Study Tricks That’ll Have Your Grades In For A Treat

Its that time of the year, the holidays are coming up and all you can think about is how you are ready to go home and relax. Studying is the last thing on your mind. We just had midterms so you believe that you deserve a break at this point in the semester. Most proffessors see the opposite, Thanksgiving break is quickly approaching and they seem to love to cram in projects, papers and tests so that when we get back we can focus on the last bit of the class right before the final. The Huffington Post has an article on “9 Awesome Study Tips for College Students” that I will delve into and describe in detail a little further than they did and help give JMU resources that you can use when studying.

Alternate Study Spaces

IMG_6734.JPGIMG_6735.JPGIMG_6727.JPG

We all have a favorite library or study spot. ECL and Carrier seem to have an unspoken rivalry and everyone prefers one to the other. Others also prefer SSC because they wouldn’t dare cheat on Dunkin for Starbucks and there’s no better spot than the booths. But as studies show, according to an article in the New York Times, switching up your study spot throughout the course of studying for your tests can boost your memory and increases the chances of you retaining the things you’ve learned.

Study and Homework Groups

When working through a difficult problem or reading assignment on your own there’s a chance that you may get frustrated and end up working the whole day on something that could have taken you 30 minutes, or that you may skip that assignment, problem or reading entirely and then never learn from it. Creating a study group in a difficult class with others in the same class could help you avoid this. They may be better at a portion of the work than you and vice versa. This way you can help each other out and finish the work in a shorter amount of time than you could have on your own.

Make Flash Cards

Yes, I know you have probably used flash cards since you were learning your multiplication tables in elementary school but there is a reason they’re still used today and its because they really work. When creating flash cards it is reinforcing that information into your brain by writing it down, then you can use those wherever and whenever you have the chance to look over them. For those environmentally conscious people Quizlet.com is a paperless alternative with the same results.

Take Tests

I have yet to find a person who enjoys taking tests but according to the New York Times taking tests allows us to know what we do know and what we do not on the subject. Taking tests also allows us to enhance our knowledge as we use our critical thinking skills throughout the test to assess what the best answers are. Now I know you cannot just take a test in a class whenever you want but going over and studying your old tests can be a lifesaver when preparing for final exams. Quizlet.com also has an option to create the flashcards you made online into a test with fill in the blank, multiple choice, true false and matching.

Sleep

Pulling an all-nighter is not as effective as you would think. According to Business Insider staying up all night to study or finish a big project stresses you out. You produce more cortisol aka the stress hormone when you do not get enough sleep. Staying up for long periods of time does not allow your body to concentrate, which means you are not retaining any information therefore wasting your time studying anyway.

Don’t Categorize Yourself

We tend to categorize ourselves as being visual, auditory or kinesthetic learners, and right brained or left brained. The New York Times has busted this myth and the article shows that many of the distinctions are incorrect. Instead of figuring out what “kind” of learner you are take that time and energy to figure out what study techniques work the best for you. You think you are a visual learner but using those techniques aren’t helping you in anyway so instead of focusing on that try a variety of study habits and techniques and use whichever you find to be the most effective for you.

Go To Class

We have all taken a class that we think is “useless” to attend. Some classes don’t have attendance policies so to you this means they become optional. Going to class can be the best way to prepare for your tests, sitting through the lecture and paying attention (this means getting off of Facebook in the back row) can begin your reviewing process for that test. When starting to study for that class’s test you will be able to recall what the professor previously spoke about especially if you tend to slack on the readings.

Don’t Immerse Yourself in Subject Material

When sitting and working on a single class for fiveIMG_6728.JPGhours in the library, you may find yourself getting distracted. Looking at the same information over and over for long periods of time is boring and could be less effective than looking at a few subjects over the course of that five hours, especially if they are related subjects. You are more likely to pay attention to things if you alternate between subject keeping things fresh and new.

