Who said New Year's was the only time for change? The back-to-school season is also a time for new beginnings and is a chance to re-engage academically, or to engage at all for that matter!

With countless tips you've acquired from past experiences, little do you know, but you are already equipped and on your way to a personal strategic plan that does more than promise. Use the new semester hype, your positive attitude and readiness to jumpstart as the best weapon to re-engage your fitness, or for some, to take it to the next level.

Have no fears in this endeavor as your classroom skills are transferable!

Early registration

1. In the same way that you schedule your classes to a set number of units, schedule in your workouts. Make sure your commitments don't overlap (if they do, see another class section for different scheduling options). If you are disciplined with your fitness, feel free to try independent study where you have the freedom and flexibility to design a workout that is custom to your desired outcome. Register for classes even if it's late registration. Just remember there is often a fee, and you may need to front load the work to stay on track, so try to start strong with your plans from the beginning as every moment counts!

Advising resources

2. Use your resources! On campus there are several modes of fitness advising and fitness opportunities available if you need it, particularly through the gym -- The Weinstein Center for Recreation & Wellness.

a.Personal training -- This is one-on-one practical help with your workout. It is a free service to students. All you have to do is sign up in the gym with an instructor and match convenient times for you with the personal trainer's availability.

b.Group exercise classes -- These are a wide variety of specific classes that target various goals: aerobics, toning and conditioning, stretching and relaxation or fun dance-based classes.

Group exercise classes are held in a group setting, and with the company of others, you complete effective and efficient workouts. The gym on campus is home to skilled and certified instructors who can guide you to your fitness goals. Check out the class schedules and see which sections interest you and which fit perfectly into your schedule to ensure that you hardly miss a workout.

c. Intramural sports -- If intentional workouts are not your deal or if you just like sports, try these! They are fun ways to stay active and socialize while doing something fitness related that you may enjoy.

d. Wellness class -- This is a part of Richmond's general education requirement. These classes can serve as an opportunity to be advised about your health and well-being. Choose a special topic related to an aspect of your well-being that you need help with or that you find interesting and want to learn more about.

e. Dietician -- Dining Services offers access to a dietician for nutritional health counseling to complement any fitness level and to assist in any health and fitness goals. To schedule an appointment call (804) 289-8512.

Do take advantage of the resources while you have access to them!

Attendance policy

3. Reaching your personal definition of fitness success depends on what you put into that process. Strive to be consistent with your strategic plan, stick to your personally set-out attendance policy, prepare adequately and, in the moment, participate fully. Remember to leave a little room for holidays and sick days in order for your policy to be a realistic custom fit for your life and schedule!

Midterms

4. Track and evaluate your fitness progress and performance by using a halfway mark designation to check on your improvement or any goals you've reached so far. Use your personal mid-term evaluation to shake things up with your workout and even alter your strategic plan syllabus to better fit your goals at that point.

Honor code

5. If you're nervous about this plan, remember that you can always register with a friend or make friends along the way. But, remember, just like in the classroom, you've got to do the work! So don't cheat yourself! Show up and perform for your best results!

With these basics set out you are well on your way to a fit semester.

Tenaj "T-Pain FitExpert" Ferguson

For fitness help or questions contact me at tenajferguson@gmail.com

ALSO ON THE COLLEGIAN