Fit & Studying: Support thread

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    I've ventured into the Health issues section, but this particular thread is supposed to help AVOID said issues.

    Let's share what we are doing to try and maintain our health while studying. What are you guys doing for workouts? Workout DVDs? Buying home equipment? Gym lifting? Cardio only? Any particular workout programs you are using or are you freestyling it? What time of day do you workout?

    Are you guys trying to keep your eating habits under control? What are some good healthy study snacks you like?

    While it may be difficult for these exams to not affect your health at all, it is important to minimize negative affects. Let's support each other and share our tips/techniques!


    I recently signed up for a 5K so I'll have a reason to go for a run several times a week. I'm also trying to keep an eye on how I'm eating, but on score release day I'm not responsible for my candy intake!


    Haha I can relate. I do pretty well keeping my eating habits under control for most of the time I'm studying. But the week leading up to the exam is a free for all…anything is game, as long as it keeps my mood positive and keeps me alert while studying. I am tracking my calories consumed on

    I am following a workout program called New Rules of Lifting for Women. It's pretty intense with weight training and I love it…I also do 10 min interval training after the weight lifting. I try to jog outside consistently on non-lifting days.

    I find when I workout in the AM I have much more energy for the rest of the day to sustain me even through study time after work.


    So I actually lost 12 pounds while studying for my REG retake (s).

    I was careful with what I ate, partly to be healthy and partly because I have to adhere to a strict diet because of health issues. But I did not eat past 6:30 at night EVER. I would drink water instead. Every other night I would go to the gym for an intense workout. While I was at the gym I would listen to NINJA audio so I did not feel like I was missing out on study time. On the non gym days I would take my dogs for a longer walk. I tracked my steps with a fit bit ensuring I got 10,000 + steps a day, I would jump rope on study breaks or do stability ball work outs. I would also study while sitting on a stability ball.

    If it was a particularly nice day I would go for a run instead of the gym. Friday's were fieldtrip days with the dogs and I took them hiking or someplace different for a fun walk.

    I woke up early and studied before work, studied at lunch for 45 minutes (the other 15 minutes I spent walking), studied around my exercise schedule at night and did power weekends. I broke up power weekends with gym trips/runs and with dog walks. Sticking to a crazy strict schedule really helped. At the end of REG I was officially one dress size smaller, in much better shape and am running farther than ever and I am done with the CPA exams forever!


    I work full time and i usually get home around 6. I try to go to the gym as much as possible and if I do go, I eat a light snack and I end up coming home around 8 and then shower/eat dinner. then I study till about 12-1am. I usually spend 2-3 hours to cook on the weekends for my meals for the whole week so I force myself to eat healthy and not buy something from the outside (also saves money). I eat whatever I want on the weekends and go out once in a while if not im studying for 10+ hours a day.

    work: 40 hrs a week

    study: 30-40 hrs a week

    gym: 5-7 hrs a week

    sleep: barely get any


    What a great idea for a thread!!!! I love it!

    Being healthy is very important to me. I was once 75 pounds heavier than I am now, and I don't ever want to go back!

    (I couldn't help but notice the irony between not wanting 75 pounds, but wanting 75 points to pass!)

    I do my best to make working out a priority, so I do it first thing every morning during the week. I have come to LOVE Jillian Michaels dvd's. I particularly like the 30 Day Shred and Ripped in 30! That is because each workout is no more than 30 minutes and you SWEAT! It combines strength training, cardio, and abs.

    By doing this first thing, I find that it gives me lots of good endorphines to power me throughout the day. I know that I always feel better about myself when I actually TAKE CARE of myself.

    As far as diet, I do my best to eat healthy, but allow myself to splurge one day a week. So far, I have been successful in keeping these 75 pounds off, and I enjoy being in my healthy weight range.

    Because I fully utilize Power Weekends, I start studying as early as possible. I usually take a break after 4 hours, and this is when I run outside with my lab, Milo! I find this is a great way to break up a marathon study session.