Manage Your Time

Create a schedule and whatever you do stick to it. Getting into a routine can allow you to stick to deadlines than if you randomize your week and pray for the best when it comes to projects, papers and studying for tests. If you do the same study habits the same time each week you are less likely to stray from them and that way you don’t have to worry about ever procrastinating or missing a deadline.

These nine study tips can allow you to stay on track with your semester, cut down on procrastination and boost your grades. Even though it is the time of the semester when all you want to do is give up and sleep in push through try out these tricks and you might just find that your grades will be in for a treat when it comes time for final exams.

Peace, Love and DDP,

Hunter

Advertisements

Happy (Healthy) Halloween

Halloween is upon us. Along with the carved pumpkins, spooky decorations and clever costumes comes a desire to eat all the candy your heart desires. I don’t blame you. The candy is the very reason I love Halloween. I usually use the day as an excuse to eat just about anything (and everything) I want. Needless to say, I hit the gym hard on the first day of November.

This year I found myself wondering if there was a way to pig out on Halloween and not feel guilty afterwards. Turns out, Business Insider has done research on the 10 most and least healthy Halloween candies.

Here is what they found:

most-healthy-candy_2016

least-healthy-candy_2016

Although I’m bummed to see 3 Musketeers on the list of least healthy Halloween candies, I love seeing that I can feel (semi) good about eating Reese’s Pumpkins because what’s better than spirited chocolate and peanut butter?

I hope these lists help you tomorrow. Try putting down the Kit Kat for a Take5 to feel healthier this Halloween.

Happy Halloween, and Happy (Healthy) Eating!

Peace, Love & DDP

Steph

The Seasonal Superfood: Pumpkin

Over the past couple months I have been enjoying baking a lot of food at once. I like doing this because I have food ready whenever I need it and because it saves time. Also, I hate cleaning up after every time I want to cook. With this being said, I have experimented a lot with recipes that are easy, fast and long-lasting. These recipes are my favorite for this time of year because their primary ingredients are healthy, in-season vegetables. I don’t always eat vegan, but I do think it is important to know how to. Vegan recipes tend to much easier to concoct, as they typically don’t require as many ingredients. The recipes I am going to share with you are ones that are vegan and that I actually enjoy more than the non-vegan versions. They tend to be more agreeable with people with an intolerance, but they don’t sacrifice the taste.

With early morning classes or a demanding schedule in the morning, making easy and healthy breakfasts to go is essential to optimizing how you spend your morning or jump-start your day. Thankfully, making smart decisions about eating for your brain have become much easier. Now we know there are many benefits to adapting to a vegan diet. Studies have shown that eating less meat and more vegetables. Most people believe this to be difficult, as you may not be getting the proper amount of protein or calcium. While I am not here to advocate everyone going on a vegan diet, I think knowing a couple recipes is useful. First of all, there are some staples useful to cooking vegan food. Some of them are unsatisfactory substitutes and others are actually really good. Also, most of the commonly used vegan substitutes are super healthy. For instance, mixing milled flax seed with water is a substitute for eggs usually used in baking. I was surprised when I tried this, baking for my friend, that it actually turned out the same way as with the eggs.

A good breakfast option for this time of year is anything involving cinnamon, in my opinion. One of my favorite vegan breakfast recipes is vegan pumpkin bread. My favorite thing about this pumpkin bread is you cannot even tell that it is vegan. The other awesome thing about this bread is you can make it in one bowl and throw it straight into the oven. Once it’s done, take it out and enjoy. If you are patient enough, it is smart to let it cool down.

Fall is the perfect time to take advantage of all the health benefits of pumpkin. Pumpkin is a great stable for vegan recipes. It provides a lot of flavor and can jazz up any recipe. Here are some of the benefits of pumpkin:

  1. Pumpkin helps you achieve or maintain a healthy weight
  2. Pumpkin’s vitamin D helps you build strong bones. Pumpkins are also dense in magnesium and calcium.
  3. Pumpkins help regulate blood pressure.
  4. Pumpkins reduce stress. No wonder college students are obsessed with pumpkin! It contains Tryptophan, an amino acid, also know as the “happy hormone” serotonin. Making a pumpkin dish may be your answer to reducing or managing stress and anxiety.
  5. Pumpkin is good for your digestive system. Not only does pumpkin have anti-inflammatory properties, it helps alkalize the body’s pH.

