work out

Your Weekly Exercise:The Elliptical Machine, Cardio

What is the Elliptical Machine? The elliptical machine is a great alternative cardio wise to the treadmill, the bike, and the stair master. It is a great workout. Some people prefer the treadmill, or the bike, but for me I actually do prefer the elliptical.

Instructions: Be prepared as you would for any other workout, or cardio exercise you may be doing. Have your feet positioned correctly on the two grips they have for you to run on. The next thing you must do is set what speed you want to run. There are all types of programs you can use on elliptical such as high speed on a lower level, leaving it easier for you to pedal. You can even do lower speed while having it at a higher level. You can enter doing quick start as well. Other programs on many elliptical consist of exercises such as hills in which it gradually gets harder and easier as if you were running up and down a hill, or a mountain. There are fat loss programs in which will give you different levels, and different speeds as well. All these programs are for you to choose. You set your time, set your speed, set your level and be prepared to burn some major calories.

Primary Muscles Worked: This actually works a lot of muscles in different ways. It works the calves, quads, hamstrings, glutes, and even arms when you use the side handles. 


Unusual Fat Burning Activities

Working out has never been more fun. Though going to the gym might help you shed those pounds faster and easier in the long run, there are a wide variety of activities you partake in naturally and burn calories while doing so—without even breaking a sweat!

1.     Chew Gum

 This one kind of goes hand in hand with eating celery. Chewing on some Orbit will burn about 11 calories per hour. So, basically, if you chew from 8 am to 8 pm, you’ll burn roughly 132 calories. Plus, this activity leaves your breath as fresh as a sprig of mint.

2.     Do Your Homework

Did you know simply using your brain could burn calories? Thinking or concentrating on your homework, studying for a test, work for an internship, or any brain-powered activity can burn around 110 calories per hour! In a related category, if you spend a lot of time reading, you can burn 75 calories in an hour. And if you fidget while you work, you’ll see an increase in calories burned each hour—even as much as a bike ride. So, stop procrastinating and get to work!

3.     Pucker Up

Just the excuse you kissing fiends have been looking for! In 15 minutes of kissing, you can burn anywhere from 12 to 30 calories depending on your weight. So, the longer you kiss the more calories you burn…and if you tack on chewing gum to prepare for your kiss fest, it looks like a pretty good day for your bod!

4.     Drive Around Town

Yup, you don’t have to ride your bike to school to burn calories. When you drive your car, you can burn 120 calories per hour. But remember, if you’re snacking in the car while doing so, add instead of subtract those calories. And for those of you who couldn’t guess it, riding your bike would definitely burn more calories—unless you drive 5 hours to and from school every day.

5.     Get Fidgety

I just realized I must burn 100s of calories every day since I fidget non-stop in class. Bouncing your legs, drumming your fingers on your desk, picking at your nails, playing with your hair—however you fidget, you’re also burning calories. People who fidget burn up to 10 times more calories than those  who can keep their body parts under control, and they can even burn up to as many calories as people who jog or swim twice each week. See, Mom, there are benefits to my fidgety ways so no, I will not sit still.

6.     Clean Up, Clean Up, Everybody Everywhere

By cleaning your house, you can burn a ton of calories! Vacuuming every square inch of your place for an hour can leave you 225 calories lighter. Scrubbing your counter tops will also burn 225 calories every hour. For those of you who can’t stand the thought of cleaning for an hour, you can burn 77 calories after mopping for 15 minutes or 38 calories from washing the dishes for 15 minutes. If you stay dedicated to this “exercise” regimen, your apartment will never look better.

So, now you have an excuse to not exercise every day. But keep in mind, if you add lunges while you’re mopping or some cardio when you can’t stop fidgeting, the results will be much better.

Have fun “working out” everyone!


I’m reading Dynamics of Mass Communication: Media in Transition

The Best Time of Day to Work Out

There are plenty of debates about the best time of day to work out. Some say it’s best to work out first thing in the morning, others mid day, and then there are those that swear by late night sessions that send them straight into a deep sleep.

So when is the best time to hit the gym?

Talking strictly in terms of scheduling, there are pros and cons to different time frames.

Are you a morning person?  If you answered yes, then AM sessions might be worth exploring. Depending on when your first classes are, the early morning might be just what you need in terms of motivating yourself to sweat. Working out in the morning is an instant energy boost and helps jumpstart your day. You could potentially go to your first class having literally run circles around your classmates! However, timing really is everything. If you have class at 8, and the gym on your campus opens at 7— unless you have superman speed, and feel loosely about showering—you may need to opt for a later time.

So how do you feel about mid day? Do you have gaps in schedule? Some spare time to play around with? Some college co-eds are partial to naps whenever they have free moment—and that’s not entirely a bad idea, considering you need to give your hardworking body a rest every once and a while! But if you’re all napped out, and you have an hour to work with, why not mull over your assignment for your 2:00 class on the elliptical machines? No one says you have to power race on level 10, just do a casual session warming up your joints and getting your blood pumping. If you don’t need to primp excessively for class, this midday boost could give you the upper hand in your afternoon classes, and help fight off the urge to let your lids get heavy. I find it difficult to stay alert during afternoon lectures. A little workout to spice up your schedule and warm up your routine may be just the ticket!

What if you are booked solid from sun up to sun down? No problem. Maybe you’re an evening workout warrior. You may have to line up for equipment—everyone’s schedule is a little freer in the pm and students may have a workout on the brain just like you!  Working out during the evening can be relaxing and a nice way to wind down after a busy day of classes. You can de-stress while running on the treadmill, or lifting weights. After a good workout and a healthy dinner you will be set to start your homework, go out, or just relax and watch a movie. I’ve found that after a good workout and moving around, I feel the most productive and confident—like I could run another few miles! I don’t know if I would even put my money where my mouth is on that, but it sure feels good when you know you just worked hard and made it through the day.

Although there are different debates about when it’s best to work out, when you’re in college, the most important thing is just finding the time to work out! It’s not really a question on when, but more of a question of how to fit it in. My best advice is to schedule gym time into your planner or agenda. What works for me is seeing the word “gym” stare up at me from the pages. It’s already written so I know I have to go or unless I’ll have to scribble it out and feel bad for not going. By blocking the idea of working out into your day, you won’t be struggling with how to fit it in, but rather, finding the best time to make it happen. Working out is healthy and a great way to de-stress in college. So don’t worry about the when’s and just make sure you get out and move around—every time is a good time to get our your feet and get some exercise!


I’m reading A Pocket Guide to Writing History