Wednesday, April 6, 2016

A balanced diet is an ice cream in each hand.

I try really hard in my daily life to make healthy choices. I take the stairs instead of the elevator.  I walk to class instead of taking the bus. I snack on Triscuits instead of potato chips in class. Of course there is more to being healthy than doing these small things, but these small things are really important, especially as a starting point.

You might be asking yourself why on earth I am writing about health and fitness. Trust me, I feel the same way. What do I know about it? Well, not much, I will admit that. But I know that I'm someone who is trying to make good choices when it comes to being healthy, and I think that's all any of us can do.

As you could probably tell from the title of this post, I appreciate a well-rounded diet, ice cream included. Sorry, but I'm not going to give up ice cream or cake or pasta or cheese or bread or anything that I really like. I'm just mindful of how much of it I eat. But sometimes you've just gotta have a bowl of ice cream for dinner. You just have to. It's a fact.

I think one of the hardest parts of maintaining a healthy lifestyle is finding ways to be active that you actually enjoy. The idea of going to the gym and getting sweaty in a room with a bunch of other sweaty people just does not sound appealing (especially when I put it like that...I'm sorry for the mental picture).

That's why it's important to find new, fun, and exciting ways to be active. Sure, I'll go to the gym and work out a few days a week, but I'd rather do something more fun and exciting! Since coming to college, I've discovered a few ways that I really love to be active, so I thought I'd share.

Walking to Class & Taking the Stairs
As I mentioned at the beginning of this post, these are the easiest ways to be active on campus without actually trying too hard. Especially since the weather is starting to get nicer, I love walking to class. The University of Iowa has such a gorgeous campus that I just love walking across it and admiring its beauty. And taking the stairs isn't always the most fun (especially when your class is on the top floor of the building), but it's an easy way to work the legs a little. And you don't have to worry about awkward elevator encounters.

Exploring Campus
Last spring my friend, Paige, and I went on tons of walks around campus. We walked across the river, up the river, down the river, and all over in between. It was a really good way to get out in the nice weather and be active while discovering some hidden gems on more obscure parts of campus. We did it a lot when we got back to school in the fall and have started doing it even more now that the weather has gotten a little nicer. We also love to take walks at night as a little study break (tip: the Old Capitol is GORGEOUS at night!).

I went hiking for the first time a few weeks ago, and it was a blast! A couple friends and I hiked the part of the Woodpecker Nature Trail along the Iowa River where it starts to empty into Coralville Lake. The trail gets hilly and steep in a few places, and right next to the river, the trail drops off on a cliff. I thought we would just stand on the ledge and admire the amazing view of the water. Nope! We scaled the cliff and stood right on the rocky shore before climbing back up. It was so fun to try something new and test the rock climbing skills I haven't used since summer camp in elementary school! We went again this past weekend and plan to keep going every weekend that we can.

If you've been in a workout slump or are trying to become more active, I would really encourage you to try something simple like something I mentioned above! Try going on a walk around your town, and discover new things you never knew were there. Or find a hiking trail near you -- there are actually a lot more out there than you would think!

What's your favorite way to be active? I would love to hear from you! I'll take all the suggestions I can get!

Lots of love,

Liz Felding, "Rosie's Little Book of Ice Cream"