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Jump start your New Year fitness resolutions with Campus Recreation

By Tony Price, director
Campus Recreation

With every New Year comes the expectation and pressure of renewing our vow for self-care and improvement through some type of resolution specific to health and wellness. Unfortunately lack of knowledge, support and time may hinder your plans for a better YOU! Why not get a jump start on a sustainable fitness plan weeks before the New Year? Campus Recreation at Auraria can assist you with five free and/or affordable steps around engaging in healthy activity prior to the New Year with the goal of setting you’re self-up for success for the entire year, not just the first 30 days!

Step 1: Goal setting

Set both long-term and short term goals (build strength, healthy nutrition, improve cardio conditioning, lose weight, reduce stress)

  • Activities: Identifying fitness and wellness activities of interest, both current favorites and new ones to explore (yoga, hiking, indoor cycling, soccer, etc.). Just 30 minutes a day can go a long way!
  • Opportunities: Campus Recreation offers a variety of opportunities through our Fitness, Outdoor Pursuits, and Recreational Sports Programs. 

Step 2: Accountability

  • Schedule activities during down time of fall break into your online or hard copy calendar/planner, with goal of starting your plan when you return to campus in December.
  • Identify a work out partner such as a friend from class or a family member.
  • Participate in a group fitness/mind body class at Campus Recreation. Being a part of a group can help to inspire and make you feel as though you are not going at it alone.
  • Sign up to work with a student personal trainer at Campus Recreation. Trainers will keep you accountable by scheduling a set time for your sessions each week and by giving you guidelines to follow outside of the training sessions.
  • Record your workouts including exercises, weight, sets and repetitions in a spiral notebook. This will help you track your progress and also plan progressions moving forward.

Step 3: On Campus Options

For health and wellness during finals and interim breaks

  • Finals Week: Stick with your exercise plan during finals exams! Exercise will improve your emotional state, relieve stress and support your capacity to learn and succeed during test time!
  • Interim Break: Campus Recreation will be open from 8 a.m. - 5:50 p.m. Dec. 19-23 and Jan. 3-13 (closed on weekends) this will be the perfect time to access our fitness center, no crowds or wait time when accessing your favorite pieces of equipment! 

Step 4: Off Campus Options

For health and wellness during the interim break:

  • REC Outdoors: Campus Recreation has a comprehensive Outdoor Pursuits Program that would be an ideal resource exploring the great outdoors of Colorado during the Winter Break! Rent a pair of snowshoes and receive info on some of the best local trails to hike. Or register for our annual Ouray Ice Climbing Expedition
  • At Home Express Work Out: Want a great workout in a short amount of time? Try a body-weight interval workout. March in place for five minutes to warm up your body, then do jumping jacks for 30 seconds and alternate it with 30 seconds of squats. Do three rounds of jumping jacks and squats and then move on to high knees for 30 seconds followed by 30 seconds of lunges. Repeat that pattern three times and then move on to burpees and push-ups, alternating 30 seconds each for 3 rounds. After that, slowly march in place for 2-5 minutes to cool down and finish with a 30 second plank hold and stretching. This quick and easy workout should only take 20 minutes and will get your heart rate up and increase muscular endurance.

Step 5: Eat Well and Have Fun!

  • Nutrition tips for working out: Fueling your workouts is key to achieving success in and out of the gym. Whether your goal is weight loss or muscle gain, what you eat before exercise can make the difference between an energetic workout and a tired, looking-at-your-watch-every-five-minutes workout. Eat something within 30-60 minutes before each workout. Good ideas include a banana and peanut/almond butter, trail mix or a balanced energy bar. After your workout, eat within 15-45 minutes to optimize recovery. Recovery snacks could include a plant based protein drink, a turkey sandwich with veggies or quinoa salad with veggies and lean protein. Hydration is also extremely important, so make sure to drink water before, during and after your workouts to ensure optimal performance. 
  • Make it fun: Health and wellness should not always feel like work! Have fun, have variety and do what you can. Remember you can always Play. Learn. Lead. Succeed with Campus Recreation at Auraria!