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10 Tips for Staying Fit in College
Adjusting to college life can be a challenge. It’s often the first time that many young adults get the chance to make their own rules. There’s the freedom to choose all your own meals at the cafeteria and snack on whatever you want in the dorms. Plus, there’s no one requiring you to stay active in high school P.E. classes. But it’s not just freshmen that are concerned about the “Freshman 15.” Keeping fit can be difficult for any seasoned college student, especially when you add in the busy class schedules, social activities, part-time jobs, and late night study sessions. Fortunately, staying healthy doesn’t have to be hard if you commit yourself to it. Here are 10 tips to help you stay fit in college.
2. Use the Campus – College campuses are perfectly designed for cardio workouts. Walking or biking to class will add activity to your day, especially if you have time to take the long way. That’s another reason why planning ahead will come in handy. There are many ways to fit in cardio, even if you’re not headed to class.
3. Head to the Fitness Center – Many colleges have a fitness center that is either free for student use, or the rate is reduced. This is a perk that won’t last after graduation. So, if you have access to fitness equipment, you might as well take advantage of it.
4. Take a Class – Your school may offer fitness classes that you can receive credit for. This will keep you from giving into excuses. Even a nutrition class would be a smart idea.
5. Multitask – If you’re short on time but have a lot of reading to do for a class, take your book to the fitness center. Hop on a treadmill or bike and study at the same time. You can pass the time on a machine while you review your notes.
7. Form Your Own Club - Look for others who have shared interests and may want to join something like a running or biking club, for example. Working out with others will help you stay committed, and it will give you an opportunity to meet new people. You can check bulletin boards or put up flyers to find others that may want to join you. Even if you only wind up working out with one other person from your dorm, it can give you the edge you need to stay focused.
8. Maintain Balance - Be sure you’re making time for cardio and strength training. With all the walking you may be doing around campus, it’s important to make sure you’re incorporating strength training into your routine.
9. Get the Right Tools -Put together your own mini home gym for your dorm or apartment. There are plenty of small fitness items that don’t take up much space but can give you a full workout, while still staying within the tight budget of a college student. Resistance bands, weighted fitness balls, jump ropes, yoga mats, or a small pair of dumbbells, are some examples of portable, space-saving pieces. They can be taken outdoors or used inside if the weather doesn’t cooperate.
10. Eat and Sleep Well – In order to stay fit, you should try to eat right and get enough sleep. This isn’t always easy in college, but it can be done if you make the effort.
Making fitness a priority while away at school is not only important for keeping off the unwanted Freshman 15, but it will allow you to succeed in other areas. It can help you manage stress, improve your mind for your classes, and give you the energy you need to handle your schedule. If you make an effort to stay healthy, you’ll have an easier time, overall, at handling college life!
posted Yesterday, 03:48 pm
Benefits of Using a Medicine Ball
Day after day, you head to the gym performing the same movements in your routine. If you need a change that will prevent boredom, adding a medicine ball is an excellent way to challenge yourself in a routine that you’ve become used to. Besides keeping your workout fresh, it also provides some great benefits.
Medicine balls are a valuable tool for strength training. You can add intensity to some of the exercises you’ve been performing by simply holding the ball while you do the movements. You can take exercises, such as lunges or squats, to the next level and build more muscle mass. If you’ve recently hit a plateau, this can be a great way to vary your regimen and push beyond it.
Medicine balls are also frequently used to improve core strength by working on your abs and muscles in your back. Tossing the ball to the side or throwing it back and forth to a workout buddy is one of the ways you can engage your core. Using it in this way can help with balance and posture.
Sports training is another way medicine balls are used. They can be tossed, caught, rolled, pushed, or bounced in a variety of ways that enhance sports performance. Plus, they improve hand-eye coordination.
Other benefits include improving flexibility and endurance. Since the movements become more challenging, you have to push harder, which increases your range of motion. It will also help you with performing your daily tasks because it’s a form of functional training, and you mimic real-life activities. Although medicine balls are commonly used to push harder in a routine, they are also used in rehabilitation. Whether you’re an athlete looking to train harder, or simply just improve your balance, they are safe for all ages and fitness levels.
Because you’re able to use them with such a variety of exercises that work out both your upper and lower body, it’s an inexpensive piece of equipment that takes up little space. And it’s easy enough to take outdoors with you if you need a change of scenery. With its limitless uses and many benefits, it makes a great addition to any home gym!
posted Aug 14th, 04:08 pm
Choosing a Weightlifting Belt
While they were once considered gear for only serious lifters, weightlifting belts have become increasingly popular among male and female lifters of all levels of experience and skill. Among some of their benefits, lifting belts support the core, encourage proper form, assist in preventing injuries, keep the back aligned, and can be a great confidence booster at the gym. You may have noticed more people wearing them and wondered if a belt was right for you. If you're considering making a purchase, there a few things you should think about to help you decide which one to get.
The best way to start narrowing down your options is by deciding what type of material you want. The two main choices are leather or nylon. A leather belt is stiff and offers less give when performing exercises. As a result, you'll get much more support. They’re also very durable. Weightlifters tend to favor using them for things like squats or deadlifts. However, some people find them to be too rigid and not as comfortable as the lighter material.
