How to Keep Your Muscles, Traveling to Brussels

 Beats, Fit & Fine, The Well  Comments Off on How to Keep Your Muscles, Traveling to Brussels
Feb 242013

Author: Kendall Greenwood

Hiking is a great form of exercise that gets you outside and seeing the sites! Photo Courtesy of Sylvia

Hiking is a great form of exercise that gets you outside and seeing the sites! Photo Courtesy of Sylvia Usery.

Hiking, kayaking and biking. CSU senior, Sylvia Usery, 21, did these activities every weekend during her study abroad in New Zealand in spring 2012. Not only could she check out the scenery and be social, but she could stay healthy during her time away.

Traveling can create a challenge for a healthy lifestyle. There can be decreased food options and no gym to do normal exercise routines. To stay fit while traveling abroad requires a balance of two things: nutrition and exercise.

According to Albert Powell, 33, a strength and conditioning personal trainer at Anytime Fitness, the two most dangerous foods to eat when traveling are starches – like bread, rice and noodles – and sugars.

“The starch is your bricks and your sweets are basically the concrete,” Powell said. “So what you’re doing with your body is you’re blocking everything up [with starches] and [with] the sweets you’re pasting everything.”

This can create future unhealthy habits, but it also has adverse effects on the health you gained.

“So you go on this vacation, you look and you’re like ‘man, I put on five pounds,’” Powell said. “Well, you’ve been eating nothing but carbs and sugar.”

Usery adapted to meals in a similar way while in New Zealand.

“I actually paid for a whole semester of dining hall food, but I stopped going because it was just disgusting,” Usery said. “They have like 5 kinds of potatoes and bread every night.”

Instead, she bought her own food at the grocery store to give herself more balanced meals. She was able to afford some healthier options on a student budget. Avocados were cheap so she was able to eat plenty,Usery said.

Exercise is the other important key to staying in shape. According to Powell, exercising while traveling is very easy.

Workout routines can be easy to keep up when you have been properly trained. Photo by John Sheesley

Workout routines can be easy to keep up when you have been properly trained. Photo by John Sheesley

“If you want to stay in your room and [workout] for a quick hour,” Powell said. “[Get a] resistance band and exercise ball.”

These two objects can work your biceps, shoulders, back, abdominals and legs with the right movements. The exercises will keep your muscles toned and ready for when you can get back into the gym.

“As soon as my clients come back and we pick back up where we left off,” Powell said. “They felt like they never left.”

Plus, they are not a strain on luggage.

“[The exercise ball] comes with a pump so you can just take the air out and hold it in your luggage,” Powell said. “The pump is small, so it’s easy to travel [with].

Target has resistance bands available for anywhere from $12.99 to $19.99. Exercise balls at Target are priced from $19.99 to $29.99.

When Usery was abroad she chose to participate in activities where she could see the scenery and connect with people.

“Every weekend we would go somewhere,” Usery said. “Hiking is always fun and they had such beautiful terrain there that it didn’t feel like you were exercising, because you were just looking at everything around you.”

Powell says you can incorporate this group dynamic into resistance band and exercise ball exercises by doing partner and group workouts.

He has experienced first-hand what these kinds of workouts look like. Before becoming a personal trainer, Powell played international basketball. As his team traveled they had to alter their normal workouts.

“When you’re on [season], you don’t want to come in and lift a bunch of weights because it throws your shots off,” Powell said. “So a lot of what we would do is what I’m telling you [about].”

For Usery, being able to mix exercise and friends added to her experience.

“I would definitely say stay active,” Usery said. “It’s a great way to meet people and just get around the country.”

Student Abroad Reflection: The power to recreate

 Blogs, Student Abroad, The Well  Comments Off on Student Abroad Reflection: The power to recreate
Feb 212013

Author: Anna Palmer

Turning on my computer, I stare momentarily at my desktop background.  My eyes linger over the vibrantly blue water back-dropped by the dramatic snow-capped peaks, wondering to myself if it was all a dream.

