Blog Archives

Health Beyond College

A handful of you aren’t leaving campus this summer, but for those that are, your health kick doesn’t have to be on pause until August.  Even if you’re counties, states or countries away from the SRC or Rams Head Rec Center, you can still stay in shape.  Here are some tips to have your healthiest summer yet!

  1. Training Time: Have you ever been to Campus Rec’s YouTube page and seen the Training Time videos?  A few personal trainers have filmed 5-10 minute videos so that you have a well put together routine, no matter what your fitness abilities are.  Posted are lower body, upper body and total body workouts.  Additionally, there are videos completely devoted to foam rolling, abs, glutes and other fitness topics.
  2. Take Cardio Outside: Just because you don’t have an elliptical doesn’t mean you can’t get in some cardio.  Take your dog on a walk, go on a hike with a friend or listen to that new playlist while you run.  Sure, it’s hot, but as the saying goes, “Nobody ever drowned in sweat!”
  3. Strength Train Without Weights: Wait, what?  If you don’t have a set of dumbbells or any weight machines, how are you supposed to strength train?  It’s possible.  Just Google a few routines without weights and you’ll find so many moves.  Some classics – pushup, walking lunge, plank, mountain climber, squat jump, crunch – I could go on!  Trust me, it’s easy to get an entire body workout without any equipment.
  4. DVDs: I am one who has done it all!  P90X, TurboFire, Insanity, basic Pilates DVDs.  You can find some workout DVDs online (like from Amazon) for extremely cheap and, for others, you can pay a pretty penny.  But those 90-day workouts are really equivalent to the cost of a gym membership and are a lot more convenient (sorry to get all infomercial-ly on you).  Look at some descriptions and reviews and find a DVD that is right for you!
  5. Watch What You Eat: At school, you’re probably used to the cheap basic food staples.  Bananas, peanut butter, oatmeal, etc.  At home, your mom may be making you fried chicken a couple times a week and maybe you’ll meet high school friends out for dinner pretty frequently.  Just be careful of your eating habits at home and remember to keep it as healthy as you can.  Click here for some summer recipes you can make at home and here for Campus Rec’s Pinterest page (with lots more delicious recipes).

You will survive a few months without the gyms on campus, I promise!  And, of course, you could join a gym at home (warning – it won’t be as amazing as it is here!).  Have a healthy and safe summer and continue to check back here for the latest fitness info!

Campus Rec Bucket List

The semester is winding down and, unless you’re here for summer school, your time with Campus Rec is dwindling (*tear*).  Your gym at home or your post-graduation gym may have the treadmills, weight machines and all that jazz, but there are some offerings unique to UNC.  I want to challenge you to commit to at least one of these Campus Rec Bucket List items before your last exam!

  • Campus Run – Every Tuesday at 6 p.m. in front of Rams Head Rec Center, you can join Campus Rec, Fleet Feet Carrboro and Nike for a three to five mile run.  You can grab free Nike gear for just showing up!  This group of runners has continued to grow through the past couple years, so bring a friend and join the crowd.  Oh, and don’t worry about your pace – all different fitness levels will attend!  Read my blog about it here.
  • Fitness Assessment – Hands down, this is the most useful resource we offer at Campus Rec.  This is great to do before you head out for summer so you can set fitness goals for yourself.  By doing a few tests and exercises, you’ll find out your body fat percentage, flexibility level, blood pressure, bicep strength and more!  Then, the personal trainer will help you put together a plan to get healthier and fitter over the next few months.  This free assessment is in the SRC and you can find the hours here.  Read about my experience here.
  • Fitness Class – Read my review on Pilates, H.I.I.T., Step, Absolution, Zumba, TurboKick and Cycle.  I’ll be honest right now – my favorite class is Cycling and the one I suffer through (and get the best results) for summer is Absolution.  Get out of your comfort zone and try a new class!  You may be surprised at how much you like and enjoy a new form of exercise!
  • Personal Training – Like the Fitness Assessment, a personal training session is an excellent way to prep for summer.  You can get help setting up a plan to stay fit and reach your goals during summer.  Your trainer will walk you through a routine that you can do by yourself at home and you’ll return to UNC more toned than ever before!  Learn more about personal training start-up sessions and packages here.

Racing into Shape

The weather is finally gorgeous and taking a step outside actually feels refreshing.  Spring is here and there’s no better way to take advantage of this campus than going on a run.  Instead of sleeping until noon on a Saturday, how about waking up early, getting exercise, enjoying the outdoors, contributing to a charity and racing?!

