It’s August and soon many of you will be going off to University. Yes university is the land of all nighters, endless studying and the best parties. A deadly combination to your fitness life!
You become great at making excuses as to why you can’t workout “ I have a test in two days”, “ I’d feel guilty if I went and spent an hour working out when I have all this work to do”, “I should just take a nap to feel more refreshed”, “ There’s this party I really don't want to miss out on..Fomo”.
But we all know that you’ll manage to waste time during your day anyway and going to the gym for an hour is feasible, if not everyday a few days a week.
So here are my tips on how to stay fit during your university years:
Set realistic healthy fitness goals: What do you want to do? Lose weight? Build muscle? Start with a realistic plan over a realistic time-frame.
Working out should be a positive addition to your day not something you dread: Don’t think of it as something that’s taking time away from studying or socialising, but more as a fun and re-energising activity.
If you are really tight on time schedule short workouts a few times a week: The minimum amount of exercise recommend is 30minutes 3 times a week. If you can do that then that’s already better than nothing! (I know you can). Even if you do 10-15 minutes of super-intense workouts (e.g. sprints) then that’s a great start.
Make it a date: Think of it as a date with yourself (where you make your fat cry), or a class that you need to attend (just without the stress of a class). Write it down on your planner!
Join a team at University: If you are into team sports then join a team and watch yourself pile up activity hours while loving it!
Workout anywhere: Master body weight exercises that you can do anywhere (lunges, side lunges, squats, push-ups, planks (variations), rope jumping) or use the outdoors or your campus to get a good workout (stairs, park, etc)
Re-energise with a workout: Most students resort to coffee when puling an all nighter, but my trick used to be that I would get off my desk walk around, do push-ups, squats, or burpees. Great study break and it gets your blood pumping so you feel all fresh again. And you can do it as many times as needed without feeling jittery.
Don’t skip a workout: If you’ve scheduled one and feel like you can’t fit it, then just go anyway and do a shorter one.
Find a buddy: Having a workout partner is wonderful (if you can manage to not talk all the way through the workout). When you make plans with someone else to workout you feel 10x more guilty to bail and you enjoy the workout much more as well as pushing yourself more.
Be nice to yourself: After all you are going to be overwhelmed at some points during University (finals) and even though I think this is when you should workout the most, it’s okay to fall off the wagon and just focus on your studies for a week. Just get back on it as soon as possible.
Happy Healthy Living,