Living a Fit Life

In high school, many of us were on sports teams, had controlled diets due to what our parents bought, and simply had higher metabolisms or a healthier living style. Then college came, and we found ourselves highly stressed because of homework or jobs, no longer being active in sports, and controlling our own cheap diets. We often say that there is little time to exercise, and that the time we do have, we want to spend relaxing, but these are just excuses for being lazy, whether we like to admit it or not.

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So how do we change? Well, it’s not an easy answer, but the only way we change is if we want to. Sometimes we just settle for what we have, and there’s nothing wrong with that if you are confident and happy with yourself. But if you aren’t, and you’re constantly insecure about your body image, then do something about it. Only you can control your life, and the truth is that putting on weight is just as hard as losing it, so which would you rather challenge yourself to do? Some of us may hope to gain muscle while others may hope to lose fat. No matter what your situation is, there are plenty of sources you can use for motivation, tips and steps.

One major problem with those of us who try controlling our diets is our attention to calories. Calorie intake has very little significance because there are good calories and bad ones. A healthy diet means taking in good nutrients, not necessarily just keeping a low calorie count. Another major dietary problem is how much we eat. Portion sizes are listed on the back of products for a reason. They tell us how much of something we should have to help us control the balance of nutrients we digest. Sometimes we don’t understand why we aren’t losing or gaining weight, but it’s because, although we may be eating the right foods, we may be eating too much or not enough. Ultimately, dietary fitness comes down to nutrients and portion sizes, not calories.

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Another major problem with fitness is the amount of exercise we get and what kind of exercise it is. Most of us don’t get enough exercise at all. We should be aiming for at least an hour of strenuous work a day, and most of us fail to get that in a week. We should plan to set aside an hour every day, an hour that we dedicate to making ourselves more physically fit. If we do try to exercise, we aren’t always doing what we should. Just going through the motions in a workout won’t get the job done. You should push yourself to your limit and keep the proper form, otherwise, it’s a waste of time. Also, if you want to lose fat, strength workouts aren’t the key. You need to invest your time in cardio exercises, like running. Exercising shouldn’t be something we try finding time for, it should be something we make time for. It won’t only make us physically healthier, it’ll make us mentally healthier too because we’ll become more confident with ourselves and have more control over our lives.

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Caffeine is an awful choice. And almost every college student is guilty of it, myself included. But we truly underestimate how bad it is for our bodies. There is no good substitute for sleep, and not enough sleep can cause terrible defects. We find it hard to get enough sleep, because we try to balance our homework and social lives, but why? I mean, who doesn’t enjoy sleep? We should make time to do the things we love, so let’s make time to sleep -- at least a solid eight hours a day. By solid, I mean straight through, not four two-hour nap intervals throughout the day. Caffeine is a depressant, sleep certainly is not.

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Where do you start? Wherever you want to. Calculate your BMI, make a workout schedule, download a calorie counter app (that shows nutritional values and intakes), or talk to a nutritionist! If you don’t know what to do first, take time to do some research. You can never go wrong with making a healthy lifestyle change. If you don’t know where to do research or what apps to download refer to the lists below:

Apps/Logs

Resources

All in all, college students often make bad health choices. Now is the time to make a change for the better and to be happier with ourselves. You don’t have to do it alone either! Find a gym buddy or someone who can help you watch what you eat, just don’t depend on them or follow their lead if they start slacking off. You are your own person capable of making your own decisions. Start controlling your diet, making time to exercise, and blessing yourself with deep sleep. Know that change takes time -- that’s perfectly fine, it’s healthy! Sooner or later you’ll see the change you want to. Don’t lose hope too quickly, because like I said before, change will come if you want it to. After all, as Jim Rohn once said, “Take care of your body, it’s the only place you have to live.”