Why All College Students Should Lift Weights

Why All College Students Should Lift Weights

"Do you even lift?"
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A few reasons why starting to lift weights was the best decision I made in 2016:

1. Strength

Stairs become easier. Backpacks feel lighter. And if you are physically strong, you will also be mentally strong. Win - win.

2. Stress relief

***For a college student, this is everything.***

3. Results

Spring break is quickly approaching, which means it will soon be bathing suit season. Best way to get that beach bod = lifting.

4. Longevity

Lifting can contribute to a longer life. With the stress of college constantly taking years off of our lives, we could use all of the extra help we can get.

5. Sleep

Lifting weights actually helps you sleep when you are having trouble. All college students know that sleep is truly a gift, especially when you mess up your sleep schedule so badly that going to bed before 3 am feels wrong (whoops).

6. Energy

Despite the potential misconception that lifting weights would drain you of your energy, it actually boosts your energy levels, so you can do more in a day (because 24 hours is never enough).

7. And finally, "Do you even lift?"

"Yes, actually. I do." *cue the confusion and astonishment at a genuine response to their trolling*

Cover Image Credit: Wikimedia Commons

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I Drank Lemon Water For A Week And Here's What Happened

It has already changed my life.

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There are so many health crazes out there now, it's hard to tell what actually works and what doesn't; or more importantly what is healthy and what is making your body worse. I read about simply drinking lemon water and I figured that didn't sound gross or bad for me so I figured I would give it a try. I've been drinking it consistently for a week and a half and I already notice some results.

I've never been a fan of lemon in my water, I always refuse it at restaurants. You definitely have to find your sweet spot in lemon to water ratio, in what tastes good to you. I personally cut the lemon into quarters and use on quarter per day. I put the lemon quarter in the bottle and then continuously fill with water throughout the day. I still get the yummy lemon flavor all day because I do not squeeze the lemon. It took about a bottle or two to get used to the lemon flavor, and now I just crave it.

Lemon water is supposed to speed up your metabolism. Obviously, a week is not long enough to tell if this is fact or fiction but I have noticed a change in appetite. I feel like I do not get hungry as often as I did before. I saw this effect within 24-48 hours of starting the experiment. This seems opposite to a fast metabolism but we'll see.

I definitely feel more hydrated with lemon water. I drink a lot of water anyways, about 80 oz a day but for some reason with the lemon, it makes me feel better. I don't feel as sluggish, I'm not getting hot as easily, and my skin feels amazing. I am slightly skeptical though because the lemon almost makes my tongue dry requiring me to drink more water, so I have upped my intake by about 20oz. I'm unsure if the hydration is due to the extra water, the lemon, or both!

My face is clearing up and feels so much softer too, in only a week! I have not gotten a new pimple since I have started my lemon water kick, may be coincidence but I'm not going to argue with it.

I also feel skinnier as I feel like I'm not holding as much water weight. I only exercise lightly, for the most part, walking around a mile or two a day so we can eliminate exercise factor to the slender feeling.

I have a messy stomach. Everything upsets it, and even though lemons are very acidic, they have not affected me in a negative way at all. It almost seems like the lemon water is helping me digest the difficult foods that my stomach doesn't like. I'm nowhere near a doctor so don't trust my word but it seems to be working for me.

From the effects I've felt so far, it also seems like lemon water may be a great hangover cure! I haven't tried it but I don't see why it wouldn't work. I can't say a negative thing about drinking lemon water so far expect you have to buy the lemons! If you try this for yourself though just make sure you are using an enamel saving mouthwash or toothpaste since lemons aren't so great for your teeth.

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Dwelling In The Negative Creates A Dismal Perspective

We teach ourselves to dwell in the bad. We feed ourselves darkness. We put our faith in the ugly, the disagreeable, the dismal.

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"You are what you eat."

And I think we are much more than matter.

In fact, I think that thinking is pretty key to this entire concept. Food for thought: Thought is food, too. (That's probably been said before, ha, oops).

My best friend studied psychology (and graduated in three years!), and different conversations of ours have led me to think a lot about our brains. My mom also gave me a cool book to read this past summer— one I haven't finished yet— The Healing Secrets of The Ages by Catherine Ponderthat's been exposing the power our own thoughts have over our bodies, our health, our outcomes. She writes that the things we think about the most are the things we put our faith in.

What do we want to be putting our faith in? What do we really believe in?

Most recently, the power of negative thought has become very relevant to me in terms of faith and perspective. There is quite a lot of negativity in this world, and it has a darkening effect.

Negativity kills vivacity, gratitude, presence. It steals from the reality of goodness and places self-pity and hopelessness in the forefront of one's existence.

Does that sound healthy?

When we are negative, does it really feel good? I know that whenever I choose to solely see the sour side of different situations, I always end up missing out on all the good around me. It's easy to block out the gifts we are receiving, and it's also damaging.

Sure, sometimes things suck. Life is far from easy.

But life is also a miracle, and I really think negativity is a defeat. Remaining in a negative paradigm paints the world gray, and it makes seeing the light much more difficult. It's not that the light ever dies or fades, but that we can't see it.

Or we choose not to see it.

And the more we think negatively, the more we teach our brain to follow those same pathways (that's a really Erikanized version of something really psychologically complicated that I only understand on the surface level). Negativity parts the sea for… more negativity.

We were absolutely not created to live a life of negativity. We were made to fly. To enjoy this Earth. To reflect Love. Whatever you believe, I don't think anyone is going to tell me that complaining and maintaining negative energy is the ultimate objective of humankind.

Important note to add: I don't consider fighting for social justice negativity or "complaining." Political activism is by no means "hyper-sensitivity." It's necessary. It's growth for a world that desperately needs it. Social injustice is negativite. Fighting for human rights, equality, equity, peace, dignity— these are positive things. Light defeating darkness.

Also, there are circumstances on this earth (poverty, disease, mental illness, systematic inequality, discrimination), grave injustices and pains, that place people in really dark life situations. Of course, I don't think encouraging positivity should attempt to undermine the gravity of suffering.

Thought that to be a really important note.

Our point of view holds a lot of power over our lives, however. My experience studying abroad in Ecuador has been difficult and wonderful, as many of you know, and while it'd perhaps be temporarily satisfying to mope all day long in the difficulty, it's a thousand times (a mathematically exact number) more rewarding to soak up the good.

Because there is so much good. There is a holy amount of good. Every day I am gifted the greatest wholeness within love. Albeit sometimes seemingly fleeting, the good, the love, are always there.

For the most part, goodness manifests itself in our lives through our perspective. Lenses of negativity create a perpetual interpretation of negativity. If we're always thinking negatively, if we're always complaining, our brain is only going to learn how to do just that, and we'll be less able to enjoy things, because we've taught ourselves to dislike everything.

We teach ourselves to dwell in the bad. We feed ourselves darkness. We put our faith in the ugly, the disagreeable, the dismal. We convince ourselves that everything is against us.

That cannot continue. For the sake of our humanity, we have to keep our heads up. We have to love— people and life. We have to be conscious of our perspective and how it interacts with our reality.

We have to turn those frowns right upside down. We have to put our faith in the goodness. We have to fight for justice, and a large part of justice is love. Light.

Please fight the positive fight with me.

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