How to Look Fit for Break

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No one wants to go back for the holidays with the extra freshmen fifteen. While your mom might be too nice to say anything or your dad too oblivious to notice, you want to return from the break looking and feeling your best! On the other hand, it is the time to relax, not to suddenly pick up a fitness or diet regimen. It’s better to focus on that now, so by the time your family picks you up from the airport, you’re not hiding behind flowy shirts and heavy parkas.

Whether you’re worried about facing your family and friends or not, it’s never a bad idea to adopt some healthy habits. If you establish them beforehand, it’ll be easier to keep them during high-stress finals week and the temptation-filled holidays.

Look at the Dining Hall

Just because this is the stuff that the school is feeding you doesn’t mean that it’s the best for your health. The food that is served in the university dining hall probably covers a lot of ground — Asian, Tex-Mex, fast food, sub sandwiches, etc. Having such a wide range of options at your fingertips constantly can overwhelm even the strongest-willed person, especially if this is the first time you’ve ever been entirely in charge of your own diet.

Some university dining halls also have beverage machines. There’s nothing wrong with the occasional indulgence, but limitless soda is definitely bad for your health. Furthermore, just moderating your soda intake can help you lose weight. My dining hall even had a limitless milk dispenser, and even though milk is often touted as a nutrient-rich beverage, drinking more than a glass a day is concerning.

It can be tempting to just indulge in all the tasty food at the dining hall, but really examine every option before you eat it. The salad bar or sandwich station might seem like a healthy option until you see that all the dressings and meats are filled with fats and calories. This is where you can find some of your healthiest options, of course, but you need to be mindful of what ingredients you choose. Keep this in mind no matter what station you choose.

Prepare Ahead of Time

Okay, this is probably the most repeated advice ever, and also the least followed. Yes, we all know it’s easier if you plan out your meals ahead of time. Instead of scrounging for the cheapest meal in the dining hall, it’s better if you pack your own salad before leaving for class. But no college student has the time or the willpower for that, especially after a long night studying.

The trick is to prepare something that will last you a long time. That way, you only have to prep once and then you’ve got something to grab for the week. Things like breakfast pizza, a tray of lasagna, or any sort of pasta will keep in your fridge for a long time. Just watch your portions on these!

If you absolutely cannot bring yourself to prepare ahead of time, then there are on-the-go meals you can fall back on, but they’re not always the most satisfying. Don’t always rely on these, or you’ll end up in a food coma once you get back to your mom’s cooking.

Stay Active!

As the weather gets colder, you might be tempted to drive or take the bus to class, but it’s important to stay active. Walking or biking to class can help you offset the typical winter weight gain (which you WON’T have because you’re following these tips!). You’re also probably not moving around outside as much, so try to find some winter sports to participate in.

At the very least, hit your student rec center or local gym. Being active in the winter takes commitment; you can’t just wait around for the next ultimate frisbee tournament like at the beginning of the year. Plus, with more exam pressure, you’ll have to really want it to stick to your plan.

If you develop a consistent workout schedule now, it’ll be that much easier to stick to when you get home as well. Instead of wondering what happened to the fit high schooler they knew, your family will be impressed that you’re managing yourself so well! At that point, you can indulge a little bit in some festive foods, but don’t overdo it. You don’t want to go back to school looking different than when you left either!

How to Stay Fit During the Summer Break

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Summer is finally here and with it a well-deserved break from your everyday routine. If you’re coming back home from college, you probably just want to relax and indulge in all things you’ve missed so much, like your mom’s kitchen, hanging out with your friends and basically doing nothing. Or maybe you’ve planned an exciting vacation, filled with never-ending parties and exotic food.

Either way, it’s easy to forget all the hard work you’ve done throughout the year in order to look and feel healthy. Routines break easily and there are always tons of convenient excuses for missing out on a workout or eating junk food. There’s nothing wrong with taking a little break but it’s not really good for you, in the long run, so we’ve come up with a few tips on how to make your summer fun and productive at the same time.

