Don’t Die Sitting in Class: Quick and Dirty Fitness Tips for the Busy Student

It has been brought to my attention that sitting for long periods of time is now likened to smoking. Our stasis as students is wrecking havoc on our health.

Day in and day out our lives become subject to routine. Fitting a workout in becomes the ultimate challenge as a student. Term papers, practicing, studying, rehearsals and research pile up so high and so quickly that you’re drowning in a sea of loose-leaf paper in no time. And the only workout you are getting is bicep curling your coffee mug. We know that a workout can do wonders for self-esteem, not to forget improving mood, energy, sleep, and reduce anxiety or depression. (A workout sounds like the cure-all for every student!) Despite knowing all of this, working out is often first to be put on the back burner.

Please, Motivate Me

It’s hard to motivate yourself to workout on days when you are mentally and physically exhausted and all you want to do is watch Modern Family with a glass of wine in hand. We have all had those days. But choosing to challenge yourself to do get moving will give you long-lasting benefits. Circuit through a few workouts until the show is done. Or, on commercial breaks, blitz through some jumping jacks or jump rope.

Take the Stairs and the Scenic Route   

On days when you aren’t racing from class to class, perhaps take a page out of Columbus’s book and explore new territory. The extra time walking can be added to your fitness bank and give to time to zone out a bit before you’re lectured on world politics. (Pro tip: get a pedometer to track your steps and calories. And yes, there is an app for that.)

Mini-multi tasking workouts

Another way to sneak in a mini workout is to multi-task. Do squats while brushing your teeth (it passes the time and if you brush your teeth twice a day, which I’m proud to say I do) it’s working that muscle group twice! Boom, already taking things to the next level.

If you have enough room and don’t want to invest in a gym membership, skipping rope is your best friend for cardio.

Let’s Get Physical: Quick and Easy Exercises You Can Do Anywhere

Workouts for small spaces: Squats, lunges and all their variations.

Push-ups, planks and all their variations:

Let’s work those abs!

Worst Case Scenario…

This brings us back to how sitting is literally killing us. In order to combat the pandemic of endless sitting, tools have been invented to improve our health without leaving your desk. From mini elliptical trainers, to stationary bikes that can hide behind a desk for a stealthy sweat session, tools are now available to help. Another method of balancing the challenge of productivity and health is to eliminate the chair entirely. Instead of a chair, sit on an exercise ball. This substitution is great for posture, balance and core strength!

If carrying around an exercise ball in your backpack, or pulling out an elliptical before your lecture doesn’t seem like a realistic option for you, here are a few sneaky workout tips for the stationary student.

How do you stay fit as a busy student? Help out a fellow SLNer below!

*Opinions expressed are those of the author, and not necessarily those of Student Life Network or their partners.
Alexa Hildebrandt

Alexa Hildebrandt

Alexa Hildebrandt is a BC girl at heart whose love of music led her to the tundra of Manitoba, where she learned to seek out the beauty of the world under 5 feet of snow.