Opinion: Make time to exercise, important for student health

  • 1 min to read

Spending time exercising during the school year can be a difficult thing to do, but it has a lot of great benefits.

Exercising as a college student has considerable health benefits, including boosting overall mental health like increased happiness and energy. Students often complain of being constantly exhausted and stressed, exercise can help to alleviate some of these issues weighing on students.

30 minutes is just 2% of your entire day, so realistically everyone really does have time to work out a few times a week. 

A 2017 Odyssey article by Cecilia Bagley reported that working out has five very important direct impacts for college students. 

The first is that exercising will give you an energy boost. 

A 30-45 minute exercise three to four times a week can increase your overall energy levels. This can help with the constant feeling of being tired and help keep you alert and attentive in class instead of dozing off while listening to your professor drone on in a lecture.

The second benefit Bagley cites is how it helps relieve stress. 

When you work out, your body produces endorphins. These chemicals in your brain are natural ways to reduce stress levels and help improve the quality of your sleep. 

The third benefit - which will greatly impact your performance academically - is that exercising a few times a week will also stimulate your brain cells. People who exercise regularly have shown better memory retention and the ability to focus. The brain is a muscle, and so working out is going to benefit it just like your biceps.

The fourth benefit is that it helps build up your immune system. We all know that right now with the weather changing it seems as if everyone is getting sick. So why not try and build up your immune system to combat those germs, bacteria and viruses that seem to be going around campus all the time?

The fifth benefit is that it lowers your risk of chronic disease, such as high blood pressure, cholesterol and diabetes. It is proven that by elevating your heart rate for 20-30 minutes will decrease your risk of these sorts of diseases. 

Students live busy lives. With class, homework, meetings, work and social time taking up a majority of our lives - it can be stressful and tiring. However, it is really important to spend some time improving our bodies and to keep us running like the fine-tuned machines we are. 

So make sure to spend some time this week and semester getting some exercise.