Healthy Habits Starting…Now!

Fall classes are now in session, and you know what that means: new people, new opportunities and new stressors. Luckily, there are tons of ways around campus to start your year off right with healthy habits, like visiting the Rec Center!

Though you may still be in that summer lull, the Rec Center is already buzzing with opportunities for people of all fitness levels to try something new, like a Group Exercise Class, or keep up with a summer habit, like running. The important thing is to start now! As everyone struggles to get back into his or her school and work schedules in the Fall, they often forget to take time for themselves. For the sake of both your physical and mental health, follow these simple steps to work wellness into your routine!

  1.  Make a New (School) Year’s Resolution: Just like you set a goal in your head to get a least a 3.5 in a class or to get a raise at work, you have to set a goal to work fitness into your day, every day.
  2. Take the plunge and make a commitment: Make the commitment to go to the gym every day for at least 20 minutes. You’ll find once you’ve been working out for 20 minutes, you’ll rarely just quit and go home; your body will want to keep going.
  3. Plan your day: Tell yourself you’re going to go to the gym on your way home from class or work to unwind and relax. Trying to squeeze your work out into your lunch break, or saying you’ll do it early in the morning (when you’re not a morning person) makes it too easy to skip.
  4. Get involved in an activity with a set schedule: Take a Group Exercise Class that meets at the same time each week. This way, the schedule is set for you; all you have to do is show up!
  5. Explore your options: The Rec has so many fitness possibilities: Do something social like a Club or Intramural Sport or a Group Exercise Class; lift weights in the Fitness Center; run on the indoor track or just shoot hoops in the three-court gym. Figure out what works for you.
  6. Get a work out buddy: Having someone to keep you accountable will make going to the gym easier. Plus, you can try new things together and not feel goofy and alone if you don’t know how to use a certain machine or where the locker rooms are!
  7. Reap the benefits: Exercising at the Rec allows you to meet new people and be involved on campus. The more time you spend on campus, the more likely you are to feel like you’re at home at OU. Added bonus to working out at the Rec: walking up the stairs to the fourth floor of Kresge will get easier!
  8. Make a note: Cross off the days in your calendar that you work out or make a note of it in your phone. Seeing just how much you’ve accomplished at the end of the week will push you to continue your habit into the next week.
  9. Have fun: Working out should be fun. If you dread going to the gym, you probably just haven’t found the combination of fitness and fun that works for you.
  10. Don’t be so hard on yourself: You can’t expect to run 5 miles or dead lift 200 lbs. (is that a lot? I’m not sure what is considered an outrageous amount to dead lift) during your first visit; start small and work your way up. The Rec even has personal trainers who can help!

The Bottom Line

Don’t give up and remember: the only work out you’ll regret is the one that didn’t happen. (This is true I suppose unless you hurt yourself during your workout or something, but that’s where “starting small” comes in…) Your goals should be to try something new, meet some new people, relieve some stress, get into a healthy routine, and if you build muscle and endurance in the process, it’s a win-win!


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