It’s 2016. The seemingly outrageous ideas from your favorite science-fiction films exist, and they’re limitless. We order groceries online. Our cars drive themselves. Virtual reality headsets are, in fact, a reality. There are, unfortunately, a few drawbacks to our modern norms. The most prominent of which being a lack of activity throughout the day. Even if you squeeze in 30 minutes of gym-time before your first class or your 9-5 internship, a sedentary lifestyle takes its toll. Our obligations should not compromise our health. Thankfully, there are a number of ways around it!
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Shake Up Your Study Space
This forces you to walk around campus on your search and might even spark a sense of adventure. If you always study in your room, a walk to the library will be a nice stretch. If you’re holed up in the library, walk to a nearby coffee shop. Cycling through a few places, even within the same day, will give you a much-needed break from sitting and a chance to clear your mind, too!
Use Your Lunch Break to Walk
If you’re working a full day at a desk job, this may be your only opportunity to get moving. Use your lunch hour to walk around the neighborhood, do some yoga moves, or walk to grab a bite to eat.
Swap Your Chair for an Exercise Ball
Whether you’re in the office, or studying in your room, an exercise ball is a great replacement for uncomfortable and often unsupportive desk chairs. Sitting in a normal chair requires zero muscle activity, while an exercise ball will target your core throughout the day. Or (even better) if you have the option, make a standing desk. Standing will engage a number of muscles to keep you toned and feeling good!
Do What You Normally Do Seated, but Actively
That’s right–it’s really that easy. Listen to music standing up. Watch TV standing up. Do squats during commercial breaks. Read your homework standing up. Pace while you talk on the phone. Before you begin any activity, simply ask yourself: Do I need to be sitting right now? And if not, change it!
Make Rules to Keep You Moving
Mentally note rules to ensure activity throughout a normal day. For instance, only use bathrooms on a different floor than the one you’re currently on. Leave books in your dorm that you need to walk back and grab in between classes. When parking in shopping malls, grocery stores, or restaurants, park as far away from the venue as possible. It make take some getting used to, but if you hold yourself accountable for a few small actions, they add up and force you out of a sedentary lifestyle. The best part is that your creativity is your only barrier. With imagination, you can think up endless rules to keep you active daily.
This one’s easy. If it’s manageable, skip the car. Walk to the grocery store. Bike to work. Roller blade to the bus stop. Keep moving!
Plan Active Fun
Use the power of 21st century technology to get away from 21st century inactivity. For example, use the TUN Student Discount mobile app to find out about about free & cheap yoga, dance, and rock climbing classes happening around you. Or find out about a new restaurant in the neighborhood that offers 20% off for students, and then walk there with your squad. TUN.com lists local businesses that offer student discounts and displays them on an interactive map so you can find great deals nearby. It can get you moving AND saving. Win-win!
Joelle Resnik is a student at Boston College pursuing a Bachelor of Arts in both Economics and Communications. She will try to tell you she kayaks in her free time, but you can most definitely find her napping. Don’t confuse her for her twin sister.