Too Busy For The Gym? 5 Tips For a Healthy Lifestyle


With over one month of the 2015 school year under our belts, homework and studying is starting to take over our lives.  You may be feeling like you cannot find any time to get your nose out of your books and head to the gym. Well, there are a few easy things you can do to help squeeze some gym time into your busy life.

Start by prioritizing exercise. You can do that by planning ahead. When you are planning out your weekly schedule, try to figure out what days work to give up 30 minutes to head over to the gym. Too often people say that they do not have enough time for the gym, but that is because they do not plan ahead and set a time to exercise each week.

Here are some other ways that you can stay healthy without having to go to the gym everyday:

  1. Join an intramural team


Intramural sports are not a huge commitment. They are only once a week for about an hour. They serve as great study break and are a great way to meet new people. There are a ton of intramural sports offered here at Winona State so sign up with a team and start having some fun!

  1. Pack healthy snacks to munch on during a busy day


It is better to snack during the day than to go home and pig out in one sitting after a long day on campus or at work. A healthy snack that I like to munch on is trail mix that consists of cranberries, chocolate chips and raw pecans or almonds. This trail mix is a great energy booster and it really fills you up!

  1. Walk 10,000 steps a day


That may seem like a lot but you probably tackle most of those just by walking to all of your classes. Setting a goal like 10,000 steps per day is a great idea because it serves as an encouragement. Most smart phones have apps that track your steps for you so that you can see if you are meeting your goal or not. Having a goal to meet each day will motivate you to get up and move.

  1. Find an exercise partner


This is a very important tip because if you have someone to exercise with, they will hold you accountable. My friend and I compared our schedules and found times throughout our week when we could meet up and run together or play racquetball together (even though we are terrible at it).

  1. Try to get 8-9 hours of sleep every night


Sleep is very important because lack of sleep can affect your concentration, energy and stress levels, body image and defense against sickness. If getting an adequate amount of sleep is hard for you, try writing in your planner what time you are going to sleep each night, and what time you are going to wake up. If you are a late night crammer, try to adjust your schedule and do most of your studying throughout the day and in the early evening, rather than at midnight.

-Erin Kloepping

10 Ways to Keep Off the Freshman 15 on a College Budget

Don’t fall victim to the Freshman 15! Adjusting to a new environment can be hard, so here are a few easy ways you can stay healthy in college while keeping you and your bank account happy.

 1.  Get your exercise on using campus resources


Take advantage of everything you can during your years at Winona State! The IWC is great for any type of workout whether it’s running, playing basketball or weight lifting – there’s stuff for every one! Remember, you won’t have free access to a gym forever.

  1. Drink lots of water!


Dehydration can slow down your metabolism, so why not give your body more energy to burn those extra calories? Carry around a reusable water bottle and fill it up as many times as you can each day. It will also help keep you full so you won’t feel the need to snack as much.


  1. Join intramural sports


What’s more fun than getting together with your friends and playing your favorite sport? Intramurals are a low-commitment opportunity that helps you exercise in a way that’s fun for every one! Winona State offers many different intramurals for coed, men and women that include basketball, volleyball, soccer, softball, flag football and kickball.

  1. Take advantage of the nature around you


We live in a valley of pure beauty so take advantage of it by using the lakes, river and the bluffs! From hiking up to the top of Sugarloaf, riding your bike along the water or canoeing in the lake – the opportunities are endless. Check out the lake lodge website for year-round activities on Lake Winona.

  1. Don’t drink your calories


It’s so easy to waste a whole days worth of calories on liquids such as sodas and juice that won’t fill you up. Be mindful of what you’re drinking – there are so many healthy options that taste better than you think!


  1. Boost your metabolism with breakfast


Just like you need caffeine in the morning to get yourself going, your body needs food to kick start the day! It doesn’t have to be fancy. A couple of eggs, a piece of toast or a bowl of cereal will help your body metabolize more throughout the day!

  1. Get a good night’s sleep


When you’re tired it’s so easy to reach for those sugary snacks to help boost your energy. Let sleep take place of those pesky snacks and/or reach for carrots instead!

