Your Guide To Staying Healthy at URI

July 31, 2015 in Alive Campus, Campus Life, Health

URI Mackal Field House Indoor Track

URI Mackal Field House Indoor Track

We all know how difficult it can be to remain healthy and fit while away at school and students at the University of Rhode Island are no exception to that. Dining halls, late night munchies, and fast food spots surrounding us wherever we go. Although eating has a tremendous impact on how healthy you are, staying active is just as important. Here are some tips on how to avoid the freshmen fifteen, lose the sophomore sixteen, dodge the junior jillion, and shave off the senior seventeen. 

I can’t tell you how many people I know that have used the excuse, “I don’t have the time!” Truth is, we’re all students with social lives and with grades to keep up; none of us have the spare time either. You have to make the time to work out in order to be a healthier you. Even if that means setting your alarm clock an hour early before class or saying no to happy-hour once a week!

Avoid the late night munchies

Avoid the late night munchies

I know we all enjoy eating a Chicken Parmesan calzone at 3AM from I-Zone, but it’s not doing you any good. Those extra calories are proving to be deadly and will help you gain weight immediately. Instead of ordering food, maybe set a side a snack for when you get home. Believe it or not, a peanut butter and banana sandwich tastes great after a long night out down-the-line.

It’s never easy getting yourself to the gym, but when you have another person depending on you, things change. Having a workout buddy can mean the difference between getting a work out in or taking a nap. It’s important to surround yourself with people who have similar goals as you because believe it or not you’ll end up inspiring each other and now you won’t have an excuse because URI has a brand new state of the art fitness center right across from Hope Dining Hall. 

Remain active

Remain active

Switching up your routine is key in order to see results, but also to keep you interested in your workout. Try out new workout regimes to spice up your daily routines. If you’re not much of a runner, pick a beautiful day (Rhode Island has plenty to choose from) and around alongside the seawall or even through campus. If your a cardio fanatic, get yourself into a weight training class and learn about proper form and technique. The new Anna Fascitelli Fitness studio has a wide range of classes from dance to weight training and even kickboxing. This could really do your body some justice!

Believe me, I know it’s difficult to get those 7-8 hours of sleep each night. If you’re not up studying for an exam then you’re probably out and about in Narragansett or maybe your a Netflix series binge watcher. Whatever the case may be, it’s important to sleep when you have the time to because this will help you regain your energy to work out better, focus on your classes, and be an overall happier individual.

Truth is, as college students we are all growing physically and mentally. In order for that growth to peek we must fuel our bodies to the best of our abilities. Yes, I encourage you to eat fruits and vegetables on a daily basis, but I also encourage you to consume protein and fats regularly. I don’t mean a large fries from Burger King when I say fat, but instead try some almonds, peanuts, or avocados. These are all great sources of good fat and are tasty, too. Mix things up and enjoy your fast metabolism while you still got it!

So often college students get caught up in the pressures of school, society, and family. It’s okay to admit that you’re stressed out and to cut back on some of  the responsibilities on your plate. Being kind to yourself also means being honest with how you feel physically and mentally. Take a break once and a while…you deserve it! While you’re at it, don’t forget to be kind to those around you. This will make you happier and more at peace with yourself. Mental health is just as important as physical health, which is why it must be practiced regularly.

Consider these tips when trying to remain healthy and fit at any college or university. Luckily for the students at the University of Rhode Island being active outdoors comes easy because of the cool ocean breeze and wide open space in and around campus. Whatever town or city you are from, these tips can help you become more physically, emotionally, and even sexually healthier. 

Maintaining Healthy Habits in College

March 23, 2015 in Alive Campus, Health

Several college students undoubtedly have a love/hate relationship with the tedious task we simply call “exercise.” Every day is an ongoing process of questioning if we really want to workout out or catch up on the next episode of Friends on Netflix, despite the millions of times we’ve watched it. We know what we should do, but we also know what we want to do. We’re tired from our assignments and don’t have the motivation to spend our precious free time sweating it out at the gym, yet when we’re finished, our mood is instantly enhanced and we’re proud of the awesome workout we just forced ourselves to suffer through. It’s complicated.

