Even as the winter storms swirl, you’re already beginning to dream of warmer weather and parties. Oh, wait, you’re not ready – what about those last few pounds that just won’t go away? That’s not to say you’re not beautiful the way you are. It’s just acknowledging that if you’re anything like me, the compliments of others won’t stop you from desiring to get fit. So what can you do to get ready for short shorts and exposed mid-riffs to tantalize all of the people you want to want you while you drink margaritas? Let’s start with the obvious ways to get fit for cocktail season at UNH.
1. The Obvious: Go to the Hamel Rec Center. Work out.
The newly renovated gym holds even more resources for your best work-out ever than it did before. With cardio machines galore, updated courts, and a whole new running track, there are plenty of options. Plus there are always the offered exercise classes.
2. Take a jog or walk through College Woods.
When the weather is warm, College Woods is the ideal remote, peaceful, and expansive location for solitary exercise. Whether you prefer jogging or walking, nature’s best is on display for you while you zip by or stroll through. It’s also out of the eyes of nosy spectators, so if you’re embarrassed about your sweat, well, don’t sweat it!
3. Go sledding!
Since there’s no avoiding the snow, especially now that it’s waist deep, why not take advantage? If it was sticky snow, building a snow village, surrounded by a snow fort, from which you could hold a snowball fight, would be an awesome way to get some much needed exercise and laughs at the same time. However, it’s too powdery for that. So in the meantime, hit the slopes – at least the ones around campus or at Wagon Hill, a simple bus ride away.
4. Join a Broomball team.
Or choose another intramural or club sport. Sports are a great, fun way to get exercise with friends, and intramural sports are pretty casual. If you’re not looking for a commitment, I suggest intramural sports. If you’re looking for something more unique and don’t mind making a commitment, UNH has some fun club sports like Fencing and Archery.
5. Follow the Guiding Stars and sectioned plates.
Maybe it’s a little old-fashioned, but it’s certainly true. If you watch what you eat, and make sure you’re eating in a healthy manner, your body should reflect that. That doesn’t mean diet. It means eat healthy amounts, at healthy intervals, and stay hydrated with water – not just coffee and alcohol. The dining system at UNH goes to a lot of trouble to help us understand what foods they serve are and aren’t healthy and to help us learn how to eat in healthy portions. So use those tools: follow the guiding stars and the four sections outlines on half the plates provided at the dining halls.
6. Skip dessert.
It may seem hard to do or not worth it. I know, I’ve been there. Still, if you really want to lose that muffin top in time for spring weather and end of the year parties or Cinco de Mayo, it’s one of the best ways. Dessert is almost never healthy and that can also affect the other foods you eat – eating sugar usually makes you crave more sugar. If you really need some quick sugar, grab some fruit. The natural sugar is much less likely to stop you from losing weight and more likely to keep you from putting it on. Don’t cave. Leave the pudding – take the fruit.
7. Eat in.
That’s right. No more Dominos, Mei Wei, DHOP, or Lexie’s. It’s a horrible thing to think, let alone say or do. Just like skipping dessert, though, it will help you get to the fitness level you’re looking to be in for party weather. We tend to eat more when we eat at a restaurant because the financial investment doesn’t seem worth it if we don’t eat the entire five-times-the-regular-portion amount of food on the plate. The best option for your health is just to give up dining out until the cocktail season has passed.
8. Buy a bike, skateboard, or roller blades.
The more fun version of taking a jog. That’s just my opinion of course. For some reason I can’t get into pumping my legs of their own accord, but if I’m using them to make machinery work while enjoying the splendors of the outdoors, then I’m in. It’s interesting to be part of something so different it’s somewhere between a dangerous moving vehicle and a pedestrian. Exhilarating, even.
9. Jump in! The water’s fine.
Swimming is an excellent form of exercise. It helps reduce body fat and build muscle. There are plenty of ways to get in laps or recreational exercise even when the outdoor pool is closed. For instance, there’s always the indoor Swasey Pool in the Field House. I hear the water is even heated at times. In warmer weather, there are also many close by beaches and river swimming areas.
10. Go out dancing!
Honestly, dancing is one of my own favorite ways to get exercise. Not only is it a great work out because it works every part of the body and gets you to sweat, but it’s fun in the process. There are also a million different ways to fit dancing into your schedule. Going to a club – or dancing in the Libby’s basement, attending clubs like the Hepcats Swing Club on campus, Zumba classes at the Hamel Rec Center, and various types of Line and Contra Dancing workshops in Dover, Portsmouth, Newmarket, and other surrounding towns. Then again, you could always pull a Gene Kelly in Singing in the Rain and dance down the street on your way to classes.
11. DIY Workout.
By this I simply mean: create your own. For some people this might mean doing a set of push-ups and squats every day. For others it might mean something more creative, like creating your own aerobicize video by mashing up dance scenes from popular movies. Think up your own creative solution that will get you moving.
12. YouTube Videos are your friends.
Rather than making your own, you can rely on the original aerobicize videos – in a new format. Then again, there are plenty of videos with movie dance scenes or other dance work-outs or just regular work-outs. You can exercise in the comfort of your own home without all the prying eyes.
13. Who doesn’t love a puppy?
Get a dog. Since you will need to take your dog on walks outside, you’ll get exercise – whether you like it or not. It’s one of the only ways to really force yourself to keep to your routine and it’s clever because you also get to enjoy having a dog around the house all the time. Which is awesome. Best idea ever. Right? Of course, right.
14. Rock out to WUNH.
The wonderful UNH radio station has many DJs who play rock music and upbeat hip-hop. Dancing or exercising to music is always the most fun, I think. This is just another great source of great music to get fit to.
15. Plan a walking date.
Having friends around always helps to keep you on track. If someone else is guilting you about missing your walking trip, you’re more likely to go next time or to not want to miss it. Nagging is sometimes a good thing. Besides, you’ll be partying with them later in the year anyway. No wonder we love our friends so much!