the Gauntlet

DIY: Exercise Made Easy

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Time management is a difficult skill that students must learn quickly. A student's time usually goes towards balancing work and a social life, while staying healthy often falls to the bottom of the priority list; you just don't have time to go to the gym! If you can successfully incorporate exercise into your life, however, you'll become a better student because of it. Exercising relieves stress, releases endorphins to fight those winter blues, and fights sickness that would otherwise easily target your stressed immune system. Below is a do-it-yourself exercise plan to help you manage exercise with your already maxed-out schedule.

Climbing stairs works your cardio as well as your muscles. Stair climbing is also easy to add to your schedule; it only takes a few extra minutes to use the stairwell instead of the packed elevators at the library.

Weight lifting helps to build and tone muscle. Doing a few repetitions a day for five to 10 minutes will help you to stop looking like the skinny, scraggly, starving student you are and develop some shape. Gradually add more weight each week to build up muscle.

Running is an easy way to build cardio while low on time. Changing your pace from jogging to running will develop your endurance. Add weights to your running to create an extra challenge.

The yoga position commonly known as "the plank" works your upper, core and lower body muscles all at once. Supporting yourself on either your elbows or hands, try to keep your body as flat as possible and in the air as long as possible. Hold the position for 30 seconds, then add five or 10 seconds each day.

Another easy way to work muscle while short on time is to do glute clenches. Tone muscle by tensing and flexing that muscle for short periods of time throughout the day. Start with 10 seconds and go up from there. This exercise can be done anytime you are sitting for long periods of time.

By finding little pockets of time to take care of your body, you'll find yourself more focused and efficient. It all starts with a little change!