The Mesquite Online News - Texas A&M University-San Antonio

Fitness and nutrition tips for the summer

By Kendra Wilkerson/@kendrasatx

After graduation, kinesiology senior Ray Moore plans to spend his summer and the remainder of the year training for NBC’s American Ninja Warrior.

Moore hoped to compete last year in the televised competition that features an action-packed series of challenging obstacle courses, but a back injury prevented him from completing his training. Now that his body’s fully healed from the injury, he plans to jumpstart his training.

“My goal is to compete in the competition,” Moore said. “The American Ninja Warrior is one of the toughest obstacles course competitions there is.”

Discover and define your goals

Whether students are trying to stay fit this summer or have a more ambitious goal in mind like Moore, he and other experts recommend all students have a clear understanding of their workout goals.

“First and foremost, know your goal,” Moore said. “If you don’t have a goal picked out, then you are just going to do whatever.”

Moore said there are five basic components to fitness students should keep in mind when working out; muscular endurance, muscular strength, cardiovascular endurance, flexibility and body composition.

Knowing and understanding these five components can play a key role in lifelong fitness and health.

Muscular endurance is also known as aerobic exercise. The Department of Health and Human Services recommends healthy adults’ workout routine consist of at least 150 minutes a week of moderate aerobic activity or 75 minutes a week of vigorous aerobic activity.

“Activities include walking, jogging, swimming, cycling, elliptical, any type of activity in which the heart rate remains elevated for a period of time,” said John Smith, kinesiology associate professor.

Target muscular strength, he said, by performing at least one set of a minimum of eight exercises that focus on the major muscle groups.

“For each set, you should lift the weight between 8 and 20 times so that at the end of the last repetition you can barely make it,” Smith said. “This should be done at the very least 2-3 times a week on nonconsecutive days.”

Flexibility is key, too.

“Flexibility is the ability for our joints to move through a range of motion,” he said. “We should engage in flexibility exercises no less than two to three days per week and perform 8 to 10 flexibility exercises, again, those that target large muscle groups.”

Those exercises, combined with good eating habits impact one’s body composition.

Hydration is extremely important when working out.

Your body needs more water body during workouts, according to the Center of Disease Control and Prevention. Water intake helps maintain a normal body temperature, lubricates and helps gets rid of waste.

“Before you go out and exercise in the heat you need to make sure you are adequately hydrated,” Smith said.

“Water is key. I drink seven 12 oz bottles of water on a daily basis,” Smith said.

Another important thing to consider is your food intake. Working out doesn’t not give you a free pass on food intake, Smith explains.

“You need to be careful about the types of foods that you eat,” Smith said.

According to the World Health Organization, a healthy diet includes:

  •        Fruits
  •        Vegetables
  •        Legumes (beans)
  •        Nuts
  •        Whole Gains
  •        Sweet Potatoes

“People generally tend to think that since I have finished my workout, I can eat whatever foods I want,” Smith said.

The WHO recommends a daily intake of five portions of fruit and vegetables. You should always include vegetables in all of your meals, eat fruit and raw vegetables as snacks, and eat a variety of in-season fresh fruits and vegetables.

Affordable Summer Exercise Activities

Jaguar Fitness Center

This summer the center will be open to students.

Fitness in the Park

San Antonio Parks and Recreation offers a variety of free fitness classes in various parks around the city. The fitness classes are offered in conjunction with the Mayor’s Fitness Council. The Council was appointed by former mayor Julián Castro in 2010.

  •       Boot camps
  •      Circuit training
  •      Yoga
  •      Tai Chi
  •      Zumba
  •      Fitness Camps
  •      Dance Fitness
  •      Aerobics
  •      Body Combat
  •      Body Pump
  •      Cardio Kickboxing
  •      Cross fit
  •      Cycling
  •      Walking groups
  •      Kids Fitness
  •      Piloxing
  •      Tennis

“Exercise alone will not help anyone reach their fitness goals,” Moore said. “80 percent of…weight loss or weight gain is nutrition, that’s just the ugly truth.”

About the Author

Kendra Wilkerson
Kendra Wilkerson is a staff writer for The Mesquite. Kendra is a communications senior and a member of The National Society of Leadership and the Sigma Alpha Iota International Music Fraternity. Recently, she contributed to the student news organization at Palo Alto College. Kendra enjoys art, with a love for classical music and fashion. After graduation, Kendra plans to pursue her passion in public relations in the media and entertainment industry.

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