Getting back on the fitness track

Sometimes it’s hard to believe there are enough hours in a day to get all your assignments done, not to mention sneaking in your favorite shows. A lot of times it’s easy to make the excuse that we just don’t have the time to spare to make it to the gym. With finals coming up, this excuse becomes even more tempting. As college students we’re tired and worn out by the end of the semester. But when it you find yourself making this excuse more than one or two times a week consistently, then maybe you just aren’t trying. 

The trick to getting back on track is to find the motivation that you had when you started. Or maybe you need better motivation. Either way, it’s a chance to take a minute and re-evaluate your goals. Why do you want to workout? Is it to lose weight? Is it to be in good shape? Do you want to be able to run a marathon? Whatever the case may be, find something to strive for. Karessa White, a 24-year-old audiology graduate student at the University of Florida, started working out again during her sophomore year of college. “I couldn’t fit my clothes and I felt bad all the time so I knew that I had to change something.” She has also learned to work with her schedule instead of just giving up. “I have the most energy in the morning but lately I’ve been going to bed later so it’s more difficult to get up early to exercise,” White said.

Other students have different motivations. Andres Leiva, a 19-year-old journalism major at UF, says he forces himself to make time to exercise. “I love my body, and I think a big part of that is treating it with respect, which means making sure that it’s working right and that I’m constantly improving it’s performance,” Leiva said. You only have one body, and it’s important that you take care of it.

According to an article by the Harvard School of Public Health, healthy adults should get “a minimum of 2-1/2 hours per week of moderate-intensity aerobic activity, or a minimum of 1-1/4 hours per week of vigorous-intensity aerobic activity, or a combination of the two.” Two and a half hours a week means a half an hour of exercise a day for five of the seven days in a week at the most. That leaves plenty of time for your history paper, the Miami Heat game, and an episode of How I Met Your Mother. 

Ultimately, the question becomes “how badly do you want this?” Are you willing to work hard? Find what motivated you in the beginning and channel it. Once you push yourself and get into a routine, it will get easier. The hard part is getting back on the horse after getting thrown off.