Temperatures are rising as springtime creeps its way onto campus.
As the seasons change, so do the habits of Tech students.
More of them are outside pounding the pavement to work off winter weight gained during the holidays.
Emma Paille said she is just starting to run again because she believes it is a great way to get fit and feel good about it.
“You feel better after a run, relieved, like you’ve accomplished something,” said Paille, a freshman agriculture education major.
While some like to work out alone, Paille enjoys the company of a friend.
“Running with someone motivates you more,” she said. “You can encourage each other.”
Paille said she started by running one to three miles every other day in the afternoon or evening.
She said she also prefers to do so outside.
“I don’t like running on a treadmill,” she said. “You’re not going anywhere, and I like scenery.”
On the days she does not run, Paille said she prefers to work out her arms using free weights.
Not everyone waited for the weather to warm up to start getting back into shape.
Alex Broussard, a sophomore accounting major, said she has been working out for two months and does not mind running in the cold at all.
“I’m trying to get in shape for a ski trip,” Broussard said. “My dad lives in Colorado, and if you’re not in shape when you ski, you can get your butt kicked.”
Broussard said it does not take long to notice a change in one’s performance and endurance.
“I started on the track where I would run one straight and then walk three, but now I can run three straight and I’ll only walk one,” she said.
While it is popular to run the track at Garland Gregory Hideaway Park, Broussard said she prefers to cross the pond and run in the woods.
“It’s so peaceful,” she said. “I’ll take my ear buds out and enjoy the peaceful silence.”
Another way to shed unwanted weight is in the kitchen, said Susan Hughes, a nutrition professor at Tech.
She said the best advice for those with limited workout time is to cut back on energy-dense, low-nutrient foods.
“These foods are sometimes called ‘empty’ calories,” she said. “Meaning that they supply lots of energy, but very few nutrients.”
Some easy “empty” calories to cut from one’s diet include sugar-sweetened beverages.
Instead, Hughes advises active individuals to drink water.
For those who want to consume foods to boost their athletic performances, they need to focus on the consumption of lean proteins and carbohydrates.
“High-fat foods tend to delay the passage of food from the stomach,” Hughes said. “Which can be very unpleasant for someone who is trying to participate in an athletic event.”
The Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics website, eatright.org, recommends athletes to consume smaller meals more frequently.
Some post-workout snacks the Academy recommends for refueling include a combination of proteins and carbohydrates, like peanut butter on a tortilla and apple slices.
Veteran runners like Broussard understand to the difficulty of beginning a workout routine and how many get discouraged easily.
“Just do it,” is her advice for people with that mentality.
She said once a person gets into the routine of running, it becomes second nature and does not have to be a time consuming activity.
“Just remember,” Broussard said, “one hour of running is only four percent of your day.”
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