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Earn Your Beach Body in 5 mins…The Study Break Workout!

As midterms are rapidly approaching at Baldwin, creating time for fitness is becoming more and more of a challenge. With Spring Break right around the corner and midterms running right behind; how can you focus on that dream bod you’ve been wanting?

Who says you have to decide between a workout and studying? 

Short interval workouts with minimal breaks between exercises will increase your heart rate. Even better, your body will continue to burn extra calories for up to 30 minutes after you complete the workout! By raising your heart rate, you also increase your body’s internal temperature, allowing for extra calories to be burned until you return to your normal temperature and heart rate (which takes several minutes). To get you started, here is a quick five minute full body workout to keep you on track with your fitness goals during midterms! 

Items you need:​ A stopwatch or timer, textbooks, and a book bag. 

Important: Do not take a break between exercises unless specified.

Step 1: Jog in place for 30 seconds Jogging will increase your heart rate quickly to get your body into fat burning mode! This will set the stage to burn fat for the remainder of the workout and up to 30 minutes after. 

Step 2: Crunches for 30 seconds Can’t keep your feet on the ground? No problem! Place your bookbag or heavy textbook on top of your feet. Lay on your back with your legs bent, feet flat on the ground, and your arms crossed. Squeeze your abs to move the top half of your body slightly upward into a curl position. Hold the position for one count, exhale, and release. Complete the crunches for 30 seconds at a consistent pace, ensuring to squeeze your abs and exhale at the top of the crunch each time.  

Alexa’s Challenge: ​Hold a textbook to your chest for more resistance!

Tip: ​These are NOT sit-ups so you do not need to sit all the way up. Make sure you are getting a good contraction in your abs, exhale, and then release. 

Step 3: Squats for 30 seconds Stand up straight with your feet apart, placing all your weight in your heels. Make sure your stance is firm and comfortable. Start standing tall, then and bend as low as possible, keeping your back straight and your chest up. Hold your squat for one second at the bottom, exhale, and release back to the initial standing position, making sure to squeeze the butt muscles at the top.

Alexa’s Challenge: ​Put your backpack on your back or hold a text book to your chest! 

Tip: ​Can’t get as low as you think you should? No problem! Only go as far as what is comfortable for you, but make sure you still feel your muscles working. 

Step Four: Arm Circles for two sets of 15 seconds to perfect this exercise, think of doing windmills with your arms, but much smaller. Extend your arms outward sideways and stand up straight. Create little circles with your arms in a forward motion for 15 seconds, then in the reverse direction for 15 seconds.

Alexa’s Challenge: ​Put some weight in your hands to feel the burn!

Tip: ​Don’t forget to breathe! 

Step 5: Standing Oblique Crunches for two set of 15 seconds Stand up straight with your feet comfortably apart. Place one hand behind your head or on your hip, the other down to your side. Bend sideways in the direction of the downward arm, crunching your obliques. Once you are as far to the side as you can comfortably go, hold for one count while keeping your obliques tight, exhale, and release back to the initial standing position. Repeat the same exercise to the same side for 15 seconds, then crunch to the opposite side for 15 seconds.

Alexa’s Challenge: ​Hold your book bag with your downward arm for extra resistance! 

Step 6: Take a 60 second breather/water break. This break is essential to keep you hydrated and healthy. Make sure to take lots of deep breaths.

Step 7: Repeat steps 1-5. You’re almost there! Only 2:30 minutes left of exercises to go! If you want to push yourself to the next level, try taking one of Alexa’s Challenges!

YOU DID IT! :) How about that for a productive study break? 


I am a Marketing and Communications major at Mary Baldwin University. I am also a sales associate at GNC. Over the course of two years, I have lost nearly 90 lbs through hard work and dedication. Through my journey, I have developed a true passion for healthy lifestyles. I am excited to share my knowledge and love for fitness with the MBU campus community.
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