PeerFit Comes to SMU

As a fitness instructor it is important to keep track of the different routines you are teaching your students.

Ed Bunkley, a PhD student at the University of Florida and fitness instructor, grew tired of writing down his workout routines everyday on a piece of paper. He eventually began putting them in his iPhone so that he could reuse different workouts in later classes.

One day he began to write the exercise routine he would be teaching in his class on a dry erase board for students to see as well. When he asked students after class why they had attended he said many of them responded that they had seen the workout on the white board.

“People were much more motivated to try group fitness and go to classes if they could see the workout,” Bunkley said.

Bunkley began thinking of different ways fitness instructors could remember their routines, as well as inform students what they would learn in class, and came up with a program called PeerFit.

PeerFit is an online program where fitness instructors can put detailed information up online describing the different workout classes they are teaching. Students, and other instructors, can go online and read through the different classes to see which one they want to attend. It gives both parties a place to go to communicate and receive information quickly and efficiently.

Over the summer Bunkley had 44 universities test PeerFit and launched the program at 18 of them this fall.
SMU is one of the universities that launched the PeerFit program.

Kelly Richards, the fitness coordinator at Dedman Recreation Center, said that Bunkley reached out to her to see if she would be interested in using his application at SMU.

“I just think that when we have the opportunity to advance the fitness fields that are going to make working out, or the choices we have, easier on people it is really important to promote it,” Richards said.

Right now it is just being used by the fitness instructors in order for them to get use to the new program.

“At this point it is not mandatory but I am encouraging them to try it,” Richards said.

She believes that it is a great tool for people to use in order to see what they can expect out of a specific Group X class.

SMU offers approximately 50 to 60 different exercise classes and to have a program that will show students exactly what they are getting themselves into could be extremely beneficial.

The Group X instructors have been using the program for two months now and are starting to get accustomed to the new program.

“The program is really innovative! It is a way for the fitness professionals to share our routines and exercises,” Whitney Reichlin, a Group X instructor, said.

Reichlin also sees the program as being a great way for instructors to compare workouts with instructors from other universities.

“This is a way for us to keep things fresh and exciting,” Reichlin said, “We strive for the most innovative and intriguing workouts for our guests.”

Jed Pajela, a senior at SMU, says he thinks the new program would be really beneficial to students.
Although Pajela has yet to try the Group X classes, having a place to check out what some of the different routines are sounds like a good idea to him.

“I go online and stuff to look up workouts, it would be really cool,” Pajela said.

The application is only accessible online, but the company plans to expand and create an app for mobile phones.

Bunkley says that their making fitness mobile campaign will allow students and instructors to look up the class schedule and information on their phones instead of having to use a computer.

“I’m just a huge efficiency person, when I see something that could be improved I just take action,” Bunkley said.

Every time he brought up the idea of PeerFit to a gym they loved the idea and the way it could keep everyone connected.

PeerFit is free to use and will be changing a lot over the fall semester as the company sees what works and what needs to be improved.


Dr. Kate Naumes Gluten Free Recipes and Tips

Living a gluten free life can be difficult and Dr. Kate Naumes has offered up some of her favorite gluten free recipes for our readers.


