Balance Academics and Fitness
College is a time of discovery for so many students. Figuring out how to manage attending classes, studying, and a social life, all while staying healthy and active is more work than a full-time job. There are many benefits to living on campus when it comes to maintaining a routine and being consistent with your schedule. However, many students choose to live off campus as well.
How to balance academics and fitness
Whatever the case may be, finding a form of physical activity that you enjoy is an important first step to maintaining your health while in school. Most colleges and universities offer on-campus recreation centers, which are included in your tuition.
A great tip would be to look into the different types of fitness offerings they have, aside from the standard gym. This will allow you to plan out variations of physical fitness activities you might be interested in participating in.
If you want to balance academics and fitness, it starts with creating a plan and sticking to it, maintaining routines and consistency, and prioritizing.
Plan Your Day In Advance
Planning your days in advance can have a large positive impact on your mindset and mental health. As a rule, it is important to loosely plan your week, but always make adjustments the night before for each day.
This allows for any last-minute events, or important things to be added. When thinking about your daily plan, be sure to schedule in all the Must Do’s first. For example, attending class, preparing for the GRE, and work aren’t optional, so those things need to be penciled in before anything else.
After doing this, come up with your list of Want To-Do’s. This list could contain hanging with a friend, going shopping, or relaxing.
After plotting each of these things, you’ll now be able to see the free time that you have, and plan accordingly on how to fit in some sort of physical activity. An example of this might be a class at 9AM, and lunch plans with a friend at noon.
By creating this plan, you’ll be able to see that you have a block of time that could be used to fit in a gym session, a run, or a yoga class in between.
A tip that’s helpful when scheduling is tight is to get ready for whatever activity you’re planning to do before class. This way, you don’t have to waste time going back to your room to get your things. This also makes it hard to opt out of exercising when you’re already prepared.
According to Medium.com, planning your day the night before not only increases productivity, but adds more flow to your day. Their suggestion is to write down five things you want to accomplish the next day, the night before. So maybe you’re asking, “I’m not a great mental planner, how am I going to keep track?”.
Utilizing the calendar app in your phone, or using an actual paper and pencil calendar will help you visualize what your day looks like, and increase the likelihood that you’ll stick with your plan.
Routine & Consistency
Creating a routine is the first tip for success in balancing all of the things college-life throws at you. When it comes to physical fitness, consistency is the most important part of seeing results, and keeping your body healthy.
Choosing to set a time each day to make it to the gym, attend a yoga class or ride a bike not only helps your physical health, but your mental health too. All too often, college students experience burnout from hours on end of studying and attending classes.
Turning your choice of physical activity into a must do each day, will give you some time to reflect and let your brain rest while your body does the work. After a few weeks of forcing yourself to do this, it will feel natural, and your body will crave that you time.
This will only enhance your performance in all other aspects of your college life. In addition to this, exercise promotes mental clarity, which is something that is absolutely needed when studying and attending classes.
While in college, priorities can be difficult to manage. With so many options and the freedom to choose exactly what you do when you do it, making responsible choices isn’t something that comes naturally for everyone.
Utilizing the methods above can really help students figure out priorities in their daily life, and balance them accordingly. While class and studying are essential for college success, social and emotional health are equally as important.
Maintaining a balance between the two is a difficult thing to do, but increases the likelihood that students will feel like they have a more well-rounded college experience.
Taking advantage of all your campus has to offer, including physical fitness activities, is a great way to socialize and meet people, all while maintaining a healthy lifestyle.
Keeping these things in mind when thinking about or even writing down a list of priorities can be a great strategy to keep yourself on track, focused and healthy.