All Posts By

Jessica Cox

Overnight Oats: A College Student’s Miracle Breakfast

oats

Do you find yourself in a hurry in the morning, rushing to get to class with no breakfast in hand? Do you find yourself 10 minutes into your professor’s lecture and your stomach makes a loud gargling noise and everyone around you starts wondering where it came from?

Here is a solution to those problems a satisfying, healthy breakfast:

OVERNIGHT OATS

They are so simple and quick to make and can hold you over while you are sitting through those 50 plus slides of human anatomy, or whatever you are studying.

EASY OVERNIGHT OATS

Things You Will Need:

  • air tight container (mason jar)
  • 1/2 banana sliced
  • berries/ fruit for flavor
  • 1 Tbsp chia seeds
  • optional sweetener: protein powder, yogurt, maple syrup etc
  • 1/2 cup oats

Add In This Order:

  1. oats
  2. sweetener of choice
  3. chia seeds
  4. bananas and fruit
  5.  1/2 cup unsweetened almond milk (or milk of choice)

Then 1, 2,3….

  1. cover: tightly with lid
  2. shake: until combined
  3. refrigerate: overnight

Now this is the best part! In the morning when you wake up all you have to do is take your oats that you have done the night before out of the fridge and if you want to can add additional toppings such as: nut butters, nuts, seeds or even more fresh fruit. ENJOY!

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The Difference Between Training and Exercising

There is a debate in the fitness community about the difference between training vs. exercising:

What are you training for?
Do you have a certain direction you are trying to go?
Are you just going into the gym just because?

To many professionals in the fitness community, the difference is whether or not you are working towards a specific goal.

With this said, it is important to know the difference between the two terms:

Exercise: physical activity performed for the effect it produces TODAY.

Training: physical activity performed for the purpose of satisfying a LONG TERM performance goal.

Both of these are supposed to be fun activities. But sometimes, it’s just really hard. It’s hard to make it to the gym, to go that extra mile, to finish that last rep. That’s where the defining moment is.

Think about your favorite professional athlete. When they train, they seem to have that “little something extra”. They might seem like super humans just crushing their goals all the time, but they are just as vulnerable as we are. Just like us, they know there is always a chance that they might not succeed.

This is Katrin Davidsdottir, the back to back Fittest Woman on Earth Crossfit Champion. When I think of someone who trains and not just exercises I think of her. Her drive, mental toughness and determination is something that I hope well all can aspire to be.

Nobody is telling you you have to go hardcore 24/7. But it is important to stay motivated and ask yourself what are you doing: exercising or training. Regardless of which you’re drawn to doing, make goals for yourself, and make goals that work for you. 

Nothing happens overnight; progress takes time. You have to overcome feelings of weakness and understand that people are going to see sometimes that you’re struggling, but they are likely in the same boat as you.

So, it’s your choice: do you exercise, or do you train?

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What They Don’t Teach You in College: Post Grad Life

It is supposed to be an exciting time in one’s life when they graduate from college, but what they don’t teach you is what life will be like post grad.

I recently graduated from Mississippi State University with a degree in Kinesiology and a concentration in Clinical Exercise Physiology. While in college, I was extremely involved with my sorority and a list of other activities, one of those being exercising and living a healthy lifestyle. 

Now that I have graduated, I’ve moved away from my college town and my friends who were my accountability partners. We had each other’s back on everything from relationship advice and working out, to complaining about why our professor put 7 chapters on our test. As you can imagine, it hasn’t been as easy as it was for the past 4 1/2 years.

This isn’t meant to scare or worry anyone about post grad life because it is exciting. However, reality starts to set in when you have to decide whether you’re going to start grad school, go to work, or travel; the options are endless. With all these changes that are going on its important to prioritize your life. 

Post grad life can be thought of as a two part deal: what you can control in your life and what you cannot control in your life. For example, what you can control is what you’re going to wear, whether or not you’re going to workout, or what you’re going to eat. You can’t control the weather or other people’s decisions. The key point?

Focus on what you can control.

Life is stressful and if we focus on what we can control we will live a happier life. Take what is stressing you out, set it aside, and focus on what you can control. I am a big believer in the idea that everything will work out how they are intended. Whether you are like me and you’ve just graduated or you are just starting college, remember not to stress too much, have fun, and be healthy and fit because this time in your life doesn’t last forever.

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Winter is Coming: Why You Brace the Cold and Exercise Outdoors

Yes winter is coming. It is often said that this is ” The Most Wonderful Time of the Year”, why not make it the most wonderful time of the year to exercise? It might sound crazy, but recent research has proven so.

