During the summer months, health and fitness come naturally and staying in shape is no problem. There are plenty of fresh fruits and vegetables and fun fitness workouts to enjoy wherever you go. But once you’re back on a school schedule you may need some exercise ideas that will keep you motivated when you’re short on time.
Dance your butt off
The best kind of exercise is one where you don’t feel as you’re working out at all. That means stepping to the rhythm of a powerful beat. If you love to dance, you’ve got to try Zumba. This popular trend is popping up everywhere. You can join a class or buy a DVD and dance the night away at home yourself or with a friend.
In her May 10, 2011 post for SparkPeople.com titled, “All About Zumba Class,” Jennipher Walters explains the concept behind Zumba.
“Zumba Fitness is a Latin-inspired cardio-dance workout that uses music and choreographed steps to form a fitness party atmosphere. While many of the types of dance and music featured in the program are Latin American inspired, classes can also contain everything from jazz to African beats to country to hip-hop and pop,” Walters said.
Now there is even an app that will allow you to enjoy Zumba on your mobile device with pre-programmed classes that you can customize in 20 to 60 minute lengths.
Join the team
Fitness can be more fun when you’re part of a team. Need to blow off steam between study sessions? Grab a few friends and play a game of pickup basketball or pickup soccer.
Ryan Joyce put together a week’s routine for college students in his November 5, 2012 post for DYC Student Voices titled, “A Fitness Plan for Time-Crunched College Students.”
Joyce’s workout schedule blocks out 20 minutes a day for activities that include:
- weight lifting
- bike rides
Follow his plan and you’ll have invested a total of four hours and 40 minutes per week in fitness activities. Joyce asserts, “Find a way to make the above plan (or something close to it) a part of your lifestyle and within 1-2 months you WILL see and feel a difference.”
Think like a kid
Remember when fitness was fun? When you were a kid, you probably ran around like a goofball and didn’t even think of it as fitness! You just went outside and played with your friends. Bring back the fun of those childhood days with these fitness ideas.
Hula hoop: Start with a plain old hula hoop like you remember, then try moving to a weighted one! A weighted hula hoop can give you a more challenging workout. To make sure that the hoop is the right size for you follow the advice of Dr. Edward R. Laskowski. In his July 9, 2011 post for MayoClinic.com titled, “Do weighted hula hoops provide a good workout, or are they just a gimmick?” the doctor explains how to find your right size.
“The hoop should reach somewhere between your waist and chest when it’s resting vertically on the ground. The weight of the hoop is up to you. The smaller and lighter the hoop, the more energy it takes to keep the hoop going,” Dr. Laskowski explained.
Roller blades: The next time you’re stuck in traffic or are late for class think about how roller blades could help you get around campus and stay in shape at the same time. Unlike the heavy and clunky skates of your childhood, the modern version is lighter and performs better. Plus, they’re coming back into trend! Just make sure that you get the best size and fit. For details check out Steve Kopitz’s video on “Choosing the Right Recreational or Fitness Inline Skates” on YouTube.
Jump rope: Okay, so you have no budget, little time, and a small space for working out. Other than yoga what can you do? Jump rope, for starters. The workout is simplicity itself. Jump about two inches off the ground, land on the balls of your feet, and keep your elbows close to your sides. If managing the rope is too much for you then drop it and just keep your legs and arms going through the movements.
The Department of Health and Human Services recommends getting at least 150 minutes a week of moderate aerobic activity or 75 minutes a week of vigorous aerobic activity, but there are always fun ways to achieve those goals!
What kinds of activities do you like to do to get your best workout?