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  What's Happening?

Update on Miller School of Medicine Wellness Facility
Attention Herbert Wellness Center members who are also University employees or students: The Miller School of Medicine Wellness Facility is closed on the weekends until further notice. If you have questions regarding their operating hours, please contact the Medical Wellness Facility directly at 305-243-7600.

Special Meditation Seminar Featuring Trungram Gyaltrul Rinpoche, Ph.D.
The Herbert Wellness Center will host renowned meditation master and teacher Trungram Gyaltrul Rinpoche, Ph.D. on Tuesday, February 24, 7 p.m. - 8:30 p.m. in Classroom 1. In this talk, instruction, and guided meditation, Gyaltrul Rinpoche will discuss how meditation integrates our emotional, intellectual, and spiritual aspects in order to deepen our wakefulness and realization. Time will be allocated to actual meditation instruction and meditation practice, as well as a question and answer session. Please RSVP to reserve a seat for this free event by emailing a.ramos2@miami.edu or calling 305-284-LIFE(5433). RSVP is appreciated, but not required.

Mini 'Canes Recreational Sports Camp Enrollment Begins Today
Registration for the popular Mini 'Canes Recreational Sports Camp at the Coral Gables Wellness Center begins today. The camp is open to boys and girls ages 6 through 12. Daily activities vary from swimming lessons to arts and crafts. All activities take place inside the Herbert Wellness Center or on the Yaron Intramural Fields located behind the Herbert Wellness Center. The camp offers four, two-week sessions with the first session starting on Monday, June 8. Before-care and after-care are also available. To register, visit the Herbert Wellness Center, room 210, between 8:30 a.m. and 8 p.m. Monday through Friday. For more information, call 305-284-8510 or visit www.miami.edu/wellness/camp for all camp information and forms.

"U Rock " 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 "U Rock " 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 Workshops - Take a Meditation Break
Thursday, February 19 (Part I) and Thursday, February 26 (Part II), 6:30 p.m. - 8 p.m., Classroom 2. Relax and unwind as you learn to meditate. You'll develop mental clarity and discipline, as well as enhance creativity and inner peace in your pursuit of personal satisfaction. Classes are free and open to students, employees, and the community.

Wellness Education Workshop - Quick and Easy Cooking
Tuesday, February 24, 12 p.m. - 1 p.m., Instructional Kitchen. Join the Wellness Suite staff for a quick and easy lunch-time cooking demonstration. We'll cook up something tasty and healthy that's so simple to make you'll be wondering why you ever settled for fake, Franken foods that come out of drive thru land...Rachael Ray, eat your heart out! Note: we eat what we make! Classes are free and space is limited, so reserve your place today!

Vegetarian Cooking Class - Annual Farmer's Market Class II
Wednesday, February 25, 6:30 - 8:30 p.m., Instructional Kitchen. Cornmeal Crusted Ratatouille Tart puts the spotlight on style and local ingredients including eggplant, tomatoes, peppers, and onions. Keep your New Year's promise of more greens as we make Spicy Parmesan Green Beans and Kale. Finally, we will expand our horizons by grilling fruit for our Grilled Fruit with Spiced Chai Syrup. Cost is $25 for UM students, $30 for Wellness Center members, and $35 for non-members.


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

  • February 15: Men's Basketball vs. North Carolina at 7:45 p.m.
  • February 15: Men's Basketball vs. Boston College at 12 p.m.

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: Eat Cheaply and Eat Well
A healthy diet can be as good for your budget as it is for your body. Researchers at Pennsylvania State University and at the Bassett Hospital Research Institute in Cooperstown, New York, studied the eating habits of about 300 people. All the participants in the study lived in rural areas and had high cholesterol levels. The researchers devised healthy eating plans for the participants. When they later reviewed the participants' eating habits, the scientists found that the people who were most successful in lowering their blood cholesterol levels also spent less money on food than they had previously. Many people mistakenly believe that in order o eat healthy and nutritious foods, they have to pay through the nose. Actually, most of the foods that are good for you - fresh vegetables and fruits, whole grains, and beans - are quite inexpensive. In fact, they cost a lot less than meats, cheeses, and processed foods. 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 bicep curls kneeling on a stability ball?


Step 1
Step 2



This exercise integrates functional and practical lifting with a focus on biceps, core, and balance.

Step 1: Activate your core and glutes by drawing in your navel towards your spine and squeezing your glutes. Kneel onto the ball and position your body so that you are stable and comfortable. Keep your eyes at eye level by focusing on a spot on the wall.

Step 2: With the weight in one hand at hip height start curling. When the weight reaches the peak of the curl, stop and return to the starting position. Focus on keeping the core activated throughout the repetitions.

When repetitions are completed swap arms.


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


Q: I started the New Year with a resolution to exercise more frequently but I’ve found myself getting bored with my routine already. Do you have any suggestions to help stay on course with my fitness goals?

A: When committing to a New Year’s resolution it is important that your goal is realistic and attainable. If you feel that your resolution is reasonable than here are a few tips that may help with adherence.

  • Create a game plan: Write your own personal plan outlining your mission and specifics on how you will achieve your goal.
  • Ask friends and family members to help: Having friends and family involved will help you to be more accountable.
  • Try group exercise classes: Group exercise classes are a great alternative to traditional workouts in the gym. They are structured and the instructor does all the planning for you. All you have to do is show up.
  • Reward yourself with each milestone: If you've stuck with your resolution for 2 months, treat yourself to something special. But, be careful of your reward type. If you've lost 5 pounds, don't give yourself a piece of cake as a reward. Instead, treat yourself to something non-food related, like a professional massage.
  • Schedule it: Pick a time of the day when you are most likely to have an hour to devote to exercise.

