Staying Motivated to Fitness While Studying – A UniSA Sport Guide

Alex Traeger


The university grind has started and no doubt it’s a juggle fitting everything in. Assignments to complete, reading to do, exams to prepare for… And that’s just uni – not to mention work, family and friend events and all other life commitments. Where are you supposed to fit in exercise?

While it might not seem important while you’re spending hours in front of your laptop trying to make that deadline, or with your head in books studying for that exam, it must be a priority, because exercise makes all those things easier. Keeping active will improve your overall wellbeing, with increased blood flow to the brain improving concentration and alertness, inspiring creativity, enhancing memory, as well as boosting your mood! Here are a couple of ways you can stay committed to fitness while studying, so you can reap those health benefits.

Incidental fitness

We understand it’s not always possible to schedule in exercise, but there are always opportunities to get on your feet during the day. Ride your bike to uni, walk to the bus stop instead of driving and take the stairs rather than taking the lift. Get a Fitbit to help track how many steps you do in a day and try to beat your number each day.

Seek help and make a schedule

Scheduled exercise is just as important as having your uni timetable and work roster. If it’s scheduled in, treat it like an appointment you simply can’t miss, write it down, put it in your calendar and set a reminder – make it happen. If you need help scheduling, seek help from UniSA Sport’s professional staff who can help build exercise regimes around your needs and commitments.

Try something new

It’s hard to look forward to exercising when you’re bored with your same-old running route. Try something different, like a HIIT (high-intensity interval training) class or a CORE class. Maybe try a guided mediation, Pilates or yoga class, it is a great way to reset and restart your day refreshed, with more energy.

Socialise on the run

Are you struggling to fit in catch ups with friends and exercise, why not combine the two and multitask? Next time you’re asked to meet up for a coffee or lunch, suggest going for a walk or to a fitness class together instead. Socialising while exercising makes it more fun too!

Have a routine

Before bed every night, prepare a healthy lunch for the next day, lay out your workout clothes and put a big glass of water beside them. Put your phone/alarm a few steps away from your bed so you are forced to get out as soon as it sounds. With everything ready, it will be easy to hydrate and do some exercise, even if it is only 20 minutes, you’ll be amazed how energised and alert you will feel for the rest of the day! Find a routine that suits you and stick to it.

Actively watch

Watching an episode of your favourite TV show at night is a great way to wind down and escape from your reality of study and work. Luckily, there are lots of simple exercises that you can do from your lounge room while watching. Squats, push-ups, crunches, burpees, sit-ups, star-jumps, planks, bicycles, Russian twists and knee tucks are all exercises that don’t require equipment and can easily be done on the floor.

Be Spontaneous

Maybe you’re a fan of basketball, badminton or volleyball? Free Play is available to University of South Australia staff and students at Pridham Hall Monday to Friday from 9 am to 5 pm – we supply equipment and you don’t even have to book. Spontaneous fitness is the best kind!

Whatever you do we encourage you to stay active, get involved and try to find at least 30 minutes of exercise each day, trust us your body and your mind will feel better for it!
How do you fit in exercise while studying? Let us know by emailing when we get enough responses, we will put together a list and post it on social media.

Words: Kirralee Thomas


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