COMMENTARY: These activities can lead to improved lifestyle

The+university%27s+pool+in+the+Rec.+Center+is+open+to+all+students.+

Justin Gongora

The university's pool in the Rec. Center is open to all students.

Justin Gongora, Sports Writer

Physical activity is undoubtedly good for both your body and your mind. Exercise is linked to have positive impacts on one’s self-esteem, stress, anxiety and sleep.

Finding something that works for you is the most important aspect to choosing your routine. Make it a point to be consistent and within no time, your routine will become second nature. Starting a workout shouldn’t be a drag; it should be something that you look forward to.

Beginning a routine may seem challenging, but once you start seeing results, you will begin enjoying the challenge of bettering yourself.

Swimming:

I enjoy swimming workouts. For my swims, I use a 25-meter lap pool; St. Edward’s Recreation Center has a great pool downstairs that’s open to all students and faculty. Warm up with a 50 meter stretch with one lap back and forth. Four laps–a 200-meter swim– makes for a perfect full-body workout.

Start off with swimming from one side of the pool to the other, but when you reach the deep side of the pool do, 10 “Longhorn” pull ups. A “Longhorn” push-up is done by placing your hands on the ledge of the pool, then pulling yourself up.

Once you reach the other side of the pool, hop out of the water and do 10 squats or pushups. Aim for a total five sets, but if you are able, go for more.

Cardio:

If swimming isn’t your thing, cardio is a great stress reliever and can be done either inside or outdoors. Our university has a great track surrounding the soccer field and it is open nearly at all times. Four laps around the track equals a mile.

I like to get progressively faster as I run my mile, so start off with a jog. With every lap, try to kick it into high gear and challenge yourself to be faster than the last.

Jump roping is a personal favorite of mine and it is something I incorporate into all my workouts. Aim for a 100 jump ropes for each set, but always shoot for more than the minimum. Try doing at least five sets.

Biking:

Biking is another great activity and it can even save you some money on gas. Bike down to a trail or even through the streets of Austin, down to the Capital or through scenic places like Barton Springs or Lady Bird Lake.

Weightlifting:

The gym can be a pretty intimidating place, but once you become comfortable, it’ll become a sanctuary. When lifting, you should always plan your workouts to train certain muscle groups throughout the body in combinations.

I’ve found that combining these muscle groups works pretty well for me: chest, biceps and triceps, shoulders and back, cardio and abs. If you are looking for specific workouts and routines, YouTube is a great place to find videos.

Make your workout your own. Make it comfortable for you and do what your able to do. To aid your diet, drink plenty of water and stay away from junk food.