You want to be healthier and start exercising, but the idea of walking into a gym or putting on running shoes to actually run in them sounds miserable. I totally get where you’re coming from, and I’ll be the first to admit that I’ve owned way too many running shorts for someone who didn’t start working out until this year! It’s even tougher when you’re juggling a hefty schedule of classes, club meetings, study sessions, and a job—who has time to stop by the gym with all of that to worry about?? But the sooner you decide to do what’s best for yourself and start exercising on a regular basis, the quicker it’ll become normal and even fun to do!
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Change Up Your Daily Routines
You don’t have to start running 5K’s right away. Adding in exercise and healthy habits to your daily routine can make a huge difference in your overall fitness, and make the switch to regular workouts easier.
Related: How To Stay Healthy In College
Stretch or exercise while watching Netflix
Rather than sitting in bed and mindlessly snacking on chips while binge-watching your favorite series, prop your laptop on a chair or desk and exercise in between episodes. Bicycle crunches, sit-ups, jumping jacks, and squats are all great + short exercises to fit in. During the episodes, try stretching on a yoga mat, even if you sit in the same position for a few minutes! I use the Get Bendy and Get Split stretch guides from Elle Fit Active, which basically cost the same as two yoga classes but you only have to buy them once! You can use the discount code JESSICA10 for 10% off all of the stretching guides and bundles.
Take a gym class
Did you know you can get credit for working out? Depending on your school, you can even join a sport like tennis or swimming. Taking a gym class for credit will give you extra motivation to work out every week (gotta love that attendance grade!), and it blocks out a specific time of your day so you know you’ll be able to exercise without sacrificing study time. Just check your school’s course schedule to see what’s offered!
Carry a water bottle everywhere
Chugging a bottle of water right before your work out won’t do you any good. Make it a habit to bring a water bottle (my favorite is the Swell bottle) with you everywhere you go, and keep it filled up! You’ll be amazed at how much more water you drink just by having some with you, and the benefits of being hydrated are endless (clearer skin, heck yes).
Find Somewhere Convenient But Motivating To Work Out At
You don’t need a fancy exercise studio to get fit. Find somewhere close and easy to walk to so there’s no excuse about fitting in a workout!
The Campus Gym
Most colleges offer students free membership to the campus gym, so take advantage of that! Depending on where your dorm/apartment this is, you could be just a few minutes away from yours, making it easy to stop by before or after class. If you’re wanting to try out different types of exercise, this is your best bet because you’ll have access to tons of equipment and pros to ask any questions to.
This is also the place to try out exercise classes (if they’re offered at yours), which will be way cheaper than what you’d find off campus. You don’t have to commit to anything after the first class, so find out your gym’s schedule and try out a few different exercises! I loved yoga and barre, which were both great ways to work your entire body.
Your Dorm Room
If public gyms aren’t your thing, your dorm room can be the perfect personal one! I love searching Pinterest for ab, butt, and cardio workouts that you can do on a mat, meaning they don’t require a ton of room. You might want to check out YouTube too, especially if you have a hard time staying motivated when no one’s telling you what to do.
Find A Workout You Love
If the idea of exercise sounds miserable, there’s a good chance you just haven’t found a type you like. There’s so much more to exercise than running, lifting weights, and doing sit ups! Here are a few types you could try out:
Bring A Friend
Having someone to sweat and struggle with can completely change your workout game. You’ll be able to motivate each other and keep one another accountable, and it’ll be a lot less intimidating to walk into the gym with someone by your side. Challenge each other to see who can do more squats, or set a goal to run a 5K together at the end of the semester!
Ditch the treadmill if it’s not working out
Some people can run on a treadmill for an hour just listening to music while staring at the wall—I’m not one of them, and don’t think you have to be. Change up your running environment every once in a while by switching to the track or even heading outside. You might even find yourself running further than before now that you don’t have a screen telling you exactly how far you’ve gone!
Follow Fitness Accounts For Inspiration
If you’re like me and have a hard time believing you’ll actually see results someday, check out fitness Instagrammers like Tone It Up and Tanya Poppett. They’ll occasionally post before and after pics of their follower’s progress, which are hard to argue against! They also post quick workouts for you to try out, along with meal suggestions and product recommendations.
Towards the beginning of January, my boyfriend and I started workout out every day after class and haven’t stopped since. It hasn’t been long enough for me to see any physical progress, but I can say that it gets so much easier once you have a schedule in place and eventually working out will be a normal part of your day. There’s literally no reason to put off exercising any longer, so just go for it!
Did you have a tough time working out in college? I’d love to hear your suggestions or story!