We all know that studying takes a lot out of us. Working, then coming home to study and try and fit in some exercise is easier said than done. Most of us still want to retain some semblance of a social life or spend time with our family.
Here’s a new insight. You don’t need to be hitting the gym for 60 minutes a day to make your step count and lead a healthy life. Instead, it’s the simple things you can do daily that will keep your step count up, your mind sharp, and still provide you with time to spend with your friends and family.
Here are five tips to keep you on the move while you work and study:
Get Up And Get Moving
For most of us, we spend our days at work behind a desk or on long car drives in traffic, on train rides, buses or taxis to and from the office. Naturally, the last thing you want to do after this is sit down again to study. However, your brain and your eyes need a break too. Therefore, it is important to take frequent small breaks to maintain your concentration and productivity levels. After every 30 to 45 minutes of working at your desk, stand up and walk around a little bit. This could mean making yourself something to drink, checking on the kids, throwing the ball to the dog, stepping outside for a bit of fresh air.
Maintain A Good Posture
A lack of posture-awareness can lead to you hunching over your desk, which in turn puts strain on your back, neck, shoulders, muscles and even your eyes. Not surprisingly, you may end up with a splitting headache before you have finished.
Nowadays, there is some helpful technology to make your life easier in this respect. Get yourself an iPad, tablet or Kindle, download your textbook and change your environment. Sit on a Pilates ball, lie on the grass, read in the bath or even while standing – these small changes will make a difference. Your body will tell you that it is time to move or change position as soon as you start feeling uncomfortable. This is your built-in notification that it’s time for a breather and a leg stretch.
Change Up Your Routine
We mentioned earlier that you don’t need a gym to train and this is very true. Your kids or pets make for great training tools during active play with them, and you get to spend some quality time together. Play an exercise video or some dance music and get your kids involved in the activity too. Play tug of war with your dog!
You can also use routine chores of washing dishes or bath time for the kids by tweaking your routine slightly and adding squats or lunges while you are busy with them. If you have to stand a lot at work, you can perform some great Pilates exercises, and you can do it at any point during your day.
Being Active Should Be FUN!
It can be disheartening to constantly hear how you should take up running, or cycle more, or play a sport to get fit when you are battling to find time for yourself. These activities are great if introduced slowly and structured into a well-planned training programme. There is nothing worse than injury or burn-out when you first start exercising.
Whatever you decide to do, the point is to stay active without hurting yourself and to enjoy whatever you choose to do. It could be a day hike with friends on the weekend, a beach walk with your dogs, or rollerblading with the kids. All too often, we don’t give ourselves enough time to unwind, which leads to further stress and shorter spans of attention.
Laugh lots to release a magical cocktail of feel-good hormones.
Set Yourself Mini-Goals
Goals are essential as they keep you motivated. So start out making a small list of easily achievable things to do during the week, and work up to bigger goals as you become more motivated. It is also essential to reward yourself tangibly for achieving your goals. This doesn't mean that you should go overboard, but make sure that the reward aligns with your goal and is enjoyable.
eta College is a private higher education and training college specialising in qualifications that lead to employment in the sport and fitness industries. They dedicate themselves to providing dynamic learning programmes that lead to internationally benchmarked qualifications.
Students can study coaching science, fitness or sports management full-time, part-time or online courses at one of their twelve campuses across South Africa. They also have campuses in Namibia and Mauritius.
For more information on the courses that they offer, visit their website.