Obese students required to take fitness class for diploma

November 29, 2009

Photo by Danlamouette

Yep, you heard me. Lincoln University in Pennsylvania has attempting to battle weight by making students take a fitness class. Those who refuse can sadly say goodbye to their diplomas.

So here’s how it goes: Beginning in Fall 2006, all incoming students have been required to take a Body Mass Index test, a measure based on height and weight. Those who have a BMI of 30 and over have to enroll in a “fitness for life” class for 3 hours a week. A normal BMI is between 18.5 and 24.9. An obese person will have a BMI of 30 and over.

While there has been some protest among the students, the historically black University says they are only trying to help.  According to AP, they are concerned about the high rates of obesity and diabetes, especially in the African-American community.

To pass the course that includes physical activities as well as information on nutrition, stress, and sleep, students are not required to lose weight, but just need to attend and participate in the classes.

Tiana Lawson, a 21-year-old senior, says while she believes her current BMI would exempt her from the class, she’s going to take it anyway “because I would like to be healthier,” but also states that she feels that the larger students are being singled out.

So what do you guys think? Is this a smart move on the University, or should all students be required to take this class.

Curious about what your BMI is? See for yourself here.


Personal Trainer John Kelly, Owner of Kelly Personal Training

November 29, 2009

Working as a personal trainer for the past 28 years, John Kelly knows his way around a gym. He has trained over 30,000 people of all ages and fitness levels and owns two personal training businesses, including one in Austin. He was kind enough to let interview him, his answers are below.

John Kelly

What started your motivation towards staying fit and keeping healthy?

I think most people exercise to look better, perform better, feel better, and have an overall feeling of well being.  As a young athlete I was more concerned about the first two. Now as an ex-athlete with old injuries I am more concerned about the last two.

What has been your greatest moment as a trainer?

At some point you go from having a client/trainer relationship to having a valued friendship. You attend christenings, family gatherings, and sometimes funerals. Your clients go out of their way to help you, and you do the same. I moved to Austin from New Orleans after hurricane Katrina.  The week before I moved to Austin I met with each of my New Orleans clients and fellow trainers for the last time. Most of my clients were longstanding, some longer than ten years. I realized how dear my clients, co-workers and friends really are.  Everyday of that last week was intensely emotional as we said our final goodbyes; it was one of the more memorable weeks of my life.

What is it that is great about Austin in particular for fitness?

Fitness can be a simple as stepping off your stoop and just start running, walking or biking down the street. That can happen just about any anywhere.  Austin adds to that experience with miles of bike trails, walking trails, and green spaces.  I feel I am truly fortunate to have moved to here because of all Austin has to offer.

A unique aspect that I saw on your web site was your golf program and your focus on back pain relief. How did that start?

Several years ago I suffered with back pain for three years. A doctor told me I should consider surgery. Instead I began exercising with a MedX lumbar exercise machine in another doctor’s office, and I slowly incorporated strength training to my regiment. My pain gradually disappeared. A strong back and a strong body are less likely to suffer pain and injury. We use MedX rehabilitative exercise equipment at both our facilities, Kelly’s Personal Training and New Orleans Ultimate Fitness Training. We have had great success with the program; it is very gratifying to see people who have lived in constant pain become pain free.

Golfers swing in one direction creating potential muscle imbalances and increased risk of injury.  Our program is designed to increase strength and flexible and correct imbalances.  Increased strength and flexibility result in increased club head speed and less injury.

What advice would you give to potential clients about staying fit during holiday temptations?

Enjoy family, friends, and food. Taking a week or two off at the end of the year gives nagging injuries a chance to heal and you’ll recharge your batteries. It is not the one or two weeks that makes the difference; it is sticking to a program for the long term.  Very few people manage to do that year after year. If you reward yourself with a break now and then you’ll more likely stick to a program.


So, you heard it from a professional, it is okay to indulge over the holidays but make sure you get back on the wagon and to your fitness regimen after the break. Thanks so much to John Kelly and if you want to contact him visit his web site or blog.


Sokker, Fußball, Fútbol, Soka

November 23, 2009

By The Vancouver Sun

It has the greatest number and size of stadiums around the world, the number of people who wear football merchandise, number of people who are aware of football, and the number of leagues/tournaments worldwide. This makes soccer the most popular sport worldwide, more specifically in the UK, Europe, Asia and South America (America is still lagging behind in their interest with soccer). As we speak, countries are battling it out to gain a spot in FIFA’s 2010 World Cup-a championship tournament that takes place once every four years- hosted by South Africa (did you hear about the scandal between Ireland and France? Sucks for Ireland).

