The Collegian
Tuesday, November 29, 2022

Health and Fitness

Instructor: Any fitness professional available to you.

Course meetings: Consistently and persistently.

For a truly customized workout regimen, create your own major! Focus on the areas of your body in which you want more specialized attention and create a plan of attack to execute your mission.

Remember the course requirements as you specialize your fitness schedule and syllabus.

Course requirements:

* 120% participation

* 100% commitment

* 100% assignments

* 100% attendance

Course assignments:

Cardio -- Keep changing cardio workouts fairly frequently to avoid being in a workout rut, which is when you stop seeing results. The body is really good at adapting and adjusting, so keep changing your workouts so that it's always a challenge and the muscles are worked in various ways.

Cardio is a fitness staple and should always be included. Benefits of cardio include better quality sleep, increased energy, increased metabolism, increased confidence, enhanced positive mood, temporary relief of depression, a stronger heart and weight loss.

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For adult's aged 18 to 64 years, the Center for Disease Control and Prevention recommends two or more days per week of primary muscle strengthening (major muscle groups) and at least 2 hours and 30 minutes of moderate intensity aerobics per week.

Stretch -- Don't underestimate the importance of stretching! Stretching lengthens the muscles and reduces muscle tension. Other benefits of stretching include increased blood circulation, leading to increased energy and increased flexibility and range of motion.

Pre-workout stretching can help to reduce injuries during the workout and post-workout stretching can aid in muscle recovery.

Sleep -- In the mix of moving and getting physically fit, don't forget the most important downtime you can give yourself: sleep! Make sleep a priority. In the same way we schedule in other important appointments, make time to get sufficient sleep.

Benefits of sleep include increased concentration and focus, rejuvenated mind and body, reduced stress and increased positive mood. Sleeping is a regulatory function allowing the body to reset and refresh each time.

Eat -- Fitness and nutrition go hand-in-hand with increased health. Eat balanced, healthy meals to complement the hard work and energy you put into your fitness pursuits.

Also, remember the power of food to assist in manifesting your fitness plans by fueling the body for any task or activity.

Remember: "You are what you eat!"

Aim -- Make your aim specific. Focus on the behavior change or improvements that you plan to pursue. Make qualitative and quantitative goals.

E.g.: Increase my running mileage/jogging speed/cardio duration. Walk "x amount" more steps today than yesterday, etc.

Upcoming Lessons & Assignments:

1. Read Back to Basics: Fitness 103 in the first fall 2010 Collegian Issue (Issue 5. Volume 96. pg. 12).

2. See a personal trainer at the Weinstein Center for Recreation and Wellness to help mold the content of your personal fitness syllabus.

3. Attend at least one Group Exercise class for a fun inclusive way to color your fitness plan and add variety to your range of movement for exercise

4. Explore a plethora of abdominal exercises -- try a few out for yourself! (Lesson on this soon to come!)

5. Under watchful eyes, explore various strength training arm and leg exercises. (Helpful hints coming soon.)

6. Mix up your typical cardio session. Try dividing your cardio time between multiple machines or using multiple modes of cardio aerobic exercise (e.g. jogging outside/track/treadmill, elliptical, bicycle, ergometer [indoor rowing machine], stair climbing, etc.).

7. **Extra Credit** Complete a physical challenge, e.g 5K, 8K, 10K, etc.

Sample Scheduled Readings:

Week 1:

Best cardio recommendations and a sample cardio intensive fitness routine.

Week 2:

Discuss the most up-to-date understanding of the abdominal muscles, find out more on All Bellies are not Created Equal, plus get great ab exercises to blast fat and build muscle!

Week 3:

Explore the hips and how to get them firmer. Get fun and innovative ways to tone the derriere!

Contact Collegian columnist Tenaj Ferguson at: tenaj.ferguson@richmond.edu

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