In the blink of an eye we went from January to April. Now, on the brink of yet another summer, college co-eds everywhere are forced to take a long, hard look in the mirror and face the facts. Winter is over, spring sprang, and now summer is staring us dead in the face.

We can’t cover up with coats, or blame the “post spring break” lull for the dust settling on our dumbbells! Second semester is not only in full swing, but sadly folks (or happily for some), we have a few shorts weeks left to wrap up another term. So how are you going to get into tip top shape in time to hit the beach? (Or pool, or puddle, or however you are planning to stay cool this summer…)

This time of year isn’t so much about losing weight as it is about feeling great and being confident. It can be difficult for some to slip out of the sweats and feel comfortable wearing shorts and breaking out the flip-flops. Of course, that excludes the brave young men who wear shorts year round—rain, sleet, snow or sun.

To make the transition from shy in sweats, to confident in whatever you wear, it might be time for a workout shift! If you’re anything like me, after your spring break routine paid off, you took a little break. You indulged in a few sweets, and decided to take a few days off from the gym. A few days turned into a week, and a week turned into a few more. How did I justify not going? Well, isn’t it obvious? It was all too easy to excuse away the laziness… “I’m tired, I’m busy, I have sooo much work, I’ll go tomorrow, I walked around campus A LOT today, etc”. The excuses could go on forever. But all that stops now.

We are tired, we are overworked, and we all know we’re ready for a little fun in the sun. So ease into fitness slow and steady—it will pay off in the long run. We all know how exercise lifts our spirits and can put us in a good mood. It’s a double win. You can kick start your fitness, and round out the semester feeling and looking great—who knows, it could even help you focus and prepare for your finals!

Here are a few easy suggestions on how to get moving and get active!

First, consider investing in a pedometer.  I swear by mine and use it everyday to track the amount of steps I’m taking. It’s amazing to see how active (or inactive, cough, cough) you can be in just one day! A good goal, and one I’ve seen in various ads and fitness campaigns, is 10,000 steps. You can go higher or lower, run them or walk them, but either way you get yourself moving and compete against your worst excuses. You won’t be able to say you moved around when you really didn’t! Talk about accountability! Pedometers can range from simple to superstar. And lucky for us college kids, there are pedometers out there for every budget and price point!

My second and slightly smaller fitness tip is drinking water. Before spring break I was basking in H2O and drinking every drop I could get my hands on. For lent and the Easter season I did my best to stay away from soda, but once spring break and Easter came and went, I somehow cuddled up once again to my favorite physician, Dr. Pepper. But if you want to drop the sluggish feelings, and constant need for naps, I would trade your 20oz of fizz for some much needed water. Carry a water bottle to class and challenge yourself to drink so many bottles a day—my goal is at least 5! Your skin will thank you and your energy is sure to pick up. Plus there is something so refreshing and clear about water. There definitely won’t be any guilty conscious feelings after you indulge in a little H2O!

Whether your gym savvy, or scared to get on a treadmill, summer fitness isn’t something you need to shy away from. Make a commitment to get back to your fit and ready ways—either by hitting the weights, running in the sun, or just getting off your tush and getting a few much needed, and craved steps in for the day!