Staying fit is one of the key ways to live happily and healthily, especially on campus. Yet we all struggle with finding a sufficient amount of time to devote to fitness.

If you’re anything like me, you’ll tell yourself in the middle of the day that tonight is the night you get up and trek across campus to Sutcliffe. Then the time comes, and Sutcliffe suddenly might as well be on the other side of the world.

Or maybe you just don’t like the gym. For whatever reason, the communal area for weight lifting and sweating just doesn’t appeal to you, but keeping fit is something you’d like to do.

The solution? Exercise in your dorm room! No matter how cluttered, you can easily turn your living space into an exercise space. All you need a patch of cleared floor big enough to stretch in.

Physician Eric DeYoung of Louisville, Ky., listed five easy exercises and practices that will help college students stay fit and healthy through the stress and lethargy that drag you down during the year.

“There’s the familiar sit-ups and pushups that everyone knows,” Dr. DeYoung said. “Students can also do planks, jump rope, use an exercise ball for balance and core training. Even walking up a flight of stairs burns calories and tones muscles.”

For those who enjoy running, but hate the monotony of treadmills and tracks, try taking a run around Danville.

Photographer: Michelle Kim

Photographer: Michelle Kim

“When I go run, I start on Main and the turn right onto College Street, go down to Russell and then cut up Betty Avenue to Greek Row,” junior and field hockey player Alicia Kalbfleish said. “That’s about half a mile give or take.”

If you do decided to take up running through campus, make sure to watch the weather and let a friend know where you are for your safety.

Though Kalbfleish “get[s] most of [her] exercise from field hockey,” she still has a few pointers for those looking to work out in their dorm rooms.

“I have foam roller I keep in my room that if I’m feeling really tight or if I just need to roll out something in my body,” Kalbfleish said. “Basic stretches are also good. I sometimes do low impact yoga—downward dog, seal pose, and baby pose—to stretch out.”

If you struggle with keeping a good routine, or you’re just not sure what to do, you can find resources online to guide you. There are free fitness apps that will suggest routines out to you with numbered sets.

The biggest part of staying fit without going to the gym is having a set routine. Do a certain amount of sit-ups and pushups each time. Time yourself jumping rope. And don’t forget to stay hydrated!

“When it comes to physical health, only half is about exercise,” Dr. DeYoung said. “In tandem with a good routine, students should also eat healthy, sleep healthy, stay well hydrated throughout the day, and take proper vitamins and minerals.”

Sufficient fitness can be reached without buying special equipment. You can use your own body weight and anything else you can find in your room instead. A chair can be used for stretching, elevation. If you want a more intense version of sit-ups, put your legs up on a chair and lay flat on the floor. Use the wall for vertical pushups or wall-sits.

However, if you want a more classic routine with weights and basic equipment, you can find everything from dumbbells to yoga mats in the fitness section of Wal-Mart, located between toys and hunting supplies.

Be sure to keep in mind all of the available, albeit wacky, options you can choose to stay fit as the year progresses!

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