Alright, for all you kids heading off to school within the next week or two (yikes), this one’s for you. We all dread it—the freshman fifteen and each subsequent year’s upsetting weight gain. It’s hard, you know?
Adjusting to a crazy schedule of classes, homework, a job, and friends—it’s a ridiculously stressful balancing act, how the heck are we supposed to fit in working out on top of all of that? Won’t it make us even more exhausted???
Fun fact: Energy is improved through exercise as you strengthen your circulation and heart muscle AND endorphins are released which promote positive feelings throughout the body.
Okay, so now that we have that out of the way, let’s tackle this whole “I don’t have enough time for energy” debacle.
First things first, invest in a planner if you haven’t already.
This will be your Bible. Plan everything out! Classes, homework, meetings, workouts, you name it—write it down!
Start each week by looking at your planner and scheduling a time at least three days during the week to exercise.
Treat this the same way you would treat an appointment with a professor—don’t miss it, hold yourself accountable.
I personally prefer to start my day with going to the gym for two reasons: 1) I feel completely energized and refreshed to kick butt all day long, and 2) the gym is a lot less crowded during that time.
Here’s a tip: On exam days, do your best to wake up early and get to the gym early in the morning because studies have actually shown that exercise enhances your memory, creativity, and alertness which will are shown to help improve test scores!
More often than not, colleges also have a schedule of workout classes that range from Zumba to spinning to boot camp to yoga—whatever type of pace you need for your body!
Print out a copy of the schedule online and hang it on your fridge, near your desk, anywhere that you see each day.
Highlight classes you’re interested in and substitute your self-designed workouts in the gym for a fun alternative, or it can be used in addition to your workouts if you’re feeling ambitious!
Find a workout buddy to go with you.
Not only do they hold you accountable for going to the gym because they’re relying on you, but it’s also a great way to bond and help push each other further and see better results.
But we all know that there’s more to health than just working out.
You have to eat the right foods to see and feel the results.
Trust me, I know the struggle. You walk into the dining hall and all your guilty pleasures are right before your ices: French fries, pizza, ice cream and desserts. It’s so much more easily accessible than when your parents cook you meals every night that are at least somewhat healthy.
However, you no longer have mom forcing you to finish your Brussel sprouts. You are in complete control and the temptation is so real when it’s all laid out right in front of you.
Now, I’m not saying to cut out those things all together (although you really should), because we’re all human and we have cravings and there is no possible way someone can give up ice cream FOREVER.
How to Make it Work: There is a way to manage it. Limit yourself to one or two nights a week. Use it as a reward for finishing a big paper, or acing an exam, or even to celebrate the weekend.
Another horrible habit of mine is stress eating. Give me a full night’s worth of studying and a bag of potato chips and you won’t see a crumb left in the bag. There is a way to overcome it though. The first way is to not eat the chips, which let’s be realistic, is certainly not an option.
How to Make it Work: We can limit ourselves to just a serving instead of all 7 that are in the bag. Or even better, how about tortilla chips and guac? YUM, I’m in.
It’s all about balance, you’re only human and you’re going to indulge and you’re going to fall off the wagon more than once.
Trust me, I’ve been there—I’m still there. But if you take it one day at a time, put in the adequate amount of preparation and planning then you’ll be all set.
You’ve got this, now go kick some butt.
Fitness Friday Guru