What's Happening?

A note from Mr. P, Director

Dear Health-E-Living Subscriber,

It’s that time of year when I hear the sound of “Pomp and Circumstance” playing in my head! I have worked with students for over 40 years and I still get nostalgic when I hear that graduation song.

I feel especially close to our student employees who will graduate next week. They helped us get through the expansion and I am very grateful for their hard work. I still recall the excitement around the building when we started counting down to the opening of the new spaces; 10, 9, 8, 7….and then the big day, February 24, was finally here! 

February 24 was not only a day to celebrate the opening of the expansion; it was an opportunity to showcase to the UM community all the wonderful programs and services available to them.

The new Pilates Studio has been a tremendous success. Group classes and private lessons are available to members and non-members alike.

The fitness room, by far the busiest space in the Herbert Wellness Center, has enough cardio and weight training equipment to keep up with the demand during peak times. Personal training is at an all-time high.

The two new multi-purpose rooms have allowed us to schedule additional group fitness classes to handle the overflow from our popular Zumba, cardio kickboxing, and core classes, just to name a few. We’ve also been able to schedule more community classes as well as provide space for the club sports program.

The new Cycling Studio is awesome—the video wall, sound system, and new bikes are a big hit with our cycling enthusiasts!

Overall it’s been a great academic year. And although it’s hard to say good-bye to our graduating seniors, I look forward to welcoming the class of 2015. It’s a great feeling to know they will have the best recreation, fitness, and wellness facility in the country available to them.

To all our members I wish you a relaxing, safe, and healthy summer. To our graduating seniors, please stay in touch and let us know how you are doing. You will always be a part of the wellness family.

Go Canes!
Norm Parsons, Director

Summer Schedules for Group Exercise, Yoga, and Studio Cycling
The group exercise, yoga, and studio cycling summer schedules begin this Saturday, May 7, and continue through Tuesday, August 23.  Current studio cycling and yoga passes will be accepted until Sunday, May 15.  Click here to view the summer schedules.

Student Summer Membership Now Available
Student summer membership is now available for pre-sale. Sign up before May 13 and receive FREE towel service. All student cane cards will be turned off on Friday, May 13. Only students enrolled in summer classes can have the Wellness Center fee added to their student account. The cost of a full summer membership is $146. Pre-sale applications are available at a table near the front desk or visit the membership office on the second floor. Starting Monday, May 16 student membership will also be available for $12/week but will not include the FREE towel service. For further information call 305-284-8540.

Register for a Community Class!
Registration for the first summer session of community classes begins on Monday, May 16 with classes starting on Saturday, May 21. Classes include belly dance, salsa, tennis, mat and reformer Pilates, adult aquatics, youth aquatics, and much more. Registration is on a first-come, first-served basis.  If there is space in the class you may try the first scheduled class for free.  The Community Class schedule will be available at www.miami.edu/wellness on Monday, May 9. 


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

  • May 7 - Kids concert at 6:30 p.m.
  • May 12-14 - UM Commencement Ceremonies
  • May 21-22 - Miami Expo Show
  • May 26 - Gulliver Preparatory High School Graduation at 2:30 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: Fish Tacos with Sesame Ginger Slaw
Trying to eat healthier but getting sick of grilled chicken and steamed broccoli? Lighten up your summer menu with this recipe for Fish Tacos with Sesame Ginger Slaw:

Corn tortillas add a healthy dose of RS* to this traditional Tex-Mex dish.

* Resistant Starch (RS) is a carbohydrate that resists digestion. Consuming more of it helps you eat less, burn more calories, feel more energized, and maintain healthy blood sugar levels.

Yield: 4 servings (3 tacos per serving)


  • 1 1/2 pounds tilapia fillets
  • Cooking spray
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper
  • 3 tablespoons plain Greek-style low-fat yogurt
  • 2 tablespoons lime juice
  • 1 tablespoon dark sesame oil
  • 1 tablespoon low-sodium soy sauce
  • 2 teaspoons grated and peeled fresh ginger
  • 1 teaspoon honey
  • 3 cups shredded coleslaw mix
  • 12 (6-inch) corn tortillas, warmed

Heat a non-stick skillet or grill-pan over medium heat. Spray fish with cooking spray then sprinkle with salt and pepper. Cook fish in pan 10-12 minutes, turning once, until fish flakes easily with a fork.

Whisk together yogurt and the next five ingredients (through honey) in a small bowl. Combine dressing and coleslaw mix, tossing to coat.

Flake fish into pieces with a fork. Fill tortillas with 2 ounces of fish and coleslaw.

Per serving: 390 calories; 9g fat (2g sat.; 3g mono; 3g poly); 40g protein; 38g carbohydrates; 4g sugars; 6g fiber; 85mg cholesterol; 430mg sodium; 2.4g RS.

Source: Health

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 build on the basic exercises we featured last semester. Combining different movements in the same exercises increases caloric expenditure and allows you to accomplish more with less time. This issue's exercise is the stationary lunge with hammer curl:




Step 1: Begin with dumbbells in each hand (palms facing in) and your feet together. Take a step forward making sure that your hips are facing forward.  Your back foot should be straight and facing forward as well.

Step 2: Start to bend both knees to lower the front thigh until it is parallel to the floor. At the same time, lower the dumbbells until your arms are fully extended. The lunge is complete when the knee of your back leg is nearly touching the floor.

Step 3: Push through the front heel, while curling the dumbbells, and return to the starting position.


