Life @ U of T

Introduction

How We Do It: Staying Active As Students

I interrogate (I mean, interview) some fellow first-years about how they’re staying active while staying on top of academics.

How We Do It: Staying Active As Students

This week, I talked to some fellow first-years about how they’re managing to stay active during the semester. Thanks Olivia, Hsin-Ning, Rachel and Ziyan for sharing your experiences!

Woman stands with her back to a verdant valley.

Olivia

What I do: I play volleyball once a week, and go to the Athletic Center twice a week. (Approximately three hours a week, all together.)

How I manage: “It’s more of a routine. Volleyball is a [fixed] commitment. And [I go to the} gym whenever I’m free. If I make a commitment to something like the volleyball intramural team I will go every time ‘cause I enjoy it. And I always try to get some exercise, especially during exam week. Studying is a lot of sitting, so getting active helps.”

Why I like it: “It feels good afterwards, it makes me feel more confident about my body and it helps with stress.”

Girl in her taekwondo uniform kicks high in a dorm.

Hsin-Ning

What I do: I dance (contemporary and hip hop) and do taekwondo each week, through clubs and classes.

How I manage: “I spend about seven hours on dance and taekwondo each week, so it’s about an hour each day. Dancing and taekwondo are like my break between studying. Honestly, an hour per day commitment isn’t a lot.”

Why I like it: “I do them because I love dancing and have always wanted to learn taekwondo. I like dancing and taekwondo because they allow me to move my body, and moving makes me happy.”

Girl grins in a park while holding a book. She is wearing a hat with the night sky patterned on it.

Rachel

What I do: “I go to the gym three times a week and do mostly cardio, like ellipticals and weight lifting and stuff. I work out at home sometimes too, like push-ups and crunches- but [not as often], maybe one or two times a week.”

How I manage: I asked Rachel if it’d been harder to stick to her routine after coming to university, and she said, “No, it’s actually been easier for me, personally. It gives me a reason to take a break.” She added that she’d had to force herself to do it initially, but that now she enjoyed it more: “It’s hard to change up your patterns for sure. But it’s been worth it, I think.”

Why I like it: “I think I like that it makes me feel productive, mostly.”

Me: “Do you mean like you have more control over stuff?”

Rachel: “Yeah, I think so!”

Me: “Has there been a time when it’s challenging to find time to exercise?”

Rachel: “Yeah. I usually have specific times to go, I just sometimes have trouble because of mental health and not feeling up to it.”

Me: “What happens when you don’t feel up to it?”

Rachel: “I skip it and feel like [redacted expletive].”

Girl smiles while holding a brown dog.

Ziyan

What I do: I take Zumba classes about twice a week, and do sit-ups and lunges at home.

Has it ever been hard to make time? “Yep, sometimes sleep is more important.”

Why I like it: “Doing Zumba or working out refreshes my body and mind, while it is beneficial for de-stressing at the same time.”

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