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Thu, Mar 2, 2017 AT 8:04 am - Move Well
How to overcome your fear of the gym

By Monica Aguilar

Photo via Google Images

The first time I ever entered a gym I was intimidated, I was afraid. I loved to work out; all throughout high school I did sports every season of the year, so I considered myself an athlete. Physical activity...it was my entertainment, my distraction, and my stress reliever. But, I realized I had never stepped into a “real” gym before until I came to college. My little rural town up in NorCal had a gym the size of the Circuit Room inside John Wooden! (Imagine all the UCLA population trying to workout in there all at once — yikes! Well, that was my experience).

It wasn’t until I entered the John Wooden Center that I realized how insecure I was about working out in a gym setting.  As a woman of color, a Mexican American, I felt I did not belong when I didn’t see others with similar characteristics to myself roaming around the gym floors. But, I soon realized that it was my own self-consciousness triggering these thoughts, because the reality is a different one: The gym is for all — for people of all ages, sizes, shapes, and skin colors.

Studies have shown that university students have “problematic levels of inactivity” which results in serious health implications in the future of the student.  Because there are health disparities in certain communities are evident and a continuous prevalence of high rates of obesity in young adolescents and adults in the United States, I decided I wanted to change this pattern of inactivity due to intimidation not only for myself but for others with similar experiences.  

So what do you do when you’re feeling overwhelmed by a gigantic work out space filled with people who sure look like they know what they are doing? What do you do when you want to fix these “problematic levels” of inactivity in your life that can lead to chronic health implications but you are intimidated by the gym?

1. Find a workout buddy — Studies show that a main predictor for college students who workout is social support. Lack of a workout buddy has shown to decrease the willingness to workout. Finding someone that can accompany you to the gym not only erases the feeling of loneliness, but it also creates a sense of moral support which results in encouragement and motivation.

2. Attend group exercise classes — The John Wooden Center offers a variety of group workout classes which are open for all students with the purchase of a fitness pass. These classes can help you get into the rhythm of working out whether, it is a total body challenge class or a barbell class. The instructors in John Wooden Center are the best at what they do and their mission is to create a comfortable place for everyone to workout in. Working out in groups allows you to learn from others and, similar to a workout buddy, it helps give social support. Also, being in a group setting provides the opportunity of observational learning which introduces one to new ways of working out if you don’t know where to start. That way next time you enter the gym you already have a foundation to start with.  

3. Ask Questions — A lot of the reason why people end up giving up on their commitment to working out is because they are afraid to ask questions.  The John Wooden Center is filled with a numerous amount of employees who are there to help you get the best of your experience in the gym. If you are unsure of how to use a treadmill or an elliptical machine, simply ask and you’ll be given guidance!

4. Watch youtube videos — Now-a-days what can you not learn through youtube videos, right?!  Youtube has become the 4th most accessed website in the internet. You can access all sorts of videos from crash courses to videos on how to ride a pony!  Therefore, youtube can provide you with the opportunity to learn how to workout! Yes, indeed! If you are insecure about how to use a certain machine all you need to do is search it up on youtube, watch, and learn.

5. Join FITTED! — FITTED is a 9-week progressive training program completely FREE to the entire UCLA community. FITTED’s mission is to get students to feel comfortable not only in the gym setting, but comfortable in their own bodies. FITTED targets those college students whose communal health disparities have greatly affected their health as a college student. Many students who have attended FITTED have gained skills that have allowed them to become healthier and more physically active. I myself can testify to this as I am the director of this project and have personally seen and recorded testimonials, and have been told upfront the impact FITTED has had on student's lives. As mentioned above, FITTED is available to the entire UCLA community for FREE! To become part of FITTED all you need to do is attend any of our services which are listed below:

  • Monday & Thursdays: Group workouts at Pardee Gym inside John Wooden from 4-5 pm
  • Tuesdays: FITTED EATS from 4-5 pm. come get a healthy snack and a chance to talk to our Dietician Eve Lahijani who covers a different wellness topic every Tuesday !

Feeling intimidated by the gym to the point that you do not even want to workout should not be any student’s problem — students already have enough to stress about, especially considering UCLA’s rigorous quarter system!  As a community that cares about the well-being of every student, we are here to help. I overcame my intimidation of the gym thanks to FITTED and today I am here to help others alleviate this feeling which can lead to an unhealthy lifestyle if not targeted. With the flexible learning environment here at UCLA it is best to build up habits now than having to suffer the consequences later.

Monica Aguilar is a third-year undergraduate student majoring in Chicano/a Studies and minoring in Spanish. She is the project director of FITTED a health and wellness student-run project held in the Community Programs Office.


Tue, Feb 28, 2017 AT 7:57 am - Move Well
Beat Writers: The Pulse of UCLA Club Sports

By Ellie Benitez

Photo by Ellie Benitez

Look around you. Our campus is filled with incredibly hard working students, staff, faculty, and world-class athletes. If you’re lucky, you may even spot an Olympian or two causally sitting in one of your lecture halls, or a MacArthur Fellow teaching one of your classes.

My point is this: UCLA’s hyper-competitive nature gives it its edge. By creating an atmosphere where students challenge one another and pull each other up, UCLA cultivates success. It breeds Nobel Prize laureates and gold medalists, Grammy award winners and NCAA champions.  Its students are successful because they grow and mold in an environment that fosters healthy competition in all fields and at all levels

But sometimes, the game gets exhausting. We want a break from the endless competitions, and want to sit back and relax, admire those around us instead. A win for UCLA is a win for everyone associated with UCLA, and it’s exciting to share that. Ever wonder who wrote those article you see on your Facebook feed, or in the Daily Bruin, praising fellow Bruins? Other fellow Bruins! One such program that follows and writes articles about UCLA sports is the UCLA Club Sports Beat Writers program.

The Beat Writer program at UCLA is a relatively new student run organization, but is one of few of its kind and caliber compared to other top universities. Amit Nainani, a 4th year sociology major, made the transition from Daily Bruin writer to Beat Writer during his sophomore year. As a Beat Writer, Amit gets assigned to cover different UCLA sports clubs at their home tournaments or games, ranging from Men’s Rugby to figure skating. He writes about the wins, the losses, and everything in between.

As a Beat Writer, he interviews players and coaches to get the inside scoop on the game, asking questions about big plays, commenting on team chemistry, and promoting upcoming events for the team. They’re called Beat Writers because they are the “pulse of the club,” having established a rapport with the athletes so they feel comfortable doing interviews. Besides writing articles, Amit and the 4 other Beat Writers in the program serve as photographers and videographers, occasionally live streaming important games or tournaments so that out-of-state friends and families may tune in and support.

So what does it take to be a Beat Writer, you may ask? Someone who has a passion for sports, is ambitious, and can work independently to reach deadlines has the perfect attributes to be a Beat Writer. No prior experience in photography is necessary, and basic writing skills (or a willingness to improve upon writing) is enough of a background to apply to the program.

The Beat Writer program is a perfect opportunity for sports lovers to get to know athletes at UCLA on a personal level, and to get paid doing what they love to do anyways! If you fit this criteria and would like more information on the program and application process, email Kyle Urban at kurban@recreation.ucla.edu , or take a trip to the Club Sports Clubhouse located in the John Wooden Center.

Ellie Benitez is a 3rd year undergraduate Microbiology, Immunology, and Molecular Genetics major and Society and Genetics minor at UCLA. She currently serves as the HCI representative for UCLA Recreation, where she is a Student Supervisor for Intramural Sports.


Wed, Feb 15, 2017 AT 10:09 am - Move Well
What’s Shaking Around UCLA?

By Tiffany Hu

Hello, my Bruin Fitness Pals!

Have you been wondering what fitness events are shaking up UCLA? Well have no fear, I am here to help you move and even de-stress with an update on loads of programs sweeping through UCLA!

UCLA Rec

Photo via UCLA Recreation

I know you all might already know about UCLA Rec’s amazing classes, but they have added a lot more new classes for great prices! For example, there are new tennis classes that take place in the LA Tennis Courts on campus. There are many options from just learning how to play tennis to tennis workouts. They also offer both private and group options.

Also, we have a new Applied Martial Arts Program! It is a mix of all the different martial arts classes offered to students right now. It is also personalized, based on your level of martial arts, what you are comfortable with, and what you are interested in learning. So if you haven’t been comfortable taking a martial arts class because you didn’t think it would fit you, check this out!

Meditation

Photo via Flickr

If you have been looking for an awesome place to get into meditation, look no further! The UCLA Mindful Awareness Research Center (MARC) holds free drop-in meditation at various locations at or near UCLA. For example, on Mondays, the Ronald Reagan Medical Center hosts them, the UCLA School of Law on Tuesdays, and on Wednesdays, these are in Powell Library. So if you are interested, check out the full schedule here! For more events, such as the mindful awareness practices that help students apply the principles of mindfulness in their daily lives, held by the UCLA MARC, check out their calendar here, where the dates and times are listed, along with the dates of their meditation sessions.

Yoga

Photo via Yoga at UCLA

If y’all are interested in some free yoga, check out Flexible Fridays! Multiple sessions are held around campus and in the Residential Halls at different times of the day to accommodate your busy schedules. Although some of the outside sessions have been cancelled due to rain this quarter, there are still many inside options. So if you are interested, check out the times in the photo above! And for more updates (such as if a session is postponed or cancelled), check out their Facebook page here.

“I Heart Walking!”

Photo via UCLA Recreation

Get moving with UCLA’s 11th Annual “I Heart Walking” program! Starting from Monday, February 13th all the way to Thursday, February 16th, step out from behind your desks and walk with us and your colleagues! Join your fellow Bruins as we gather for lunchtime walks to get refreshed and improve your health!

Everyday, there will be walks happening at lunchtime, starting from 12:10 and 12:15 pm. There will also be free health screenings in Pauley Pavilion on Thursday. For more information on times, locations, and how to register, check this link out.

Also, if the movement wasn’t awesome enough, you can possibly get a t-shirt! If you attend two or more walks, you can get a free t-shirt (while supplies last). But there will be loads more giveaways, samples, and prizes, so start registering!

So now that you are all loaded up with fun events, get out there and keep up your movements! We, here at MoveWell, wish you luck in your movement adventures!

Tiffany Hu is an undergraduate student at UCLA majoring in Microbiology, Immunology, and Molecular Genetics with a minor in Bioinformatics. She is a blogger for Move Well of the UCLA Healthy Campus Initiative. She is the co-Director of the Student Health Advocates, which focuses on educating students on various intersections of health. Tiffany is also the Special Projects and Alumni Coordinator of the UCLA Care Extender Internship, which helps students volunteer at all departments in the UCLA Medical Centers.


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Wed, Jan 25, 2017 AT 8:05 am - Move Well
5 Tips for Sticking with Your Fitness Plan!

By Tiffany Hu

Photo via Google Images

I can’t believe it’s already the middle of January and week 3 of Winter Quarter! Where has the time gone? It feels like my New Year’s resolutions are a thing of the past!

If you’re like me, sometimes you wanna just give up on your resolutions, or your fitness plan in general. (And no worries if you don’t stick with them because there are loads of reasons why some resolutions just don’t work out and all of them are okay. Just remember that you tried and even taking small steps to stay healthy and keep active is enough!)

But if you are wondering what you can do to help you stick with them or just maintain an active lifestyle, read on! Here are 5 tips to help you stick to your fitness plan, new or old:

Tip #1: Make sure to clearly define your goals!

Photo via Google Images

I know this seems really obvious but many people tend to make a goal of “becoming healthier” or “getting more active”. These broad goals are easier to dismiss because people tend to believe they are not making any progress as there are no definitive markers of success when reaching broad goals.

Instead, make clear goals! Some examples could be exercising a couple times a week or biking to work to get some additional movement in! By setting more definite goals, it’ll be easier to complete them as you can more easily see how to achieve your goals. But also make sure to not rely heavily on a numeric goal because that could negatively affect how you perceive yourself, especially if you don’t reach that number! So have a clear goal but don’t sweat the actual number: as long as you can tell you are making some awesome progress!

Remember to make your goals feasible too! For example, if you haven’t been that active, don’t make a goal to run a marathon by next week. Creating unattainable goals is just as bad as making ambiguous goals because you will want to push yourself to achieve it while making incredible progress but still end up feeling upset (click this link for how to set reasonable goals). Although it isn’t actually bad that you can’t run a marathon in a week, you will create this mentality of failure, which only makes you less inclined with continuing or creating other goals.

