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Last week the Wellness Center staff held a barbeque to thank our wonderful student employees for all their hard work over the summer. We appreciate all that they do!
  What's Happening?

Wellness Center Parking Permits
Wellness Center parking permits issued during the 2007-2008 academic year expire on August 15. Permits for the 2008-2009 academic year go on sale in the membership office on Monday, August 4. The cost is $88. UM students and faculty/staff who work on the Coral Gables campus are NOT eligible to purchase a Wellness Center permit. If you have any questions please call the membership office at 305-284-8540.

Blood Drive
The Wellness Center is hosting a blood drive in the atrium on Monday and Tuesday, August 4 and 5, from 4:30 p.m. to 9 p.m. Donors will receive a T-shirt, a coupon for a Subway sub and a thank you pack. Save a life—donate blood!

Wellness Center Building Hours for August
The Wellness Center will resume normal hours on Saturday, August 23. Normal hours of operation are Monday through Thursday, 6 a.m. to midnight; Friday 6 a.m. to 11 p.m.; Saturday and Sunday, 8 a.m. to 10 p.m. Exceptions: the Wellness Center will close at 4 p.m. on Thursday, August 28 so that all staff can attend the first UM game in Dolphin Stadium (go Canes!). The Wellness Center will close at 5 p.m. on Friday, August 29 for employee training. Look for reminders posted around the facility.

Summer Only Special—10% Discount on Massage!
If your body is sending you an SOS (Stamp Out Stress) then take advantage of the Coral Gables Wellness Center’s SOS (Summer Only Special) offer and receive a 10% discount on a 50-minute massage. This special offer applies to non-student members and non-members. For your convenience, massage appointments are available in the morning, afternoon and evening Monday through Friday. To make an appointment, call the Wellness Suite at 305-284-LIFE (5433). Don’t delay—this SOS offer expires August 15, 2008!

"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 the full schedule. Here are some of our upcoming programs in the series:


Meditation Workshop
Tuesday, August 5, 7:30 p.m. - 9 p.m., or Thursday, August 7, 11:45 a.m. - 12:45 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.


Parking Information
Please note the BankUnited North, VIP, and Serpentine lots may be closed for the following events:

  • August 1: Men's Basketball Camp
  • August 3: Funky Da Truth and Others concert at 7 p.m.
  • August 4-5: Miami Hispanic Pastor's Association
  • August 17: Back to School Jam
  • August 21-25: Fall Orientation

For more specific parking information, please visit the Parking bulletin board to the right of the Wellness Center exit gates.

  Tips for a Healthier

Health-E Tidbit: Give Yourself a Helping Hand
If you work with your hands all day - especially at a keyboard - they may get stiff and tense after hours of work. But you can easily relax them in only a few minutes. Try massaging the front and back of your right hand with the thumb and fingers of your left hand. Gently massage the palm of your hand with your thumb and the back of your hand with your fingers. Now use your right hand to massage your left. Another stress buster involves grasping the four fingers of one hand with the other and gently bending your hand back at the wrist, holding them in that position for about five seconds. Making a tight fist and then opening and closing your hand a number of times also relives hand tension. 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 one arm medicine ball push-ups?

Step 1

Step 2




The one arm medicine ball pushup works the chest unilaterally, one side at a time, placing more effort on the side that's lower so as to help isolate the muscles of that side. The effort required to keep from tilting makes this a full-body exercise, engaging the core, legs, chest, shoulders, and back.

Step 1: Start with arms extended with hands directly below your shoulders, and legs, hips, back, shoulders, and head all in a straight line. Leave one hand securely on the ground and position the other hand on top of the medicine ball. In all other ways, however, your push-up position should be normal—do not tip side to side or droop through your center.

Step 2: Lower until you can feel tension in both sides of your chest. Do not tilt your shoulders, even though your hands are not level, the rest of your body should be. Your chest should descend parallel to the floor, not at an angle. Engage the core to keep from drooping through your center.

Step 3: From the bottom of the push-up, press back up to the starting position, trying to keep the push even through both sides of the chest and shoulders. Do not rely too heavily on the hand on the floor. Hold for one full second at the top of your push-up, so that your rotators have to work to stabilize over the ball.

Modification: To reduce stress to the elbow start with a medicine ball of a small diameter. Increase the distance between your feet to increase stability.



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


Q: What causes shin splints and how do I get rid of them?

A:Shin splints are an inflammation of the muscle and/or tendons of the lower leg. The symptoms are pain on the inner or outer side of the shinbone (tibia) in the front part of the leg. Sometimes, it comes on very slowly and eventually becomes quite severe. Shin splints are a type of "overuse injuries" that occur most commonly in runners or aggressive walkers.

