How to Fit Exercise into Your Class Schedule

Welcome to October, everyone! Unfortunately, the turning of the seasons means that all the fun and games of the September honeymoon period are over. Midterms are on our backs, and school is about to get REAL. This is also about the same time, every year, where we start to see all those September keeners at the gym kicking back on their hours—for some reason when everyone gets stressed, exercise is the first thing to go.

In actuality, this is the least effective mode of functioning, because all the studies show that regular exercise actually helps boost our attention span, relieves stress, promotes happiness, provides an excellent study break, and perhaps makes you feel better about the 20 Pumpkin Spice Lattes you’re about to drink this month. Here are this fourth year student’s top tips for fitting exercise into your class schedule no matter how busy you are, and no matter what type of schedule you have. Enjoy!

Schedule it In

calendarOne of the weirdest things about university is that you no longer have anyone telling you what to do. This goes for exercise as well!

Unless you’re on a varsity team, if you were used to playing school sports or  other organized sports back at home, you’re on your own now. Fitting in healthy living is up to you.

I try to prioritize exercise by having it slotted into my schedule along with my classes. For example, on Mondays I go for a run before my evening class, Thursdays I climb with my climbing partner, etc.

If you’re struggling to find motivation to exercise on your own, joining an intramural team or out-of-school club team is a good option too. Just like going to class, view exercise as something that HAS to be done that day, not as something that’s optional.

large-3Active Transportation

Are you reading this article shaking your head, thinking, this girl doesn’t get it, I just don’t have time to exercise?!! Fear not, my friend. One thing you do certainly have time for is getting to school, am I right? Switch up that daily bus route for a bike ride or walk to school instead.

Having that fresh air before school gives a satisfying clarity to your morning, and allows you time to think. Besides, you might actually save time and stress from waiting for the perpetually-late bus.

Make it Part of your School Day


Let’s be real, at UVic, yoga pants and Nikes are basically a fashion trend anyways, right? For those long breaks at school, mix up that library session with one of the many on-campus fitness options. Hit up CARSA for a challenging 45 minute spin class, TRX class, yoga class, gym work out, squash game, or session at the climbing wall. Even a walk around the Chip Trail might be the perfect study break. Afterwards, you can shower in the change rooms, or opt to bring a change of clothes. You’ll probably feel more productive afterwards, too.

large-4Meal Prep? How about Exercise Prep?

When I get home from a long day of school, my large, lime green couch and an episode of Gilmore Girls is quick to summon me. Fight the couch’s call by laying out your workout gear on your bed in the morning.

Make a habit of putting it on right when you get home so that you feel silly wearing it later if you STILL haven’t gone out for that run. Pro tip: the more colorful the workout attire, the better.

Find a Friend


Friends that exercise together, stay together. Well, I don’t know if that’s true, but I do know that it is WAY more fun when you have a friend to make faces at in the yoga studio mirror. Having a long-standing spin-class date every Thursday with a friend also keeps you accountable to going to that class, and it’s a good way to keep in contact with your pals when you’re all super busy.

Go forth Vikes, and stay active this midterm season! I’ll be rooting for ya.

P.S. It’s FIT Week this week (Oct 3-8) on campus, meaning that there are tons of free classes and other opportunities available this week. Find out more at:

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