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  What's Happening?

Fitness Room Relocated
The "old" fitness room officially shut down on Wednesday, November 17. Centre Court now houses all of the cardio and weight equipment that could safely fit in the area. The Ibis Express selectorized weight training circuit is in the atrium and available for patrons to use. Take a look at the bulletin board located behind the check-in desk at the entrance to Centre Court. There you will find pictures of the expansion starting from January 2010 until now along with an artist's rendering of the new fitness room. You will also find information about the new second floor expansion that will feature a Pilates Studio, two multi-purpose rooms, and a new Cycling Studio. Stay tuned for information regarding our grand re-opening in February, 2011.

Holiday Sale in the Pro Shop - Save 25%
Get a jump on your holiday shopping! All Herbert Wellness Center apparel (men's and women's) as well as the popular pocket towels are 25% off the regular price. Buy now while there are plenty of sizes to choose from!

Thanksgiving Break Building Hours
Please note the following hours of operation during the Thanksgiving break:

Hours of Operation:
Administrative Offices:
Wednesday, November 24:
6 a.m. - 6 p.m.
8:30 a.m. - 6 p.m.
Thursday, November 25:
Friday, November 26:
8 a.m. - 9 p.m.
Saturday & Sunday, November 27-28:
8 a.m. - 9 p.m.

Drop the Free Weights from your Workout Routine!
To help our members who use the heavier free weights for their workout routine, Dr. Tony Musto, our exercise physiologist, offers the following alternative:

Pre-exhaust your muscles with body weight exercise before lifting weights. For example, begin with pushups to pre-exhaust your chest and triceps and then perform a dumbbell chest press exercise with lower weights. You can also perform weight assisted chin-ups (palms facing you) to pre-exhaust your back and biceps before performing lat pull downs or curls. Finally, try doing some wall squats to target both your quadriceps and your core muscles.

Look for more of “Dr. Tony’s Tips” on the bulletin board located in the hallway leading to Centre Court.

Gift Cards for the Holidays
Give the gift of health and wellness this holiday season! The Herbert Wellness Center sells gift cards in any denomination which can be used to purchase a membership (must meet eligibility requirements), instructional classes, massage therapy, yoga and studio cycling passes, and more. Gift cards are available for sale at the front desk, administrative office, and the Wellness Enrichment Suite. For more information call 305-284-8500 or email wellnesscenter@miami.edu.

  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 females, are available weekdays for afternoon and evening appointments. Relieve stress or just pamper yourself - make a massage appointment today! Call the Wellness Enrichment 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:

  • November 24: Men's Basketball vs. McNeese State at 7:30 p.m.
  • November 26: Women's Basketball Holiday Tournament at 5 p.m. and 7 p.m.
  • November 27: Women's Basketball Holiday Tournament at 5 p.m. and 7 p.m.
  • November 29: Women's Basketball vs. Southern University at 7 p.m.
  • November 30: Men's Basketball vs. Mississippi at 7 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-Cooking: Chipotle Smashed Sweet Potatoes
Trying to eat healthier but getting sick of grilled chicken and steamed broccoli? Try lightening up your Thanksgiving table with this recipe for Chipotle Smashed Sweet Potatoes:


  • 2 large sweet potatoes, peeled and cubed
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter (cut to 1 tablespoon for a lower-fat version)
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 chipotle chile pepper in adobo sauce, chopped
  • 1 teaspoon adobo sauce, from the pepper can

Put the sweet potatoes in a steamer basket and put the steamer in a large pot of simmering water that is 1 inch from the bottom of the basket. Cover and steam over medium-high heat for 20 minutes, or until the sweet potatoes are fork-tender.

Remove the steamer basket, pour the water out of the pot and dump the sweet potatoes into the pot. Add the butter and salt and mash with a potato masher. Add the chile and sauce and continue mashing to combine. Serve immediately.

Source: Food Network

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.