Tip #2: Create a schedule!

Photo via Google Images

Make sure to remember to include these goals in your schedules or planners! By being able to visually see your commitments, it will make it easier for you to continue to stick to them. It takes out the time in your day when you have to worry about when you can possibly make time for it.

By scheduling in time to achieve these goals, according to Dr. Paul Marciano, a psychologist specializing in behavior modification and motivation, you will definitely be more inclined to stick to them because your mind will mark them as priorities. They would be just as important as the scheduled time you have for class or meetings!

Tip #3: Track your progress!

Photo via Google Images

Remember to also track your progress! This will provide further motivation to stick with your current fitness goals because you can see how well you are doing! The tangible evidence helps people stick to their goals because they can realize how much they have grown in their endeavors.

And don’t be discouraged if you don’t meet the end goal for a certain time frame! Any progress you have made proves that you are one step closer to your end goal! Dr. Marchiano states that achieving our goals is not reliant upon our willpower but rather encourages us to develop the right skills and patience that will lead to success. Also, according to the American Psychiatric Association on how to keep a healthy life, this could also be an indication that you should simply reassess your plan and make adjustments to your goals!

Tip #4: Reward yourself!

Photo via Google Images

Now don’t get me wrong: getting healthy and staying fit can be reward enough but if you’re like me, sometimes you need a bit more incentive. What better way than to treat yourself! These rewards shouldn’t be anything that would prevent you from continuing but should still be fun to further motivate you! For example, treat yourself to a fun day: a spa trip, video game day, or movie marathon!

Taking a day off of your fitness plan can actually motivate you because it will be like a breathe of fresh air! After a day of relaxation, you will be more energized to continue on with your goals to better yourself and reach that next “treat yourself” day!

Tip #5: Talk about it!

Photo via Google Images

Talk about your goals with your friends and family! It may seem daunting at first, but I promise you: they are all only here to support you and cheer you on!

This will also help reduce stress if you think that the entire resolution may be too much. By talking it out, you’ll be able to see a fresh perspective and determine whether to keep going or if certain adjustments should be made! They can help you reason out your true goals and capabilities. So don’t be afraid to share with your loved ones!

Just one more note: remember the first step in making and sticking with these goals is to ensure you are doing them for the right reasons. According to Michelle Segar, Ph.D., a motivation scientist, those who stick to their resolutions have their reasons based in truly wanting to change their lives in a way that will “energize them - not deplete them”. Make sure these goals are based in the want to better yourself FOR yourself, not for anyone else. By embarking on these goals for yourself, you’ll be more inclined to stick with them and the success will feel much better too!

I hope these tips were helpful! Good luck and just remember, sticking to the “plan” is great but as long as you feel you are making progress, continue on! We, the Healthy Campus Initiative, are always with you on this fitness journey!

Tiffany Hu is an undergraduate student at UCLA majoring in Microbiology, Immunology, and Molecular Genetics with a minor in Bioinformatics. She is a blogger for Move Well of the UCLA Healthy Campus Initiative. She is the co-Director of the Student Health Advocates, which focuses on educating students on various intersections of health. Tiffany is also the Special Projects and Alumni Coordinator of the UCLA Care Extender Internship, which helps students volunteer at all departments in the UCLA Medical Centers.

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Mon, Jan 23, 2017 AT 9:25 am - Move Well
5 Easy Tricks to Adding More Activity to Your Day

By Tiffany Hu

Photo via Google Images

What is the number one problem afflicting college students of today? LAZINESS. Just kidding! It’s actually stress! However, what does stress have to do with being physically active? Everything! I know it might be stressful to think about how to budget time out to exercise (look for some tips here on how to exercise with a busy schedule) but exercise really does help with decreasing stress.

Here are some tricks to help incorporate some more activity into your daily life and decrease your stress levels in the process!

Trick #1: Walk EVERYWHERE!

Photo via Google Images

Whether it is to class or out to dinner, just walk! Trust me, this is a great “step” towards a healthy lifestyle!

And for those of you who may be a bit skeptical at how many health benefits there are for walking, according to Harvard Health walking can reduce the risk of cardiovascular problems by 31%. Now, you do have to walk more than just a simple ten minute walk, as the CDC suggests you should probably walk about 4-5 miles a day or 8000 steps, but this adds up quickly if you can walk while accomplishing other tasks. You can walk while calling your parents, catching up with friends, or listening to the most recent audiobook on your list. You can walk to get your groceries or to a nearby restaurant. But also, don’t worry if you don’t reach that goal, as most people already walk about 6000 steps a day, which is great. So get out there and go on some long walks!

Trick #2: Stand, don’t sit!

Photo via Google Images

Many people don’t realize it but we actually sit for most of our days. People typically sit from 8 to 15 hours in their day, which according to the American Medical Association, is not good for personal health.

There are easy ways to fix this! Stand while you are doing work, in a meeting, or even in class. For meetings, you may have to check if everyone else is okay with it, but if you are leading it, initiate it! As for classes, a lot of professors are fine with it if you want to stand for a bit in the middle of class. Now don’t do that if you are sitting in the front or the middle, but if you quietly walk to the back of the lecture hall, do it. Standing also keeps all the blood flowing through your body and will help you keep energized. So remember: stand, don’t sit!

Trick #3: Take the stairs!

Photos via Google Images

Now I know I don’t need to remind us UCLA students, staff, and faculty to climb up those stairs, but I’m going to anyway! Loads of people already use climbing stairs as a fitness tool because, as Dr. Harvey Simon, associate professor of Medicine at Harvard Medical School, states, climbing stairs is one of the best contributors to preventative medicine. And if you think that sometimes they get too taxing, no big deal. They are supposed to be taxing, so start off at a slower rate and gradually build it up!

So next time you see the stairs, hit those up instead of an elevator. Or even if you can’t make it all the way with stairs, start with stairs and then reward yourself with taking the elevator the rest of the way.

Trick #4: Clean your dorm/apartment!

Photo via Google Images

As college students, we can get pretty darn messy. We all have that chair that we stack clothes on and those tables littered with papers everywhere that need to be dealt with (don’t worry, you don’t have to admit it: we’ve all been there). So when you’re looking for an excuse for a break that is both helpful to your living situation and your health, clean those rooms!

While cleaning your room, you can actually break quite a sweat. From using those Swiffers to vigorously wiping those desks, your arms and legs actually get quite the workout! So the next time either your parents or your roommates get on your back for not cleaning your area, go with it! You’ll get some exercise in your day and it will lead to a bunch of other health benefits, such as making you sleep better!

Trick #5: Use a fitness tracker or app!

Photo via Google Images

Tracking your activity will do wonders to adding more activity to your day! By seeing your progress for the day, you’ll be more likely to walk more and be active.

And there are loads of ways to make this more fun! You could check out awesome apps that track your walking while adding a game to it. For example, there’s an app called “Zombies, Run” that uses the amount you walk, jog, or run and helps you fight off the zombies. There are loads more apps out there too that help monitor your activity and make it way more exciting!

You could also track with your friends! Get your friends into tracking their walking that way you can motivate each other to stay active daily. But remember that it doesn’t have to be a competition: you want to make sure that you are getting active for your own health and enjoyment, not because you need to prove something to your friends

Also, if you are interested in a FitBit to track your activity, if you check out UCLA Rec’s Stress Less Week (this week!), you can be entered to win one! It’s from January 22nd to January 26th and they are giving out one every day. All you have to do is register and go to their events, from yoga to stress relief.

Now that you know some tricks to adding some activity to your lives, good luck! Here’s to everyone staying active despite the busy schedules!

Tiffany Hu is an undergraduate student at UCLA majoring in Microbiology, Immunology, and Molecular Genetics with a minor in Bioinformatics. She is a blogger for Move Well of the UCLA Healthy Campus Initiative. She is the co-Director of the Student Health Advocates, which focuses on educating students on various intersections of health. Tiffany is also the Special Projects and Alumni Coordinator of the UCLA Care Extender Internship, which helps students volunteer at all departments in the UCLA Medical Centers.

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Thu, Dec 1, 2016 AT 10:09 am - Move Well
The Benefits of Stretching during your Study Break
Photo via Monica AguilarPhoto via Monica AguilarPhoto via Monica AguilarPhoto via Monica AguilarPhoto via Monica Aguilar

By Monica Aguilar

As the quarter is wrapping up, students find themselves having a bazillion things to do. From finals to papers, deadlines are soon approaching! So, you’re studying and you’re losing focus. Students might not realize it but during those precise moments taking a five minute fit break and stretching out your muscles is a great way to recharge and refocus.

Stretching isn’t only for the playing field or the gym it is also for the workplace and any other place. Studies have shown that stretching affects the neurological system in a positive way by regulating heart rate and blood pressures which often tend to rise when one is under stress. Stress also causes muscle tightness, which can be relieved by stretching. When you stretch your muscles become relaxed therefore relaxing you and reliving your body of its stress.  Taking a break while you study to move around and stretch is the best way to get the most out of your studying. Researchers found that any physical movement optimizes your brain functions, increases your IQ, and increases your focus. Therefore, next time you’re studying and you find yourself losing focus get up and give yourself five minutes to move around, stretch and de-stress. Before you try to go straight into stretching you want to make sure you warm up your muscles by performing some dynamic movements.

Below are some dynamic movements and stretches that you can easily perform while sitting down or standing up next to your favorite studying place!

Neck Tilt:

1. Tilt your head sideways to one side, reaching towards your shoulder, then to the other side.

2. Maintain your hands at your sides, hanging loosely.

3. Hold each side for 6-8 seconds.

4. Repeat as desired.

Photo via Monica Aguilar

Finger Stretch: Your fingers need a break too! All that typing and writing causes them to get stressed as well, so stretch them out!

1. Make a fist.

2. Open your fist and stretch your fingers by opening them widely.

3. Repeat 5 times for both hands.

Photo via Monica Aguilar

Arm Circles:

1. Extend out your arms on either side of your body.

2. Slowly start moving your arms in circles forward 10x

3. Switch directions by moving your arms back in circles 10x

4. While performing this movement make sure your back is straight and your core is tight.

Trunk-Twist (standing):

1. Stand up straight with your feet shoulder-width apart.

2. Twist your trunk to the right and pivot your left foot at the same time.

3. Repeat by twisting to the left and this time pivoting your right leg.

4. As you are twisting, simultaneously swing your arms with the momentum of your twist.

Photo via Monica Aguilar

High Knees:

1. Stand hip width distance apart with your arms hanging loosely by your side.

2. Begin with a slight jog in place

3. As you are getting rhythm begin jumping from one foot to the other by bringing your knees up high above your hips

4. Make sure you are touching the ground with the balls of your feet and your arms are moving with the motion of your feet.

Back Stretch: You can perform this stretch while sitting or standing up.

1. Begin by leaning your body forward as far as you can and trying to touch your toes.

2. Make sure to keep your head down and your neck relaxed as you are are leaning forward.

3. Hold for 6-8 seconds.

Photo via Monica Aguilar

Hamstring Stretch: This stretch helps untighten your legs and glutes after being seated for a long period of time.

1. Point your right heel to the ground in front of you.

2. Meanwhile, keep your left leg slightly bent.

3. Gently lean forward to your right and try to reach your toes. Hold for 6-8 secs.

4. Alternate legs and repeat.

Photo via Monica Aguilar

Now remember next time you find yourself studying make sure you take a fit break in between to enhance your focus and learning. Simply perform some of the movements/stretches above, but always make sure that you do not continue performing the stretches if at any point you experience any pain or discomfort. Studying in groups? No problem! Get your friends involved and share the great benefits of stretching during your study break!

Monica Aguilar is a third-year undergraduate Chicano/a Studies major and Spanish minor at UCLA. She is the current project director for [FITTED] a student-run program established in the Community Programs Office which is designed to assist students and maintenance personnel in incorporating lifelong health into all aspects of their lives.


Wed, Nov 30, 2016 AT 9:05 am - Move Well
Quarterly Check-In: What’s Shaking with Move Well?

By Tiffany Hu

Hello, my Bruin Fitness Pals!

We are finally in the home stretch! Two more weeks left until winter break (or maybe even less for you lucky ones with early finals)!

As the quarter comes to a close, I want to give you all one last update on the programs and projects Move Well has been working on this year thus far.