So maybe eating pumpkin bread is not the healthiest way to get your pumpkin fix in and reap all the wonderful benefits, but it is definitely worth it. Knowing the benefits of pumpkin should make you feel good about enjoying your favorite pumpkin pie or pumpkin soup.

Vegan Pumpkin Bread (Or Muffins)

Dry Ingredients

1 ½ cups coconut flourpumpkin

1 cup almond flour

¼ sugar or alternative sweetener

2 tsp baking powder

½ tsp baking soda

pinch of salt

3 tsp or pumpkin pie spice (more if you like!)

Wet Ingredients

1 cup pumpkin puree

2 TBSP coconut oil

2 TBSP maple syrup

 

In addition to these ingredients, feel free to mix in some chocolate chips or nuts. I like adding in semi-sweet chocolate chips and walnuts. I have been meaning to make the pumpkin bread with dried fruit, too. Luckily, this recipe does not need add-ins, but it is always fun to try new combinations!

 

Mix the wet ingredients in a separate bowl. I never understood why people mix ingredients in different bowls, but I think it really incorporates all the flavors so every bite consists of all the ingredients. This time around, I decided to make the bread in muffin tins. Baking in muffin tins makes it easier to have the perfect portion size and use different ingredients for each muffin, if you choose. Keep in mind it takes less time to bake compared to baking in a loaf pan. Bake at 350 degrees for about 50 minutes. I like mine under-cooked, so I check on the progress after about 40 minutes.

If you are craving something savory, sweet potato soup can be made in bulk and stored to eat throughout the week as well. At first, I didn’t think the combination of sweet and savory would work well, but my friend made this for me after an operation and I ate the entire bowl in one sitting. It’s that addicting. Don’t be fooled by the name!

Vegan Sweet Potato Pumpkin Soup

3 sweet potatoes (medium)

½ cup pumpkin

1 can of coconut milk

Squeeze of lime juice

4 TBSP peanut butter

2 TBSP olive oil

Pinch of salt

1 onion

TSP Garlic

4 cups vegetable broth

First, cook the onion and garlic on a stove top with the olive oil until it softens. IN a separate pot (or in the microwave) soften the sweet potatoes. It usually takes about six minutes in the microwave, but that depends on the wattage of your microwave. After the ingredients are softened, combine them in a blender with the cold ingredients. Once it reaches a smooth consistency, you can place the entire recipe back into the pot and wait for it to warm up.

Both of these recipes are vegan and absolutely delicious. They incorporate the fall superfood that we all can’t get enough of while being easy to make and save the rest for later (or not!). Be sure to give these recipes a try and let us know what you think!

 

Peace, love and DDP,

 

Leah

How To: Eat Well On A College Budget

Eating well on a campus like JMU is hard enough as it is with all of the decadent options.  From Auntie Ann’s being ON campus, to Chick-Fil-A being right on the quad.  Its hard to choose the healthy options.  Another reason why I personally had so much trouble getting into the healthy swing of things through college is because it’s certainly not cheap.  Buying organic foods, and fresh produce can really add up and make a casual grocery trip turn into a very expensive quest. I’m here to tell you that is it very possible to eat well on a tight college budget.

Buy in Bulk:

Costco, Costco and more Costco.  Make this place your best friend.  I know it can seem very expensive, but when you add up the numbers, if you buy things in bulk you can end up saving a lot of money.  My favorite things that I get at Costco every trip include: Frozen Chicken Tenderloins (boneless, skinless). This giant package comes with 6 pound of chicken. That’s A LOT of chicken.  I have had this package since moving in August 22nd and still have plenty left. Keep in mind I am an avid chicken eater. While at $17.00, it may seem expensive but it is much cheaper to get these rather than buying a small pack of these at Martins every other week. K-Cups are very expensive to say the least. If you are like me and need that cup of coffee in the morning than getting a 72 count of K-Cups from Costco is the way to go.  It may be intimidating to drop 40 bucks on coffee but I can promise you, it is cheaper than buying 16 counts for 12 dollars at Walmart. Now that I live off campus, I have started to make my coffee an even cheaper way using ground coffee from Costco.  These things come in a huge container and it is so easy to do! The other benefit to this is that you’re not just limited to an 8oz cup of coffee.  You can make it as big as you want, and for only 10 dollars at Costco! The last thing that I am dependent on at buying at Costco are Cliff bars.  These things are super expensive as well but buying them in bulk makes the most sense! They are protein packed bars that literally get me through my crazy long Tuesday, Thursday days.

Breakfast:

I’ve learned to make this meal delicious and affordable from the comfort of my off-campus house.  A 12 pack of eggs can be as cheap as $1.23 at Walmart.  Pairing that with an English muffin and a banana is a healthy, delicious and cheap way to get your protein in before tackling a hard day of classes.  Another go to breakfast for me is oatmeal.  I’m not talking about the sugary apple cinnamon flavored oatmeal that comes in little packages.  I get the Old Fashioned Quaker Oats in a 42 oz barrel that are not sweetened. This comes out to be just 4 dollars. Making it yourself saves you money and gives you the opportunity to be healthier.  I flavor mine with ground cinnamon, a dash of maple syrup and either a banana or blueberries.  It takes about 2 minutes to heat up in the microwave and gives me the energy I need to conquer each day. My final tip for breakfast, is to stop buying sugary cereals. They are not good for you, and can be very expensive.

img_2767

Lunch:

I usually eat lunch on campus because I have a meal plan that gives me 5 punches a week.  For tips on healthy eating on campus check out my other article about the best dining hall options!

Snacks: On those days that you know you are going to be on campus from 8am-8pm, you may find yourself needed a snack. I recommend bringing a cliff bar or making a sandwich.  A simple nut butter and jelly sandwich can satisfy you and give you healthy proteins you need. I also like to pack a bag full of carrots.  Another thing that I always keep in my backpack to keep me from going to the vending machines in carrier are chickpea snacks. These are super healthy and help with my salty cravings. The bags are big to serve as a snack for weeks and are only about 3 dollars.

Dinner:

This can be a challenging meal for me because it is always tempting to make a big bowl of pasta after a long day of classes, which isn’t always a bad thing! Pasta is very cheap and keeps you full! I like to make my pasta with steamed broccoli and season everything with some garlic salt. Its important to save money on food where you can, so you can buy all the produce you want.  I am a huge fan of broccoli, mainly because I can just season it with garlic and find it delicious.  Pick a couple staple produce items that are a necessity in your diet and make sure on your grocery trip that you have enough money for it. If that means cutting out the tortilla chips and salsa, then do it.  The healthy veggies packed with fiber will keep you so full that you don’t even reach for the snacks.  I love making chicken in a fry pan and throwing some vegetables in and making a side of rice. Rice and Mexican beans can be a very filling meal on a low budget as well. I also recommend soups that are super filling.  Amy’s Soup, found at Martins can be slightly expensive but when I tell you it completely fills me up for dinner, it really does. So to me it is worth the money!

IMG_3439-1.JPG

Don’t be intimidated by eating healthy because of a limited budget.  It is very possible to eat healthy for cheap and to actually enjoy the meals you’re eating! Eating out is way more expensive than cooking a meal yourself, so skip those chipotle runs three times a week and you will have plenty of money to spend on produce at the grocery store!

Peace, Love and DDP,

Paige Epstein

Study breaks are a must

I think the title says it all. Study breaks are one of few strategies that I feel truly work to be the most productive and to de-stress. An article called, “When, How and How Often to Take a Break” written by Neil Patel revealed that the average American only has an attention span of 8 seconds which is actually shorter than a goldfish which is 9 seconds. To me, that seems almost unreal how small our attention spans are for how many times I make myself write two papers and a study guide all in one sitting. I feel like my brain is in over drive and I need to take a long nap to recuperate. It doesn’t have to be like that.