You might live up north where it snows more than it doesn’t, or you could be in the deep south asking yourself, “what is even snow?” Or if you’re like me, you could just honestly be dreading the cold weather all together.

The Facts

Fitness experts and researchers are saying that working out outdoors during the winter can offer benefits that one might not be aware of. It might not seem like the sun is shining during the winter months, but it is. Exposing yourself to some good ol’ vitamin D may help you fend off those winter blues.

“Going for a walk in the park after a fresh snowfall is one of the most exhilarating, stress-reducing things I can think of,” says Wotjek Jan Chodzko-Zajko, head of the department of kinesiology and community health at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign (go Illini!). He  runs to and from work everyday no matter the season. The study does have the claim saying “if it is bitterly cold stay inside”, but that should be common sense.

The Tips

There are four easy tips to keep in mind when your are going to work out in the winter months.

1. Dress the Part– one word: LAYERS, LAYERS, LAYERS. Having your hands, feet and head covered up is important too because a majority of your body heat escapes there.

2. Warm up Inside– Its always important to warm up before working up, but in the winter months, warming up inside will be a lot more comfortable and overall better for your body.

3. Beware of the Sun– Often over looked, use sunscreen. If the sun is bright or reflecting off the snow wear some sunglasses.

 

4. Drink Up- People tend to think they are less thirsty in the colder months, despite the fact that we actually need to drink more. Our bodies in the winter receive less moisture than in the warmer months. Another reason is we don’t sweat as much- that doesn’t mean we aren’t losing water.

Now that you have the information you need, don’t be afraid to get out there, exercise, and enjoy these wonderful winter months because in the blink of an eye its going to be summer…not that I’m complaining.

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8 Fitness Box Subscriptions You Need To Try

8 Fitness Box Subscriptions You Need To Try

Being a busy college student makes it hard to go shopping. Setting aside our textbooks and notes for even a day is impossible at times. But thanks to all of these companies that have come up with the brilliant idea of providing monthly top quality fitness items, we don’t have to stress anymore.

Below is a list of a few of my favorites that I personally have subscribed to and some that I love what they offer and hope you do too!

1. Gainz Box, $39 monthly* This company provide the best brands for the Crossfit community. They have everything from apparel, mobility, snack, supplements and so much more. When you sign up for Gainz Box, you get 10% off your first box! They provide a monthly, 3 month, 6 month, and an annual subscription. I have personally subscribed to this box and the quality of products is 5-star! It is also a veteran-owned company so that gets an extra star in my book.

2. BarBella Box, $49 monthly*– This box is very similar to Gainz Box except it is more exclusive for women. They have clothing, supplements, mobility and goodies as well. Subscriptions come monthly, quarterly or annually.

3. The Runner Box, $20 every 2 months*– This is great for the runner or want-to-be runner in all of us. It comes with nutrition bars, energy boosters, personal care and running accessories. This company is owned by two women who personally run marathons themselves. They are extremely active and passionate about the endurance community.

4. BuddhiBox, $34.95 + shipping  This company was started by female entrepreneur and yoga instructor, Maxine Chapman. She started the company to share her favorite yogi things and help enhance her students’ practice. Every month, a portion of the sales goes to support a different global charity. They provide fitness items, skincare, and fragrances. You can also buy individual products off the site as well.

 

5. Vull Sports, $53 If you are anything like me, you love athletic wear, and having the cute sports bras and shorts must. Vull Sports sends you a monthly subscription for sports bras. It is owned by a four-time Crossfit regional athlete so she knows what women in the fitness community is looking for. 

6. The Feed, price varies* This company is pretty sweet because you can curate your own box based on what kind of fitness you like!

7. Athletic Foodie, price varies * Owned by Olympic Gold Medalist Garret Weber-Gale, who was diagnosed with dangerously high blood sugar, this box makes healthy food taste great. Weber-Gale wants you to see the connection between what you put into your body and what you get out of it.

8. Paleo Life Box, $35 month* Each month, you get about eight to ten paleo snacks from some of the best companies out there. It delivers monthly, quarterly and bi-annually.

There are so many companies out there that provide this service and these are just a few that I love. It’s so nice to know that at least once a month on my doorstep there will be goodies and lets be honest opening up a package brings out the kid in all of us.

If you get a subscription box, make sure to post it on social media and tag @gofitu and #fituniversity!

