Taking Advantage of Wellness Classes

By Nikki Headley

The Auburn Montgomery Wellness Center has many exercise classes available to all AUM students and members. Many have been on the schedule for a long time, and there are some that are brand new. Each session has a specific goal, and you will feel energized and refreshed afterward.

The first type of class the Wellness Center offers is cardio. Some examples of these courses are Calorie Crush, Cycling 101, GRIND, Kickboxing 101, Spin, Spin Plus, Sunrise Cycle, Swap and Tabata. All of these will give your heart a great workout, and you will burn a ton of calories.

The next category is muscular strength and endurance.  These include Ab Blast, Butts/Guts and More, Lunch @ the Barre, Party Pump, and Warhawk Weights. These classes will build up your muscles, and will make you stronger. These are also great for your endurance.

Another type includes workouts that will help you improve your flexibility. These include Yoga, Slow Flow Yoga, Pilates, Dynamic Flow Yoga and Active Isolated Stretch. Not only will this help you enhance your wellbeing, but also it will connect your body with your inner self.

The final category is the dance and fitness sessions. These classes include AUM Jam, Cardio Hip Hop, Party Pump, Zumba and Zumba Toning. These calorie crunchers are fun and exciting, not to mention they will burn a lot of fat. If you love to dance, these are perfect for you.

So if you want to bring out your inner weight lifter, improve your endurance, better your flexibility or just burn some calories while having fun then the classes at the AUM Wellness Center should be perfect for you!

Contact the writer: sheadle1@aum.edu


Photo Courtesy of AUM Wellness Center website.





Fitness at its Finest

 By Nikki Headley

Exercising may seem like it’s just something to do in your spare time. Yet, being physically active is something that should be done every day. AUM Wellness Center has a lot to offer: a gym to lift weights, a pool and even a track. And fitness classes led by trained instructors with a passion for working out! I attended Vira Salzburn’s class, GRIND, and I saw just how on fire she is for exercising.

First, one reason why someone should attend GRIND is because it is a tough workout. After the warmup, your body is in a constant state of work. The class is one hour long, and you will do various cycles of exercise. Each class begins with a warmup to get your blood flowing and heart pumping. You will do each cycle twice, and normally there are about four in each round. GRIND then ends with a cool down. Salzburn will make sure that you work every muscle in your body. You will be drenched in sweat when you leave this class, but at least you will know that you got a good workout.

Ingrid Muniz on the left and Vira Salzburn on the right. This was taken right after GRIND.


Secondly, whenever you walk into Salzburn’s class, you automatically feel welcome. Salzbrun greets all of her clients with a warm smile and a peppy attitude. GRIND has many college age students that attend each week, so they can meet new people. When I asked Salzbrun about why she started teaching she said, “I like teaching because I know how it can change a person. I have changed, and I want to share that with others. It’s important that you’re healthy. It’s not about your looks, but how you feel. I feel like I’m giving back to the community. I was inspired by many of the AUM instructors, but one of the main ones was Ingrid Muniz.” Salzburn is a dedicated instructor, and she will help you get through the class with a smile.Salzburn is a great instructor with a love for exercise. If you want to attend a challenging class, go to GRIND. The class is offered on Mondays from 6:30 to 7:30.



Holidays: Why Do We Do What We Do?


By Nikki Headley

You wake up and realize that it’s Easter. This can only mean one thing: the Easter bunny came to visit. You walk to the living room to see your youngest brother bouncing up and down with anticipation. You see a large basket in his little hands. You look at him and ask, “Where does the Easter bunny come from?”

Holidays and folklores, we all have them. Whether it’s Christmas, The Fourth of July or Easter, we all have traditions. Yesterday was St. Patrick’s Day, and some people were asked why they wore green.

Katelyn Turner said that she wanted “to participate with tradition.”

Kelsie Miller said “you wear green so you won’t be pinched by annoying people.”

Traditions are fine, but the real question is where the tradition of wearing green came from? Avoiding be pinched is understandable, but where does this come from?

So many Americans celebrates July Fourth. Have you ever wondered why we shoot fireworks?

I asked Brittany Williams this question, and she said “It’s culture to shoot fireworks during July Fourth.”

Everything is coming back to words like “tradition” and “culture.” It seems as if both of these words lack meaning. A tradition is something you do with your family. As Americans we do so many things during our holidays. We wear green, put up Christmas trees and shoot fireworks. Do we really understand what started these practices?

Unfortunately we do not. What’s the point of doing all of these things if we don’t understand their origins? Are we just doing them to seek entertainment? Has the sacredness of a holiday been exchanged for a good time?

