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The idea of attaining a fabulous summer body while studying during the winter months might sound ambitious to those students who understand how demanding a full-time course schedule can be. However, that doesn’t mean that our fitness dreams can’t come true all the same!
According to Carlyn Stilling, kinesiologist and personal training supervisor at the University of Calgary Fitness Centre, the majority of students run into similar frustrations when considering their fitness.
When will I have time to go to the gym or fit in a workout? How long must I workout to get the results I desire? What exercises should I do and how do I know if I’m doing them properly?
“Students often struggle to find time in their busy schedules to make it to the gym and get in a good long workout,” says Stilling. “Every minute of physical activity counts though! Even if you can’t make it into the gym for two hours a day, twenty minutes whenever you can fit it in will help you work towards your long term fitness goals.”
It should come as no surprise that the greatest fitness challenge students face, on average, is the ability to find time to actually go to the gym or workout. Assignments, midterms, papers, lectures, and extra-curricular activities often take priority over working out and getting fit. We’ve all been there—go to the gym for an hour or use that time to study for the exam you aren’t prepared for? Hmm… tough choice!
So, what’s the solution?
“Try scheduling your workout into your busy lifestyle the way you would for homework or assignments,” advises Stilling.
Setting aside time for your workout saves trying to find time for it later. Whether it’s twenty minutes or an hour, it’s important to find time to focus on your fitness. Scheduling it into your lifestyle will aid in establishing a routine, which will help you track your pace and progress along the way!
Starting a new workout or joining a new gym can be intimidating at the start. You’re not really sure what you’re doing, whether you’re doing it properly, and how it’s going to contribute to your long-term fitness goals. And trying a new exercise for the first time can feel awkward, uncomfortable or just plain wrong!
“If you’re unsure about what you’re doing, don’t be afraid to seek the help of gym staff or a professional,” says Stilling. “That’s what they’re there for!”
Turning to the advice and expertise of a professional will not only contribute to the overall effectiveness of your workout (e.g. proper movement and form), but it will also help to prevent potential injury. When we’re working with our body and our muscles we need to be cautious not to overdo it—we could either worsen existing injuries or create new ones. Either way, it’s important to understand how each exercise is contributing to our health and long-term fitness goals.
Plan VS Wander
“Instead of going to the gym and doing a little bit of this and a little bit of that, start your workout with a plan in mind,” advises Stilling. “This will save time and contribute to the effectiveness of your workout.”
Going to the gym and jumping from machine to machine without any game plan in mind isn’t the way to form good habits while working out— it’s also a horrible way to save time. Try to set up a routine for yourself, and if you’re unsure about how to organise and optimise your time working out, ask a professional.
Planning your workouts will help to you stay on track, allow you to follow-up on your progress, and focus on your personalized fitness goals.
Form good habits.
Above all, Stilling stresses the importance of forming good habits at the beginner level, as it will aid your overall fitness, health and success. Seeking the help of professionals is highly recommended, as we often cannot rely on all the information we read to fit our personal needs and goals. Professional help will also allow you to target your own personal weaknesses or problem areas (e.g. back, knees or posture) and create a workout that is geared toward your own health requirements.
“Corrective exercises are essential at the beginner level, as they work to correct imbalances, prevent injuries and form good workout habits (such as proper muscles firing or body movement),” says Stilling.
At the beginner level, it’s important to set realistic goals, and focus on establishing a base from which you can build upon. Learning the basic movements and techniques are vital to your overall fitness success. Establishing a solid base to start from will allow you to slowly, but surely, build up your endurance, stability and flexibility as you continue.
Ronnie Deboer is an Android developer. He graduated from the University of Arizona. He works at App Promotion Service as a freelance writer, and at IT company as Android developer. He's keen on technologies.