Today: Jun 25, 2024

Food and Fitness go hand-in-hand when it comes to staying healthy

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Juliemar Ortiz – Special to the Southern News –

Students’ lack of knowledge about health and fitness can hurt them when they try to exercise.

At least three times a week, sophomore Aaron Echevarria, major undeclared, takes time between classes to exercise at Southern’s Fitness Center.

“I stretch, lift weights, then maybe do a little bit of cardio on the treadmill in the end,” said Echevarria.

Some students would perceive Echevarria to be fit because of his workout habits. However, it is possible that although he exercises, he can still be unfit or unhealthy.

While the Fitness Center in the Adanti Student Center is a way to motivate students to exercise and live a healthy lifestyle, some students don’t know that there are rules to working out.

Jessica Scibek, assistant director of Southern’s Fitness Center, said there is a right way and a wrong way to exercise and not all students are doing it the right way. She has noticed that some students have bad habits when it comes to working out, which could end up hurting them.

“One thing I see students do,” she said, “is that they will weigh themselves before and after they work out and then they say, well how much weight did I lose?”

Scibek said the only weight a person will lose during one workout is water weight. After the person drinks a bottle of water, they will gain that weight back.

The only way to realistically keep track of how much weight a person is losing is by measuring it over a period of time such as a week, a month or several months.

Another bad habit several students have shown is that they do not eat before or after a workout. According to Scibek, they think that if they do not eat, they will burn more fat or calories. This misinterpretation made by students is the contrary of what they should be doing.

“If you haven’t eaten in 12 hours, you’re not going to be able to give it your best,” she said.

Students should be eating and drinking water throughout the day before they work out. One reason students think they should not eat before they go to the gym is because they will have cramping during their workout. On the other hand, not eating at all is a huge mistake. People need energy to get them through an efficient workout.

“Food is energy,” said Scibek. “That’s its purpose and that’s not what they’re using it for.”

Eating after a workout is just as important as eating before because the body needs to regain the energy that was lost during the time of exercising. For those students who do not eat or drink before and after they exercise, the chances of becoming dehydrated and passing out are increased.

Allison Blacker, a graduate intern at the Fitness Center, says she has noticed some students who stop working out completely because they set unrealistic goals to begin with. Wanting to lose 50 pounds in two weeks is not a realistic goal.

Blacker said students can use the acronym S.M.A.R.T. to set their exercise goals. This acronym stands for the five steps: specific, measurable, achievable, relevant and time-based goals.

Blacker said she has noticed that most females only work on their cardio, but they do not work on exercising other parts of their body, while males have a tendency to just lift weights.

What they should be doing is a little bit of everything; stretching, lifting weights and cardio. Overall, students should have a balanced workout, said Scibek and Blacker.


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