1. Flexible Fridays

Photo via Ellen Gerdes

If you are a lover of yoga or if you’ve ever wanted to try it out, this program is for you! On “Flexible Fridays,” Move Well offers yoga classes that are completely free! These classes happen every single week at locations both on campus and on the Hill. Since there are multiple sessions each Friday, there’s bound to be one that fits into your schedule. You can even go to multiple if you are really getting into the yoga mood! So come around if you want to join in or just want to observe. The times are 10:05 – 10:55 AM at Wilson Plaza (below Janss Steps), 11:10 – 11:55 AM at the Court of Sciences, 3:30 – 4:30 PM at Sunset Rec, and 5:00 – 6:00 PM at Hedrick Mov Studio. For more information about Flexible Fridays, you can also visit @YogaAtUCLA on Facebook! The page also provides updates if a certain session may be cancelled due to acclimate weather or a possible alien invasion (probably the first one).

2. UCLA Recreation

Photo via Google Images

UCLA Recreation offers dozens of fun and interesting classes each quarter. While most of the instructional exercise classes and workshops have probably ended for this quarter, you can start thinking about what you want to take for next quarter! You can’t enroll just yet but UCLA Rec does have the list of all the classes they have and which quarters they are offered (click here for more!). These classes are phenomenal and are pretty decently priced from the ranges of around $30-50 for the ENTIRE quarter. Most classes are 2-3 days a week so quite a bargain! They have classes in dance, martial arts, arts (like knitting and the art of DJ’ing: didn’t think we offered that, did you?), and even yoga (if Flexible Fridays don’t fit into your schedule)! The skies are the limit for how many classes they offer, so go ahead to their website and check out all of the amazing courses and programs they offer!

3. The Bruin Health Improvement Program

Photo via @BHIP on Facebook

Sorry undergrads, this one is only for UCLA staff, faculty, and graduate students. But for those eligible, this is a fantastic program as well! It is under UCLA’s FITWELL initiative that is trying to help UCLA staff and faculty achieve wellness in various areas of fitness and health. BHIP is a three-month long program that offers participants intensive lifestyle training in areas of exercise, nutrition, stress management and mental conditioning! It consists of comprehensive conditioning of strength training and cardiovascular fitness, while educating the members on becoming more physically active and nutritionally mindful. The Fall 2016 session is over but they will be enrolling for Winter 2017 very soon so keep checking back if you are interested in this intensive program! You can also check out the ongoing events by just going to the session and, possibly, speaking with the coordinator during Week 10 (schedule here) if you want a sneak peek at what the program is about before deciding to enroll!

4. Sitting is the New Smoking

Photo via Google Images

Our wonderful Research Pod has been doing extensive research on how much our sedentary habits are affecting us. This even affects those of us who consider ourselves to be quite active individuals! There is so much sitting incorporated in our jobs and classes, from sitting in meetings, in class, while working at a desk, and while driving! The amount of time we actually sit in a day adds up! The constant sitting can lead to a lot of adverse effects, such as increased risk of heart disease, cancer, diabetes, and possibly even depression, according to this research. UCLA has started to implement “instant recess”, which is an incorporation of 10-minute physical activity breaks during meetings, designed to help improve health and productivity. It is to help combat these sedentary habits while also getting people to recognize how much just a bit of movement can help you refocus and feel refreshed. For more information about the research being done on this and other movement topics, check out this website and scroll down to “Data and Statistics” and “Searching for Research Literature”.

So have fun on your fitness journeys: whether it is exercising your body or mind! And good luck to all you students who are entering the Finals Zone soon! Just don’t forget to keep up your movement!

Tiffany Hu is an undergraduate student at UCLA majoring in Microbiology, Immunology, and Molecular Genetics with a minor in Bioinformatics. She is a blogger for Move Well of the UCLA Healthy Campus Initiative. She is the co-Director of the Student Health Advocates, which focuses on educating students on various intersections of health. Tiffany is also the Special Projects and Alumni Coordinator of the UCLA Care Extender Internship, which helps students volunteer at all departments in the UCLA Medical Centers.


Wed, Nov 23, 2016 AT 8:42 am - Move Well
Fitness Busters: Myth or Fact?

By Tiffany Hu

“When there’s something strange, in your fitness plan, who you gonna call? Fitness Busters!”

Do you ever wonder if some of the most common fitness sayings are fact or fiction? Does it keep you up at night to know you could be working out in a way that is better for your body? Well if you have, then this blog is here to help!

(But if this questions aren’t ones you think about, keep reading anyways because some of these tips might still apply to you! If you’re not working out properly, it could really hurt you in the long run.)

So let’s see if some of these common fitness sayings are myth or facts to help ensure that you all are getting the most out of your workouts today and for the future!

MYTH OR FACT #1: “Always stretch before you exercise!”

Photo via Google Images

MYTH! Now, I know what you’re thinking, “Wait so it’s bad for you then?” Not at all! It just is not all that necessary. The myth that has been surrounding the fitness world has always been that stretching will help prevent injury. According to personal trainer Maik Weidenbach, stretching may actually do harm! It weakens the muscles by about 30% and that reduced tension could lead to injuries. It would be better to simply start off with a warm-up of some kind before exercising. For example, if you go on a run, start off with a brisk walk just to get your muscles working. Similarly, if you are doing intense weight training, start off with some lighter weights and build up for the workout.

Now, stretching AFTER you exercise is definitely recommended! Now, remember: it won’t help you recover faster either though. A study at the University of Milan has indicated that there were no changes in blood lactate levels, an indication of muscle fatigue, when comparing those who do and don’t stretch after exercising. But it will help with joint flexibility, which is definitely a plus as that will help with long-term effects of exercising.

MYTH OR FACT #2: “No pain, no gain!”

Photo via Flickr

MYTH! Now, for all of you biology students, I know that you are thinking, “But what about all the times that my muscles are feeling a burn due to lactic acid? That’s just the body telling me I’m pushing myself a bit. I thought that was good for exercise!”

And you are right! But some people take “no pain, no gain” to mean something a bit more extreme. The phrase almost denotes that the more pain you are in, the more you are probably gaining or that all pain acts as some sort of indicator that you are working out in the correct way. Both of these statements are false. Just because you are in pain does not mean that you are doing the exercise correctly. By how serious that pain is, it probably means that you are actually doing it wrong or that you are taking on too much!

If you are experiencing any sharp or acute pain, please STOP! Exercising is not about who can handle the most pain so they can achieve their desired outcomes. Any sign of serious pain means that you are hurting yourself, whether it’s in your muscles or elsewhere. It is normal that you feel a slight burn, as that is just your muscles telling you that you are pushing yourself to do better and handle a bit more strength. But by no means does this tell you to injure yourself. As Cooper Fitness Center Professional Fitness Trainer David H. Williams has said, “There is a difference between discomfort and pain.”

So just keep in mind that if you are experiencing pain during your workout, try and assess if it is a normal burn or something more serious. If it is, there is no shame in stopping! It’s always better to know your limits and just increase the intensity of one of your normal workouts before trying something completely out of your comfort zone.

MYTH OF FACT #3: “Only certain exercise machines at the gym are good to use”

Photo via Google Images

FACT! Some of these machines could actually be very harmful to various areas and muscles of your body, even when these are used properly!

For example, a good portion of these exercise machines incorporate some form of sitting while trying to exercise a certain portion of your body...but isn’t sitting bad for you? According to Justin Russ, a strength coach from IMG Academy in Florida, sitting is harmful, as it could lead to “increased heart disease, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, or obesity.” By engaging in regular free-weight exercises that incorporate natural human body movement patterns like squatting, it’ll help you exercise the right areas of your body while ensuring you don’t engage in other harmful activities.

That being said, not all exercise machines are bad for you!

Here are two examples that are fantastic machines to help you work out and don’t require sitting:

1. The Cable Biceps/Triceps BarIt’s built so you’d be working out your biceps and triceps. You essentially just pull the bar, which is attached to weights, up (to workout biceps) and down (to workout triceps). It is especially great because it’s a bit less dangerous than having to work with free weights as people tend to swing those around a bit and may hurt either themselves or others. It is also great because it helps you build up the strength in your triceps and biceps to engage in push-ups or pull-ups. So if you can’t quite do many of those yet, this machine is a safe option for you to build up that strength!

2. The Hanging Leg RaiseEven though in the title it refers to the legs, this awesome machine actually helps work out the core and hip flexors. You put your arms on the arm stands, while your legs are hanging. Then you use your core to lift your legs! So this is a bit of a tougher machine to use, but if you think your core can handle it, then give this one a try as well!

MYTH OR FACT #4: “You have to spend more time exercising to stay in shape!”

Photo via Google Images

MYTH! This is a super big myth! Especially for those who are just getting into the groove of working out. This will probably do more harm than good! This is true for both day to day and in the long run.

Although studies have recommended that people should get some sort of physical work out for 30-50 minutes, 5 or so days a week, you should never over-do it! You don’t even have to do all of your working out at once each day. According to a study done at Arizona State University, those who split up their 30 minutes of their daily walk into three 10 minute sections had, on average, lower blood pressure readings than those who took their daily walks at 30 minutes per day.

For long-term, you definitely need to take rest days, especially after long workouts, as you could potentially injure yourself. According to celebrity trainer, Ashley Borden, by working out too often, you would be preventing your body from ever recuperating and improving to take on more challenging workouts the next time.

So just remember: work out often but don’t forget to listen to your body! Your body will tell you what it requires, whether it’s food, rest, or breaks in between exercising.

STATEMENT #5: MYTH OR FACT: “Movement helps with stress!”

Photo via Google Images

Fact! Movement helps reduce stress due to neurochemical effects.

According to articles from Harvard Health Publications and the Anxiety and Depression Association of America, exercising helps reduce the stress-inducing hormones, adrenaline and cortisol. By helping to reduce those, you will be less likely to feel stress at various situations since your body won’t be filled with higher levels of those hormones. Also, exercise actually helps stimulate the production of endorphins, or what I like to call the “happy” chemicals. These are the hormones that produce the effects as seen with painkillers or elevating your general mood.

Likewise, this amazing fact also refers to mental exercises, those that help your body as well, such as meditation, can also help reduce stress. Meditation has been known for helping “slow the heart rate, lower the blood pressure, reduce the breathing rate, diminish the body's oxygen consumption, reduce blood adrenaline levels, and change skin temperature”, according to studies of Indian yoga masters. These will counteract the general effects that are associated with stress, which are elevated blood pressure and racing of the heart.

There is even a form of meditation that is referred to as progressive muscular relaxation. By tightening your muscles, holding that for 20 seconds, and slowly relaxing, you’ll be able to both release your body’s physical strains and stress while also releasing your mind’s stress!

So here are all of the facts and myths that I think are the most important to know about fitness! Remember to always do your research about common fitness sayings before you believe them or even performing them!

Good luck, once again, and you all will do wonderfully as you embark on your unique fitness journeys!

Tiffany Hu is an undergraduate student at UCLA majoring in Microbiology, Immunology, and Molecular Genetics with a minor in Bioinformatics. She is a blogger for Move Well of the UCLA Healthy Campus Initiative. She is the co-Director of the Student Health Advocates, which focuses on educating students on various intersections of health. Tiffany is also the Special Projects and Alumni Coordinator of the UCLA Care Extender Internship, which helps students volunteer at all departments in the UCLA Medical Centers.





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Mon, Nov 21, 2016 AT 10:31 am - Move Well
Free Self Defense Classes at UCLA: Protecting the Mind and Body

By Ellie Benitez

Photo via Vanessa Mejia

What if…

  Imagine walking back from a late night at Powell Library. Its tenth week, and you’ve spent the past few days studying for your upcoming final. Day in and day out, you’ve labored over past midterms and practice tests, keeping yourself awake with liters of coffee and Yerba Mate tea. Eventually, you decide to throw in the towel for the night and make the long trek home to your cozy apartment. All your friends called it quits hours earlier, so it looks like you’re walking alone at 2AM with minimal light to guide your way once you exit the safe confines of UCLA’s campus. As you round a corner, two clowns jump out at you from behind the bushes and nearly scare you to death. They charge at you, and you stand there, motionless in fear, your fight or flight instincts muting each other out. Do you run? Do you attack?

