5 ways to get fit this term
Being physically active can help you feel better, be happier, have more energy and even get better grades. Working out on a regular basis takes commitment, but the benefits are proven to extend into the classroom. Follow these tips to get your school year off to a healthy start.
1. Commit to being fit
It’s easy to sign up for the gym and aerobics classes in September, but life gets busy. Mid-terms roll around, and you notice your gym attendance beginning to wane. That’s why setting goals — and making them a priority — is so important.
“A goal has to be meaningful to you,” says Gabriella Szabo, health promotion specialist at Health Services. “It has to tie into your other goals so that when challenges come up — work, parties, midterms, three papers due in one week — you find a way to make it work.”
To help, Concordia’s Health Services, part of your student services, has developed an online four-step guide, How to effectively set, achieve and maintain health goals, based on research that shows the most effective ways to make changes.
2. Just move
“We need to move to be healthy,” says Szabo. “But it doesn’t always have to be as time consuming as people think. If you can’t do an hour of activity, do a half hour. If you can’t do that, can you fit in 10-minute intervals?”
Szabo explains that although our society is geared around sitting down — we sit on the bus, sit in class, sit to watch our favourite TV shows — it’s important to move. This can even be just once an hour. For example, if you’re studying or working on a paper, it helps to take breaks to walk around the room or get some fresh air.
Fitness looks different for everyone, so Health Services recommends using the Canadian Physical Activity and Sedentary Behaviour Guidelines Handbook to figure out what fits your lifestyle.
3. Head to the gym
To get the most out of your efforts, make a plan before heading to the fitness centre and know what you’ll be doing while you’re there. Unsure of where to start? Get advice from one of Concordia’s personal trainers. They can tailor a program to fit your specific needs and goals. And don’t forget to log your workouts so you can keep track of your progress.
Le Gym memberships, before taxes, are $70 per term for student members; $130 for staff, faculty and alumni; and $160 for the general public. Day passes are also available. Purchase your Le Gym membership on line at Concordia Stores. The fall 2017 session begins September 1.
PERFORM Conditioning Floor memberships are $75 per term for student members; $132 for staff, faculty and alumni; and $165 for the general public. There are day passes, 10-day passes and one-month options. Purchase your membership in person at the PERFORM Centre reception desk.
4. Make it social
Staying committed to being fit is easier if you have a workout buddy. Schedule a weekly or bi-weekly date at the gym with a friend or just hang out with friends over a brisk walk.
Working out can also be a great way to meet new people and try a different way to stay healthy. Le Gym has a wide range of fitness classes, including yoga, dance and martial arts. Check out their full list of activities. Class registration begins on August 28, in person, and classes begin on September 11. Classes have separate fees from your Le Gym membership.
Intramural sports can also provide wonderful opportunities to socialize. Lace up your cleats for soccer, sharpen your hockey skates or learn how to serve a volleyball — Concordia has plenty of intramural sports activities to choose from.
5. Ride your bike or walk to school
If sports and the gym aren’t for you, there are other ways to get fit.
“Remember to tie physical activity to things that are already important to you,” says Szabo. “If you’re an environmentalist, take a Bixi to school instead of taking your car. You get exercise that reflects who you are.”
Riding a bike or walking to school is a great way to fit outdoor time into your schedule, even in the winter. Concordia has bike racks all over campus, so bring your lock and enjoy being outside. The health benefits are just an added bonus to all that fresh air. Learn more about sustainability transportation.
Swing by the Grey Nuns Garden for free outside workout routines and beach volleyball! Le Gym is running free outdoor activities every Tuesday and Friday, from 11:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m., up to and including September 1. Present your student, alumni, faculty or staff ID at the point of entry, located off the parking lot at 1200 Guy Street.
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