Positive Body Image in the Gym

May 27, 2022

Written by Heather Salvia, Associate Director of Fitness and Programming

The gym is supposed to be a place where people can go to improve their physical fitness, develop friendships and community with others, and have access to a variety of equipment to meet their needs that they wouldn’t otherwise have at home. But there is one fact about coming to the gym that reigns true over time — going to the gym makes us more aware of how we look, for better or for worse.
In an ideal world, everyone would humbly see their unique beauty; there would be no false standard to hold themselves to. Physical fitness would not be dependent on aesthetics but rather strength, mobility, and metabolic function. We would see our inherent value, apart from appearance, and God’s intentionality in discussing the status of our hearts, not our glutes or biceps.
In our real, fallen world, this may not always be how we feel. In the 12 years I have been working within a gym setting, I can understand the highs and lows of this reality and have been there myself. This is why I want to drop some encouragement to anyone coming into the gym who needs a reminder …

Take a Deep Breath for Longevity

December 4, 2020

Written by Heather Callahan, Associate Director of Fitness & Programming

Take a moment and set a timer for one minute. Make a tally of how many breaths you take during that minute. Try not to change or think too much about the span of the breath, try to breathe as comfortably as possible.
It is likely that you took about 12-20 breaths during that minute – which is the average for a human being. Now let’s look at a tortoise – they take an average of four breaths per minute. Comparing life spans, tortoises live an average of 98 years longer than human beings.
So, does breathing have something to do with longevity? Health research concludes this as a yes – good breathing practices are positively correlated to decreased mortality risk. Here’s why.
Breathwork Induces Stress Resilience
What is stress resilience? This is your body’s natural reaction to stressors in your environment. Having a good resilience to stress is a very good thing. Breathing practices bring you quickly to the present moment, which helps to reduce stress, symptoms of anxiety, depression and PTSD.
There are two important components of your autonomic nervous system:
Sympathetic Nervous System (SNS) – “Fight or Flight”
Parasympathetic Nervous System (PSNS) – “Rest and Digest”
If you are familiar with these terms, you may have heard that good breathing practices …

10 Practical Self-Care Ideas

November 13, 2020

Written by Tanner Hoffarth, Former Marketing Employee

Self-Care isn’t always easy and often can be something many put on the side burner. This list of 10 practical self-care ideas is a great way to get your foot in the door and begin to change course as we head into a busy season of the semester. Each idea listed below requires little time/effort but a lot of discipline. Let’s get started.
The first of many, and possibly the most important is sleep. With all of our crazy lifestyles, it seems that we “don’t have time for sleep”. By sleeping we are able to reset our bodies, regain our energy, retain memories better, and reduces stress.
Gut Health
Focusing on your gut is your next task. This can be done in multiple ways, but one of the best ways is staying hydrated and drinking a lot more water than you are right now. Doing this will boost skin health and beauty, flush toxins more quickly, and help maintain body temperature and blood pressure.
Learning about self-care is just as important as participating in it. With a better understanding of what to do, why you do it, and how to do it will boost the benefits through the roof.
Nature Walk

Taking a nature walk/run has been my number one thing to do during the …

5 Ways to Improve Sleep

October 16, 2020

Written by Victoria Dissmore, Marketing Employee

Getting a good night’s sleep is an integral part of your overall health and wellbeing, especially as a student. You need that sleep to be able to focus in class and do your homework well. If you’re having trouble sleeping or want to get better, deeper sleep, check out these five tips for improving your sleep quality.
Dim Your Lights
Having lights on around you at night will delay your melatonin production, telling your body that it’s not time to sleep and making it harder to fall asleep at bedtime. Instead of turning all your lights on at full brightness, dim them if they have a dimmer switch or unscrew a couple of lightbulbs if it’s a multi-bulb light. Also consider completely turning off overhead lights and switching on a lamp that’s not as bright.
You can also light a few candles or hang string lights to set the mood in the evening so by bedtime you’re ready to fall asleep.
One more thing to note is that darkness is crucial for a good night’s sleep, so try to shut out as much light as possible. Blackout curtains might be a good investment if it’s bright outside your bedroom windows and be sure to close your bedroom door if there’s light out in your …

10 Restful Activities for Your Sabbath

October 2, 2020

Written by Victoria Dissmore, Marketing Employee

It can be hard to take a whole day to rest when you have homework piling up, but the Sabbath is an important spiritual discipline that will keep you from burnout while strengthening your relationship with God.
Taking a Sabbath doesn’t have to mean sitting around doing nothing or watching Netflix all day. The Sabbath is meant to be an enjoyable, restful time with the Lord, which should make you want to prioritize getting your homework done at other times.
Whatever day you choose to Sabbath, these suggested activities will give you a fun break from work to help you enjoy God and delight in the life He’s given you.
Bake Cookies
I don’t know about you, but I feel like Fall is the perfect baking season. Find a friend who lives on East or off-campus and get a few more friends together for an afternoon in the kitchen. Baking or cooking something simple is a way to spend quality time together doing a shared activity and enjoying each other’s company. And then you can eat whatever it is you made together!
Watch a Movie at the Theatre
There’s something special about going out to see a movie as opposed to watching one at home. You get to leave your worries outside, sit in comfy seats …

Ways To Stay Active During Social Distancing

March 23, 2020

Written By Lauren Stinner, Marketing Intern

Just a few weeks ago, the term “social distancing” had never even been a thought. If you are cooped up inside, try and get active for at least thirty minutes per day. In these coming days or weeks, there are some excellent ways that you can keep your body moving while social distancing yourself.
Find an At-Home Workout Routine
Luckily, in our day and age, finding workout resources on YouTube, the App Store, Pinterest and more is easier than ever. Keeping your body healthy and moving can help keep your mind sharp, as well as drive out any anxiety. Take what you usually do at a gym or outside and translate that into a workout you can do in the comfort of your own home!

