Tricking Yourself Into Exercising: A Law Student’s Guide

The winter Olympics are providing endless entertainment these days and watching the dynamic athletes is fascinating. It’s been particularly interesting to watch the veterans and the young guns converge: Shaun White and Lindsey Vonn are winning their last medals while Chloe Kim and Red Gerard are 17 years old and already winning their first of what will likely be many gold medals. And while I sit on my couch eating ice cream straight from the carton and watching athletes hurl themselves down a mountain at what looks like 313 miles an hour, my legs burn just watching them exercise. And it is then that I think, man, I gotta work out more.

The problem is that I really, really detest working out. Let me clarify: from ages 5-17 I played sports almost year round and was a two-sport athlete in high school, but if I’m not pushing someone else out of the way to beat them to the ball, I want pretty much nothing to do with it. I recognize that a lot of my type-A classmates thrive off runs or going to the gym. It puts even more rigidity into their schedule, it’s a good thing for their bodies, they love the systematic nature of it, and they even get that fake runner’s high that everyone pretends exists. But I also recognize there are a lot of students like me out there, and for us, how do you fit in physical exercise when your brain is being exercised enough for both entities? Well, I won’t say that I have the end-all, be-all, answer, but I have found a few ways to get some exercise in that aren’t entirely excruciating.

  1. Join a sports league

As I mentioned, I’m competitive and I love chasing spheres around a pitch. My favorite sport is lacrosse, and I also played field hockey. There aren’t many lacrosse leagues because it’s a tough sport to play indoors and finding field space in the city isn’t easy, but I FOUND ONE. It’s through Boston Ski & Sports Club, and it plays on Tuesday nights in Somerville. Somerville is a haul, I’m going to be honest, but I played in the fall and it was, simply, fun. It held me accountable because I didn’t want to let my team down, and though it made for really long Tuesdays and Wednesday mornings, it was worth it. So much so, that I’m planning on playing again in the spring! Sports leagues will help hold you accountable and you don’t really feel like you’re exercising, which is the best part! If you’re not interested in lacrosse and/or hauling to Somerville, BU Law has intramural softball and soccer teams, and I’m pretty sure BU as a whole has other intramural sports open to grad students.

  1. Home workouts: Yoga, Pilates, P90x

Youtube is cool because you can access TONS of workout videos made entirely for, you guessed it, people who don’t want to leave their houses to work out!! I listed Pilates and P90x for people who want a more intensive workout (or, torture, a la P90x) but I have actually really enjoyed doing some Yoga a few times a week at night. I do classify it as a workout because you can pick intensive videos, but you can also do more mindfulness and stretching, too, which is really important in physical health as well. I love Yoga with Adriene, as she creates videos that target specific areas: yoga for neck pain (all that studying takes a toll!), self love yoga, bed time yoga, yoga for concentration, etc. She’s awesome, and you know exactly how long the videos are which means exactly how much time you need to budget!

  1. Ice Skating

Ice skating is one of the best “work outs” because you don’t even realize you’re actually burning calories and strengthening muscles, and it works totally different muscles than the muscles you use when walking or running. My boyfriend plays hockey and I learned to skate when I was a kid (because New England winters without skating are really no fun when you’re a kid). Skating is one of our favorite Saturday date activities in the winter, especially at outdoor rinks. One definitely needs to skate at the Frog Pond in Boston Common at least once in their lifetime, so I highly suggest going (but preferably on an off-time as it gets very crowded). It’s expensive, though, so finding local rinks near you for regular-skating would be best. For Brookline folks, the Jack Kirrane Ice Rink is phenomenal! And if you enjoy skating, pick up a pair of your own skates at a used sporting goods store for $30. They’ll pay for themselves within 4-5 skates as renting skates can run between $6-10!

4. Book-lifts

Yes, you heard me, just carry those heavy text books around the house! My con law book weighed literally 7 pounds so to be honest any time I lugged that bad boy around I felt like I was really giving my arms a good work-out. Just kidding. Kind of. Not really. That book was heavy. And I have really little arms.





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