When heading to college for the first time, people are often nervous and excited; excited about making new friends, exploring a new place, finally having a say in what they want to study, and nervous about all of the above. However, one subject that people often forget when considering the major challenges they’ll face when going to college is how hard it can be to stay healthy and fit while staying on top of academics and making time to spend with friends. While the gym might be just a few minutes walk away on campus, it can be surprisingly hard to find the motivation to put on your activewear and go. Maintaining a healthy diet can also be a struggle with wonky class schedules and dining halls that really only make good burgers and fries. So, here are a few tips and tricks to help you stay active and fit through even the most arduous quarters:
1. Schedule Your Gym Sessions Like You Do Your Classes
College students often feel overwhelmed with the amount of assignments they receive and the effort it takes to be involved in extracurriculars on campus. One way to overcome this feeling is to schedule in your workout sessions like you would your classes using a planner or calendar app. By scheduling them in, you’ll give your fitness routine more structure and be less likely to skip a workout you committed to ahead of time. Planning out your workout schedule beforehand can also give you time to choose what type of workout you’d like to do on a particular day. Often, people go to the gym without an idea of what exercises they want to do, inevitably leading to a less productive workout. Planning ahead can help you on your way in your fitness journey and make you feel much more accomplished when you can look back at all the workout sessions you’ve already completed.
1. Find a Gym Buddy!
Let’s be honest; going to the gym isn’t always that fun, especially on days when you’re not feeling particularly motivated. By finding someone you enjoy hanging out with who also has a passion for fitness, going to the gym will become less of a necessary evil and more of an opportunity to stay active and hang out with a friend. Sometimes having someone there to sweat through it with you is all you need! Also, you don’t have to have a gym buddy before you do your first workout. The gym can be a great place to meet new people who have a similar interest in fitness. Who knows, maybe you’ll meet a great new friend!
1. Be Creative In the Dining Hall
In addition to the struggle of going to the gym, one of the hardest parts of staying healthy in college is making healthy choices when it comes to food. In college dining halls and restaurants, often most of the items on the menu won’t be particularly healthy, if not altogether disastrous for your new healthy lifestyle. To avoid negating the calories you just burned at the gym, it’s important to make smart decisions about what you put into your body as well. Often, dining halls will have a limited number of healthy options, but don’t be discouraged! Pay close attention to what healthy options exist and then creatively combine and reinterpret them to make delicious and nutritious meals.
My name is Elli Cooney and I am originally from Oregon. I am currently a sophomore at Santa Clara University studying Public Health Administration and Policy. I am the president of the leadership council within my residence hall and also work at the front desk as a desk assistant. In my free time, I love to read, go to the gym, and hang out with friends.