So the holidays are over and spring break is only a few short months away. Fitness plans and healthy eating were probably not the biggest priorities over the last few weeks, but now is the perfect time to recharge your health goals. There are many simple tips that can help any student improve their physique in time for that golden week of fun in the sun. First, make sure to put away those extra sweets. Yes, we all had our fair share of holiday cookies and candies, but now is the time to revert back to healthier choices. Focus on eating well-balanced meals that incorporate lots of protein and plenty of “good” carbohydrates. These include foods such as brown rice, high-fiber cereals and vegetables. Eating complete meals will allow you to remain full for a much longer period of time. This will cut back on the amount of snacking you do during the day. Also, remember to watch out for the hidden calories that are found in many of the more popular beverages. Even choices such as fruit juices or sports drinks are packed with sugar that has very little nutritional value.
Next, it is time to focus on your exercise routine. Although it may have been very easy to fall into a pattern of laziness over the holidays, that is no excuse to remain inactive. Try to make the gym a priority during the week. Even adding one or two days of extra exercise can be enough to help shed those extra pounds. Ideally, you should aim for three to five days of cardiovascular exercise and three days of weight training.
Women should not be concerned about getting too bulky as a result of lifting weights; building muscle only creates a lean, sleek look. When a person starts lifting weights it is typical to experience see a slight gain in overall body weight. This is because muscle actually weighs more than fat. After awhile though, weight loss will occur. This is a result of the fact that muscle burns more calories than fat. This concept applies even when the body is at rest.
If these ideas seem a little drastic, start small. First try cutting out 100 calories a day from your diet. This is as easy as drinking a glass of water or diet soda instead of regular cola. It could also include turning down that additional helping of macaroni and cheese. Also, at dinner try to make the most out of your surroundings. Focus on walking as much as possible when going around campus. Adding an extra walk or two during the day will increase your cardiovascular health and burn some calories.
Finally, make sure you are getting enough sleep. Eight hours is an ideal number, but do your best to average at least seven hours per night. Getting more sleep allows you to have more energy during the day which could inspire you to get to the gym or take an extra walk. When we sleep, our bodies also get a chance to repair and recharge for the upcoming day’s activities. Having a refreshed body is a great step to achieving optimal fitness. So as spring break gets closer and closer, remember all these simple tips. Everyone wants to be confident with their body, and what better time then spring break to show off that energy? A little healthy preparation can go a long way when it comes time to strut your stuff down those sunny beaches.