This semester we will focus on a series of basic exercises. In particular, we will emphasize form, as well as the importance of each exercise. This issue's basic is the overhead tricep extension:

Step 1- Front
Step 1 - Front
Step 1 - Side
Step 2 - Side



Step 1: Stand with your feet shoulder width apart, toes pointing straight ahead. Start with your arms holding the dumbbells overhead perpendicular to the ground, elbows fully extended.

Step 2: While maintaining proper posture, bend the elbow into flexion while keeping the upper arm perpendicular to the ground.  The elbows should be bent at a ninety degree angle. Be sure to keep your elbows close to your ears without letting them fall outward.

Step 3: Repeat

Avoid letting your back arch at any time.



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


Q: Will exercise effect my elevated blood pressure?

A: This is a great question to ask since nearly 70 million Americans have high blood pressure. This elevated pressure, termed hypertension, has been referred to as the ‘’silent killer.’’ While often symptom-less, it substantially increases the risk for potentially fatal outcomes such as heart attack, stroke, heart failure, and kidney disease. Regular blood pressure checks are a simple and inexpensive way to identify hypertension. Still, up to 30% of affected people are unaware they have hypertension.

Normal resting blood pressure is a pressure less than 120/80 mmHg. The first number, 120, represents the pressure against the artery walls when the heart contracts (systolic blood pressure). The second number, 80, is the pressure against the artery walls during the resting phase (between heart beats) and is termed diastolic blood pressure. There is a direct relationship between blood pressure and cardiovascular disease risk. That is, the higher the blood pressure, the greater the risk.

A regular cardiovascular exercise program can help prevent hypertension and lead to substantial declines in systolic blood pressure.  For maximal benefit, it is recommended that individuals engage in moderate-intensity exercise for at least 30 minutes on most, preferably all, days of the week. Walking, swimming, cycling, and low-impact aerobics are excellent options. As your aerobic conditioning improves, add a circuit-training program that emphasizes low-resistance, high-repetition exercises.  (When engaging in resistance training, avoid holding your breath, as this can lead to rapid increases in blood pressure.) New exercisers should ease into an exercise program by starting slow and developing a consistent routine before gradually increasing exercise frequency, intensity or duration.  Importantly, if you have hypertension, consult your physician before beginning an exercise program. This is especially critical for those who take blood pressure medications, which can alter the heart-rate response 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.


Physical activity promotes changes in the brain that may protect high-risk individuals against cognitive decline, including development of Alzheimer’s disease, according to a new study done at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee (UWM). J. Carson Smith, an assistant professor of health sciences, included in the study both people who carry a high-risk gene for Alzheimer’s disease, and other healthy older adults without the gene.
“Our study suggests that if you are at genetic risk for Alzheimer’s disease, the benefits of exercise to your brain function might be even greater than for those who do not have that genetic risk,” says Smith. While evidence already shows that physical activity is associated with maintenance of cognitive function across a life span, most of this research has been done with healthy people, without any consideration of their level of risk for Alzheimer’s, says Smith. A team of researchers compared brain activation during memory processing in four separate groups of healthy 65- to 85-years-olds. The level of risk was defined by whether an individual carried the apolipoprotein E-epsilon4 (APOE–ϵ4) allele. Physical activity status was defined by how much and how often the participants reported physical activity (PA). The study divided subjects into Low Risk/Low PA, Low Risk/High PA, High Risk/Low PA and High Risk/High PA. Functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) was used to measure brain activation of participants while they performed a mental task involving discriminating among famous people. This test is very useful, says Smith, because it engages a wide network called the semantic memory system, with activation occurring in 15 different functional regions of the brain. “When a person thinks about people – for example, Frank Sinatra or Lady Gaga – that involves several lobes of the brain,” explains Smith. In the study groups of those carrying the gene, individuals who exercised showed greater brain activity in memory-related regions than those who were sedentary. Perhaps even more intriguing, physically active people with the gene had greater brain activity than those who were physically active but not gene carriers. There are many physiological reasons why this could be happening, Smith says. “For example, people with this increased activation might be compensating for some underlying neurological event that is involved in cognitive decline. Using more areas of their brain may serve as a protective function, even in the face of disease processes.”

