Wii Are Fit_

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					FEBRUARY 2009



In This Issue
From the Editor 1 Wii Are Fit! 1 Dear Diary: Today I Ate... 2 Counseling Center 2 Fitness and Technology Q&A 3 Health & the Online Community 4 Wii Are Fit (cont.) 4 What Is Ergonomics? 4 Comfort at the Computer 5 Massage Therapy 5 Calendar / Nirvana Sessions 6 Contact Information 6

Wii Are Fit!
AJ Beard - Assistant Director, Recreation Center Fitness Programs RUWell sits down with AJ Beard, who also teaches the Fitness & Technology LPAP at Rice. See what she has to say about the intersection of fitness and technology, a growing field that’s changing the way we view exercise and keep in shape... RUWell: Tell us a little about the Fitness and Technology LPAP course you’re teaching. AJ Beard: The course is designed to teach students the components of physical fitness, as well as how to develop enjoyable fitness programs for themselves that can become lifetime habits. We use the Nintendo Wii and Wii Fit game, online nutrition tracking tools, and OwlSpace to report on the ways in which exercises and nutrition tracking are impacting their fitness. RU: What are some of the current technological fads (i.e. gaming consoles, exercise machines) in the fitness world? AJ: Gaming is definitely hot as a learning tool, but it hasn’t quite pushed its way to the top of the list of fitness tools. Body fat analyzers and music devices that can also track your workouts hold the most interest for those who are into technology. Anything that is less expensive and can be done without a professional seems to be what most people, with limited resources, want. RU: How does technology complement or change the way we’ve exercised in the past? Do you think some of the up-and-coming fads will ever replace traditional exercise methods? AJ: Technology compliments traditional exercise by making professional expertise more accessible. You can download a digital trainer or workouts, get feedback from the Wii Fit personal trainer, listen to your iPod while you run, and get feedback on how much you exercised that day. All of these are included in tools we already use our computers, games and music devices. However, despite my passion for technology’s role in fitness and promotion of wellness, I don’t see technologybased fitness fads replacing some of the basic fitness principles we were taught as children before the technology was available. RU: What are some of the benefits and/or disadvantages electronics bring to the way we view and practice fitness? AJ: I think the benefits are many, but the key disadvantage is keeping the technology robust enough to accomplish the same things you can without it. Most of the time, you have to make special exceptions in order to use the technology for fitness; it doesn’t always allow you to get the full effect of exercise without it. RU: What are some practical, everyday ways we can incorporate technology into our fitness routines?

From the Editor
Hi everyone! Hope your second semester has gone off to a great start :) This issue of the ruwell newsletter is going to focus on fitness & technology, two important things in our lives. If you find ruwell interesting and informative and would like to receive future publications, subscribe online at the Wellness Center’s website ( or look around campus for a copy. Also, when you have finished reading the newsletter, please share it with a friend or pass it on to a stranger and make a new friend. Have a great rest of the semester! Lisa Low, Brown ’09

A ha fte m v r SH e, e r yo AR pl ea u E ea d ME se !

(continued on pg. 4)

Fit & Tech-Savvy Dear Diary: Today I Ate...
Brandi Powell - Nutritionist, Wellness Center
Keeping a food journal, food log, food diary – whatever you want to call it – is synonymous with dieting. There are some good reasons for this: trying it myself, I find that I’m much more selective about what goes into my mouth. I feel accountable to someone, even though I’m usually the only one who sees it. It also helps me realize where some unnecessary calories are coming from. So, within the span of a few days, the quality of my diet improves. But don’t take it from me! There’s actually research to back this up. A study published in the American Journal of Preventative Medicine showed that overweight or obese people who logged what they ate lost twice as much weight in a six-month period than those who didn’t. If you want to food-journal, here are a few tips to get you started. First of all, take a little time to check out the different websites to see which online food journal you like. Most sites make it easy to calculate everything – from calories to the vitamin C content of your diet. Secondly, journal as you go. Your food journal will be much more accurate if you write-as-you-bite (or at least after each meal and snack!). Write it on paper; then enter it on the computer later if you like. Also, it’s important to know your portion sizes. Consider measuring or weighing your foods for a couple days, then you can just eyeball it after that. Otherwise, most of us tend to underestimate how much we eat. And lastly, write it ALL down – the good, the bad, and especially the ugly! Even on your most indulgent days, don’t stop journaling. Seeing it on paper will help you select healthier options next time. Things to consider journaling include the time, foods and beverages consumed, preparation method, meal location, serving size, your hunger, and your mood or feelings. This will help you discover eating patterns, such as your reasons for eating (besides hunger), what feelings you’re having in regards to food, and actual portion sizes. Keep a food journal for a week, and then decide how long to continue it, based on how well it works for you. Of course, different things work for different people. If you tend to obsess about food, then food journaling may not be right for you. You might find that it tends to make you anxious and takes up too much time. Now that you’ve kept a food journal, you may be wondering what to do with your results! There are a few options. You can take a look at the previous week and check for things like fruit and veggie intake, consumption of junk foods, or how much alcohol you drank. Or you and a friend could switch and help each other find patterns or ways to improve your diet. Another option is to bring it to a registered dietitian (like myself!) and ask for his or her opinion. You may be surprised what you learn about your diet – and yourself – along the way! : Check out:,,,,

