Top 7 Trendy Summer Health and Fitness Must Haves To Make Jaws Drop When You Return to Campus This Fall

Top 7 Trendy Summer Health and Fitness Must Haves To Make Jaws Drop When You Return to Campus This Fall

You'll be so healthy, it hurts.

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We've all heard of achieving the summer body, but what about creating your summer body during the summer? Summer is a relaxed time where you can get your life back on track. In the middle of ice cream sundaes, chocolate dipped popsicles, and smores, summer is the ultimate time to change your lifestyle. When you get back to campus this fall, everyone's necks will be breaking from staring at your healthy glow.

1. Amazing Grass: Green SuperFood- Lemon Lime

https://www.amazinggrass.com/store/green-superfood-lemonlime.html

Let's face it. Superfoods taste awful, literally awful. But they're superfoods for a reason and we all need to be getting our daily greens in. Amazing Grass offers over twelve different flavors of their Superfood but the Lemon Lime flavor has been the most edible in my experience. It has a similar Gatorade type of taste to it. You can add it to your favorite smoothie or just stir with some water and cheers yourself into good health.

2. Ankle Weights

https://www.popsugar.com/fitness/Selena-Gomez-Wearing-Ankle-Weights-Disneyland-45011306

What is that around Selena Gomez's ankles? Ankle weights? While Selena may be making these extremely trendy, fitness gurus have been pro-ankle weights for a while now. If you're someone who needs a little extra "umph" in their daily routine and may not have time to go to the gym regularly, ankle weights are the thing for you. You can wear them while you are walking around the house or running around doing your daily things to burn a few extra calories. Plus, if Selena Gomez can rock them, you can too!

3. Fitmiss: Delight Protein Shake in Vanilla Chai

https://musclepharm.com/collections/fitmiss/products/delight?variant=37547006090

Hey ladies, this one is for you. I've never enjoyed how chalky protein powders can taste but this one I've been a big fan of for awhile. Mix it in with some frozen fruit and coconut water and you'll forget it's even there.

4. Gymshark: Seamless Leggings

Gymshark leggings

https://www.instagram.com/p/Bkvxj30hE3C/?tagged=gymsharkseamless

You've probably seen these babies on your Instagram more than a few times. I was a disbeliever as well, but Gymshark's seamless leggings are one of the best workout products on the market right now. They're super cute, comfortable and give you all the gym confidence you need to have a killer workout.

5. Resistance Bands

https://www.instagram.com/p/Bk2zLItAQqV/?tagged=resistancebands

Similar to the ankle weights, this gives a little extra somethin' something to your workout routine. Add this band for squats or floor exercises. If you're not sure how to use it, look it up on YouTube!

6. Hydroflask

Hydroflask

https://www.instagram.com/p/BhXnDGNAZUT/?taken-by=hydroflask

The most important part of your workout routine is your water. Water is so incredibly good for you and making sure you are drinking enough water in a day can change your life. If water is too boring for you, add some mint or frozen fruit to it to spice it up. Plus Hydroflasks keep your water cool all day while saving the environment by eliminating plastic water bottles.

7. Nutribullet

Nutribullet

https://www.instagram.com/p/BeI5gK2lYEh/?taken-by=thenutribullet

Nutribullets are key for making healthy drinks in the morning or afternoon. You can create your protein powder dream shake or your healthy late night milkshake. These little things can be an investment, but they will pay off in the end.

Cover Image Credit:

https://www.instagram.com/whitneyysimmons/

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There's Nothing Fabulous About My Big Fat Fabulous Life

I am not fat shaming, I am speaking the truth.
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I usually don't complain about famous people, but this is just one time when I can't keep my mouth shut. I have been watching Whitney Way Thore on TLC's My Big Fat Fabulous Life since the first day it aired. I remember seeing her video of her hip hopping that went viral. At first, I was really connected to Whitney and proud of her. I, myself, have Poly Cystic Ovarian Syndrome too. I also have a strong passion for dance and have never let my weight get in the way of that. I have felt the same struggles that she has with people judging her, or feeling inadequate because of my weight. I also connected with Whitney when I saw the type of the relationship her and her mom have. My mother and I are extremely close. Whitney's personality also seemed to resemble mine. However, the more I watched the show, the more I noticed something.

Whitney uses her PCOS and weight as an excuse for everything. She can't lose weight because of PCOS. She just gains weight because of PCOS. While it is true it is hard to lose weight with PCOS, it is possible. When women with PCOS are dieting and have a cheat day, it is equivalent to someone without PCOS having three. This makes losing weight extremely hard and disheartening. I can't tell you how many times I have worked out for days upon days and ate healthy and still not lost any weight, or even gain weight. But that's where Whitney and I are different.

You see, I watch what I eat. I exercise often. She might exercise by dancing, but that means nothing if you are going to continue to eat whatever you want. PCOS is not a free pass to just be overweight. It drives me absolutely insane when she blames her weight problems on PCOS. I have it to. The fact that she allowed herself to gain 100 lbs. her freshman year of college is ridiculous. I am appalled that I gain 7 lbs.

