run, Run, RUN!

Hello all!

Although it is Wednesday, it totally feels like it is a Thursday for me. For the past few weeks, we haven’t had our Monday classes due to holidays, wacky schedules, etc. So my entire brain is now one day ahead. Darn…still have to get over hump day.

This year at college I am paying special attention to my overall health by focusing on my exercise. I know that I post all sorts of articles on health and nutrition and fitness, but I never really tell you exactly what I do in terms of my workouts lately. About a month ago, I decided to sit down and write a precise schedule of what I would be doing for exercise while I was away (and hopefully for a LONG time after that!)

I stick to a schedule of working out at LEAST 5 days a week. Since I have so much going on in my day due to classes, extracurriculars, etc, I workout as soon as I wake up. I know that sounds like torture for most college-aged people because we tend to oversleep till noon or even later. But seriously, if you just get yourself awake early enough and use your willpower to get yourself out of bed, you WILL get yourself out that door and you WILL find success.

A nice little tip is to put your workout clothes and sneakers out in a lovely pile the night before. No excuses now!

For those 5 days a week that I work out, I do about 30 minutes of cardio. Doesn’t sound like a lot, right? Well, here’s an important fact: People are more likely to stick to a workout regimen if they set goals that are MAINTAINABLE for long periods of time. That way, you will achieve long-term success. If you tell yourself you are going to run on a treadmill for an hour a day and then do a total body circuit, you will burn out eventually…no question. It is more reasonable to set smaller daily goals that you can stick to and you can maintain for long periods of time so that you don’t find yourself yo-yo-ing. (A dangerous pattern that I have found myself in many a’times in my past.

My half hour cardio alternates every single day. I am a big fan on running, whether it is outside, on the treadmill, interval training, whatever. I call that my main workout. Meaning, I do this the majority of my 5 days (Monday, Wednesday, Friday). However, if you are doing high-intensity, high-impact cardio like running, you should space it out by cross training. Basically, cross training is when you workout on any other machine other than your main workout. For me, I use the elliptical because it doesn’t have as harsh of an impact on my joints. So on Tuesdays and Thursdays, I stick to cross training.

Then comes my resistance training. I typically like to do one of 2 different routines that I also alternate in order to get the best results. On my running days, I stick to an ab circuit and on my cross-training days, I do a leg circuit. I normally do not use weights when doing these, because I am a fan of using your own body weight as your resistance for your workouts. The moves I use for both routines are from a program I did starting the summer after my freshman year called P90X. I don’t want to go into too much detail about P90X, but if you are interested in seeing the moves I do, you can see theab workout here and the leg workout here.

It is crucial that you create a good balance between resistance training and cardio. You cannot just do one and expect good results. It’s like working out and eating, right? You cannot workout like a fiend and slack in your nutrition and expect quality results.

My 5 days a week, as you have probably noticed, pertains to Monday-Friday. However, I am a huge fan of adding additional activity to the weekend if you want to. Just don’t do anything too strenuous. For example, at school a group of friends and I have created a running club where we run routes around the campus on Sunday mornings. Also, I participate in Club Tennis at my college on Wednesday and Sunday nights. So that is DOUBLE the cardio in one day. And since tennis is too strenuous a workout, it makes the activity more fun.

Well, that’s pretty much the gist of it for now. I hope you’ve enjoyed reading up on my routines and get inspired to create your own workout plan you can commit to. Trust me, you won’t regret it. 😉

As always, have a lovely day!


Back to College Essentials!

Happy Monday everyone!

You know, after getting so wrapped up in my summer freedom, it almost hasn’t really sunken in yet that I am going back to college in less than a month. Where did the summer go? It’s amazing to me that nearly every summer the same cycle occurs – school ends and you revel in the freedom, only to be greeted by a rude awakening a short few months later that the school year is right around the corner. And on top of that, I’m going to be a JUNIOR. Really? I could have sworn I was just a freshman. Jeepers…college really does fly by.

But after having such an amazing summer, I am more than excited to experience yet another year at school with some of the most amazing people who over the past 2 years have taught me so much about myself and how to live life to its fullest. To my high school readers: just you wait…you’re going to make friendships that will truly last a lifetime when you enter college. Trust me. 😉

I’ve realized that I really only have about 3 weeks to pack my bags and buy all of my essentials for the upcoming semester. OH MY. But no fear my lovelies…below is a list of college essentials that I hope will help alleviate some college-packing stress and get yourself on track and ready for an amazing semester.

Keep in mind though that not ALL of these things are completely necessary, but they certainly would help to have in your college arsenal. For these items, I will put an asterisk next to them. For an example, the first one on the list is in this category…

  • NetFlix/Hulu Plus/Amazon membership*
  • Refrigerator (or a micro-fridge combo unit)
  • Cell phone with good service/coverage where your college is.
  • Digital camera to capture all your new friends and fun
  • iPod/MP3 player/Stereo with a docking station
  • Computer (preferably a laptop)
  • Three prong extension cords
  • Power strip/surge protector
  • Any sports equipment (tennis racquets, footballs, etc)*
  • Desk Lamp
  • Alarm Clock
  • Laundry bag or basket
  • Laundry soap (Or these 3-in-1 sheets are AMAZING!)
  • Stain Remover/stain stick
  • Sewing kit (needles and thread, safety pins, two-sided tape, etc.)*
  • Eating utensils (preferably plastic)*
  • Cups and plates*
  • Twin XL Bedding – Most dorm beds measure 39 x 80 – so you will need extra long twin sheets and mattress pads
  • Anything to decorate your room and make you feel at home
  • Iron and small ironing board*
  • PDA/organizer/planner
  • Backpack
  • College clothes (Try to think about when you will be home to swap out late summer clothes for fall/winter clothes)
  • Bike and a bike lock*
  • Fan (Seriously…you REALLY will need this…especially if there is no AC…)
  • Bath towels, soap, robe, etc.
  • Personal hygiene items (toothpaste, deodorant, etc…)
  • Flip flops for the shower
  • Shower caddy
  • Small can-opener and bottle opener*
  • First Aid Kit
  • Tylenol or other pain reliever
  • Umbrella
  • Raincoat
  • Rain shoes/boots
  • Pictures of friends and family
  • Swimsuits
  • Workout/sports clothes
  • Dress clothes (For the boys, this means at least a blazer and one or more ties)
  • Lounging clothes (For those lazy days or when you are cooped up in your room studying)
  • Textbooks (P.S. You don’t have to buy them from your school, because they can get SO expensive. Try for great deals on used books)

I hope this list will help you get started in preparing for your college excursions! As always, have a lovely day!

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