Indulging yourself this Holiday is not the only reason for the season

Holiday cookies
Although many may dread putting on a couple pounds during the Holiday, believe it or not, there is a way to stay active during the busy Holiday season. Even if it does mean baking those cookies you’ve been looking forward to all year around! Here are some Holiday activities, that whether you believe it or not, will have you burning some calories!


Walk in the mall: 1 hour (135 calories)
›Chasing after kids: 1 hour (120 calories)
›Baking Holiday Treats: 1 hour (159 calories)
›Wrapping Gifts: 30 minutes (48 calories)
›General to heavy house cleaning: 1 hour (191 calories)
›Food Preparation: 1 hour (195 calories)
›Grocery Shopping: 30 minutes (73 calories)
›Playing active Wii Games: 15 minutes (100 calories)
Dancing around: 30 minutes (100 calories)
›Laughing: 1.3 calories/minute


Health tips that could save you a couple pounds this Holiday season›

    • Take the edge off your hunger before a party: Eat a small, low-fat snack such as fruit or low-fat cheese before.
    • ›Make just one trip to the party buffet: Choose only the foods you really want to eat and keep portions small. Move away from the buffet table to eliminate snacking.
    • ›Bring a dish: Contribute your favorite healthy dish to the holiday buffet.
    • ›Savor every bite: Eating slowly reduces your chances of eating too much
    • ›Drink water: Many times we will over-eat because we are dehydrated and thirsty. Make sure that your water intake is adequate.
    • ›Meet and greet: Conversation is calorie-free.
    • ›Choose lower-calorie party foods: Go easy on fried appetizers and cheese cubes. Have raw vegetables or fruit.
    • ›Be realistic: Don’t try to lose weight during the holidays.
    • ›Make yourself a goal to do something active each day.
    • ›Limit alcohol consumption.


Whatever you do this Holiday season, try to stay active and enjoy the season! For those students home for the Holidays, we’re anxious to see you back at UREC in January for another semester of fun, fitness, and health. Stay tuned on our website for exciting programs and offerings the Spring will bring us. Happy Holidays from all of us at UREC!

Lacee Breeden // UREC Coordinator of Fitness & Wellness

RAGBRAI: The 500 mile bike ride across Iowa

Biggest lesson I’ve learned from RAGBRAI? No challenge is too big. A year and a half ago, I was nearing 300 pounds. This past summer, I had slimmed to 186. And I completed a 500-mile bike ride across an entire state.

Last May, as I was finishing up my sophomore year, after I had lost about 30 pounds, my mom and I briefly talked about doing RAGBRAI. The Des Moines Register’s Annual Great Bike Ride Across Iowa. Random, right? Iowa. Back in the early 90s, it was a special thing for my Grandpa. He rode his top-of-the-line Schwinn Paramount across Iowa about half a dozen times. Initially, by himself. A free spirit by nature, he thought it would be an adventure. Then he brought along his children. I had no idea when I sparked the conversation about this journey, that it would change the way I viewed myself and the world around me. July of 2012 was one for the books.

RAGBRAI is at its essence, a party. It’s the Midwest’s version of Mardi Gras on wheels. Parades of thousands upon thousands upon thousands of cyclists coast across the Iowa countryside each day for a week in the midst of the July heat. Stopping periodically for 2-inch thick pork chops on a paper napkin or slices of homemade pie from local bakeries, cyclists pedaled an average of 70-miles per day. With riders coming from literally all corners of the globe, nearly 30,000 people, have an instantaneous bond when they dip their tires into the Missouri River on Saturday night, preparing for the trek across Iowa. For most, RAGBRAI is not an unattainable physical feat. After months of training and preparation, RAGBRAI itself is the reward. A week of meeting new people, camping in obscure Iowa towns, eating insanely good food made by the strong and courageous Methodist women of the Midwest, enjoying beer gardens, and free concerts every night. This year was a different story.

The month of July brought an unimaginable heat wave to Iowa. With its peak coming right in the midst of RAGBRAI. The first four days of the ride all had temperature highs of over 103 degrees. Day 3 had an unspeakable 127 degree “feels like” temperature, with the radiating temperature off of the pavement. Day 3 saw 12,000 people take the sag wagon. And Day 3 also saw me overcome one of the greatest challenges in my entire life. The 2nd Hill at Lehigh.

With 70 miles of pavement behind us for the day, my mom and I coasted down a 2-mile long hill, reaching a peak speed just over 40 miles per hour, into the town of Lehigh, Iowa. It was a small town, and we knew that there was still 20 miles to go until our overnight town of Webster City. Unsure of what the road support would be for the upcoming miles, we stopped for water and food. After refueling, we prepared for the immediate climb out of town. It was a 1/2 mile hill at a 23% gradient. For any of you that understand physics or cycling, you know that’s hard. But what’s worse? Starting from a dead stop. That climb was crazy, but my mom and I made it to the top with some loose glutes and our quads were talking back.

We proceeded to ride about 5 miles down the road with minimal wind or hills. But then, off in the distance, we see the upcoming hill that was 3 times as long and twice as steep as the one we had just climbed. I decided to stop before the decline to grab some water and shake out my sore hands. My mom went ahead and we agreed to meet at the top. So I began the descent. Gaining as much speed as I could, I coasted about 1/4 of the way up before I geared down and powered up. Off in the distance, I see my mom, along with about half the other riders, have jumped off their bikes to walk. But as I slowly climbed up towards the last third of the hill, I can see the top. I literally prayed this prayer:

“God, my body is tired.
You’re going to have to carry me up this hill.
But I’m believing for big things.
Believing that You can carry me.
That You have given me a strength,
The strength to get up this hill,
And every hill in the future.”

