Itâ€™s a new school year and Valley knows whatâ€™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 â€“ In Every Way
If you have a busy class schedule and donâ€™t have time to work out in the afternoon or evening, try going to bed earlier to establish a morning routine.
â€œSleep in general is very important,â€ certified personal trainer and LionHeart Fitness employee Nate Tote said. â€œIt allows your body to recover and rebuild.â€
Ease into earlier bedtimes by going to sleep 30 minutes earlier each night until you hit your target time. Soon youâ€™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 itâ€™s only 15 or 20 minutes, youâ€™re still lapping everybody on the couch.
2) Determine Your Schedule
Take a minute to sit down and analyze the week ahead. Thereâ€™s always time â€“ sometimes you just have to make it.
â€œMake a plan that you can work into your daily schedule and set a realistic pace,â€ Nate said. â€œIt should be challenging…but donâ€™t set the bar too high or youâ€™ll just be setting yourself up for failure.â€
Have some hours to kill between your 10 a.m. and afternoon class? Â 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) Donâ€™t Dive in Head First
If youâ€™ve been inactive most of the summer please, for everyoneâ€™s sake, donâ€™t go all Hulk the first day back in the gym. Treat your body like a car: you wouldnâ€™t accelerate from 0 to 60 in four seconds (well, you shouldnâ€™t at least) so donâ€™t attempt it with your body either.
â€œBreak the ice by going out with friends and playing a game of basketball or volleyball,â€ Nate advised. â€œYouâ€™ll be running around and burning a ton of calories; itâ€™s a lot different than just plopping on an elliptical or treadmill.â€
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, youâ€™ll succeed.
Itâ€™s an old clichÃ©, but slow and steady wins the race. Â Otherwise youâ€™ll strain your body â€“ and thatâ€™s never fun.
4) Tomorrowâ€™s Another Day
Everyone has weeks where professors seemingly got together and decided to simultaneously issue exams. Newsflash: itâ€™s okay to miss a workout or two. Concentrate on your studies and simply plan longer or more intense workouts for calmer times.
If youâ€™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 â€“ all 20 minutes or less â€“ courtesy of Fitness magazine.
Photo by Sam Florio