Hey Healthy Panthers!
“Cardio” is fitness slang for cardiovascular activity. Some of us here at Chapman have had a close relationship (love or hate) with cardio for as long as we can remember, and others of us are newbies. From the time I was four years old, I’ve been on the move playing sports. From the soccer field to the baseball diamond, from Pop Warner practice drills to Varsity Football Hell Week, and from Varsity Track meets to running stadiums just for kicks….cardio training is one element that I could never skip. If I slacked, my body paid attention and punished me with a lack of performance. Here at Chapman, I’m a Kinesiology major, passionate about studying the mechanics of body movements. Our bodies were made to move, and I’m excited to share some facts I’ve learned about cardio on the field, in the classroom, or in my own personal journey towards health. Although I’ve been a cardio believer since I could tie my running shoes, you may be a Panther that is beginning a new workout program or changing it up a bit. Remember to consult with your family doctor before you hit the pavement. Not every workout is perfect for everyone, so consult with your physician for his or her expert advice!
Cardiovascular exercise is any type of activity that increases the work of the heart and lungs. Cardio workouts range from climbing the stairs up to your dorm in Henley, to burning off stress in a 3-on-3 basketball game outside Pralle. According to Len Kravitz, PhD and senior exercise physiologist for IDEA Health and Fitness association, benefits of cardio exercise include:
- reducing the risk of heart disease
- improving blood cholesterol
- improving heart function
- improving muscle mass
Kravitz also states, “ The American College of Sports Medicine and CDC recommend adults should accumulate 30 minutes of moderate-intensity cardio on most days of the week.” Now, being a commuter student at Chapman, I understand how tough it is to “ make time” to exercise during the day. I know your challenge to push yourself through the doors of the Fitness Center. Yet, like Kravitz mentions, adults are advised to perform 30 minutes of cardiovascular activity. In reality, 30 minutes of cardio can be substituted for other nonproductive activities that we perform each day. Instead of browsing Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter for hours, toss the cell phone aside and jump into the workout options that Chapman has to offer! Easy ways to get your cardio in on campus might look like:
- Jogging from the dorms to the Argyros Fitness Center as a warm-up and pre-workout
- Running laps around the perimeter of the track as you blast your iPod
- Sprinting yard lines on the football field with intervals of rest in between sets
- Spending 30 minutes on the treadmill, stationary bike, or new stair master in the Fitness Center
- Racing a friend up the stadium steps
See?! The equipment and features that Chapman has to offer provide an extremely healthy environment if you take advantage of them.
Listen up Panthers, I have a heart-felt message that I want you to hear. Findings from recent national surveys show that 3 out of 10 college students are overweight or obese. I’ve read that nearly 6 out of 10 students participate fewer than 3 days per week in moderate-intensity level physical activity. With stats showing these grim results, we need to do a 180 on our Chapman campus and take a good hard look at our health. I’m passionate about health and fitness, and I’d love for it to be contagious among classmates. I noticed during Freshman Orientation that we all participated in The Healthy Panther Program. We all know that this program focused on safe sex, substance abuse, and campus safety. While all those topics are valuable, this program never mentioned a healthy food plan or healthy exercise options to create a true Healthy Panther. Excess body weight has emerged as a new challenge on campus. While the extra poundage, poor eats, and slacker workouts are not a 911 emergency, their urgency really should not be underestimated!