Sometimes it’s difficult to reach our fitness goals. The obstacles that stand in the way are often a little overbearing. For college students, living a healthy life can be even more challenging. A full-time college student’s school and work schedule can easily get in the way of starting a new workout plan. Additionally, eating out at fast food restaurants to save time is often seen as an only option for students on the go.
Kimber Mundt, a freshman at Black Hawk College, has discovered the keys to living a healthy life despite the baggage of college living. Although her schedule is busy, just like the rest of ours, she has found a successful way to balance school, work, and a healthy lifestyle. Here are her tips.
Start with your goals in mind
There really isn’t much of a point to accomplish anything if you don’t have any goals set in place. Start by asking yourself, “What do I want to gain from living the healthy life I want? What should I strive for?”
Some people work out to get the body they want while others work out to lose a couple of pounds. Probably the most important benefit of living a healthy lifestyle isn’t as materialistic, though. Heart disease, a health issue largely caused by poor dieting, is one of the top killers in America. Diabetes, another famous American killer, is up there with heart disease. Preventing yourself from developing these health problems is a great reason to start exercising and dieting.
For Kimber, her goals were clear from as early as middle school. “I started dieting because I had very low self esteem.” Additionally, both her family members and doctor expressed their concerns about her weight. Kimber’s initial goal was to find a starting point, to “get going,” and to keep going. If she could get herself started, she knew she would eventually reach her end goals.
Find a workout schedule that works for you
For some people, this is the hardest part of living a healthy life. Some college students have part-time jobs to worry about as well as classes. If you have a busy schedule and want to get fit, work around your priorities. In order to keep up with classes, Kimber worked around her school schedule. “I tried to workout everyday. It was Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Saturday mornings. That was at my old gym where I used to do crossfit.”
Crossfit, as Kimber describes, consists of “constantly varied functional movements performed at high intensity. It’s weightlifting, gymnastics, running, rowing and more.” She found three days out of the week to go to the gym. Her number one priority was school, so she fit the gym in with her school schedule.
An important thing to keep in mind is this: don’t make time for a workout if you have no time. Start with a basic plan like Kimber’s: Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Saturday mornings, for example. If you have a part time job, request 3-4 days off every week for working out. If there’s an emergency and you need to come in to work, or if you need to take a day off to study, that’s ok. Things like that happen all the time, and they have very little bearing on a healthy lifestyle. Additionally, if you have an extra day off work and/or school, take advantage of that. Work out on a Wednesday if you have the time, because you never know when you might need to take a workout day off for something unexpected.
Find a support system
Getting fit is always easier when you have friends and family to lean on. Let your loved ones know about your fitness endeavors. A lot of the time, your determination to reach your fitness goals inspire your friends and family to join in on your journey. For Kimber, her support system was crucial to her success. “My mom and I were losing weight together. My mom and friends also introduced me to crossfit.”
Many people prefer working out in groups. Company manages to make working out and eating healthy so much easier, and fun at that. If you’re working out with a friend or family member, track your success together. If you prefer working out alone, keep a planner or log for yourself. If you seem to be getting to your goals comparatively faster than your friend, let them in on your fitness plan and vice versa. You’ll both get to your individual goals much sooner if you work as a team.
When the going gets tough, get going
You have both a schedule and a support system in place. Now you just need to continue making progress. This might sound simple enough, but it really is a challenge to keep progressing through your fitness journey. With so many scholastic distractions, keeping up with your goals can get exhausting. When asked if pursuing her fitness goals became tiring after a while, Kimber answers, “It wasn’t really hard trying to push myself. This was something I really wanted to do… It was hard not eating the foods I love, but I found new foods that are more healthy.” If getting fit is something you really want in life, then nothing’s holding you back but yourself. However, if you need to take a break from working out due to unexpected circumstances, that’s perfectly fine. Sometimes a steady workout schedule has to take a backseat to more important events in life. But don’t take too long of a break–you may lose all interest in getting healthy.
The minute you start believing you’ll never get better, you become what you’re trying to avoid–a self-loathing, idle loaf. “Be positive, hang around a good support system. It will be hard, but never give up. The hard work will pay off someday.” When you’re in that despondent, depressive mood, just think about what will come of your dedication. If Kimber’s outstanding fitness transformation tells us anything, it’s that we can get fit as well, if we put our minds to it.
Special thanks to Kimber Mundt for sharing her helpful tips!
How have your workout and dieting plans changed since you started college? Do you have any helpful tips or an awesome success story to share? Leave a like and let us know in the comments!