Fitness for Every Body Part 2

Matt Green, Reporter

Editors Note: Matt Green is a senior sport management major and a personal trainer at Leverage Fitness in Forty-Fort, Pa. This is part two of a four-part health and fitness series special for The Highlander.

People don’t understand what it’s like being a college student these days. Not only are we drowned in homework, papers, tests and assignments, but we’re flat-out broke. All of our money goes toward that history book we only opened three times all semester or gas to fill our tanks to make it to campus.

Any other money that we have left over probably goes towards your “weekend fund” when you go out to the movies,a restaurant or bar. Many people feel eating healthy means spending hundreds of dollars at the grocery store each time, but trust me, that’s far from the truth. I’m here to tell you that with a little smart shopping, you will be able to not only buy healthy and nutritious foods, but also learn how to get the most out of your money. All of the foods can be prepared inside your little dorm room.

Quality, not Quickness: People purchase processed products en masse because of convenience. You take the food out of the box and pop it in the microwave for five minutes. You can’t beat it, right? Wrong. The main issue with eating healthy is that when the food is of higher quality, the prices are sometimes raised due to the simple fact that the food you are purchasing is actually food. It’s not processed or made by some chemical-lab experiment in a factory. The term for this type of food is “whole foods.” Since whole food are not processed, they are far more beneficial and will be much more filling because you are consuming quality ingredients with each meal. Although your meals might take a little longer to prepare because they aren’t coming from a box, it’s worth it in the end because you are eating real foods. Plus, you are learning how to cook for yourself without depending on boxed food covered with plastic wrap. Try your best to seek out whole foods, rather than processed foods from a box. You want to break down your meals essentially into three categories; protein, carbohydrates and fats. What are some examples of whole food from these categories? For protein, keep it simple with chicken, ground turkey, Greek yogurt and beans. As I stated in the last issue, you want to try to consume .5 grams to 1 gram of protein  for every pound in your body. Why? Not only because protein is beneficial for muscle repair, but it also takes longer for the body to digest, which leaves you feeling fuller for longer! Carbohydrates consist of whole grain or whole wheat breads, oats, whole grain pasta, brown rice, and fruit. Last, your fat sources can come from things such as extra virgin olive oil or avocado.

Go Big or Go Home: Take ad- vantage of grocery stores that sell in bulk. Bulk buying will save you trips to the grocery store and will also give you more bang for your buck. Sure it may only save you a few cents on the dollar, but if you do it with all of your foods, those cents add up to big numbers. Some examples of foods to buy in bulk are frozen vegetables or fruit, whole grain cereals, pasta, rice, vitamins, and perhaps even a form of protein powder such as whey. While you’re there, check to see
if the grocery store has some sort of shopper rewards card. If they do, make sure you sign up and reap the benefits. Also keep your eyes peeled for any BOGO deals or group purchase discounts.Forget Name Brands: 99% of the time, generic brand groceries are cheaper than big name brands. Many people are afraid to buy generic because they feel that it’s simply just a less superior product, but they’re wrong. It’s pretty much an exact copy of that big name brand, but for 40 cents cheaper.

Monitor Your Spending: Go in the grocery store with a game plan and a list. Avoid shopping when you’re hungry because you are more likely to buy items you are craving. Having a physical list and budget will teach you to only buy the essentials and what will give you the most for your money. Same thing goes with your life- style in general. Yes, going out to eat is a part of life, but you don’t need to do it all the time. The chicken Caesar salad you ordered for $8.00 could be made at your house for just under $3.00. It’s all about being smart with your money, not frugal. Put a dollar in a jar for every time you made yourself a meal rather than going out, and use that money to reward yourself.

We may be college students, but we don’t have to feel like our only options are buffet-style breakfasts in the cafeteria or pizza for break- fast, lunch and dinner. Learning to cook for yourself is essential and necessary to live a healthier lifestyle. Keep on improving, Cougars.

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