  Riley Woolvett, a fourth year undergraduate student here at UCLA, could relate to this hypothetical. As Riley walked home from her on-campus job one late night this Fall Quarter, she was met by two masked clowns on the corner of Gayley and Kelton. She instantly pulled out her pepper spray and ran as fast as she could in the opposite direction towards a friend’s apartment. After chasing her a few yards, the clowns ceased their ghoulish noises and retreated with snickering laughter.  Although shaken, Riley was not physically hurt, and has since warned her friends and coworkers to be extra wary about walking home late at night. She also highly recommends that everyone at UCLA take the weekly free Bruin Self Defense class offered in the John Wooden Center — it could one day save your life.

Wait, FREE Self Defense Class?

  That’s right! Every Wednesday from 5:30 pm to 7:00pm, the Bruin Self Defense class (BSD for short) takes place in Yates Gymnasium on second floor of the John Wooden Center. It’s free for all UCLA students, and is arguably one of the best kept secrets of this campus (maybe second to the Food Closet?). Instructors Lance Wisdom and Vincent Pham cover a plethora of basic self defense moves, including strikes and blocks, as well as self defense topics, ranging from weapons defense, car attacks and sexual assault defense. The instructors start the class by asking for student recommendations and input, and structure the day’s routine based based on the focus participants want. If no hands go up, no worries, Lance and Vincent are prepared with a lesson plan of their own.

  Emily Lopez, the Martial Arts Student Coordinator, stresses the importance of knowing basic self-defense techniques. She says, “We obviously touch on the physical aspect of self defense, but we also go over the mental side. Our instructors facilitate discussion about being prepared and aware of your surroundings at all times.” Since UCLA is an open campus, it is especially important to be conscious of common crime areas in Westwood, and aware of exits and escape routes in lecture halls and public buildings. The BSD class uses on-campus scenarios to prepare students for incidents that may occur while the university is in session, but are widely applicable to other situations.

  BDS is an adaptive class, and accommodates people of all genders, religions, and abilities.  So, to reiterate, the Bruin Self Defense class is FREE and INCLUSIVE of all people. Can you find a reason not to go? Knowing how to protect yourself from an attack is empowering, and having control of your state of mind and body is important for a healthy and happy life.  As busy UCLA students, it’s hard to commit to a martial arts instructional program that costs extra money and meets biweekly. BDS is designed to be an accessible resource for all students, without causing financial distress. The Martial Arts Program plans on extending the Bruin Self Defense platform to include safety information while travelling and “everyday carry” essentials, must have items to have in your back pocket if you were to face an assailant.

  If you want more information about topics and moves covered in BSD, you can click here to visit their Facebook page. This site is also a great source of information on crimes that occur around the Westwood area, such as the dual kidnapping and car theft that occurred earlier this year.

Sign me up!

  One caveat, these classes are available only to the first 40 people who show up or have reserved a spot online through the UCLA Recreation website. So just log on to the website, click on “Bruin Self Defense,” and register for the Wednesday you would like to attend. But if you’re walking by and see there’s spots available, just hop on in and sign the waiver! Make sure you’re wearing athletic attire, and bring water.


Ellie Benitez is a 3rd year undergraduate Microbiology, Immunology, and Molecular Genetics major and Society and Genetics minor at UCLA. She currently serves as the HCI representative for UCLA Recreation, where she is a Student Supervisor for Intramural Sports.

Mon, Oct 24, 2016 AT 7:28 am - Move Well
Let’s Get Moving! The 2016 PAC-12 Challenge

By Tiffany Hu

Photo via UCLA Recreation

Hello my fellow Bruin Fitness Pals!

Something very exciting is brewing at UCLA. I’ll give you a hint: it’ll give us all a shot at beating ’SC!

In celebration of Movement Week (10/24-10/28), all of the PAC 12 schools are getting into some healthy competition! During Movement Week, all twelve schools are promoting healthy living through exercise and movement. They hope to show students that all kinds of exercise or movement are fun and fantastic for our health!

Research has shown that excessive sedentary habits (like sitting at a desk, studying, and playing video games) can be detrimental to your health – physically, mentally, and emotionally.  Take the time now to take care of yourself by giving yourself movement recuperations — celebrate movement in your life and at the same time make UCLA the best of the PAC-12 in this challenge!

So, what exactly is the PAC 12 challenge? During this week of October 24 - 28, the schools will be competing to see whose supporters can log the most minutes of activity. Any movement counts! Taking a stretch or movement break in class or at work? Log those minutes! Walking to class or work? Log those minutes! Taking a yoga class? Log those minutes! Attend /participate in one of the FREE offerings by student groups and REC center programs during this week?  Log those minutes! Any movement counts!

Anyone that is a UCLA supporter is eligible to participate — all you have to do is sign up on the PAC-12 Challenge website and log your minutes of movement (however, there is a 120 minute per day cap). Need a reason to participate beside getting the chance to beat USC? The top 500 loggers for the week will receive a free PAC 12 Challenge t-shirt! Top loggers per day will be eligible to win a Fitbit or a yoga mat!

To help UCLA supporters log as many minutes as possible and beat USC, UCLA Recreation is offering a variety of opportunities from free Group Exercises classes to free classes at the Marina Aquatic Center to drop in FITWELL Games. In addition to these movement opportunities, there are a number of other fun opportunities happening this week, including  Eat Well cooking demos at the Bruin Plaza Farmer’s Market, Martial Arts demos, and a Drum Circle (which helps with anxiety!).

In case you’re looking for even more resources to help get you moving, UCLA has loads of fun programs to get you moving, including the following:

  • UCLA Rec: They offer loads of fun classes to help get active from different types of arts, dance, sports, etc! (And they are only $25 for the whole quarter!)
  • Yoga: There are both classes in UCLA Rec but also FREE options! It is called Flexible Fridays: the classes are weekly and there are a couple times on each Friday to help accommodate your busy schedules!
  • Competitive Sports: If you are interested in something with a little more competition, these programs are great for you! We have Club, Intramural, and Unified teams! The Club teams are generally for the fun of competing with your fellow Bruins and other schools but they are largely student initiated. For something a bit more fierce, we have Intramural teams which are in a whole “league” of its own: because it consists of tournaments, leagues, meets, and special events! Last, but certainly not least, we have our Unified teams for anyone who wants to promote inclusion between those with and without disabilities, using sports to bond!
  • Adaptive Programs: UCLA Rec provides more great therapeutically-based programs for those with cognitive or physical disabilities to help widen their access to opportunities that will help them get active and promote wellness!

Now that you have all this information on ways to get active on campus, go sign up to participate in the PAC-12 challenge! Anyone can participate who is a UCLA supporter.  Whether you're a student, faculty or staff member, alumni, or fan of UCLA you're welcome to join us and go for the championship! Have fun with getting active and I hope you all join this amazing competition to prove we’re the healthiest campus...and for the free stuff, fun programs, and to stay healthy!

Tiffany Hu is an undergraduate student at UCLA majoring in Microbiology, Immunology, and Molecular Genetics with a minor in Bioinformatics. She is a blogger for Move Well of the UCLA Healthy Campus Initiative. She is the co-Director of the Student Health Advocates, which focuses on educating students on various intersections of health. Tiffany is also the Special Projects and Alumni Coordinator of the UCLA Care Extender Internship, which helps students volunteer at all departments in the UCLA Medical Centers.

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Thu, Oct 20, 2016 AT 11:10 am - Move Well
No Time, No Problem!: 5 Tips for Getting Active with a Busy College Schedule

By Tiffany Hu

I know exactly what you are thinking — it’s already Week 4 and you’ve been to the gym a total of, let’s just say, “a few” times. You’ve just been too busy joining new clubs, meeting new people, catching up on that monster load of homework, or contemplating what life even is. With so much on your to-do list, it’s easy for gym-time to be the last thing on your mind.

However, it’s incredibly important to stay active for your health: it helps you cope with stress, combat illnesses, and maintain your mental health; furthermore, it gives you more energy and helps you live a longer and stronger life! To reap all these benefits, the Department of Health and Human Services and the American Heart Association recommend 30 minutes of exercise, five days a week.

Now you’re probably saying: “I know it’s good for me but I just don’t have enough time!”

What if I told you that you can get active in less than ten minutes a day and it will cost nothing and be done at your leisure? I know it sounds too good to be true, but it’s possible, my fellow Bruins! You’ll be able to stay active, finish your homework, and avoid AECATG: awkward eye contact at the gym!

Here are 5 tips and tricks to get active in whatever time you have!

P.S. You can use some of these tips multiple times a day, so that you can reach that goal of 30 minutes of exercise, 5 days a week!

TIP #1: Use home goods lying about as weights!

Photo via Vimeo - Google Images

A great alternative to dumbbells or barbells are ordinary objects you can find in your home! You can use soup cans or water bottles for some great 1-pound hand weights, but if you think you can handle bigger objects, try one of the following options:

  • For a great alternative for 3-pound weights, grab that sack of oranges and lift! Great for exercise and a boost of Vitamin C later for your diet!
  • For 5 pounders, you can grab a sack of potatoes or a gallon of whatever is in your fridge! Try to stick with two of the same objects though if you plan on taking one in each hand while exercising. Similarly, if you want to work with ten pounders, try using some large bottles of laundry detergent!

Some easy lifting workouts you can do with these alternative weights include the following:

  • The sumo squat! You take two soup cans or water bottles in you hands, ready to do bicep curls, and have your legs about two feet apart. While you do the squat, that’s when you do the bicep curl. Then, together, straighten your legs and arms. Repeat this for 10 times for 1 set.
  • The upright row! This is when you keep your feet about shoulder distance apart. Then keep your palms, closed around your weight, facing you. Then bring the weights up so that your elbows will bend to the sides. Then slowly bring it back down. Repeat this as well for 10 times for 1 set.

Also: remember to always be careful! Even though they are household items, you should still treat them as you would weights. Here’s some tips to keep in mind:

  • Remember to work at your own tempo when handling weights: meaning that you should never overestimate how much weight you can handle.
  • Start off small and then build up!
  • The weight should be a bit tiring by the last two repetitions in a set but you can still do in good form.
  • Try to also work out with another fitness pal so that they can spot you in case the weights are just too much.

TIP #2: Try some high intensity workouts!


Photo via Pixabay - Google Images

Studies have shown that short high intensity interval training (HIIT) workouts are actually better than longer low intensity workouts. You know what that means? For all you people who hate distance running, you can switch to short high intensity intervals. Or if you just don’t have the time to run, this is a great alternative!

High intensity workouts are amazing because they can help you develop a stronger heart, while also burning fat! According to research associate in physical medicine and rehabilitation at Spaulding Rehabilitation Hospital, Howard Knuttgen, interval training is an example of aerobic training, which is designed primarily to enhance your cardiovascular system. This means that you can develop a greater endurance, while devoting less time from your busy schedules to exercising.

A great example of these high intensity workouts is the New York Time’s Scientific 7 Minute Workout! All you have to do is jumping jacks, wall sits, push ups, ab crunches, step-ups with a chair, squats, tricep dips with a chair, planks, high knees running (in place: I promise, no endurance running), lunges, push-ups with rotation, and side-planks. You only have to do each of those for 30 seconds and you get a 10 second break in between each of them. Sounds great, doesn’t it? There are more great examples of these in 7-minute workout apps or online!

TIP #3: Why sit when you can stand?

SPOILER ALERT: sitting has been deemed to be the new smoking. Now what does that even mean? It means that we got to get up and start moving! I know it does not seem like sitting could have much of an effect on the way we live but it does! Researchers have been finding more evidence that it increases the chance of developing serious illnesses like heart disease and type 2 diabetes. Because once the effects of long-term sitting begin, there will be no way to reverse them. So start now! Stand when you are watching television, seeing as you already sit doing homework (trust me guys: it’s called “taking a break.” I know, revolutionary). Or take a walk when you are talking to your best friend about your wonderful days! Just remember to reduce the amount of time your butt is attached to those chairs!

TIP #4: Start the week off great!

Photo via Flickr

Fact: Mondays are awful. But you could bump it up if you start working out early in the week!

By starting your workouts early on the first day of the week, you’ll be setting yourself up to continue working out for the rest of the week! In fact, research has even shown that most people will start their exercise routines on Mondays versus other days of the week. People will psychologically gear themselves up for working out if they start on Mondays! So start off your week right with some fun exercise, as it has many health benefits!

TIP #5: Do the exercising that you like!

