These Unique Exercises Will Get You Ready for Summer

These Unique Exercises Will Get You Ready for Summer

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The weather is heating up, you circled your vacation on your calendar, but your summer body isn’t exactly there yet. We all know the pain of bathing suit season, but it doesn’t have to feel like a chore to start getting into shape. These unique exercises are fun and guaranteed to not only help you achieve your fitness goals, but help you mentally and spiritually.

1. Obstacle Course Race

If you’re competitive by nature, try signing up for an obstacle course race such as a Spartan Race or Warrior Dash. A Warrior Dash includes 12 difficult obstacles over its 3.1-mile stretch, while Spartan Races range from 5K distances to marathons and include all sorts of obstacles.

No matter which one you choose, you’ll gain the muscle you want for the summer while you’re scaling walls and running knee-deep in mud.

2. Water Running

Maybe allergies have you down, and running on a treadmill is more your speed. Switch it up by trying out water running on an underwater treadmill. You get the same benefits as running on a normal treadmill, but minimize injury risk thanks to buoyancy.

According to a study by Texas A&M University, participants using an underwater treadmill showed benefits over those who used land treadmills. The underwater group had less soreness, inflammation and body fat, and improved muscle mass and strength performance. Those are good reasons to give it a try.

3. Try a Group Class

Don’t run from the phrase “group class.” Everyone seems to know classes such as Zumba, yoga and cycling. Kick it up a notch and bring some of your friends along to a surf fit class, where people stand, squat and balance on a surfboard. If you love to dance, sweat uncontrollably at a dancing-in-heels class. The options are endless.

4. Rock Climbing

There’s always one adrenaline junkie in the group. If that’s you, pay attention to this option. Rock climbing — indoor or outdoor — works your back, arms and pretty much every other muscle in your body. Each time you climb, you’ll feel stronger and more fit as you tackle higher-graded routes. Plus, it’s a great opportunity to meet new people if you join a climbing group.

5. Lift Like a Boss

Lifting — weights or your bodyweight — is an important part of any fitness routine. Resist the urge to slim down by jumping on a treadmill, and instead grab some weights to define different muscle groups.

It doesn’t have to be just boring free weights. This total-body workout incorporates equipment in new and exciting ways. That tire won’t just be something the guys lift — if you try these exercises, you’ll be there flipping it with them.

6. Belly Dancing

Let’s face it, there a lot of women who wish for a flatter stomach come beach time. While you look fabulous in whatever you wear, belly dancing is one way to trim your waist and define your abs before beach season.

This workout engages your core and will make you sweat as you try out each dance style. If you love to be on stage, try to find a group that does stage performances. There are studios around for all different ages and skill levels.

7. Aerial Yoga

Yoga is not only great for your body, but it also reduces stress and increases mindfulness. If you feel stuck in your usual yoga routine, give aerial yoga a try.

Besides the pure wonder you’ll feel at flying high, aerial yoga offers people greater flexibility, better focus and more strengthened muscles than regular yoga. It’s more difficult, too, as you’re trying to balance and do yoga poses while up in the air, so make sure you’re up to the challenge.

Feel Healthy and Confident

Although summer is a great time to get in shape, don’t forget these workouts are about more than just the physical. Exercise boosts your mood, reduces stress and gives you confidence. As you try out new classes, you’ll start to notice differences in how you perceive yourself and the world around you.

Exercise to be a healthier version of you, and give one of these unique workouts a try to mix it up and prepare for summer.

Cover Image Credit: Photo by Geert Pieters on Unsplash

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Everything You Will Miss If You Commit Suicide

The world needs you.
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You won’t see the sunrise or have your favorite breakfast in the morning.

Instead, your family will mourn the sunrise because it means another day without you.

You will never stay up late talking to your friends or have a bonfire on a summer night.

You won’t laugh until you cry again, or dance around and be silly.

You won’t go on another adventure. You won't drive around under the moonlight and stars.

They’ll miss you. They’ll cry.

You won’t fight with your siblings only to make up minutes later and laugh about it.

You won’t get to interrogate your sister's fiancé when the time comes.

You won’t be there to wipe away your mother’s tears when she finds out that you’re gone.

You won’t be able to hug the ones that love you while they’re waiting to wake up from the nightmare that had become their reality.

You won’t be at your grandparents funeral, speaking about the good things they did in their life.

Instead, they will be at yours.

You won’t find your purpose in life, the love of your life, get married or raise a family.

You won’t celebrate another Christmas, Easter or birthday.

You won’t turn another year older.

You will never see the places you’ve always dreamed of seeing.

You will not allow yourself the opportunity to get help.

This will be the last sunset you see.

You’ll never see the sky change from a bright blue to purples, pinks, oranges and yellows meshing together over the landscape again.

If the light has left your eyes and all you see is the darkness, know that it can get better. Let yourself get better.

This is what you will miss if you leave the world today.

This is who will care about you when you are gone.

You can change lives. But I hope it’s not at the expense of yours.

We care. People care.

Don’t let today be the end.

You don’t have to live forever sad. You can be happy. It’s not wrong to ask for help.

Thank you for staying. Thank you for fighting.

