Tighten that ass! Quick workouts to get you ready for summer

Looking tight!

In the world of a university student, hours spent working out are few and far between. Between balancing class, homework and often a job, many students can’t find the time to hit the gym. It’s important, however, for students to fit exercise into their busy schedules not only for the health benefits, but also for the mental and emotional benefits.

According to the Canadian Physical Activity, Fitness and Lifestyle Approach Manual, only 34 per cent of Canadians between the ages of 25 and 55 meet the recommendations for practicing healthy, active living. The guide recommends performing one hour of low-intensity physical activity every day or 30-60 minutes of moderate-intensity exercise. High-intensity workouts for 20 to 30 minutes, performed four to seven days a week, are also recommended.

“Not only does daily physical activity reduce risk of health issues but it also helps in managing stress, reducing anxiety and improving sleep,” said Keegan Sharp, a fourth-year University of Saskatchewan kinesiology student. “Obviously students deal with these issues every day so by incorporating physical activity into your daily regime, one can improve their overall well-being.”

People can find it hard to squeeze in an hour of physical activity each day. By the time you pack your bags, drive to the gym, find parking and change into workout clothes, a half-hour of your time is already consumed. For students who can’t find the time to fit physical activity in their schedules, here are three quick workouts that do not require a gym and allow you to get out in that fresh, natural air.

Running intervals

Run hard for 30 seconds, followed by a slow jog recovery for 60 seconds. Do this for 15 minutes. If feeling more advanced, double the times to one minute of sprinting and two minutes of recovery. This exercise can also be done on the bike or elliptical.

Pyramid runs

Run one minute, walk one minute. Run two minutes, walk two minutes. Run three minutes, walk five minutes, then repeat while going back down the pyramid. If you have trouble remembering the pyramid, just think 123-5-321.

Stair or hill workouts

This is a burner to get your butt in shape — literally. Run quickly up the stairs or up a hill and then walk or slowly jog back down. Do this three times, with a five-minute rest between each set.

These workouts can all be adjusted accordingly to ability. Once mastered, you can move your reps up in each set. They only take 30 minutes of your time and are considered a high-intensity workout that can be done four to seven days a week.

“Going for an hour-long jog is considered low-moderate intensity, but a thirty minute or less workout at high-intensity is more beneficial because it elevates your heart rate and makes your muscles work harder,” said Sharp. “Your body’s metabolism rate is higher one to two hours after these high intensity workouts so it will continue to burn carbohydrates stores and fats.”


Photo: Sharai Siemens