Category Archives: Fitness & Health

HER Campus – Stability Ballin’ Workout


Chelsea’s Fitness III: Stability Ball Exercises: Give Yourself a Ballin’ Workout

Monday, November 8, 2010

You’ve tried the basic cardio equipment, various exercise classes, and have even maybe lifted a weight or two, but have you ever tried using a stability ball? Stability balls are a great way to get a toned body. However, a lot of people think that the only thing stability balls are good for is crunches. This is not true!

Stability balls can be used to work out your abs, arms, legs and can provide a good cardio workout. Here are different parts of your body to focus on and various exercises to keep you looking good: Do 3 sets of 10 for each different exercise.

1. Basic Crunch: Make sure that your shoulders and upper back are on the medicine ball and your hips are off. Keep your hips elevated at a 90 degree angle. Begin your crunches.
2. Ball Pass Off: This crunch requires you to lay on the ground. From here, you pass the ball from your hands to in between your feet every time you crunch up.
3. Plank on the ball: This requires your feet to be on the ground and your forearms on the ball. Your body should be in a straight line. From here you want to pike your body up so that you butt inverts your body into an “A” shape. The ball should roll as you move under your arms.
4. Ball Twist: Get into a push-up position with your feet separated on the ball. Then slightly twist and roll the ball from side to side. This does not need to be a large twist, just a slight movement.  You want to avoid losing your balance.
5. Side Wall Crunch: Lay on your side with your hip on the ball and your feet resting against a wall. Crunch to the side and twist your shoulders toward the ceiling. After you do one set, repeat to the other side.

Back Side:
1. Backwards Crunch: Lay with your stomach on the ball and your body in a straight line. Arch your back, lifting your head and shoulders toward the ceiling.
2. Butt Lift: Lay with your shoulders and upper back on the ball and your feet on the ground. Let your body relax so that your body is mostly lying on the ball. Extend your hips up to a 90 degree angle for one repetition.
3. Roll In: Lay with your back on the ground and your feet on the ball. Lift your hips up and roll the ball in. Bend your knees as you roll the ball in.

1. Wall Squat: Place the ball between you and the wall and simply squat so that your legs make a 90 degree angle. Let the ball roll as you move.
2. Overhead Squat: Hold the ball above your head and squat. Once again make sure that your legs make a 90 degree angle.
3. Frog Jump: Start in a squat holding the ball in front of your chest. From there jump straight up while lifting the ball over your head. Bring the ball back to your chest and land in a squat after completing the jump.

1. Push-Up: Get into the normal push-up position with your arms making a straight line with your shoulders. Place your feet on the ball behind you. Proceed with normal push-ups.
2. Tricep Hold: Sit straight up on the ball. Place your arms next to you on the ball then lift your hips up, so that you are simply balancing on your hands. Hold this for 30 seconds then repeat.

Do each of these exercises for one minute each right in a row for three sets.
1. Ball Jog: Sit on the ball and basically jog. Lift each knee one at a time up and down towards your chest as high as possible. This is supposed to be a quick motion.
2. Step Touch: Stay seated on the ball. Step to one side and have your other foot meet the other. Then repeat to the other side. The ball is supposed to roll under you. Once again this is a quick motion.
3. Ski Step: Jump your feet from one side of the ball to the other. Your upper body should twist in the opposite direction of your legs.

I hope you enjoy these ballin’ exercises!


HER Campus – Lacking Energy


Fresh Eats II: Lacking Energy? It Could Be Iron Deficiency Anemia

Monday, November 8, 2010

Is Mr. Sandman coming to get you when you have to be your most awake during the day? Well, it may not be just a lack of sleep from the night before, but the most common nutrition disorder in the world.

Iron deficiency anemia affects one in five American females, according to The deficiency is due to a lack of sufficient amounts of iron in their diet. The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) explains, “Women are more likely to suffer from an iron deficiency anemia because the flow of blood from monthly period contains iron.”

If iron deficiency anemia goes untreated, heart problems may develop and lead to a rapid or irregular heartbeat.  MayoClinic explains that since iron creates the oxygen carrying protein, hemoglobin, which transports oxygen from the lungs to the rest of the body.  If there is a deficiency, the lack of oxygen causes your heart to compensate and pump more blood.

To avoid this kind of deficiency, there a few foods you can eat that will help put iron in your system and increase your energy:

– Meat: beef, pork, lamb, chicken, turkey
– Dark Leafy Veggies: broccoli, mustard greens, and a variety of lettuces
– Dried Fruit – raisins, prunes, apricots, cranberries
– Beans, Peas, Seeds
– Potato Skins
– Whole Wheat Bread
– Vitamin C & Citric Acids – oranges, grapefruit, lemon, lime

Now what do you eat if you can’t afford or do not have access to the foods above?  There are plenty of options on campus that can help add to daily iron intake.