Source: Stone Hearth Newsletter




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.

Everyday Athletes Embracing Triathlon
At 27, Neil Pokorny is climbing the corporate ladder. A successful regional sales manager for a global automaker, he is driven by competition. But, as he got busier at work, his competitive spirit in his old sports - swimming and rowing - took a back seat. He made it to the gym regularly, he says, but he didn't have a real fitness goal. "One day I just decided I wanted to get back into shape, and I signed up for a triathlon that was six months away," Pokorny says.

Daunting as this new goal was - one event that includes swimming, cycling and running - he began training, slowly but surely. "For me, it wasn't easy because I was traveling for work all the time. But I would tell myself that I wanted to do an hour of something every day," Pokorny said. "If I was traveling, I could go running from my hotel. If I was home, I could go cycling."

Pokorny's story is not uncommon. He's part of a fast-moving trend towards the sport of triathlon, which, according to Mike May of the Sporting Goods Manufacturers Association, is becoming the "new marathon." According to May's data, the sport has grown more than 50 percent just in the last two years.

It's a sport that CNN's Dr. Sanjay Gupta embraced in the 2010 Fit Nation Triathlon Challenge. Gupta and six iReporters trained from January to July, then competed together in the Nautica New York City Triathlon. CNN's call for entries for the 2011 Fit Nation triathlon challenge opens Wednesday.

USA Triathlon, the governing body of the sport is seeing the increase firsthand. "We've experienced so much growth as an organization, with our annual membership over the last five years going from 50,000 to 135,000 annual members," said Chuck Menke, director of marketing and communications at USA Triathlon.

And the sport, just as the athletes, comes in all shapes and sizes, from the 15-plus-hour Ironman distance, to the entry-level super-sprint distance.

Meredith Moore, 35, was a former competitive swimmer who had gotten busy living life and running a wealth management business. Fitness goals gave way to business goals. She, too, signed up for a triathlon on a whim. "When I first got into it, I was trying to lose the typical weight that all women put on in college," Moore said. "In my first race, my whole goal was to finish."

The most popular distance - the sprint triathlon - is composed of a 500-meter swim, a 12-mile bike ride, and a 5k run. It is largely responsible for the huge growth in USAT's membership roles.

But why such a growth spurt now, some 30 years after the sport began? Menke says it's a combination of the Olympics - triathlon made its debut in the 2000 Sydney games - a growing group of middle-aged competitors looking to reclaim their athleticism, and a desire for fitness-conscious camaraderie. "I think it's become popular for people who have established themselves in their career, have a family, and who are fairly settled in their lives, professional and personal, and they're looking for a new challenge," Menke said.

Another draw, says Laura Cozik, founder of the Team Lipstick triathlon club, and CNN Fit Nation's Athletic Director, is the ability to cross-train. "The fact that you're cross-training is much healthier, so you're not doing the same repetitive motion with your body day in and day out. Having the option to swim on a day when you're sore from running, or to swim and bike when you're nursing an injury is much better for you."

But though the sport may be right for many, the cost of entry can be prohibitive for some. "The first year is expensive, because at minimum, you're putting about $1,500 into supplies, plus training, plus race entry fees," says Cozik. But, she says the upshot is that equipment - bikes, wetsuits, clothing and shoes - are likely to last a while. And according to USAT's data, triathletes tend to be higher income to begin with - the average triathlete has an annual salary of $128,000.

But Menke says, once people are bitten by the triathlon bug, it becomes a way of life. "It really becomes a part of their life, just like family, their career, religion," he said. "It becomes more than just a sport, but a piece of who they are.

Pokorny and Moore say they're now officially bitten. "It's a very rewarding sport, because it gave me this avenue outside of work to be competitive and accomplish goals," Pokorny said. "The first one I did was a sprint [distance], and I was hooked - I loved it."

"Once you complete your first one, you get addicted," Moore said. "Its a fun, cool sport, and the people around it are very cool."

Source: CNN