It’s almost the end of second semester. Summer is right around the corner and soon, the stress of finals will be way behind you. But these next few weeks will be incredibly stressful due to professors cramming ridiculous last-minute projects, exams, and papers into your already busy schedule.
It’s really difficult to get into the grind of working out when you’re already spending the majority of your time studying in the library. Although hitting the gym is incredibly important when it comes to a healthy lifestyle, there are also other aspects of fitness that you can add to your life without adding too much extra stress.
Here are 10 ways to get yourself feeling fit and healthy before summer.
1. Drinking A LOT of water throughout the day.
Water is incredibly important for your body. Staying hydrated is a key component of your health. It’s often overlooked and forgotten but one of the easiest ways to get your body to feel a little healthier. Something that I found helpful was timing my water intake each day. For me, I try to finish at least one bottle of water during each class during the day.
2. Write out what you’re going to eat the night before.
If you’re anything like me when stressed out, your appetite becomes suppressed and it's really difficult for you to even finish one meal. For others, they may find comfort in stress eating when cramming for that big biology exam.
What I found to be useful was looking up my school’s dining hall menu the night before and writing out what I plan to eat for the next day. This helps with making sure you’re eating a healthy amount of food for your diet while also making sure you get the nutrients and fuel you need for a healthier lifestyle.
3. Get those ZZZ's in.
Sleep is one the most important aspects of health and fitness. I cannot stress this enough! Studies show that there is a positive link between obesity and sleep deprivation. Lack of sleep creates a lack of energy which makes you feel sluggish and exhausted.
Sleep is like the restart button for your body. When you’re getting 7 or fewer hours of sleep, your body isn’t able to keep up with daily activities, let alone exercise.
Like water, stretching and being flexible is often ignored when it comes to health and fitness. For years, I ignored how important this factor is, but stretching is so beneficial to your muscles, joints, and bones. It can be as easy as waking up 10 minutes earlier and stretching right when you get out of bed and 10 minutes right before you get into bed at night. It’s a great way to feel a little stronger and like you did something great for your body.
5. Don't go for that third scoop.
I know this one is really hard. Sugar is amazing and evil all at the same time. It’s just so easy to let go of your self-control when you’re sitting in the dining hall with all your friends eating ice cream topped with cookie dough and chocolate sauce.
I can ever say no to ice cream, so this is where portion control comes into play. I’m not saying you have to totally cut sugar out of your diet (but I applaud the people strong enough to do this), but maybe just cut back a little. Instead of going for three scoops, maybe try for one or two. It’s that simple.
6. Buy that new workout outfit.
Whenever I splurge a little on a new outfit or sneakers for working out, I’m eager to show them off at the gym. This is a great way to motivate yourself to go to the gym and feel great about your body.
7. Take the long way.
Just getting a few extra steps each day can add to your fitness. It’s as easy as taking a longer route to walk to class, library, or dining hall. Instead of taking the elevator, just take the stairs. It really doesn’t take much effort and it’s a little way to keep your health in check.
8. Try a HIIT workout.
A high-intensity interval training (HIIT) workout is a great way to burn fat in a short amount of time. It can be less than 20 minutes and makes you feel like your body really accomplished something great. Basically, a HIIT workout is a high-intensity cardio and strength based workout that burns fat quickly and increases your metabolism. You can try these 5 different HIIT workouts for something quick and new.
9. Make time for that workout class you love.
Sometimes this may seem impossible when you're trying to study for four to five different classes. But, I promise that you will not regret treating your body to a workout class you absolutely love. Sometimes, you may feel like you waste too much time at the gym walking around and trying to figure out what to do because someone took the weights/machine you were planning on using. By doing a group class, you're guaranteed to get the perfect workout in within 45 minutes to an hour.
10. Fiber is your best friend.
Fiber is one of the most important parts of a diet. It keeps your body full and ready to take on the day. Try incorporating fiber in each meal that you eat, even if it's just swapping plain pasta for whole wheat pasta or adding beans to your sala. It's so easy to add it into your diet and is surprisingly in a lot of foods that you probably already eat daily.