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A Healthier U

How well hand sanitizers really work, gym hygiene, check yourself app and benefits of group exercise.
Wednesday, May 6 | 2:30-3:30 p.m.
Eccles Health Sciences Library, Synapse garden levelJoin the U for refreshments and conversation. Relax and chat with your colleagues for a mid-afternoon break. Stop by for a few minutes or stay the entire time.Featured app: Check YourselfPresentation at 2:45 p.m. by Jena Andrus, health educator, and Karen O’Toole, clinical research coordinator at the Huntsman Cancer Institute.

Check Yourself is an app for breast examination. The app guides you though self-examination steps and allows you to schedule alerts for monthly checks.

Special thanks to the Office of the Associate Vice President for Faculty and Academic Affairs for funding refreshments.

By Traci Thompson, M.S., ACSM HFDGroup exercise offers a variety of benefits you might miss out on if you choose to work out on your own. PEAK Health and Fitness offers group exercise classes for University of Utah employees and their family members. PEAK Health and Fitness offers a wide variety of class formats including aquatone, circuit training, core training, indoor cycling, Pilates, stretch and strengthen, swimming, total body fitness, weight training and yoga. Here are four reasons more is merrier for exercisers:

Group Exercise

Getting and staying motivated to exercise is difficult for many people. Exercising in a group setting can be extremely inspiring. Many people who attend a class will show up exhausted from the ups and downs of everyday life. However, once they start the class, they become re-energized. The social atmosphere provided by group exercise offers camaraderie and accountability among participants, as well as between participants and instructor.

Additionally, participating in a group exercise class can challenge you to work harder than you would on your own. A well-trained group fitness instructor will explain the benefits of each exercise, which can increase your desire to complete the workout and keeps you returning to class.

When people exercise on their own, they often skip important parts of a workout. An appropriately designed exercise session includes warm-up, cool-down and flexibility in addition to strength and/or aerobic conditioning. In a group class, your professional fitness instructor will include all aspects so you don’t have to think about them. Your instructor will provide modifications so that each member of the class can work at the appropriate intensity for their current level of fitness.

Many people quit an exercise program because of time constraints. Participating in group exercise may help overcome this obstacle. The consistency in scheduling offered by established exercise classes allows participants to choose a time and block it in their planner as they do other important activities.

A group exercise setting can help keep you accountable to your fitness routine. When the instructor and other participants ask why you missed a class, they are concerned for your well-being, and you will not want to have an “I sat on the couch” answer. If you are required to prepay for a group class, your accountability also increases. You have a limited number of classes that you paid for and are more likely to attend.

Group camaraderie
Many people who sign up for a regularly scheduled fitness class quickly become friends with others in their class. It’s truly one of the best ways to meet people and develop a common bond while doing something good for your health. Finally, in a time when we’ve become so dependent on email and texting, working out with a group offers fulfilling human interaction.

PEAK Health and Fitness classes offer safe and effective workouts for participants of all fitness levels. Participants simply have to show up with a positive attitude, participate and most importantly, have fun! Registration for PEAK summer semester group fitness classes is available now at



We all know how important it is to wash our hands before and after handling food and using the restroom. But when you’re picnicking at a park, watching a kid’s soccer game or hiking the trails, soap and water might not be available. Is hand sanitizer just as effective? Andrew Pavia, chief of University of Utah Health Care’s Division of Pediatric Infectious Diseases, provides some insight.

Click here to read the full story.


The gym is a great place to strengthen and tone your body while having fun. But take precautions or the gym could also do harm. “People have contracted skin infections such as athlete’s foot, ringworm and staph,” says C. Rick Henriksen, a family physician at University of Utah Health Care.

Read the full story here.

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