Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Meet the Staff

Now you can finally put faces to these fantastic blog posts!

Keep following our blog as we look forward to bringing you more informative posts.


Thursday, November 18, 2010

The Almighty Avocado

Lately I've been going through avocados like I'm growing them in my backyard. I'm not of course, but I've been buying them with every visit to Stater Bros. (nice little plug for my favorite grocery store). I can incorporate them into so many meals and they add a nice finishing touch.

Avocados (or alligator pears as they are sometimes called) are a delicious and healthy fruit, yes I said fruit. Shaped like a pear, avocados are actually a large berry containing a seed that grow from trees throughout the world. You can view a map of native avocado locations here --->

High in monounsaturated fat, also referred to as the “good fat,” avocados can be a key element to any diet. According to HealthDiaries.com avocados have the highest protein content of any fruit and also contain about 60% more potassium than bananas. Avocadoes also contain a nutrient called lutein which is important for maintaining healthy eyes. The country of Mexico is the worldwide leading provider of avocados with the state of California coming in second.

So now that we’ve covered some fun facts about this magical fruit, let’s take a look at how we can incorporate it into our diet. I have been slicing up avocados and putting them into spinach salads, on hamburgers, on hotdogs and on omelettes. I also take the back end of a spoon, scrape the inside of the avocado and use that as a spread on tortillas. This spread can act as a great addition to any fajita or breakfast burrito meal. And of course, you have the traditional yet incredibly delicious guacamole dip. You can mix slices of avocados, bits of onions and any salsa together to get a simple and affordable guacamole concoction.

So give them a try! Pick up a few avocados next time you’re grocery shopping and experience this wonderful fruit. HomeCooking has some awesome avocado recipes here (http://homecooking.about.com/library/archive/blavocado.htm).

Avocados are even mixed into smoothies. ---->

If you’re still not sold on avocados or just want to explore deeper into the “alligator pear”, take a few minutes and check out this amazing link that notes several health benefits of avocados. (http://www.healthdiaries.com/eatthis/10-health-benefits-of-avocados.html)


Tuesday, November 16, 2010

The holiday season is already in full force, and Thanksgiving is quickly approaching. Many of us have plans to join our family around the dinner table. Let us keep in mind that not everyone is able to enjoy this time of year. The Bronco Fitness Center is currently hosting a food drive through November 23rd in order to help others who otherwise may be stressed due to Thanksgiving. A non-member will be able to enjoy a free gym session when he or she comes in with a member and brings in a food donation to the Bronco Fitness Center.

This time of the year also brings the thought of New Year’s resolutions, but you should not wait until January to begin caring for yourself. Members are already on the right track, and those who are able to get their friends to join the Bronco Fitness Center have the ability to get their January membership paid for. Members that refer one friend will receive $5 off their January membership, two friends is $10 off, and three friends make the month free for students at $15 off. This promotion will be going on until December 19th.

Since this article has been all about promotions, I thought that I would include another promotion that will be taking place December 3rd. Hangar 18, which is a rock climbing gym in Upland, will be allowing Cal Poly students to climb for free from 5:00pm to 9:00 pm. Feel free to check out their website www.climbhangar18.com


Sunday, November 14, 2010

Carbohydrates, Carbs, Sugars, Starches... Oh my!

Over the past couple of years carbohydrates have gotten a bad stigma and it seems that everyone is avoiding them in fear of losing their physique and adding inches to their waste. The fact of the matter is, no matter what kinds of foods you eat, if you eat more than what you need your body will store it! So before you continue reading this blog, get that notion out of your head if you hadn't already.

Let's quickly discuss what a carbohydrate is and where we can find them.

What exactly is a carbohydrate?
- Well depending on who you ask the definition will change a little bit. For the sake of simplicity and so we don't turn this into a chemistry lecture; carbohydrates are part of 3 different macro-nutrients which consists of fat, protein, and carbohydrates.

What foods are carbohydrates?
- Simply check the nutritional label to see how many carbohydrates a food has and if it doesn't foods high in carbs are usually rice, beans, cereals, fruits, potatoes, bread etc.

So why all this talk about carbohydrates? Because there is more to this fantastic organic compound then just how delicious it tastes.

A recent study published in the Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research studied the effect of a "low carbohydrate beverage with added protein on cycling endurance performance in trained athletes."

We all know that carbs during long endurance exercise helps, that's why Gatorade is so widely used now but what happens when you add protein to a carb drink?

