Life Hacks: Too busy not to get in shape

I get it, you’re busy, you don’t have time to work out 60 minutes a day. But are you also too busy to get sick or be laid up for a week because you pulled a muscle helping a friend move? If you answered “yes” to either of those questions then you need to read on for CengageBrain’s life hacks to get in shape.

A proper diet and exercise will help you get in shape in college. (Credit: Sally Minyard)

A proper diet and exercise will help you get in shape in college. (Credit: Sally Minyard)

Make getting in shape fun

If you really want to keep a fitness plan, you’ll want to make it fun! writer Laura Potts suggests steps to help you “Spring Into Shape In Seven Fun Steps” in her March 24, 2014 post.

1.  Find fitness that’s fun: Try something new that’ll grab your attention. From “boxercise or military-style fitness classes to hot yoga, aqua-fitness or even ping pong,” there are a variety of exercises to help get you in shape, while having fun! Don’t be afraid to try a myriad of classes to find the best fit!

2.  Get a pet: This isn’t really an option if you live on campus, but if you have the space (and time), get a small dog that’ll force you to take walks each day. According to Potts, “pets can encourage owners in other unexpected ways: once you are responsible for feeding another creature, you realize how important a healthy diet is – for people and for pets.”

3.  Walk! If getting a dog just isn’t practical, you still have the required equipment to get out and take a walk yourself. Finding a friend to come along will make the walk even more enjoyable, and if it’s crunch time, bring your study cards and quiz each other to get double the benefit!

Invest in a few new tools

If you don’t have access to a gym membership, or would rather not spend the cash each month, investing in a few new tools to keep in the house will be just as beneficial and time-saving when getting a quick workout in at home.

  • Kettlebells are hand-held weights that help build muscle, burn calories, and increase your flexibility. YouTube user, Bloom to Fit, posted “69 Kettlebell Exercises for a Better body” on March 26, 2013. Subscribe to the Bloom to Fit YouTube page for more workout tips that can be done at home.
  • Jump rope: Remember those schoolyard rhymes we all sang while we jumped and twirled: “Cinderella dressed in yellow…” No? Was that just me? Well, needless to say, jumping rope is a great cardio exercise that most people can partake in; the rhymes are optional. However, if you do want to be nostalgic, check out “Jump Rope Rhymes” on
  • Exercise ball: These are great for working out your total body. Most kits are sold with a complete DVD of workouts that can be done in 30 minutes or less; who doesn’t have time for a 30-minute workout? 

Keep more than your body in shape

Being a college student, you know that ‘getting in shape’ means much more than your physical body. Your mind, financial, and relational self needs to ‘get in shape’ as well. One thing you don’t want to do, though, is take on too much at once. If you’re comfortable with your workout routine, try then to get your mind in shape. Henrick Edberg for The Positivity Blog, posted “Bruce Lee’s Top 7 Fundamentals for Getting Your Life in Shape” on March 7, 2008. Though the validity of whether these are Bruce Lee’s tips is questionable, the idea that a world-famous martial artist and actor lived his life with specific fundamental practices is quite valid. Edberg posts:

  • What are you really thinking about today? Keeping positive thoughts in our minds daily, helps us truly remain positive. And if you’re not thinking positively, “What do those thoughts say about you? About your life? And how do they really match your plans for your life and your image of yourself?”
  • Simplify your life: “Adding more and more just creates more stress and anxiety.” Try removing clutter that isn’t necessary. Clutter can be: negative feelings, or junk on your desk and in your car. Getting rid of excess really helps us focus on what’s important.
  • Be proactive: I get it, it’s hard to be proactive when you’re living in a world that supports procrastination (hello social media!), but being proactive will help de-stress your life in many aspects. Don’t wait until you’re sick to start taking a daily Vitamin C, and don’t wait until you’re 50 pounds overweight to begin a workout regimen. Tackling one issue at a time will help.

Now that you have a few new life hacks to help you get in shape, share with us how they’re helping you in the comments below!

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