Sure, that sounds like a lot to do before you usually open your eyelids on the weekend, but there is at least one race every weekend in Chapel Hill from this weekend until exams!  Below, I’ve listed a few races – with time, date, place, distance, etc.  So pick one (or a few), sign up and grab a few friends to join you.

Color the Hill – Wear white t-shirts to this 5K and you’ll finish painted like a rainbow.  Proceeds benefit three local nonprofits and there will be ice cream, sandwiches and shaved ice food trucks!  The race takes place April 13 at 10 a.m.

5K Lifestyle Race and 1 Mile Fun Run – If you’re not in the mood to be splattered with colors or want to just go a mile, you can participate in this race that’ll take you through the greenway, Southern Community Park and Southern Village.  Awards are given at the end of the 5K and proceeds benefit the East Chapel Hill Rotary Club’s Teacher Supply Store.  The race takes place April 13 from 10 a.m. to noon.

Tar Heel 10 Miler – Looking for something more challenging than a 5K?  Sign up for this race and you’ll go 10 miles throughout Chapel Hill.  UNC Lineberger Comprehensive Cancer Center is a charity partner for the race.  The race takes place April 20 at 7:30 a.m.

5K for Fitness – This 3.1 run or walk starts at McCorkle Place and takes you through Campus.  The Public School Foundation and Fleet Feet Sports are presenters of the race.  It takes place April 27 at 9 a.m.

2013 Spring Fling – This race is presented by UNC Campus Rec and is only open to UNC faculty and staff.  Two options are available – a 2.7 mile fun run or a 1.5 mile walk.  You can get out of the office, give back to the community, by donating cans to the Glenwood Elementary Family Assistance Program or pet donations to the Orange County Animal Shelter, and take advantage of the warm spring weather.  The race takes place on Friday, May 3 at 12:15 p.m.

Campus Run – Okay, I tricked you; this isn’t a race.  But you can join Campus Rec, Fleet Feet, and NIKE every Tuesday at 6 p.m. at Rams Head Rec Center for an evening of running.  Runs are three and five miles in distance, at varying paces.  NIKE will be giving away swag after the run so stick around!  This is a FREE event and registration is not necessary!

Spring into New Gear!

After months of hibernation, it is finally warming up outside!  Spring is here, which means it is time to put away the heavy coats and dark colors.  Now you can sport some bright pastels.  I use spring as a time to go shopping for new exercise clothes.  A new outfit motivates me to get to the gym (and show off my purchases).

The closest place I can think of for shopping is South Point.  There are plenty of stores at the mall and close by where you can get cute workout clothes – and pay what you want.  There are the obviously more expensive yoga stores, like Lululemon, and then the bargain stores (my style of shopping) like Target.  Here are a few items I found that I know both girls and guys will love.  Head out to these stores when you get a chance or go online to their website to see what else is in stock this season!  Your outdated closet won’t be sorry!

Lululemon, although known for its women’s clothing, actually has stuff for the boys too!  And even if you’re not looking for clothes, you can find some nice yoga mats, gym bags, water bottles, headbands – you name it, they’ve got it! I’m a huge fan of this Carolina blue skirt you could sport at the tennis courts at the South Campus Recreation Complex.


These days, the brighter the shoe, the greater its popularity.  At New Balance, you can find shoes for every activity – running, walking, hiking.  These neon shoes for men are light for running far distances.  Girls – they have a version for us too.  You wear these on the 3, 4 or 5 mile Campus Runs.


Sorry guys – Athleta only carries women’s clothing.  But ladies, they have so many cute tops, light jackets and shorts all in bright spring colors.  Their clothes are stylish, like this tank with a cutout back.


Target has everything when it comes to athletic clothing.  Is anyone surprised?  Guys, here are some basketball shorts that you can wear to pickup basketball at Woolen or RHRC.  My favorite thing about Target is the price of everything!  You can get an outfit from head to toe for less money than for one piece of clothing at another store.


Feel free to list any other stores nearby that you purchase your athletic clothes from!  These stores are all at/near South Point.  If you go to each website and search for the “location,” you can find exactly where to drive.

So, all in all, what I’m trying to say is – go shopping!  We are looking forward to seeing you at the gym rockin’ your new gear!

Fitness & Nutrition Roundup: Rules for Getting Ripped, Fitness Startups & More!

38 Excuse-Proof Reasons to Get to the Gym: Feeling unmotivated? Scroll through a few of these 38 motivators from Anytime Health and you’ll soon be sprinting to the gym. A workout can make you smarter, increase your social skills and give you a confidence boost – read it to believe it!

The New Rules for Getting Ripped: Whether you want to get ripped or just fit, these tips from Men’s Fitness  will help you see results without starving yourself or spending hours in the gym. These tips include keeping carbs in your diet and eating more fat – sounds like a good plan to me!

