What's Happening?

Norm Parsons Inducted into University of Miami Sports Hall of Fame
The director of your Herbert Wellness Center, Norm Parsons, was inducted into the University of Miami Sports Hall of Fame last week.  If the dictionary had a listing for “bleeds Orange, Green, and White,” Norm Parsons’ picture would be next to it.  In over 40 years of service to the University of Miami, Norm has become an icon to thousands of students, administrators, and boosters for his love and knowledge of the history of the University and his capacity to get things done.  But few know of his success on the links, serving as both the women’s (1974 – 1978) and men’s (1980 – 1988) golf coach and mentoring some of the finest teams and individual golfers in Miami history.  On his favorite memory while coaching he said, “The initiation of the women’s athletics program in 1973. I happened to give the first female scholarship in the United States to Terry Williams from Homestead, FL.  Being involved with that movement and that program was just exceptional. That only happens once in a lifetime and to be involved with that was just outstanding.”

The Herbert Wellness Centerfamily is so very proud of you Norm!

Click here for the full story about last week’s induction ceremony.

Pilates Session III Registration
Registration for the third session of Pilates has begun and will continue through Friday, April 19. Classes begin on Monday, April 22. Pilates is one of the many community classes offered at the Herbert Wellness Center that does not require participants to be members of the facility. Click here to view the course schedule and pricing. For questions contact Nikki Reifschneider at 305-284-8513.

The Herbert Wellness Center Joins the Eco-Friendly Digital Revolution
The Sales Office recently began delivering membership renewal notices via e-mail. While we work out the kinks of the new process, we will continue to also send renewal notices via the U.S. Post Office. Want to receive your renewal by e-mail? Please make sure your record is up-to-date with the Sales Office by stopping in or calling 305-284-LIFE(5433).

Stay Informed Through Our Social Media
Want stay up-to-date on what's going on at your Herbert Wellness through your favorite social media sites? Like us at www.facebook.com/herbertwellnesscenter or follow us on twitter @UMiamiWellness for updates on what's going on in the facility, special classes, promotions, contests, fit tips, and more! Do you pin? Check us out at www.pinterest.com/umiamiwellness.

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 are available weekdays for daytime and evening appointments. Relieve stress or just pamper yourself - make a massage appointment today! Call the Sales Office at 305-284-LIFE(5433).

Wellness Education Series
The Herbert 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 wellness education series is open to everybody, regardless of membership status. Registration is required prior to participation in any of the programs. Visit the Sales Office 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:


Cooking Class - Classic Indian Cuisine
Monday, April 22, 6:30 - 8:30 p.m., Chef Mercedes, Instructional Kitchen. Learn how to get that great Indian flavor you love at home. The menu includes ghee, naan bread, and spiced kale with chickpeas. Cost (including demonstration, recipes, and food tasting): student and non-student members - $20, non-members - $25. Don't forget to bring a container for leftovers!

Meditation Classes - The Jewels of Happiness
Thursday, April 25, 7:30 - 9 p.m. 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. Brought to you by Sri Chinmoy Centres International, classes are free and open to students, employees, and the community. While no payment is required, we ask participants to RSVP so we know how many people to expect.

Basic Life Support (BLS) for Healthcare Providers (HCP)
Friday, April 26, 3:30 - 7:30 p.m., Classrooms. The BLS for HCP course covers core materials such as adult and pediatric CPR (including two-rescuer scenarios and use of the bag mask), foreign-body airway obstruction, and automated external defibrillation. This course is for healthcare providers such as EMS personnel, physician assistants, doctors, dentists, nurses, and respiratory therapists who must have a credential card documenting successful completion of a CPR course. Cost: student members - $60, non-student members - $70, non-members - $80.


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

  • April 13-24: Latin Billboards Load-In and Rehearsal
  • April 25: Latin Billboard Awards at 7 p.m. (traffic will be VERY HEAVY for this event)
  • May 4: Miami-Dade College Commencement

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: Pork Fajitas with Mango
Cinco de Mayo is right around the corner - Mexican food doesn't have to be loaded with cheese and fat. Lighten up your fiesta with this recipe for pork fajitas with mango.



  • 1 tablespoon fresh lime juice
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 (1-pound) pork tenderloin, trimmed, cut into 1/2-inch strips
  • Cooking spray
  • 2 cups julienne-cut red bell pepper, (about 1 medium)
  • 2 cups julienne-cut green bell pepper, (about 1 medium)
  • 1 cup thinly sliced onion
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 tablespoon low-sodium soy sauce
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 8 (8-inch) low-fat flour tortillas
  • 1 1/2 cups diced mango (about 1)
  • 1/4 cup fat-free sour cream



Combine juice, cumin, and pork in a medium bowl, tossing well to coat. Let stand 5 minutes.