The students at FSU are very much into fitness and working out, most likely because bathing suit season is year round in Tallahassee. The gym at FSU, also known as the Leach Center, is enormous, consisting of three floors, a swimming pool, a basketball court, volleyball court, indoor track, and every workout machine imaginable. Really, it’s no excuse to not take advantage of this on-campus amenity. It also offers a variety of free workout classes, ranging from Spin, Cardio Endurance, Zumba, Circuit Training, Yoga, Boxing, and so much more. While I have only participated twice in workout classes here, it definitely was well worth my time and blasted calories like no other. These classes are for the students who need that extra boost when exercising. A workout class will certainly push you to your limits and make the time go fast as the instructors force you to keep going. They don’t particularly care that you’re on the verge of collapsing, which will only benefit you in the end. In addition to fitness classes, each FSU student is entitled to 4 free personal training sessions at the Leach to gain some fitness tips and customize their workouts depending on their fitness goals. The trainers are very helpful and keep everything on file for future reference when you’re on your own. If you feel that the Leach Center is overly crowded or simply too overwhelming, the Health and Wellness Center recently built a small indoor gym as well.

Health and Wellness Center

Health and Wellness Center

Walking to class in itself may certainly burn calories, especially up the hills carrying heavy books in the blazing sun, but it’s also important to incorporate a set time for exercising and focusing on getting your heart rate up. A great way to stay in cardiovascular shape is to simply go for a 30-minute run on campus. The weather is usually always ideal for running, so you will often find students jogging along the campus any time of day. I actually prefer to run on campus because it’s hilly and more challenging than simply running on a treadmill in the gym. It’s also a great way to get your share of Vitamin D and enjoy the beautiful scenery around the campus. Yes, running can certainly be boring, but there’s always a sight to see when exercising outside as opposed to running in place. Take advantage of the beautiful Florida weather.

Another effective outdoor exercise is referred to as “stadiums.” This is basically just running up, down, and across the bleachers at Doak Campbell Stadium. It sounds easy, but it’s actually an unbelievably hard workout considering the stadium is enormous and the sun feels extra hot from the attraction of the metal bleachers. Bring a lot of water and mentally prepare yourself before doing them. Don’t forget to snap some photos of the empty stadium during your rest periods.

On days you simply don’t feel dealing with the crowded gym, there are always home workouts. I recommend Insanity as being one of the best home workouts that’s both time-efficient and provides an amazing, full-body workout. Each of the exercises pushes you to your max limits and essentially focuses on strengthening your core and providing an overall leaner appearance after the first few weeks. It involves HITT- High intensity interval training, which shoots your heart rate up in a matter of seconds with short rest periods in between, providing an even higher afterburn post-workout. Several of the workout videos are less than an hour, which include warm-up and cool-down stretch periods. So when you feel like exercising in the comfort of your own home and you lack both the time and energy to drive to and from the gym, give it a try. It’s extremely hard, but exceptionally rewarding!

FSU Leach Center

FSU Leach Center

It’s important to note that exercising a few times a week does not necessarily mean you’re staying in shape and maintaining a healthy lifestyle. It actually only consists of 20 percent of your diet, so eating healthy is even more of a necessity when trying to stay fit. If you can’t find the time to workout, at least make sure to eat clean. I personally thrive off Publix grilled chicken and fish with a side of veggies and tons of water during the week so I can treat myself on weekends without feeling guilty. Eating healthy foods full of protein and nutrients will automatically make you feel better mentally and energetically. Most importantly, you will naturally look better physically. Snack on healthy food such as apples and protein bars. Make smart choices when going grocery shopping and keep yourself on the outside aisles as opposed to the ones containing processed foods. Prep your meals ahead of time if you have a crazy week ahead and so you don’t feel tempted to grab Chipotle for dinner when you’re too tired to cook. These will all contribute to a habitually healthier lifestyle with time. The thought of treating yourself on Saturday night to some sangria and Mexican food can be your motivation as you munch on healthy food Monday-Friday. (It’s certainly mine!) Yes, if I could eat Moe’s and Chick-fil-a every week I would, but unfortunately, college is the time to say goodbye to the Ramen noodles and start adopting healthy habits!

Virginia Military Institute: One of the Top 10 Fittest American Universities

August 29, 2014 in Alive Campus, Campus Life, Health, Sports

Freshman doing flutter kicks

Freshman doing flutter kicks

If you plan to attend V.M.I you better make sure you are in the best shape of your life. I know I was. Because if you aren’t you will not last a single day of your first year. V.M.I is not for the weak because it is physically, mentally, and emotionally demanding.  That’s why we are listed as one of the top ten fittest universities in America.

Before you even attend V.M.I, they make sure you are able to handle the physical tasks that you will encounter your first year. V.M.I does not have the time to get you in shape, so you need to come prepared. For me, I was in the best shape of my life right before I started. I had just lost a total of 20 pounds and was ready for the challenge. But to my surprise, it still was a struggle. Your entire first year is pretty much dedicated to making your life miserable through vigorous work-outs. The first week you are there is called hell week and you wake-up every morning at 5 to do P.T. (physical training). This consists of going on long runs and doing a variety of exercises like flutter kicks and overhead arm claps. Now this may sound easy, but after so many overhead arm claps it is difficult to keep your arms up. It’s no picnic in the park, that’s for sure. This continues for the majority of your first year with intense work-outs on Saturdays and an occasional sweat party (an intense 15 minute work-out where you are drenched in sweat afterwards) every few weeks and the culminating event at the end of six months.

