For our final presentations in my IMC 560 course (Digital Communications for IMC) I decided to do a little bit of Yoga and a little bit of sampling!

The Yoga that I did in class was  “Yoga for the Workaholics.”  This workout came from Women’s Health Magazine’s website.  This Yoga is a great thing to do once a day while sitting at a desk all day long!  As a graduate student I spend a lot of time at work on a computer and then go right to another computer to do school homework.  I often feel stressed out, and while I wouldn’t recommend counting this as a “workout” for the day, it wouldn’t hurt to take five minutes of your lunch break to try it!

The Peanut Butter and Banana Pizza was listed as a dessert pizza on Shape Magazine’s website.  I have such a sweet tooth so I decided to try it.  I loved it as a dessert and even leftover for lunch!  The peanut butter made me so full which was great because I didn’t feel any hunger afterwards.  I also felt good about eating fruit and that I made the pizza on whole wheat dough.  The brown sugar/syrup topping was a great touch to the pizza as well.  So easy to make and an extremely satisfying snack!

My Rollerblades

My roommate Elissa has her rollerblades sitting in the backseat of her car and every time I drive with her I tell her “Hey, we should definitely rollerblade sometime!”  I have been full of talk for a while since I didn’t have my rollerblades at school with me but I knew I still had them at home so my mom brought them up to me this weekend when she came to visit. 

A friend of mine and Elissa kept telling me what a great workout it was to go rollerblading so I was VERY excited to use mine again.  The last time I used my blades was probably when I was in Middle School, but I really did not think I would have any problem with the activity.  I was very wrong.

Rollerblading was extremely difficult for me in so many ways.  The first issue I had was with stopping.  For some reason neither Elissa or I could stop very well with our rollerblades.  I don’t know if it was that my brake was filed down quite a bit from when I first got them or if it was just something I needed to get adjusted to.  It was very scary for us to feel like we did not have full control.  However, this was very funny for some residents of Main Street (a big mistake for us).  Next time we plan to go on the trail to try because there were a couple times where we had to stop by going on to the grass and at one point into a bush which our neighbors got a big laugh about.  I think that we will get used to the braking situation soon enough or at least that is what I am hoping for.

Elissa and I rollerblading

Like I had expected, rollerblading was a great workout.  My thighs started burning after just five minutes of it.  It was way more fun than just going for a run.  We were able to talk to each other while we were doing it so it was a great time for us to catch up.  We were very tired by the end of it and only went for about twenty five minutes since we were back to being beginners.  I woke up the next morning with some sore quads but can’t wait until the next sunny day in Olean, N.Y. so that we can go again!




Wear high socks.  The top of the rollerblades cut into your calves a little bit so I had wished I had high socks on to protect myself from them digging in.

Don’t bring your phone with you in your hands.  There is a good chance that you might go down and need to use your hands to catch yourself and you probably don’t want you phone hitting the pavement first.

I’d Rate this Workout:

Fun 4/4:  Rollerblading has the potential to be an EXTREMELY fun activity.  It is a great way to be active outside on a nice day and it is a great activity to be able to do with a friend.

Repeatability 2/4: Unfortunately rollerblading can only been done when it is nice out unless you try one of those indoor rinks which I will not be doing.  Part of the reason I like this activity is because I can be outside and this is more fun than going for a typical jog outside.

Intensity 3/4: Elissa and I went at a very leisure pace and still felt like we got a solid workout in, however I had also already been to the gym.  If this was going to be my only form of physical activity for the day I would have gone at a faster pace and the workout definitely would have been intense. 

Elissa and I ready to go rollerblading!

Just finished updating my flickr page! Check it out for some more pictures that I didn’t put up on my blog!

I walk by the Racquetball courts each time I enter the gym and I always see people coming out of there sweating, and they seem like they are having fun too!  My boyfriend Bobby plays Racquetball about once a week with one of his roommates, so this week I asked him if he’d play with me, which luckily he agreed to.  I thought it’d be a fun thing for the both of us to do and the main reason that it would be an intense workout.

We were able to check out racquets and a ball at the front desk and then entered the court.  I had no idea how to play when we got in there, so he said we’d play a modified version of the game this time so I could get the hang of it all.  We practiced serving and trying to return the ball to each other.  We didn’t keep score or anything because I was too concentrated on trying to serve the ball correctly.  We didn’t get too far on the exact rules, but if you are a beginner looking to start off check out these easy, simple rules.

