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This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at UNH chapter.

As a high school athlete, it was a peculiar transition from doing intense exercise six days a week to being required to do no activity at all. Early on in freshman year, I knew I had to find workouts that kept me interested and in shape. Not only did the workouts keep me in shape physically, but I would argue they improved my mental health even more. No matter the type of workout, going out and getting active always brings me a sense of accomplishment, gives structure to my everyday life and creates opportunities to expand my social environment.  Over the last three years, I have experimented with numerous workouts that could fit others’ lifestyles or give rise to new ideas of activities you could incorporate.

No. 1 Weightlifting- Personally, I am not always in the mood to go and do a bunch of strenuous cardio. I often get bored running or doing the Stairmaster for long periods. This is when I started to incorporate weightlifting into my workouts. For ideas and to learn proper form, I watched a lot of YouTube videos. I focused on weightlifting I could do with free weights so I could do the workout at home, or if I was in a busy gym, I could find my own space to lift. UNH offers great beginner weight training classes for free for students!

No. 2 Cycling and Zumba- This is what I consider fun cardio. UNH also offers both cycling and Zumba classes for free! The classes are available at multiple times throughout the day, so it is easy to fit into your schedule. These are the types of classes I would take if I needed a big dose of motivation. Loud, energetic songs course through my ears the entire workout, while words of encouragement are projected by the instructor. 

No. 3 Finding a Studio- This depends on where you live, but if you spend a little bit of time searching you may find a hidden gem. For those who live in Durham, NH, The Local B studio could be a great place to try out various workouts, while being supported by motivational instructors. The con to an option like this is that it requires a monthly fee. Still, this con is completely overpowered because of the knowledge, motivation and accountability of getting a membership. I love that if I sign up for a class the day before, I’ll feel obligated to go the next day and cannot quit on myself. It is also incentivized to go because a fee of $10 is required if you do not show up for the class you signed up for. 

No. 4 Outdoor Walks/Runs- This is more enjoyable as the weather has become warmer, but it is always fun to get out with family or friends and explore nature. I like to sign up for local 5ks or walks. Setting goals for myself helps me stay a lot more committed to working out. A majority of the walks and runs are for charities, so it’s satisfying to know you can be helping out your community as well. 

No. 5 Intramural Sports- It can be tough transitioning from playing competitive sports with your teammates to not being a part of that community anymore. Intramurals at UNH help incorporate that aspect back into your life.  This is my personal favorite because it never feels like you are doing a chore of working out. After all, you are having so much fun with your friends. 

Hey everyone! I am currently a junior studying Health Sciences at UNH! My favorite hobbies include working out, painting, shopping, trying new things, and playing basketball.