Use Your Free Gym Pass

Dodge Fitness Center at Columbia University

Dodge Fitness Center at Columbia University

One of the best perks in college (as there are many) is the free gym membership. At Columbia, the gym is open to the public, and they offer classes for a fee. Unfortunately, even the students have to pay for classes. However, the gym itself and all its amenities go with the membership, which includes the weights, pool, stretching mats, track, basketball court, cardio machines, all of the major works. You can easily set up your own workout that way. Moreover, you can finally do all the great workouts you find on the internet without fear!

Take, for example, this great workout plan from Muscle and Strength. It’s in their celebrity section, and by celebrity, they mean popular movie characters. This one in particular has decently high ratings given the number of votes, but with a caption like “build a leaner, more muscular physique”, it’s easy to see why. So, why don’t we go ahead and get Shredded Like Wolverine!

It’s a six week workout plan to build muscle. Hint: building muscle means you burn more calories overall during the day. They even offer a meal plan, which isn’t hard to do in the dining halls. Who’s up for this new challenge? Better start now before the holiday season comes around and the meals get larger!


Be the Step Machine


One of the best perks in college is the stairs. More specifically, dorm room stairs. Most college dorms are at least four levels, and many are a lot taller than that. So, if you happen to live on the tenth floor, don’t groan. Think of it as a way to get more fit than those living on the second floor.

The challenge: use the stairs (not the elevator) to get to your room as often as possible. Sometimes you’re in a rush or you have a huge bag of new textbooks, in which case, go ahead the use the stairs unless you want to be hardcore and brag about it over breakfast to your new college friends the next day. However, you should have no excuse when going down those stairs. Going downstairs is so simple thanks to gravity. Make it your Freshman Minus Fifteen goal to not use the elevator when going downstairs. For fun, make it a race: see who gets to the main level faster, you on the stairs or your not-as-hardcore friends on the elevator (you can go while your friends are waiting for the elevator).

Go up and down stairs as often as possible. Use the stairs to get to your room, to your classes, to the next party. Walk off that dessert by going up and down the stairs. Live on the second floor? No worries, try to get to the top building as fast as you can before going back down to your room. It’s fun, it’s effective, it’s the natural step machine.