Spin Your Way to Fit

I decided to start a new weekly series where I will post information, and feedback from the students and faculty about a different group exercise offered at the WVU Student Rec Center.  This weeks featured group exercise is spinning!  Spinning is pretty much a fancy word for biking. 1251682090_md

There are multiple spinning instructors and class times vary each month.  The hour-long class is fast paced, and will leave you dripping with sweat.  Hills, jumps, and flats are included to keep your heart rate high and the session intense.  This class doesn’t require headphones because music is played at full blast, keeping students focused and motivated.

Erin Thomas, sophomore and spin goer, jokes, “It’s nice not having to worry about your headphones falling out of your ears every two seconds, especially when you’re constantly moving.  The music is definitely one of the main reasons my legs stay moving the whole time too.”

Rohit Nezhad, spin instructor at WVU, has recently scheduled a special Bollywood themed spin class on October 7th at 5:30PM.  Those attending are encouraged to wear bright colors, fun patterns, and sequins!  Prizes will be rewarded to those with the best outfit!

Abby Beckham, spin class regular, says “They had an 80s themed spin class every Thursday this month where they played 80s music and had a bunch of colorful lights.  I can’t wait to see if the Bollywood theme will last all throughout October!”

Overall, spinning is great option for those interested in an intense cardiovascular workout.  Schedules are currently provided for the months of September and October.

You may also want to check out Zenergy Cycling, located in the Suncrest Towne Center.



Start to sleepWELL


A good nights sleep can be vital to a college students studies.  Without proper sleep a student can become grumpy, unmotivated, and forgetful.

Over the past couple years, West Virginia University has been working to grow their sleepWELL program.  They define sleep as a habit and say that “the difference between tossing and turning and a better night’s sleep is same time, same place, 8 hours.”

sleepWELL offers a variety of residence hall education programs and tabling opportunities.  The Sleep Habit Simulator and the Epworth Sleepiness Scale are just a few of the options listed.  They also stress the importance of sleep hygiene and offer a Sleep Hygiene Self-Assestment.

West Virginia University Medicine recently conducted a study on the effects of sleeping next to technology (most likely your cell phone).  They said factors such as text notifications and the light your phone puts off can disrupt a persons sleep.

The university has also been looking at the effects of waking up early has on students.  When it comes to middle schools and high schools, West Virginia University Medicine says they believe school should have a later start time because it is causing students to not get enough sleep.

One factor I believe really changed how well I slept was making sure I didn’t lay in bed all day.  Whether I was watching TV or doing homework, I found if I did these things in bed, I would have a harder time falling asleep that night.

As cliche as it may sound, make sure to always get 8 hours of sleep to insure you’ll be in tip-top shape the next morning.  For more information on topics such as sleep disorders, you can visit the WVUMedicine website.



Get Out and Get Involved

Did you know that West Virginia University offers about 50 club sports to ALL students?  Club sports are the perfect way to meet new friends while staying active at the same time.  With the help of a club advisor, students involved in club sports must organize their practices, fund the money for equipment and travel, and advertise their clubs to get people to join.

Alexis Needles, last years club volleyball vice president, admits that it’s not always easy to juggle your sport and schoolwork. “Duties were split between the president and I.  The both of us were responsible for entering two teams into tournaments, reserving hotel rooms, making driving arrangements, and making sure that all paperwork was completed and turned in on time. We also had to schedule and plan every practice.”

img_3656I had the chance to watch the girls club volleyball team practice and was quite surprised by how much time and effort they put in.  I expected club sports to be less demanding and relaxed, but I was proven wrong.  The practice consisted of a warm up, followed by drills, and ending with trial games.  They were able to take constructive criticism and apply it to their game.  Even though they did take the sport seriously, nothing stopped them from laughing and having fun.

Being involved in a club sport comes with extra responsibilities, though many agree that the img_5114experiences and friendships you make along the way are worth it.  Rob Pavlik, a senior on the boys club volleyball team, says “I play not only because I enjoy the competitive nature of the sport, but also because of the team.  We are all great friends drawn together by volleyball. Being on the team gives me lessons on humility, leadership, and patience. Lessons that I don’t believe I would have learned anywhere else.”

