Following a workout regime is tough to do alone. Gathering the motivation and setting the time to go to the gym or go for a run takes discipline. The college life, which consists of late night parties, part-time jobs, Greek life and classes, makes it really easy to create excuses as to why you can't set aside 2 to 3 hours of your week for a quick workout. It should be everyone's goal to fit in some sort of exercise because it can help youmanage college stress and even make you happier. However, it can be difficult to fit a chunk of spare time into your hectic schedule, which might require you to create a plan B and be a bit more creative. Below are a couple of alternative ways to get in your daily steps in and get your body moving.
1. Don't use ridesharing or food delivery apps.
Lyft, Uber or Facebook rideshare pages may be convenient for traveling long distances or getting home from a 2 a.m. college party. But if you're just going to run some errands or grabbing some takeout, don't take a car or postmates your meal. Instead, take the time to walk to your destination and make it fun by listening to a podcast, an audio book or FaceTime one of your friends. You'll get in some great content and quality friendship while also being productive and saving some money.
2. Walk to and from the grocery store.
Weekly grocery runs serve as a reminder that adulthood is not all what it seems. Instead of taking the bus or getting a ride to the grocery store, take the time to walk to your destination and carry your groceries back to your dorm or apartment. This way, you will guarantee that you will get your steps in at least once a week, while also doing some weight-lifting as well by carrying your groceries back home. On top of it all, you can buy yourself a cheap, healthy treat like an apple or an organic juice after your post-workout grocery run.
3. Join a hiking club.
On campus, there are tons of clubs that range from academics to health to media. There are also many active and outdoor-based clubs, such as rowing and hiking. So see if there is a hiking club on campus and bring a couple of friends along. If there is no hiking club on campus, make a google doc with your friends and list out a couple of hiking spots to visit before the end of the quarter or semester. Best of all, hiking photos look amazing on Instagram, so go all out and be the Instagram Influencer you deserve to be.
4. Take the stairs.
Elevators are a luxury when going to office hours on the fourth floor or to your dorm on the seventh. But you should try to make it your goal to take the stairs at least twice a week. Over time, the difficulty of climbing those stairs will fade, and you won't need to keep trying to hide how out of breath you are. Eventually, taking the stairs will become routine and you will not even realize that you started this habit forcefully. Furthermore, you will have a daily workout and have epic front leg calves.
5. Get a locker and a traveling gym bag.
If you want to be traditional and go to the gym, use the on-campus gym lockers that you can rent for a day or full semester. Go to your lecture in your workout attire and a jacket, then head over to the gym and use the lockers to hold your books or electronics. After, you can cover your sweaty outfit with your jacket and head straight home. If you're short on time, however, try packing on the night before, a small traveling bag that can hold up a rolled up t-shirt and leggings, with other items like workout face wash, dollar store flip flops or hair ties. After working out, you can use the towels and showers available at your gym to get ready for your next class or meeting. Luckily, the small traveling bag will not take up much space and save some time in your schedule but may require more preparation on your part.
6. Get a fitness app.
There are tons of applications that can quantify your daily workouts. You can use this to keep track of how many steps or stairs you've climbed with the "Health" app on your iPhone or you can get a Fitbit. Also, you can get apps like 30 Day Fitness Challenge or Sworkit: Workouts & Plans, which create short workouts that can be completed in small spaces like your dorm lounge or apartment full of roommates.
7. Take a physical education course.
Did you know that college also offers physical education courses, from karate to workout classes? You can take them on a pass/fail basis, but if you want an easy A and some extra units, you can take it for a letter grade. PE classes will force you to workout to the best of your ability, probably because you're getting graded. But the best part of all, you can make some workout pals that you can message next semester if you don't have room in your schedule for another PE course. Now you have an easy A, some graduation units and a workout buddy!
Hopefully, all of these suggestions help you become more active in your daily college routine and benefit your overall mental and physical health. As college students, we are always moving 100 miles an hour to balance many different aspects of their life. However, it is vital to allocate time to take care of yourself, because if your body and mind are at not at their best, that will affect your once-in-a-lifetime college experience.