    I do treat myself to an adult beverage at the end of a productive power weekend, I AM human. 🙂


    Great thread! I'm at home studying full time (I quit in order to do so- and I was unhappy and OVER public acct anyways) so it's hard not to be tempted to snack- I usually try to snack on fruit or a smoothie though. I usually eat pretty healthy in general but like everyone else said- testing week is fair game! I also treat myself usually once a week to froyo or sonething unhealthy. As for working out- I have to do it or I'd go crazy! I was working out six days a week for a while but now it's down to 2-3. I like to do videos at home because when I go to the gym I seem to go overboard and work out for like an hour and a half. I like Jillian Micheals killer bun/thighs and 30 day shred- as well as the Brazil Butt Lift videos. Just because you're studying doesn't mean you can't take care of yourself! More power to those that are working as well 🙂


    I started off eating well in the beginning of every section. Then as the material started to get overwhelming, it became a whole different lifestyle. I was drinking energy drinks, coffee, chips, candy, and pretty much anything that was easily accessible. Now that my CPA journey is over, I am more conscious of what I am eating. Less carbs, more protein, and rarely any sweets. Also, I have been going to the gym at least 3 times a week (no excuses). I am trying to lose the weight I gained from the exams and busy season since I put on about 15 pounds since January. arghhhhh!


    It's disgusting how much I've gained A) since joining public account(3 years) and B) since studying hardcore AND working in public accounting(1 year). I never “had to” exercise before so I hate it. I am up 25 lbs! So after I pass to the gym I go….


    In the middle of studying for my first exam, my grandpa nearly died and was released from the hospital with a very strict diet – very low-carb, low-calorie, low-salt, low-everything! lol. I was the best choice in the household (I live with my grandparents – they need care nearby!) to cook things which were edible and met the requirements, so for a couple weeks I ate a very healthy weight with him and actually lost weight, but then he started feeling well enough that he lost interest in the diet…and it's hard to be motivated to cook some healthy meal for myself, with no diagnosed health problems, when he's got all these problems and is eating a big thick cheeseburger and fries… 😛 I find that work actually helps me eat better, though, since I can make good choices when packing my lunch, and then I'm stuck with them come lunch time! It's the days off that are my killer. 😐 Especially since I use candy to motivate myself when studying…like an M&M per page I read, or something like that, which worked OK when I was reading much shorter textbooks before…but a 1500-page book results in a lot of candy!

    I'm not at all consistent exercising, but when I do exercise, I either use Jillian Michaels' 30-day Shred since it's a half hour and (for me 😉 ) intense…or I do a certain number of pushups, squats, and situps/crunches. The pushups etc is quicker, but I feel more like I worked out if I do Jillian Michaels'. I just got over being sore from my first workout in probably 3 months – guess that means it's time to do it again. 😐


    So ironic that this post is out since I'm trying to find time to workout while studying. I never “worked out” before. I've always been fairly slim, but I'm not in any sort of athletic shape. I couldn't run a mile before.

    Two months ago I started to work out a few days a week and decided to make a regular routine out of it. I've been doing fairly well. I started to get up at 5am to study several months ago, so now I just alternate mornings with studying or working out. I try to workout Tu/Th/Sa/Su mornings, and I do yoga Wednesday afternoons. The other mornings I will study for 1.5 hours. I know I should study during the workout mornings, but I'm having a lot of fun exercising! I can now run a consistent mile and a half (which doesn't seem like much, and I still REALLY struggle, but it's far for me!)

    Eating healthy is a whole different story. Some afternoons I do well, others I need chocolate ASAP.


    @neika822 congrats on your running improvement! The first mile is always the hardest. Go you!


    Looks like the Jillian Michaels home workouts are pretty good…I may have to invest in one to see how I like it.

    And I think I will skip rope during study breaks…i think that's best since 1) I shouldn't be on break for more than 5 mins at a time, and 2) i don't think i can skip rope without stopping for longer than 5 mins anyways lol

    The stability ball chair is another good tip.


    Thanks!! 🙂


    I know some of you have families, are 100+ yrs old, and work 100+ hrs/week, but there is no reason in the world you can't get al least 30 mins of exercise every day. There are a ton of exercises which don't require you to be outside or at the gym…NO EXCUSES!



    Ok…I take it you're an advocate for purchasing home equipment/ workout DVDs?