Photo via Ellen Gerdes - Yoga At UCLA

Not all exercise is awful, I promise! If you don’t want to go to the gym or workout at home (because it all seems a bit boring), find an alternative! Join some fitness classes or do something with your friends! UCLA Rec offers loads of classes each quarter that are both fun and great in helping you get fit! (Pssttt!: they are also only $25 for UCLA students for the entire quarter!)

Part of getting fit is just enjoying it. Even if it is more than ten minutes a day, it would be well worth it if you enjoy it. If you don’t like your current fitness routine, you’ll be less inclined to do it. I know that sounds really obvious to most of you, but it’s true and you need to hear it! Running is not the only option! Weight lifting is not the only option! High intensity workouts are not the only option! Do what you love and you’ll see that it’ll go a long way! There are programs such as: competitive intramural programs, adaptive rec programs, FREE yoga (it’s so incredible it gets its own category!), and loads of other amazing programs to get you excited for living a healthy lifestyle! Just remember to have fun while you are getting fit!

Now that you all are loaded with these tips and tricks to slaying the fitness game, go out and do what you love while staying fit! I encourage all of you to at least try one of these tricks to see if it makes a difference (or just take my word for it and try them all)!

Good luck and know that we, the Healthy Campus Initiative, are with you on this amazing fitness journey!

Tiffany Hu is an undergraduate student at UCLA majoring in Microbiology, Immunology, and Molecular Genetics with a minor in Bioinformatics. She is a blogger for Move Well of the UCLA Healthy Campus Initiative. She is the co-Director of the Student Health Advocates, which focuses on educating students on various intersections of health. Tiffany is also the Special Projects and Alumni Coordinator of the UCLA Care Extender Internship, which helps students volunteer at all departments in the UCLA Medical Centers.


Thu, Sep 22, 2016 AT 10:58 am - Move Well
Check it Out: UCLA Recreation Classes are FREE to Observe during Week 1

By Danielle de Bruin

Photo via Google Images

Looking for a new way to get moving or workout this school year? If so, UCLA recreation has you covered! It offers hundreds of different group exercise and instructional courses every week, so you’re bound to find one that’s perfect for you.

If you want to try out some group exercise classes, you can buy a Group X pass that grants you unlimited access to 59 group exercise classes per week! These classes include spin (indoor cycling), HIIT (high intensity interval training), zumba, booty kickin’ barre, and more. The Group X pass is only $25, making it a much cheaper option than non-UCLA alternatives like SoulCycle or Pure Barre. Check out the complete UCLA group exercise schedule here.

UCLA recreation also offers a wide variety of instructional courses. There are over two dozen yoga classes, some of which are completely free! Yoga classes are available at all levels, so you can find the perfect one for you. In addition to yoga, you can find everything from swim lessons to power lifting to boxing to salsa dancing. Take a look here for a complete look at the courses offered this fall.

If group exercise and instructional courses weren’t enough, UCLA recreation also offers private and semi-private fitness training (with a discount for students!) as well as arts classes including digital photography and improv comedy.

So...how do you sign up for these classes? You can sign up for any of the instructional and art courses online here. For the group exercise courses, you can bring your Bruin Card and $25 to the Sales & Services counter on the first floor of the John Wooden Center (past the basketball courts). If you’re unsure if a class is right for you, you can observe all classes for FREE during week one and then make a decision! If you decide to check out any of UCLA recreation’s classes, please share your experiences with us at livewellblog@ucla.edu.

Danielle de Bruin is an undergraduate student at UCLA majoring in Sociology with a double minor in Italian and Global Health. She is the blog coordinator for the UCLA Healthy Campus Initiative and the director of UCLA’s Body Image Task Force, which is a committee within the UCLA Student Wellness Commission. With the Body Image Task Force, Danielle organizes events, workshops, and campaigns to promote healthy body image, self-confidence, and mental health on campus. She is also a published co-author in the journal PLOS Medicine.


Wed, Sep 14, 2016 AT 10:17 am - Move Well
Your Healthy Move-In Checklist: 9 things to pack for a healthy start at UCLA

By Danielle de Bruin

Your college move-in checklist probably includes the essential twin XL sheet set, laundry bag, and coffee maker, but does it include the items essential to staying healthy in college? When you’re trying to decide how many pairs of shoes to pack or whether you’ll need an umbrella for the three days a year it rains in LA, it can be easy to forget about health while packing for college. However, you’ll need to prioritize your health before you even step foot on campus to ensure a healthy start at UCLA. Use the Healthy Campus Initiative’s healthy move-in checklist to ensure you don’t forget anything essential to a healthy first year at UCLA.

1. Running or gym shoes — You’ll want to pack your running shoes for two reasons. Firstly, you’ll need them to take advantage of the Wooden center, BFit, and Drake stadium. Exercising is shown to decrease depressive symptoms and increase cognitive functioning, making it a great way to cope with the sometimes stressful college transition. Secondly, UCLA’s campus is huge and getting around is no easy feat! Skip your heels or dress shoes and opt for your running shoes when you have class all day — your feet will thank you later. If you forget a pair, you can pick up a new pair at a sports store, Goodwill, or the Salvation Army in Santa Monica — just a fifty cent bus ride away with your Bruin card!

Photo via Google Images

2. Ear plugs — Living in the dorms can get noisy, which can sometimes make it hard to get a good night’s sleep. Sleep, however, is essential to a healthy life and a healthy college experience. Lack of sleep is associated with lower grades, risky alcohol consumption, and depressive symptoms. So pack a couple packs of ear plugs (and maybe a sleep mask too) so you can drown out your roommate yakking on the phone or the room blasting impossibly loud music down the hall. And don’t worry if you forget, you can find some free earplugs in the Powell Reading Room behind the CLICC desk.

Photo via Google Images

3. Granola bars -— Granola bars, or other portable snacks like mixed nuts or dried fruit, are an absolute college must. Grab one on your way out the door when you’re running late to class and don’t have time for breakfast or keep a couple in your backpack in case you get hungry in the middle of lecture.

Photo via Flickr

4. Mini fridge — Granola bars can get old pretty quickly, so bring a mini fridge so you can stock up on healthy snacks in your room. Keep some Greek yogurt cups or milk and cereal on hand in case you miss breakfast in the dining halls and try carrots with hummus or string cheese as late night study snacks. You can find used mini fridges on EBay or Craigslist for $50 (if you split that between your three roommates, it’ll cost you less than $20 per person!).

Photo via Flickr

5. Gratitude journal — Starting college can be overwhelming and stressful, so it's important to proactively care for your mental health in addition to your physical health. One study found that gratitude writing can boost happiness and life satisfaction and decrease depressive symptoms. Bring a gratitude journal to keep next to your bed so you can take a moment to reflect on a happy moment or something you're grateful for before you fall asleep every day. Get one on Amazon for as little as $5.

Photo via Google Images

6. Yoga mat — Different student groups offer free yoga classes all the time on campus, so bring a yoga mat with you and take advantage of them! No only is yoga a great, relaxing study break, it could also boost your GPA! One study found that practicing yoga increases brain wave coherence, resulting in increased mental performance. So keep an eye out for the free classes provided by groups like Yoga at UCLA (they provide both the instruction and the mats!) or, if you want to practice your downward dog more frequently, you can sign up for quarter long classes through the Wooden center that meet once or twice a week.

Photo via Google Images

7. Reusable water bottle — Dehydration is associated with impaired cognitive function, short-term memory, and psychomotor skills, so stay hydrated! UCLA has water fountains all over campus — all you need is a cool water bottle to refill throughout the day.

Photo via Google Images

8. Condoms — Bring a supply of condoms with you to protect yourself and any potential partner from STIs and unwanted pregnancy. If you feel uncomfortable buying condoms at a drugstore or are afraid your parents might spot you packing some, you can get free condoms on campus outside the Student Wellness Commission Office (Kerckhoff 308), at the LGBTQ resource center, or at the Ashe center. If you want to learn more about other birth control options, make an appointment at Ashe by calling (310) 825-4073.

Photo via Google Images

9. Sunscreen — While LA’s amazing weather is one of the many perks of attending UCLA, the strong sun can also be pretty dangerous. Protect yourself against skin cancer by keeping a small tube of sunscreen in your backpack so you can reapply throughout the day. Make sure that your sunscreen conforms to the standards recommended by dermatologists!

Photo via Google Images


Danielle de Bruin is a fourth-year undergraduate student at UCLA majoring in Sociology with a double minor in Italian and Global Health. She is the blog coordinator for the UCLA Healthy Campus Initiative and the director of UCLA’s Body Image Task Force, which is a committee within the UCLA Student Wellness Commission. With the Body Image Task Force, Danielle organizes events, workshops, and campaigns to promote healthy body image, self-confidence, and mental health on campus. She is also a published co-author in the journal PLOS Medicine.


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Tue, Apr 26, 2016 AT 10:47 am - Move Well
Which Body Position Will Allow You To Sleep The Longest?

Image source: Consumer Reports

By: Emily Lopez, UCLA Undergraduate Student

I am a full-on, free-fall, stomach-down kind of sleeper — and I own it. As a martial artist, I must be aware of my body positions and move in a conscious manner to achieve ultimate results. The same goes for sleeping.

Recently, I realized that not everyone falls asleep and moves the same way I do. I began to wonder: Is there in fact a correct way to sleep in order to maximize a night of sleep?

As it turns out, everyone has their favorite position to sleep in. My sister likes lying flat on her stomach with her leg in a crisscross applesauce form. The guy walking through campus said he slept like a log facing up and not moving at all during the night. We all have our preference, but how does this affect the quality of our sleep?

In a study conducted by the Japanese Society of Sleep Research, investigators looked at four different sleep positions in adults without apparent obstructive sleep apnea: right, left, prone (on your stomach), and supine (on your back). Even though we all have our own creative modifications, we can generally relate to these four distinct directions.

Among the 20-40 age group, researchers did not find a dominant position. However, they did find that females slept longest in the supine (on your back) position and males slept longest in the right position.

So the next time I am rubbing the sleep from my eyes and remembering that zombie cupcake dream, I’ll wonder if it was all because I succumbed to sleeping on my stomach again.

Want to learn more about sleep? Join the #SleepRevolution at the UCLA Healthy Campus Initiative Annual Celebration on April 20 - with Arianna Huffington! Learn more and get free tickets here.

Follow UCLA Healthy Campus Initiative on Twitter: www.twitter.com/HealthyUCLA

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Tue, Aug 11, 2015 AT 5:49 pm - Move Well
National Health Center Week 2015


We are in the middle of National Health Center Week! What are health centers you ask? According to the National Health Center Week website health centers are "... local community owned and operated businesses, Health Centers serve over 24 million Americans at more than 9,000 delivery sites in all 50 states." Health centers help to provide affordable and quality healthcare to millions of Americans each year. Check out this infographic to see who uses health centers and why they are so important.

Here at the UCLA Healthy Campus Initiative, we have compiled a list of the 3 closest health centers near campus. Don't hesitate to call or visit these centers if you are in need of affordable healthcare. If you don't live near campus, click here and enter your zip code to find the nearest health center.

1. Venice Family Clinic - Simms/Mann Health & Wellness Center

2509 Pico Boulevard 

Santa Monica, CA 90408

(310) 392-8630



2. Saban Community Clinic

8405 Beverly Boulevard

Los Angeles, CA 90048

(323) 653-1990



3. Westside Family Health Center

1711 Ocean Park Boulevard

Santa Monica, CA 90405

(310) 450-4773




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Fri, May 8, 2015 AT 12:10 am - Move Well
UCLA Community: Are you ready for the Angel City Games?

Move Well is committed to fostering campus wide access to culturally sensitive programs, events and opportunities to MOVE and BE MOVED.  As part of this initiative, Move Well is proud to highlight the Angel City Games on June 19-20, 2015 at Drake Stadium on the UCLA Campus. This will be the first ever Los Angeles Paralympic Competition, Clinic, and Exhibition.

This exciting event is open to qualifying adaptive athletes, volunteers, and interested spectators from the entire UCLA community.

Through collaboration with a core volunteer team known as Team Ezra, UCLA Recreation is proud to co-host the only multi-sport competition for children and adults with physical disabilities in Los Angeles.

Adaptive Athelete Ezra Frech, seven-time national champion in Track and Field. 

