BY KANDACE GALLANT
If only there were more hours in a day …
People find it hard to fit everything into their schedules, such as work, projects, eating and kids, so the first thing to go is exercise. Drew Harvey, faculty member in the fitness and health promotion program, agreed that these things prevent people from getting a good workout in.
“Often the thought process goes like this, ‘I want to exercise but I also want to get a jump-start on my research project,’” he said.
Upon entering school full time, students’ priorities start to change. They may have gone to the gym every day before, but now their projects are taking over their free time. Exercising regularly is important for your body and your mind and is beneficial in the long run. It can help improve poor posture and diet and is proven to help prevent diseases, according to the Health Discovery website, www.healthdiscovery.net.
“Recognize that any kind of activity is better than no activity,” said Harvey. “The greatest improvements in health occur when you go from no exercise to some exercise. Even if you do not feel like doing an intense workout, a brief walk is far better than nothing.”
He suggested you track your workouts and the exercise you get with a calendar or by using an app. This can help track any improvements you are making, even if it’s just a small one. Seeing your improvements can also help boost your confidence and your mood.
When asked if he had any tips for people to stay motivated to work out, Harvey said a normal part of the process is changing your mindset from wanting to hang out with friends to wanting to exercise regularly.
“Some days it will be really important to you and other days it won’t,” he said. “Expect your motivation to vary. You can plan for days when your motivation is low. Strategies to overcome the urge to skip the workout session is necessary.”
Ryan Borman, a second-year student in police foundations, said he definitely loses motivation some days, but other days he’ll have a lot of energy. “I just try to picture what I want my body to look like and what I want my health to be like in the long run,” he said. “Working out definitely makes me feel better about myself, but when I want to take a break from it, I will.”
Another great way to stay motivated is going to classes. Harvey said you’ll learn new exercises and be social at the same time. But, he said, going to a gym can be intimidating and you’re taking more time for everything, instead of focusing on your exercise.
“Time is required to get to the gym, change in and out of clothing, shower, and so on. For many, a home-based option is more time effective.”
He said people need to ask themselves questions instead of trying to choose between going to a gym or staying at home.
“I recommend having numerous options for exercise so the question becomes, ‘What type of exercise am I going to do today?’ rather than ‘Do I feel like going to the gym today?’”
Even just a five-minute workout everyday can be effective, but being consistent is very important, according to Health Discovery. Stopping and starting again can cause injuries and a lot of unwanted strain on your muscles and tendons. Stretching is important too, as it increases flexibility and prepares and warms up your body for the next moves.
People need to remember that workouts can be fun too. Harvey said the most important factor for fitness fun is including others.
“This might mean a workout buddy, a friend for a ‘walk and talk,’ signing up for rock climbing classes or playing sports.”
The Health Discovery website states finding upbeat music and funky tunes can help get people in the mood, as well as having something distracting on in the background to keep your mind off of how long you’re working out or what you think your body should look like, such as a movie or Netflix.
Signing up for fun classes like Zumba can help people get in the mood too.