The 50 Most Innovative Health, Fitness, and Happiness Startups: Just a few people really can make a difference in the world. Greatist lists 50 apps, bloggers and companies that have been keeping people motivated to reach all sorts of health-related goals.

I Ran 50 Marathons in 50 States, All While Battling Cancer: This will inspire you, motivate you and make you cry. Don Wright is one inspiring fellow and his story of battling cancer while reaching goals is worth a read.

Fitness & Nutrition Roundup: Holiday Survival Guide, Treadmill Interval Workouts & More!

20 Best Fitness Tips: Self lists the best motivators, the best arm toning move, the best cardio for faster speed and more.  Put some of these 20 tips into action and you’ll feel more fit before Winter Break!

Your Holiday Weight Gain Survival Guide: Speaking of break, with the holidays come cookies, egg nog and huge slices of pie topped with ice cream (am I the only one getting hungry here?). Here are 17 tips from Fit Bottomed Girls that’ll help you make it to New Year’s Day happy and healthy.

How to Choose the Right Athletic Shoes: Whether you’ve got wide feet, flat feet or you’re prone to getting blisters, there’s a shoe made for you.  Check out this guide from Real Simple on picking the best athletic shoe – and then go shopping!

Tricks of the Tread: Treadmill Interval Workouts: Some days, it’s too chilly to run outside. The treadmill (or dreadmill as I sometimes call it) can get, well, rather boring.  Whether you’re a runner, walker or a combination of the two, Fitness Magazine gives us three exciting treadmill plans.  Print one out and get going!

The Latest Fall Workout Clothes and Accessories

Looking to invest in some fall workout gear? Check out the latest and greatest clothes and accessories:

C9 by Champion Long-Sleeve Tee: FitSugar features this women’s long-sleeve tee that has the ideal bit of stretch and the perfect price tag.

Slub Foldover Yoga Pants: If you’re looking for comfort, check out these gray yoga pants featured in InStyle.

Nike Sphere Men’s Running Shirt: LiveStrong raves about this shirt that’ll wick sweat away during those warmer autumn days.

Lululemon Brisk Run Neckwarmer: This adjustable neckwarmer featured on Fitbie will keep you warm on those crisp fall runs.

Like these clothes? Check out the top rated fall running shoes here! Happy shopping!

Mollie Brewer: Triathlon Club

Today, Tar Heel Tone Up is featuring Mollie Brewer, Co-VP of the Triathlon Club.  This student is a highly ranked triathlon member on a very successful club team here at UNC.  Keep reading for highlights of the Triathlon Club and one of their most competitive members.

1. What made you decide to do triathlon club?

I raced a couple of triathlons while in high school and developed a passion that followed me to college.  When I got to UNC, a big new school in which I knew very few people, I gravitated towards something I was familiar with.  In doing so, I met my coach (who now officially coaches our entire team) and made awesome friends in the triathlon club.

2. What is your favorite thing about this sport?

I love everything.  The bike is my favorite part because I like to go so fast that I feel like I’m flying.  I love the people and my coach – everyone is suffering and overcoming their own obstacles in order to finish the race or a training session.  It is a shared suffering that creates a deep bond between us athletes.  And, I love racing for UNC.  We’ve traveled all over the state and country to race and nothing puts a smile on my face like when I hear “Go Tar Heels” when I am suffering through the last few miles of the race.  It helps me dig a little deeper.

3. What does a typical practice look like for your team?

Technically we are training for three sports at one time: swimming, biking and running.  So that is a lot to fit into one week.  A lot of us train individually or in partners for most of the week based on our class schedule.  However, as a team, we try to practice at least four times a week all together.

Tuesdays are our “favorite” days.  Our coach hosts a swim and a run practice.  Our swim is in the morning and we do anywhere from 3500-4500 yards.  This includes swim drills, intervals and triathlon specific swim sets.  An example of a triathlon specific swim set would be to have us each individually swim 100 yards as fast as we can while everyone else stands along the lane and splashes/hits us with kickboards.  This simulates what it is like at the beginning of the triathlon.  It is actually a lot of fun – just like a splash war you used to have as a kid.  In the evening we have a run workout on the track.  We call this swim/run day “Get Better Tuesday” because it really pushes us but ultimately makes us better.  Having teammates push and encourage you through the intervals makes it all worth it. Then we eat…A LOT.