 

Drink plenty of fluids

But not the bad kind like “diet” soda or alcohol. Drink plenty of water and stay hydrated, especially during your summer activities. Water ensures a healthy and balanced body and mind. Just remember to always keep a bottle somewhere close by and that’s all there is to it. And if you get tired of drinking tons of plain, regular water, switch it up a bit and try a so-called spa water. It’s easy to make and its flavor is sweetly subtle. The best part is that it helps you stay away from sugary, calorie-filled fruit drinks or soda. And it looks really good served up on the table. So, make a party out of it and invite your friends for a cool, healthy refreshment after which you won’t have to worry about how much did you have to drink.

 

Prepare healthy meals

Yes, you are on a vacation, but it doesn’t mean you don’t have the time to focus on your food for a bit. Quite the opposite, you have plenty of time now. Barbecue season shouldn’t be all about burgers, ribs and hot dogs; it can be about veggies, fish and chicken breasts. Grilling gives much more flavor so even seemingly tasteless food can turn into a delicious feast. There are plenty of veggies perfect for the barbecue like red pepper, zucchini, tomato, red onion and portobello mushrooms. Put some seasoning on them and get ready to be amazed. Since it’s summer, markets are packed with all sorts of fruits, so staying away from ice cream, cookies, and other sugary goods shouldn’t be a problem. Also, cut back on bread and other carbs, eat fresh meals packed with proteins which will give you that sensation of fullness without any extra pounds to worry about.

 

Exercise outside


With cold weather nowhere in sight, you don’t need to be cooped up inside the house or anywhere else for that matter. Step outside and do your exercises while breathing the fresh air. Go for a run or for a swim, try kayaking or paddleboarding if you’re somewhere near water. And if you’re an early riser, there’s nothing better than doing yoga while the sun is coming up. All you need is all is some basic knowledge you can get from watching yoga tutorials, a quiet place and some essential 
yoga accessories. Make this a part of your everyday routing and you’ll be starting every day energized and relaxed.

 

Enjoy a ride

There’s nothing better than riding a bicycle on a warm summer day. Whether you’re at home, just getting around town or sightseeing somewhere abroad, a bicycle will become your best friend very quickly. Almost every European city has great bike share programs which make it easy to rent and return. You can go everywhere, with anyone, avoiding traffic jams and still getting a proper day’s exercise.

 

Have a spa day


Book a massage, go to a steam room, or a sauna, you’ve earned it. If you’re traveling, skip one morning of sightseeing and treat yourself to a 
full spa treatment or visit your local spa center back home. It’s a perfect way to relax, unwind and cleanse your body. It will definitely help you get rid of all that tension that’s been bottling up for some time now.

 

In the end, just try to enjoy yourself and avoid stress. No one is asking you to be perfect and maintain all your healthy habits every day. Do what feels right and be sure your body will tell you if there’s anything wrong. All you need to do is listen.

Top Fitness Gear to Keep You Fit in College

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Fighting off the Freshman 15 or Sophomore 20 isn’t as easy as it looks. With unhealthy food choices, busy schedules, and high stress lifestyles, packing on the pounds can happen when we’re not careful. But you don’t have to give up if you’re too time strapped to get to the gym or new to the whole workout lifestyle. These 11 fitness must-haves are practically made for college students and dorm life.

 

FitBit

Long a must-wear device for techies and non-techies alike, the FitBit isn’t just a step counter anymore. The newest models connect to your phone so you can see your incoming messages while you run, swim, walk, and more.

 

Exercise Ball and Chair

Worried about your posture? The exercise ball will take care of building that core muscle. Replaces your ugly, uncomfortable desk chair with an ballance chair (a ball inside a chair frame), and you have a workout you don’t even think about.

 

Motivational Tanks

You may not be a fan of working out, but at least you can do it with a bit of snark, sass, and inspiration. We’re loving long tanks with thin straps and phrases such as “Namaste In Bed” or “Running for Donuts.”