And I made it. I made it up the hill that only half of the remaining riders who didn’t already take the sag wagon made it up. Let me tell you, there is something so insanely beautiful about thinking that your physical limit is at one place, but really it’s so much higher.

Biggest lesson I’ve learned from RAGBRAI? No challenge is too big. A year and a half ago, I was nearing 300 pounds. This summer, I had slimmed to 186. And I completed a 500-mile bike ride across an entire state. I climbed the hill that only half of the riders made it up. I survived the day that 12,000 other people took the sag wagon. People, no hill is too steep. No challenge is too big. You will be blown away by what it feels like to surpass a challenge you thought was insurmountable.

Eva Cranford // LSU Senior // UREC Fitness Assistant

The advantages of being a powerlifter

When you think “powerlifting,” what comes to mind? Maybe you think it’s just picking up some heavy weights. Maybe you’re picturing big, buff, dudes lifting a bunch of heavy things. Well we have those, too. But there is definitely a lot more that meets the eye when it comes to powerlifting, and it’s definitely not just for men.

So what is it?
Collegiate powerlifting involves three lifts: squat, bench press, and deadlift. The cool part about it is that you work on two levels: as a team, and on an individual level. You constantly challenge yourself to do better and reach new personal records, and that in turn, rewards the team (and we have a Men’s AND Women’s team!).

What makes it so great?
We lift weights- that’s a given, but lifting weights requires more than raw strength. Training to get perfect form keeps us safe and racks up the pounds we can lift. The strength increase we see from our team during our practices is incredible!

YOU LEARN RESPONSIBILITY. Our sport takes dedication and is not for the faint-hearted. But if you’re committed, the rewards are amazing! Strength gain both mentally and physically is one of the best parts of powerlifting. You learn how to be responsible for yourself and how to help your team. I’ve met so many people on the team that are all so different, but we all share the desire to better ourselves. The friends you make here are unforgettable!

YOU DON’T HAVE TO BE A GUY. Hey, FEMALE LIFTERS! Now that you know a little about us, let me address a few common misconceptions girls have about lifting: “I’m gonna get huge!” – You won’t! Lifting weights actually tones the body and gives you a great shape. Sure you can run and do all the intensive cardio you want and lose weight, but it doesn’t do much for your muscle definition. But let’s remember the important thing here: you’ll be much stronger and healthier and feel great. Trust me, I’ve never felt fitter in my life! “But it’s so unsafe!” – We put safety first, and you’ll have your technique down pat before we let you lift anything heavy enough to hurt you. Plus, you always have your fellow lifters spot you and they’ll be there for you to make sure everything goes just right! But yes, you do have to be tough and work hard.

Now that you know more about us…you think you got what it takes?

Natalie Domingue // LSU Powerlifter

Like LSU Powerlifting on Facebook to view photos, videos, and more from LSU Powerlifting competitions

My experiences in Bogue Chitto, MS

Alexandria Levin explains the story behind packing up and heading to Bogue Chitto with UREC, October 19 -21, 2012.

The UREC trip to the Bogue Chitto in Mississippi was an experience that the average person doesn’t see everyday. It opened a door to meeting new people from all different walks of life and also showed me the side of something I never knew anything about. The trip involved primitive camping and an 18-mile canoe ride down the river. I had never been camping in anything besides an air-conditioned RV (which is not really camping at all) so I was skeptical about camping in a tent and living for a weekend without electricity, running water, bathrooms, or a kitchen. Improvising and finding new ways of sustaining yourself without what we normally use everyday was a challenge but it was so interesting to see how easy it was to “make things work” out there.

Cooking was by far the most intriguing aspect of camping. We were able to make complex meals such as steak, vegetables, fajitas, and pasta not just “astronaut food” like I had thought when I heard of camping. Working together in cooking groups was great because we could work together in unfamiliar ways with unfamiliar people and hope for a good outcome. It was definitely in my best interest to work with people who had “creative culinary expertise” and I had “good eats” that weekend!

After a few hours cooking, eating, and cleaning the campsite, we sat around the campfire and talked and laughed for hours. A warm fire and good company is always a great time! Not to mention, the stars at night were spectacular. You’ve never seen stars until you’ve gone away from civilization, laid down in the dirt, and looked up. I am from a place where everyone lives side-by-side and the bright lights of the city are always on so I had never seen stars like this before. It was definitely a great way to close out a long day of canoeing.

The next day consisted of cooking, cleaning, packing up tents and belongings, and paddling down the river, attempting to avoid fallen trees and rough white water (although that was the fun part). Watch out for hidden branches under the water and overhanging trees that will knock you right out. There is not a better forearm workout than paddling a canoe for 18 miles. We were paddling down the river, talking with friends, enjoying the breathtaking scenery, and fighting the ominous sticks in the water. Although it was tough on my arms, it was a great experience and I had a ton of fun being there with great people! Not only did I learn about wildlife, camping, canoeing, etc, I also learned about various international cultures (because of the international students who joined us).

