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The Running Journalist: How to alter your fitness lifestyle to keep fit in college

The Running Journalist is a fitness column for the students of Muskingum published weekly on the Special Section page of the Black & Magenta.

Check here weekly to get your glimpse of our campus newspaper!

Published: 28 Jan 2011

First, let me begin by saying that I am not a certified physical professional or, by any means, am I claiming to have the knowledge of a doctor. However, I do believe that after losing 60 pounds and completing four races in the past two years, and by currently preparing for an upcoming marathon, I have adequate fitness knowledge worthy of sharing.

As incoming students you have “free” access to all things fitness; you can access all the tools needed to help give you that body you so desperately desire on the second floor of the Chess Center.  There are treadmills, elliptical machines, a ton of weights, exercise balls, jump ropes…so where do you start? 

Assess your fitness level

How long has it been since you were physically active consistently? A month ago? Three months ago? In high school? Never? According to IDEA Health & Fitness Association Expert Fitness Physiologist Jason Karp, Ph.D., “within one to two weeks of stopping exercise, changes can already be seen in cardiovascular fitness,” however, “decreases in strength don’t happen as quickly as decreases in cardiovascular endurance.” So if you’ve been fitness-free for about 6 months or more, you must start at the beginning. If you’ve been about 3 months without working out, all is not lost. Karp suggests adding one  to three days of intensive workouts to your regimen (if this is your very first time working out, then just have one intense day until you feel you can add more without injury). This will help you build up the cardio fitness you lost or never had in the first place. 

Assess your interests

Do you like to run? Would you rather lift weights? Do you want to use exercise as a stress outlet and try yoga? Or do you want to bike 40 miles at a 20 mph pace?Chose how to work out based on what you like to do or what you want to do. For example, I will be running a marathon this September, so I work out based on my marathon goals. If you just want to be fit with no strings attached, like future races or physical hobbies, then try something like yoga or pilates. It helps you to find harmony within yourself while finding what may believe the most important fitness goal: having a strong core. Remember that, with anything, to start out slowly and carefully. Don’t take on  fitness regimens UNTIL you know how to manage them safely and without injury. 

 Assess your diet

Remember, you must alter your diet in order to see those desired physical changes. I know it’s hard to do this (I had first-hand experience!) with the dining hall feeding the students food they claim to be healthier…with a dessert table.  You must chose a monotonous eating lifestyle when faced with dining hall choices.  

Doing all of this will seem overwhelming at first; however, one must tackle all of these things before weight is shed. It takes patience, persistance, and lots of reading and research. I want to help my fellow students become the person they dream of, because I was a dreamer once, until I was inspired by another Muskie. 

I want to pass this torch of inspiration on to another Muskie – who is ready to take it? 

Join me in fitness and online: twitter.com/#!/Running_Heather


One Response

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