 

Yoga Mat, Block, and Towel

Yoga is one of the easiest workouts to do in small spaces, and with so many free videos online, you can do it from your dorm with no problem. Just equip yourself with a high-quality mat, a foam block, and non-slip towel or blanket to complete your gear.

 

Water Bottle Pack

Runners, walkers, and bikers love moving around campus, but staying hydrated can be difficult. Instead of hitting the office buildings for a water break, strap on a water bottle pack. It hooks on like a belt and usually comes with added storage for keys, phone, and money.

 

The Perfect Shoe

We love our Asics, but the truth is that everyone’s foot is different. Instead of just picking the cheapest or most familiar brand, get yourself fitted at a shoe store to get a shoe that works best with how you walk, run, and/or jump.

 

Pull-Up Bar

A pull-up bar is a must-have for serious fitness gurus looking to build arm strength. Bonus reason to get one: you can install them in your dorm room without lugging around huge equipment or ruining your dorm’s paint.

 

Sweat-Wicking Leggings with Vents

Ladies need a pair of vented workout leggings. Whether with cut outs or translucent sections, it makes workouts so much more stylish. If possible, also strive for sweat-wicking material that keeps away smell and moisture.

 

Resistance Bands

Your body is amazing, especially when it comes to working out. Instead of spending a fortune on free weights, use your own weight and a few different styles and sizes of resistance bands to create a heck of a challenging workout.

 

Adjustable Dumbbell Set

If you love the feel of a weight in your hand, dumbbells that can be “programmed” with your desired weight make excellent space savers without compromising your workout. The alternative is to buy the weights you need as you progress so you’ll always be challenged.

 

Jump Counter

One of the top ways to get an amazing cardio workout in is to jump! Jumping rope doesn’t take much room or time, and you can purchase a digital jump counter that tracks your hops and double dutches without the whole rope thing getting your way.

How to Stay Motivated to Workout in the Winter

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Dark, cold weather isn’t exactly inspiring us to get off the couch. It certainly isn’t pushing us to go on our morning runs or weekly trip to the gym. Staying motivated to work out in the winter is tough, but it’s essential to keeping a healthy routine when others are packing on the pounds or hibernating for the season. These tips will help you move more, rest less, and get your sweat on like you would in warmer months.

 

Find a Workout Buddy

Working out can be lonely, and you’ll feel it even more with winter blues at an all-time high. Luckily, with so many people adding exercising more to their resolutions, you won’t have to look hard to find a partner to share gym time.

If you can’t find a close friend to do it, take this as an opportunity to expand your circle. Start a running group at your college or lead a unique workout class that others would want to take. Making like-minded friends is just one another way to help you guarantee you’ll meet your fitness goals.

 

Bring in the Sun

Part of the lack of motivation to move comes from a lack of light and heat in your home. Without it, you’ll feel tired more and will naturally want to spend more time lounging around under a blanket than going out in the elements.

To combat this, try to remember to open your windows during the day and position yourself nearest to the natural light as possible. UV lights can do the trick too. To amp up the temperature, you can wear more layers around the house or turn up the thermostat a few hours before heading to the gym.

 

Find the Right Playlist

We all love listening to softer, kinder music in the winter. But folk rock and light pop can be harmful when your body needs to feel the beat to get you into those sneakers.

When creating the right playlist for your workout, you don’t need to skim on your favorite lighter tunes. Make those your designated stretching, warm up, or cool down music. If you need help selecting your actual workout music, try apps and websites like TempoTap or SoundBPM so you can find songs to match your running pace or biking speed.

 

Try Something New

Sometimes our slumps are less weather related and more emotionally based. Doing the same workout over and over again can wear anyone out, especially when you’re already feeling a lack of motivation.

This is the perfect opportunity to buy some Groupon or deal website passes to try a new, interesting class. Take an aerial yoga instead of pilates or a flywheel class instead of a bike ride outside in the snow. There are so many opportunities to mix it up!