Most people do not know where pinching each other for not wearing green on St. Patrick’s Day comes from. During our big holidays movies will come out in theatre for us to go and watch. We entertain ourselves with the ideas that we have about a certain holiday. During winter break most college students are looking forward to the long break. This means we will get more time with the people that matter. While family-time is crucial, would one go so far to say that all of these distractions take away from the importance of what the holiday signifies?

When we forget the source, we forget the holiday. We have customs that are acted upon every year, but they no longer show us why we celebrate our holidays. We all seem to be more than willing to participate in these things without even knowing why we are participating. Do you really want to wear green and not know why you’re doing it?

What type of person do you want to be? Go out there and learn about why we celebrate. Stop asking other people and find out on your own.

Smartphone Robots


By Nikki Headley

You pull into the school parking lot and trudge to the main building. You pull out you phone and begin scrolling down your news feed. You trip on a rock and glance up to realize you are only halfway through the parking lot. You continue to walk when you suddenly see an overly dramatic status update. You stop and begin to read all of it. Suddenly you hear a loud honk. You look up to realize a line of cars are being held up by you standing in the middle of the parking lot.

We spend hours and hours looking at boxes. Those boxes being televisions, computer screens, smartphone screens, and many more electronics. It’s disturbing to see millions of my class mates with their heads buried in their phone. When I try to talk to them about something most people give generic answers to my questions. This proves my point. We are forgetting how to socialize with people in person. People would much rather be behind a screen, protected from the real world. How will my generation be able to work in social settings? How will they do well in interviews? How will they make new friends?

Your life is so much more than a smart phone in your hand. You are missing out on real life while you are scrolling through Twitter. What does reading a Twitter update really do for you? Do you feel personally fulfilled that you just used an hour of your life doing this? You could have done something far more constructive, like working on a paper or cleaning your house.

I will sometimes go out to lunch with some of my friends. Where will their attention will be? It won’t be on me or their other friends. They will be focused on the digital world. Just walk around and watch. You will see people not talking with their heads downs ignoring everyone around them. What is the point of having friends if you are going to do this? You should just eat alone with your phone instead of eating with friends.

In the beginning when smartphones were released they seemed like a real blessing. You can look up movie times,  important information, and keep up with your bank account. When did all of these helpful benefits in turn into a curse?

We are being brainwashed. We cannot hold a meaningful conversation without checking our phones. We can’t even walk down the hallway without almost bumping into someone who is also not paying attention. So what do we do? How do stop ourselves from becoming smartphone robots?

The answer to that question is complicated. I suggest you try to stay off of social media for a week if it isn’t part of your job. Try putting your phone away when you’re with friends or family. Give them your full attention. When you are walking to your car or to your next class enjoy the view and say hello to people.

Enjoy your life like you did before you or your parents bought that phone. Show the people in your life how important they really are. Put your phone away and get out there and live.

Midterm Madness


By Nikki Headley

It’s that time of the semester again. All of your teachers are piling work up to your ears. Part of you is wondering if it will ever stop and the other part is wondering if you will have enough time to do all of your work. Your stress levels feel like they have reached maximum capacity. How do you deal with the perils that midterms can bring us? How will you get through it?

First you must study or you will do badly. It is pretty tempting to come home after a long day at school, work, or both to eat dinner and go straight to sleep. You should probably look over a few things before you go to bed. But don’t stay up all night studying. Your brain needs to rest and process all of the things you have been studying for.

Next, don’t put off your studying until the night before the test. Give yourself more than a few hours to study. Having a cram session normally hurts you more than it helps you. Dedicate a day to studying. It can be hard to do but it will pay off in the end. You will walk out with a good grade if you study.

You need to remember to pay attention in class and don’t forget to attend as well. Believe it or not, test material is normally in the teacher’s notes or lectures. So instead of skipping class to stay at home to play video games you should probably wait until after class. Remember to keep focused. What’s the point of going if you don’t pay attention? So stop listening to what the people are saying behind you and focus.

Remember that time is of the essence. You have been making plans with your friends every day this week and you have been putting off looking over your history notes. Suddenly it’s the night before the test and you realize that you forgot all about it. How you spend your time in college is an important part of how well you will do in your classes. It’s easy to put off your studying until the last minute but it won’t be so easy when the test is sitting in front of you. Be wise with your time.

Finally, remember that Spring Break is coming up fast. After all of that stressing over midterms you get a whole week to do whatever you want. Some of you may be going to the beach, visiting family, working, or just spending time at home. Remember to enjoy your break when it does get here. Also, check out our list of 10 vacation spots within six hours of Montgomery.

Studying, not procrastinating, paying attention, being in class, using your time for the important things first and looking forward to some time off will make you prepared for your midterms. Be confident in yourself and you will do great things. Now go study before it’s too late.

