Kansas State University


Find Your Fit

Author: Sarah Neal

Cross Training

I’ve heard a lot of people talking about how they need to, “go hard every day”. While I admire their dedication and enthusiasm, this is not what is best for your body. What is best for your body is being active every day, but changing up your intensity. If you workout until your whole body is shaking and you are utterly exhausted, that’s great, but you don’t want to do that every single day.

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No-Equipment Workouts

A lot of people find it difficult to come up with the resources to make it to the gym. Whether they are lacking in money, time, transportation, or will-power, there are still ways to get a good workout in without ever leaving the comfort of your house.

I will list some exercises that are versatile enough to be done anywhere, but if the weather is good, I would encourage you to do them outside to reap the benefits of fresh air and sunlight. I will also include some exercises that can only be done outside, because exercising outdoors gives you a lot more options.

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Interview With Alex

I chatted with personal trainer Alex Wodtke about her role as a group fitness instructor, personal trainer, and her future. Alex is graduating this May, so continue reading to see what she is planning to do post-graduation.

UPDATE: After this interview was done, Alex actually found out she got accepted into Mayo Clinic’s Diagnostic Medical Sonography Program, congratulations Alex!

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Interview With Gabby

Today I spoke with personal trainer Gabby Faraone. Gabby is from Paraguay, and she came to K-State to study nutrition and kinesiology. Gabby is involved in many different things, and a fun fact about her is that she writes for the collegian, in the health and wellness section. Read on to learn more about her passion for holistic health, what inspired her to delve into this field, and much more.

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Stress Awareness Month

We all have so much going on in our lives, experiencing stress is inevitable. While a certain amount of stress can be good, most of us are over-stressed. If you have begun to notice signs of burnout, it might be a good idea to take a step back and slow down a bit. With April being Stress Awareness Month, I wanted to share with you about some of my favorite stress-reduction practices. Later this month I will share about mediation, and today I will be talking about yin yoga.

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The Psoas

How many of you stretch your psoas on a regular basis? A lot of us don’t even know what the psoas is, much less, how to stretch it or what it does. In today’s post, we are going to find out where this muscle is located, it’s many functions, and how to stretch and strengthen it.

The Iliopsoas is a muscle in the body that serves as the connector between the torso and the legs. This muscle has been getting a lot of attention lately, as it serves many different functions. “The Psoas Book”, by Liz Koch is one of many books that has been published about this fascinating muscle. Her book examines the effect of the psoas on the body, mind, and emotions.

“How could a muscle and our emotions be connected?”, you might ask. According to Yoga Journal, “Either emotional trauma or an ongoing lack of emotional support can also lead to chronically contracted psoas, and thus to a loss of core awareness.” Yoga Journal suggest learning to release your psoas to promote, “…a sense of relaxation and calm that can infuse all your activities”. This is a significant impact that our emotions can have on our physical bodies.

Now, lets identify where this muscle is in our body. As I said before, this muscle connects the torso and legs. The psoas is located behind our internal organs in our abdomen. Yoga International says, “the psoas originates from the lumbar vertebrae and forms a strip of muscle almost as big as a wrist along each side of the spine.” From the spine, they said it wraps down and around the front of the hips and attaches to the femur bone.

Now let’s talk about how to stretch and strengthen our psoas muscle. Our psoas muscle gets tight when it is continually contracted. This is when it needs to be stretched and lengthened. Yoga poses such as warrior 1 and lunge pose can stretch the psoas. On the flip side, if you need to strengthen your psoas, poses that contract your psoas will be beneficial. Try poses like padanghustasana (reclining big toe pose) or navasana (boat pose).

Now you know what, and where your psoas is, and understand how important a healthy psoas is to your well-being. Use these tips to keep your psoas strengthened and stretched.








Most Common Barriers to Exercise

Hello everyone, I hope you are all sticking with your fitness goals at this point in the year! It can be challenging to keep up with your workouts, and to learn to prioritize your fitness goals. Although your fitness regime doesn’t need to be your top priority, your health should be towards the top. And our priorities are not what we say are important to us, they are the things we are actually spending our time on. We are out of the season of New Years Resolutions, yet it has still been cold outside, and many of us have slid back into inactivity. In today’s post, we will examine some of the most common reasons people have for not exercising, as well as solutions to help keep you on track!

