lift weights!

A COLLEGE STUDENT’S PLAYGROUND


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By: Xylia Lydgate

I have been coming to Campus Rec for a little over two years now but only recently watched (and rewatched) this video— gives me goosebumps every time! What strikes me most about it is how it really accentuates the inclusivity at Campus Rec. It is more than just a building or a gym; it’s a community that welcomes all students and community members with open arms.

As a Campus Rec employee, I find myself here all the time; partly because I work here but also because it’s a place where I can relax and unwind after a long day. When I’m done with school and work, I stay and hit the Fitness Center. I’ve never been much of the athletic or “sporty” type— and for the record, I’m probably the most uncoordinated person when it comes to hitting, throwing or dodging balls— but I simply enjoy working out on my own. Moving from the cardio floor to the weight room, I become easily lost in the tempo of my workout routine, the catchy tunes of my playlist, the rhythm of counting my reps, and the constant beating of basketballs hitting wooden courts fade into the soundscape.

There’s a place for everyone here, even if you’re not a “gym junkie.” Hit the courts and play a youthful game of H-O-R-S-E, challenge your friends to a match of table tennis or grab a couple swim noodles and hose down a friend in the pool (yes, they do serve as multi-functional water guns). Of course ya can’t forget about our TV lounge and those comfy couches in the locker rooms! So the next time you’re waiting between classes or need a place to “hang out,” drop by the Rec and make yourself at home.

How do you like to play?