What's Happening?

2010-2011 Parking Permits Now Available
Herbert Wellness Center parking permits for the 2010-2011 academic year are now available in the Membership Office. Permits are $88 and remain valid through August 15, 2011. Please be sure to have your license plate number available when purchasing your permit. For details regarding where to park when visiting the Herbert Wellness Center click here. Contact the Membership Office at 305-284-8540 for further information. *Note: Herbert Wellness Center parking permits may not be purchased by students, Coral Gables employees, or Gables One employees.

No Six-Pack - Just a Three-Pack, Five-Pack, and a Ten-Pack
We're not talking abs. We're talking guest pass booklets! In addition to the 10-pack guest pass booklets currently sold, the membership office now sells booklets in increments of three and five. The cost is $15, $25, and $50 for student members; $30,$50, and $75 for non-student members. To purchase a booklet(s) just visit the membership office located on the second floor of the Herbert Wellness Center, room 210. For more information, call 305-284-8540.

Introducing Chef Mercedes Varela-Mendez
Chef Mercedes Varela-Mendez is excited to be joining the Herbert Wellness Center family.  She is returning to the University of Miami where she previously worked at the Diabetes Research Institute for 25 years.  Although always a ‘Cane at heart, Mercedes’ passion for food led her to fulfill a lifelong dream of honing her culinary skills at the Le Cordon Bleu College of Culinary Arts in Miami, Florida. Her cooking approach shows through her love and commitment to food that is made with fresh, wholesome ingredients, as well as through sharing her enthusiasm with others. Want to try one of Chef Mercedes's recipes? Check out her Black Bean Hummus featured in the Health-E-Cooking section below.

Take Our Cooking Class Survey
The Herbert Wellness Center strives to enhance the cooking class experience; so, we are seeking your feedback. Please take five minutes to complete a 9 question survey to let us know your preferences for future class themes and scheduling.  We appreciate your input and will incorporate your suggestions whenever possible.

Relax and Unwind This Summer With a Massage
De-stress, relax, and enjoy your summer with a massage at the Herbert Wellness Center. Summer massage hours are:

  • Monday: 4:30 p.m. - 8 p.m. (Mr. Jean Perrod)
  • Tuesday: 4:30 p.m - 8 p.m. (Mr. Jean Perrod)
  • Wednesday: 4 p.m. - 8 p.m. (Ms. Isabel Pla)
  • Thursday: 4:30 p.m. - 8 p.m. (Mr. Jean Perrod)
  • Friday: 9:30 a.m. - 1:30 p.m. (Ms. Shari Little)

For more information visit www.miami.edu/wellness/wellnessprograms. To schedule a massage appointment, call the Wellness suite at 305-284-LIFE(5433).

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 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:

  • August 6 - 8: Curious George shows
  • August 18 - 24: Orientation events

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: Black Bean Hummus
Trying to eat healthier but getting sick of grilled chicken and steamed broccoli? Lighten up a summer favorite with this slimmed down recipe for Black Bean Hummus:


  • 4 cloves roasted garlic, more to taste
  • 1 (19 oz) can black beans, drained (liquid reserved)
  • 2/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 cup tahini (sesame paste), stirred well
  • 4 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon cumin

Garnish Options: (to taste)

  • Parsley, finely chopped
  • Paprika
  • Toasted pine nuts
  • Pitted kalamata olives
  • Drizzle of extra virgin olive oil
  • Roasted red peppers (sliced)
  • Hard boiled eggs, chopped
  • White onions, minced

Place garlic, black beans, tahini, lemon juice, a little salt, cumin, some of the reserved liquid from the beans, and olive oil into a food processor. Process until smooth. You may need to add more of the reserved liquid to achieve a smooth consistency. Adjust seasoning to taste. Pour into a shallow dish and garnish before serving.

Note: Serve with pita chips or vegetable sticks. Try as a spread on wraps, pitas, or sandwiches.

Source: Chef Mercedes Varela-Mendez (see bio above)

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 squat and chops?

Step 1
Step 2



This is a total body exercise.

Step 1: Grasp a medicine ball with both hands and keep your elbows slightly bent. Assume a squat position with your feet hip to shoulder length apart. Draw your bellybutton in towards your spine.

Step 2: From the squat position, squeeze your glutes and begin to stand extending at your knees and hips. At the same time, flex your shoulders overhead as far as you can without curving your back.

Step 3: Lower and repeat.


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


Q: I currently exercise to lose weight but I am having trouble staying motivated. What are some of the other benefits of exercising?

