Spring break “Fit-spiration”

With Spring Break just around the corner, I can already feel the sun on my face and the spray of the ocean. I’ve had a countdown for several weeks and can’t wait to hop in the car and road trip to the beach with my best girls. There is, however, one obstacle that can’t be overlooked: Spring Break is just a few short months after the holidays and dreary winter weather. What does that mean? It means I’m not as excited as I could be to get into that bikini. With that in mind, I created a health plan (notice I didn’t say diet) for the six weeks before Spring Break. I call this a health plan because a diet sounds too much like a “quick fix,” and I’m hoping that it will make it easier for these guidelines to stick after my tan fades. Here’s how I’ve been working for that beach body:

  1. MyFitnessPal: This is the best free app that I’ve found for keeping track of calorie intake and exercise. When you create your account, you can enter your body measurements and intended activity level to receive the amount of calories you need each day. You can adjust this amount for weight loss or weight maintenance. You then enter the foods that you eat each day as well as the length of time that you exercised to calculate calorie burn. It compares what you ate to what your nutritional goals were for the day. At the end of the day, it lets you know how much you would weigh at the end of five weeks if each day were like that. I love seeing what my results could be if I ate well everyday!
  2. PINTEREST: To create my workout plan, I lived on Pinterest for a solid week. I wanted to find a variety of workouts that would target my problem areas. These are the links to the ones that I found useful, but there are so many others. If you find a video or post that you really enjoy, try to see if that person has posted other workout plans.
  1. Mad Men: Okay, you don’t all have to watch Mad Men, but this is my favorite show to watch while running. When it’s warm, I love to run outside, but it’s hard to run outside in the middle of a St. Louis February (most days). So, when it’s cold, I run for half an hour on the treadmill. If I need an easy day, I’ll run at a constant speed. When I’m looking for more of a challenge, I’ll vary the speed every five minutes or so, going from a sprint to a jog and vice versa. I find that this makes the time go by much faster.
  2. Motivation! I went bathing suit shopping with my friends a few weeks ago and found one that I LOVED. So I bought it. Now, every time that I work out, I imagine that I’m about to put it on, which typically makes me work out harder.
  3. Cheat Days: These are so important. I’ve tried to give myself one cheat meal a week, which typically means using my on-campus meal plan to indulge in some Qdoba or Panda Express. Unfortunately, it has been much harder than I anticipated to limit myself to one cheat meal a week…every now and then I’ll get a bagel from Einstein Bros. or scarf down an order of chips and queso. I try to eat healthy at least 80% of the time.
  4. Don’t Stress!! While it would be great to get a six-pack by Spring Break (I wish), that is not always realistic. Maybe it’s your body type (hi) or busy schedule that prevents you from seeing the results you want. Workout when you can and don’t sweat the days when you eat too many delicious things ($1 hotdog special at Sonic). You don’t need to look perfect, you just need to be your best (healthiest) you.
Tara Ernst

Tara Ernst

Tara is a senior Psychology major at Saint Louis University where she is a member of Kappa Alpha Theta and the Honors Program. She currently serves as a Regional Coordinator for the PCA program and loves every minute of it! Fun fact: the world’s largest hotdog cart is located in her hometown of Washington, MO!