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College should be when your body is in peak condition.  You are young and energetic and largely finished with awkward growth spurts.  But then there is the dreaded freshman 15.  Being away from home, dealing with the various academic pressures and social obligations often take a toll on diet and exercise and we pack on the pounds accordingly.  Luckily, most schools have easily accessible gyms and recreation centers to help us work off the excess weight.  Here are some tips to getting the most out of your gym workouts.

  1.  Go with a friend

Having a workout buddy will help you keep up your commitment to working out.  It’s easy to flake on yourself, but flaking on another person is a lot harder.  Having an exercise buddy also makes the gym more fun.  You can talk while working out, spot for each other, even take a class together.

  1.  Take a class/Join a team

Some colleges offer PE as a course.  Other have voluntary classes in things like martial arts, kickboxing, or yoga.  Taking a course creates provides commitment and accountability for working out and can help you stay on track.  It also can be fun and a way to learn a new skill as well as meet new people.  Alternatively, you could join an intramural team for sports like soccer or basketball.  Intramural sports are a great way to exercise and have fun playing team games that you might ordinarily not play due to the multiple players required.

  1.  Music

Create a workout playlist.  Music can help get you into a rhythm to help you workout.  Up tempo songs can unconsciously push you to work harder.  Also, having a playlist can help you keep track of time and divide your workout accordingly.  Music is also fun.

  1.  Mix it up

Running on a treadmill 5 days a week can get boring.  Learn different workouts and switch between them to keep things interesting.  Try alternating between upper and lower body workouts to keep your body fresh and give your muscles time to recover.  Take a hike or a jog around campus or along a trail instead of using the elliptical.  Change your music, exercises, locations, or maybe even workout partners to maintain interest and commitment.

Check out the workout without a gym video below!
How to Workout Without a Gym

Photo courtesy of alantankenghoe via Flickr (CC by 2.0)

What tips and tricks do you have for working out? Post comments below!