Posts Tagged ‘fitness staff’

Boot Camp

Join us for boot camp on Monday and Wednesday mornings at 7am. Click on the link below for more information!

bootcamp-red (3)

Effects of Exercise on Sleep

When was the last time you sacrificed your sleep when you ran close to a deadline? Probably not too long ago. Sleep is one of the most neglected aspects of health, perhaps because many think the benefits out-weight the consequences. Inadequate sleep is now recognized as a contributing factor to many health conditions such as obesity, cardiovascular disease and diabetes (Division of Sleep Medicine, Harvard Medical School). Inadequate sleep is not the only problem, either. Poor sleep is  also a concern for many people.

Exercise can be helpful in getting better quality and increased amount of sleep. Leopoldino et al. investigated the effects of an exercise program based on Pilates Matwork on sleep quality over a 12 week period. The population, which had been sedentary prior to the study, experienced improvements in quality of sleep and even in overall quality of life (Leopoldino et al, 2013).

Different types and durations of exercise may have similar effects as well. So if you’re feeling short on time or stressed, do not sacrifice your sleep. Additionally, if the quality of your sleep is being compromised, make sure your exercise program is up to par.


“Sleep and Health” Division of Sleep Medicine at Harvard Medical School. 4 April 2013 <;

Leopoldino AAO, Avelar NCP, Passos GB, Santana NAP, Teixeira VP, de Lima VP, de Melo Vitorino DF. Effect of Pilates on sleep quality and quality of life of sedentary population. J Bodyw Mov Ther 2013; 17:5-10.



Body Weight and Functional Exercises

Who says you need equipment to work out? Body weight exercises are a great way to maintain a healthy lifestyle, especially when things like equipment, money, location of the gym can be very limiting. Since this is a time in our economy when most individuals are looking to limit spending, this is a good way to stay fit without a big investment.  As one of the top ten fitness trends expected in 2013, reported by, body weight exercises can be used to promote strength as well as the cardiovascular system. Higher intensity moves and interval type training can be done with just body weight as well.

Functional training is also one of the top ten expected trends this year. Additionally, functional training and body weight exercises can go hand in hand.  In a recent study, researchers investigated the effects of functional training on the dynamic alignment of the leg and overall strength and functional performance. After 8 weeks of functional stabilization exercises, the training group showed improvements in dynamic alignment, lower limb strength and functional performance over the control group (De Marche et al, 2012).

Whether you like to squat, lunge, do push-ups, dips or core work, get up and move that body weight!


De Marche Baldon R, Lobato DFM, Carvalho LP, Wun PYL, Santiago, PRP, Serrao FV. Effects of functional stabilization training on lower limb biomechanics in women. Med Sci Sports Exerc. 2012;44(1):135-145.

Warner, Jennifer. “Top 10 Fitness Trends Picked for 2013.” WebMD, 15 Feb 2013 <http://;

Where Do I Start?

We’ve all heard that resistance training is good for us and for our future health. But has anyone ever instructed you on how to go about resistance training? There is a lot to think about in creating a resistance training program, such as, frequency, technique, rest, volume, progression, and more.

It has been proven that resistance training, when performed correctly, can improve all components of muscular fitness: strength, power, and endurance. In addition, resistance training can help prevent chronic diseases such as osteoporosis, diabetes, and obesity (1).

Here are the America College of Sports Medicine recommended guidelines for general muscular fitness in regards to resistance training (1):

  • Include all major muscle groups and resistance train 2-3 days/week
  • 2-4 sets/exercise and 8-12 repetitions/set with 2-3 minutes of rest between sets
  • Technique is very important to prevent injury
  • Progression is a key part of developing a habitual training program

These components are not typically known by all. Thus, it is very important to seek advice from a certified personal trainer so they can help you get started on the right foot! The certified trainers at the Rec. Sports & Fitness Center are very knowledgeable, experienced, and will help you develop a program and fits your goals (of course teaching you about proper form and safety).

Or try our new program this fall called “Strength in Numbers” which will teach you that strength is based on personal progress and you will learn how to create a personalized strength program that fits your goals. This program runs for 6 weeks and starts Oct. 1st.


1) ACSM Guidelines for Exercise Testing and Prescription. 2010. 8th Edition. P. 165-171.

Lower Extremity Foam Rolling

Stop by the Fitness Staff office for more instruction on Self Myofascial Release

Improve Your Performance

You work out at the gym, lifting weights, performing some stretches, and also working on the cardio machines.  This is a typical way to get your fitness done for the day and the week.  Improve your health, increase your fitness levels, and escalate your performance.  Also, make sure to add in some exercises which challenge yourself in other ways:

  • Speed, agility, and quickness – use the agility ladder, perform some sprints on your bicycle, go dancing for 60 minutes or so instead of riding that stairstepper
  • More powerful exercises – hire a trainer to learn how to perform cleans and other Olympic lifts – these are fantastic exercises to help improve your neuromotor ability

Functional fitness is a continuum of exercises.  From the lower-end exercises like the silly bicep curl to the higher end of the spectrum which could include snatches (Olympic lift).  Everyone is their own exercise expert, usually based upon what they read in a magazine, see on TV, learn from their friends.  A lot of what is “functional” depends on what you are training for.  Make sure to seek professional advice so you don’t waste your precious time each day/week/month.  Use what works well for you to maximize your time and optimize your performance.

2012 Spring Semester

It is almost here!  Out fantastic Fitness Staff will have some excellent personal training packages available for you this semester.  Michell Knurr will is kicking it off with her “Move It to Lose It” weight loss program.  You can also look forward to our Women-Specific Weight Training Program with Becky Miros which starts in February.

Kevin Erickson will have some functional training workshops in January, and look for more programming from him the rest of the semester.  Check our website for more information!

Of course we’ll have the Instructional Program schedule up shortly.  Our Group Fitness schedule is ready to go.  Check it out!

Additionally, we’ll have some more research articles for you this Spring semester from our Fitness Staff.

Happy New Year!