By Aasha Amber Bhatnagar

Staying in shape in college presents a challenge for most students. 

Between cramming for midterms, turning in last-minute assignments before spring break and balancing a social life, going to the gym can feel like a monumental feat sometimes — especially for those of us at Boston University who don’t live on West Campus. 

Unless you live on West Campus, the gym is so far away that the distance deters us from getting our daily exercise (well, it deters me at least).  

Staying fit in college is critical, though. Physical activity not only benefits our self-confidence, but it benefits our overall health, which, in turn, benefits our brains. And a healthier brain equals more A’s. 

Luckily, with Commonwealth Ave. making our campus so linear, walking to class is the quickest and most efficient way to incorporate those extra steps into your workout routine. Here’s what I do to stay fit in college without going to the gym.

Explore workout videos on YouTube that you can do in your dorm

If you can’t make it to Fit Rec, there are so many fun and easy workout routines on YouTube that you can do everyday in the comfort of your room. Following workouts online is also a nice change from your typical workout routine, and you don’t even have to go to a gym to do them. 

Some of my personal favorite fitness YouTubers are Gabriella Whitehead and Tracy Campoli. They post fun and efficient videos weekly to help you stay in shape without leaving your room. The videos usually only last about 10-15 minutes, and allow you to be creative and flexible in your fitness routine.

Avoid the BU Bus 

No matter how tempting it might be to cram into the BU Bus like a sardine, save yourself and walk. 

The BU Bus is germy and annoying, especially if you’re standing in the doorway with more and more people getting on, shoving you around and leaving you with no rail to hold on to. Though the BU Bus cuts your commute time drastically, you can get steps in by walking to class. 

It’s easy to get your heart rate up by speed-walking from CGS to COM or any other building on campus.

Eat mindfully in dining halls

You are what you eat. Stop reaching for those cheesy pizza slices and grab a salad instead. Or, be adventurous and try a yummy meal from the vegan station. 

I’m not saying you have to turn into a rabbit and only eat leaves, but substituting those greasy carbs for something lighter can work wonders in staying fit, helping you avoid the much feared “Freshman 15.” 

Stock your mini fridge like a boss

We all know Trader Joes’ frozen meals and leftover Domino’s Pizza taste amazing, but stocking your mini fridge with healthier options makes it nearly impossible to eat junk food when you’re studying in your room. 

Replace the pizza box with some fruit, hummus or yogurt. And if you’re a big snacker like me, keep a storage box under your bed full of healthy snacks like rice cakes, low-sugar peanut butter or protein bars.

Hopefully, with these subtle changes in your routine, you can stay fit or meet your fitness goals without making too many sacrifices.