Published: Feb. 16, 2017
People exercising

As the semester continues, it can be easy to lose sight of resolutions and let physical activity get lost in the shuffle between classes, homework and your personal life. “Continuing a lifestyle change is often very difficult,” said Eric Lee, a personal trainer at the CU Rec Center. “And ultimately, you have to be determined enough to continue that change." 

If you’re struggling to find time for fitness or having trouble staying committed to becoming a healthier, happier you in 2017, here are five tips that can help make the whole world of fitness a little less complicated.

No Time? No Problem! When it comes down to it, any physical activity is better than no physical activity at all. The CDC recommends 2 hours and 30 minutes of physical activity per week, which might sound like a lot; but it doesn’t have to be all at once. Even if you’re completely swamped with homework, there’s sure to be a 10-minute block in your day where you can get some activity. This doesn’t have to be a visit to the gym; it can be as simple as taking a study break and going for a walk around the block. Or turning on some music and dancing like nobody’s watching. You can even just take a moment and do some stretches. As a bonus, this movement will stimulate your energy sources and allow your brain to re-energize- you’ll feel better and do better work as a result!

Change it up. Even the most seasoned gym goers end up reaching a point where their current routine is, well, routine. Studies show that having variety in your workouts keeps you more interested and more likely to continue. If you feel yourself getting bored or dreading your next trip to the gym, it’s time to change things up! This can be as easy as running around the track instead of running on the treadmill, or deciding to go lap swimming for your cardio instead. If you want to try something completely different, check out the weekly Free Friday Power Hour at The Rec- the class offered changes every week, so you’ll never get bored. Even a slight change in location can help shake off the routine blues- so next time you to the gym, try to scope out different spaces you can use for your workout.

Make an appointment with yourself. Classes, meetings, events- they all have a spot in your calendar. But how much time are you scheduling for yourself? The best way to stay consistent with your fitness goals is to make it a scheduled part of your daily routine. After all, committing to living a healthier, happier life involves a lifestyle change- and the easiest way to make a lifestyle change stick is to make it a part of your day to day activities. If you lock in time each day for your workout, or even to just step away and meditate, you will appreciate the energy boost as well as the psychological benefits of taking time for yourself in a busy, fast paced world. Personal trainer Brigitte Smith advises that “Once fitness becomes a part of your routine, you’re more likely to succeed at meeting your goals”.

Partner Up. Sometimes two really is better than one. In order to make going to the gym seem like less of a chore, consider finding a friend to bring along with you. Many people find that going to the gym with a friend not only holds them accountable, but it’s a lot more fun too. A quick Google search for “partner exercises” turns up tons of easy to follow routines that you and someone else can do together. Or you can both do your own thing, and just appreciate that fitness doesn’t have to be a solitary activity.

Keep it real. Let’s face it, there are some days where a workout just isn’t going to happen- and that’s totally okay! Even if you only make it to the gym 2 or 3 days a week instead of 5, you’re still doing yourself a favor. On those “not gonna happen” days, it’s okay to do a short activity instead, like going for a walk or even just running in place while you watch TV. Sure, it’s not the level of training you usually do, but something is always better than nothing. The important thing is to not let yourself get discouraged just because you don’t make it to the gym every day. As Eric Lee puts it, “we all have potential inside of us, and if we tell ourselves that we have what it takes…. We can achieve anything. The important thing is to convince yourself that with every rep, step, or stair climbed you’re coming closer to reaching your goal”.

If you need help with any of these tips, or have any other questions, the best place to visit is the Fitwell Office in The Rec. Fitness and Wellness offers a variety of services to help you lead a healthy, happy life- including fitness classes, nutrition resource clinics, personal training and more.

Fitness and Wellness