By Chloe Tuinstra

 

As an ex-athlete, I can attest to the fact that adjusting to an exercise routine in college is difficult. At first, I was doing well, but as the semester got busier and busier, I struggled more and more. I no longer had hours of practice every night actually penciled into my calendar to keep me accountable.

Midterms hit, and all I wanted to do was cram as much information in my head as possible. The last thing on my mind, though it was definitely in there, was to make it over to the CoRec and run on a treadmill. I felt my time could be better spent taking anatomy notes.

I continued in this cycle, exercising once or twice a week, focusing on my classes until the semester ended. There is something to be said for prioritizing education, but nevertheless, I fell off the horse.

Exercise is an important factor in disease prevention. According to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, regular exercise helps by reducing the risk of developing diabetes, high blood pressure, colon and breast cancer, and feelings of depression. Exercise helps to maintain a healthy weight, which can prevent diseases related to cardiovascular issues like coronary artery disease. Studies have also shown that “through its effects on mental health, physical education may help increase students’ capacity for learning.” So to all those who would rather take a physics exam than run a mile: maybe spending an hour at the CoRec wouldn’t be so bad after all.

So how did I get back on the horse?

I started this semester with a resolution to work out more frequently. I made it the first several days, but the semester caught up with me and I struggled to find the motivation. I found it in the form of my friend: one of us will message the other and we agree to  meet at some point in the day or night. Even though we don’t do the same exercise routine, it helps me to have a partner to ensure that I don’t flake on going to the gym most days.

So speaking to all of those who are for the first time figuring out what it’s like for the rest of the world to exercise and to those who struggle to find the motivation to head to the gym: I am right there with you, and I believe that what really matters is the act of doing it. Find what you love, and have fun with it. Sweat it out and know that you’re not just there to take a workout snapchat, but that you are actually helping your body out in the long term. It will thank you!

 

Sources:

Physical Activity Fundamental To Preventing Disease. (2017, February 21). Retrieved March 01, 2018, from https://aspe.hhs.gov/basic-report/physical-activity-fundamental-preventing-disease

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