If you’re in college, either as an undergraduate or a grad student, paying for expensive gym memberships can be out of the realm of possibility. Most students in the country are living on a very tight budget and, unfortunately, paying for workouts simply isn’t feasible. If you’re in school, and on a budget, there are ways that you can get your workouts in without having to spend a dime!
1. Take a Class
Most colleges require that you take a certain number of physical education credits in order to graduate. If this is the case at your school, why not use that requirement to your advantage? Instead of taking golf or bowling class, take a circuit training or yoga class. Either will give you a great workout and credit towards graduation. Look into the other physical education classes your college offers; martial arts, aerobics or even weight lifting are all great options!
If you walk at a brisk pace for at least 20 minutes, you’ll get your heart pumping faster than you’d think possible. While you may be walking back and forth to class, chances are your pedestrian commute isn’t taking you enough time, nor are you walking quickly enough, to burn a decent number of calories. Try to make time before or after class to lace up your tennis shoes and really put some effort into your walk.
If you’ve got a bike, make sure you get on it and pedal away! Keep in mind that the harder you pedal, the shorter a distance you’ll have to travel. The slower you pedal, the longer you’ll have to ride. If you have hills to ride on, even better! Riding your bike uphill will burn almost twice as many calories as riding on a flat surface.
If city riding isn’t your thing, look for trails, in or around campus that you can traverse. If you do decide to hit the trails, be sure to let at least one person know your route in case you should tumble and are unable to make it back to your dormitory.
No matter what college you have chosen to attend, you’ll easily find a set of stairs. Whether it’s in your dormitory, in a classroom building or even in the stadium, there are stairs that you can climb up and down. Running stairs, or “stepping”, is a great way to get a heart-healthy workout and shed some weight at the same time. Be sure that your joints are healthy enough for the pounding they will take from this type of activity.
5. Intramural Sports
You don’t have to be a stellar athlete to play sports in college. You can easily find an intramural team for a sport that you’re interested in. If you played basketball in college, but weren’t necessarily a stand-out athlete, look for an intramural basketball team. You can also find volleyball, softball, baseball, football, golf and bowling teams, just to name a few, on most college campuses. Keep in mind, however, that playing one night a week won’t get you all of the exercise that you need, but it’s better than doing nothing. To ramp up your activity level, consider organizing practices for the team two or three nights a week.
You don’t have to be a millionaire to continue your workouts once you hit the campus. There are activities that will help you lose weight, stay fit and maintain your health that won’t cost a single penny. Get creative when it comes to your workout routine; your body will thank you for it.
Nicole Morgan is a nutritional consultant and career counselor, she blogs for nursepractitionerprogramguides.org where you can find information about nurse practitioner online programs.