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How to Transition From Sweet Summertime to College Crunchtime

If you are like me, you took the opportunity this summer to work on your health and fitness without the added stress of school. But now that you are packing up your comfortable childhood bedroom and getting ready move back to college, you must be thinking, “How am I ever going to keep this lifestyle up?”

Take it from someone whose summer consists of training for at least five days a week and cooks almost every day (hint: it’s me). It is possible and the key to it is three simple words:

BALANCE, COMMUNITY and DRIVE

On campus, I am involved in numerous activities: Greek Life, football games, social life and most importantly school. Specific to this semester, I have an internship and a 2-month-old Australian Shepherd.

Transitioning From Sweet Summertime to College Crunchtime

This is Indiana “Indy” Roux! He has an Instagram @indyroux_theaussie.

Throughout my college years, I’ve discovered that balancing your life in college really is a science. I’ve learned to take time on the weekend to plan out my weeks and see what time is available for studying and most importantly myself. 

When school starts, I aim to work out every other day, relieving stress and helping me clear my mind. It can be difficult to make it to my Crossfit Box so I alter the program for the day so I can do it in my school’s gym or do RomWod instead (if you haven’t tried this amazing program you should really look into it).

When it comes to community it is so important to get yourself involved with people who are like-minded, especially when it comes to fitness. Having friends who text you and ask if you have gone to the gym that day or who offer to go with you are essential to have. University fitness centers are a convenient source for group fitness classes, but it can be daunting to go into a class by yourself. Despite this, it’s a good opportunity to meet and talk to new people. (If you are lucky enough to go to a school that has a Fit U chapter there is a community of people right there!)

Lastly, there is drive. “If you want something bad enough you will fight for it.” Sometimes, your workout isn’t going to be enjoyable but its benefits in the long run will impact you for life.

I hope these three simple words will be something to keep in mind this semester so all that hard work you put in this summer doesn’t go to waste. Now go hit the books and kick this semester in the butt.

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How I Went from Childhood Dancer to Crossfit College Student

crossfit

Hello Fit University! My name is Jessica Cox I am a college student at Mississippi State University where I am majoring in Kinesiology.

You are probably wondering: what in the world is that?

Kinesiology is the study of the human body and how it moves! After graduation, I hope to go to school to become a Physical Therapy Assistant.

As you might have guessed, health and fitness have always been a huge part of my life. From a really young age, my parents encouraged being active. I was enrolled in gymnastics, and loved it. Both of my parents were in the military, so we moved around quite a bit. Staying at one gym for an extended period of time was never really an option for me.  

We moved for the first time when I was 4 years old. When we moved to Mississippi, I had already started to show interest in dance. This was convenient, since there was no gymnastics gym anywhere close by; my parents thought I should give dance a try as a substitute in at our new home. You could say it worked out well: here we are now, almost 2 decades later, and I have been happily and actively dancing for close to 18 years.

dancer to crossfit

Dancing has been immensely meaningful to me—from my time participating in studio dance, competitions, and even dancing for my middle school and high schools.

Once I graduated high school, and it was time for me to move again and go up to Mississippi State, I was having a hard time coming to the realization that I would not be dancing as much anymore. Yes, I still get to dance occasionally for philanthropy events through my sorority, but it’s definitely not the same. I missed the intensity of it, the competition, the dedication – something was missing in my life.

Summer of my sophomore year, one of my good friends asked me to come visit a local Crossfit gym in our hometown. I was scared to death. I’ve always been on to trying new things but I had heard how “tough” Crossfit was. I thought to myself: there is no way I am ever going to be able to do some of these movements. Now, however, I can look back on that moment with gratitude. I couldn’t be more thankful that she asked me to go, because I haven’t looked back since. I have been able to take the focus and drive I had used for dance and gymnastics and channel it into my Crossfit training.

I’ve been training at Crossfit now for nearly 2 ½ years.

dancer to crossfit

That’s my fitness story, and my journey with healthy eating is similar! I am blessed with a mother who is from Puerto Rico—y’all, this women can cook. She has always cooked for me with fresh, local ingredients, and has always worked hard to prepare healthy meals for my family. I’ve learned so much from her, and I am so thankful! I know that whenever I have a family, I will instill those same ideals in them as well because (as I’ve seen firsthand) a healthy today is a healthy tomorrow. (Sorry for the cheesiness haha, but it’s true!)

I’m so excited to be a Fit U Ambassador this year, and I’m so excited to share my love of all things health and fitness related to readers at Mississippi State and elsewhere. I hope this gave some insight into my background on health and fitness and how they have shaped me into the person I am today.

Now: go out and get fit!