Tag Archives: Ideas

Quick & Easy Dorm Room Exercises

Filed under: College Life, Health & Fitness, Living, Tips - Angelina
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Serena Piper BookRenter Blogger Biography

 

 

 

 

Is one of your New Year’s resolutions to exercise more and get in shape? If it is, you’re probably 1 out of every 10 people on the planet to say so. But what if you don’t want to fork over the $30-$40 it costs each month to maintain a gym membership? Or what if you just don’t have the motivation to make yourself leave the house to do a 30 minute walk or jog?

Luckily, there are several quick and easy exercises that you can do right in your dorm, apartment, or living space that will still give you great health benefits without having to go to a gym:

1. Desk Push-Ups

Sometimes when we workout, we can neglect to exercise our arms. If you have a desk in your room, then there is an easy way you can remember to focus on your arms. With your desk up against a wall, stand up and place your hands on the edge of your desk a little wider than shoulder-width apart. Keep your feet flat on the ground, your back flat and your chest lined up with the edge of the desk. Slowly lower your chest down, bending at the elbows until you’re about 6 inches from the desk. Push back up to starting position. Try 3 sets of 15.

2. Bed Dips

Doing dips on the side of your bed is another great way to sculpt your arms and build upper body strength. Sit on the edge of your bed with your hands on the edge of the bed on each side of you. Lower yourself a few inches off the bed while keeping your back close to the bed and your hands still on the edge. Try not to sink into the shoulders or go lower than 90 degrees. Push back up and repeat.

3. Textbook Crunches

Lay face up on a mat or towel with knees bent and feet on the floor. Pick your most hated, I mean heaviest, textbook and hold it directly over your head with both hands. Keeping your abs tight, slowly lift your head and shoulders off the ground, lifting the book in the air. Hold for 1 second then slowly release. Repeat.

4. Stair-Steppers

Using a stool, a stack of textbooks, or whatever else you have laying around, make a platform just several inches high. Stand behind it with knees and arms slightly bent, then alternate tapping the top of the platform with either foot. See how many taps you can get in 30 seconds, then work up to a minute.

5. Jumping Squats

Begin by standing with your feet shoulder-width apart. Start off doing a regular squat, then engage your core and jump up into the air with everything you have. Land back into your squat position and repeat the motion, swinging your arms to help.

To make your workout a little more enticing, have a playlist of motivational and high-energy music playing in the background. Don’t forget to drink water to keep hydranted!

Share your quick and easy dorm room exercises in a comment below!

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How To Enjoy The Winter Season

Filed under: Fun Ideas, Seasonal Celebrations - Angelina
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Serena Piper BookRenter Blogger Biography

 

 

 

 

There are some of us who look forward to winter all year long, whether it’s for the holidays it brings, or the chance to get cozied up next to a fire with a good book and a cup of chocolate. There are also some of us who don’t exactly jump for glee at the thought of freezing temperatures, driving in the snow, and the inevitable gloom and depression winter can bring.

Whether you’re really happy for this winter season, or counting the days until summer, there are certain things you can do to make the most of the season:

1. Catch Up On Your Reading List

If there’s a list of books you’ve been meaning to check out, take the opportunity to cuddle up on the couch with a nice warm blanket and the book of your desire. Reading time is compromised in the warmer months since it’s ideal to be outside and enjoy outdoor activities, but if you’re “stuck” inside from inclement weather, escape through a nice good book.

2. Have A Movie Marathon

When it’s cold outside, one of my favorite things to do is have a movie marathon. I choose some movies I never get tired of seeing and some I haven’t seen yet, but have been wanting to. It’s a great way to get caught up on your pop culture, and maybe even discover a few newbies you might have never seen.

3. Get Some Fresh Air

I get it, sometimes the last thing you want to do when it’s cold outside is be outside. Even if it’s just for 15 minutes, take a quick walk – solo, with your dog, or with a friend – just around the block. Believe it or not, this may brighten your mood just enough to make the season seem much more tolerable.

4. Get Together With Friends

Have a potluck or a game night (or both!) and have all your closest friends bring some munchies and/or a game to play. You could even use up a whole Saturday and spend all day goofing off, sharing stories, enjoying good food, and having a few laughs with the games. Getting together with friends is a great way to pull yourself out of whatever winter funk you might be in.

5. Tune Up A Hobby

Are you into photography, writing, or music? Winter presents the opportune time to hone hobbies such as these. Bundle up and bring your camera out into the woods or simply downtown to use up the foggy ambiance. Write a story, a poem, or even some new song lyrics. Take it one step further and share your new masterpiece with friends and family!

6. Color

My personal favorite is to spend a foggy and gloomy day by getting all my crayons and markers together, making a cozy nest on the couch, and breaking out my coloring book. If you haven’t tried this new phenomenon of adult coloring books, now’s your chance!

