Wildcats share tips for staying fit, healthy

Wildcat Brooke Bowen, left, practices at Acker Gym in preparation for an upcoming game. Bowen said that excessive alcohol intake can be a big barrier for students trying to stay in shape. Photo credit: Caio Calado

It’s that time of the year again — cutting season.

Gym rats who bulked up eating during the winter are now shredding all of it off to have the perfect summer body.

But Chico State’s Wildcat sport teams do not need a season for bulking and cutting. Instead, athletes from different sports work hard year-round to keep fit for their upcoming seasons.

Students are seen coming in and out of the Wildcat Recreation Center from breaking a sweat every day. Brooke Bowen, junior forward for the women’s basketball team, said that she knows plenty of people who are trying to get in shape but feel discouraged at the gym.

“I even get discouraged at times when I am at the gym, and I’m a college athlete,” Bowen said. “Working out and getting in shape can be hard because of everything you see around you.”

Being let down at the gym does not discourage Bowen, she said. Instead, she looks up to people working hard around her, advice that she recommends others follow.

Now that the gym fears are out of the way, it’s time for the workouts.

Junior distance runner Phill Bailey said that he is well aware of how much people despise running.

Even Bailey, who runs endless amounts of miles each week, admits running is not his preferred exercise. Bailey suggests that people work out with friends to be active.

Some of Bailey’s favorite workouts are yoga classes, lifting weights or biking around Chico, he said.

For runners who experience pain in their shins, they need not worry. It is called shin splints and can be easily fixed.

Junior sprinter Aja Erskine said that she makes her shins stronger by jump roping during her offseason, so that when the time to compete comes, she won’t have to worry about them being in pain.

Golfer Alistair Docherty suggests being flexible and having a good core is what helps him be a good player. He said that core strength comes a long way with maintaining an all-around strength base.

Nutrition is also a key factor that comes into play while keeping up with daily exercises to stay in shape.

“Your body needs protein in the morning, carbs during lunch and then more protein,” Erskine said.

However, Erskine said she knows how hard it is to be both a college student and an athlete. Sometimes people may not have time to make a meal and have to splurge on Panda Express or tacos, she said.

“There’s nothing wrong with eating that stuff here and there,” she said. “Just make it a treat for yourself and not and everyday habit.”

As for the heavy drinkers, Bowen said that people should stop with excessive amounts of alcohol because it plays a big role in keeping students from staying in shape.

Erskine said that she believes the media shoves down our throat the idea that healthy means being skinny, eating a lot of fruit and wearing “bright Nikes” all the time.

This is not what being in shape is, and just going to the gym is the start, she said.

“A healthy lifestyle is having a connection between your mind, body and being happy,” Erskine said. “I recommend finding an outlet, whether it’s dance, hiking, spin class or lifting. Find what makes you happy.”

Breanna Barnard can be reached at [email protected] or @beeebarnyardd on Twitter.