Springing into a healthier lifestyle

Fell off the track during spring break? Get back on it! Who says you have to go to the gym to achieve your goals? Maintaining good eating habits and doing easy exercises at home is the best way to look great in time for the summer without having to put up with juiced-up guys and awkward grunts at the gym.

The Clean You. Love chocolate cake? That last piece you just finished better be your last one in a long time. Start making food from scratch, using natural ingredients (trust us, it’s affordable.) If you don’t have time to cook, prepare meals for the next few days in containers over the weekend that you can grab and heat up.

If you’re planning to have salad, store ingredients separately because the juices from vegetables like tomatoes and cucumbers will soak into your greens. Never leave dressing in your salad overnight as it will become soggy. Avoid thick and creamy dressings that have unhealthy fats and are harder to digest.

You might want to cut down on Shake Shack (if that’s even real meat) and Bacon Egg and Cheese sandwiches at Dunkin’ Donuts; meat is good but only certain kinds. Cut down as much as you can on red meat, especially on processed meat, which usually contains preservatives and can be the cause of many life-threatening diseases. Start with high-protein meats like fish, chicken and turkey, then you can move on to leaner parts like chicken breast, turkey breast and cuts that end with “loin.”

If you’re ever craving a juicy hamburger, keep in mind that a veggie burger can be just as yummy and is rich in fiber!

The Greek yogurt craze is nothing to ignore and if you’ve seen that Dannon Oikos commercial with John Stamos, you know it’s holding him well—or maybe he really hasn’t aged in 20 years. Greek yogurt has instantly become the “it” food in fitness and diet forums, blogs and health magazines—it’s inevitable.

High in protein and calcium and low in carbs, Greek yogurt has a thicker and smoother texture than most regular yogurts.

These health benefits are a good excuse to finally start crafting your breakfast food with granola and fresh fruits. Also, fast and easy smoothies are just a spoonful of yogurt away.

As midterm week approaches, endless coffee consumption is inevitable, but there’s flavorful and healthier alternatives to coffee creamer. Next time you grab a cup of joe, try coconut milk, almond milk or fat-free half and half.

You better work it. Have gym-timidation? Yay for dumbbells and kettlebells! Start with less weight but also get a heavy one—push harder but also keep it in moderation because too much can result in microscopic damages in your muscles.

Don’t worry about how heavy you can lift, because let’s face it: it’s not a weightlifting competition. If you run, challenge yourself by doing intervals and setting a suitable time of walking, power-walking, jogging and running. Don’t wait for that slow elevator in Marillac Hall, change your pace and walk or run up the stairs (run late at your own risk.) Have a long break between classes?

Walk around the campus and use those hills you hate as inclination and tone those legs! Lifestyle changes, big or small, are just one step away.