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Last week was National Student Employee Appreciation Week. The Wellness Center would like to thank all of our wonderful student employees for their continued hard work and dedication.
   
  What's Happening?
   
 

Important! Operating Hours for Reading Days thru Graduation
The end of the 2007-2008 academic year is coming to a close. Effective April 26 through May 9 the Wellness Center will close one hour earlier (11 p.m.) on Monday – Thursday. Friday and weekend hours remain unchanged. Look for more information about summer hours and parking in the next edition of Health-E-Living.

Sunsmart 5K Run/Walk for Melanoma Awareness
The Sunsmart 5K Run/Walk for Melanoma Awareness will take place on Saturday, May 3 at 7 a.m. at Crandon Park on Key Biscayne. In addition to the Run/Walk, free cancer screenings will be provided by a certified health professional or dermatologist. Get information on melanoma and free sunblock! All proceeds from the race will go to the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine Department of Dermatology and Cutaneous Surgery for research and development of new treatment options for patients with melanoma and skin cancer.For more information and to register online visit www.splitsecondtiming.com before 5 p.m. on April 25.

"True to U " Wellness Education Series
The Wellness Center is proud to promote healthy living by offering a series of programs on various topics, ranging from fitness and nutrition to stress management. The "True to U" series is open to everybody, regardless of membership status. Registration is required prior to participation in any of the programs. Visit the Wellness Suite or call 305-284-LIFE(5433) to reserve your place. Click here for a full schedule for the Spring 2008 semester. Here are some of our upcoming programs in the series:

   
   

Breathing Class
Saturday, April 26, 10 a.m. - 11 a.m.,
Classroom 2. Learn to use your breath to invigorate, increase mental acuity, manage stress, and strengthen you for life!  Classes are free.  Participants are encouraged to wear comfortable clothes and bring a cushion or mat.  Mats and yoga blocks will be provided for use during the class.

Family and Friends CPR
Monday, April 28, 1 p.m. - 3 p.m., Classroom 1. The Family & Friends CPR program teaches you how to perform CPR in adults or children, and how to help an adult or child who is choking.  This course is designed for family members, friends, and members of the general community who want to learn CPR but do not need a course completion card.  (Optional: Infant CPR and choking; Adult, Child, and Infant CPR with Mask). Cost: student members - $10, non-student members - $20, non-members - $30, and FREE for UM employees (call for details) .

Night-Time Meditation Workshop - "Learn to Meditate - Part II"
Monday, April 28, 7:30 p.m. - 9 p.m., Conference Room. Join Lunthita Duthely as she guides you through a meditation class that will help you relax and regain your strength. Participants will delve into various forms of meditation as they learn how to incorporate meditation into their daily lives. Classes are free and open to students, employees, and the community.

 
   
 
  Tips for a Healthier
 

Health-E Tidbit: Give Yourself Time
In our society, with its instant coffee, instant political polls, and instant communication, we are becoming too impatient. Parents, children, spouses, employers, and employees all lose patience with each other. The important things in life - birth, growth, love, friendship, health, and healing - all take time and require patience. You can't force a flower to grow, a child to mature, a love to blossom or a wound to heal. But if you're patient, your life will unfold before you. Maybe not exactly as you had planned or wished it to be, but perhaps even more beautifully than you could have imagined. When you feel patient, take a moment to quietly sit and slowly breath in and out. Let your body relax. The peacefulness that comes with patience will provide a strong foundation for a healthy you. Source: 365 Everyday Healthy Tips by Michael Mannion

Jumpstart Your Routine
Does your exercise routine need a swift kick in the gluteus maximus? It's easy to get bored with the same old exercises every day. Why not try a few single arm snatches?

   
 
Step 1
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A single arm dumbbell snatch can be executed in two ways. First it can be executed in a slow step-by-step (as shown above) manner using a lighter weight to ensure proper form and a decreased incident of injury. However for many a snatch is a weightlifting term that refers to lifting a dumbbell or other weight from down near the floor to an arms-extended position overhead in a single, fluid motion. This is usually done with a heavier weight. The single arm snatch explained below is executed in a slow step-by-step manner.

Starting Position
Stand with a single dumbbell held in one hand and your feet slightly more than shoulder width apart. Hold the dumbbell so that your arm is hanging straight down and your palm is facing inward. Squat down until your knees are bent at a 90-degree angle, holding the weight in one arm between your legs. Keep your head up and your back straight; do not hunch over. Hold your other arm off to the outside of your leg to help counterbalance the weight of the dumbbell.

From the starting position, you will start rising out of the squat position while simultaneously pulling arm up in an upward rowing motion. Once the hand reaches chest height the weight is then pressed overhead in a shoulder press motion. The entire action is then reversed lowering the weight back down to the shoulder and then into starting position while descending back into the squat

 
 

 

 
Ask a Trainer
Have a question you'd like answered by a personal trainer? We're here to help.
   
 

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Q: I weight train and do cardio frequently and have relatively low body fat. However, according to the BMI chart I am overweight. What is the validity of height-weight charts?

A: Body Mass Index is a common way to access body composition by means of a mathematic formula utilizing height and weight. Results from BMI and other height-weight charts are commonly used to indicate risk of certain disease states and also to place people into various categories: underweight <18.5, normal weight 18.5-24.9, overweight 25-29.9 and obese at 30 or greater. Unfortunately, this method has limitations. Since BMI only uses height and weight and does not take body fat into consideration results can often be skewed. Athletes or those who have a muscular build are often reported to have a higher BMI than what is accurate. Muscle is denser than fat, so someone may fall into the overweight category when then actually have very low body fat. Additionally, someone with very low muscle density, which may occur with older populations, may report a BMI number that is lower than accurate. All in all, BMI is a very general method of assessing body composition that includes some limitations. One of the more accurate ways to measure body composition, specifically body fat percentage, is underwater weighing or skin fold testing.

