By PLA, Fitness Instructor, and Personal Trainer Ashlee
January is the time for new beginnings. We use the new year to challenge ourselves to change – to drop old habits and to pick up new ones. Of course, there are new year’s resolutions that are more common than others. By far, the top two we hear about at Queen’s are:
- “I’m going to go to the gym on a regular basis this year and be so fit!”
- “I am SO going to stay on top of my school work this semester!”
How many friends have you seen running to the gym this week? Starting a reading on the first day of school?
For the first week of school, we are motivated to keep our resolutions, but soon, the semester is going to hit us hard – assignments, meetings, papers, labs… and I bet someone has a midterm that is almost around the corner. And suddenly, our well-intentioned resolutions start slipping away…
So how do we keep these resolutions?
I find that the problem for most people is that they think that in order to complete one of these resolutions, they must forgo the other. Depending which resolution you prioritize, you may think “I simply don’t have time to go to the gym this week – far too many assignments!” Or, you could be rationalizing: “Well, I have to go to the gym, so I guess I can leave this reading until the weekend…”
What a lot of people miss is that these two common resolutions are both realistic and they actually go hand in hand!
So, without further ado, this is how a fitness routine can help your study habits:
- Working out releases endorphins, and endorphins make you happy. Hitting the gym allows you to pump out your frustration, and give you newfound energy to actually concentrate on your work when you get back to the library.
- Going to the gym is my favourite time of the day. It gives me something to look forward to if I’m struggling in the library and gives me a well-deserved break from studying. Also, I work out in groups – teaching or attending fitness classes, making the gym a social place to be.
- Having a well-defined fitness schedule allows you to plan a well-defined study schedule. If you have a long day with very little class, it helps to break up study sessions with a trip to the gym.
Starting a new fitness program and starting a new academic semester have a lot in common – both are life changing goals that may seem difficult at times. Don’t be put off by a little setback! One bad mark on a quiz or one day of missing the gym and eating an entire cake isn’t going to hold you back for the rest of the semester.
Queen’s offers many services to help students with both of these resolutions; you can try fitness classes or personal training for the one, and the Writing Centre and Learning Strategies for the other. Call 613-533-6315 to set up an appointment.
Push through, keep trying, and never give up.