April 23, 2019 | 71° F

JUAN: Students should set aside time to exercise

Opinions Column: Come With Lee

The life of a college student is far from easy — from sitting through three-hour classes to trying to balance sleep and a social life, it’s clear that college is not a walk in the park. With all these responsibilities, a walk in the park might be exactly what you need. Though it might sound difficult for some, adding in some physical activity into your daily routine may be the best thing you can do for yourself. I’m not talking about just chasing after the LX. Taking time out of your day and doing some physical activity is something that we should all be doing, further improving not only our bodies, but our well-being.

Trying to find the time to fit some exercise in your day seems impossible, but it doesn’t have to take any more than 30 minutes of the day. There are little ways of getting physical activity in, whether it be taking a quick walk to class instead of the bus, or stepping on the treadmill for half an hour. By just adding some exercise into your daily routine, it can help with weight control, as well as helping your body prevent diseases and complications. I’m sure that not everyone is trying to lose weight, but it never hurts to take care of our bodies. Many common diseases such as heart disease or diabetes can be prevented with regular exercise — getting your heart pumping and your joints moving can help your body inside and out. For the amount of time we sit in lecture halls, lay in our twin XL beds and hunch over our laptops, a little time spent doing some exercise could do our bodies justice.

Some people may still not be convinced that daily physical activity is important, but they might be when they realize all the benefits that it has on their well-being and mental activity. Exercise releases endorphins, hormones that are commonly connected with feelings of happiness and excitement. I know that the thought of sweating on an elliptical doesn’t make me the happiest person in the world, but that post-workout satisfaction is enough to keep me consistently working out. Looking ridiculous while I’m out of breath and dripping with sweat definitely doesn't make me jump for joy, but the feeling of accomplishment afterward always makes me walk through those gym doors the next day. By working out, we can have a sense of contentment throughout our day. I know that I cannot be the only one that feels amazing after a workout. Increased amounts of endorphins that are released can help our mental health. School can easily take a toll on our mental health, so having the opportunity to become content and satisfied can make a bad day brighter.

Along with being happier after getting exercise, taking that time out of your day gives you a moment to clear your head. We have to juggle so many tasks and assignments at once, so many of us are guilty of not taking a second to relax and clear our head. With us thinking about so many different things, it can be hard to perform our best in whatever task we are doing. Through physical activity, we can clear our heads and bring out the best in ourselves. Having a clear head lets us think of new ideas, process more information and helps us concentrate on what is going on around us.

Daily exercise can impact your daily performance in school, furthering the amounts of mental benefits. Purdue University’s Division of Recreational Sports found that the students that worked out in campus gyms got better grades than those that didn’t. Students that went to these gyms made it a part of their school experience. It isn’t just about getting fit anymore. It has become a lifestyle for many of these students. By exercising, students are able to apply the same motivation and effort they put into their bodies into their academics. Their daily activity gives students an outlet to get away from the stress of school, along with improving their outlook on academics. While it may seem that spending the day studying for your classes instead of checking out the fitness classes offered seems like the best way to get that 4.0, it may not exactly be that way. So, go ahead — put the book down and tie those running shoes.

Leona Juan is a School of Arts and Sciences junior majoring in Journalism and Media Studies. Her column, “Come with Lee” runs on alternate Thursdays.rsda

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Leona Juan

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