Some say, “What goes in must come out,” but that’s not always the case – especially with calories. As we’ve covered, eating right and strength training will combat weight gain in college. But there’s one more element you need to consider for your routine: cardio.
In fact, every healthy lifestyle needs a balance of cardio, strength training and eating well. In addition to maintaining and losing weight, cardio also boosts your mood, manages cholesterol and strengthens your heart, among many other benefits. Despite these perks, many are still averse to cardio.
There are many low-impact, fun exercises you can do in between, on your way or after class to help you stay fit, including:
Walk to class. Like, wake up early and actually walk to class. Even when it’s too hot or cold for your preference. One study found that college students walk 3,000 steps less than young children, which is about a mile and a half. On average, a 160-pound person will burn 100 calories when walking a mile. So if you walk five miles a week just to class, you’ve worked off a venti Starbucks Mocha Frappuccino. Think of how many calories you could burn if you did more than just walk to class!
Stride while you study (or procrastinate). Thanks to advancements in compact fitness technology, there is now an elliptical you can use under your desk or in a tight space, such as a dorm room or apartment. Either sit down and pedal while you read or stand up to use the strider while watching Netflix. There are even some models that offer resistance cords to incorporate your upper body as well.
Jump around. Jumping on a rebounder for 30 minutes burns the same amount of calories as a brisk walk or a session of water aerobics, making it an ideal workout when the weather is bad. Depending on the routine, you may burn a lot more calories than a walk, though. Since you probably don’t have a lot of room, consider a rebounder with a foldable frame that will easily store in a closet or under a bed.
Hit the hula hoop. It’s not just limited to music festivals and Instagram; you can hula hoop. And you should because hooping burns over 200 calories during a 30-minute session with a weighted hula hoop. If you add in additional elements, such as upper and lower body movement, you’ll burn more calories and tone up, too.
Overall, managing your calorie intake and compensating with cardio is critical to maintaining weight. There’s no better way to enjoy your college career than fit, healthy and happy. Now, it’s easier than ever.