The f in finals can stand for a lot of things, but “fun,” is definitely not one of them. As someone who has already had her first mini-mental-breakdown (and it’s not even study days yet!), I thought I’d give you guys (and remind myself of) some tips to maintain sanity during this not-so-joyous time of year.
- On the task at hand. This means that when you’re taking a break, stop thinking about work and fully enjoy your break. When you’re studying, commit to your work and save yourself the mental anguish of going back and forth lamenting about how much you have to get done- it only makes it worse.
Inhale. (And exhale.)
- Breathing is one of the most fundamental things that we can do to calm ourselves down. If you’re feeling overly stressed, take a minute and do some deep breathing exercises. Oxygenate your brain, make it happy, help it function.
- Music. Location. Position you’re sitting in. Font you’re typing in. Color pen you’re using. Lights you have on. People around you. Change it up. When you get too comfortable, you get bored and are more likely to zone out. Especially when you’re working for long periods of time, make a conscious effort to work in chunks and switch up some of your surroundings to help keep you alert.
- Try to snack healthy, because food is brain fuel, and you want your brain to be as on-point as possible during your exams. Acai, blueberries, salmon, eggs, avocado, mixed nuts, whole grains, dark chocolate, flax seeds, coffee, broccoli and spinach are all great options.
- If you feel like you’re working tirelessly and not making any progress, or that all the things you have to do will never end, make yourself lists of everything you have to do and check off items as you go. Everyone’s got their to-do list, but if you include on it things like “brush teeth” and “wake up” you’ll feel more accomplished, and thus more positive about tackling the big stuff.
- I know, I know- sometimes it’s not an option, but whenever possible, DO IT. Naps are your friend, even in the middle of the night. I consider the days before finals to be stretches of hours between due-dates, to be divided up however is most productive for me, regardless of what the sun is doing. If it’s two am or eleven am or three in the afternoon- if you need a break, take it. Your brain needs sleep to study and giving yourself as much as possible will only help you in the long run. (That being said, you know your body- if naps aren’t your thing, try your best to arrange for larger chunks of time to sleep, even if it’s in the middle of the afternoon).
Good luck and happy end-of-the-semester!
Overindulge over the holiday? Here’s how to beat it.
The most important key to avoiding weight gain, especially after a holiday weekend where the only exercise you’ve gotten in is fork-lifts (get it?) is to keep it up.
Too often, people will binge and then avoid eating in the days following to feel like they’re somehow balancing the score. This is a bad game plan. Even if it’s only a little, you need to keep your metabolism going, otherwise everything you ate in your binge will just sit in your stomach once your metabolism slows down because it hasn’t had a new trigger.
Simple, right? Snack your heart out.
Other ways to speed up your metabolism include drinking green tea, black coffee, and ice water, incorporating protein and spices into your meals, and adding aerobics to your workout.
It’s that time again- the holiday built for binge eating. As you sit down to the annual Thanksgiving feast with your family or friends or whomever you celebrate with, remember this tip:
Enjoy this meal like it only comes once a year.
Often, a big issue with Thanksgiving (at least in my house) is that the excitement of the holiday makes people
- a) Compete for food and thus…
- b) Indulge too quickly
- c) Live up to expectations of over-eating
The best way to combat the speed-eating-turned-tryptophan-coma is to go slowly. Relish every bite. Go ahead, eat whatever you want. It’s a holiday, and you don’t need to stress as much about one day as US Weekly would have you believe. The key is really just to focus on the meal, the company, and enjoy yourself. If you’re lucky enough to be from a family where eating isn’t a competative sport, you’re probably already in good shape for this.
The moral of the story- it’s not about how much you’re eating, it’s about how you’re eating. Chew, don’t inhale, and enjoy your Thanksgiving break!
Thanksgiving is coming, which means it’s time to put a little extra effort into keeping everything tight before you loosen your belt next week. Here’s how to make the most of the fitness opportunities on campus.
These guys love the idea of you exercising
- Group fitness classes at the school gym- most universities offer group fitness classes for free. Find one that interests you, grab a friend and try it out! Worst case scenario, you’ll have bonding time with one of your girls (or boys). Best case, you end up with a new favorite class!
- Low-balling for private trainers in their upper years of kinesiology- everyone wants the opportunity to practice their skills. Kinesiology, athletic training, physical therapy- these are all majors where people may be aspiring to be a personal trainer. Find one of them, and offer them $10 an hour to train you. They get an education and a few bucks, and you save big money on personalized workouts.
- Groupon fitness classes in the city- sites like LivingSocial, Groupon and RueLaLa offer great deals on a variety of goods and services in the city. Make yourself a wish list of anything physical that you’d like to try, and whenever it pops up take advantage of it! Lower prices, lower commitment, and a ton of opportunities make it easy to push yourself into trying new things.
- Bike or walk farther than is most convenient – if you’re running late, skip this, but if you’ve got time, (and the weather is OK- no sniffles, please) take the stairs to the fifth floor where your class is, go the long way to work, or bike instead of getting on the subway
- Club/ intramural sports- a cheap, non-competitive way to learn new skills, meet people and stay active
- Elective classes- take a physical class like yoga or dance to work exercise into your schedule on a regular basis for Spring semester.
