By Annabelle Smallwood, Staff Reporter
One of the biggest struggles that students face after coming to college is finding a balanced lifestyle. With classes, homework and jobs, it can seem difficult to stay healthy. However, there are still ways that students can stay fit while achieving all of their other activities. One important thing for college students to decide when attempting to go to the gym is what time works best for them. Busy schedules are no joke, but this does not make it impossible.
Ayla Newsome, a freshman at Hardin-Simmons University, wakes up early every morning to get in her workout. She thinks that getting it out of the way before her day starts makes things less stressful. “Working out in the morning boosts your metabolism. That way, whenever you eat, your body burns food faster. I like to work out because it keeps me in shape. After a while, it becomes addicting,” Newsome said.
Waking up a few hours earlier than normal is not the best fit for everyone, however. Some may choose to go later in the day, instead. This is the case for Katelyn Hallford, a freshman at HSU.“I like to work out because it relieves my stress, and it’s a time that I get to focus on myself. I choose to work out at night because I am so busy during the day. With classes and homework, it’s easy for me to make excuses as to why I can’t go. Instead, I choose to work out after everything is done,” Hallford said.
The Fletcher Fitness Center is a great way to take advantage of the opportunities on campus, and to get in some exercise. The fitness center has a free weight section, squat racks, TRX ropes, cardio equipment and more. It also has an elevated track, basketball courts, a soccer field and volleyball courts.
For people who are intimidated by the gym and aren’t sure what to do, the fitness center offers a variety of group exercise classes. They are $20 for an unlimited pass. The descriptions of these classes are on their website.
Whenever thinking of staying fit, many assume that this only means exercising at the gym. Chantelle Berger, assistant director for University Recreation, explains that while this is an important part of staying fit, it is not the main priority. “When people come to me a lot of times, they want to lose weight or ‘stay healthy.’ Diet is typically 80 percent and the other 20 percent is fitness or exercise. I use the phrase, ‘You can’t outwork a bad diet.’ You can do all of the exercise in the world, but if you eat foods with high calorie content, then you are not going to see a lot of results. One tip for staying healthy is moderation,” Berger said.
Another big component of staying healthy suggested by Berger is hydration. It is important to make sure that you are drinking your recommended amount of water during the day.
Whenever it comes to staying fit during college, the most important thing is to not view staying healthy as another thing on your to-do list. Instead, view it as a stress-reliever and motivator.