One of the main goals for students involved in club sports is to travel and compete with other universities on a regional level, in hopes of making it to the national level.  They must also partake in a variety of community service options throughout the season.

Practice times and location are available to students online and at the front desk of the student recreational center.



‘I Love Juice Bar’ “Juices” Up Their Menu


I would like to start off by saying I wish I could buy one of these delicious and healthy smoothies everyday.  When they first opened their doors to the community in late January, their menu was already pretty substantial.  They had everything from the classic Strawberry Banana to (one of my favorites) Blue Chocolatta.

When I came back to WVU for my junior year, I made it priority to stop there immediately!  I took a glance and realized the menu had grown much larger in size.  Yes you read that right, they added MORE!  They are now offering a PB&J smoothie, as well as two others called Orange You Smooth and Smooth Beet.  The item that got me the most excited was the Acai Bowl.screen-shot-2016-09-21-at-1-10-37-pm  ‘I Love Juice Bar’ worker and WVU student Kailey Burrows says “I was ecstatic when we started offering the Acai Bowl, it’s so healthy but also such a treat!”

‘I Love Juice Bar’ goer and psychology major Emily Wurster says “Thank goodness they take meal swipes. I always get the Green Smoothie, but instead of the banana I get mango slices.” screen-shot-2016-09-21-at-1-33-28-pmWurster admits to driving from downtown to Evansdale Crossing at least three times a week for a smoothie.

Eric James, ‘I Love Juice Bar’ student worker, admits that ever since the new additions to the menu, they’ve been significantly busier.  “There are specific times throughout the day when we’re the most busy.  I’ve learned that by working here for just a month.”

‘I Love Juice Bar’ has also featured other new menu items such as power shots, essential oil shots, and monster shots. They recently started offering an array of juice cleanses as well.

To learn more about WVU’s ‘I Love Juice Bar’ visit it on the 5th floor of the Evansdale Crossing building.  Check out The DA’s take on the juice bar.

Self-Love Talk

self-loveA huge topic within the health and fitness world has been about self-love.  As important as it is to do your best to stay active and eat healthy, if you are not happy while doing so, you need to make a change.

Blogger Jay Fields believes we are all looking for “a true and whole experience of ourselves.” I too agree with this statement, but would also include that the time it takes for each person to reach this level of self-love will vary greatly.  Fields covers this topic by sharing her personal achievements and failures.  In one moving post she talks about the vulnerability of being happy and how she truly learned to love herself during the most hard times in her life.

Another blogger who touches on the subject of self-love is Julie Fagan, also known as Peanut Butter Fingers.  Fagan learned to love herslef through being a mother.  In a recent post about how to change the way you approach fitness, Fagan says that her body is much more than the way it looks on the outside.  She stays active and healthy so she can see her child grow up.  I find it amazing how many approaches people can take when talking about self-love and how to acquire it.

The last blogger I found is  Kate, author of Eat the Damn Cake.  Kate talks a lot about self-love and wishes that girls could “look in the mirror without having to prioritize their appearances.”  She believes the community has created the issue of people not being able to love themselves.  Whether it is an unrealistic bikini model, or what someone may think the “ideal” body should look like, she talks about it all. I personally agree with Kate completely.

The people we look up to are usually a depiction of “the perfect person.” We tend to say things like “I want to be just like them”, which is a very unrealistic goal. I believe we need to talk about things in a way where people can set realistic goals that will later lead to self-love. Accomplishing a goal can make you feel better about yourself, and give you the confidence to set a new one and go for it.


Student Rec Center Offers Personal Training

1455828500_mdBeing a student here at West Virginia University, I have always been aware that the rec center had a lot of offer, but I never actually took advantage of any of these activities or programs.

At a recent visit to the gym, I saw a man wearing a shirt that read “Trainer” in big bold letters on the back of his shirt.  I investigated more and saw he was working one-on-one with what looked to be a student.

