At times, it seems like everyone is chillin’ in bed with Netflix and a takeout bowl of Chipotle. Its those days when motivating myself to get to the gym is the hardest. That’s why I sat down with Reagan Consalo, Penn State Junior and my fitness role model, to get her tips.
Reagan is currently studying in the MACC program to receive a masters of accounting degree that requires her to stay an extra year at school. Needless to say, the girls got brains— and a workload heavier than I can ever fathom. She is also the treasurer of her sorority, an organization that also provides her with the dream college social life. Despite her busy schedule, Reagan is one of most dedicated girls to her health and fitness routine that I have ever met.
So, here ya go, meet the amazing Reagan:
| What is your typical workout routine? |
RC: I try to go to my fitness studio four or five times a week. I’m obsessed with this class Body Pump, which I go to two times a week, or three on a good week. Then I’ll go to Body Attack or Body Combat the other days. Body Pump is strength training and the others are cardio. The classes are run by a company called LES MILLS.
| How and when did you discover these classes? |
RC: I don’t know how and I don’t know why but it was definitely at the Y in Berwyn [my hometown gym]. I probably just saw the schedule. I started taking the classes my junior year of high school because I started noticing that I couldn’t eat whatever I want and not work out anymore. Once I discovered Body Bump I had to keep up with it in college if I didn’t want to gain the freshman 15 because it’s the key to staying in shape, I swear. I googled everywhere for Body Pump in State College and I found this one place that was really far and expensive and then I found FITOLOGY and I thought I could walk there, but it ended up being a really far walk— but I still love it there. I took a cab four times a week freshman and sophomore year and now I have a car here so I can drive there, and it’s awesome.
| What is your diet like? |
No meat no cheese. Well yeah, I eat pokies sometimes, but in my everyday life I try to stick to the no cheese. Breakfast is fruit (banana or apple), because that’s what Skinny Bitch tells me to do. I try to follow Skinny Bitch to the heart. Skinny Bitch is basically my bible, but sometimes I can’t exactly stick to it. Anyway, for lunch I eat salad and then at dinner I’ll eat a carb.
College spring break trip
| How do you think a devoted fitness routine has impacted your college experience? |
I pretty much maintained my weight that I’ve been since high school all thanks to FITOLOGY. When I leave the studio I want to stay for the next class; like, when they start putting on the music for the next class I’m like, “I wish I could say for the next class, I wish I had time for this.” For me, sticking to my workout routine is just fun.
| What is your advice to a college student looking to stay in shape? |
I think to just find a way to workout that you love, and make sure you have variety. For me, I take Body Pump, Body Attack, Body Combat…. they’re all so different.
Reagan (right) on a PSU game day
Days are getting shorter, darker, and colder. Winter is upon us, my least favorite season of them all. Is it just me, or is it 100 times harder to get to the gym when you have to bundle up in a parka and scarf ?! Personally, my favorite way to endure the winter slump is to take the workout routine to the bedroom. Gasp. No but seriously, there are some kick-ass at-home workouts available on the Internet… and most of them are free. Here are my main go-to’s for working out indoors throughout the winter months.
1. TONE IT UP
Two personal trainers and lifestyle coaches, Karena and Katrina are inspiring women with an even more inspiring fitness blog. Tone It Up delivers workout plans that can be done in the comfort of your own living room—or dorm room. They frequently post about workout challenges, like the “frisky fall fitness challenge,” with daily workouts to keep the motivation going. A great option for when you want to stay in shape but can’t fathom getting to the gym. The pair is gearing up to launch the Tone It Up Challenge for 2016, an eight-week challenge to kick-start the year that includes a daily meal plan, exclusive workouts, tips and inspiration.