  • Baked sweet potato with mushrooms, zucchini and coconut oil. Bake the sweet potato for about 30-45 minutes at 400 degrees F. Saute mushrooms and zucchini in olive or coconut oil. Top the baked potato with the sauteed vegetables. Add salt, pepper, and oil to taste.
  • Vegetables: Try slicing beets, zucchini and yellow squash into low curly strips with a mandolin or other specialized slicer. Add a dipping sauce like:
  1. 1/4 tahini
  2. 1/4 brown rice vinegar
  3. 2 TBS green onion, finely chopped
  4. 1 TBS fresh ginger
  5. 1 clove garlic, pressed
  6. 1/2 tsp cumin
  7. 1/2 tsp sea salt
  8. 2 TBS water
  9. (recipe compliments of Chef Jeff)
  • Yummy snack: Refried black beans and raw vegetables such as bell pepper, carrots, celery and jicama. Soak black beans overnight in water; drain, rinse, place in pot and cover beans with water, cook beans until soft. In a sauce pan on low heat, add olive oil, when the pan is warm add the onions. Saute until onions are translucent. Add beans to the pan and mash until smooth with a potato masher.
  1.  2 Cups cooked black beans in their own juice
  2.  1/4 yellow onion, minced
  3.  1-2 TBS olive oil
  4.  1 tsp salt
  • Dessert: Baked organic apples with cinnamon: Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. In a mixing bowl toss together all ingredients, coating all apple slices. Place apple mixture in a shallow baking dish and bake for 20-25 minutes. Great warm or cooled
  1.  1 red apple, cored and thinly sliced
  2.  1 TBS cinnamon
  3.  1 TBS coconut oil


  • Dried beans
  • Dried grains
  • Sundried tomatoes or gluten free marinara sauce
  • Coconut milk
  • Gluten free chicken broth or vegetable broth
  • And… lots of spices


  • Frozen dark berries
  • Frozen broccoli
  • Gluten free pizza crust
  • Frozen spinach
  • Frozen meats: chicken, beef, fish

For more information on Dr. Kate Naumes you can visit her website at

Snack of the week:

My new obsession is frozen grapes. They are amazing. If you need a quick healthy snack they are absolutely perfect. The frozen aspect adds something different to your usual fruit. It’s almost as if you are eating candy.

Instead of grabbing a handful of chips or something sweet, try a handful of frozen grapes. I like to rinse them off with water, which adds an icy layer to them.

I was introduced to these last weekend and a day hasn’t gone by that I haven’t had to have my fix!

Online it says that 1 grape is 3 calories or 1 cup of grapes is 62 calories. So if you are looking for a low cal snack that you can have at any time of the day, with absolutely no preparation (besides throwing them in the freezer), you should try frozen grapes.

Lander Peerman’s Guide to a Healthy Life

Lander Peerman graduated from the University of Texas and is the founder of DASH Fitness. DASH Fitness is a program that promotes “lifestyle fitness” and encourages women to lead a fit and healthy life. Her fitness company was created exclusively for women so the workout and meal plan listed here are targeted specifically for them.

Peerman says she has always been a proponent of leading by example and has provided us with an example of her meal plan and her weekly workout.


  • Breakfast: 1/2 cup Oatmeal with berries and a cup of coffee
  • Mid morning snack: Piece of fruit or handful of almonds
  • Lunch: Complex carb + protein (usually a whole grain turkey wrap with veggies)
  • Mid afternoon snack: Energy bar (with low sugar)- provides enough complex carb for her workout which she usually does in the evening before dinner.
  • Dinner: Sushi is her favorite dinner option or a lean chicken or fish with veggies
  • Midday or end of the day treat: Two small squares of dove dark chocolate
  • NOTE: Peerman tries to limit alcohol intake during the week while occasionally splurging on one glass of red wine.

WORKOUT ROUTINE (Note: Peerman switches up her routine regularly as to not get bored, but this routine is from last week)

  • Monday: Cardio 30 minutes (speed intervals) + Leg and shoulder resistance training
  • Tuesday: Cardio (long duration- no intervals) 45 minutes + 15 minutes of core/abs work
  • Wednesday: Chest and back resistance training + 20 minutes of pilates/ stretching exercises
  • Thursday: Cardio 45 minutes (can be speed intervals or long duration) + 15 minutes of core/abs
  • Friday: Cardio 30 minutes (speed intervals) + Back and triceps resistance training
  • Saturday: OFF DAY
  • Sunday: 1 hour long walk ( usually on the Katy Trail or around the neighborhood with a friend)

Autumn Equinox Race

Lace up those sneakers and get ready to run.

Start off the fall season with a 15K or 5K race at White Rock Lake.

