A Soundtrack Your Workout Plan
Alfred | Anderson
College is a time of self-exploration. It is full of friends, excitement and unfortunately, stress. From late nights to early mornings, it is easy to slip into unhealthy habits. Fast food restaurants are everywhere, work is abundant and sleep is hard to find. Along with maintaining a healthy diet, taking a gym class or participating in any kind of physical activity is beneficial to your health.
Music is an excellent motivator, as well as a great tool because it provides an extra spark during your workouts. Whether you like hip-hop, pop, or rock and roll, there are plenty of songs that can guide you on your fitness journey. Here are a few:
“The New Workout Plan” – Kanye West: Released as a single from Kanye West’s debut album, The College Dropout, this song provides a satirical commentary on the fact that women are often valued solely for their bodies and men for their money. However, it is also a bouncy hit that works well with almost any workout.
“Push It” – Rick Ross: Easily one of his best, “Push It” comes from his debut album, Port of Miami, “Push It” samples the song “Scarface (Push It to the Limit)” from the film Scarface. The song chronicles a “rags to riches” story, from peasant to kingpin, much like the story of Scarface’s Tony Montana. It is easy to picture this as a great workout song just because of the sample “Push it to the limit” which repeats throughout the song.
“Jungle” – X Ambassadors and Jamie N Commons: This theme is a triumphant one that mixes elements of rock and hip-hop and has been used as an anthem for the 2014 FIFA World Cup as well as Netflix’s Orange is the New Black. The official remix adds a verse from hip-hop legend Jay-Z and is an open invitation to take a trip to the wild side.
“Put On” – Young Jeezy Feat. Kanye West: Arguably one of Jeezy’s best songs, “Put On” embodies the concept of working hard and doing the best you can for your city and loved one. Kanye West ends the song with a heartfelt verse speaking on the death of his mother as well as his ill will towards people that have done him wrong. It is the perfect “me vs. the world” workout song.
“Started from the Bottom” – Drake: As the lead single from his third studio album, Nothing Was the Same, Drake keeps it simple with a catchy hook and catchy verses, showcasing his talent for radio friendly bangers. Here, Drake shares with us the struggles he faced on his way to stardom, ultimately conquering the rap game, but this song can also help you too, as you seek to conquer your workouts.
In all, there are so many different songs that can provide motivation, but they key is finding music and songs that work for you. It does not have to be a specific genre or artist. You have to find what music motivates you and helps you give your all. That, along with consuming the appropriate amount of calories and staying hydrated, should greatly increase your chances of success.
Chauncey | Bowden
For me, the counseling center was the forbidden part of the Student Health Center. I had no qualms about visiting the women’s health center to talk about birth control options, or going to get my flu shot downstairs. I knew that the counseling center was always there, but I had never considered visiting. I made sure to tell incoming freshmen that it was a wonderful place full of resources, but I never dreamed that I would be the one using them. I didn’t want to admit it, but I had stigmatized the student health center.
Last March, I dealt with one of the most difficult things I have ever faced in my life – heartbreak. Some of you may have been expecting me to say something about the loss of a loved one, or a diagnosis of a terminal illness. In fact, it may even sound silly to some of you.
I possessed this same line of thinking. Why was I being so ridiculous? It wasn’t even that serious, right? I was completely embarrassed about my inability to cope with the situation, but I soon realized that it wasn’t something that I could deal with on my own. I wasn’t eating. I wasn’t sleeping, and I cried at least 75 percent of the day. My mom pointed out that the student health center had a counseling center that was readily available to help me; a resource that may not be so easily accessible after graduation.
When I visited the counseling center for the first time, I assumed that it would be my first and last, this was not the case. Upon visiting the counseling center I met with a triage counselor. According the NC State Counseling Center website, “This meeting is not a counseling session but an opportunity for the triage counselor to learn about your situation and determine your needs.”
I was surprised when the triage counselor took the time to ask me what I looked for in a counselor. She asked if I’d be more comfortable with a male or female, and even went so far as to match me with someone she felt was knowledgeable about dealing with relationships.
