Workout mat, dumbbells, and gym bag

This Midterm Season, I’m Making Workouts a Priority

Midterm season is upon us, which inevitably brings with it stress, anxiety and way more things to study for than there are hours in the day. During the busier times of the semester, I often find myself slipping into old unhealthy habits. I eat maybe one (box) too many cookies, I don’t drink enough water, but worst of all, I just stop exercising. I come up with a million excuses and somehow manage to convince myself that I just don’t have the time. Yet, I still find time to finish up the latest season of whatever Netflix show I’m currently binging (interesting how that happens). Why do I do this? For some reason, I view working out as unnecessary--even a waste of time--when I know I should be studying. But this midterm season, I’ve decided to take a different approach to how I view my workout sessions.

Author standing in the gym in front of a workout mat

Most of the time when I push myself to work out, I never want to go; but I am always happy that I did. After I work out, I feel fresher and the fogginess in my head is gone. Let me tell you, this makes grinding through a semester’s worth of lectures a much easier task. Plus, I feel so much more productive after completing a workout and that attitude carries me through the rest of my day, allowing me to accomplish more than I would have otherwise. Now, one of the big things that had contributed to my “study, eat, sleep, and repeat” mindset that had kicked my gym habit to the curb was time. But this year, I’ve tried to implement much shorter workouts to ease myself into both the physical activity and the idea of allocating time for something outside of my schoolwork. I do quick, 10-20 minute workouts, which may sound ridiculous to the more athletically inclined people out there, but hey, it is so much better than nothing.

View of the CN tower outside the gym

I love working out at the gym in my apartment building. They recently got a bunch of new equipment and the view is pretty spectacular. I use YouTube videos of short workout routines for inspiration, like five-minute ab routines or 15 minute cardio routines—even something as simple as walking on the treadmill for 20 minutes helps to clear my mind and regain my focus. U of T has so many great facilities to help incorporate gym time into my busy schedule- the Athletic Centre, Goldring Centre and Hart House have awesome spaces to squeeze in those workouts, with equipment for cardio and strength activities. They also offer so many great fitness classes like Zumba or Aquafit, which I know will be great alternatives to gym time when I have no desire to look at, let alone lift, a pair of dumbbells. This midterm season, I am reframing how I view my workout time, because I know it will benefit both my body, my mind and possibly my grades--I am a U of T student, after all!  

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