I’m too busy. I’ve got 5 exams this week. I have too much homework. I picked up an extra shift at work. I’m in a lot of extra-curricular activities. I’m taking 21 credit hours. This list goes on for the number of excuses that people create to justify not working out or exercising in some way. College students are prone to do this because for many of them they are not overweight, their metabolism functions better than any other stage of life, and their youth keeps them looking pretty good. However, those youthful looks don’t do too much for feeling good. So, to help combat that I interviewed a fellow student who’s schedule is truly busy, yet still finds time to work out 5-6 days a week. I’ll detail how he does it and follow up with several short workouts even the most time-constrained students can do to stay in shape.
I spoke with Jacob Leffler, an exceptional student who’s schedule is filled with various activities that take up much of his time. Jacob is like many students; busy with classes and extracurriculars, but he also runs his own freelance business in addition to working as a web development intern. Jacob also cooks for himself every night, so he has a lot of logistics he works through daily. He informed me about his motivation for working out.
“I played 3 different sports, so I was active constantly throughout the year. And when I went to college just everything stopped. I didn’t do any activity or exercise per say, so the summer after my freshman year I decided I really need to just find something that was sustainable that I could continue every day. Something that I could just do without having to go somewhere specific or be somewhere like a gym or something, just to get a little bit of exercise in.” – Jacob Leffler
Jacob’s story is similar to other students who get hit with the freedom of college and it had a negative effect on his holistic well-being. “Well interestingly, I actually lost weight when I came to college, which I don’t know how that happens…but I just felt lazy like I wasn’t doing anything with myself, I went from having 2-3 hours of practice every night to doing nothing and I just felt lazy.”
Fortunately, Jacob decided to do something about it. His situation is slightly different because his brother is heavily involved in CrossFit and he plans his daily workouts to be 20 minutes or less. This was a win-win for Jacob because his brother keeps the workouts diverse enough that it is always a challenge to his body and he doesn’t have to worry about creating them himself. The average student might not have a relative that would give them daily workouts at no charge, but one doesn’t need a personal trainer to stay in shape. Whether you desire to go to the gym or just want to stay at home, there are plenty of quick and effective workouts that will improve your overall health and wellbeing. Not to mention you can build muscle and burn fat over time with these short exercise sessions.
With all this potential for quick workouts that actually do something, I asked Jacob why he thinks other students don’t utilize even the little time that they have to workout. “Speaking from my personal opinion, I honestly hate it, it’s something that I have to force myself to do because I’m tired it sucks when you do it, so it’s definitely a mental thing for me especially and I’m sure people feel the same way. You know, it’s just forcing yourself to be there is difficult, but once I’m there and doing it it’s not that big a deal, I feel good about it afterwards, so that’s how I get around it.”
So there it is. Just have enough willpower to show up and put the time in. When that time is 10-30 minutes, I’d guarantee that we all have that much time each day. I’d also wager that we spend more time than that on social media every day. Priorities. Yes it sucks, yes you don’t want to do it, but it’s what your body needs so get it done. If I can do it with a family, school, and several jobs, if Jacob can do it with school, work, and his own business so can you. I guess Nike was on to something.