Let’s talk about CrossFit

We all have that friend: The CrossFit-obsessed one who jumps on any opportunity to talk about CrossFit. The one who tells you that “it’s not a workout, it’s a lifestyle.” The friend who Instagrams photos and hashtags Tweets with things like  #WOD and #levelup and hasn’t touched a cupcake in months. Today I am that friend. Well, kind of. I still eat cupcakes. But let it be known that I love CrossFit.

Photo via Evie Carpenter

Photo via Evie Carpenter

We should have known this was going to happen. I like running and competitive sports. I like having a coach. I like being able to fit a workout into my schedule and still have time to do homework and watch re-runs of 30 Rock. And most of all, I like seeing results out of a workout program.

What is CrossFit?

It’s a lifestyle, ok? In a more simplistic sense, it’s a workout that incorporates high-intensity training with cardio, strength, agility and speed into one amazing program. The idea is to avoid repetition in your workout so you’re always developing, advancing further and getting better.This is where the crossover falls into every aspect of your life.

CrossFit is about accepting life’s challenges and meeting them head-on. It’s about fueling your body with food and avoiding temptations (one cupcake every once in a while never hurt anyone) and respecting yourself. It’s about taking care of yourself and performing at your best.

Finding the right gym

The right gym makes all the difference in a workout. Whether it’s a yoga studio, a boxing gym or the YMCA, you need to find what is best for you. When you walk in, you should feel inspired. You should feel welcome. And you should feel at home and hopefully want to come back.

Photo taken by yours truly.

Photo taken by yours truly.

When I walked into Core CrossFit on 7th Street, I knew there was something different about it. People came up to introduce themselves and shake your hand. If you’ve ever been to a gym, you know this is a rare thing and it honestly threw me off guard. They were smiling. Good music was playing. People genuinely looked like they were having a good time. And I felt welcome. I was intimidated by the obvious intensity of the workout, but I felt comfortable.

Inchworms. You'll learn to love them. Photo via Evie Carpenter

Inchworms. You’ll learn to love them. Photo via Evie Carpenter

My experience

Through my first class, the coaching staff was more than helpful and understanding of my newbie status. They took the time to help me learn the form and grasp the concept of the workout and why we were doing the workout.

Clearly I'm not a fitness model... yet. Photo via Evie Carpenter

Clearly I’m not a fitness model… yet. Photo via Evie Carpenter

Don’t let me forget the best part of it all: Student Discounts. They’ve created an ASU Student Discount that is half the price of a regular membership and designed to work around ASU class schedules.

Check out their ASU ONLY event on the April 5 during First Friday.

Check out their ASU ONLY event on April 5 during First Friday.

I honestly couldn’t ask for anything more. Until they decided to offer a free event on First Friday (April 5 from 8 p.m. to 9 p.m.) for ASU Downtown Students to try out CrossFit and learn how to make post-workout smoothies. I’m in heaven. RSVP to the event on Facebook.

Try out CrossFit, Devils. If you don't like it you're wrong! Just kidding. But I'm pretty sure you'll love it.

ASU all day! Photo via Evie Carpenter.

Try out CrossFit, Devils. If you don’t like it you’re wrong! Just kidding. But I’m pretty sure you’ll love it.

Spring Break Slump

Spring Break is the Wednesday of the second semester. Our tans (and sunburns) from Cabo and Vegas are still shining brightly and we can finally see the light at the end of the tunnel. For some it’s the beacon of graduation; for others it’s the end of the first year of being thrust into the new college life. For everyone though, there are still a lot of classes to attend, homework to be accomplished and hopefully workouts before we get there.

Photo via collegelifestyles.org

Don’t fall into the Spring Break Slump. Remember what you’re working toward: the start of summer and a body you’re proud to show off. Now is the time to try something new: Take a new class at the Y, try out a new gym and see how far you can push your body to achieve something great. Set three main goals and focus on your exercise and eating habits. To see any kind of result in weight loss or toning, both must be a part of your plan.

Here are my top three goals to accomplish for the remainder of the semester:

1. Try out a new form of exercise — I have decided to try cross fit at Core Crossfit. I’m a sucker for attempting anything that has a little hype around it, and I love to put myself out of my comfort zone to see what happens. Also, I miss the aspect of having a coach like I did in my high school sports, so it’ll be interesting to see how that will go over. I’m hoping to gain strength, power and speed that will translate into my running.

Photo via crossfitrecoil.blogspot.com

2. Make Sunday a meal-prep day — As a senior, I don’t even want to think about the amount of macaroni and cheese packages I have gone through during my entire college career. Truth be told, I have tried almost every brand and type out there and I’m well aware of the lack of nutrients each cheesy, delicious box contains. I need to break my lazy habit of popping a little cup into the microwave and actually create a well balanced meal I can take on the go. Now that I’ve gathered enough inspiration on Pinterest, I just need to get my eating habits back into shape.

