Did you open this post thinking it was going to be another bouncy six-pack twenty-something sharing her early morning 10-minute workout? So sorry if I disappointed you.
Perhaps I should have titled it "how to stay sane while trying to stay fit in grad school". The school gym isn't very far from me - but it's not very close either. I've heard there's showers in the basement of the school - maybe I could go for a run in between classes (in the southern heat) like the girl I see everyday at lunch. PS I'm pretty sure shes running to and from her Athleta (Lulu Lemon, Fabletics) photo shoot.
So what am I going to talk to you about then?
I'd like to share the conversations (arguments?) that go through my head at least weekly, if not daily as they pertain to academics, wellness, social life, and literally just maintaining function.
Time management comes in stages
A tip you will often see is that you have to MAKE TIME for your new habits. That means penciling in your exercise for each day. I did that! I wrote "Run" on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Saturdays. I also added it to my Google calendar.
It worked for about 2 weeks. Then I got worn down and slept in. And then by the end of the day I was worn down and just wanted puppy cuddles before I powered my computer back up.
Tip for staying sane: Don't feel bad that you don't have your gym workout (Abs & Arms, Wake Up & Workout!) planned in with your courses, meetings, research, and assignment times. Just typing the end of that sentence made me a) feel tired and b) feel like I should be doing something other than blogging to you.
P.S. You should never feel bad about the way you feel.
Prioritize what you want
Want to increase your steps? Walk to school when it's nice out (and take 5 minutes to think about how early you will need to leave, and other considerations). Take the stairs. Walk a lap around the school when you have a break.
Taking short walks in general also gives you a break during the day to focus on you - plug in your headphones or just be aware of your surroundings and take it all in. But use it to reconnect with the outside world and put your academic life in perspective.
If you want to hit the weights instead, find a kettlebell and/or dumbbell set and come up with a routine that targets the major muscle groups. Three sets of 12 reps x 3 exercises will take maybe 10 minutes, and that work will help you build muscle and strength (which burns more calories at rest - bet you never heard that before!) [I have a set of 8 pound dumbbells, and a 15 pound kettlebell].
Tip for staying sane: Take a few moments and think about what areas of your life need a kickstart. What do you enjoy the most (fresh air, cool mornings, the sun on your face at lunch, a quick sweat session?) and come up with one or two ways you can work that in. Try for once or twice a week. Re-evaluate at the end of the week, and keep on.
That's all I have today.
I would love to hear your thoughts - comment below.