By Alexandra Cochran
Blog Content Contributor
Whether it be playing sports or lifting weights at the gym, I have always been an avid exerciser. However, when college came around the corner, I suddenly lost interest in all sorts of exercise routines that were once a part of my self-care routine.
Living without “doing things” outside of your typical college routine, can easily convince you that you haven’t accomplished much. If you perform the same tasks and walk the same path everyday, you might feel like you are not achieving much as things seem to feel stagnant. Texas State University has a prestigious recreation facility filled with opportunities to promote a healthy lifestyle to all students, faculty, staff, and graduates belonging to the university. Our campus recreational center offers a weight room, six racquetball courts, cardio area, indoor track, rock climbing wall, natatorium, and the availability to check out equipment. Basically, Texas State gives all students the essentials to keep up a healthy lifestyle.
The simple fact that I was fully aware of these resources, definitely put some pressure on me. When I started my new habit of getting back in the gym, it was necessary to remember to take it slow, just compete with myself, and that showing up was alone a huge success. Since I went almost a whole semester without using the facilities, I had to create a routine I could stick to. I had to figure out exactly why I wanted to put in this effort. Was it for building muscle mass? Or to improve to a more toned physique with the perks of being healthier? I decided on the latter. The following list is a routine I created. It might not be for everyone and are solely just suggestions:
- STRETCH! Seriously, you can’t work out your muscles if they are not ready.
- Warm up with running/jogging 1 mile (at my own pace).
- Stretch the specific body parts I would be working out that day (ex: legs or arms)
- Low weight, high reps. > I sometimes begin my arm exercises with no weights until I build some strength.
- Abs! Find your go-to ab work outs that include upper and lower abdominals. I love this time during my workouts – I become more focused because I solely use my body as an exercising machine.
- Don’t forget your push ups. For real, I might be doing assisted push ups, but I started with only being able to do five and now I am up to 20.
- Stretch, stress relief meditation. I created my own playlist for this specific part of my work out. Slow, relaxing and deep breaths helps you finish your workout with a clear head and better intentions for your next return!
This has already created such a happier me within these last few weeks. Even days I do not make it to the gym, I make sure to practice some sort of self-love, get outside and do something. Taking 30 minutes of your day even just to stretch will help with the connection of your body and mind. Since starting my routine, I began to recognize some familiar faces that help create a sense of community. The moment you start to incorporate “doing things” as part of your lifestyle, you will feel so great and accomplished.
If you are not feeling like creating your own work out schedule, the Rec Center also offers amazing group exercise classes every semester. Although you can find a couple classes for free, the majority of classes offered are not included in our semester fees and a pass for the entire summer semester is $40 and $25 if you want to pay for just one summer semester. These classes range from total body toning, cycle fit in the cycle studio, swimming, and even climbing the 54-foot rock wall!
I would like to reiterate a few important things to remember: Never feel discouraged because there is truly no correct way to go about getting active, but if you never try you will never know what the experience turns out to be!
Featured image by Alexandra Cochran.