Remember, time flies when you’re having fun! The more you can keep yourself busy, the better this winter will be – no matter what you’re doing!

What’s your favorite thing to do in the winter?

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There’s An App For That: College Studying

Filed under: All Things Tech, College Life, Education, Tips - Angelina
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Megan Lehman BookRenter Blogger Biography

 

 

 

 

It is not a secret that technology can be a great resource for studying for any student.  What may be a secret to you, however, is which apps are really worth your time and are helpful.  There is so much out there and it can be extremely time consuming picking out just what works for you.

Check out these tested, tried, and true apps that have worked for me and can definitely work for you too!

1. Quizlet

Quizlet has been my saving grace during the last few semesters.  This app allows you to create flashcards for any topic.  Once your flashcard set is created, you have the option of turning the flashcards into a self-grading quiz or playing games that help you study.  What I love most about this app though, is that you can type the flashcards on your computer, and then open the app and study on your phone or tablet.  I like to have the website open during lecture and discussion so that I can type in the flashcards as I go and study them on the app as I walk to my next class. Did I mention that this app is free?

2. Complete Class Organizer

Complete Class Organizer does not help you study, but what it does is just as important.  Keeping track of everything you have to do between 4 or 5 classes, extracurricular activities, and work is hard enough.  Let this app be your personal organizer.  While I have not used this app personally, 3 of my closest friends swear by it and it is definitely on my list of apps to download for this spring semester.

3. Mindjet

Putting together any research project takes a lot of time.  Trying to figure out how to organize all that information can add even more time on to that. Mindjet (iTunes/Droid) helps you take all that information and organize it in a way that makes sense.  As I wrote my honors thesis last spring semester, I cannot express how valuable I found this app to be. If you are tackling any research papers or projects, this app is for you!

4. RefMe

That research work will most likely need a bibliography or reference sheet as well.  If you need a quick reference, use RefMe (iTunes/Droid). Simply scan the barcode of the book and the app creates the reference for you!  This app is pretty fantastic, if I do say so myself.

5. Grammarly

This amazing tool is both an app and a website.  Do you have a question on whether or not a sentence is grammatically correct? Or would you like to run your essay through a quick grammar check without heading over to the writing center? Grammarly is for you. I recommend this app to all college students at every level of writing. I have been using this for years and it has never let me down once.

As finals are quickly approaching, these apps should help you stay on top of studying and help you ace those exams! Good luck and happy studying!

Share any of your favorite study apps with us in a comment below!

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Healthy Dorm Room Snacks

Filed under: College Life, Food, Health & Fitness, Tips - Angelina
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Bailey Buckingham BookRenter Blogger Biography
Nobody wants to fall victim to the freshman fifteen, or whatever they call it when you still gain weight as a senior… Ugh. Unfortunately, if you haven’t already learned, the older you get, the harder it is to keep a fit figure. Luckily, there are a few snacks that are not only tasty, but have a much better nutritional value than the chips in the vending machine down the hall.

Here are a few healthy dorm room snack ideas to satisfy the cravings and keep fit:

1. Meat & Cheeses

I’ve been keeping turkey jerky and light cheeses around to eat for a snack. The turkey gives me protein and keeps me full, and the cheese gives me a dose of calcium. Try beef sticks or regular jerky if you aren’t a turkey fan.

2. Popcorn

This is probably my favorite snack, which is evident when you open my pantry. I buy almost all of the flavors of Smart Pop, and I always have a box of microwave popcorn on hand. Popcorn has a great amount of fiber for you, and it’s very low in calories and fat. As long as you don’t eat movie theater butter popcorn, it is a very healthy and tasty alternative to chips.

3. Yogurt

I used to say I didn’t like yogurt, but that’s before I even tried it. Seriously, how can you know if you don’t like something if you haven’t tried it before? Now, I treat yogurt like it is dessert. I always get the pie flavors because it satisfies my sweet tooth without taking a big hit to my daily caloric intake. There are several types of yogurt, and many flavors.Test them all out until you find something that will alleviate your sweet tooth!

4. Fruit

This is one of the more obvious options, but it’s so important to learn early on how vital fruit is in our diet. A lot of weight loss systems, such as weight watchers, don’t even require you to log when you eat fruit because of all of the benefits you receive. When you shop right, fruit can be a lot cheaper than buying bags of chips, or candy. I make small to-go containers everyday that have just a small portion of my favorite fruits to take with me because it’s easy to pull out and snack on in class.

There are so many foods andsnacks out there that are delicious, but you have to find the balance between tasty and good for you. It’s so easy to snack when you’re in the dorm and just hanging out, but try to think of healthier options. This will prepare you for when you need to start being completely in control of your own meals (if you’re not already). Start creating these good habits!