Glancing to the north-facing wall in my room, my eyes scan the postcards and memorabilia: the New Zealand flag surrounded by postcards of places I’ve been, pictures I took and a five dollar bill with Sir Edmund Hilary stamped on the front.

My eyes stop at the certificate of the 43-meter leap of faith I took from the site of the world’s first bungy.  This concrete piece of evidence symbolizes the overarching lesson I’ve taken away from my experience: the possibility of overcoming fear in the face of it.

Deep down I like to think I’ve known that the only way to overcome your fear is to face it.  However, being in New Zealand, I was given the opportunity to put this life motto into action.

Contrary to popular belief perhaps, I did not come out of this experience a “changed” me.  Sure, I may have grown into an improved version of myself, but I am still “me”.  I now know that no change in my environment, no matter how awesome and utterly amazing it is, will ever do away with my internal struggles, which take more deliberate, conscious choosing.

Although these personal struggles persist, I do notice more subtle changes in myself.  I feel better equipped at confronting certain fears.  I am quicker to take action and confront these anxious or self-doubting feelings, instead of running away scared.

Instead of getting completely overwhelmed with the laundry list of things to do on a daily basis, I am better able to take it one thing at a time.  I find myself better able to live, moment to moment, recognizing when I am lost in the worries of my mind.

It has been almost two months since I returned from my adventures in the southern hemisphere.  Upon my return, I have noticed subtle changes in my environment as well.  Little things are different but still generally the same: different roommates, same house, different classes, same professors.  It has been a strange combination of getting my footing back somewhere I used to call home.

As ready as I felt to come home at the end of my time abroad, I can’t help but reminisce about the experience in its entirety and about the good friends I made.

Keeping in touch with the friends I made abroad has been as rewarding as it is challenging.  I look forward to our “google hang-out” dates, when all five of us girls can coordinate a time.  Being one of two in the group who lives in the western half of the country nonetheless, this has proved challenging.

All of us are back to our “real” lives, our little circle of friends from home and our school, no longer separated from each other by a mere five-minute walk.  Thousands of miles away, we have tried our best to stay in touch.

I notice myself going about my day-to-day activities as usual, before New Zealand, and something, some thought or memory will appear, drawing me into the past.  Looking back on my experience abroad, I really do feel as though it was almost a dream.

It feels as though I was transported into this sort of “alternate universe” for six months, and I truly was able to recreate myself into whoever I wanted to be.  I knew absolutely no one, and no one knew me.  I could be whoever I wanted to be and that notion in and of itself was drastically freeing.

After a few short weeks of classes back at CSU and readjusting back to the “routine”, I feel myself trying to close the gap between the “old” me and the “new”, subtly-improved version of me.  Like all change, resistance has come up.  Recently though, I feel this last bit of resistance dissipating.  This resistance came from my initial fear of returning back to my “old” life, back to the routine of school and homework, back to the town and people I had left behind.

More so, this fear has stemmed from the uncertainty of the future, my inevitable graduation, and the daunting task of searching for an internship and eventually a job.  But now that I am back in Fort Collins, after being abroad in the beautiful country of New Zealand, I feel myself in a strange sort of mindset.

Initially going back to the routine of school, homework, exams, actual work and the sometimes-mundane schedule did not appeal to me at all.  However, as the weeks have gone speedily by, I am beginning to accept the reality of the hard work that lies ahead of me this semester.

Though I do think back to my time in New Zealand, it is not exactly the nostalgia I had anticipated.  Of course, there are things I miss: the humility of the Kiwi people, the friends I made, the beautiful scenery, the adventuresome spirit I felt there, and the list goes on and on.

But as much as I miss these things and sometimes wish to go back, I know that this chapter in my life is just one of many.  Being abroad showed me that all I truly have is the given moment, a point of decision to make it what I choose.  I can smile and relish over my past experiences abroad, but to reach into the past with longing is to enter into dissatisfaction with the present.