 

Upgrade Your Gear

Do you remember the feeling of getting new clothes for school and then wanting to wear them ASAP? The same concept goes for getting new running shoes or running tights. The newer the gear, the more likely you are to want to use them.

This isn’t an excuse to drop hundreds of dollars on workout clothes, but if you’re rocking tattered and torn t-shirts, you’ll need to invest anyways. If you’re into technology, trying purchasing used or looking for discounts on last year’s models of Fitbits, GPS watches, and workout headphones. Renewing your motivation is so worth it.

 

 

How to Hit the Ground Running in January

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Let’s just start off with: you’re right.  You do deserve a break.  Well, you will, depending on whether you’ve finished your finals yet or not.  You might have believed that you were all caught up, but then you found out that your physics final is graded on a curve, so now you’re freaking out… Or maybe you knew these couple weeks would suck all along.  Either way, this is a particularly stressful period.

Unfortunately, you’re probably responding to that stress in a not-so-healthy way.  The cycle of staying up late and struggling to get out of bed for class, let alone the gym, has a way of perpetuating itself all the way until Holiday Break.  And while exercise is a great way to relieve stress and work off those study break snacks, let’s be honest: you’ve probably skipped a couple days at the gym.  Which isn’t so bad, but when coupled with the fact that lack of sleep makes you eat more and the upcoming holidays, December can be tough on your fitness goals.  It’s okay, you’ll pick it up again next semester, right?

That’s certainly possible, but you don’t want to a part of the New Year’s Resolution crowd that works out intermittently for a month and then are never seen at the rec center again.  It can be all too easy to put off starting a fitness regimen or to let it fall by the wayside.  So, while yes, you do deserve a break, you should also be prepared to start a new routine come next semester and stick to it.

What Do You Want to Improve?

The best workouts will involve your entire body, including flexibility, coordination, and strength.  By practicing a variety of skills, you’ll lower your risk of injury and maximize performance.  However, you can still focus on something specific that you’d like to improve.  If you don’t like your arms, can’t touch your toes, or would like to lose some weight after the holidays, you should cater to your fitness goals.  Just don’t neglect every other muscle group.

Write it Down!

It’s no secret anymore that writing down goals makes achieving them more likely.  It might feel stupid or childish, but it really does work.  Even if you’re self-conscious, you can write them down in a private place– just make sure that it’s somewhere you see frequently (a planner, a note taped in your closet, in your phone, etc.) That way, it will remind you of your goal and solidify your commitment.

Additionally, writing down your goals will force you to be specific.  You might think, “I want to gain muscle,” but when you start writing it down you realize that there are a lot of specifics to consider.  By when?  How much?  Are you willing to make the sacrifices necessary to reach your goal in time?  And, most importantly, is your goal realistic and healthy?

Account for Real Life

Realize that you’re not going to be perfect.  There’s going to be friends’ birthdays, emergency assignments, and other things that you can’t control.  You might miss a couple of workouts.  The important thing is that you don’t let that derail you overall.  You can also minimize the impact of these distractions by planning ahead.

  • Know the exact routine that you’re going to do at the gym so you don’t waste time in between machines.

  • If you have an early morning class, set out your clothes and backpack the night before, so you can minimize excuses to miss your morning workout.

  • Plan out your meals so that you can hold yourself accountable for your nutrition goals.  No more easy hamburgers in the dining hall when you’re rushing between classes or meetings, because you planned ahead!

  • Encourage your friends to join you.  That way,  you don’t have to choose between socializing and working out!

There’s going to be obstacles blocking every goal.  That’s why you haven’t completed it yet!  But with some careful planning and motivation, your New Year’s resolution can become an All-Year resolution.  For now, focus on your finals, enjoy the holidays, and come back next semester ready to achieve.

