The Student Series Pt III- Fitness and University
The final instalment of the student series this evening, we discuss all things fitness and university.
If you haven’t checked out the first two yet, click below:
This is probably the most worried and spoken about topic in young people heading to University. The fear of the unknown, a new gym, a new sports club.
So much uncertainty lies ahead, but don’t let it worry you, instead, feel excited about the future!
Let’s start with ‘Going out’
‘Alcohol and fitness’, now this is a massive topic in itself. Students (or people in general) tend to think that the two are mutually exclusive when in fact, this is not the case at all. First things first, you do NOT have to drink alcohol or engage in anything you don’t want to do. Be it for religious reasons or personal choice- I think it’s important to understand that before I go any further.
University can be quite alcohol focused and this is due to the fact that a lot of events take place in bars, clubs, the union etc. ‘Pre-drinks’ are also a very social part of Uni life, they’re often a time to chat to new people and experiment with wild drinking games. Remember, you can go to these events and NOT drink if you choose to do so. BUT drinking alcohol isn’t something you should fear, alcohol will not make you lose ‘all your gains’ it has calories yes, just like food, however they’re known as empty calories because they provide no nutritional benefit to you. In fact, alcohol has 7 calories per gram, which is less than fat (at 9 calories) so you could always just think of it as its own separate food group if you’re someone who is ‘tracking’ or ‘watching’ their calories for a particular reason. HOWEVER the average person need not to worry about this.
Instead you can be mindful and consider some of these tips after a night out:
- Before you leave, keep a pint of water by your bed which you drink before you sleep, this will ensure you don’t get dehydrated and wake up feeling hungover.
- Have something ready you can eat when you get in such as oats or a sandwich, this is good for two reasons,
- You’ll save money by not buying a take-away or fast food
- It’ll stop you feeling sluggish the next day when you wake up
- Try not to dwell on ‘how hungover’ you feel in the morning, eat well, drink plenty of water and carry on about your day. A hangover is merely the combination of tiredness and dehydration.
When to workout?
So you’re used to your own gym at home, you’re comfortable there and now you have to join a new gym and get used to the new equipment. Like I said above, do NOT let this daunt you, everyone there will be in the same boat. In fact you’ll probably be joining the local Uni gym (which always have great offers on for students!) Think of it as a great opportunity to make friends with people who have the same interests as you! Be open minded, have a smile on your face and you never know who you’ll meet in the gym setting.
When it comes to ‘when to workout’, again, don’t let this be a worry. Exercise should be BENEFITING you life remember, not making it worse. If you’re an early bird, go before Uni starts then it’s done and dusted and you can get on with your day. Alternatively you may be someone who enjoys going after Uni, to help you wind down and relax for the evening ahead. You may even be someone who likes to squeeze in their workouts between lectures or at lunch times, the great thing about University settings is that generally, everything is so close together so you really can squeeze in a workout when it’s convenient for you.
Bear in mind also, it’s the total overall volume you do in the week which is important- if you can’t do a session here and there, it really doesn’t matter. And say for example you have more time on a particular day, you could have a longer session then.
BUT you do not need to spend longer than 45mins- 1 hour in the gym to get a good workout in. If you are following a particular program and overall, you have 5 working sets to do that week, it’s completely okay to split those up to suit you- so like I said, do what you can and don’t stress. Plan the gym AROUND your life, NOT your life around the gym.
What about sports teams?
Now this is where going to Uni is totally different from any point in your life, sports teams and social clubs are huge. You’ll find that you may join a particular sport and the training is so intense, you’ll be working out and enjoying yourself without even thinking about it. I urge you to try out something new, step outside your comfort zone and be brave- you may just surprise yourself.
So that’s it guys, The ‘Student Series’ in all it’s glory from myself.
Don’t take life to seriously guys, these will be the best years of your life- so make sure you enjoy them! The gym will always be there, trust me on this.
All my love,