  1. Find social hangouts that don’t involve going out to eat


Food is a simple and appealing way to hang out or see your friends, but a simple switch to hiking or taking a walk can make a huge difference (and save you lots of money, too)! Of course, the occasional triple order of topperstix won’t kill you.

  1. Drink your coffee black or drink tea


We all need a little boost in the morning to help us get through our busy schedules, but adding all that extra sugar and cream in your coffee can really add up! Try drinking your coffee black or try other caffeinated drinks, like tea, that are calorie free!


  1. Don’t multitask while you eat!


Multitasking when you eat is a turn down the road to eating an entire bag of chips. When you’re not focusing on what you’re putting in your mouth its easy to lose track of all that you’ve eaten. Be mindful of what you’re eating and when you’re eating it. No one likes feeling sick from too many Doritos.

-Lauren Reuteler


Every College Student Needs a Furry Friend

Videos of cats and dogs helping their people have grown more and more popular, or at least that’s what my news feed on Facebook tells me. It doesn’t help that many of my friends and family are animal lovers. Over the summer, I made a very big decision: to get a kitten. I know what you’re thinking: she’s only a sophomore, she just moved off campus, she doesn’t make enough money to care for an animal. Yes, I am only a sophomore. Yes, I did just move off campus and into a house that allows pets. Yes, I didn’t make enough money to care for him in the beginning.


Westley and I the first month I got him. Had to go with a purple bowtie for him for Winona State!

But getting my cat Westley wasn’t the most courageous decision I made that summer. This summer I decided to stay in Winona. Away from my family and friends in Connecticut, away from summers at private beaches and nice restaurants, away from parents that would pay for everything for me. I knew that I would be alone for a majority of my time here. I knew I wouldn’t be able to handle it. I am an introvert so going out is hard for me to overcome. Put me in a new place and I am going to fail miserably or just stand in the corner and not talk.

I don’t suffer from depression or any other sort of mental illness, but this summer made me rethink my mental heath as I became over-stressed. My mental heath was dwindling to nothing and I didn’t think there was anything I could do about it. It got so bad that I was having mental breakdowns at work. My boss even walked in on me hyperventilating and freaking out over something very small because of all of the stress – stress over work, money, loneliness and homesickness. If Westley wasn’t there this summer I would have gone down a dark hole, unable to get out.

Wesley provided the emotional support and stress relief  I needed over the summer.

Wesley provided the emotional support and stress relief I needed over the summer.

One of my only pick me ups was Westley, the little kitten I adopted when I moved into my house. Every time I walked through the door, there he was meowing and rubbing up against my leg. He stayed by my side through every breakdown I had at home and through every stress eating session. He gave me the warmth and companionship I didn’t know I needed.

Animals are magnificent creatures and a blessing to mankind. WSU has a therapy dog at the IWC for those students who live on campus or can’t afford a therapy animal. WSU also has a policy in place for students that have a therapy animal and need them on campus. This year we have a student who has an emotional support cat living in Lourdes. Animals can really help people that need emotional support, so I encourage students to visit Winston the therapy dog on Wednesdays in the IWC or volunteer at the Humane Society!

-Rachel Adam

It’s Time for Time-Management

clocks and people

As I have learned over the my freshman year, time management is a skill that is necessary to college life. Let me tell you, proper organization and time management will help make your day-to-day routine go a lot smoother as well as reduce stress and anxiety. It’s also important to find a process that works for you that is efficient but not overwhelming.

Once you get into the semester, it often is hard to reorganize all of the material you have received if you don’t have a system in place to begin with. I know because I didn’t have a good system for balancing school and social life when arrived at WSU, and I am still working on managing my time better. If you’re like me and struggle with time-management, here are a few ideas to put to use in future semesters:

1. Use a Planner Right Away
At the beginning of the semester, take your syllabi and write down all important due dates and tests in your planner. Now you’ll have the entire semester laid out in front of you and those due dates won’t creep up on you unexpectedly.

2. Make a You Calendar Mobile
I also advise entering important dates and times into a calendar on your phone or tablet so you always have your schedule handy.

