According to a study in the Journal of American College Health, about 70% of college students experience substantial weight gain between their freshman and sophomore years. Weight changes, exercise and dietary patterns during freshman and sophomore years of college contribute to this, as well as a lack of structure and motivation when it comes to physical fitness. The “freshman 15″ (this study says that the average was closer to nine pounds) is often seen as a rite of passage but this rite comes along with serious consequences for each student’s well-being, as well as significant cost for the medical care needed to combat the disorders that usually accompany this type of inactivity and weight gain.
The study also showed that physical strength and health conditions peak during your twenties and that they have a deep impact on health throughout the rest of your life. The habits that are learned before, during, and shortly after college are very important when it comes to defining your health for the rest of your life. Of course, the benefits of regular exercise don’t just have physical health benefits, but they also contribute to heightened focus, retention and an overall positive mood, all of which can mean the difference between a successful and unsuccessful college career. When it comes to strength-building, the weight room at the MetroRecPlex has got you covered.
Let’s take a pop quiz: Is it more efficient to work for 8 hours straight or to work for 4 hours with a 30-minute jog in the middle followed by another 4 hours? Research shows that those who take breaks to exercise are actually more efficient at their jobs. The most successful CEO’s add in exercise as a huge part of their routines. As a student, it might seem like you just don’t have the time to get some exercise done while you’re beginning to learn about a new career and trying to settle in to college life, taking the time to prioritize exercise will pay off now and later, so take a jog around the HSHS St. Elizabeth’s Cardio Deck or a swim in the pool and start your college career off the right way!
On top of the fact that exercise fosters success, you’ll be healthier, and not just in the long -term. You see, having a boosted immune system and less buildup of fat and plaque in the body will provide you with improved immune system function, basically keeping you from getting sick, giving you more time for extra-curriculars and to study! As far as the long term goes, you’re setting yourself up for a healthy future. When it comes time to enjoy the results of all the hard work you put in during your college years, you’ll be able to sit back and relax! Taking care of your body even when it’s not so easy will pay off when you’re in your 70s and 80s. You will not regret the time you spent working out now, but you might well regret the time you spent eating fast-food and binge-watching the latest trending show.
College is stressful and escaping that stress by healthy means will help your overall health and wellness. One of the best ways to manage stress in your life is through regular exercise. You’ll once again be fostering a good immune system, you’ll be more productive and successful throughout your college career.
Fitness is an important of college life, and the work you put in at the gym will make you a healthier person, better student and more focused overall. Basically, you are setting yourself up for success! This month, students ages 13 and up enroll for FREE at the MetroRecPlex. Stop in today and see what we are all about!