Between class, group projects, chapter meetings, extracurricular activities, and Thirsty Thursday, sometimes working out is the last thing on your mind. You might not be a gym person or have time to go on a regular basis. But that still doesn’t mean you can’t find ways to squeeze in exercise! The next time you want to burn a few calories or absolutely NEED to fit into that dress for formal, try these simple, effective, and hilarious ways to burn calories without hitting the gym.
1. Hit The Snooze Button
You read that right! Hitting the snooze button every morning provides multiple benefits. Besides getting some extra shut eye, you’ll probably be rushed that morning for class. Being a little rushed might sound like a bad idea but sometimes it gets your adrenaline going, your heart pumping, and this thought running through your mind: AM I GOING TO MAKE IT TO CLASS? Hitting the snooze button is a surprising way to burn a few calories as you sprint to start your day!
2. Get to Class Late
If you followed Tip #1, there’s a high probability that you’ll be late for class that day. But don’t stress! Showing up a few minutes late isn’t the end of the world (unless your professor actually takes attendance). Use lateness as an opportunity to be more active and burn a few calories. If there aren’t any seats left by the time you arrive, you’ll have to stand for the entire class. Sure it might sound grueling, but it actually improves cardiovascular fitness. You’ve read numerous studies about how sitting for prolonged periods of time can increase your likelihood for all sorts of health problems. Refuse to be a statistic and show up late to class!
3. Walk, Walk, Walk (and Walk Some More)
Walk to class. Walk to the dining hall. Walk to the library. Walk to the bars. Attempt to walk back from the bars. The point is most campuses are huge, giving you plenty of opportunities to burn calories every day. I remember a few of my roommates who actually tracked how many steps they took with pedometers one day. They easily walked three miles in one day! So on days where you can’t get to the gym, relax. You’ve probably done a ton of physical activity by walking to one end of campus and back. Bonus points if you do this in heels!
4. Take an Exercise Class
This is one of the best kept secrets in college. Many universities offer physical exercise classes that you can take FOR CREDIT. There are a ton you can choose from, ranging from aerobics classes to running classes, to even modern dance and yoga. I used to take a jogging class every Tuesday and Thursday at 10 am. It might have been on the early side, but it was a surefire way to guarantee that I would work out at least two days a week. If you have any room in your schedule, consider taking an exercise class for credit. You’re pretty much getting paid (via credits) to work out!
5. Dance the Night Away
After having a few shots of liquid courage, there shouldn’t be anything stopping you from getting on that dance floor or table. Dancing can burn a ton of calories. Instead of having to choose between a Friday night at the gym and a Friday night with your friends, now you can have the best of both worlds! Remember that when you’re dancing you’re also saving calories that you would otherwise be spending (i.e. drinking) at the bar.
6. Invest in a Yoga Mat
The Buddha in me can’t begin to tell you about the benefits of yoga. Yoga is great because you can do it pretty much anywhere. Mats are also fairly inexpensive, and you can find a good one for around 20 bucks. If you think that you can’t break a sweat doing yoga, you’d be surprised. There are plenty of yoga styles, some of which can actually make you a little winded. If you’re new to yoga, try buying an inexpensive DVD online and see how you like it. You even try this site for a bunch of free and awesome yoga tutorials!
7. Run in Place While Eating Froyo
Clearly, this last one is just for kicks. However, I have to admit, it’d be absolutely hilarious (and amazing) if this worked. But in terms of running, consider running the stairs at your campus’s stadium. It definitely beats the boring Stairmaster. I know it’s old school but think of it this way: you’ll probably have the whole place to yourself. Does anyone really need to see you sweat?
Burning calories at the gym is so 2013. Remember you don’t need to spend hours at the gym with a bunch of smelly fratboy douchebags to stay in shape. With this arsenal of creative workout tips, you can enjoy now your pizza, beer, and sappy chic flic guilt-free. Okay, well maybe not the sappy chic flic. I’m still going to give you shit about that.
Feature photo via flickr