According to the study "compared to a 6% [carbohydrate] supplement, a mixture of carbohydrates plus a moderate amount of protein can improve aerobic endurance at exercise intensities near the [ventilatory threshold], despite containing lower total carbohydrate and caloric content." (the Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research, Volume 24 | Number 10 | October 2010 | 2577)

So this begs the question, "How much did this really help?" The time till exhaustion in the group with protein and carbs mixed in their water was 19.3% greater than the group with only carbohydrates in their water.

On a side note the main point of this study was not to see whether or not protein made a difference, it was actually to see if a lower caloric carb + protein drink still made a difference in endurance. And it did.

So just to sum this all up, if you're dieting and are doing some really long endurance cardiovascular training and want to keep you're calories low, go ahead and spike you're low calorie Gatorade with some protein and sip on it throughout your workout. Your workout could be 19.3% better.

- Noel Cerda

Saturday, November 6, 2010

Keeping the Sniffles Away

Hello everyone!

We are getting closer and closer to that time of the year...the temperatures are dropping soon (although it may not seem like it after this past week) and we will be exposed to those pesky sniffles. Also, now that we are in week 7 there will be lots of projects and last minute assignments that "somehow" start piling up on us which tends to translate into less sleep. Our immune system can only take so much before it begins to slack on us.

Daily exercise can help you with weight loss, mood improvement, and maybe even add some years to your life. As a student in the health/fitness field I can't emphasize enough how important it is to hit up the gym. So how do the sniffles relate to exercise you ask? Well, "exercise is thought to boost the circulation of the virus-fighting white blood cells known as natural killer cells-the Marine Corps and Army of the immune system," says Nieman, a professor from North Carolina. The immune system is boosted for three hours, which may not seem like a lot, however, the numbers start to add up if you exercise on a daily basis. Also, endorphins (the feel-good transmitters/ runner's high), which are released during physical activity, are known to spike up these immune cells as well.

As a fellow student, I want to help YOU prevent the sniffles. The following are 8 ways to STAY SNIFFLE-FREE:

Here on campus the flu shot is available to us for FREE, so take advantage of it.

According to David Katz, MD, "diet is the fuel that runs the complex human machine and all of its parts, including the immune system."

  • High quality proteins such as fish, lean meats, and beans will help your body build white blood cells.
  • Bright colored fruits and vegetables will provide your body with antioxidants, which in turn, will boost the immune system.
  • Lastly, to balance it all out, intake some omega-3 fatty acids. Walnuts, flaxseed, and fatty fish are good choices.


Exercise aids in the stimulation of those immune cells that attack cold infections. Just don't overdo it! High intensity workouts- such as marathon training- may actually increase the risk of catching a cold.


Drink lots and lots of water and stay warm. Humidity kills viruses so keep your body warm and moist.


By bacteria I mean the good kind...Probiotics (microbes that help strengthen your immune system). You are looking for about 3 servings a day of foods such as yogurt with bacteria, kefir, kimchi (fermented food), etc.


Sleep, sleep, sleep! If you are sleeping less that 7 hours during the week you are 3 times more likely to develop respiratory illness than if you got eight or more hours Archives of Internal Medicine, 2009).


Wash your hands constantly for about 20 seconds (you should be able to sing "Happy Birthday"). If soap is not available use hand sanitizer.


Try and stay away from people who are sick. If this is not possible, help yourself and take Emergen-C or Airbourne.

I hope my blog was compelling enough to see more of you here at the Bronco Fitness Center because exercise really does help! I wish you guys all the best as we are nearing the home stretch of the quarter. Stay fit :)

-Stephanie Sandino

Friday, November 5, 2010

Creating the Ultimate Schedule

That exciting but dreadful time of the quarter is upon us, adding classes. We know that adding classes is sort of like winning the lottery, it’s hit or miss. But I have been here for a while and I realized that the problem wasn’t the classes I was taking but the way that I had scheduled them. There were quarters where I only had classes Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday but I was at school from 9 am to 8 pm. I was stuck at school all day and all there was to eat on campus was fast food places which is not a good look. I was focused on working out but I couldn’t because I simply had no energy due to lack of carbohydrates and protein which was substituted with sugars. It was a rough quarter for me and I knew I had to do something

So how can I avoid a similar situation where I am at school all day and feel like I just ran a 5 k by the end of the day you ask, it’s simple. Don’t wait till the day of your enrollment to look for classes and figure out you schedule for the quarter. Create a schedule that is flexible with school as well as your workout routine skipping a workout is like skipping a class, you have to make up your work or you stuck. Here are a couple factors that will help you create the painless schedule that would allow you to balance your fitness and school schedule.

