What in the world is PiYo?

By: Kylie McGraw ’16, Campus Recreation Services Group Fitness Instructor


When you step inside the gym, there are many different people there. Some love to get their sweat on with a cardio workout, so maybe they will be jogging on the indoor track or taking a Hip Hop Shake class. Others may prefer to test their strength both mentally and physically, and you might find them lifting in the weight room or doing bodyweight exercises in the Functional Training Studio. There are swimmers and bootcamp lovers, yogis and cyclists. Some are elliptical junkies, while others catch any group fitness class they can.

Maybe you are a person who isn’t sure what to do at the gym and so you always try something new. That works too!

There is one thing that all of these people have in common: they are Active Terps!

What’s so great about Campus Recreation Services are the endless options and the many opportunities to be active in a way that YOU enjoy.

The newest way to be an Active Terp at UMD is to check out the latest group fitness class added to the schedule this semester – PiYo! It may just be your new favorite way to be an Active Terp …

What in the world is PiYo, you ask?!

Well, if you can’t tell from the word itself, this workout is inspired by both Pilates and Yoga. But PiYo is not Pilates OR Yoga!

It is a fast-paced, full body workout combining cardio, strength, and stretching. Created by Chalene Johnson, PiYo is low impact and works to define and strengthen all of your muscles. It started as a home workout on DVD, but lucky for you, it is now a group fitness class offered right here at the University of Maryland!

What makes PiYo different from Pilates or yoga?

PiYo is different from your traditional yoga or Pilates class because it is choreographed and done to popular, upbeat music. Don’t let the word choreography scare you – we are not dancing! All that means is we are doing exercises on an 8 count over and over. Can you count to 8? Then you will catch on! And we all know that music is a pretty powerful motivator when you’re in the midst of a workout, so being able to sing your way through lunges can be helpful.

When you’re taking a PiYo class, you are constantly moving.

You should expect many lunges, squats, sun salutations, pushups, and even (gasp!) burpees! There are modifications for every movement, which is what makes PiYo such an effective workout for everyone. I have had regular yogis, first time gym go-ers, and even football players take a PiYo class and all of them have left feeling accomplished and sweaty!

Slower movements, like downward dog, feel really great after a sequence of faster paced movements like pushups.

All you need is a desire to try something new, clothes that you can move in, and socks or bare feet. We will provide you with a yoga mat (though you are welcome to bring your own) and a killer workout!

Here is your official invitation to come try a PiYo class. Maybe you’ll love it and maybe you’ll hate it…but at least you challenged yourself and tried something new! Hope to see you soon!


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Stop Running on Empty: How to Fuel Your Workout

By: Jessica Ivy ’15, University Health Center Dietetic Student Volunteer


How many times have you gone to the gym, only to realize you are exhausted halfway through your workout? Your energy is low. You are starving. You realize the last time you ate was four hours ago, so you decide to cut your workout short.

Some people might think eating before a workout is counterintuitive. But, if your body doesn’t have the energy it needs, how is it supposed to make it through a workout?

You would never question filling up your car with gas before a road trip, right? Well, your body is like a car, and it needs fuel to perform optimally.

So, what kind of fuel does your body need?

Before a Workout

  • Choose simple carbs. You want something easy to digest that is a quick source of energy. Carbs are a good way to top off your tank and provide the fuel your muscles need for your workout.
  • Drink up! If you are thirsty before your workout, your body is already dehydrated. Make sure you sip on water beforehand and bring a water bottle with you. Campus Recreation Services offers convenient water filling stations in its facilities which makes it really easy to make sure you’re drinking plenty of water while you work out.
  • Avoid fiber and high fat foods. These items take a long time to digest, so your body will be focused on breaking them down instead of helping your muscles. Fiber can also stimulate unwanted gastrointestinal side effects.
  • Start small. You don’t need a big meal sitting in your stomach as you exercise. Try to time your workout in a way that you can eat a snack 30-60 minutes before a workout and a meal after.
  • Don’t run on empty. It’s important for your body to have something in its system to fuel your muscles. If you workout in the morning, try eating a granola bar or banana. If a vending machine is your only option, check out this guide for the healthiest choices.
  • Options: grab a banana or bowl of cereal at the Union Shop; keep a box of granola bars in your room or backpack and grab one before your workout

After a Workout

  • Balancing act. Aim for a snack or meal that contains a mixture of carbohydrates and protein. You need carbohydrates to replenish the glycogen that your body depleted during the workout. Protein aids in muscle recovery.
  • Hydrate! Especially if you worked up a sweat or were exercising in the heat, replenishing your fluids is vital. Choose fluids like 9160426968_29122fb660_bwater and lowfat milk. Sports drinks may be appropriate if your workout is over 60 minutes in duration.
  • Don’t break the bank. Typically, protein powder and other supplements will be a heavy drain on your wallet. The same important nutrients are found in things like chocolate milk, and you’ll save time and money.
  • Options: stop by the dining hall or STAMP student union for a balanced meal. Check out this map for other dining locations; grab a carton of chocolate milk at Cambridge Convenience Shop or Sneakers Café at the ERC
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Five Spring Break Ready Foods!

