Quick and effective workouts mean more time to study. SHANNA HUNTER/THE VARSITY

According to Canadian Physical Activity Guidelines, adults 18–64 years of age should spend 150 minutes every week doing moderate-intensity aerobic activity. Yet over the course of the academic year, students often neglect working out in order to focus on their schoolwork. Here are three 30-minute workout routines that fit into most students’ busy school schedules.

At the gym

People generally think that in order to go to the gym they must set aside around an hour and a half to work out. In fact, this is not true because weight machines and cardio equipment can make it easier to get an effective workout within tight time constraints.

Cardio is known for being an effective way to burn fat and strengthen your heart. When low on time, people tend to skip the cardio to focus on lifting weights, but even doing as little as 10 minutes of cardio will not only help you burn a few extra calories, but also warm up your muscles for lifting weights, which will reduce the risk of an injury.

The form of cardio that you do is also key. It is ideal to pick an activity that gets your whole body moving.

Examples in the gym include using treadmills, ellipticals, or rowing machines. The gym provides the tools to have a short but effective workout that is good for your health both physically and mentally, as well as a change in scenery after a long day of lectures and studying.

At home

However, not everyone can make it to the gym. Whether due to lack of access or cold weather; at-home workouts can be just as effective, and also save you the commute time to and from the gym.

At-home workouts can take the same format as those in the gym. Start with 10 minutes of any full-body exercise that gets your heart pumping. Non-equipment cardio activity includes burpees, jumping jacks, and jogging on the spot. Then spend 20 minutes doing bodyweight exercises. These can include squats, lunges, and crunches, which will strengthen your muscles without overexerting them and without requiring equipment.

Outdoors

For those students who don’t want to be stuck indoors at a gym but still want a change of scenery, there are still workout routines that can be done outdoors when the weather permits. Start with cardio, like riding your bicycle or going for a walk or jog. Then find a set of stairs and climb up and down. This will not only raise your heart rate, but strengthen your leg muscles. You could even take a pit-stop at an open area and practice some bodyweight exercises like lunges or squats.

Everybody is different and everyone enjoys different activities, but the key is to get your body moving and stay hydrated. On the surface, it may look like 30 minutes could be better spent doing readings or assignments, but exercising regularly sharpens focus and increases productivity, which benefits mental and physical health.

Stay up to date. Sign up for our weekly newsletter, sent straight to your inbox:

* indicates required

Tags: , , ,