Come join me and my friends at White Rock Lake on September 24 for the Autumn Equinox 5K race.
  Registration is online at Select the Autumn Equinox 15K & 5K link.

I’ve never participated in a race before so don’t worry if it’s your first time! The race starts at 7:30 a.m. and for those of you who don’t know the conversion from kilometers to miles, a 5K translates into 3.1 miles and the 15K is 9.3 miles.

My Time with Core Fusion

I started going to the Core Fusion classes at Exhale Spa two Fridays ago. I am definitely a big believer in running and the elliptical, but when it comes to strength and toning I have absolutely no motivation to go and lift weights at a gym.

I heard about the Core Fusion classes through a friend and decided to try them out.

If you are a beginner there are several different classes you can try out. Exhale Spa offers Core Fusion Basic, Open, Sport, Cardio and Boot Camp.

Today I went to the Core Fusion Open class. The class works every muscle in your body: arms, legs, butt and abs.

You start off with a warm up to get your blood flowing and then you immediately move into planks.

From there you begin to incorporate the weights and the exercise ball.

This is the point in the class when I really start to feel my arms burning. Even though you’re only using 1-3 pound weights the constant movement really gets you.

Next you move to the bar and begin one of the more intense leg workouts I have ever done. I can only describe it by saying that my legs shake every time I go through the different movements.

The final portion of the class is abs, and even though you are using your core throughout the entire class you concentrate solely on that area at the end.

I left the class feeling stronger and completely at ease. The classes are great for toning and building muscle if you are looking for a new class to try out.

If you are an SMU student and would like to try a Core Fusion class for free call Susie Farnick at Dallas’ Exhale Spa at (214) 370-5800. Let her know you learned about Core Fusion classes on our Health and Fitness Blog and that you would like to see if Core Fusion is right for you.

For more information on Core Fusion, including the class schedule visit

Back at the gym

Although accustomed to the journalism school, class and everything Panhellenic, I decided to take a break from my daily routine and took advantage of the free Group X classes Dedman offered this week. Actually, a friend and I decided this past weekend that not working out wasn’t working out, and it was time for a change.

Because both of us are busy with various activities, we decided our best bet was to go to the 30-minute abdominal workout class. “Core to the Max.” Sounds intimidating, but I thought to myself, how hard could it really be?

As a former dancer, I came to college in keen shape but as I was reminded this week, it’s been four long years. The workout on Tuesday left me sweaty but feeling good about myself. It can only get better from here, right?  I was proven wrong.

The next day I woke up with sore arms and a sore neck. Later in the day, my friend and I swapped text messages about our agony but were proud of our accomplishments. It can only get better. It can only get better. Although we knew our soreness was most likely a sign we were doing some of the workouts incorrectly (example, when we incorporated the bosu ball) it didn’t stop us.

Yesterday we sucked it up and did the class again. As I walked in the door, I recognized some familiar faces from Monday’s class. The instructor motivated the large class of females (and two males) with upbeat music and words of encouragement.

I realize that 30 minutes of abdominal workout may not seem like anything, but from what I could tell, everyone in the class left in a sweat. Although I only have one more free “Core to the Max” class left (on Friday), I will certainly be buying the Group X pass. Unlimited classes, not including water fitness, for $70? Who wouldn’t jump on the bandwagon?

I’ve realized these past three days is it is very important to take time out of your day to exercise. Although in this weather you may break a sweat walking to class, this one will be worth the money.

This blog post was written by Meredith Carlton.

Preseason Round Two

For people who participated in sports in high school- remember that feeling right after a summer preseason practice when you are in an incredible amount of pain but it is the best kind of pain there is? Well that is how I feel after trying the Shed and Shred program at Dedman for the past two days.

The program switches up each day to make sure you are using all of your muscles. It uses variations of different workout routines, and every few minutes you are changing up your routine. Combined with fast paced music you will never get bored.

But here is my warning: Don’t try and do your regular workout routine before the class.