Overall, I would highly recommend attending an adventure tip, not only for meeting new people, but for experiencing new ways of life and visiting places you may never get to see again. Take advantage of the opportunity while it’s there!

Alexandria Levin // LSU Freshman //Animal Science

UREC offers various trips each semester that are open to LSU students, faculty, staff, and the LSU community. Click here to view this semester’s trips. Check back to the page for next semester’s offerings soon.

Intramural Sports: Friendships, Traditions, and Legacies

Intramural sports are a great way to get involved on campus and meet friends early on.  Competition can be a healthy experience. Becoming a captain of an intramural team allows you to develop long term leadership skills. Ultimately, Intramurals are a fun way to get involved with UREC at LSU.

Under the lights on cool autumn nights – this is where my most memorable moments throughout college have been. I’m not talking about Saturday nights in Tiger Stadium, either. The UREC, and its Intramural fields, have been my home away from home ever since I was an undergrad. Being involved with Intramural Sports has provided me with many opportunities that have had lasting impacts on my life.

As a first year law student, after spending undergrad here at LSU, I have had five years to get involved with as many Intramural Sports as possible. I have played everything from basketball, flag football, and softball to table tennis. The UREC offers many more sports and activities to compete in.

My favorite intramural sport is without a doubt flag football. Flag football has the highest student participation than any other intramural sport and is offered as a 7 v 7 format in the fall and a 4 v 4 format in the spring and summer. Each format has a highly competitive, gold, and casual purple league – not to mention divisions for men, women, and co-rec teams.

I had never heard of flag football before I became an LSU student. I was first introduced to flag football as a freshman while jogging around the indoor track at UREC.  I remember making my first lap and glancing out the windows facing the UREC fields and seeing a sea of students all wearing different colored jerseys with flag belts hanging from their waists. I immediately ran to the fields and was instantly hooked and eventually asked around until I joined a team.

Since that moment, flag football has become a passion and tradition of mine.  I’m a serious competitor and the sport provides ample opportunity for competition. Anyone who has a passion for competition and enjoys winning must build a team that can weather the storm. I have spent more time playing and watching intramurals than studying it seems. Being at UREC so much has allowed me to make friends with many athletes who frequent UREC. Using those friendships to build championship-caliber teams is an important task as a team captain.

Strong leadership as a captain is very important for a team, especially a team that wants to have a legacy of being talented and competitive. Those leadership skills extend further than just the intramural fields. My experiences on the field as captain have provided me with concrete leadership skills that I use when at work or at school. I will take those skills with me forever.

While some of my best memories have been experiences I have had with intramural sports at UREC, what I have taken away from the overall experience has been the great relationships I have made, the tradition of competition I have developed, and the legacy my teams and players have left on everyone interacted with. Some of my closest friends are the people I have played with, or still play with!

I still have two-and-a-half more years of intramural sports left! Up to now, I consider myself to have minored in flag football. Maybe once I’m finally out of here, I’ll have received my major in it!

Timothy McGibboney // 1st year LSU Law student // Intramural participant, Southern Hospitality (Flag Football) & The Nightmare Team (3on3 Basketball)

Show your stripes this Homecoming by participating in one of UREC’s Homecoming Tournaments. Sports include Battleship, 3-a-Side Soccer, and Kickball. Deadline to register a team is October 31 at the SRC Operations Desk. Click here for more information.

Purple and Gold Rule the Ring

The LSU Equestrian team performed spectacularly at the first competition of the season hosted by Tulane University, October 6-7, in New Orleans, LA. Team spirit was evident when LSU won High Point Team for both of the shows held that weekend.

You are walking through the gates of Equest Farm in New Orleans, ready for the first competition of the season. You stroll down the pathway with grass fields and a row of trees on either side. To your right, you see the barn, buzzing with the sound of horses being readied for the show. Finally you reach the ring, with horses already warming up. Tulane team-members frantically setting courses, and WHAM, the purple and gold takes over your entire field of vision. The LSU Equestrian team has successfully claimed their show spot.

The LSU Equestrian team has taken the naturally individual sport to a whole new level: we have transformed it into a team effort. Since we are a relatively new organization, only 11 years old, it has been difficult to raise enough funds to bring the entire team to competitions. But thanks to the ever-growing support, effort from team leaders, publicity, and membership, we have started traveling with the entire team. The team presence and support has made a world of difference, which was proved in the 2011-12 season when the team was named Zone VII, Region 2 Champion and competed at the Zone VII Championship.

Due to the rider limits set by Tulane, a majority of our 37-girl team was unable to compete. But everyone came, everyone cheered, and everyone supported each other. It is so rewarding when the end of your round is met by thunderous applause from the sea of purple and gold lining the rail. Every ride becomes more important because you know that you are not only riding for yourself, but also for your team.

The LSU team did a spectacular job at the October competition in New Orleans.  We effectively dominated Show 1, winning High Point Team and surpassing the second place team by 9 points (a larger margin than normal). During show 2, we were plagued with the “second place curse,” but the team pulled through and won High Point Team again. We also had 3 team members “point up” into the next division, qualifying them for the regional championship that will be held in Baton Rouge in March of 2013.

At the end of the weekend, we left New Orleans with 8 blue ribbons, 23 other ribbons, a Reserve High Point rider ribbon, and two High Point Team ribbons. We are ecstatic about our fabulous start to the year, and we can’t wait to rule the ring at West Texas A&M University in mid-November.

