College, internships, assignments, internals, exams. All of these amounts to a ton of stress. Somewhere amidst all this, we get lost. We get stuck in a rat race and rarely get out.
With the looming pressure of keeping up with our peers, trying to make our parents proud or even just clearing all the papers has made us forget about ourselves. Our health and sanity have taken a backseat while the pressure rules our lives.
I know we are off to a gloomy start with this article but I cannot stress enough on the importance of keeping fit especially for us students. That’s why we decided to come up with a comprehensive guide to give you everything you need to know on how to live a healthier life.
Why is Fitness important for students?
A lot of us think we have better things to do. Don’t we? That annoying lecturer who keeps giving assignments is far scarier than getting a little fat over the semester. But what if I tell you it’s not. The pros outweigh the cons any day.
Don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying that you shouldn’t do those assignments. I’m saying that health and fitness should be your priority too. Besides, there are always more than a few ways to stall that lecturer for more time. (*wink wink*)
Anyway, let’s get right to the point on why it’s important.
1. Increases your Productivity
This has a lot to do with eating healthy but physical activity also plays a big role. You see the vast majority of junk food (I’m looking at you McDonald’s) contain highly processed fats and sugars which spike the blood sugar in our bodies.
This is why a lot of overweight people get flak for being lazy and unproductive. Junk food is the cause and not the effect. Start eating healthy and you’ll see a burst in productivity. Just give it a try.
2. Helps you look better
If there was only one way to look better and score that hot date on Tinder, this would be it. I urge you to go and look at the before-after pictures of guys and girls on the internet and decide for yourself (But wait till you read this whole thing).
Getting fitter not only makes your body look good in whatever you wear but it also improves your skin as well. I didn’t have the problem of acne throughout my teens as much as my peers since I was into professional sports from a young age.
I always had to maintain a healthy diet and workout regularly right from the age of 12. So puberty was a little bearable, I think (I could be wrong).
3. Better Mental Health
Remember when I said junk food contains a lot of processed fats and carbs. This increases inflammation. Well, in short, it messes up your gut. And the chemistry in our gut is similar to our brain. Hence, a messed up gut leads to a messed up brain.
A lot of studies have found that a poor diet has led to depression and anxiety disorders. Scary right? But it’s true. A clean diet has been correlated with higher energy and better mood.
4. Longer Life
Don’t we all want to live a hundred years? Well, I can’t make any promises but I’m sure that if you are consistent with a healthy diet and have a fairly active life, you will eventually come somewhere close to that number (And I hope you do).
A lot of people have their life cut short because of poor diets. Diabetes, Hypertension, Heart disease and many more risks are caused by having an unhealthy life. This should be enough of a reason to try to lead a healthier life.
What to do to keep fit?
This is the million-dollar question, isn’t it?
Well, it quite literally is when you look at the number of books, YouTube videos, Instagram pages that are making money out of fitness. But I don’t mean any offence. A lot of people are helping a lot of people and that’s how the world should be.
But when you start complicating things to gain attention, that pisses me off. Look, keeping fit in my humble opinion should be simple and fun.
Yes, more information always helps but that doesn’t mean you can pull workouts or diets out of your butt and frame it as “This secret technique made me a Greek god in just 2 weeks.”(End of rant).
Anyway, I can write all day about what to do but let’s keep it short and simple for this one. I’ll list out a few essential exercises you can do both at home and the gym. These are some of the basics which will help you along your fitness journey.
Also, We will be coming out with content regularly so don’t think this is all you can do.
These are very basic and can make a lot of difference. These apply to girls and guys, so you don’t have to worry about that part. We’ll split it up into two groups. One where you don’t need any equipment and the other where you do, but on a minimal level.
At Home Exercises (Without Equipment)
Squats are the Queen of Workouts and for good reasons.
They activate and build the biggest muscle in the body which are the quadriceps and glutes. They also activate the calves and hamstrings. This helps build up a better core and overall stability and improve athleticism.
If you’re just starting, then I suggest slowly building from a lower rep range to a higher level. There are tons of variations you can do even without weights which can make it more challenging and intense.
Anyone and everyone would’ve tried this at least once in their lives. (If you haven’t you definitely should). Push-ups are pretty basic but they also provide a wide range of benefits.
They work on the chest, shoulders and triceps. So yeah, pretty much most of the upper body. Watch this if you have any doubts on how to do it.
Start small. Increase the reps gradually. As it gets easier, you can do harder variations of this exercise.
3. Pull Ups
This is one exercise which will always keep you humble no matter how experienced you are.
