The Benefits of Exercising in College

College is a time of freedom and fun. Upon entering college, students have to adjust to being on their own and developing their own schedules. However, in transitioning from home to college, or even from the summer break to the academic year, students often fall into a state of lazy leisure.

 

            College students are infamous for playing video games for hours at a time, laying around their dorm rooms, binge-watching Netflix shows, snacking constantly…the list goes on and on. It can be hard for students to motivate themselves to get up and moving, when it is easier to simply spend time relaxing with friends in the dormitory or studying in the library.

            There are benefits to exercising beyond high school P.E. class, however. Here are just a few reasons why college students should strive to remain physically active.

            The Department of Health and Human Services suggests that adults in good health get in at least 2.5 hours of aerobic exercise a week, with strength training all major muscle groups at least twice a week.

            Exercising is also an obvious way for college students to burn off calories consumed through cafeteria meals, late-night taco runs, and snacking. Being physically active can also help students to sleep better at night, as they use up excess energy during their workouts.

            Exercise is good for both students’ brains, as well as their bodies. Endorphins, hormones secreted in the brain and nervous system, are produced during exercise, and have mental benefits, not just physical ones. This so-called “feel good” hormone can work to students’ advantage, making them feel accomplished, and giving them a “can do” attitude and clearer focus on the task at hand. Exercising can be a great break from schoolwork, if students needs a wake-up or a refresher.

            In addition to the mental benefits of exercise, staying active can also be good for students socially. Finding a workout buddy and setting up a training schedule may allow students the opportunity to spend time with friends whom they might not normally throughout the day. Students can also meet new people by heading to their university’s exercise facilities, or by joining a gym. Many gyms even offer free or discounted memberships to college students, and offer a wide variety of fitness machines, trainers, and classes.

 

Some exercise suggestions for college students:

  • Go on a walk with a friend

  • Do jumping-jacks, planks, push-ups, sit-ups, body weight squats, lunges, etc. during your favorite TV show

  • Hop on a treadmill or elliptical with your iPod or phone

  • Head to a local park and hike around

  • Go rock climbing or swimming at a local gym

  • Take the stairs

  • Get a pull-up bar for your door frame    

  • Go for a bike ride

  • Hit your university’s weight room

  • Look up 80’s workout videos on Youtube

  • Have a dance part with your roommates

            Happy school year, students! Just keep moving.

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