Photo Credit: Jason Gould

About Team Ezra


For spectators and participants, this dynamic inaugural event includes Competitive Track and Field events and clinics, and a Wheelchair Basketball Clinic and Exhibition. Attendees can also walk through the vendor village to learn more about adaptive sports and active living. All events are open to the public, and all children, adults, veterans, active duty military personnel with physical disabilities are welcome to register and participate.  Families can take advantage of the Kids Zone, where children can participate in multi-ability Obstacle Course, Basketball Hoops, a Bounce House, Face Painting, and more.


Are you an adaptive athlete interested in participation in the clinics, exhibitions, or competitions?

All athletes need to be classified for the Track and Field competition, and can go through an evaluation if they have not done so already.  To register as a Paralympic athlete with the Angel City Games on June 19-20, 2015, click here.

The Angel City Games is sanctioned by USA Track & Field and Wheelchair and Ambulatory Sports/USA (WASUSA) and is IPC (International Paralympic Committee) approved.

Are you an adaptive athlete ally interested in supporting the event?

For those interested in volunteering with event coordination, management, and chaperoning athletes, you can volunteer to be an “athlete angel” by clicking here.

Questions? For additional information, contact: info@theangelcitygames.org or mgarafola@recreation.ucla.edu







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Tue, Mar 10, 2015 AT 6:38 am - Move Well
Training in martial arts = strengthening self-confidence and the ability to adjust to change.

For our March blog, the MOVE WELL Team wanted to follow up on our January Blog (scroll down), which featured information on the HCI sponsored course, entitled “Martial Arts, Phenomenology, and Personal Empowerment’ (WAC174).

WAC174 will host a martial arts demonstration on Wednesday March 11th at 11am in the Blue Room of the John Wooden Center. Students and instructors will demonstrate skills learned and contextualize research findings from this 10-week course.

While HCI and MOVE WELL promote a wide range of movement (and stillness!) activities as routes to personal health and wellness, here are some things that UCLA students took away from the regular practice of rigorous physical training in martial arts over the course of the 10-week quarter:


“…I initially took the class because I was attracted by the idea of self-empowerment. The word has a positive ring to it. I wanted to empower myself to feel comfortable with my physicality in every aspects of my life not just in athletics; having been an athlete my entire life, people naturally assume that I was capable of many things beyond my sport and it’s been difficult living up to that expectation. I often let my fear and ego get the better of me when pursuing goals but the biggest concern of all, is that I was unaware of those elementary issues I have which hindered my progression as a student in life. Gavin De Becker had a quote in The Gift of Fear that stuck with me. He said that we as people ‘...want recognition, not accomplishment.’ We tend to care so much for our ego but forget that progress is the only thing that will last. In our class discussions, we brought up how kids are able to learn so much quicker than adults…We would rather not try at all than to risk the potential of humiliating ourselves, which is why it’s so much harder nowadays for us to pick up new skills.

During our martial arts studio sessions, Shifu would always start us up with 10 to 20 minutes of warm up…I find it interesting to take command of my body in the setting of martial arts. I’ve never been one who is satisfied with the way I carry my body in everyday life so naturally I came into my first session with a lot of expectations-I was eager to learn the maneuvers of a Kung Fu master; to pick up insane fighting moves so I can showcase how smooth I am in combat, but Shifu quickly clarified things for me. He told us that every technique and every drill he teaches has a practical purpose. Fancy movements are only good in movies as real life combats are unpredictable. There’s no combination of attack that will work all the time; we have to adapt to the different scenarios.

Training martial arts is, essentially, us strengthening our ability to adjust to change.

We do it to defend ourselves and not to show off because, just like how Rory Miller puts it in Meditations on Violence: A Comparison of Martial Arts Training and Real World Violence: “Here's a rule of life: You don't get to pick what bad things happen to you.” Therefore, you have to stay a fighter, always. This mentality is the most important realization I’ve made thus far in my pursuit of self-empowerment.”

-Haiyang (Kevin) Yang, WAC174 student

Sophomore, Year World Arts and Cultures Major


“Martial Arts had been part of my life ever since I was in first grade, but with the demands of school and work, I gave it up a few years ago. The result was that slowly, almost without noticing, I became anxious and a bit paranoid about my surrounding. I didn’t like to go to unfamiliar places, or stay at home alone, without always feeling like I was uncomfortably on guard. Despite years of training, I felt like I couldn't defend myself anymore if something were to happen to me.             Joining this class has meant a full turnaround for my self-confidence. I am more vigilant than I was before, but I also have more peace of mind. I'm no longer scared or anxious. This class has given me a new sense of self-empowerment, and it has made me feel like I am more capable of handling unexpected situations. The studio training has been full of great self-defense tactics as well as exercises to ease the mind. The class readings have given me a different outlook, allowing me to see the world through the eyes of people who have made Martial Arts a part of their lives. Interesting comparisons and contrasts make me look at some familiar problems from a more critical angle, and I have also started to think about many things I never gave a second thought before.            Whether you want to learn self-defense, get better discipline or gain self-confidence this class is for you. It is perfect for all skill levels, and good for the soul.”

-Nicole Tata, WAC174 student

Senior, Sociology Major


What moves you?

For a complete list of UCLA Martial Arts classes at John Wooden Center, visit:

http://www.recreation.ucla.edu/martialarts/



.

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Tue, Feb 3, 2015 AT 5:58 pm - Move Well
The Life Changing Popsicle


By: Nicholas Jensen, UCLA '15 Political Science

In one of the most trying experiences I’ve had at UCLA, I was saved by a life changing popsicle. Looking back, I hesitate to say that it was actually “life changing,” but in that moment it certainly felt like it.  When I ate this supposed “life changing” popsicle, I had been standing on my feet for 13 straight hours and had another 13 hours ahead of me; I must have been crazy to sign up for 26 straight hours without sitting.  However, I was doing Dance Marathon, a 26-hour dance-a-thon fundraiser that takes place every year in Pauley Pavilion.  Participants—called “Dancers”—pledge to take a literal stand against Pediatric AIDS and the stigma that surrounds the disease by fundraising at least $260 (often more) to dance at the event.

But I digress; let’s get back to my life changing popsicle. I was only halfway done with the event and was struggling to stay standing. Anyone who has done Dance Marathon can tell you about the highs and lows one goes through over the course of 26 consecutive hours of standing.  It was around midnight and everything was going downhill: my attitude was waning and my whole body was exhausted.  My feet were especially sore, so I grabbed my trusted tennis ball (every Dancer is given one) to roll and massage my aching feet.  It was like pure bliss in a ‘hurts so good’ type of feeling.  As I was massaging my sore feet, that’s when it happened: the popsicle.

A guy I did not know wearing a green shirt walked up to me, handed me a popsicle from a box he was carrying, and said “You’re halfway there, keep it up!” As soon as I tasted that popsicle my spirits soared and my attitude completely changed. Suddenly, everything was better.  To be honest, I now can’t even recall the flavor of my life changing popsicle, but what I do remember was the kind stranger who gave it to me.  The fact that someone else empathized with my situation and offered me a small token of kindness was just the boost I needed. To this day, a stranger handing me that life changing  popsicle at midnight remains one of my favorite memories from Dance Marathon 2014.

I later learned that the kind stranger was a moraler. Moralers register for 3- hour shifts during the event, and their job is to bring high energy and boost the morale of the Dancers. Moralers are an integral part of Dance Marathon. It’s the perfect way to still be involved with the event for those who are worried about completing all 26 hours, concerned with fundraising, or do not have the time to commit. A 3-hour shift is the perfect way to experience Dance Marathon and bring the energy to pump up the other Dancers. Energy and excitement are infectious at Dance Marathon and Moralers can be that “life changing popsicle” for a Dancer.

Register to Morale at Dance Marathon 2015! This April 18/19 in Pauley Pavilion!

The special UCLA Community morale shift is April 18th from 3p-6p, it’s catered to UCLA Faculty, Staff, and Families! Cost is $30 ($15 for kids ages 16 and under) and includes a DM shirt! Register starting in mid-February online here! Email Nick Jensen at pac.university.ucla@gmail.com with questions!



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Mon, Jan 12, 2015 AT 8:25 am - Move Well
How do you bring a sense of power to your daily self?

By: The Move Well Pod

This Winter, HCI has sponsored a brand new course that explores the links between martial arts and personal empowerment. Through a hybrid approach combining critical readings in phenomenology (philosophy of experience) with weekly martial arts practice at the UCLA Department of Recreation, this seminar introduces UCLA undergraduate students who are new to martial arts to the practice and critical study of martial arts as a road to personal empowerment. Taught by Professor/Dance Historian Janet O’Shea (World Arts and Cultures/Dance) in collaboration with UCLA Martial Arts Program Director Paul “British Ninja” McCarthy, WAC174/Martial Arts, Phenomenology, and Personal Empowerment generates discussion and practical experiences centered on notions of power, embodiment, survival, self-defense, and physical mastery.

If you are a non-enrolled UCLA student or member of the campus community with an interest in learning more about how regular, rigorous physical practices like martial arts contribute to health and well being, the WAC/174 class is hosting an end of quarter martial arts demonstration, during week 10 of Winter Quarter. The martial arts demo is tentatively scheduled for March 12, 2015, date/time TBD. Check back with this blog and the Move Well Pod for details as the date draws near.

OR IF YOU CANNOT SIT STILL, AND WANT TO TAKE ACTION…

The UCLA Martial Arts program offers over 25 different styles of Martial Arts practices from over 10 countries to the entire UCLA community at UCLA Wooden Center. Martial arts classes are organized in an array of programmatic formats (classes, club sports, self defense program, etc.,).

More information is available here.

To view the UCLA weekly Martial Arts Schedule click here

If you’d like a free introductory experience, consider enrolling in Bruin Self-Defense.

Here’s to practicing your best self!   






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Sun, Nov 2, 2014 AT 9:35 pm - Move Well
Move Mail

By: FITwell Director Elisa Terry and and Move Well GSR Sarah Wilbur

You’ve heard the news: sitting is not good for your health.



It’s easy to sit at your desk for hours without moving, so FITWELL experts at UCLA Recreation have devised a way to inspire the UCLA community to get up and moving!

Introducing MOVE MAIL: a new daily email reminder program that includes quick (10-15 minute) workouts, instructional videos, walking routes, nutrition information, details about free campus movement classes, and more incentives to shake up your daily movement practice.

UCLA staff, students, and faculty who work predominantly at a computer can all benefit from Move Mail’s variety of suggestions. By signing up for MoveMail, you will receive daily messages from this team of movement experts at 10am and 2pm each day. While we encourage you to get up and move around during your daily routine as much as possible, these messages will keep your ideas and approaches “fresh” and support your commitment to moving often and moving well, towards positive health!

To subscribe to Move Mail, please click here.

MoveMail is among the newest FITWELL initiatives supported by the UCLA Healthy Campus Initiative (HCI). The program compliments the diverse campus-wide movement programs that are currently available through UCLA Recreation, including:


For more information

Contact the FITWELL desk by calling (310) 206-6130, or e-mail us at fitwell@recreation.ucla.edu.

Or, you can visit the MoveMail webpage and social media handles:

http://www.recreation.ucla.edu/movemail

https://www.facebook.com/bruinmovemail

https://twitter.com/bruinmovemail

Onward we MOVE!

- The Move Well Pod




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Tue, Apr 1, 2014 AT 12:06 pm - Move Well
Tango: A Story of Connection

By: Sharna Fabiano, UCLA World Arts & Cultures

Tango has long suffered from an international identity crisis. Erotic images typify the portrayal of tango in popular media, but curiously, experienced social dancers tend to liken tango to mind-body practices like yoga or martial arts, highlighting experiences of connection and creative flow. My own involvement with tango began in Cambridge, MA, in 1997, when I discovered the massive chasm between commercial and social tango, two related, yet unrelated, dance forms that irritate but cannot completely avoid one another. It is the community-based tradition of social tango that I have spent the last 15 years studying and teaching, and that I believe fosters the overall health and well-being of those who practice it.

A successful tango on the dance floor is one in which information flows back and forth, replacing the perception of two with the awareness of one. Tango partners listen and respond to one another, improvising each dance in the moment. This experience of generous, collaborative partnership makes dancers feel good about themselves by strengthening their sense of connection to others.

