Viewing entries tagged

Working out in your dorm room : A Comprehensive Guide

Working out in your dorm room : A Comprehensive Guide


Healthy minds and healthy bodies go together like avocado and every food on the planet. Make sure that running ‘late’ isn’t the only form of cardio that you get on a daily basis. The more you train your body, the easier it is to train your brain. Frequent exercise may be an effective way to alleviate depression, it may make you more resilient to stress, and and it’s even associated with higher academic achievement. Not one for the campus gym? Sweat it out elsewhere. Working out in a dorm room can be equally as effective, notwithstanding a few challenges:

Why working out in a dorm room is so difficult

Minimal Equipment

Most dorms probably won’t allow you to modify your room’s basic infrastructure, so forget about nailing a pull-up bar to your door. Whether you live in a shared space or not, equipment can cause a lot of clutter. In addition to having all of your textbooks, cue cards, laundry, and snacks lying around, you won’t have tons of room for much else.

Minimal Space

Dorm rooms are small. Tiny, even. Even without equipment, several dorm rooms bear greater semblance to tiny cupboards under the stairs. Average secondary bedroom sizes range anywhere from 100 to 200 square feet. Chances are that your living quarters are way smaller. This makes exercise difficult (but not impossible), as several forms of exercise require space. How ought you to do walking lunges when you’re barely able to walk more than 5 paces between your front door and your bed?


Older dorms tend to have older floors, which means that plyometric exercises won’t be friendly to your downstairs neighbors. You might need to take your roommate’s schedule into consideration as well— you’d be hard-pressed to find a roomie who will enjoy studying while listening to you groan about your fifth set of burpees.


Why working out in a dorm room is possible

General Pointers : getting started

Working out in your dorm room : a checklist of basic pointers to get you started // The PumpUp Blog

Schedule your workout time

Your time is precious. There will always be one more chapter to push through, one more paragraph to write, and one more meeting or conference to attend. Don’t put exercise on the back-burner. Working out every single day might not be realistic for you, so set a target for yourself (a number of minutes of exercise each week). Carve out a few time slots for exercise, write them in your calendar with pen, and set a phone alarm for yourself so that you don’t forget. Treat each workout as a deadline or an important meeting that you scheduled with yourself: bosses don’t cancel.

Change your mindset

Try not to associate exercise with the same kind of dread that you reserve for chores like taking out the garbage or cleaning out your toilet bowl. View your workout as an act of self-care. It’s difficult to exercise when it’s something that you have to do or should be doing, but it’s easy when it’s something that you want to do or get to be doing.

Invest in light pieces of equipment

A pair of dumbbells and a kettlebell can go a long way as far as dorm room workouts are concerned. Provided that you don’t drop them on the floor like an anvil in a Warner Bros. cartoon, free weights will help you to gradually build strength with relative ease and silence. You may want to get a yoga mat, too. It’s portable, collapsable, and it will prove useful for stress-relieving stretches and pilates moves. When your muscles are really sore, it's useful to have a mini foam roller to diffuse tension and stimulate blood flow to the areas where you feeling pain.

Get creative with furniture and household objects

Turn heavy textbooks and dictionaries into substitutes for weights. They’re especially handy when you’re doing weighted squats or deadlifts. Load your books into heavy-duty shopping bags when you need to do bicep curls. Large water bottles are also great alternatives to free weights (and they’ll remind you to hydrate once you’re finished with them). Flat and stable surfaces like desk chairs, stools, and coffee tables can be used for tricep dips, step-ups, and raised push-ups.

Land softly and quietly

You don’t have to avoid jumping exercises altogether when you’re working out in a dorm room. The softer you land your jumps, the less stress you place on your joints, bones, ligaments and tendons. You’ll prevent injury in the long term while improving your body control, power, strength, and speed.


Dorm Room Workout Resources

Printable workout circuits

3 move no-equipment leg and butt workout from the PumpUp Blog: High knee runs, squat reach and jumps, and one-legged reach and jumps. Do 10 reps of each exercise for 3 sets.