As an alternative, nylon belts will provide much more give during exercises. This makes them ideal for performing more complex movements. Although, it also means they don't offer the same secure feeling that a leather belt gives. They tend to be favored by power lifters, and are also great for those who are sensitive to the stiffness of leather and want more comfort.
Once you've figure out the type of material you want, the next thing to consider is how it closes, or the locking mechanism. Many belts lock in place with a hook and pin, similar to what you'd see on a regular belt. This closure system offers lifters a lot of security, but you may not get the belt as tight as you'd prefer since the pin can only be locked in certain places.
For a more custom fit, there are belts that come with some form of a quick release lock. The belt can be adjusted to lock in place at any point for the ultimate fit. However, some lifters prefer the security of the hook and pin closure.
The next thing to look at is belt width. The width of the belt comes in various sizes, with the most common being four or six inches. Choosing the right width is generally determined by height. Four inch belts are great for those who are around 5'6" or shorter. Six inch belts are ideal for those over that height. However, that's just a guideline and some people base it on personal preference for what feels best.
Finally, paying close attention to the manufacturer's sizing chart is important. You may be used to buying a particular size in one brand, but the guidelines may vary in another brand. It's best to measure and not make any assumptions.
Ultimately, the right belt is decided on your preferences and needs. Think about what movements you'll be using it for and how much support you'll need. This will help guide you in deciding on the perfect belt!
posted Jul 31st, 04:05 pm
Returning to Exercise
Sometimes life gets too hectic and even the most dedicated athletes have reasons for taking a break from their workout routines. Whether you were sidelined with an illness, had family issues arise, or simply got bored, things happen. Maybe your summer has been busy but you’re now ready to make exercise a priority again. Whatever the reason, it’s never too late to get back in the habit. There are a few things to consider before jumping back into a routine after a hiatus.
Depending on how long your break was, you may need to work back up to where you were. A few days of rest are encouraged at times to prevent overtraining, so a week-long break isn’t a cause for concern. You may even feel stronger after giving your muscles a break. However, a couple months or even a few weeks will require changes from what you were used to doing.
Many people who start exercising again might do so because they feel a renewed sense of motivation. That’s great! But too much enthusiasm can be a danger. You don’t want to be so excited to make up for lost time that you overdo it. Your strength will not be what you were when you had a regular routine, and you should gradually work up to that point again. If you’ve taken a few weeks off from strength training, it’s best to scale back on the number of sets you do and the size weights you use. Or, start at a slower pace for your cardio workout. Taking the time to progress again will help prevent unnecessary injury.
Just as you don’t want to overdo it, you also don’t want to underdo it. The key is maintaining the right balance. If you were running ten miles and took a two week break, it isn’t necessary to go back to walking one mile. How long you’ve been inactive and your fitness level will make a difference.
Another important thing to think about is your diet. You haven’t had to worry about the right nutrition to fuel your workouts while you were taking a break. Once you start up again, you’ll want to cut back on any junk food and tailor your meals to give you enough energy.
However long you’ve been out of practice, don’t get discouraged if you’re not where you used to be. It may take some reconditioning but your body will be able to get back where it was. And you’ll have an easier time getting back into it than when you first started. The important thing to keep in mind is that you’re getting yourself back on track!
posted Jul 24th, 04:45 pm
Post-Workout Meal and Snack Ideas
What you do during the time after your workout is important. Following up with the right foods should be an essential part of your post-workout routine. To help your body recover, it is best to eat within 30 – 60 minutes after exercise. Refueling with the right amount of protein will help your muscles, while carbohydrates will replenish energy stores. Whether you have time for a meal or just a quick snack, there are plenty of options to consider.
If your workouts are in the morning, an egg sandwich is a great option. The egg will provide the protein you need, while the bread will give you the carbs. Sandwiches are also a good choice if you’re working out around lunchtime. Using whole grain bread will make it even healthier. Filling it with lettuce or tomato will add in a serving of veggies.
When looking for a protein-packed dinner to follow up with, chicken or fish are great sources. Have a side of brown rice for carbs. You can also opt for a stir-fry. Loading up on vegetables with your meal will add fiber to keep you full the entire evening. This will help eliminate any urges for late-night snacking.
Depending on what time you work out, you may not want a full meal. A snack can be enough to provide the nutrients you need to recover. A little yogurt and berries can give you everything your body needs. You can also make your own smoothie with yogurt or skim milk. Throw in some bananas, berries or whatever fruit you prefer. You can even toss in a little protein powder. Another great snack idea is a rice cake topped with peanut butter or almond butter for protein. Or, try slathering peanut butter on some apple slices.
There are also some great options for those days when you just need a snack but don’t have time to prepare one. A mix of dried fruit and nuts are perfect when you’re on the go. Just remember to watch portion size. A small handful will work without overdoing it. A protein or energy bar is another thing you can easily grab.
These are just a few suggestions to get you thinking. The key things to keep in mind are keeping portion size in check, and choosing foods that will provide a good combination of protein and carbohydrates, while still low in fat. But the possibilities are endless. You can still be healthy while enjoying your post-workout bite to eat. And it’s a great way to help your body recover!
posted Jul 17th, 02:20 pm