Staying on top of a gym routine is never easy, especially when you’re in school. You have tons of classes and assignments filling up your time, so most of your down time ends up being spent relaxing or going out with your friends – the gym is often an afterthought.
The gym is a great place to get fit, but it can be challenging as well. First, campus gyms can be intimidating for some. At peak times, campus gyms tend to be overcrowded – you end up spending more time waiting for a machine than you do actually working out. Plus, just because you went to the gym doesn’t mean you’ll actually be productive. You might end up spending most of your time sitting on your phone because you’re not feeling it.
No one wants to pack on extra pounds while they’re away at school. If you’re lacking the motivation or feeling like you don’t have time to squeeze in a quick sweat, fear not – we have some solutions.
1. Don’t go to the gym
To clarify, when we say “don’t go to the gym,” we don’t mean don’t work out. You can still get a killer workout in without heading to the campus gym! There are tons of videos available online with at-home workouts that will get your heart pumping. You can do most at-home workouts without any weights or you can invest in 3 to 5 lbs. dumbbells for an added burn. This is a great option if you’re short on time or don’t have the motivation to head to the campus gym.
2. Get outside!
It’s easy to be active without hitting the campus gym. Go for a walk or a run – just 20 minutes is enough. This is a great option if weightlifting or HIIT isn’t your thing. A simple walk or run has great health benefits, both mentally and physically. Do it with a friend for an extra mood-booster and quality time away from your devices.
3. Find a gym buddy.
If you like the idea of going to the gym, but find you keep bailing, get a friend to go with you. You’ll have someone to keep you accountable and you’ll feel 20 times worse if you bail. Not only does going with someone make the gym less intimidating, but it also gives you a great opportunity to try some partner workouts!
4. Join a class or sign up for intramural sports/activities
Most campus gyms offer fitness classes, including strength training, cycling or yoga. This is a great option, because you can pick classes that work well with your schedule and commit to hitting them every week. Classes are fun, and they’re a great way to meet new people or have a great outing with your BFFs!
5. Take the stairs
Sometimes, a full workout just isn’t in the cards, and there’s nothing wrong with that. If this is the case for you, find small ways to be a little more active. Get those steps in and do your best to walk everywhere. More importantly, take the stairs! If you have elevators in your dorm or your campus buildings, do your best to avoid them. Most college buildings don’t have a ton of floors, so taking the stairs can be a quick, easy way to get a little exercise into your day. After all, the small things add up!
6. Meal prep
Let’s be honest, most of the time, the food you get on campus isn’t the healthiest. You can go to the gym as much as you want, but if you don’t eat properly, you’re still going to run into issues with your health and fitness goals.
Meal prepping has a reputation for being hard, but it can be super easy. Cook a few chicken breasts, lots of brown rice, and roast a bunch of veggies (broccoli, carrots, Brussels sprouts, peppers, etc.) and voila! Depending on how much you make, you can have enough for 4 to 5 meals. Portion it out into some Tupperware and you’re good to go.
While this might seem time consuming, you’ll be saving a lot of your precious time in the long run, especially when you sleep in and need to eat something quick later in the week!
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