If you want to keep distractions and noise to a minimum, printable circuits are the way to go. You can have them on-hand when you’re doing offline studying- making these workouts ideal for quick and efficient study breaks.  Tons of printable resources are available on Pinterest: ranging from workouts you can do with a paper towel, to 4-move HIIT exercises. For more structure, opt for printable programs similar to Aussie trainer Kayla Itsines’s Bikini Body Guide.

Workout DVDs and free YouTube workout videos

When you have more time to spare, borrow from sections of workout DVDs like P90X, or look for bodyweight workout videos on YouTube. Make ‘at-home workouts’, ‘ apartment workouts’ and ‘dorm room workouts’ part of your search strategy if you’re looking for quieter exercises that maximize space. Pilates & yoga videos and workouts for your abs will make the least amount of noise and they’re perfect for tight living quarters.

Health and fitness mobile apps

Best health and fitness apps for dorm room workouts // The PumpUp Blog

Your favourite dorm room workout might reside in your pocket. Nike Training Club has over 100 workouts designed by the brand’s trainers and sponsored pro athletes, SworkIt creates no-equipment workouts that can be adjusted to fit your schedule, 7 Minute Workout puts together a circuit of 12 effective do-anywhere bodyweight exercises, and PumpUp lets you discover and share user-generated workouts created by its 3 million-member community.

Bonus exercise 'hacks' for your dorm

In addition to your scheduled dorm room workouts, pair static and dynamic exercises with everyday tasks:

  • Plank while you read textbooks or papers
  • Do tricep dips while you’re watching (or re-watching) recorded lectures
  • Wall-sit while you memorize cue cards or facts
  • Do as many burpees as you can whenever you finish reading a chapter or write a page of your paper
  • Squat while you brush your teeth, brush your hair, or if you’re in between chores
  • Take the stairs as often as you can
  • Do calf raises whenever you’re waiting in line

Working out in a dorm room is tricky, but it isn't mission: impossible. Share your best dorm room workout tips in the comments below!


My big health transition from college to work

My big health transition from college to work


Last time I wrote a PumpUp blog, I was finishing up my list assignments as an undergrad and preparing for what I like to call, “the big transition.” Now, I am writing this post from the computer at my new job. That’s right, y’all, I finished college and started working. While this job transition isn’t too bad right now, I know that there is a lot of work coming for me. I'm enjoying this time as a newbie. That being said, I’m having some problems transitioning my physical health. It’s only been 3 days and I already feel slammed with responsibility. This is bad since I have the rest of my life ahead of me. I worked out on Monday, but it was at home. While the workout was decent (I used DailyBurn for the first time), it wasn’t what I was used to at my school’s gym. I miss that gym. I miss doing hardcore cardio everyday. I already feel like a fatty, as well, with all this eating out I’ve been doing. STOP THE MADNESS! My mind is weak at the moment. I haven’t felt this way in a long time. I have this whole mentality that the workouts that I do throughout my transition from college to work will end up doing will slow down my progress.

Ohmyitschels: Chelsie Jamerson's health transition from college to work

Luckily, my job has a wellness initiative where they will give me 1.5 hours a week to work out. What that means is that I can leave 30 minutes early to go work out. And, another cool part is that my job has a 1 mile jogging trail and a pool (even though the pool is closed for the summer). I have the resources but I’m just so restless. I wanna get back on track. I want to bring my lunch and my snacks and I want to work out hardcore.

The only reason I bring up these frustrations is because if I say them aloud or in public, I have to acknowledge them. I want the PumpUp community to hold me accountable. I enjoy posting progress photos every week and seeing all of the encouraging comments I get. It helps me move forward. Something I didn’t expect when getting on this journey is being an inspiration to others. It means a lot when people say I’ve inspired them and I don’t want to let them down almost as much as I don’t want to let myself down. So that’s why I’m saying it here: I’m frustrated but I’m not quitting. I will continue. This mind block is only temporary and I will move past this transition from college to work. Thanks to everyone who reads my blog posts and follows me on PumpUp. I hope that I can continue to inspire you.