By: Caitlin Smith ’16, University Health Center Dietetic Student Volunteer

Spring break is quickly approaching but many people have been preparing for months; hitting the gym daily and watching every morsel that enters their mouth.chrysanthemum-659111_1280

However, getting “spring break ready” doesn’t have to involve losing weight. So, if you want to look and feel great on the beach – or wherever your spring break may take you – here are five types of food that will help you get ready:

  • Glowing skin: Healthy fats that come from foods like avocados, fish, and nuts all help support skin health. By eating some of the yummiest food and putting on a smile, you’ll be glowing in no time.
  • Healthy hair: Beautiful, strong, healthy hair is a great compliment to those beachy waves and lean proteins like turkey, kidney beans and eggs are a great way to support your hair health. Proteins are a building block of bones, muscle, skin, and it is the main component of our hair and nails. It’s true, protein does more for the body than just build muscle.
  • Crystal clear eyes: Foods rich in antioxidants like blueberries, kale, and sweet potatoes have many health benefits, but one you may not know about is their vision benefits. They have protective properties for vision. For eyes as bright as the ocean, eating your fair share of fruits and vegetables is key.
  • Good mood: Foods high in omega 3 fatty acids such as salmon, help to reduce stress and have been shown to improve mood. I think it goes without saying that nothing is more attractive than a happy person.
  • Good Breath: Bad breath can decrease self-confidence and confidence is more attractive than many other attributes. To combat bad breath, celery is a secret little weapon. The crunchy texture of celery forces you to chew more which increases saliva production which kills bacteria in your mouth that cause bad breath. So, before you head out during spring break, snack on some celery!

I can’t find a better way to prepare for spring break than by eating delicious food! Enjoy your spring break preparation; don’t dread it. To talk about these tips and any other nutrition related tips make an appointment for a diet analysis to chat with a student nutrition advocacy peer.

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My Top 5 Fitness Classes at UMD

By: Cynthia Gao, Campus Recreation Services, Group Fitness Instructor
Practicing yoga as part of BikeYo at Lake Artemesia.

Practicing yoga as part of BikeYo at Lake Artemesia.

College can be a stressful time for anyone due to the seemingly endless piles of papers to write, books to read, and notes to study. It can be enough to make anyone feel overwhelmed! But we have to keep our stress in check if we are to survive these years until graduation — a great way to do that is by being active.

Whether exercise is your daily study break, your hobby, or your way of staying in shape – there is a fitness class that was made for you!

Here are five amazing fitness classes offered through the ERC that have helped me make the most of my time here at Maryland.

View the current schedule of group fitness classes at UMD >>

  1. Yoga – When you think of exercise that keeps you calm and relaxed, the first thing you may think of is yoga! Yoga allows you to build strength, grow flexibility, and improve balance all while calming the mind and nourishing the soul. No wonder it has become the favorite form of exercise for many actors, models, and professional athletes. Yoga mats are provided in all UMD fitness classes as well as towels, blocks, and straps. Everything you could possibly need to start your journey into yoga is here. As you progress on your journey into yoga you will learn more about your body and yourself.
  2. HIIT – This high intensity class is one you won’t want to miss. If you like feeling the burn and reaping the benefits, then this class is for you. You will go through a series of intense workouts spaced evenly between periods of active rest. This will give your body the right amount of time to recover and reenergize between those burpees and mountain climbers. The routines are similar to those of professionals and are done mostly with bodyweight rather than equipment, so you can learn some moves and incorporate them into your own workouts. You will build strength here and sweat out the stress that might be bringing you down.
  3. Zumba® – One of the best dance classes you will ever do! Can’t dance? No worries! We will teach you. There is no judgment in this class as everyone is there just to have fun and shake their stuff. This class is super high energy will have you jumping, shaking, and rocking out to awesome music. Release some of the stress from school with this fun and engaging dance workout.
  4. BODYPUMP™ – This strength training class is tailored just for you. You get to choose what weights and equipment to use, whether you want an intense workout with increased weights or a light workout with dumbbells. You will work on all major muscle groups, including biceps, triceps, thighs, claves, and your core. Through squats, presses, lifts and curls you’ll be sculpting those muscles and building strength. This class will give you a full body workout and leave you feeling stronger than ever.
  5. BikeYo – Like the outdoors? Then this class is for you! While most class take place in indoors, this class allows you to breathe the fresh air and get a fun workout at the same time. You will bike through a portion of the Anacostia Tributary Trail System located right next to the College Park campus. The group will bike through the scenic park trail to the beautiful Lake Artemesia and then be lead through a relaxing yoga session in a gazebo above the lake. The amazing sights will open your eyes to all this campus has to offer while giving your body an effective cycling workout. BikeYoO is one of many fusion classes offered in partnership with the Maryland Adventure Program. Check this page for the current schedule of these special classes.

