College students may find it difficult to fit physical activity into a busy schedule of classes, homework, jobs, and family responsibilities. But given the benefits—such as fitness, camaraderie, and refreshment—it’s an essential element of their success and overall sense of well-being. Here are some tips for campus students to remain in shape:
Take advantage of every opportunity
Move as much as possible each day. Choose the stairs, rather than an escalator or elevator. Rather than driving to the store, walk. Bike to class. If you’ve been sitting for a long time, get up to stretch and walk. That said, don’t expect yourself to run marathons your first week out. Build up your level of activity, and soon you’ll see progress.
Choose an activity you like
Remember that exercise can take a variety of forms—from tennis to mountain climbing, karate to rowing—so find something you enjoy and go for it. When you like what you’re doing, you’ll be more likely to stay with it.
Mix up your workout schedule
Rotate your activities by season, or by day of the week. Run on Mondays; play soccer on Wednesdays. Take advantage of great weather by spending time hiking, swimming, or playing team sports outdoors; choose an indoor activity, like jazz dance, spinning, or indoor basketball, when the rain, snow, or cold makes it too difficult to exercise outside. The variety will keep your routine fresh and give you something to anticipate with eagerness.
Find exercise buddies
Just as study buddies support your goal to do well on a test or assignment, having a group of friends with whom you exercise can make the time both fun and rewarding. What’s more, if you know others are depending on you for that game of softball or flag football, you’ll be more likely to commit.
Join a gym with confidence
Though you may not feel you “fit in” at the gym, the key may be to choose the right gym for you. True, many gyms cater to the more athletic among us; but many others serve those with a variety of fitness levels and objectives. So, if you do want to join a gym, select a location that has an inspiring environment that offers the services that support your goals.
Be patient with yourself
No one expects you to run a marathon, cycle fifty miles, or drop twenty pounds within a week’s time. Celebrate your progress, and keep up your activity with the knowledge that you’ll be doing you health a favor. —CENGAGE