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Congratulations to our student employees of the semester pictured above! We are proud of the great example they set for our entire student employee staff.
  What's Happening?

Special Note: This will be our last issue of the year. Health-E-Living will begin publication again at the beginning of the spring semester.

Happy Holidays!
The wellness staff wishes all our members a happy and healthy holiday season. This time of year can be joyous as well as stressful. Remember to take care of yourself and make time for your workouts, a relaxing massage, or a soak in the spa. For tips on how to survive the holidays, check out the “Holiday Survival Guide” on our homepage.

Herbert Wellness Center Winter Break Schedule
For your convenience, the Herbert Wellness Center is only closed two days during the winter break; Christmas Day and New Years Day. However, operating hours are slightly reduced. A complete schedule can be found on the website (www.miami.edu/wellness). You can also find the schedules for group exercise, yoga, and studio cycling on the Herbert Wellness Center website. If you have any questions about operating hours or class schedules, please call 305-284-8500.

The administrative offices and the wellness suite follow the University holiday calendar. In addition to being closed on the weekends, the offices are closed December 24, 25, 28, 31, and January 1.

Facility Access for UM Students
UM students who are registered for the spring semester and elected the wellness fee will have continuous access to the facility. Students who graduate in December may purchase a recent alumni membership at the membership office located on the second floor, room 210. If you have any questions about membership to the facility, please call the office at 305-284-8540.

Have Company Over the Holidays? Bring them to the Herbert Wellness Center!
If you have friends and/or family visiting during the holidays, consider purchasing a guest pass booklet. The cost is only $75 for 10 passes—a 25% reduction from the daily guest fee of $10 for non-student members. For more information, call the membership office at 305-284-8540 or stop by room 210, Monday - Friday from 8:30 a.m. to 8 p.m.

Give the Gift of Wellness!
Herbert Wellness Center gift cards are available for purchase in any denomination. Gift cards can be used for everything from a massage to personal training to membership (must meet eligibility requirements). The only exception is the Juice Bar, which is operated by Chartwells. You can purchase a gift card at the front desk, wellness suite, or the membership office.

Massage Discount for UM Faculty and Staff
UM faculty and staff are eligible to receive a 10% discount on a 50-minute massage at the Herbert Wellness Center. In addition, UM employees who are not members of the Center will receive a day-pass to enjoy free use of the facility on the day of their massage appointment. The licensed massage therapists on staff, one male and two female, are available weekdays for morning, afternoon, and evening appointments. Relieve stress or just pamper yourself - make a massage appointment today! Call the Wellness Suite at 305-284-LIFE(5433).


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

  • December 12: Men's Basketball vs. South Carolina State at 7:30 p.m.
  • December 13-16: Commencement setup
  • December 17: Commencement at 10 a.m.
  • December 21: Men's Basketball vs. North Carolina A&T at 7:30 p.m.
  • December 28-29: Women's Basketball Tournament at 5 p.m. and 7 p.m.
  • December 30: Men's Basketball vs. Bethune Cookman at 7:30 p.m.
  • December 31: Women's Basketball vs. North Florida at 2 p.m.

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

  Tips for a Healthier

Health-E Tidbit: Increased Energy
Holidays can be filled with laughter and joy, but as demands on our time increase and unrealistic expectations begin to build, they often become anxiety ridden.  Here are 5 simple things you can do to deal with the stress.

  1. Exercise before you leave your bedroom: Before you leave your bedroom in the morning, do some stretches, yoga, or calisthenics. Get them done before anyone knows you are awake and you have them out of the way.  It’s a great way to start the day!
  2. Take a walk: An after-dinner stroll can be just the thing to escape the chaos of the holidays and re-invigorate you. You can even make it a family tradition -- just ask if anyone wants to join you for a stroll.
  3. Don't stress about parking: Can't find a close parking spot at the store?  Don’t even bother! Park away from all of the chaos and take the opportunity to walk. You'll save yourself some stress and burn some extra calories.
  4. Laugh and be a kid again: Get outside to play with the kids. Take the family ice skating.  Play a game of tag.  Ride your bike.  Talk a walk and go see your friends…invite them along.  And laugh -- laughing is a great tension reliever.  It burns calories, reduces stress and makes you feel better all around.
  5. Peace & quiet: Take time for yourself.  Spending time with friends and family is an essential part of the holiday, but it's also important to have at least five minutes to yourself to relax. Practice your deep breathing exercises when you feel stressed out.

Source: www.recsports.berkeley.edu

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 abdominal backstrokes?


Step 1

Step 2
Step 3



This is an intermediate exercise that is great for anyone that needs to improve core strength and endurance. The movement pattern also may help to improve shoulder mobility.

Step 1: Begin in a crunch position with the shoulders off the ground. Check to make sure you are in good postural alignment with the shoulders depressed and retracted, spine straight, and core engaged. Place your hands to the side with palms facing up.

Step 2: While holding the crunch, perform a backstroke motion with one hand. Allow the eyes to follow the hand motion.

Step 3 : Once the hand motion has been completed alternate sides.

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


Q: No matter how hard I try I can never seem to keep the weight off during the holiday season. Do you have any advice on how to slim down this time of year?

