(Photo: Her Campus)
Now, even though it doesn’t take a rocket scientist to figure out that exercise is essential for ideal health, it also doesn’t take one to realize that with classes, a five-course workload, and social life to tend to, college students don’t have much time to waste busting their buns at the gym. Here are a few tricks that take almost zero effort, but will pay off a few days from now when it’s time to show off that beach body:
1. Write Yourself Notes- Stop relying on, “I don’t need to write down that Power Remix is at 6:30, I’ll remember!” Let’s be honest…you probably won’t. Make a note to yourself on your desk, calendar, or agenda for the days that you plan to go for that much-needed run or hit up a class in the White Building. It’s no secret that you are more likely to finish a task when you have the motivation to be able to cross it off of your list. Probably one of the most liberating feelings is that of accomplishment. Take action right away and stop procrastinating!
2. Drink More Water- We know for sure that we are not the only ones who don’t drink nearly enough water. Replacing sugary juices or soda with water will not only lower your calorie intake, but will also speed up your metabolism. The recommended water intake per day is 8 glasses and, although it may sound unachievable, it can make a HUGE difference. Being hydrated aids in eliminating irritating (and noticeable) puffy under-eye circles because it tightens your skin without you even knowing! By ensuring that you are consuming enough water, you will have no trouble getting that gorgeous glowing skin for spring break. We suggest taking a refillable bottle when you leave for that dreaded 8 A.M. and continue to sip until you are ready to get some rest. Save the planet while helping yourself! Which brings us to our next tip…
3. Cut Down on the Alcohol- Though it may seem to be an unrealistic task, minimizing your alcoholic beverage intake before going on break will drastically improve your health in a countless number of ways. Before rallying the weekend before break to end the first half of the semester, consider doing a little research on what you plan on drinking and how much you (actually) intend to drink. Then decide if you’re still game. Have fun, but be aware of what and how much you are consuming.
4. Get More Sleep- Similar to water intake, the importance of enough sleep seems entirely unachievable and underrated during our college years. Heck, we can sleep when we’re dead, right? Wrong. It has been proven that lack of sleep is correlated with the appearance of aging skin, not to mention lack of sleep causes weight gaaaainnnnn (you read that correctly). It also comes with increased appetite due to the fact that it stimulates your cravings for fatty foods. The recommended amount of sleep for college students is more than six hours per night. Even though six hours seems a bit out of reach for some… lay off the Netflix when you’re lying in bed and try the old-fashioned remedy of counting sheep. A lot less entertaining, yes, but we can assure you it will put you to sleep faster than engaging in the bubbling romance between Blair and Chuck.
5. COOK, Don’t Order- The average Chipotle burrito (obviously with guac) comes in at about 1,070 calories. For a 2,000-calorie diet, that is over half of a day’s worth of intake in one sitting. Trust us, we all know that the struggle of seeing Chipotle and walking by without stopping on our way to classes is real, but your health will thank you! Consider cooking at home more to avoid unnecessary amounts of sodium and preservatives that are found in foods served at just about every restaurant. Food made at home is fresher, healthier and, if large portions are made, can be saved for later on in the week as well. This is not to say that eating at restaurants isn’t okay, as long as it is done in moderation. This includes ordering Wings Over or D.P. Dough after a late night in Fratland. As much as we hate to think it, 3 A.M. meals are never a good idea.
6. Don’t Cheat Yourself- Despite all of the tips listed above, never cheat yourself. Ultimately, you are the pilot of your body and your life. You have the power to make any changes in your lifestyle or keep them as they are, both of which are perfectly fine! Just make sure that if you create goals for yourself, for spring break or for any time in life, you are honest with yourself! Keep this particular tip in mind and you will thank us later.