Of all of the things a college campus is great for — getting an education, making new friends, making memories, or starting your career — getting in good shape usually isn’t one of them. College towns are filled with fast food chains and local greasy food joints: places that serve legendary burritos, tasty pizza, or diner food. And exercise isn’t exactly part of the culture on these campuses either. They’re filled with anxious, overworked students who rarely show an interest in waking up at 5:30 am to go on a jog. Between class loads, internships, and social obligations, students of University of North Carolina and UIC online alike probably don’t have time to exercise regularly.
At least they don’t think they do. If you’re motivated, willing, and a bit creative, you can turn your college campus into a haven of fitness. You can start by following this guide to getting fit on your college campus.
Use the Campus Gym
That’s right, that place you pass on your weekly hung-over slog back to your dorm is actually an operational, useful gym. Most college campuses offer a fitness space of some kind with weights, exercise machines, maybe even a basketball court. And it’s all for free. A gym membership in the real world will cost you at least 50 bucks a month, so take advantage while you can. Work out a few hours a week where you can hit the treadmill or get some elliptical time in. It will make a huge mark in your fitness.
Run to Class
I know what you’re thinking, “I’m a college student, I already run to class.” But I don’t mean run to get there on time. I mean setting aside the time before class to take a run around campus, ending in you being at class. Think about it like this: you’re going to have to set aside some time to commute to class and back regardless. So instead of falling asleep on the bus or shelling out a few bucks for an Uber ride, use it as an opportunity to work up a sweat.
Join a Club or Intramural Sports Team
Joining an organization of some kind on campus that focuses on exercise and fitness will help you structure your workouts. You’ll be much more likely to commit to your exercise if there are other people expecting you to be there. It will also be a great way to meet like minded people, and a lot more fun than trying to work out on your own.
Make a Fitness Plan
Don’t expect yourself to be able to regularly exercise on the fly. Make a specific plan of when and how you are going to exercise each week. Set a specific amount of hours you need to hit, and increase your hour count as you get in better shape. Post your fitness calendar in a place you can see it, so it serves as a constant reminder.