 

How to Prevent the “Freshman 15”

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Freshman 15 Health

Are you one of those people who loves to binge eat junk food and watch Netflix? Well, then you’re like me. Every freshman (including myself) is beyond excited to get away from all of the organic food that their moms gave them while they were back home — but do you want to have the “Freshman 15”? Keep reading for some helpful tips!

Image via Giphy

 

Junk food sometimes, healthy food every day:

  • Unless you’re going to the gym every day and working out constantly…don’t go to the dining hall every morning for breakfast and get yourself three pancakes. Switch it off… Some days have a treat and other days get a smoothie on the go, organic cereal or maybe some scrambled eggs!

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Do not skip the most important meal of the day:

  • Breakfast is key. Grab a cereal bar, make some easy Eggo waffles in the microwave/toaster or go to the dining hall and get some egg whites. Don’t want to ever miss the most important meal of the day!

Store healthy snacks:

  •  No Doritos, Lays chips or cheese doodles. Not healthy. Not worth the calories… I am glad my mom taught me to bring healthy snacks to college because if not I would be the size of a balloon by now. Snack on some apple chips, gluten free pretzels, cheese, and grapes or a banana.

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Skip the sugary drinks:

  • Enough with the energy drinks such as Redbull and Monster. Soda is even a big no no. I do not have any sugary drinks in my mini fridge. Get a bottle of water, iced tea or low-calorie lemonade!
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Image via Monster

Use smaller plates in the dining hall:

  • Instead of using the big bowls that they leave out for us, I use the plastic plates and it definitely helps my portion size. It helps you to avoid piling on food to fill the bowl, then feeling forced to finish it even if you’re already full.

Join sports clubs, intramurals or take a Zumba class:

  • Time to go hit the gym, find a buddy and get your daily dose of workout in you! Yoga, Zumba, treadmill or a run around campus… go get those legs moving! Fitness is also a great way to meet friends that you can set healthy habits with.

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Don’t eat food when watching TV or doing homework:

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  • I know everyone loves to do this… but this is one way of gaining weight easily. I know because I do this constantly and it is not healthy. You get so engrossed in what you’re watching, and five minutes later you look down and the bag of chips has been completely annihilated. You can’t even remember eating it — which feels like a waste! Instead, have a bottle of water or some gum in your mouth while watching tv! Save your snacks and meals for a time you can actually sit down and enjoy them without distractions.

Stay hydrated:

  • Drink PLENTY of water. Whether it is Vitamin Water, Gatorade, sparkling water, or whatever it may be, keep on staying hydrated! Sometimes we trick ourselves into thinking we’re hungry, when we’re really just dehydrated.

Get plenty of sleep:

  • I know we are all in college, but don’t stay up until 4 am when you have an 8 am class — leaving you to complain to your roommate or not show up to class the next day. Get a lot of sleep so you can have a bunch of energy throughout the next day!

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The great thing about college is that things are constantly changing — your class schedule, your classmates, your favorite new hangout spots and sometimes even your social circles. So now’s the time to evaluate your priorities, and what is or isn’t working for your health. Not getting enough sleep? Maybe cut out the 8am lectures and schedule classes for later in the afternoon next semester. Having trouble finding an available elliptical during the free-time you usually use hit the gym? Consider skipping the regular Thursday-night party, and instead grab a few workout buddies and head to the gym as a “girls night”.

With these top tips, you should be able to avoid the dreaded Freshman 15. Just make conscious decisions about your eating and lifestyle habits and you’ll be fine!

5 Cool Recreational Sports to Try as an Undergraduate

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Rec Sports to Try

We have to admit we weren’t that excited to have to take a sports related class as part of our college requirements. But here’s what they don’t warn you about in advance: once you start, it’s insanely addictive! Luckily, you don’t have to be a star athlete to play the game or take up a new activity. In fact there are so many cool recreational sports to try as an undergraduate, we could only list a few of them.

