Winter Break: Fitness edition
“Reagan what did you do during your SIX-WEEK-LONG winter break?”
Well imaginary asker, I dedicated every waking moment to my health, mental and physical. I began working out six days a week, stopped drinking soda, eating a balanced, yet restricted diet only broken once on Christmas, well twice if you count my five-day (restricted) free-for-all in Baltimore the first week of classes. And do you know what all those sacrifices made me? A little happier, reader, a little happier. Iʻm excited to go to the gym almost every time, it’s a release of energy and a safe haven on the days I canʻt stand to see my laptop, my bed, or even—dare I say it?—my plants. Now I will impart all the knowledge I have gained over the past six weeks and from my gym-rat parents, unto you dear reader. Take my advice or not, enjoy this array of tips, meals, and routines!
Its Sunday Bitch get your week started; we are not the French! Not only are we starting our week off right, weʻre starting it off with everyone’s favorite: LEG DAY! This is your day to do a full leg workout, focus on your calves, hamstrings, quads, glutes, hips, and every little muscle within those groups.
We all want big, beautiful, strong backs! We as females have a lot of weight to carry in our front but more importantly as students, those heavy backpacks weigh us down, having strong back will help you distribute the weight evenly and prevent the pain of carrying weight in the front or on your back.
Shoulder, triceps, biceps super sets. I hate super sets, you hate super sets, we all hate super sets, but itʻs okay, we get through them and learn to appreciate the convenience of Between bicep sets workout your triceps or shoulders. Choose a muscle group to isolate and combine the others.
On Wednesdays we work our cardio-vascular systems. Today is about giving your body a break in the middle of the week while maintaining some-sort of physical activity. I suggest 30 minutes to an hour on the treadmill, elliptical, or bike! The stair0climber is really hard to get started with but if you’re already able to use it for more than three-minutes at a time, be my guest.
Well, weʻre here kids, Hamstrings! Working out your hamstrings first in your full leg day and again as an isolated group, you can build stronger legs, and continue to be in the fat-burning cycle.
End your week with a chest workout. As one of my favorite songs eloquently sings, LifT tHEm TitTIes uP. Working your chest will lift your breast and strengthen the muscles that carry the majority of their weight.
REST! PARTY! Enjoy yourself and feel proud of the work you put in for the week. Don’t blow everything youʻve worked so hard for on this one night off though.; alcohol has a lot of sugar and a lot of carbs.
Daily meal plan:
Remember to keep your breakfast limited; have half a piece of toast rather than the full, cut down the milk—maybe us skim milk in your cereal—and always, egg whites over whole eggs; you can have SEVEN egg whites in your omelet over two whole eggs providing a LOAD of protein with less fat and calories than those pesky egg yolks.
1st protein shake
Go for pre-made shakes at the grocery store rather than blending a fruit/powder smoothie if you want to cut down the calories.
Youʻve made it to your second meal of the day, keep it small and no major/simple carbs if you already had toast with breakfast.
2nd protein shake
Pre-made if you had a blended smoothie earlier in the day.
Youʻre finally here, it’s the last meal of the day. Eat this meal 2-3 hours before you go to bed and no less. Oh, and I hope I don’t need to tell you this, but again, no major/simple carbs if you already had toast with breakfast or lunch. Please notice I didn’t say “breakfast and/or lunch”, I said “breakfast or lunch” there is a clear difference.
Tips to make it all easier:
Water is your best friend.
Calories hide not only in what you eat but also what you drink. Did you know my beloved Dr. Pepper has 250 calories in a single can?? 250 calories are almost twice the number of calories in my favorite pre-made protein shake and that is a whole meal for me some days.
Your body is fueled by carbs so please, please, please, do not completely cut them out of your diet.
Find a motivator. Buy an outfit you want to fit in to or set a health goal you want to achieve, anything to keep yourself in check and on track.
Buy a cup with a straw! I mindlessly drink off that straw every waking moment, writing, reading course material, driving, anything. I genuinely believe that drinking through a straw requires such a limited range of motion you get lost in whatever else youʻre doing while sipping. When I changed from a tumbler to a straw, I began refilling my cup almost every hour—though I went to the restroom equally as often so be warned and don’t seclude yourself in a painting studio 10 minutes and three floors from any toilet like I did one too many times.
Trying to cut down on your caloric intake? You can cut your meals down to two shakes and a meal!
Eating five meals a day can be hard if you don’t space things out properly; its best to eat SMALLER portions every three hours to keep yourself sustained yet not over-fed.