Let’s be honest: When you are in school, it’s hard to balance academics, social life, extra-curricular activities and possibly a job. Are you having that fitness goal you have always wanted to reach on top of all that in the back of your mind? Knowing that it will never happen with the hectic schedule?
- Get to Know Your Student Gym
College gyms can be intimidating when you walk in with all the equipment and the ripped girls and guys that know exactly what they are doing. Go to your customer service and find out if there is a week where classes are free so you can try out different ways of working out. A lot of bigger schools offer the first week of the semester free to promote their fitness classes ran by students. It is an easy way to find something who you love without having to create your own fitness plan.
- 21 day habit
It takes 21 days to create a habit. If you want to change something in your diet or physical fitness, [target]21 days to create the habit. If you want to cut bagels out of your diet don’t eat them for 21 days. Another example: If you want to go to the gym 5 times a week, start off with going every day for 21 days whether you are there for 30 minutes or 2 hours.
- Do the easy things: drinking water, avoiding extra sugar, etc.
When it comes to your body, 80 percent is what you put in your body and 20 percent is physical fitness. You may not be able to see immediate results with fitness, but you can see and feel immediate results if you just do the easy things throughout the day. Drinking 4-5 glasses of water a day will help with your digestive system. Once you create this healthier lifestyle you will start to see changes in your body, mood, and digestive system that will make you a lot happier throughout the day.
- Find time in your day to exercise
If you are choosing to reach a fitness goal, you have to keep a steady schedule. Getting your heart rate up at least once a day will at least keep you going with your goal instead of just allowing yourself to skip the whole gym day.
- Take the stairs!
A lot of college campuses have elevators in the common buildings. Making the decision to take the stairs (even just to that one class at the beginning of the term) is still regular physical activity. It may not seem like it’s a big deal, but it’s a BIG deal.
- Invest in a FitBit or an Apple Watch to set goals for yourself
Tracking your gym time and treks around campus is really important because it can keep you motivated to stay constant throughout the week. FitBit sets a 10,000 step count per day and sometimes you reach above that goal and gives you that extra confidence boost you needed to end the day.
- Cut one thing out of your diet that isn’t good for you
We all have our guilty pleasures that we need in our life when we are stressed out or just in need of something constant aka our comfort food. Choosing one of these items and cutting it out of your diet can really make a difference in your health. The most common thing people cut out of their diets are soda, breads, and candy.
- Cut back on the crazy alcohol drinks
College drinking is inevitable in many student’s social lives. One thing that can kill your liver and your gut is drinking sugary drinks. Most colleges have overpriced specialty drinks at their local bar that is a must. Most convenient stores carry cheap alcohol that is the worst for you such as Limearitas, Four Loko’s, MadDogs etc. The amount of sugar in those drinks can add up to the amount of sugar in more than a meal and a half for each. Sticking to clear liquor with sparkling water is a healthier alternative if you feel you can’t cut alcohol out completely.
- Eat your greens!
There is no question than many college students are strapped for cash. They stick to Top Ramen and microwavable dinners to save a little bit of extra cash. Looking into meal prepping can help your wallet and your health because buying greens in bulk is surprisingly less expensive than people think.
- Mental health is important
Rewarding yourself is one of the most important rules throughout your fitness journey. Rewarding yourself doesn’t mean getting a pint of ice cream on the weekends for going to the gym all week. It means that you treat yourself to something that you love such as a new top you were too self-conscious to get, a pair of shoes you were dying to get, or that one thing you wanted just around the house. You have finally reached your goal and it should be acknowledged and celebrated whether it took you a week to get to or 3 months.
Of course there are many more things that you can do to kick start your fitness journey. Doing even four or five of these tips can make a difference. If you want it, go after it. Don’t wait until a new month has started—or a new year—because there is no time limit on success and you shouldn’t wait around for what you want. You have a goal in mind: Why waste time? Start it now!