5 Cool Recreational Sports to Try as an Undergraduate

1. Yoga

Yoga may not be a sport in the same way baseball and football are, but for non-exercisers and fans of more relaxing workouts, yoga is the perfect way to get you into the gym. Yoga combines twisting poses with stretching and breathing methods, meaning you’ll learn how to bend yourself into positions you would have never imagined. But the best part is the long term physical and mental effects you’ll experience if you just practice once a week for a semester.

2. Badminton

You have probably forgotten all about this classic from grade school, but intramural badminton teams are some of the most popular college sports in the country! Badminton can be played as doubles or solo, boys or girls, and experienced or complete novice. Plus, with equipment costs being so low, you can easily pick it up and play whenever you can find a net and a birdie.

3. Frisbee

It may seem cliche, but frisbee is a surprisingly big part of life in college. However, frisbee involves more than just tossing a disc back and forth. In fact, college students have made complete sports out of it. Our favorite is ultimate frisbee. It’s a fast-paced team game that involves strategy and skill. Your dorm friends and you can start a team this summer and be game ready by September.

The alternative to ultimate frisbee is frisbee (or disc) golf. You’ll need to find a disc golf field to play, but it has rules and goals similar to traditional golf making it popular with solo sports fans.

4. Rowing/Crew

If you love the water but aren’t a big swimmer, consider rowing! College competitive rowing, or crew, is an Olympic sport with competitors at the highest level, but if all you’re looking for is to burn some calories or sculpt your arms, you can rent a solo boat to take to the lake. Outside of rowing, you can also try kayaking or even canoeing. Any paddle sport will give you the outdoors time you want combined with being on the water for relaxation. Before jumping in, however, know that the sport is pricey. In addition, if you’re at a landlocked school, it can be difficult to find a body of water set up for rowing!

5. Dance

Dance isn’t just for those who have the training or body for it. Colleges provide so many opportunities for beginners or those with absolutely no sense of rhythm to get down and see if they’ve got a hidden talent in them. Take ballroom dance with a boyfriend, jazz/hip hop with a friend, or Bollywood for a cultural immersion class. You’ll enjoy getting into the “sport” and picking up a skill you can use on any dance floor.

Dorm-Friendly Exercises

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Dorm-Friendly Exercises

Let’s face it: getting to the gym is easier said than done, especially when you’re an on-the-go college student. And while you can simply work out at home, you’ll most likely run into the problem of space, noise, and equipment to get around. Luckily, we’ve come up with a list of our favorite dorm-friendly exercises that will get you moving and the calories burning.

Dorm-Friendly Exercises You’ll Want to Try Now

Cardio

Dance It Out!

One of our favorite workouts is something you probably do a lot of anyways — dancing like nobody’s watching! It may sound silly, but dancing, especially to high tempo music with jumps, runs, and hip shaking, can be a huge calorie burner. An hour of uninterrupted dancing can kill 600 calories while boosting your mood and lowering your stress levels.

 

Small Circuits

Circuit training involves going quickly from one exercise to the next — and with small space cardio moves, you can make a big impact in little time. Try this one for a good sweat: 5 pushups, 10 burpees, 15 ice skaters, 20 mountain climbers, 25 jump squats, and 30 jumping jacks. Repeat 3 times, reversing the order each time you go and only taking a 2-3 minute break in between.

 

Stair Climbing

Sometimes working out in your room is just not going to happen, but that doesn’t mean you have to leave the building to get your burn on. Instead, get creative by looking around at what you have in your building. Stairs in particular can be great workout centers. You can take them two by two for strength or run up a few on your toes for toning and agility.

 

Strength

Body Weight Strength

One of the biggest things getting in the way of you and a good strength training is just not having weights around. This isn’t a problem when you’ve got your own body to do the resistance. Take a cue from the circuit cardio to do a strength session of: 12 push-ups, 12 squats, 12 bicycle crunches, 12 hip raises (or bridge-ups), 12 side plank touches on each side, and 30 second to 1 minute plank.

