15 Tips for Staying Active After College

college fitness

Staying active after college is a challenge that catches many graduates off guard. Most college students enjoy flexible schedules and free on-campus gym access, and many even participate in intramural or varsity sports.

In the scramble to find a job, graduates don’t even have time to think about finding a gym until they have committed to a nine-to-five schedule, perhaps with a considerable commute.

So how can you stay active after entering the professional world? There is no one-size-fits-all answer to that question, but at least one of these 15 tips will help you to develop a more healthy routine:

1. The United States government recommends 30 minutes of moderate physical exercise a day, as a minimum measure for maintaining good health. This is a significant commitment, but also a reasonable one. Cutting out one episode of television or a fraction of the time you spend online would probably allow for it.

2. Breathing is one of the human body’s most fundamental activities. This is an exercise you can literally do (and have to do) while you’re sleeping. But there’s breathing and then there’s breathing. Breathe easy with these three basic exercises.

3. Or challenge yourself to breathe more healthfully with these Pranayama yoga advanced breathing techniques.

4. Running is one of the cheapest, healthiest and most exhilarating forms exercise. Commit to this beginning runner’s training program and experience the high.

5. As adults, we often forget that we can achieve exercise by playing even more easily than by working out. Why not get involved with a pickup basketball game in your neighborhood? How about the local kickball league?

6. Set Goals. Staying active is a physical challenge, but it also requires mental discipline. Setting regular, realistic goals will help you to develop and maintain a positive attitude about any physical activity.

7. If you’re looking for a more spiritually engaging workout, or if you just like kicking butt, try a martial art.

8. If you can’t make time for anything else (or if you already have a workout routine but feel stagnant and stiff during the day), just focus on staying active at the office. Take the stairs instead of the elevator. Walk to a colleague’s desk to deliver a message instead of emailing. Stretch throughout the day.

9. Recruit a workout buddy. Working out with a friend provides moral support, creates accountability and makes exercise a lot more fun. It also makes some activities safer or more effective (you really can’t bench-press to failure without a spotter).

10. Bike everywhere. You really can’t rationalize your way out of this one. Biking is not only super healthy, it also allows you to move through dense traffic faster than driving, saves money and combats global warming.

11. Calisthenics are time-tested exercises that require no equipment aside your own body. These are great for building strength on a budget and for people too busy to get to the gym.

12. Most men and an increasing number of women would like to see more muscle when they look in the mirror. A consistent power-lifting routine will produce serious results.

13. Or forget about the gym. Get in touch with nature, and yourself. Call up a friend and go hiking.

14. Or if you’re a more musical type, why not go dancing? Instead of letting exercise become a chore, make it a romantic or social activity. You would be amazed how many calories shaking your booty can burn.

15. What is the one exercise all able-bodied people already perform every day without fail? The exercise infants learn even before they can speak? Walking is as good for you as running, easier on the joints and a normal part of your routine. Set aside a little extra time, and enjoy getting into shape without straining yourself.

If you’re looking for ways to stay active and kick off your young professional career on a healthy foot, try out one, some or all of the above tips.  It’s never to early to start good habits!

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