From there, we set a time for me to come back and meet with my counselor; I was still in shock. I was expecting to walk into the counseling center heavy burdened, and walk out happy and overjoyed. I was expecting a quick fix, and although I didn’t get one, I walked away from my appointment with the triage counselor very optimistic.
I met with my counselor once a week throughout the rest of the semester. I looked forward to my meetings with her, because I could feel things getting better. As a rising senior, I was angry with myself for not taking advantage of these services earlier on, and unfortunately I didn’t visit the counseling center before the situation had the chance to affect my grades; this phenomenon is not unique however. In fact, according to the counseling center website, “Over twice as many students reported significant negative academic impact from emotional distress than medical concerns (flu/strep, etc.).”
Recently I learned about the “Stop the Stigma” campaign currently going on on our campus. According to the website, the goal of this movement is to “raise awareness of mental health issues on our campus, help students understand how common these issues are, and help every student benefit from the treatment available at NC State and in the larger community.” As someone who has previously stigmatized mental health issues, I recognize the importance of such movements.
According to the National Alliance on Mental Illness, “more than 45 percent of young adults who stopped attending college because of mental health related reasons did not request accommodations. 50 percent of them did not access mental health services and supports either.” As students, it is easy to get lost in the hustle and bustle of everyday life. We often place so much emphasis on our academic success that we neglect self-care practices.
Self-care can include getting enough sleep, treating yourself to a mani-pedi now and then, or even playing basketball with friends in Carmichael Gym. Sometimes, self-care includes small fixes, however sometimes you need help from others, such as the counselors in the counseling center. When I first visited the counseling center, I had tried getting advice from friends, family, even self-help books – nothing worked!
There is nothing wrong with recognizing the gravity of your situation, and asking for help. I have grown tremendously from my experiences with the counseling center. It is no longer that “forbidden” section of the student health center that I stay away from. And although I do not currently frequent the counseling center, I find comfort in knowing that it will always be there, should I need it.
- 45% of college students & 44 % of NC State students reported feeling hopeless in the past year.
- 7% of college students & 7% of NC State students have seriously considered suicide in the past year.
- 32% of college students & 27% of NC State students reports being so depressed in the past year that it was difficult to function.
Taari | Coleman
Eating well is an important part of feeling well, maintaining your target weight, and being healthy. The local Farmers Market can offer a variety of choices and prices that might not be available in grocery stores.
One stand in particular stood out: Honeysuckle Farms. Having been a part of the State Farmers Market for the past eight years, Honeysuckle Farms boasts over 45 all organic, loose leaf teas and more than 30 flavors of hot chocolate, including double mocha and pumpkin spice.
It’s still necessary to head to Food Lion for items such as batteries and hygiene products, but the State Farmers Market, located off of Centennial Parkway, features fruits and vegetables of the season, as well as locally made handicrafts and foodstuffs, and three restaurants–The State Farmers Market Restaurant, the Seafood Restaurant, and the Market Grill.
But if you’re going to shop at the Farmers Market, there are a few things you should keep in mind, to save yourself a little heartache down the line.
- Plan Ahead–have a few dishes you want to prepare for the week in mind, maybe check out some recipes online or the ones mentioned earlier in this issue of the Nubian Message. Maybe consider researching what fruits and vegetables are in season so you know what you’re in for when you go. Understand that North Carolina does not have indigenous mangoes before you go.
- Eat Before You Go–shopping hungry is a very easy way to spend more money than you intend to. There are smells wafting through the air that will make your mouth water, and the three restaurants on site will undoubtedly tempt you.
- Don’t Stop at the First Stand–take a good walk through the whole market before you blow your budget. Many stalls offer similar products and some have deals and specials.
- Talk to the Vendors–almost every stall will offer you samples, give you ideas for meals and ways to best prepare their products, and also give you endless information that you can’t find anywhere else, because they’ve cultivated it all with their own hands.
- Only Purchase What You Need–locally grown vegetation is awesome because it lacks preservatives and other chemicals that extend shelf-life. This means the zucchini you purchased on Sunday will most likely be a little slimy by Thursday. Plan on using it Tuesday night at the latest.
