Patricia: How to Juggle Exercise with College

It is 2:00 AM. You have an exam in two days and you have not started studying for it. At all. You have a binder full of notes and a textbook sitting in front of you but you just had two papers due and other homework assignments to complete. Sound familiar? Ladies and gents, welcome to college.

In the next day and a half, you will lock yourself in the most remote place known to man, hopefully be somewhat successful at not accessing social media, and wonder why you ever chose to take this ridiculous class in the first place. You’ll live on coffee and stress-eat because who has the time to prepare food anyways? Getting that A is more important. Doing well is more important. Memorizing all the facts is more important. 

At this point, anything and EVERYTHING is more important than eating healthy. The thought of exercising never even crosses your mind because you. Need. To. Study. 

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And this, my friends, is how the dreaded freshman 15 (or 50) happens. It is not only studying that becomes a priority but hanging out with friends, being involved in extracurricular activities, partying…. they are ALL priorities when you enter college. And the matter of the fact is, exercising and being healthy just slips into last place on the priority list. 

To be healthy, to WANT to be healthy, the only rule that matters is this: Your. Health. MUST. Be. A. Priority. 

Your body is what carries you through life. Your body stays with you. You health stays with you. You want to look fabulous and in-shape when you grow older? You must start prioritizing. Now. Fitness is not a fad or a short-term diet— fitness is a lifestyle. It is MY lifestyle and it will ALWAYS be my lifestyle. Here are 3 simple tips as to how YOU can stay fit and healthy throughout college: 

  1. Pencil exercise time into your calendar. I virtually live through my Google Calendar and if you take a look at it now, you’ll see 2 hours blocked off 3 times a week for “lifting." You don’t have to lift- go run, do yoga, or take a walk outside but remember to schedule it into your calendar. Make it a recurring event and schedule other events like studying and hanging out AROUND your gym time. That way, you have no excuse to miss a workout. 
  2. Do something you like. I cannot explain to you how many people tell me that they don’t exercise simply because they hate lifting or they hate running or they hate swimming….. why not do something you enjoy? Examples of “non-traditional" forms of exercise: rock-climbing, rowing, roller-blading, slack-lining. Try them all out and find what fits you the best. 
  3. Set goals for yourself. Want to do that awesome yoga pose that has been eluding you for months? How about running a mile 30 seconds faster than you had the month before? Make a goal list at the beginning of each month, cross off any goals you complete, and reward yourself for a job well done. 

I had to learn all of this the hard way but if I can do it, so can you. Best of luck on your fitness journeys and I hope that you’ll start marking up those calendars soon!