Ahhh spring. That time of year where we rediscover what the sun feels like and switch our latte order from hot to iced. What some might not plan for though, is the third week of March when our pale, comfort-food laden bodies are squeezed into bathing suits from 2015 to enjoy the carefully planned road trip to warmer weather and sunny beaches.This photo was taken at 6:55a.m!
While obtaining that “summer bod” is a realistic, long-term New Year’s resolution, many students forget that their goals will be put to the test for a short week in March as well as swimsuit season in May. Cue the fad cleanses, intense cardio sessions, and ridiculously restrictive diet, all occurring roughly two weeks (or less) before the departure date. Nutritionists grimace in disgust over unhealthy eating habits, and the State and Lied gym ‘regulars’ glare at the students sweating it out on all the treadmills that one week ago were always free.
Anna Kinzel, a former Recreation Services employee at State gym says, “The staff and I joke: here come the spring breakers, they will be gone in a few weeks.” She would notice how it took forever for people to get on machines, and there were much more people waiting around for one to open. Iowa State Rec services offers their own Smart Eats program and this semester launched a team challenge to eat healthy.
The point is to be realistic and healthy in your fitness goals leading up to this week of fun. Overuse injuries resulting from rapid increases in exercise are a serious problem that this article details. Restrictive fad diets also can be incredibly harmful. Check out choosemyplate.gov for healthy tips on portion sizes and realistic nutritional choices. Certain foods will help un-bloat and tone-up your body, so focus on eating those instead of not eating at all!
The best bet for looking Spring-Break ready is not to cut all calories and spend three hour cardio sessions at the gym, but rather to focus on filling your body with the right nutrients and balanced exercise before undoubtedly blowing it all this third week in March. Don’t fret about wasting all your healthy work…at the end of the day we totally deserve (and very much need) the break. Have fun Iowa Staters!
Posted by: Nicole Suchsland