Five exercise hacks for time-crunched Columbians
A full month of school has gone by. Your stomach has finally gotten used to the quart of lard that it encounters whenever you go to JJ’s. The security guard in your building has stopped giving you the side-eye when you come home drunk on Sunday night. Core professors have given up on inspiring you and are now setting their sights on a semester that doesn’t result in any long-term comas.
Unfortunately, one of the harder pieces to add to the puzzle is a regular workout. Between elliptical-fascists in Dodge and the ancient Egyptian curse cast on all the exercise equipment in Carman or McBain, it’s tough to find free equipment, let alone a spare half-hour to pump those muscles and burn those lipids. Here are a few ways to take advantage of minor exercise opportunities around campus, because this is Columbia and being fit is necessary if you’re going to fight off the increasingly aggressive squirrel infestation.
1. Take the stairs
Don’t take the elevator. Especially in Hamilton. You might be 35 seconds later to class, but your heart rate will spike for that brief effort and your metabolism will follow. And no matter how sweaty you get climbing stairs, you will still smell better than the combined body odor of nine people crammed into a metal box so fast that Stephen Hawking could lap it in a foot race. Hamilton, I’m looking at you.
(Seriously, fuck Hamilton.)
2. Go the extra mile
South Lawn is stupid and annoying when you’re late, but if you have a second to spare, make sure to walk the whole perimeter. Do that weird double twist on the way to the Diana Center. Mark every right angle on the way from Lerner to Schermerhorn. The architects of Columbia don’t want you to be late for class, they want you to get a little extra walk! This is their story! And they are old dead white men who have to stick to it, so stop whining and believe!
I’ve mentioned before how much I love bikes (and the Columbia Bike Share, which Gandhi and Lil Bub and Michelle Obama all want you to check out NOW). Well, grab a helmet and pedal your way to work, internships, brunch, whatever. It is better cardio than running, swimming, or sex. No, I did not make that up – and no, that’s not the bitterness of single life you feel seeping acridly into your eyes, that is the feeling of biker’s freedom.
4. Use wheelchair ramps
ONLY AFTER CHECKING THAT NO ACTUAL HANDICAPPED PERSON IS USING THEM, try using every wheelchair ramp on campus for a day. It’s like an extra half-mile in steps alone, and it might actually give you some perspective about how unbelievably frigging ridiculously wheelchair-inaccessible this campus is. And then you might be a broader person. With buffer legs. You’re welcome.
5. Carry more
Don’t buy lunch – save money on cooking at home, and then load up your backpack with Tupperware. Carry a full water bottle at all times. Pack a sweatshirt. Offer a ride to a lame leprechaun. A full backpack can be annoying, but the only reason I am able to bench what I can while still being a female with the whole weight of evolution against me is that I am constantly hoisting my backpack. Not kidding. You will save money on buying bad sandwiches, you will be hydrated, you will possibly inherit Irish gold, and you can build those shoulders. IT WORKS, PEOPLE.
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