Working hard and working out can take a lot out of you, but there are so many benefits to doing both. If you work or study to much, you will feel tired more than usual, and completely not in the mood for doing physical exercise.
But, that is the what you really should be doing in order to lower your stress levels and take all your negative energy out of your system. You will feel more energetic and you’ll have more motivation to study even harder.
Working out clears out your mind and makes you focus better on studying which is what you probably need the most.
1. Make a routine
It is a lot easier to talk yourself out of going to the gym if it is not already a part of your schedule. Setting a routine makes you more inclined to follow it, especially if it is only a matter of adding one activity—your workout—to your day. Work an extra 30 minutes to an hour into your schedule for exercise. This is not supposed to be a burden, so make sure the time you choose is one that is convenient for you.
An easy way to make working out a priority is to head to the gym while you are already out and about. I personally go every Monday, Wednesday and Friday right after class because I do not like making a special trip just to work out.
I wear my gym clothes to class so all I have to do is go straight there. Luckily, I am done with class fairly early in the day, so I would just be walking back home when I am done anyway, but you could also walk to the gym instead.
The best thing about integrating your work out into your normal routine is that after doing it and being committed to it for a while, it does not feel right if you do not go. I cannot tell you how many times I feel like I am too tired during class and cannot wait to get home to lie down, but once I get out, I find myself walking to the gym anyway. Get it into your muscle memory that the gym is where you should be going.
For college students, especially, it is in our best interest to take advantage of the resources we have at our universities in terms of having access to a recreational facility that we do not have to pay for up front (don’t worry, tuition usually covers it). It is also a good idea to start establishing healthy habits that will pay off in the long run.
2. Learn to multitask
Prioritizing can be a bit of a challenge while you are in school. There is homework, your health, your social life, clubs or organizations you might be a part of and perhaps even a job. It can be difficult to keep up with it all, especially when each activity is vying for your time and attention.
You often have to choose between bettering your academic success and maintaining your own personal health, but why focus on one at the detriment of another when you can take care of both?
Studying at the gym is certainly an easy fix and a great way to kill two birds with one stone. If you are doing a machine-based workout—like running on the treadmill, riding a stationary bike or doing whatever it is you do on an elliptical—you can easily combine the workout with going through a study guide, flipping through flashcards or reading that chapter for homework. Not only will you be getting your workout in, but you’ll also have done an hour or so worth of studying done without even having to go to the library.
And, let’s be honest, your workout always goes by a little faster when you are focused on something else. It works if you listen to music or watch TV while you exercise, so why not while you study?
3. Take a break
Experts have been saying for years that studying for hours on end or pulling all-nighters does not help you retain information as well as one might think. Your brain needs a break every once in a while and working out is a productive way to do give it that break.
Exercising is a great stress-reliever because of the toxins your body releases while you work out; it also helps to reduce anxiety levels. Although a lot of us dread going to the gym at all, the revitalizing feeling you get after completing a solid workout is worth the effort. It can give you a new sense of energy you need before you get back to the books.
Exercise and fitness is not always something we go out of our way to make time for, especially when homework and studying usually take up most of our down time. However, it is important to make a little time for yourself and get your body working while your brain takes a rest.
Do you have any tips of your own? Share them in the comments below.