The tango classes offered in World Arts & Cultures/Dance are a wonderful opportunity to generate a sense of belonging in a group of students from across the entire campus, not only within the dance major. Requiring no previous experience, tango has a largely pedestrian technique. The goal for a tango dancer is not to be the same as anyone else, but to find a unique, personal way of expressing the form. In addition to being accessible, tango improves posture, balance, and coordination by gradually discovering more efficient ways of executing specific movements. Since these movements are always performed in relation to a partner, tango also teaches respect, and safe, supportive ways to approach physical touch. In their improvising, tango dancers learn to transmit trust, reliability, enthusiasm, confidence, playfulness, and patience to their partners through their own physical presence. In all of these ways, the practice of tango cultivates important communication skills that may be transferred to professional, academic, or personal contexts.

Furthermore, in this tango course, all students learn both following and leading roles, breaking the gender codes normally associated with partner dances. Learning both roles is not only a profound educational experience, but it also reinforces the understanding that both women and men are “followers” and “leaders” in the world, and that the relationship between followers and leaders can be complementary rather than hierarchical.

As an MFA student at UCLA, I’ve spent the last three years excavating tango for new choreographic tools. My degree concert, “After Hours,” is a series of interactions among four employees of a tango club, very late at night. But there is no classic tango, per se, in this show. Rather, tango principles such as lead-and-follow and upper body vs lower body direct the movement. I hope that audiences receive some of the experience of connection that I know to be so powerful for the participants of social tango dance. At the very least, this will be a very different idea of tango performance than the one presented in mainstream media!

The Dept. of World Arts & Cultures/Dance MFA Upstarts Series presents:

After Hours 

Date: Fri, April 25, 2014

Time: 8:00PM Venue: Glorya Kaufman Hall, Room 200, UCLA Ticket price: $15/$8 students

Dance with us during Summer Session 2014!

Dance 8: Beginning Tango

Session A: Jun 23 - Aug 01, MWF, 1-2:30pm

Session C: Aug 04 - Sep 12, MWF, 1-2:30pm









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Sat, Jan 18, 2014 AT 6:50 pm - Move Well
What moves you? What health causes move you to act?
Read on to learn more about these active (& activist!) intersections housed right here at UCLA. 
From UCLA Art & Global Health Center Director/Professor David Gere:

As an activist and scholar situated at the productive border between the arts and public health, I view the arts as world-changing, with huge potential to advance global health. I work from this perspective because of what I experienced in San Francisco, serving as an arts critic at the height of the AIDS epidemic. Throughout the decade beginning in 1985, I witnessed artists stepping into horrible circumstances to intervene with little more than images and ideas as weapons. I wrote newspaper reviews on the work of artists confronting the stigma of AIDS. I marched alongside artists goading city, state, and federal officials to devote new resources for care and prevention—and I cheered as they achieved positive results. I grieved publically with artists as they grappled with our collective losses. Through this process I came to believe that any intervention designed to alleviate the suffering brought on by this epidemic was missing something powerful and transcendent if it did not involve the collaboration and creativity of artists.

That is why, in 2004, I founded MAKE ART/STOP AIDS, an international network of artists intervening in the AIDS epidemic. I have been extending and deepening this network ever since, from villages in West Bengal and Tamil Nadu, India, to complex megalopolises such as Los Angeles and Johannesburg. In 2006, I founded the UCLA Art & Global Health Center, dedicated to unleashing the transformative power of the arts to advance health in Los Angeles and around the world. The Art & Global Health Center brings together performance studies with public health, behavior change communication with medicine, social justice theory with practical application. The Center has established a major community presence in Los Angeles, especially through a large-scale collaboration with the Los Angeles Unified School District that allows us to reach 60,000 students annually. The Center contributes internationally as well, with projects currently operating in seven countries on four continents. 

The work of the Art & Global Health Center is based on the theory that comprehensive health education can and should be engaging, entertaining, impactful, and transformative—because it improves self-efficacy and empowers participants to combat stigma surrounding STI’s/HIV, to engage in dialogue, to practice communication strategies, and to think critically on the impact of health decision-making. The arts clear space for the imagination, for broad and unencumbered thinking, and hence open up possibilities for personal transformation. 

If you are having trouble envisioning what I mean, then please join me on Valentine’s Day (and the day after) to see for yourself.

UCLA Art & Global Health Center, with support from the Healthy Campus Initiative, Presents:

We’re Glad You Came
Valentine’s Day with the UCLA Sex Squad!
A FunCrazySexySmart Weekend of Performance, Parties and Art!
LIVE SHOWSDate(s): Fri, February 14, 2014 & Sat, February 15, 2014 Time: 6:00PM-7:30PM
Venue: Glorya Kaufman Hall, Room 200, UCLA
Ticket price: $6.00

Get Lei’d Luau 
FREE Party, DJ, STI/HIV Testing Van, Games & Prizes, Food!
Fri, 2/14/14
12-1PM Bruin Plaza

Big Sexy Scavenger Hunt
Workshops, Games, Activist Art-Marking, Prizes
Sat, 2/15/14
1-3PM Kaufman Hall, Meet in Rainbow Lounge
FREE

Art Orgy
Activist Art Exhibition
Sat-Sun, 2/14-2/15
Kaufman Hall, Various Locations
FREE

Keep It Up!
Spicy Fundraiser, Dinner & Party to support the UCLA Sex Squad
Sat, 2/15/14
$20, includes dinner and age-appropriate drinks
8PM-11PM Kaufman Hall 
Space is limited

For tickets contact Elisabeth, e.nails@arts.ucla, 310-825-6938

Bio: David Gere Professor, UCLA Department of World Arts and Cultures/DanceDirector, UCLA Art & Global Health Center
David Gere directs the UCLA Art & Global Health Center and is Professor of Arts Activism in the Department of World Arts and Cultures. He is also co-director (with Gideon Mendel) of Through Positive Eyes, a participatory photography project featuring people living with HIV/AIDS around the world. His book How to Make Dances in an Epidemic: Tracking Choreography in the Age of AIDS (University of Wisconsin Press) received the award for outstanding book publication from the Congress on Research in Dance. The book was also nominated for a Lambda Literary Award and received a special citation from the Society of Dance History Scholars and the De la Torre Bueno Prize. Gere studied music, dance, and Tamil in Madurai, Tamilnadu, on an Oberlin Shansi Fellowship 1980-82 and, in 2004, lived in Bangalore, India, on a research grant from the Fulbright Association, studying the ways in which artists are working in India to stop the AIDS epidemic. This led to the founding of MAKE ART/STOP AIDS, a network of artists throughout the world who are working to intervene in the AIDS epidemic. As part of MAKE ART/STOP AIDS, Through Positive Eyes currently features photography from Mexico City, Rio de Janeiro, Johannesburg, Los Angeles, Washington, DC, Mumbai, and Bangkok, with future plans for Kiev and Lagos.







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Thu, Dec 12, 2013 AT 6:04 pm - Move Well
Let’s get buzzed…

By: Tim Stafford, Health Champion and MPH Student at Fielding School of Public Health

Let’s get buzzed…on Exercise!  Exercise is medicine! Actually more than medicine, exercise is that daily Cup o’ Joe we use to start our day half-full, and then finish it by spilling over with extra energy, time, and life.  It allows our daily life cup to be full, reaching well-being that builds natural barriers to disease while fostering joy and happiness.

Time and energy are our two most precious commodities.  It has been my experience that the healthier you are, the more time and energy you have.  The more energy you have, the more time you have to sleep, do fun things, and enjoy your friends, family, and hobbies.  When your health, well-being, and natural energy are high, the quality of your life improves.  Health permeates all areas of your life; physical, spiritual, emotional, mental, and occupational.

There are so many reasons to be in the field of wellness and to be a Health Champion at UCLA.  It’s fun interacting with people who share the same values, supporting one another in our individual and collective health journeys.  I have seen the transformative effects of good health, personally and in large groups.  It doesn’t matter where you start, but where you decide to start!  I love playing a role in the confidence building of people, accomplishing their health and wellness goals that they never thought possible.  I have managed thousands of people walk and run half and full marathons.  They all started thinking, “What did I get myself into?”  But just as in any task worth completing, if you break it down into small enough pieces, then you can accomplish anything.

My background is in motivation and team-building.  As a fitness enthusiast my activities have ranged from group exercise, cross fit, yoga, spinning, and marathon training to being an ironman athlete.  I am also certified as a Corporate Wellness Specialist which helps employers increase business while retaining their most valuable resource, retaining happy and healthy employees.  What I hope to accomplish as a Health Champion is to provide information, motivation, and wellness opportunities for students, staff, and faculty helping UCLA be the healthiest campus in America through our Healthy Campus Initiative. It's win/win.  3…2…1.  Ready, set, go!


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Wed, Nov 13, 2013 AT 12:33 pm - Move Well
Music & Movement and How it Improves Your Health

Greetings from the Move Well Team! 

Did you know that coordinated rhythmic movement rituals like dance have a mountain of health benefits? 

The goal of this month's MOVE WELL BLOG is to introduce you to the perceived health benefits associated with participating in dance classes. It's never too late to begin to explore the practice of dance across any number of cultural traditions as a route to healthy living. 

What's that you say? You "can't dance?" 

If your personal dance "history" is limited-to-non-existent, or if you are otherwise a dance-skeptic, read on...or BETTER YET...scroll down to the FREE cultural dance events on the UCLA campus listed at the end of this post. 

UCLA is home to an array of cultural dance offerings on campus, including some participatory free events in the coming days! For UCLA students in particular, we have listed some Winter Quarter dance offerings that may be flying under your radar. 

For those of you who prefer to understand the "science" behind dance as a perceived health benefit, you may be surprised to know that, in addition to the deep cultural meanings that dance articulates across various movement traditions and geographical regions, neuro-cognitive experts have claimed that BOTH the doing and the witnessing of live dance performance can improve overall wellness and enhance quality of life. Dance and health writer Veronica Hackthal published a pair of eJournal articles on the benefits of dance participation this past summer for Dance USA, the national service organization for dance in the United States. 

In Part One of her "Come Dance With Me" series, Hackthal champions the physical, psychological, and physiological processes that ritualized dance practices engender, at all stages of the lifespan. She cites neurocognitive changes that occur during and after dance practice (endorphin release, etc.,) that contribute to mood changes and that improve learning overall for those who take a chance on dance. 

Read more from Hackthal on the scientific and practical uses of dance and brain function here: 

Still UNCONVINCED?

Well, our best advice to quell your questioning mind and body is to TRY out a basic or introductory dance class. Dance is, after all, a movement practice that you can only LEARN by DOING. Make a commitment to yourself to "try some new moves" this month, and see how dance teaches you something about what you, and your body, can do. 

Check out the campus dance opportunities available below at Bruin Plaza, Wooden Center,  and in the Department of World Arts and Cultures/Dance in Glorya Kaufman Hall.

FREE CAMPUS WIDE EVENT: World Music & Movement Festival
When:
November 16, 2013, 11am-5pm
Where: Bruin Plaza

With the prevalence of popular music and dance genres in social media, the chances of being exposed to unique cultural and traditional practices are rare. Even in Los Angeles, the most diversely populated city in California, there is still a lack of appreciation for diverse culture. Therefore, we are planning a World Music and Movement Festival to be held at UCLA on Saturday November 16th from 11am-5pm in Bruin Plaza. This festival will display world traditions through performing arts, in our effort to make the public more aware and involved with different cultural practices. **FREE** More information available on the World Music and Movement website.

UCLA Recreation Dance Classes (non-credit, open to campus community, enrollment is limited) Explore world history and culture through Dance. Throughout history, people across the world have used dance for self-expression, to tell stories, celebrate traditional events, and to maintain communal bonds. Whether you have limited dancing experience or you are perfecting your moves, our dance classes will help you relieve stress, ease tension, and tone muscle all while having a great time. So choose your pleasure and EXPRESS YOURSELF! http://www.recreation.ucla.edu/dance 3. Beginning Dance Courses Department of World Arts and Cultures/Dance Winter Quarter

**Students are encouraged to follow the DANCE subject header to the following offerings on URSA or the UCLA Schedule of Classes. Enrollment is limited, early registration is encouraged**.

