Wheaton College Norton, Massachusetts

Find your tribe.

Alex McKinney IMG_9025Alex McKinney ’94 

“Find a coach/community—whether it be a running club or a fitness coach—to help you stay motivated and accountable, giving you age-appropriate and research-based training methods to reach your optimal performance and prevent injuries.”

 “Fitness is defined by your strength (muscular power), endurance (cardiovascular health), and flexibility (range of motion at all of your joints and muscle elasticity/pliability). Therefore, you need to address all three areas to improve your fitness by targeting specific muscle groups, maintaining an elevated heart rate for a sustained period of time through cardio work, and engaging in stretching exercises like yoga.” [Read more...]

Get real.

Lisa Maguire Goothie inventorLisa Miller Maguire ’81

  • Founder and CEO of GetRealGetRaw and creator of the Groothie
  • Double major in art and physics

“Raw, plant-based whole foods have all of their thousands of nutrients intact. Once you cook your food over 118 degrees, most of the nutrients are destroyed, and we are talking about thousands of nutrients that the living cells in our body need to be happy and healthy. Love your body and try to make raw foods a part of your everyday life.” [Read more...]

Go slow, be steady.

PORTRAIT, MICHAEL EASTERMichael Easter ’09

  • Fitness editor at Men’s Health magazine
  • Independent major, mixing international relations and environmental science

“Don’t take on too much, too soon. Studies show 80 percent of people who lose weight will gain it all back in a given year. That 20 percent of people who keep it off don’t have any magic tricks. They simply stick with their plan longer because they develop habits that become part of their overall lifestyle. The reality is that the best diet and exercise plan is the one you’ll do consistently—you can get in shape doing a lot of different things, eating a lot of different ways. Everything works, just so long as you remain consistent. Now, how do you build a habit? Start slow. Whenever you go from one extreme to the other, you create a lot of stress for yourself, and the more stress you have the more likely you are to go back to your old ways. For example, going from sitting on the couch eating Doritos all day to eating, say, 1,500 calories a day and working out for two hours is super stressful, and it radically changes your life. Crash diet and exercise plans can surely work in the short term, but what do you do when they’re over? They’re too demanding for the long haul, and they’re just not realistic. The better way: Incorporate one small change into your lifestyle at a time. Do it for two weeks, then add another small change. For example, walk a bit more; make just one meal a day ‘healthy’; cut out sugary drinks; try strength training once a week. By week 13 you will have developed all these healthy habits. And because you incorporate them slowly, you avoid a lot of stress and your lifestyle doesn’t radically change. That allows you to sustain those habits for the long haul.” [Read more...]

Get a fresh start. 

Zoe-HackZoe Hack Keller ’05

“Get clear about sugar. Start reading labels to see how much total sugar is in food. The World Health Organization recommends no more than 25 grams of sugar per day for adults, which is not much once you start paying attention to labels. For example, a can of soda could have 39 grams. Once you are clear about where the sugar in your diet comes from, you can start choosing which sugar really matters to you and which sugar you can eliminate.”

“Learn to listen to your body instead of following trendy diet advice. There are so many confusing and conflicting dietary theories floating around, and many of them aren’t healthy at all. Focus on building a relationship with your body to figure out what way of eating works best for you. Pay attention to how you feel after meals, how your energy levels change depending on what you eat, and any other physical symptoms you can connect to your diet. Eat the foods that make you feel best, not what someone else tells you to eat.” [Read more...]