Hacks to Get Active

During the school year, many students’ have time dedicated to school, homework, maybe a job on top of household responsibilities. Now that we’re at the start of the new semester, we can take the opportunity to direct our attention to our health and make time to be active. The CDC recommends that we get at least 30 minutes of physical activity a day for optimum health. For some of us that can feel like a tall order, but never fear! We’ve listed some hacks to get you moving without sacrificing time from other priorities.

One plus side that the CDC talks about is that you don’t have to do all 30 minutes at once⁠—it can be broken up into more manageable chunks of time. Think of it as six 5 minute sessions, three 10 minute sessions, two 15 minute sessions, or any combination of the above. As long as your activity totals to at least 30 minutes for the day, you are well on your way to creating a healthier you! 

Hack #1 – Park in a parking lot further from campus. Usually we want to have the closest parking lot possible for the ease of access. But if you park further from campus, not only will you save money on your parking pass, you’ll be investing in your health from the extra walk time. For example, if you park in lot 59, it takes us about 20 minutes to walk to campus. Walking back is an additional 20 minutes, putting you over the 30 minute recommendation!

Hack #2 – Take the long route to class. Sometimes we have a little extra time between getting to classes. A great way to make use of that time is to take the long road to class. By taking a longer path, you’ll be able to get your steps in and increase your activity level. Check out the map for your campus to look for different walkways that add time to your stroll. If you’re crunched for time, consider small activity increases, such as taking the stairs over the elevator.  Every bit of extra physical activity adds up!

Hack #3 – Hit the Sun Devil Fitness Complex during a long break between classes. Classes don’t always line up perfectly back to back, and often we have big gaps of time between classes. This is the best time to check out and go to the Sun Devil Fitness Complex. There is a wealth of work out machines and weights, group fitness classes, ball courts, and an indoor track that you can use, all of which is free of charge to students. The time spent being active counts towards your daily total. Prefer to be outdoors? There is also an outdoor pool to swim in and a track that you can walk or run on, located on the fields right outside of the Sun Devil Fitness Complex.

Hack #4 – Take a walk in between homework assignments. Taking a walk in between studying or homework is a great way to clear your head and refocus on the next task. It doesn’t have to be a long walk since even 5 or 10 minutes will add up. Try walking around campus or your neighborhood and get the chance to stretch your legs. Your body and mind will thank you!

Hack #5 – Wake up early and hike “A” mountain before class. For the early birds looking to add activity in the morning, hiking up “A” mountain is a great option. It is located at Tempe Butte, also known as Hayden Butte, which is north east of the Tempe campus and south of Rio Salado Parkway. The hike is not difficult, and you can easily hike to the top and back down in 30 minutes. Not only will you see the whole city and Tempe Town Lake from a beautiful point of view, but you’ll also be able to get your daily activity done in one fell swoop!