Can’t quite seem to get a hold on procrastination? Do you feel distracted? Frustrated? Overwhelmed? The Rice Counseling Center can help. Call x4867 or visit 303 Lovett Hall to set up an appointment today.

Peer Health Messages
From the peer health organizations ... the people who bring you the Sexologist study breaks, Love Your Body monologues, bandaids, condoms, earplugs, the Relay for Life event, and more

Fitness and Technology Q&A
Becky Elliott, Jones ‘09 & Guy Weissinger, Baker ‘09 College Assistance Peer Program (CAPP) Co-coordinators RUWell asks students Becky Elliott and Guy Weissinger about how technology and fitness work together in their lives/busy schedules... How does technology figure into your fitness routines? Guy: I need my iPod to exercise. Also, I’ve had help from online communities that are great for telling you how to keep in shape and providing support. Becky: I’ve started to really like working out at the gym on their machines. I used to be a run/walk type of person (though I was never very good at it), but I like seeing people at the gym and it’s easier to vary my workouts. What are some machines, consoles, online programs or websites that you use regularly? Guy: A big fan of the Rice Recreation Center website ( recreation) so I can find stuff to do and I really like their Fit Tips. Also, for a long time I used an online fitness diary to keep track of my exercise; those are really helpful. Becky: My new favorite is the elliptical. It’s so much better for your joints than running is, and I love having access to all the information it provides -- my heart rate, how far I’ve “run,” etc. How much technology usage is too much for personal well-being? Is there a “too much”? Guy: I think that sitting at your computer all day every day is bad for personal well being, both physical and mental. Hanging out with friends is good for your mental health but even just walking around with your friends is better physically than chatting on facebook. Becky: There definitely can be “too much” technology, just like there can be too much exercise or too much of any good thing. I really think moderation is key to a healthy lifestyle. What is one technological device you can’t live without? Why? Guy: My iPod. If I don’t have it, I can’t exercise and then I get grumpy. Becky: My computer -- my sister and I keep each other honest with exercise and healthy eating through emails. We write every day, and I know that if I’ll feel bad telling her about eating fast food instead of making a healthy dinner; it’s easier to just not do it! :

“There definitely can be ‘too much’ technology, just like there can be too much exercise or too much of any good thing. I really think moderation is key to a healthy lifestyle.”

Peer Health Messages Health & the Online Community
Lisa Tseggay, Baker ‘11 - Cancer Education Chairperson, Colleges Against Cancer (CAC) Facebook. Twitter. Myspace. LinkedIn. Sound familiar? These are all social networking websites, places where you can carry on conversations with individuals from all over the world. There, you can meet other people who share the same diagnoses, interests in health reform or behaviors, and current interests you’re pursuing. You can find individuals to ask questions of as well as others with whom to share your resources. From websites, people find only information, but with online communities, people are able to find information and more – through communication with others who have the same problems, experiences, or interests. The dialog between online peers encourages the development of strong relationships, and makes such online communities one of the best features of the Internet. Of the social networking strongholds, Twitter has attracted interest of late. It’s a site that provides a “microblogging” web service, which allows users to share brief text updates about their lives with groups of individuals that “follow” them. On Twitter, you will often find people commenting on what’s going on in their lives. These online personas become more like “friends,” and later, people with whom you can share information more comfortably. Aside from being able to find online friends who have similar health problems or health-related interests, Twitter also offers different services that hope to create positive social change and, in the case of one application, improve the overall health of the online community. This application, called “Twittercize,” sends twitter messages (dubbed “Tweets”) every hour that describe a simple one-minute exercise that can be done at your desk. Twittercize senses that its users devote a lot of time to Twitter and, accordingly, provides the necessary stretching exercises as relief when needed. As you can see, Twitter and other social networking services across the World Wide Web are striving to foster online communities and serve the interests of these communities. :

Wii Are Fit (continued from pg. 1)
AJ: If you’re not very active now, a great way to use technology is to add reminders to your electronic calendar or your phone to get moving every one to two hours. Do some stairs, walk the loop, and do yoga. If you’re already active, using online tools can help you get accurate information on just how much you’re doing (calories expended or consumed). And of course, playing the Nintendo Wii can be a great way to change up your whole routine! :