2. THE SKINNY CONFIDENTIAL BOMBSHELL BODY GUIDE ($59.99-$89.99)
Ok, so this one isn’t free, but my everlasting love for Lauryn Evarts and her work makes it impossible no to share. Evarts’ blog, The Skinny Confidential, is an awesome daily read about everything that it wellness. Her content is always on point and well researched. So, I want to let you all know about the The Skinny Confidential Bombshell body guide which I am still dying to try. The guide provides three times a week strength/cardio workouts that take only 27 minutes to complete and can be done anywhere. The guide is really useful for college students for obvious reasons: it is quick to preform, gives quick results and can be done everywhere. Let me know what you guys think if you try it out in the comments below!
3. THE FITNESSISTA
The Fitnessista is one of the first blogs I ever followed. The author of the blog, Gina, is a mother of two and fit as h-e-double toothpicks. Gina is a certified nutritionist and has many certifications through different workout classes. She posts workouts that she handcrafts herself with detailed images and instructions in all different areas. On Finessista, you can find anything ranging from cardio and HIIT, strength training to barre workouts. This is the site to visit on a random winter day when your looking to spice up your fitness routine.
All these sites are amazing resources I’ve used throughout my college career to kick my fitness game in gear in an easy and affordable way. The workouts available above leave you with no excuse but to move. Remember, though we’re sporting bulky sweaters now, bikini season always sneaks up way too quickly. The key to staying fit at school and through the winter is keeping it stupid easy, a skill all these ladies have mastered with their quick, efficient routines. 😉
In keeping with the bloggy’s motto of keeping it real simple, we are going to talk about one of the easiest ways to stay healthy. This is SLEEP. At least seven hours a night, ladies. Studies keep coming out telling us how fatigue is linked to weight gain. My friends at POPSUGAR provided me with a breakdown of three factors that are stupid easy to understand why you need your beauty rest.
(1) Sleep helps you eat less. Lack of sleep lowers the level of hunger-relating hormone leptin, that helps your body realize it’s full, and increases the level of the hormone ghrelin, which stimulates appetite.
(2) Anxiety and stress are two known contributors to belly fat, and getting enough sleep can beat both. BOOM, one step closer to washboard abs.
(3) It gives you the energy you need to tackle your workout for the day.
After hearing these benefits, don’t you want to climb into bed right now ?!
My favorite tip to make sure I’m getting at least seven hours a night is melatonin. Melatonin is a natural hormone made in the body that makes you feel less alert and thus, helps you fall asleep faster. In the U.S., melatonin is available as an over the counter hormone, most often in pill form. Melatonin in pill-form is a healthy, natural way to increase the levels of melatonin in your brain and help you fall into a deep, beautiful sleep within minutes of taking it. There are a variety of dosages available; personally I take the 3mg dosage. However, I always recommend checking with your doctor before taking supplements of any kind.
So, make sure your getting at least seven (or ten) glorious hours of z’s a night. Melatonin has been a total game changer for me and I hope it can be of as much help to all my readers.
Let’s face it: some weeks we get by only exercising the bare minimum amount. And, when you factor in exam weeks or that rare time two of your BFF’s birthdays land within days of each other, going light at the gym is completely acceptable. Today, we’re talking about the least amount of exercise required to make sure you don’t set yourself back on the wheel of progress.
According to Dr. Laskowski, it is recommended that most healthy adults get at least 150 minutes a week of moderate-vigorous aerobic activity. We’re talking about running on the treadmill, can’t-chat-because-I’m-breathing-too-heavy aerobic activity. This breaks down to just 30 minutes a day, five days a week. Just make sure your not cheating and spending your 30 minutes on resistance level one on the elliptical, while you text and flip through the magazine all at the same time.
The Department of Health and Human Services recommends incorporating strength-training exercises at least twice a week. In these sessions, make sure to target every muscle group and allow for at least two days of rest in between. While strength training is usually taboo for us ladies, research is finding more and more that women need strength training as much as our male counterparts. In fact, strength training burns more calories after the workout is over than cardio does. For some ideas on a strength training routine to follow, check out bodybuilding.com‘s plan builder. Remember, strong is the new sexy!
Next time you find your week piling up with activities and schoolwork, remember to stay true to five 30-minute sweat sessions and two strength trainings. Stay fit and have fun!