3. Only Sign Up for What You Can Handle
This goes for courses, extra-curricular activities and work. You can’t do it all–you have the same 168 hours in a week that everyone else does–so you need to prioritize the things you are involved in. This way, you will manage your time and stress levels better for a more successful semester.

4. Use Your Resources on Campus
Tutoring is a great resource to make sure you are prepared and caught up in classes as well as understanding material far before finals.

These are just a few tips to get you started on managing your time better. Here are two more articles that have really great strategies for time-management: 8 Ways to Take Control of Your Time and Top 12 Time Management Tips.

Here’s to a more organized and less stressed semester!

–Liz Doyle

What to Do When You Have No Motivation

We are 14 long weeks into the semester, the beautiful weather is finally sticking around, and many are already making their summer plans. But finals week will be here in the blink of an eye! Here are some tips to make sure you stay on top of things and finish strong.

1. Fight the Urge to Go Home

Ryan Gosling says "don't go"

Seriously, don’t do it. It will just be even harder to come back and finish out these last two weeks.

2. Get Out of Your Room

Ferris Bueller

The weather is nice, so study outside and breathe fresh air, ya silly goose!

3. Keep Clean and Organized

teen hides messy room behind curtain

I’m just saying, you’ll never find your homework under all those piles of clothes.

4. Go to All Your Classes

Spongebob and Patrick in a classroom

You can always gain more knowledge, my friend, plus don’t lose out on those easy participation points that might bump up your grade.

5. Attend Study Groups or Tutoring Sessions

Warrior from Mulan

Cramming last minute is never a successful strategy and studying with friends or peers definitely heightens motivation.

6. Go to Bed and Wake Up Early

cartoon dragon wakes up

Always get a good night’s rest and you’ll feel refreshed and ready to tackle the day.

7. Eat Healthy

Abu the monkey stuffs face with fruit

Fill up on fruits and veggies rather than cards and caffeine to get your brain the nutrients it rightly deserves to keep focused and alert.

–Liz Doyle

Embrace Your Shape: A Look at What the Media Feeds Us

movie poster for Miss Representation

What has the media done for you? Has it made you feel good about yourself? Probably not. Has it given you unrealistic expectations about how you should look and act? Most likely.

On Tuesday, I attended a documentary and panel discussion event put on by the Health Communication Class here at WSU. I went to the event originally to support my aunt who was on the panel. But now I am so glad I did because I learned so much and got a whole new perspective on media.

The documentary, Miss Representation, asks powerful women in today’s society to explain how the media represents women. Their conclusion? Basically everything’s  “about the body, not the brain.” The media places photos everywhere of women that have an unattainable beauty because of the way we use photo-editing tools. Thus America is presented with a limited portrayal of women: skinny.

a quote from Lisa Ling in Miss Representation

And did you know that 8-10 year old kids have the same mental capacity as a 24 year old? Neither did I. The brain doesn’t fully develop until well into your 20s. That means that images we see at a young age imprint into our brains and affect us into our later years. Girls see skinny, scantily clad women and learn to see themselves as objects. Meanwhile, boys see these same images and learn to see women as objects too. It’s a vicious circle that we all want to stop but don’t know how.

Well, the panelists had a few ideas on how to break the cycle. President Olsen said the shows that portray women in a derogatory manner are the shows you don’t need to watch. The Kardashians, Toddlers in Tiaras, The Bachelor and shows of the same content all show women in a manor that make women feel like they need to be pretty in order to get anywhere in life. Other ideas are to boycott magazines, make better choices about the entertainment you watch, read or listen to and choose media that has strong female characters instead of the mainstream nonsense we buy into.

A student at the event asked, “How are we meant to change this when women and men receive backlash for doing what they love or express themselves in a way that others don’t like?” The brilliant response to this question: “You are going to receive backlash in everything you do. The only thing you can do is to allow your passion to push you through to do what you want to do.”

a quote from Alice Walker in Miss Representation

Remember how I said my aunt was on this panel? Well, she was there because she is a Women’s Health Nurse Practitioner who works in the WSU Health Services office. There she sees patients and answers the many questions people have about their bodies. At the panel she spoke up, saying “I receive many girls in my office who ask me if they are ‘normal.’ Everyone is normal. We are all different but that doesn’t mean that our differences are not normal.”

