(Featuring a special guest appearance from Gus at the end :P)
1. Buy cool workout gear
If you own sick sports swag, you’re going to want to wear it. I.e., you’re going to want to work out. (Or at least, that’s the idea.)
2. Take progress pictures
This article from TripFitness supports my claim that progress photos are a great way to measure success. It, too, recommends taking photos early and often!
The article recommends an app called BodyShot to track your progress. I’ve never used it before, but you can bet I’ll be starting soon. (Today?)
3. Keep a health journal
There are a billion apps out there to help you track calorie intake and time spent exercising. Among the more famous are MyFitnessPal and MyPlate by Livestrong.
I personally am excited to download an app I discovered on Mashable today called MyBehavior. (I’m picking up on a self-absorption pattern here…) The app stands out for a couple of reasons, one of which being that it allows you to log your food by simply taking a picture of your plate and then uploading it to MyBehavior’s server so a group of Amazon Mechanical Turk workers can label it. No typing required!
4. Walk when you can
College life can get busy! There’s no doubt about it. But that doesn’t mean you have to sacrifice time to take care of your health— or keep in touch with friends and family back home.
Why not get moving while making a phone call at the same time? Lily and I love having our daily, 10-minute updates. They’re quick, but it’s just enough time to let us know that we’re still thinking of each other. 🙂 (Hey, Lil!)
5. Make half your plate fruits and veggies
6. Never make weekends off days
The human body isn’t meant to hit the gym hardcore every single day. Your muscles need rest days to recover! According to this article in “The Active Times” (uh), “When you perform excessive amounts of exercise without proper rest and recovery you may experience some harmful side effects including decreased performance, fatigue, altered hormonal states, poor sleeping patterns, reproductive disorders, decreased immunity, loss of appetite, and mood swings.”
7. Eat light on party days– but load up on dinner!
I highly recommend against drinking on an empty stomach. This article in The New York Times (that’s more like it) featured a study that proved how food slows down the absorption process and gets you mega drunk mega quick. Sounds great, but the only hangovers I’ve ever had came the mornings after nights I drank on an empty stomach.
8. Eat when you’re hungry and don’t eat when you’re not
Learn how to listen to your body. This article from Psychology Today explains that we eat out of boredom in order to (subconsciously, of course) achieve a pleasurable release of dopamine. Fight the drugs, kids. Fight the drugs.
9. Have sex
Honestly, just do a quick Google search: Health benefits of sex. It’ll either make you very excited (not like that), or very depressed.
10. Go on coffee dates
Yet another great way to combine social connectivity with health and fitness. A regular cup of black coffee contains about 5 calories. The more sugar and cream you add in, the more caloric it gets, but it’s still a much healthier alternative to eating an extra (or overly-indulgent) meal.
11. Find a gym buddy… maybe
Experience Life Magazine did an article in 2012 on the value of having a fitness buddy. It argues that the most important thing to have when trying to get in shape is a support system. Finding a friend who is willing to support you– and in my opinion, push you– is a surefire way to double your chances of success.
If you can’t find a gym buddy irl, there are lots of great fitness communities online you can join instead. Check out MyFitnessPal.com, subscribe to some health and fitness magazines on my new favorite app, Flipboard, or follow some stellar Instagram accounts for consistent motivation and inspiration. (See #14.)
12. Take sweat selfies
Idk, maybe this is just me.
13. You’re hot no matter what
Stay keenly aware to how your physical changes are affecting you mentally. If you start to notice yourself slipping into the frantic fitness fanatic phase (I am on a ROLL today with these alliterations omG), during which people become OBSESSED with every half-pound gained or lost and count calories like they’re grams of coke, take a minute to step back and consider why you’re feeling this way.
Don’t be afraid to give yourself a pep talk every once in a while. Tell yourself you’re sexy. Mostly because you are, but partly because you may need to hear it. Remember, you’re doing this to feel GOOD about yourself. Not bad.
14. Beware of Insta Fitspo
*cough* *cough* @JenSelter *cough* *cough*
Here are links to some Fitspo Instagram accounts that, in my opinion, promote a much healthier body image: 🙂
@fitness – @colorfulfoodie – @t_reynolds22 – @wayofgray – @therock – @instafitvideoz – @yuminthetum – @the_peachy_pear
15. Don’t wait
Make like the Greek goddess and “just do it” 🙂
👊 – Cath
Oh and I filmed this entire thing in my brother’s boxers