 

Weights Around? Workout

Weights can also be improvised for simple items you most likely have in your dorm now. For example, light weights can be replaced by cans of food. Barbells can be matched up with curtain rods, backpack of books, or your furniture (but please be careful!). Resistance bands can be made with stretchy fabric clothing pieces or even just bungee ropes from your car!

 

Stretch

Yoga

Yoga has been a favorite workout of college students for decades — and it’s no wonder why. It’s perfect for toning and adds a bit of a relaxation element into your workout. You can find awesome (and free) yoga videos on YouTube or borrow a video from your school library. You may want to invest in a yoga mat (or non-sliding rug you don’t mind getting sweaty) and a belt (from an outfit).

 

Ballet Barre

Barre exercises are killer stretch, strength, and cardio combos, but you could be paying a ton for classes! But you can make your own dance bar with the side of your desk, the rail of your bed or a tension rod in your closet. The results you get from just a few stretch and strength exercises can make a huge difference in both your balance and form.

 

Outdoor Workout Tips for the Summer

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Outdoor summer workouts offer a little bit of everything for everyone, from the casual fitness fan to the über athlete. Before you take your exercise routine outside of the dorm, make sure you know how to stay safe and enjoy the elements. These six steps will get you pumped up and ready to take your fitness regimen off the treadmill and into the streets.

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1.   Stay Hydrated

The summer sun is blistering hot, which can quickly cause dehydration. Fight back by ensuring you take in sufficient liquids. Even without working out, your baseline should be to drink eight cups of water each day. When you work out in the sun and heat, your body loses more water through sweat; failure to replenish this liquid can damage your stamina and performance, and can even lead to dangerous dehydration or heatstroke. To avoid these issues, take in at least 20 to 30 ounces of water before each half-hour workout. Drink another eight ounces per fifteen minutes beyond that time. However, remember not to overdo it, either—over hydration (drinking too much water too quickly) can lead to excess fatigue, fainting, and even death.

2.   Change Up the Times

Exercising in the great outdoors allows you to work on your body and your tan at the same time. But don’t forget that direct sun exposure can be dangerous, too! Heat stress can cause the body to break down, while too much direct sunlight can lead to vicious sunburns. Save your skin and your body by working out around sunrise or at dusk. Avoid mid-afternoon routines, as the sun is at its brightest and hottest between approximately noon and 3pm.

3.   Utilize Your Local Park

After Memorial Day, most parks and beaches are open to the public. Instead of bypassing your local park for a pricey gym where you’ll spend your exercise time cooped up indoors, take your workout to the park! Hang on the monkey bars, plank on the climbing equipment, and run laps around the entranceway. Get creative in how you construct your workout using interval timers and fun challenges (like how many pull-ups you can do on the swing set bars).

4.   Race Away

Summer season is race season for many areas in the United States. From 5Ks to ultra-marathons, signing up for whatever your distance or pace can keep you motivated to stick to your goals. Challenge friends by adding a bit of competition. Or put your running to good by raising money for a sponsored charity near and dear to your heart.

5.   Address Your Wardrobe

One of the most common reasons why people stop working out is because they are not properly dressed. In the summer, what you wear becomes even more important: your outdoor workouts require you to put on your best moisture wicking material to keep your outfits dry and ultraviolet protection layers to bounce the sun off your skin. Avoid black or other dark colors as well.

6.   Know Your Limits

While your vacation time is ideal for starting a fitness routine or trying out a new sport, your body is only as good as the time you give it to adjust and grow stronger. Pushing yourself too hard, too fast, will put you dangerously close to exhaustion, and it may lead you to quitting faster than you had planned. Listen to your body; it will tell you when it’s time to pull back.

The best way to fight back against the heat is to practice common sense with your outdoor workouts. Avoid the summer sun during the warmest days and stock your wardrobe with the most appropriate gear and clothing. Hydrate often and bring along a bottle of sunblock. By planning for the heat and embracing nature, your outdoor workouts are ready for the next level. Do you enjoy working out outside? Let us know your tips and favorite workouts!

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