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


Q: I hear people talk about different planes of movement.  What are they and what are the differences?

A: Simply put, a plane of movement is a way of classifying exercises by their motion relative to the body.  There are three primary planes of movement; they are the sagittal, frontal, and transverse.  Each plane deals with a different type of movement.  One is said to be moving in a specific plane when the movement of the muscles runs parallel to it. The sagittal plane splits the body between right and left sections.  Common exercises in this plane include a bicep curl, tricep extension, frontal shoulder raise, and squat.  The frontal plane, also known as the coronal plane, divides the body into front and back sections.  Common exercises in this plane of movement include a lateral shoulder raise, lateral lunge, shoulder press, as well as abduction and adduction of the legs.  The last plane is the transverse plane.  This intersects the body at the hip and separates it into upper and lower portions.  Actions in the transverse plane incorporate torsion.  Common examples would be an ax chop and hip rotation. Each plane is important to activities of daily life.  Be sure to include movements from all three in your exercises.  If you are looking for a challenge, try to combine movements from two different planes.  These are known as compound exercises.  Compound exercises include a lateral lunge into shoulder press and a forward lunge with shoulder rotation. 


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.


Tai Chi exercise has long been known to improve balance and agility in older adults. However, a new study shows that  Tai Chi may also improve quality of life, mood, and exercise self-efficacy in patients with chronic heart failure. These findings are significant because patients with heart failure are often considered too frail to exercise and therefore exercise is often avoided. This study evaluated 100 outpatients with systolic heart failure. Fifty patients were randomized to a 12-week Tai Chi-based exercise intervention and 50 were randomized to a time-matched education group. The Tai Chi intervention group consisted of one-hour group classes held twice weekly for 12 weeks. At completion of the study, there were no significant differences in cardiovascular fitness when comparing the groups; however, patients in the Tai Chi group had greater improvements in quality of life. The Tai Chi group also showed improvements in exercise self-efficacy (confidence to perform certain exercise-related activities), with increased daily activity, and related feelings of well-being compared with the education group.

Interested in taking Tai Chi classes at the Herbert Wellness Center? Check out our Community Classes schedule for dates and times.




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.

Waist Size Predicts Heart Disease Better than Weight
Doctors have long known that obesity increases a person's risk of heart disease, but in recent years the picture has grown more complicated. Several studies have found that a high body mass index is associated with a lower risk of dying from heart disease and other chronic illnesses - a mysterious phenomenon that has come to be known as the "obesity paradox." (Body mass index, or BMI, is a ratio of height to weight used to define obesity.)

According to a new analysis in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology, the paradox appears to be explained by the simple fact that BMI is a very flawed measure of heart risk. Waist size provides a far more accurate way to predict a heart patient's chances of dying at an early age from a heart attack or other causes, the study found.

As in previous studies, a high BMI was associated with a lower risk of death. But researchers found that heart patients with a high ratio of waist-to-hip circumference or a large waist size - greater than 35 inches for women, or 40 inches for men - were 70 percent more likely to die during the study period than those with smaller waists. The combination of a large waist and a high BMI upped the risk of death even more. "What matters probably the most is the distribution of fat, more than anything else," says the lead researcher, Francisco Lopez-Jimenez, M.D., a cardiologist at the Mayo Clinic, in Rochester, Minnesota.

The new study provides more evidence of BMI's shortcomings in assessing heart risk, says Jean-Pierre Després, Ph.D., the director of research at the Quebec Heart and Lung Institute at Laval University, in Quebec City. "If you measure body mass index, you don't assess body shape, you don't assess body fat distribution," says Després, who wrote an editorial accompanying the study. "I'm not saying BMI is useless. It's just that we need to go beyond that. BMI is the total cholesterol of lipids: We know that there is good and bad cholesterol, and there is good and bad fat."

Nor does BMI distinguish between fat and muscle, Després adds. Heart patients who lead a sedentary lifestyle may see a drop in BMI as they lose muscle mass, he explains, while heart-disease patients who become more active may actually put on weight and raise their BMI because they are adding lean muscle. The findings also add fuel to the debate surrounding body type and the risk of developing heart disease. Several studies have suggested that people with an apple-shaped body who accumulate fat in their belly are more likely to develop heart disease than their pear-shaped counterparts, but that theory has been called into question by recent research.

Lopez-Jimenez and his colleagues analyzed data from nearly 16,000 heart patients who participated in one of four previously conducted studies or the Mayo Clinic's Cardiovascular Rehabilitation Program. More than one-third of the patients died during the studies, which ranged in length from six months to more than seven years.

A high BMI was associated with a 35 percent lower risk of death, but having a large waist in addition to a high BMI nearly doubled the risk of dying, the researchers found. (To zero in on waist size, they controlled for age, hypertension, diabetes, and other risk factors for heart disease.) Even heart patients with apple-shaped bodies and BMIs in the normal range were at increased risk of dying sooner, which drives home the fact that normal-weight heart patients may need to lose some weight in their bellies too, Després says. "That's why it's so important for clinical cardiologists to measure waist circumference."

Why is belly fat so bad? It tends to be a sign of visceral fat, or fat that gathers around the organs in the abdomen, the study notes. This fat seems to promote insulin resistance and unhealthy cholesterol numbers, and may also boost inflammation.

Genetics plays a "very strong" role in whether a person gains weight around the waist, Després says. He estimates that about 30 percent of the population has this tendency to put on fat in these "undesirable sites."

Source: CNN