The Daily Gamecock

5 Ways to Stay in Shape On-Campus


With both swimsuit season and finals just around the corner, the second half of spring semester is a time many are looking to get in shape but struggling to do so. Little changes in your everyday way of doing things can often make a big difference. Use these low-budget, campus-lifestyle-friendly tricks stay happy and healthy as the year winds down.

1) Walk (or bike) it out

When you've got an 8:30 lecture all the way at Darla Moore, it can be tempting to hop in your car or take the shuttle. But, if you're looking to make more time for exercise in your daily schedule, walking to class or riding a bike can be a great trick to burn a few calories on your busiest days. Taking the stairs rather than using elevators is another great way to fit in a quick workout on the go. Plus, who wouldn't appreciate not having to deal with on-campus parking day in and day out?

2) Take advantage of resources

One of the perks of that activities fee that shows up on your tuition bill every semester is full access to all of the fitness amenities campus has to offer. When looking to get or stay in shape, why not take advantage of what you've already paid for? USC has not one but two fitness centers, the Solomon Blatt Physical Education Center and the Strom Thurmond Fitness and Wellness Center, that are open to students and offer a wide variety of services. They have a ton of fitness equipment, organize group exercise classes and intramural sports, and offer one-on-one consultations.

3) Exercise loves company

Going on a jog by yourself can be incredibly boring, and something being boring usually means it's less likely to get done. Rather than forcing yourself to go at it alone, exercise with friends. Whether it's bringing along your roommate on that morning jog or playing a pick-up game of soccer on the Horseshoe with classmates, having people to hang out with makes the time go faster and helps to take the "work" out of workout.

4) Plan ahead, you'll thank yourself later

Nutrition is also a major component of health and one that college students frequently struggle with. When you're busy trying to fit a study session in between your afternoon lecture and evening lab, it's often a lot easier to just grab a burger than prepare a balanced dinner. One of the most effective ways to combat this problem is to sit down and plan out your meals for the week and then prepare dishes ahead of time. By setting aside time to figure out what you're going to make and having food ready, you'll save your self time and calories in the long run.

5) Don't be afraid to make "me" time

It's important to remember that health and wellness go beyond your physical health. College can be hard on your mental health as you try to adjust to newfound independence and accomplish all of your goals. Don't be afraid to set aside time in your schedule to decompress and do the things that you like to do. It's tempting to stay up all night studying, but often a good night's rest is just what you need to get a mental boost for that math exam. And if the stress of college starts to become too much for you to handle on your own, don't be afraid to reach out to on-campus counseling services in the Close/Hipp Building. Students receive 10 free individual sessions as part of their tuition, and most services have no charge to students