Post Valentine’s Day Struggle


By Nikki Headley

You walk into to your house after a stressful day at Auburn Montgomery. You hear your bed calling your name but you know you have school work to do. Irritation begins to set in and you plop down on your couch to look for your syllabus. Suddenly a bright red heart shaped box catches your eye. Just a few wont hurt me right? You open the box and begin eating chocolate while you work on your assignment.

Valentine’s Day has just passed and many of you are struggling with this. Especially if you are a chocoholic and your significant other gave you a ton of the good stuff. How do we enjoy chocolate without overdoing it, feeling guilty, and then wondering if you should have celebrated Valentine’s Day at all? As you are staring at the box of chocolate that you just devoured, you are probably also wondering how you could have approached things differently.

The saying “out of sight, out of mind” can be useful when it comes to many things including Valentine’s Day chocolate. Try putting that large box of chocolate in a place that you won’t be able to see it. Try putting in it in a desk drawer. Put it somewhere that you normally don’t go to.  Not seeing your temptation can be helpful in the long run.

Freezers are your friends. Some people like their chocolate chilled. Put that box of candy in the freezer. You cant eat something that is frozen solid unless you want a chipped tooth.

Take a few pieces out and thaw them in the fridge. Now you can eat smaller amounts of the chocolate and it won’t be as bad for you. Your candy will also last longer. When you want to splurge it’s right there in your house for you to eat.

Finally, this may sound a bit rude but you could also give some of your candy away. The person that gave it to you doesn’t have to know, nor does the person you are giving it to. You can just eliminate the problem if you don’t have self-control. Just keep it to yourself so you don’t hurt anyone’s feelings.

Yes, you can enjoy your candy. Just do it in moderation and all will be well!

Healthy Changes Lead to a Healthy You

By Nikki Headley

Motivation is a hard thing to come by. Finding a reason to work out and eat right requires dedication, self-discipline and more importantly the reason behind doing it. What’s the point of getting up every day and killing yourself in the gym? What’s the point of not eating that cookie after lunch every day? Why not live your life in a manner that supposedly makes you happy? Plenty of people ask themselves these questions. Working out and eating right isn’t something you can just do. These actions become a rewarding lifestyle. Going to the gym three times a year does not count as working out on a regular basis. Do you want the motivation to change the way you take care of yourself physically and emotionally? Give some of these suggestions a once over. Try to think about them when you think about working out again.

Take your time. Living a healthier lifestyle is not something you can do overnight. You have to ease yourself into it. Rome wasn’t built in a day, and neither will your motivation. Start by simply adding vegetables to your diet and cutting back on the sodas. Try doing light exercise like a brisk walk or an aerobics class like Zumba. This is better than nothing. In time you will see results in not only your body but in your gym performance as well.

Make goals for yourself. Working out and eating right are hard to do if you don’t have goals. If you are trying to build muscle make what your lifting a bit heavier every few months. If you want to lose weight try changing up your diet and doing some cardio exercise. Some people just want to be in better shape so do both cardio exercise and muscle training. Goals lead to great things not to mention you feel so rewarded when you reach that goal.

Never give up. It’s so tempting to not go to the gym when you are busy with classes, work, and family. Despite having all of these responsibilities you need to make time for yourself. You need to be able to look in the mirror and be happy with yourself. Confidence is an extremely important attribute when it comes to living your life in the professional and day to day world. Be motivated to love your body and never depend on somebody’s love for your self-worth.

Reading these tips and actually doing them are two very different things. Start slow, make goals, and never ever give up on yourself. Small lifestyle changes can lead to bigger changes. Motivation isn’t an easy task but if you truly want to see a change in your health start with some of these tips. Your mind will take you farther than anything else. Stop saying I can’t and start saying I can.

How to Spend Your Snow Day

By Nikki Headley


You check your email to find that school has been cancelled. You glance out the window and see a blanket of snow on the ground… in Alabama. Okay so maybe this isn’t how you found out AUM cancelled classes and closed the campus, but it’s a nice thought. I bet some of you are just laying in your bed twiddling your thumbs. How does someone in Alabama spend their snow day? How about some ideas?

 1. Build a snowman. If it snows and sticks then odds are there is enough snow to build a snowman. So you roll all of your giant snowballs and you put the on top of one another and boom you have a snowman. It is a tradition. Young or old, go build yourself a Frosty.

2. Have a snowball fight. If you have a family or some friends in your neighborhood devise a plan to make snowballs and pelt them at one another. They may hurt but they are definitely worth the fun. So go have a snowball war!

