2018 has just rolled in and I know that means a lot of resolutions to exercise and lose weight. Every year, loads of people start off strong and commit to going to the gym several times a week and a bunch of other rapid changes. And every year, loads of people stop doing these things by the time March rolls around. So this year, instead of trying to make unrealistic and time consuming changes to your life, start small by doing these 7 things to get exercise on campus throughout your day (no extra time needed).
1// Lunge up the Stairs
If you have to go up stairs, take them two at a time. If you haven’t ever done this, start off by just walking up the stairs at the same rate you would if you were walking up the stair one step at a time. Essentially, don’t rush it. As you get better, add a speed component so that you’re “jogging” and then running up the stairs taking them two at a time.
Make sure that your entire foot, including your heel, is on the step when you go to lunge otherwise you might injure your Achilles’ tendon. And if your knees hurt at any point, don’t do this exercise. You might need to build up the muscles a
This motion is very similar to a walking lunge in that your thigh is almost perpendicular to your body and you push off the front leg to bring your back leg up into the following position. The beauty of this motion is that not only are you working your hamstrings and glutes, but also your hips and core to keep yourself stable. Overall, taking the stairs two at a time is a great way to get a little bit of strength training into your everyday,
2// Run up the Stairs
On the other hand, if you need to burn more calories while getting in some cardio, taking the stairs one at a time is definitely the answer. But don’t just walk up the stairs, jog up them. Just remember to hold your backpack straps down so that you can get a good job up the stairs.
This is a really great thing to do if you have to climb a lot of stairs in a short amount of time because it can get your heart rate up pretty quickly just like in a longer cardio routine.
3// Beat the Person in Front of You
I’m an extremely competitive person, it may even be my fatal flaw. So this is a training tactic I frequently use throughout the day. Whenever I’m walking between classes I pick a person a few feet ahead of me who’s moving at a pretty consistent speed and make it my mission to pass them before I get to where I’m going.
While it is a competition that literally only you know about, there’s a sense of satisfaction at winning. And you’ll quickly adjust to having a comparatively faster gate than those around you. You might even find yourself casually timing how long it takes you to get between buildings and pushing yourself to be even faster, just because you can.
Speed walking, even in small amounts, is a great way to get a little bit of cardio in every day. Extra bonuses, like stronger legs, a better butt, and increased lung capacity, apply if you speed walk up the ridiculous campus hills.
4// Bike Hard
There was no way that I wasn’t including this in an exercise around campus list. It’s literally one of the greatest workouts that you can do.
Just don’t bike slowly. Make sure that you’re actually pushing yourself to bike as fast and as hard as you can while also being safe. If you don’t get to class at least a little bit out of breath you might need to up the intensity of your bike ride.
Just like speed walking, biking is a great way to get in cardio throughout your day. And it’s definitely a great way to build amazingly powerful (and gorgeous) legs.
5// Shrug off the Boredom
When you start getting bored in class or your hand starts cramping from all the writing your doing, take a moment to do a few simple shoulder shrugs. While your shoulders are up near your ears you might even want to roll your neck a couple times to loosen any tightness that you might be feeling.
Shoulder shrugs are a great way to work the upper parts of your trapezius muscle which are arguably the easiest to train. Just make sure that when your shrugging, don’t roll your shoulders. Only go up and down to avoid any unnecessary injuries.
6// Criss-Cross Applesauce
Stretching is definitely one of the most important forms of exercise. Unfortunately, not a lot of people pay attention to that fact and often ignore it. But not you.
When you’re in a chair, simply sit cross-legged. Just remember to switch which leg is on top of the other every once in a while and not to sit cross-legged for hours at a time. Change positions and walk around whenever you can.
Sitting cross-legged opens up your pelvis and inner thighs as well as stretches your ankles and knees all while improving your posture. It’ll take some getting used to but when you do it’s incredible to realize how much tension you were holding in your hips.
7// Push Yourself to Levitate
In the spirit of sitting cross-legged this small movement is a surefire way to build core and tricep strength. This is a yoga movement known as Scale Pose or Tolasana that makes it look like you can levitate a little (okay, not really but it’s fun to imagine).
Sit cross-legged in a chair and using either the armrests or the edges of the seat, push up so your legs and butt are lifted from the chair. Tighten your core and remember to breathe throughout the exercise. Hold this position for 5-10 seconds and then lower back down. Repeat this a few times, if you can.
It’s harder than it looks, so don’t be surprised if you can’t get that far off the chair. And if you only have a swivel chair, be extremely careful so you don’t fall backwards. Otherwise, have at it.
8// Chair Twists
I am constantly cracking my back to the irritation (and disgust) of people in my class, there’s just something so satisfying about releasing all that pressure and tension in your back. But, according to various chiropractors, feeling the relatively constant need to crack your back can be a sign of back problems that needs to be addressed. However, if you’re mostly in it for the deeper stretch it seems to give, try a yoga twist.
Sit up tall with perfect posture and your feet either cross-legged or on the floor right next to each other. Then, without using your hands, start twisting towards the right. Go as far as you can comfortably, making sure to keep a straight back. Now you can use your right hand to grab the edge of the seat behind your or the top of the chair, whichever is more comfortable, for stability. And take your left hand to the outside of your right knee, using gentle pressure to keep your spine straight. Do not use your arms to pull yourself into a deeper stretch. Turn your head to look over your right shoulder and hold that pose for a few deep breaths. Keeping your spine straight, untwist yourself and then switch sides.
It still gives you a good stretch and it can help relieve some of the pressure and tension that you’re feeling without potentially harming your back.
Those are all the ways that I exercise on campus every day and I can honestly say it has definitely helped in improving my fitness. Starting small with exercise like these when trying to get healthier is a huge step forward, one that not a lot of people take. A little bit of exercise every single day is a lot better than getting no exercise every single day. So start of your 2018 fitness resolution right by doing 7 exercises on campus and then keep pushing yourself to eat better and exercise more.
What are your fitness goals for 2018? Do you have other sneaky ways to exercise around campus?