How exercise can ease the stress of college

An exercise routine can bring physical and cognitive benefits to the college years. Courtesy of Creative Commons via Google Images

An exercise routine can bring physical and cognitive benefits to the college years. Courtesy of Creative Commons via Google Images

By Josh Palgi | Published Jan. 29, 2018

College is called the best four years of your life. Exercise could make the college experience less stressful and more enjoyable with endless short and long term benefits.
So, what percent of college students exercise regularly?
Only 50.4 percent of males and 39.9 percent of female students met these recommendations.
Is it because the new environment for four years and the pressure to study and do well in class?
The amount of physical activity you need depends on your age. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommend for adults ages 18 and older to get 150 minutes of moderate intensity activity (such as walking) or 75 minutes of vigorous activity (such as running) each week. Adults should also do muscle- strengthening exercises two days per week.
Any way that we can increase physical activity levels in college students might translate into maintaining higher levels of physical fitness.

We may:

  • Walk to class
  • Take a stretch break
  • Take the stairs
  • Ride your bike
  • Play collegiate sports
  • Study at the gym
  • Use the gym

Reasons college students should make  time for exercise, based on scientific evidence include:

  • Stimulates brain cell development
  • Improves memory retention
  • Increases focus and concentration
  • Boosts mood
  • Relieves stress
  • Improves sleep

The CDC states that physical activity can have an impact on cognitive skills and attitudes and academic behavior, all of which are important components of improved academic performance.

Some studies with student subjects found that students who had some form of exercise had a higher GPA than students who did not exercise.
College at times can be very stressful, which can lead to health problems, but exercise has shown it can relieve the negative effects of stress.
Wellness is the integration of states of mental, spiritual, social, emotional, occupational, intellectual and physical wellness.Wellness is an active process of becoming aware of and making choices toward a healthy and fulfilling life. Maintaining an optimal level of wellness is crucial to live a higher quality life.
Wellness matters because everything we do and every emotion we feel relates to our well-being.
Physical Wellness encourages us to care for our bodies through physical activity, proper nutrition, and a strong mind.A few proven benefits of physical activity are strengthened bones and muscles, reduced risk of disease and stroke, and more energy.
Understanding the relationship between your body’s physical health and mental health is important in order to develop a balanced physical wellness. Physical wellness encourages principles of good health and knowledge which affect behavior that lead to a healthy lifestyle. An important suggestion to practice to maintain an optimal level of physical wellness is to engage in physical activity.
Regular physical activity can help:
  • Prevent chronic diseases
  • Control body weight
  • Improve mental health and mood
  • Improve ability to do daily activities and prevent falls
  • Increase chances of living longer
So, as you ring out the old year and ring in the new you may be considering changes you would like to make to improve your health. You might be glad to know that small changes in your routine can lead to big results. So whether your New Year’s resolution includes walking or another form of physical activity, you should incorporate physical fitness into your daily life.

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