I have put together a list of things to do on your study breaks that I will expand on further into my blog, so if one of them catches your attention feel free to skip to that section. Some may apply more to you if you are someone that studies at home but other activities can be done in your favorite study place on campus, like SSC or ECL. I have broken the activities into two lists, one for shorter study breaks and one for longer study breaks.

Shorter study break activities include:

  • Listen to a few songs
  • Answer your emails
  • Call a friend
  • Clean your room
  • Paint your nails
  • Take a shower
  • Take a power nap

Longer study break activities include:

  • Visit the Lavender Farm
  • Lay on the quad

Special add in for this week only

  • Mindfulness Space

Studies show that every 52 minutes, a 17-minutes break was the best for productivity. That’s why I picked certain things for the shorter study breaks. Your breaks can range from 5-20 minutes but if you are concentrating for about an hour your break should be closer to 20 minutes long.

Listen to a few songs:

Listening to two of my favorite songs really either calms me down or pumps me up. If I am anxious about my work because of an upcoming deadline I force myself to take a break and listen to calming music so I can relieve some of my anxiety on my break. But if am doing a boring Philosophy reading and I am about to fall asleep I choose to listen to some up beat music to get me motivated to finish my reading when I resume from my break.

Call a friend:

I find myself doing this often when I am taking a study break, usually I will call my best friend from home or my Dad just to catch up.

Clean your room:

The days that I clean my room for a study break is when I have my 4 p.m. class and I sit on my couch and do my assignments instead of sitting in an uncomfortable chair at Carrier. When I clean my room for my study break, I will work for a solid hour and then tidy up for no more than ten minutes. I try not to go over ten minutes because after that I start using my break to think of ways tor rearrange my room and it gets quite distracting.

Paint your nails:

I will bring my nail polish to SSC and sit at a booth with my friends and paint my nails for a study break. Sometimes the smell is overbearing but if its okay with your friends I highly recommend. Painting my nails physically does not allow me to do anything for at least fifteen minutes, since I don’t want to smudge them.

Take a shower:

Again, this is for someone that is doing some work at home before heading to campus. I usually use this study break when I am writing a paper. I will write as much as I can for 50 minutes and then I will take a shower. Being in the shower let’s me brainstorm my paper more but does not allow me to write anything down for those ten to fifteen minutes.

Take a power nap:

You can really do this one anywhere if you were really tired, I know I could fall asleep on a cement floor. So if you are behind on your zzz’s, during your study break just put your head down and close your eyes for fifteen minutes. You will wake up with more energy than before and be able to push through that last section of outlining.

These longer study breaks are for when you are done studying for the day and you just need to unwind and de-stress for the next day of studying.

Visit the Lavender farm:

This can be a relaxing study break that you can go on with your friends during midterms week. The farm is right in Harrisonburg, called the White Oak Lavender Farm. The oil of lavender is shown to be useful for treating anxiety, insomnia, depression, and restlessness. This has definitely been one of my favorite things I have done in the Shenandoah Valley since I’ve been at JMU.

Lay on the Quad:

This is the best time to go to the Quad to take in the view of Wilson with the vibrant fall leaves slowly starting to come down. I stopped studying thirty minutes before my class yesterday so I could just go lay on the grass for twenty minutes. Going into my class I was refreshed and not thinking or stressed about the concept I just read about in my textbook.

Mindfulness Space:

This is a special event that is going on this week only. It’s called Mindfulness Space and faculty has set up coloring books, beanbags and a projector that has nature scenes. This room is here so students can de-stress during their busy midterm week. Take advantage of this as a long or short study break as it is only here for this week. It is located in Conference room 7 in Festival.

FullSizeRender.jpg

These study breaks are something that I have started to do. They de-stress me as well as make me as productive as possible for that hour or so that I am doing my work. Trying these for just a day can’t hurt.

