Essential College Dorm Fitness Items

yoga 11Most colleges today have fitness facilities available to students on campus. While these gyms are an amazing tool, the responsibility of class, homework, and extracurriculars can make going to the gym very unappealing. Getting ready, getting to the gym, working out, and then freshening up afterwards can be time consuming, but don’t worry—this doesn’t mean your active lifestyle is doomed. If going to the gym is too hectic and time consuming for you, keep some exercise equipment in your dorm room for a quick, effective and fun workout. Here are some items to consider packing before you make your way back to school this year:

Jump rope: Inexpensive and easy to store, a jump rope makes for a great cardio workout. This cardio toolcollege workout equip helps to strengthen the upper and lower body, and is great for your heart. Jump roping activates your calves, quads, hamstrings, abs and shoulders in a dynamic workout move. Almost every muscle is firing when you jump rope to help stabilize the entire body. Mix up the plain jump rope routine with some full body strengthening moves. Try this circuit three times through for a quick and intense workout that tones your whole body.

  • 2 Minutes Jump Rope
  • 1 Minute Mountain Climbers
  • 1 Minute Plank
  • 1 Minute High Knees

Balance Ball: Instead of sitting on a desk chair, use a balance ball to improve your stability and work your core. Just sitting on this ball engages stabilizer muscles and recruits your core and back muscles to keep your balance. You can also with use your balance ball as a way to warm up your muscles prior to working out. Performing crunches on the ball strengthens your abdominal muscles and lower back. Try other strengthening moves in the privacy of your dorm room to tone and keep your body energized.

IMG_8503Set of dumbbells: Buy one set of dumbbells that have a vinyl covering to prevent chaffing on your hands. Just a few minutes of strengthening moves with dumbbells is a great way to build toned muscles. Take a study break and do a few bicep curls, or perform a few overhead presses during commercial breaks while watching TV. Try this circuit three times through to tone and strengthen your muscles:

  • 10 bicep curls
  • 10 overhead presses
  • 10 hammer curls
  • 10 reverse tricep extensions
  • 10 static lunges (each leg)

Yoga Mat: Yoga is a great way to work on flexibility and trength. Many active people neglect stretching, but keeping yourself agile with yoga can benefit your body for years to come. Buy a yoga DVD or search a yoga session on Youtube for a relaxing and zen workout alternative. Dim the lights in your room and roll out your yoga mat for a refreshing workout. Yoga mats roll tightly and can store easily under your bed or in the corner of your closet. These simple items are easy and practical for bringing to college. For storage, they can easily fit into a small container and hidden underneath your dorm room bed. Keep in mind not to limit yourself to just this  exercise equipment. You can also try kettle bells, resistance bands, or even medicine balls to keep yourself active when you are in a pinch and can’t find the time to get to the gym. Just a few minutes throughout the day adds up—focus on staying active and your body will thank you for it.

Photo Credit: Paige Swint, FBM

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