21st Birthday, 4th of July and Switzerland

The time has finally come. The baby of our grade is now legal and it feels great… except I was already legal here in Europe, but that’s besides the point.

We went to Place Luxembourg on Thursday night around 11:30 and Haley, Taylor and Caroline convinced a lot of random Belgians to buy me shots. It was overall a great night as per usual at Place Lux.

After class on Friday we flew Brussels Airlines to Geneva, Switzerland! This was by far my favorite trip (sorry Paris you were a close second). Switzerland is absolutely breathtaking. The first night we went out to dinner at this pizzeria near our Airbnb for my birthday dinner. Everywhere in Switzerland is unreasonably expensive, but the food was still great.

Geneva Switzerland

The next day was the Fourth of July, so we found the only Budweiser products in Switzerland (which we later found out was just a cheap knock-off that’s been in lots of lawsuits with the real Budweiser), packed some sandwiches and went to the lake!

We found a public beach access that was three Franks where we could lay out and swim. It was a Fourth of July well spent. We played some good ‘ole Bruce Springsteen, drank cheap beer and laid out by the lake all day. It was so nice to finally feel like we were on a little vacation instead of just sight-seeing. My favorite part was jumping off a high dive into the most amazing view (see picture below).

On the way home, there was a big parade going on and we found out that they have this parade once a year to celebrate the lake. It was very interesting and we just got lucky enough to stumble upon it. That night we went out to the City Center, but Geneva’s nightlife wasn’t my favorite. I would recommend saving your time and energy for daytime adventures.

The next day we were on a mission to the Swiss Alps. It was quite a trip to get there because it’s so high up, but it was completely worth it. We had to take many connecting shuttles to get to the Glacier 3000 headquarters. From there, we bought a gondola ride up to the top of the mountain that included the bridge walk and an area to play in the snow. We spent 9 extra Franks to do roller coaster ride at the top of the mountain because there was no way that we could pass up that opportunity.

Every single thing about this trip was amazing. If you come to Europe, don’t just do the over-hyped cities. Come somewhere like Switzerland to experience some breathtaking views. You will not regret it.

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The Dangers of the “Spring Break Body” Mentality

It’s that time when gyms start crowding up in hopes of achieving the ideal “spring break body”. People start dieting and working out as they realize how close it is to spring break, but why is this lifestyle something that is only strived for the month before a vacation?

Exercise and healthy eating are things that we should strive for all year. If people were really doing that, I would not be noticing a difference in the amount of people occupying the gym right after New Years Resolutions and right before spring break.

Exercising a lot right before spring break will not make any noticeable difference to your body structure. I promise that you are all beautiful the way that you are and there is no need to go on an unhealthy crash diet and mass exercise plan right before spring break. That’s just not healthy.

Instead I am going to urge all of you (including myself) to remember that working out and eating right is something that we should strive to do all year. Your goal for working out should never revolve around trying to change your pant size or loose x number of pounds. You should be working out to feel better about yourself, to be healthier and to have more energy.

Don’t do it for the people you will never see again on the beach.

Do it for the energy. Do it for the confidence. Do it for the health benefits. Do it for you.

 

Mix It Up for Motivation: Exercise Classes

Last semester I definitely did not prioritize going to the gym, so it was really hard to get back in the swing of things. I think that a major reason why I stopped going was because it was always the same thing. Every time I went, I would do 30 mins. on the treadmill and 30 mins. of basic ab workouts. I lost all motivation to go because it wasn’t exciting anymore.

I recently started going back to the gym and was doing that same old routine. I was just making myself go. It was not something I was looking forward to and that’s just not the way working out needs to be. Not to mention, the unbelievably long lines at The Rec did not help my cause.

I decided to get a Tiger X pass, which allows you to take an unlimited number of classes. I took a kickboxing class the other day called TurboKick and it was a great workout. It was a little challenging to follow the steps at first, since I had never done it before, but it was a great workout for my legs and arms. The next day, I took a sculpting class called Pump. This class incorporated  weights, exercise balls and bands in order to sculpt every inch of my body. It felt great being back at the gym and working muscles that I had been neglecting.

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These classes are a ton of fun and make me look forward to going to the gym again. I strongly encourage Mizzou students to get a pass and pick some classes that work with your schedule. It’s also nice that a few of my friends got passes because we encourage each other to go and try new classes.

If you don’t want to pay for classes, don’t be upset. There are a ton of workout videos online that are a lot of fun. Just find something that interests you because going to the gym should be a fun thing, not a chore.

Workout for Cadio Days

hot workout bod

Cardio: Run on the treadmill for 30 mins.  Start off running at a fast jog for five minutes.  After those five minutes start alternating every 3 minutes between fast incline walks and sprints.  If you are pushing yourself with this routine and going fast, you should get in about 2 and a half miles.