Share your favorite healthy dorm room snacks with us in a comment below!

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8 Things To Do Before The Summer Ends

Filed under: Fun Ideas, Seasonal Celebrations - Angelina
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BookRenter Blogger Biography Cameron TranchemontagneDid you start off this summer with a huge list of summer activities you wanted to complete before the season ends? Summer is almost over, so if you haven’t taken an opportunity to enjoy it yet, make sure you do so soon! Make this summer memorable and fun!

Enjoy the last few weeks of summer by doing some of the following:

1. Hiking

I could be very biased because I’m from New Hampshire and have unlimited access to the breathtaking White Mountains, but I think hiking is a much underrated summer activity. It’s great because it lets you reconnect with nature, it’s very healthy cardio, and often times the destination is worth the trek. One of my favorite summer memories is hiking up to Zealand Falls to see the beautiful views on the summit, and then stopping at the waterfall on the way back for a refreshing swim in the pool below. Its best to go with at least one other person, but anything beyond a group of four can get hectic. Make sure you pack a lunch, snacks, plenty of water, sunscreen, and plenty of bug spray.

2. Camping

This one and hiking almost go hand in hand, and they’re fun for the same reasons. Go camping without an RV, trust me, it’s a whole different experience. You can either drive out to a campsite and park your car at your designated site, or you can venture into the woods with all your gear on your back. I usually go to a state park that allows camping because it is the perfect mix of civilization and wilderness. Bring a tent – of course – and either some inflatable mattresses or foam squares to lay on the ground to make sleeping more comfortable. There will likely be a fire pit and maybe a grill there, but consider bringing your own personal grill and a small tank of propane. Depending on where you go, they may have bathroom facilities, but it’s always best to check ahead of time so you can plan out what you need to bring and what you don’t. Also, check out my last blog about summer camping hacks.

3. Family Reunions

Haven’t seen your cousins, aunts, and uncles in a while? Why not have a family reunion? My family does this every year and in the 40 years that it’s been around, it has become one of the most widely anticipated events of the year in our family. It’s always the first weekend in August and everyone in the extended family is invited for a surf n’ turf cookout complete with lawn games, music, and good company. It’s always good to reconnect with the family members you haven’t seen in a while.

4. Sun Bathing

Yes, it’s not too late to go outside and get a tan. This is an activity with lots of multitasking opportunity. You can read, talk on the phone, take a nap, listen to music, etc. all while laying outside. Just remember to wear sunscreen and stay hydrated if it’s hot!

5. Fairs

Ever been to a fair? They’re pretty fun, right? If you haven’t been to the fair, rest assured, it’s pretty fun. There are lots of fairs that happen at different times in different places, but end of the summer into early fall is usually a fair-filled season. There are games, rides, and often times even a petting zoo! Not to mention all the fair food that is delicious and terrible for you (I highly recommend the deep-fried Oreos). You may even get to see some fireworks while you’re there!

6. Outdoor Entertainment

Does your town have a park? Do they sometimes host concerts, theatre productions, or movies in that park? If they do you should consider going to one! It’s just like going to all that stuff normally, but outside! Often times the movies shown at outdoor venues are indie movies or documentaries that you wouldn’t get to see in a commercial movie theater. Most of the time, the concerts feature relatively unknown bands who aren’t big yet, but might be in 5 years or so and then you’ll get to say, “I saw them play 5 years ago at a park in my town” and everyone will think you’re so trendy and ahead of the curve.

7. Museums

If you can find a museum about something you are genuinely interested in or just want to know more about, then prepare to have a super fun day of learning (yes, that is possible). Typically the exhibits at science museums will feature something mind-blowing and/or interactive. Art museums are less interactive but may have some very awe-inspiring pieces if you’re an art lover. There are also more specific museums dedicated to a certain topic or person. For example, if you are in Virginia you can visit Monticello, Thomas Jefferson’s home, where you can tour the house and the grounds to see what life was like on the property. You’ll see everything and gain more of an appreciation for a little piece of American history.

8. Amusement Parks

Although the lines and the ticket prices can be a hassle, it’s usually a fun day whenever you go to an amusement park. The rides are thrilling, the games are entertaining, and the food is cardboard (so pack your own lunch). I also include zoos and aquariums in this category because often times amusement parks will have their own zoos or aquariums, like Busch Gardens in Florida or the York Wild Kingdom in Maine. And if you think about it, zoos and aquariums are essentially nature-museums operated like a theme park. If you can’t find a theme park within driving distance of you, see option #5.

If all else fails you could always go play in the sprinkler (maybe?). Whatever you do with these last few weeks of summer, have fun and appreciate each day. School will be back in session before you know it!

What is the best thing you’ve done this summer? Share in a comment below!

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