It’s a new school year and Valley knows what’s on your mind: time to hit the books, get involved, and revamp that forgotten work-out routine. Dust off those free weights and get your game face on. A new semester means a fresh start, and these tips will help kick off your most fit school year ever.
1) Become a Regular – In Every Way
If you have a busy class schedule and don’t have time to work out in the afternoon or evening, try going to bed earlier to establish a morning routine.
“Sleep in general is very important,” certified personal trainer and LionHeart Fitness employee Nate Tote said. “It allows your body to recover and rebuild.”
Ease into earlier bedtimes by going to sleep 30 minutes earlier each night until you hit your target time. Soon you’ll doze off without a problem and wake up feeling refreshed despite the early hour.
Plus, not only does a regular sleep cycle improve performance, but regular performance improves performance. With exercise, the more you practice, the more you excel. Consistency is crucial, and even if it’s only 15 or 20 minutes, you’re still lapping everybody on the couch.
2) Determine Your Schedule
Take a minute to sit down and analyze the week ahead. There’s always time – sometimes you just have to make it.
“Make a plan that you can work into your daily schedule and set a realistic pace,” Nate said. “It should be challenging…but don’t set the bar too high or you’ll just be setting yourself up for failure.”
Have some hours to kill between your 10 a.m. and afternoon class? You might have time to attend some fitness classes in the White Building (campus membership required). Plan ahead to hit the gym during your down time: simply wear something fitness-friendly and pack a change of clothes.
3) Don’t Dive in Head First
If you’ve been inactive most of the summer please, for everyone’s sake, don’t go all Hulk the first day back in the gym. Treat your body like a car: you wouldn’t accelerate from 0 to 60 in four seconds (well, you shouldn’t at least) so don’t attempt it with your body either.
“Break the ice by going out with friends and playing a game of basketball or volleyball,” Nate advised. “You’ll be running around and burning a ton of calories; it’s a lot different than just plopping on an elliptical or treadmill.”
Also, understand that diet plays a larger role in weight maintenance than exercise, but in the long run if you eat healthy and watch portions, you’ll succeed.
It’s an old cliché, but slow and steady wins the race. Otherwise you’ll strain your body – and that’s never fun.
4) Tomorrow’s Another Day
Everyone has weeks where professors seemingly got together and decided to simultaneously issue exams. Newsflash: it’s okay to miss a workout or two. Concentrate on your studies and simply plan longer or more intense workouts for calmer times.
If you’re really determined or just need to clear your head from all that cramming, go for a quick jog or check out one of these workouts – all 20 minutes or less – courtesy of Fitness magazine.
Photo by Sam Florio