Tips and tricks for finding time to exercise

Going on a run, heading to the gym or playing an intramural are all ways to stay active in college. Follow these tips to make time to exercise in your busy days. // Photo by Dani Sisson Student Publications

February is finally here, and with its arrival comes a sacred tradition for many on this campus and around the country: the abandonment of New Year’s resolutions.

If January is the month of renewal and change for the resolutionist, then February is surely its foil. We begin to lose sight of our initial goals and slip back into our comfortable, if slightly problematic, habits. 

A workout regimen is especially susceptible during this time. While it seems appealing to begin working out the first week back at Tech, as study sessions go later and commitments begin to pile up, it becomes less and less appealing to drag yourself to the gym, go on a run or even move an extra couple of feet more than you must.

While this fate is typical of most people on a fitness journey, it doesn’t mean you have to fall into the same trap! 

In fact, there are quite a few things you can do to improve physically while fitting it all into your busy schedule. 

Set Realistic Goals

The biggest thing you can do, quite honestly, is to set realistic goals for yourself. 

If you have never run before, it would very clearly be a bad idea to aim for 20 miles of running every week. But sometimes, even a commitment to go to the gym every day during the week can seem easy at first, but quickly become a bigger challenge than you anticipated.

Instead, the Technique would recommend starting small, perhaps aiming for two or three days a week of about 30 minutes to an hour of physical activity and work your way up from there.

If you feel like you can do more, then you can certainly adjust the times as you feel is necessary. It is certainly easier to add some more commitment after improving or finding you can do more than you thought, than it is to be overwhelmed and burnt out after a week or two. 

It’s a marathon, not a sprint, and small, progressive goals will serve you better in the long run!

Schedule Your Time

Secondly, try and plan out definite times for your workout that fit into your schedule. 

Many people will attempt to squeeze in a workout without having a solid idea of where it should go in their day. 

This typically leads to procrastination as you fill the time with other activities and ultimately can result in missed workouts and potentially feelings of guilt and shame. 

None of these are great results but can be prevented by planning ahead with specific times during which you will work out. 

Make sure to generously a lot time, potentially an hour or two depending on your workout length and type, to account for walking back to your dorm and taking a shower. This way, you will feel less as though the time is free and more so like it is a part of your daily activities.

Get A workout Buddy

Try and get a friend to join you on your workouts. It is definitely possible to have a solid workout routine on your own, but having a friend can truly heighten the experience and allow you to have fun during your workouts while holding you accountable to keeping the habit.

Many will show up to workout simply because they know their friend will be there and don’t want to disappoint them.

In this same regard, intramurals or any sport with friends is an excellent way to get a great workout in while getting to know people and can be a more laid back way of keeping active. 

Multi-Task

While running or going to the gym is a great way to stay active and fit, even adjusting some of your daily activities can lead to a more active life! 

Instead of taking the bus, try walking or biking. Instead of taking the elevator in your building, take the stairs. Try walking to Tech Square with your friends to get dinner instead of driving or ordering Uber Eats. Staying in shape is, like we have said before, about consistency, and by incorporating these smaller activities into your day, you can take tiny steps to keep improving throughout the week!

Remember, there’s no one right way to stay active, so simply find a system that works best for you!