As we wrap up the first month back on campus, there are likely a million and one things on your mind. Hopefully, one of those things is moving your body. On top of your readings, lectures, assignments, work, personal life, sleep, and who knows what else, getting exercise may not be at the top of your list, but it should definitely at least be on it. Finding time to put aside to make sure you are regularly moving your body may seem daunting, but it doesn’t need to be. There are many resources available to you as a university student and I urge you to explore them.
This one may seem obvious, but Carleton Athletics has so many things to offer—and it’s included in your tuition! While Athletics is not currently running at its full capacity (thanks to COVID-19), there are still a number of ways you can utilize the facilities to keep your body moving. Carleton Athletics is offering fitness lane swims several times throughout the week. This is a great way to get in some cardio and get moving, though reservations are required in advance. If swimming isn’t really up your alley, you can also reserve an appointment for the Fitness Centre. Carleton’s gym holds numerous cardio and weight machines as well as a free-weights section. If you are looking for something a little more exciting, or aiming to add some accountability, Carleton also offers a variety of group fitness classes. To name a few, you can try Zumba, Power Yoga, Pilates, Kickboxing, Boxing, Tai Chi, and more.
Take a Walk
One of the many benefits of the Carleton University campus is the beauty of the surrounding land. If you’ve got time in between classes, think about taking a little stroll down by the canal. Going for a walk, especially after those long three hour lectures, improves the management of health conditions such as heart disease, joint and muscle pain, and helps you sleep better. Bonus: not only does it boost creativity, but you can enjoy some quality socialization time if you take a friend with you.
Take a Break to Stretch
No one here is saying that you need to become some master yogi or anything. Just acknowledge that this new hybrid model of learning often has us sitting down for very long periods of time, and your body is probably craving some movement. When given breaks from online classes, take a minute to get up and stretch. Maybe take a walk to the bathroom, grab some water or a snack. Taking frequent breaks allows our bodies and minds to have an easier time concentrating.
If you’re more of a homebody (hello anxiety!), try taking some time to work out from the comfort of your own home. There are a variety of online courses offered by Carleton Athletics, in addition to multiple free and readily available tutorials on YouTube. Taking 20 minutes out of your day to power through a little at-home workout is super convenient and saves you from any social anxiety!
Park Far Away
For those of us who drive to campus, try parking further away than you usually would. Planning for a few extra minutes of walking to your classes is a great way to get your body moving without huge commitment. For those of us who bus to campus, think about getting off a few stops early and taking some time to walk to your classes from a little further away. Alternatively, take the long way from one class to the next, and instead of walking through a building try to explore more and maybe even brave the outdoors.
While COVID-19 has certainly changed how we live our lives and commute in and around campus, it doesn’t mean that we need to lose out on the ability to move our bodies. Try your best to take even just a few minutes every day to maintain activity levels. Good luck in your studies, Ravens!
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