Ready set run photoBy: Kenzi Weidman

Have you ever wished you could be one of those people that can run a 5K or even a marathon every other weekend? Personally, running was something I never thought I could do until I took the initiative to try it and stick to it. I read a million articles; a couple were from WomansHealthMag and Runners World. They all gave me the confidence to try it out and see what became of it! Here were some easy tips I followed that got me to running almost 3 miles a day:

Tip #1: Find some music that gets you motivated. Everyone has that song or artist that makes him or her want to dance and go crazy! Try running to that genre and it will keep you going. My favorite is sappy country music. There is something about hearing how a man lost the love of his life that keeps me thinking and running a couple miles! I also enjoy a little Basshunter or any kind of techno music. Sometimes I catch myself doing a little jig while running, but there is nothing wrong with that, right?

Tip #2: Get a light and comfortable pair of running shoes. Don’t think you can throw on any old pair of shoes and it will be comfortable to run a couple miles. I mean maybe it would be, but odds are a light pair of actual running shoes allows you to run further, keeps your feet comfortable and helps prevent injuries. My favorite pair of shoes, which I have had now for over 2 years, are my Nike Free Trainer’s. It is important to understand though that you should not wear the same pair of shoes forever. I read the article When Should I Replace My Running Shoes? and it really opened my eyes about getting a new pair. It’s hard to give up on your favorite pair and go to a new pair because you are use to them. Sadly though, it has to happen in order to maintain good form and prevent injuries.

Tip #3: Find a friend. No one wants to start a journey alone, or at least I don’t. I grabbed a good friend of mine and asked her to go with me. She of course was not a runner either and said “no” the first time but after a few too many times of asking her, she gave in. It is nice to have a buddy by your side because not only will your body want to keep up with them, but also you can help encourage each other to keep going and remind each other of your goals.

Tip #4: The last and final thing that I reminded myself every day; It may be hard, but don’t give up. Side ache after side ache along with shin splints and foot cramps. Running was not my thing, and I wanted more than anything to give up and get some McDonald’s. Persistence is key and I stuck through it! Just remind yourself that a little struggle now, will give you so much more strength later.

The point is, find what works for you and stick to it. Running is not everyone’s favorite thing, but once you get started, it can show just what you are capable of. Being able to tell your friends that you have ran multiple 5K’s or are about to do your first 10K or half marathon would feel like such an accomplishment and something to be so proud of. I sure am not there yet, but I hope many of you will start the journey with me!

“Always remember that it doesn’t matter how slow you go, as long as you keep on going.”

~Kenzi Weidman

Sources: When Should I Replace My Running Shoes? Runners World WomansHealthMag

Paddle board, anyone?

Paddle Board PhotoBy: Mary Marren

A couple of weeks ago I was hanging out with my friend when she mentioned that she recently started paddle boarding. It was always something that I wanted to try so I asked her if I could come with to her class. When we found out a spot opened up to join the class we headed right over to the beach.

As a newbie I was glad to be with an instructor for my first time going out on the water. We got our boards, and we were off! Immediately I realized that standing on a paddle board, in a lake with boats all around, is not the easiest task. My balance started to kick in and all I could focus on was not falling! When we started paddling out to the lake it was easier to fall into a rhythm with the waves.

At the time it seemed like a relaxing ride with some good company, but later I realized that it was also a great workout! Paddle boarding challenges your balance, your core, and your arms. With all of that being said, I was instantly hooked.

Since I found paddle boarding to be an enjoyable workout I wanted to kick it up to the next gear. The next day I took a yoga paddle boarding class. This is a yoga class that is done out on the water on your paddle board. The intensity started to kick in right away when we started doing the yoga poses.  Every muscle that was being worked in my body from paddle boarding instantly kicked into over drive. It was awesome.

Paddle boarding may seem out of reach here in Whitewater, but the place where I go is right in Lake Geneva which is only 30 minutes away. If you are looking for some adventure I’d would highly recommend the adventure club at Clear Water Outdoors in Lake Geneva.  They give you all the equipment needed, take you to the lake, and the classes are a group setting rather than going alone.

Paddle boarding not your thing? They also offer kayaking, rock climbing, and cross country skiing in the winter. Obviously this is not an everyday thing, but if you are looking for some extra adventure in your life to accompany your everyday workout, I would highly recommend it.

Feel free to check out their website!

Stay Healthy Stay Strong,
Mary Marren

Be Adventurous—exploring your environment

Be adventurous PhotoBy: Mary Marren

Fall is the perfect time for exploring and letting your inner-child out to play. The weather is perfect! Whether that is vacationing or exploring your local community, I know often times when I visit new places I put exercising on hold for the duration of the trip.  Maybe you have too? Making justifications like, “This is vacation, so I can take some time away from my daily exercise routine and just relax.” Well what if I told you that although I’ve thought the exact same thoughts, I recently discovered the opposite to be true! There is no better time to exercise than when you’re on vacation. Now before you assume I am crazy for saying such things, hear me out.

