Don’t let “hibernation season” get the best of you. The world may tell you the cold weather forces you to gain a bit of weight, but don’t let the fact that you’re a broke college student without a gym membership keep you out of shape. Penn State students have a lot of ground to cover. Open your eyes to new campus sights (and possibly boost your GPA) with these 10 workout resources.
1. Kayla Itsines’ Bikini Body Guide
Kayla Itsines’ BBG costs a whopping $70 per guide. Every college student should be advised that once purchased, the guide can be passed around and shared via email or iBooks—for free. “Kayla workouts are extremely painful and grueling, but the results are amazing,” said PSU senior Hannah Karr. “My roommate and I set up our yoga mats and weights in the living room and do the full 28-minute workout,” Karr If you need any more assurance that Itsines’ BBG actually works, just check out her Instagram page for unbelievable before and after photos.
2. Running Around Campus
PSU’s hilly campus practically builds a workout into your day. Running takes that up a notch. “I run all around campus with my roommate usually,” said PSU junior Britt Strazza. “We like to start our day with a nice morning run. We pick and choose different routes on and off campus. It’s a cool way to see places around State College that you wouldn’t normally see just walking to class,” said Strazza. Need more motivation? Feel free to participate in the multiple 5Ks and half marathons offered around State College and Pennsylvania.
3. Hiking Mt. Nittany
Less than 10 minutes away from campus, Mt. Nittany has a trail for whatever shape your body is in this hibernation season. The blue and white trails tend to be the most popular amongst hikers—both bringing you to different peaks of the mountain. You can even choose your distance from two to eight miles, depending on which path you fancy. Although the trails can be difficult, every student can complete a trail. “What’s even better is the view along the way. You can see Beaver Stadium from one of the trails, but it’s even better at sunset,” said PSU senior Ricky Warner.
4. Walking to Class
For the students too busy (or lazy) to find time to exercise, or straight up just don’t want to, walking to class will suffice. For those lucky students with back-to-back classes (both on opposite sides of campus), speed walking builds exercise into your busy schedule. “I remember my sophomore year I had class in Forum and then class in the Business Building directly after that,” said PSU senior Sean Cooney. “I practically had to run there, that was a workout within itself,” said Cooney.
5. Take the Stairs
This might be old news, but we can’t forget the importance of opting to take the stairs over the elevator in any school or apartment building. This simple act boosts your health—and your glutes, too. Penn State senior Zoe Pugh opts to take the stairs every chance she gets. “I honestly have no extra money to spend on a gym membership so I just take the stairs to get into my fifth floor apartment,” said Pugh. Let’s be honest we all know how decrepit the Willard elevator looks, just give the stairs a chance.
6. Intramural Sports
Athletic clubs and IM teams not only offer a chance for group exercise, but also allow students to make new friends and compete against other schools and teams. Currently, Penn State offers 79 athletic clubs, including cross country, basketball and even Quidditch, plus countless IM teams like soccer and volleyball. Penn State senior Michael Sarno offers up his free time as the head coach for the Lambda Chi Alpha IM football team. “I not only coach the team, but I play alongside them in practices,” said Sarno.
7. Track Workouts
You don’t have to be a track star to make your own track workouts. Just grab your headphones, crank up the volume and run, Forrest, run. Former track star from West Islip High School, PSU senior Mackenzie Sarle still remembers the track workouts she did in practice, and continues to do them today. “My coach was big on track workouts,” said Sarle. “My specialty was the 400 meter run, so I love to come to the track and do some 400s to stay in shape.”
Many yoga classes and studios cost a pretty penny. If you’re lucky enough to get into the class, Penn State offers yoga as a GHA credit, otherwise known as the required health and physical activity credits. That’s right, you need yoga to graduate. “There’s nothing better than exercising and getting graded for it,” said senior Sian Scott. “I love the class because not only do I work on myself physically, but spiritually as well. I would recommend that class to anybody,” said Scott.
9. DIY Workouts
The internet never ceases to amaze. Having trouble finding a solid workout routine? Simply look up the word “workout” and boom—thousands of options in seconds. Find a workout that best fits the areas you wish to work on, whether you crave cardio, strength training or even how to do a simple pushup. Mixing up your workout regime with different workouts every day helps keep your body fit, and thanks to the internet you’ll never have to repeat a workout again.
10. Running Away from Responsibilities
S/O to the students who have no intentions of working out at this stage in their life. “I run away from my responsibilities almost every day, does that count as cardio?” said PSU senior Lily Holeva. As college students we’re constantly flooded with homework, tests, papers, quizzes, projects and of course a social life—who really has time for anything else? Let’s face it, these are the years we can afford to skip the gym and still look decent. We still have a few more years until it all starts to add up. Enjoy it while it lasts.