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An introduction to balancing college life with an exercise routine.

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Here are some facts and tips to help you balance college life and an effective workout routine:

• Remember that one exercise doesn’t fit all. Everyone has different interests, likes and dislikes. The key is to find physical activities which you genuinely enjoy. You’ve got tons of options, such as: walking, running, biking, hiking, dancing, swimming, workout DVDs, gym classes, cardio machines, weight lifting, yoga, Pilates or playing sports. To keep from getting bored, include a variety of workouts during the week. This also helps to work out different muscle groups, which builds overall strength and prevents injury.

• If you’ve never exercised, take it slowly; start off with 30 minutes and use light weights if you’re strength training.

• The slogan, “no pain, no gain” is actually not true. You don’t need to experience pain to enjoy the health benefits of exercise. Also, when you’re in pain, you’re at greater risk for injury. So take breaks from workouts : if you experience recurrent pain associated with certain exercises.

• Schedule your physical activities. Just like you schedule your classes or a group study session, carve out specific time for being active. You can also multitask by reading on a stationary bike.

• Another way to fit exercise into your day is to exercise in spurts. If you have 10 minutes, take a walk or do a quick run. You can also find workout DVDs that last 10 to 30 minutes, which feature both cardio and strength training.

• Always warm up for several minutes to avoid injury, and stretch after any physical activity.

• Listen to your body for signs of pain, fatigue, dizziness or illness. Some days, you’ll be more active and be able to engage in intense exercise, while other days, your body will call for rest. Don’t push yourself too hard. Also, sometimes you’re better off relaxing on the couch than working out, especially if you’re getting sick.

• Remember that exercise is a lifestyle, not a quick fix to lose tremendous amounts of weight or a punishment for overeating. How you view exercise is important. Exercise is a healthy habit that contributes to a better life.