Once you are through the first six months of your first year, it is pretty much up to you to stay in shape. However, since V.M.I is a military school you also P.T. with your respective military branch. This includes all the classes, from freshman to senior. This is twice a week on Mondays and Fridays and consists of whatever the military staff of your branch feel like doing, which usually involves a long run for the Army department.  Additionally, every semester you must pass the V.F.T. (V.M.I Fitness Test). The test is comprised of pull-ups, sit-ups, and a mile and a half run. If you do not pass the test then you are put on remedial P.T. which is an organized work-out session that meets twice a week in order to work on passing the V.F.T. You must stay on remedial P.T. until you are able to pass the V.F.T. Therefore, you must take the initiative and make sure you work-out after your first year. Even during your first year it is highly recommended that you work out on your own on top of the mandatory physical activity.

It is easy to let yourself go after that first year and I know a majority of us have done it. I myself have gained weight because I don’t stay on top of working-out because I get so overwhelmed with everything going on to where I’m exhausted and would rather take a nap instead. Sadly the choices I have for working-out at V.M.I are not the most appealing either, which makes me not want to work-out also. Your choices include either going on a run, going to the weight room, swimming at the pool when it’s open, or using the cardio room. Now the reason these choices aren’t that great is because the weight room is outdated and doesn’t have that many options for lifting in my opinion, the open swim for the pool isn’t that often or convenient, running gets boring after a while if that’s all you’re doing, and the cardio rooms have outdated machines that don’t work very well and the variety of machines is disappointing. However, everyone makes do with what we have. I personally like to go on a run every other day because the scenery is gorgeous around the school since we are located in the Blue Ridge Mountains, but it does make it more difficult too if you get my drift. I also use the up-right bikes and an elliptical machine too and do my own exercises in the mat room on the days I’m not running. That is how I stay fit and would recommend if that’s something you like to do. Otherwise, I know that guys like to go to the weight room or play basketball. It is important to find a work-out that you enjoy otherwise it gives you another reason not to work-out.

Overall, V.M.I is a very physical school and has earned its placement as one of the top ten fittest universities in America. Your first year is your most physically demanding but after that you are on your own to make sure you stay fit. This is difficult, especially with everything else we are forced to do, but the reward of staying in shape is one that can be appreciated for the rest of your life.

Healthy Life-style

Healthy Life-style

No Excuses: Staying Fit in College

August 6, 2014 in Alive Campus, Campus Life, Health

Have you ever found yourself wading through deep waters, where hot mist rises to your nose and eyes, having no idea what lies beneath the surface? You are unfamiliar with this jungle terrain, but press forward in an act of courage and desire to explore this land. You clear the waist-deep waters only to lay eyes on the largest elephant you could have ever encountered. Then, your illusion of grandeur falls away from you and you realize you are staring into a mirror, only to have your body stare back at you. “Can pizza and beer really turn me into a huge jungle mammal,” you ask yourself. Yes. Yes it can. Luckily for you, staying in shape at school is incredibly easy, even if you refuse to pay for a gym membership.

First thing is first. There are no excuses for not exercising. A normal class schedule for the typical undergraduate is about 15 hours per week. Compare that with the typical 40 per week you had in high school. Yes, some students get jobs to help pay tuition, rent, gas, etc. Let’s pretend that on top of your class schedule, you work 30 hours per week (that’s high-balling it). That means that for 7 hours out of each day of the week, you have a commitment. That is a nice, full schedule, but still there is a lot of free time to be accounted for in there. Even giving one hour per day of moderate (or more vigorous) exercise will keep that belly in check, and have you feeling healthy, and looking good.

Secondly, a lot of schools have free memberships for students. For those of you lucky enough to reap the benefits of this do so. You don’t have to be an athlete or a stereotypical Donkey Kong meathead to go to the gym. If you don’t feel comfortable in the gym, there are several other ways to stay in shape.

Never underestimate the power of a run. Running is a great workout for your legs and a pretty good method for negating the calories you will most likely be consuming while on campus. When running, you can clear your mind of stress from school, family, or with friends by getting lost in the songs blaring from your ear buds, while sweating out those gold fever wings you housed for dinner the night before. Running, much like weight lifting, is good for setting personal goals; when you start running, you may only be able to complete a 2 or 3 mile run, but after months of training, you can feel proud of the progress you have made by making it all the way to a 6 or 7 mile run.