A: Research has confirmed that any amount of exercise, at any age, is beneficial. In general, the more you do, the greater the benefits. Not only does regular exercise aid in weight loss but it has many other benefits including reducing your risk for several chronic diseases and conditions. Regular exercise decreases the risk for heart disease, stroke, osteoporosis and type ll diabetes, just to name a few. There are also psychological benefits to exercise. While exercising, your body releases chemicals called endorphins that can improve your mood and the way you feel about yourself. The release of serotonin can also lead to improved mental clarity. As a result, being more active and exercising can lead to a much more productive work day. A workout after a particularly challenging day can reduce anxiety for several hours after completion.

If these facts aren’t enough to motivate you it may help to bring a friend with you next time you exercise. Exercise is always more fun when there's someone to do it with. People who have exercise partners stay with their programs and reach their goals more often than those who go it alone.

Resource: WebMD


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.


As humans age,  the connection between nerves and muscles called neuromuscular synapses deteriorate. This deterioration interferes with nerve impulses to the muscles and results in muscle wasting, death of muscle fibers, and loss of function.  A recent study conducted at Harvard University showed that caloric restriction and exercise may rejuvenate the connections between the nerves and muscles and reduce the effects of aging.

The study looked at older mice (genetically engineered so their nerve cells glow) that had signs of deterioration in their  neuromuscular synapses. Those mice placed on a restricted-calorie diet avoided the  age-related deterioration of their neuromuscular junctions. More interesting, another group of elderly mice that were placed on a one-month exercise regimen showed partial reversal of the debilitating damage. Given that muscle wasting and loss of independence is a major health concern among the elderly, these findings provide another role of exercise on maintaining health and quality of life.




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 Power of "Thank You"
Why is it good to say “thank you”? Of course, it is polite—an important social courtesy. But did you know that those who make it a point to practice gratitude also sleep better, exercise more, feel more optimistic and less materialistic, are more empathetic and joyful, and can even have sharper minds?

“As science is now proving, feeling grateful can actually make us healthier, literally,” says Reader’s Digest (October 2007).

Robert Emmons, a professor at the University of California-Davis, and Michael McCullough of the University of Miami teamed up for a fascinating study: The examination of three groups of people—one group noting the hassles of each week, one concentrating on things for which they were grateful, and another recording ordinary life events. Not only did the grateful group come out of the study (not surprisingly) happier, they “reported fewer negative physical symptoms such as headaches or colds, and they were active in ways that were good for them. They spent almost an hour and a half more per week exercising than those who focused on hassles. Plain and simple, those who were grateful had a higher quality of life.”

The study, published in 2003, also showed how those around the grateful group were impacted by their joy and energy. They “even seemed to be perceived as more helpful toward others, going out on a limb to help people,” said Emmons. “This is not just something that makes people happy, like a positive-thinking/optimism kind of thing. A feeling of gratitude really gets people to do something, to become more pro-social, more compassionate.”

In a more recent follow-up study focusing on college students, researchers found that “those who found something to appreciate every day were less materialistic—less apt to see a connection between life satisfaction and material things. They were more willing to part with their possessions. … The grateful people were less depressive, envious and anxious, and much more likely to help others.”

These studies show that people who are in a continuously grateful mindset enjoy “clearer thinking, better resilience during tough times, higher immune response, less likelihood of being plagued by stress, longer lives, closer family ties, greater religiousness.” Scientifically, it makes sense. Dopamine is a chemical that is released “when people are feeling good …. It activates the parts of the brain in which complex thinking and conflict resolution are thought to be headquartered.”

The emotional and physical benefits of gratitude are truly astounding—and nothing new, despite science’s recent endorsement of it. Millennia ago, this elegant wisdom was encapsulated in a simple proverb: “A merry heart doeth good like a medicine: but a broken spirit drieth the bones” (Proverbs 17:22).

Here is a specific way to develop a “merry heart.” Be more thankful.

The late Herbert W. Armstrong—who often said that ingratitude was possibly our greatest sin—lived 93 active, abundant years. He repeatedly stressed seven principles of radiant health, the seventh of which is a positive mental attitude.

The Reader’s Digest author, Deborah Norville, suggests ways to become more thankful: “Record your thanks.” Each day, she suggests, “jot down three things that happened that day for which you are grateful … and why this was good for you.” In addition to the gratitude journal, the author also suggests observing the patterns. “Over time, you’ll notice a consistency within the list of items you’re grateful for. Many entries will underscore the importance of people in your life. Others will highlight meaningful experiences.”

Finally, she suggests, “Seize the moment.” Start right now putting yourself in a gratitude mindset—and see the benefits to your mental, physical, emotional and spiritual health. Let gratitude dominate your thinking and your life—and reap the blessings today.

Source: The Trumpet