Community Connections: News and Notes from Human Resources
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Community Connections: News and Notes from Human Resources.

Healthy "U" January Newsletter

Starting Back
      by Brent Ayer, Head Coach, Hood College Cross Country and Track & Field teams
So, it has happened again. You began the holiday season with good intentions of pushing away from the table and staying strong with your exercise program and...well, it didn't quite go as planned.

Here are some tips for getting back on track with your exercise program or, if you are new to this, getting started. First, if you are new to this type of physical activity, you should have a doctor's clearance before getting involved. If you are walking or running, go to your specialty running shoe store to seek advice on footwear and apparel.

If you are returning to exercise after several weeks off, it may not be feasible to start where you left off. It is reasonable to expect that you have lost fitness. Also, any increase in weight will affect your ability to perform, particularly with aerobic activity such as running and walking, and to a lesser extent swimming and biking. If you only took a couple of weeks off, start back at about 70% of the volume you last maintained.

Build up gradually. In running and walking, a good rule of thumb is to limit increases in volume or intensity to no more than 10% per week. As with most activities, consistent effort is more important than heroic effort. Consistent, daily sub-maximal exercise will be better for you than an effort that leaves you sore for days, as well as dreading your next workout.

If you are engaged in activities that are weight-bearing, such as running and walking and encounter significant muscle or joint pain, take a day or two off and consider a non-weight-bearing effort such as biking or swimming.

Harder is not better. The right amount of activity at the right time is better. Many people think that if they train harder, they will lose more weight. In fact, what most casual exercisers need to do is to slow down and go further. If your heart-rate is above 75%, your body's primary source of fuel is glycogen (complex carbohydrates). If it is below 65%, the primary source is fat. A good test to determine if you are at the proper intensity for aerobic exercise is “the talk test”. You are “in the aerobic zone” if you are able to talk. If you are unable to talk while exercising, you are not getting aerobic exercise. As you exercise, your body will gradually adapt to the stress. In general, it will take two to three weeks of consistent effort to make the adjustments that will permit you to do more. Getting fit involves both doing “work” and permitting the body to rest and recover from that work.

Finally, have fun and vary the activity. If you are looking forward to your workout, you probably have the right program in place. If you are dreading it, consider making some changes such as varying your route, changing your exercise or exercising with a friend.

If you have questions, please do not hesitate to call on me. Hope your New Year has gotten off to a great and healthy start!
Brent Ayer has advanced certifications from USA Track & Field, the US Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association, and the Road Runners Club of America (RRCA). He is a past-president of the RRCA, an association of over 1,400 running clubs and events across the country. He has run over 100,000 miles in training.

Lose the Intimidation Factor, Get Training
Jeremy Mattoon will conduct orientations on how to use the machines in the Hodson Fitness Center. Did you know we have a piece of equipment that works every muscle group in your body? The center is home to a Matrix functional trainer as well as many other state of the art pieces of equipment. Join Jeremy on Wednesday, January 30 and/or Wednesday, February 6 at 9:00 a.m. at the Athletic Center, Hodson Fitness Center, 1st floor.

Love Your Heart - The Challenge begins Thursday, February 14
Don't miss out on this opportunity to work out daily. Faculty and Staff can receive a free Fitbit Zip wireless pedometer today. Fitbit will track steps taken, miles traveled, and calories burned with no effort or technical expertise on your part. Fitbit tracks walking, running, biking, and any other kind of step motion. Simply move to reach a goal of 10,000 steps per day. You also can invite your friends to join an online group as motivation for one another to achieve the daily goal. For your free Fitbit, you must register with the Human Resources Office by Tuesday, February 12. The challenge begins on February 14 and ends May 14.

Mindfulness Meditation - Mondays
Meditate with Beth O'Malley, on Mondays from 12:15-12:45 p.m. in the McHenry Interfaith Prayer Room in the Coffman Chapel basement.

Yoga at Hood - Mondays and Thursdays
Free yoga classes, made possible by Sol Yoga, are held Mondays 5:00-6:00 p.m. and Thursdays 12:45-1:45 p.m. in the Dance Studio in Gambrill Gymnasium. Classes begin January 24 and continue through May 2. No classes will be held on March 11 or March 14.

Hood Walking Group - Still Walking on Tuesdays
Leaving at noon from the plaza between Alumnae Hall and Hodson, the group walks for approximately 30 minutes rain or shine. This is a great way to add steps to your daily progress with Fitbit!

Stay Tuned
Stay tuned for more detailed information to follow on upcoming special events such as a future badminton tournament and National Walk@Lunch Day, April 25, 2013.

Hope to see you at any or all of these events!


Hood College Office of Human Resources
401 Rosemont Ave.
Frederick, Maryland 21701
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