Four Ways Uni Could Sabotage You and How to Avoid It
Uni’s a great time, isn’t it? Meeting new people, partying, redefining yourself - maybe even getting some studying in, too.
But for all the good stuff that happens at Uni, there’s also a good chance that it’ll completely sabotage your fitness goals and leave you exiled to the realm of the out-of-shape.
Here are four ways it can happen, and how you can fight back.
Drinking too much
The obvious point. It’s no secret that students drink, and it’s no secret that Uni culture often revolves around questionable levels of binging.
One issue with that is it does a good job of destroying any potential fitness progress you could make.
On the one hand, the calories you’ll be taking in during each session will make it hard to stay within any macro targets you set yourself.
On the other, being frequently hungover isn’t a good motivator for getting down to the gym, never mind having a good workout even if you do manage to drag your dehydrated, grumpy self there.
To make matters worse, studies have found that alcohol itself damages your body’s ability to build muscle.1
Instead of getting completely wasted multiple times a week, begin training yourself to get into party mode with only a couple of drinks. In time, it’ll become a habit, and you won’t depend on the booze for fun to the same extent.
Keep the heavier sessions to the rare occasion here or there, and if you find yourself going a while without any parties lined up, take a break from the drink altogether.
Eating too much junk
Mothers across the land may hope that their newly independent kids are going to take proper care of their nutrition when they’re away at Uni.
Alas, it often doesn’t go that way, and healthy meals give way to periods of intermittent fasting broken up by sausage rolls, pizza and fizzy drinks.
Needless to say, it’s difficult to maintain a healthy weight or energy level when you’re paying no attention to your diet at all.
There’s no need to become a gourmet chef, spend hours in the kitchen every day, and skip every pizza party in order to make a positive shift.
Just start by picking up a basic cookbook and batching some meals. In other words, spend an hour or so making a giant pot of spaghetti Bolognese, put it in the fridge, and you’ve got dinner lined up for the rest of the week.
You can do the same thing for snacks. Try making a ton of sandwiches in one go, for example. You’ll be less tempted to eat junk if you’ve got healthier alternatives standing by for when you’re hungry.
Trying too hard
This is a bit of an odd one, but it’s a simple rule of life that students going away to Uni are likely going to have a go at reinventing themselves. Out in the world, surrounded by young party people, it makes perfect sense that any guy or girl might decide that their new life begins now.
Part of that new life often involves the idea of working out and getting super-fit.
Or is it?
It’s not uncommon for the eager fresher, drunk on self-invention, to completely burn themselves out in the gym in short order.
If you go from not training at all to doing 3-hour gym sessions on a rigorous bro-split program, with a meal and a protein shake every 2 hours, you’ll be lucky not to turn your back on the fitness world in disgust within a month.
Take it slow and keep it simple. You want to focus on a sustainable fitness program. A couple of core compound lifts on a full body or upper-lower split, 3 times a week. A jog every other morning. Walking instead of taking the bus everywhere. Stuff like that.
If you can make those fitness routines and habits stick, you’ll be well on your way to getting in the best shape of your life.
Leaving no time for fitness
When you’re expected to attend lectures, write assignments, and have a whole lot of fun stuff to do on the side, your schedule can fill up fast.
If you’re always either partying or studying, where does fitness come in?
The best way to squeeze fitness into your Uni schedule is to make it a point to get in a gym session as early in the day as possible. First thing in the morning is best. Before your classes, and before the evening comes and the parties begin.
Not only will you begin making steady progress towards your fitness goals, but you’ll also start each day feeling great.