I decided to dig a little deeper and found that the WVU Student Rec Center does in-fact offer personal trainers.  I was shocked at first, thinking that they were offering Personal Trainers for free; I was soon calmed down when the prices were neatly listed at the bottom of the page.

West Virginia University students are offered personal training at a discount, where as rec center members have a bit of a higher pricing. All personal trainers, along with their emails are listed on the page as well.


Healthy Eating in the Dining Halls

I learned freshman year that the dining halls can get pretty boring and even seem sickly at times.  I had trouble finding healthy options other than salads, and let me tell you.. No matter how much you change the dressing, it still gets boring!

West Virginia University has recently added a “Healthy U” option in every dining hall for breakfast, lunch, and dinner.  This allows students to still eat healthy without having to consume almost the same breakfast, lunch, and dinner everyday.

The university posts the dining hall menus weekly to inform students what they are serving.  The Healthy U options are included in this list.

Rec Center Updates Gym Equipment

I have recently been going to Planet Fitness to workout because my roommate has a membership there and is able to bring a friend for free.  I mean really, who is going to turn down a deal like that? Not me!

So anyways, since I had been going to Planet Fitness, I had not made time for WVU’s Rec Center.  I recently made my way up there and was completely shocked at the way it looked.  For one, there are a slew of new machines and double the amount of dumbells.  They have also added a few more treadmills. Thank goodness for that because I think all us gym goers know treadmills are the first to be taken.

Not only was there new equipment, but they practically moved the whole second floor around! The new layout of the gym really gives it an open feel and leaves a lot more room for those doing floor exercises.

If you have not had the chance to check out the new and improved rec center, I would highly recommend you do so.


Health, Fitness, and Lifestyle Blogs

Tony Gentilcore is a blogger that creates posts about exercise techniques, as well as how to live a healthy lifestyle.

Running to the Kitchen gives people alternate food recipes to keep even the sweetest of snacks healthy.  From superfood brownies to avocado and blueberry pancakes, she has included it all!

Jay Fields writes about not only her successes, but as well as her failures in life and what she did to overcome them.  Every blog post seems to teach you something important about everyday life.

Peanut Butter Fingers is a lifestyle blog all about eating healthy and staying active.  The whole blog has a very personable and positive look to it.

No Meat Athlete is a blog all about being a vegetarian, but also an athlete.  The topic of discussion is very opinionated but he somehow finds a way to explain everything in a non-judgmental way.

Fit Foodie Finds shares her health journey with others and the lessons she has learned along the way.

Mobility Wod incorporates not only words but video blogs as well.  He provides information anywhere from helpful workouts to recovery.

Eat the Damn Cake includes endless amounts of information on self-acceptance and how to balance a happy and healthful diet.  She even included a page where women can send in pictures of them eating cake, and guess what… She posts them! Because who doesn’t love cake, right?

Slow Your Home is a very clean and simple blog all about how to de-stress and relax.  She mentions that you should take life slow and have time to enjoy the little things.

Hungry Runner Girl is a combination of her passions, hobbies, and day to day life.  The majority of the blog is about running, but it is not rare to see a couple lifestyle posts as well.



The Greenhouse

Are you searching for a quick, 1410879264yet healthy food option here on campus? Well look no further! The Greenhouse is relatively new and located on Evansdale Campus in the CPASS building.

They provide a wide variety of food options; from fresh fruit smoothies to soup to premium deli sandwiches, they have it all! The Greenhouse also has options for those living a vegetarian, vegan, or gluten-free based diet. They usually have pre-packaged sandwiches to grab on the go, but if you aren’t in a real rush feel free to ask for a specially made sandwich!

If there were a rating for atmosphere, the Greenhouse would receive a 10 out of 10. The whole building is filled with light, as it overlooks the Rec Center’s outdoor fields. Watching all of the students being active almost makes you want to jump up and join!

If you haven’t had the chance to check out the Greenhouse, I would highly recommend that you do.

All hours of operation and payment options can be found here.