Each January, many students make resolutions to exercise more frequently – but by the time the fall rolls around, they ditch the workouts and go back to hibernation mode. With classes underway, parties getting started and extracurricular activities picking up again, what college student has time to work out?
These exercise tips for college students offer some fun workout ideas that will help motivate you to stay in shape all year round.
1. Run with a buddy.
Running is still one of the best workouts as far as getting your heart pumping and your muscles working. But it can be insanely boring.
To combat the boredom, get a group of friends together to go running. You’ll motivate each other and it will make the workout more fun. Running with friends is also a great way for college students to relieve stress and get their minds off of classes or exams.
Tip: running hills and stairs can help target some otherwise untouched muscle areas. Mix up your workout by having a relay race – with your friends cheering you on from the top of the hill, the burn won’t be so bad!
If you have bad knees, try a cycling group instead – it’s easier on the joints.
2. Play a sport.
Another exercise option that will get you moving and socializing simultaneously, playing sports is a great way to have fun while staying fit. Intramural sports are the perfect workout for college students because they are pressure-free and just for fun.
From ultimate Frisbee to Quidditch, most colleges offer a wide variety of intramurals for students to choose from. You can organize your own team with friends or go as a “free agent” and join another team that’s short on members. This is also a great way to meet new people!
3. Hit the playground.
Playgrounds aren’t just for kids. You’d be surprised how much use adults can get out of playground equipment when it comes to getting exercise and staying in shape.
Those little kiddie steps? Great for doing squat jumps. The monkey bars? See how many pull-ups you can manage. The swings? Sit and lean back with your legs straight out in front of you so that you feel it in your abs – then do some reps of scissor kicks. You should be able to feel the burn!
4. Take a swim.
Swimming is a great full-body workout, and the fact that you’re wearing your bathing suit constantly is good motivation to stay in shape. It’s also easy on your joints, so this is a good exercise option for college students who might otherwise be limited in pursuits involving running.
5. Get a gym membership.
There’s nothing like being around a bunch of already-fit college students to motivate you to stick with your workout routine and get your own butt in shape. Splurging on a gym membership (or maybe getting your parents to help foot the bill as a birthday gift) is worth it. The key is to find a gym that offers what you want, so that you will actually go.
If you are mostly interested in exercise classes, audit some of their offerings and see if you like what they have. If the promise of a relaxing sauna after a workout is the only thing that gets you on the treadmill (that’s the case for me) then make sure you get a gym that has a sauna.
Exercising as a college student doesn’t have to be torture – it’s all about finding the workouts that you like to do and figuring out what motivates you. Combined with a healthy diet, a good exercise routine will help you ward off the Freshman 15 and stay in shape, no matter what the season.