1. Consider all other time consuming factors outside of school
a. Holidays, Girlfriend/Boyfriend Time, Vacation
b. Get your work schedule in advance
2. Allow time in between your schedule and bring the essentials needed
a. If you plan to work out between classes, have at least a 3 hour gap
b. If you plan to work out in the morning, have enough time to wash up after your workout and head to class
c. If you work out after your class, be sure to have your meals prepared, supplements, and other factors that will prepare your body for a workout. As well as have time between classes to eat and drink fluids.
3. Realize the amount of work is needed to be put in certain classes
a. Certain classes require more work, such as math classes, science classes with labs, and senior projects. Be sure to incorporate the time it takes to do your homework and study. This is the hardest part of creating a set schedule or routine.

Once you get in the flow of things it takes about two weeks to get on track and consider it a routine. Life is a lot easier when it is organized so might as well start here in college. Trust me the better schedule you create the happier you will be throughout the quarter and you will see that in your grades and fitness results.

And I am out

Drew Caustrita

Thursday, November 4, 2010


Hopefully you all survived the dreaded calorie loaded Halloween chocolate candies and caramel apples along with delicious physique destroying beer from the month of October. But it does not end there. The holidays are around the corner and you plan to keep a full set of abs or a flat stomach then you must, and I repeat, you MUST keep focused through the holidays.

Today's blog will be about all the different topics and themess that most Nutrition Articles are written about in November. I'll keep each one short because there are hundreds and hundreds of articles about each of these topics. But a good refresher is always good.

On a different note these next few months are perfect for utilizing those extra calories to add inches to your arms, chest, legs, calves, but hopefully not your waist. Feel free to pack on extra turkey on your plate for added protein. Be cautious of loaded baked potatoes for that complex carbohydrate source and opt for a plain or lightly topped baked potato instead. Also if you must, eat small amounts of simple carbohydrates especially the ones comming from pies and dessert. It doesn't stop here, drinks should also be taken into account. Not only does the average shot of alcohol have over 100 calories most holiday drinks are mixed and sugary cocktail juices are brough into the mix. Drinks like eggnog and hot chocolate are loaded with sugar so drink with caution and drink responsibly.

One of my favorites is the misconception about turkey and holiday drowsiness. Why does this happen? Nope, its not tryptophan. It is actually a combination of overeating along with a high consumption of carbohydrates causing blood-sugar levels to spike and drop drastically. Just a refresher insulin is a hormone released by the pancreas that regulates blood-sugar levels along with other things.

Finally we'll talk about why we overeat. With so much good food in front of your eyes how is one not to supposed to overindulge? Simple. It takes about 20 minutes for the hypothalamus to recieve the signal from the stomach to stop eating. Some of us an eat an entire days worth of calories in 20 minutes by binging on calorically dense foods like pecan pie. So we can avoid this by eating your portions. (See previous Article by Andrew) Then waiting and drinking a few cups of water. This is the time where we socialize and talk about how good your workouts have been going. Then after 20 minutes you're still hungry go ahead and go for 2nds but keep it clean and portioned.

-Noel Cerda

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Fat Burning Tip for All

Many of us think we understand the basis of a fat burning exercise. Others will admit that they may have an unclear understanding of fat metabolism in combination with exercise. Fat burning is obviously difficult, otherwise most of us would not find ourselves steadily gaining inches to our waistlines from the time we became freshmen in college. So what should you know if you are cardio training?

Lets talk about the two key components of fat used as a source of energy:

Tapping into your fat, otherwise known as "energy stores" takes TIME. When I say time, I am referring to long bouts of exercise lasting up to an hour. Also, understand that losing body fat does not happen in days or even weeks. It is best to look at these measurements in months for real progress. This can be discouraging but realize the accumulation of energy stores similarly occurs over time, not just from the diet, but by reducing your activity level.

Another key component is a LOW INTENSITY mechanism and resistance. In translation, choose exercises that can be done at low speeds so you can perform them for a longer period of time. With high intensity exercise, the body loses fuel more rapidly and cannot contribute to the duration required for fat stores to breakdown as an energy source.

Here is a suggestion for a low intensity, long duration exercise that any level of fitness (cardio trained or resistance trained) can perform:

Speed walking
This is actually a very wasteful use of energy and requires the help of your fat stores to preserve your blood sugar.

I suggest to modify this by walking uphill, using the incline on the treadmill, or hiking at Clairemont or Azusa trails. In walking fast, without breaking into a jog you can manipulate your metabolism to fat burn.

Finally, the best way to get results is not just by coming to the gym. Challenge yourself to increase your daily exercise habits, whether it be taking the stairs, parking farther away, or scheduling a ten minute walk three to six times a day. These strategies have all shown to be effective ways to reduce fat mass.

Please post questions or any comments you may have!

~Katie Sue