Exercise for book worms

Exercise for Book Worms PhotoBy: Abbey Bowen

This is probably one of the sillier posts I have ever written. But while reading a book this morning, I found myself wondering if there’s a way to combine two of my favorite pastimes: exercising and reading.

I Googled, “Exercises and stretches to do while reading,” and I was surprised to find several search results.

Obviously, recumbent or upright bikes and elliptical machines are ideal for people who want to read while doing cardio, but I wanted to get some ideas for when I’m not at the gym.

If you’re looking to tone your abs, it’s beneficial to lie on your back, hold the book away from your face and lift your legs into the air. Hold them parallel to the floor for a few seconds or minutes (depending on your fitness level).

For the most adventurous, a plank sequence can be an effective way to tone while reading. Try holding the pose pictured to the left for 30 seconds at a time. Place a book in between your forearms and focus on the text, instead of your discomfort.

Hold the pose for a page and then lower and rest for a few pages. Repeat as desired.

This plank sequence will help tone your arms, abs, leg muscles and more! Just remember to always suck your belly button into your spine at all times.

If you’re looking for a lighter, more gradual workout, try replacing your office chair with an exercise ball. By doing this, your body learns to rely on the increasing strength of your back and abs, not the support of a chair.

For those looking to tone their arms, try raising five to 10 Ib. dumbbells into the air repeatedly as you read.

If you’re really crazy, try doing all the exercises I mentioned above. :]

Again, I know this post may seem a little goofy, but I truly believe making small lifestyle changes can make a big difference in the long run. Incorporating exercise into our daily routines is one of the easiest ways to become healthy and fit.

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

Tough Mudder.

camp.0312By: Mary Marren

Ever wanted to challenge yourself to the extreme? As much fun as running the same path day in and out is, lately I’ve been feeling like I need more. I want to challenge my body and push it to its physical limits! So naturally, I hopped on Google to see what I could find, and that is when I stumbled upon Tough Mudder. WOAH. This is the ultimate challenge that would push anyone to his or her limits.

What is Tough Mudder? Well according to the official website, “Tough Mudder events are hardcore 10-12 mile obstacle courses designed by British Special Forces to test your all around strength, stamina, mental grit, and camaraderie. Only 78% of entrants successfully complete each challenge.”

Participants face various elements including mud, fire, ice water, and electricity.  Depending on the course, you could face 12-foot walls, mud tunnels, and other challenges along the way. So after reading through the website 3 or 4 times, I’ve decided to give it a go.

Tough Mudder has become so popular that the website actually puts together a training plan for you, no matter what fitness level you are at.  There are three different levels to train at, each one getting harder and longer.  

I’ve talked about it with a friend who recently completed his first Tough Mudder and he recommends it for anyone looking for a tough challenge.  With the proper training, the obstacle course is designed to be challenging, but also a fun experience that you do with a team of friends.

Another great thing about Tough Mudder is that the proceeds go towards the Wounded Warrior Project, which is a charity to aid injured soldiers.

Facing challenges and overcoming obstacles seems like an amazing sense of accomplishment, and I cannot wait to start training. Tough Mudders are held all over the country and should be registered in advance to give yourself time to prepare mentally and physically.

If Tough Mudder seems a little bit too intense for you at the moment, consider doing one of the many alternatives. You could check out a mini mud run ranging from 5k to 10k, or simply a 5k run. No matter what level of fitness you choose, getting up and going is already your greatest accomplishment.

Check it out for yourself at: http://toughmudder.com/about/

Stay Healthy, Stay Strong
-Mary Marren

Make time, not excuses

Excuses photoBy: Eric Hess

The number one excuse for not exercising is time. I find myself trying to find as many excuses as possible to not work out. We as students do have very busy days between going to class, doing homework and maintaining a social life on top of many other responsibilities we are held accountable for. Despite our exceptionally busy days, working out should be one thing that we make time for.

Working out has huge benefits to your health along with your physical appearance. Working out can help you sleep better, reduce stress, increase your energy, slow aging and has much more to offer to your health. You owe it to yourself to commit, at the very least, a 30 minutes a day to exercising.

Exercise doesn’t have to take place in the gym or last hours either. There are many alternatives and tips that help me fit exercise into my busy daily agenda.

Wake up earlier. Going to bed earlier and waking up earlier in order to get a workout in can make your day much better and healthier. Working out in the morning increases your energy for your busy day, improves your learning capabilities, reduces stress, enhances your food consumption choices and above all, it gets your workout out of the way, leaving the rest of your day up to you.

