10 Tips for Staying Fit in College
Adjusting to college life can be a challenge. It’s often the first time that many young adults get the chance to make their own rules. There’s the freedom to choose all your own meals at the cafeteria and snack on whatever you want in the dorms. Plus, there’s no one requiring you to stay active in high school P.E. classes. But it’s not just freshmen that are concerned about the “Freshman 15.” Keeping fit can be difficult for any seasoned college student, especially when you add in the busy class schedules, social activities, part-time jobs, and late night study sessions. Fortunately, staying healthy doesn’t have to be hard if you commit yourself to it. Here are 10 tips to help you stay fit in college.
1. Schedule Your Time – The students who make a plan are much likelier to succeed than those who simply say they will try to make time for exercise. College life can be hectic, so fitting in your workout as if it were a class you need to be at will make it much easier. Once you have your class schedule in place, you can plan out your days and make better use of your time. If you sit down and work it out, you may find you have a long break between classes near the fitness center where you can get in your workout.
2. Use the Campus – College campuses are perfectly designed for cardio workouts. Walking or biking to class will add activity to your day, especially if you have time to take the long way. That’s another reason why planning ahead will come in handy. There are many ways to fit in cardio, even if you’re not headed to class.
3. Head to the Fitness Center – Many colleges have a fitness center that is either free for student use, or the rate is reduced. This is a perk that won’t last after graduation. So, if you have access to fitness equipment, you might as well take advantage of it.
4. Take a Class – Your school may offer fitness classes that you can receive credit for. This will keep you from giving into excuses. Even a nutrition class would be a smart idea.
5. Multitask – If you’re short on time but have a lot of reading to do for a class, take your book to the fitness center. Hop on a treadmill or bike and study at the same time. You can pass the time on a machine while you review your notes. 6. Join a Team – Intramural sports are a great way to get exercise without getting bored. It can take the place of the exercise you may have been getting from your high school sport, and it’s great for socializing.
7. Form Your Own Club - Look for others who have shared interests and may want to join something like a running or biking club, for example. Working out with others will help you stay committed, and it will give you an opportunity to meet new people. You can check bulletin boards or put up flyers to find others that may want to join you. Even if you only wind up working out with one other person from your dorm, it can give you the edge you need to stay focused.
8. Maintain Balance - Be sure you’re making time for cardio and strength training. With all the walking you may be doing around campus, it’s important to make sure you’re incorporating strength training into your routine.
9. Get the Right Tools -Put together your own mini home gym for your dorm or apartment. There are plenty of small fitness items that don’t take up much space but can give you a full workout, while still staying within the tight budget of a college student. Resistance bands, weighted fitness balls, jump ropes, yoga mats, or a small pair of dumbbells, are some examples of portable, space-saving pieces. They can be taken outdoors or used inside if the weather doesn’t cooperate.
10. Eat and Sleep Well – In order to stay fit, you should try to eat right and get enough sleep. This isn’t always easy in college, but it can be done if you make the effort.
Making fitness a priority while away at school is not only important for keeping off the unwanted Freshman 15, but it will allow you to succeed in other areas. It can help you manage stress, improve your mind for your classes, and give you the energy you need to handle your schedule. If you make an effort to stay healthy, you’ll have an easier time, overall, at handling college life!