I relocated to Florida for the summer, leaving my friends, my regular gym, and my usual and comforting surroundings. ‘What a perfect time to switch up my exercise routine’, I thought to myself—new surroundings, new activities, and new experiences. When you place yourself into a new environment it gets you out of the everyday routine and leaves you with new and exciting options.  Even just going for a run can be exciting, because although the exercise is the same, the setting and environment are completely different. Being in Florida I can go swim in the ocean, or take a hike through a state park. But this doesn’t only apply to me; it applies to anyone in a different surrounding!

Let’s say you are planning a trip where you may stay in a hotel—go check out the city on the fly by going for a jog. A double bonus to running through the city is that you can check out what the town has to offer. Not big on running? Go for a swim in the hotel pool or a walk with a friend. What about a camping trip with some buddies? This is the perfect time to take advantage of the outdoors by renting a kayak or canoe. It doesn’t matter which exercise you chose to do, just get up and do something!

When you exercise in a new and exciting place it is easier to look at working out as a reward verses a chore. You get to be adventurous and explore the place you’re vacationing to while maintaining your daily exercise routine! I’m not saying that it isn’t nice to take some time for yourself from time to time. Once in a while taking a day off and rewarding yourself to some down time for all of your hard work that week can be relaxing and rejuvenating. I am suggesting, however, that if you do have a vacation planned or are temporarily relocating like me, don’t be afraid to explore!

No vacations planned anytime soon? No worries! Explore the place you already call home. Run a different path, join a fitness class you’ve never done before, or find some local activity that your town has to offer. If you are saying to yourself that your town is boring and doesn’t have much to offer, well let me tell you. Even Whitewater, WI offers hang gliding lessons, several nature reserves and state parks to explore while hiking, cross country skiing trails, swimming pools, and more. If you search hard enough, I’m positive there is some sort of new and exciting way to exercise, so be adventurous and get out there!

Stay healthy, Stay Strong.
-Mary Marren

A Simple Way to a Happy & Healthy YOU

Simple Way to a happy and healthy you PhotoBy: Kenzi Weidman

Maintaining a healthy lifestyle, especially in college, can sometimes be harder than that upper level accounting class exam you have each month. With the hustle and bustle between classes, the lack of sleep from studying and the bad eating habits due to such packed schedules, students have little time to watch TV, let alone exercise. So lets face it. Those bad habits often lead not only to “freshman 15″ weight gain, stressed out behaviors, and bags under your eyes from lack of sleep, but to an unhealthy lifestyle that continues even after college is over.

You have heard it before, and I will say it again, breakfast is the most important meal of the day. When your body is sleeping, it goes into a process called ketosis, which in layman’s terms mean’s “I need energy”. A good way to start the day would be with some carbohydrates. They are your fuel and the main key to your energy levels. Try grabbing a piece of fruit, some veggies, or even a big bowl of cereal to start your day right. A vital rule to live by: In the morning, anything is better than nothing!

A typical student also needs to understand that being healthy should also mean your as close to stress-free as possible. Reducing stress will not only help battle weight gain, but it will also help you make more health-conscious decisions and ultimately lead to a happier you! So find a quiet place to lay out your “to do list” and start organizing those stressful items so you can find some time to relax.

Maybe start with sleep. What college kid actually gets the right amount of sleep, or perhaps goes to bed at the right time of night? It is very important to get enough sleep every night, especially if you have a big day ahead of you. I always wondered if their was a way to figure out the best time to sleep, other than making sure you get at least “8 hours a night”. The best time of day for naps is between 2 – 5 p.m. for about 30 minutes. Yes, that’s right, I said “NAP!” Sometimes that is just what our body needs to refuel and refocus!

Something interesting I found was the bedtime calculator at It allows you to type in when you need to wake up, and it will tell you the best time to fall asleep, according to the REM (rapid eye movement) cycles you have while repowering your body during the night. Sleep cycles usually last 90 minutes, and so by trying your best to fall asleep and wake up at the perfect time means you will feel less groggy and more awake when its time to get that day started. Not only will you consume less caffeine products, but it will also lead to a healthier and happier you!

Last but not least, my favorite part—the workout! It’s understandable that average college students wont work out on a daily basis. Sometimes schedules are tight, and there just isn’t time. Well if you’re like me, you make time. Working out keeps you in shape, lowers stress-levels, and also boosts your body with energy. Why wouldn’t someone want to work out every day knowing the side effects are all positive?

Try fitting in at least a 30-minutes cardio session every day to give your mind a break, and work the body…even if it is just taking a walk. Burning calories releases the bad toxins in your body leaving you refreshed, and ready to conquer. You will be fit, healthy, and happy.

Now just because you do everything mentioned doesn’t mean you will be just perfect. Every person is different. Personally, I love a hectic schedule! It makes me feel like I always have something to do, and it challenges me to get everything I want to get done for each day. Just find the routine that fits you best, and who knows, once you see how good you will start to feel, you may encourage your friends to follow these tips too! Nothing is better than having a partner in crime!

“Always remember that it doesn’t matter how slow you go, as long as you keep on going”
~Kenzi Weidman