No matter how you like to work out, there is something here for you. So don’t just stay cooped up in your dorm room — come experience some of these great classes! You will feel refreshed and be prepared for anything school can throw at you.

What are your favorite group fitness classes at UMD?

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What You Need to Know About the Nutrition of Chocolate

By: Taylor Chan ’16, University Health Center Dietetic Student Volunteer


Bars, chips, and kisses — what do these all have in common? They are all forms of chocolate! Between Valentine’s Day and Easter, springtime is a wonderful, chocolate-filled season. Rest assured, chocolate CAN be enjoyed and fit into a healthy diet!

As you find yourself enjoying this tasty treat during this time of year, consider these fun, nutritious tidbits of information.

When you think of chocolate, there are three main types that you think of: Dark, Milk, and White. Here’s what it all means:

  • Dark chocolate is made of cocoa solids, cocoa butter, and sugar, with little to no milk. It’s known to have a semi-sweet, bitter flavor.
  • Milk chocolate is made of the same components as dark chocolate, but with more milk and dairy fat to give it its creaminess and lighter color.
  • White chocolate tends to be the sweetest and is made of cocoa butter, milk, and sugar. Its lack of cocoa solids is what gives it its white color.

In terms of nutrition, these three types of chocolate roughly contain the same amount of protein, sugar, fat, and calories, so feel free to choose whichever you prefer!

A note on the fat in chocolate: Chocolate has a reputation of being a fatty food. This is because there is natural, saturated fat in cacao called stearic acid. Recently, studies have suggested that stearic acid does not significantly elevate blood cholesterol levels as much as other saturated fats might. However, it is important to keep in mind that some chocolates may contain added fat (milk fat, partially hydrogenated oils, coconut, and palm oils) which is a source extra flavor and calories.

While there is nothing wrong treating yourself to some milk or white chocolate, dark options contain more cocoa solids – so they tend to contain more antioxidants, which are molecules that help prevent cell damage. Flavonoid, the main antioxidant in dark chocolate, has several health benefits including:

  • Lowered blood pressure
  • Decreased the oxidation of low density lipoproteins (LDL)
  • Anti-inflammatory action
  • Elevated cognitive function
  • Improved mood

Generally, the higher percent cacao (as labeled on some chocolate packaging), the more antioxidants it likely contains!

To help you out a little, chocolates from the highest to the lowest flavonoid content are:

  • Natural cocoa powder
  • Unsweetened baking chocolate
  • Dark chocolate and semisweet chocolate chips
  • Milk chocolate and chocolate syrup

Bottom line: Not only is chocolate delicious, but in moderation, it can be healthful and fit into a varied, balanced diet!

For advice and strategies on eating a well-rounded diet, sign up for a free Diet Analysis to meet with a Nutrition Peer Educator.

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Your Guide to Male Body Image

By: Surbhi Sardana ’16, University of Maryland Health Center, HEALTH Works Peer Educator

Between airbrushed images of celebrities and perfectly proportioned bodies of professional models, we are constantly bombarded with body image messages.

As socially aware college students, we understand that body image portrayals are not always realistic. Yet, many of us still nitpick and worry about parts of our bodies that we aren’t happy with.

On the other hand, we have campaigns and public leaders that champion acceptance for all body types. We have Love Your Body Month on campus to encourage a body-positive culture. We have the Dove Campaign for Real Beauty that supports diversity and Special K’s The Gain’s Project that endorses a woman’s sense of self-worth.

But can you name a well-known public campaign that advocates positive body images for men? No? Me neither.

Can you name one normal-waisted celebrity on a primetime television show? No? Me neither.

As Max An noted in the Diamondback, can you name one plus-size male model? No? Me neither.

However, did you know that 43% of men are dissatisfied with their bodies?

