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A college age student exercising while looking off of a phone at home.

It feels like yesterday that the clock hit 9 p.m. and my night class was dismissed. I’d reach into the depths of my backpack for a squished granola bar for “dinner,” reflect on the lecture I just sat through on investigative journalism, try to remember whether my friends went out for pizzas or to the library for studying, and then it would hit me: I hadn’t worked out that day.

Day after day, I’d tell myself that I would exercise tomorrow — and then tomorrow came and went. I knew I needed to prioritize my fitness, but it wouldn’t happen just because it was something I was “supposed” to do: It had to be on my terms, when it was convenient for me.

The only reliable element of a college student’s schedule is the time that class is in session, and even that changes semester to semester. Everything else — the eating, socializing, studying, cleaning, group projects, coffee drinking, intramural sports — all seem to happen on a spontaneous timeframe. How can you possibly slot daily 8 a.m. sweat sessions into that?

A student’s workout routine needs to fit in whenever and wherever it can within that organized chaos. If you try to force it, it’s likely something else on your schedule will pop up to bump it out — and you’ll end up like me after my night class.

But what if you could reach into your pocket, grab your phone, and launch an app full of all the workout classes, programs, guidance, and support you need to make lasting health and fitness progress, no matter how much time you have, your location, or what time of day it is?

When the Life Time Digital Membership came out last winter, I had been out of college for less than a year, and I found myself wishing that there had been something like it when I was a student. I think about how I would have been better set up to succeed, rather than consistently failing to make it to the student fitness center or find random workouts online to follow — or giving up all together because those two were too inconvenient or challenging.

If you’re living a busy college life but want to prioritize more physical activity in it, the Life Time Digital Membership might be just what you’re looking for to put it at (or at least near) the top of your list. Consider the following benefits.

It’s super convenient. Clear a space in your dorm or apartment living room, head to a grassy field on campus, hit a nearby trail, or find an open gym. You can bring these workouts anywhere.

You get to pick the time of day your fitness session begins and decide how you work out: Maybe today’s live streaming a SOL yoga class, tomorrow’s a quick HIIT workout, and the day after is a walk with Shawn Mendes using the “Time to Walk” feature from Apple Fitness+ (included in a digital membership). The choice is yours.

When I did find time to exercise, my favorite time to work out at the gym on my college campus was after 8 or 9 p.m., as I knew I could count on an open treadmill or bike to use. If I had access to the Life Time Digital Membership in these moments, I imagine I would have logged in, propped my iPhone in front of me, and virtually joined a cycle class. The accountability would boost my fitness, and honestly, it would be a lot more fun.

Along with up-beat classes to choose from, Apple Fitness+ workouts are fueled by inspiring music from today’s top artists designed to keep users motivated from start to finish; I certainly could’ve found my jam there.

It’s boredom-proof. There are a variety of workout options to choose from so you can mix it up based on what you’re in the mood for, how much time you have, what type of workout you want to do, and if you’re using equipment or not.

Pick from live-streaming or on-demand video classes, Apple Fitness+ workouts in 10 categories, equipment- or bodyweight-based exercises, or various virtual training programs.

It’s tech-savvy. I’m guessing you already carry your phone with you at all times anyway, so the ability to use your smart device for all your fitness needs is a win.

If you have an iPhone and an Apple Watch, you not only get to keep track of your metrics and watch your rings close daily, but you also get access to all things Apple Fitness+. Having that feature included in your membership really is the cherry on top of the sundae (or should we say protein shake? We’re all trying to stay healthy here!).

Apple Fitness+ offers workouts for all ability levels whether you’re just getting started, an experienced individual or student athlete, and everyone else in between on campus. All of the workouts include a trainer demonstrating modifications, so there’s always someone to follow, no matter your ability.

I capitalize on the integration of my Apple Watch with my iPhone (and if I had an Apple TV and iPad, I’d connect them as well). Seeing my activity rings close motivates me and reminds me of the goals I completed. My girlfriends and I even joke that if the Apple Watch wasn’t on, the workout didn’t happen (that’s obviously not true, but sometimes it feels like it when you’re invested in measuring your progress).

It’s budget friendly. The phrase “living on a college budget” is a reality for most students. The schedule typically consists of working long hours on top of a regular school schedule, eating food that’s affordable, and doing your best to make ends meet.

Having access to tools and resources that offer a quality workout regimen doesn’t have to be something you cut due to budgetary concerns. The Life Time Digital Membership is a cost-effective approach. Plus, it also allows opportunities for at-home workout gear and nutritional products that fall into an affordable budget as well.

It’s credible. Most social media influencers aren’t health experts, and searching the web or social media for health-related content can be challenging. You want to base your health decisions and lifestyle habits on credible, proven information.

With a Life Time Digital Membership, you have access to the Health Source, which is your gateway to more than 20 years of trusted content from across Life Time, including Experience Life (Life Time’s award-winning whole-life health and fitness magazine). You’ll find fitness guidance from trainers, nutrition advice from registered dietitians, and more tips, perspectives, and science-based guidance.

Try new recipes, learn about supplementation, and read about time management and how to manage stress and anxiety. When I was in college, I constantly had questions about the strange sleep habits of those around me and how that affected their health, ways to boost my immune system during cold season on campus, and how to pick a quality vitamin or if I should be using protein powder.

In this section of the app, you can also find the Life Time Talks podcast, where you can hear from experts on a wide variety of health topics. I totally would have tuned in as I walked from one class to the next.

It’s supportive of mental well-being. Let’s face it, plenty of college students are overwhelmed. Rates of stress levels continue to climb, with one recent study showing that 57 percent of college students reported experiencing “more than average stress.”

Meditation and mindfulness are effective tools for supporting your overall well-being, including relieving stress, tension, and anxiety, and improving focus. Included in the Life Time Digital Membership are a variety of guided meditations designed to help with everything from stress release to better sleep. These exercises span from just two-minute commitments to 15-minute sessions — the perfect length to fit into a packed college schedule.

Getting a digital membership might just be easier than activating a library card or finding a textbook.

Callie
Callie Chase

Callie Chase is a content editor at Life Time.

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Apple Fitness+, live-streaming classes and more. Life Time Digital is included in club-access memberships, or try it on its own. 

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