Workout Wednesday: Establishing a Semester Fitness Routine

Congratulations! You’ve made it through the first week of classes! By now you’re probably starting to get yourself settled into a new semester routine! I know that I always appreciate consistency in my busy weekly routine each semester. I tend to eat lunch at the same time, in the same place every Tuesday or eat dinner with the same people every Thursday. It makes my weeks feel like they flow more smoothly and by being a creature of habit, I at least know that I have time for everything because I’ve mentally scheduled it all in.

I also like to make myself a weekly workout schedule to make sure that I’m working out consistently and taking care of myself! I try out a few group fitness classes during the first couple of weeks of the semester, then pick my favorite classes that work with my schedule, and from there I make myself a personal weekly fitness routine that I can follow, more or less, throughout the entire semester!

Because this semester has just started, I’m still working on figuring out what routine I’ll like this spring. Instead, I’ll share my fitness routine that I really enjoyed last semester with the help of Campus Rec group fitness classes!

Mondays: No convenient time for any group fitness classes. I wrapped up the day with a 30-40 minute workout from when I got home for the evening. Training Time videos on Campus Rec’s YouTube channel ( are great resources for at home workouts, too!

Tuesday: Alternate weeks between Absolution with Annie from 6:25-6:45 pm or yoga with Emily from 7-8 pm, depending on my schedule

Wednesday: Day off? More like spend all evening on my feet at work, but still, no scheduled exercise.

Thursday: Kick n’ Sculpt with Mia from 12:15-1 pm. I love Mia’s energy, getting my workout in earlier in the day, and trying to convince friends to ditch their other favorite group fitness classes to come jump around at Kick n’ Sculpt with me!

Friday and Saturday: My choice! Let’s be honest: some weeks, Friday afternoon free time was devoted to napping instead of exercise. If the weather was pretty, I liked to go for a walk or jog on a nearby trail. If not, I turned back to my trusty friend,, and didn’t even have to leave the house!

Sunday: A true day off!

And there you have it! My semester exercise routine was simple, flexible, and I actually enjoyed it because I planned it myself around my class and work schedule. Some weeks, I was busy or just plain tired, so I only picked three days to work out. Other weeks, I was rested, less stressed, and had enough energy to work out on four or five days! I just took it one day at a time, but I liked knowing that I had several good opportunities to be active that I really enjoyed every week!

Whether you’re just beginning to exercise regularly or you’ve been doing it for quite a while now, you can make your own weekly workout routine this semester! Here are my quick tips for getting started:

  1. Decide what setting you like for exercising. Do you like group fitness, exercising by yourself with cardio equipment and music, the gym, the great outdoors or all of the above? Incorporate your favorites into your routine and remember to account for possible bad weather.
  2. When do you like to work out? You may like mornings, late at night, afternoons, or just whenever you can make time in your busy schedule!
  3. Choose how many days you want to try to work out every week!
  4. If you like group fitness classes, try out several to see which are your favorites, or alternate which class you go to each week if more than one class is offered at the same time.
  5. Do you prefer to have a friend to work out with you? Coordinate your schedules and meet up on campus!
  6. Are you a little obsessed with some show on Netflix right now? Bring your phone or iPad with you to the gym and choose the elliptical or stationary bike to exercise while still watching that favorite show.
  7. Listen to your body! Making a “schedule” or “routine” doesn’t mean that you have to follow it exactly, every single week, no matter how exhausted or sore you are. If you stayed up too late studying the night before or your legs are so sore from yesterday’s workout that you’re waddling around campus, just go ahead and take the day off!

If you’re a beginning exerciser, realize that creating an exercise plan for yourself doesn’t need to be stressful, intimidating, or over-the-top! You don’t have to jump right into lifting weights or exercising for an hour at a time when you’re just getting started! Even if you already exercise regularly, having a routine can make it easier and can keep you from having stagnant weeks.

Campus Rec’s repeating weekly schedule of group fitness classes galore has helped make exercising fun and has helped me to have several active days every single week! Check out the Spring 2016 Schedule (subject to change slightly as everyone settles into the semester) and plan to make this semester active and healthy with Campus Recreation!


Workout Wednesday blog posts are written by UNC Campus Recreation. Each Wednesday we swap blog posts with the Tar Heel Tone Up blog so that readers can view more diverse post topics that will benefit their health and wellness. Workout Wednesday blog posts can be found both here and on