A Day at the Student Wellness Center
Workout and Post-Workout Snack at the UNF Student Wellness Center
The Student Wellness Center, or SWC, is a three- story building that has exercise equipment, group fitness classes, health promotion offices, Jamba Juice, and so much more. The SWC can be a one- stop- shop for a healthy start to a day filled with exercise, nutrition, and stress relief. The benefits of exercise are abundantly clear and can make a lasting impression on your health. A few of the benefits of exercise include:
Muscle and bone strength
Increases weight loss or muscle gain
Reduces risk of chronic diseases
Makes you feel happier and allows for mental clarity
Increases self- esteem
Here are three exercise ideas for a leg work out that I completed this past week at the SWC. Be sure to warm up for 5-10 minutes and be sure to stretch well beforeyou exercise. After exercising, make sure to cool down for 2-3 minutes. Exercises can easily be manipulated to work for you based on your level of experience and physical capabilities.
Exercise #1: Squats
It is usually better to perform compound exercises, or exercises that use multiple muscles at once, before performing isolated exercises that focus on one main muscle. Squats are a compound exercise therefore, I chose these after I warm up and stretch out. Squats target the glutes, hamstrings, and quadriceps for a full lower body exercise. Remember to keep feet flat on the floor, back straight, and make sure your knees never pass over your toes.
Exercise #2: Straight Leg Deadlifts
Keeping your legs straight during a deadlift can keep the focus on the hamstrings during the exercise. During a straight leg deadlift, you are bending at the hips to tap the weight on the ground lightly, then coming back up with a straight back. Keep your back straight, feet flat, and allow a slight bend in the knee at all times.
Exercise #3: Leg Press
The leg press works on the glutes and quadriceps dominant. The most important safety precaution to remember during a leg press is to keep a slight bend in the knees at all times. You do not want to lock or overextend the knees.
Now is the time to stretch and cool down to decrease your heart rate. After all, you never regret a work out once it is over. It is a great way to begin the day and clear your mind of any stress from school, work, or life! While I enjoy going in the morning because there are fewer people in the gym and it kickstarts my day, find a time that could work for you throughout the day. If you have any questions about exercising or how to perform an exercise, there are always fitness trainers available to assist you, watch for safety, spot you, and answer any questions you may have.
The Perfect Post-Workout Snack at Jamba Juice
The SWC also offers Jamba Juice as a delicious option for smoothies, smoothie bowls, and a few breakfast items. Jamba Juice can be modified to meet your carbohydrate and protein needs after a workout. I chose the Nutty Strawberry Bowl that is made with Greek yogurt, strawberries, bananas, peanut butter, and soymilk. I also added whey protein to the bowl to provide extra protein that is meant to build and repair muscle tissues after working out. The bowl is topped with granola, nuts, and bananas to add a crunch in every bite.
While the added whey protein and peanut butter are helping to reach protein requirements, the fruit and granola are adding needed carbohydrates to the meal. After exercise, many of the calories that are burned are from carbohydrate stores and it is important to replace the burned calories so they can provide you with energy throughout the day. Finding a booster, such as whey or soy protein, that works for you to maximize the meal and meet your nutrient requirements is just one way to alter the meal the way that you enjoy it. Smoothies and smoothie bowls are also a great way of adding vegetables and vitamins into your day without actually having to eat them. Jamba Juice is a great place to go and enjoy foods that are best for you! Make your smoothie bowl any way you like to pack the largest nutrient punch.
As always, Stay Healthy Ospreys!