How do I exercise at University?

For the majority of students, exercise is the last thing on their minds. While P.E is compulsory at school, there is no one at university telling you that you need to be active and do sport or exercise. So, it’s all down to personal motivation!

 I don’t have time!…I don’t have the money!…I’m too tired to exercise!..I’ve got too much else to do! Sound familiar?….

Parties, alcohol, junk food, late nights, early lectures, work load – all influence health and at the end of the day, it’s all about priorities. I understand that to some people their health isn’t a priority – whether this is intentional or not! Obviously considering the career I want to go into to – health is a major priority for me and I really want to try and influence that in others. I will mention that exercise is something I enjoy which is obviously a big bonus when motivation is low and when other factors like time restraints come into play.

I’ve put together a few tips just from things that have helped me – but again, I’ll mention that for me exercise is a priority so it may be easier said than done but doesn’t mean it isn’t possible to fit health, work and play into your uni life! Believe me, many people are doing it, it’s just finding what works best for you!

  1. JOIN SPORT SOCIETIES – This is a great way to stay active, make friends and stay social throughout the year. If your uni is anything like my uni there are tons of different ones to try out, sometimes they can be costly but many offer taster sessions so you can be sure it’s something you’re going to enjoy before you invest!
  2. LOCAL GYM/UNI GYM – If Sport isn’t necessarily your thing (I get this, I’m not sporty and felt quite intimidated by the thought of joining a society where everyone else would probably already know what they were doing) join the gym! I’m lucky that I had at least 4 different gyms to choose from in the area, all varying in price, size and distance. Personally, I didn’t go for the cheapest option but the option I felt most comfortable with – meaning, it’s small and not very busy compared to commercial gyms. There will be plenty other gym newbies around so maybe team up with someone or a group and go together, motivate each other! Gym’s offer inductions and one on one sessions and most of them have group classes as well so even if you don’t want to use the equipment you could find a class you love! Too pricey?
  3. GET OUT THERE! – If the thought of a gym is too nerve wracking or too expensive right now there are SO MANY alternatives! Walking, Running, Home workouts in your flat! I can’t stress enough that to stay relatively healthy you don’t need to be lifting incredibly heavy weights and running 6 miles a day, something as simple as a walk is beneficial especially if you don’t exercise already. In my city there is a really steep hill which me and my friend often walk up in the evening because it’s a bit of a challenge and gets your heart pumping. There are also tons of youtube videos and online sources that can give you body weight workouts you can do in your room.

Here are a few to get you started:

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  1. ROUTINE – It can be hard sustaining a routine at uni, timetable changes, spontaneous days out and parties etc. But establishing some sort of routine to your day or week will be really beneficial. Some people prefer working out really early, some really late, some don’t care! Whatever suits you, set a period of time aside 3 times a week and make sure you know what you’re going to be doing – gym, run, walk, home workout – everything is better if you know when and how you’re going to do it! You’ll feel super accomplished when you stick to it.
  2. GOALS – Similar to number 4, establishing a few goals you want to reach will be a great motivator! Try not to focus your goals on aesthetics. Goals such as running without stopping for 10 minutes, working out 3 times a week, being able to do a push up or improving flexibility are much healthier than ‘I want to fit into this dress’ or ‘I want to see my Abs’.
  3. START NOW – Doing something is better than doing nothing! At the end of the day it’s all about finding something fun to do that gets you sweating and gets your heart racing! Your future self will thank you for it!

I hope this is kind of helpful to somebody! Let me know!!

B

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