This goes for guys as well. Men are conditioned to be hard-faced and to shield their emotions from everyone around them. They are taught that in order for them to be successful they need to have a nice car, dress a certain way, make a ton of money and be smarter than everyone around them. But, guys, do you really want to be that way? Having no one know what you are actually feeling and striving for a life you really don’t want?

As President Olsen said at the end of the panel: “College is a time for self discovery, so go find yourself.” That’s definitely what I plan to do. Will you?

–Rachel Adam

a panel of men and women

5 Interview Tips for the Almost-Graduate

nervous woman in car

Let’s just face it: job interviews are scary. No matter how many times you’ve done it before, it’s just frightening to sit in a lobby full of people who are looking to fill a position that you so desperately want. It can also be rather uncomfortable to talk (and brag) about yourself for hours on end in front of said people. As I continue my process in finding a job after graduation, I have learned a few things that make job interviews much more bearable.

cartoon squirrel breathes deeply

1. Take a DEEP Breath
I usually show up to interviews at least a half hour early. While this same seem a little excessive to some, I use my first 15 minutes in my car to go over potential interview questions and calm my nerves. I often take five minutes to just breathe and visualize myself nailing the interview. This gives me enough confidence to leave my car and strut into the interview room.

man smiles at camera

2. Smile
This may seem weird, but before an interview, I smile at myself in the mirror. A LOT. This helps fight the nerves and gives you a chance to practice smiling those pearly whites at your potential employers. When you walk into an interview, it’s so important to remember to SMILE! Employers really appreciate interacting with a confident, friendly and SMILING candidate.

Sherlock Holmes says "Do your research"

3. Research, Research, Research
Before an interview, do everything possible to learn more about the company. Go on their website, talk to current employees and try to memorize their mission statement. Employers really like when a candidate knows a lot about the company BEFORE even being hired for the job. It shows passion and excitement about the opportunity and that you’re willing to work hard for the position.

a woman coaches a little girl

4. Practice with a Friend
First sit down and write out any potential questions that could be brought up in the interview. I then find it helpful to write out my answers to these exact questions and study my responses. Finally, have a friend quiz you on some of the questions. That way, you have practice verbally answering these interview questions and can critique your answers to perfection. I found this extremely helpful since I am a much better written communicator and often get tongue-tied during the actual interview. It’s much easier to respond to questions you have already answered out loud.

man dances

5. Be Patient and Keep Trying
It’s very disappointing to receive rejection after amping yourself up for a job interview. However, its important to pick yourself back up and continue your search for another position quickly. It’s intimidating to put yourself out there, but don’t beat yourself if the first interview doesn’t land you an offer. As scary as job interviews can be, it’s exciting to see where you may end up and all of the endless possibilities in front of you. Keep going my fellow Warriors, because the post-grad life is almost here!

–Melissa VanGrinsven

5 Items You Should Have In Your College Medicine Cabinet

an almost empty medicine cabinent

Ahh…the average college medicine cabinet!

Springtime: Full of sunshine, running along the Winona lakes and a few cases of the sniffles. While just getting over a week-long cold, I was reminded of all the important items every college student should have in their medicine cabinet/closet for those unexpected cold and flu bugs.  Here are just a few things you should pick up to keep away from those pesky germs:

1.  Hand Sanitizer

A must-have when you are constantly touching public handles and sharing pencils with a coughing desk mate. Keep a large bottle in your room and a small keychain-size container in your backpack to use on-the-go.

2.  Kleenex

There’s nothing worse than having to run to the bathroom every five minutes to blow your nose with a little bit of toilet paper. Keep some Kleenex boxes on hand for those drippy messes.

3.  Ibuprofen or Nyquil

Trying to go to class with a pounding headache and stuffy nose is never ideal. Make sure you have some pain-relieving medicine to make it through that important exam and then take a well-deserved nap afterwards.

