Staying Fit After Graduation

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Tips from UCLA Recreation will help keep you fit and ready for the challenges of working 9 to 5.

Out in the real world, with new demands on your schedule, physical exercise may become an afterthought. To achieve success in your new career, you need to take care of your body and your mind.

Working Full Time? 

  • Continue your access to UCLA Recreation.
    New facilities, group and personal fitness trainers, clubs, classes, Outdoor Adventures and intramural sports opportunities are available for a nominal membership fee to recent graduates.
  • Check out the gyms near your new workplace.
    Most offer trial memberships. Find the one that suits your style.
  • Explore your new neighborhood.
    Take a walk to a local restaurant for lunch or afternoon coffee break. Some exercise and fresh air will energize you for the afternoon.
  • Fit a short walk into your morning routine.
    If you're taking the bus, get off a few stops early and walk the rest of the way. If you're driving, park a little farther away.
  • Try different routes to work and home.
    You might discover a local park with a par course or basketball courts where you can get in a pickup game after work.
  • Get a bike and ride.
    Ride your bike to work and avoid the freeway. If it's too far to ride to work, bring your bike along and go for a cruise at lunch or after work.
  • Try something new.
    If you played a sport while in school, volunteer to coach a team at a local recreation center.
  • Make the most of the weekend.
    If you're working in an office building during the week, get outdoors on Saturday and Sunday. Look into local hiking trails or bike paths. Check out UCLA's Marina Aquatic Center in Marina Del Rey.

The Office Life 

  • Take the stairs.
    Start with walking down. Then try walking up a couple of floors. In the morning walk up two flights, then take the elevator the rest of the way. Gradually work up to three flights. Continue to add flights over time.
  • Walk instead of e-mailing.
    If you need to talk to a co-worker down the hall, don't call or send an e-mail, walk. You'll keep active and build a stronger working relationship.
  • Work out at lunch.
    If your new company has an in-house gym, get to work a little early or take a longer lunch to work out. (Make sure to check with your supervisor.) Even with just an hour, you can work out for 20 to 30 minutes, shower and be back to work refreshed and invigorated.
  • Find fitness buddies.
    Get to know the people in your new office. Finding a congenial office mate who has similar fitness goals and fitness style will help you both stay motivated.
  • Get up and move.
    Now that you're sitting at a desk all day, make sure you get up and move for a few minutes every hour. You'll feel more energetic and alert. Do some stretches or walk around. Adding just 2,000 steps to your day can help you stay fit and maintain your weight. It may sound like a lot, but try counting your steps to the copy machine. You'll be amazed at how quickly they add up.
  • Keep healthy snacks in your desk.
    Get a bag of unsalted almonds or walnuts. If your office has a small kitchen or fridge, bring in fruits or vegetables, so you won't be tempted to indulge in salty or sweet vending machine offerings. Grocery stores sell prepackaged bite-sized carrots, celery and broccoli. Buy a bag and your favorite dip.
  • Keep a water bottle in your desk.
    It'll make it easy to stay hydrated and help you avoid drinking too much coffee or soda.
  • Choose milk over soda.
    If you choose 1 percent or fat free, you'll get a protein boost and some needed calcium without the extra fat. If you have a craving for chocolate, choose 1 percent chocolate milk and skip the candy bar.

Need a Kick Start? 

  • Write down your exercise schedule and goals.
    Recording your intentions will help you follow through.
  • Pick up a fitness magazine.
    Reading articles is a great way to feel motivated and learn more about ways to maintain a healthy lifestyle.
  • Treat yourself to a new pair of shoes.
    Having the right gear will help keep you committed and reduce your chance of injury.
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