From College to Work: The Health Transition is bumpier than you think

This post about transitioning from college to work was written by PumpUp member @ohmyitschels. Check out Chelsie’s YouTube page here.

Staying healthy during college isn't a walk in the park

Staying healthy during college isn't a walk in the park


I am a college student (well, I will be for the next two weeks). I work hard and I achieve grades that count. But college has been pretty easy for me. In fact, I say this all the time: school is a skill that I have. I can pass a class pretty easily. Will I work hard? Yes, but I’m not one for all-nighters because I love my sleep. Aside from being a college student, I’m also a student worker at my school’s campus visit office. This means that every week, I’m talking with kids from elementary to high school about my college and college in general. Visitors often ask me what my biggest adjustment was in the transition between high school and university.  Normally, I insist that my time management skills made the largest change. Looking back on it, I earnestly think that staying healthy during college was the biggest adjustment that I had to make.

A lot of students idealize college as a big ball of freedom. In a sense, it is...but with freedom comes responsibility. Unless you play sports or are part of some other organization that requires you to be active, you’re pretty much on your own as far as exercise goes. In high school, I didn’t even know that I was in shape because I just saw color guard as color guard. Performing an 8 minute show over and over again tired me out, but I never gave it much thought.  Once I got to college, I didn’t have my color guard director nor my choreographer to shove certain moves down my throat. As I became increasingly sedentary, I started to lose my muscle.

On top of losing muscle mass, my food intake was low and of poor quality. I ate out so much during my first year of college that the thought of my eating habits sickens me to this day. Now, I’m very particular about where I eat out; I treat it as a special occasion and I savour it. Needless to say, I gained the freshman 15 and then some. I thought that if my stomach wasn’t flapped over my pants’ waistline, then I was okay. As I started to look at my body, my stomach wasn’t flapped over but it was starting to jut out.

I embraced an active lifestyle with a lot of hard work and determination. I will say that a huge wake up call for me came during Christmas this past year. I was wearing a black dress and as I was walking down the stairs, my mother-in-law said, “You’re not pregnant are you?” That was my a-ha moment.  I knew that change must happen.

If you’re in college and you’re eating ALL the ramen and doing no kind of exercise, stop right now. The earlier you start to make a change, the better off you’ll be. Staying healthy during college isn't easy, trust me. But if you really want it, you’ll find a way to make it work.

Staying healthy during college isn't a walk in the park

This is a post by PumpUp member @ohmyitschels. Check out Chelsie’s YouTube page here.


We’re featuring a guest blog today from Emma and India, two lovely ladies behind an awesome blog called themessyheads. They’ll be chronicling their fitness journey as well as healthy eating tips for us.  In college? Their post on dorm food snacks is perfect for you.

4 Delightful Dorm Snacks


Now that I’m in college and don’t have the luxury of a kitchen, it’s hard to keep eating healthy. All of my foods have to be kept at room temperature, so a lot of people resort to granola bars and chips for snack food. Personally, I need food with a lot of energy and good ingredients so I can stay alert and study. If I start eating processed, packaged food I fall into a general slump. This is what I keep in my teeny tiny pantry. (Everything is from trader joes)

Kind bar- best granola bar in my opinion. Gluten free & all natural nuts and dried fruits. They come in tons of different flavors. I like cranberry or dark chocolate sea salt when I have a sweet tooth.

Fruit bar- Chia is the best energy ever! Back home I would have cranberry juice and chia seeds all the time, but I can’t do that without a fridge. This fruit bar is basically fruit, flax, chia, and lemon juice.

Apples- Apples are basically the only fruit that don’t need to be refrigerated, don’t go bad easily, and don’t require a knife to cut them. These gala apples come in a bag of about 6 or 8.

Powerberries: I need to munch on these dried berries covered in dark chocolate to get me through my psych text book.