Skiing Vs. Snowboarding

One of the best parts about winter is that it is finally cold enough to snow. Which means that you can head up into the mountains and go skiing or snowboarding. Not only are these winter activities fun but they also burn a lot of calories and have many health benefits!

Cross Country Skiing:

The benefit to cross-country skiers is that they are simultaneously engaging every major muscle group to propel forwards, which burns a lot of energy , up to 500 calories per hour, and it increases aerobic fitness. The best part about this type of skiing is that not a single muscle group is overstressed which allows that movement to be sustained for hours. Even with all this muscle use cross-country skiing does not shock the knees and it entails a low risk of pulling a muscle or tearing ligaments.

Due to all the strenuous activities on your muscles most people would think that they would be sore the next day but there are ways to prepare your muscles so you do not get these aches and pains.

  • Do one to two sets of twelve chair stands daily one month prior to the snowy adventure.
  • Do one to two sets of twelve seated leg extensions

The most important step to remember is after skiing your muscles will be very tight and rigid so stretching is a must!


Snowboarding is also an aerobic exercise that offers an intense cardio workout which helps burn up to 450 calories per hour plus it increases your endurance. Snowboarding not only works all the muscle groups like skiing does but it also works muscle that are not used often, like the ones in your feet and ankles. All muscle groups are used for a different part of snowboarding. For example, you will use your quads, hamstrings, and calves to ride the board, the muscles in your feet and ankles will help you steer, and your arms and shoulders are used for balance but also to pick you up when you fall (so those will be getting a nice workout). With all of this new-found balance you will need to stay on the board your flexibility is likely to improve which means it will start to become easier to move around the in the snow with your board.

No matter the activity you choose both options have health benefits but the most important one is that you are being active in winter. Being outdoors helps reduce anxiety and can also help with your mental health. So do the right thing and get active over winter break by going to Steamboat, Co December 15-20 with SIUE Outdoor Recreation and hit the slopes! See for more information about the trip!


To check out what the resort has to offer check them out at:


written by Jessica Koonce

Avoiding Heat Related Illnesses

Summer is officially here and it is predicted to be a hot one with a lot of humidity. With that being said, these weather conditions make everyone more susceptible to suffering from heat related accidents such as heat stroke, heat rash, or heat exhaustion.  According to, most people who suffer from heat related problems do not realize it until it’s too late.  The most common is heat exhaustion, so it is important to know all of the causes and symptoms of it.

It is important to stay active in the summer so there are multiple precautions to take to avoid heat exhaustion. Some precautions include:

1. Wearing lose fitting, light colored clothes. Tight fitting clothes do not allow your body to cool properly which can result in your core body temperature to overheat.

2. Avoid sunburn. Make sure to apply sunscreen before sun exposure and apply every thirty minutes while in the sun.

3. Make sure to take a break from the heat. Seek a cooler area to rest for a while to allow your body temperature to cool down.

4. Drink plenty of fluids before during and after sun exposure. If you begin to get thirsty you are already dehydrated and should take a break from the sun and drink plenty of fluids.

Symptoms might happen very suddenly or progressively worsen the longer someone is exposed to the sun. Some symptoms include but are not limited to:

Cool, moist skin with goose bumps when in the heat

Heavy sweating




Weak, rapid pulse

Low blood pressure upon standing

Muscle cramps



Fever (if over 104 degrees seek medical attention immediately)

If any of these symptoms arise you should:

1. Rest in a cool place. Air conditioning would be ideal but if that is not an option then seek a shady area where you can rest on your back with your legs elevated above your heart.

2. Drink cool fluids. Drink water or sports drinks; avoid drinking any alcoholic beverages which can lead to dehydration.

3. Apply cool water to your skin. If possible, take a cool shower or soak in a cool bath.

4. Loosen clothing. Remove any unnecessary clothing and make sure your clothes are lightweight and nonbinding.

If you don’t begin to feel better within one hour of using these treatment measures, seek prompt medical attention immediately. Prolonged exposure to this illness can lead to serve heat stroke which can kill or cause damage to other internal organs.

For more information on heat exhaustion please visit

 Written by Jessica Koonce

Cougar Lake Pool

Cougar Lake Pool will be opening on May 24, 2013 at 12 pm. The pool will be home to a brand new Splash Pad. It will be located where the wading pool used to be and will feature various sprinklers accessible to everyone.

To see the progress of the Splash Pad click here

Remember, students who are currently enrolled in summer classes can use the Cougar Lake Pool at no extra charge.

Students who are not enrolled in summer classes, but were enrolled in the previous semester, can purchase a membership this summer for only $26!

Plus, Cougar Lake Pool memberships are available to the outside community too!

So come out to the pool and have a great relaxing summer!


