How To Stay Active During College
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Health and Wellness

How To Stay Active During College

Being a college student, it's important to stay active. Here are a few ideas to get moving!

How To Stay Active During College

Working out… wait I’m losing your interest already? Or perhaps you break into a mild sweat just thinking about physically exerting your body. Don’t tune out quite yet. I totally understand the reasons most people shy away from a good, sweaty workout, but bear with me. I find that reasons to workout considerably outweigh (pun intended) the consequences of remaining stagnant.

I’ll be the first to admit that upon arriving at college, I thought it would be easy to habitually make healthy decisions regarding exercise and food, just like I had at home. Well, here’s the truth – it’s not. The first week before classes actually started, I was keeping up on my exercise regime and was quite proud of myself. Then, college actually started; homework was assigned, early morning classes were in full swing, and commitments were piling up. I got lost in a spinning vortex of things to do and just neglected to stay active. About a month in, I was feeling so stressed and overwhelmed and decided that it was probably in part due to my inactivity. My body was yearning for movement, for a sweaty workout, for pounding my stresses out on the pavement. So, I decided to not deprive it any longer.

It’s altogether too easy to turn our backs on staying active nowadays. Especially as a college student, it can seem less of a hassle to do homework or socialize than to workout. However, I find that when I carve thirty minutes to an hour out of my busy schedule to work up a sweat, it actually increases my productivity for the rest of my day. Additionally, it gives me a renewed sense of self-efficacy; I feel as though when I put in the work, I can accomplish everything on my to-do list rather than just doing the bare minimum. Working out also helps me manage my time better. When I’m busier, I have to utilize every ounce of time I’m granted, so I don’t waste nearly as much time as I would otherwise.

Now that I’ve given you a few reasons why you should make time to get active, here are a few ideas for actually going out and elevating your heart rate:

  1. Go on a morning run around campus. There’s nothing quite like the crisp, autumn, morning air or the serenity of a quiet campus to start your day off right.
  2. Check out all the exercise classes offered at ISU. My favorite ones are deep yoga, Cy-cycle, boot camp, and core strengthening.
  3. Have some time between your afternoon classes? Tie up those running shoes and take a run to Iowa State’s Cross Country course right across from the towers. Don’t fret, you don’t need to be a long distance runner to work out here. I typically like to do fast paced half mile laps and throw in some ab workouts between each lap. Or try some hill sprints, there’s plenty of killer hills on the course.
  4. Late at night but you haven’t squeezed a workout in yet? Grab a friend and go on a night run to Jack Trice Stadium. Sometimes the cool night air is exactly what you need to relieve any stress you may be feeling.
  5. Up for an afternoon trip? Head over to Ledges State Park. There are so many stairs and trails, it’s almost impossible to not do a high-intensity interval (HIIT) workout here. HIIT workouts are great, because you go as a hard as you can for a little bit, and then take a small break for your heart rate to recover. Then you continue to test your heart by doing, even more, intervals. HIIT workouts burn a lot of calories and are ideal for people trying to get into better shape. Not only is Ledges a great place to work out, it’s also a great place to take in beautiful sights with your friends.
  6. Too hot/cold to do anything outside? Try a Pinterest workout in your own room. There are so many workout ideas on Pinterest. It’s so easy to tailor a workout that meets your goals and fitness level. Try an ab workout, butt workout, or a circuit workout!
  7. Just want to get out of your dorm room for a little bit? Check out the awesome rock wall at State Gym. Climbing a rock wall is not only physically exhausting, but also requires some mental exertion. Climbing can be a great break from a long homework assignment or studying for an upcoming exam. This one is a great way to get to the gym with a group of friends.

These are just a few ideas to help you stay active. Remember, it’s important to start somewhere. Also, physically exerting yourself isn’t meant to be comfortable, BUT the endorphins afterward make it worth it every time.

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This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.

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