Fitting in Fitness
Working out shouldn’t be dreaded, nor should it be thought of as an impossible task that only varsity athletes, personal trainers or fitness experts can do. With the appropriate support system, incorporating daily physical activity into your schedule can be achieved.
Why should you work out? First of all, it’s good for you – but what does that even mean? There are the obvious physical benefits, including good cardiovascular health, strengthening of muscles and bones, but there’s so much more than that. Exercising is a major contributor to the maintenance of mental health, in that it signals the brain to release endorphins (aka happy hormones). These hormones can reduce feelings of pain, stress, and anxiety.
Exercising regularly increases your productivity levels by increasing energy and blood-flow to the brain. While it is sometimes difficult to balance school with other commitments, your healthy habits should not be left behind only to be revived come summertime. The healthiest version of yourself is the best version, which means you’ll be able to produce your best work.
Physical activity can be fun if you choose which activity suits you. There’s a never-ending list of options. The goal is to get your heart rate up and to give yourself a bit of a challenge. If you don’t have time to go to the gym, there are sneaky ways to incorporate physical activity within your daily routine. For example, you can take the stairs instead of the elevator, walk or bike to campus, or decide to fill up your water bottle at a further water station. Try and schedule in a few times a week to participate in something a little higher in intensity.
By actively logging these time blocks into your calendar, you are more likely to follow through with your fitness plans. When planning out your physical activity routine, refer to the S.M.A.R.T goal criteria:
S – Specific | M – Measurable | A – Achievable | R – Realistic | T – Timely
Creating a smart fitness goal will make it easier for you to complete your activities. Additionally, actively logging in these time blocks for physical activity into your calendar will make it easier for you to follow through with your plans. When planning on including physical activity into your routine, start by defining your goals (think, why do I want to do this?), deciding on your activity (consider, what do I like to do?) and do it so that it works with your schedule. Think of fitness as a way of celebrating you!
If there are any pre-existing illnesses or injuries that you may be dealing with or if you’re looking for some advice on where to start, feel free to book an appointment at the Student Wellness Centre and talk to a health care professional or check out the Pulse for Personal Training options!