Heat a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Coat pan with cooking spray. Add pork to pan; sauté 4 minutes or until done. Remove from pan.

Recoat pan with cooking spray. Add peppers and onion; cook 6 minutes or until tender. Add garlic and pork; cook for 1 minute. Add 1 tablespoon soy sauce and sugar; cook 1 minute. Remove from heat.

Warm the tortillas according to package instructions. Serve pork mixture with tortillas, mango, and sour cream.

Yields 4 servings  (serving size: 1 1/2 cups pork mixture, 6 tablespoons mango, 1 tablespoon sour cream, and 2 tortillas).

Per serving: Calories 410; Fat 9.1 g (Saturated Fat 2.4 g); Protein 30 g; Sodium 579 mg; Carbohydrates 51.6 g; Fiber 4.1 g; Cholesterol 76 mg

Source: Cooking Light

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. Change up your workout with a few close-grip bench to skull crushers:




Muscles worked: triceps primarily, chest and shoulders assist

Difficulty level: intermediate

Step 1: Lay down on a bench with your feet hooked under the rollers. Hold a barbell with a slightly less than shoulder-width grip. Your palms should be facing your thighs and your arms should be perpendicular to your chest. This is your starting position. Note: if you have tight rotator cuffs, use a spotter.

Step 2: While inhaling, lower the bar down to your chest.

Step 3: Exhale as your triceps press the bar back to the starting position.

Step 4: Inhaling again, bend your elbows as you bring the barbell towards your forehead.

Step 5: Exhale and extend your elbows back to the starting position.

Repeat this two-step movement for the desired number of repetitions.

Variation: You can use an E-Z curl bar or dumbbells to perform this movement. This exercise can also be performed on a decline bench.


  Ask a Trainer
Have a question you'd like answered by a personal trainer? Dominique Ennis, our assistant director for fitness and personal training, is here to help.


Q:  I just realized that school is over in two weeks and I’m starting to freak out!  What are some exercises that I can do that will help relieve stress?

A: Well I’m happy to hear that instead of reaching for the junk food that you would like to find a healthier way to relieve your stress.  Poor stress management techniques that contribute to chronic tension can be the reason for some pretty serious long-term conditions like depression, heart disease, type-2 diabetes and high blood pressure.  In the short term, they can be the cause of headaches, back aches, insomnia, and anxiety.  Depending on your gender (speaking to the ladies), you may experience stress more acutely and that may contribute to the detrimental long-term effects of chronic stress.

Our bodies were not meant to be as sedentary as we are now.  The simple act of getting up and walking is a great way to reduce stress.  It gets our blood flowing and gets us breathing deeper which triggers a relaxation response.  As much as you and many of the Herbert Wellness Center members love zoning out on their favorite cardio equipment by watching the TVs, it’s actually best to participate in activities that make you aware of how your body is feeling.    The mind-body connection is very strong and training yourself to be aware is the best way to combat stress along with these activities:

  1.  Yoga:  Yoga focuses on different postures that require strength and flexibility to maintain them.  It’s a different type of physical exertion that requires deep breathing which triggers a relaxation response.  Yoga will help you to focus and reduce your blood pressure.
  2. Tai Chi:  Tai Chi is an ancient martial art that combines physical movement and breath.  It’s kind of like moving meditation where the participant focuses on the present and leaves the everyday worries behind.  Tai Chi helps to boost energy and improve flexibility and balance.
  3. Qigong:  Qigong is similar to Tai Chi in that it also uses slow movements in connection with breaths which are relaxing to the central nervous system.  Qigong is more commonly found at facilities that have a large senior citizen population. 
  4. Walking:  I already mentioned this earlier but walking is a great exercise to help you get away from your desk and get a change of scenery.  It has the same results as more vigorous exercise and requires very little equipment.
  5. Dancing:  Dancing is a great workout and it’s a lot of fun.   You can take lessons that will keep the mind sharp by learning something new or you can just do it for fun (think Zumba classes).  Be sure to check out our Group Exercise schedule for a class that interests you.
  6. Interval Training:  Interval training combines bouts of cardiovascular exercise with resistance exercises with short bouts of rest in between.  It keeps the heart rate up (which burns more calories) and releases those feel good drugs (aka endorphins) into the blood stream which helps you to relax and feel better.
  7. Pilates:  Pilates is a combination of exercises that uses body alignment, core strength, and the lengthening of muscles to make the body stronger.  Some Pilates classes use a machine called the Reformer and other classes use a mat for floor work.  We offer several skill levels of Reformer Pilates - registration is available for the current session through this Friday.

This is just a short list of healthy ways to relieve stress.  Find what you like to do and stick to it.  Happy relaxing!


Have questions for Dominique? 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.


