University – one of the best times of our lives, sometimes the busiest and often not the healthiest. I have been into fitness throughout my time at university, but that doesn’t mean there haven’t been times when I’d rather be in bed, or at the pub, or just cooking dinner. Everyone struggles with motivation, but there are some things you can do to make it that much easier to get to the gym consistently enough to see progress. And as we all know, consistency is key!
Here are 6 points that I find really useful in keeping fit at university.
1. Find your time
Some people are morning people. They spring out of bed bright and early ready to start the day. I am not one of those people, so going to the gym in the morning sounds a little bit like torture. Figuring out what time of day works for you allows it to become a habit. If you have a long day and end it totally exhausted, going in the morning may set you up for the day. If you have a hectic day morning to evening but get 1-1.5h for lunch, try going then to break up your work. I go in the evening, as I’m already in university so it’s not difficult to go!
2. Make it a habit
If you have to find time everyday to go to the gym, it’ll be really easy not to go. I always stop work at 5-6 and go straight to the gym, meaning I don’t have to think about when I can fit it in. A routine is absolutely key for keeping fit, and this includes having certain days for certain routines. This means you’re not left at the gym with no inspiration of what to do, and also means you workout every muscle group evenly over time.
3. Sign up for classes
I find that sometimes I’m at a loss of what to do at the gym, and it’s at times like this that I sign up for classes. Having someone shouting at me for 45 minutes to an hour means that I don’t have to think about what I do but still get the endorphin kick – win win! Classes definitely have their time and place, but tired, unmotivated days are definitely one of those times.
4. Find a friend
…. with similar goals. Having someone waiting for you at the gym is a sure-fire way to feel guilty if you don’t go. I go most days, dragged along by either my boyfriend or housemate. It also means that I have to stay for a certain amount of time which means I’m not tempted to skimp out after a 10 minute run and a roll around in the mats section. Having said this, don’t be tempted to talk to your friends for the entire session – I see too many girls and guys in huge groups sitting on the floor and doing no work for about 40 minutes. Arrive with a friend, stick your headphones in and get on with your workout.
5. Buy new workout clothes
I. LOVE. ACTIVEWEAR. – you know that ‘doing shopping in my activewear’ video? That’s me. But seriously, buying new activewear that makes you feel confident and comfortable in the gym is going to make it more likely that you head to the gym. Sometimes all you need is that little bit of excitement. But beware: the addiction is real.
6. Make an amazing playlist
If you create/find a banging playlist, you can forget that you’re working out. I listen to Muse, which I know not everyone is a fan of but every time I listen to it now, it gets me in the zone, makes me forget the day I’ve just had, and allows me to focus on working out for the hour I’m there. Find what works for you, plug it in and get going!
I hope they’re useful to you! What keeps you motivated when you’re busy with work?
I’ve also written a bunch of workouts for busy gyms on my Instagram – ideal for the uni gym!