How do you workout on campus?

Everyone has that friend on Facebook: the one who’s always trying a new workout or a new cleanse and wants you to start buying Arbonne or go to a BBG meeting. Some of those friends get so involved with the workouts that they get involved as coaches, or as direct sales consultants for the products.

How do you workout on campus? (Credit: Forest Woodward, Getty Images)

How do you workout on campus? (Credit: Forest Woodward, Getty Images)

I’ve gotten into the action on Facebook, posting videos of myself doing the #22pushupchallenge and photos of the 5k obstacle course I just ran. Sometimes it can be hard to figure out what’s the best workout for you.

Should you start Shakeology and Beachbody? Should you hit the gym, work out on campus or start learning to run with a Couch to 5k app on your phone? Maybe a YouTube workout in the dorm is more up your alley. As you’re facing those Facebook and Instagram posts from your workout bunny friends, don’t get discouraged: just find the workout that fits your lifestyle.

Why exercise?

If you’re not competitive in nature and don’t feel the need to compare to your Facebook workout guru friends, why should you exercise? Aside from increasing your overall health, there are studies that show working out is good for your brain, too. Ginny Gaylor posted about some of the new evidence in “Study and workout at the same time? Why not!” on CengageBrain March 15, 2016. In an older article from April 15, 2013, posted on the Purdue University website, “College students working out at campus gyms get better grades,” Purdue’s assistant director for student development and assessment Tricia Zelaya noted, “Students who worked out at Purdue’s gym at least once a week were more likely to earn a higher grade point average than students who visited less or not at all.”

Exercise can:

  • Reduce stress
  • Improve your focus and concentration (and therefore grades)
  • Help with time management skills
  • Tire out your body to help you sleep better
  • Improve your mood
  • Help you avoid illness
  • Be fun!

I wouldn’t have guessed a few years ago, when I started my first Couch to 5k program, that I would be an obstacle course runner, but I’ve done two now, and I love them! Don’t get me wrong, I still kind of hate running (which is why I do the obstacle course versions–the running is broken up), but training for the races is great, and running is a great, free workout I can do without any equipment beyond a good pair of running shoes, my phone, and a pair of earbuds for my music to keep me going.

Direct sales and workout trends

You can spend a lot of money getting into Arbonne’s nutrition products or BBG (bikini body guide), and there’s something about buying into a ready-made exercise and meal plan that can be appealing. There’s even the ready-made-for-college Big Man on Campus 12-week college trainer! But if you don’t have the cash to start P90X, you can still work out on campus, even in your dorm room.

  • Hit YouTube. There are a ton of free exercise videos you can follow at home. The Valdosta State University staff compiled a bunch that are easy to use on campus.
  • Do some basic aerobics, floor exercises, and wall exercises on your own, using only your body weight for resistance. Lorraine Savage offered one dorm-room workout plan on CengageBrain in the December 13, 2013, article “Aerobic exercise in dorm rooms improves student health.”
  • Walk/run/bike. If you hate running like me, download a free 5k training app; the walk/run interval training makes running a lot less painful–and actually makes just walking to class easier, because you’re in better cardio shape.

What is your favorite way to workout on campus? What tips have worked for you? Tell us in the comments.

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