One hour workout plan for the busy student

Sometimes when you’re busy, you don’t have time to get creative and figure out what kinds of exercises to do throughout your workout. You just need to get it done because you have other things to do. So I’m going to give you a workout plan that you can do outdoors or in the gym, depending on your mood. The plan will be for someone who is in moderately good shape. The most important thing to remember when doing your workout is to listen to your body. Feeling a burn in your muscles is good; if you feel sharp pain it’s not. You have to slowly build your endurance and muscle strength. With that in mind, carry on…

Workout Plan (about 1 hour duration)

  • 1 mile run: this can be outside or on a treadmill. If you use a treadmill, try it on an incline. It is a good workout not only for your quads and calves but for the muscles in your rear end! (about 10 minutes)
  • Stretch: it’s important to maintain some flexibility, even if you aren’t a prima ballerina. Stretch your quads, groin muscles, calves, arms, hamstrings and any other part of your body that you feel is tight or sore. (about 10 minutes)
  • 25 crunches
  • 25 squats
  • 25 Russian twists: if you want to make it more difficult, hold a weight in your hands (2 twists = 1 rep)
  • 50 lunges (25 on each leg): to increase the intensity of the workout, lunge on an incline. When you step forward, step up on a stair, a half stability ball or the curb of a street or sidewalk. These can be done with a jump in between each lunge (without incline) to intensify the cardio aspect of the workout.
  • 25 reverse crunches
  • 25 squat jumps
  • 25 plank-pike-twists (2 hip touches = 1 rep)
  • 25 burpees (with push ups)
  • 25 V-sits
  • One minute plank

The workout above involves cardio, but it is mostly muscular conditioning. If you want to increase the cardiovascular aspect of the workout, complete the exercises quickly with little to no breaks. And always have a water bottle close by. You need to stay hydrated to finish your workout.


Take your workout to the streets (or the dorm)

Although going to the gym is a great idea and beneficial to your health, we have to face the facts: we don’t always have the time or energy to dedicate to a trip. Sometimes, we want to just enjoy the outdoors or change up our routine. And that is perfectly fine. But instead of making excuses as to why you can’t work out because you can’t make it to the gym, I’m going to give you some great ideas for working out in other places of your choosing.


You can do almost anything outside, but I’ll just give you the most common workouts as well as the ones I enjoy the most. The first one most people think of is running. Running is a great outdoor workout and a fun way to explore. There are many apps available for you to measure the distance as you run or you can time yourself. Whatever the case may be, in order to improve, you must continue to intensify the workout in some way. Otherwise you will plateau.If you have an open stadium like the University of Florida does, you can run stadiums, which will give different muscles in your legs a workout because of the incline.


Another great outdoor workout (especially because you have a lot more space) is jump roping. Jump ropes are cheap and easy to use and as well as a great cardio workout. Of course, there are many outdoor sports you can play, such as volleyball, tennis and basketball. Many of them are connected with gyms so if you have the extra time, you can double your workout. A final outdoor workout that exercises both your muscles and heart is swimming. Swimming is an intense workout that will burn calories as well as work out most of the muscles in your body. It is not to be underestimated.


Maybe you just want to workout in your room or at your friend’s house before a sleepover or a party. Or maybe it’s too late at night to leave your place. In any case, you can still get that hour of exercise in. The key is to find an exercise that doesn’t take up a lot of space. My best indoor workouts are usually not my idea. I get a lot of ideas from Pinterest. In the health and fitness section, you can find workouts ranging from beginner to advanced, as well as workouts targeting certain areas of the body. If you don’t have the time to search, or you prefer someone telling you what to do each day to maximize results, you can check out Blogilates. If you input your email you will receive a calendar each month with a list of YouTube videos for each day, and it’s all free. These workouts can be done at the gym or in your room, making them versatile and therefore much easier to stick to.

I hope you see that it’s not necessary to attend a gym or even go outside to work out all the time. Don’t make the excuses and you will get results. All it takes is dedication and the will to change.

The quintessential gym rat

One of the great things about being a college student, especially at the University of Florida, is the fact that you have free access to the gym. Once you graduate, you have to pay for a gym membership and then each special ‘class’ you want to take incurs another fee. So while you’re here, it’s best to take advantage.


Many people don’t like going to the gym, either because it’s far away, they feel intimidated or maybe they just don’t like being indoors to exercise. But there are many reasons why the gym is a great tool to use on your way to having that beautiful body. The different machines give you a chance to work out different muscles that are much harder to exercise without the proper equipment. Most gyms have a weight room so you don’t have to buy a set of weights. They also offer classes taught by fitness instructors in several specific areas, like yoga, pilates or spinning. It is also nice to feel a sense of camaraderie. All the other people in the room are there for different reasons, but you all have the same goal in mind: to get in shape.

When you go the gym, it’s best to take advantage of the materials there that you cannot easily acquire outside. The elliptical, stair climber and rowing machine are great examples of this. Unless you want to run up and down the stairs in your dorm or apartment or join a rowing team, you are not going to work out those muscles as often as you should. Using the weights available to you is also a great idea. Almost any exercise can be taken to the next level by adding five pound weights in each hand.  You can also use an exercise ball for abdominal workouts.

Between the two gyms at UF, there are indoor basketball courts, tennis courts, volleyball courts, and a track. If you want to work on cardio and are not really interested in running or using the machines, you can always start a pick-up game. There are a lot of people around to entice, and it is a great way to make friends. Chances are you will play for longer if you’re not in 90-degree heat (like Gainesville).

Last but certainly not least are the clubs and classes available to those who have access to the gym. You can sign up online for free to take a number of classes like zumba, yoga and spinning. This is a great option if you like having an instructor tell you exactly what to do and how to do it or if you like working in small groups of about 20 people. Joining a club is similar except that they usually meet regularly. There are many options, including tae kwon do, fencing and kickboxing. If you wanted to attend these classes outside the gym, it would cost you.

In the end, it’s up to you to make the decision where you want to work out. Be it in the gym, outside or in your own home, it’s important that you continue to exercise. But I do suggest that you try the gym before you turn it down. Otherwise, you’ll never know. Of course, there’s no time like the present!