Photo via Pinterest.com

3. Cut back on Happy Hour — Now I’m sure that not everyone is of age to drink, but for those who are, this is a key health goal to focus on. My dear friend Jillian Michaels has a strict “Two drinks per week rule” and I’m going to adhere to it. Alcohol is packed with sugar and unnecessary calories, and neither is something I need more of. I think everyone can use a little cut back from time to time, especially after a full week of Spring Break. Therefore, I’m substituting happy hour drinks with a happy hour workout.

Photo via theluxuryspot.com

Now it’s time for you to come up with three ways to break out of the Spring Break Slump. What are your top health goals, Devils?

There’s a time for everything: Mindfulness

As a college student, the majority of all assignments are a race against the clock; every second counts. The phrase, “timing is everything” really does apply to every aspect of life, and during this time in life, it matters even more.

Photo via MegWorden.com

Which brings us to the question: What is time? It’s something we’ve invented, but how does it apply to your health? Think about the amount time you spend exercising. What about the number of hours you slept last night? The more time you spend doing both, the better, right? Did you know that your life-span is positively impacted by getting a college degree? Although the late nights spent studying and the copious amounts of coffee to recover the next morning may not make it seem that way, college graduates on average live two years longer than people who do not have a degree. While this isn’t a get-out-of-jail-free card, this is where mindfulness comes into play.

Mindfulness

There are many definitions for the term mindfulness, but all encompass a theory of raised awareness. Being mindful in life means being aware of your time, activities, feelings and emotions; all are important to your mental and physical well being. By focusing on being mindful of the time in your life, you can apply a better sense of knowledge and awareness to help you find balance.

  • Past: Everyone has met that person who cannot seem to get out of the past. They focus their attention on memories and previous moments and don’t let go. Be mindful of the past but do not dwell on it. You are not defined by who you used to be, the experiences you had or the choices you have made. Be mindful, but move forward and look to the past for motivation.
  • Present: Live in the moment. Be mindful of the present and live your life with a veracity for each new day and every new experience. If there is something you’d like to try, do it. If there’s something you’re afraid to say, say it. If there is somewhere you’d like to be, go. Enjoy the present while it is yours.
  • Future: Have goals. Make plans and then laugh when they don’t work out the way you intended. Be mindful of the future and do not fear it. Embrace something new and enjoy the path you take to get there. Take steps toward your goals and always have something you’re working toward.

Photo via imgfave.com

Be mindful of your time, Devils. And enjoy every minute!

Healthy Dorm Recipe: Banana Overnight Oats

I’m a true believer that breakfast is the most important meal of the day. That being said, I tend to overdo it when it comes to the morning meal. Breakfast has always been one of the hardest meals for me to keep healthy. Why? Because a bagel and cream cheese is the only thing I’ll never, ever get tired of. It’s the perfect breakfast, snack, lunch or dinner, in my opinion. But before you know it, spring break will be right around the corner and I’ll be glad I opted out of my typical grab-and-go morning routine.

Banana Overnight Oats

Banana Overnight Oats

For breakfast lovers who are short on time in the morning but are still looking for a healthy, filling meal, overnight oats are your answer. I discovered this culinary gem about a year ago when I was reading a friend’s blog, and I was instantly hooked. Prepping foods the night before can make or break your diet habits for the next day. Stay on track and try this out to kick-start your metabolism for the day.

Ingredients

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup plain Greek yogurt
  • 1/4 cup low-fat milk
  • 1/2 cup rolled oats
  • 1/2 fresh banana
  • honey to drizzle (if preferred)

Directions:

  1. Scoop out the Greek yogurt and place in a small bowl.
  2. Greek Yogurt

  3. Add the rolled oats and combine with the low-fat milk. Mix well. Transfer to a container for easy to-go travel.
  4. Step 2

  5. Cut up the banana and add to the mixture.
  6. Bananas

  7. Add honey on top (if desired) and mix well. Cover it up, place in the fridge, leave overnight and voilà! You have a healthy breakfast to take with you to class or work!

Banana Overnight Oats

Enjoy your breakfast, Devils!

Make SMART goals this New Year

It’s a new semester! We can’t believe we’re back at school already. This New Year seemed to have appeared out of the blue and if you’re like me, you probably wanted another two weeks to sleep in and enjoy the comforts of home.

It’s a week past the initial New Year, but we still have those pesky New Year’s resolutions tacked up on our Facebook timelines. And if you’re like most people, the resolutions center around getting healthier, trying to lose weight and becoming a happier person overall.

Photo via Blogspot.com

It’d be great if life worked like this, but posting a status about getting fit or eating better isn’t the only step you need to take to a healthier lifestyle. Get rid of those “resolutions” and start making goals.

SMART Goals

Since acronyms make everything easier to remember, start your goal planning with SMART.

Photo via youandmeworld.com

Specific: If you want something done right, you’ve got to be specific. The same goes for making your goals. Be specific about what you want to accomplish, where you’re going to accomplish it, who is involved, when you’ll be done and why you’re doing it.

For example:

What do you want to do? Lose 10 pounds and be able to do five pull-ups. Where will this happen? At the YMCA. Who is involved? My best friend is coming to the gym with me to hold me accountable. When will you be done? Graduation! Why are you doing this? I want to feel better about myself and feel stronger.

