Equipment-Free Workout Routines For The On-The-Go Student
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When you study in a different country, being independent makes it hard to figure out what to prioritize. Why does everything seem super important suddenly? Safety first. Acads first. First loves (haha, just kidding). Fitness first? So where do you even begin? Clue: strike a balance. And not everything needs to be a top concern if you don’t want it to be.
Still, wherever the wind takes you, consider staying fit while on-the-go. We’ve probably neglected our physical fitness at one point or another. And science doesn’t lie: exercise isn’t just for keeping your body and blood healthy, it can boost your brainpower like crazy!
So work it out. You don’t even need a gym membership! All you need is a pocket of time, some sweatpants and sneakers, and a burst of energy. Here are some workout routines plus handy apps so you can push whenever, wherever!
Running is a quick way to get in great shape.
Is there a right way to run? Yes. Running is a quick, easy, and equipment-free way to get fit, and it’s a great way to enjoy the outdoors, too! The benefits? Besides the usual fat-burning and cardiovascular health, running improves your mood, focus, and memory as well.
You’ll need to consider the following factors before you head out on a run: intensity, distance, running time, and frequency per week. How long a run lasts will depend on your goals and your fitness level. But also, the more time you spend running, the better the benefits. Let’s get down to fitness!
For the Starting Sprinter: 30 minutes at a time, 3 days a week for around 2-3 weeks.
So you’re new to this whole jogging thing. Don’t go zero to a hundred real quick. That’s how you get into an accident, or worse, injured. Start low and slow. The goal isn’t to run fast, but rather to run consistently and comfortably. That’s why only a half-hour is all you need. Let your body get used to your pace before you get on with the race.
For the Getting-There Go-Getter: Up it to 45 minutes, for a total of 150 minutes per week
Alright, ready to up the ante a little bit? Let’s increase your mileage, adding maybe 5-10 minutes to your total run time each week. Now you’re gradually building up your tolerance for longer distances, greater intensities. The trick here is to determine your “sweet spot.” That is, what gets your heart racing enough when you run just enough without over-stressing your body? It’s a runtime that’s comfortable for you but running more will be too much of a challenge. Again, don’t push yourself too hard. Injuries and hospital fees are tricky abroad, remember that!
For the Flighty Fitness Buff: Achieve better physical (and mental) fitness with a 1-hour jog, 5 times a week
Ready to take on running as a full challenge? See if you can do an entire hour. Alternate your pace. Switch things up between running, sprinting, and jogging.
Spend that time listening to informative podcasts or playlists, too. Going on a jog not only helps clear your head it can also help you process new information! Of course, it all depends on the intensity of your stride. A high-speed run means your body is working harder than your brain, so choose music. A fair-paced jog evens out the work between mind and muscle.
Studying abroad? Get Trail Run Project! It’s an app that finds you nearby hiking trails so you can enjoy the great outdoors and the great benefits of a long run. Plus! It works offline, and knows your exact location so you won’t get lost.
Yoga goes both ways: You can be chill or go for the thrill
Namasté at home and chill in bed the whole day. Just kidding, get off your butt and get that blood flowing! Yoga is a low-impact but high-value exercise anyone can do. Stress-relief, mental wellness, improved sleep, and better balance? Who wouldn’t want to bend over backward for these perks?
One huge misconception is that you need to be flexible from the get-go. Not really! It’s a skill you develop over time. So don’t you worry child, we got you. Here are some YouTube channel recommendations from beginner-friendly to yogi-bum.
For the Self-Love Seeker: Yoga With Adriene
If you want a quick pick-me-up at the end of a tiring day, or a little motivation when feeling stuck, look to Adriene to guide you through a yoga sesh. She’s calming, relatable, and has a bunch of self-empowering routines all on her channel that you can easily follow.
For when Mindfulness Meets Movements: Alo Flow
Simple, minimal, mindful. Alo Yoga has a wide range of yoga sessions ranging from below 10 minutes to over half an hour. They mostly center on being mindful and understanding your energy, but you can find some HIIT workouts, too!
For The Ones With Zero Chill (But Still Want to Try Yoga Anyway): Fightmaster Yoga
Yes, you can combine HIIT (High-Intensity Interval Training) and yoga. Here you go. An aerobics class fused with body balancing. You’re welcome.
Take your yoga practice with you using free apps like Daily Yoga or Asana Rebel. Snap a yoga pose at your travel bucket list spots, while you’re at it!
If you want to customize your workout, go for HIIT or aerobics!
High Intensity Interval Training or HIIT is different from aerobics in that they’re shorter, more intense, and characterized by quick bursts of high-effort, high-energy movements followed by periods of low intensity or rest. Versus aerobics—exercises like jogging, swimming, spinning—where you’re steadily building up endurance at a moderate intensity.
YouTube channels like Fitness Blender and POPSugar Fitness are free to subscribe to and easy to follow, whether you’re a beginner or gym buff. If you’ve already gotten used to the flow of a workout, you can start customizing your own reps and exercises, too.
But say you’re already out of your dorm or homestay. Exercise wherever with apps that can track your progress. Use free ones like the Nike Training Club or Keelo.
Lost that drive? Don’t doubt yourself! Motivation’s just around the bend. Set yourself up a study abroad support group while you’re at it, too.
Go for that international opportunity, and start your journey with us! Did you know we have partner schools in the United States, Canada, and Europe, too? For more tips and guides to making the most of your overseas opportunities, check out our Study Abroad section on the Edukasyon.ph blog!
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About the author
Belle O. Mapa
As a child, Belle O. Mapa fell in love with books and fairytales. So she pursued a BFA in Creative Writing at the Ateneo de Manila University. Belle now lives out her passion: writing stories, hosting creative journaling workshops, and advocating for mental health awareness. You can find her chasing productivity tips on Edukasyon PH—or geeking out at your local craft store.