Thursday, May 29, 2008

Cardio Max

By Courtney Westlake


It's a common misconception that 30 minutes of constant jogging or stepping at one pace is the best exercise you can get. In truth, your body gets the most ideal workout when you reach all different levels of your heart rate.

"Interval training is important when you exercise so you're not at that steady heart rate zone; you want to dip into all levels of your heart rate during your workout," said Amanda Jillson, assistant director of fitness and instructional programs at the TRAC.

To give people a try at interval training, the TRAC will be offering a new group fitness class called Cardio Max, which starts Monday, June 9 and runs throughout July.

Cardio Max will be held in Fitness Area 1, Jillson said. Participants in the class will use ellipticals, treadmills, recumbent bikes or upright bikes for their cardio routine, and an instructor will guide participants through the workout.

"Participants in our P90X class like being out on the floor and not just in the fitness room, so we decided to bring in Cardio Max," Jillson said. "It's an alternative to group exercise classes in the fitness room."

In the class, participants will select a machine of their choice and warm up for two or three minutes at a beginning speed. Then the pace will be increased to mild, moderate and finally, a sprint to achieve a certain stride, RPM or mile per hour.

The class will run from 12:30 p.m. until about 1 p.m. and is a "great workout in such a short amount of time," Jillson said.

Interval training burns more calories than if exercising at a constant speed on treadmill or bike, so you want to dip into the different zones of your heart rate if your goal is to burn more calories, Jillson said.

"You're exerting more energy, therefore burning more calories and more fat in a shorter amount of time," she said. "This is a great class for someone who wants a great workout and wants to be told what to do, instead of getting on a machine and not knowing what to do except plugging away at same speed for 30 minutes."

Monday, May 12, 2008

Home Exercises

By Courtney Westlake


The TRAC has provided a phenomenal facility for those wanting to improve and maintain their overall wellness through its many different and useful features.

But with summer coming, many might not find time to make it into the TRAC and members of the campus community like students and faculty are not usually on campus, so the TRAC wants to offer some exercises you can perform in the comfort of your home.

"The semester is finally coming to an end and it's important that we continue to the exercises we have learned and done all semester," said Amanda Jillson, assistant director of fitness and instructional programs.

The best workout has a good mix between aerobic and anaerobic exercises, Jillson said. By doing a blend of exercises like jumping jacks, squats, "up-downs" and lunges, a person can increase their muscular strength, add in a little cardio and get your body moving.

"When you do a squat, you want to make sure that your feet are shoulder-width apart and bend down and your ankles and knees are in alignment. You want to make sure knees never extend past your toes," Jillson said.

To do a lunge, step forward with one foot and lunge straight down toward the floor. Then push yourself back up to your standing position. You can continue walking across the room in this manner or perform the exercise in place.

"The lunge works your quadriceps, hamstrings, glutes and calves; it's a whole lower body exercise," Jillson said.

An "up-down" is also known as a burpee. To perform an up-down, stand in a standing position with your feet shoulder-width apart. Squat down to the floor and put your hands on the floor. Extend your feet back so that your body is in a position that looks like a pushup, Jillson said. Then, from that position, push yourself back up to the start position.

Jumping jacks are another beneficial and simple exercise, and one that many use to warm up before their workouts. Start with your arms against your body and your legs together. Then extend your arms above your head while at the same time jumping with your feet spread outward.

"A jumping jack is more of a cardio exercise, and it increases your heart rate, so it's an anaerobic exercise, whereas a squat or a lunge is more of an aerobic exercise," Jillson said.

It's beneficial to throw both anaerobic and aerobic exercises into your workout, Jillson said.

"This kind of combination is the best way to get your muscles going and your blood flowing, and it burns the most amount of calories in the shortest time," she said. "You could easily be doing these at home or coming over to the TRAC during your lunch hour."