Compiled by LouAnn Risseeuw – Project Manager (Interiors), Facilities & Engineering According to Wikipedia, ergonomics is the scientific discipline concerned with designing according to human needs, and the profession that applies theory, principles, data and methods to design in order to optimize human well-being and overall system performance. The field is also called human engineering, and human factors. Ergonomic research is performed by those who study human capabilities in relationship to their work demands. Information derived from these studies contributes to the design and evaluation of tasks, jobs, products, environments and systems in order to make them compatible with the needs, abilities and limitations of people. Ergonomics is a science concerned with the “fit” between people and their work. It takes account of the worker’s capabilities and limitations, seeking to ensure that the tasks, equipment, information and environment suit each worker. Our posture as workers becomes very important when performing tasks at our office/work/desk space. It is also recommended to take a break every 30 - 45 minutes from a particular task to avoid repetitive strain. :

What Is Ergonomics?

Fit & Tech Savvy Comfort at the Computer
Chris Lidvall - Dance Theatre Coordinator, Rice Dance Theatre Chances are if you’re a student, you’re at a computer for a large amount of the day, whether it’s at the library or in your dorm room. LPAP instructor Chris Lidvall offers some tips — inspired by the Alexander Technique — to help reduce the strain on your body while using the machine we can’t live without. 1. Identify your sitting bones at the base of your pelvis. If you sit on your hands you can actually feel them—they’re the bony protrusions on either side of the pelvic base. You want to let your sitting bones rest in the chair, so don’t sit back on your sacrum, which is the fused part of the spine at its base. This way, your head and torso can gently move up from this base. You don’t want to pull yourself up, because we all know this doesn’t last very long (too much effort!). Rest your feet firmly on the floor; we have postural mechanisms in our feet that help us move up.

atlanto-occipital joint). The head rests on the spine between the ears and behind the nose. Often we think this connection is further back! 4. Rest your eyes often. We can create tension in our neck and shoulders because we’re working too hard with the eyes, so practice softening your gaze. If you’re using glasses, make sure you can see the screen without tightening your neck and throwing your head back and down into the shoulders. 5. Remember to breathe! :

2. Breathe deeply a few times. Breathe in deeply, and breathe out long. Feel how the ribs move out and up while inhaling, down and in while exhaling. Don’t push from your back. 3. Notice your neck and practice releasing any tension that you can. Nod the head from the head/spine connection (the

* Need Massage Therapy? *
chair massage: $10/15 min. $20/30 min. mini-vacation: $30/30 min. reiki: $45/hr swedish massage: $45/hr reflexology: $45/hr deep tissue massage: $55/hr. sports massage: $55/45 min. hot stone massage: $60/hr.
Massage services are available at the Wellness Center on Tuesdays and Fridays (9-5pm) and Thursdays (1-4pm) Cash, Check, MasterCard, Visa, and American Express are accepted, and gift certificates make great presents for friends, roommates, and significant others.

February 22-28 28 March 8 13 14 15-21 16 17 21 Spring break ends World Kidney Day RSVP Outreach Day Fourth Annual Flying Owls 5K Soul Night 2009 National Inhalants & Poisons Awareness Week Willy’s Picnic St. Patrick’s Day Beer Bike National Eating Disorders Awareness Week Spring break begins! Be safe! 24 24 25 28 April 1 7 8 17 17-18 19 April Fool’s Day World Health Day Sexual Assault Awareness Action Day Last Day of Classes American Cancer Society Relay for Life President’s Study Break: Candyland American Diabetes Alert Day World Tuberculosis Day 50 Days RSVP Spring Fling

Sitting for too long? Check out these ideas...
One thing I recommend for people – while working at a computer or sitting in front of the tv – is to take a simple five minute break every other hour to stretch, exercise, or just relax. If you’re exercising regularly, this helps you get in your recommended amount of exercise throughout the day. Listed below are some easy things you can do: * A simple yoga meditation, like the “Sun Salutation.” * A pilates movement, like the “Hundred,” or crunches. * Keep some simple resistance bands nearby your desk, and do biceps curls while talking on the phone. Here are some other tips for ergonomics at your desk space: * Avoid eye fatigue by resting and refocusing your eyes periodically. Look away from the monitor and focus on something in the distance. * Rest your eyes by covering them with your palms for 10-15 seconds. * Use correct posture when working. Keep moving as much as possible. :
~Katie Walters - Wellness Coordinator, Rice University Need a little bit of time to relax and refocus?

Nirvana Sessions
20 minute relaxation sessions, ongoing throughout the semester in the RMC Chapel: Tuesdays, 5 PM Wednesdays, 12:30 PM Thursdays, 3:30 PM Published by the Wellness Center Lisa Low, Student Editor Marissa Howat, Staff Advisor To submit an article for the next edition, contact: Lisa Low at, or visit Wellness Center, MS 704, Rice University -


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