    I get what you mean and IN THEORY, you're 100% right. But sometimes it just doesn't work out that way in real life.


    I workout right after work at the gym then go study. Cardio (mostly running) takes a prominent role in my workouts. I find this gives me a noticeable boost of energy and is perfect for studying right after.

    As for eating habits, I make my own lunches in the morning as well as take multi-vitamins and fish oil capsules. I stay away from fast food as well. The lunches I make are not only healthier but also much cheaper than a fast food meal. I don't understand the epidemic of people eating fast food, even knowing its (many) harmful effects but to each his/her own.


    @CPA4birthdaypresent..nope…..You actually don't need any sort of equipment to stay fit..You can do push ups, crunches, jumping backs, squats, leg lifts, planks (this is excellent), and so many others…These should be all performed during a single session nonstop (with a short 2 minute break once you get tired). If you really want to do this better, you can purchase a push-up bar for about $30 and an ab rocket for about $80 at Wal-Mart. I mean passing the CPA exam requires a lot of discipline, not just 30 mins-1hr a day, so I don't see any reason of accountants to be obese and having cholesterol problems even if they are the CFOs of ExxonMobile or Wal-Mart….LOL =P


    If I could eat Panera everyday for lunch, for the rest of my life, I so would. I'd also weigh 100 pounds more. 🙁

    I temped at a college last year and it was right next to a PF Chang's. At least once a week, I'd get a takeout lunch from there, and I gained weight. At my current job, we have no other options really. A Boloco just opened up, but it's a good 20 minute walk away. I've lost about 7 pounds just being here. All we have are pre-made sandwiches on campus. Or I bring a Healthy Choice. Although, lately I've been raiding the vending machine like it's nobody's business, so maybe I'm relapsing.

    Except for the summers, we have an hour for lunch, so I used to spend a majority of that by taking a walk. Now I just study 🙁


    I wish I was fit and studying. I decided to get pregnant this year and take the exams and didn't realize how tired the pregnancy would make me on top of studying and working. Before I got pregnant I would work out 5 days a week either running or zumba and weights. I loved running and was training for a 10k. This pregnancy is not what I thought it would be, I wake up to pee every few hours so I'm tired all the time and I have to study, so when I get home from work exercising is the last thing I want to do. I use to work out in the morning which I prefer, but I just can't get out of bed a minute before I have to for work.

    I'm not going to worry about eating healthy because this is the only time in my life where I'm able to eat what I want and not care about staying in shape and I'm loving it. 🙂 I know once the pregnancy is over I'll lose the weight quick and go back to being healthy. I'm going to try to fit in some exercise. My goal is 3-4 days a week, even if it's just for 15 mintues, just have to figure out the right time.


    I do an hour of cardio four days a week. And to show how sad my life is: I type up or hand write a page of notes on stuff I need to learn and put it in front of me on the gauntlet or the elliptical. Having a conversation in your head for a full hour about pretty much anything will help it stick… But at least I get my workouts in!

    The only thing that saves me on the eating front is not really keeping anything bad in the house. Wine though is an evening curse. I wish someone would sneak in and steal all my malbec becuse otherwise whatever I do after that first glass I have to REdo the next day to be sure I really got it.


    After every 10 multiple choice questions I get right, I do 20 pushups. It helps break up those huge banks of questions and also allows me to get that blood flowing.

    I also make sure I get a 3 mile run at the least every day to every other day.

    Passing the CPA exam is great and all, but I won't let my health suffer for it. I'd rather go run than watch an extra half hour of some crap on TV


    Funny you say that Peetree…I was actually thinking of doing the reverse…every X amount of MCQs I get WRONG, I'd do 5 push ups. hahaha…I'm not very good at normal/non-girly push ups, so I'm thinking this will be good motivation to make the information stick….

    so at least at the end of the day 1 of 2 things is accomplished: I'm either going to remember the information or be really good at push ups by the time this is all over and done with. 🙂


    oooo, maybe I should switch to questions wrong!

    But then I wouldn't be doing any pushups……..HA! /s

    realistically, I wouldn't stop doing push ups.


    hahaha oooooo good one Peetree…I'll take the more humble approach 😉 and wager that I'll soon be able to do 100 consecutive push ups with ease.


