Seven Ways to Stay Active on the Block Plan


One of the reasons I chose to attend Colorado College was the healthy lifestyle it promotes. The gorgeous mountains visible from everywhere on campus are practically calling you outside, encouraging you to get active and the predictable schedule of the Block Plan seems perfect for maintaining a consistent workout schedule.

As an accepted student, I envisioned myself coming here and working out every morning, but when I arrived as a first-year, the reality was quite different. My motivation to work out had not diminished, but more obstacles got in my way than expected. The first obstacle was the cesspool of germs that arrived with the incoming class, which gave me a sinus infection the first week of school, and the second obstacle was the shock of the Block Plan’s intensity. However, I have not given up. Over the past few weeks adjusting to CC, I have compiled a list of seven ways to stay active on the block plan.

Photo by Austin Halpern

Don’t get discouraged if you get sick. Even if it may feel like the end of the world, and everyone has told you that you can’t get sick on the Block Plan—it’s OK. You will get better so long as you take the rest you need. This means potentially sacrificing going out or not working an extra hour on that assignment to go to sleep earlier. But the more rest you give yourself, the faster you will get back to being your best. Also, don’t forget about the awesome student health center we have on campus.

Take advantage of the student-taught classes at the gym. The instructors are students just like you who make time during their day to teach classes; they’ll make sure you get a good workout in just one hour. Moreover, it makes their job much more rewarding when there are lots of participants. Give some of the classes a try, and experience the glorious view of the mountains from the all-purpose room.

Stay motivated. Sometimes working out becomes exhausting, and it’s hard to remember why you are doing it. I keep a note on my phone reminding me why I am motivated to exercise and how rewarding it is to see the results.

Sign up for  all of the outdoor trips happening through the Outdoor Education Center. Getting active doesn’t have to mean running twice a week. It just means getting your body moving, and hiking up a mountain, climbing in Garden of the Gods, or stand-up paddle boarding are all great ways to do that.

Find a workout buddy. When the workload gets heavy on the Block Plan and it’d be easier to just skip the workout one day, it’s nice to have someone to hold you accountable, making sure you aren’t falling out of your routine. Find someone who likes the same exercises as you do and get going!

Get creative. If I really have no time to work out, I’ll turn studying into workouts. That could mean doing 10 push-ups after every 10 pages you read for homework, doing a plank as you go through notecards, or switching floors of the library every 30 minutes to get some cardio in. You may look a little crazy, but in the end, you’ll feel better because you kept your body moving.

Don’t get too stressed if you miss one day. The Block Plan can get extremely intense, so if you miss one day, it’s not the end of the world. Simply try to be consistent when you can, so you don’t lose your routine.

Working out can be inconvenient, especially on a schedule as rigorous as the Block Plan. However, it can also be extremely rewarding. What is important is that you maintain good health throughout the year. Listen to your body during the both the highs and lows during the block, whether it needs rest or a chance to sweat out some stress.

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