By Ashley Tripp, Student at the University of Alabama
The familiar trickling of sweat, heavy breathing, the clanging of weights and the satisfying drops of water all resurface back to that first time you stepped into the gym on Jan. 1 after making a promise to yourself to exercise daily.
By now you should be “beach body” ready for Spring Break, right?
Well … not exactly.
Certain barriers, such as the stress of midterms or those tiny (and calorific) chocolate kisses wrapped in tinfoil from Valentine’s Day, have come up within these past few months to prevent you from keeping that commitment of going to the gym.
While that New Year’s resolution may have fallen short, there’s still time for you to fit into that yellow polka dot bikini for Spring Break!
However, this time there are no excuses. It’s already March and some universities have already begun their Spring Break trips.
For those of you who are still counting down the days until Spring Break, here are four basic tips to ensure a more confident chicster:
1) Skip the soda and drink more water
I know it’s tempting to drink a Coke or Pepsi instead of water, but if you’re serious about getting ready for Spring Break, stick with water. The rule of thumb is that you are supposed to drink at least eight glasses of water daily. Not only is it beneficial for your skin, but you also become full from zero calories. Water also lowers cholesterol levels.
However, if you absolutely need caffeine to study for those exams before break, try a Coke Zero or Pepsi One for less calories.
2) Rotate toning upper half and lower half
If you want to work on toning your muscles, my weightlifting teacher recommends to focus on the upper muscles of your body one day and then the lower half of your muscles another day. You don’t want to overdo it to the point where you won’t even be able to walk on the beach — know your limits.
The easiest way to build muscle is to start with a lighter weight and increased repetitions. You could try abs, back and arms one day and then hips, bottom and legs the next day.
3) Try at least 20 minutes of cardio
Pump up that heart rate and get the blood flowing! Cardio burns calories faster. According to the American Heart Association, everyone should perform at least 20 minutes of vigorous cardio exercises three days a week or for 30 minutes five days a week. Even if you just set aside 20 minutes a day, you’ll feel better about yourself and your body will thank you.
4) Skip the fast food
No matter how tempting that Chick-fil-A sandwich or those french fries might look, resist the urge. The goal is not to look like a Victoria's Secret supermodel by Spring Break but to feel confident in your own skin. Adding fried foods will only gain pounds, not confidence!
Image courtesy of ponsuwan / FreeDigitalPhotos.net