Corinne Plough // LSU Equestrian President

Like LSU Equestrian on Facebook – Follow LSU Equestrian on Twitter – Visit LSU Equestrian’s webpage

A journey in the life of a survivor

K.C. White, Associate Vice Chancellor & Dean of Students at LSU was first diagnosed with breast cancer in March of 2009. K.C. tells her story of life after being diagnosed with breast cancer, and how staying active and being positive have kept her going strong throughout her journey.

In March of 2009 I became a breast cancer survivor! From the moment a person is diagnosed, they become a survivor. After surgery, weekly chemotherapy, and radiation treatments that finished on Christmas Eve of 2009, I truly believe I became a stronger woman. I had and continue to have tremendous support from family, friends, and the LSU community. When I learned of my diagnosis the thoughts of ‘what good can come from this’ were pervasive in my mind. With a mother and grandmother who also survived breast cancer, being diagnosed with breast cancer was no shock.

Thankfully, my parents were great role models on many levels, but especially when it came to living an active lifestyle. My greatest outlet is running. When I hear ‘I Run for Life,’ especially at a ‘Race for the Cure’ event, it truly moves me, both literally and figuratively. My medical team continues to believe that my recovery has been enhanced because of the physical shape I was in back in 2009 and because of how I continually stay active in my every day life. Whether it is working out at UREC, running the lakes at LSU, or walking my two golden retrievers, being physically active has made a significant positive difference both in my survivorship and in life.

I participate in a clinical trial and continue to receive treatment every three weeks. Thankfully, it is not the type of treatment that makes my hair fall out…been there, done that. It grew back! My hope is that my participation in this trial allows the medical community to gain knowledge in finding a cure for cancer. I am the beneficiary of so many who came before me, as the treatment I now receive did not exist 15 short years ago.

So you may be wondering, what good can come from this? We learn, we live, we love, and we take good care of the bodies we are given. We care for one another and support people we know and strangers alike. Everyone has a journey that can be lightened by compassion.

DID YOU KNOW? (Susan G. Komen for the Cure, 2012)

  • Young women can get breast cancer, even in their 20s.
  • Men can get breast cancer. Out of every one hundred cases of breast cancer, one will occur in a man.
  • Women should have a clinical breast exam at least every 3 years between the ages of 20 and 39 and every year starting at age 40.
  • Regular exercise appears to lower breast cancer risk by about 10 to 20 percent.
  • Weight gain of 20 pounds or more after the age of 18 may increase your risk of breast cancer.

Click here for more information regarding five healthy lifestyles that you can make in order to potentially reduce your risk of breast cancer.


K.C. White // Associate Vice Chancellor & Dean of Students, LSU // Breast cancer survivor and recreation/exercise advocate

Support breast cancer awareness. Dance to the Beat in Pink with UREC on Sunday, October 21 from 6:00 – 7:00 p.m. on the Student Rec Center Gym Court 1.


Painting the Lines

LSU Club Tennis was acknowledged this week by the Louisiana Tennis Association (LTA) and the United States Tennis Association (USTA) as the 2012 Tennis on Campus Club of the Year. This award is given to the club team that has made significant contributions to the USTA/LA Tennis on Campus Program. Current club president Alex Braud was additionally named the 2012 Tennis on Campus Leader of the Year for his work with the USTA/LA Tennis on Campus program through LSU’s Club Tennis team. Braud talks about how his time and effort put into reshaping the club tennis team over the past four years has finally come to fruition. 

It’s been four long, yet quick years, but it might just be time for me to call it a day. I’ve been a part of the LSU Club Tennis Team since my freshman year and it’s been quite a journey. Back then, we were just a small group of guys playing twice a week out on the varsity tennis practice courts. Today, we’re a thriving club with over 50 members vying for a national championship. Who would have thought this is where we would be today? In our sophomore year, Nick Lucidi and I took over a club with very little organization, but a club with plenty of potential. We had a vision and a dream for LSU Club Tennis, but it took much more than just that to get where we are today. It took our strong competitiveness to win and passion to succeed. We once struggled with people saying we weren’t competitive enough as a club. We struggled with getting people to go to practices and to travel for tournaments. Yet we overcame those obstacles. Today we have several former varsity players on our team as well as a number of players that could potentially play college tennis. We now also regularly have 25+ people coming to each practice and had 15 girls and 13 guys travel to Florida State this past weekend.

With these accomplishments has come success on the court. We finished fourth in the Southern district and got to compete against the best teams in the country at Nationals last year in Cary, North Carolina. A Nationals appearance could be a testament to all the hard work and effort we put in (and it was a great reward), but I think I can say for Nick and myself that we’ve gotten so much more in return. The friends, the memories, the character and leadership development we’ve gained through club tennis is something I don’t think either of us ever imagined when we first stepped foot on campus as freshman together. We shaped the club team just as much as the club team shaped us into who we are today. We had the opportunity to develop something we knew could be great. We took our vision and made it into reality. It’s been a lot of work, day in and day out, but it’s the passion we have for this club that has really been the difference.

