Five ways to make time for exercise

One of the benefits of regular exercise for students is its positive effects on studying such as improving memory and thinking skills. It can often be easy as busy students to neglect our physical health and put it on the back burner to focus on school and our other responsibilities. However, even as busy students, making time for exercise is incredibly important. So how do you make time for exercise in your busy life as a student? Here are five ways!

1.  Schedule your workouts like your classes 

When you schedule your workout ahead of time, it will likely be harder to skip it, and this is especially true once you have a workout routine in place. You should aim to work out on the same days and at the same times for consistency. 

Scheduling your workouts reminds you to be physically active, but it also reminds you to take a break from studying and sitting down all-day long. Schedule your workouts in either your planner, Google calendar or whatever you use to plan your day.


2. Kickstart your exercise habit with a workout challenge and then build your workout routine from there

 One of the biggest ways people start their journey to being more active is by starting a workout challenge that they see on the internet, on a YouTube video or on a social media post. This workout challenge may be a daily, weekly or monthly challenge. For example, one of the popular workout challenges of 2020 was Chloe Ting’s “2 Weeks Shred Challenge.”

While there is nothing wrong with starting your exercise habit with a workout challenge, the problem comes after you complete the challenge. Once you finish the challenge, it’s easy to stop working out altogether. To keep up your new exercise habit, you need to create a workout routine. 

To create a workout routine, you need to figure out three things:

– how many times a week you want to work out,
– for how long,
– and on which days. 

The key to creating an effective workout routine starts by starting small and then adding more workouts into your routine over time. If your goal is to work out four times a week, you can start by working out two times a week for the first two weeks. Then in the next two weeks, you can add another workout and work out three times a week and so on.

3. Figure out your “why” or “whys” 

Taking a lesson from Simon Sinek’s book “Start with Why”, take some time to figure out exactly why you want to fit more exercise into your life. In most cases, you’ll discover one the main reason you want to work out or realize you have more than one reason (which is normal).

Whatever you discover is your “why” or “whys”, write them down on a sticky note and place it somewhere you’ll see it every day. Writing down your “why” or “whys” helps you understand your reasons for wanting to be more active and serves as a reminder on days you don’t want to work out. 


4. Sneak in a quick walk or take the stairs 

This is one of the easiest ways to incorporate more exercise into your daily routine on top of your workouts. Try to find more ways to be active in your day-to-day life, this can include taking the stairs instead of the elevator or going for a 15-minute walk during lunchtime or even taking the long route to your next class.


5. Keep your workout clothes close by where you can see them 

Preparing your clothes the day before the day your work out is one of the easiest ways to remember to exercise but also stay motivated. You won’t have to try to get your workout clothes together when you are in a rush because it’s already put together! Keeping your workout clothes someplace you see them every day too will be a helpful reminder about your goal.


Making time for exercise in your life as a busy student is important. Exercise helps us live an overall better and healthier life and helps us accomplish all the things we want to do as students. 


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