Miami students check in at the Rec Center Monday, April 2nd through Sunday, April 15th and earn points to enter a raffle! Every point gained equals one raffle entry. No limit on how many entries you can earn! Seven winners will have the choice of:
Rec Center/Miami gift card
Group fitness class bundle
Rec prize packs
Winners will be announced the week of April 15. See the following table for how many points are earned for visiting during Shorter Weights, Better Weights:
Points Earned for Attending the Rec Center April 2–15
Susan Chabot is one of our loyal Rec members and with no doubt the most competitive SilverSneaker®. She came in second place, (first place female) for the Fall into Fitness Challenge last December. She and her husband are residents of The Knolls of Oxford and are Miami University retired faculty and staff. Her energy and determination have made an impact on the Rec Center Community and that’s why we wanted to get to know her better.
When did you become a rec member?
We moved to Oxford in 1984 and I became a member when the Rec was built in 1994. In 2004 we retired to North Carolina and lived there twelve years. Three years ago we returned to Oxford and I became a SilverSneaker® member.
What activities do you normally do here at the Rec?
It absolutely reinvented my whole life. I am so grateful that they had the Fall Into Fitness Challenge from October 8th to December 8th. I was just going through a period where I had no use of my legs for three months and I couldn’t exercise. I was diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis and I could no longer play tennis, a game that I played for so many years. Someone suggested that I take a deep water aerobics class. I said, “I hate the pool, there’s no way!” I’ve never been a swimmer, I’ve never liked the water, but I tried it, and I came every day because it made my body feel a lot better. I got started with that and later I picked up biking because the doctor said that was a good thing for me to do. Then on October 8th, this challenge came up -I’m very competitive- I came every single day, 7 days a week and I would come at about 8:30 in the morning and I’d go home at noon, and I would get as many points as I could. My points were: 5 for the pool, 5 for class, 5 for pickle, and 10 for the bike because I biked 10 miles, and that’s what I did for 2 months. It was so good because it got me in the habit of doing those things, which I never would. If that challenge wasn’t here I can’t believe I would’ve done all of those things. It was fabulous, and now I’m addicted.
What is the thing you like the most about the rec?
I really do love the way the water makes me feel. When I wake up in the morning it generally takes maybe an hour or so to get my legs moving. I head over to the pool for the morning class and get out an hour later feeling good. I am back playing pickleball and enjoy spending time with players.
What are some memorable experiences during your time here?
I love the fact that Miami students are beginning to find pickle a fun sport and that we have a really fun group that regularly join the otherwise older players. We enjoy playing with and getting to know Miami students.
Interview by Dania Puente, Miami University Rec Center Marketing Assistant
Bridget Oliver, Miami Alumna is currently one of the Assistant Directors for the Outdoor Pursuit Center. She attended the New Zealand OPC trip during her time here and answered a couple of questions for us explaining her amazing experience.
What was a day like?
Days were different depending on if we were in the front country or backcountry. The front country was typically, wake-up, breakfast at the hostel or bakery in town, and then exploring the town. Specifically, in Queenstown, we had a chance to do some high adventure activities since it is a mecca for that (skydiving, canyon swing, paragliding, bungee jumping, etc.) Some of our front country days were spent driving through the beautiful countryside to new towns and then prepping for the next backcountry trip. A typical backcountry day would be: Wake up, breakfast at the hut, hike/climb/kayak and explore until we get to a lunch break or the next hut. We typically had some time to explore around the hut before and after dinner sometimes including time in natural hot springs.
What’s the thing you liked the most about the trip? I loved that we got to experience so much of an amazing country. We spent just enough time in each place (well maybe not enough…I definitely want to go back!) and moved around so much that I know I got to see and enjoy way more than if I had tried to plan and complete a trip on my own.
What was your favorite place? The Angelus Hut for sure!! It was an amazing, challenging, and fulfilling hike in. The hike from the previous hut took us above the clouds (and a small airplane that flew by) and along a ridge of the mountain for an exhilarating feeling. It was a long day, and I just felt so accomplished to make it to the hut. The Angelus Hut was big enough that our entire group (which normally had to split in 2) wasable to be together. It was our last hike of the trip and we had bonded so much that it was so nice to be able to share the time altogether. The amazing view didn’t hurt either. The lake right outside the hut was so blue and calm and some of the purest, most delicious water we’d ever tasted. I remember waking up to a gorgeous sunrise right out our bunk room window too. My friend shook me awake thinking he was seeing the Southern Lights it was so vibrant and beautiful. Everything about getting to and the time we got to spend at that hut was perfect and definitely my favorite place of the trip.
