Staying fit as a college student can be challenging and tough— often times, their classes, clubs, exams, projects, and papers tend to dominate all the time they have. While it can be challenging to find the time to stay fit, it all comes down to learning to balance your school work and your well-being.
One simple way to begin your fitness journey is by going to the gym. However, for some students, it’s not that simple. A busy schedule can prevent you from getting up and going to the fitness center, but the gym is a great way to relieve all the stress you may be feeling.
Briana Vazques-Torres, a sophomore chemistry student, said, “It’s tough to try and find time to go workout due to my busy schedule. I try to go early in the morning or late at night when I know I am less busy.”
However, running on the treadmill isn’t the only way you can stay fit during your college days. Walking to class is a great strategy to help burn calories, improve muscle tone, and reduce stress. For commuters, try to park farther away from the buildings to try to get those steps in. Another simple method is to avoid using elevators and take the stairs instead.
Additionally, try to incorporate some daily exercise routines that you can even do from the comfort of your dorm. You can choose from squats, lunges, high-knees, push-ups, planks, and much more. For some of these exercises you can even use the furniture around you, and Monmouth even offers in person fitness classes like yoga or “Abs, Legs, and Butt”.
Brooke McChesney, a freshman criminal justice student, said, “I’m still trying to figure out how to stay in shape and juggle college. You have to make time for it and fit it into your schedule. If you can’t, then go outside for a walk.”
One important factor to staying fit is avoiding unhealthy eating habits, as it can affect your mood and mindset. Candy, cookies, pizza, or chips sound a lot better to indulge, yet they are not exactly good for you. Eating junk foods with moderation is okay, but it’s always best to have trail mix, granola bars or fruit. These dense nutrient foods will provide the energy you need to tackle your day.
When it comes to healthy eating, Tim Rehmn, Director of Strength and Condition, recommends that a balanced diet should include carbohydrates, protein and fat. Rehm said, “Something I preach is to eat the colors of the rainbow when it comes to vegetables, less junk food, and more grilled chicken, steak, and pasta.”
Try to also avoid stress eating, as it can lead you to turn to unhealthy foods for comfort. Rather, try to go for a walk, discover a new hobby to distract yourself, or talk to a friend to help relieve that stress.
Staying motivated is a barrier that many students face when trying to stay fit. Having a fitness buddy can help boost your motivation and help you stick to your routine. A friend can help keep you accountable and can act as a support system to help you stay on track.
Rehm posed the question: “How will you perform well in school when your body isn’t performing well?”
He also noted the role social media plays when it comes to staying fit, as it can spread great amounts of misinformation about this topic.
If you miss a day of going to the gym or have a cheat meal, it’s not the end of the world—just don’t let it become a routine. Staying fit doesn’t have to feel like another task you have to check off your to-do list, but rather think of it as something you should be doing to maintain a healthy lifestyle.