- Bring Cash–though almost all of the vendors are able to run credit and debit cards, it’s a bit easier on your bank account and for budgeting purposes to have cash…not to mention how often the Cash Points conveniently placed in the Farmers Market parking lot is conveniently out of order.
- Bring a Jacket–the Farmers Market is navigated best when you’re able to take your time and look everything over with all due consideration. The vast majority of the produce is located outside regardless of the temperature, and you don’t want to make any hasty purchases in the changing weather.
Open seven days a week, the Farmers Market only actually closes one day a year: Christmas.
Fruits Ripe in the Fall: Apples and Tomatoes
Vegetables Ripe in the Fall/Winter: Beets, Broccoli, Cabbage, Carrots, Lettuce, Kale, Spinach, Turnips, Zucchini, Squash
Fruits/Vegetables On the Way Out of Season: Figs, Raspberries, Pears, Peaches, Grapes, Potatoes, Peppers, Eggplant, Cucumber
Stephanie | Tate
Let’s be painfully honest here college is a field day for unhealthy eating. Many of us have fallen victim to the enticing nature of the Cookout tray, especially at two in the morning.
Something about the mere opportunity to get an entrée, two sides, and a drink all for less than five dollars has NC State students falling down the infamous Cookout hill. Gumby’s Pizza, known around campus for their Pokey Sticks, is another well-known hot spot for NC State students.
Between the fried food and the excessive amount of grease in the daily diets of many students on campus, it is difficult to see how we can break these habits. So how can we ensure that the food we’re feeding our bodies is helping us remain at our best? One way that has helped students on campus save money and ensure that they are eating healthy is to cook for themselves. If cooking is your thing, or even if it isn’t, here are a few tips to help you cook healthier.
First, cooking is not just for students in apartments. Did you know that if you live in a residence hall, you can rent pots and pans from your designated 24 hour desk? So try to take advantage of that kitchen in your residence hall, you won’t regret it. Second, here’s a dirty little secret: cooking healthy isn’t boring, nor is it nasty. Cooking healthy can be just as delicious if not more delicious than eating those double stuffed Oreos for dinner.
The first step to cooking healthy is taking into account food groups. According to the United States Department of Agriculture, it is essential that you keep certain food groups in your daily diet. When cooking, make sure to incorporate fruits, vegetables, protein, grains and dairy. According their website the daily recommended amount of each food group for the average college student are as follows: fruits- two cups, vegetables- two and a half cups for women and three cups for men, grains- six ounce equivalent for females and an eight ounce equivalent for males, proteins- five and a half ounce equivalent for women and six and a half ounce equivalent for men, and lastly men and women both need three cups of dairy. It is essential that you take these food groups into consideration when cooking.
The next step to cooking healthy is replacing ingredients with healthier options. Try replacing your normal ingredients with healthier options. When making pasta, a common favorite, try to replace the normal noodles with some whole grain ones. Replace white bread with wheat bread and replace those macaroni noodles with quinoa. And no, it won’t hurt to replace that butter with low-fat margarine.
Cooking meats in a manner that is healthy can be super simple if you follow a few steps. Make sure to clean your poultry thoroughly. The American Heart Association suggests the use of lean meats more than red meats. However, if red meat really is your thing, try to make sure that you are choosing the leaner parts of the meat. This also applies to seafood. Some seafood options have higher cholesterol counts than others, so be mindful of that when cooking. Never forget that proteins are not just found in meats, but in other products like beans and peanut butter. So for those of us who don’t indulge in meats, you have other options for proteins.
Spices add variety to life and to our taste buds, but they can sometimes come with a cost. So how do we decipher which spices to use and how to use them in moderation? According to the American Heart Association there are a lot of spices that can be both delicious and healthy. Basil leaves, cumin, curry powder and other spices add flavor to meals without filling it with salt.
Cooking healthy meals on your own can not only save you time but prevent you from falling victim to the dangerous Cookout hill and all of the issues accompanied with eating unhealthily. Take advantage of other resources provided in this issue and try to remain healthy and strong. If the strength of the pack is the wolf, then all of the wolves need to be at their strongest. Happy cooking!
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