By Alan Do
A Student’s Guide to Fitness
Staying healthy can be a struggle for community college students.
“I just don’t have any time between my midterms and part-time job,” complained BCC student Joy Oh. “It doesn’t help that the stress of being busy makes me crave desserts!” she added.
This is an experience that many students share, as a recent poll conducted by Columbia University found that “69 percent of community college students work while in college, with 33 percent working 35 or more hours per week.”
Some people don’t have the time to make it to the gym everyday. Nevertheless, there are several unconventional opportunities to engage in fitness here at BCC.
For instance, opt for using the stairs on the way to class whenever possible. Not only is it a brief cardiovascular exercise, but it is faster at times than waiting for the elevator. This holds especially true during peak hours, when waiting for the lift can take an excessive amount of time. This is a flexible exercise; you can even increase the intensity by changing your pace. In fact, take advantage of BCC’s multiple flights of stairs and use them during the gaps between your classes.
After you are at your destination floor, feel free to do lunges all the way to your classroom. One characteristic of BCC that lends itself to these types of activities is long, wide hallways. Hence, you can perform these movements without being a distraction to other students. To increase the intensity of this movement, place weight in your backpack in the form of textbooks and journals to further engage your legs and core. The lunge and weighted- lunge are very efficient leg exercises you can do, and they will likely make you break a sweat.
Once in the classroom, if your professor allows it, try standing for the entirety of the lecture. The standing desk method has taken many offices by storm, as modern professionals continue to seek ways to improve quality of life in the workplace.
Former Berkeley student Elise Luc commented on this trend.
“Many people in my office started using the standing desk, mainly because they got tired of sitting all day. It looks weird, but it is refreshing in a way.”
It only makes sense to attempt applying this mindset to the classroom. Merely by standing and taking notes through lecture, you are engaging your health and expending energy.
An underrated aspect of staying healthy is laughter. According to research conducted by Vanderbilt University Medical Center, laughing for 10 to 15 minutes burns between 10 and 40 calories. You can potentially exercise by enjoying yourself. Try to surround yourself with people who make you laugh, rather than those who do not. Also, if you tend to watch YouTube videos during your breaks, opt for funnier videos instead of sad ones. Besides activating your facial muscles, it is generally pleasant to laugh, so why not do that more throughout the day?
These are just a few different tips that may lead you in a healthier direction. As a busy student, do not be afraid to think out of the box, even in regards to fitness.
“You don’t necessarily need a gym to exercise and stay healthy,” commented East Bay fitness instructor Will Lee. When asked if unconventional exercises like these could work he replied, “It’s all about being proactive and doing the little things. If you are constantly thinking of ways to improve yourself and stay healthy, then you will see results. Keep your diet in check and stay active. That’s the key.”