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GETTING FIT while getting educated

“The greater danger for most of us is not that our aim is too high and we miss it, but that it is too low and we reach it.”- Michelangelo.



By Rob Bouchard

Being a well rounded, healthy student is no simple task; we have a multitude of different things on our plates that we must balance. From hectic course loads to an abundance of readings, the fast paced college life can make it seem nearly impossible to succeed, but it can be done. It may not be nearly as easy as sleeping in passed noon, but with a little will power, the rewards will far surpass the costs.


SCHEDULING IN SOME GYM TIME is definitely a must for anyone trying to either gain muscle or manage their body fat levels. All it takes is 1 hour. In fact, this is the longest your workout should take. Any longer and your body begins to secrete cortisol, a catabolic hormone which tells your body to stopusing fat as an energy source and to move on to muscle instead. However, being prepared with your notebook in hand and knowing which machine and weights your going to use next, 1 hour will provide you with an abundance of time to completely exhaust your muscles. Although you should strive to hit the gym at least 3 days a week, if you can't manage to squeeze your workouts in your class schedule, you should focus on staying active.


FIT TIP: This can be done in several ways, from walking around town, to biking to school or even walking you boyfriend or girlfriend to her class that's across the school campus. The best way to assure you fitness however, is to commit. Commitment boxes you in and assures that you will stay active. In university, the best way to do this is to join an intramural sports team. Whether it be soccer, tennis or even fencing. This is a great way to ensure that you are doing some sort of aerobic activity throughout the week.


WAKE UP EARLY. The early bird really does gets the worm, especially when it comes to fitness. The simple act of waking up routinely at 7 or 8 is something that many students don't take full advantage of. The fact of the matter is that the more meals you get in, the more opportunities you give your body to burn fat and gain muscle. Not to mention that waking up early and getting a meal in ASAP also halts you bodies catabolic state, this is when your body is more apt to burn muscle tissue instead of fat stores for energy. This is especially important for ectomorphs, those who have a hard time putting on weight, who are worried about losing precious muscle. Don't forget that your body has been fasting all night long so the sooner you get some food in you, the better.


FIT TIP: Get into a grove. Set your opportunity clock to 7 and don't hit snooze! The sooner you get your meal, in the quicker you'll achieve your fitness goals. It is very important to keep your body in an anabolic state and there's no time when you body needs it more than first thing in the morning. Don't forget to include high glycemic carbs, such as ripe bananas, in this meal along with some quick digesting protein. Remember, this is one of two windows of opportunity to take high glycemic carbs so take advantage of it.


GET THOSE MEALS IN. Eating a minimum of 5 meals is no easy feat, but it can be done. It is essential if you want to make any noticeable changes in your physique. With every meal you consume, your body's metabolism turns on and you begin to burn calories. Therefore, the more frequent you can consume your meals the better. Another benefit of this is that by eating frequently, your providing your body with a constant flow of amino acids. These amino acids are the building blocks that your body is made out of. For building hair, skin, muscle, your body is in a constant need for amino acids and when it doesn't have them readily available, it steals them from your muscles. It is therefore very important to make sure your body never has to go searching for them.


FIT TIP: Time it. My iPhone is my best friend. It reminds me when I must eat. Every 3 hours a timer goes off and I sit down and pull out my next meal. Regardless of whether I'm in class or in my car, I always have meals ready to eat. Being prepared is essential, you should always have a protein shake on the ready because you never know what school or life will throw your way. Whether it be a seminar you've got to jet off to or your girlfriend who's begging you to come over, by having a shake nearby you will be prepared for whatever life throws your way.