Maintaining a Workout Routine in College

Ever since I can remember I haven’t stopped moving. I know that walking to class and going about your day entails moving around, but I am talking about playing a sport, physical activity. I grew up in a household where physical activity and playing sports was second nature. 

 

I was introduced to the game of soccer when I was two, and I later went on to swim team while also actively dancing from the age of 2 up until high school. In high school, I was a varsity athlete: I played volleyball, basketball, and lacrosse. Up until college, I was constantly active, I was never not active. After graduating from high school, I told myself a physical break for my body would be good before starting college. That break continued into the first semester of freshman year. Every now and then I went to the gym, but I wasn’t working out five days a week, let alone one day a week. The start of college was not what I had expected in terms of physical activity. 

 

                                               

 

The second semester of my freshman year started and suddenly, gears switched into place and I created a schedule for myself to get back into shape. Over the past 6 months, I had gained some weight and felt like crap, and overall, I didn’t feel like myself. During the four months of the second semester, I had gained a new appreciation for my body and its ability to get stronger. Throughout that semester, I definitely learned how to balance my workload, my social life, and my active lifestyle, it wasn’t easy, to say the least, but what I’ve learned is how important prioritization is to be able to enjoy the things you want to in life.

                                

 Fast Forward to junior year and I continue to stick with a routine that works for me. While the past couple of weeks have hit me like a train and I’ve been flooded with work from my classes, I’ve had to adapt and re-prioritize how I incorporate my workouts into my daily schedule. Over the course of three years, I learned that I don’t have to go to the gym just to get in “a good work-out." Freshman year I worked out in my dorm room with a yoga mat and my own bodyweight. I adapted given my schedule. Personally, I have found working out in the morning has not only gotten my blood flowing and I feel more awake, but it allows me to check it off my to-do list, leaving the rest of my day to focus on my classes, work, and friends. I still have days where I am just so so busy and need that extra hour of sleep, instead of working out and that’s okay. The most important take away I’ve learned from this experience of managing my personal workout routine in college is that balance is important, it's important to enjoy all aspects of your life. For me being active is an important part of who I am and I had to learn how to balance that with other aspects of my life. Some advice I would give to managing a workout routine in college is: 

  1. See what fits into your schedule, don’t create more stress for yourself by trying to find time in the day to work out and feeling that you have to work out. It's okay if some days you're busier than others. 

  2. A quick workout can be better than none. Some days I can be really busy and don’t have a good hour to dedicate to myself, so I squeeze in a quick 15-20 min workout. Even a little exercise is good for you and your body. 

  3. Rest. Give your body time to recuperate and recover. I tend to rest on the weekends and usually once during the middle of the week. It’s important for our bodies to take time to recover.