4. Tell us about some of your team’s accomplishments.

A core group of us have been to Triathlon Collegiate Nationals in Tuscaloosa, Alabama for two years and we trying to qualify again this year.  Last spring our team participated in the first Draft Legal Collegiate Triathlon ever held in the USA.  Draft Legal racing is more of a European style of racing.  If you watched the Olympic triathlon, it is the format they race.  We made history that day.

5. What kind of teams do you go against?

In our conference we travel all over N.C., Va. and Md. in order to race.  We race teams like Duke, NC State, UNCW, Navy, VT, UVA, and Liberty.  For Nationals we compete with hundreds of college teams all over the country.

6. What is your most memorable moment as a triathlete?

Last spring, when the team went to Lake Lure for the first Draft Legal Collegiate race, I came out of the swim last in the women’s race.  The head official told me that when I got lapped on the bike, they were going to pull me from the race (it was a short, multi-loop bike course).  I surprised everyone, especially the official, because I never got lapped.  I ended up setting the bike course record and finished in third place, 45 seconds behind first and second place.

7. What’s your favorite thing about being a member of this team?

I love the support and the training partners I get as being a member of the team.  Sometimes logging all the countless miles on the bike rides, runs and laps in the pool get tedious but the training partners I have on the team keep me going.  We push each other, compete against each other, encourage each other, support each other after bad races, cheer wildly for each other on good race days and understand each other even if the whole world may look at us, shake their heads and call us crazy.

8. What else are you involved in on campus?

In addition to triathlon, I am also a member of the UNC cycling team.  I love it too and I recommend doing both!  It is another excuse for me to ride my bike!  Plus cycling really helps improve my bike handling skills and efficiency for triathlon.  I am very grateful for my ability to train and that I am healthy enough to train.  I also participate in Cornerstone (a campus ministry at UNC).  Additionally, I coach a youth triathlon team called SFS-TMS Thundercats.  You could say that I am training future Tar Heel Triathletes!  It is my favorite thing in the entire world.  I love being their coach and teaching them all the things I have learned from racing triathlons.  Seeing them race reminds me why I love triathlons so much.

Thank you, Mollie, for filling us in!  We are amazed by your spirit and passion for this sport (or all three!).

If you are interested in UNC Triathlon Club, e-mail Will Powell at or check out their website  Curious about other sport clubs?  Check out their website here!

Map My Run – Running Website

It’s finally that time again – the crisp, cool season of fall!  We are just two days away.  After a blazing summer, the temperatures are finally starting to get below that 90 degree mark.  This weather is my favorite to run in.  My fingers and ears don’t get numb like they do in the winter but I’m not sweating the second I make my first stride like in the summer.

The best little secret for runners is the website Map My Run.  Whether you are running on campus or across the country in California, you can track the distance and elevation of your run.  Just sign up for an account and start marking where you went.  Instantly, you’ll get all the stats.

Better yet, you can check out other people’s running loops and steal their ideas for your next run.  Below I’ve got a 5K and an almost five miler.  Knowing how far you go can help you keep your pace on track and it will motivate you to increase your distance over time.

5K Ehaus Field: This 3.12 mile route will let you go through some of south campus, some of north campus and a close-by neighborhood.

Almost 5 Mile Run: This 4.92 mile route will send you down Franklin Street, around Battle Park and back up Franklin Street.

If you want to learn some other three or five mile loops, consider running with Fleet Feet Carrboro and Nike on their campus runs and get some free gear.  This free event happens every Tuesday at 6 p.m. in front of Rams Head Rec Center.

So go ahead, grab a friend or run solo!  This is the perfect time to see all of this beautiful campus.  Set goals – map your run and then try to go farther or faster!

Top Rated Fall 2012 Running Shoes

Best tip ever: go shopping for new shoes!  Picking the right running shoe is important for increasing your speed, increasing your distance and preventing injuries.  Here are just a few of the top rated running shoes for this fall.  Click on each website’s name to read the full review of the shoe.

  • Shape voted this shoe the “best cushioning women’s running shoe”.  The Saucony Triumph 7 has a midsole that is both “flexible” and “responsive” so your feet can go for miles without hurting.

  • The Nike Pegasus+ 29 passed Fitbie’s wear-test for what they claim to be a “marshmallowy-soft ride.”  This shoe is available for men and women and is great for both long and short distances.


  • This shoe is a part of the latest trend of incredibly lightweight running shoes.  The ASICS GEL-Lyte 33 weighs 7.8 oz for men and 6.7 oz for women.  Competitor writes that this shoe is light in weight but thick in cushion.  It’s a win-win!

  • Here’s another light shoe that FitSugar raves about.  The Adidas’s Adizero Feather 2 shoes were actually worn by some London Olympians while training.  Wear these outside this fall or take them on the treadmill when it gets cooler this winter.