Apparently, honey and cinnamon is a time honored remedy for a multitude of symptoms and daily discomforts. Since I had no idea about this magical combo, we’re going to learn about it together. Strap on your red sparkly shoes, because there are a lot of really good reasons to start incorporating honey and cinnamon into your daily diet.
- Cures arthritis
- Soothe toothaches
- Prevents hair loss
- Reduces cholesterol
- Cure colds
- Increases fertility (ladies who aren’t on birth control may want to avoid this combo)
- Improves immune system
- Makes you skinny
- Slows aging
- Soothes indigestion
- Wards off heart disease
- Cures bladder infection
- Makes your breath smell delightful
- Relieves itching from bug bites
- Clears the skin
The two best/most common ways to take the remedy are the following:
(A) Drink a glass of warm water mixed with honey and cinnamon.
(B) Apply paste of honey and cinnamon to affected area
Match the method to the result and pretend it’s a fun game. Then reap the benefits. Go. Reap them.
My name is Tori, and I’m addicted to coffee. Not just caffeine, coffee. I spent a week in Kentucky drinking the world’s worst coffee, black, because I simply could not bring myself to function without it. Thankfully, my weakness is also good for me. So, why’s it so great?
Antioxidants + Caffeine–>
- Restorative anti-aging properties
- Reduces risk of heart disease, diabetes,
dementia, colon cancer, cirrhosis, gallstones, Parkinson’s disease
- Relieves headaches and asthma symptoms
- Protects against cavities
Oh yeah, and it wakes you up. And if you’re lucky enough to have a dad with a french press and Kona from Hawaii, it’s also better than chocolate cake on the deliciousness scale.
Even though I’ve been listening to Adele at the gym lately (don’t ask, for some reason it’s working for me), I have a pretty standard gym playlist that I love to pieces and that I will now (at least in part) share with you. I’m aware that many of these are throwbacks, but I’m not someone who updates my iPod frequently (I am, however, someone who loses her connector cable frequently).
- Power, Kanye West
- Here We Go, Chiddy Bang
- Guilty Pleasure, Cobra Starship
- Frenzy, Ke$ha
- Miami, Will Smith
- No More Long Years, Matt & Kim
- We Got More Bounce In California, Soul Kid
- The Way I Are, Timbaland (feat. Keri Hilson)
- I’m Really Hot, Missy Elliott
- Pon de Replay, Rihanna
Note: I’d love to make this a regular topic, so if any of you are interested in contributing, send us your gym playlist and we’ll put it on the blog!
Now that school is in full swing, it’s likely that you’re finding yourself stuck behind a desk, in front of a computer, typing furiously, for hours at a time. Aside from the obvious setback of being a sedentary activity, this could be doing damage to your body, without you even knowing it. I am a perfect example of this; after six hours in the tech center, my fingers feel like they’re going to fall off whenever I try to type.
Here are a few tips to survive your study hours more healthfully:
- Back straight, shoulders back, booty touching the back of your chair
- Uncross your legs to ensure even weight distribution on the hips
- Your knees should be at a right angle. If you’re not tall enough for this, lower your chair, or put your feet on a phone book.
- Feet should be flat on the floor.
- Switch positions every 30 minutes
- When sitting in a chair that rolls and pivots, don’t twist at the waist while sitting. Instead, turn your whole body.
- Keep fingers relaxed and type as lightly as possible.
- Keep wrists above the keyboard instead of resting them to avoid overstretching your fingers
- Keyboard should be elevated downwards and at a comfortable height relative to your fingers.
For your sake and mine, I hope these tips help!
A few nights ago, I saw guys on horses cantering across campus (yes, Temple’s campus) at 10:30 at night. This is obviously not a typical occurrence, and as such it got me really excited. It also got me thinking about horseback riding.
Horses smell weird, especially during the summer. Thus, my favorite time to go horseback riding is during the fall, when there are less bugs, more scenic and romantic routes, and less opportunities to be outside. Though it’s an expensive hobby, it’s one of my favorite things to do and I highly recommend that you find some time to do it this season. If you need extra incentive…it’s good for you!
- It develops balance. Balance naturally engages your muscles and improves your posture. Better posture makes you look longer and leaner.
- Increases muscle flexibility
- Exercises leg muscles and lower abdominal muscles. Legs are fully engaged and regular riding will build muscle mass relatively quickly.
Did you know that being a domestic goddess can make you as look as good as the house you’re cleaning? I won’t even delve into backyard work (mostly because we don’t have backyards to worry about here in the city, but also because they’re more obviously rigorous than indoor chores).
In 30-minute intervals, this is how much you burn doing the following chores (according to fitday.com).
- Scrubbing the bath = 200 calories
- Carrying heavy shopping bags = 190 calories
- Making beds = 130 calories
- Cleaning windows = 125 calories
- Washing dishes by hand = 160 calories (if you live in 1300 and don’t have a dishwasher like me, this should be exciting news)
- Vacuuming = 90 calories. (This calculation does not take dancing into consideration, which, in my opinion is an integral part of the vacuuming experience)
- Dusting = 50 calories (but really, it’s dusting, what did you expect?)
- Ironing = 70 calories
So some of these aren’t the most efficient calorie-burners, but they are helpful motivators to consider the next time you’re dreading doing your housework. Clean house–> happy roommates–> happy state of mind–> the more likely you are to get to the gym–> a healthier you.
Win. Win. Win.