10 Simple Exercises for Busy Students
Students regularly find themselves sacrificing their free and restorative time to finishing projects, homework and exam preparation. It means long nights without sleep, unhealthy fast food and no exercise – all adding up to stress, anxiety and in extreme cases, even depression. Despite such busy schedules, there are opportunities for simple exercises that really make the difference in reducing stress and feeling more refreshed. These ten simple home exercises are sure to get you feeling fitter and more relaxed no matter how busy the schedule.
Bodyweight exercises require zero equipment and can be done anywhere. There are hundreds of variations for both the upper and lower body.
Cross crunches, toe touches and planks work the core. Squats, lunges and hip lifts work the legs and glutes. Pull up variations and back extensions are great for back strength. Arm circles and triceps dips work the shoulders and arms. Push-ups have many variations that are great for chest strength. These exercises not only tone your body but release endorphins that make you feel better and more energised. These can be great morning or midday routines to keep you feeling refreshed, positive throughout the day and ready to study.
Dumbbells, barbells and kettlebells are commonly part of a gym setup. They’re available for purchase at reasonable prices from department stores, making it super convenient to set up your home gym.
Kettlebells are especially versatile with a convenient handle. Kettlebell swings, goblet squats and snatches are amongst the most popular exercises to perform and are excellent for burning calories. Students with time at the end of their day can do weight exercises to help burn calories and increase metabolism to help combat the effects of unhealthy eating.
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As well as maintaining strong muscles, it is also important to maintain an adequate range of motion in your joints and muscles. Stretching will increase flexibility, reduce muscle tightness and increase blood flow. For students who spend most of their time sat down or inactive, stretching exercises are important in preventing circulation issues.
Join online classes
Sometimes you need a motivation boost from a personal trainer or group fitness instructor. From the comfort of your own home, achieve this by joining online classes.
High-intensity interval training (HIIT) has taken the world by storm. Classes can be as short as 30 minutes, making HIIT a great option for busy students. You can even get your friends involved.
Add some variety into your workouts by incorporating resistance band exercises. These bands come in various resistances to suit beginner to advanced levels.
Tie them around your knees for side steps and monster walks. These exercises target the glutes and abductor muscles of the legs.
You can also stand on the band then do exercises usually performed with weights. This includes shoulder press, bent over row and bicep curls.
Go for a walk
College can be stressful, and it is important for students to take time out for themselves. Exercise is a great option for this and can help reduce stress.
Walking for 30 minutes each day has significant health benefits. This includes weight loss, stronger joints and a lowered risk of many chronic diseases. Gradually challenging your walking routine with more inclines or going barefoot when walking along softer surfaces will help your control of foot positioning, as well as improved foot mechanics and longer endurance.
Create a circuit
Incorporate exercises into a circuit. Choose a combination of bodyweight, weighted and band exercises. Alternate between upper and lower body exercises. This way, certain body parts can rest in between exercises. Having a circuit helps with variation, making it feel less like another routine and more like an opportunity to wind down.
Seated exercises are perfect for those who have limited mobility or injuries. If you are too busy to stop studying, they’re also a great way to take a break from the computer screen or your notes.
Chair stands, leg extensions, assisted lunges, and arm circles are a few of the many exercises you can perform on or using a chair. End your workout with seated stretches.
All you need is a skipping rope and a small, flat area. This makes skipping a great option for aerobic exercise in a small space such as an apartment or garden. Skipping is a great cardio exercise, helping you burn calories fast while strengthening your heart and lungs.
Download a fitness app
If you don’t have the creativity or even the time to plan your exercises, consider using a fitness app. Many will offer customised workout plans along with healthy meal ideas and inspirational stories. They can also be used to work around your schedule; fitness tracking apps can count your daily steps or calories burned throughout the day, keeping you better informed.
Tight schedules call for quick and easy workout options. Home workouts save time by eliminating the commute, which makes them a great choice. Incorporating regular exercise into your student lifestyle will make you healthier, more productive and most importantly: happy.
Maia Fletcher is a freelance writer from the sun-kissed city of Gisborne, New Zealand. As her work involves typing away in her computer for hours, she very much appreciates taking mini-breaks – enjoying a cup of tea then doing some much-needed stretches! See more of Maia’s work here.