Fitness & Strength A Construction

emptyWhat happened to our fitness equipment? 

As you may have noticed, Fitness & Strength A is offline and most of the cardio equipment has been moved to Court 4 for your use. We have cleared this room for an upcoming project involving a new floor and other small upgrades to this area. This construction will begin on April 29 and continue until approximately June 7. All other equipment is being stored during this construction and will be available upon completion of the project. 

empty2New Sport Impact Flooring

  • Highly durable, non-slip, embossed surface
  • Designed for heavy fitness equipment
  • Antibacterial, non-porous floor
  • Very long lifespan
  • Easier to clean and maintain

Improved Electrical Power

  • More electrical outlets
  • Improved layout of outlets
  • Flush in floor power outlets

If you have any questions about using the Fitness Center during this construction or concerns about the process, please come see us at the Reception Desk!


April Showers Bring Wildflowers

Image courtesy of Shawnee Hills Outdoors website.

Image courtesy of Shawnee Hills Outdoors website.

Did you know, Southern Illinois is home a “varied and interesting collection” of wildflowers. Shawnee Hills Outdoors noted in an article last year of three nature trails in Southern Illinois that show the beauty of these wildflowers. Lucky for you, we’re headed to one next weekend! It’s sure to a be a beautiful sight and awesome trip.

The Trillium Trail at Giant City State Park is a great trail for beginners. Plus, the trail features a wide variety of wildflowers and great views. Here’s a copy of the Trillium Trail map courtesy of the Illinois’ park state website.TrilliumTrlBefore our hike, we’ll be camping out with our neighbors at SIU Carbondale on Friday night. On Saturday is when we’ll take the trip to Giant City. The cost is only $10 for students which includes transportation and access to this awesome outdoor trip! Faculty, staff, and guests may also go on the trip for a cost of $15.

Register at the Student Fitness Center Reception Desk by April 10 to reserve your spot!

Happy Spring,

Cougar World Games


Cougar World Games is a special event designed to celebrate Diversity, Understanding, and Acceptance between groups with different cultures, backgrounds, and ethnicities through participation in various recreational activities offered across the globe!

Students decorated masks!

Students decorated masks!

In 2007, Vice Chancellor of Student Affairs, Nobby Emmanual, helped our department create a program that challenges, inspires, and brings together diverse communities among SIUE students. Cougar World Games was born! The event has transformed and evolved throughout the years and has been recognized as the Students First Award in recognition of contributions to build a diverse community in 2008 and 2010. Cougar World games is incorporated with Global Awareness Week and has added to the week-long schedule of events that are offered to our students each year! Cougar World Games has also worked collaboratively with the Great Wheelchair Challenge offered by the office of Disability Support Services.

Great Wheelchair Challenge - wheelchair basketball and sitting volleyball.

Great Wheelchair Challenge – wheelchair basketball and sitting volleyball.

2013 Cougar World Games 
Thursday, March 28 | 4:00pm – 7:00pm

This event is FREE and open to all! Fill out a passport by visiting all 7 continents (stations) and participating in a variety of activities. Exchange your passport for a t-shirt during the event.

North America – Sitting volleyball, wheelchair basketball, vision impaired obstacle course
South America – Soccer
Europe – Cycling, bikes and arm ergometer
Africa – Mancala, tribal mask painting
Asia – Table Tennis
Australia – Cricket, bouldering cave
Antarctica – Ethnic foods


Table Tennis Competition

Schedule of Demonstrations
We will also be featuring demonstrations on our center stage throughout the event!
4:00pm – 4:30pm | Yoga
4:30pm – 5:00pm | Kickboxing
5:00pm – 6:00pm | Zumba
6:00pm – 7:00pm | Brazilian Jiu Jitsu


Yoga Demonstration

Are you Iron?

We’re in the second half of the Spring semester and its only 7 more weeks until Summer break! Gear up for summer and participate in a fun and challenging month-long fitness program — Indoor Ironman!

The challenge will take place between Monday, March 25th and Thursday, April 25th. You can begin registering today at the SFC Reception Desk. You can sign-up at any time during the month’s challenge.


So what is an Indoor Ironman?
An ironman is the mother of all races. Swim 2 miles, Bike 112 miles, and Run 26.2 miles.  Winners receive a
n awesome shirt announcing that you were a finisher of the SIUE Indoor Ironman!

There are 2 categories participants can choose to participate in – Individual Ironman or 3-Person Team Ironman  (Participants can only partake in ONE challenge!)
Details: 2 mile swim (35 laps-down and back), 112 mile bike (done on any bike in the facility- maybe a spin class?!), and a 26.2 mile run (treadmill, track, or the elliptical).

For more information, see the SFC Reception Desk or contact Alex Holmes, Fitness Graduate Assistant. or 618-650-5611.