Hard to believe you can get such an intense workout from this tiny Racquetball court!

Racquetball reminded me of tennis in many ways, except that we were next to each other on opposite sides of the court instead of facing each other.  It also reminded me of tennis in the learning sense.  I have always thought that tennis seems like such a great workout and a fun activity to do with a friend.  However, I get frustrated when I play because I spend the majority of the time chasing the ball when it goes out of bounds than actually being able to play the game.  That is how I felt with Racquetball as well.  It is going to be frustrating to learn and going to take a little while before I feel like I get a fun and intense workout of it.

I still did get quite a workout from running around chasing that ball around the court.  The thing I liked was that it was all in the shut room so the ball couldn’t go that far.  Besides my legs constantly moving around to get the ball, my arms also were feeling very tired afterwards from swinging that racquet.  My arms are pretty weak so this was a tough workout for them.  They felt it even more the next day.  I got a great workout from learning the game but still think that it will be such an intense workout once I get the hang of it.  I’m going to try to get through this frustrating phase of learning the game and then hopefully be able to challenge Bobby in a game sometime soon!


If you like tennis try this out: It is great because it can be played indoors, but seems like it still uses some of the same techniques as tennis. 

Expect to be tired afterwards:  I ran first, which I was really glad about because afterwards I just wanted to go home and relax.

I’d Rate this Workout:

Fun 3/4: I rated this on the potential fun that I think Racquetball has.  I would say I had about a 2/4 when I played for my first time.  I think once I get the game down it will be such a fun thing to do with a friend which is good because I seem to like working out with others.

Repeatability 3/4:  If you have access to courts, and a partner that will play than you’re in luck.  It would be a good activity to do once a week.

Intensity 3/4:  I think that whether you are learning or already play frequently you are bound to get some type of workout.  Might not be what you are hoping for if you are just getting started—but I think it gets better!

Bobby and I after we finished playing at the gym

Pilates is something that I often disregard because I feel like it is a class for relaxation.  Lately, I have been feeling very stressed and thought that it wouldn’t hurt to get a little relaxation time.  Well, I got that as well as a great core workout from attending a Pilates class offered at the Richter Center.

 The class was 30 minutes long and led by a staff member at the gym.  Group classes are just more fun to me than working out by myself, so I was actually excited for this trip to the gym.  This was  a small class with just six of us, and I didn’t go with any of my friends but it was still fun working out with others.  When I got to the class we were instructed to get a mat, and a resistance circle.   

The only equipment needed for the Pilates class. Here is the mat and resitance band but your body is the main tool!

The class started with extensive stretching which is one of my favorite things to do, that I actually RARELY do.  I always think that stretching is just a waste of time, and unnecessary.  When I am forced to stretch in classes, I LOVE it.  We did a lot of core exercises but they didn’t really feel too intense when we did them.  The instructor focused on breathing a lot and it didn’t seem like it was a class that you were supposed to be panting during.  This is something that is hard for me to accept because I feel like if I am going to be “working out” I need to be sweating.  A workout like Pilates though is definitely beneficial in many other ways.  The class ended with some more stretching and then we were out of there. 

I felt so relaxed afterwards, and wish that I would do it more often.  I think I am just used to being so busy and on a tight schedule so taking the time to do anything relaxing for myself seems like such a farfetched idea.  I’m going to try to attend every Friday, as a great way to end the week and start the weekend.  It was much harder than the normal 5 minutes of abs that I usually do. 

I ended up with VERY sore abs the next day which I thought was so strange because it didn’t even seem like I was working out when I was at the class. 

 I still needed to run afterwards to get some cardio in.  I don’t feel like I get a really intense workout unless I fit some cardio in.  Anyone from Bonaventure want to meet me at 12:10 on Friday at the Richter for a quick Pilates’ class to start the weekend?  I’ll be there!


Wear yoga pants or capri’s:  There are a lot of unique positions and stretches and it seems like most of the people in the class all felt most comfortable in something other than shorts.

Do a cardio workout before:  Pilates will be a great end to a workout and that way your aren’t counting on Pilates as your only workout that day (unless you are taking a day off in which this is perfect for an “off day”).

I’d Rate this Workout:

Fun: 4/4 While it wasn’t loud and crazy like other classes the fun for me was having it be a calming activity.

Repeatability:  2/4 If you gym has a free class I would recommend doing this as a class once a week.  If you don’t belong to a gym it is also easy to do at home with a video since there is very little equipment or space needed.