A: My first piece of advice is don't be too hard on yourself. Statistics show that Americans gain anywhere from 1-10 pounds between Thanksgiving and New Years, ingesting an additional 620 calories per day. This is a common problem and unfortunately there are numerous factors working against you. Here are the major problems: food focused celebrations, stress, exhaustion, emotional eating, and reduction of exercise. It’s a recipe for disaster. There are ways around this dangerous time of year but you must be realistic. This is not the best time to try to lose weight. Aim for weight maintenance and healthy living. You can achieve this goal if you practice awareness, manage stress, and plan ahead.

  • Practice Awareness: It is easy to get lost in the sea of holiday parties. When you attend these functions be conscious of how much you are eating. More importantly, be aware of how much you are drinking. Drinking can cloud your judgment, increasing your likelihood to make poor food decisions. This time of year is also a good time to start an exercise journal. The holiday season is a busy time and journaling your activity will keep you aware of your exercise frequency.
  • Stress Management: One way to keep stress at a minimum is to lower your expectations about holidays. Ask for help to lighten your holiday schedule or just learn to say "no" to activities or parties that aren't in your best interest. Another way to deal with emotions is to make sure exercise remains a priority throughout the season.
  • Plan Ahead: When attending a holiday party prepare healthy dishes and stick with those. It also helps to eat a little before your arrive so you aren’t as hungry. If you're traveling for the holidays, pick up some healthy, portable snacks before you leave so you're less likely to be tempted by unhealthy options. Lastly prioritize which events really matter and let the rest go.

Just remember that you are celebrating friends and family, not food!


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.


Not only can regular exercise prevent disease, but it may act as a fountain of youth, even at the molecular level!  A chromosome is a long strand of DNA. Telomere is simply the “bookend” of a chromosome. They protect the chromosome and play an important role in cell division. Each time a cell divides, the telomere gets a little bit shorter. Scientists can use telomere length to determine how old a cell is and how many more times it can divide. Many effects of aging are attributed to limitations in cellular health and division. A recent study found that middle-aged endurance athletes have significantly less telomere erosion than their sedentary counterparts. In addition, the active group had increased tolermase activity (an enzyme which prevents telomeres from shortening). These findings suggest that regular endurance exercise induces molecular changes that promote long-term cellular health which may slow the effects of aging.




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.

Keeping Track Will Help Keep You Moving
What if there was a small, inexpensive device that was proven to boost your fitness, help you lose weight and lower your blood pressure? Would you use it, especially if doing so was nearly effortless? Jane Bonin does. She has for the past eight months and swears by it. "It's just a way of tricking yourself into doing the right thing,'' says the 73-year-old writer and former college professor.

They've got them at the White House. More than 3,000 Stanford University employees have tried them, as have people in various workplaces. And yet, buying a pedometer is not the first - or second, or third - piece of advice you typically receive when you turn to someone and say: "I really need to get in shape, but I hate exercising. What should I do?''

It probably should be, says Dena Bravata, a physician and senior research scientist at Stanford who analyzed 26 studies of pedometer use and found clear evidence that people who have them get more exercise, lose weight, and lower their blood pressure. In fact, the decrease in blood pressure was equivalent to results achieved through much more expensive interventions that involve doctors and pharmacists, Bravata said.

And in a relatively short time, many people were able to lower their body mass index enough to move from the "obese'' to "overweight'' category. "What we found was, on average, that wearing a pedometer increased people's physical activity by about 2,000 steps per day,'' Bravata said. "That's equivalent to about a mile.''

There is little dispute that walking is one of the best, cheapest, and easiest things you can do for your health, especially if you're older than 50. And there is equally little disagreement that most people don't do enough of it. For many, a pedometer helps break through psychological barriers by providing motivation, accountability, and a sense of control, according to Bravata and people who use the devices.

As a rule, people overestimate the amount of exercise they get. Keeping track can be eye-opening. Falling short motivates people to find ways to walk more, Bonin says. "I have walked the corridors of this building many a night, trying to work off my last steps,'' says Bonin, whose goal is 10,000 steps, or about five miles, daily.

A pedometer allows you to make quick, beneficial changes, Bravata says. "You can diet like mad, exercise like mad all day long, and tomorrow morning, it's unlikely you would have made a significant difference'' in your weight, she said. In contrast, if you attach a pedometer to your hip and take a reading of your baseline walking distance, tomorrow you can increase that distance, sometimes significantly.

There are still open questions about pedometer use. There is no good research about how long people stick with pedometer programs and whether they maintain the associated health and fitness benefits. Workplace pedometer campaigns tend to reach people who are already physically active.

Barbara Moore, executive director of Shape Up America!, founded in 1994 by former Surgeon General C. Everett Koop, said that walking must be coupled with changes in eating habits to truly achieve lasting weight loss and health benefits. But there seems to be little downside to giving this a try. "The beauty of this program,'' Bonin says, "is its utter simplicity.''

Pedometer pointers:

  • Goal is vital: The single most critical factor in employing a pedometer is setting a step goal, says Stanford University researcher Dena Bravata. In fact, those who wore one but didn't set a goal did not increase their pysical activity, she said.
  • No magic number: The actual size of the goal isn't as important, Bravata says, as setting one that will improve your health and keeping after it - by parking farther from the office, taking the stairs, or getting out for a lunchtime walk.
  • Keep a log: it's important to record your results daily, as anyone who has tried to stick to a diet can attest. You'll discern patterns, good and bad, in your exercise routine. Blank spots or days when you just can't squeeze in a walk provide added motivation.

Source: The Miami Herald

Registration for the spring Walking Canes program begin on January 18th. Further details for the program will be included in the next edition of Health-E-Living. Check www.miami.edu/walkingcanes for updates!