Finding time to work out in college can feel legitimately feel like trying to open a pickle jar with an entire bottle of lotion slathered onto your hands. From hours upon hours of studying, to the unholy amount of credits you're taking, to pulling way too many all-nighters, to being completely devoted to participating in Thirsty Thursday, making it to the gym probably feels pretty close to impossible. But with a few simple gym hacks for school, you can, indeed, make those #gains without sacrificing schoolwork, sleep, or a few shots of Smirnoff.
According to a study from Purdue University, college students who make time to work out in their busy schedules actually get better grades and perform better in school overall. Plus, Forbes reports that squeezing in a sweat sesh here and there can improve your memory, increase productivity, and even make you smarter in general.
I know what you're thinking, though. It's a lot easier said than done, especially when it feels like you're literally drowning in assignments. (Seriously, do teachers like, collaboratively try to murder our spirits?)
But these seven life hacks are super simple, and they're sure to help you prioritize your time to allow for a workout every now and then. You've got this, fam.
1. Schedule Your Workouts Like Classes
Making an actual schedule of your workout times can seriously help so much when it comes to staying on track with your fitness goals.
If you treat a sweat sesh like a class, it's easier to be more realistic about actually hitting the gym. Plus, your workout times will be perfectly arranged around your class schedule.
Be sure you don't stress about it like class registration, though. Working out is meant to do the body and the brain good, and no college student needs an extra source of stress, amirite?
2. Take A Gym Class For Credit
What's the best way to get an easy A+ for your workout? Signing up for a gym elective for credit!
Even if you hated gym class back in high school, in college, it's totally different. No one's making fun of you for actually using the machines in the weight room, and getting your workout in is actually improving your GPA. Pretty cool, right?
3. Sign Up For Intramurals Or Club Sports
Most college campuses offer a variety of intramural and club sports for students. From ultimate frisbee to gentle yoga flows, there are so many options when it comes to staying active and meeting new people in college.
Plus, if you end up getting really into it, it won't feel like a chore or an extracurricular you forced yourself to pick up. You'll be able to catch up with friends and maintain your fitness routine, all at the same time.
4. Squeeze In A Dorm Room Workout
Whether it be rolling out your yoga mat next to your bed, whipping out a jump rope and getting some cardio in, or using your textbooks as dumbbells, dorm workouts are where it's at when you're living that college life.
Squeeze in a quickie circuit between classes, or set your alarm a bit earlier to sweat it out before classes start. For a morning workout, just make sure it's low-impact, or your roomie might low-key hate you forever.
5. Do Your Class Reading While Walking On The Treadmill Or Elliptical
You don't always have to go super hard at the gym. In fact, low-intensity days are actually great for your body.
Some light walking on the treadmill is an amazing way to move your body and get in all those reading assignments. You'll feel like a multitasking queen.
6. Go To Class In Your Gym Clothes
Yas girl, you rock those Lulu leggings in your stats class.
Make sure you head to the gym immediately after class, though, so you won't risk being tempted by Netflix and your pillow when you're back in your dorm.
7. Remember, The Little Things Count As Working Out, Too
Maybe you take the stairs instead of the elevator to your fifth-floor psych class, or you park your car a little further away from campus and walk the extra half-mile or so. It may not seem like it, but these little things definitely add up in the long run.
Remember, there's no need at all to beat yourself up for missing a workout here and there. School is stressful enough as it is. It's all about balance, and once you settle into a fitness routine that works for you, you'll feel productive, accomplished, and unstoppable AF.