You can pretty much expect to get out of shape when you start University. That may make you happy or super annoyed. If it’s the latter for you, you’re trying everything you can think of to shed those extra pounds. Or prevent them from showing up.
Add in lockdown to the mix. It’s a recipe for what feels like the end of the world – in more ways than one. We get it.
What type of physical activities are you already doing daily?
It’s possible you haven’t fallen as far off the wagon as you think. You may be getting more physical activity during your busy schedule than you realize. We can figure this out together.
Are your chores getting you moving?
Health professionals recommend 30 minutes of exercise every day. But did you know that doing many household essentials is actually as effective as going for a run? Think about it. When you help your parents rake leaves, your arm is sore by the next day, right?
Repeated motions of vacuuming, mopping, or mulching provides similar results to lifting weights. Some chores are ideal for developing toned muscle. Clean your flat and do your workout at the same time. It’s a two for one.
Take an online class.
This is the 21st century. You can find everything online. Many gyms started offering online classes with a wide variety of workouts to choose from. Aerobics, yoga, pilates, stretching, and so much more.
Don’t forget about fitness apps and YouTube. There are many free resources at your disposal, so you don’t miss a beat. Check out the gym’s website to see what you like so you enjoy your routine. And of course, don’t forget about the old-fashioned DVDs. If that’s more your style, go for it.
Living in a flat makes it challenging to do cardio at home. Avoid making too much noise so your downstairs neighbours don’t want to throw you out of the building. Outside is not closed. Nature and parks are likely close by so take advantage of it.
Even going for a 30-minute walk while you listen to a lecture or catch up with mum is a great starting point. Try a little throwback. Use a jump rope or a hula hoop to get in a little extra movement.
Remind yourself to take a break.
Ok, this sounds counterintuitive. What we mean is take a break from sitting. Set a timer to go off every hour to remind yourself to get up and move. Stretch, do some jumping jacks, squats, walk to the coffee shop on the corner.
Something that gets the juices flowing again. Refocus after sitting through lectures or finish taking a rigorous exam. Breaks are a good addition to your daily routine. But remember to actually take your break. Don’t dismiss it!
It’s so easy to lose your hype for staying active when you are always at home. Switch things up so you look forward to doing something physical. Look for workout calendars online. It’s very simple. Search for your workout for the day, pick one, and “press play”.
Depending on what you enjoy doing, stretch or do resistance training while watching a show. Music is helpful in keeping you in the zone during a workout. Before you know it, you complete your training for the day.
Buddy up with your flatmate.
Get your roommate to be your workout buddy. When someone else is there to hold you accountable, it’s easier to stick to your routine. Plus, it’s a lot more enjoyable for you. This includes sharing chores.
Try doing something that you both enjoy. A dance type workout, like Zumba or playing soccer outside. You will both have fun together while working up a sweat.
What is calisthenics?
This is a form of exercise in which you use your body weight to train muscle groups. No equipment needed. It includes things like squats, planks, crunches, and pushups. You can do it anywhere, even if you have neighbours below.
Calisthenics improves posture and muscle strength. This is an ideal option if you are looking to do something at home and without extra equipment to get started. It’s even proven to increase respiratory muscle strength in people with COPD1.
Fat blasting cardio
Jumping jacks, hula hoop, or burpees are great options for indoor cardio. You don’t need expensive equipment. Ride your bike or walk to Uni instead of driving. Do that every day and you’ve got all the cardio you need.
Studies show that cardio helps lose weight and maintain brain function. Anything to help your brain perform is ideal for students. Dancing is often overlooked when it comes to exercise but it’s so effective. Many dance studios offer zoom classes at a lower rate. Or you can host a zoom dance party or play Just Dance.
Muscle lengthening Pilates
Improve your balance, flexibility, posture, and body strength at the same time. This type of workout has it all and doesn’t require long sessions for you to see and feel the results.
If you have lower back pain from the sitting you’ve been doing at home, Pilates can help improve your symptoms. This has become more and more popular. The internet is flooded with Pilates videos. Some videos might require equipment. Use other items around your flat as a substitute. Completely leave out accessories altogether. It’s up to you. You still feel strong afterward.
There are a variety of types of yoga. Many people practice it daily to improve flexibility and stay active. Think about what you want out of your workout routine. This helps you know where to start and what type of yoga would be best for you.
Are you looking to decrease back pain? Do you want to let go of stress and anxiety from school? Do you need to lift your winter blues? Look for the type of yoga targeted to help you get the specific results you desire.
Keep it fun.
Instead of thinking of how long you need to be active, think about aiming not to be inactive. They sound the same. But focusing on doing something for 10 minutes will go by a lot faster than planning a workout for an hour.
By “something”, we mean vacuuming with your AirPods in while you dance around your living room. Chances are, you will dance around and have so much fun, the time will fly by. You might even dance around longer than you intended.
Roll with the punches. Whatever is going on in your life, you do have control over how you take care of your health. It’s doesn’t have to be a long, drawn-out workout that you dread.
Fit things into your day that are quick and easy to stick to. Otherwise, you will put it off every day and it will never happen.
Just keep moving.