Student fitness requires more than daily 30-minute workouts

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I will work out later, or I just don’t have the time.

These are popular excuses students use to not work out.

Students lead very busy lives, whether they are attending class, going to work, or trying to maintain a social life. Students have to make an effort to make it to the gym every week.

“Working out has to be priority No. 1 because as soon as it’s not, you’re not going to do it,” said Alli Stewart, a senior integrated studies major from Santa Clara, who works out six days a week.

When thinking of someone who is physically fit, a stereotype of a protein shake-drinking, sweaty muscle man comes to mind. You do not have to go to the gym to be physically in shape.

“The latest studies have been going overboard with the perception of 30 minutes of cardio exercise a day,” said Christian Hildebrandt, director of campus recreation.

Hildebrandt said people will go to the gym and work out for 30 minutes but then be sedentary the rest of the day. He said students should get up and move every hour. It doesn’t have to be exercising, per se, but just getting up.

Some examples are to walk around the library after studying for a while, allowing your mind to have a break and stretching out your muscles. Take the stairs instead of the elevator. Park your car in one spot on campus and walk to your classes, or ride your bike around.

Calee Drew, a junior English major from Las Vegas, parks her car at the Fitness Center on campus and then walks to her classes.

Colten Wadsworth, a sophomore business major from Oakley, Idaho, suggested lifting your feet up while in class. Flexing your leg muscles gives you the opportunity to burn those extra little calories. 

“It helps you stay awake, and you get a work out at the same time,” Wadsworth said.

Another easy way to stay in shape without going to the gym is finding an activity that you enjoy doing.

“I like to play sports with my friends,” said Drew, “It would be boring just to run on a treadmill.”

The campus has many facilities that students can use to stay active, such as the D Circuit, the Presidential Loop, volleyball courts and the Student Activities Center.

All these facilities allow students to be active without the pressures of a set schedule.

“You do not need structure of when and how you are going to work out,” Hildebrandt said. “Just make it something that you like to do.”

For students who are more comfortable with working out in a gym, but have limited time, Hildebrandt gave a tip. 

Make sure that you do get cardio into your workout. Cardio makes your heart strong and healthy. You can ride a stationary bike or run on the treadmill.

“If your heart is not healthy, it doesn’t matter how big your muscles are,” Hildebrandt said.