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Walking - or running - to and from class is typically enough to offset late-night pizza and never-ending soft drinks. But the time is coming when your active lifestyle may find itself crammed behind a computer desk in a tiny cubicle somewhere. By then you may not have the energy or motivation to make exercise a habit. Most people admit that's when they began fighting their own personal battle of the bulge.
Even if you've never been the "fitness type," now is the time to make exercise your friend. After getting your doctor's permission, start off walking for twenty minutes a day. Then, do the jog/walk method-jog a lap, walk a lap, jog a lap, etc. (You get the idea.) Work your way up to three miles and keep at it until it's something you do almost without thinking.
Don't get distracted by focusing on losing weight or toning up or breaking speed records. Instead, focus on finding a comfortable pace and making it part of your mental and physical routine. Remember, the most important factor is that you do it every day. Think of it as an investment in a happy, healthy life.
Experts say that it's hard to beat walking as exercise, but if you just don't find that option attractive, there are many other ways to stay fit. Look into weight training, work out at a local gym, get involved in a sport you can enjoy playing long after you've departed the hallowed halls, or hit a nearby pool. Liking what you're doing will keep your exercise regimen in place when time and energy become precious commodities.
A long, healthy life is God's best for you. Honor Him by making lifelong fitness a priority before you graduate-and after.
LAUGH - A LOT!
Laughter is one of God's greatest gifts to the human race. According to information on the Discover Health Web site, by the time a child reaches nursery school, he or she will laugh about three hundred times a day. How many times a day do you laugh? If you're like most adults, you laugh only about seventeen times a day, and that's just not enough.
We all need to laugh on a regular basis. Proverbs 17:22 says, "A merry heart does good, like medicine" (NKJV). In other words, laughter is good for your body. It actually stimulates circulation, produces a sense of well-being, exercises the face and stomach muscles, stimulates the production of endorphins (the body's natural antidepressants), and provides oxygen to the brain, to name a few benefits.
Want some more reasons to laugh every day?
Giggling is a good workout. Laughter actually burns calories -as many as doing several minutes on a rowing machine. Now, which is more fun -rowing or laughing?
Laughter reduces stress, and what student doesn't encounter stress? Laughter eases muscle tension and psychological stress, keeping the brain alert.
A hearty laugh is good for your heart too. According to a study at the University of Maryland Medical Center, laughter may actually help prevent heart disease. The study found that people with heart disease were 40 percent less likely to laugh in a variety of situations as were people of the same age without heart disease.
In addition, laughter makes you more attractive -that's right!
Get started right away. Crack yourself up!
TELL A TEACHER, "THANKS-YOU MADE ME THINK"
Let's face it: teaching is, for the most part, a thankless job. It's not every day a student dashes up to a teacher in the hall and says, -Thank you so much for those fabulous, never-ending homework assignments. I've enjoyed them, and I'm a better person for having worked my way through all those piles of reading, writing, and research!? You think? When a teacher does get a "Thank you," it's usually something like- "Hey, thanks for the A!" or even more often: "Thanks for passing me. I really thought I was a goner!"
The thing is that on the other side of graduation, you'll begin to understand that your education consists of more than the grades on your transcript. It's all the little things that led up to those grades? the "aha" moments that came while you were working your way through those endless homework assignments, and the small but significant insights that helped you grow as a person.
In light of that, why not thank your teachers now while you have the opportunity and they can still look out over the classroom and see your smiling, appreciative face? Let them know that you are grateful for the ways they pushed you to dig deep, discard preconceived notions, and open your mind to new cognitive pathways. Say thanks for the grunt work, the repetition, the hard ground you've been asked to plow. Say, "Thanks for teaching me how to use the brain God gave me. Thanks for making me think!"
SLOW DANCE WITH SOMEONE SPECIAL UNDER THE STARS
You may not realize it, but this is the time of your life! Really! Even though you are working hard and feeling the pressure to do well, this is a special time -one that will never come again. Have you ever watched people look through school yearbooks? The proof is right there in the quick smiles and nods. Sometimes they even refer to their years of schooling as "the good old days." What you may be anxious to get through now will probably become something you look back on with great nostalgia.
That's the very reason you must squeeze every ounce of goodness out of each day - and each night. If you find yourself staring up at the stars on your walk home from the game or the library, grab a few friends and dance your hearts out. It's guaranteed to turn a regular night into a night of memories.
Slow dancing isn't difficult. Just go with the flow. It's not so much about the technique as it is about the heart. And if you find yourself dancing with someone special, then the moment and the memory are just that much better.
Starlight being what it is "near-darkness" you might want to try a few new steps, risk-free. Picture yourselves in some glamorous movie, moving across the screen with grace and beauty -the new Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers. Throw in the occasional dip, complete with dramatic flair. And don't be in a hurry. Dance until the cows come home or until curfew (whichever comes first)
Someday you'll look back, and when you do, it's much better to say, "I'm glad I did" than "I wish I had."
Excerpted from 101 Things You Should Do Before You Graduate by David Bordon Tom Winters Copyright © 2007 by David Bordon and Tom Winters. Excerpted by permission.
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