Peace, Love and DDP,

Rachel

A Guide To Cooking Off Campus

This is my first year living off campus. I was lucky enough to live on campus for two years, one in a dorm and one in my sorority house. I was also fortunate enough to live in the era of DHall, Market One and Einstein’s Bagels so eating on campus was great. When I came to JMU for my junior year the kitchen intimidated me and it still does. I was a brave soul and chose the 50 punches meal plan because of the loss of my favorite on campus eating spots, I wanted to learn how to cook and living in a world full of takeout gets expensive. Grocery stores can be the equivalent to corn mazes and the stove can look like mission control of a space ship but with some guidance and practice those can become enjoyable tasks.

A How to On Buying Food

When walking into the store running to the freezer section might seem like the easiest and most logical thing to do. Microwavable food is fast, easy and has little to no mess. Medicaldaily.com has a list of “Five reasons why microwave oven cooking is harming your health”

  • Microwaves zap food nutrition
  • Microwaves destroy breast milk and vitamin B-12
  • Microwaves create carcinogens in food
  • Microwaves can change the makeup of your blood
  • Microwaves can change your heart rate

Fresher foods may take longer to prepare but your body will thank you in the long run. I made the mistake of buying produce in bulk and then it all went bad within a few days. Buying fruits and veggies in small increments and then going back to the store when you run out will save you the frustration of throwing out rotten food. The same goes with buying dairy, be sure to always check the expiration date and buy the milk, yogurt or cheeses with the expiration date that is farthest away so you can give yourself time to eat it before it goes rotten. There is nothing worse than buying a gallon of milk, drinking two glasses of it and three days later notice it has gone bad. When buying meat stick it straight into the freezer so that is can last as long as possible. According to the huffington post freezing meat can help it last for months on end.

  • Cooked poultry — 4 months
  • Uncooked poultry parts — 9 months
  • Uncooked whole poultry — 12 months
  • Cooked meat — 2 to 3 months
  • Uncooked roasts — 4 to 12 months
  • Uncooked steaks or chops — 4 to 12 months
  • Uncooked ground meat — 3 to 4 months

When going grocery shopping don’t go hungry that can make you impulse buy, make a list and stick to it that way you won’t end up buying junk and buy only as much as you think you can use before the expiration date.

What should you be cooking for breakfast, lunch and dinner?

 Cooking for every meal can be time consuming but this way you can ensure you know exactly what you are putting in your body. Eating on campus for one meal a day or whenever you are in a time crunch is totally acceptable that is what meal plans are for after all. There are plenty of healthy options to choose from on campus. But, there are no meal plans in the real world so learning how to cook while in college is a skill that you will need and use forever. Breakfast is the most important meal of the day and naturalliving.com has nine reasons as to why you should eat breakfast each day.

  • Slim down
  • Get and energy boost
  • Reduce the risk of type two diabetes
  • Prevent heart disease
  • Enhance your memory
  • Live to 100
  • Fight cravings
  • Get your daily intake of nutrients
  • Prevent cold and flu

Breakfast doesn’t mean just cereal. Cooking a bacon and egg white breakfast can be quick and easy as well taking no more than 15 minutes. If you want to add some toast to that, Ezekiel bread is a great alternative to regular bread using only a few fresh and healthy ingredients. English muffins can also be another option for your breakfast sandwiches. Want something completely different? Try this, Ezekiel bread with figs and Swiss cheese on top paired with two hard-boiled eggs and a few slices of turkey bacon.

IMG_6459.JPG

Lunchtime may be when you are on campus so it could be easiest to just grab something on campus. If that is not the case or you wanted to bring your own lunch to campus a sandwich or salad might be easiest. Again using the Ezekiel bread I introduced before you could easily make a healthy sandwich using lunchmeat, the cheese of your choice, whatever condiments and veggies you would like on top of that. An idea for a salad could be using chicken that you may have prepared the night before for dinner or that morning, add buffalo sauce to that and blue cheese dressing for a delicious buffalo chicken salad.