3. Go for a walk. Go for a walk in your neighborhood to check out the snow. It is beautiful to just look at. Try to acknowledge the beauty of something that people from Alabama don’t normally see. If you go for a walk watch for ice. It can be slippery.

4. Just Keep warm. After a long day of playing in the snow go inside and warm up. Make some soup for dinner that always warms you up. Also bundle up with some hot tea or chocolate and appreciate the view from afar.

5. Spend the day with your loved ones. It will be nice to see your family’s reactions to the snow. It will also be nice to take some pictures and just enjoy the day together. If you have lost some of your family members try to think about what their reactions could be. If you are cooped up in your dorm spend it with your roommates. Make it a day to remember.

We all are ecstatic about the snow storm coming and classes being cancelled for a day. Remember to enjoy the day and to stay safe. Don’t get too cold and wear your gloves when you’re playing outside. Remember Alabama will probably not see snow again for a while so take advantage of it.

Breathing Equals Living


By Nikki Headley

You feel you bare feet sliding on the mat below you. The instructor holds the pose effortlessly. You huff and then you cave. You fall face first onto the mat feeling talentless when it comes to Pilates and, perhaps in that moment, even in everything that you do. You look up at the instructor and then at everyone else.  What could they be thinking of you? As you lower your eyes to the floor you hear someone clearing their throat. You look up and it’s the instructor. She gives you an encouraging smile. She does a pose and tells you to just breathe in through your nose and out through your mouth.

Whether it’s in an exercise class, the classroom or in the office, it all boils down to breathing. Some of us think that just inhaling and exhaling is the proper way to breathe. While this type of breathing will keep you alive it will not help you to truly live.

Let’s try breathing together right now. Breathe slowly in through your nose and take the oxygen down to your diaphragm and out through your mouth. Keep your posture upright and clear your mind. Did you try it? If my words didn’t convince lets go over some reasons as to why this breathing technique is one of the most helpful.

1.     Concentration. Many people think that true concentration comes from the mind. While half of it does come from concentration, the other half comes from breathing. If you are holding a pose in Yoga class and you are barely getting any oxygen throughout your body how on Earth do you expect to concentrate on doing the specific pose? Breathing is the real key to concentrating.

2.     Relaxation. Your day has been horrible. You failed a test, your significant other is angry with you and you fell in a huge puddle of water on the way to your car. The odds are that when you get home all you want to do is kick back and not worry about anything. Once you sit down with your favorite book you begin to reflect on the day despite your attempts not to. To clear you mind just concentrate on one thing. As you breathe in and out you begin to realize that life is never as bad as it seems. This breathing method is a surefire way to put things into perspective.

3.     Competition. If you play on a sports team or if playing a game against a friend there are bound to be some will to win whatever you doing. If you go into the game without clearing your mind of doubts and fears you aren’t going to do very well in the competition. Before the competition go to a quiet place and breathe. Clear your mind of all doubts and do your best.

I don’t expect all of you to breathe like this on a regular basis but when you are in a tough time in your life try it. This will calm you down. Stop breathing to live and start living to breathe.

[Image Microsoft Office Clip Art]

Wellness Blog: Powercore


By Nikki Headley

Do you ever feel like your workouts aren’t challenging enough? Do you ever feel like just running will not cut it? If you feel this way you should try powercore, an exercise class at the Wellness Center!

If you’re an early bird this class for you. Powercore starts at 5:30 a.m. on Wednesday mornings and lasts for one hour. If you don’t have class or work until 8:00 a.m. then you can easily make it to this class. I love getting my workout out of the way before the day starts. The class will not only wake you up but it will make you feel motivated and energized the rest of the day.

This class is a challenge. Powercore not only focuses your core, but also it does the job for your whole body. I was sore for three days after my first class. Despite the soreness I felt the benefits powercore offers. This class truly had me looking better after three classes. This class is not easy but it is worth the results. So come ready to sweat.

It’s different every time I go.  I have been every Wednesday this month and each time we do something different. It seems like every week we focus on one part of the body. The first time I did it we stayed on the mats the whole time. The last time I did it we used weights and step boxes. You will love the variety of this class. It is not the same routine each time so your body will feel the effects every time you go.

You realize that getting up early to workout is very rewarding. If you get up at 4:30 a.m. it is easy to see the beauty of the world before it has even awakened. You will also have more hours in the day. There is so much more you can do with the extra time.

Powercore is for early birds, challenge seekers, variety lovers, and people who need more time in their day. Powercore will make you feel defeated the first time you go but if you go a second time you notice that your body is becoming stronger. Slowly you become able to do more than you could have ever imagined in this class. Come to powercore and see what it is all about. You will not be disappointed.

Contact the writer: sheadle1@aum.edu

[Edited by Jade Curtis - 11/19/13]