I could just say screw it and eat whatever I want too, but I don't. Instead, I meal prep. I make time to go to the gym and push myself. I eat a salad at least once a day. I count calories. I make an effort. Am I perfect? God, no. Do I slip up? Abso-freaking-lutely. But do I let that be my life style? No. Am I happy with where I am at? Not at all. But I am trying.

The human body isn't meant to carry around an excessive amount of weight. Inside of me is a girl that wants a healthy BMI, and I won't stop until I get her out. Now, I am glad Whitney spreads body positivity, really, I am. But you have to be healthy too. You can tell me you are healthy all you want. Sure, you don't have diabetes. Sure you don't have any co-morbidities....yet. I don't either. I like to refer to myself as the fittest fat person you will ever meet. But really Whitney, there is nothing fabulous about being overweight. Not being able to have full range of your own body is frustrating. Shopping in the plus size section is extremely annoying. Having people make rude remarks to you hurts. You can't deny me any of that. So, please, do me and yourself a favor and quit hiding behind the PCOS.

Cover Image Credit: https://view.yahoo.com/show/my-big-fat-fabulous-life

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4 Workout Classes in Downtown Charleston That You Have To Experience

If you hate the gym, these classes are for you.

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The gym can be many things, but most of the words that come to peoples mind when asked about the gym are not exactly pleasant ones. It can be intimidating if you are just starting out and don't know how to use machines or weights. I can not tell you how long it took me to gather the courage to even step foot in the squat rack section. I was clueless about weight lifting, and I didn't want to embarrass myself in front of the extremely fit guys and girls who seemingly owned the area.

It also can be awkward to run into your peers or people you have been trying to avoid around campus. Take it from me, you can't hide very well behind a leg press machine. But most of all, it can be boring. For example, Monday: treadmill warm up and leg workout, Tuesday treadmill warmup and arm workout, Wednesday... well, you get it. So after a friend convinced me to attend what was my very first exercise class, my perspective on working out completely shifted. Having a fun, upbeat instructor who tells you what to do takes away a lot of stress, allowing you to just enjoy the workout.

Also, most classes incorporate phenomenal music playlists that are tailored to each section of the workout. And lastly, there is something very empowering about working out with a group of people. All of the participants motivate each other to complete the workout. Also, all of the studios I mention are in a walking distance of campus, making early morning sessions easier to attend. I encourage you to consider taking one of the classes so that you can have a blast while doing something to benefit yourself.

1. CHS Revolution: REV Ride

Let me begin by saying this cycling class is addictive and my favorite workout class in Charleston so far. I have gone back many times for the exciting atmosphere and amazing music remixes that make you feel like you're dancing your way through the spin session. The first time I went here I was nervous about the whole stationary bike situation. However, an instructor helped me set the bike for my height and arm length. One even stopped her workout momentarily to help me get my foot locked back in the pedal when it came unlatched during an intense segment. It is the perfect class if you're looking for a challenge and to have legs so sore you have to hobble to class the next day.

2. Pivotal Fitness: RedZone

When first signing up for a RedZone class one Sunday with a friend, we did not know what we were getting ourselves into. We clicked the "reserve" button for a 6am class the following day, completely underestimating how intense their HIIT circuit would actually be for an early Monday morning workout. It was one of the most challenging group classes that I've done, but we got through it and felt amazing afterwards. Beginning at one of the three sections, you cycle through weights, short sprint sessions, and rowing machines. You can attend this class even if you feel as though you have no idea what you're doing. The instructor is very attentive and makes sure everyone gets the help they need to make the workout effective. I would recommend this class if you're looking for a fun challenge.

3. Charleston Power Yoga: Hot Hip Hop Happy Hour

If you think that yoga can only be for the most serene of people or that it's a requirement to listen to nature sounds while holding poses for 15 minutes, then think again. This is a fast pace hot yoga class where hip hop remixes are the music of choice and the calm truly doesn't come until after the storm. The quaint studio located on upper King Street is a welcoming and accessible environment. By the end of this class you will have gotten in a good stretch, a good sweat, and some muscle work.

4. Still Soul Studio: Yin Yoga and Meditation

If you're in the mood to become more centered and participate in some more traditional yoga, Still Soul's Yin Yoga and Meditation class is the epitome of stress free. When I walked in to the studio, it was spa-like due to how soft everyone spoke and because it smelled like a mix of lavender and other calming scents. The room the class was held in was very dim, lit only by candles, and the instructor began by telling us how she had just gotten back from a Bali yoga retreat. That's how I knew I was in for the "zen" experience of a lifetime. While we did practice longer pose holds and the upbeat music was replaced with soft bells and chimes, I walked out of the class with my mind feeling more open and like some weight was lifted off of my shoulders. I would recommend this class to help you unwind at the end of a long day and stretch out your sore muscles from the previous class suggestions!

Remember, working out should not be the worst part of your day. You can find a way to exercise that you truly enjoy and want to keep coming back to... maybe it ends up being one of these classes!

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