The “take-home” message, if you will, that I took from my experience was to live moment to moment, enjoying all that each day, each opportunity, has to offer.  Once it is gone, there is no going back.  I know that as much as classes and the workload I have this semester can feel overwhelming and stressful, I will want it back when it is gone.

Once I graduate, I know I will long for the life as a student once more, so I might as well soak it up while I can, enjoying the “simple” life of studying, classes, and hanging out with the good friends I have missed while being abroad.

My eyes glance back to the wall in my room, this time, to the map of New Zealand.  My gaze stops at the point on the map marking the city of Dunedin that I called home for six months.  Flashes of memories appear: eating “hokey pokey” ice-cream, trekking to the New World supermarket, running in the botanical gardens, and going on “tramping” excursions each weekend, pushing my body and mind to their limits.

Pulling myself out of this reminiscent dream, I smile as I return to reality, knowing that this dream feeling is accessible at anytime.

I will never forget the beauty of “Aotearoa” (“the land of the long white cloud”), nor will I forget the empowerment it gave me to recreate my life, but I will move forward into this next chapter in my life, feeling more assured in my ability to face whatever comes my way.

What to see in Barcelona, Spain

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Feb 142013

Author: Bree Hottinger


A special report of collegian reporter Kate Winkle’s study abroad adventures in Barcelona, Spain.

Barcelona has so much to offer the casual visitor or the culture-seeking tourist.
Dotted throughout the city are architectural works by Antoni Gaudi, who incorporated design elements of the natural world into his pieces. Gaudi’s most notable architectural specimen is the cathedral La Sagrada Familia, which has yet to be finished. Visitors pay to enter the cathedral and have the option of ascending to the top of one of the towers to see the city.
Art-lovers will enjoy the National Museum of Art of Catalunya, which houses pre-romanic frescos and works by Picasso, Dali and Goya.
Visitors can also ride a gondola up and down Mount Montjuic for a stunning view of the city.

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Study Abroad Fair Brings in Record Number of Students

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Sep 122012

Author: sadowney


Have you ever wondered what it would be like to wake up nestled in the forests of Costa Rica or ride a safari truck in Africa? If you haven’t you should consider learning more about the CSU Study Abroad Fair. Last Friday’s fair beat their record number of attendees by almost 300 students. Sarah Downey has the story. Have you ever wondered what it would be like to wake up nestled in the forests of Costa Rica or ride a safari truck in Africa? If you haven’t you should consider learning more about the CSU Study Abroad Fair. Last Friday’s fair beat their record number of attendees by almost 300 students. Sarah Downey has the story.

Student Abroad: Conscious living in New Zealand with Anna Palmer

 Blogs, Student Abroad, The Well  Comments Off on Student Abroad: Conscious living in New Zealand with Anna Palmer
Aug 222012

Author: Anna Palmer

This image shows the popular Koru Flag, a prop...

This image shows the popular Koru Flag, a proposed secondary flag of New Zealand designed by Friedensreich Hundertwasser in 1983. It is based on the Koru, an iconic symbol of New Zealand flora. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The Koru is a Maori spiritual symbol meaning new life, creativity, personal growth and new beginnings. This New Zealand fern plant represents the unfolding of new life, a subtle reminder that everything is reborn and continues. It represents renewal and hope for the future.

The Koru is not only symbolic of this journey I am embarking on, but of the life I have left behind. Standing on the precipice, I left behind my family and friends as the fate of my home stood on the brink of disaster. The Waldo Canyon fire swept through the foothills at a pace so rapid I am grateful for the life it did spare…the life of my family and friends. The flames charged down the foothills behind my home, urging us to leave behind the majority of our material possessions. I will never forget the image of the massive flames flickering in the rearview mirror as we drove away looking back on what would be the last view of our home and life as we knew it. The fire took away my home, leaving behind only rubble and ash. The destruction this fire evoked will not be forgotten for many years to come. The hiking trails I grew so accustomed to and maybe even took advantage of are now gone and exist only in my memory of life before the fire.