Fitting in Fitness: 9 Habits of Successful Workouts

By Rose Nguyen

Students within the College of Natural Sciences are taking fitness into their own hands. Find out what they are doing to consistently stay in shape. 

1. They view their health holistically.
 “…There are 3 characteristics that we need to consider in order to truly become happy: the mind, the body, and our spirit. We are given the opportunity to sharpen our minds through school for most of our lives. Being healthy and exercising promotes strength, confidence, and longevity, which develops the body. Less appreciated is the development of our spirit, where we truly find ourselves. In developing our spirits, we improve both the mind and body through our attitude towards others and ourselves. Body, mind, and spirit all overlap and contribute to my happiness and motivates me to take care of my fitness.”
- Charles Espanol (Senior, Neurobiology)

2. They plan their routines and goals.

 “I have to plan my day around working out if I know I've got an exam coming 

up or homework that day. Otherwise, I try and plan it when  I'm usually going to be free. Setting goals for myself and [then] breaking them [motivates me]. I don't workout to get bigger or faster, just stronger. For example,  want to hit a 405lb dead-lift within the next 3 months as my current personal record (PR) is 353lbs and that would make me the strongest pound for pound deadlifter at my gym. I find that both fun and motivating and all I need to keep me going.”
- Cris Nevares (Junior, Mathematics-Actuarial Sciences)

3. They workout with a buddy.

“I have a fantastic friend named Michael who holds me accountable. We workout 4 times a week [and] try to keep the workouts around 40 minutes so that it doesn't consume too much of our day. There are times we've arranged to meet at 11 pm because of projects and other commitments. Having something at stake is a great motivator.”

Pablo Alvarez (Senior, Chemistry and Astronomy)

4. They use exercise to de-stress. 

“Running is the way I stay in shape and clear my mind, which functions as meditation.”- Esther Schenau (Junior, Computational Biology)

5. They believe in “strong body, strong mind.”

“Taking care of your body and exercising it is just as important as studying and mentally exercising. Most people, I feel, don't get that. Also, the benefits of exerciseendorphin rushes, self-confidence, love, organization, and having a fit bod make the rest of my life so much more enjoyable… I make myself exercise for two reasons: for my team (Texas Quidditch) and for myself. My teammates deserve to have the most powerful me I can be. I also believe that I owe it to myself to make the most of what my body can do. I constantly challenge myself to be better because I am never going to be in my twenties again. This is the time to be a strong, healthy woman, so that later in life I will be even stronger.”

- Audrey Wright (Junior, Radiation Physics)

6. They acknowledge that exercise increases productivity and mood.

“The more I exercise regularly, the better I feel. If I just make the time, I end up being more productive in other aspects of life and happier overall.”

- Katlyn Hedgpeth (Sophomore, Neuroscience and Psychology)

7. They prioritize their fitness.

“I get myself to exercise by building it into weekly my schedule just like I would schedule class. I make time to work out because maintaining my fitness is one of my top priorities. Fitness is important to me because I personally feel so much better when I'm active and healthy.”

-Mallory Hood (Senior, Neurobiology)

8. They are thinking about the future.

“I want to stay healthy and avoid potential problems as I age, and studies have shown that those who stay active live healthier and longer lives. Besides, it's much easier to stay in shape than it is to get back into shape…. My favorite activity is running on the trail downtown by the river. It's so beautiful down there, especially at sunrise, and being around that helps me forget how miserable I may feel while running.”

- Corey Timmerman (Junior, Biology Honors)

9. Last, but not least, they keep their routines fun!

“I often do routines around 12 weeks long and change at least every 4 weeks. Changing your routines, finding other ways to get your cardio, and giving new ideas a try (yoga, circuit training, fitness classes) keeps exercise interesting, engaging, and, most importantly, prevents stagnancy. Also try different healthy foods because eating right can get boring as well. Don't go trying to make all these changes at once. Instead, slowly replace a thing or two from your workouts and diet to find what else you like and prevent yourself from getting bored or complacent!”

-Kyle Crop (Junior, Economics and Mathematics-Pure)

Contexts for Inspired Learning

Medical Mission Trip to Guatemala: Travel Log