Another great workout that keeps you away from the gym is the “Insanity” or “P90-X” workouts. You don’t need a gym membership to participate, and do not even need to leave your dorm room or apartment to trim fat and get into shape. These workouts focus on bodyweight exercises that individually are not difficult, but when done in succession at the correct speed, provide an “insane” workout from the comfort of your home.

In reality, college is a time of finding out who you are, while getting an education, and trying to have fun somewhere between all that. Though fitness for most people is not “fun,” it is something that people should take seriously. No one wants to look into the mirror and be disappointed in what they see. Elephant or lion, we all just want to get drunk and find someone to mate with, am I right? Your options may be broader if you take these easy steps to keep yourself healthy and feeling fit.

by Laura

How Do I Stay Healthy in College?

September 6, 2013 in Alive Campus, Campus Life, Health

If Homer can run, so can you!

If Homer can run, so can you!

We have all been there. After a grueling day of sitting through five hours of class, working at our campus job, attending club meetings, and having dinner with friends, the last thing on our mind is going to the gym. Several nights, I sat at my desk, lost in a pile of books, post-it notes, flashcards and used highlighters. I would tell myself that I would run tomorrow. But let’s be honest, that tomorrow is often pushed off for another week. One of the most beneficial things that you can do to excel in school is to stay healthy physically and mentally. This doesn’t mean that I advise students to train for a marathon or go on a diet. It’s merely important to remember to take 10 minutes, 30 minutes, or maybe even an hour out of your day to relax, breathe in fresh air and get that heart pumping. Here are some tips to implement a healthy lifestyle into your busy schedule.

Make goals:

Tell yourself that you will run one mile or that you will only eat out once this upcoming week. They can be small, daily, weekly, or even very ambitious goals. Just make some type of goal and follow accomplish it. Eventually, those goals will become habits and not just a short term dietary or exercise program that stops once the program ends.

Take a walk or the stairs:
As I learned my freshman year at Cal, the campus has several hills that makes going to class a small workout during the day. Sometimes, I had to run up the hills to make it to class on time. Even though I may have been that awkward kid breathing abnormally once I slid into a seat, I felt alert and ready for class. The best way to incorporate small amounts of physical activity is to walk more. Seriously just take a walk. Have you ever just stared at your computer screen, at a loss as to what you should write next? Go outside and walk down the block, to the store, or even around the apartment. Take the stairs to class. Those few minutes of activity take your brain away from whatever you are working on, allowing time for you to regroup, and ready to study.

Go to the gym:
If you can spare the time, go to the gym. Even it’s just for half hour on the treadmill, it gets you out of the dorm or apartment. Swim at the pool or go on the elliptical. Invite your friends to make it motivating and fun!

Run fifteen minutes around the block:
Maybe you enjoy the outdoors? Put your old running shoes on and go for a quick run around the block while your dinner is still in the making, or before a club meeting. I started to run more in my senior year. (And trust me, I am the slowest runner in the world.) Many times, I took my frustration out on the run. By the end, even if it was only for ten minutes, my mind was clearer and I felt invigorated to start the pile of books I needed to read by the next day. I even experienced a more positive outlook on life, even when I felt I could burst with stress. Physical activity not only tones your body, but it also creates more endorphins, which makes you a more positive person.

Eat less processed food:

I know it’s convenient to buy a burger or Thai food from the restaurant next door when class starts in twenty minutes and you haven’t had the chance to eat all day. Sometimes, it’s impossible to avoid buying takeout. However, the things that we eat influences how we feel. Take time in the morning to make a sandwich and go to the store to stock up on fruits and vegetables. Also, I advise to carry a water bottle in your backpack so you always have access to water. Many times, we eat out of stress or under the impression we are still hungry, but often times it’s our bodies telling us that we are dehydrated.

Yoga helps you understand your body and mind.

Yoga helps you understand your body and mind.

Yoga/ mediation:
Yoga? Don’t people who participate in yoga just stretch all day? I used to think yoga was a silly activity, but after my friend dragged me to a yoga studio, I have been attending a class whenever I get the chance. It not only works out ALL of your muscles, and particularly your abs, it also clears your mind, teaches you how cope with stress and how to breathe. I noticed that I run better after attending yoga classes because I acquired a better posture and learned how to breathe correctly. Just try it!

The hardest part of implementing activity into your schedule is starting. Sometimes we make excuses like it’s raining, it’s too hot or I’ll just go tomorrow. Nobody ever regretted going out for a run or just taking a walk. The activity will flow oxygen into your body, making you less stressed, and leaves you with a clear mind that helps you refocus on a problem with a more positive attitude. Start today. Do something!