08 April 2016
Four Exercises Every College Student Must Master
By Jeremiah Tasman, S.Kom.

So you’re a student, and I give you the benefit of the doubt, that you are a busy person.  You have the very overwhelming task of juggling between your social life and your studies, and sleep (something we all wished we did more while we were younger)!!  And don't even talk about the exam weeks! How can you possibly have time to even think about a healthy, fit, attractive body?! Perhaps the gym fees are too expensive, or you’re just uncomfortable sweating in a room where a bunch of other guys stare at you. (Don’t worry, they’re just imagining how you would react if they would give you some helpful advice on your form. We’re actually scared you might never come back if we do.)

Well, worry no more! No expensive gym fees. No need for a space bigger than your room. No need for heavy weights.  All you need is your body! These four exercises will give you all the benefits you need to live a healthy student life and enough endorphins to make you feel like you can conquer the world! And perhaps, they can even help you get an A+ on your exams.

Just remember, all these exercises need to be done with the right form to achieve all the wanted results and prevent unwanted injuries. So, be sure to take your time if you’re a beginner. (YouTube can be a big help, guys.)

The first exercise any student must master is the Sit-Up. I know, it’s boring. But if you master this exercise, life will be so much easier. The sit-up targets the body’s core. The core is basically the central pillar of your body. The stronger the pillar, the stronger the body. A strong core is responsible for a person’s good posture, and good posture is often associated with self-confidence. And good self-confidence can be a boost to a successful student life. Aim to do 10-15 repetitions if you’re a beginner. A strong core is also fundamental for the next three exercises.

The second exercise is the Push-Up. The push-up is the exercise to diagnose how strong your core actually is. The push-up requires your body to be stiff from your neck, down, all the way to your toes. It’s basically a plank, but you’re moving up and down. Studies have shown that push-ups stimulate the production of testosterone in the dudes. Testosterone is the hormone that actually makes your muscles grow or “pop out”. So fellas, start doing your push-ups. Aim to hit 10-12 repetitions if you’re a beginner.

Let’s not forget the lower body now. Therefore, the third exercise is the Squat. (Definitely YouTube this for correct form) The squat, if done properly, works out virtually all the major muscles in the body. Even though it targets primarily the legs, it requires a strong core and back. Squats increase stability, and therefore reduce the risk of injury. It's handy to have strong legs to power you as you are running to your class that starts in five minutes. And girls, the squat is your best friend if you want toned legs and gluteus. Aim to do 12-15 repetitions if you are a beginner.

And finally, we have to get our hearts pumping with some High-Intensity exercise. That’s why the Burpee is the fourth exercise that any college student should master. The burpee is a complex exercise. (Definitely YouTube “how to do a burpee”) The burpee can feel like it sucks out all of your energy, but with time and repetition, it is very healthy for your heart, lungs, and muscles. Burpees have all the benefits of the other exercises, but burpees can really help you improve and maintain your body balance. I promise you, do 10-15 of these in under a minute, and you will feel like you just raced Usain Bolt in the Beijing Olympics. If you’re a beginner, aim to do 8-10 repetitions.

Now, don’t expect to not sweat when you are doing these workouts. There are no shortcuts to a healthy and fit body. I know your education is important, and so are your friends, but without health, they’re worthless. Exercising actually helps you study better by pumping oxygenated blood to your brain, making you fresher, more relaxed, but also more focused and alert. So the next time you feel sleepy in class, just do a few burpees.

My advice for optimal results is to take 10 minutes, at least 3 times a week, to do these four exercises. As they get easier to do, add more repetitions and/or weights.  And remember, only with the right form will you get the wanted results.

A healthy student is a better student.