Fitness & Health

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Workouts can make you healthier, feel better, and be more focused

FITNESS IS AN important aspect of our lives. In university it’s easy to get distracted by class, studying, homework, and part-time jobs—all of which can lead to feelings of anxiety.

“I think [working out] is important because to feel good about yourself you have to be healthy and full of energy,” says first-year psychology student Catherine Guitard. “After training I can easily study all day long.”

Health Canada says physical activity is one of the most important keys to staying healthy and that it can also help you keep calm and focused, which is crucial to a student’s success in university.  Physical activity can be divided into two categories: Cardio and muscle toning.  While cardio is the most essential kind of physical activity, muscle toning is also advisable.

Taking the stairs to class instead of the elevator is not as good as going to the gym, especially when that one flight of stairs becomes your workout quota for the week.

“[Fitness] makes me feel better about myself,” says fourth-year English and philosophy student Steven Galleta. “I try to go six days a week, so basically six hours a week.”

The crucial aspect of Galleta’s good feeling isn’t just the endorphins; it’s the fact that he can achieve a healthy workout in less than an hour.  The difficulty is making the choice to commit that time before knowing any of the results, and this often scares people.

Here are some quick Fulcrum tips for workouts and exercises that you can squeeze into your busy schedule.

Jogging or running: A simple and free exercise. If you have an hour or longer break, this exercise is the one for you.  Cardio is essential in preventing heart related illnesses and decreases overall levels of fatigue.

Half an hour dedicated to interval running is the most efficient. Sprint for 30 seconds and then walk for a minute and repeat. You can take 30 minutes to do cardio and 30 minutes to shower, get ready, and get to your next class.

Burpees: This exercise is excellent if you have less than the 30 minutes it takes to go jogging. You can also basically roll out of bed and start.  This exercise combines muscle toning and cardio.  Muscle toning has been linked to increased levels of endorphins, and decreased levels of muscular discomfort.

Crunches or Sit-ups: If you’re just not feeling like doing cardio that day, at least you can start the tummy toning process. This is something you can do even while studying.  This exercise is predominantly a muscle toning exercise.

All of these simple and quick workouts can be done during breaks between classes, especially those annoying hour-and-a-half-long ones when you’re stuck on campus.

It’ll become easy to feel good and know that you’re taking the necessary steps toward creating and maintaining a healthy lifestyle.

“It’s important for everyone to maintain a healthy body. I just feel better and happier,” says second-year psychology major Claudia Hong. “The endorphins are kicking in, and I feel that I have more energy throughout the day. I get a better night’s sleep and it definitely fights off the freshman 15.”

Hong says she tries to take advantage of the programs run by Sports Services, including group fitness classes whenever she has time between lectures.

Fitness is certainly important, and can fit into your schedule more easily than you think.