College life can be a whirlwind of thrilling experiences, full of independence, new friends, and exciting knowledge and challenges, but it’s important not to forget about your health and wellness. With all the demands on your time, finding the motivation to stay active and eat well can be hard.
Research shows that while the “freshman fifteen” may not be as common as previously thought, students can still gain a few pounds during their first year away from home. Students must find ways to stay active, reduce stress, and eat healthily to avoid these pitfalls.
As a college student, your days are jam-packed with classes, assignments, extracurricular activities, and even part-time jobs, leaving little time for anything else. Sticking to a fitness routine can be tough, especially when you’re juggling the demands of college life – from pulling all-nighters to chugging coffee to staying alert and facing the urge to snack when hunger strikes. But don’t worry; we’ve got your back.
Whether you’re a pro athlete or a couch potato, these 6 fun and creative ways can help you stay active, healthy, and happy. So, grab your gym bag, warm up, and let’s get started!
Why Keeping an Active Lifestyle is Important as a Student?
Let’s be honest; being a student can sometimes be stressful and overwhelming. It can be challenging to manage everything, from attending lectures and studying for exams to hanging out with friends. However, one thing that should always remain a priority is maintaining an active lifestyle.
It might seem like exercise is just another task to add to your already overflowing to-do list, but its benefits to your mental and physical health are immeasurable. These benefits include improved cardiovascular health, a healthy weight, strong bones and muscles, and reduced risk of developing chronic disease.
Recent research shows that college students who engage in regular physical activity have better grades, attendance, and cognitive performance. They are also more likely to show positive behaviours in the classroom, like participating in discussions and being on-task.
6 Fun and Creative Ways to Stay Active in College
Here are 6 fun and creative ways to stay active in college:
1. Walk to Class
Walking to class is one of the simplest and most effective ways to sneak physical activity into your daily routine. It provides an excellent workout for your heart and can also help tone your muscles and improve your posture and balance. Plus, it’s a mood booster too! Walking releases endorphins, which can reduce stress levels and help you feel happier overall.
Keeping track of your daily walking activity can be an exciting and motivating way to stay on top of your fitness goals. And what do you need to help you count your steps? A pedometer clipped to your waistband. The ultimate goal? Strive for at least 10,000 steps a day to get the maximum benefits.
2. Limit Sitting in Your Room
You can easily get caught up in your busy schedule and spend hours sitting in your room. But do you know a sedentary lifestyle can affect your health? There are simple and fun ways to reduce your sitting time and get moving:
- Hang out with friends: plan an outdoor activity with your friends, like hiking, biking, or playing a sport. This way, you’ll enjoy fresh air, exercise, and social interaction all at once.
- Get creative: try picking up a new hobby that requires physical activity, like painting, pottery, or knitting. It will keep your hands busy and get you off your screen and moving around.
- Take breaks from your sedentary time: if you have a desk job or spend a lot of time sitting, take breaks every hour to stand up, stretch, and move around. You could take a walk around the office or room or do some quick exercises like jumping jacks.
- Consider having a standing desk: these desks have become popular as they allow you to work while standing, reducing the amount of time you spend sitting down.
3. Cut Your Screen Time
Take regular breaks from screens, especially if you’re working or studying for long periods. You can stretch, move around or just relax your eyes to reduce eye strain and fatigue.
You can also replace some of your screen time with other activities you enjoy, such as reading a book, walking, or spending time with friends and family. This will not only reduce your screen time but also help you to maintain a healthy balance between technology and other aspects of your life.
4. Find a Fitness Class Package in College
Enrolling in fitness classes is an excellent way for college students to stay active and healthy. Many colleges offer discounted gym memberships or fitness class packages through their recreational sports department, making it affordable and accessible for students.
In addition, students can also explore online programs that offer reduced rates for various local fitness classes. This provides a wider range of options, such as aerobics, weight training, yoga, and more.
5. Try Dancing
It is an excellent exercise that is fun and great for your health. Dancing provides a full-body workout that can improve strength, flexibility, balance, and coordination. There are many dance styles, from hip-hop to ballroom and salsa to ballet.
College students can find dance classes at their university or in their local community or even use online tutorials to learn new dance moves at home.
6. Watch What You Eat
When you’re busy and stressed, it’s easy to grab unhealthy snacks, but they can leave you feeling sluggish. Instead, stock up on nutritious options like fruits, protein bars, yogurt, and cheese.
Drinking water and unsweetened tea can also help keep your calorie intake in check. Don’t skip meals or turn to food for comfort. Reach out to someone or engage in a productive activity instead.
The Bottom Line
Regular exercise is essential for both physical and mental health in college. It helps reduce stress and increase productivity, leading to a more fulfilling experience. Working out with a friend can make sticking to your routine more enjoyable and easier. It’s effortless to make friends in fitness classes, with a roommate, or someone with a similar schedule.
So why not give it a try?