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Health and fitness

By Manuel Diaz

Finding the balance between school life and regular life is a beautiful, chaotic adventure. Some days it feels like there is no assignment or chore we cannot complete. Then there are other days where we stare at our assignment list for hours thinking about how we could finish all of it.

With the amount of assignments that are due, reading to be completed and other interests pulling at us, it may seem exhausting to think about; and adding an exercise/diet routine to it may be asking too much. How are we supposed to have enough time, let alone the energy to do everything we need to do? I had the opportunity to interview two knowledgeable people to share their ideas and tips to gaining a balanced and healthy routine


Catherine Jarrett, a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist, shared these five tips to keep in mind:

1. Make sure you take time for self care.

2. Try to get some activity in every day, even if it’s a 20 minute walk.

3. Don’t waste money on supplements, spend it on actual food.

4. Try not to binge drink too much.

5. Even though you’re busy with college, make time for family, friends and hobbies you love.

Nicole Daoang who is a personal trainer, competitive lifter, and life coach recalls her time in college as incredibly busy, “...I started off as a nursing student with at least 24-26 credits”.

”...I remember watching [a] video and what resonated with me was that we are all given the same amount of time in a day and it is up to us on how we decide to go forth with it. That was when my mindset changed… I got a calender and wrote down my schedule. I wrote down everything… I decided I needed more time during the day and the only way I would add more time would be to wake up earlier.”

Nicole understands flexibility and also expressed, “Everyone is different and [we] need to find what works best for [us] . [If someone is an] evening person, then by all means go to sleep later and fit in that 20-30 minutes of workout at the end [of] the day”.

Here is Nicole’s five tips to fitting exercise into your routine:

  1. Schedule out your whole day from when you wake up till the time you go to bed. There will be pockets in your schedule that you find are not being used efficiently.

  2. Find what works best for you and schedule in a workout time. Don’t worry if that time doesn't work out at first, play with your schedule and find what works. It may be a process, but it will be worth it when it all comes together.

  3. When you do find the time, you want to workout efficiently. To do that you want to have a workout plan.

  4. Find a workout buddy. Throughout my years of training, having a partner through this journey is so beneficial. It will help keep you and your partner accountable.

  5. Choose something over nothing. Trust me when I say doing something small every day will eventually lead to something big.

“There is no magic wizardry to building a healthier body. The real honest truth is to understand your why and show up and put in the work. I’m not talking about putting in hours and hours of hard work. It can be as simple as 20-30 minutes, three times a week. We want to focus on showing up and creating a habit. Eventually getting to a point where it is part of your routine and you are doing it without having to think about it, like brushing your teeth.If you take a small detour, remind yourself that it is okay and start again tomorrow. Keep moving forward. Take it all one step at a time. It is one hundred percent possible to live a healthy lifestyle. Commit to exercise and living a healthier and stronger lifestyle. Your body will thank you years from now”.

There are certain health insurance companies that offer discounts to gyms. If you would like a free option, oh heck yes, there is always the campus calisthenics corner (Waiawa Mile Fitness trail). This is a wonderful resource supplied by Leeward community.

By scheduling (and most importantly completing) workouts it will begin to form a habit. This positive habit will help build more productive habits. By becoming more productive and not procrastinating we may begin to free up more time for ourselves. The new found energy through workouts may be used to complete assignments as soon as possible rather than as soon as they are due. By completing tasks and not letting them build up to a massive workload we free up time to use for our other interests.

This article originally appeared in the Fall 2019 issue.

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