Some iron enriched options around campus include:

– SAC: Make yourself a salad from the salad bar.  You can include your dark leafy veggies, dried fruit, beans, seeds, and occasionally meat depending on what time of the day you go. You can also pick up an orange or orange juice before you check out.

– Einstein Bagels: They carry the option of picking out a whole-wheat bagel with your choice of lunchmeat and lettuce.

– Charleston Market: This place in the SAC always has a different type of meat and a green vegetable to choose. You can also opt to get a baked potato or mashed potatoes if they are offered.

– Master Wok or any other Chinese Place on Campus: At these places, opt to get a meat with vegetable such as chicken/beef and broccoli or chicken/beef and vegetables.

– J&H: There is a wide variety of options at J&H that can help your iron deficiency needs. Once again there is the salad bar option that is also found in the SAC.  You can also create your own tacos or burger with meat and lettuce.

– Jimmy Johns: Get your sandwich on wheat bread or ask for the “un-wich,” which is basically a lettuce wrap style.  Here you will get your meat, dark leafy vegetable, bean sprouts, and wheat bread.

If you try to rearrange your diet and problems still persist, go to the student health center to get a blood test.  If you test positive for iron deficiency anemia, they can give you an iron supplement. The supplement will help boost iron in your system and energy in your every day life.

Exercise is also vital in keeping your energy up throughout the week.  So, head over to the gym and boost your cardio.  If you are not too fond of the idea of using one of the dreaded machines, try taking a fun class like Zumba.  To read more on Zumba follow this link:

HER Campus – Spinning


Chelsea’s Fitness II: Spinning Class: A Quick Cardio-Filled Slim Down

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

The thought of biking for 45 minutes to an hour straight may leave you running away from the gym. However, spinning classes are not at all as bad as they may sound. With motivational music blaring and slightly dimmed lights, spinning classes are extremely energetic and fun to take; not to mention an awesome workout!

If you are in the need of an intense cardiovascular workout that will give you a quick slim down, spinning is the key to a drenched shirt and a fully toned body. The various positions spinners take on the bike, as advised by the instructor, focus on multiple parts of the body including legs, abs, and arms.

Still intimidated? The instructors at Temple University always advise throughout the workout that “you are in control of your ride.” This means that you have the ability to make your workout as easy or as rigorous as you want. The instructor simply guides you through different levels of intensity to give a basic structure to your workout.

While you have control of your ride, it is important to know what exactly you have control over. It is vital to focus on your cardiovascular fitness as well as your lower body strength training. In fact, spinning may very well be a better workout than simply running on a treadmill, because it combines the effectiveness of these two elements. It is also a low impact form of exercise, which helps if you have bad ankles or knees. states, “Depending on how fast you pedal and the amount of resistance you have on the bike, your heart and lungs will benefit, as well as your gluteus maximus, hamstrings and quadriceps.” The website states that this is a perfect option to increase energy levels while burning fat and calories. The spinning instructors at Temple University advise that an average 50-minute spinning class burns anywhere from 300 to 600 calories depending on how hard you push yourself.

Throughout the ride, the instructors will inform you to add resistance on the bike by turning a knob below the handle bars. Slight turns up in resistance signify a hill. There are also three different positions that a spinner may take to focus on different parts of the body. Quick changes in position are called jumps. Instructors also set aside time during the workout to sprint. During sprints, it is not necessarily how fast you are going but how hard you go against the resistance. These different spinning techniques split up the ride to make it less tedious and more about focusing on each individual song that is played.

I was absolutely terrified by the thought of riding a bike for an hour straight. However, after my first ride, I fell in love and rapidly saw the benefits. I started going every morning at 7:00 am and found that it quickly slimmed my stomach down in the first week. Spinning class is a terrific way to get rid of all of the toxins in your body as you sweat profusely from head to toe. So don’t forget your towel!

Temple University’s Independent Blue Cross gym holds daily spinning classes three times a day Monday through Friday starting at 7:05 am, 12:05 pm, and 5:10 pm. They also hold class on Saturday at 12:05 pm and Sunday at 5:10 pm. So, whether you are a morning or night person, Temple offers a variety of times for you to get a great combination of cardio exercise and strength training. Don’t be intimidated, just do it!

HER Campus – Healthy Snacks


Fresh Eats I: Your College Guide to Eating Healthy Snacks

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Late night bites, partying, cafeteria food, and the infamous Philly cheese steaks just add on the calories and the pounds.  And who really wants to gain the “Freshman 15” that just keeps adding on pounds year after year? Not me and I’m sure you don’t either.  While leading a college lifestyle, it is very difficult to eat well and get the proper nutrition. I am here to give you simple tips and recipes that are tasty, healthy, and can fit right into your busy college schedule and small budget.

It is important to put yourself on a schedule when it comes to eating.  Do not just eat to eat.  This is where many college students run into trouble.  There is nothing wrong with having a snack when your stomach starts to growl, but that does not mean you eat an entire large bag of your favorite chips.  Portion sizes are key! When picking out a snack it is important to find one that will give you energy and take away your mid-day tummy rumbles without making you feel guilty.

