Expo to offer equipment-free, anywhere workouts

Courtesy Photo / myadrenalfatigue.com
Mixed energy drinks

Courtesy Photo / myadrenalfatigue.com Mixed energy drinks

Susie Skowronek

The thought of a stair stepper might make some people cringe. The sight of an exercise bicycle might make some people rub their rears in discomfort. The smell of the weight room might make some gag.

But for others, there is no greater feeling than stepping on the last elliptical with a television monitor.

The Fitness and Wellness Expo features campus and local resources to help maintain a healthy lifestyle. The event includes workshops, demonstrations, raffles, entertainment and food.

The seventh-annual expo will take place from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Wednesday in the Grand River Room and the Pere Marquette Room of Kirkhof Center.

Laura Kennett, associate director of Campus Recreation, said taking Campus Recreation out of its home and inserting it in a new environment makes it less daunting to students.

“I always hear about how people don’t know about what we do, and I realize coming over to this building is a barrier for some people. It can be intimidating,” Kennett said.

While the gym might feel like property of the athletic or the muscular, Kirkhof Center offers a neutral climate – a crossroads at which students, staff and faculty stop to get their daily cup of java.

However, everyone might reconsider their drinks of choice after hearing the advice of Registered Dietitian Lori Schermers. She will present the Effects of Energy Drinks workshop from 12:45 to 1:30 p.m.

Schermers will look at positive and negative affects of the energy drinks.

“If they were to have one a day, the harm is not going to be any greater than a cup of coffee,” she said

Some of the energy drinks equal the caffeine content of soda or coffee, so Schermers said students should not run into problems drinking the sugar-free versions of the drinks.

However, the regular versions of energy drinks have high sugar contents, Schermers said, and only the very active can burn what they intake.

The workshop will include samples of safer and cheaper alternatives to unhealthy health drinks on the market. Some of the drinks will have coffee or tea as a base with milk or fruit to provide nutrients.

With the Michigan Liquor Control Commission’s ban of the sale of alcoholic energy drinks in November, Schermers will discuss the dangers of mixing energy drinks with alcohol.

“The caffeine minimizes the perceived effects of how intoxicated someone is,” Schermers said.

The sweet, fruity taste of the energy drinks makes the alcohol more palatable, Schermers added. So, mixing the two drinks often results in greater alcohol consumption.

A second workshop will instruct students on a relaxation technique without the need for a lot of equipment. From 11 to 11:30 a.m., students can learn how to reduce stress and relieve tension through seated yoga, a form of the meditative technique that only requires a chair.

“We wanted example of things that you can do anywhere,” Kennett said. “The seated version – it’s not like you have to be in the gym with a yoga mat – the whole nine yards kind of a thing.”

When workout equipment appears intimidating to many people, the push for physical activity might seem like the central focus of health and wellness.

“So many people think about exercise for well-being, but it’s so much more than that,” Kennett said.

Health and wellness, she said, involves the entire condition of the person, so the Recreation Center makes a dietician available for a nutrition program. Massages help people lessen stress. Mind Body classes, 45-minute sessions in workout areas such as Zumba, SPIN and Yoga help students regain the sharp mindset needed for academics.

Most of the features offered by the Recreation Center are free to students, Kennett added.

Information about these and other resources from student organizations and local vendors will be available at the expo.

For example, the Student Nursing Association will have an area for blood pressure screening, and Movement Science students will offer calculations of participants’ Body Mass Indexes.

The workshop is LIB 100 approved, and the first 200 visitors to the expo will receive a gift bag.

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