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Summer months are the perfect time to get in shape. The weather is great for biking, swimming, running, hiking and every other sport you can play in the sun. Plus, with farmer’s markets open, there’s always fresh, delicious produce available from local farms.
On the flip side, summer is also great for lying in bed all day, eating ice cream, barbecuing and sitting at the pool soaking up the sun instead of swimming laps. Then there are vacations to exotic places filled with a lot of new food and no gym time. Don’t forget the lack of responsibility, going to dinner with friends and frequenting the bars.
If you’re anything like me, you spent your summer in the latter category and paid for it with little to no weight loss. But with the start of a new semester comes a new beginning and a commitment to healthy living.
Here are some tips to get your butt back in battle mode:
Set small goals
Instead of planning to hit the gym six days a week, shoot for four. Don’t plan on eating nothing but salad all week, just cut back on eating out every day. Setting lofty goals is setting yourself up for failure. Smaller goals are easier to achieve and will help you begin to develop better habits.
Put it in your planner
Spend time scheduling when to work out and prepare your food. It’s much easier to know you’re working out after your 3 p.m. class then just saying you’ll work out some time tomorrow. Take a look at your schedule and pencil it in. Everyone has the time, you just have to be creative.
Go easy on yourself
Don’t stock junk food in your cabinets. Wear your gym clothes to class. Carry a water bottle wherever you go. Divide up fruits and veggies in snack-size bags so you can grab them on the go.
If being healthy becomes a time-consuming chore, then you won’t follow through. But if you make the healthy choice the easy choice, you’re more likely to succeed.
Try something new
Always loved to dance? Take a hip-hop class at the Rec Center. Bored of the treadmill? Try running through campus or to the Flatirons. Sick of the same old salad? Buy a new cookbook or check out links for healthy eating.
Shake up your boring routine with some new flavors. Keep it fresh and interesting for yourself. By changing up your workout you won’t only have a fun time, you’ll start to see the results you’ve been after.
Cut back on going out
Sure, during summer you have less responsibility, so why not go out with friends? As the semester starts, spend more time at home, focusing on other goals. If you were planning on hitting the gym, then don’t let your friends convince you to go to happy hour. If you can’t go out to dinner without ordering something smothered in butter, then skip it and stay home. Make the healthy choice; your waistline will thank you later.
In future columns, I will talk to health professionals, discuss my struggles, and try to answer the question of “what is beauty?”
Stay tuned for advice for living a healthy life, and to know you’re not the only person struggling with weight issues.
Contact CU Independent Editor-in-Chief Amanda Moutinho at Amanda.firstname.lastname@example.org.