Legs and Glutes:

10 glute kickback raises on 3 angles: outside, straight back, and slightly inside

15 front lunges each leg holding a medicine ball (vary weight to increase or decrease intensity)

15 glute bridges: you can push yourself and do the bridges one legged to increase intensity

15 squats with medicine ball

15 plie squats with medicine ball

Abs:

20 reverse cruches

20 second plank sequence: push up plank feet together, push up plank feet apart, elbow plank, elbow plank bringing right leg in, elbow plank bringing left leg in, elbow plank brining right leg out, elbow plank bringing right leg out

10 side plank sweep throughs each side

1 min hollow hold

30 second hollow hold while rocking

30 lemon squeezers

New Years Resolutions Call for Crowded Gym

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Coming back to school, I was excited to be reacquainted with the Mizzou Rec Center.  It is known as one of the best college recreation centers in the country and it lives up to that title quite well.  The Rec is always crowded, but since the new semester began last week, I have noticed that it is more crowded than ever before.

When I got out of class at noon on a Monday I decided to hit the rec to avoid lines.  I thought that would be a great time due to many people having classes or lunch during that time period.  Oh was I wrong!  So the next day I decided to try to go at 7:30 at night.  I figured that the people who do not live on campus would be gone and the lines would be low. WRONG AGAIN!

Following my journalistic instincts, I took the time to make many observations about the people inhabiting the gym while I had to wait in line just to get a treadmill.  Usually the gym is simply full of already in shape sorority girls or super buff muscle men.  Well recently the gym has been full of people with all sorts of body types.

My number one explanation for this shift of population would have to be New Years Resolutions.  I think that there were a lot of people who realized when they went home for winter break just how much weight that they have gained.  I mean they don’t call it the freshmen 15 for nothing.  It really does restore some of my faith in people when I see how many are becoming determined to stay healthy.  However, I wish this trend would last all year.

I am hopeful that people will not give up on their resolutions, but I am pretty certain that this is a fad that will fade out faster than Silly Bandz.  Until then, it looks like I will be doing a few more at home workouts than usual.

How To Be Productive Over Winter Break

winter break

My winter break is 5 WEEKS LONG! It is such a long span of time and I have really tried my best to remain productive so that 5 weeks of my life are not a complete waste.  I am the type of person who truly believes that you need to put your future in your own hands and take action.  The more that you sit around waiting for something to happen, the more opportunity you are giving others to surpass you.  I knew that I would not want to feel like a waste of space this break so I figured out a few ways to stay productive.

The first thing that I did this winter break was I got a job.  A ton of stores are hiring seasonally so it really is not hard to find work over the holiday season.  I would contact stores in your home town or wherever you will be staying over break when you go home for Thanksgiving.  This is a time that especially a lot of retail stores need a lot of extra hands so you would be suprised how easy it is to find a job just for the break.

This is also a great time to get yourself into great shape.  During winter break there is so much more time on our hands and a lot more food consumption.  This is a great time to really get inspired and create your own fitness goals.  I know that I can work out for so much longer when I am home because at school I just don’t have time to go as often.  So take these 5 weeks and try to really reach your fitness goals.  You’d be surprised how much you can accomplish in that amount of time.

I did not do this, but many people are taking online courses.  I think that this is a brilliant idea because I would have plenty of time.  Plus online courses are much cheaper and you don’t have to take them from your university.  I really wish that I had done this because it would be a great way to get ahead on hours to possibly graduate early.

Do something related to your major.  I am a journalism student so I knew that it would be beneficial to make a blog, but during the semester I just didn’t have the time to devote to it in order to jump start the new project the right way.  I have had plenty of time to figure out the technical aspects of wordpress and I have had plenty of time to write my posts.

If you are planning on going to med. school maybe you should spend some time volunteering at the hospital.  If you are majoring in a foreign language this could be a great time to visit a country that speaks that language (or work to save up enough money to travel over the summer).  For business majors maybe you could contact a friend of your parents and see if you can shadow them at work.  Education majors can contact their old school or past teachers and see if you an assist in the classroom.  I’m not going to ramble on about everything that you can do, but this is a great time to dive into your major without any added stress on your shoulders and cramming your schedule.

Whatever it is on this list or maybe something that you have come up with on your own, find a way to really make the most of your breaks.  You can be productive during the days and still catch up with old friends at night.  Nobody wants to be bored at home all day so be proactive and make the most of this time.

 

Who Says Healthy Isn’t Yummy?

It’s a common misconception that healthy means boring, but I have found that this is not the case at all!  I am not a good cook whatsoever so anything that I make for meals has to be something quick and easy.  Today I went to the store and picked up lemon seared fish fillet.  It came in a box and all that I had to do was put them in the oven.  I knew that I would need a side to go with it, but I didn’t have the time to waste standing over the stove.  What i did instead was steam some broccoli and it made for a delicious side.

salmon and broccoli

While I was eating this delicious and HEALTHY meal, everyone else in my family was eating pure junk.  When you look in the pantry when I am home it is chips and candy and pretty much anything you can think of that is no good for you.

I’ve never been able to understand why people don’t get inspired by other healthy eaters.  When I slip up and get dessert at the dining hall I rethink my actions when I see my friend eating veggies.  However, most people do not think that way.  Why do we consider fatty foods to be the most desired?  I am just as satisfied eating a juicy apple as when I eat a piece of cake.  It really isn’t that hard to be healthy.

And guess what?  Healthy really can be yummy!