TIPS: TFB's Guide To A Fit + Healthy Week Of Midterm Exams

WE MADE IT, Y'ALL. Well, almost. It's that time in the semester when we are all hardcore cramming for weeks full of midterm exams, papers, and group projects. As college students, we are BUSY with classes, work, internships, clubs and organizations, and other extra activities we try to squeeze in to our schedules. Sometimes, it can be easy to put fitness on the back burner. I GET IT. I am right there with you! But, there are simple ways you can still make your fitness goals a priority during this hectic time.

It is so important to make your workout schedule and healthy eating habits a lifestyle. Life will always be crazy, busy, and hectic. The key is to find ways to incorporate healthy habits into your day in a way that still allows you to be productive in other areas of your life. THAT is how you will truly be able to find balance in your fitness regimen and make it maintainable for the long term.

Example: I'm writing this while I'm on the stair climber at the gym. It's actually easier to balance a laptop on one of these machines than you would think.

These 8 TIPS will help you maximize your workouts and make the most of the extra time that you DO have. They are all simple, effective, and can EASILY be incorporated into your day - no matter how busy you are. Get ready y'all, it's time to start SLAYING your fitness game again!

1. Meal prep the night before. Let's face it: something almost always comes up in the morning that makes us run later than we were planning. The LAST thing you want to do is forget your healthy snacks and either A) make a candy bar impulse buy at the campus convenience store because you're starving or B) be left extra hangry when you get home at the end of the day and binge on everything in sight. Get your lunchbox ready to go, store it in the fridge over night, and grab it on your way out the door in the morning. Some of my favorites to pack are deli meat, grilled chicken, fresh veggies, apple slices, mixed nuts, almonds, protein bars, fat-free cheese sticks, etc.

2. Set your alarm EARLY!

Rise & shine! Get up and get moving before the craziness of your day starts. I love working out in the morning, because not only does it wake my body up and help me feel more alert and energized, I have also found I am MUCH more productive for the rest of the day. Plus, post workout breakfast is the bomb. Like, probably one of my favorite parts of the day. Mix up a bowl of overnight oats and put them in the fridge so they are ready to eat right when you finish your sweat sesh.

My favorite Cinnamon Roll Overnight Oats recipe:

- 1/2 cup old fashion rolled oats

- 1/2 cup fat free vanilla greek yogurt

- 1 tablespoon stevia

- 1 teaspoon butter extract

- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

CLICK HERE to view: Skinny Cinnamon Streusel Coffee Cake

3. Get your cardio in: WALK to class

Depending on how big your campus is, you can get a pretty good workout by simply WALKING to class! Mizzou's campus is HUGE, so I use my time between classes to squeeze in that extra cardio by walking from class to class. If your campus has a lot of hills - that's even better! Who cares if you show up out of breath and sweaty, right?

4. Study while you sweat

Like I said earlier: I am on the stair climber as I type this. You can get so much done while you do a long distance cardio workout. The stair climber, the stationary bike, and walking on an inclined treadmill are all great low impact options that allow for multi-tasking. Not to mention, your workout goes by SO much faster!

5. Make the most of your workouts

Get in and GET OUT! I myself am guilty of "standing around" at the gym sometimes. It's so easy to take a quick break between sets, check your phone, or get to chatting with a friend; and before you know it - 10 minutes have passed! Focus and finish strong so you can move on to your next task.

6. Try a high-intensity interval workout

There are SO many benefits to HIIT (High Intensity Interval Training). Not only is it quick, efficient, and sure to make you sweat, it also leaves your body in a state of recovery for a longer period of time; meaning you will actually burn MORE calories over the course of the following 24 hours than if you were to do a long distance cardio workout that lasted 45 minutes. My favorite HIIT workout is 10-15 minutes of sprints and rest intervals. Example: sprint for 30 seconds, rest for 30 seconds, sprint for 30 seconds, rest for 30 seconds.

CLICK HERE to view: Tighten + Tone: Arms & Abs Workout

7. Make an appointment with yourself You wouldn't miss a conference with your academic advisor, would you? Schedule your workout into your hectic day. Some days, you may end up having to work out at a different time than you prefer because you have other commitments, and that is OKAY! As long as you are holding yourself accountable and making time to MOVE during the day, that is what counts.

8. Remember WHY you started THIS. This is the most important thing you can do! Remind yourself of your goals and know that nothing happens overnight. Anything worth having in life takes hard work, determination, and A LOT of sweat! Think of your journey towards achieving your goals as a staircase; and each day you have to put forth the effort to take AT LEAST one step up.