Moderation key to spring break body
The countdown to spring break is on. With only 17 days left to get that ideal beach body, students might be making some poor health decisions without realizing how they can affect the rest of their lives.
For many, this crunch time includes trips to the gym, hitting the tanning bed and cutting all carbs — not exactly the healthiest prep program. And since these methods can lead to health problems for the rest of their lives, you wonder about the price people are willing to pay in order to achieve this beach-fit body.
The first thing most people cut is their calorie intake, but when someone cuts their diet to half to nothing and then proceeds to party like a rock star a week later, the effects on their metabolism can be catastrophic. When fasting for a short period of time, your body reacts and goes into a state of starvation where the metabolic rate significantly slows down. When someone binges with this slow metabolism, what most find is the five pounds they initially lost will result in a 20-pound gain when they get back home. This weight can take weeks for your body to lose, and it will take even longer for it to get back to its healthy metabolic rate.
Secondly: the famous fake bake. One can only imagine that the tanning business is booming in East Lansing this time of year, leading to all the fake-baked “orangey” tones people see when visiting the beach. When tanning salon owners around East Lansing can expect a rise in business before the vacation time, Not only is this coloring unattractive, the health risks involved with tanning beds are well known. Tanning dramatically increases the risk of someone developing skin cancer with only one use. I just wonder why that doesn’t scare people off?
And lastly: the intense last-minute workouts. When done on a regular basis and with the right diet, working out in this manner can be very beneficial to your health. But when it is paired with an insufficient diet, the workouts can lead to irritability, fatigue and even dehydration.
I have been an offender of all of these and have learned from my silly and sometimes stupid choices. I’ve tanned, starved and basically died in the gym due to fatigue when preparing for some of my previous spring break vacations. And each time, with all of my effort, I have never achieved and sustained my body goals.
When preparing for spring break, moderation has to be a key concept. Anything in moderation is good — except tanning beds — and should be maintained throughout your daily life. It’s the bare minimum to staying fit and healthy, and shouldn’t be saved only for the two week, pre-spring break time period.