Whether you’re a QU freshman or upperclassman, staying healthy throughout college is tough. Between the burgers and chicken fingers at BYOB and the waffle irons always present at Rocky Top, it can sometimes be hard to make healthy decisions. And going to the gym seems like mission impossible when your warm is so warm and comfy.
But, there are ways to keep motivated, whether you’re just starting your health journey or have been working at it for a long time.
Here are a few tricks I used—and still use—to keep myself in check during the semester:
1. Set a goal for yourself.
Think about what you want to work toward, whether it’s toning up your body, losing some weight or just getting healthier overall. Give yourself a time frame—for example, “I want to lose 5 pounds by November 1.” You should also make sure your goals are realistic. To lose two pounds a week is a good goal, but to lose 25 pounds in a month is just not realistic.
2. Think about it.
Once you have your goal in mind, keep that goal in mind. Before you go to grab a burger or some pizza, think about it. Think about where you want to be one month or three months or a year from now and then make your decision.
3. Shop smart.
Most college students will make a trip to the grocery store at some point. While you’re there, it can be so tempting to buy all the junk food. First thing: never go shopping hungry. Eat something before you venture out so that while you’re shopping your mind can do the thinking instead of your stomach. While you’re shopping, engage your will power. Shop for fruits, vegetables and organic foods. Go down the health food aisle and find some stuff that interests you. If you get the chance, maybe even go to a strictly health food store and take a look around.
4. Get a buddy.
See if your roommates or friends will want to go on this health journey with you. Everything is easier when you do it with someone else. You can motivate each other to work out and eat healthily.
5. Gear up.
Before you even decide if you want to go to the gym or not, put on your gym clothes: sports bra, socks, sneakers and all. Once you are fully dressed, THEN make your decision. This usually works for me; once I’m dressed, it seems silly for me not to go work out.
6. Make a schedule.
Decide which days you want to go to the gym. I believe you should have at least one rest day. (Mine is Saturday.) So make a workout schedule for the other days. For example, on Monday’s I work out my legs. Tuesday’s I do my chest and arms and so on for the rest of the week.
7. Have a cheat day!
It’s really important to treat yourself from time to time. If you’re just starting out, it might be easier to have a cheat day once a week. Then you can work your way up to every other week, once a month, etc. Just remember, treat yourself once in a while! It’s like a reward.
8. Will power.
All of this really comes down to will power. If you tell yourself you can, then you can. (The same works for “can’t”! Beware of “can’t”!) Keep reminding yourself what you’re working towards. Use your willpower to trade in the burger for a salad. You can do it!
9. Have patience.
Remember, all of this takes TIME. You’re not going to reach your goal overnight. It takes time and patience and knowing that you will get there if you just keep working!
What are some tricks that you use to maintain a healthy lifestyle during the semester, and even after it’s over? Tweet us your best picks @hercampusqu!