Fitness is something that students are told to implement to have a healthy lifestyle. College students might find that more difficult to achieve. However, it’s important for to remember that there are truly great benefits to fitness especially when it comes to physical as well as mental well-being.
Lindsey Freidhoff, Graduate Assistant of Fitness Programs of Campus Recreation, emphasizes the benefits of fitness beyond what students would typically think of when considering a fit lifestyle.
“The younger we can create a habit, the easier it is to keep that habit long term,” said Freidhoff. ” the earlier students put time into fitness, the less time and money students will have to spend at the doctor’s office later in life.”
Freidhoff also says that according to Duke University, exercise can have many mental wellness benefits including memory improvement, lifting depression and improving organization and planning skills.
“Exercise is proven to better our sleep, and sleep is linked to several health conditions ranging from ability to concentrate, to levels of cortisol (which affect fat storage), anxiety, depression, and more,” she said.
Eating healthy foods is just as important as exercise. For students wanting to take the first steps in changing their eating habits, Friedhoff recommends to at least use a calorie counting app to help understand your average calorie intake. What you put into your body can make a difference when it comes to how you perform physically.
A great way to keep yourself accountable for all these factors is to set achievable goals and reward yourself with things that don’tt include calories.
“Small changes are easiest to make, easiest to adopt long term and most likely to stick as a habit.” Freidhoff said.
Some students may be unsure if they’ll have enough time to stay fit. Freidhoff says the best way to find the optimal time is to time block everything you currently do and then fill in the times where you can work out.
This can help visualize your schedule and be a physical reminder of what you need to remember. It’s important to treat going to the gym the same as any other appointments and commit to it.
If students are unsure of what to do for fitness, they should find a fun activity that will get their heart rate up. The Student Recreation Center offers a variety of fun group classes that include a pool, a rock-climbing wall and more that are absolutely free to students. Sometimes bringing a friend along can help make fitness more fun and can keep you more accountable of your goals.
Students should remember that to make this type of change in their day-to-day life means making time for it and staying committed. However, Freidhoff wants students to know that just because one day may not be perfect doesn’t mean that the goal is unachievable.
“When you fail, fail forward. Get up, shake off the dust, and get back to the gym, say no to the side of mayo, say yes to fewer pumps of syrup in your coffee” she said.
Written by Isabella Schneider, Campus Life editor. Photo Courtesy of prexel.
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