Exercising at Stanford seems like it shouldn’t be that hard, and sometimes it’s almost involuntary, when your class schedule demands that you cross America’s largest campus…in ten minutes…multiple times a day. We get free membership to a really nice gym (I suppose it depends on where you’re from, but Arillaga Center for Sports and Recreation is leagues ahead of anything I saw back home), a beautiful campus to walk and bike across, and a thriving athletic program. But for those contending with winter-quarter apathy, here are 5 novel though primarily facetious suggestions for how to get some exercise that might be more fun than a pair of dumbbells and Precor #2. Note that this has not been evaluated by the FDA or anyone besides spellcheck. I am not a doctor or a pre-med.
1. Walk, Don’t Bike
I have to confess this one has ulterior motives–I don’t have a bike appreciate lack of bike traffic. Stop using a bike for a week and make it a point to walk a lot. You don’t have to be aimless; pick places to go that will obligate you to walk. Take the opportunity to walk to a professor’s office hours when you usually chill between classes. Have lunch or dinner with friends at a different dining hall. Take some homework and a snack and walk to the Dish/Lake Lag/your favorite library/the Oval. Expand your definition of walking distance. I don’t have a bike and I’ve found I actually end up willingly taking the opportunity to walk to farther places more than I did when I had a bike.
2. The SLE workout.
Bringing new meaning to the phrase “heavy course load,” the SLE workout maximizes the cardiac potential of the philosophical canon. On Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays, use SLE books as weights (you can move up from one book, to one week’s worth of books, to a quarter’s worth). On Mondays, Fridays and Saturdays, take a hike across campus to secure meals when FloMo Dining is closed. On Sunday, take a break and enjoy the Indian food. You deserve it.
3. SUID to exercise, 21+to GET RIPPED
Oh parties. Though the best are often born spontaneously of late night restlessness in the dorms and the generosity of the resident Guy With the Big Stereo, attending an all-campus party guarantees at least two solid hours of dustup-fueled aerobic activity. Who needs dumbbells when you have GLOWSTICKS? Just make sure you’re actually dancing, not just vaguely vibrating to the music. If the party is outside and/or fairly uncrowded, you might have the added bonus of being able to extend your arms! On days besides Fridays, Saturdays, and alternate Wednesdays, either find some friends who are raging on the row, or look up a song on YouTube and practice a dance to it so you look totally awesome at the next all-campus event.
4. Who Says TV is Unhealthy?
Confession: I have never watched Downton Abbey. Or 30 Rock. Or even How I Met Your Mother. I’m a little afraid of becoming addicted, after what Glee put me through. But TV shows don’t have to be yet another procrastination technique–just watch them while you walk or run on a treadmill or stair machine. Many current shows have episodes or even full seasons posted free and legally online, and watching them can keep you motivated, or at least distracted, in the gym. Plus you can choose what you’re listening to, if you don’t fancy hearing “The Boys Are Back In Town,” for the eleven millionth time.