Spring into bikini season: Tips for getting your body out of that winter slump

As the snow starts to melt and the days get longer, getting out of your sleepy winter routine can be a hard first step. Follow these tips, and you'll be ready for bikini season before the Quad thaws out.

Once the first snow fell, you might have fallen into winter hibernation, like a bear. It's a natural reaction, but the human version of hibernation generally involves drinking gallons of hot chocolate and hours of food-coma-induced Netflix binges. This winter has been particularly long and cold, so many of us are reaping the consequences of our sedentary lifestyles -- something which we are acutely aware of as we try on our Spring Break bikinis. Don't worry: with these five simple steps, you can whip your body back into shape before the grass on the Quad becomes visible again.

1. Conscious decision making

This could be the most important of all the steps to getting fit again. Stop and think about what you’re consuming, you'll be more likely to choose the healthier option. You're at the grocery and start heading straight for that mac’n’cheese, stop and think to yourself: “How much will this cost me?"

One dollar and an extra hour at Archbold Gymnasium? No thanks.

2. Walk in the snow

After this semester's mammoth snow falls, you probably want to stay out of the white stuff as much as possible. But rethink the benefits of walking in the snow before you swear it off forever. Strap on those boots and take a walk, and you'll work your calves, quads and your glutes. Who needs an elliptical when you've got 2 feet of snow to stomp through on your way to class? It’s just like walking on a sandy beach, except it’s cold, and you’re in Syracuse.

3. Work out at home

When you've just come back from Aruba and it’s 10 degrees outside, the last thing you want to do is venture out into the tundra, especially to go to the gym. Get on that World Wide Web and find a quick workout video to do in your dorm/living room. No free weights? Put those hundreds of dollars in textbooks to good use! Your Health Policy textbook might still be in its shrink wrap, but it's doing wonders for your triceps. 

4. Try new, weird food

When cooking at home, find recipes from different cultures and attempt to create them. Look for dishes with a variety of vegetables, spices or grains. Mixing up your dinners will keep you from falling into ruts of eating fattening comfort food. Plus, since you're making it yourself, you can control the salt and fat content. Try cooking with different kinds of oils instead of butter. It’ll give you that new flavor profile you’re looking for without all the saturated fat.

5. Don’t make drastic changes

For the love of God don’t eat less in an attempt to get skinnier. As a student your body is going all day long, and oftentimes very late into the night. You need good food to keep your brain and body going, and skipping a meal or two won’t sustain you for the long run. People who skip meals may start losing weight, but the second you start eating regularly, your body is going to go into survival mode and suck everything from that nutritionally-dense food you just consumed. To gradually start losing weight you need to eat portioned, balanced meals throughout the day. No shortcuts, or you'll end up being more worn out and unhealthy than you were when you were chowing down on hot cocoa and brownies all of February.

At the end of the day, staying healthy and getting into shape is really all about balance — and that includes allowing yourself to cheat from time to time as well. You’re craving those nachos?  By all means make them! But you better be doing squats or jumping jacks while the cheese melts.


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