Monday, September 15, 2008

Exercising on a Time-Crunched Schedule

     According to my poll, some of you want to read about exercise and have trouble fitting it in to your schedule. I feel your pain.
     Between an assistantship, classes, clubs and time with friends and family, sometimes I wonder how I will fit exercise into my day. But I still manage to go to the gym at least 5 days a week. 
     How do I fit it in? Well, I'm that girl. I'm the one on the Stairmaster reading a text book. And I definitely did not have time to dress up before I went to the gym.
     It's true that reading on the machines doesn't bode well for a vigorous work-out. But, moderate workouts are beneficial too. They may not burn as many calories in the same amount of time, but they conserve energy, so you can work out longer. They might not have as many cardiovascular benefits, but it's better for your body than lying on the couch. I try to fit in a few vigorous workouts, but if I need to study, I see nothing wrong with slowing down and reading on the elliptical machine.
     And this type of exercising may have a side benefit as well. In one study I previously discussed, moderate exercisers didn't quit eat as many calories as vigorous exercises, despite burning the same amount at the gym.
     There are lots of tips out there about fitting exercise into your day, but they usually involve moves to do at the office, or advice like taking the stairs rather than the elevator. College students have different needs. We aren't stuck in the office. Let's take advantage of it while we can!

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