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NMSU students, faculty offer fitness tips for staying healthy this summer

Friends and family of Amanda Concha, a kinesiology student at New Mexico State University, often seek her out for advice on workout tips and sports-related injuries.


Photo of a woman in a pink shirt running.
NMSU kinesiology students run 40-yard sprints on the track as part of a Principles of Strength and Conditioning laboratory exercise. The class and lab component are taught by NMSU instructor Shon Meyer. (NMSU photo by Darren Phillips)

But once February rolls around, the questions become less frequent, typically because they start to veer away from their New Year?s resolutions, Concha said.

?What I see is burnouts. I understand that with the new year you?re excited to get these new year?s resolutions done, but you do have to take it gradually, especially if your body is not used to it,? Concha said. ?You got to take baby steps. People have a tendency to jump into it and their body goes into shock and they don?t want to do it anymore.?

According to PTDirect.com, 44 percent of gym members go to the gym less than once a week by the sixth month of their membership. However, more people are looking to take advantage of the warm spring months to gear up for summer clothing and swimsuits.

Concha is enrolled in the Principles of Strength and Conditioning lab at NMSU, which teaches performance standards and parameters based on the National Strength and Conditioning Association?s guidelines. Students in the lab and lecture portions of the class are exposed to real-world experiences that gives them a leg up over other kinesiology students across the state, said course instructor Shon Meyer.

?We encourage practical, hands-on experience so that they can apply that not only to their curriculum but a real-world setting when they graduate and go into the workforce,? Meyer said. ?It?s not just sitting them inside of a classroom, inside of four walls, talking at them and spewing out information. We try to get them involved as much as possible.?

That experience helps Meyer?s students feel comfortable when they?re approached by friends and relatives for advice on working out and getting fit.

?I love the human body, I love learning about it and I love being able to answer questions when people come to be about anything about the body,? Concha said. ?I?m always there for my dad, my peers and my siblings. I always ask them, ?What do you want? What are you looking for? I don?t care what your friend wants, what do you want???

Her advice? ?Generally I?ll base it off of their goals, their ideas and what they?re capable of. I tell them first they have to start off slow but stay committed so that it?s long term and you can make it a lifestyle.?

Brycson King, an NMSU kinesiology major and another student of Meyer?s said he also fields plenty of questions from friends asking for workout tips. King suggests sticking to a routine and finding a workout partner who is more active.

?The best way is to have a friend to push you through it, someone who you know is active and will really help you,? King said. ?It?s a difficult thing, either they (fellow students) got homework or they also works jobs, other times it could be complacency. I?ll see that and if I?m around I?ll try to push them through it.?

King said he also notices his friends are sometimes frustrated with their lack of results from a workout routine, so they often give up.

?People are different. Some people might see an increase (in muscle) pretty fast, and it also depends on their workout,? King said. ?I tell them that if this workout doesn?t work, then maybe they can try something else. Even if you?re burnt out just try something totally new, something to try to change it up, but definitely stick with it and you?ll see results at the end.?

Meyer suggests accumulating 30 to 60 minutes of physical activity a day, whether it be through walking, running, gardening or any activity that increases heart rate. He also suggests sticking to the five basic components of a fitness routine: cardiovascular, muscular strength, muscular endurance, flexibility and body composition.

Accountability is also key, Meyer said.

?Just hold yourself accountable in one way or another, like scheduling a workout session in your planner or finding a workout partner,? Meyer said. ?It?s also about setting appropriate goals that are realistic, specific and measurable.?