Workout and relax at the same time

Yoga is an after-class powerhouse activity, combining down time and exercise for students

Have you ever gotten back from a long day of class and just needed to take a moment for yourself? You may binge-watch your favorite television show, take a nap or sip on your favorite coffee. Although my guilty pleasure is watching cat videos on the Internet, my favorite way to spend a little me-time is to grab my yoga mat.

Yoga has been my way to relax and take away the stress of school for years. It is a perk that yoga is also a great workout. Yoga is not only about stretching and meditating, yoga increases flexibility and balance, which decreases risk of injury. It is also a great exercise for strengthening your arms, legs and core.

Yoga has been my way to relax and take away the stress of school for years.

— Amanda Gibson

Yoga makes working out fun for me, and it is a major plus that my preferred downtime also burns calories. Becoming a yogi may not be your thing, but finding a workout that gets you excited to hit the gym can be a great lifestyle change. Spending your downtime doing a workout you love can make you feel better about yourself, and it can make you feel more motivated and less stressed.  If you hate running around the track, but love extreme cardio, try a Zumba class. If you think lifting weights is boring, but love your biceps, try rock climbing.

Finding a workout regimen can be a fun experience. When I first started working out, I thought it was all about running and lifting weights twice my size. It took me a while to realize I needed to work with my body and have fun exercising. I started using the elliptical at the gym, and I started lifting weights that were right for me. I found yoga and pilates videos, and I had a blast doing them. Now I know my workout is tailored to me, and I am always excited when I go to the gym.

If you are still struggling to find a workout that agrees with your body, get adventurous. If you have given up on the gym, get back up and move. It is important to take a moment for yourself every once in a while, and if your workout is something that makes you relaxed, happy and excited, then you might find, your me-time will also start benefiting your physical health.

The best part of spending your downtime working out is, eventually, you will see a change in yourself. You will realize you are happier, you eat healthier, you are less tired and more motivated. With all these benefits to exercising, it is hard to go back to napping or watching cats on the Internet. So, next time you find yourself without homework, try hitting the gym, a free class at the Rec or just taking a run or walk around campus. You may end up having a blast, but, whatever you decide to do with your workout…Namaste.

Amanda Gibson can be contacted at [email protected].