But I’m not done yet! Nick graduated and left, so now I’m left holding the reigns to this continuously building club. I’m graduating in December so there are a few things left I’m trying to get accomplished. One thing I feel strongly about is working to develop more opportunities for anyone to play tennis on campus.  This year, our club has formed a Recreational Team for players to come out to hit, have fun, and meet others that love tennis. Secondly, I really want my team to be the best that they can be and strive for greatness still when I’m gone. Through developing a close-knit group of members and improving on our organization, I think our club could become a powerhouse that other clubs look to for inspiration.  Finally, I want my teammates to know that most everything I do for the club is for them. I want to give them the opportunity to experience what I got to experience. Through club tennis is how I got the most out of my college experience. I want to give to them, what club tennis gave to me.

Alex Braud // LSU Club Tennis President

Like LSU Club Tennis on Facebook – Follow LSU Club Tennis on Twitter – Visit LSU Club Tennis’ webpage

15 Girls, 1 Coach, and a Rooster

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Last weekend the Women’s Soccer Club went on a road trip to Houston. 15 girls, 1 coach, and a rooster piled into 4 cars and made the trip. You’re probably wondering why we had a rooster in the car. My mom is a regular Farmer Brown with four chickens and two bunnies at home. Our coach was getting rid of his rooster, so we decided to bring him to Texas with us since the team was staying at my parent’s house.

So we left on our adventure on Friday afternoon. The trip over was pretty uneventful. Usually, the trip to Houston takes about 5 hours, but it took us about 8. We stopped halfway to eat dinner and stayed there for 2 1/2 hours. After our long detour, we finally made it to Houston. We all brought our things into the house and went straight to bed.

The next day, Saturday, was our game against the University of Houston. We were a little worried the game might be cancelled because Houston had been getting a lot of rain, but when we got to the fields there was not a cloud in the sky and it was HOT!! We went up 2-0 in the first half, but it should have been more. We were dominating them, but we just couldn’t get the ball in the back of the net. During the second half, it was getting even hotter and everyone was dying! But we managed to hold on and win the game 3-0, making us undefeated in our league.

After the game, we went back to my parent’s house where my mom had dinner waiting for us: red beans and rice, pasta, and salad. We all ate until we were about to pop and then we went out to play with the chickens and bunnies!! All of the girls were so scared of the chickens, but they finally warmed up to them. After playing with the chickens and feeding the bunnies, we decided we wanted to go get Froyo. So we went to get Froyo and ended up stopping at PetSmart to play with the animals. I got a snake dumped into my hand and almost dropped it on the floor. After that we decided it was probably time for us to leave the store. So we went back to my parent’s house and watched a movie and called it a night. The next morning we woke up and made the long journey back to Baton Rouge with great memories and a win.

-Margaret // Women’s Soccer Club Team President

Check out the Women’s Soccer Club in their next home match at the Sport & Adventure Complex on Saturday, October 6 at 1:00 p.m. Click here to view a full list of sport club competitions this Fall.

UREC Twitter Talk you don’t want to miss

Below are some questions and comments that UREC has received asked on Twitter. As a newbie last year to UREC, I wish I would have known some of the below to have the best experience possible at UREC. From my eyes now, check out the burning answers to questions everyone is talking about on Twitter. Be sure to follow UREC on Twitter (@LSUUREC) if you aren’t already and join the conversation! Geaux Tigers!

@LSUUREC When does the kickboxing start?
Well you are in luck! Beginner iBox and Intermediate iBox both start next week! Hurry though! Spots fill up fast so register at the UREC Operations desk until Sep. 4th. Rocky Balboa better watch himself after this class!
Having serious troubles walking after taking #CORE at @LSUUREC! and I got a free towel. Excited for zumba later!
I feel your pain! Yay! UREC also has many other group fitness classes for you to try. Strength, cardio, yoga, cycling, boxing, and TRX are reasons for you to get even more excited! You definitely will need that towel! I heard they are all a great workout!
@LSUUREC if we organize a team through our dorm do they pay for it? #rumors
This is no rumor, we hear it’s the truth! Check with your RA of Residence Life to see what intramural sports teams your res hall is signing up this semester. Get your game face on because the Res Hall Championship Cup is up for grabs this year!

@LSUUREC I don’t know what to do! Don’t y’all have a room just for females?
No need to worry! UREC has a circuit room that you may look to checkout. Our circuit room offers a variety of different exercise machines in sequence and you can follow along with an automated voice if you were to get confused on what to do. Put those fears behind you and come break a sweat!
Man…the UREC at LSU closes at 6 30. Where the gyms at in Baton Rouge! They don’t have a 24…that’s brand new to me
6:30! UREC closes Sunday through Thursday at 11 p.m. and Friday and Saturday at 9 p.m. If this isn’t enough time to get to UREC, it’s time to make time. No excuses right? We also open at 5:45 a.m. during the week. We know you don’t have class then :)

@LSUUREC Can you use a studio if it’s not in use? Like if there’s no class are we allowed to use it to dance or practice or whatever
You sure can! Studio C will always be open for use if there are no group fitness classes going on. UREC also has many racquetball courts that you can reserve and practice in as well! There should never be an excuse not to come into UREC!
Are you a Tiger and like to shake it?? Come to my Zumba and Beg Jazz classes tonight at @LSUUREC at 6:00 and 7:30! See you there! #iworkout
I definitely like to shake it! I hear they are really fun too! I will have to look into modern dance, jazz, and hip hop as well. I never want to stop dancing! Good thing UREC offers a variety of dance classes to meet my needs!