Make a workout schedule. Give yourself a reason to be at the gym or a time to be exercising. You are more likely to exercise if you have an obligation to do so. If you have a class time, chances are you will be there or will feel guilty if you miss it. Make yourself feel the same way about exercising. How about making a date with a fitness class or a friend who would also like to get a workout in?!

Cut back on video games, television and social media. Go ahead and record how much time you spend on Facebook, watching TV or playing video games every day. Chances are most of us could cut that time down in order to get our quick workout in. Better yet, do both! The Williams Center weight room and University Fitness Center in Wells have TVs in front of the cardio equipment!

Be active while on media. If you can’t cut down on the time you spend on facebook or have a TV show you must watch, multitask. During a commercial, do pushups, jumping jacks or whatever exercises you like doing. Make a small workout plan for every time your show cuts to a commercial. Those 5 minute commercial breaks can add up.

Exercise the way you like. You shouldn’t hate to workout. If you enjoy swimming find a place where you can swim. Listen to music while running or find a running partner. Whatever you enjoy, you should incorporate it into exercising somehow. Not only will you be more likely to go through with working out but you will have fun while doing so and add some fun to your life.

Become involved. There are plenty of options you have to be actively involved with the community. Join a club, an intramural team or simply get a group of friends together and throw a ball around. There are many opportunities to become actively involved around campus. There are 18 different intramurals you can join and even more clubs along with many group fitness class offered for free from the university with your fitness membership. Why not play a sport you enjoy playing while getting the exercise you need?

Exercise shouldn’t be treated as just another chore that gets put off and forgotten about. Not only is it important for your health to make sure to exercise regularly but it should be fun and something to help you through your long, busy day.

-Yesterday you said tomorrow

Until next time,
Eric Hess


Staying fit freshman year

Freshmen 15 photo

By: Kenzi Weidman

Leaving home and starting college is never an easy thing to do, especially when it comes to making healthy choices all on your own. I grew up in a household where healthy food was the only thing in the fridge. It was perfect because not only was it easily accessible, but I also didn’t have to pay for it myself. Coming to school and seeing the all-you-can-eat buffets, unlimited desserts, and the ability to eat on my meal plan until 2AM definitely was tempting.

 Then there is that phrase “freshman 15”. No one wants that, especially if that 15 pounds continues to add on every year in school. Here are some tips that might help you in college with maintaining your current body during you first year away from home:

Tip #1: You don’t have to “do lunch” everyday. Planning a “lunch date” with your friends sometimes causes you to over eat and not think about what you’re eating. It is totally ok to splurge once in awhile and have that greasy cheeseburger and french fries that your meal plan offers; you need to feed your cravings once in awhile. A way that I turn that burger into a healthier option would be veggies veggies veggies! Add lettuce, pickles, tomatoes, and onions, even cucumbers if they’re available.  Not only will these veggies fill you up along the way, but also they give your meal more flavors and healthy nutrients your body needs.

Tip #2: Take advantage of the healthy options, like that unlimited salad bar. It’s not every day you can have any vegetable on your salad, or pick from any dressing you can think of. All the fruit there is too offer…GRAB IT! Fruit, whole grains, meats, and all the other healthy options you can get…take advantage of it because it is expensive to buy on your own.

Tip #3: When there is a fitness center on campus, buy a membership. Especially when it is in the basement of your res hall! Treadmill, bike, elliptical, weight benches, or whatever you like…use it. Not only will it help keep you healthy, but it can also help you keep stress levels under control.

Tip #4: Walk or bike to class. Don’t take the easy way out and think that driving your car or hitching a ride with a friend is better. Most of the time, where you have to park your car is further than if you would have just walked in the first place.

Tip #5: Try your hardest to not eat after every “night out.” Eating after 9PM is one of the worst things you could do. It’s tempting though, right!? Try limiting it to once or twice a week! After all, do you really need it? Did you need it before?

Tip #6: Make sure you participate in at least 1 intramural sport. They are a fun way to be active and still have fun and hang out with your friends.

Tip #7: Educate yourself. Take a nutrition class as an elective. I guarantee it will be one of the most informational, beneficial classes you can take here. Professor Ann Garvin will blow your mind!

There are so many easy, little choices you can make that will help you combat the ‘Freshman 15’. If you have any other tips to help live a healthy lifestyle on campus, please comment and share your knowledge with others. It is always great to hear what other people do to stay healthy on campus!

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

-Kenzi Weidman