Exercising is one of the most important ways to support both physical and mental wellness, but it can be incredibly difficult to find the motivation to stay active. At the end of a long day when I’m stressed, tired, and have three essays and a lab report to work on, the absolute last thing I want to do is go to the gym. While it’s easy to put it off, even just a couple hours of exercise a week can make an enormous difference in how you feel.

With that in mind, here are some tips for staying active during the semester!

1.Find the Right Fitness Activity for You:

Instead of spending the day dreading going to the gym that night and deciding to skip it because you’re already overwhelmed with school work, try to pick an activity that you can look forward to! When fitness is a fun part of the day it can become a lot more manageable.

Luckily, we have access to a lot of different fitness options at Brock. Students have access to the Zone, the gyms, the pool, the turf field, the 200m running track, and a variety of fitness classes. You could check out one of the free fitness classes, like spin class or aquafit. Otherwise, you could make use of the pool’s lane swim, or use the gyms for activities like basketball or volleyball.

2.Find the Best Schedule for You:

When making your schedule, keep in mind that even just a half hour of exercise a couple times a week can really improve your mental and physical wellness. If going to the gym every single day isn’t feasible for you, don’t worry about it! Pick a frequency that works for your schedule.

An important part of scheduling is figuring out the best time of day to get in some exercise. For me, by the end of the day after class and work I’m usually pretty exhausted, and by the time I get home, there’s a pretty good chance I’m not going to be motivated enough to go back out to the gym—so instead I try to get in some exercise earlier in the day. The Zone has great hoursduring the week you can go as early as 6:30am or stay as late as 11pm. If you’re having trouble finding the best time of day, experiment a little! Early morning workouts can be fun because it’s usually not too busy, while stopping by in between classes can be the most convenient, and going at the end of the day can be a great way to destress.

3.Exercise with Friends:

One of the best ways to stick to a new exercise schedule is by having friends keep you on track, and this also makes exercise into a more fun and social activity. Joining a friend at the Zone or in a fitness class can be a great motivation to work a little harder while also making it more fun.

If you enjoy volleyball, badminton, basketball, or any other sport, you can stop by the Cage (the equipment centre located by the change rooms) to get a wristband to access the courts and turf field and borrow the equipment you need. You could also check and see what intramural sports are offered and sign up either as part of a group or on your own—it’s also a fantastic way to meet other people!

4. Keep it Interesting:

One way to keep your exercise schedule interesting is by switching up activities each week. The free ExpressFit classes offered are a great way to do this because you don’t have to sign up for just one per semester. Instead, you can check out a different one each time, and experiment with aquafit, stretch, and cardio classes to see what you like the best.

Now that the weather is finally getting warmer, you could also head outside! At Brock we’re surrounded by beautiful hiking trails, including the Bruce Trail and DeCew Falls. A little further away (but definitely worth the trip) we also have Short Hills Provincial Park. If hiking isn’t for you, you could try exploring the city either on foot or by bike.

5.Pace Yourself:

No matter what activity you decide to do, make sure you’re pacing yourself. If you try to do too much at once you can end up feeling burnt out or overwhelmed. The most important part is making sure you’re getting in at least a little exercise every week—exactly how much time you want to spend at the gym or in fitness classes is up to your own personal preference.

Hopefully we can all find time to stay active this semester! For the full Wellness Wednesday schedule, check out this link. Good luck Badgers!