Snowy-Day Home Workouts

In light of the impending snow storm, I am taking away every excuse you might have to not work out because you can’t leave the house.

Photo by Megan Beck

Photo by Megan Beck

1. Watch an exercise video on YouTube– especially the UMass Campus Recreation YouTube! There are literally thousands of workout videos on YouTube ranging from yoga and pilates to cardio bootcamps and “fat blasting circuits.” You can even get specific and target muscles you want to tone by watching ab, bicep, or glute workout videos! This is an excellent way to try new types of exercise in the comfort of your own home- no need to worry about looking silly while doing a complicated yoga pose.  Many videos even have levels for beginners, intermediates and advanced!

2. 5-Minute Speed Circuit. Come on guys, this only takes 5 minutes! Repeat it 5 times with a 1-minute break in between and you have an intense 30 minute workout.

 Here’s how it goes:

  • 30 seconds of speedy feet to warm your body up. Widen your stance, bend your knees and move your feet up and down as quick  as you can go!
  • 30 second rest
  • 30 seconds of jumping lunges. Get in a lunge postion with one foot in front and one foot behind while your hips are lowered in a squat. Lunge down and then jump up. While you are in mid-air, switch your feet so you land in a lunge position on the opposite side. To make this harder you can hold weights or dumbbells.
  • 30 second rest
  • 1 minute of burpees. Start in a standing position. Next lower to a squatting position. Drop your hands forward and kick your legs out behind  you so you are in a push-up position. Do 1 push-up and jump back up into standing position. Repeat.
  • 30 second rest
  • 30 seconds of speed squats. Stand with your legs hip-width apart and then squat down like you are sitting in an imaginary chair. Stand up quickly and do as many as you can in 30 seconds!
  • 30 second rest
  • 30 seconds of jumping jacks.

3. Create your own home workout! This is a great way to make your workout personal and focus on the things you want to! Here are some simple guidelines:

  • Pick how much time you want to spend working out
  • Pick an upper body workout: push-ups, chair dips, curls (use something around the house for a weight!)
  • Pick a lower body workout: lunges, squats, supermans, calf raises
  • Pick a core workout: medicine ball twist, crunches, sit-ups, planks, side planks, bicycles
  • Pick a compound exercise: jumping lunges, mountain climbers, stair climbing, jumping rope, burpees
  • Do 3-5 sets of each exercise with 15-25 repetitions

Nutrition Labels: What’s Important?

  • Do calories count?
  • What’s the difference between fat and saturated fat?
  • How much sodium is too much?

Knowing how to understand a nutrition label is an important key to a healthy lifestyle. Whether you are eating in the UMass dining commons or strolling down the aisle of the grocery store, nutrition labels are everywhere and have the power to tell you what’s healthy and what’s not.

Calories: Many people who are trying to be healthier or lose weight judge what they eat by glancing at the calorie line of the nutrition label to see if it is “too low” or “too high.”  The reason so many people associate calories with weight gain is because our energy comes from calories and if we eat more calories than we burn a day it causes us to gain weight. Instead of worrying about how many calories you eat, worry if those calories are “empty” or not. Empty calories come from saturated fats and added sugars that add calories to your diet with little or no nutrients. For example, eating 250 calories of a snickers bar fills you up with processed sugar and saturated fat compared to eating 250 calories of a salad with grilled chicken that adds protein, vitamin C, A, fiber and many other nutrients to your diet.   Simply looking at how many calories a food has doesn’t really tell you anything! Skip the calorie line and move on to what really matters.

If you don’t check anything else, check these 3!!!!

1. Fat: 20-35% of our daily calories should come from fat but pay close attention to the saturated and trans fat lines! Trans fat has been removed from almost all foods but it is still important to check because it has been linked to many health problems like high cholesterol and heart disease. You should also  limit the amount of saturated fat you are eating because it increases the bad type of cholesterol levels in our blood. In fact, the United States Department of Agriculture advises people to eat less than 20 g of saturated fat per day. You want to eat a majority of unsaturated fat which is found in foods like olive oil, nuts, salmon, avocados, etc.

2. Cholesterol: Cholesterol is necessary for normal bodily functions and helps us produce hormones as well as vitamin D. However, too much cholesterol can contribute to heart disease. It is recommended that you eat less than 300 milligrams a day!

3. Sodium: 75% of our daily salt intake comes from processed foods. This is why checking nutrition labels is so important! The average American consumes 3,400 mg of salt per day even though the Dietary Guidelines for Americans recommends limiting sodium to less than 2,300 mg per day. Look out especially for canned foods like soup, frozen foods like frozen pizza or burritos, packaged deli meats and marinades like soy sauce!

Quick Tip: 

For an even faster way to tell how much fat, cholesterol or sodium is in a food check the  % Daily Value line on the right side!

What’s New with GMU?

GMU is back in action!! 

We have wonderful news regarding GMU and the progress we are making:Image

– Get Moving UMass is now UMass Campus Recreation’s outreach program!

– And GMU is now sponsored by Alden Credit  Union!

ImageRight now we are diligently working on facilitating and preparing for our amazing events for the Spring of 2013. These events include…

          – Our second annual 3v3 basketball tournament for the Will Werner scholarship fund

          – A Zumbathon that we hope will get UMass in the Guinness book of world records for the largest Zumbathon on a college campus

          – Promoting our hamster friend, Henry, of the children’s health and wellness book Henry Gets Moving

          – And more!

 Be sure to ‘like’ GMU on Facebook! 

GMU as an RSO!

Get Moving UMass is going to try to become a campus Registered Student Organization (RSO)! RSOs are an “ideal way to make yourself at home, meet like-minded people, get some experience, and simply have fun.” By taking part in our movement, you can promote healthy living on the UMass Amherst Campus as well as meet other student health-enthusiasts! If you are interested in getting involved, please comment below or ‘Like’ our Facebook page (see right column) and write on our wall. We hope to hear from you!

What’s Next for GMU?

The Get Moving UMass team is working hard through the Summer months in preparation for a great semester this coming Fall. In hopes of continuing to create a culture of life-long healthy living, we are planning several motivating back to school events for the UMass Amherst campus and community! Stay tuned for more updates and details on what’s to come for GMU!