What's Happening?

The Herbert Wellness Center Welcomes Two New Staff Members
Norm Parsons, director of the Herbert Wellness Center, is pleased to announce the appointment of two new staff members to the Department of Wellness and Recreation. 

Dominique Ennis will join the staff on July 14th as the Assistant Director of Fitness and Personal Training. This position reports to Dr. Tony Musto. Dominique earned her bachelors and masters degrees from Old Dominion University and is an ACSM Certified Health and Fitness Specialist.  Since 2004 she has served as the Assistant Director of Campus Recreation and Informal Recreation at UNC in Asheville.  Prior to that she was the Assistant Athletic Director for the United States Navy Morale, Welfare and Recreation division in Norfolk, Virginia.  Dominique has experience in cardiac rehabilitation, adult fitness and managing a women’s only fitness facility.  Her diversified background will enable her to be a valuable contributor to the overall mission of the Herbert Wellness Center. 
Norm is also pleased to announce that Elena Fajardo has joined the Herbert Wellness Center staff as an administrative assistant to Al Rose.  Elena graduated from the University of Miami in the spring of 2011 with Bachelor of Science degrees in education and psychology.  Elena has over four years of experience working for the department and has won several student awards including the Lorraine Miller Customer Service Award in 2010.  She served three years as an office supervisor and two years as a Mini Canes camp counselor. She has hit the ground running!
  Please join Norm and the rest of the wellness staff in welcoming these two outstanding new staff members to the wellness family.

Summer 2011 Community Classes - Session II
Registration for Session II of the Summer 2011 Community Class schedule will continue through Friday, July 8 with classes beginning next week. Offerings include belly dance, salsa, tennis, mat and reformer Pilates, adult and youth aquatics, and much more. Click here to view the full course catalog. Sign up in the Wellness Enrichment Suite Monday - Friday, 8:30 a.m. - 8 p.m. or call 305-284-LIFE(5433) for more information. Want to try a class before signing up? Attend the first class for free!

Yoga and Studio Cycling Semester Pass Prorate
Summer 2011 semester passes for Studio Cycling and Yoga are currently $30 for student members and $42 for non-student members. Semester passes allow unlimited access to scheduled classes through August 23, 2011. Visit the Wellness Enrichment Suite to purchase your passes.

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 daytime 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
Closure of the BankUnited North, VIP, and Serpentine lots will begin on Tuesday, July 12th in preparation for the Premios Juventud Awards Show at the BankUnited Center on Thursday, July 21st. Please note that lot closures and traffic around the BankUnited Center will increase as the event draws near. Expect road closures and heavy delays near the Herbert Wellness Center on Thursday, July 21st due to this outside event.

For more specific parking information, please visit the Parking bulletin board to the right of the Herbert Wellness Center exit gates. More timely updates are also available through our Facebook page. Just search "Herbert Wellness Center" then like our page to follow us.

  Tips for a Healthier

Health-E-Cooking: Broiled Banana Splits
Trying to eat healthier but getting sick of grilled chicken and steamed broccoli? Lighten up your dessert menu with this recipe for Broiled Banana Splits:

Yield: 4 servings


  • 1 tablespoon brown sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • Pinch of salt
  • 4 bananas
  • 1 tablespoon melted butter
  • 4 scoops frozen yogurt
  • Toasted Almonds
  • Chocolate Shavings
  • Raspberries

Mix brown sugar, cinnamon, and salt. Halve bananas, brush with melted butter, and sprinkle with cinnamon sugar mixture. Wrap in foil and and broil until golden, approximately 3-4 minutes. Top each banana with a scoop of frozen yogurt and sprinkle with toasted almonds, chocolate shavings, and raspberries.

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 issue's exercise is the Knee-In:




The Knee-In targets the muscles of your core.

Step 1: Begin sitting on your glutes with your back off of the ground and knees bent.

Step 2: Lift feet your in the air and balance on your glutes.

Step 3: Push your legs out and lower your back, straightening out your body and keeping your neck in line with your back. 

Step 4: Crunch your knees in and raise your upper body (back to the Step 2 position).  Imagine yourself as an accordion.  Repeat for a full set up repetitions.


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


Q: I see people use the Styrofoam roller on the stretching mats.  I am not sure why they are doing this, or what benefits it has.  Can you please explain its purpose?