The Smoothie King at @LSUUREC is going to be my best friend.
The Smoothie King is already my bff! Whenever I need nutrition before I go to class, Smoothie King never fails. They offer a variety of protein drinks, shakes, and smoothies that will be sure to satisfy your need! The best part is they are open when UREC is…open to close!
I can’t wait to start training at the @LSUUREC ! #sonice
Awesome! All our personal trainers are nationally accredited and have experience with all types of fitness levels! Whenever you think your body has reached its plateau, our trainers will be sure to overcome your any obstacle! Whether you need guidance or a full workout regime, you will always be in good hands with UREC personal trainers!

Just got this semesters worth of protein. Ready to go ham on the @LSUUREC!! Keep myself beautiful.
Get that protein ready to go! All of our programs will be sure to give you a great workout! However, be sure not to overdue the amount of protein intake. Depending on your fitness goals and level, the general recommendation is 0.8 grams per pound of body weight. If you need additional guidance, be sure to check out a registered dietician at the Student Health Center.
@LSUUREC how many bball courts are there?
UREC has five basketball courts you can use. You can play games such as basketball, volleyball, badminton, and dodgeball (unless being occupied by Intramural Sports). Bring your friends or come by yourself, there are always people hooping at all hours of the day!
Can’t wait to get back to campus so I can geaux to the @LSUUREC instead of working out in the heat! 
UREC is ready to have you get back on campus! That Louisiana heat can be brutal! Exercising in extreme amounts of heat can increase your core body temperature by 2 degrees. This is dangerous as heat cramps, stroke, exhaustion can occur. Always check for signs of nausea, palish skin, vomiting, or profuse sweating in these extreme conditions. Remember; always keep your body hydrated. Whether it is water or Gatorade, keep those fluids flowing throughout your workout!

About to take over those hip hop classes in the fall @LSUUREC
So you think you can dance? You should also try our Lyrical and Jazz specialty courses while you’re at it! These courses will be sure to expand your dancing ability like never before! Sign up at the UREC Operations Desk before Sep. 4th and become the true dancing queen.

-Mark, UREC Health & Wellness Graduate Assistant

Reasons why YOU should become Zumbalicious!

What is Zumba® Fitness? For those of you who may have been living under a rock these past couple years (just kidding!) and aren’t aware of this Latin-inspired dance phenomenon, let me explain. Zumba Fitness® allows you to let loose by burning up to 700 calories in an hour while dancing to the most up-beat merengue, salsa, bollywood, hip-hop, and soca music. These are a few reasons why I love my job as a Zumba instructor so much.

  • Increased energy level: With school and jobs, the last thing you feel like doing after a long day is working out. I totally feel ya! However, Zumba will give you energy that you thought was long gone. With the up-beat music and fun dance moves, it will increase endorphins and get you in a better mood. I sometimes can’t even sleep at night because I’m still singing “Drop it low, pop it up, pop it up, turn around, Abajo!” in my head.
  • Body awareness and confidence: Alright, I’ll admit it, I’m a complete spaz. I’m constantly running into things and tripping all over the place but when I start teaching something takes over. Remember that movie Like Mike?  Just like when Lil’ Bow Wow put on Michael Jordan’s shoes and automatically became a pro-basketball player, I feel like I embody Shakira, JLo, Beyonce, and every other dancing diva I’ve ever worshiped whenever I wear my Zumba shoes. And with confidence, you can just look at my participants’ faces during a class. They are looking good and they know it!  The fact that they are becoming more toned and losing weight while having a ton of fun doesn’t hurt either.
  • Time FLIES by: Since Zumba is constant fun dancing, the hour just goes by so quickly. It doesn’t even feel like it’s a workout because it’s so enjoyable! Honestly, when have we ever asked ourselves after an hour on the elliptical, “Oh, gee, where did the time go?” Never.
  • Long-term stability: I was never a trained dancer growing up. I always played volleyball and tennis. As a result, I’ve had surgery to repair my rotator cuff and other injuries from those hard-hitting sports. With Zumba, participants of all ages can go as hard and intense as they’d like or follow the modifications offered. This is truly a workout you can incorporate in your life for years.
  • New dance moves: The dances that you learn in Zumba class can be transferred to any dance floor. Let the party begin!

See ya in my Zumba class,

Daisy // LSU junior, Public Relations major and Health Science minor

Want to try Zumba or another GroupX class offered by UREC? Click here to view the current fitness class schedule. Classes are no charge for UREC members.

No more seat belt extender

Chase Petit, originally featured in The Daily Reveille this past Fall, recently got the opportunity to travel to The Big Apple to be featured on The Today Show as one of The Joy Fit Club’s newest members. He gives us a behind the scenes look at his adventure and how he lives out his daily life after losing over 150 pounds.

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The day I checked my TigerMail and realized that a representative from The Joy Fit Club on the Today Show had emailed me, I was without words. I knew this was the email that confirmed my acceptance into Joy Bauer’s Joy Fit Club. Who is Joy Bauer? Only one of the world’s best nutritionists who has worked in the midst of The Doctor Oz and whose shoulder has touched Lady Gaga’s shoulder…

Anyway, shortly after I received my email, I called the number listed and was formerly asked to fly on in to New York to appear on the Today Show which is in Rockefeller Plaza. All I could think about was Tina Fey…kudos if you get the reference. Anyway, I was ecstatic. I called my sister, my brother, my mama and dad, my sister-in-law, all my friends, my phone was hotter than Fred’s on a Friday night and it slowly dawned on me that I’d meet Hota Kotb. If you grew up in the New Orleans area, you probably remember Hoda Kotb on the news, because the news is what you watched when you were 5 like me, and Hota Kotb was your favorite celebrity and all.