Problem: Not enough time

Solution: Make exercise a priority. The only person who can change your circumstances is you. If you currently have a sporadic (or nonexistent) exercise regime, start with just a few sessions per week, and work up from there. Figure out how many sessions you want to train, how much time you have, and make it a priority to work out during these times. Put your sessions in your calendar, and tell someone who can help you stay accountable.

I’m sure some of you are thinking, “I am so stressed and busy, I don’t have time to workout”. I would encourage you to redefine what “enough time” is. If you are not working out at all, even just ten minutes twice a week could make a big difference. If you don’t even have a spare twenty minutes a week, see what you could cut out. Where can you find more time? Maybe you can cut back on your Netflix or social media time. It all comes down to what your priorities are. As the Minimalist’s say, “Your priorities are what you do each day, the small tasks that move forward the second and minute hands on the clock: these circadian endeavors are your musts. Everything else is simply a should.”

Problem: Lack of support

Solution: If the people you spend most of your time with don’t enjoy physical activity, it can be hard to get started yourself. However, there are things you can do to stay committed to your goals, despite what your support group does/doesn’t do.

Explain your goals to these important people in your life and explain the benefits of doing these things. Chances are they will be happy or proud of you, and if not, stay strong in your resolve, and commit to doing it anyway. You can invite them to participate with you, if they are worried about not getting to spend as much time with you. This could also help you stay committed if you have an accountability partner. Win-win!

Problem: Lack of motivation and energy

Solution: Pay attention to your habits and figure out what part of the day you tend to have the most energy. For example, I try to always schedule my own workouts in the morning, because that is when I have the most energy, and it keeps my energy high for the rest of the day. It is important to understand though, that this is just what works best for me personally. I know many people and have had many clients who need a very different schedule. Find what works best for you personally.

Another option is to find an accountability partner. This could be a friend that you come work out with, this could be a significant other, a personal trainer, or a group fitness class. The biggest reason I hear clients coming to me, is for accountability. They know that paying for sessions will help keep them motivated to get their money’s worth. Once again, find something that works for you. It also helps if you can find something enjoyable. If you look forward to your sessions or classes, you will be much more likely to show up.

Problem: lack of a space/equipment

Solution: Use your body! Body weight exercises cost you nothing, and you don’t need anything but yourself to complete a body weight workout. Exercises like push-ups, pull-ups, running, and planks require nothing but you. You can do HIIT workouts with no equipment if you want, which is a really effective way to just use your body weight. You can get creative and “make your own weights”. You could use a couple of full water bottles for front raises or lateral raises. Use what you already have.

Another option that may be free for you is going to a park. Assuming you don’t have to drive there, you could walk, bike, or run. Once you get there you can do lots of different exercises on the playground. Or if there is a fitness park, they have free equipment that you can use. There is a fitness park at Cico Park here in Manhattan.

Problem: Lack of money for space or equipment

Solution: If you don’t have any spare money to spend on fancy workout clothes, equipment, classes, or gyms, you don’t have to skip your workout! You can use Youtube at home to find just about any fitness class from yoga to HIIT workouts. You can do body weight exercises as I mentioned before, you can go for a run, or use the park. You don’t have to wear lululemon or gym shark to get an effective workout in. If you really don’t already have any clothes suitable for working out in, go to a thrift store and see what you can find. Exercise should be more about how you feel on the inside, rather than how you look on the outside. Expand your idea of fitness beyond the gym. You don’t have to spend a dime on your exercise routine if you don’t want to.

Problem: Injury/illness

Solution: You will have certain limitations to what you can do, depending on your illness or injury, but most likely you can still find a way to be physically active during your recovery time. Maybe your workouts are just walking at first, maybe you broke your wrist, so you focus more on lower body. Even if you have a disease, you can likely find an activity that will be manageable for your current fitness level. Be sure to find modifications to suit your needs.

I hope that these scenarios are applicable to you, and that you learned some ways to combat the common barriers to exercise. Don’t wait to start implementing some of these changes, make your health a priority, and change today.

Interview With Shea

This week for our second personal trainer interview, I talked with personal trainer Shea Crum. Shea has worked at the rec as a personal trainer for about a year now. Read on to learn about Shea’s internship in Colorado, and his tips for success in life. He shared lots of great quotes and principles to follow. Shea was also the employee of the month for February!

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