We give ourselves many reasons not to workout or stay fit in college. Everyone’s putting (and keeping on) their “freshman five” anyway, there just isn’t enough time with homework and assignments. Also, isn’t the gym just way too expensive?
With YouTube and social media, those reasons are fast becoming excuses. That’s because video platforms have many free, quiet and effective workouts — ie. totally dorm and apartment-friendly. This means you get to get your blood pumping, have fun and not annoy your roommates or neighbours.
And the health benefits are plenty. Regular exercise increases bone density, lowers the risk of cardiovascular disease and cancer, reduces stress, improves psychological well-being … the list goes on. Coupled with a healthy diet, you’ll stay in shape too.
On the flip side, college can be a time of decreasing physical activity, and with all the stress-eating and drinking, pounds are put on quickly. Obesity has been linked to memory deficits, causes brain shrinkage and even contributes to the development of neuro-degenerative conditions such as Alzheimer’s disease.
Most research recommend two to three workout sessions per week. You should try and aim for at least 150 minutes of moderate-intensity exercise or 75 minutes of vigorous activity every week, along with strength training twice a week.
These are five of our favourite, dorm-friendly workouts you can incorporate into your fitness regime in college:
1. HIIT by The Body Coach
HIIT stands for High-Intensity Interval Training. It’s known as some of the most effective ways to lose weight if you’re short on time. Joe Wicks is The Body Coach, whose videos mostly focus HIIT, where you work out intensely for around 30 seconds and resting for between 15-30 seconds and repeat the process.
2. Cardio by Fitness Blender
With four million subscribers, this is YouTube’s most popular fitness account. It’s easy to why personal trainers Kelly and Daniel are so loved. Instructions are simple and down-to-earth, and run for the full length. They also have workout routines, tips and advice as well as healthy recipes.
3. Pilates by Blogilates
Cassey Ho is an award-winning fitness instructor with infectious enthusiasm. Blogilates is the no. 1 female fitness channel on YouTube with over 500 million video views. Her niche is infusing pop music with her classical Pilates routine and there are several tailored for those in dorms or tiny apartments too! (Bonus: Here’s a link to her video on a five-ingredient peanut butter cookie you can make right in your dorm room)
4. Yoga by Yoga with Adriene
Want to unwind after a long day? Instead of heading to the student union for drinks or stress-eating your way through unhealthy chips, try this restorative flow taught by Adriene Mishler. You’ll only need a pair of comfy clothes and some pillows and blankets as props.
5. Strength Training by Joanna Soh Official
Lifting weights is a great addition to any workout regime, but it’s not limited to only going to the gym. If you have a set of dumbbells that would be great, but body weight is totally fine too. You can even use some heavy bottles or cans you have with you. This is a low-impact and total-body strength training that will get your heart pumping.
— BuzzFeed Health (@BuzzFeedHealth) January 2, 2016
This 30-day workout plan was built for students – there’s no jumping or loud noises! The link above brings you to a step-by-step guide of that four-week workout schedule. Here’s how it works. You’ll work out four times a week using two different three-move circuits. It starts with 10 minutes a day and then builds up by two minutes per day until the end of the challenge, which would be a 26-minute workout.