Check me out consistently posting, and what not (yasss Sherez! Good Job!).
Anyways lol, I wanted to post a couple of tips I use to remain active and healthy during graduate school. But don’t worry, even if you’re not in grad school, these tips can still work for you!
During my undergrad, I was a Division I Track and Field athlete, so I lived an extremely active and healthy life.
Since graduating and entering grad school though, I’ve gotten a ton of complements on how well I’ve maintained myself since my glory days lol. First of all, shout out to those people for gassing me LOL. But usually, the complement is followed by the phrase “I don’t know how you do it in grad school!”
To be honest, schedule/time wise, it’s really not that difficult. I’m a firm believer in “if something is important to you, you’ll make time for it.” The most difficult part is overcoming your complacency. In today’s society, from what I’ve seen in the US, we are are trying very hard to be politically correct and not fat or skinny shame. Now I do not disagree, but I think that it’s important to instead, push the agenda to lead more active lives. Yes it is important to embrace all body types, but it’s most important to embrace a healthy life style at the same time. I know people who are skinny, and literally lead the most unhealthy life, but they think it’s ok because they are already skinny. And vice versa, I know people who are overweight and lead an unhealthy lifestyle but have no interest in changing either. Both of the mentioned groups are complacent.
So let’s jump into my tips!
1. DON’T BE COMPLACENT
Lol naturally this is the starting point. Just because you are already skinny, doesn’t mean that you’re healthy. Just like being larger doesn’t necessarily make you unhealthy. Think about your lifestyle and whether or not you are truly healthy. Talk to your doctor or nutritionist. They’ll be able to tell you more!
2. Set goals
I’ve found that exercising without a goal is total shit for me, and I usually give up fast. Since I’m a runner, I usually have running related goals because those work for me.
For example, my current goal is to be able to run 6 miles by the end of September (I got wayyy out of shape this summer eating my mother-in-law’s rice and beans, and tostones every chance I could.. You win some you lose some). I also like to set body goals, like “have a 4 pack by October,” for example. I always combine my goals with a time frame because that allows me to see progress, while also pushing me to meet the deadline. Other goals could be to eat less meat, work out 3-4 times per week, eat less sugar/ deserts, etc.
3. Budget your time
As grad students, or adults, or moms, or human beings, or whatever, we usually think we are busier than we actually are. Don’t get me wrong, as a PhD student, I’m busy af! But, I do have down time. How much time do you spend scrolling on instagram, facebook, and snapchat? How much time do you watch Netflix ..and chill? How much time do you just stare at a wall? LOL
Yea. That’s what I thought. Your ass has time!
I always love to do activities that don’t take a long time but they get the job done.
Some of my favorites are 30 min circuits, spending an hour at the gym, or running for 20 mins followed by 10 mins of abs or a mini circuit. We all have a half hour to spare! Again, it’s all about how much you want it. And the good thing about circuits is that you don’t need anything besides your body. So there’s really no excuse lol.
4. Buddy System
One thing that’s helped me is that I always have a workout buddy. Look for someone who has similar goals as you, and who is NOT a flake. When you have another person expecting you to be somewhere or do something, it forces you to hold yourself more accountable. If you can’t find someone who you’re actually friends with, or who’s in your academic program, consider joining a club/ fitness group. Many schools have a running club, or some type of sports/athletic club that you could join. But if you prefer to workout on your own and are self motivated, do your thaang!
5. Baby Steps
Start small! If you just wake up one day and are like “this week I’m going to go from working out 0 times per week, to working out 7 days a week!” the chances of you burning out/failing are pretty damn high. I like to start small and set mini goals that I know are attainable.
So let’s say I haven’t been working out (this turns out to be true this past summer lmao). When I start back up again, I aim to workout 2-3 times a week, for 1-2 weeks. Once the two weeks are up, I add in something else. For example, instead of working out 2-3 times, I’ll make my new goal to workout no less than 3 times, and I won’t eat meat once a week, and I keep building from there until I get to where I want to be. Once I’m where I want to be in my workout schedule (i.e. workout 5 days a week, eat meat only 4 days a week, etc.) then I work on consistency!
6. Activity Track
Lastly, I loooove activity tracking. In sum, activity tracking is a type of journaling (bullet journaling to be exact) where you monitor your activities and set goals. Each time you complete a goal, you color it in on your tracker. One, it keeps you very organized, and two you get to COLOR as an adult.
I repeat. You get to COLOR!
If that doesn’t pump you up, then we can no longer be friends…
Just remember, when you’re telling yourself, “I’m too tired,” or “at least I’m still smaller than Suzzie,” or “at least I can still fit one pair of my old pants,” it’s not about that! It’s about treating our bodies right! Exercise and healthy eating literally can only benefit you, when done correctly. So be like Nike, and Just Do It!
But anyways, there you have it! My tips to go from your average grad school couch potato, to a ripped, mean, green, iron pumping machine.
Not really, but you get the point.
And don’t forget that sharing is caring!