Intensity:  2/4 I didn’t sweat or have to take water break in the middle; however I did wake up with quite the sore core the next morning.

St. Bonaventure has recently been advertising a personal trainer that students have the opportunity to workout with.  This was great news for me because I had always been interested in having a personal trainer, but the cost factor has turned me off.  Luckily the school covered the cost of the trainer so I had no excuse not to sign up for a workout with her.

Jess Jenkins is the trainer at school who is a student athlete and got certified as a personal trainer this past summer.  The first step I had to take was to email her to set up a time and to talk about what I wanted to get out of this session.  I told her about my normal 50 minute cardio workout and about how I wanted to try something different.  I made it clear that I didn’t want to gain muscle but just wanted to tone up a bit and eventually lose a couple of pounds. 

We stretched (which felt so great since I never take the time to stretch) and then I did a 5 minute warm up on the elliptical while she set up for me.  Jess explained that we were going to do a circuit—10 quick exercises right aftereach other.  She first ran through all 10 exercises so that I understood them but said she would also explain them while I was going them.  I did the exercises for anywhere between 20 seconds to 45 seconds and they were very intense.  I completed the circuit for the first time and was given a one minute break before I repeated the circuit.

One of the more challenging exercises that I completed during the circuit workout

This was such an unusual workout from what I normally do at the gym.  The thing that I really liked about the circuit was that they were easy exercises that I could do myself again.  I felt like I got a great workout (felt like it even more the next day when my thighs were throbbing).  I also felt like I still had enough energy to go for a run afterwards.  We stretched again after the circuits.  Jess gave me some great tips for what I am trying to get out of my workouts.  I still am going to do cardio but maybe only 45 minutes of it and afterwards do some of the circuits that she showed me that way I can tone certain parts of my body.

I loved having the trainer there with me.  I loved that it was all about me.  With the individual attention it was easy for her to adjust the workout to my level.  It also went by so fast because I had someone to talk to the whole time I was working out so I was never bored.

 Jess did a great job on all ends of the training session.  She came in so prepared which was great because we didn’t waste any time.  Her intensity level was awesome.  As a basketball player I am sure she does much more intense workouts but she did such a great job coming down to my level and making sure I was getting an intense enough workout.  She was also great at educating me on the workout.  She explained in easy simple terms why a particular exercise was beneficial.  She earned my trust and I would work out with her again for sure!  When we were done she offered to email me more circuit exercises and offered to do another session with me which I will take her up on.  It was great having someone there to push me to the next level and just to learn new exercises!


Know what you want to get out of the workout.  This is so important so that you can get the most out of your personal trainer experience.  It is also important that you do this ahead of time so that the trainer can come prepared.

Email her soon . Jess starts basketball season in 2 weeks so her schedule will be getting busier, so if you’re a Bonaventure student get a hold of her soon!  Does anyone have any great circuit exercises that they currently would recommend?  Have you had any good/bad experiences with a personal trainer?

I’d Rate This Workout:

Fun 4/4: It was a great time working out with someone; time went by fast, and a completely different workout.

Repeatability 2/4:  I can repeat these exercises on my own; I just need to push myself to do them.  Working out with a trainer all the time is not an option too many of us so taking full advantage of the time you have with them is important.

Intensity 4/4: I really had to push myself for these exercises but that is one of the things that I loved about this training session.

Jess and I after I completed the workout

My roommate and I have passed the rock climbing wall at the Richter Center (campus gym) approximately 600 times since we came to St. Bonaventure our Freshman year.  It took us this journal for us to decide we should try it out.  It is something I wish I had done earlier and wish I would do more often.

We approached two student workers at the wall who made us sign safety waivers and harnessed us up.  Anderson (a future IMC-er) was the student worker who helped me along the way and was a crucial coach for this workout.  There are 5 different paths that you can choose up the wall.  My roommate Elissa wanted to go on the easiest one, so I choose the second easiest one since I had never done this before.  What a struggle my route was!

I rapidly climbed the first half of the course and then came to a sudden halt.  I kept trying to grab another rock that was up higher but I could not pull myself up.  Anderson tried to tell me other rocks to try instead and I tried about 4 alternate rocks but could not get up any higher.  I was starting to get so tired at

Climbing the rock wall, just before the point that I got stuck

this point from trying to lift myself up.  I was able to let go of the wall and just hang there while Anderson had the rope.  Unlike the Adventure Course, I felt SO comfortable and safe on the rock wall.  I thought the break would help so I tried reaching the rock again but still couldn’t pull myself up.  After about ten minutes of attempts I finally had to give up.  I had no strength left.  I know my upper body is weak but I really thought I would be able to get to the top and was disappointed that I couldn’t. 

