Staying Fit: A Guide for the Busy College Student on a Budget

In an environment where obesity affects one out of four adults and more people are taking up a sedentary lifestyle, exercise and fitness are increasing priorities. By failing to meet the recommended amount of physical activity, people are at risk of developing health problems that could compound and become complicated issues if they are not addressed properly.

As a college student who’s busy, stressed and on a budget, signing up for a gym membership and finding time to work out can be a challenge. Here are ways you can meet your fitness goals without putting a strain on your bank account.

Buy Home Fitness Equipment

You can set up a gym for a small cost and in the comfort of your accommodation. Exercise balls, hand weights and skipping ropes are inexpensive to buy and easy to store. If you’d rather not buy home equipment, you can still exercise by running up and down the stairs or doing squats. You can also use plastic bottles as substitutes for weights.

Cut Down on Junk Food

Friends enjoying pizza together

A bag of crisps, a box of pizza and soda delivered to your door sounds tempting after a stressful day at school, but these treats will neither benefit your wallet nor your waistline. Substitute takeaway and junk food for healthy snacks and home-prepped meals, whenever possible, and drink more water instead of soda.

Do Online Workouts

Do you want to try an exercise but can’t afford a class? Look for exercise and fitness videos online. Most of these videos are on YouTube, which you can access for free. If the video doesn’t suit your taste, you can always search for another class online.

Download Fitness Apps

There are a variety of free fitness apps that will act as your personal trainer. These apps also allow you to track your progress towards your fitness goals. Other apps share diet plans and recipe tips so you can make smarter decisions when it comes to food. You can also share your progress on social media to make you accountable for upholding your fitness goals.

Go Walking

Group of people jogging together

Walking is the simplest and most affordable way to get fit. By walking 30 minutes a day, you burn calories, reduce the risk of heart disease and boost your immune system. All you need to get started is a durable pair of walking shoes and some sunblock.

Tweaking your habits to accommodate walking goes a long way towards maintaining a healthy lifestyle. Replace your trips on public transport with walking from your hostel and back, or get off the bus one stop early. Opt for walking tours in London on your days off and scour the area for cheap finds.

Look for Free Trials and Student Discounts

Most gyms offer student discounts, and it takes little research to find out what package works for you. If you’re strapped for cash, look for fitness centres that offer free trials so that you can try the facilities before deciding to invest in a membership.

Make the Most of Free Facilities

There are a lot of ways to practice your favourite sports without paying a fee. Check your campus or the local council for free facilities such as badminton courts, public tennis courts or swimming pools.

Whether you are on a mission to hit your weight goal or need to blow off some steam, you can do so without a gym membership. You’ll find many resourceful ways to get a healthy body and mind while still sticking to your budget.

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