    So after putting on the CPA exam requisite 10 pounds from sedentary living, I decided about 2 weeks ago that I have had enough and I needed to MAKE time for 30 minutes of exercise daily!!! I work crazy hours just like everyone else but I am sick and tired of feeling like crap! I changed my hours at work to 7:30-4 so I have time to get home before traffic gets nuts, punch 30 minutes on the workout clock, and still put in quality study time before my husband comes home from work! After we have dinner it's back to studying but I can do so guilt free about working out. I'm loving the quiet time at work in the morning before everyone else shows up, it's a win/win!

    I like Jillian Michaels 30 day shred when I need a hardcore/intense workout and I do Ballet Beautiful (ballet/Pilates/toning fusion, google it because it rocks!!!!) when I want something a bit more calm. I do love how nuts Jillian is and that she screams at you throughout the entire workout!!! My favorite is when she barks at you during the “jumping jacks til you puke” segment that if 400 pound people can do these, so can you!!!! I hate it when she's right!!!! 😉

    @SMP73 you are a rockstar, I've never heard of anyone LOSING weight during CPA prep!!!!!!!!!!!! LOVE it!!!!!

    Keep it up everyone!!!!!!! 🙂


    A) Lifting is so much more important than the CPA. 🙂

    B) For those of you out there who are lifters and need to get an efficient yet hard workout (that will serve for your cardio as well), stick to the Big 5: Bench Press, Deadlifts, Military Press, Squats, Barbell Curls. Don't worry about those peripheral sculpting exercises; you can take care of those when you're finished with the exam. These basic five exercises will keep you in shape and add some muscle mass as well.

    After a proper warm-up, do the aforementioned lifts (I do them in that order; you can pick the order that best fits you) with 45 seconds to a minute rest between lifts (this is kind of like a super-super set). After you're finished with the fifth lift, take a 2-3 minute break and then start again. Increase the weight and drop the reps as you move to the last couple of sets. Do 4-5 sets; you'll be done in approximately an hour.

    For example, a typical set is as follows:

    Bench Press 10×235

    Rest 45 seconds

    Deadlifts 10×315

    Rest 45 seconds

    Military Press 10×155

    Rest 45 seconds

    Squats 10×245

    Rest 45 seconds

    Barbell Curl 10×115

    Rest 2-3 seconds, then reset.

    You'll be suffering midway through the second set. Adjust weights accordingly. Good luck to all.


    Great thread!!!

    I hate exercise! HATE IT, i don't know what i hate more working out or studying….. But i have been trying to take 2-3 gym classes a week it helps break it up and I know I need to do something. I also am doing the 30 day crunch challenge I hung it up next to my computer where i study so i have to do it!

    I also have instituted a new ‘snack' plan. I am calling it a life style change a not a diet. We have lots of free snacks at my office so i cut them all out, and have replaced them with fruit, and other snacks I am making. I have made granola, date bites, tomorrow I am making cookie dough dip (its really humus), and i am going to try to make granola bars soon. Plus trying to make healthy dinners.

    Happy studying and staying healthy!


    @ InterFCI:

    The New Rules of Lifting for Women plan I am on incorporates all of these at some point within the 3 out of 7 stages I've completed thus far. I finish each workout in about an hour.

    Your Big 5 super super set sounds super intense lol I am worried I won't have a lifting plan in place when I'm done with my current one…sounds like the Big 5 would be a good substitute until I find another one.

    @ LSNYC: oh…my…GOODNESS GRACIOUS…why oh why do companies “treat us” to all these free “snacks”???? My firm has free coffee and iced coffee during warm months, free bagels and free gigantic muffins (standard variety of both), as well as free use of the espresso machine, free English muffins (white and whole wheat), oh yeah…and then there's the free seasonal fruit lol

    It's kinda absurd. I can totally relate to having to swear off free office snacks and packing my own : ( Fage 0% greek yogurt with a touch of honey has been a waist saver these days!

    Kudos to you for baking/cooking your own!!


    @ InterFC1 – my favorite are deadliest and good mornings!

    @ CPA4bdaypresent – I would love to know where you found your routine. I love weights!

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