After weeks and weeks of waiting, hotel reservations, and ticket purchasing (for my dad), I slowly came to the conclusion that despite all the excitement, I’d done something very important for myself and this was the opportunity to inspire others and share what I had done in a more formal way. You know, other than Facebook and tweets. I was going to be able to reach out to all of America and show them what they could do if they changed their lifestyle slowly. I was responsible to show America what I became and how I lost my weight.

JUNE 10, 2012

8:00 a.m. – My mom burst in my room singing Frank Sinatra’s New York, New York. I began to dig around for my schoolbag/carry on but to no avail, so I settled for my nephew’s miniature LSU school bag that was basically a hand purse with straps…but it was LSU colors and said Geaux Tigers and I couldn’t pass the opportunity to represent.

11:00 a.m. – I hopped on a plane to LGA with a dream and my Great Gatsby book…because I’m an English major and I cherish good literature. I remember my senior year I was given the trip of a lifetime by my parents. I was going to France. But there was a problem. I weighed over 300 pounds and last I heard, 300 pound booties don’t bode well with airplane seats, and the midsections are at war with the seat belts. I had worried myself so long, reading on the internet the horror stories about overweight people and airplanes. I mean, this was a 15 hour flight, people, and I was worried I’d be ejected from the flight or charged double. Getting on the plane, I was able to squeeze myself into my economy seat, but I needed a seatbelt extender. This was embarrassing to ask for, and I felt sorry for the small girl sitting next to me, as my side encroached upon her space on more than one occasion.

3:00 p.m. – Land in New York to an over-crowded, low roofed airport dawned in a shirt riddled with New Orleansisms to again, represent.

5:00 p.m. – After a nauseating cab drive to the hotel, we are let out in the midst of a literal Puerto Rico pride parade. Now, I’m used to parades of all sorts, but this one was different. Me and my Dad were lost in New York, carrying huge suitcases, weaving through people, barriers, and policeman. We stopped to ask for directions, expecting the New York attitude the city is so famous for, but we were greeted warm heartedly and were promptly directed to our hotel.

8:30 p.m. – After seeing Times Square and the “naked cowgirl” (shivers), my dad and I grabbed a bite to eat at a touristy place and made our way back to the hotel. I got in one more cardio work out (HIIT work out, Google that stuff). My nerves started to settle and I was quickly off to sleep, New York traffic lulling me in my bed.

JUNE 11, 2012

9:00 a.m. – I saw Al Roker and I began to freak out. Sitting in the waiting room, constantly checking myself out, my nerves began to grow. I was going on national TV! Like seriously, me?! Never in my life did I ever think I’d be in this position. Like…it still hasn’t hit me. I kept referring to Facebook and could see all the words of encouragement and how proud my friends and family were of me…but it still didn’t seem real.

10:00 a.m. – The green room is not that glamorous, I promise…but it’s exciting. Sitting across from me is Andy Cohen, the host of The Real Housewives Reunions. I kept telling my dad I wanted a picture, but I didn’t want to annoy him. I totally wanted to do a picture like when Teresa pushed him, but I couldn’t bring myself to ask him or bother him, so I just stared creepily. I was also in the same room as the cast of the new Dallas, but I didn’t know it at the time, which was pretty cool.

10:30 a.m. – Time for makeup and getting told that my light green button down was very “springy” by the wardrobe people. I started to grow more anxious, but I knew my hard work was going to pay off and help inspire others…and Andy Cohen told me congratulations and I fainted.

11:00 a.m. – Meeting Joy was awesome. She’s such a sweet lady along with everyone at The Today Show. She taught me how to walk, talk, and smile. I felt a little more prepared, but I was worried I’d say something stupid like I normally do when confronted with fear and nervousness.

11:50 a.m. – Every Joy Fit Club member gets to walk out to a song of their choosing, something that gets them pumped. I chose Kid Cudi’s, Up Up and Away. I wake up to it every day and I live up to Cudi’s words of wisdom: “They gonna judge me anyway, so whatever.” After hearing it, my nervousness partially went away. I saw my dad wipe his tears away after the dramatic slide show of my before pictures and before it began, it was all over…just like that.

12:00 p.m. – Me and my dad left with a free signed copied of Joy’s book, a hug from Hoda herself, and a compliment from someone outside the studio building on my weight loss. The rest of the trip was dedicated to sightseeing, father-son time, and avoiding people trying to sell counterfeit watches in China Town.

Overall, this experience was life changing. Losing weight is hard, being a college student is hard, and doing both…that’s another story, a story that brought me from New Orleans to New York. I wake up every day and think about how many lives I may have helped change and how many people now make better choices for their bodies. What I did means nothing to me unless someone else benefits from it and can see that if I could do it, so can they. I try to make healthy choices every day. I exercise six days out of the week and I eat a variety of fruits, vegetables, and lean meats. Anyone can take the reins of their own lives, it’s your choice. When it comes to losing weight, always think that, “If I started yesterday, last week, 4 months ago, where would I be today?”

