COMPLETE GUIDE: How to Stay Fit in College | 14 Tips to Stay In Shape During School
I think I have made a “Tips to stay healthy in college” post at the beginning of just about every new semester, but the list just keeps building and building as I pick up more easy tips and hacks to stay fit as I go throughout my college years!
So, I give to you:
THE COMPLETE GUIDE TO STAYING FIT IN COLLEGE
I am so excited about these tips because I feel like this is the most complete list yet. Fitness is made of MORE than just working out. Fitness encompasses the WHOLE body! To me, fitness has three components:
This list of tips hits on each one of these and I hope you find them helpful. Here you go, friends! Time to kick off another semester - the healthy way.
1. Bring snacks EVERYWHERE you go!
I am a firm believer in SNACKS. There is a reason this is tip #1. If you see me on campus walking around with a giant lunchbox, it’s full of snacks. Most days, I leave my apartment at 6:00am to do a few personal training sessions and then I just stay on campus for the rest of the day. I eat about every 3 hours, so I always have to pack a bag full of healthy food because I get hangry if I go for long periods of time without eating. I find that I am less likely to over eat once meal time comes around if I have been eating smaller portions throughout the day. In all of my snacks I look for three things:
1. High in protein
2. High in healthy fats
3. Low in sugar
I absolutely LOVE Quest Bars, Unico Nutrition protein powder (use the code “BOWERS20” for 20% off on www.uniconutrition.com), fresh fruits and veggies, mixed nuts, Justin’s single serving nut butter packs, Eat Fit Go meals, homemade energy bites, etc. CLICK HERE to get some of my favorite healthy snack recipes!
2. ALWAYS eat breakfast.
I am one of those people that HAS to eat right when I wake up. I do love to do fasted cardio in the morning occasionally, but for the most part I always reach for breakfast shortly after I roll out of bed. I know intermittent fasting has become super popular lately (a technique where you limit your “feeding window” to a span of 8 hours a day) but I will always be an advocate for breakfast, especially if you are a student. Giving your body the fuel it needs early in the morning will help you focus and have enough energy to go about your busy schedule! My breakfast is always the highest carb meal I eat during the day. I like to load up on complex carbohydrates early (like whole grain oats) so my body burns them as energy throughout the morning.
This tip may seem like the easiest one but with deadlines, distractions and the desire to have a social life, sleep can sometimes take the back seat. Aim to get at least 7-9 hours of sleep every night to make sure you have enough energy to take on your day when you wake up in the morning. A lack of sleep can make it hard to focus and can lead to over-eating and even irritability. I am a coffee drinker, but warm tea in the morning can also help get you up & going.
4. But… 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 workout!
5. Use the campus rec center
Most college campuses have a recreation center full of workout equipment and plenty of space to get up and get moving, so take advantage of the resources given to you! Make your gym time a social hour and take a group of your friends to work out. I spend a lot of time at Mizzou’s campus rec center working as a personal trainer and I love being around such like-minded people passionate about fitness and wellness. Mizzou has TigerX group fitness classes, personal training boot camps, team sports clubs, individual training sessions, and partner training sessions, so the opportunities are endless. Chances are, your college offers similar opportunities to help you reach your fitness goals!