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Tuesday, December 11, 2012
Get Moving!

Well the LaHaye Student Union’s Wellness Series finally came to a close for this semester. In case you missed it, this was a mini series of seminars covering healthy-living topics like nutrition and body image. The series wrapped up with a session on exercise. As an exercise science major, I was definitely excited to check this one out.

The speaker was Donna Barber, who is actually the wife of Liberty’s Director of Athletics, Jeff Barber (fitting, huh?). A certified strength coach, fitness, and Pilates instructor, Donna also leads classes at Body and Soul Fitness. On top of all that, she works with the various athletic teams here at Liberty as a strength coach and nutrition advisor. Needless to say, she’s got a lot of knowledge and experience. She is also probably one of the sweetest people you will ever meet and her devotion to a Christian lifestyle was evident right from the start.

Donna and Jeff Barber

(Photo courtesy of LaHaye Student Union)

You’d never believe it, but Donna was actually in college when she realized that she was clinically obese. After finding that out, she decided to revamp her life and began a lifelong journey focused on health and fitness. Having gone through it firsthand, Donna was able to give some tips about getting started and sticking with an exercise program. Her biggest tip for staying committed was to make exercise an act of worship to God. When you go for a run, you can spend that time talking to Him or you can listen to positive music while you’re working out...there are a lot of options to turn a regular workout into a time you spend reflecting on God. If that’s not really your style, then just knowing that you are taking care of the body He gave you can be motivation enough to not skip a workout.

Here are some tips to make sure your workout is effective:

Start out slow and steady. Don’t feel the need to be the best person in the gym on the first day. This advice doesn’t only apply to beginners, but also for veterans who want to change up their program.

Hydrate extremely well. Donna suggests drinking half of your body weight in ounces every day. Don’t forget to drink during and after your workout, too.

Start off with dynamic stretching and save the static stretching for last. Dynamic stretches can be as simple as mimicking the moves you will be performing, but just without any weights and at a lower intensity.

Make sure you’ve got the proper technique and positioning before advancing to more complex exercises. Training your body to move the wrong way won’t do you any good!

Make sure to throw in some metabolic training. This will help to increase your metabolism and your body’s efficiency in burning energy. A great place to find a variety of workouts is the Nike Training Club app….and it’s FREE!

With the holidays coming up, Donna also gave some great advice to stay active in the mix of activities and traveling.

1. Get hooked up with that Nike Training Club app! It’s a like a personal trainer on the go.

2. If possible, take your equipment and workout clothes with you. If you have weights or a jump rope sitting in your bag along with your super awesome Dri-FIT shirt (or any workout shirt), you’re more likely to remember to get a workout in.

3. Plan activities that the whole family can get involved in….take a walk around a local park, play a game of flag football, or have a snowball fight. Get creative!

Exercise is an extremely important aspect of healthy living. I know life can get busy and all of sudden it’s the end of the day and you’re just too tired to lift another finger. I’m an exercise science major, and even I forget to exercise! But staying physically active is a crucial aspect to keep you in tip-top shape :)


 
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