Often people consider massage as a modality for relieving muscle soreness. However, new evidence suggests that actively warming up the muscles with exercise may be just as effective. A recent study compared the effects of ten minutes of massage to ten minutes of active exercise on muscle soreness. Interestingly, both active exercise and massage significantly reduced intensity of soreness and reduced pain sensitivity. However, for both types of treatment the greatest effect on perceived soreness occurred immediately after treatment.  Despite these results, one should keep in mind that muscle soreness is a symptom of “repair and recovery” and therefore you should listen to your body!




In the News


Has life just been too busy to read the Health and Fitness section of your newspaper or online news site? Let us provide you with a few highlights of what's made the news lately.

Getting a Brain Boost Through Exercise
Two new experiments, one involving people and the other animals, suggest that regular exercise can substantially improve memory, although different types of exercise seem to affect the brain quite differently. The news may offer consolation for the growing numbers of us who are entering age groups most at risk for cognitive decline.

It was back in the 1990s that scientists at the Salk Institute for Biological Studies in La Jolla, CA, first discovered that exercise bulks up the brain. In groundbreaking experiments, they showed that mice given access to running wheels produced far more cells in an area of the brain controlling memory creation than animals that didn’t run. The exercised animals then performed better on memory tests than their sedentary labmates. Since then, scientists have been working to understand precisely how, at a molecular level, exercise improves memory, as well as whether all types of exercise, including weight training, are beneficial. The new studies provide some additional and inspiring clarity on those issues, as well as, incidentally, on how you can get lab rats to weight train.

For the human study, published in The Journal of Aging Research, scientists at the University of British Columbia recruited dozens of women ages 70 to 80 who had been found to have mild cognitive impairment, a condition that makes a person’s memory and thinking more muddled than would be expected at a given age. Mild cognitive impairment is also a recognized risk factor for increasing dementia. Seniors with the condition develop Alzheimer’s disease at much higher rates than those of the same age with sharper memories. Earlier, the same group of researchers had found that after weight training, older women with mild cognitive impairment improved their associative memory, or the ability to recall things in context — a stranger’s name and how you were introduced, for instance.

Now the scientists wanted to look at more essential types of memory, and at endurance exercise as well. So they randomly assigned their volunteers to six months of supervised exercise. Some of the women lifted weights twice a week. Others briskly walked. And some, as a control measure, skipped endurance exercise and instead stretched and toned.

At the start and end of the six months, the women completed a battery of tests designed to study their verbal and spatial memory. Verbal memory is, among other things, your ability to remember words, and spatial memory is your remembrance of where things once were placed in space. Both deteriorate with age, a loss that’s exaggerated in people with mild cognitive impairment. And in this study, after six months, the women in the toning group scored worse on the memory tests than they had at the start of the study. Their cognitive impairment had grown. But the women who had exercised, either by walking or weight training, performed better on almost all of the cognitive tests after six months than they had before.

There were, however, differences. While both exercise groups improved almost equally on tests of spatial memory, the women who had walked showed greater gains in verbal memory than the women who had lifted weights.

What these findings suggest, the authors conclude, is that endurance training and weight training may have different physiological effects within the brain and cause improvements in different types of memory. That idea tallies nicely with the results of the other recent study of exercise and memory, in which lab rats either ran on wheels or, to the extent possible, lifted weights. Specifically, the researchers taped weights to the animals’ tails and had them repeatedly climb little ladders to simulate resistance training.

After six weeks, the animals in both exercise groups scored better on memory tests than they had before they trained. But it was what was going on in their bodies and brains that was revelatory. The scientists found that the runners’ brains showed increased levels of a protein known as BDNF, or brain-derived neurotrophic factor, which is known to support the health of existing neurons and coax the creation of new brain cells. The rat weight-trainers’ brains did not show increased levels of BDNF. The tail trainers, however, did have significantly higher levels of another protein, insulinlike growth factor, in their brains and blood than the runners did. This substance, too, promotes cell division and growth and most likely helps fragile newborn neurons to survive.

What all of this new research suggests, says Teresa Liu-Ambrose, an associate professor in the Brain Research Center at the University of British Columbia who oversaw the experiments with older women, is that for the most robust brain health, it’s probably advisable to incorporate both aerobic and resistance training. It seems that each type of exercise “selectively targets different aspects of cognition,” she says, probably by sparking the release of different proteins in the body and brain. But, she continues, no need to worry if you choose to concentrate solely on aerobic or resistance training, at least in terms of memory improvements. The differences in the effects of each type of exercise were subtle, she says, while the effects of exercise — any exercise — on overall cognitive function were profound.

“When we started these experiments,” she says, “most of us thought that, at best, we’d see less decline” in memory function among the volunteers who exercised, which still would have represented success. But beyond merely stemming people’s memory loss, she says, “we saw actual improvements,” an outcome that, if you’re waffling about exercising today, is worth remembering.

Source: The New York Times