By Angeliki Mavrantza
When your days are packed with classes, extracurriculars, studying, work, staying on top of your professional and personal responsibilities and socializing, exercise often goes to the back burner or gets removed from your to-do list altogether.
It’s normal to struggle to find time to exercise when you’re in college. However, busy times like these are when we need to exercise the most.
Exercise is a great way to release stress and disconnect from everyday worries. Research shows that physical activity can have a significant impact on your personal mindset, mood and well-being – as well as that of those around you.
Finding ways to incorporate exercise into your daily life, regardless of your individual athletic and/or physical goals, is important. It is one of the best investments you can make in your physical and mental well-being.
But with so much on your mind, how can you make fitness a priority?
- Plan ahead. If you know you’re busy, plan everything ahead. Make exercise part of your weekly schedule just like you do with class, meetings, etc. – and make sure you’re always prepared to execute your workout. Bringing a change of clothes with you and packing an extra snack are two easy ways to make sure you’re ready to follow through with your plan. You can also try renting a locker at your gym, and keeping your extra change of clothes and snacks there.
- Prioritize movement throughout your day. Make sure that you’re intentionally moving throughout the day. For example, park your car a little further and walk to class or work, or take the stairs instead of the elevator. These small changes can lead to an overall change in lifestyle and mindset when it comes to staying active.
- Make your routine a habit. Keep your workout schedule consistent. Setting habits takes time, but just like everything else, your workouts will become a habit the longer you stay consistent.
- Find the time that works best for you. Are you a morning person or a night owl? Take this into consideration when planning workouts. Selecting a time that you will enjoy the most allows you to associate your workouts with positive feelings.
- Try different forms of exercise. When it comes to staying motivated, some days can be more challenging than others. When that happens, try to make your workouts fun by adding some variety to your routine. I recommend trying a new fitness class at your gym, taking a walk, or incorporating new equipment into your program.
Making exercise a priority and keeping it fun is key!
The FIU Wellness and Recreation Center is a valuable, on-campus resource that you can utilize to increase your physical activity. For more information about the WRC’s programs and services, please contact [email protected]
Angeliki (Angie) Mavrantza is a certified personal trainer with a bachelor’s degree in public health and kinesiology from the University of Houston. She is currently finishing her master’s degree in exercise science and kinesiology with emphases in neuroscience and psychophysiology at FIU. Mavrantza works as the graduate assistant of fitness and wellness at the FIU Wellness and Recreation Center.