As a student athlete in high school, I would work out two and a half hours a day, five days a week. Being active became a big part of who I am. When I first came to Texas A&M University and tried to settle into a routine, I couldn’t include working out. I lived on Northside, far from the Rec Center, and I was just trying to get on top of my classes. But after a semester of not doing anything active, I felt so stale. I had lost an outlet for stress and a way that I used to bond with friends. Counterintuitively, I was more lethargic and more affected by sicknesses that got passed around. So, I came back in the spring ready for a change. In my journey to get healthy again, here are some things I learned to stay in shape.
Staying active is a big component in being healthy, both mentally and physically.
Use the Rec Center!
The Rec is an incredible resource that everyone should take advantage of. Find a time that works for you, particularly in the mornings or late evenings (that’s when it’s less crowded), and just go! There are so many ways to stay active: basketball, soccer, running, and of course the weight room. Even if it’s only once a week, getting your body moving will improve your focus and overall happiness.
Use online resources to teach you how to use weights or machines if you don’t already know how. I always had coaches give me workouts, so I used YouTube to learn what exercises to do for each muscle group. To cut down on stress, bring a friend. It makes it easier to laugh and learn together. And with so many things to do, make sure and try something new like rock climbing or racquetball. You never know what you’ll fall in love with.
Do it yourself!
When I moved off campus later, finding a way to get to the gym was a hassle. So for Christmas, I got some dumbbells and started to work out at home. There are great running routes both on and off campus, and there’s a map on the city’s website of the most frequently run paths. Doing low-weight or callisthenic (bodyweight only) workouts can also relieve stress and make you feel great. Household objects like chairs or stools can substitute for equipment and there are plenty of creative ideas online to try. Find something that will fit your schedule and work for you.
Don’t give up!
Staying active is a big component in being healthy, both mentally and physically. It doesn’t take much, maybe 30 minutes or so, to start changing your lifestyle. Treat yourself with some Smoothie King at the Rec and make it a fun part of your day. I promise, once you start getting active, you will begin to love it!