• Try a coffee alternative.
  • Don’t let a cell phone ruin your posture.
  • Focus on your “balance.”
  • Trade-in alcohol for experiences.

Wondering what might be holding you back from hitting your goal in the gym or scoring an A in class? Take into account these quick tips and alternatives on what could be toxic to your success in the class-room and in the weight-room! Some of these are obvious, but let’s put them into perspective.


I start with this subject because I would never want to end this article on a bad note of telling you not to drink coffee. Who needs that negativity, really? Most of us live and breathe for coffee. It’s okay that we do because studies have shown many beneficial qualities of chugging a cup a day; the most obvious being increased energy, antioxidants, it helps fight diabetes, etc. etc.

Unfortunately there are cons as well such as increased stress levels, dehydration, caffeine addiction, and it significantly disturbs your sleep. We all know this but we still can’t resist trying the new flavored latte at Starbucks late in the day with friends. I know, I do it too. With all the sugars, syrups, fatty milks, and holiday toppings, that cup basically turns into a candy bar. Never mind the acidity levels, added sugars, pesticides and $$$, we can all agree that coffee messes with your sleep.

Sleep deprivation is real kids, and it hits college students like a ton of bricks; “oh crap, it’s 11pm and I haven’t studied for my 8am test yet. MUST LEARN TIME MANAGEMENT.”

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Cardinal Sin

Sleep is so important to your overall health, sanity, and brain function. Our bodies need this precious time to recover and regain energy. So here’s a possible solution: do yourself a favor – order decaf after 2pm (but make sure its high quality decaf).

Also, drink one cup of water for every cup of coffee and don’t add heavy creams and syrups. You can also try an herbal tea latte instead. Matcha tea and Dandy Blend are great alternatives. Matcha still has caffeine but with more superfoods and antioxidants than coffee. Dandy Blend is an excellent herbal caffeine free drink with no acidity but with the smooth texture and taste of coffee.

If you just can’t resist that silly pumpkin spice then make it a once a month treat. Please, prepare your own coffee and buy your own kick ass reusable mug and show it off. You could seriously buy your own espresso machine in a year with all that money you’re saving.


Stop being so attached to your phone. Put it down whenever possible and most importantly, get off it during class – that’s not what you’re paying all that money for. It’s distracting, it’s wreaking havoc on your posture, and it’s taking you away from physical experiences; not to mention impairing your verbal communication skills in the real world. This generation is lacking the ability to communicate effectively through public speaking and verbal communication because of modern technology.

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“Sit up tall and look at your teacher”

In-person communication is powerful and conducive to success, you can’t argue with that. You also can’t always rely on your phone and figuring out solutions without a phone is so liberating. Girls – don’t stay up all night scrolling through IG and Pinterest. When it comes to class, try making it through one day without turning on the WiFi. Use it strictly to take notes and nothing else. Sit up tall and look at your teacher while you’re typing (double whammy: you practice great posture and learn to type efficiently without looking at the screen).

ALTERNATIVE: If you absolutely have to be on your phone/computer doing work late at night, download the app f.lux.  This app takes out the blue light from your screen and better prepares your eyes for some Zzz’s.  Blue light is super stimulating and removing this from your nightly routine will definitely help you adjust to falling asleep with ease.


Balance in your life is so important. This applies to work and play, as well as your workouts. Time management is KEY in your college years so now is a great time to start making routines and form healthy habits.

Find a little bit of everything when you’re at the gym. Experiment moving your body in all the ways it can. Cross-training will take your body to the next level no matter what it is you already excel at. So what I mean by balance in the gym is don’t always focus on one muscle group, or one strict set of exercise, or only one class. Switch it up! If you don’t, your body will essentially build up a tolerance to what you’re doing and you won’t see any improvement.

Cross-training will make what you already do that much better. Don’t go “HAM” on the elliptical and then not take the time to stretch out your legs afterwards. You can’t work just upper body because you want to look good in sleeveless shirts and forget about your abs.  Find your balance.

Also keep this in mind with your work and play. Too much studying and not enough “you-time” is going to stress you out and we don’t need more of that. Set time for yourself to have fun and set time for your studies. Pay attention to your health, physically and mentally. Do not be afraid to reset and take time off if you feel like you need it.


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Kelly Living By Example

I might be old but I know my idea of a good time and it doesn’t include beer. Like I said before, experiences are worth so much more than what you look like in your IG picture you post the next day. What’s the point in drinking all this beer if you wake up broke and can’t even remember the night anyway? What kind of experience is that? Alcohol is harmful to your health and can leave you in some serious trouble. So let’s start choosing experiences you can remember. Experiences that spark brain health, heart health, and boosts endorphins to get your body moving and your mind filled with #positivevibes.

I really do not have to go over the cons of alcohol, do I? Please, be responsible kids. Is there an alternative? Yeah, don’t drink. There are literally no benefits. I worked at a craft beer bar for four years and I’ll never forget what my boss said to me, “saying beer is healthy because it is made from greens is like saying you’re a vegetarian because your pig eats grass.”

Stay tuned for Part 2!