DIY fitness tips for college students

Let’s face it, with all of the easy do-it-yourself tips available, you have no excuse not to work out. It’s time to get in shape! Here are some easy DIY fitness tips that even the busiest of college students can fit into a packed schedule!

No matter how busy college students are, there's always time for fitness. (Credit: Carrot Bowl)

No matter how busy college students are, there’s always time for fitness. (Credit: Carrot Bowl)

Make a list

Finding a workout routine that is most fun to you will help you get — and stay — motivated about working out. What do you like to do? In “Find Your Fitness Passion,” a March 2012 post by Gina DeMillo Wagner for Experience Life, exercise and sports psychologist Michelle Cleere, Ph.D. explained why some people have a difficult time finding a fitness activity they can connect with. “It’s easy to overlook fun activities because you don’t consider them fitness related,” she wrote.

Cleere suggested that if you already love to be outdoors or riding your bike, increasing the intensity of those activities will work your muscles and get your heart rate up, burning calories and building muscle. Love to dance but can’t find the time or cash to take a once-a-week organized class? How about searching on YouTube for Zumba dance videos that you can do three times a week with your roommates?

If you’re having a hard time looking for activities, start by making a list of things you already regularly do. Walking to class on campus, for example, could be good exercise if you took the route that included that large hill you’d have to climb. Bonus points for you if you carry a bag with a laptop — more calories burned and you’ll really be working those thigh muscles!

Design a workout

Once you’ve got your list of routine activities in place, figure out how you can include a workout program to supplement the daily activities. WebMd contributor Colette Bouchez suggested some great low-tech (read: inexpensive) DIY fitness tips to get you started in her post “Do-It-Yourself Fitness.”

  • Kettlebells: These generally weigh between nine and 88 pounds, depending on the style, and are used by holding the handle with one or both hands and swinging the kettlebell between legs, lifting to shoulder height, or doing squats. While the article estimates these can be priced upwards of $129, Amazon lists them for as little as $5 for a 5 pound cast iron style.
  • The FitDeck: This pack of 56 cards features a different workout move on each card with instructions on how to do the move effectively. Each deck contains different moves for different muscle workouts and includes “get out of jail” cards to allow you to skip a move, or a “go directly to jail” card that requires you to step it up a notch! Cards can be found on Amazon for around $10 a pack.
  • Bosu Ball: A Bosu is a more expensive version of a fitness ball that is flat on one side so it is easier to balance on. Bouchez noted that the Bosu Ball is good for performing a “variety of muscle-toning routines, including stepping, lunges, and other moves while improving balance and flexibility.” You can even do squats while balancing!

No-fuss fitness routines

If you don’t have the space to keep even the smallest fitness equipment in your dorm or apartment, don’t fear. There’s no reason you can’t get a good workout in. Going back to the basics, you can use your own body weight to strengthen and tone. Doing sit-ups, push-ups, crunches, and the plank will help you get in shape without spending any money at all. If you need motivation, check out any one of the thousands of workout videos uploaded onto YouTube. Try typing in these search items for the best results:

  • In home workouts without weights
  • Core workouts without weights
  • 30 minute workouts 

If you’re familiar with Pinterest you know that you can search for and pin DIY fitness ideas that inspire you to create a fun workout plan. Start by looking at the Health & Fitness page. You can create a board for workout routines you want to try. Split the pins up by muscle group to help you stay organized. Some ideas:

  • Core
  • Legs
  • Arms
  • Whole body 

However you choose to get your exercise in is your choice. Just be sure to find a few activities that you enjoy and go for it. Don’t forget to incorporate your favorite music to get you moving!

Have any great ideas or fitness tips for fellow college students? Share them in the comments!

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