IMG_6461.JPG

Experimenting is key here using different vegetables, dressing and proteins to your salads or sandwiches can make it so you never get bored of healthy eating again. Dinner is always the most difficult for me. By this time of the day I am burnt out and it just seems easier to throw something into the microwave or to just order a pizza. Don’t fall into that trap, making a delicious dinner can go from a chore to a treat once you figure out what you’re doing in the kitchen. There are so many more options than just chicken and vegetables as well. I like to make this a few times a week but nothing is better than coming up with your own creation in the kitchen and being able to share that dish with others. Pasta is always the easy route and since pasta is delicious on its own it can only get better with the right ingredients. I made a classic sausage and peppers dish in the frying pan adding a few seasoning ingredients its up to you what you like and threw it over top of some pasta, it was simple, quick and delicious.

IMG_4590.JPG

A dish my mother, Angela Lewis, taught me is a twist on the McDonald’s Big Mac, only it is a healthy version. You can use your choice of ground turkey or grass fed ground beef as the protein base, cook that put it over lettuce add tomato a slice of cheese and low fat thousand island dressing and voila you have your big mac in a bowl and it tastes even better because you made it with fresh ingredients at home.

IMG_1849.jpeg

Cooking your own meals can seem intimidating at first but once you get the hang of being in the kitchen it can become rewarding and a nice way to be able to unwind and de-stress after a long day of classes and work. Nothing is better than being able to say that you made a dish yourself and for being able to cook that dish for others. Cooking is a skill that we will all need at some point in our lives so why not learn now. Campus food is delicious but so is making your own meals and knowing exactly what is being put into them. Happy cooking dukes.

Peace, Love and DDP,

Hunter

Walk, Don’t Ride

On certain days of the week, you may find it is hard to make time to go to the gym. Between classes, extracurricular activities and homework, there are just not enough hours in the day to spend at UREC.

JMU is a big campus. Just imagine the distance between Forbes Performing Arts Center and Festival. A school such as JMU provides many opportunities for students to burn calories without ever stepping foot in the gym. On the flip side, a school such as JMU provides many opportunities for students to be lazy. Busses, powered by The Harrisonburg Department of Public Transportation, run throughout the day from one side of campus to the next. With many stops along the way, busses are a convenient way for students to travel on campus, and many students (myself included) prefer this method of transportation.

But, there is another way to get across campus. I like to call it the ‘Shoe Leather Express’. Our own two feet can get us anywhere we would like to go if we just put in the extra effort. The Duke Quest Walking Map details walking time and distance between areas on campus.

student-walks-across-bridge-in-springtime
Photo Credit: James Madison University

Ultimately, the choice is yours. You can decide to jump on the bus, or walk to your destination. I encourage you to consider walking every now on then. This will prove especially helpful on days that you are unable to get to UREC.

JMU’s website details 25 Green Walking Tips. I picked out 10 of my favorites to share with you. Keep these in mind next time you want to step on the bus.

  1. Use a step counter to see how many steps you take in 15 minutes. If you do not have a step counter, 2,000 steps is about one mile. You can drive your car a mile and then walk that route to gauge your distance.
  2. Keep track of your total distance and time each day.
  3. The Surgeon General recommends walking 7,000 to 10,000 steps a day. Make that a goal to work up to in 3-4 weeks.
  4. If you walk or stroll at a steady pace, you will likely walk a mile in 20 minutes.
  5. Pick up the pace and trek to walk a 15-minute mile.
  6. Vary your routes. This benefits the brain as well as the body.
  7. Use your arms by bending your elbows at a right angle and swing them as you walk or use walking/hiking poles. You will burn more calories and strengthen your arms in the process.
  8. Take the hill. Going up hill helps with endurance.
  9. Going down hill can help with balance.
  10. Use the stairs for an added workout.

Clearly, walking is a benefit to your health. It also may be a benefit to your conscience next when you decide to walk so you don’t have to feel guilty missing gym time. Not to mention, we have a beautiful campus at JMU. It looks much better without a glass window blocking your vision. Let’s get to walking Dukes.

Peace, Love & DDP

Stephanie