“If you enjoy a nibble between meals but are afraid that you’re eating too many calories, reduce your portions at mealtime,” says registered dietitian of the American Dietetic Association, M.J. Smith, “that way you can have a snack without the guilt or extra calories.” It is also vital to find a snack that is smart too! Think about munching on a piece of fruit or vegetable with a dip maybe or even a whole wheat cracker. Nuts and popcorn are also healthy options that will fill you up.

Many nutritionists have found that five or six smalls meals and snacks are better for your body and health than simply purging for one or two meals a day. This will ensure to keep your energy level up throughout the day to avoid that sluggish feeling before classroom hypnosis hits you.

Here is a spin on a simple snack that gives you the perfect energizing blend of protein, carbs, and sugar to help you last the day; especially when you feel as though you just can’t keep your eyes open another minute in class.

Trail ReMix:

Your favorite cereal or granola

Your choice of nuts

Dried fruit (mix it up and don’t just use the typical raisins)


M&Ms or other chocolate-y treat

Sunflower or Pumpkin seeds

Keep each ingredient proportionate to the others, but add a little extra nuts and fruit for better nutritional value.  This is a great snack to throw in a small container and take with you to class.

Not only is this remix on the trail mix tasty and a great boost of energy, but it can also be stored for a long while.  So, when preparing the Trail ReMix, make enough to last you a couple of weeks.  However, you must be sure to seal whichever container you place it in well.  I recommend filling up a large ziplock bag and squeezing all of the air out before sealing up the bag.

This great “on the go” snack will keep your eyes peeled and energy levels up to stay alert in class. You’ll be ready to work and not feel fatigued. Just allow yourself to keep everything in proportion and don’t overeat. So, when the snack attack hits you, just be sure to stay smart and you’ll be energized for the day.

HER Campus – Zumba


Chelsea’s Fitness I: Shake Your Booty Off with Zumba

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Shake what your mama gave ya! When I entered the group fitness room at Temple University’s Independence Blue Cross gym, I had no idea what to expect with the Zumba class. Girls were lined up outside of the room trying to get in to dance the night away with some Latin flavor. Excitement and energy filled the air while demonstrations about favorite dance moves were being exchanged. After seeing how thrilled everyone was to begin the class, I could not wait to get my shake on. Little did I know that dancing for an hour would leave me with a drenched t-shirt and in desperate need of a shower.

Whether you are a pro-dancer or have never taken a dance class before in your life, Zumba is very easy to catch on to. Each song that is played is infused with basic Latin dance steps that repeat throughout the song. This allows for the steps to be simple to catch on to while keeping your cardio up. The music played during the workout is a variety of mostly salsa, samba, reggaeton, and merengue. However, there are a few hip-hop songs added to the playlist that will keep you pumped and ready for more.

Zumba is a complete full body workout. “The routines feature interval training sessions where fast and slow rhythms and resistance training are combined to tone and sculpt your body while burning fat,” the official Zumba website explains. Through jumping, squatting, and shaking your booty, your heart rate is sure to stay up while you are having fun. The time goes by so fast in this class that an hour workout actually seems like nothing.

Alberto “Beto” Perez invented Zumba in the 1990s while in Columbia. He had actually previously trained and choreographed for Shakira and brought his knowledge of Latin style dance to an aerobic setting. From there, Zumba was brought to the states through Miami, Florida in 1999. From there, the style gained much attention and popularity and is now taught at over 60,000 locations with about 7.5 million participants around the world, according to

Not only is Zumba a great full body, aerobic workout, but this hip new dance trend is also helping to save lives. Instead of having walks for breast cancer, women across the United States have begun to hold “Zumbathons” to raise money for breast cancer causes. In fact, the Zumba organization and Susan G. Komen for the Cure recently partnered up to make the fundraising official. The two organizations came together as a means of reaching a larger number of people with different interests to raise the most money for the organization. So, if you ever come across a Zumbathon, definitely try to participate in it.  You will not only be helping others, but yourself as well in a fun way!

Zumba’s aerobic activity actually burns anywhere from 400 to 500 calories in only a 45-minute session, according to Julie Kelly, a ceritified instructor, explains, “Zumba really works your core, because the Latin dance moves specifically target the abdominal area.” And we all know that the core is what most women obsess over. So, instead of experiencing the pain and dread of running on the treadmill and hurting your neck and back over crunches, you will actually look forward to going to the gym if you are taking a Zumba class.

Temple offers four Zumba classes per week in the IBC gym. They hold hour long classes every Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, and Friday nights at 7:30 with different instructors throughout the week. If you are planning on taking a Zumba class however, be sure to get there early! The classes tend to fill up fast. So, if you want to get your dance on and not be stuck with the dreaded treadmill, remember the early bird gets the worm! And I hope you enjoy your Latin fitness frenzy!