A: The foam roller is a device used for stretching.  It uses the body weight of the person to break up tightness in muscles and increase range of motion.  It is similar to a massage without the masseuse.  There are typically two ways to use it.  The first method is to slowly roll back and forth over a muscle group a few times.  The second method is for extreme tightness.  This involves finding a tight spot in the muscle and holding the pressure on that spot for about 10 seconds, until the tightness begins to break up.  It is important to keep the foam roller under muscles and not roll over bones or directly under the knee, as this may cause joint discomfort.  Muscle groups typically used on the foam roller are the quadriceps, hamstrings, calves, as well as the inner and outer thighs. 

It is important to remember the function of the foam roller when using it.  To reiterate, the object uses the weight of the person.  For this reason, a greater benefit will be seen if you put more weight on the roller with less weight supported by the floor.  If you are just beginning, go through the motions first then gradually begin to apply more pressure to the roller.   


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.


Exercise has long been known for prevention and treatment of back pain.  However, pain in the lumbar area of the back is often caused by intervertebral disc degeneration making physical activity extremely painful.  Results from a recent  study suggest that physical exercise has a positive effect on the formation of cells in these discs, reducing degeneration.

Researchers from the University of Gothenberg Sahlgrenska Academy compared two groups of rats to see the effects of exercise on intervertebral disc cells. One group of rats ran on a treadmill for about one hour a day while the other group simply performed their usual free movement in a cage. After testing, the rats who performed the treadmill exercise possessed more new cells in the critical disc area than the control group, suggesting disc reformation. These findings support the benefit of regular exercise as a preventive therapy for future back pain.




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.

REM Sleep Does a Body Good
It seems that the public is fascinated with REM sleep. So are sleep physicians and researchers. But fascination often leads to confusion and controversy, and a lot of both surround the subject of REM sleep. First, to give a brief history lesson, it is important to understand that REM, or rapid eye movement sleep, was discovered and described only in 1953, so it makes sense that there is still much to learn.

One key aspect of REM sleep is that all physical characteristics studied to date are different in REM when compared with non-REM. In fact, REM sleep more closely resembles the waking state. That is likely why people are more alert when they are awakened out of REM compared with other sleep stages. REM sleep is when we do most of our dreaming, but not all, as researchers thought in the past. Most scientists agree that it is in REM that we have our most vivid, what I call, our magic-carpet-ride dreams, whereas the mundane kind of dreams can happen in non-REM. Now, the question of why we dream is a whole other matter that deserves its own discussion. Suffice to say that there are many different theories at this time.

There is some debate as to whether all birds and mammals display REM sleep. Most do, so the important thing to remember is that it is not uniquely human. Interestingly, the average daily amount of REM sleep for a given species appears strongly correlated with how immature the young are at birth. Animals that are born in helpless state, such as the platypus and the armadillo, have high amounts of REM sleep at birth and indeed a high amount in maturity. But the dolphin, which is born able to swim, feed and defend itself, has such little REM sleep that it has been questioned whether it has any at all. Humans fall somewhere in the middle in terms of amount of REM sleep, even though it strikes me that a human baby is pretty helpless for a long time.

REM sleep is present at birth in humans and it is the non-REM sleep stages that take 2-6 months to distinguish themselves. From 6 months until well into old age, REM sleep remains stable in healthy people and makes up 20-25% of the total sleep time. REM occurs at the end of the 90-minute sleep cycles that characterize normal human sleep. The amount of REM increases as the night progresses and as one goes through repeated cycles so that although REM might only make up 10 minutes of the first cycle, it can last for 30 minutes during the last cycle.

As I stated earlier, the physiologic changes that occur during REM are closer to wake than to non-REM, with a couple of interesting exceptions. Mammals, including humans, can regulate their body temperature except in REM sleep. During REM, we all turn into lizards and our body temperature drops or rises with the temperature of the surrounding environment. The other unusual change is that in REM our large muscle groups are almost paralyzed. We think that this is a protective mechanism so that when we are having those wild dreams about running away from the big bad wolf we can’t actually get up and start running in our sleep. There is a disorder, called REM Behavior Disorder, where people lack this muscle weakness in REM and indeed they often hurt themselves or others.

So why do we have this unusual type of sleep? Briefly, today there are two main theories. One is that we have sleep that resembles wake so that we can still get the benefits of sleep, but if we need to awaken quickly and be alert and ready to defend ourselves, then we can. The other, and they are not mutually exclusive, is that because certain neurotransmitters, such as serotonin, histamine, and norepinephrine are turned off during REM, then perhaps REM represents the down time that these important substances need in order to replenish themselves or reset their receptors.

Source: CNN