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College can be a challenging time that involves juggling multiple social and academic responsibilities. You may not think that you have any time left for exercise in your schedule, but maintaining your physical health is also an important responsibility and should be a priority, as it affects many other aspects of your life. For example, exercise:

  • Improves mood
  • Reduces stress
  • Boosts energy
  • Keeps you healthy
  • Helps with sleep

(Read more about these benefits here).

As a busy student, it is important to develop an exercise routine and schedule that actually works for you. For example, it doesn’t really make sense to plan on exercising every morning at 8:30 AM if you have a 9:00 AM class, or very early every morning if you tend to go to bed late and have trouble waking up early. You should also choose activities that you genuinely enjoy doing. There are plenty of great exercise options, and if you enjoy what you’re doing, then you’re more likely to stick with your healthy routine. Mixing up your exercise routine also helps to combat boredom, making you even more likely to keep at it. Some options for staying active include:

  • Joining an intramural team on campus
  • Group classes (like kickboxing, spinning or Zumba)
  • Yoga
  • Jogging
  • Going for a walk
  • Dance classes
  • Workout DVDs

If you’ve never exercised before, start slowly – only do thirty minutes of light activity at first, and increase the length and intensity of your workouts as you progress. Consult a doctor if you are concerned about your ability to exercise. Also, remember that exercise shouldn’t be viewed as a quick fix to lose large amounts of weight or as a punishment for overeating. Rather, exercise is and should be considered a healthy habit that contributes to a better life.

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