Green Drink recipe you can make in the morning after Tigerland or before you miss the Tiger Trails bus:

1/2 banana

1 Tbsp almond butter

1-2 large handfuls spinach

1 cup baby carrots

2 Tbsp ground flax seeds

Unsweetened original almond milk (as needed, for drinkable consistency)

Add all ingredients to a blender, and blend until smooth.

Cheers, Chase Petit//LSU senior, UREC Student Employee

Q & A: Don’t be surprised if the UREC Challenge Course breaks you out of your comfort zone for life

UREC sat down with Ashley Aghayan, an LSU senior and Tiger’s DEN camp counselor to talk about her experience on UREC’s Challenge Course this Spring during their staff training.

TELL US ABOUT YOURSELF.  I am a soon to be senior majoring in Sociology and minoring in English and International Studies, as well as one of the lead counselors for this summer’s Tigers DEN. I have participated in and led my fair share of challenge courses over the years, but this one certainly pushed me outside of my comfort zone the most. Well done LSU, well done.

WHY DID YOU APPLY TO BECOME A CAMP COUNSELOR?  I wanted to be a camp counselor because I have been involved in the camp world since I was seven years old and simply can not imagine a summer without it. I was extremely fortunate as a child to have incredible counselors who served as my role models and mentors and I wanted the opportunity to be able to potentially do the same for the campers at Tigers DEN as well.

WHAT DID YOU EXPECT GOING INTO THE CHALLENGE PROGRAM?  I expected to be more calm and collected, thinking that my past experience with challenge courses would help and come into play. Unfortunately, I soon realized that was not going to be the case the moment I got into that harness and looked up. Hence, my yelping began.

HOW WAS YOUR EXPERIENCE DIFFERENT THAN YOUR EXPECTATION?  Since this was the first actual day of staff training, I climbed onto the ropes with a girl whose name I was still uncertain about. By the time we got to the Pirate’s Crossing, I was not only squeezing her hand but begging her to hold mine while we walked across it. I didn’t expect to depend so much on my fellow staff members but it turned out that every word of encouragement and push helped.

DESCRIBE HOW TEAMWORK HELPED YOU THROUGHOUT YOUR JOURNEY.  I could not think of a better way for our group to begin building that solidarity, cohesion, and trust that is so vital amongst a staff. Pushing us outside of many of our comfort zones and into an environment that called for support and teamwork truly helped our group to learn that leaning on one another is not only beneficial, but essential for success with our campers this summer. From the ice breakers all the way to the not as easy as it appears swinging bridge, the course staff facilitated and assisted our group into helping us think about how these challenges on the ropes could be related to the real life challenges we will face over the next few months.

Interested in letting your group test their hand on UREC’s new challenge course? Click here for more challenge course information. 

It’s summer and “you’ve got nothing to do but eat.” Stuff your wallet, not your belly.

Summer time is one of the most pivotal times of the year. It is the time in which many people decide to get in shape for the beach and show off their newly bronzed skin. But for some people, staying in shape is considered moderately expensive. It’s quite the contrary, however. Staying or getting in shape can be extremely cheap and simple. I’ve done it, so can you!

Here are ten ways to save your money and stay in shape, especially for the summer!

  1. Drink water. This may sound too good to be true, but drinking water is the simplest way to not gain weight. It actually might help you lose a few pounds. Water rids the body of impurities, has no calories or sugar, and can help you feel full sooner when drunken before each meal.
  2. Take a bike ride on the levee. Not only are you viewing great scenery, but you’re also getting a workout in! Burn a few calories and not your wallet by using your own bike.
  3. Run or walk around the lake. I actually do this very often. The University Lake is about four miles all around. The scenery is also very pleasant, especially in the spring and summer. You can walk or build your stamina by running a little farther every day.
  4. Take a GroupX class at UREC. GroupX classes are free to full-time summer students. There are such a wide variety of classes, your workout would never get boring!
  5. Go swimming. This is a no brainer. It’s summer. It’s hot outside. Who wouldn’t want to swim a few laps? Swimming is a great source of resistance training and is obviously a great way to cool off.
  6. Dance. Burn tons of calories by dancing with friends or a significant other. No matter what kind of dance you prefer, it amps up your heart rate and doesn’t feel like a work out!
  7. Walk the dog. You might actually be able to make money doing this. Walk your own dog on a daily basis or offer to walk neighbors’ dogs for a price.
  8. Go on a canoeing trip. Work on your upper body strength by paddling on the water. Register for UREC’s Canoeing 101 or Kayaking 101 at no cost so you can prepare to venture the waters solo.
  9. Park farther from the grocery store. Everyone loves to find VIP parking at the grocery store. But why not park a few rows down if you’ll burn some extra calories? And if it’s possible, carry those groceries to your car rather than pushing them in the basket.
  10. Take a trip to the SRC. If you are a full-time student, the fee for the UREC is already in your regular semester fee bill. There is no reason not to use the resources given to you! Put in a quick work out before or after class. I mean, you are already on campus.

Everyone wants to be glowing and fit in the summer. Try out a few of these tips. I guarantee you’ll see results! Remember also to eat right and wear sunscreen. Enjoy the summer while it’s here!

Happy summer,

Laura P.  // UREC student blogger