How to stay fit in college/grad school


In my time as a coach, I have coached countless women in college and grad school, and there is nothing like the guilt that a girl places on herself while in school to also keep up with her fitness.

I get the question a lot about "How in the world did you stay in shape while in pharmacy school?" The truth is, I just hung on for dear life knowing that I had big goals but with the way that I had to study, I wasn't going to be able to complete them until I got out of school. I remember writing out a marathon training program once (I hadn't ran a marathon at this time) and I got through like one week of training and I knew that was not going to work. Most of the time, I would set out with a goal to do 5 days of workouts per week. I skipped my alarm clock at 7am to go to the gym before class more times than I can count because I was up late studying. I ran only 8 miles as my longest run before my first half marathon and cried the night before because I didn't actually want to run that far. (lolz)

My first half marathon finish line!

My first half marathon finish line!

If you are someone who is training for marathons during college, let me just tell you sister, you are amazing. Seriously. Are you one of those wizards that don't have to study or maybe one of those that just makes time appear out of thin air?

I get asked over and over again how to make fitness work in college and just so that you do know what I did:: I kept my nutrition in check. That doesn't mean that I missed times with friends due to food (however I did because I was hella unhealthy with eating behaviors during college) but for you that can just mean that during the week you try to eat the best that you can while getting in as many workouts that are reasonable for your schedule and just like with anything, if you are consistent, you will be just fine.

The beauty is to remember though that if you have lofty goals for doing endurance events as I did, you are going to have more time after school to do those things. You do have to work more hours of the day and finding time to do those workouts gets tricky, but it's not the same as the stress of grad school where every single second of every single day seems as if it's jam packed and you feel guilty spending your time doing anything other than studying.

One thing that I did TONS of during grad school was at home workouts through a website called This is in no way sponsored, but Tanner found the website for me and I LOVED IT! It's essentially just HIIT workouts but being brand new to fitness, I didn't know this and I just thought it was great that I could feel like I got a great workout in like 20 minutes and I felt the same that I felt many times running 5 miles. I would always write like run + bodyrock in my planner knowing well and good I was not going to run. HA! Again, I would set the bar high and let myself down each week so I don't know why I didn't just set the bar low so when I got in 3 workouts, I knew I was doing good. For me though, if I set the bar at 2 workouts, I might only do 1 and that was a mess so I had to at least pretend I was going to be intense even though I knew school came first.

I wasn't "fit" at all. I was honestly just controlling my diet enough to stay in shape. I didn't discover fitness and health until my final year in pharmacy school to where I knew what it meant to "live the lifestyle". If you are one that already has the lifestyle down with healthy eating then heck yes, you are on a great path and you are rocking mama.

After sharing some of my journey, the biggest tip that I have is just to let it go. This time of your life is not for that and that's okay. That does not mean that you are doing anything wrong, and that does not mean that you need to change anything, wake up at ridiculous hours to get workouts in, sleep less to do workouts, eat nothing, or any of those crazy extremes. It's not necessary. Just know that you are in a time in your life where you might not be as fit, just like a mom knows that she won't be right after having a baby. It's just something to accept and be okay with, and then after the hard years are over, you can be a boss!!!

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