Monday, February 17, 2014

College Tips for Crunchy Kids: Exercise

In the first installment of College Tips for Crunchy Kids, we talked nutrition.  Once you've got down those basics, you're ready to move into movement--specifically, movement for those with other obligations and a minimal amount of money to expend.  Movement for college kids, crunchy or otherwise.

1. The first tip here is to stick with what you know.  If you love baseball, you might consider joining the baseball team at your university.  Similarly, if you're already acclimated to running or jogging on sidewalks, you might adopt the sidewalks around your school for this purpose.

2. For those who don't have one particular passion, try new things.  The fitness center at (or affiliated with) your school might offer group fitness classes like yoga, Pilates, or Zumba.  If you have a few extra credits to burn and you think you might not be able to fit in fitness otherwise, consider taking an introductory dance class, archery, or any other fitness class that suits your fancy.

3. No matter what you do, make it a part of your daily routine.  If you don't have the option of taking a group class or joining a team sport, this tip still applies to you.  One option is to punctuate study sessions with physical activity.  What works for me on days where I have no other plans is to alternate between studying for twenty minutes and intense activity for three to five minutes--whether that activity is a Blogilates pop song challenge or shaking in Qoya or just jamming out to my new favorite song on Spotify (Crystallize, by Lindsey Stirling, is awesome).  Sadie Nardini has some seriously challenging yoga sequences, if you've got a little more time on your hands, too.

Also, walk whenever you can, and take the stairs.  Just do it.

4. Do something with friends.  Dance parties totally count as exercise.  So does a game of basketball in the gym, or volleyball out on a grassy knoll.  You could even get creative and make exercise out of seasonal musts, if you live in the appropriate climate:  in the fall, traipse across campus to collect leaf piles in which to jump; in the winter, bumble through thick snow to wrangle up a snowman.  Whatever it is, make it fun--that will encourage you to stick with it rather than burn out and wind up on the couch watching season after season of whatever it is you watch on Netflix.

Well, that's all I've got for now! Next time we'll talk sanity--specifically, how to maintain it while in college.