4.  Chicken Noodle Soup

While you may not want to keep this in your medicine cabinet, try to keep some cans of soup on hand to soothe an unexpected sore throat. It may not be as good as your mom’s homemade recipe, but the warm broth will feel heavenly!

5.  Vitamin C Tablets/Emergen-C

While it’s important to get lots of vitamin c when you are sick, it’s as equally as important to take it BEFORE YOU GET SICK to fight off any potential sicknesses.  Try to take a multivitamin or supplement to get your daily dose of the infection-fighting miracle worker.

–Melissa VanGrinsven

Where There's Food & Friends, There's Happiness

good food, good friends, good life

It’s true!

With all the homework and studying, do you find it hard to spend time with your friends? Have you gotten bored with the cafeteria food? Well then do I have some good news for you!

You can have friends and home-cooked food at the same time by starting up a weekly dinner night.

For me and my friends, it started when we had a Chinese feast of orange chicken, fried rice and egg rolls—all the works–on Valentine’s Day. We sat in the lounge on our floor talking and eating and enjoying each other’s company.

After that night I decided that I wanted to give back to my friends that are always feeding me. So I made garlic chicken, tilapia, garlic mashed red potatoes and steamed corn. I also picked up a red velvet ice cream cake from DQ. An hour of intense cooking later and we were all around the table again talking and having a good time.

These two instances made us all decide to cook every week. For the past three weeks, my friends and I have been taking turns to host Sunday night dinners and it has been so rewarding.

I mean, let’s be honest here, we all get tired of the caf food once in a while and who wants to leave their dorm on a Sunday when they’ve been snuggled up on their bed all day?

This past week, we made pasta, garlic bread and some delicious, homemade cake. Fantastic!

What I’m trying to get across is that spending a little extra money for a nice home-cooked meal is extremely beneficial. It provides food for your body and social interaction for your well-being. We’ve all been told about the affects of overwork and stress on your body, and in fact, the main reason for floor activities and campus wide events is to counteract those negative effects. . Your body can’t work 24/7–it needs a break. And being anti-social doesn’t help either.

Studying and working hard for classes and life in general is important, but having some friend time and relaxing a little is nice too. In fact, it’s needed. You can’t push yourself all the time and think that you won’t feel the effects to everything else in your life.

That’s why my friends and I started our get-togethers. We weren’t seeing each other as often as we liked. We found a day that worked for everyone and went from there. We forget about our worries and sit at a table and laugh.

And really, what more could you want on a Sunday night?

–Rachel Adam

Got a Room? Will Work Out!

people running marathons and a person watching Netflix

We’ve all been there before. You’re cuddled up in bed at 3 in the afternoon, already wearing PJ pants and well into yet another Netflix marathon. The snow is falling hard outside, making it difficult to even leave your room. An open bag of pretzels leans up against an empty jar of Nutella. As the credits roll, your finger hovers over the “Next Episode” button…

Well it’s time to get moving! Though the gym may be a far trek from your room, it’s easy to stay active in one room. Here are some tips and tricks to keep your body healthy, even with a 12×12 foot room.

1. Get the Heart Rate Going!

This chart is perfect to add some cardio after sitting for so long. Luckily, none of these exercises require any weights or equipment. It’s easy to do and is a perfect alternative to running outside or on a treadmill!

cardio workout chart

2. Tone Those Muscles!

This month-long routine is perfect to tone your muscles in a smaller space. It only lists crunches, sit-ups and squats, but if you stick to it for the whole month, the results are awesome! Do this first thing in the morning or right before being to bed and you’ll be getting fitter – in the comfort of your own room.

crunches and sit-ups workout routine

3. Put in a Movie – No Really!

Another great idea on how to stay fit in a small space is simply pressing “play”. Look on YouTube or purchase a workout DVD for some heart-pumping exercises that can be done only a few feet away from your TV. It’s like having a personal trainer right there in your own home!

a woman doing yoga

Be sure to check out WSU’s Wellness Pinterest board for more ideas on how to stay happy and healthy during these dreary winter months!

–Melissa VanGrinsven