A primary culprit causing shin splints is a sudden increase in distance or intensity of a workout or just starting to workout in general. This increase in muscle work can be associated with inflammation of the lower leg muscles, specifically those muscles used in dorsiflexion, lifting the foot up towards the shin. However other walking/running patterns may also attribute to the problem such as: a tight Achilles tendon or calve muscle, weak ankle muscles or pronation (excessively rolling the foot inward onto the arch).

The best cure is to rest. It also helps to wear supportive shoes while exercising and stretching your legs in an effective flexibility program before and after exercising. Flexibility exercises help to reduce muscle soreness and the chance of injury. Be sure to thoroughly stretch the muscles of the calve and shin. Once the pain has subsided slowly introduce exercises aimed at strengthening the muscles of the shin and ankle.


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 associate director of fitness, will share fitness and nutrition information that is fact, not fiction.


Cardiovascular fitness is quantified by a term called VO2max (maximum volume of oxygen utilized). The higher a person's VO2max, the more physical work they can perform.  Cardiovascular exercise is the best way to improve your VO2. Did you know that bouts of higher intensity exercise are more effective at improving VO2 than lower intensities? A recent study published in Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise compared changes in VO2 among individuals assigned to one of four groups of varying exercise intensity. The total volume of exercise was matched for all exercising groups. The exercise protocols consisted of moderate intensity (50% for 60 min., 4 days/week), vigorous intensity (75% for 40 min., 4 days/week), near-maximal intensity (90-100% for 5 min., followed 50% for 5 min repeated for a total of 25 minutes 3 days/week), or no exercise. Measured improvements in VO2 increased as the exercise intensity of the assigned protocol increased. These results suggest that the shorter, higher intensity protocols may be more effective for increasing cardiovascular fitness than longer lower intensity exercise.  However, it is not recommended that the majority of an exercise program should consist of high intensity exercise. This type of exercise is difficult to sustain for low to moderate fit individuals and may increase the risk of injury.


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.

New Study Shows Food Diary Can Double Weight Loss
In a study published in the August issue of the American Journal of Preventive Medicine, researchers from Kaiser Permanente’s Center for Health Research in Portland, Ore., found that keeping a daily food diary doubled weight lost among overweight men and women with cardiovascular risk factors (high blood pressure and/or elevated cholesterol).

Diet, food diary, and support groups
Nearly 1,700 patients were enrolled in the study and were put on a heart-healthy D.A.S.H. (Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension) regimen, which is rich in whole grains, fruits and vegetables, and potassium, and low in sodium.

In addition, subjects attended weekly group sessions and exercised at moderate intensity levels for at least 30 minutes a day. They were also instructed to keep diet and exercise journals. Individuals who did not record what they ate lost about eight pounds, whereas those who kept daily food diaries lost up to 17.5 pounds in five months. The average weight lost for the entire group was 13 pounds. “The more food records people kept, the more weight they lost,” says lead researcher Jack Hollis, PhD. “Simply writing down what you eat encourages eating less.”

As one of the largest and longest-running weight-loss-maintenance trials ever conducted, this study gives support to a practice that dietitians have been using for years. It’s also one of the few studies to recruit a large percentage (44%) of African Americans as participants. African Americans have a higher risk of diabetes and heart disease, conditions that are aggravated by being overweight. In this study, the majority of African American participants lost at least nine pounds, a higher number than in previous studies.

The write way to lose
Food journals can be written in notebooks or on Post-its, or you can go high-tech and use an online program that offers lots of bells and whistles to keep you motivated. Some people prefer recording their problem meals or snacks (i.e., record all dinners and every between-meal bite) and others prefer to have checklists each day for their fruit and veggie goals, daily glasses of water, or 30 minutes of exercise. It is also suggested that you record the time when you eat, and how hungry you are on a scale of 1 to 10 before and after eating. This helps you get a better understanding of your cravings and food habits, and figure out whether you’re really eating when (and why) you should.

Overall, food journals serve two purposes. First, only those who really want to lose weight will actually use them regularly, so it automatically separates those with a commitment to getting healthier from those without the drive. Secondly, it helps put the brakes on mindless munching and makes us think before we eat or drink.

The Kaiser Permanente researchers set forth these guidelines for weight loss, based on their study conclusions:

  • Keep daily records of food and beverages consumed and minutes exercised.
  • Eat about 500 fewer calories each day.
  • Follow the D.A.S.H. guidelines.
  • Exercise a total of 180 minutes each week (e.g., 30 minutes for six days per week).
  • Women: Have no more than one drink per day.
  • Men: Have no more than two drinks per day.

Source: Health