How to Create an Amazing College Workout Routine

If you're like us, you may find working to be a very daunting task. Add in a busy class schedule, unhealthy campus food and trying to balance a social life, and you've got yourself a recipe for the Freshman 15. We have some tips to keep those New Year's resolutions and to create a college workout routine without breaking (or even touching) the bank and without losing any of your free time!

The first step to getting motivated to work out is changing your mindset. View working out as a positive way to relieve stress, or as a great way to take a study break, and you're more likely to stick with it. For me, music motivates me, so when I have a kick-a** new playlist, I can't wait to go for a run. For you, it might be wearing that brand new Greek shirt you just got or a new workout outfit! Another important tip is to work toward staying healthy, and that means eating and drinking the right things. This is extremely vital if you want to keep that beach bod intact. This includes:

  • Drinking lots of water every day (perhaps even more than the recommended 8 cups per day).
  • Not skipping breakfast, It starts your metabolism each day, so make it a healthy one!
  • Snacking often throughout the day on healthy foods like veggies and fruit.

Your diet is key to looking fit and healthy; in fact, it is the most important part! You will have more energy throughout the day and feel your best. Check out the exercise tips we have for you below.

1. Use your (free) resources on campus.

An awesome way to get exercise while in college is to use the resources you have at your disposal. If you have access to your university's stadium, make one of your weekly workouts to run the steps of the stadium. Many campuses also have great workout rooms available either for a small fee or for free, so take advantage of those as well.

2. Flex those abs and glutes.

A great way to fit in some workout exercises is simply to flex your abs or glutes for 30 seconds at a time while sitting in class. You can also do this when you're driving, walking to class - pretty much anywhere and everywhere. Come springtime, you'll be able to show off those abdominal and gluteal muscles and proudly wear a bathing suit.

3. Create a dorm college workout routine. Your dorm room or apartment is a great place to exercise. You can make it a roommate activity and enlist your built-in workout buddy. There are plenty of YouTube videos you can follow if you don't know what workout to do. You can find everything from yoga to High Intensity Interval Training, also known as HIIT, workouts online. If you want to go with the most budget-friendly option, YouTube and bodyweight exercises are the way to go. Bodyweight exercises are exercises you can do without any equipment; you can just use the weight of your body. Favorite exercises that get the job done include:
  • Planks (regular, and side planks)
  • Leg raises (work those abs!)
  • Lunges
  • Donkey kicks
  • Squats

You can do these anywhere, including dorm room halls, common rooms, outside with your friends, up on your dorm roof with a yoga mat. You get the idea. We highly suggest working out outside to get some fresh air, especially during finals time when you are cooped up inside almost all day! If you choose to include these bodyweight exercises in your weekly routine, make sure to do some type of cardio workout once or twice a week to get your heart rate up. Another option for a dorm college workout routine is to get some dumb bells, a jump rope and other workout equipment to use in your dorm or wherever. These equipment sets tend to be on the cheaper side, and they don't take up a lot of space (we all know how tiny dorm rooms can be). You can easily lift weights or jump rope (cardio, yay!) while watching Netflix.

4. Join intramural sports.

Intramural sports offer a great way to fit in a weekly workout routine, especially for those of us who are used to playing high school sports regularly. There are many intramural sports offered on campuses, including:

  • indoor/outdoor soccer
  • flag football
  • bowling
  • dodgeball
  • basketball
  • volleyball
  • swimming
  • gymnastics
  • indoor/outdoor track
  • lacrosse

You can form a team with your workout buddies or sign up independently. Who knows, you may find that you love participating in intramural sports and decide to play year-round! And incidentally, this is a great way to meet people.

5. Use the gym on campus.

If you have a gym membership included in your first year like I did, think of it as not wasting your money (who likes wasting money?). If you start the routine now, you will get in the habit of using the campus recreation center. Usually, the fee is not that high for students. I know we are all guilty of this scenario: telling ourselves we are going to the gym after class, going home and then sitting on the couch for "just a minute." Game over. Try to work out in the morning; it will be so much easier to get your butt out of bed once you establish your morning routine.

Not a morning person? Pack your bag for the gym and go immediately after class; do not pass go or go back to your dorm!

Find something to make yourself excited to go to the gym, like new music or the way your workout makes you feel afterwards. You can also enlist the help of a gym buddy, because it's so much easier to hold each other accountable to go to the gym. Read for class on the treadmill or bike, or find an interesting podcast to listen to. You will feel so productive; trust us!

6. Work out while studying.

This is multi-tasking at its finest. Take your books outside on the campus grass, and do some floor work while you read. Plank while you read that chapter in your biology book. It will make the time pass more quickly because you won't be focused on holding the plank for a certain amount of time. Any type of movement will burn calories, so dance it out while listening to your study music! Even fidgeting in class can burn extra calories, so tap your toes, shake your leg, roll your shoulders. You get the idea. You might also sit on a stability ball at your study desk, which puts your core to work. If you have access to the gym on campus, take your books to the rec center and read while on the treadmill. If you can read while also listening to music, I suggest something without words, but upbeat. This workout is great for students who have a full class load or feel like they don't have time to work out. This way, you are getting your homework done while getting a workout in. Get those endorphins going!

We hope you found some helpful tips in this article! Remember, even walking to class is an exercise, so give yourself some credit! You can keep those resolutions and will be looking your best.

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