When you’re in the middle of life at college, it can sometimes feel a little like exercise is the lowest priority. After all, there are so many other things to take into account. From ensuring that you turn in your papers on time to keeping up with all the social goings-on in your dorm or elsewhere on campus, getting fit might be the least of your worries.
However, exercise is essential if you’re going to make the most of your college experience. If you don’t make some time for it, then you might find yourself becoming sluggish or even unwell – and this can have a knock-on effect on college life. With most universities offering a wide range of sporting activities, you’ll be able to pair up health-focused exercise with fun social time and use it as a way to make friends. Here’s how to achieve these goals.
Plan your days
Let’s face it, student life is a bit busy at times, and it’s not uncommon to find yourself feeling overwhelmed, tired out and more. However, on the flip side, it’s often the case that there’s nobody on your back to push you to organize your day – especially if you study a subject that has a low number of contact hours. As a result, you may find yourself getting out of bed at 12pm despite having a huge range of tasks to complete!
Fitting exercise into this schedule can seem like an impossible task, but with a bit of tweaking, it’s possible to plan better. This doesn’t mean that you necessarily have to get up super-early. Even shifting back your wake-up time by two hours or so can create slots for both a workout and quick assignment completion tasks, and can give you more energy in the remaining hours of the day.
Sign up to a club
Colleges pride themselves on the diversity of the extracurricular activities they offer, and many colleges actively encourage students to find their niche and get involved. Club membership often revolves around sport, and there are many options. From soccer to ice hockey, it’s wise to try out a number of different sports as a freshman and then make your mind up from there.
The advantage of using this approach to fitness is that you’ll be able to make friends as well, and this will keep you incentivized to continue attending. While there are many nationally famous college sports teams that compete under the glare of the spotlight, don’t let that put you off. Colleges have teams for all abilities and commitment levels, so you won’t be expected to become the next Johnny Manziel if you join!
Get the right items
Whether you choose to go for a team fitness game such as soccer or a solitary fitness pursuit such as joining a gym, it’s important to be sure that you have the right items on hand. If you don’t invest in the right gear upfront, then you may soon find yourself in a position where you’re risking your health in order to play – which defeats the point of increasing your fitness.
Most athletes, for example, would do well to invest in some compression clothing, as compression clothes increase blood flow and defend against swelling. Learning more about the fitness clothing brand Tommie Copper will let you make an informed choice about a well-respected supplier, while researching the sport you plan to play is also wise. The exact items you need could change depending on the sport you choose: gum shields, for example, are pretty much essential in American football.
Watch your diet
Exercise is, of course, just one of the keys to better fitness levels, and diet also matters. Many colleges offer catered living facilities that can provide your every mealtime need – and while this may seem great at first, it’s easy to lose sight of nutrition. By ensuring that you have a calorie deficit (that you burn off more calories through exercise than you consume, in other words), you’ll quickly be able to enjoy some treats in the cafeteria while also remaining in shape.
Life as a student is fun and exciting, and many students come to the view that there’s no point wasting these precious experiences on exercising too much. However, it’s important to get a good balance – and that’s where making time for fitness comes in. By monitoring your calorie intake, planning your days better, and combining exercise with social time, you’ll be able to create an exercise plan that really does work for you.