Staying fit during the festive season

Ppresents, meeting up with family, friends, assignments, studying… these are a few of the things that a college student has to squeeze into the festive season, but what about the gym and your own fitness?

Over Christmas everyone has so much going on. The gym and staying fit is rarely top of the priority list. For some people, the overwhelming fear of going out of the way to be fit and happy while other people are spending their time shopping is a harsh reality.

The pressure for college students is at it’s highest over the festive period, but with all the mental tension of assignments and exams, what you need to remember is a healthy body means a healthy mind. Setting aside that hour of the day to go to the gym or simply taking a break for walk can be the coping mechanism students need during this time.

With the amount of financial struggles that come with this season, time management tends to go out the window. For a lot of us, our physical state deteriorates over the season because we are eating more, drinking more and ultimately doing less. The problem is we then feel guilty and embarrassed after this time for the way we look, and we all know body image unfortunately means a great deal to many in this day and age.

The way to avoid this is to go to the gym, or if that doesn’t suit your fancy then stay fit at home and do some simple exercises. There are a variety of free fitness apps, millions of YouTube videos or Instagram posts of how to get fit. Most of the time, all you need is a mat and some motivation.

Staying home might be the most practical option for many students as you can just take time when you have a chance to work out. You don’t have to worry about how long it takes to get to the gym, how much money you need, or what other people think of you while you’re working out. All you need is some space, a bottle of water to stay hydrated and a positive state of mind.

The mental struggle isn’t only yours. You will probably find that you’re looking in the mirror wondering “why do I look like this?” or “I love my body right now, why does Christmas have to ruin it?” If you ask your friends, they are probably thinking and feeling the exact same. So, why not work together? Doing exercises with a partner is a great way to stay focused and motivated as you can push each other while motivating one another.

The best way to be motivated at times is to be with friends, so get a group going, whether you head to a gym class a couple of nights a week, head out on a walk every day, or play 5 a-side football. Whatever you decide to do, it is better than sitting around doing nothing at all.

Doing that little bit will also help clear your mind and relieve your body of the stress that gathers up over the “most wonderful time of the year”. It will help you sleep, allow you to eat that little bit extra and be happy and satisfied once you know you’ve given some effort to your fitness and health.

Yes, the presents are essential, the dinner and drinks are essential, the assignments and study are essential, but what’s more important than all of them is your own happiness, state of mind and well being. You will get your best work done when you are content within yourself and a huge part of that is being happy with how you look and feel inside.

The hardest part is getting over that mental barrier and just doing it. If you are afraid, don’t be, once you begin to look after yourself it will become second nature and all fall into place. Just remember, “tis the season to be jolly”, so don’t let your body image tell you anything otherwise.

Joshua Freeman

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