Staying Fit Through The Semester

Managing School, Work, and Fitness Can Be Tough On Students

By: Ruben Sibri

Consistent exercise habits don’t have to fall apart throughout the semester if they’re managed correctly. Credit: What’s Up! Magazine

With the fall semester in full gear students who are usually active can sometimes forget the importance of exercising. To keep an overall healthy regime it’s important to exercise more than just the mind while attempting to stay on track with their work.

Balancing an education, possibly a job and a moderate exercise schedule can be tough. 

There’s no doubt about it, or else everyone would be a student athlete with a 3.5 GPA.

Although a class schedule might make it more difficult to maintain a rigid workout schedule, there are a few ways to make sure that one doesn’t completely fall off from it throughout the school semester.

Setting clear and realistic goals is certainly one of the ways to stay on track with any recreational exercise or sport one does, especially when limited with time or energy.

It’s okay to not be as rigid or as outgoing in one’s goals as one might be during the summer and it’s okay to not expect yourself to as strict with diet, time spent exercising or progress made.

Setting short term goals that can be met with a more mundane training schedule is much more motivational than failing to reach a long term goal because you’re too busy to stay on that track.

By making little wins attainable, students can continue to succeed in their long term goals.

Even if it doesn’t seem like you’re progressing in a major way, the minor goals you need up achieving go a long way after a semester has gone by.

A second way to help balance exercise with other responsibilities is to make a schedule and stick to it!

It’s much easier to skip out on something, especially something that’s physically taxing when it isn’t planned into your daily or weekly schedule. But just like with school and work, a schedule will keep students from missing their time at the gym.

Not only will scheduling your workouts help get you to the gym but having it scheduled can keep you on top of the smaller and attainable goals you’ve set for yourself.

Instead of giving yourself a chance to wander their gym aimlessly, writing down what you’ll be exercising can be a tremendous help for students with time management, accountability, and focus.

Lastly, students who want to stay active throughout the school semester should remember that exercise isn’t everything in life. Whether you’re a mildly active person or someone who spends everyday working out, it does not define you. 

To achieve you athletic goals, it’s important to get regular sleep, eat as healthy as you can, and remember to let your body rest!

If someone who works part time and goes to school full time tries to work out more than five times a week, there’s a good chance they’ll burn out. Making sure you’re getting the proper recovery is just as important as making sure you’re working out.

On top of mental stress, physical stress can start to weaken your body rather strength it and if that happens you’re back to square one.

Cut your workouts a bit short if necessary, get to bed early, and treat your body and mind with the respect they deserve. 

To use fat loss as an example, a study conducted by Xuewen Wang and Joshua Robert Sparks from the University of South Carolina found that more sleep can favor fat loss when going on a calorie deficit. 

Their study showed conclude that when subjects were split into 2 groups and put on the same caloric deficit, both groups lost around the same amount of weight, however the group that got to sleep an hour longer 5 days a week lost more fat mass than lean mass. And this was on subjects who weren’t doing any sort of training (Wang, Xuewen & Sparks, Joshua & Bowyer, Kimberly & Youngstedt, Shawn. (2018). Influence of Sleep Restriction on Weight Loss Outcomes Associated with Caloric Restriction. Sleep. 41. 10.1093/sleep/zsy027). 

It’s easy to imagine how this might affect someone who does live an active life. 

Those who train and workout the best do it the smartest way possible to and that all depends on everyone’s individual being.

Remember that there are other responsibilities that have to be taken care of first and that adjusting your goals and schedule will only help you in the end to get where you’re going. 

Categories: Lifestyles

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