This is a post by Ashley Hampton (PumpUp: @rawincollege), a college student looking to spread the power of the raw vegan lifestyle through her positive posts and vibrant photos. Check out her blog


Whenever people ask me about the importance of exercise, I always respond with “abs are made in the kitchen!”. Your diet is the #1 most important factor in the way your body looks and feels! Your body is ultimately a reflection of what you put into it, plain and simple. 

I know that it can be difficult to get motivated to get out and be active on some days—what I want to stress the most to you is that it is not necessary to buy an expensive gym membership or work out every day of the week to stay fit. In today’s world, we have endless resources at our disposal. For example, there are customizable workouts on the pumpupapp and various free videos on the web that will target that “problem” area you have been wanting to tone up. Trust me, just type in “leg workout” and I guarantee thousands will pop up for you to choose from. In my opinion, exercise should not feel like a chore. 

You shouldn’t go to the gym if you dread it—you need to find something that is truly enjoyable for you! You can take a 30 minute power walk outside with a friend, you can bike ride, you can take a dance class, you can go for a swim…your options are truly endless!! Never get down on yourself for skipping a day either; mental and physical health go hand in hand so if you need a day to relax in bed and watch TV, that’s okay!!

Exercise will not only aid you in achieving your fitness and weight loss goals, but it will also give you a personal sense of well being and accomplishment on a regular basis. Some people love to work out for two hours every day at the gym—that’s just not for me. I like to go to the gym for about 30 minutes when I am in the mood. Exercising has become a form of stress relief for me—I used to be a dancer and that was my “outlet” and my daily exercise. 

Now, as a busy college student, it is reasonable to fit in 30 minutes of some kind of exercise at least 3 to 5 times a week without feeling like it is a burden on my schedule. When you are eating a plant-based diet, you do not have to constantly worry about getting an intense workout in every day.

Here are just a few more reasons why you should incorporate exercising into your lifestyle!

  1. Weight control: adding exercise to your life can be as simple as parking your car far away when you go out, taking the stairs instead of the elevator, and standing when you could be sitting
  2. Health benefits: fight some of the most prevalent diseases by moving your body! (it is scientifically proven that exercise lowers your risk of heart and lung disease, high blood pressure, diabetes, cancer, and even the common cold)
  3. Improved mood! Exercise stimulates various brain chemicals that will undeniably leave you feeling happier and more relaxed—endorphins commonly boost self-esteem and confidence!
  4. Better sleep: Regular exercise will most likely help you fall asleep faster and deepen your sleep! (**Just don’t exercise right before you go to sleep or you may be too energized to rest and recover!)

Check out Ashley’s blog for more tips, and follow her on the pumpupapp @rawincollege.