It quickly turns into one of those situations where you have to ask yourself, “What was I thinking??”

The class is great if you are looking to switch up your workout routine or want to workout in a group. Do what I did and grab a few friends to try out the class with you.

Friday is the last day to try out the class for free.

Shelley Smyth’s Tips to Steer Clear of ‘Freshmen 15’

Nobody wants to be THE friend that comes home over Christmas Break 15 pounds heavier.

Shelley Smyth knows most college freshmen want to do everything possible to avoid the dreaded ‘Freshmen 15.’

Smyth is a nutrition and exercise counselor at the Fort Worth Medi Weigh Loss Clinic. She has helped patients lose weight from 10 to over 100 pounds, and wants to help incoming students from gaining weight at college.

Smyth has come up with a few easy tips to help freshmen steer clear of any unwanted weight gain. She says everyone needs to keep in mind that “you do have to make sacrifices,” but for many students it’s worth it.

Smyth has six main nutrition tips and four exercise tips that are key to avoiding any weight gain.

Nutrition Tips:

1. Make sure you keep fresh, healthy snacks in your dorm room fridge: Keep your fridge stocked with fruits and vegetables, low-fat ranch dressing, hummus, lean deli meats and white cheese.

2. Watch your portion sizes: SMU’s Umphrey Lee cafeteria may seem like the perfect place to let yourself indulge in all they have to offer, especially their deserts, but Smythe says you need to eat to live rather than live to eat.

3. Commit to saying no to bread, rice, potatoes and pasta

4. Focus the majority of your food choices on lean proteins: Keep lots of deli meats in your fridge. Chicken breast is also a good source of protein. Grocery stores have microwavable chicken breasts and chicken fajita strips, both are excellent to keep in your dorm room.

5. For those of legal age, watch your alcohol intake: One of the biggest contributors to weight gain is an increase in alcohol consumption. Be sure to stick to light beers. Also, don’t let yourself think a late night In-N-Out run is a good idea, you will most likely regret it in the morning. It helps to have a buddy with you to help you say no if you think you don’t have enough self restraint.

6. Write down EVERYTHING that goes into your mouth: A food journal is very important. It makes you think twice about what you are eating if you have to write it down.

Exercise Tips: 

1. Try all different types of exercise until you find something you enjoy: Not only is SMU’s gyms well equipped with workout machines and weights, but the facility also offers Group X classes. These classes offer a range of different workouts including kickboxing, yoga and cycling.

2. Once you’ve found a few activities you enjoy, find a buddy to join you

3. Don’t let time be an excuse. This is the most free time you will have for the rest of your life

4. Use music to motivate: Having upbeat music to keep you going will help your workout go by a lot faster.

Out with the Old and In with the New: Food Pyramid vs. MyPlate

It’s time to say goodbye to that trusty food pyramid you learned about when you were in kindergarten and hello to MyPlate.

After 19 years of trying to convince people to eat and diet based on the USDA approved food pyramid the First Lady Michelle Obama and Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack introduced a new healthy eating method, MyPlate, on June 2.

MyPlate is an easier way to help people make smarter choices when it comes to the food they eat.

The new diagram is a dinner plate that shows you how to portion the fruits, vegetables, grains, dairy and protein you eat.

It reinforces what your parents have always told you, “Eat your fruits and vegetables.” The new diagram shows you that half of your plate should be full of fruits and vegetables and the other half should consist of protein and grains, plus a small glass of dairy.

I can remember learning the food pyramid when I was younger, but if someone asked me what the serving sizes were or how to interpret the diagram, I wouldn’t know where to start. With MyPlate it is easy to picture a dinner plate and remember what each item is and how much room each item should take up on your plate.

The only downside to MyPlate is that there is no area designated for your sugary cravings like the items that were at the top of the pyramid.

To learn more about MyPlate you can visit the website has everything you need to learn more about the new eating concept, including tools to create you a personalized plan, provide you with weight loss information and analyze your diet.