PHOTO BY JEREMY VYN / THE SPUTNIK PHOTOGRAPHY
Disclaimer: This article contains tips on how to become healthier. If you are someone suffering/ recovering from an eating disorder please read with caution. All bodies are beautiful regardless as to their weight or structure. If you feel healthy and confident then you are exactly where you need to be in your journey.
First-year students are known for gaining 15 pounds when they move out for the first time. This is known as the “freshman 15” and is likely due to the stress and the number of changes in the first year of university.
Students have gone through a lot in the past year, and many have been neglecting their health. As a result, “the quarantine 15” has gained popularity as it describes the trend of people gaining weight while in quarantine.
In a survey conducted by Leger and the Association for Canadian Studies, one-third of respondents claimed that they have gained weight and have been exercising less since the first lockdown in March.
This might seem odd because many students have more time and flexibility to squeeze in a workout. However, a lack of motivation might be the culprit.
The first thing students need to do is to set a goal. Be specific, how do you want to feel after working out? Is this to improve your health or to look a certain way? It’s important to note that all bodies look different at their “healthy weight” so finding where you are most happy, will make you more likely to stick with it.
To accomplish one’s fitness goals, one needs to know what exactly it is that they want and why they want to achieve it. Figuring out the reason behind your goal will help kickstart your motivation.
The next thing to do is to schedule your workouts. This will help ensure there are no interruptions or barriers to your goals. Do not forget to set reminders or alarms.
Something else that may help is to plan ahead by figuring what days to work out certain muscles or parts of your body.
This will ensure that you are actually targeting your goals. Whether you work out every day or just a couple of days a week, focusing on exercising a certain region of your body, on a certain day will allow the rest of your body to have a break from past workouts before it is their turn to feel the burn again.
For many students, a killer gym playlist is key to their motivation. Pick out songs that you like and that make you feel amped up.
Everyone has those days when they have no motivation to workout. Consider working out with a friend so that when you are off your game, there is always someone there to encourage you and vice versa.
If lifting weights and running seems too daunting find something that you love doing that gets your body moving. Walks with friends or following a dance class on Youtube are fun and easy ways to be more active.
Another great way to boost your motivation is to attend a group fitness class if you do not have a workout buddy yet. Classes like Zumba or Bodyfit are great ways to break a sweat and have fun.
There are so many free workout classes on Youtube. Leverage technology to your advantage by Zoom calling with all your friends and working out while watching the same video.
It is important to remember that there is no need to work out till exhaustion or barely eat anything. When beginning this journey, students need to start in their comfort zone and gradually work their way up. Remember to be kind to yourself, you are not a machine, but if you keep working towards your goals, you will achieve them with time.
Achieving your fitness goals is like a marathon, not a sprint; slow and steady wins the race.