4. Work in a Circuit
“I have an awkward time break between classes,” says Danielle, a freshman at Baylor, “I usually jog for about 30 minutes during that time but I always wonder if I’m really working out enough.” It’s great to squeeze in some exercise whenever you have free time. But, if you’re looking for more, there are plenty of ways to maximize the time you have to get a great overall workout.
The Trick: Small exercise circuits. “(Where I work), many of our clients have busy and important work schedules to maintain and stay on top of, so efficiency is critical.” says Dan Ellis, a trainer and coach from EFT Sports Performance in the Chicago area, “Grouping 3-4 exercises together in a small circuit not only allows you to get your heart rate going, it allows you to better use your time to exercise one area of your body while another recovers. For example, a 4-exercise circuit might consist of exercise for upper body, lower body, core, and a related functional stretch. Two to three of these circuits per workout will allow you to get more work done in the same amount of time, instead of sitting around resting in between sets.” For ideas on where to start with circuit training, click here.
5. Get Pumped Up
Here are several little things you can do to personally push yourself. Make your setting and mindset workout-friendly before you even begin. You’ll be much more likely to go back to it day after day.
- If the gym you go to has a television and you find yourself watching “Friends” re-runs everyday, it’s time to kick it up a notch. If you usually listen to your favorite acoustic playlist, it might be best to save that for your walk to class. Instead, aim for pump-up music like hip-hop or rock. The faster tempo will motivate you to move faster with the beat.
- If it’s a beautiful day and you’re sick of being in the library, TAKE ADVANTAGE OF IT! Find a local park you haven’t been to, or a neighborhood with beautiful old houses and then get to it! The new scenery will make a jog or biking trip more enjoyable and getting away from the norm will help your mental health too.
- Don’t limit yourself to the treadmill or elliptical. Many schools have basketball/volleyball courts or swimming pools open to students. Adding variety to your workout equals a greater chance that you’re working out parts of your body that usually get less attention.
- Get a workout without an actual workout. Ankle and wrist weights start at about $19 for a pair at Amazon.com. Strap them on when you’re walking to class, at work, or just lounging around home. The added resistance will make a difference!
There you have it, collegiettes! The most important thing to remember is this: exercising is great for your short-term appearance, but also vital to your long-term health. It’s difficult to fit it in sometimes, but it isn’t difficult to make the time you have count. Take full advantage of these tips and rock it out! If you can find a way to have fun while you do it (or even look forward to it), even better!