Suicide is a real problem that no one wants to talk about. I’m sure you’re no different. But we need to talk about it. There is no difference between being suicidal and committing suicide. If someone tells you they want to kill themselves, do not think they won’t do it. Do not just tell them, “Oh you’ll be fine.” Because when they aren’t, you will wonder what you could have done to help. Sit with them however long you need to and tell them it will get better. Talk to them about their problems and tell them there is help. Be the help. Get them assistance. Remind them of all the things they will miss in life.

For help, call 1-800-273-TALK (8255).

Cover Image Credit: Brittani Norman

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Measles And Us

Ever heard about the story of David and Goliath? This is one on both a microscopic and global level.

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Raise your hand if you have heard about the ongoing outbreak of measles within the United States.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, there has been a total of 127 reported cases of measles within 10 states since last fall. Just last month, Washington declared a public health emergency due to at least 50 cases arising with the state, predominately from Clark County, an area known to be highly affiliated by the anti-vaccine movement. Since then, the vaccination rate for measles has skyrocketed to an astonishing 500%, as Americans seek defense from the disease. In today's time, vaccines are incredibly important for one's health and those around them. Creating awareness for public health is crucial to maintaining a healthy society, especially in times of health scares.

Now, what is the measles disease? Measles, also known as "Rubeola" is an airborne disease, caused by Measles morbillivirus, and can be spread by coughing, sneezing, or direct contact with secretions. Measles only affects humans, there is no "measles for other animals." Once a person is infected, they will have a very irritable rash spread across their body, from head to toe, within two weeks. Some side effects of measles are fever, encephalitis, ear infections, pneumonia, diarrhea, rashes, and corneal ulceration—some can create permanent damage. Dr. Pritish Tosh states that measles is mainly a childhood disease, as children are more susceptible and have a higher mortality rate when exposed to the disease. There is no cure for measles, however, antibiotics can remedy the disease during the infection period of two-to-three weeks.

So, what can we do to combat the measles virus? Well, the CDC highly recommends getting the Measles, Mumps, and Rubella vaccination—aka the MMR vaccine—as soon and as early as possible. The MMR contains live, attenuated—or weakened by scientific methods in a laboratory—measles, mumps, and rubella—that stimulates your immune system responses, but not enough cause the symptoms of disease. The CDC recommends two doses of the MMR vaccination—the 1st at 12-15 months and the 2nd at 4-6 year—in order to empower the T and B cells that will kill off those specific pathogens in your body in the future. The earlier the exposure, the stronger the immune system response will be in the future.

So, what does it mean for the people vaccinated and those who are not? The earlier the exposure to the vaccine, the stronger the immune system response will be in the future. Last year, I learned from Professor Dr. Meysick that through artificial active immunity, the total number of antibodies within a community increases with each vaccine, protecting throughs in that community. In addition, microbiologists from McMaster University in Ontario, Canada, have concluded that this herd immunity decreases the circulation of infectious agents in susceptible populations. But what does that mean for those who are not vaccinated? According to the World Health Organization, since measles is so contagious, compared to other diseases, if it infects an unvaccinated person, they will be incredibly susceptible to the disease, which increases the risk of other people in that community who are also not vaccinated or have a weak immune system to begin with. Thus, explains why measles is still so prevalent in a low vaccinated area like Clark County, Washington.

This is why the priority for vaccination should be held with the utmost importance. Since the introduction of the MMR vaccine in 1963, has reported that the prevalence of measles has decreased by at least 99%. However, the CDC and WHO warn about the common diseases held in foreign countries that people from the US have the potential to bring back and start a mass infection. That is why they express caution to one's health overseas and be vaccinated before traveling; since this fall, the CDC has traced the measles epidemic of the US all the way from Venezuela. This is why vaccines are necessary to increase our and other's immune system's strengths against foreign pathogens and diseases. In order to protect others from diseases, we must first protect ourselves.

I hope this has been informative to your health and please stay health throughout this semester. Thank you.

Sources:

Board, D. S. (2004). Report of the Defense Science Board Task Force on Smallpox Vaccine Down Select Process report summary. Washington D.C.: Office of the Under Secretary of Defense for Acquisition, Technology, and Logistics.

Davidson, T. (2017). Vaccines: History, Science, and Issues. Santa Barbara, California: Greenwood. ×Fine, P. (2014). Science and society: vaccines and public health. Public Health, 686-692.

Hanley, R. (2015). Needling the Profession. Irish Medical Times, 20. ×Kim, T. H., Johnstone, J., & Loeb, M. (2011). Vaccine herd effect. Scandinavian journal of infectious diseases, 43(9), 683-9.

Rovenský, Jozef, & Payer, Juraj. (2009). Vaccine. In Dictionary of Rheumatology (p. 221). Vienna: Springer Vienna. ×Saplakoglu, Y. (2019, February 08). Measles Outbreak Spurs Vaccination Surge in Anti-Vaxxer Hotspot. Retrieved February 20, 2019, from https://www.livescience.com/64728-measles-outbreak-spurs-vaccination.html

Soucheray, S. (2019, February 19). CDC notes multiple outbreaks, 26 new measles cases. Retrieved February 19, 2019, from http://www.cidrap.umn.edu/news-perspective/2019/02/cdc-notes-multiple-outbreaks-26-new-measles-cases

Sparks, D. (2017, May 11). More about measles. Retrieved February 20, 2019, from https://newsnetwork.mayoclinic.org/discussion/more-about-measles/

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