So, midterms are right around the corner. Girls all across the nation are slipping back into their old habits of late night fast food runs, 10 p.m. “second dinners” and energy drinks. Their life is complete chaos right now and the only thing that seems to be keeping them going are those addicting chocolate covered pretzels and Red Bull, right? Wrong.

Girls, let this be a wake up call for any of you who are feeling overwhelmed and unhealthy right now. You can get through school, and you know what? You can get through this semester with the same (if not better) body you had this summer.

Ahh yes, remember the summer? Your morning runs, your non-fat, no sugar lemon water ice, the 100 crunches you did every night. Just as summer was ending, your four pack abs were starting to show. You had the intentions on going to the gym three days a week once school started, but that was short lived.

Ladies, you can have it all and get those four-pack abs back. Here are five ways to keep your summer bod all semester long:

1. Ditch the late night binge: We all know it isn’t good to eat late at night, but here is a trick to keep you mentally tough. Don’t eat anything 3 hours before going to bed. Designate a time when you are going to bed so you know when the last time is that you can have that snack. By eliminating that late night binge, you are guaranteed to be hungry in the morning, which will force you to eat breakfast. Voila! The most important meal of the day. Getting into this habit will create a pattern for you and your stomach, which is helpful for keeping a flat stomach.

2. If you have time to Facebook stalk you have time to workout: All you need is 20 minutes. Exercising is a great stress reliever and can do wonders for your mind and body if you let it. By going on a 20 minute jog, bike, walk, swim or anything, your body will re-energize itself and feel happy again. You only need to exercise for 20-40 minutes, three times a week to see results and keep your body in great shape. If you want some encouragement, get a workout buddy and do it together, this will motivate both of you to push each other and stay fit!

3. Be warned for the weekends added calories: As good as you are all week, be warned that a heavy Friday and Saturday night of drinking and greasy foods can put you right back to unhealthy and unflattering. But of course you want to be able to go out and have fun, so this is what you do. Stay away from drinks with a high calorie count such as Pina Coladas, Margartias, Long Island Ice Teas and Mud Slides, which all have over 500 calories per drink. Also, try to do something active on Saturday or Sunday, such as playing laser tag, hiking, canoeing, or playing a pick-up game. The extra activity will offset your party night calories!

4. Three meals a day will keep the chub away: I am a firm believer in three meals a day, and the reason being is that you are more likely to eat healthy food options when you are eating three meals a day. Also, the key to a healthy body is routine. If your stomach starts growling around 11 a.m. and you know that you usually eat at 12:00 p.m. you have no problem waiting til 12 to eat. If you don’t have a schedule for your meals and you are hungry at 11 a.m., then you will just eat then and the rest of your daily schedule is off. Three meals a day keeps your metabolism up and constantly working to create a healthy body so you can stay strong and energized throughout the day.

5. Look to YouTube: There are thousands, and probably millions of under 10 minute workout videos on YouTube. (Umm, Blogilates, anyone?!) Do some researching and find a good 10 minute ab workout that you like, or try belly-dancing (my roommate used to do that!). The beauty of YouTube workout videos is that they are short, free and by people just like you. It is motivational to workout with people (virtually) who aren’t professionals or have 8-pack abs and yelling at you!

Image Credit: The Day Book

What ways do you stay in shape?