If you find this hard you can do an easier version of this called the Australian Pull-ups. They activate the lats and upper back. This helps in building your overall strength and better posture. They also activate the core to a great extent.
If you don’t have a pull-up bar or something of that sort, you can replace it with the Australian Pull-ups. They are an easier version and something you can do anywhere (even a table).
Working out with equipment
When I say with equipment, I’m only talking about a barbell and a couple of weights to put on it.
Now, you might say that your gym has much more than this and you want to know how and what to use. But what I’m giving is a set of basic exercises which have a minimum requirement of equipment. You can buy them for home workouts or you can use them in a gym too.
Besides, these are some of the most effective exercises you can do even in a gym.
If squats are the Queen of all exercises, then deadlifts are most definitely the King. They pretty much work the whole body. They work the upper thighs, glutes, upper back, traps, lats, the spinal erectors, the arms and even the forearms (phew).
The only thing to look out for is proper form. There is tons of content on YouTube. Having someone who can check your form or even just recording it on the phone by yourself is a good way to make sure you don’t go wrong.
Also, proper form, please. Bad form and deadlifts are a deadly combination (not in a good way).
2. Bench Press
Bench Press is like the new and improved version of a push-up. It, like the push-up, activates the chest, shoulders and the triceps. They isolate the chest much better than the push-up and hence are a great way to stimulate the growth of a bigger chest.
Even this without proper form can lead to injuries like shoulder impingements. So consult your gym trainer on how to do it properly or do your research online.
3. Weighted Squats
Sometimes there’s only so much you can do with bodyweight squats. I remember I had reached the point where I was doing around 500 repetitions to get my muscles sore. (No, I’m not kidding). This takes up a lot of time and hence the weighted squats are the better way to do it.
It saves up on time and works your muscles better by putting in more tension. If you want to go all out, I’d recommend a spotter so you don’t injure yourself.
What To Eat to Keep Fit?
Nutrition is another important aspect of fitness. If you don’t eat right, then there’s no way you’ll achieve your fitness goals. You also need to eat the right amounts so the progress is optimized, thus helping you keep fit.
I’m not gonna go in detail about the nutrition aspect but rather go over the basics. We have published a comprehensive article on how to build your diet plan. I’m sure you’ll find it useful.
Proteins are called the building blocks of the body for a reason. They help in building the muscles and recovery.
A good target to reach would be anywhere from 1.6-2.2 grams of protein per kilo of body weight. Chicken, eggs, nuts and beans are great sources of high-quality protein.
If you want vegan or vegetarian sources of protein, fret not. We got you covered. You can read this article to find out what the alternatives are for meat and their benefits.
This is what fuels your body for your daily activities. High-quality carbs will lead to high-quality workouts. Food sources like potatoes, brown rice, pasta are some of the high-quality sources of carbohydrates.
Your diet should consist of anywhere between 40-60% of carbs depending on your goals.
Fats are an important part of your cardiac health and form a big part of your diet. It is important to note that you should consume only healthy sources of fat like fish, nuts or seeds and avoid trans fat.
Intake of up to 40% of the total calories is recommended according to various studies.
Admit it. You didn’t see this coming, did you?
Well, what if I told you the above two (nutrition and working out) wouldn’t work if you didn’t sleep right. You’d probably think I’m kidding. Sadly, I’m not.
It is one of the biggest mistakes we do in our fitness journey. Talking about fitness mistakes, here’s a detailed article on some things you could be doing wrong right now!
Sleep is just as important. Your body needs time to recover and build back those muscles. Studies recommend 7-9 hours of sleep every day for optimal recovery. So stop binging on that Netflix series all night and go get some sleep.
Look, there’s no point if you don’t have fun. Fitness does not have one end goal. It’s a continuous process. If you don’t enjoy it now, you’ll never enjoy it and that’ll just lead to an unhealthy life.
Find ways to make it interesting. It doesn’t just have to be hitting the gym every single day. There are plenty of other ways.
Pick a sport you enjoy or mix it up with your weight training. Get a training partner or set goals where you reward yourself with yummy treats.
Go out and party once in a while. Eat that pizza. Just make sure it is in moderation. Fitness should not feel like something you are obligated to be a part of.
Don’t let fitness consume your life (yes, it happens) unless you are extremely passionate and want to pursue a career in it. Make it a part of your life. But don’t forget to have fun.
Thank you so much for being a part of our blog. It has been a month since we started. So, we decided to give away a small gift for you. We have made a list of essential food that you should be including in your diet.
Please mention your details and download the PDF.
Eat These To Make Your Diet 10X Better
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