Measurable: Measuring your progress is important. If you make a vague goal, there isn’t really any way to measure it for success. When you set a numerical value for your weight loss, like 10 pounds, you can calculate your progress. You need to be able to know when you’ve accomplished your goal.

Attainable: Remember sitting in your elementary school classrooms with those motivational posters on the walls? “You can do it” and “Dare to be different?” Take some advice from Eleanor Roosevelt and “believe in the beauty of your dreams.” When you make goals, only you can realize them. They are your own. When your attitude toward your goals changes and you become motivated, nothing can stop you from attaining them.

Realistic: Getting everything you want isn’t always what you need. Do I need a Lamborghini? No. Do I want one? Yes! Set your goals with reality in mind. What can you achieve in your time-frame realistically? I’m signed up for the Chicago Marathon in October. I realistically have enough time from now until then to reach 26.2 miles as long as I stay on track with my training.

Timely: As with everything, timing is essential. If you’re working 40 hours per week and taking 19 credits, chances are you don’t have enough time during the day for a three-hour workout. Make a schedule for your goal and stay on track. It’s not about spending the most time to reach your goal, but making the most of your time to get there. Sneak in quick workouts, plan for meals the night before and stay on schedule.

Try these SMART goals for a change, Devils, and see how much you can achieve!

The Spartan Race: Sign up today!

Our friends at the Exercise and Wellness Organization at Arizona State University Downtown Phoenix Campus are not only amazing at promoting healthy lifestyles, but they also host events to inspire wellness and help get students special fitness deals for activities on and off campus.

Photo via Exercise and Wellness Organization ASU DPC Facebook

Have you heard of The Spartan Race? It will be held in Chandler, Ariz. on Saturday, February 9th at 9 a.m. The race is a 5k obstacle course consisting of mud, barbed wire, rope climbing and fire that’s as much of a mental test as it is physical.

Spartan Race Motivational Video via the Spartan Race Website

The event normally costs $120 after all fees, but as a Downtown Phoenix ASU student, you can receive a reduced rate and transportation for only $40 for the first 100 participants.

For every additional student after the limit, non-Downtown students and friends, the cost will be $87 at the time of sign-up and $15 given after the race.

How to sign up:

  • Come visit the table for the Exercise and Wellness Organization at ASU DPC on Taylor Mall today from 11:30-12:30.
  • “Like” the Exercise and Wellness Organization ASU DPC on Facebook to add yourself to the event and for general club information. Also join the OrgSync group, using your Campus ID to log in and visit their page.
  • You must present your ASU ID at registration.
  • Have a credit or debit card handy.
  • If you are signing up a friend, you must have his or her student ID as well.
Training Tips
  • Start running. Since you’ll be running a 5k in addition to the obstacles, you need to make sure you’re aerobically ready. Start with small distances and try to fit running, biking or elliptical in four days a week. Make sure to include some sprint workouts for speed to help lower your time.
  • Strength train your upper body. Practice push-ups, pull-ups and rope climbing if possible in addition to your cardio workouts.
  • Get the right gear. Make sure you have the proper shoes for an outdoor running event. You’ll need a shoe that has good stability for quick movements and is comfortable enough for the distance running.
For more information on the Exercise and Wellness Organization at ASU DPC, how to join the club or help with registering for the event, send an e-mail to ASUEWO@gmail.com.
Sign up, Devils! Show those Spartans how it’s done!

 

Keeping holiday stress at bay

Christmas trees are lit, semi-cooler weather is upon us and stress levels are so high we feel like quitting. Happy Holidays, right? This time of year is supposed to be merry and bright, but with finals, group projects and traveling home, the holidays can be a bit gloomy. Stop stressing about what you need to do before Winter Break and take some time to enjoy the days leading up to it.

Photo via Active.com

Follow these tips to help you stay stress-free

  • Take a minute to breathe. This is one of the most important things you can do for your body and mental health. When the world around you is in disarray, take Rumi’s advice and “Sit, be still and listen.”
  • Go holiday shopping. Make a list of what you need and where you can find it. Simplify your life with online shopping from sites like Amazon where you can get free shipping and customize the order for a gift. When buying for your friends, get creative and make something unique they’ll love. Check out websites like Etsy or Pinterest for some good ideas.
  • Budget your time and your wallet. It’s easy to overspend this time of year whether it’s through time commitments or with shopping for gifts. Plan out how much you can afford to give in both scenarios and stay strict with it!
  • Start a new tradition. It’s easy to get hung up on perfecting and maintaining traditions and forget why you’re doing them in the first place. Simplify traditions and start something new.
  • Keep exercising and eating well. When stress levels rise, your body goes into the “fight or flight” mode which means your body is working overtime to compensate for your high stress levels. When you keep up with your regular exercise and diet routines, your body realizes it doesn’t need to enter the fight or flight stage because it’s just a normal day.
  • Spend time with the people you love. The Holidays are here only once a year and now is the time to enjoy it. Be thankful for the people in your life and share some quality time with them. Watch a holiday movie, bake some holiday cookies and celebrate the wonderful life you’re living.

Stop stressing, Devils. Enjoy the holidays instead!