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Posts Tagged ‘health’

Colorado Center for Health and Wellness

April 7th, 2012 1 comment
Colorado Center Lobby

Staircase Prominently Featured in the Center's Lobby

The Colorado Center for Health and Wellness represents a new concept in health care and health care research. The center is located on the University of Colorado, Denver Anschutz Medical Campus in Aurora, Colorado. Primarily a research facility, the center focuses on educating the community on healthy eating and activities. Preventative health maintenance is stressed, with the goal of keeping people out of the hospital rather than post-disease treatment.

This mission is evidenced throughout the construction of the building. From the expansive lobby, featuring a demonstration kitchen and Bistro Elaia, to the massive fitness center contained within, and finally the clinical and research labs, the center embodies a desire to get people interested in nutrition and exercise, and treating the physical barriers to fitness. The education programs developed by the center will be available to the public through the center’s website and the tailored fitness programs available either through the clinical facilities or through fitness center membership.

Fitness Center Weightroom

Fitness Center Equipment

The fitness center is also a paradigm shift from the standard gym membership. Membership begins with a fitness assessment, testing physical fitness, flexibility, and strength as well as metabolic measurements. From this a “prescription” training program is developed, creating a total health program for the individual. Progress can be tracked through the Technogym system, with each exercise tracked through a “keychain,” taking the guesswork out of a fitness program. Progress is followed up with subsequent assessments, keeping individuals on track and equipped to maintain the fitness gains achieved. These assessments are available to anyone, meaning that individuals need not be members of the fitness club to take advantage of the program.

For athletes looking to improve their performance, the center is also home to the Human Performance Lab run by Iñigo San Millán. Offering tests such as VO2 max, lactate threshold, and body composition via Bod Pod or DEXA Scan, the center can fine tune training and nutrition programs to optimize performance.

With so many health care programs aimed at treating people who are already unhealthy, it is refreshing to see a facility that aims to be more proactive. Equipping individuals with the tools and knowledge to create healthy lifestyles, the center will help to develop methods that bring on sustainable changes in fitness for an entire community.

Running Track

A section of the indoor track overlooking the golf course

Technogym Equipment

Technogym equipment tracks weight, reps, etc. and saves to keychain

Fitness Equipment

Cardio and flexibility equipment along the track

View From Elliptical

Treadmills and ellipticals look out onto the golf course

Recovery

March 26th, 2012 1 comment

I think one of the biggest problems of the fitness industry is sports and recovery drinks. Coincidently, sports and recovery drinks accounted for $3.9 billion in sales in 2010 and continue to increase. It’s no wonder that the soft drink manufacturers want to get in on the action. But in many respects they are selling products that most consumers don’t need, and will in fact harm them.

Part of the problem arises with our definition of “athlete.” “Athletes” need sports drinks to achieve top performance, the University of Florida showed us that. “Athletes” need recovery products to kickstart the muscle building process, bodybuilders have known this for years. But these cases reflected the needs of pro-football players, and people pushing their bodies to the very limit of performance.

The term “athlete” now refers to anyone who does anything physical. Just watch a sport on TV and keep an eye out for the sports drink ads. Are these companies spending millions on advertising to reach the 0.1% of the population at the peak of physical fitness? Are NFL football players recording the games they missed on their DVRs, then watching them later in the week thinking, “I bet I wouldn’t have missed that pass if I was drinking that!” The sports drink industry wants every armchair quarterback to think that they need 20oz of electrolyte drink after they mow the lawn. That’s what makes $3.9 billion.

So now we have a generation of active, informed adults who are doing exactly the right things to get in shape, then eliminating all their gains with their choice in recovery drink. They don’t need a 20oz sports drink and a protein shake to recover from an hour long trip to the gym, they need a peanut butter sandwich and a glass of milk!

I understand there are barriers to making real food part of a recovery plan. Almost all of my workouts end with me going back to work, so I can’t exactly grill a lean chicken breast to eat. But I can take dried fruit in my lunch instead of an energy bar. I can buy a small carton of milk at the cafeteria (granted I have to dig deep into the refrigerator display to find it). And I can pay attention to what advertisers are telling me. Good products sell themselves and don’t need the hype. When it comes to my fitness, I’m pretty sure the soft drink giants don’t have my best interests in mind.

Categories: fitness, opinion Tags: , ,

The Long Road

March 19th, 2012 3 comments

I’m ready to admit it; I’m out of shape.

I’m not “Biggest Loser” out of shape with hundreds of pounds to lose, I’m every-man out of shape. I’m carrying a few extra pounds around the middle, I sit at a desk all day, and while I can walk up stairs easily I usually choose not to. So I’m staging an intervention.

I’m committing to get back in to doing something active every day. It doesn’t have to be the most intense workout of my life, but it does have to take at least half an hour. I’m also making a commitment to bike commuting more often. Riding my bike to work keeps me healthy by doing something that I have to do already, it’s free exercise time! Running is part of the plan too. I can get a better cardio workout from a 30 minute run than I can from a 30 minute bike ride, and it’s weight bearing, working a different set of muscles than I would on the bike. Finally, pushups are in the mix. I can work in a set of pushups anywhere I happen to be, no gym required.

Seems so simple, yet I know how difficult it can be to stick to. I’ve fallen off the wagon for almost 6 months, and now look where I am. No one would ever tell me I look out of shape, but I know it’s true. I think we all know when we are not doing enough with our bodies, it’s just hard to figure out where to start. And it’s a long road, with no end in sight. Because “stay in shape” isn’t a goal, it’s a lifestyle choice. It’s not a 5k in September, or a charity ride in the spring. It’s getting out there every day without any other reason than it’s the right thing to do.

And doing the right thing is always hard.

Categories: motivation, opinion Tags: , ,