How To Integrate Exercise Into College Life
BY SYLVIA KOHL
Exercising is important. We all know this, it’s only been recommended by doctors and researchers for years now. Modern living has taken a toll on our levels of physical activity, which is one of the reasons why obesity is such an epidemic nowadays. The human body is meant to be in motion, not sitting for hours on end at a desk while you’re working/studying.
There’s no doubt that exercise is essential for a person’s health and wellbeing. Not only is physical activity great for relieving stress (a must for every harried university student), it also reduces the risk of illness and helps you focus.
However, fitting exercise into a busy schedule isn’t always the easiest thing, especially for university students that are juggling hours of classes, study sessions, exams and assignments on a daily basis.
Below are some tips to help you get on track to fitness.
Change your perspective. The main reason people don’t make time for working out is that they see it as something that will intrude on their other responsibilities. If you look at it that way, there’s little chance you’re going to want to get on the healthy track. Instead, you should view exercise as a positive change in your life, not something that will suck up time that could be spent studying or sleeping. Think of it as an activity that will better your health, much like eating your veggies.
If that doesn’t seem to motivate, you can always go for another approach and buy yourself new workout gear if that’s what will get you excited. You don’t have to break the bank to do it either; there are plenty of discount websites, such as Dealsland, you can take advantage of.
Start small. Most of the time when people want to lead a healthier lifestyle they want to dive into it head first, making massive changes at once. Two common problems with that approach: 1. you may get overwhelmed by it all and 2. it’s not sustainable.
Though some strong-willed individuals can make that work for them, the best way for the rest of us is to start making small changes at a time. Begin by working out once a week, for example. Or start taking the stairs instead of the elevator. All these little changes can add up over time, and before you know it you’re exercising every single day.
Another essential thing to keep in mind is to be realistic about your goals. Say you want to start jogging; if you’ve never been a runner, don’t expect to be hitting 4 miles on the first day. It takes time to train your body. Don’t strive for perfection but progress.
Be flexible. Sometimes you can’t do it all; it’s a fact of life. So, give yourself a break if it’s midterms season and you’re up to your eyeballs in exams. But remember to get back to it once the busy times have passed.
Create a routine. One way to get your workouts in no matter what is to schedule exercise time as one of your classes. Try not to stress about it as much as you do with your courses, but invest some time in planning out your days so that you know exactly when you’re in class studying and when you’re going to work out.
For the early birds that like to get a jump start on the day, you could work out in the mornings. This way you can get it out of the way and have the rest of your day to do everything you need to. If you prefer working out in the afternoon, do it as soon as you’re done with uni. Don’t give yourself time to procrastinate and binge watch that shows on Netflix you’ve been losing sleep over.
Get an exercise buddy. If you’re having trouble holding yourself accountable, get a friend to join you. Not only will you be able to motivate each other when one of you is feeling lazy, but it’ll also make the whole experience more fun. Think of it as a twofer; you get to catch up with your friend and socialize while you train together. Talk about multitasking.
It’s not easy to incorporate time for exercise for a busy college student, but it’s still possible. Just take it one step at a time and follow the tips mentioned above. Before you know it, you’ll be looking forward to your workouts every day.
Sylvia Kohl is an IT teacher with more than 8 years of professional experience. Her main spheres of interest are e-education and she convinced that learning process doesn’t stop after years in school and university.