College Health and Fitness Routine

This one is a little different for me because I don’t always consider myself to be super knowledgeable about health and fitness. But my big new years resolution for this year was to work on myself. This included my physical health, my mental health, my diet, my organization and time management and so much else.

The first big one I decided to try and work on was my physical health. I started orange theory at the end of November. For me, I’ve always been a big believer that New Years resolutions do not always have to start at the new year. I knew I wanted to start Orange Theory, and they offered a free month of class if you signed up in November, so I did.

Starting orange theory prompted me to start working out outside of orange theory (because I really can’t afford more than 2-3 classes a week). This then improved my mental health, which was another New Years resolution. Finally, through Orange Theory I started to improve my diet. They host an 8 week transformation challenge from mid January to mid March. They use inbody scans to calculate starting and ending body fat percentages. The goal? Loose as high of a percentage of your body fat as possible. This method for tracking sounded the best to me because they were not just emphasizing weight loss, but fat loss. This meant that converting fat to muscle mass was not going to hurt me at all. I could loose no weight and still win. While I doubt ill be even close to first, because lets face it i have a ridiculous schedule and sweet tooth, I know that ill improve and that’s all I ask for.

So now I found my way to improve my physical health, and it has pushed me to improve my mental health and diet. This routine is no where near a perfect fit for everyone, but its a great guideline on how to start forming a health and fitness routine.

Workouts

As I mentioned previously, the bulk of my workouts are Orange Theory. While I have a free pass to the campus gyms, which even host first come first serve classes, I can never motivate myself to go. But paying for Orange Theory and physically scheduling my workouts through the app, has me working out consistently for the first time since high school. I normally do 2-3 classes per week.

Next, I am also in physical therapy. I have hyper mobility that was not caught until I was 18. Almost all of my joints have unnatural ranges of motions, and as no one ever noticed, I began damaging these joints at a young age. Additionally, it makes me much more prone to sports related injuries, including dislocations, Physical therapy helps me build up muscle to take over for my weak tendons and ligarments. It has made a huge impact in my life. I can write for 15 minutes straight now, I can run again, I can stand for hours at a time. It has significantly reduced my pain and truly improved my quality of life.

Now the third part of my workouts is anything else. I try and do at least one other workout a week. Like I mentioned earlier, the campus gyms offer workout classes. If one of my friends is willing to come with then I try and make my extra workout one of these. My favorites are any of the yoga classes, cycling classes, and barre/Pilates. Orange theory is high impact, so something a little less high intensity is a good option for me. If I can’t make it to a class, then I tend too just do my own kind of thing and make it up as I go. Normally I start with cardio which for me is either running for a bit, doing 12/3/30 (shoutout Lauren Geraldo), or biking 10ish miles on the seated stationary bike. Afterwards, I then use a few machines and work on weight training.

A sample week in my life for workouts may look something like this:
Sunday: rest day
Monday: physical therapy
Tuesday: orange theory
Wednesday: other
Thursday: orange theory
Friday: rest day
Saturday: orange theory

While I am really happy with the schedule I have right now, I am also a member of my sorority’s dance team and will be adding in 2 dance practices a week soon.

Diet

Diet is a tricky one for me. I’ve never really been a health eater. Like ever. For me it was much easier to start by counting my calories. I find my resting metabolic burn, and eat 400 calories per day less than that because I am trying to lose fat. If I workout, I always eat around my resting burn and just let my active calories put me in the negatives.

In order to do this I had to find foods I would eat, which as a picky eater is pretty hard. On the bright side though, I am pretty content to eat the same things all the time. This means that once I found what worked, I just repeat it over and over again.

For breakfast I pretty much always eat cereal. I love cereal. I could eat it for every meal and be perfectly content. I try and stick to lower sugar cereals, and normally have two servings worth as breakfast with almond milk.

Lunch for me is often hard as I am so busy I do not normally have the ability to eat a traditional meal. I tend to frequent grab and go items from campus cafes and snacks I can pack with me. This includes protein bars, apples and peanut butter, grape and cheese, veggie cups, and the occasional breakfast sandwich.

Dinner is always my biggest meal. Ill be honest, there’s multiple Panera’s on campus. So I eat a lot of Panera. I get a free you pick two every week because of a contest I participated in last year. I normally pick some kind of salad (the Cesar is my favorite right now) and then either the Mac and cheese, or the 10 vegetable soup depending now where I am calorie wise. If I have already used my free you pick two for the week, then I normally just order a salad. I’m a huge fan of Cesar salads. They taste good, they’re filling, and they’re low calorie. So I always get the biggest Cesar salad available. My favorite comes from a local salad place. I also live relatively close to a subway, and my order is low calorie. I normally grab myself a foot long for dinner.

Outside of Panera and Subway, which I honestly eat for dinner like 3-4 times a week. I also eat Chipotle burrito bowls on days with high amounts of workouts. As for meals I make at home, I eat a lot of frozen waffles and protein pancakes. I am also trying to get more into the gardein brand single serve meals. I normally do not like the texture of meat substitutes, but there’s don’t bother me.

Finally, I normally eat some kind of snack every day. I try and switch these up so that I don’t eat the exact same thing every day. These include the Chobani Greek yogurts with add ins, fruit leather, Annie’s fruit snacks, cheese and crackers, pretzel thins and hummus, bananas, apples, and peach and mango cups.

If I really want something sweet I have a few options on hand. My favorite one is marshmallows. I also have some gluten free double chocolate veggie muffins. If i really want something sweet that’s not as healthy, I keep 100 calorie ice creams and Justin’s peanut butter cups on hand.

Here’s how I have been staying healthy this past semester. Hopefully this can help offer some ideas for realistic workout and diet changes you can implement into your college routine.

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Insta: @katelynleighx

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