Building a Consistent Exercise Routine in College

One of our goals at Beyond Akeela is to help teens develop a comfortable exercise routine into their lives, as it is known to have well documented physical AND mental health benefits for us. While teens at Beyond Akeela are not going through strict weight training or other strenuous exercise, they are practicing routines that they can replicate in college that will support a more successful college transition. Below are some tips for how to implement a consistent routine in your college life.

When I was in college, I recognized all the incredible benefits of staying active, and I knew I’d feel better if I incorporated exercise into my life. Yet, I needed help to prioritize exercise and stick to a routine. There always seemed to be something else demanding my attention, or I simply felt too tired to hit the gym. As I navigated this journey, I discovered how to create and stick to an exercise routine. In this blog, I’ll share seven tips that have not only helped me overcome the obstacles to exercising but have also guided me in staying committed to a regular fitness routine.

1. Find a Workout You Enjoy

Finding a workout you genuinely enjoy is the key to a successful exercise routine. There’s no “best” workout. The best exercise for you is the one you’ll stick with consistently. Choose an activity that brings you joy, whether it’s dancing, outdoor cycling, nature walks, martial arts, or swimming.

2. Start Small and Gradually Increase Intensity

When you’re motivated to begin a new workout routine, diving into intense workouts immediately is tempting. However, this can lead to muscle soreness and overtraining. Start with a routine that’s manageable and easy to follow. As your body adapts, gradually increase the intensity of your workouts. This approach ensures long-term sustainability.

3. Plan Your Workouts

Creating a plan helps you build consistency. It also reduces the decisions you must make when working out. You can list the days and times you will work out and put them on your calendar. You can also plan what you will do during your workout by either following a specific program or writing down the exercises you will do before you exercise. There are numerous resources and workouts available online.

4. Create an Energizing Playlist

Music remarkably influences your motivation during workouts. Create a playlist with upbeat, energizing songs that inspire you to move. The right music can boost your enthusiasm and help you power through your exercise sessions.

5. Seek Support and Guidance

Starting your exercise journey with professional guidance can be incredibly effective. Working with a trainer offers valuable insights and a structured plan tailored to your needs. Trainers can also help prevent overtraining and reduce the risk of injuries.

If a personal trainer is not accessible, consider joining group classes. Group workouts provide social interaction, opportunities to learn new skills from trained professionals, and accountability through class schedules and cancellation policies.

6. Have a Clear Intention

Why do you want to exercise and lead a healthier life? Having a strong personal reason and narrative can significantly boost your motivation. Take time to define your “why,” write it down, and refer to it when you need a motivational boost. Connecting with your intention will help you stay committed to your exercise routine.

7. Incorporate Non-Exercise Physical Activity

Research shows that non-exercise physical activities contribute significantly to an active lifestyle. Try to incorporate movement where you can. Simple habits like walking for 5-10 minutes after each meal, taking the stairs, or riding your bike to class can make a significant difference.

These tips can help you build a consistent exercise routine. While working on building your exercise routine, it is essential to be mindful of your self-talk and overall well-being. Please exercise at your own pace and try not to compare where you are with anyone else. We all have our journey, and the purpose of building an exercise routine is to support you in living a happier life. Exercise is not about what you can’t do but a celebration of what your body can do.

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