Tag Archives: fitness

The Importance of Listening to our Bodies

By Eileen Kim

I am a dancer. One of the greatest gifts that dance has given me that I apply to my everyday life is awareness of my physical body.  Dance has given me the time and space to be fully aware of all of the possibilities my body holds. It has given me an understanding of what I can only corporeally know, creating space for me to listen to my body. For me, there is no separation between life and dance because we are constantly in motion even when we are still. There is choreography in our everyday life, whether we are continuing patterns or creating new ones. Therefore I find that listening to our bodies and being aware of our physical bodies should become a daily practice, especially in the difficult circumstances of the present time. 

Photo of Eileen dancing

Our bodies are hyper-intelligent vessels that have the ability to hold and absorb an incredible amount of information. The body often understands things that are happening to us before we are consciously able to understand them. For example, as infants we enter into stages of crawling and walking through the intelligence of our bodies. Most of us can’t remember when we first started crawling or walking, but our bodies remember even when our memories forget. Before we learn how to speak or read, we first understand the world through our physical bodies. The intelligence of our bodies is limitless and when we allow our bodies to take over and find time to listen to our bodies, I believe we will be surprised by how much our bodies have to say. 

Eileen expressing movement through dance

So how do we go about listening to our bodies? Connecting to our bodies can happen in multiple ways. For me, I find time to connect through my daily practice in dance. However, I believe that listening to the body can happen whenever we consciously choose to do so. Physical activity might be a gateway to understanding how to listen to our bodies because we are constantly sending signals between our brain and body when we are moving. However, this connection can be lost if we are not conscious of how we move. Being distracted while moving is a significant problem of our generation. Treadmills and ellipticals in gyms have TV’s, we text and walk, or check our emails while commuting.  These distractions, while engaging in any type of movement, make us skim through the process of listening to the body.  Therefore, it’s important to understand that even in stillness, we have the ability to tune in to our bodies. A quick body scan at the beginning or end of the day can make a huge difference in our wellbeing. Try asking yourself the following questions:

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Staying Busy and Happy During Quarantine

By Gina Samec

[3 minute read]

For many of us, this summer, which was once full of travel plans and internships, has been reduced to three months of uncertainty. It’s been a strange transition for me to go from a structured week of class and extracurriculars to feeling directionless. Everywhere I turned this semester there was an irksome reminder that I was falling behind. When I checked Linkedin, my peers were posting about their remote summer internships. When I checked my inbox, I was receiving emails from career websites about how to stay competitive in the current economy. At first, I felt overwhelmed and defeated that I wouldn’t have something to put on my resume for this summer. However, I realized that most people I know are in the same situation as me. Instead of stressing over something that I have no control over, I can put my energy towards doing things that make me happy. For those of us who have the privilege to relax this summer, this is a great opportunity to do things we haven’t set aside time for in the past because we were too preoccupied. Here are some ways you can pass the time during quarantine.

Dance Workouts

Sitting or lying down all day has become the norm. However, it isn’t ideal for our health. If you hate the gym and don’t have motivation to work out, a dance workout is a really fun way to stay active without it feeling like a chore. Thanks to Youtube, there are plenty of free workout videos which are a great replacement for attending a real class. Here are some youtubers I enjoy who have been posting fun dance workouts: MadFit, The Fitness Marshall, and MYLEE Dance.

Photo by Kari Shea on Unsplash
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What is Powerlifting?

By Dennis Wu

Last semester, I picked up a new fitness hobby called powerlifting.  According to the International Powerlifting Federation, powerlifting is defined as a strength sport made up of three attempts at maximal weight for three lifts: squat, bench press, and deadlift. The goal of powerlifting is to lift the most weight possible for each of the three lifts. The summation of the best attempts for each of the three lifts is the final score a competitor receives.

Squat

The powerlifting squat begins when the announcer yells, “the bar is loaded”. Then, a competitor has one minute to un-rack the bar.  When the competitor is read to squat, the competitor makes eye contact with the referee.  The referee will yell “squat”. Then, the competitor must squat down until the hip joint is below the knee joint. After that the competitor can squat back up and re-rack when the referee yells “rack”.

Bench Press

The powerlifting bench press also begins when the announcer yells, “the bar is loaded.” Then, the competitor has one minute to begin the lift. The competitor is allowed to un-rack the bar but must wait for the referee to yell “start” before the competitor can lower the weight. When the bar is touching the body, the competitor must wait for the command “press”. Then, the competitor can drive up the bar to lockout. When the command “rack” is given, the competitor may rerack the bar.

Deadlift

The last lift is the deadlift. This lift also begins when the announces states, “the bar is loaded”. However, there is no start command. The competitor must begin within one minute. The competitor must stand up with the weight and when the referee yells “down”, the competitor may place the weight back down with both hands on the bar.

Conclusion

To summarize, powerlifting has become my new fitness hobby. Powerlifting is comprised of the three main lifts: squat, bench press, and deadlift.  The final score of a powerlifting competition is comprised of the best weights for each of the three lifts.

Featured image is author’s own

Dennis graduated USC with a degree in Human Biology, with an emphasis in Applied Physiology, and a minor in Occupational Therapy. He was born in Belgium and moved to the U.S. at the young age of 5, so Dennis had experienced numerous cultures around the world. Once in the U.S., he moved around quite a bit, living in multiple cities in Arizona, Texas, and California. Dennis speaks three languages- Mandarin Chinese, Flemish, and English. Ss a student, he loved playing basketball; he’s been playing since he was five years old, but his greatest passion in life was fitness and the pursuit of progression. Dennis always sought to improve himself – to become the best version he can be, not only physically but also mentally. Dennis was also a certified personal trainer at USC Lyon Center and worked with numerous international clients. He also worked as a tutor for mathematics and various sciences with numerous volunteer organizations around campus.