The weeks leading up to summer are exciting and dreadful in some ways because summer means bathing suit season.

I’m sure I’m not the only one who gets anxious about being fit for those hot summer days. What is it about summer that drives everyone to the gym, rather than staying healthy throughout the year?

Being healthy should be a lifestyle, not just an every-now-and-then decision. We have the privilege at college to be able to go to a gym on campus whenever we want.

I think it is important to use this to our advantage to start living healthy. I know I’m not looking forward to graduating and having to pay for a gym membership, so I use it to my advantage now.

Many workout plans are geared toward promoting summer bodies. There are workout titles such as “Get Your Best Summer Body Ever” and “Do’s and Don’ts of Your Summer Workout.” These will certainly gain the attention of beach-goers. I think it’s awesome that people want to be in shape for summer, or maybe just to gain some muscle, but I also think it’s even better to have a continuous workout schedule throughout the entire year. If your only motive to workout is to achieve a certain body type, you may not be motivated by very good reasons. While having a nice body is a good thing, it should not be the sole purpose for working out. During the winter my friends and I never want to walk to the gym, especially when it’s freezing out.

Therefore it is crucial to have self motivation. I always think of reasons why I want to stay fit.

Yes, I want to feel good in a bathing suit, but I don’t think that it should only be about looking good. Working out should be attractive for the health of our bodies and our minds. Throughout the frightful winter, it is harder to burn calories due to less body movement. An article from, written by Jennifer Nicole Lee, mentions that the clothing worn during these cold months allows our bodies to stay hidden.

“Arnold Schwarzenegger purposely would walk around in a cut off shirt and expose his ab area.

“He used this technique to continually remind himself to eat the right foods and always make working out a priority” Lee said. The article makes a point that I want to try for myself; making a food journal it will help keep track of eating habits. Eating should be spread out between every two to three hours. This helps control meal portions, especially during the winter because eating is a conditioned survival method. The article also advises trying on a bathing suit once a week to remind ourselves of the problem areas that we may want to work on.

Doing these types of things are good reminders that we should constantly be doing small things to ensure that we’re remaining on track. I was a three-sport athlete in high school. This meant that I didn’t have to worry about forcing myself to go to the gym because I participated in a sport five or six days a week.

Now that I am not a part of a sports team I know that it is important to continue working out and eating healthy.

It is important to create some type of workout routine. A big part of remaining active and leading a healthy lifestyle

Tim Smith / Photo Editor

Tim Smith / Photo Editor

is holding yourself accountable to a certain workout plan. If you come up with a plan, do your best to follow it. Workout plans can simply include running a few days a week, and doing stretches or using weights on other days. According to, motivation is at its peak while exercising. The flood of endorphins helps our bodies feel energized. It states that, within one hour of exercise, the body wards off infections because of proteins called immunoglobulins that help support the immune system.

Shouldn’t we want our bodies to feel energized and protected all year long?

I enjoy working out by attending classes at the gym. I had never been to any classes at a gym until I came to Keene. I have attended Yoga, Zumba, Butts and Guts and Cycling. They make sweating exciting and worth it.

Working out for one season a year is just an excuse to be lazy.  I understand that not everybody cares about looks, but exercising is more than that. It is what helps keep the body strong. I try to follow my goal of going to the gym or a workout class at least a few times a week. Instead of paying the gym a visit between the last few weeks of the semester and summer, head over there more often and you’ll hopefully experience great results. Not only will you experience physical benefits but you will also find yourself feeling more energized overall. You will be able to better focus on school work, you will feel relieved of stress, and you will eventually notice more tone and definition in certain areas of your body.

Most importantly many people find that working out has helped them become much happier people in general. An overall mood increase is what many report after making the lifestyle change of working out.

The important thing to remember is that working out is about more than looking good; it’s about feeling good too.

Heather O’Brien can be contacted at

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