 
   
 

Have questions for a trainer? E-mail them to wellnesscenter@miami.edu and you might see your answer in our next issue.

Did You Know?
Interested in science-based fitness facts? Our resident exercise physiologist and assistant director of fitness, will share fitness and nutrition information that is fact, not fiction.

   
   

It is clear that regular exercise has numerous health benefits including improving your blood pressure. But did you know that when exercising to reduce blood pressure, working harder is not necessarily better? In fact, current recommendations suggest that lower intensity exercise for longer durations may be more beneficial at reducing blood pressure than higher intensity workouts. If your goal is to reduce your blood pressure, a brisk walk of 40 minutes should do the trick. Don't like walking? Then choose a cardiovascular exercise that you can perform comfortably for 40 minutes.

For blood pressure lowering affect, try to exercise daily. After exercise there is a brief period of time in which your blood pressure drops to levels lower than what it was before the workout. The accumulation of these post-exercise reductions may lead to more permanent, sustained decreases in blood pressure.

 
 
 

In the News

 

Has life just been too busy to read the Health and Fitness section of your newspaper? Let us provide you with a few highlights of what's made the news lately.

The DNA of Antioxidants
Hardly a week goes by without news of antioxidants' health-promoting benefits. Experts believe these nutritional substances may help prevent heart disease, fight certain cancers, ward off dementia, and even slow certain aging processes. There are thousands of antioxidants found in fruits, vegetables, whole grains, nuts, legumes, meats, poultry, and fish. Even foods once not known for being especially healthful, such as chocolate, coffee, and red wine, are now recognized as potent delivery systems for beneficial antioxidants. However, the growing number of antioxidants being discovered (so far, there are more than 4,000 known flavonoids, and that's only one class of antioxidant) and the continual discoveries of new antioxidant food sources cloud understanding of these substances. "Most people know that calcium is good for bone health, for example, but they don't know specifically what antioxidants do or how these chemicals benefit human health," says Milton Stokes, R.D., a spokesperson for the American Dietetic Association. Read on as we simplify the latest science to answer those questions for you.

Antioxidants 101
We need oxygen to live. It travels from the lungs to every corner of the body, helping cells metabolize food into energy. But oxygen has a downside. Normally, the molecules in our cells have a full set of electrons, which keep them stable (think of them as a fortress surrounding a castle). But when these molecules come into contact with oxygen (i.e., they are "oxidized") they lose an electron, converting to an unstable type of molecule known as a free radical. "Free radicals, if left unchecked, assault whatever cell constituents are nearby, including proteins, fats, and DNA," says Joe Vinson, Ph.D., a professor of chemistry at the University of Scranton. "Once those molecules are attacked, their structure and function are changed and they don't work as well."

Ingeniously, Mother Nature created an instant free-radical fix. Antioxidants disable free radicals by donating electrons to replace those lost during oxidation. Some antioxidants can be manufactured by your body; others must be obtained from food. Dietary antioxidants fall into two groups. The first is made up of certain familiar vitamins and minerals, like vitamins C and E, selenium, and zinc, that have antioxidant capabilities. The second consists of the thousands of organic compounds found in plant foods that have functions like giving grapes their purple skins or cabbages their slightly sulfurous odor. They have names like anthocyanidins, catechins, lutein, quercetin, and resveratrol.

Preventing oxidation may have earned antioxidants their name, but we now know these substances do more than disable free radicals. Antioxidants also help reduce inflammation, keep arteries flexible, and preserve the genetic material every cell contains to prevent mutation. Each antioxidant also offers unique perks. For example, flavonoids in berries may help improve artery health, while lutein in spinach may help prevent macular degeneration.

Eating for Optimal Nutrition
When it comes to dietary antioxidants, variety and timing are the key points. Experts agree-while there's no formal recommendation for the amount of antioxidants we need-the best way to obtain them is from a varied diet. The reason? Antioxidants work synergistically and may provide a greater benefit together than they do individually. Consider a recent European Journal of Clinical Nutrition study that found the total antioxidants in a person's diet had a more substantial impact on plasma beta-carotene levels than the amount of beta-carotene in a person's diet. Researchers surmise other antioxidants pitch in to "spare" beta-carotene so it can work harder when it's needed. The same is true for other antioxidant vitamins. By consuming antioxidant-rich foods, you end up protecting or recycling compounds like vitamins C and E, increasing their levels so they're more available to function.

Unlike many other nutrients, you can't store antioxidants, so you have to keep replenishing the supply. "The important thing is getting antioxidants throughout the day and keeping levels high because they go down very quickly," Vinson says. Even small amounts can provide significant benefits. When German researchers recently looked at the impact of small amounts of polyphenols in dark chocolate on blood pressure, they found that just 0.2 ounces of dark chocolate shaved three systolic points and two diastolic points off hypertensive subjects' blood pressure.

As for supplements? Experts aren't as enthusiastic. Supplements are not substitutes for a healthy diet. "People tend to focus on a single nutrient because that's what research may be highlighting," says Jeffery Blumberg, Ph.D., director of the Antioxidants Research Laboratory at Tufts University. "But the benefits of eating lots of fruits, vegetables, and whole grains can't be overemphasized. You need to have diversity in your diet, and there is no pill that provides it all."

The unknowns about antioxidants provide another reason to focus on food sources. "Because the science of nutrition is still evolving, we have to accept that everything there is to know isn't known," Stokes says. "Until then, just eat healthful whole foods."

Sources: CNN