Did you know that about 1 in 4 eating disorders occur in men?

Did you know that between 28% and 68% of normal weight men believe they are underweight and want to increase their muscle mass?

Statistics from National Eating Disorders Association and The Atlantic

Negative body image, weight issues, and eating disorders are under recognized amongst all genders, but particularly so among men.

Most disorders present themselves differently in men than in women; whereas women typically want to lose weight, males are encouraged to gain weight by increasing muscle mass.

How do boys and men typically try to gain weight? By increasing exercise, altering their diet, using protein powders, and even using steroids to increase muscle gain.

Making healthy decisions to achieve a healthy weight is encouraged, but taking whatever means possible to achieve a desired body ideal can be unhealthy– physically, emotionally, and mentally.

So what do we do when we notice that our friends, brothers, or partners feel pressure to change their body type?

  1. Be honest. Share your concerns with the individual you believe is struggling with body image issues. Ignoring the situation won’t help someone you care about.
  2. Be caring, but be firm. Ultimately, your friend is responsible for his/her actions. Don’t make promises you don’t know you’ll be able to keep, like promising to keep his/her body image disorder a secret.
  3. Compliment your friend. Encourage their dreams, revel in their achievements. Remind them that they are more than just their body.
  4. Tell someone. Many times our friends need professional help to get back on track. Don’t hesitate to refer a professional to your friend, or to tell a trusted adult about the situation. Remember, you can’t force your friend to see someone, but encourage them to seek help.

Information from National Eating Disorders Association

It’s OK to be concerned for a friend; it’s OK to get them help. You don’t want someone you care about to fall into an unhealthy lifestyle.

We want to help those around us. Be fearless. Be strong. Above all, show others what it means to be a true Terp by looking out for the significant people in our lives.

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Let’s Have a Big MyBowl of Breakfast!

By: Sarah Frazier ’16, University Health Center Dietetic Student Volunteer


Are you familiar with MyPlate? MyPlate is a tool used to let us know what and how much to eat in the familiar graphic of a meal plate. The MyPlate is separated into the 5 different food groups: grains, meat and meat substitutes, fruits, vegetables, and dairy.

MyPlate recommendations are to make ½ of every meal consist of fruits and vegetables, ¼ grain, ¼ meat or meat substitute, and a serving of dairy. MyPlate allows you to independently plan your meals, get a balanced diet, and eat healthfully every day!

But have you ever encountered a time when MyPlate was difficult to use or incorporate?

For example, think about breakfast time! Breakfast is one meal of the day that is most often served in a bowl, not a plate. In this instance, the MyPlate method may not quite work. In order to remedy this problem, Kellogg’s recently launched MyBowl, which is a way to incorporate the balance found in a MyPlate meal in the shape of a bowl, best suited for breakfast.

Say hello to Kellogg’s MyBowl! Here’s how you use it:mybowl (2)

Orange section: The orange section of the bowl is dedicated to grains. Half (½) of your bowl should be grains, trying to make the majority of them (at least ½) whole grain. Some examples of a whole grain would be oatmeal, Honey Nut Cheerios, and some cereals such as Kashi, Raisin Bran, etc.

Red section: The red section of the bowl is dedicated to fruits. One fourth (¼) of your bowl should be fruit. Click here to find a list of when different fruits are in season (that’s when they taste the best!).

Blue section: The blue section of the bowl is dedicated to dairy. One fourth (¼) of your bowl should be some kind of dairy or milk substitute. Some examples of dairy or milk substitute would be low fat milk, soy milk, or yogurt.

Think you’ve got it? There are so many different ways that you can use MyBowl to make breakfast preparation easy. Here are some of my favorite ways to use MyBowl in the morning:

Overnight Oats: ½ cup oatmeal, 1 cup milk or soymilk, ¼ cup apples, and some cinnamon. Put it all together in a jar or cup the night before and leave it in the fridge overnight. The next morning I like to add a little bit of peanut butter and microwave for 1.5 minutes.

Jazzed up cereal: Try a plain, whole grain cereal and add your own flavor by adding fresh fruit! I like to add strawberries to Honey Nut Cheerios and splash in some milk!

Fun-Filled yogurt: Yogurt can be approached in the same way that cereal is. Buy a plain or lightly sweetened vanilla yogurt and add some blueberries for a sweet, antioxidant kick and some granola for a good crunch!

If you would like to talk to a Dietetic Student Volunteer about breakfast ideas or have any other questions about nutrition, feel free to set up a Diet Analysis Appointment by calling 301-314-5664 or visiting http://ter.ps/dietanalysis for more information!

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