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Hello everybody and happy Monday!

I have now been back at university for around two months now (WHAT?!) and I am managing to settle back into an even more hectic routine than last year, if that is even possible!

So therefore this week I will be talking about my busy schedule and educate and motivate you on how to manage and sustain a busy lifestyle too.

As a university student my weekdays are jam-packed and my weekends tend to be more quiet. I currently attend university four days a week averaging from 9am or 11am until 6pm and my extra cirriculum activities will then take me up to 10pm. I dance on Monday's and Thursday's for 3-4 hours in the evening including ballet, contemporary and street and I then train in the gym 5-6 days per week depending on if I have an exam coming up that I need to put first.

I have been in the position at college in 2014 where fitness came before everything including my friends and studying and I would not leave my house unless I had trained that day due to feeling guilty. One thing that training should not be is a punishment or something you feel like you have to do in order to be rid of guilt for eating etc. Exercise has never been a punishment to me however I did let it take over my life to the extent where it was all I cared about. This is a dangerous slope to fall down and hence something that you need to carefully manage so you stay in control and exercise as a form of enjoyment and passion for yourself.

In order to maintain a healthy balance of all of my activities, studies and social time without burning out I have written myself a weekly timetable to act as a guideline for the things I should be doing each day, record events in my Filofax for on the go and on my wall planner to see everything next to each other in an easy format. I strongly recommend that if you do at least one of these, that it be the wall planner. With everything that you are doing for an entire year all on one large piece of paper pinned up in front of you, it is easier to see where you have free time and where you can fit in extra activities.

I did this at the beginning of October when I started my second year of university by tailoring my workouts around my longer studying days and dance sessions. My workouts alternate between arms, legs and the occasional full body workout and they take me between 45 minutes to 1 hour and a half. I do not believe in dedicating an entire workout to abs as I am a firm believer that they are made in the kitchen. All I do for abs is 3-4 supersets of two different core exercises at the end of each workout just for strength. I also do not do a lot of cardio at the gym because of having 8 hours of dance per week. However I LOVE Vibe Cycle so I attend this once a week at Pure Gym. If you have not tried Vibe Cycle then I highly recommend it as it is much more fun than regular spinning due to the extra moves that incorporate the whole body moving in time to the beat.

If you are struggling to find the time to exercise alongside your job or education try my wall planner idea and plan your workouts before going. Choose your exercises, reps and weights all before you get there so that you have a rough idea of how long it will take you to complete.

 I also suggest that you train before work/lectures or straight after. By going back home you are less likely to want to go back out to train, especially in winter. The best part about training before or straight after your day of work is that you can then go home to relax for the evening or get into your pyjamas straight away like me!

Finally and possibly the most beneficial way to sustaining a busy lifestyle is MEAL PREP. I live by it, I swear by it and it makes my life 100 times easier. On my particularly quiet days I will meal prep for the week and store in the fridge for on the go lunches or freeze for evening meals that I do not have time to cook. This is brilliant for exam period where my time is split between running to a from the library and gym, I can just grab a tupperware and go!

I hope these ideas have given you some indication on how to balance a busy life and taught you that you CAN do it all.

Until next time,

J x

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