Learn a New Dance
With the rise of TikTok, there are hundreds of new dances to learn. Not only does this create movement while being inside, but it can also be fun for others to do with you. If you are home with family and distancing yourself from public places and people, try and get your family members to learn a dance with you! This can create community within your living environment while just letting …

Preparing for Lent

February 21, 2020

Written By Lauren Stinner, Marketing Intern

As Christians, the weeks leading up to Easter can be a time of spiritual preparation. One of the ways you can prepare your heart in this season is by participating in Lent. The purpose of Lent is much like fasting; it takes something out of your everyday life and replaces it with time to grow in faith. This year, Lent starts on February 26th and ends on April 9th. As you approach this season of faith, think about what you can set aside in order to focus on your spiritual walk. As stated in our mission, Liberty Recreation Centers seeks to provide holistic well-being, and Lent is a perfect example of this. Here are some ways you can prepare for Lent.

Prepare Your Mind
The mid-semester stress is starting to set In, and it can be so easy to let other priorities crowd our heads. 1 Peter 1:13 says “Therefore, prepare your minds for action, keep sober in spirit, fix your hope completely on the grace to be brought to you at the revelation of Jesus Christ.” Setting aside a portion of your day to clear your mind can be beneficial in you walk with Christ. Meditation can help …

Spring Into Self-Care

April 5, 2019

Lindsey Haithcock- Marketing Employee
Even though it may not feel like it quite yet, spring is officially here. Although Spring comes with warmer weather and beautiful scenery, it can be a busy time – and a sneezy time. Between trying to finish out the school semester, and getting allergies from the beautiful newly blossoming trees, it can be easy to forget about your self care.
Be sure to take time to refill your personal well with these spring self-care strategies:
Spring Cleaning
Spring is the perfect time to clean both your physical space and your emotional space. It can be a time for you to let go of the things that don’t work for you anymore, like unhealthy diets or unhealthy habits. It can be a time for you to get rid of those clothes you haven’t worn in months, or those shoes you’ve been holding onto for far too long – getting rid of unused items can be extremely therapeutic. A clean space (and head space) makes all the difference.
Get Outside
There is something so special about getting out into the fresh air of spring and getting in some Vitamin D from the sun. It’s proven that these two things will be sure to lift your winter spirits. If you struggle with those pesky spring allergies – here are a couple tips that may help you:

Plants release pollen early …

Yoga Preparation & Post-Yoga Nutrition

March 22, 2019

Karolina Gawlak- Marketing Intern/ Member Services Manager
Yoga trains the mind and body, but in order to maximize your practice and feed your mind, you have to fuel your body the right way. Your body needs to be properly hydrated and fueled in order to make the most of your mat time. Here are a couple tips to help ignite your metabolism, improve your digestion, and regulate your emotions.  

Drink Plenty Of Water

A few hours before your yoga class make sure you come well-hydrated and avoid caffeinated products. If you had an intense yoga workout, chances are that you were sweating quite a bit. It is extremely important to drink plenty of water after your workout. Not only does water refuel and replenish your body with plenty of essential vitamins and nutrients, but it also hydrates your skin and muscles. If you are looking to enhance your digestion and neutralize AMA toxins, try this recipe:

3 thin slices of fresh ginger
¼ tsp. fennel
½ tsp. cumin
2 black peppercorns
2 sprigs of mint

Boil 8 cups of water and add the herbs, allow it to steep. Enjoy.

Post-yoga Nutrition

To keep your soreness to a minimum after a yoga workout, try eating plenty of foods that have high levels of protein. …

Overcoming the Comparison Trap

February 12, 2019

Ashley Mauzy- Marketing Intern
For many of us, recreational activities are meant to bring forth emotional enjoyment from heavy routine schedules. But unfortunately, physical activities that we usually consider to be fun and enjoyable can sometimes be taken in by that dreadful trap that we call, competition.
We’ve all been there. You’re sitting at the gym near your lifting station, scanning the room to see what you want to hit next. Then out of the corner of your eye you notice someone hitting their lift with way more weight. You know what comes next. Feelings of envy kick in. Questions of, “why can’t I do that? Or, “why am I not good at this?” kick in. You doubt yourself and your ability to do what you enjoy doing. You that you are stuck in the comparison trap. Whether it comes to fitness or any other recreational activity, the comparison trap can become one of your worst enemies. So, here are some truths and tips that you can tell yourself when you feel this way:
1. Realize that comparisons strain us of our joy.
Comparison, like many other innate thoughts, is pretty much a lost battle. Comparison to others will bring no benefit to you and will only distract you from what your meaning of life is. A way to start battling this strain is to be good to yourself. Find joy in the things that you do by focusing on the joy that you had when …