Walk into the gym right now. Students are lined up behind workout machines, dreaming of the beach and knowing their hard work will vanish after 10 days of mamak stalls and fried foods.
How do we stay fit as full-time students? Is there an emergency kit for holidays home and grandma’s homemade curry chicken and nasi lemak? Do they drink fat-free teh tarik? Nah, but some students figured out how to stay motivated and keep their term break bodies all year.
1. GO GREEN AND BLUE
“So, I know the idea of going vegetarian freaks a lot of people out—especially college students who often need low-budget and quick meals. But sticking to fruits and veggies (or if you must eat meat, only eating lean chicken and fish) will trim you down like crazy! Also, I try to drink at least half my body weight’s worth in milliliters in water every day.” –Kelly Wong, 1st year student studying Finance in KDU
2. LET THE FUTURE BE YOUR GUIDE
“I recently found out that my dad was diagnosed diabetic so that has pushed me harder to hit the gym and change my eating habits because that could very well be me when I’m older. I would also say that I tend to fall into the routine of working out for that ‘summer bod’ and then neglecting the gym in the winter, but if you can find something to work towards in those tough months, like finishing a triathlon, marathon or another sports competition then you can keep yourself motivated! I’ve done dance and gymnastics classes because I used to compete in those when I was in high school.”– Alvin Jin, 3rd year student at UKM
3. GO HARD, THEN GO HOME
“I do H.I.T, high intensity training, it only requires one set of 8-12 reps per exercise but that set is done until muscle failure. I definitely don’t stay at the gym any longer than one hour, and I don’t think it’s necessary.” – Stanley Goh, a law graduating student from UUM.
4. QUICK START YOUR METABOLISM
“Well my absolute 100 percent favorite thing is a metabolic supercharge kale smoothie. [The Kale Smoothie recipe from Biogilates is] incredibly filling and the secret ingredient is what gets the metabolism going.” –Rachel Liz, freshman, FSU
5. MAKE A ROUTINE
“I would say the most important thing is getting to the gym at least a few days each week, even if you’re only working out for half an hour at a time. Your diet is important too; try to cut out soda, junk food and fatty foods and you’ll be good. If you want to get into the best shape possible, then supplements are the icing on the cake. I use C4 before every workout and Pro Complex protein powder within 20 minutes of completing the workout. Remember that showing up to the gym is half the battle for most people. Work out for yourself and don’t worry about what other people think about you.”– Edward Tan, a Science stream foundation student at TAR Kolej.
6. COOK WITH HEALTHY INGREDIENTS
“I cook only with natural oils: coconut, olive or avocado. I like to make baked oatmeal bars on Sunday and have a ready and made breakfast to go for the week. It helps to make sure I don’t splurge or binge and keeps me full and alert for the morning.” – Yunis binti Muhammad Yusof, a first year Pharmacy student at IMU.
7. SQUEEZE IN A COUPLE PUSH-UPS
“It really comes down to consistency, the more consistent you are I feel the better you will be. I know people oftentimes are full of work to do and have no time some days and I can relate. On days as such I make sure I get my 100 push ups in with my 100 abs that night therefore my conscience will be clear knowing that I did something to keep me going. I’m not a huge fan of protein shakes but I’ll take some every now and then if I don’t feel like eating at the moment and try to stay away from red meat!”– Cindy Liu from USM
8. FIND A SYSTEM THAT WORKS FOR YOU
“I like to use the workout program on BodyBuilding.com. I’ve actually created an account on Body Space. I get to put a workout program on my calendar and it schedules the workouts for me. They even have daily workout videos according to your daily workout schedule. They do a variety of targeting programs which gives me more to do than just one specific routine.”– Teh Kon Peng from IMU.
9. DITCH THE SALT
“I barely use any salt when I cook. If you use a lot of salt your taste buds get used to it and you start needing it ‘cause food starts tasting bland without it. I try to make it a habit to work out, so that even when I’m not motivated I still go, ‘cause trust me you won’t always be motivated. And it’s good to make running a habit. It’s a b-tch at first, but it gets easier after one month. I start with trying to run 10 minutes without stopping and then I always just add another 10 and see how far I can go.”–Amy Chen, studying Nutrition at UM
10. DRINK COFFEE
“Taking supplements with high caffeine absolutely help as a pre-workout. They increase blood flow and energy. I only train to maintain strength as of now due to the amount of time I spend at UKM. However, training does boost your confidence, you have an idea of what your limits are in a way and you find out who you are, or a part of you that you wish to improve. I guess that’s what motivates me.”– Cynthia Kumar studying Business Administration at UKM.