Once I got down, my forearms were SO sore.  I wasn’t sure I would be able to grip the steering wheel on the way home (luckily I was able to).  I woke up the next morning and felt sore in my back as well as under my arms and my forearms.  My legs also felt tired too, which Anderson said I should expect.  I didn’t realize the twenty minutes of climbing would make me so unbelievably sore, and it lasted for two days!  This is something I would like to do once a week.  I want to make it to the top and think it would be such a great thing to do to increase my upper body strength as well as my legs.  Can’t wait to try attempt number 2 next week!


Go with a friend: It was nice to be able to have Elissa climbing next to me and be able to yell to each other for encouragement

Ask for help:  If you get stuck ask the person belaying you for help, the workers at the Richter Center were GREAT about helping me try to make it to the top

I’d Rate this Workout:

Intensity 3/4: I would still need to run earlier in the day to get some cardio in but this is great to do when you don’t feel like lifting weights

Repeatability 2/4: It depends on if you have access to a free wall within your gym but if you do try it on a weekly basis.

Fun 4/4: So much fun, a great change of pace from a normal routine.  Great to do with friends!

Elissa and I at the Rock Climbing Wall

A view of the ropes course on a beautiful day. Photo credit: Holiday Valley

Last week I was able to experience the new Sky High Adventure Park in Ellicottville, N.Y.  I would recommend this to any student at St. Bonaventure when they are sitting around looking for something to do.  I hadn’t heard of the park, but I was told I would be going there for a leadership training day with a group of 15.  Going into the day, I did not think that this would be any type of workout—physically or mentally.  I thought it was going to be a couple zip lines in the woods, but a pretty leisure afternoon as a whole.  I was wrong; but it was a great time and a great way to spend the afternoon actively outside.

Sky High was very busy when we first arrived.  Make a reservation if you plan to go because there are a limited number of harnesses.  An employee put a harness on each of us, we received a VERY BRIEF safety lesson, and we were off!  This was a little scary to me.  Each person had to connect to each obstacle on their own.  This was a little nerve-wracking at first, but after a couple of obstacles you start to get the hang of it.  There are 8 different courses to choose from, all varying in strength levels.  We started on the second easiest one—I cannot imagine what the hardest one is like!

There were many obstacles that were challenging on the course.  However, nothing I wasn’t capable of.  I did think that being fit helped.  I had to use my legs a lot to rely on for balance.  I also used my upper body strength a lot.  I woke up and realized I had muscles that I never knew about!  It was great to feel sore the next morning and really feel like I used my body in a way that I never normally do.  The lift ticket we received was for 3 hours, we got through 2 courses in that amount of time and I was exhausted after that. 

One of the many challenging obstacles on the adventure course. Photo credit: Holiday Valley

Physically, I felt like I got a solid workout in.  It was different from a cardio workout, but I didn’t feel like I needed to go to the gym after the course, that’s for sure.  Mentally though, it was very challenging.  I didn’t think I was afraid of heights at all, however that day I was scared during many of the obstacles.  I knew if I fell from any of the obstacles that I would still be clipped in, but it seemed like it still could be a little dangerous if I fell.  Afterwards, I felt so accomplished that I was able to do all of the obstacles; it was a really great feeling.  Way more rewarding than running 2 miles on the treadmill. 


1)      Don’t go with a huge group, or don’t expect to stay with the huge group.  We went as a team building event, but we really only got to participate/communicate with the person that was behind us, and the one that was after us.  The group becomes really spread out as you go.  Go with 1-2 people, so that you can really experience the course together.

2)      Encourage and communicate to each other along the way.  There are definitely some easier ways to finish some of the obstacles so helping each other feel comfortable on the course is really helpful.

3)      Wear sneakers and comfortable clothes.  Sneakers are a must.  Also, keep in mind that whatever you wear when you are getting your harness on is what you will have on the entire time on the course.  With that in mind, I wouldn’t recommend wearing a sweatshirt (like I did).

I’d Rate this Workout:

Fun: 4/4- It was a great way to spend the afternoon outside, doing something different. 