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.


Typically when one experiences low back pain, the typical response is to reduce activity and take it easy. It is understandable that discomfort may limit movement and may help in the short term, but if "taking it easy" lasts too long it may actually inhibit recovery from the back pain. Spinal motion is necessary to nourish the discs in the low back and help keep the muscles and ligaments plastic. Regular exercise helps avoid stiffness, reduces repeated episodes of low back pain, and reduces the severity and duration of the possible episodes. A balanced workout is recommended and should include stretching, specific low-back strengthening, and low impact aerobic conditioning. Interestingly less than half the patients that report chronic low back or neck pain are prescribed exercise, according to a recent study.


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.

Maximizing Fitness Potential at the Wellness Center
For the past three years February brought a record number of people to the Patti and Allan Herbert Wellness Center. It was the only month of the year that the turnstiles at the gym’s entrance clicked more than 80,000 times. “February is a good time for people to start working out if they did not already start in January,” said Ashley Falcon, the assistant director for wellness. “They no longer have that impending turkey dinner to get in the way.”

However, for the past three years the turnstile counts dropped in March and April. “There are many reasons why people quit working out,” Falcon said,“including not seeing results.”

Expectations for these results are often not met as people overestimate the amount of calories they burn because they believe the calorie count on the aerobic machine. “I hear it all the time, people talking about how they burned 750 calories an hour,” said Tony Musto, the associate director for fitness. “But I know that is not the case.”

In an attempt to learn the actual amount of calories burned while working on an aerobic machine, Musto, who has a Ph.D. in exercise physiology, and I used a metabolic cart to calculate the exact amount of calories burned. This metabolic cart is more accurate than the machine as it measures the amount of oxygen a person uses, which can be used to calculate energy expenditure and therefore the calories burned.

The calorie counts on the aerobic machines predict the amount of calories burned by the weight the user enters. This equation can be inaccurate as two individuals with the same body weight can have different body compositions and fitness levels. Since fat is not as metabolically active as muscle, the person with greater muscle burns more calories than an individual of the same weight with a fatter body composition.

With Musto’s assistance, I measured my caloric expenditure on the elliptical, StairMaster, treadmill, and upright bike. On each we raised my heart rate to 150 bpm. However, we also tested the calorie counts of machine when done in an incorrect manner; on these tests my heart rate deviated from this standard.

Also noted was my perceived rate of exertion, RPE, to see how hard I thought I was working. RPE is a self-assessed number chosen on a scale from 6 to 20, where 6 is very, very easy and 20 is very, very hard. These scales are placed on the pillars in front of the aerobic machines in the Wellness Center.

  • Elliptical: The elliptical, when put on a high elevation and resistance, burned the most calories of all four machines according to the metabolic mouthpiece. The elliptical calorie count was very accurate on this test. However, on another test we put this machine on a low elevation and resistance. Here, the elliptical said the same amounts of calories were being burned as the previous test, but the metabolic mouthpiece showed that I was burning two fewer calories a minute. My heart rate was 136 bpm. If the machine is used in this manner, it is the least effective aerobics machine of the four I tested in terms of burning calories. To get the results of the first elliptical test, the elevation and resistance should be set so that an individual’s RPE is at 15. On the second elliptical test my RPE was eight. When I cheated by leaning on the handrails of the elliptical my calories count was five calories fewer per minute than the amount the elliptical showed and my heart rate was at 140 bpm.
  • StairMaster: The StairMaster’s prediction on the amount of calories burned was a little less than the amount the metabolic mouthpiece showed. However, when I cheated by leaning on the machine and wrapping my arms around the screen, the metabolic mouthpiece showed that my calorie count dropped by five calories a minute and my heart rate went down to 128 bpm from the 150 bpm standard. When I cheated, the StairMaster still had the same calorie count as it did when I was doing the machine correctly.
  • Treadmill: The metabolic mouthpiece showed that the treadmill’s calorie count over-predicted by three calories a minute. In reality, the treadmill burns a similar amount of calories as the StairMaster. The treadmill was put on a speed and incline that made my RPE a 16.
  • Upright Bike: The upright bike, although similar to other machines in calories burned, required the most effort to increase my heart rate to 150 bpm (my RPE was 16-17). According to Musto, this exertion is necessary because my weight was supported by the bicycle seat. Therefore, while on a bike the user can use fewer leg muscles against the pedals’ resistance, causing fatigue. The calorie count on the bike over-predicted the calories burned by around one calorie a minute.


The American College of Sports Medicine recommends doing an aerobic exercise three to five times a week. Each session should be 20 to 60 minutes long and elevate an individual’s heart rate 60 to 90 percent of their heart rate max.

Also, according to Musto, it is very important not to cheat on these machines by leaning on them. “If it is too difficult to maintain the workload without cheating, it is better to reduce the workload on the machine and do it correctly,” Musto said in an e-mail. “As your fitness level improves, you can slowly increase the workload on the machine.”

These measurements will change with an individual’s efficiency and body composition.

Source: The Miami Hurricane

Note: This article was written by UM student and Herbert Wellness Center employee Ed S. Fishman