Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Trainer Spotlight- Luke Meola

This is Luke's first year working at the rec center as a personal trainer! He is a Junior health promotion and fitness management major from Roxbury, New Jersey. Though he hasn't been with the Rec long, he has enjoyed every minute. 

What made you want to become a personal trainer?

Going through therapy after tearing my ACL and having my own personal trainer helped me decide to get certified. I saw how much of a difference he made in helping myself and others, and I realized I wanted to do that too.

What is your favorite part about the job?

My favorite part would have to be, seeing people get excited when they reach their goals.  Knowing that I made a difference and they are happy and grateful for their progress is very rewarding.

What is the most difficult part about being a personal trainer and how do you deal with it?

The hardest part about being a personal trainer is having to make other people’s goals a priority while still worrying about my own.  I have to make sure I’m there for my clients and schedule my own workouts around their convenience, which a lot of the times means getting up early to head to the gym and have my own workout before helping someone else.

What is your best fitness tip?

Always strive to achieve your goals, and try to become a better version of yourself

What is a fun fact about yourself?

I like art and drawing.  I also enjoy going to see musicals, which is definitely something people don’t expect to find out when they meet me.

If you’d like to sign up for a session with Luke or any of the Rowan Rec Center trainers, please visit the front desk of the Rec center! Or even just approach him yourself if you see him around the gym, he’s very personable and more than happy to help!


Saturday, September 12, 2015

Top 5 Fitness Myths

         It seems that every day the next hottest fitness trend is hitting the public.  There are so many “do’s and don’ts” of fitness that a lot of the times you can end up hearing contradicting theories.  In order to get some of the best information try seeing a personal trainer for personalized workouts and fitness plans. Getting a personal trainer is probably the only way to truly find out what type of workout plan works best for you. But for now here are a few fitness myths to help you separate fact from fiction when it comes to your health. 

1.  Your Cardio Machine is keeping track of your progress

It is important to take the information a treadmill gives you with a grain of salt.  Caloric burning depends on factors that a treadmill cannot measure including; fitness level, BMI, age and sex.  Without all these pieces of information it’s impossible for a machine to give you an exact analysis of your body.  Knowing your own body is a better assessment of how hard you’re working, than a machine can tell you.

2.     You can spot reduce

Focusing your exercise routine on one part of the body such as the abs will not make your stomach flat.  Melting fat off of one particular area of the body is not possible; your goal should just be to burn fat in general.  If you only did crunches it would actually create muscle memory making the workout less effective.  By rotating exercises to work different body parts it will reduce muscle memory making your workout more effective, ultimately burning more fat from your body as a whole. 

 3.     Cardio is the best way to shed pounds

People tend to think cardio is only form of working out that will help weight loss.  And while cardio is part of losing weight it will not help reshape your body.  The key to that is strength training.  Focusing your workout on strength training will actually burn more calories and get your metabolism going.  Ultimately this will work better towards getting the results you desire.

 4.     Lifting weights will make you big

Women often avoid lifting weights because they are afraid of gaining too much muscle and are not interested in having that look. Most women however, do not have enough testosterone to even get to a point where they would appear bulky.  Strength training is actually very important to losing weight, and avoiding it is going to make it more difficult to lose weight, not simply prevent you from looking too muscular. 

5 .   Protein shakes are a must

Making sure you take in protein when working out is very important.  Protein shakes, however, are not necessary for everyone.  Try getting your daily amount of protein by eating lean meats or protein packed foods such as turkey, beef, or nuts.  If you are in a pinch, a protein shake can be effective if you can’t meet these daily needs through food. Always make sure your read the ingredients of a shake before using it to make sure you are not taking in any unwanted fillers. To find out your daily intake use this equation: Weight in kg x 0.8-1.8 gm/kg. However, your daily intake may change based on your personal goals.


Friday, September 11, 2015

My Top 10 Things to Do When You’re Having a Bad Day

We all have those days…But don’t fear, if you want to feel better there are little things to do that will improve you day! These are the things I do personally whenever I’m feeling down:

     1.   Hit the gym!! Always works for me, Get the endorphins racing through those veins and sweat out the bad vibes. It works.

     2.  Hit the pavement. Sometimes you might not be in the mood to be in a crowded gym with a million people. Sometimes going on a long run just to get away from the world for a little while is the best medicine.

     3.   Go outside. Hike, walk in the park, or drive around aimlessly with the windows down. Fresh air will do you good!

     4.  Treat Yourself! I know some guys out there might not be into this but I know us girls love a good mani/pedi. Treat yourself! I’m always doing my own nails at home but sometimes there’s nothing better than going out and having the professionals get the job done for you.

     5.  Take a hot shower. I’m not sure why this works but whenever I’m feeling tired, run down, gloomy, or sick I always hop in the shower. It’s kind of like restarting your day. And definitely feels great.

     6.   Watch your favorite show or comedy. If I want a guarantee laugh I’ll refer to Netflix and put on some old Friends episodes, New Girl, It’s Always Sunny, or (my new fav) Arrested Development.

     7.  Do something nice for a Friend. Or even a stranger. Random acts of kindness, doing good to others make you feel all warm and fuzzy on the inside. When you’re having a bad day sometimes making others feel good can have a strong positive impact on your own attitude or mood.

     8.  Turn off your phone. Blocking out social media and emails and phone calls for a few hours can just make you forget about the real world for a moment.

     9.  Set some goals for the day; instead of moping around, getting nothing done. Making yourself busy, or finding things to occupy your time is really a great way to forget all about why you’re in a bad mood in the first place.

    10. Indulge! If you’re like me, always trying to eat healthy and never going for that second slice of pizza, give yourself a break! Life’s short, go get some ice cream, buy that chocolate bar at the checkout line, have a second helping of pasta. Sometimes it’s all you need!

Thursday, September 3, 2015

Eating Healthy On a College Budget

So last year I wrote about this, but healthy eating habits is something really important to me so I decided to revisit the topic again this year for those of you that didn’t have a chance to read my first blog post!

So first thing’s first, BEFORE you even step foot into the grocery store make sure you aren’t shopping on an empty stomach!!! That will 100% lead to impulse buys just based on the fact that you’re hungry!

Next thing you need to know is that some items you only need to buy once in a while, your nonperishable items. These are your foods like extra virgin olive oil, oats, rice, peanut butter, vinegar, seasonings and spices. They can usually be bought in bulk and should last you a month or more! 
Personally, I love canned soups but anyone that knows anything about canned soup knows that they're FILLED with sodium. Recently I looked up healthier canned soup options and i stumbled the Amy's brand. Amy's is an organic brand and my 2 faves are the Organic Lentil Vegetable soup and also the Organic Minestrone! Next time you're at the grocery store check them out!

Your foods that you buy less often (every 2 weeks or so) are cereal, English muffins, rice cakes, nuts, almond milk, Greek yogurt, eggs, hummus, etc. Personally I choose to buy almond milk because compared to regular milk that only lasts about a week or so almond milk has a much, much, much longer shelf life. I won't use an entire gallon or gallon and a half at milk before it expires so almond milk is the next best alternative!

Then of course there are foods that need to be bought weekly (foods that go bad quickly or foods you eat a lot of!). These are your fresh fruits and veggies, meats, or any dairy like cold cuts. 

Before I sign off on this post I’m just going to make a quick list of some healthy snacks I like to indulge on. 

1.    Fruit and cottage cheese
2.    Rice cakes and peanut butter (Heart eye emoji)
3.    Jello
4.    Carrots and hummus
5.     Hardboiled eggs

Hope this helps guys!