Running in a Winter Wonderland

When the days get warmer, and the leaves finally start to bud on the raw branches of the trees, it’s likely you will see many students out on the streets, breaking in their neglected running shoes they allowed to collect dust all winter. I have some wonderful news for you—you don’t have to wait until spring to pick up being a runner again! There is no need to hold off on your jogging. I promise you, running outside in the winter is not that bad. Actually, there’s something quite magical about it.

Now, don’t just pick up your shoes and head out the door right this moment. If you’ve never been a winter-runner before, let me give you some tid-bits first and foremost.

  1. Get reflective gear. It’s important to stick out when you’re out there. I have found that drivers are less inclined to be on the lookout for runners crossing the street during winter. I think people are programmed to assume nobody is going to be out running this time of year. You can either buy running clothes with reflective gear on it, or get some reflective duct tape and put it on whatever you love to run in.
  2. Never run at night. Don’t get me wrong, in the summer time I love going for a nice long run at night. Not in the winter, though. If there’s a slippery spot, it’s likely you won’t be able to see it. Don’t take the risk—it’s really not worth it.
  3. Find a partner. This is not absolutely vital, there are days that I actually prefer to run by myself (usually after a stressful day; it’s a great way to clear my mind). However, having a partner to be accountable for will make it harder for you to “take a day off” and avoid your workout for the day.
  4. Make sure you have all of the necessary running gear. You’ll need good running pants or tights, gloves/mittens, a hat or headband that covers your ears, and a neck warmer or scarf. There will be days where it will be unnecessary to have all that gear, but you’ll want it just in case.
  5. Headphones: If you’re running with a partner, I HIGHLY recommend taking the step to not run with headphones. It’s a good time to chat, vent, or push and challenge each other through the run.  I understand the want to run with music, but when running alone you should only have one ear bud in. There have been many cases of runners being hit by a car because they weren’t paying attention, or couldn’t hear a horn honk because they were listening to music. It’s good to be aware of your surroundings when you’re out running.

I am not saying you should run outside every day. If it’s below freezing, or if there is a big snowstorm, the Williams Center has excellent cardio equipment. If you’re just starting out, it’s actually smart to plan to run outside only a few days a week, and spend the other days on cardio equipment or doing a kick-butt group fitness class.

If you have any other running related questions, feel free to e-mail me at I’ve been a competitive runner for over 10 years, and am always willing, and happy to help out a fellow runner.



“Success is not final, failure is not fatal. It is the courage to continue that counts.”

Staying Fit While Eating on Campus

The term “freshmen 15” is thrown around a little too loosely on college campuses. Unfortunately, this is because too many of us find ourselves caught in this cycle of weight gain. The cause: inadequate diets.

UW-Whitewater’s dining services, provided by Chartwells, actually do a lot to make sure students can eat on campus and stay fit. I don’t live on campus, so I focused solely on meals provided by restaurants in the University Center.

To prove that students can maintain a healthy diet on campus, I examined each restaurant separately to find out what a typical diet might look like.

Let’s start with breakfast. Breakfast in Ike Schaffer Commons, or “U.C. breakfast” as all of my friends call it, is a popular attraction for many students before they head off to their first class of the day. The Commons offers a plethora of typical breakfast foods. From egg sandwiches, pancakes, biscuits and gravy, oatmeal and more, the Commons breakfast has it all.

The entrees in the Commons have 178 calories on average. According to , breakfast should make up about 350 to 500 calories in someone’s diet. By these standards, you could have two servings at the buffet-style restaurant.

Breakfast is one of the most important meals of the day because it kick starts metabolism and helps maintain high energy levels throughout the day.

Moving on to lunch, the average calorie count for a sandwich at Graham St. Café is 429. This may be a little high for someone of average height and weight, but most of the calories, which describe the amount of energy a food provides when you eat it (, come from the average of approximately 30 grams of protein per serving.

Protein is essential for the average student’s diet. It promotes brain activity and aids neurotransmitters when they are transferred.

Now for dinner, Yan Can Cook, the ethnic restaurant located in the Commons, serves egg rolls, fried rice, stir fry and more. Such dishes inquire a caloric intake of 290. Studies done at Kansas City State suggest an individual should save 30 percent of their daily calorie intake for dinner time. Dinners at Yan Can Cook are fairly low when it comes to calories, but that just means that you have more room for fruits and veggies to accompany your meal.

The numbers I have provided are very vague, and I gave general numbers to prove the restaurants are providing healthy meals overall. Information about Willie’s 360, Freshens or Uno due Go was not provided by the university.

To find out more about meals offered in Ike Schaffer Commons, Graham St. Café, Yan Can Cook, Esker, Prairie St. or Drumlin, you can visit:

In addition to providing healthy meals for students, Chartwells has made several changes to help students keep track of the foods they’re eating.

Chartwells recently created an app for Android users and installed a nutrition kiosk, which was described by Marketing Director Ann Rakowiecki as an “iPad app,” in Esker.

The dining service has also teamed up with (a site that allows users to keep journals of their healthy eating. Based on the profiles students create, the site can also provide information about the foods their calories should be coming from, and the types of exercise they should be doing on a weekly basis.

There are a lot of fun and exciting changes on campus to make healthy eating more fun and easy. All you have to do is take the first step to live a better life!

~Remember, you have to learn to love yourself before you can truly love someone else~

Abbey :]