DANCE 8: Beginning Afro- Brazilian T/R 430-550pm 2 credits

GKH 230 Instructor: Samantha Goodman Beginning-level study of world arts practices originating from Latin America, including cultures of South and Central America. Variable topics, such as Argentine tango and Mexican folkloric dances, in cultural and historical context. May be repeated for credit without limitation. P/NP or letter grading. Section Description:  Introduction to Afro-Brazilian traditional and popular dances from region of Salvador, Bahia. Survey of variety of dances including Orixa (deity) movement, Dança Afro, Samba de Caboclo, and Samba Reggae. Exploration of uses of spine, body isolations, and energetic/expressive qualities inherent to these dances, as well as their rich cultural and historical contexts. DANCE 10: Beginning Tai Chi Chuan T/R 830-950am 2 credits GKH 1000 Instructor: Jason Tsou Beginning-level study of world arts practices originating from East Asia, including China, Korea, and Japan. Variable topics, such as movement and music techniques of Beijing Opera, Korean shamanic movement practices, and Kabuki theater, in cultural and historical context. May be repeated for credit without limitation. P/NP or letter grading. Section Description:  Designed to help beginning students fully understand Tai Chi Chuan principles and their application in martial arts and meditational exercise. Emphasizes static and dynamic Tai Chi, method of yin-yang balance, Tai Chi Chikung (Qigong) with Tai Chi ball and Tai Chi bowl exercise, cycle and rhythm, five elements in Tai Chi Chuan, Reeling Silk energy built-up through random circle drills, and detailed studies on Yang and Chen style Tai Chi Chuan forms. DANCE 11: Beginning Bharata Natayam

M/W 1030-1150am 2 credits GKH 214 Instructor: V. Prakash Beginning-level study of world arts practices originating from South Asia and extending to cultures of South Asian diasporas, including communities in England and West Africa. Variable topics, such as Bharata Natyam (classical dance of India), bhangra (diasporic social dance), and hatha yoga, in cultural and historical context. May be repeated for credit without limitation. P/NP or letter grading.  Section Description:  Beginning positions, movements, and music of Bharata Natyam, classical dance form of India. 

Happy Dancing! The Move Well Team

~Sarah Wilbur
MFA, PhD Candidate
UCLA Department of World Arts and Cultures/Dance


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Tue, Oct 15, 2013 AT 9:55 am - Move Well
Sitting is the New Smoking- Even for Runners

Are you an active couch potato? No? 

Are you a avid runner who also works up to 9-hours a day at a desk? 

If responded to the second question even slightly in the affirmative, then the correlations raised by this Runner's World article may inspire you to move a little, to move more, or to move differently not just once a day, but throughout your daily routine. Even if you schedule regular, diligent, exercise routines into your daily regimen, this article and related studies suggest that active people who work long hours in seated positions are at risk for many negative health symptoms as their couch-potato friends. Read on and feel free to comment here... 

What is YOUR "movement" solution to being stuck at your desk?

Please COMMENT and share you "movement solutions"--no matter how big or how small--with readers and with the MOVE WELL team throughout the month of October. Your input will help keep UCLA moving!

In case you are truly, "stuck" in this challenge, the HCI MOVE WELL team wanted to contribute a very low-intensity, movement sequence for you to consider (below) as a way to "re-boot" your energy, your work session, and to avoid some of the negative correlations that are mentioned in this article. 

Don't forget to COMMENT and share your "movement solutions" here with other readers!

Sincerely, The MOVE WELL Team SEATED STRETCH: 2 minutes The goal with this exercise is to further connect and unify breath and movement through dynamic stretching and spinal flexion. All you need to execute this series (a modified yoga-inspired "sun salutation") is to push your chair away from the desk so that you have enough forward room to flex the spine at the waist. You also need room to reach your arms up from the sides. Preparation: lower the arms to their sides, and to wiggle the toes and fingers, increasing circulation to the “distal” points of the body. 

Step 1: Bring the hands in front of the chest – pressing the palms together. Inhale and carve the fingertips down toward the floor and then lift arms straight side and up overhead while pressing the feet into the floor, taking focus gently up toward the fingertips/ceiling. 

Step 2. Exhale, folding torso forward over lap/legs. Fold arms on legs as a brace for upper body for modified seated forward bend (***See note below on forward flexion.) 

Step 3. Inhale, lift head and extend the back up and forward into a flat back position, looking straight ahead. Be mindful not to jam the neck. 

Step 4. Exhale. Relax the head, fold the torso back over (as in step two). 

Step 5. On the final inhale, roll up from the bottom of the spine sequentially up to a “neutral” seating posture, starting with aligning the pelvis, then the ribcage, then the chest, and then the head.

***PLEASE NOTE: this forward flexion series is not recommended for those with lower back or neck problems and, like with all physical exercise, should be attempted with sensitivity to your own bodily sensations and limitations.

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Mon, Sep 16, 2013 AT 5:01 pm - Move Well
What Moves You?

If you’ve stumbled upon this blog, then chances are you are interested in the scope of the HCI’s movement-oriented resources, activities, and events. First of all, welcome! We are excited to continue to update you about the fitness, dance, and wellness activities that are under development by our team of MOVE WELL faculty, staff, and graduate student instigators. If you know our “drill”, then you should take a moment here, to…just…pause.

Sit upright in your chair if you have slouched.

Think about creating more space between the bottom of your ear lobes and the top of your shoulders.

Breathe.

Take five deep inhales in through your nose, and out through your nose.

Relax your forehead.

We’ll wait.

[This is your “movement” break]


Thank you.

Now, back to our topic:

What Moves You?

Movement can be simple. Movement can be small, internal, and mindful. Movement, in many ways, is inevitable. The MOVE WELL team encourages the UCLA community to take time away from the “verbs” of work—scrolling, typing, clicking, and sending—and to focus your energy on any task that allows you to connect with your body.

One of our jobs in the MOVE WELL blog is to remind you to tune in to your own movement. This means also thinking about what moves or inspires you to be who you are in the world. Movement, as we view it, is not only about fitness, or about learning a dance form or sport. Movement is also emotional, psychological, and culturally-specific.

By hailing your attention to the question: What Moves You?, the MOVE WELL team encourages you to join us in thinking about the healthy routes to self-expression and inspiration arts and creative experiences can provide.

Our team is geared up for this academic year with new leadership from Professor Angelia Leung from the Department of World Arts and Cultures/Dance, who is working alongside Mick Deluca, Executive Director, UCLA Recreation and Campus Life to integrate arts participatory programming and resources into the MOVE WELL component of the Healthy Campus Initiative. One of our goals for the 2013-2014 year is to connect the UCLA campus community to participatory arts experiences that, in various ways, enhance psychological, physical, and creative health.

[By the way, are you still breathing?]

So, keep your eyes peeled for workshops, classes, live performances, research and resources that invite you to groove with various campus initiatives. In the words of choreographer Liz Lerman, “Nothing is too small to notice”, about how you move, and about what moves you.

We are looking forward to co-operating with you this year, through the HCI.

Onward!

~The Move Well Team
Sarah Wilbur, Choreographer and Graduate Student Researcher, Department of World Arts and Cultures/Dance 

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Wed, Jul 10, 2013 AT 2:57 pm - Move Well
Benefits of Swimming

Need a way to beat the heat this summer? Grab your sunscreen and jump in the pool!

The benefits of swimming  are endless. It is one of the best ways to burn calories, increase metabolism, and exercise every muscle in your body – without putting stress on your joints! Just two and a half hours of swimming every week is enough to decrease the risk of chronic disease, according one study. Swimming is even seen to improve mood and enhance quality of life for older adults.

If you’re not sure how to swim for exercise, don’t worry! UCLA offers private and group swim classes for people of all ages and at all levels. If you go for a swim on your own, be sure a lifeguard is present or bring a friend just to be safe. And don’t forget your sunscreen!

What other water-based exercise do you enjoy? Have you started swimming while at UCLA? Comment on this blog and tell us how you started swimming for exercise!


Claudia Gilmore
UCLA Student 

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Mon, Jun 17, 2013 AT 11:26 am - Move Well
Healthy Meetings

 Do you ever get tired of sitting all day – in class, at work, in meetings? All that time sitting adds up. In fact, Americans now sit an average of 9.3 hours per day. That’s more than most people sleep!

The research is clear that sitting is bad for our health, especially for hours on end. A recent study  announced that for every hour of sitting a person’s life expectancy is decreased by 21.8 minutes. To put it into perspective, smoking one cigarette reduces life expectancy by 11 minutes on average.

So, sitting could be the new smoking. And we do a lot of it. But how can we move more when we need to work or study??

Top executives are lacing up their sneakers and taking meetings on the road. Silicon Valley executive Nilofer Merchant  is doing just that. Since starting her walk-and-talk meetings, Merchant now walks between 20-30 miles per week. Check out Merchant’s inspiring Ted Talk, “Got a Meeting? Take a Walk” .

These meetings benefit more than just your waistline. “Something about being side by side lends itself to facing into a problem together,” said Merchant.

Others are catching onto the idea, too. “Walking meetings are great for brainstorming, giving feedback, and hashing through tough problems,” adds Kristin Galliani, another walk-and-talker.

For your next meeting or group project, why not try this yourself? Check out this Forbes article  for tips on how to hold a walking meeting. Go to Google Maps  and create a walking route around campus. 

So, lace up those shoes and let us know how it goes! Comment on this blog to share with us what you learned or any great walking routes you discover!


Claudia Gilmore
UCLA Student 

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Tue, May 21, 2013 AT 8:48 pm - Move Well
Ecochella

 

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Tue, May 21, 2013 AT 8:45 pm - Move Well
Remembering Dr. Yancey and Instant Recess

Remember when it was time for recess? The bell would ring and sheer joy would overcome the classroom. Everyone would race to the playground, tripping over their feet to get outside and play in the sunshine. 

Whatever happened to recess? That's what UCLA's Dr. Toni Yancey wanted to know. Because the solution to our growing obesity epidemic is fun and simple - that's right, it's recess! 

According to Dr. Yancey's research , we don't even need that much of it. Just 10-minute exercise breaks are enough to make us a healthier and more productive nation. 

Dr. Yancey's research was ground-breaking and her energy contagious. Just listening to her describe Instant Recess  made you want to jump out of your seat and move! Even Michelle Obama caught on to the idea and promoted Dr. Yancey's work. You can listen to Dr. Yancey's presentation of Instant Recess in this Ted Talk from last fall. 

And not only was Dr. Yancey a pioneer in health promotion, but she was a former model and college basketball player. When she wasn't teaching at UCLA, Dr. Yancey was also a poet and spoken word artist. 

Last month, after a long battle with lung cancer, Dr. Yancey passed away at the age of 55. She never smoked.

Move Well is especially saddened by this immeasurable loss. Dr. Yancey was the pod's founding faculty member. Her vision shaped our mission to get UCLA up and moving and continues to guide our work. 

To honor Dr. Yancey, get out from behind the desk or library cubicle and take a 10-minute recess break! She would love to know we're moving more than ever, taking quick breaks throughout the day to exercise our bodies and refresh our minds. 

We want to keep Dr. Yancey's legacy alive, and you can help! If you have ideas on how UCLA can move more, please comment on this blog and let us know! 

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Tue, Apr 30, 2013 AT 3:07 pm - Move Well
Ditch the Cubicle and Take a Fitness Break

The research is clear. We sit too much everyday. And all this time sitting takes a big toll on our health. Thankfully, worksites and universities are responding to the research and scheduling more exercise breaks for staff and students alike.

The New York Times published a story about a company that gets employees moving with CrossFit, a rigorous strength and conditioning program now popular around the world. 

The Colorado-based company, Datalogix, offers CrossFit classes twice a week, bringing co-workers together to move and sweat. They've lost 300 pounds collectively, and employees say it's been great for camaraderie. "If you can sweat and groan and moan with your co-workers," says one director, "you'll have no problem working with them in a meeting."

There are other ways to exercise at work or school. UCLA's Dr. Toni Yancey, interviewed in the article, created the idea of Instant Recess, quick 10-minute exercise breaks to move throughout the day. "Dance breaks, walking to meetings together, sitting on balls - these things integrate physical movement into the daily routine," said Dr. Yancey. 

While CrossFit has lots of benefits, there are a few disadvantages. Employees or students who prefer other types of exercise and don't participate may feel left out. And there's always the risk of injury. Read the article  to learn more about pros and cons of CrossFit in the workplace. 

How can you move more through the day? If you could exercise with your fellow colleagues or students, what types of physical activity would you like to do? Let us know your ideas! 

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