Sports and studies: Are you game?

Catching up on campus life | UdeM through the eyes of students
Catherine Ouellet

What’s the secret recipe for juggling sports, university studies and social life? What if the secret’s not so elusive?   

“Me and sports. They don’t go together...” 
“I'll go tomorrow..."  
“Oh, and anyway, I don't have the time...” 

How many of us (me first!) have ever made these excuses? I often say that my schedule is so full, I don't have time to add sports to my daily routine. Think again! 

1. Why don't we have the time?

Time Manager Laura Vanderkam has a simple explanation : We don't take the time because it's not a priority. For example, if I asked you to study for seven more hours this week, you’d say, "I'm busy enough as it is." But if your parents arrived home from Europe after several months of travelling, you’d probably spend the first seven hours talking to them! You’d find the time, because it’s important to you. 

We plan our schedules, so we decide whether sports are important to us or not. If it’s not a priority, you don’t need to feel guilty. It’s your choice! Try listing your priorities to see if sports are one of them. 

No one is perfect, but that doesn’t stop us from trying! 

2. Find the right motivation

Some are elite athletes, some play sports for fun, while others don’t do any at all. Many adults, and especially children, seek immediate gratification (settling for a less rewarding but immediate benefit, rather than working towards a bigger one in the future). Weight loss and muscle building are long-term goals, so most of us tend to lose motivation. We want results FAST. So why not adjust our expectations? Because sports help us to :

  • Sleep better
  • Improve our overall health  
  • Experience mental well-being from an endorphin boost
  • Improve our intellectual capacities
  • Avoid stress
  • Make social connections

Call these benefits a healthier form of instant gratification! 

3. How can we add a dash of sports to our daily mix?

Take baby steps. Literally : Take advantage of every opportunity to walk and every staircase to climb. It's a good way to push your cardiovascular capacity. I use a pedometer on my phone and it’s so motivating to see how many miles and steps I've covered every night! This may not sound like your idea of exercise, but remember, every effort counts. 

Be sure to use your student status to benefit from free access to many of the University's sports facilities : CEPSUM is a great place to exercise, even in cold weather. The hardest part is climbing all the stairs up to the entrance!  

The most important thing is to find a sport that you enjoy. I joined the gym at CEPSUM and I also go to the pool : My friend and I swim together in the "Turtle" lane. We just swim at our own pace. There’s no shame. My goal for the next few months is to get faster and maybe go more regularly. 

Catherine Ouellet
#Rédaction #Montréal #Écolo

Amoureuse des communications et des rencontres humaines, Catherine est une bonne vivante qui aime savourer chaque instant! Savourer, le terme est sciemment choisi : elle est passionnée de nourriture végétale, locale et expérimentale! Son baccalauréat en communication et sa maîtrise en gestion et développement durable l’ont aussi menée à parler de la cause environnementale de manière décomplexée. Et que dire de son amour de Montréal! Elle adore dénicher des petits bijoux d’endroits peu connus de la métropole en arpentant ses quartiers à pied.