About a month ago, I published an article titled “Quick tips for eating healthy as a student here at Western (Or any college)”. This week I am going to give you the secret to success for maintaining fitness as a busy college student. If you’re anything like me, college classes and homework suck every last bit of time out of you. Setting an hour or so aside to go to the gym is just not an option. Today I am going to give you a few tips for staying fit under a busy college schedule.
First and foremost, exercise does not have to be a task you set aside for an hour of the day. In fact, research suggests that living an active lifestyle is a key to longevity, rather than going to the gym. What does this mean? Simply moving more often throughout the day can be just as effective if not more effective than going to the gym. Here are a few fitness hacks that you can incorporate throughout your day.
1.Walk or run to school. I know that this one is not practical for some people because they live far away, but if you make it a habit to walk to school rather than taking the bus, you’re getting much more movement throughout the day. You burn over twice as many calories walking than you do sitting. If walking doesn’t cut it for you, try lightening your load by taking only what you need for the classes you are currently going to and run to school. If you carry only a folder or two and a pencil in one of those small pouch backpacks, running becomes a more practical option.
2.Exercise triggers. You’d be surprised how much of a workout you can get just doing small workouts periodically throughout the day. But how do you remember to do that? Have a set of exercise triggers for regular things you do throughout the day. For example, do 5 pull ups every time you walk under a certain door frame at home, and do 10 squats every time you use the restroom. It sounds silly, but it can be a really effective way to fit exercise in throughout the day on a busy schedule, and once each trigger becomes a habit, it’s like second nature.
3.Small workout breaks from studying. We all have those moments when our brain shuts down and is craving for a break from homework or studying. Usually we take a small 10 minute break and do something like raid the fridge for a snack even though we aren’t hungry. This is a perfect opportunity to bust out a quick bodyweight exercise. You don’t have to exercise the whole break, but just a minute or two of exercise for each break you take adds up. As soon as you get up from studying, bounce into a quick workout and then rest for the last 8 minutes of your break. If you can’t think of anything to do, google bodyweight workouts on your phone and do the first few you see.
And there you have it. If you incorporate walking or running to school with exercise triggers and small workout breaks from studying, you’ll get just as much exercise as someone who spends an hour or more at the gym every day. You’ll also be getting the longevity benefits of living an active lifestyle. That’s how you maintain fitness under a busy college schedule here at western.
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