Getting in shape boosts your health, self-confidence, and even your studies!
When you are a student, it can be hard to find time to exercise. Between attending your classes, doing your homework, and studying for tests, there isn’t a lot of down time. If you have family and household responsibilities too, there’s almost no time left!
But in order to stay healthy, exercise needs to be a fundamental part of your life, just like eating and sleeping well. Regular exercise can improve your heart health, blood pressure, cholesterol level, weight, and your body mass index (BMI). It can also have a positive impact on your mood, your self-esteem, and your ability to concentrate.
The Department of Health and Human Services recommends 2.5 hours of moderate-intensity aerobic exercise or 1.25 hours of high-intensity aerobic activity each week. They also recommend 2 or more days of muscle-strengthening exercises. So, how do you fit this into your week? Here are some tips that may help:
Tip 1: Exercise before you do anything else
When it comes to exercise, many people procrastinate. If you keeping saying “I’ll get around to it later,” the day can slip away before you know it. Many students who are successful at sticking to their exercise routines do it by exercising in the morning. If they exercise before school, they can cross this task off their list and get on with their day. Exercising in the morning can also brighten your mood and increase your energy level for the coming day.
Tip 2: Join a team
If you are at college, career training school, or other training program, there may be opportunities for intermural sports teams. If your school does not offer these programs, look in your community. Recreation centers may have opportunities for soccer, volleyball, or other team sports. Joining a team sport can help motivate you, because you will want to be there for your team. Many people find exercising as part of a team sport to be more fun than exercising alone.
Tip 3: Schedule exercise into your calendar
Whether you like to work out in the morning, afternoon, or evening, it will help to schedule your exercise into your calendar. You can write it into your calendar as a standing appointment, just like any other commitment. By scheduling it in writing, you might be more likely to stick with it.
Tip 4: Keep on moving
Too many of us lead sedentary lifestyles, even if we exercise regularly. Many of us drive to school, sit at desks during class, study on the couch at home, and then watch television shows. Long periods of being sedentary can undo some of the health benefits you gained by working out. Instead, make an effort to move your body more throughout the day. Tips include:
- Park farther way from your destination
- Take the stairs instead of the elevator
- For a study break, take a walk instead of getting a snack
- If you watch TV, be sure to get up, stretch and move around during commercials
- If you spend long hours at a desk, see if a standing desk attachment would work for you
- Walk or bike to school if possible
Tip 5: Make exercise enjoyable
Exercise doesn’t have to be something you dread. It can be a time to de-stress and rejuvenate. You just have to find the exercise that works best for you. Here are some ways that people make exercise into an enjoyable activity that they look forward to every day.
- Exercise with a friend. Whether it’s weight-lifting, going for a run, or just taking a walk, it always goes faster if you have a friend with you.
- Listen to music. Exercising is a great time to put on your headphones and enjoy your music. Faster-paced music can also boost your energy.
- Take a fitness class at the gym. Most gyms offer aerobic classes led by personal fitness instructors. These classes are usually offered at the same time every day, so it’s easy to block the time into your schedule and treat it like an appointment.
- Play fitness games. Some video game programs are made to give the users a workout. Try one of these games, and give it your all!
- Try a fitness app. Some people are inspired to new levels of exercise by fitness trackers like FitBit. If you think this would motivate you, why don’t you try it?
These tips were provided by the American College for Medical Careers, located in Orlando, Florida. Our weekly blog provides school tips, health advice, and career development suggestions for our student body. Learn more about our college today.