Have you heard of the freshman fifteen? Of course you have… it’s those 15 extra pounds you gain after starting college, eating freely at irregular times, and basically living on a diet that consists mostly of pizza and beer. Unless you’ve been on a fitness journey since high school, chances are you do not feel very comfortable hearing about gyms. In fact, you do not feel comfortable hearing about jeans either, since yours might feel a little too snug.
So what is a college student to do?
Here is a quick and easy list of tips and tricks that college students can use to improve their overall fitness, and of course the way they look.
1. Choosing the right one
It’s important that you start a training regimen that fits both your college schedule, and your lifestyle in general. Do you have classes in the morning? Exercise in the evening. Do you find it easier to motivate yourself in the first hours of the day? Then feel free to exercise in the morning- wake up an hour earlier if needed, and try to get in bed an hour earlier too. If at first you can’t fall asleep, try catching up on your reading list while in bed- I promise you the Sandman will visit you asap!
This is the first and foremost exercise that is usually recommended to people who are trying to get in shape (or back in shape, if that’s your case). Most college students usually go for this, and it has a lot of benefits. You should perform some sort of cardio exercises about 3-4 times a week, and if you can go between 30 minutes and 1 hour it would be excellent, and it would help you shed those first few pounds really fast.
Cardio burns calories, strengthens your heart and lungs, and helps your body use fat as fuel. You can do it outside if you want to try cycling or running, of even in your dorm room (jump ropes, mountain climbers, HIIT exercises, you name it!)
3. Strength training
Strength training maintains your muscle and helps you build even more. Now if you’re a girl and scared of getting bulky, fear not- when your muscles grow your metabolism gets accelerated, and that means you burn more fat by simply existing. That’s right, even as you sit there reading this article you could be burning more fat thanks to strength training. And what college student doesn’t want to shed fat by not doing much most of the time? You only need less than an hour of strength training, three times a week, to see results.
As a college student you can do this at the college gym using weights (start small and built your way up from there) or you can even do it in your dorm. Body weight exercises are a very good way of toning your body, and you can advance by doing more exercises in a row, or by changing the exercise variations so they become more difficult, if you feel like challenging yourself a bit more.
4. How to do it
Getting into an exercise routine is pretty tough for any college student, even for those who used to be fitness junkies but fell off the wagon. If you want to get into it- and stick to it- you need to get enough sleep, first of all. Poor sleep affects the insulin levels in your body, which means you lose less fat as you exercise.
Another tips for staying consistent and seeing results is to eat breakfast. It curbs your appetite for the rest of the day and it helps you have more energy if you want to work out in the morning.
College students, what tips do you use to stay fit?