I was lucky enough to attend a World Cup pre-qualifier match between Jordan and S.Korea. Take a look as Korea scores their second goal.

For those not really interested in the spectator aspect of soccer, it’s also a major calorie burner for the casual player. One can burn up to 475 per hour (on a 150lb person). And if you’re looking for some cardio, look to run up 3 miles every time you wanna play a pick-up game; the average professional player runs up to 7 miles per game.

Not only do you not have to be a pro to play this game, but while you’re burning up those (holiday) calories learning to play you can also make new friends.

While it can be slim pickings in finding team to play with outside of UT, why even look? Part of UT’s IM sports includes, none other than… soccer! While it’s a bit late in the game to be signing up to play-my team is playing for championships tonight-check back at the Intramural site before Sept. 27 next year.

Since we’re on the topic of soccer, you all have probably heard about the uber aggressive female soccer player, Elizabeth Lambert. If you haven’t already seen the clip be sure to do so.

Some people believe that her actions were taken out of context while others believe that she deserves to be suspended. What do you think? Leave your comments!


Taylor Lautner does Men’s Health magazine

November 16, 2009

293.ad.Lautner.111009He’s the modern day story of Hercules. Taylor Lautner, now 17, went from a  5’10”,  bony 140 lb teenager who played in The Adventures of Sharkboy and Lavagirl in 3-D, to packing on roughly 30 pounds of muscle to play the role of Jacob in the hit teen vampire franchise, Twilight.

It’s hard enough for a growing teenage boy to build and keep muscle-far more than most men can maintain- but to do so in a year? That has got to be some determination. Lucky for Lautner, his weight gained sealed his role as Jacob (the director of Twilight‘s sequel, New Moon, considered replacing Lautner with a different actor in the second film).

This leaves most, if not all of us, wondering, “How in the hell did he do that?” While Lautner’s background in martial arts (which he showcased in the 2005 movie The Adventures of Sharkboy and Lavagirl) can attest to his newly buffed body,well guys, you too can also have the lust-worthy body of Lautner.

Men’s Health magazine spoke with Lautner’s trainer Jordan Yam to get a sneak peak into Taylor’s workout regimen. Here’s an excerpt of the interview:

Physioball Pikes
Assume a pushup position with your arms completely straight (your hands should be slightly wider than, and in line with, your shoulders). Rest your shins on a physioball, so that your body forms a straight line from your head to your ankles. Without bending your knees, roll the physioball toward your body by raising your hips as high as you can. Pause, then return the ball to the starting position by lowering your hips and rolling the ball backward. Do three to four sets of 8 to 12 reps.

Reverse Crunches
Lie face up on the floor with your palms facing down. Bend your hips and knees 90 degrees. Raise your hips off the floor and crunch them inward. Pause, and then slowly lower your legs until your heels neatly touch the floor. Do three sets of 15 reps.

Physioball Leg curl
Lie on the floor with your calves on a Swiss ball and your arms at your sides. Squeeze your glutes to raise your hips off the floor so your body is in a straight line from your shoulders to your ankles. Pause for a second, and then bend your legs to roll the ball toward your butt. Straighten your legs to roll the ball back out away from you, and then lower your body to the floor. Do three to four sets of 10 to 12 reps.

Hanging Leg Raises
Grab a chin-up bar with an overhand, shoulder-width grip (or use elbow supports, if available), and hang from the bar with your knees slightly bent and feet together. Simultaneously bend your knees, raise your hips, and curl your lower back underneath you as you lift your thighs toward your chest. Pause when the fronts of your thighs reach your chest, and then slowly lower your legs back to the starting position. Do three to four sets of 8 to 12 reps.

Prone Cobra
Lie facedown on the floor with your legs straight and your arms next to your sides, palms down. Contract your glutes and the muscles of your lower back, and raise your head, chest, arms, and legs off the floor. Simultaneously rotate your arms so that your thumbs point toward the ceiling. At this time, your hips should be the only parts of your body touching the floor. Hold this position for 60 seconds, then rest one minute. Repeat three times.

As far as Lautner’s diet plan goes, he does what most active teenage boys do: He eats a ton of food. In an interview at Comic-con he stated, “Jordan Yaum. He’s really talented. He helped me a lot with this process. He’s always on set, like, shoving food in my mouth. Literally, I’d be talking to somebody and he comes up with a plate. He wakes me up in the morning. He’s like, ‘Take this protein shake.’ I’m like, ‘I’m sleeping.’ Yeah, I have a lot of people to thank.”

You can find more of Taylor’s workout regimen at Menshealth.com.

Lonny covers gym profiles, workout gadgets, food. If it goes hand in hand with sweating off the pounds, then she’s on it. For more information on her and questions check out the about page.