Staying fit while studying

As we get closer and closer to the end of August anyone involved in education gets that awful sinking feeling. The summer holidays are nearly over and whether you are a student  or a teacher that means it’s time to get back to work. 

It doesn’t matter if you are in high school, college or university really; September will mean the same to you all – now is the time to work. My guess is that over summer you have made the most of the free time and chosen to work out at your convenience. If you fancy having a lie-in and heading down to the gym around lunchtime then that was probably exactly what you did. Well if your life is dictated by the academic calendar then that is a luxury that you can no longer afford to have. 

But of course that doesn’t mean you have to kiss goodbye to your summer body until next year. All of us have different obstacles that can get in the way of our training but what is important is how we look to overcome them. Your first option is obviously to get up early and work out before you start studying. Or you can try the opposite and try to workout later at night. They are the obvious two. 

Being a student, in whatever capacity, almost always provides opportunity for exercise. It doesn’t matter what you study, you can always get involved in some kind of sporting team. Not only does this provide you with the time to work out but it also gives you a scheduled routine, as well as training partners to help keep you motivated as you go along. 

Another thing to consider is how you get to wherever it is you study. Do you get the bus when really you could walk? Do you drive when really it is close enough to cycle? These little adjustments can make a huge difference moving forward. Because once term starts you will be losing a lot of the time you had over the summer but you don’t want to be doing less exercise. So the trick is to find little ways of supplementing your workouts so that they don’t become too taxing and affect your studies. 

Now if on the other hand you are a teacher, well then it isn’t as easy as just signing up for the school football team. And as hard as students may work, I doubt they have as much homework as you have marking. So I do sympathise with the fact that it is going to be a lot harder for you to maintain the fitness levels that you might have reached over the holidays. 

But while my sympathy is there I still believe that if someone is determined to work out then they won’t let anything stop them. So there are things that can be done. You too have the obvious choice of working out early in the morning or late at night. And I’m sure one or two of you could cycle instead of drive, especially if you work in a big city!

Then there is always the possibility of making your workouts shorter. Trying something like a push/pull/leg split workout will reduce your training days down to three an by focusing solely on one area your workouts will naturally be shorter. The idea that the best results are achieved by the person who spends the most time in the gym is becoming very outdated. Shorter workouts can be far more efficient if you execute them in the right manner. 

So whether you are getting ready for potentially life changing examinations, or if you are helping others to get through them, the end of the summer holiday doesn’t have to mean the end of your commitment to staying fit. If you really want to get in shape then you will find a way to make it work.

Ollie Lawrence
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