Categories: College Life

How to Find Joy in Exercise

Are you ever stressed? Do you struggle to fall asleep at night, or wake up tight and tense? Do you sometimes have zero energy to get homework done? If yes, keep reading.

The answer to your problems can be found in exercise. If you’re thinking, “I don’t like to sweat, I don’t workout and I’m not about to,” the first thing you need to do is change your mindset. Put an end to the idea that working out can only happen in a gym or on a track. You can do a great workout in your dorm room, living room, that park down the street or even in the quiet study room at the library (please try this and let us know how it went). So stop thinking that exercise is this crazy, awful thing. Instead, follow these suggestions to help you create a workout routine that fits you and who knows, you may actually enjoy!

Know yourself

Find out what keeps you from working out and think of an alternative. If you don’t feel comfortable in the gym or running isn’t your thing, exercise in your own space, no matter how small. (Check out #2 for workouts you can easily do at home.) Don’t even know where to start?  There are endless workout plans on Pinterest, Instagram, blogs, and the world wide web in general. Mix and match different routines until you find one you like.

Pick an exercise routine that work for you

Create a workout for yourself that’s relaxing, exciting and more importantly, one you can stick with. Change things up when you want, challenge yourself with more reps, target different areas and be open to new things. Here are some exercises you can start with, right in the comfort of your dorm room!

  • 5 Minute Abs (1 min each): Bicycle crunch, dead bug, standard plank, side plank (30 sec each side), leg drop.
  • 5 Minute Legs (1 min each): Sumo squats, standard squats, lateral lunge, wall sits, forward lunges.
  • Free Weights: Get some hand weights and look up good back and arm workouts you can do, while watching Netflix, obviously.
  • Running: You can download an app for running that will help you improve your rhythm and time. Consider joining a race for a good cause to keep you motivated!
  • Yoga: Great workout to relieve muscle tension.

Pick a time that fits your schedule

Morning person? A morning exercise session is a great way to start your day. It boosts your energy and can help in creating a positive outlook on the day. If you come home mentally drained, tired and/or in a bit of a mood; drink a big glass of water, throw some workout clothes on and get to it. Not only will exercising boost your serotonin activity—a neurotransmitter involved in mood regulation—it will give you energy, aid in relaxation and center you. You can even work out right before bed. Doing some basic yoga poses will relieve some of the day’s tension in your muscles; helping you sleep like a baby and wake up fresh. You can follow these poses to start.

See Also

Stick to a routine

If you create a habit out of working out, not only will your body benefit, but your overall health will improve. The way working out makes you feel will make you want to continue working out, I swear! Your level of stress hormones will reduce, serotonin activity in your brain will be boosted, you will become more alert, concentrated, and enjoy improved sleep quality. Plus, exercise helps prevent high blood pressure and combat other serious health conditions.

Exercising doesn’t have to be a chore or a means to an end. It isn’t just about lifting weights or running on a track, it’s about finding a fit you, that fits you.

Top image source:
Carly Johnson

Carly is a travel loving, soccer playing, food obsessing third year at St. John’s University. She could wander through wilderness forever or explore the many faces of NYC for days, so some say she’s location conflicted. In the end, her travels through Europe, Africa and the UK have planted some serious wanderlust deep in her bones. Her life motto is to love people well and live purposely in every moment

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