Intensity: 3/4- Challenged my mind and body, did not feel like I lost weight or became more toned.  It was nice to use muscles that I don’t normally use when working out.

Repeatability: 0/4- It is not something that could be done frequently because of the high cost of the course.  Tickets are $42 for a 3 hour pass.  The price is  worth doing once, but I would not pay that amount again to do the course in the same season.

Has anyone been to the park?  What are your thoughts on it if you have been?  Anything else around the area that is like this?  For more information on the course or the hours it operates visit the Holiday Valley website.

Sky High Adventure Park

My group and I at Sky High Adventure Park

Interval training has always been something of interest to me, but I have been too lazy to look up logistics for it or experiment with it.  I often see girls at the gym walking and then a couple of minutes later sprinting for a brief amount of time.  I’ve read about how it is a great routine.  In an article titled “Short Workouts that Really Pay Off“, Jason R. Karp, Ph.D. states, “Research shows that interval training—workouts in which you alternate periods of high-intensity exercise with low-intensity recovery periods—increases fitness and burns more calories over a short period of time than steady-state cardio.” 

I decided to turn to Fitness Magazine for some help.  This was another first for me.  I always see magazines around my house but I have this preconceived notion in my head that the workouts are too complicated to follow.  After searching around on Fitness Magazine’s website, I found a workout titled “The 20-Minute, 300-Calorie Treadmill Challenge.”  This sounded appealing to me for many reasons.  I love cardio workouts and burning 300 calories made it seem like it was going to be a high intensity workout. This was also an interval training workout that featured different inclines with the different speeds.  For the first time in months I was actually really excited to get myself to the gym and try out this workout.

Overall, I did not like this particular workout.  HOWEVER, the overall concept of this workout I did enjoy.  The time intervals for each different incline and speed were too short.  Most of the intervals were around 30 seconds to 1 minute.  This was an extremely short amount of time and it was really hard to adjust the incline level and the speed so frequently.  I did like changing pace and inclines—just wish it wasn’t as frequent.  The other part of this that I did not like was the intensity.  I think if I would have doubled the speeds at times I would have had a more intense workout.  I was also very disappointed with the calories that I burned.  I burned 99 compared to the advertised 300.

Oh, the abilities of a treadmill.....

I’m glad I finally took the effort to try something different.  It is so easy to get caught up in a routine because you think it works. 

While it might work, you may learn to really despise something that you once loved.  I want to get that feeling of excitement I had going to the gym that day.  I’m also glad I finally looked to a helpful source as a guide.  It took me about 5 minutes to find this workout and print it out.  Not a whole lot of effort, but a whole lot of excitement resorted from it. 


1)      Print out workouts in a big and bold font size.  It is hard to follow a tiny set of instructions when you are in the middle of running.

2)      Don’t get flustered if you lose track a little bit.  The gym is a social place, which is something that people should enjoy.  Since the intervals changed so quickly you really have to pay attention to keep up.  Be easygoing about it and don’t stress if you miss an interval here and there.

3)      Don’t be afraid to make your own adjustments.  Often times when we follow workouts from websites or magazines we are so focused on doing exactly what they say.  Well, it’s ok to adjust it to your own level; I was and still am a little bit afraid to make up my own interval training workout.  Adjust the workout as needed, these step by step workouts are meant as a guide, they don’t work the same for every woman.

4)      Don’t get discouraged if this wasn’t what you were hoping for.  I was really excited to burn 300 calories and then afterwards I felt myself getting discouraged when it said I only burned 99.  I am naïve to even think that every woman who was going to do this workout would burn the same amount of calories.  Try another one, and adjust it so you get the most out of it. 

I’d Rate this Workout:

Fun: 3/4 This workout went by so fast because of the frequent time changes.  It was also easy to forget the time because your mind was focused on when to change the speed again.

Intensity: 2/4 While I did start to break a sweat around the 8th minute, it was not an intense workout.  I still felt I needed to run for 20 minutes after I completed the workout.  However, I do think that in general interval training workouts are intense, just not the one I choose. 

Reapeatability: 4/4. I would not repeat this particular interval training workouts, however repeating a interval training workout that I liked would be easy.  All you need is a treadmill, and you can do it whenever your schedule allows.

Does anyone else have an interval training routine that they enjoy?  What sites/magazines do you feel are most helpful for new workout guides?  What type of activities/workouts do you do to avoid boredom?


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