Hacking the College Body

Exercise

In the transition from high school the Freshman 14 is caused by “changes in eating habits, living environment, and daily physical activity, and possibly increased alcohol intake” Exercise prevents weight gain, improves mental functioning, extends human lifespan, and improves overall happiness and well being. Despite this, a lot of us find it difficult to make exercise a priority. Good news! This is an easy fix. It won’t take much extra time, and the benefits will be unbelievable.

Exercise in College is Difficult

College students and time go together like water and oil. We’re constantly being pulled in multiple directions from all the new experiences our independence from parental guidance brings. 3-7 hours of school each day, study time, parties, clubs, research, and jobs give us plenty of reason to not make time for exercise.

Benefits of Exercise in College

Exercise makes every aspect of college easier. Students who exercise in college have higher grades. The calories burned and muscle gained lets us drink more at parties (with a side benefit of having a more attractive appearance). Exercise also decreases stress, so you can worry less, and enjoy these years more.

Time is Made, Not Found

After talking with graduate students who I meet around campus, and “real” adults I meet during my internships, I’ve found that everyone agrees you only get busier as time goes by. That being said, now is the perfect time to start building habits that will provide significant value to your life.  Dr Stephen Covey, in his novel, 7 Habits of Highly Effective People: Habit 1,says to be proactive, not reactive. You will never find more time in your life, you must be proactive and make time.

Accountability Partner

One of the benefits of college life is the density of people in the same, or similar, situation as you. Unlike the rest of the world, college is filled with 18-20’somethings without any major commitments or responsibilities. Developing the habit of exercise is hard, even if you’re excited to start now, I guarantee you there will be days when exercise will be the last thing you’ll want to do (eg. hangovers). Finding a friend to keep you accountable to exercise on a regular basis not only improves your chances of sticking with it, but they’re free! (please message me if your friends are not free, we need to have a talk).

Free Resources your School Probably Provides

Your university wants you to stay healthy! They know that healthy students improves the quality of its graduates. As a result, they provide lots of free resources to make sure your large tuition checks are going to good use. There are tons of options, and each school has different ones, so let me list off a few I’ve used and seen at the Ohio State University: Clubs (running, dancing, kayaking, rock climbing), yoga classes, fitness boot camps, weight loss programs, and some even offer free personal training.

Time-Crunched

I’m a nerd, and my type-A personality often leads me to schedule 25 hours each day. Rather than set aside 1-2 hours, I often do short, 5-10 minute workouts throughout the day. These include push ups, squats, russian twists, mountain climbers, and yoga. I use technology as my accountability partner and personal trainer. If you have an Amazon Alexa -enabled device, download My Workouts. You’ll be surprised how effective 2-3 breaks for exercise can improve your mood and keep your finals cram session going strong

Start Today

Literally right now, stop reading this and do a push up. To quote one of my favorite authors, Tim Ferriss, “Alleviating that performance anxiety… allows you to overshoot that goal, continually succeed, and sort of build that confidence and momentum” Don’t set high goals for yourself yet, just doing one push up at start of your day can set yourself up to build healthier habits, and will keep you from getting burned out. College students are great at hacking life, how have you hacked your college body?

Posted by sweetAdmin

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