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Saturday, Jul 12, 2014

A Few Clouds, 85 °F

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Bike Photo

David Talmage prepares for a bike ride during a recent triathlon

Photographer: Becca Cochran

Swimming Photo

David prepares for the pool at the Aquatic Center

Photographer: Becca Cochran

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'Cat Counsel: Senior advises students to stay fit and feel great


David Talmage is a graduating senior from Lebanon, Ohio. The journalism major completed his first triathlon this spring and is an active runner and swimmer. He wants to let his fellow students know about the many opportunities that exist to stay fit while going to college.  



I have been an athlete my entire life, including in high school when I competed in cross-country, swimming and track. I was fit, in shape and had a regular routine that kept me feeling great and provided me with an outlet to be competitive.

All that changed when I came to college. I wasn't on a sports scholarship and didn't want to commit to something I don't have time for. I was a freshman, college was new and I knew it would take up more of my time, since school really wasn't my thing.

Boy was I right, college proved to be a huge hill I'd have to overcome everyday just to get in a good workout. Over the years I've learned that you don't need three hours a day to do a workout.

College teaches us about time management. Coupled with a little planning, there's nothing you can't do. I love the familiar saying, "those who fail to plan, plan to fail." I think that rings so true when it comes to fitness.

Without the desire, the plan and the opportunity you're not in the fight.

Now I'm not saying you have to plan intense workouts all the time, but a run, swim, bike or quick bodyweight workouts can give you what you need to stay fit and feel great.

Throughout college I've found that there are a variety of ways to stay in shape, whether you've never worked out or are an avid competitive athlete.

Here a couple of quick fitness tips for students:

•  First, make a plan and stick to it! If you have class at 10 a.m. get up 30 minutes to an hour earlier to get in a quick workout. If you get out of class early, visit Ping Center or grab a quick run before you head home or start your weekend. If you manage your time well, you'll have time everyday for a workout, trust me.

•  Get up and get out. If you're trying to visit Ping, the best times are early morning and in the afternoon. As the day progresses it becomes increasingly busy. For you night owls, Ping is usually less crowded after 10 p.m. and stays that way until it closes.

•  Find a partner because you need someone to join in the hurt with you. You're more likely to stick to a plan if you are being held accountable by someone else. Also it's always nice to have a set of helping hands to keep the bar from crushing you.

•  Sign up for a race. Any race will do – even an adventure race or triathlon. If you're like me and not a club team member, then signing up for these kinds of events will motivate you for your workouts and provide you with a competitive outlet.

•  Mix it up. If you're a swimmer, go for a run. Runners should go for a swim. If you're a couch potato then walk a few blocks or do some pushups, sit-ups and pull-ups before and after your favorite show. Remember, anything helps.

•  Be sure to check out Ping, the Aquatic Center and the Bike Path, and take advantage of the new Athens exercise park along the bike trail. Try to exercise at least three times a week, especially if you want to avoid the freshman 15 weight gain that many students experience in college.

I know I'm not a professional bodybuilder or Olympic athlete, but I am a senior whose been there and done that. Because I have a fitness plan and have stuck with it, I manage to wake up and run for hours, swim several miles and enjoy feeling great and living life to the fullest.

So have fun, enjoy your years at OHIO. Be safe, be active and be well.