For Freshmen. By Freshmen.
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Jan 10 2018
by Anne Marie Yurik

7 Reasons Why Fitness Clubs are the Best Way to Stay in Shape in College

By Anne Marie Yurik - Jan 10 2018

Now that I have been at college for a little while, I have learned the power of the schedule. If I have a class penciled in or a meeting written down, it is ingrained in my memory as something that I have to do. However, when things are not set in stone and they can be managed and moved around, it is easier for me to blow them off.  Which is to say that it's easier for me to skip a workout when I write down "Workout Today" versus when it reads "Fitness Class: 6:30-7:30."

1. Support


Since arriving at Pitt, I have been constantly trying to get in workouts. I'm not sure whether it's a new drive to avoid the possibility of the Freshman 15 or the support of the girls in my fitness group. Nonetheless, the workouts with my fitness group are so much easier to go to. The girls in my group are so supportive. I never feel weak or out of place, even among some seriously fit girls.

2. Accountability


When you join a fitness group, it is in your planner and, at least for me, you feel a responsibility to go. I want to go because the people there know me and encourage me which is something that doesn't happen when I'm cycling my legs off by myself. There is something to be said about people who have enough self-motivation to workout on their own, but even if you are okay with that, turning it into a social thing can help you feel better. Being surrounded by the same group of people week after week and getting to know each other boost each other's spirits, and working out together is something amazing.

3. Relationships


The great thing about fitness groups is that it isn't all about sweating your butt off, it's about making friends and sweating your butt off. It's a way to get more excited about working out. Going to the gym always pays off afterward, but with a fitness group you want to go even before you have to convince yourself.

4. Trying New Workouts


Since joining a fitness group, I have tried things I never would have though of doing before. These workouts range from insanity workouts to Zumba to ROTC style workouts and so much more. I got a sampling of things that has made me more aware of what works and what doesn't for my fitness preferences.

5. Greater Self-respect


The more you workout, the more you realize what your body is capable of. This has allowed me to love my body even if I don't love the way it looks. Working out builds your confidence in a way that shows you that your muscles and bones and tendons can do nearly anything you want them to, and that's a powerful thing.

6. Better Study Habits


Working out takes time, and when you are a college student, every minute counts. Budgeting your time with all the extracurriculars and chores you need to do, means that when you need to be on the ball, you need to be focused. Working out helps you stay focused and sharp, and since I started working out more, I noticed that it helped me sleep better which makes everything else I have to do that much easier. 

7. Greater Respect for Others Who Workout 


My brother is a really big fan of working out, and until I got into it, I didn't really know why. I was confused as to how someone could like sweating and feeling gross all the time, but after working out more, I realized that you always feel better. Once I joined a fitness group, I was better able to relate to others and understand why fitness should be a priority.

To put it simply, a fitness group gives me the drive to go because it is written, set in stone, in my calendar and I feel that I must go. Also the girls give me more confidence than I can usually supply when working out alone. If you like meeting new people, having things scheduled and staying in shape in order to keep your stamina up, a fitness group is no doubt that way to go for your freshman year.

Lead Image Credit: Unsplash

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Anne Marie Yurik - University of Pittsburgh

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