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Balancing School and Fitness

The link between maintaining an active lifestyle and being the kind of person we strive to be is not a secret. However, that doesn't mean juggling fitness between all the other day-to-day tasks in your life is a natural balance.

School, in particular, can get in the way of exercising, and ultimately reaching your fitness goals. During the summer, students often dedicate more time to their workout regimen. Then, as things pick up in the fall, schedules get weighed down with increased workloads. It becomes more difficult to find a chance to work out. It’s an understandable predicament, but when working out takes a backseat to everything else, you won’t meet your fitness goals.

To combat this problem, here are some tips for successfully navigating between school and your fitness.

Working Out Efficiently

Picking a workout that can adapt to your surroundings is ideal for keeping your fitness a priority. Putting workouts in your schedule that accomplish significant physical gains in a short period of time is the goal. Some great choices are high-intensity interval training, bodyweight exercises, Tabata training and running.

Create a Schedule and Stick to It

One of the most common excuses for somebody skipping a workout is that they were just "too busy" that day. What if you got an urgent call and had to go pick up your friend? You would adjust your schedule accordingly and figure it out. Your workout routine should not be the "flexible" portion of your schedule that you do if you feel like it or have extra time.

There are a couple quick, easy things you can do to help you keep your fitness as a priority:

Plan out your routine. What days are you going to go to the gym? Look at your schedule and realistically plan out what days will be the most convenient. If you're a morning person, set time aside then. Most college students aren't, that's fine. But find your time.

Pick a partner. Find a workout partner that will hold you accountable and, most importantly, motivate you. Peer pressure is both good and bad—this is the right kind.

Your Life, Your Decisions

You've lived with yourself for a long time now. You know what you like, what you don't like, what motivates you and what bores you. Think about what workouts you enjoy and what you don't enjoy. You're short on time, so your workouts need to consist of things you enjoy doing. One person's yoga is someone else's running. Find your enjoyment.

Competition Is Good

Competition is essential and nurtures motivation. Whether you're a gym class hero or an intramural washout, find an activity and sign up and set a goal. The results of the motivation might surprise you.

Nutrition

Most schools will offer a pretty extensive list of options for dining. The freshman fifteen—a reference to the 15 or so pounds many students put on in their freshman year—is a real thing, if you are not careful. Ask the people behind the counter how the food was prepared. If nobody is there, assume the worst and move on. You can find a healthy salad just about anywhere. Also, don't eliminate the cheat day. You won't have any fun drooling over a cheeseburger while you are stuffing your face with salad at a tailgate party. Plan your cheat days around your schedule. Again, plan your days out.

Resist Temptation

With temptation, two things are important to remember. Accept that temptation is there and that it will show itself in many different forms. Embrace it. Also, accept the notion that you are going to give into temptation now and then. Don't beat yourself up for missing a workout because you overslept from the night before. It's always safer to allow yourself a few bogies and move on compared to the contrary.

Sleep

Sleep plays a significant role in your physical health. Examples of this are that sleep is involved in the repair and healing of your heart and blood vessels. A lack of sleep is linked to an increased risk of heart disease, kidney disease, high blood pressure, stroke and diabetes. Take a pass on those!

Going to school is one of the most exciting and hectic times of your life. You will learn to juggle and balance your schedule like a pro while making some amazing friends along the way. With that being said, it's important not to lose sight of your fitness goals. As your schedule grows busier and your free time becomes shorter, keep these tips in mind.

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