Why would you recommend students to go on this trip?Why wouldn’t I recommend this trip?! To me, it is the perfect study abroad opportunity!
1. You get a chance to visit a country many people only ever dream about.
2. You get to experience so much of the country.
3. You get to be outside and enjoy the true beauty of the country in a way that many citizens of the country don’t even get out to do.
4. You learn so much about yourself from your leadership skills and style to how
you handle good and bad situations in and out of nature. The journal I kept is still so important to me, to be able to look back at the physical, emotional, and spiritual journey I had. It’s powerful to be able to learn naturally, and that’s what this course allows you to do. The fact that I got to earn 3 of my college credits on this trip still blows my mind! This trip helped to steer me into my chosen career path, so I may be a bit bias, but I would say that this trip is a powerful development tool that people would be crazy to turn down (especially if you like being active in the outdoors and traveling even a little).
Gabby has been working here at the Rec Center for almost 4 years and is currently the Assistant Director of Club Sports and Youth Gymnastics. Parents compliment Gabby on her coaching abilities and her gymnastic kids all talk about how amazing of a coach she is. She is always willing to go the extra mile and help others in need. Additionally, she is the Rec staff socialite and likes to help organize staff gatherings at and outside of work.
When and how did you become a part of the REC staff? I started in 2014 as the Club Sports and Youth Gymnastics Intern and then in 2015 I became the Assistant Director of Club Sports, so I’ve been here 4 years.
In this position what do you do?Oversee all the club sports which we have 54 teams and I also run our youth gymnastics program which has 200 participants in it.
What do you like the most about your job?Oh, there are so many things. One of the biggest things I like is the people I work with, all the people here at the Rec are really great and we make work fun. Also working with the club sports, developing their leadership and helping them through problems. Seeing our teams succeed and knowing that you had a small part in that and just being able to help the students, and help them for their future. And then the gymnastics program, I get to see little tiny kids progress all the way through. I usually work with the older girls and just seeing them get the skills that they’ve been working on forever it’s really rewarding.
What’s your best memory at the REC?
It’s hard because we have so many great ones. I would probably say, I think it was two winters ago, a big group of us walked to Goggin and went ice-skating during lunch, and Dean was ice-skating and that was great. That’s probably one of the best ones.
How would your colleagues describe you?I don’t know, probably silly. I would hope they’d say I’m hardworking but I think they’d probably say something towards silly. Fun? I don’t know I handle most of the social things that happen so something around that.
What’s your favorite recreational activity?Not cardio… Swimming probably, I’ve been a swimmer my whole life and tumbling even though I’m not very coordinated anymore but it would probably be one of those two.
What are you most passionate about?Helping people succeed. I was ready to fail out of college, I was about to drop out, I hated school. My mentor totally turned everything around for me, so I’m hoping to be that person, even if it’s just a small thing, being able to help someone. To just have the ability to impact people every day.
When are you happiest?When I’m sleeping… probably when I’m home with my husband and my pets hanging out. Or at an alpaca farm!
Do you have a personal philosophy that you live by?
No, I mean I guess one thing I live by is “find a job you love and you’ll never work a day in your life” because that’s how I feel here.
Start the new semester on the right foot! Shannon Speed explains different types of exercises that you can work on, as well as other recreational activities to keep you healthy and active. Shannon is one of the Miami Recreational Center’s Assistant Directors of Fitness, she is also a Certified Personal Trainer and Group Fitness instructor.
Cardiovascular Exercise vs. Weight Training
There are a variety of ways to participate in activities that challenge cardiovascular health. Things such as golfing, yard-work, and bowling are all technical forms of cardiovascular exercise. It is recommended to participate in cardiovascular activity 3-5 times per week at a moderate to vigorous intensity, for about 30 minutes. In total, you should be getting 150 minutes of cardiovascular exercise per week, but how you break it up is really up to the individual. For some people golfing may be vigorous enough to serve as an appropriate form of exercise. However, it’s more likely that college students will need to engage in activities like running, biking, basketball, or climbing stairs.
