Five Reasons for Students to Exercise - Geneva College, a Christian College in Pennsylvania (PA)

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February 23, 2016

Five Reasons for Students to Exercise

It’s around the middle of the spring semester, and that New Years’ resolution to go down to the fitness center and run three times a week might seem like an impossible commitment. So here are five reasons to carve out a few hours a week to exercise.

Get ready for intramural season. If you haven’t heard, it’s almost time for ultimate Frisbee and indoor soccer and you don’t want to be lapped by the competition. Get some exercise in now, so you can be in top shape to take home the most coveted athletic prize in western Pennsylvania: a Geneva intramural championship t-shirt!

Experience early morning bonding. There’s nothing quite like the experience of 7 a.m. workouts before your first class of the day. It’s a special time of day, when communication may be restricted to guttural grunts and the world appears through a misty haze. But although you may be too tired to realize it, you will develop special bonds with the friends who are faithful enough to suffer with you.

Improve memory and focus. Your brain, which is attached to your body, is more energized when the rest of your body is energized—go figure. But really, scientific studies have shown that exercise improves your ability to remember, pay attention, process information, and analyze ideas.1 So consider a workout before your 8 a.m. class. If your blood gets flowing beforehand, you might actually get something out of the class other than a short nap and a sore neck.

Relieve stress. According to the Anxiety and Depression Association of America2, “Scientists have found that regular participation in aerobic exercise has been shown to decrease overall levels of tension, elevate and stabilize mood, improve sleep, and improve self-esteem. Even five minutes of aerobic exercise can stimulate anti-anxiety effects.” If you’re worried about a big test or project, the best thing to do might not be stressful studying but a workout to get your mind off it for a bit. Because when you feel better, you study better. Study smart, exercise first.

Enjoy the spring winter. Finally, if you hate treadmills (and they are pretty awful) or being stuck working out indoors, you may have noticed that winter never actually bothered to show up this year. So get outside to hike or run or kick a soccer ball and enjoy some of that warmth!

–Jeff Carpenter, Graduate Assistant, Clubs & Intramural Sports

Footnotes:

  1. http://www.health.harvard.edu/blog/regular-exercise-changes-brain-improve-memory-thinking-skills-201404097110
  2. http://www.adaa.org/understanding-anxiety/related-illnesses/other-related-conditions/stress/physical-activity-reduces-st

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