Every summer I get into the best shape of my life. I have all those extra hours to devote to super structured workout plans; life is grand. Once classes begin and my Google calendar gradually becomes a multicolored depiction of the overcommitted college student, all that working-out momentum I build up over the long break tends to peter out, and exercise time gets squeezed out by other responsibilities. Does this sound like a familiar scenario? If you’re out there sadly nodding your head, there’s hope! Although you might not have time to do an entire P90X video, there are many great ways to incorporate exercise into your busy day.
- Turn your morning trip to school into your workout. Riding your bike to school will give you exercise, with the added benefit of turning time spent waiting at a bus stop into extra sleeping time.
- Power walk between classes. As always, beware of crooked bricks!
- Opt to take the stairs instead of the elevator. Walking up stairs raises your heart rate and strengthens your glutes, quads, and calf muscles. Jogging up stairs has a multiplicative effect on all of these benefits.
- Wake up early to workout. I wouldn’t suggest skipping any sleep, but if you can tweak your schedule to accommodate morning exercise, this is a great way to start the day. Try sleeping in your workout clothes if motivation is an issue.
- Workout at work or while you study. Give your brain a break while you put your body to work. Find one of the walking workstations on campus. Also, checkout this link for a whole host of office workout ideas.
- Sneak a workout in during your down time. Binge watching Orange is the New Black doesn’t have to be a static experience. Do some push up, sit ups, or squats while you watch.
- Set aside a specific time for working out and make it sacred. The best way to make sure the other colorful time blocks don’t squeeze out your exercise is to give it a colorful block of its own.
The ultimate goal is to get at least 30 minutes of moderate exercise 4 times a week. It doesn’t have to come all at once; you can break that time into segments as short as 10 minutes. Be sure to take advantage of technology as well. There are tons of smartphone apps designed to help you have a good workout in short period of time, such as Sworkit. Other great places to look are YouTube and Your Favorite Internet Search Engine. Your schedule might be trying to ruin your exercise aspirations, but with a little imagination, experimentation, and flexibility, you can still meet your personal fitness goals.