Weight training is also an important component of exercise. It is recommended to weight train 2-3 times per week, making sure to take rests between weight training days. The Recreation Center has a multitude of weight training machines, in addition to free weights. If you are just beginning with a weight training regimen, it can be daunting and the first few days may be a struggle, but it’s well worth it.
Each have their own benefits. Cardiovascular exercise can reduce the risk of coronary heart disease, improves cardiovascular and respiratory function, and decreases anxiety. Weight training is known to improve bone density, decrease the risk of injury, and increase fat-free mass. Many people will choose to participate in either cardiovascular exercise or weight training, but the reality is that they are both most effective when combined. Both improve the overall quality of life and contribute to enhanced feelings of well-being and self-confidence.
Group Fitness vs. Personal Training
This is a long-standing battle for some as Group Fitness and Personal Training are complete opposites. Group Fitness in is a group setting of anywhere from 2 to 50 people and offers a variety of modes of exercise. For example, at the Recreation Center our offerings include: Pilates, Vinyasa Yoga, Ashtanga Yoga, Yoga Pilates, Barre, Spinning, Toning, Bootcamp, Tabata, Zumba®, Indo-Row®, Shockwave®, TRX®, SilverSneakers®, Kettlebell, Baby & Me Yoga, Kickboxing, Abs classes, Cardio classes, and a variety of classes with different combinations of those options. The downside is that Group Fitness isn’t as personalized. There are many instructors that cater toward regular participants, but there are no fitness assessments performed to monitor progress, and sometimes your favorite class is only available once a week.
Personal Training is personalized. A health assessment and profile is typically completed beforehand to gauge where to begin in the fitness program. You also have the capability of meeting with the trainer more than once per week. The downside is that you may not have the support of a group, and personal training may not be as entertaining for those that like the music and interaction with others. In some cases, there is a happy medium, and we do offer this option at the Rec Center.
Small Group Training isn’t a new form of fitness, but it’s not something that many people know about. In this setting of 2-5 people, you have the best of both worlds: a social network, and individualized attention. If you’re considering beginning a Group Fitness or Personal Training program, you should make sure you’re aware of all of your options so you can choose what’s best for you.
Informal vs Formal Recreation
Most people don’t understand the difference between these two forms of recreation because “formal” is often associated with staunch or uptight. However, the real difference is really whether or not you are participating in something organized or unorganized. Informal recreation is anything from going to the fitness center to run on the treadmill, to playing a pickup basketball game or climbing at the rock wall during open climbing hours.
Formal recreation, on the other hand, includes activities like participating in an intramural soccer game, training with a personal trainer, or going on an organized adventure trip. More often, formal recreation is performed with friends or a social network whereas informal recreation may be on your own. That said, both are forms of recreation and, as long as you are getting exercise, are great options.
Most of the time your choice between informal and formal recreation is based on a personal preference. Do you prefer to exercise on your own or do you prefer to exercise with others? Or maybe you’d rather do both? There’s nothing that says you can’t participate in both an intramural soccer game and run on the treadmill in the fitness center on your own.
Holly Wilson is one of our Yoga and Pilates instructors and has been teaching the Miami and Oxford Community for over 15 years. As a physical-mind instructor, she gives us her perspective and insight on posture as she associates it with her two disciplines. Wilson says that you’re going to learn the most about your muscular imbalances, postural habits and the best ways to correct it through Yoga and Pilates. She states that “Yoga and Pilates are about posture because they encompass the strength of the muscles that support the torso and the spine”. Her goal as an instructor is to give people the awareness and techniques to change the way they hold and move themselves in class.
Major problems of bad postural habitsWilson emphasized that head-forward, also known as tech-neck is a big problem. She explained that head-forward or tech-neck causes around 60 pounds of displaced weight to rest in the front of the body. This causes slumping through the shoulders which affects your overall balance. Additionally, this can load hip flexors and often causes you to hinge forward, which results in over-contracting your back and possibly compressing your organs. Another big problem she sees is individuals pushing ribs out and forward which is known as rib thrust, which can cause organ displacement.
ConclusionGood posture involves much more than appearance. It encompasses health benefits and prevents short and long-term consequences including bone development and density, as well as back pain which is the most common one. Holly Wilson says that if you manage to make good posture a habit, it will lock in at the cellular level and thus becoming a part of you. Both professionals accentuated that ultimately you control your postural habits and that you must strive to maintain them.